I made a gruesome discovery yesterday.

You know how a few weeks ago I mentioned some of the spring cleaning I was doing, and by spring cleaning I really mean going through my closet and trying on things with super high stilettos in order to procrastinate traditional spring cleaning?

It’s the truth.

Well. Yesterday I found a drawer that I missed. I don’t know how you miss a drawer, what with only six or so in your bedroom, but I succeeded at this. In said drawer were skirts. Like a lot of skirts. Denim skirts specifically, from American Eagle circa high school or college or something during that time period when American Eagle made the best denim skirts EVER and if you were anywhere between the ages of 14 and 21, you most likely owned two or three. So typically… I owned two or three.

The thing was, these skirts? They were like… SO FREAKING SHORT. Did I really wear these short skirts? I’m sort of embarrassed for myself. I mean I was trying them on and basically felt naked. It was like I was wearing a bathing suit bottom. One wrong move and I’d be in trouble. But seriously, I must be getting so old because I don’t even remember wearing these specific ones Ugh. I’m definitely getting old. I’m so boring.

Like, what did I wear with this dark wash skirt? And why did I pay what I can only assume was a small fortune for the very light washed skirt, that was totally weathered and torn and frayed? Not because I weathered and tore it myself, but because when you’re 18 it’s your life goal to buy a pair of jeans for $89 with a 2-week paycheck that are already torn to shreds.

Oh but get this. The most gruesome of the discoveries was all the way at the very bottom, where I spied a just-as-short CAMO skirt, Abercrombie circa a time period I’d like to forget. I hesitate to even speak of such horror because my husband is going to flame me when he gets home since I’ve tortured him endlessly about his Dale Jr cutoff’s and puffy camo winter jacket. Oh and the entire camo Under Armor line that he wishes was in his possession yesterday. It just wasn’t that the skirt is a blatantly obnoxious camouflage print – I do distinctly remember wearing some cute olive and taupe tanks with it for some sort of… outfit – but it’s the fact that the darn skirt is literally as long as it is wide. It’s like an actual square. Why I found this length appropriate to put on my body at some point and show my face in public, I have no idea.

Also noted: why I’m scared to death to have a child someday.

Now the worst, and especially embarrassing part? I didn’t get rid of the skirts. I know. TECHNICALLY it wasn’t really my fault. I mean, I totally was planning on tossing them in a bag to donate later this week, but in true Jessica fashion (um, definitely no pun intended) I got distracted mid-project because I heard Tell It To My Heart blasting from my iPod downstairs and had a spontaneous dance party, then started watching old True Blood clips, then read enough celeb gossip to make my head explode, then went for a walk and made dinner and by the time bedtime came along… those stupid skirts ended up back in the drawer that they came from as an easy out.

Now, if anyone sees me wearing one, you must promise to punch me in the face.

The only redeeming quality of my day was lunch and dinner, both which consisted of some leftover watermelon feta salad. And I use the term “leftover” loosely, since I didn’t have a chance to eat it the day before and inhaled the entire batch in two sittings.

I tried my twist on this trendy combination meshed with quinoa, because it’s one of those things that’s actually healthy that I adore. This here is sweet and savory, served cold for summer, and during these scorching months when my appetite tends to disappear in the heat of the day, it makes for the perfect light meal and is a superior pre-ice cream choice. Easiest side dish ever.

Watermelon Feta + Basil Quinoa

serves 2-4 generously

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed (I used a mix of TJ’s tricolor quinoa)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 cups chopped fresh watermelon

1 tablespoon honey

2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

15-20 basil leaves, chopped

the juice of 1 lime

Cook rinsed quinoa according to directions on package (which is most likely a 1:2 quinoa to water ratio). Let quinoa cool completely and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Toss chopped watermelon with 1/4 teaspoon salt and drizzle with honey. In a large bowl, combine cool (or even cold) quinoa, watermelon, crumbled feta and basil. Toss well, then squeeze in lime juice and toss again. Serve!

The heat may take away my desire to chew but it never takes away my desire to suck a margarita through a straw. This is a fact.

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105 Responses to “Watermelon Feta + Basil Quinoa.”

  1. #
    Ryan - Spicy Richmond — May 30, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

    Looks light and refreshing!


  2. #
    Cassie — May 30, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

    Great flavors! I love eating salted watermelon!


  3. #
    Tracy {Pale Yellow} — May 30, 2012 @ 5:32 pm

    This salad looks like summer in a bowl!


  4. #
    Nicole M. — May 30, 2012 @ 5:40 pm

    I just made this and want to cry because the flavors are so ridiculously heavenly. I’ve made the same combo before, but never thought to add the honey. Perfection!


  5. #
    Annie @ What's Annie Making? — May 30, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

    I totally had short hollister skirts like that. And I’m pretty sure I wore them through my sophomore year of college when I realized how ridiculous they were. Oh, and I love the watermelon feta combo too!!! Such a refreshing summer salad.


  6. #
    Faith — May 30, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

    Wow, that sounds really good actually! I gotta give it a try, I’ve only had Quinoa hot with corn mixed in.


  7. #
    jenna — May 30, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

    this looks so flippin’ good!!! oh my word. such a perfect hot summer day dish.


  8. #
    Naomi(onefitfoodie) — May 30, 2012 @ 10:30 pm

    I JUST wrote out the quinoa recipe thay my mom made for our bbq on monday (greek style quinoa) btu I am SO making this one next time!!!! omg it looks delicious and also sp pretty from the pink waterlemon! :) hahahah abercombie skirts…I dont even want to know how many I had!


  9. #
    luv what you do — May 30, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

    Beautiful salad!

    Do we really need to get rid of our AE jean skirts from the 90’s. I still have one or two too! Yikes…that is scary to admit. One of them is my favorite swim cover up!


  10. #
    Lauren @ Recipes for a Quarterlife — May 30, 2012 @ 11:42 pm

    somebody told me this weekend that jorts (jean shorts) should not be worn past that age of 25. and white jorts are an even worse crime. I have five.


  11. #
    Anita — May 31, 2012 @ 6:35 am

    SIDE dish? Hardly. My husband would eat an entire watermelon like this. Or without all the other stuff, so yeah. He’s a feta fan, he’ll flip over this dish. Wonder how it would be with pearl couscous?

    You know, maybe you stopped wearing the skirts that cover your ass-crack(barely) after you reeled in Mr SoSweet?


  12. #
    Paula @ Vintage Kitchen — May 31, 2012 @ 7:44 am

    I can eat watermelon all day long! Now I have the rest of the ingredients but have to wait for the watermelon.. I will try it, it sounds perfectly different!


  13. #
    MikeVFMK — May 31, 2012 @ 7:53 am

    Now this is interesting! I love watermelon salads in the summer but the addition of quinoa is so interesting and I bet delicious. And great pics too. Really stellar idea!


  14. #
    alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — May 31, 2012 @ 7:54 am

    love this combination! Have a great day


  15. #
    Krysten Oliphant — May 31, 2012 @ 9:21 am

    Um, I definitely still have two skirts like that — a light denim one ALL TORN UP from AE and a sorta-camo one from Old Navy. This makes me sad. Can we still be friends?

    And to the jean shorts comment above — I have at lest 6. That I still wear. Sigh.


  16. #
    Jennifer — May 31, 2012 @ 10:22 am

    This is such an interesting combination. I would never have thought to combine the two, but that’s why we have cool people like you.


  17. #
    Sharyn Dimmick — May 31, 2012 @ 11:30 am

    I’m with you, except for the quinoa. I was too short to wear short, short skirts, so I didn’t embarrass myself that way (Great story).


    • Ruby — May 31st, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

      really enjoyed reading this….made me laugh AND ponder


  18. #
    Kathy — May 31, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

    I laughed so hard! I had a similar experience – but from a much earlier era. Think hippie bellbottoms and love beads. Thanks for the chuckle.


  19. #
    sweetmaddy — May 31, 2012 @ 4:10 pm

    Oh the destroyed denim from Abercrombie…sigh…also, I still buy all my underwear from AE, it’s THE BEST.


  20. #
    Stacey! — May 31, 2012 @ 4:10 pm

    Girl. I’m serious. I found 4 such skirts (3 American Eagle, 1 Abercrombie) in my “shorts” drawer while I was packing for the trip to Vegas we took this weekend. So embarrassingly, skankily short. The worst part is that about a year ago I went through all of my clothes, and for some reason these stayed. I don’t know why I ever even deemed them acceptable to wear in the first place, but I REALLY don’t know why I kept them. I have zero intention of wearing them again, ever. But they stayed. Why?! Also, I’m 6′ tall, so they were even shorter on me than they were on the average bear. Awful. Really, 19 year old self?


  21. #
    Jessie — May 31, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

    “The heat may take away my desire to chew but it never takes away my desire to suck a margarita through a straw. This is a fact.” This quote just made my day! I think I might just have to have it printed and hung in my kitchen. lol Looking forward to trying out this recipe too b/c I have TONS of watermelon right now.


  22. #
    Larina — May 31, 2012 @ 6:06 pm

    I totally had those short short denim skirts too…I think I’ve officially gotten rid of all of them (I hope!)

    Also, this looks delicious! I love watermelon, feta and basil together (I’ve made a salad of just those three ingredients before), but they’re taken to a new level with the addition of quinoa. Going to have to try this soon…


  23. #
    Amber @ Slim Pickin's Kitchen — May 31, 2012 @ 8:29 pm

    Bwahahaaahaaahaaaa!!!! I swear sometimes I think we are the same person! Your habits are exactly like mine! I also have a watermelon that we just picked up yesterday, so I’m thinking I’m going to have to try this one out very soon!


  24. #
    christina @ ovenadventures — June 1, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

    LOL i totally had a camo skirt. Oh the things we do and think we look good doing them.

    I love watermelon and feta together. I just discovered it last summer and i think i ate it almost everyday.


  25. #
    Ash — June 1, 2012 @ 2:51 pm

    Get in my mouth! Sounds delicious …and had to laugh at the skirts…I still have mine from high school……..but the sad part is, I think I’m going to get back into them someday…lol, that isn’t going to happen!


  26. #
    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — June 1, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

    That is the most visually appealing quinoa I have ever seen. Absolutely gorgeous!


  27. #
    Denise — June 2, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

    This looks soooo good! I’m making it on monday and can not wait.


  28. #
    Katie — June 2, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

    Wow, so great. I just made this for dinner and my fiancée and I loved it. It was my first time ever cooking with quinoa and I’m hooked. The one thing we are going to add next time is really crispy bacon bits. You’ve done it again! Thanks for a new go-to meal option.


  29. #
    Tessa — June 4, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

    I made this over the weekend, and I have to say that it is SO GOOD!!! Wow, great combo.


  30. #
    Kari - the Sweetest Memory — June 4, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

    This looks amazing!


  31. #
    Christina — June 6, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

    This looks absolutely delicious!

    Oh and let’s not talk about camo skirts. I found a pic from way back in the day, let’s just say it involved a jean skirt and timberland boots. When did I think I was ever gangsta slash girlie? I digress.


  32. #
    Andrea — June 10, 2012 @ 6:14 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with wearing a short skirt every now and then. ;) As for the recipe, I love the addition of quinoa to a traditional watermelon recipe.


  33. #
    kimberlee — June 19, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

    I just made this, like right now. Seriously! YUM!


  34. #
    P-Cakes — July 20, 2012 @ 9:37 am

    I just found this recipe 2 days ago and made it to bring in to the office for a farewell party. It’s a hit and I’ve passed around the recipe to all! YUM!!


  35. #
    Heather of Kitchen Concoctions — October 8, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

    Haha! You crack me up! I had the same thoughts recently when I cleaned out my closet and found about five super short skirts. Like really I wore that at one point in my life! Who was that person?!? LOL! PS: I’m a little, ok a lot behind on blog reading so you may find a few random comments on some of your older posts!


  36. #
    Heather — June 17, 2013 @ 7:12 pm

    I hate to be mean but this was the most disgusting dish I have ever made. I used all fresh ingredients and it was just gross. My boyfriend tried it & even told me I should throw it out. Uggghhh I guess if it sounds too weird to eat then it probably is. The crazy thing is that I love feta cheese & eat it in my salads often. I love salted watermelon, I love honey, I use limes in my beer. Yet these things combined was just ewwww.? The thing that threw me off was the quinoa, it was almost flavorless & bland. I don’t think I will ever eat it again & it’s quite expensive for a grain from where I live. The Basil leaves was wayyyy to strong. Even one leave would have been too much, that stuff takes my breath if I get even a tiny bit.


  37. #
    Sarah — July 20, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

    I just made this for a summer brunch, and it was refreshing with a nice balance of salty and sweet. Next time I would make a point of straining the watermelon because it made the salad a little mushy, but had a really nice flavor.


  38. #
    Sarah@WellDined — May 21, 2014 @ 1:30 pm

    I loved this! I added strawberries, almonds, and a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, and honey.



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