Filed under: baking, Clever Chickadees, dessert, food and beverage, kid friendly, quornflour, recipe, Thanksgiving - Fall and Winter Holiday Foods and Crafts, vegan | Tags: cake, candy, chocolate, clever chickadee, Clever Chickadees, cooking, dairy free, dark chocolate, dessert, food, food and beverage, foodie, friends, ginger, quornflour, recipe, vegan
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
Filed under: Clever Chickadees, craft, food and beverage, green, inspiration, kid friendly, now you know, penny saver, project, quornflour | Tags: bucket, bucket list, clever chickadee, Clever Chickadees, craft, food, food and beverage, free, freecycle, friends, green, inspiration, kid friendly, life, pickle, pickle bucket, project, quornflour, recycle, reduce, reuse, Upcycle
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!
Filed under: Clever Chickadees, food and beverage, gluten free, low calorie, lunch, quornflour, recipe, side dish, snack, Thanksgiving - Fall and Winter Holiday Foods and Crafts, vegetarian | Tags: bzzagent, cheese, clever chickadee, Clever Chickadees, culture, dill, easy meals, fage, food, food and beverage, friends, gluten free, low calorie, lunch, quornflour, recipe, snack, vegetables, vegetarian, yogurt
Years ago I was at a friend’s house and looked in her fridge and discovered something strange. When I asked her what it was she said that she was making yogurt cheese. It was something that her grandmother had taught her how to make.
I had not really thought of it until recently, when this website (bzzagent) I am a member of asked me to review and give feedback on FAGE Greek yogurt. Since I was getting three 17.6oz containers of yogurt I figured this was the perfect situation.
You are going to need:
1 ½ teaspoons dry dill
1 teaspoon freeze dried garlic
¼ teaspoon salt
The zest of one lemon
2 cups of Greek yogurt
The non-food items you need are:
32oz wide mouth canning jar with lid
12oz wide mouth canning jar (you can use the same lid as above since you only need one at a time)
Cheese cloth 1′x3′
A rubber band
A small mixing bowl and a spoon
In the bowl combine the ingredients and mix in thoroughly. If you are impatient you can stop there and use the mix as a delicious dill dip for veggies or chips or on salmon.
Take the cheese cloth fold it into a 1′x1′ square and set it in the 32oz jar so it hangs about halfway down the jar and secure it below the jar threading with the rubber band.
Spoon the yogurt mixture into the cheese cloth net. Be sure not to press it in too hard so that it doesn’t press the mixture out.
Secure the lid and let the mixture refrigerate overnight.
When it is ready it will have lost about a half cup of liquid. Carefully remove the cheese cloth net, remove the yogurt cheese from the net and place it into the smaller jar.
Serve on crackers, toast, or bagels with lox or whatever you think is delicious.
Filed under: Clever Chickadees, craft, etsy, green, inspiration, kid friendly, photography, project, quornflour, sewing | Tags: etsy, quilt quilting, quornflour, sew, sewing, sewing machine
For the last few nights I have been working on a commission quilt.
I am happy with how it turned out.
Here are some pictures.
My etsy shop: http://quornflour.etsy.com/
Filed under: Clever Chickadees, dinner, easy meals, food and beverage, gluten free, low calorie, lunch, quornflour, recipe, side dish, Thanksgiving - Fall and Winter Holiday Foods and Crafts, vegan, vegetarian | Tags: beets, carrots, clever chickadee, Clever Chickadees, dinner, food, food and beverage, friends, gluten free, kale, quornflour, recipe, roasted, side dish, thanksgiving, vegan, vegetables, vegetarian
My friends and I have a variety of local sources for our meats and veggies depending on living arrangements. Since there are different sources there are different items that folks get.
It isn’t unheard of for people in my circle to barter, in the summer this includes veggies.
Currently I am working on a resume for a friend in exchange for farm eggs and veggies.
Anyway, especially so it seems in recent years one of the items you see a lot of, that certainly (in my opinion) is not worth bartering is kale.
Yeah, I know, it is supposed to be some superfood because it is full of all sorts of good stuff for you, but you know what, I do not like kale. Don’t worry the feeling is mutual I am certain.
At any rate I occasionally end up with a bunch of it, those are the days I wish I had chickens, actually most days I wish I had chickens.
In the line of other veggies that I don’t like includes carrots, but only cooked carrots am as it turns out only water cooked carrots (steamed, boiled, chopped and added to soup).
What I have found however is that many of these that I do not like, I quite like when roasted.
Roasting is pretty easy, it’s one of the things I show friends who don’t know what to do with an oven.
Depending on what you are roasting the times and temps will carry, for this purpose we are going to use an oven at 400 and a cast iron skillet.
Rumor has it cooking in a cast iron skillet can ward off anemia.
Anyway, chop up 2 fist size beers, 1 yam, a rutabaga, 3-4 carrots and put them in the skillet.
Now add about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil (or rendered bacon fat), a pinch or two of salt, crack about a quarter teaspoon over it and then squeeze the juice of an orange (2 blood oranges if they are handy).
Next up, stick your hands in there and toss it all together to get everything coated and pop it in your oven and wait.
You will start to smell them as they roast. About 20 in open the oven and see if they are starting to brown and toss everything and return it to the oven.
Chop up a bunch of kale (bunch being a vague unit of measurement), and after another 5 minutes add it to the veggies. And leave in there for another five minutes.
All the root veggies should be soft and the kale a bright shade of green.
This combination also makes a delicious tipping on pizza along with blue cheese.
via Roasted Roots.