cleverchickadee


How to Cut a Pepper by quornflour

I am not sure why everyone does not know this, it is so simple…

  1. Cut the top and the bottom off
  2. Make a slice down the side
  3. Insert knife
  4. Roll pepper cutting along the edges of the pepper

You can pop the stem out of the middle of the top and use the meat as you like. Dry out the seeds and sprout them for your own plants or compost the middle.



Fruity Play-Dough: a Recipe by quornflour

Years ago I worked in childcare. The woman I worked for would occasionally make a new batch of play-dough for the kids. It was a simple recipe that was scented and colored with Kool-Aid.

Earlier this year I went looking for that recipe and just could not find anyone who knew it.

Then the other day I was thumbing through an old address book/journal that I had back then. There it was, scrawled on a page. So I figured while I knew where it was I would write it up.

Here is what you will need for each color:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • ½ cup of Salt
  • 1 envelope of Kool-Aid (the kind you add your own sugar in)
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 cup of boiling water*

Note: the boiling part is super important, if it isn’t hot enough the dough will end up too watery. If that happens, or you don’t like the consistency add a flour and salt mixture of 2:1 to thicken it up.

  1. put all of the dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl

  1. using a fork, mix them together until you cannot see the color of the Kool-Aid from the rest

  1. add oil and water

  1. mix

  1. mix

  1. mix

  1. roll into a ball

  1. repeat for each color

  1. Play!

It is salty but edible if anyone gets it in their mouths or goes for a taste, which might be tempting for some since it smells so fruity.

When you are done store in an airtight container.



Vegan Curry: a Slow Cooker Recipe by quornflour

So we had this lunch at work. I was going to make some curried mussels, but then I got to worrying.

I kept thinking how the crockpots were not going to get hot enough to get the mussels hot enough to cook, and what if someone got a bad one…

Well by that point it was too late to change up the protein, so I decided to just leave out the mussels all together.

Trouble is, when you take the mussels out, then you end up with a lot of space so you need a new filler.

I personally HATE eggplant. It is not just the texture or the flavor it is both. Lucky for me, lots of people really like it.

So here is what you are going to need for a 5 quart slow cooker:

  • 6 cans of coconut milk
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 large zucchini (so you have 2 cups when you cut it up)
  • 5 thai eggplants
  • 2 cups fresh green beans
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste*
  • 8-10 basil leaves gut to grass
  • 6 green onions cut into grass
  • 5 chilies
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • Salt to taste

*When you pick your red curry paste (the Thai Kitchen is most commonly available) you will need to see what the recommendation is for per can of coconut milk. The 2 tablespoons listed above will make this a mild curry, if you like yours with more kick add more.

Now to make this is pretty simple.

  1. Wash and chop your beans into 1 inch pieces
  2. Julienne your peppers and zucchini
  3. Quarter your eggplants (remove the green parts) and then cut those pieces in half so you have about ¾” chunks
  4. Slice the chilies down into small pieces
  5. In your crock pot mix ½ a can of coconut milk with your curry paste to get everything mixed in with no lumps then add the rest of the can and mix it in
  6. Add your sugar and mix it in
  7. Add your eggplant
  8. Add the rest of your coconut milk
  9. Stir and let cook for about an hour on high
  10. Add the rest of the peppers, beans, chilies, basil and zucchini
  11. Let sit until everything is hot
  12. Add green onion
  13. Salt to taste

Serve over rice, it is mild and sweet, even with the chilies in it, if you cannot handle heat then reduce the number of chilies or leave out all together.



Cheesy Gooey Creamy Tomato Noodles by quornflour

I got home and was doing stuff and it kept getting later and I was hungry and Sara was on the verge of whining. So I needed to make dinner.

I had noodles and tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, then I realized I still has some cottage cheese, so I decided to try something new.

Ok this is pretty simple and when you look at it you might think, “No way is that going to be that good.” I assure you, yes it will be.

Here is what you need:

  • 24 oz tomato sauce
  • 4 cups of cooked noodles
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup grated or thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon freeze dried red onion
  • 1 tablespoon freeze dried green onion
  • 1 teaspoon freeze dried garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of “Italian spices”
  • 12 oz cottage cheese

Get yourself a large loaf pan and get to work:

  1. Heat your oven to 400
  2. In a bowl mix the cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, onions, green onions, garlic and Italian spices together
  3. Put half of the tomato sauce at the bottom of your loaf pan
  4. Put the cheese mix on top of the tomato sauce and spread it out
  5. Top with half of the mozzarella cheese
  6. Add the noodles
  7. Top with the rest of the sauce
  8. Top that with the rest of the mozzarella
  9. Put it in the oven and bake until the cheese on top starts to get golden and crispy

Serve it warm. Scoop it from all the way down at the bottom. The cheese will mix with the tomato sauce and seriously yum.

Now if you want to keep it low fat, then use low-fat cottage cheese and part skim mozzarella… seriously, good stuff.



Kickin’ Cranberry Chutney: a Recipe by quornflour

One of my very most favorite things about holiday food is cranberries. I freaking L-O-V-E love them.

I like cranberry juice ok, but I love cranberry sauce. So much in fact I buy them and put them in the freezer so I have them months later. I make tons of extra cranberry sauce and can it so I can enjoy it in the summer. I even eat the canned stuff.

The other day when we were sitting around talking about having a charity lunch with the theme east meets west, I offered to make cranberry chutney. Ok, I also offered to make Curry Mussels, which are delicious, but since I already made them, it was not going to make much of a new recipe blog post.

I remember making some form of a cranberry chutney when I was in middle school maybe, but I wanted something with more of a kick, so here goes.

Remember I made this for a charity lunch, so I made a lot.

  • 24 oz (2 bags) of cranberries – frozen
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

You also need a blender or a food processor…

Zest the orange and the lemon, trim off some of the pith, you don’t need to remove it all, and if your fruits aren’t too pithy you don’t need to bother with it.

Then everything in the blender (or food processor) and whirr it up.

It is tart and sweet and then leaves a little kick at the end.



Dirty Secret by quornflour

For the most part I have this need to know what is in my food. If I buy something pre-made I like to be able to read each and every ingredient.

The 5 Ingredient Rule

I like to keep the list to around 5 ingredients. Perhaps it is a little nuts, but come on, have you read an ingredient list lately. So often they have a couple of things that you recognize as food, then this huge long list of other things that it takes a special degree just to decipher. If it has more than 5 ingredients and I can read most or all of them, I may let the number slide and go up to 8, or maybe 10. Generally though 5 is my rule.

When I cook things, I add more than 5 things, generally I know what they are.

But sometimes… I go a little off the rails. See sometimes, I eat Beef flavored Ramen noodles. You know the cheap 10c-30c kind in the plastic bag, in a cup or a bowl is getting just too fancy. The beef ones only. I crack the package in half, load the noodles into a large coffee mug, add the crazy flavor pack, add a few shakes of cayenne pepper, pour bowling water over top, cover with a small plate and wait for the noodles to soften.

I do not do this often, but sometimes, when the mood hits, they are a must have.

Then for dessert, I love Donettes, not the super white powdery sugar covered ones: the “frosted” ones, they are the ones with the weird waxy chocolate coating.

Seriously people. It is a sickness. I know… and now you know.

Feels good to let it out.



Orange Marinade: a Recipe by quornflour

It actually was not long ago that I did not even know how to cook a pork chop. From my childhood all I could really remember is dry baked fairly plain pork chops served up with applesauce. There was nothing wrong with them necessarily, they just were not very interesting as food.

This past year I stopped purchasing meat from the grocery store. As a result I am at the hands of a meat CSA, one that has a lot of pork. Luckily I am not anti-pork.

That said, the first time I got pork chops, I looked at them, scratched my head and said, “Ahhh? Hmm.” and then put them in the freezer.

A short while later TxK was visiting and we were making dinner. I asked her if she knew how to cook a pork chop, after she laughed in shame of me for not knowing how, she told me that it was pretty much the same as cooking a steak.

As a point of record, I am pretty sure she is also the person who taught me how to cook a steak on anything that wasn’t a grill.

I have since cooked a few pork chops and they were all delicious.

This go around I decided I would try something a little different and marinade them first.

Here is what I used:

  • 2 pork chops (I think you could also use this on any meat or even a faux meat)
  • 1 small naval orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of Lighthouse Freeze-dried red onion
  • 1 tablespoon of Lighthouse Freeze-dried green onion
  • ¼ teaspoon of Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Peanut oil – if you are going to pan fry them (if you want to broil or bake this you can also do that for delicious results)

You are going to want these to marinade for at least an hour, so give yourself some time in advance.

  1. Place your pork chops in a glass container
  2. Zest entire orange, lemon and lime over the pork
  3. Cut each fruit in half and squeeze juices over pork
  4. Add garlic, onions, salt and pepper
  5. Cover pork chops and let sit for at least an hour
  6. Bring them to room temp before cooking
  7. In a cast iron skillet fill about a quarter to half inch of peanut oil
  8. Cook until juices run clear (160ᴼ is the recommended cooked temp for pork)
  9. Remove from heat, cover and let rest
  10. Serve warm

This will have a strong orange flavor goes very well with applesauce.




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