Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad


Let me preface this post by saying I am honestly not much of a salad person. Don’t get me wrong, I will eat them, order them at restaurants, but I rarely make them myself. This is for a few reasons: 1. I always seem to forget about the greens in my fridge and they turn to black sludge. 2. There are millions of others types of foods I would rather try making. 3. Salads never fill me up. 4. I’d rather make salad from during fresh from the garden season, not the grocery store.

I recently went to the Des Moines Art Center’s cafe – Baru at the Art Center – for lunch with family and a salad on the menu piqued my interest.  I liked it so much that I actually thought about it a few times since then, and decided to make my own version of it, tweaking it slightly.  I made it last week for a dinner with friends and was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.  It is one I will make again once the farm-fresh home-grown produce comes in.

This recipe can be done in stages.  I roasted the beets the previous day, so they could chill in the fridge before combining them with the rest of the salad makings. I did not specify exact amounts with the goat cheese, lettuce, and pecans, as I figured these are a matter of taste.  I did use a standard-sized box of mixed greens from the grocery store, for my recipe.

Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Peel and dice 2-3 medium beets into 1-inch chunks. Spread into a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once.

2. Once beets are cooked, remove from pan and chill.

3. To prepare salad, combine in a large bowl: mixed greens, 1/4 – 1/2 of small red onion, thinly sliced, and roasted beets.

4. Top with crumbled goat cheesepecan halves, and honey balsamic vinegar dressing (see below).

Honey Balsamic Vinegar Dressing 

1. Combine in a jar: 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, 1-2 teaspoons honey, ground black pepper.  Place lid on jar, shake thoroughly.

Hot Pool Watercolor Painting


Hot Pool, Watercolor on paper, 9×12″, 2015.

I am still doing a fairly decent job on my resolution on setting aside creative time for myself each week (this is getting easier and easier, the more sleep that I get each night).  This resolution is also helping to me to finish projects that were interrupted by big moves and babies.  I started this watercolor painting a while back, but did not manage to get very far on it.  Sometimes I find myself floundering on an artwork, and the only cure for me is to set it aside for an unspecified amount of time.  I pulled it out again this spring, and finally had the energy and vision to see it through.  It is based on a photo I took of a hot pool in an area of extensive burn damage from the 1988 fires in Yellowstone National Park.  It was taken via a cell phone shot, and then an Instagram share, from our trip there in the summer of 2012.  I have had an ongoing idea to use Instagram images for the basis of paintings, and perhaps I can keep this up now, as this is my second endeavor of the likes.

This is a short and sweet post – more to come soon!

February Wrap-up

It is no longer February.  Somehow, February escaped me this year – it has been filled with snuggly sick kids, baking, making Valentine’s, mountains of snow – this is the mall parking lot and its mounds of snow that will last until June.  Speaking of June, we have been discussing the warmer months ahead on a daily basis around here.  It is interesting to me how my toddler’s memories of summer are a mythical past – her questions are numerous and ideas endless.  Lately, she has been dreaming of places we can bike to, now that little brother is bigger and stronger, she knows his biking days are coming.  Meanwhile, I dream of days where getting myself and two small children out the door do not involve as many layers of clothing, just layers of sunblock.


Everyone. has. been. sick.  I am so tired of snot!  On the bright side, I did find time to get a haircut this month. Newly shaped and straightened ‘do always overrides tired mommy eyes.  Fresh from the salon is as coiffed as my hair ever gets.


In the land of Q, he is sitting, trying to crawl and currently has 3.5 teeth.  He keeps all of us busy!


I managed to get Greta’s Valentine’s done on time, though she couldn’t enjoy the party this year due to being sick.  We dropped them off and she got her bag to go.  I broke out gel medium and a bag of glitter to doll up her extra valentine’s with an adult theme.


Sorry, my child.  She actually told Eric, quite incredulously, “Daddy, did you know horses make glitter?!”


We Eric managed to tear up the upstairs bathroom and put in new flooring and a new sink cabinet in a weekend, marathon DIY project.  Still to be done: painting, new light fixture, switch plates, and new vent cover.  More on that later.

tubeIn the meantime, the tube that held the flooring has been an endless source of fun – for children and cats alike.  Cars can really get some momentum shooting down this tube!

I’ll leave you with my current favorite quote:


May your March be healthful, productive, and joyful.