cleverchickadee


Clever Quick Tip: Camping Food by quornflour

When camping or traveling, add powdered milk to cereal, when ready to eat, just add water!

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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.



Flower Wash Clothes by quornflour

I do not have a ton of storage space in my house… I have a spare room, sure, but that is dedicated to fabric. I do not have a linen closet. So instead I use a flower pot, halve and roll up my face clothes and let them sit on a shelf in the bathroom like functional decoration.



Stuff we Love: Self-Filtering Water Bottles by quornflour

TxK and I both travel a fair amount and we both like to keep hydrated. With all of the post 9/11 regulations, bringing a water bottle into the airport is pretty much impossible. Of course, they then turn-around charge an insane amount for a bottle of water; water in a bottle that is most likely going to end up in a landfill.

There are a few things you can do to prevent this.

  1. Bring a self-filtering water bottle:

    Brita and CamelBak both have versions that TxK and I have tested and liked. Just make sure you empty it before you go into the airport, I have had TSA agents threaten to toss mine a few times, because they can.

    His exact words, “even though that is empty, I can make you throw that away if I want.”

    To which I replied, “of course you can.”

    The bottles filter the water as you drink it, so you can fill it up at a public drinking fountain or bubbler.

  2. Make friends with a short drip:

    Bring a regular water bottle and buy a “short drip” (10oz drip coffee – kids hot chocolate size) or a banana or something at your airport Starbucks.

    Starbucks filters their water to ensure standardized taste for their coffee beverages. As a result the cold water they use for iced drinks is also filtered. In my experience, the stands I have approached in the airport will not always fill my water bottle for free, but they will fill it for a purchase of a beverage.

The earth will thank you.



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.




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