cleverchickadee


Mmm Cake by quornflour

Ever have one of those days, where the only thing that will make you happy is cake?

No?

Liar.

Okay, perhaps it is hormones, whatever.

Sunday, I wanted cake.

I looked for recipes, they seemed good but I then realized I was missing vanilla. When the recipe called for water… I thought to myself, meh, it is chocolate cake, water, coffee, coffee, water. Same difference… especially since I had a half a pot of late brewed coffee sitting in my coffee pot that I just could not simply chuck out.

So like I have said before I can never leave well enough alone. So I took an already delicious cake recipe and make it more delicious.

Here is my first experiment with making cake in a very long time… turned out pretty good, but have some ideas on how to make it even more delicious next time.

Here is what you will need for 2 cake rounds.

  • 3 Cups of flour
  • 2 Cups of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 2/3 Cups of oil
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Kahlua
  • 2 Cups room temp coffee

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients mix with a whisk.

In a smaller bowl mix the wet ingredients.

Pour wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix with whisk.

Pour into greased and floured round cake dishes and bake at 350⁰ for 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out dry.

Let cool on a rack and frost as desired.

I only made one, but then turned it into a “half layered cake” (frost half the cake, cut it in half, frost the second half, if you are careful you can make it look like a layered cake that was half eaten) I frosted it with some most delicious chocolate frosting. I ate a slice. Then I brought a really huge slice to my coffee addicted 82 year old landlady Lil (aka Crazy Lil’ – on account of everyone around here having gone bonkers).

After an exchange of texts which resulted from the Crazy Birds cake that Ben’s parents made him, I brought the rest to work.

Seriously, hormonal or not, I do NOT need that much cake staring at me at home. It’s chocolate; it is not like I can give it to the Doo, besides, Tito and Ernesto need a little more cake love in their life.

Though right now, I am sort of wishing I had kept a slice… maybe time to make a new cake…

Would it be weird to put beats in cake?



Goin’ Nuts by quornflour

Candied nuts are a great addition to salads, snack mix, cereal or on their own, but the price for them is a little insane. Especially when you consider how easy they are to make. Honestly.

All you need is some brown sugar, butter, salt, cayenne pepper, water and nuts.

I prefer pecans, but you can use the same recipe for almonds or walnuts I suppose.

Start by melting 2 tablespoons of butter in a large cast iron skillet on medium heat.

Add ½ cup of brown sugar, ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

Mix it down until the sugar starts to melt.

Once melted add ¼ cup of water and mix and reduce until it is a nice syrup.

Put a few drops on a cold plate to make sure it is reduced down. It should be tacky to the touch but not liquid.

Add 1 lb of pecans and stir until all of the nuts are covered.

Here is the ingredient list:

  • 2 T butter
  • ½ t kosher salt
  • ½ t cayenne pepper
  • ½ C brown sugar
  • 1 lb pecans
  • ¼ C water

Spread out on a greased baking sheet and put in an oven for an hour on the lowest temp setting.

Remove from the oven and let cool, when cool store in an airtight container.

 

 



Orange mountains majesty with lovely peaks of snow by texaskillet

You know that book.. Deceptively Delicious. I thought I would make something in the spirit of that book. Because I am unable to be super creative with a food that is already yummy I just made a slight change. Instead of Yams with marshmallows, I made butternut squash in the same fashion, but with a few small adjustments. J

  1. Get a nice healthy butternut squash
  2. Cut in half and then remove the seeds and strings. 😛
  3. Cut the halves in half again so that you end up with quarters
  4. Then cut across the length of the quarters
  5. Pile the pieces into a steaming pot and steam, check after 15 minutes
  6. Remove from the steam pot, let cool
  7. Once cooled, remove the meat from the rind
  8. Cube these pieces to the size you prefer, I usually go slightly larger than bite size
  9. In a bowl, toss with the following:
    1. Cinnamon applesauce
    2. Maple syrup (whatever kind you prefer)
    3. Butter (preferably something natural and salted)
    4. Sprinkle of salt, if desired, can be used instead of butter
  10. Spread the squash and goopy mixture into the casserole dish of your choosing
  11. Bake on 350 for 15 minutes
  12. Remove and add marshmallows (optional), then bake until marshmallows are golden brown and semi melted.

Let cool for 10 minutes, serve and eat!!!

Of course there are bunches of ways you can adjust this to your particular tastes. Just experiment, it would seem that butternut squash is delicious no matter what you do to it. J

YUMMMMMMMMM!



Fabricday! by quornflour
February 24, 2011, 8:35 PM
Filed under: Clever Chickadees, craft, quornflour, sewing | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It would only be better if it was Fabric Friday, but Thursday is good too.

Last week I received a box at work which I thought contained tea and freeze dried strawberries. When I opened it I was super psyched to discover that it was a gift bag.

In the bag were the two lovely jelly-rolls and a card that made a lot of noise and a gift certificate for fabric.com. Now given my track record in the past for gift certificates (I somewhat recently found a gift certificate for Pottery Barn from 2003,) I have made an effort to spend them when I get them. So that is what I did.



I must have been reading Young Librarian Old Cowboy when I was shopping, because there is a definite theme there. I love the fabrics! I think I will turn them into a baby quilt.

That said, apparently they did not get the memo with regards to how I like my fabric folded, but whatever, there are worse things.



Makin’ Bread by quornflour

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The phrase, making bread makes me chuckle, I won’t tell you why since it may not be appropriate… but anyway. That is not what made me decide to make a loaf anyway.

I was playing Scrabble the other day and decided that since I had not recently picked up a loaf of bread, maybe I should make some. I did not have a recipe in mind so I figured I would ask the person I was playing Scrabble with if she had a recipe.

It just so happened that at that particular moment I was playing Scrabble with my former Middle School Home Ec teacher, who in fact did have a very simple recipe to pass along.

Here is what she said:

Here is the recipe, I hope you try it and like it!

Cuban Bread:

Dissolve 1 ½ T. yeast in 2 cups warm water with 1 tsp. sugar.

Put 2 cups flour, 2 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. ginger in large bowl; mix; add water/yeast. Add up to about 2 to 3 more cups flour gradually until you have a soft, kneadable dough. (I put mine in the Kitchen Aid as I hate to knead). Knead until dough is smooth and elastic.

Grease a baking sheet, sprinkle with corn meal. Divide dough in half, make into 2 rounded balls. Pat top of each ball of dough with water to just “baptise” it. Place on baking sheet away from each other.

Put into COLD oven. Place a pan of boiling hot water on the bottom shelf in oven. Turn oven on to 400, bake for about 30 minutes.

Can also use dough for pizza, calzone, Stromboli, crusty rolls.
No rising is needed; can also refrigerate dough all shaped and then baked.

When reading the instructions I saw three potential issues:

  1. I forgot to pick up corn meal… I just used flour it worked just fine.
  2. I have a super-efficient in terms of preheating gas stove and assume the rising stage is in the preheating stage… Since it is cold outside, the heater portion of my stove has been on and my oven temp at “cold” ranges from room temp to 125⁰ at any given time. I adjusted my cooking time by placing the bread in the oven, taking the dog for a walk (about 10 minutes in all) and then coming home, heating the oven and then placing that in the oven and turning it on. No issues with this adjustment.
  3. The third being that I simply have a hard time following instructions, so when I added the flour mixture to the water/yeast mixture I also added about 8 finely chopped cloves of garlic. You need to remember it is there when you are kneading it so you don’t try to work out the lumps. It was super delicious if you ask me.

Also, I LOVE kneading bread, which is part of the reason I wanted to make it, so having a mixer is unnecessary.

Now to avoid confusion and to make gathering things easier, here is what you will need:

  • 1 ½ T baker’s yeast (2 envelopes)
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4-5 cups flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp powdered ginger
  • 8 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • Grease and corn meal for baking sheet

The bread was super easy to make, super delicious to eat (kind of sweet almost) and totally complimented the meal!

I am going to try this recipe again to make other versions of bread… I am also going to try it out with some gluten free baking flours.



Spinach Eggs by quornflour

If someone asks you how you want your eggs, always say poached. That is advice I once got from my friend Erik.

I woke up this morning and was puttering about I thought to myself, I really want Spinach Eggs and curry lamb (but not together).

Then there was a post on my facebook wall that one of the guys I work with had left a jelly donut on my desk, it seemed sort of perfect for a Monday.

I spent half of the day grumpy and then when the meeting that was making me grumpy was over I was good. Including making plans for curry lamb for tomorrow.

On the way home I picked up spinach, bacon and cheese, key ingredients for Spinach Eggs. Generally I like to make a rule to grate my own cheese, it is not that hard and generally you can save money and just freeze the extra, but I was feeling lazy and since this is not the quickest meal, I decided to give myself a break.

I already had eggs and spices at home… for 2 servings here is what you will need…

For the rice you will need the most things…

  • 1 pat of butter (½ tablespoon)
  • ¾ cups of rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

In a small saucepan melt the butter, add the rice and spices and mix until the rice is translucent. Add the water and put on low heat and cook.

Bacon, cook it in a cast iron skillet.

Take some rendered bacon fat and put it in a large saucepan and add a bag of rinsed spinach and cook until the leaves are limp and bright (don’t cook the color out or you are also cooking the goodness out.

Poach 4 eggs

Serve in a bowl, rice first, lightly sprinkle with cheddar cheese, 2 poached eggs, 2-3 pieces of bacon, spinach and then add some TFW to the top.

 



Quinoa a Delicious 15 Point Scrabble Word by quornflour

Loads of folks these days are trying to find ways to cut out gluten from their diets, seems like it should be easy, I don’t love pizza or sandwiches, but a nice piece of bread with a bowl of soup just does it right. It is not that easy though, seems like it is in everything.

If anyone has some awesome gluten free recipes they would like to share I would sure appreciate it.

Anyway, tabbouleh (alt. tabouli) is one of those nice fresh tasting salads that given its primary ingredient, bulgur wheat is so not gluten free, but that does not mean you should have to avoid this delicious dish.

Here is what you will need:

  • the juice of 1 small lemon
  • 3 Roma tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • 1 cucumber (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup fresh parsley or mint (chopped)
  • ¼ red onion (finely chopped)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 2 cups of water

 

In a medium saucepan add 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil then let simmer until all of the water is absorbed. When cooked put in a bowl in the fridge or freezer for a bit to cool.

When the quinoa is cooled add the rest of the ingredients and stir and serve.




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