cleverchickadee


Alexz’ Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chip Ice-Cream Sandwiches: a recipe by quornflour
April 17, 2014, 4:32 PM
Filed under: Clever Chickadees

#nomnom #food #foodie #cookies #recipe

My niece Alexz came to visit me for her spring break. It was fun exploring some new spots with her and just hanging out.

We cooked a bit, she cracked me up with her disbelief that corn could be cooked without a microwave (it really seemed corn specific, everything else made sense). She reminded me of her mother who about 10 years ago, when she learned I did not have a microwave she offered to buy me one, in the event it was an expense thing.

One of the things we made were Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chip Ice-Cream Sandwiches. Alexz made the cookies, which were delicious, even if the 4H method of cracking an egg was crazy funny…

Here are the ingredients for the cookies:

  • 1 Cup Vegetable Shortening
  • 2/3 Cup White Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1¼ Cup Unbleached White Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 Cup Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Chips

 

  • Start out by heating your oven to 370◦
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together shortening and white sugar until fluffy
  • Add eggs and vanilla extract, mixing thoroughly
  • Mix in brown sugar
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda
  • Slowly add to the wet ingredients and mix forming a dough
  • Add chocolate and peanut butter chips, mix until they are more or less evenly distributed
  • On a cookie sheet lines with parchment paper, place 2 tablespoon balls of dough about 2-3″ apart
  • Bake for 9 minutes
  • Transfer from baking sheet to cooling rack and let cool

If you want to make ice-cream sandwiches, simply put about 2 tablespoons of ice-cream between 2 cooled cookies and enjoy!

 

 



Veggie Hash – a Breakfast Anytime Recipe by quornflour

#recipe #food #nomnom #foodie #vegan #vegetarian

When thinking about supper, sometimes I think about breakfast. There are plenty of days when supper really is breakfast – in the traditional meaning of the word being break of the fast. Sometimes however, I just want breakfast foods some other time in the morning.

So, last night I decided to make French toast and vegan hash. Today I enjoyed the leftovers with a topping of Spice-Yoghurt… You know you want some, so here is what you need to do: make it. This will serve 4-6 people as a side or 2-3 people as a standalone.

Here is what you need:

  • 2 red potatoes – shredded skin on
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts halved or quartered depending on size
  • 2 cups of grape tomatoes halved
  • ¼ cup red onion finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced scallions
  • 1 teaspoon ground horseradish
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup water
  • black pepper to taste
  • spray oil

Shred your potatoes and mix 1 teaspoon of garlic and 1 teaspoon of scallions mix together in a bowl, cover and set aside.

In a 5 quart Dutch oven heat your olive oil on high heat and caramelize the onions, horseradish and a tablespoon of garlic.

Add the Brussels sprouts, and caramelize them, then add tomatoes and salt and cook until the tomatoes get a little deflated.

Turn the heat down to medium and add the potatoes and water, mix it together. Cook for a few minutes so that the potatoes get soft.

Next you’ll want a griddle, get it nice and hot and spray on some oil. Take the hash and crisp up each side. Serve hot.

To make the yoghurt topping, simply add a tablespoon of Cholula hot sauce to a quarter cup of plain Greek yogurt and mix well.



Gluten Free unWings – a Recipe by quornflour

#glutenfree #vegan #reedsgingerbrew #nomnom #friedfood #gameday

When I lived outside of Boston there was an Indian restaurant (I think it was called Dosa Palace… maybe Dosa and Curry) in Somerville that had this dish that the first time I had I wanted more. Ok so it was fried goodness, but it was basically like chicken wings but made with cauliflower, which is kind of funny because generally I am not a huge fan of chicken wings. Recently I had a craving for some, but I am about 1200 miles away, so I made them.

They are pretty easy to make here is what you need:

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 2½ cups chickpea flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 cup of Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew
  • Oil for frying – I mix equal parts olive oil and canola oil
  • your favorite buffalo, bbq, teriyaki or whatever sauce you have a hankerin for

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or deep frying pan (like a cast iron skillet), you’ll want it to be about 1½ inches from the bottom of your pot.

Now break up your cauliflower into small pieces (do not use frozen cauliflower). You’ll get a lot of cauliflower crumbs if you just cut it with a knife, so I cut it with a knife into bigger pieces and then tear it into smaller pieces with my fingers. The pieces shouldn’t be any bigger than a chicken wing.

In a bowl mix the dry ingredients together and mix with a fork or a whisk. Next add your Ginger Brew add a little at a time and mix in, it will bubble a lot so if you add it all at once you may end up with a mess. You want the consistency to be similar to pancake batter, so add a little more or a little less liquid as necessary.

Coat the cauliflower in the batter and put it in the oil and cook until golden. I do about a cup worth of cauliflower at a time. Once golden put the cauliflower on a dish with paper towel or a grease catching towel for a minute or two – trade out the towel as necessary.

Toss in your favorite sauce – I like buffalo sauce, bbq sauce and plain… I think it would also be great with a mango chutney, teriyaki sauce and many other sauces… more on those later… serve warm.



Pretty Purple Slaw, a recipe by quornflour

Well, it isn’t really summer, but with the blue skies and sunshine and above zero temps, it sure feels like it.

So I made some fish and chips and slaw. Coleslaw is one of those foods that is either delicious or gross, it makes me sad when I have bad slaw. From the number of places I have had it in Minnesota, it seems to be pretty much a fact that Minnesotians can’t make slaw. No offence guys, but mayo and cabbage slaw does not make.

Here is what you need:

  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 4 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • ½ a cup miracle whip
  • ¼ cup crushed pineapple
  • ½ a head of red cabbage chopped into thin strips
  • ¼ cup craisins
  • ¼ cup finely chopped pecans

In a bowl add vinegar, mustard seeds and red onion and set aside for about an hour.

Add the sugar miracle whip and pineapple and mix well. Stir in cabbage, nuts and craisins and let sit for at least an hour in the fridge.



Dark Chocolate Ginger Cake, a Recipe by quornflour

This weekend it was my friend’s birthday. The plan was to go out to dinner with his twin sister and her family and I wanted to make a cake. I like making cake.

I originally was going to make a Mexican Hot Chocolate inspired cake, but on the drive home from the grocery store, the plan morphed and what resulted was quite certainly the crowning achievement of my cake baking to date.

I needed a few ingredients, so I popped into my favorite grocery store in Saint Paul: the Mississippi Market.

One of the things I was looking for was something to top the cake with, I wanted something with a kick, but I wasn’t entirely certain what. As I stood staring at the candy bars trying to find a hot pepper chocolate bar and being unsuccessful, all the crystalized ginger was yelling at me. Everywhere I looked, ginger this, ginger that, ginger in chocolate, chewy ginger, crystalized ginger… Now my friend’s favorite flavor is ginger… so I grabbed a bar and headed to the check out.

As I was driving home, rocking to some random tune on the Current, it hit me. Of course, a ginger chocolate cake. Duh!

It take a little preparation, but trust me, it is all so worth it.

Here is what you will need:

  • Cake:
  • 3 tablespoons dried ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon of dried cayenne powder
  • 2/3 cups of canola oil or similar
  • 2 teaspoons of white vinegar
  • 2 cups of room temp dark roast coffee (brewed)
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 6 tablespoons of Hersey’s® Special Dark baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon

Heat your oven to 350◦F

In a double boiler heat the oil and add the ginger and cayenne pepper, this will help bring out the flavor of the spices, set it aside to cool back to room temperature.

Once it is room temperature add the vinegar, coffee and mix well.

In a separate bowl combine the remaining dry ingredients and mix well.

Combine wet and dry together and pour into a very well-greased Bundt cake pan (will also make 2 10″ rounds).

Place in the oven for 55 minutes remove when a toothpick comes out dry. (If using rounds about 35 minutes should be enough).

Remove the cake from the pan and let cook on a rack.

Once it is cool you will want to make a glaze, for this you are going to need:

  • 1/3 cup of salted butter or salted butter spread
  • ¼ cup of Hersey’s Special Dark baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of powdered ginger
  • 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup of Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew
  • 1 chopped crystalized ginger and chocolate bar, chopped (freeze it and chop it then store it in the freezer until you are ready for it)

In a double boiler melt the butter and add the chocolate and ginger and mix thoroughly

Pour butter mix over the powdered sugar and add the ginger brew to thin it out and make it pourable.

I let it sit for a minute or 3 to cool and thicken so it does not just all drip off the cake.

Get the chopped candy bar out of the freezer.

Pour the glaze over the cake and top with half the candy bar, then pour more glaze over top and then top with the rest of the bar.

Enjoy.



Feeling Minnesota by quornflour
March 3, 2014, 1:42 PM
Filed under: Clever Chickadees

It has been a crazy few… 6… months. After deciding that I had reached a point where I simply was not going to be happy in my job, we parted ways.

I was not really sure what I was going to do next, so I spent a month sleeping. Seriously, I was so worn out and tired of it all, I needed it. When I emerged from my slumber, I realized I had an opportunity sitting in my hands. If I have learned nothing else, I have learned that the best thing to do with an opportunity, is to grab it.

So, I gave my notice at my apartment, with the help of my fabulous friend Sara offloaded tons of my belonging, packed the rest, moved it into storage and bough an RV. Then I set fourth making it visually livable. Structurally it was great, but it was a bit hard on the eyes. I painted the walls I found most offensive, removed the awful window treatments and made new curtains.

I had parked the RV in my sister’s driveway, with the restriction that I needed to be out by the first snow that required shoveling or plowing, since I was parked where the snow goes. In mid-November, I finalized the list of things I needed with me, sewing machines, some fabric, cast iron cooking supplies and of course the pup and hit the road.

My friend J9 flew out from Seattle for the maiden voyage, and her final childless adventure. We headed west.

I know.

Most people say, “um, west? Not south?”

No, not south, west. J9 was going to meet up with her husband in Chicago for Thanksgiving, so we had a destination.

It was an adventure, complete with trucker stop showers, drug sniffing dogs, Wal*Mart parking lots and giant cow gnomes… there are stories here.

What I learned is that roughly 120 square feet isn’t really THAT small. Going over 55MPH greatly reduces your MPG and reminded me that there are a lot of really great people out there.

Then it got cold, really cold. Well, I did end up in Minnesota, yes north, not south. So for now I am hanging out in an apartment in Saint Paul, rekindling my love for the Midwest and plotting out the next chapter. I like it here… I think I just might stick around.



Bucket List by quornflour

Bucket List (Originally posted on Quornflour.wordpress.com).

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For an upcoming project I need some food safe, water tight buckets.
Now I could go to Home Depot and buy a few Homer Buckets and call it a day: but that seems ridiculous, especially since they don’t need to be orange and I don’t want to pay to advertise for someone. (When I bought my Wrangler I removed all traces of the dealer, even the hitch cover which in hindsight I wished I had just spray painted, but oh well.)
I have a few buckets that I use for my recycling and dog food and kitchen laundry, which I figured I could use in a pinch, but first I figured I’d see about acquiring a few.

Did You Say Free?

Now you can get buckets from lots of restaurant and catering places that order large amounts of food supplies, especially pickles, croutons, protein powder and teriyaki.
I have had the best luck acquiring buckets from sandwich shops.
All you need to do is call (or stop in) and ask, now don’t do this during the lunch or dinner rush or they might stomp ya.
It is a good idea to call first because a lot of places don’t keep around what they don’t need, so you might need to ask them to save them for you. A smaller place may go thru a bucket a week or so, so if you need multiple call around.
Be sure to let them know if you need lids as sometimes they get separated.
I have run into places that charge a small amount for their buckets, if it is a mom and pop type place I am ok with it, if it is a chain, forget about it!

What’s that smell?

It is important to note that these buckets are plastic (not BPA free as far as I know), so they will most likely smell like whatever they were originally used for.
Generally a little time in the sun will remove significant smells and over time the smell will dissipate, so keep this in mind and time things accordingly.

I am super happy about my acquisition and after they sit outside for a day or two I will get some good use out of them!




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