cleverchickadee


Mozz Ballz by quornflour

I was driving home past Dial-A-Pizza, yes, really, and I thought to myself, “self, they have really good mozzarella sticks.”

Then I totally wanted mozzarella sticks, because the one time I had mozzarella sticks from there, they were really quite delicious.

I did not want to order them though because then I would need to also get a pizza and I wasn’t that hungry and I didn’t want to be disappointed by my memory of delicious mozzarella sticks.

So then I realized that I had mozzarella balls (cue, “it says balls on your forehead”) in the fridge at home.

So on I went.

When I got home I put a few cups of peanut (or other high temp) oil in a small frying or sauce pan and turned it up to bring it to temp, then I grabbed:

  • 1 cup of bread crumbs (one of these days I will post some easy and delicious recipes for bread crumbs)
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon “Italian seasoning” (equal parts: parsley, oregano, basil, garlic – all dry)

I mixed it all together in a small bowl.

Then I got an egg and beat it in a separate bowl.

Then I got the mozzarella balls from the fridge and:

  1. dropped them in the egg coating them thoroughly
  2. put them in the bread crumbs coating thoroughly
  3. using a fine wire mesh strainer (helps prevent the breadcrumbs from making a mess of your oil) lowered them into the oil and held them there until they got golden brown

Serve warm with red sauce. You can also freeze these (on a tray before co-mingling) and reheat in the oven.

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Clever Quick Tip: Oil Slick Clean-up by quornflour

After you have done any small frying and have oil that is mostly reusable but filled with gunk, or if you want to save your bacon fat but clean out the bits, there is a simple way to do this.

For around 2-3 bucks you can find (or might even already have in your kitchen) a single serve coffee filter.

Place a paper coffee filter in the coffee filter; I used a flat bottom paper filter in this picture because it is all I had.

While the oil is still hot strain it thru the filter, it won’t be brand spankin’ new, but it will be good enough for a second use.



Welcome Fall; Welcome Mac and Cheese Season by quornflour

Mac and cheese is one of my favorite fall and winter foods to make. It is gooey and warm and goes with so many vegetable and meat options. It is a food that says to me, “Sorry, kid, summer is over, but how about I make it up to you with some deliciousness”.

It is fairly easy to make, so tonight I wanted some. I mean it is fall now right?

Here is what you need to make a basic large pot.

  • 1 box of macaroni
  • ¼ cup of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of freeze dried garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of freeze dried green onion
  • 2 tablespoons of freeze dried red onion
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 3 cups of grated smoked gouda
  • 3 cups of grated extra sharp cheddar
  • ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese

When you have everything, get to work…

  1. Cook noodles according to package drain (you can do this while you are doing the rest)
  2. In a 4-5 quart Dutch oven over medium heat melt butter
  3. Add dried onions and garlic and stir until soaked with butter
  4. Add flour mix in
  5. Add milk, stir continuously until milk thickens
  6. Add cheese a cup or two at a time until creamy
  7. Add noodles and stir
  8. Serve with peas, spinach, broccoli or whatever warm vegetable you like

Goes great with cardbordeaux!



Clever Tip: Tomato Sauce and Noodles by quornflour

I love American Chop Suey, except when it is made the way it is supposed to be made. I am not all that keen on cooking noodles in my tomato sauce, except when it is baked ziti or lasagna, though even in the case of baked ziti I cook the noodles in advance even still.

As it would go, I also hate when my noodles are mixed in my sauce when stored. It changes the noodle and it changes the sauce. In the end nothing is quite right. Since I know that I am not the only person who likes fruit on the bottom yogurt; but does not like to mix the fruit in (except in cases where the fruit is real fruit and I put it together myself), I also know that I cannot be the only person that feels this way.

Anyway, I figured out that if I put the sauce in first, sprinkle a touch of parmesan cheese and then place the noodles over top you get excellent portions and the two do not have to meet until you tip it over into your bowl or onto your plate when you are ready to eat them.



It is Like Cake and Donut in a Muffin: a Recipe by quornflour

This morning when I got up, there was a chill in the air. Fall is upon us.

I decided that I wanted muffins; trouble was I did not want berry muffins. Berries seemed somehow wrong given the change of seasons.

Anyway, I wanted donut muffins, but I could not find the recipe. I scoured my email to see if I could find it, but no luck.

Yeah, yeah, I can hear you screaming, “Get to the point already!”

I scoured an old notebook and the internet for a recipe similar to what I could remember from my childhood. I did find an oatmeal cookie recipe with “George Washington wished he was a Quaker” written below it.

I found one that was similar and then made a few adjustments and they turned out pretty delicious.

Here is what you need for 12 muffins:

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoons ground nutmeg, to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 2/3 cups Flour

Here is what ya do:

  1. Heat the oven to 400.
  2. Grease and flower or add liners to your muffin tins.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl: mix coconut oil and sugars together until they make a body scrub (seriously you could stop there and take a bath and end up all sweet smelling)
  4. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until fully blended.
  5. In a large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients.
    1. This is where I realized that I had run out of nutmeg, probably while making Mexican Hot Chocolate cake or Apple Sauce. So I opened up the kitchen window and hollered out to my neighbor who was in her back yard. Yeah that is the kind of neighborhood I live in. She thought she had nutmeg, but it turned out that she did not, and then I knocked on another neighbor’s door and she had nutmeg, which was good because nutmeg is pretty important in this recipe, anything else would make them taste like something else.
  6. Mix everything together. It will be a little thicker than you might think almost like cookies, these muffins are kinda dense.
  7. Use the two spoon method to fill up your muffin cups.
  8. Sprinkle sugar over the top (you can also mix some nutmeg with the sugar – ½ teaspoon nutmeg and a ¼ cup of sugar)

  1. Bake for 15-20 minutes – until a toothpick comes out clean and they are golden on the top.
  2. Serve warm with butter.


Half Crazy Daisy by quornflour

Recently I was staying with friends who have a Great Dane called Daisy. I was surprised to learn that they had never heard the song about Daisy.

So I did a quick YouTube search and came across this version.

After listening to it, Mia (6) says, “Daisy’s not half crazy.” Her tone somewhat offended. “Daisy is WHOLE crazy!”



the Art of Snack Trays by quornflour

Ok, first of all, please tell me if you know someone who does not love a good snack tray, because I am pretty sure I do not know them.

That said, my dear friend Missy, is the top snack tray maker in the country. You get a snack tray from her and you are pretty sure you have died and gone to whatever version of heaven you might believe in. If you do not believe in heaven, then these snack trays make you think about changing your mind. Yes, they are just that good.

I have no idea why, it might be the liquor she serves with them, but I am pretty sure it is the combination of veggies and cheese and other crunchy goodness.

It could also be the lack of ranch dressing. I get it, people love the crap, but seriously, it is gross.

I have these memories of childhood of ranch dressing ads and them giving it to people, these people standing there stumbling around, minds.blown. I could not wait to try it. I did not understand the fuss. I still don’t. I am pretty sure it contains the craek.

Anyway, the few glasses of wine I had before writing this have most certainly caused me to digress, just a tad. Where was I?

Oh yes, snack trays. They are great when folks come over, or you want to have some dinner, but do not want to have to actually assemble it for others.

This past summer, it was hot and I traveled a lot so I made a lot of snack trays.

Here are some:

Staring simple we have the semi generic fancy seeming cheeses (brie, Colby and extra sharp cheddar) and round water crackers. I get this sense that when a cracker is round, and not a Ritz, it is fancy. Even a Ritz has a fancy name!

The Frenchie-McFrencherson: brie, hard peppered salami, green apple and blueberries. This provides a nice punch of sweet, tangy and salty and is gluten free!

The Italian Job: mozzarella, basil, tomatoes, sour dough bread and hard peppered salami. You will feel like a mobster when you eat this. Just don’t hang out in the sauna after you eat this.

The Better than the Airlines Can Do Cheese Tray: mozzarella, brie, tomatoes, cucumbers, pecans, hard peppered salami, spreadable chive cheese and pita bread. With this one you will feel like you have been whisked away, but still have all of the comforts of home, no jetlag and sadly you still have to clean up after yourself.

Lastly, a favorite stand-by the Buffy the Caprese Slayer: cherry tomatoes, basil wrapped mozzarella, drizzled in garlic olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This one is a favorite of the germaphobes, plus it is a great way to keep kids busy in the kitchen while you are pouring the wine, um I mean cooking other things.

Now these are just a few, there are loads more. Share your favorites and I will post more later!




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