cleverchickadee


Just Juice by quornflour

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A friend of mine had a juicer that she got as a wedding gift but never used, did I want it?
Before I thought about it I was saying yes. Then things got crazy and I forgot about it, for months it remained in the box.
After getting a delivery of carrots and apples from my organic produce delivery (boston organics) I felt a little overwhelmed, then I remembered the juicer.
I started simple with things I knew I liked and enjoyed a simple and delicious juice.
Here is what you need:
an apple, a pear, ginger root (about the size of a baby hand), a peach, a beet and a handful of carrots (6-8).
It is super delicious and if you pour everything in and add the beet juice last you can make fancy cappuccino designs on top!

 

Just Juice.

via Just Juice.



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.



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.



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!



Clever Kids by quornflour

Recently, while staying with friends in Seattle, I was making dinner. My friend’s youngest daughter was home and needed something to do.

We were throwing a party and there were to be a load of people at the house. Yes I go visit friends, cook food, invite people over and leave the dishes for someone else. Ok, sometimes I help with clean-up, but as my friend once said, “it’s a cook thing you are an excellent chef, because you make a mess in the kitchen!”

Anyway, I was at my friend’s house and her younger daughter who is in first grade who is super smart and helpful needed a project.

So first up I had her make some Caprese skewers, I had picked up a pint of colorful cherry tomatoes and some tiny balls of mozzarella, pretty much everyone who has ever been on Pinterest has seen the various versions of this. Yes that is what I was making, but with a little more basil.

Simple instructions:

Cherry tomatoes, small mozzarella balls wrapped with basil leaves: stab on skewer.

After skewered: drizzle olive oil (garlic olive oil if you are fancy like me) and balsamic vinegar.

So first I had her (with a little help from her Uncle Peter who wrapped the mozzarella – not because she couldn’t but because he was there) make those.

Simple and delicious and saved me about 30 minutes.

I was preparing mussels, for which I wanted to use basil grass. Basil grass is finely sliced basil leaves, it is pretty and adds a nice burst of flavor since it crushes the leaves a bit.

So her second job was to make basil joint, cigars, rolls… they have many names, I suppose with a lot of people with kids, maybe rolls is a better word choice.

Anyway, to do this, you lay basil leaves on top of one another about 10 deep. You can use this for practice counting as well.



Then you roll them up starting at one long side.

Once you have done this, cut the basil in small strips and ta-dah! Now you are fancy with your basil grass.

Don’t you feel fancy?



Apartment Garden, Episode 4: Watering by quornflour

So far my garden experiment this year is going fairly well. We have had some really nice weather matched with serious downpours. My kind of summer!

That said: I have a neighbor who LOVES watering. I have even see her water after a rainstorm. Because the drainage in my bucket garden is different than it would be in the ground, my plants seem to be getting a little overwatered. There is no stopping her and I suppose it is better than everything just drying out. Regardless we have fruit!

I have a few tomatoes that have started, they are super tiny, but it is a start. My pepper plants are flowering so I am hoping for a few peppers. The cucumber plant has flowered again. The first never fruited, but the plan seems stronger now. I am not sure if there is another cucumber plant, but that might be necessary. I cannot remember if they can self-pollinate.

The herbs are doing well. Well except for the cilantro. Again, everything seems really wet. I have been moving buckets around the yard to try and dry things out. I am hoping nothing gets watered by a hose and asked Lil’ to avoid watering anything since it will just get watered again.

I have some ideas for improving the layout next summer and additional hopes that the tree that is blocking my sun will fall down in a storm (crashing though only a few fences, since there really is no place for it to go that is not a roof). I am going to see if I can score some pallets and maybe build a planter box on casters so that I can move things into the driveway for more sun on the hot days.

At any rate, so far this is way more successful than last year, even though it will by no means be a “bumper crop” of anything except perhaps basil. Good think I love basil.



Day two of the raw food cleanse for busy people by texaskillet
September 18, 2011, 12:16 AM
Filed under: Clever Chickadees, raw, texaskillet, vegan

Okay so it’s day two of the effort.

I got on the scale this morning and I was 1.4 lbs lighter. We’ll see if this continues or if it’s just that first bump.

It would be cool if it did, but I am not really expecting that. J

Breakfast/Lunch smoothie:

½ bunch of Kale

2 apples

Carrot juice

Mango juice

In all actuality this is what I blended up for breakfast but we ended up having leftovers from the smoothie dinner last night. Then we were able to jar this, stick it in a lunchbox and take it with us to the punkin chunkin competition. YAY! It was awesome. I am sure people thought I was drinking baby poop or possibly baby food spinach, but whatever. There was an unexpected side effect: a bee really really wanted my smoothie. J Oh well.. I denied him like the cruel woman I am.

Afternoon snack smoothie:

We treated ourselves to a Jamba Juice smoothie. We went with the all fruit and veggie ones since really I didn’t feel like making another one until later.

I had the Carrot Karma and he had the Mega Mango (at least that’s what I think they were called).

It was great to have those to suck on for a while.

Then.. I got to thinking (later when I got home)…well what is that nosh factor item for today?

I dug around, found some artichokes, had a two second conversation with myself about how these were not raw when you get them to edible form.

Meh, not sure I was in the mood to care. I think home is the hardest place to be when you are trying to make changes. When you are out you can fool yourself into thinking that people know you are cheating if you decide TO cheat and so therefore be convinced by weird internal talk, NOT to cheat. Not so at home.

So, each of us had one steamed artichoke for dinner. I am now on my second follow up glass of water to ensure that things are moving and such. Artichoke no matter how you look at it is… fibrous. The great thing and this is entirely what I was going for… is that these take so long to eat and are so much work, you are just kind of done when they are gone. YAY!!! I’ll have to do some research on if you can do ANYTHING at all with these in their natural state.

It may have been my trip to Thrive the day before which reinstituted that there are very very very few people in this world that are all raw and if I can get to 80%, I would be pleased as punch.

Okay, more tomorrow. Be good!




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