Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Quinoa Burgers - Healthy 'Junk Food'

Quinoa is an excellent source of low fat, cholesterol free protein as well as being gluten free, so a good choice for anyone trying to cut down on meat.  When you mention quinoa, people often think oh no it's going to be one of those boring healthy things that 'hippies' eat.  Well yes it's healthy but it doesn't have to be boring.  Both my sons are vegetarian and like most young men when they were growing up wanted something that didn't look too different from what their friends were eating.  So I have developed all sorts of ways to make 'normal' food that was also giving them the protein they needed.  I haven't tried these on them yet, but it is the sort of thing they would love. The secret with quinoa is to get as much flavour in it as possible.  I made these with what I happened to have in the cupboards, you can adapt them to your own tastes once you have the cooked quinoa.


40g quinoa
200 ml boiling water
1 stock cube
1 small onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder (medium)
1 tablespoon mango chutney
1 to 1 1/2 slices of bread made into breadcrumbs (I used g.f. bread)
Salt and pepper

Wash the quinoa and place in a saucepan with the water and stock cube.

Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 15 - 20 min until all the liquid is soaked up.

Add the rest of the ingredients, mix well and leave to cool.

At this stage I put it in the fridge until I was ready to cook them later in the day.  It makes it easier to shape once they have cooled completely.

On a floured plate (I used g.f. flour) shape into burgers.

I fried mine as I like them to have a nice crispy texture,

Makes 4 burgers.  Simple, with not too many ingredients.

In other news, I am having a battle of wills with our cat.  I hid the worming tablet in her food and she sussed out that it is in there so will not eat it.  I used to hide tablets in a piece of cheese for our dog, but miss fussy pants cat is having none of it. Any tips for getting her to take it?  I'm not up to force feeding it to her.

I don't know whether to tell you this, oh well I might as well, you have probably realised I have lost the plot.  I bought a new bird feeder and some seeds yesterday.  I tried to fill it today and the seeds kept falling out through the mesh.  So I scooped it up and tried again several times before reading the label on the PEANUT feeder!!!!

Chickpea xx

I will post the pinwheel tutorial tomorrow.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Over the Border to England

Yes we do leave Cornwall sometimes.  Yesterday we had a trip up to the beautiful Somerset village of Hinton St. George.  A visit here is like taking a trip back in time.  If you removed all the cars (not that you actually see many) you would feel like you were in the last century.  I love the colour of the stone used in the houses and the abundance of thatched roofs.  It is interesting to see the different styles and building materials used in different parts of the country and further afield.

 A lot of the old buildings in Cornwall are built of cob.  Visiting Chester we saw the beautiful Tudor black and white timber frame houses.  Other areas are dominated by red bricks.  When we visited Australia I loved the old buildings with the front porches and verandas on the old hotels.  In New York the tenements with their fire escapes winding up the front of the buildings.

Do you have a favourite style?

Join me on a walk around the village.  You can even catch a glimpse of Superman :)

Thank you for all your replies to Saturdays post,  I will put up a pinwheels tutorial soon.

Chickpea xx

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Saturday Randoms

After trying to think of an alternative pattern for the new grandchild's quilt, I have gone back to the original plan of pinwheels.  I am a bit stubborn like that, and get things in my head that I want to do, and then can't shift my thoughts to something else.  Anyway, I have made the pinwheels bigger so it is not so fiddly.  It is still going to take ages and a lot of faffing around but hopefully it will turn out o.k.  I have taken over the kitchen table, as my so called 'work room'  which is actually the spare room hasn't got anywhere to do the cutting  and laying out.  I am very envious of Dawn from http://doingitforourselfs.blogspot.co.uk who has a wonderful log cabin to work in.

There is fabric draped everywhere, and I will be asking OH to carry down my sewing machine to set up on the table as well.  I have to keep going upstairs  to my work room to sew, then down again to prepare the next blocks.  All too exhausting.  It will have to be meals on our laps for a while.

The pinwheels are not perfect but I'm pleased with them.  If anyone wants a tutorial on how I made them, let me know.

I have also been working on a recipe for quinoa patties.  I made some ages ago but can't find the recipe, I haven't a clue where I saw it, online, magazine, book could have been anywhere.  I doubt I will find it again. So I had a go at making up my own recipe, but they turned out too soft.  The ones I made before had a better texture to them and I couldn't figure out why.   Reading through my notes later I realise I had added too much water when I cooked the quinoa, all down to bad maths on my part!!!  I will try again in the next few weeks and post it on here, I am bit 'quinoa'd' out for now.

When we went to Perranporth last night we parked in the car park right on the front so I wouldn't have to walk so far.  It is a privately owned car park where there used to be a man taking the money.   We often go to the beach in the evening and could park there for free after the attendant had gone home.  They have now installed machines with signs saying you have to pay 365 days of the years, 24 hours a day.  Not even xmas day is free!  Talk about being mean.  We often go there on xmas day and new years day for a walk.  We will not be parking there out of principle!  I think a lot of local people will be doing the same. The council car parks by the beaches are usually free in the winter so we will be going to them instead.  Car parking prices in general just seem to be going up and up, is it expensive to park where you live?

The bar on the beach in yesterdays post had Wheatus playing there last night, I wonder if they still play Teenage Dirtbag even though they all must been way past their teens now.

I seem to be walking better, though still have to stop and rest, but I could overtake a tortoise now.  The one thing I long to do, but still can't, is lie on my side.  It's often the simple things we miss.  I continue to sleep on my back and snore for the forceable future.

Anyway enough of my ramblings, I hope you are all having a lovely weekend.

Chickpea xx

Welcome to Kristienbc :)

Friday, 26 September 2014

Late September in Cornwall

OH left work early this evening so we headed to the beach for a walk.  It's hard to believe it is late September.  It was so warm people were sitting on the beach and going in for a swim minus wetsuits.

Apologies to Knittynutter for showing you what you are missing x

The bar that  nearly washed away in the storms

I spotted a couple of dalmatians, I don't see many of them anymore so I thought I would take a photo.  He didn't think much of it :)

Chickpea xx

Welcome to Andrea :)

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Amy's Amazing Giveaway

Amy at http://lovemademyhome.blogspot.co.uk ran a giveaway on her blog the other day and I was very lucky to have my name pulled out of the hat to receive a surprise box of goodies.  They arrived today, and I am just thrilled with her generosity.  As you can see it is a box of delights!  I love every single thing, I couldn't have chosen better myself.  They were even wrapped beautifully.

Thank you so much Amy, it really lifted my spirits :) xx

Chickpea xx

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Aubergine and Feta Bake

Aubergine and Feta Bake

 I have grown my very first aubergine (eggplant) and wanted to use it before something else munched it.  This is based on a Nigella recipe, but I have taken it a bit further by adding a tomato sauce and baking it.  I have just used what was available in the kitchen as I have not been able to go shopping for weeks.

First of all I made a tomato sauce, my usual that I use with pasta, so you can make you favourite sauce or even use a jar.

I then sliced my HOME GROWN ( I just love saying that) aubergine length ways and brushed with oil before placing  on a hot griddle pan for a few minutes each side until softened and browned.

In a bowl I crumbled a pack of feta cheese and mixed with chopped basil from the garden, some crushed chilli or fresh if you have one, ground black pepper and a splash of lemon juice.

Once the aubergine slices are cooked, place a spoonful of the feta mix at the end, roll up the aubergine and place edge down in a ovenproof dish.  Spoon your tomato sauce over the top, I had some feta mix left over so I sprinkled over the top, but it was a bit of a feta overload!  I would probably leave it off next time.  Place in a medium oven for about 20 minutes.

I served mine with wild rocket.

It's nice to be doing a bit of proper cooking again, I miss the little things that I usually take for granted.  Thank you for all your comments yesterday.

Chickpea xx

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Great Escape

First of all I would like to say a huge thank you to Amy over at http://lovemademyhome.blogspot.co.uk.  She ran a give away and my name was picked out of the hat.  I am chuffed to bits, I love surprises.  I will show you when the surprise box arrives.

So on to 'The Great Escape'.  I broke out of the house today,  O.K. so I'm no Steve McQueen, and I wasn't on a motorbike.  It will be four weeks tomorrow since the operation and I was told once I felt able to do an emergency stop then I would be o.k. to drive.  So off I went in my car, where did I choose to go? I went to a fabric shop :)  I'm sure fellow fabric obsessed crafters out there will understand.  The driving was actually easier than the walking, I could have sworn I saw a tortoise overtake me as I walked to the shop.  I thought I was doing brilliantly until I handed over my Tesco club card to pay for the fabric!  Still not as sharp as I should be lol

I was on a roll so decided to drive to the park and walk around the duck pond.  It was a beautiful sunny day and so peaceful.  I walked slowly and took advantage of all the seats. I loved every minute of it.

It is a very pretty little park with lots of interesting plants and some very old trees.  The gardeners have certainly done a good job.  It is not too formal, with wild areas and plenty to attract wildlife.

Strange fungus

Beautiful Autumnal colours

Look at those feet

Beautiful flashes of turquoise

Just need to have a dig under there

A little dash of purple among beautiful greys and black.

I love seeing the ducks, I don't think they thought much of me as I didn't bring any food for them.  We brought our children here when they were little, we now take our grandchildren to feed the ducks.  Where did the time go?

There was a lot of preening by the ducks, and who can blame them for showing off their beautiful feathers.  Just look at those colours.

After the fiasco of the Tesco 'security' panic over my online account yesterday morning.  I received a phone call this morning from someone explaining that they have discovered that every time I go on to Windows, someone is downloading a virus to my computer, but don't worry as they can sort it out for me.   Wait.......What????   What a lying little *****  I don't even have Windows!   I am really annoyed as I'm sure there will be people who believe their scam and get into all sorts of trouble.

Julee will be glad to hear my cat had a lovely peaceful few hours without me pestering her :)

Chickpea xx

Welcome to Simple Living :)