cleverchickadee


I Scream for Breakfast by quornflour

Every Wednesday at work we have breakfast. It started with bagels, then we added a lot of the standards: waffles, pancakes, French toast, smoothies, even scrapple, eggs and grits.

Then people had suggestions and other ideas which lead to:

  • Sugar Cereal Smackdown
    • every type of sugar cereal you can find in the supermarket
  • Baguettefest
    • fresh baguettes, French cheese (you know the kind where you eat the crust too), real butter and a variety of jams and jellies
  • Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup (when we move it to lunch)
    • who doesn’t love this? Nothing fancy, totally on the cheap, white bread, butter flavored Pam, American cheese
    • Tomato soup is the standard Campbell’s tomato with stewed tomato chunks and some basil (one batch made with milk, one with water)
  • Oatmeal
    • Irish oats, slow cooker, super delicious as long as someone is willing to get up early!
  • Holiday Breads:
    • Homemade breads by the team chefs

One day I was talking to my friend and I asked what he thought we should have for breakfast the next week. He, in jest, suggested ice-cream. I thought about it for about 7 seconds and decided it was a good idea. Seriously, it is no worse for you than sugar cereal, right?

I picked up loads of fruit, berries, vanilla ice cream, Rice Krispies and a variety of ice cream sauces. I also included Greek yogurt for those who could not quite get on-board the morning ice-cream thing. Overall people seemed to really enjoy it and it was practically healthy.

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Pack a Lunch by quornflour

I prefer to bring my lunch if I can. I like the cost savings and more so I like knowing what is in my lunch.

Sometimes I do not have a ton of time to make something, so I have a few staples that I can keep in the freezer or fridge as necessary and are pretty simple to make.

Recently I discovered Lighthouse freeze dried herbs, which are far better in taste than your typical dried herbs. Especially when it comes to things like garlic and onion, which never really seem to taste like the real thing when you get the regular dried version. I like them because I can just use a little in a pinch and do not have to make a big mess cutting them for just a little bit. I have always found them in the produce section of the grocery store.

No I was not paid to say that, it is true.

This recipe is super simple and can easily be made in one pot, here is what you will need:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • ¾ C Basmati or Jasmine Rice
  • 1 ¾ C water
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freeze dried garlic (or 2-3 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoon freeze dried onion (or 1 tablespoon – finely chopped red onion)
  • 1 teaspoon freeze dried basil (or 6 leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon freeze dried Jalapenos (or ½ a pepper – finely chopped, the dried peppers have a pretty low heat but a great flavor, use the chili flakes and hot sauce to pump up the heat)
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce
  • 1 can of black beans (sub red or white also delicious)
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • Salt to taste

Heat up a sauce pan, add the oil bring to temp. Then add the rice and spices and mix until the rice becomes translucent.

Add the water and hot sauce and put on low/simmer and leave it alone to cook. When the rice is almost done and there is still a little water not absorbed, add the can of beans, the tomatoes and any additional salt wanted for taste. Leave on heat until the tomatoes and beans are warm and serve.

This keeps great in the fridge, freezes well and is delicious on its own as a complete meal or as a side dish. You can also top it with cheese or sour cream, or both if you want to add dairy.

Since I hate microwaves, I just let mine get to room temp and eat.



40 Rounds of Clever Ferocity by quornflour

I am called Quornflour and I play Plants vs Zombies.

In fact, I have it on my phone, iPad, PC and my XBOX.

On my XBOX I managed (with a little help from TxK) get all but one of the achievements and it started bugging me that I was just one away from completing the game.

I even played the game all of the way through with just the original 5 slots or whatever it is you start with.

I mean I have loads of games that I have not completed, but ONE ACHIEVEMENT? So I decided one day to get through that insanity and complete all 40 rounds.

I tried and failed and tried and failed. Of course there are no save points so I had to keep restarting from the beginning. I tried using those corncob cannon things, everyone says to use them, but quite frankly they seemed to just take up too much space and have too long of a reload time and it isn’t like they were doing anything but cost too much, waste space and get destroyed too quickly. So I gave up on those.

Eventually I managed to do it. I used the same strategy on my iPad to get some screen shots of the basic strategy. Spikeweed is your friend. Perhaps I got lucky, or my XBOX felt sorry for me.

Either way, the game is finished. Now what am I supposed to do with all of those coins?



Fruit on the Bottom by quornflour

I like yogurt. Even if my friend thinks it is strange that Americans eat it for lunch.

Thing is, it seems silly to me to buy the fruit added sort. It isn’t that I don’t like fruit; it is that if it is mixed in it is too sweet. The sort that comes with the fruit on the bottom is good as long as you don’t mix it in, then again it is too sweet, but you don’t get any of the fruit chunks.

I know, #firstworldproblems, ey?

Anyway, sometimes I put a spoonful of jam in my plain yogurt: it works in a pinch.

Other times I like to mix it up a little. It is easy to make and I can made a few at a time so I have it all week for breakfast, lunch or a snack on the go.

  • ¼ Cup chopped pineapple
  • ¼ Cup chopped mango
  • ¼ Cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 Cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional: if you need to sweeten it up)

Put the fruit in the bottom of a canning jar and then the yogurt on top. Store in the fridge.

It is good stuff, and I even like it all mixed up.



I Like Cold Beverages by quornflour

It has been a super-hot summer, which is great. Last summer was pretty dreary overall so it is nice to have some nice hot days. My garden is not the most amazing thing ever, but I have tomatoes!

One of my favorite beat the heat summer beverages is Passion Lemonade. You can get it at Starbucks if you want, but it seems a little silly when you can make it yourself, especially when it is super easy to make.

Here is what you are going to need:

  • 4-5 Passion Teabags (Tazo)
  • ¼-½ Cup of sugar (or alternate sweetener – more if you want it sweet)
  • The juice of 4 Lemons
  • Water

First up you need to brew the tea, I filled water up to what would be the 10 cup line in my Pyrex percolator with 4 tea bags. I tore the tags off the bags and tied them to a bamboo skewer to keep them from sinking and all together.

I am pretty sure you can cold brew it if you want to, but I hot brew it since I am adding sugar and want it dissolved.

While it is hot add the sugar and stir until dissolved. You are going to want it a little over sweet at this point because you still have lemons to add.

After it is cooled or at least room temperature, add the lemon juice and refrigerate.

Serve cold over ice.

You can also add make a super delicious cocktail with it, which is another great way to beat the heat.



Too Hot to Cook by quornflour

A few weeks back I was out to dinner and had this fish with mango chutney on it. It was quite good.

I decided to make something similar, so I mixed up some avocados, mango and lime… and it was delicious.

This weekend I had some friends coming over for dinner and decided that I would make it again and make it with some fish.

It has been really hot here and I do not have central air, so I decided that I did not really want to cook, even so much as to broil fish. So I decided that I would try a ceviche since there is lime juice in the salad, I was planning to pair the salad with a scrod anyway.

I had never made ceviche so I was a little nervous; everything I had read had 2 basic recommendations:

  • Use the freshest sashimi grade if possible, fish
  • “Cook” the fish for at least 8 hours

So I figured I could easily do that. Plus I decided I would just “cook” it overnight, that way I did not have to worry about sleeping in on Sunday and the fish would get enough time in the lime juice.

For the start of the fish, you will need:

  • 11-12 limes
  • 2 pounds of scrod. I used haddock.

I started with about 11 limes which I halved and juiced.

Then I removed the skin the fish and then cut it down into bite sized chunks.

Since I was using it as an entrée I cut it about the size of half a large marshmallow, if you are using this as a side or a dip, you should cut them into small marshmallow size.

Put the cut fish into a shallow dish (like a refrigerator dish or an eight in glass dish) and pour the lime juice over and stir in. Make sure that you cover all of the fish and can spread it all out. Leave it in the fridge overnight, or for at least 8 hours.

A few hours before eating you will want to start the next step.

For this you will need:

  • 2 mangos
  • 2 avocados
  • ½ Cup blueberries
  • Small bunch of cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • Salt
  • 3 scallions (optional)

Skin and chop your mangos and avocados.

Cut mangos and avocados into small 1/2 inch chunks.

Chop cilantro & Scallions.

Zest and juice your lime.

Put all in a bowl and mix with a pinch of salt and stir together.

If you are a vegetarian or vegan, or do not have access to fresh fish, or even if you just want to, you can just add the blueberries and serve as it is.

Drain the juice and liquid from the fish which should now be opaque.

Mix everything together and let sit for at least another hour or two.

When you are ready to serve it mix in the blueberries, I suppose you could mix them in earlier, but I had forgotten that I was going to add them in until after so that is why I added them in later.

I also did not add the scallions in until I was having it as leftovers for lunch the next day.

Turned out super delicious, if I do say so myself. My guests had seconds, so that is good right?




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