cleverchickadee


Trial file: Veggie Pie by texaskillet

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So occasionally as you know, I receive recipes in my organics box.  It is important for me to keep most of these, unless they are truly disgusting, and try them out when I have the energy.  This one was really really delish so I thought I would pass it on.

Filling:

4 tbsp oil

1 onion (white, yellow, whatever)

1/2 lb baby bella’s or crimini mushrooms sliced

1 cup of white wine

2 sweet potatoes (or yams)

3 medium carrots chopped up

2 tbsp sage, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup vegetarian broth

salt and pepper

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Image

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Topping:

4 medium yukon gold potatoes, chopped

1 head celery root, peeled and chopped

1 head of cauliflower, chopped

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

In a large frying pan, heat half of oil over medium high heat.  Saute onions until translucent, about 2-3 minutes, add mushrooms and cook until soft, about 3-4 minutes.  Deglaze with white wine and simmer until wine is almost completely absorbed.  Transfer to bowl.

Heat remaining oil in pan and fry potatoes and carrots until just tender, about 10-12 minutes.  Add sage and garlic and saute for another minute or two then add broth.  Simmer until liquid is reduced by half.  Salt and pepper to taste and then combine with onions and mushrooms.   Set aside.

For topping, steam first three ingredients until easily mashed with a fork, roughly 15-20 minutes.  Mix well with butter and heavy cream, but still chunky.  Fold in Cheddar.

Assemble filling in layers in a 9×9 inch baking dish.  Top with mashed veggies.  Add grated Parmigiano cheese and bake for 20 minutes, or until sides are bubbly and heated through.WP_20121227_008WP_20121227_010

Happy Eating and leftovers most likely for a day or two!  YAY!

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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.



The Magical Dish Fairy by quornflour

One of the things about cooking from scratch is that you end up with a lot of dishes.

Sometimes I am lucky enough to be visited by the magical dish fairy. You know, the dish fairy that only goes to houses without dishwashers, so if you think you might be getting a visit, check your kitchen. The magical dish fairy is terribly frightened by dishwashers as they eat fairy wings.

Most of the time however, I am responsible for doing my own dishes. Self, why not do them dishes in style? That is what I ask myself when dishes need doin’ and I am procrastinating.

So to further put off the inevitable and still convince myself that I am busy I like to make dish rags.

They even make nice gifts, but be careful, some people won’t use them because they are so pretty.

So get yourself a pair of size 7 knitting needles and a ball of cotton yarn. Peaches and Cream works just fine.

Cast on 44 stitches.

Alternate knit and purl, and then flip and do the same. You, know a popcorn stitch, or at least that I what I believe it is called.

Repeat until you have a square, depending on your stitches it should be around 38 rows.

Cast off.

It is really quite simple to do; it makes a lovely gift and is a quite portable project.



Apartment Garden, Episode 1: Seedling Starters by quornflour

It might be a tad late to be starting these, but it has been such a cold winter, and I was going out of town with no one to water them daily that I am just getting around to them now. I am sure it will be fine. Around Easter is great because you may have more egg cartons sitting around than you typically would.

It is a super easy little project that uses mostly recycled stuff that you may already have around the house.

Here is what you need:

  • Cardboard Egg Cartons
  • Lipped Cookie Tray
  • Potting Soil
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Seeds
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie

Start by cutting the cartons in half; leave the tab on the egg cup side on. Place the cup site in the top and place them in your lipped tray. I used aluminum ¼ cake trays.

Now, before you say anything, note that I actually fished these out of my neighbors recycling, so it is kind of the same as already having them, I am just giving them a second life. I would have used baking trays, but I only have one and it does not have lips so it would have just made a mess.

Use the Sharpie and write on the tabs that you did not cut off to label the type of seeds you are planting.

Next, fill the cups with dirt, do not press it down but make sure all of the cups are well filled; you do not have to be neat about it. However, if you have a tendency to spill dirt, like I do, I recommend doing this par outside: saves on clean-up too.

Once the cups are filled sprinkle the tops with the cayenne pepper.

Yes, really. This will keep bugs away.

Make a little finger hole in the dirt in the center of each cup and put seeds in. I always put more than one seed in each hole in case one does not sprout. This might not be necessary.

Cover the seeds with the dirt filling in the holes and press it down so it is packed.

Then water the cups, this might take a few passes as you want to get the cardboard wet and let it soak up water to make sure that the cups do not dry out. You will want to water these 1 – 2 times a day and keep them in a warm place that does not have a risk of frost, like in your house. I like to put them near a window and a heater, so when they start to sprout they get sunlight.

Happy Sprouting!



My very own special stationary. by texaskillet

Something said.. make something with paper.. then something else said.. make something with wax. So, I decided to take a few household items and make my own stationary. One of a kind goodness.

Supplies:

  1. Sketch paper or whatever kind of paper you like to write letters on
  2. Those dusty tea lights that have been in the junk drawer for ages
  3. A source of flame
  4. Some sort of dye rich vegetable that is low in acidity if possible
  5. A shallow pan
  6. A way of juicing those veggies, though I suppose you could just use store bought carrot juice, beet juice, etc.
  7. A few paper towels, something disposable in case the veggie you use is hard to wash out
  8. A counter top or baking sheet

 

First things first. Light your candles and let them get melty. While they do that, think about what forms, images or shapes you would like to make with the wax. Keep in mind that the wax kind of drips the way it drips

and your design will develop a character all its own. Which I would say is pretty rad were you to ask me. J

 

 

 

After you have a little melty wax in the little tiny tin cups, carefully pick them up and apply the wax

to the paper in whatever way suits you. Let the

wax cool and harden.

 

 

Now… TO THE JUICER… or the fridge if you don’t own one of the awesome Jack Lalanne Juicers. Juice your veggie of choice. I used carrots, but for the photographic beauty of the Rainbow carrot, I have included a picture of them instead. J They would work nicely for a more purple hue. Once they are juiced, put them in your shallow pan/dish.

 

 

 

 

Lay your paper towel out over the baking sheet and put your juice dish next to it. Slowly dip your paper and wax creations into the juice, you can do this as many times as you want or until the paper feels compromised and it is no longer advantageous to continue. For some who want it darker, you may want to wait until it’s dry and then dip it again. After they are dipped or soaked, whatever works for the type of paper you have, transfer to the paper town to dry. After the paper is fully dried, then you may remove the wax.

After you remove the wax, you have an option. You can either, iron the paper, or you can opt

out. I chose not to iron, as usual, and got straight to the joy of writing a letter to my grandma.

I thought I might need a few types of pens, but it turned out that the ball point was just fine.

All in all, this was more fun than anything. Play around with it and create your own unique paper.

I think that you’ll like it, or at least I hope you will have some fun! J



Warm up by quornflour

Yesterday it snowed. It snowed a lot. Or enough at least to make it on to the top 5 January snowfalls in recorded history since there were records, or something.

Snow = shoveling. Shoveling = sore back.

A sore back that calls for a heating pad, which reminded me, I had told a friend I would make her a heating pad, so I did. Boy was it easy!

All you need is some scrap cotton, I used some extra cotton muslin I had laying around from one quilt or another, and some corduroy or similar.

You’ll want two pieces so that you can make a cover that is washable since you’ll be filling it with rice or flax seed, and well putting that in the washing machine would be gross.

You will also need 1 ½ Cups of dry rice or flax seeds, a sewing machine, scissors or rotary cutter and a ruler.



  • Cut the cotton to 11″x10″
  • Cut the corduroy to 16″x10″
  • Fold the cotton in half (right sides in if patterned) along the 10″ side and sew with a ½” seam around two open sides
  • Turn it right side out and sew around the same side using a ¼” seam
  • Fold the opening down 1″
  • Fill with 1-1 ½ cups of dry rice or flax seeds
  • Sew opening twice
  • Set aside
  • Take to corduroy and put in a 1″ hem at one end
  • Fold right sides together “hot dog” and sew two sides, leaving one short end open and turn right side out.
  • Put the rice bag in the corduroy bag and fold the extra length in to hold bag in place

Tada! You’re done. Heat for a minute in the microwave, or on a steam heater, I don’t advise heating on a baseboard heater, because that could start a fire. You can also keep this in the freezer for an icepack, but I will show you how to make a much better icepack another day.

 

 




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