cleverchickadee


Black Chocolate Ginger Cookies, a Recipe by quornflour

#recipe #nomnom #food #cookie #backing #quornflour

I am sure I have mentioned it before, I am a big fan of ginger and chocolate. Especially since I discovered that Hershey’s chocolate baking powder also comes in “Special Dark”. It’s almost black, it is amazing.

I figured since the Dark Chocolate Ginger Cake I made a while back was such a hit, I would try making some chocolate ginger cookies.

I also happened to have my kitchenaid mixer out after having made Strawberry Rhubarb sorbet, so I swapped out the bowl and the mixer thing and went to work.

Heat your over to 375◦.

Toss these into the mixer in the order below, give the mixer time to mix thoroughly before adding the next.

  • 1 ¼ cup shortening
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ginger powder
  • ¾ cup hershey’s special dark baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped candied ginger (chop it into pieces about the size of chocolate chips)

Place ping pong ball size balls of dough on parchment paper covered cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 8 minutes and let cool on a rack.

Enjoy.



Divine Cupcake Intervention by quornflour

I live one town over from Boston. From the time I moved back east, my faux niece Alexz has asked when she can come visit me.

Her parents and I decided that this year, she was old enough to board a plane all by herself. So I booked a ticket so that she could take her first solo flight (across the country) to come visit me.

Her spring break coincided with Patriot’s Day, so of course I thought it would be a fun outing for us to go check out the Marathon.

Alexz is a super smart kid, though she is only 10, she is definitely smarter than a lot of kids her age (and it’s not just me that says that even if I am a tad biased).

When she arrived she went on and on about this show “DC Cupcakes” that she LOVES, I had never heard of it.

She showed me a book she had and gushed on about how amazing Sophie and Katherine are and how they make things out of cupcakes and how they made a dress for DC Fashion week “where the trends are set”. She talked about them as though they were close personal friends of hers. She idolizes them and wants to be just like them when she grows up. Frankly if a kid is going to pick reality TV stars for idols, she could definitely do worse.

Sunday we trekked out to OSV (Old Sturbridge Village) and since we were meeting friends there, one of whom is a vegan we made, that’s right vegan cupcakes using my tried and true favorite recipe.

Monday was race day, so we got up and started in on what had quickly become our routine, the Coffee shop: coffee and scone for me, hot chocolate and chocolate croissant for her. Then we hopped on the redline and headed into the city.

We went to the commons and rode on the swan boats. The weather was beautiful and perfect, (especially compared to 2012 when it was so hot some people had deferred.)

As we worked our way to the finish line an ice-cream truck passed. Alexz excitedly asked if she could have ice-cream. Being the responsible Aunt that I am, I told her, “no sweets before lunch, but I reserve the right to change my mind.”

We continued our walk, as we headed up Newbury Street I noticed a cupcake shop, mind you, I had not made the connection that Georgetown Cupcakes was in fact DC Cupcakes. She had not seen it and I needed coffee, so I said to her, “remember how I said I reserve the right to change my mind?”

“Yeah”, she says.

“You want a cupcake?”

I have seen this kid excited, but OH MY HECK, she went crazy, I instantly went from Best Aunt Ever, to BEST.AUNT.EVER!

She was very proud for knowing about the secret cupcake, which she of course ordered.

After calling all of her friends to brag about going to Georgetown Cupcakes, we headed to the Marathon finish line.

We found spots upfront across the street from the medic tent. She asked about why there were so few women, and counted each one she saw come across.

I told her what I knew about the history of the race, she commented on how crazy it was that anyone would want to intentionally run 26 miles as fast as they could. I told her about Katherine Switzer and being hassled (to put it nicely) when she first ran the marathon.

And then something happened… she went from peppy to – SUGAR CRASH MELTDOWN COUNTDOWN. I looked at her and knew we needed to get some protein in the kid, or I would be sorry. How true that was I did not yet know, so instead of heading to the finish line to meet a friend, instead we headed back to the Gardens and I sent a text to my friend that we were going to get lunch instead.

We headed to a restaurant, when we got there my friend got a call from her roommate, wondering where she was, and that’s when we found out what had happened, a mere 15-20 minutes from leaving the finish line.

Now I am not one to go on about God or Divine intervention, but I must say, this was a Divine Cupcake Intervention for sure. Had it not been for one awesome 10 year old and her obsession over cupcakes, well I don’t even want to think about that.

With or without cupcakes, I am glad she had a sugar crash, she is after all the BEST.NIECE.EVER.



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.



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.



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!”



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?



Gluten Free Spaghetti Dinner by quornflour

I love squash.

My dog loves squash.

TxK loves squash.

How does anyone not love squash? That makes no sense to me.

So this past weekend while at the most fabulous grocery store in the world, I was checking out the produce, when I realized that what I really had a hankering for was Spaghetti Squash. It’s like squash and spaghetti all in one. De-lish.

So I bought one.

Preparing it is super easy.

Cut it in half the long way. Be careful, it is a meaty squash and this can be difficult.

Spoon out the seed guts.

Does anyone know if you can eat the seeds?

It seems like they would probably be good roasted with salt in a salad or as a snack, well good if they are anything like pumpkin seeds. I digress.

In a 9″x13″ baking pan, put 1½ tablespoons of butter and place in your oven and preheat to 350⁰.

Remove the dish when the butter is melted. If you aren’t a dairy person use 1½ tablespoons of olive oil and a dash of salt.

When the butter is melted, remove from the oven and place the squash in the pan skin side up and bake for about 35 minutes or until the skin is easily punctured with a knife.

When it is soft, remove it from the oven and using bamboo spoons scrape out the meat.

Serve it with a basic tomato sauce, maybe some bread, some cheese… or even on its own.

 




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