Garlic Crackers

Lets talk about things that are hard.

Life. Life is way way way hard.

What else?

I agree. I kinda feel like that sums it up.

And in talking with a friend just recently I realized (for the umpteenth time) that life is hard on everyone.

Garlic crackers (grain free)

We all have our own brand of tough things to deal with. Sometimes I find myself looking at others thinking wow they have it easy but that’s just because I either a) don’t know all that they are dealing or b) whatever is they might be dealing with I may have dealt with before and built up a tolerance. Other times I find myself looking at someone’s life and thinking “nope, never, no way, all the nopes.” I will take my hard over other hard any day.

But why? Why is it so flipping hard? Who knows. However I think we can make it a tad easier on ourselves sometimes. The two lessons that I have learned of late are first and foremost I own things that aren’t mine to own and secondly I am bad at forgiving myself.

Garlic crackers (grain free)

Ps. If you think I am crazy feel free to ignore me. I am just getting some things out there. It makes me feel better. Cracker recipe to follow.

So the owning things that aren’t mine thing. When other people have things or feelings or issues or whatnot I tend to take it personally. Lately I have learned it isn’t about me. Usually rather it is just that- things or feelings or issues or whatnot that are THEIRS. Sure I can have a role in helping or hindering but it is not my responsibility.

Garlic crackers (grain free)

Let me tell you how great releasing things feels. It feels amazing.

Secondly I am so hard on myself and when I screw up I like to wallow. Owning what I have done wrong and mending is tough but important. If I can be gentle with myself and forgive like I forgive others I find myself a much happier person.

So what does this have to do with crackers? Nothing. Other than that grain free crackers are not hard at all. This is the third or fourth different cracker recipe I have made and I quite like them. In fact most have turned out quite well.

So don’t own whatever isn’t yours and forgive yourself. And make some grain free crackers. (Sorry… don’t mean to be bossy but I would just like to see you happy you know)

Garlic crackers (grain free)

One year ago today: Broccoli Fritters

Two years ago today: Pumpkin cookies

Garlic Crackers (makes about three dozen small crackers)
From Dish by Dish 

3/4 cup flax meal
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of water
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 egg, whisked until frothy

Pre-heat oven to 400F. Stir almond meal, flax meal, olive oil, water, salt, garlic powder, and egg in a large bowl until a thick dough forms. Using your hands, form the dough into a thick square or rectangular block. Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it out with a rolling pin until it is about 1/4 cm (1/8 inch) thick. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and then cut the dough into crack shapes (squares or rectangles are the easiest) using a sharp knife or pizza cutter. Transfer the dough (together with the bottom parchment paper) to a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until crispy and fragrant. Allow to cool before separating along scored lines into crackers. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature

Garlic crackers (grain free)

Cheese and Rosemary Crackers

Seriously people can we knock it off with the snow already?

This is what it looked like out my window this morning. Not.ok.with.me.

Cheese and Rosemary Crackers

Ok ok ok I know it isn’t your fault but for the love of all that is holy who DID we piss off this year?

We already had an incredible amount of snow (for the Willamette Valley) in December. Snow, which because of sub zero temperatures, stuck around for a week.

Cheese and Rosemary Crackers

Then it came again. Although this time it was out for blood. First four inches, then a nice layer of freezing rain turned that into an ice skating rink. As if that wasn’t enough we then got another 6-8 inches (what the ?!?) topped with off with more freezing rain. Everything was coated with an inch of ice. Lovely.

Mostly we have taken it in stride though. Cold weather always brings out the carb craver in me. We don’t usually have bread around the house unless I make it. We were short on white flour and even shorter on bread flour so attempting a whole loaf of bread wasn’t on my list of things I wanted to do.

Cheese and Rosemary Crackers

Crackers though. Crackers rock. Or flatbread which is what this really is.

These were are breeze. A quick mix and knead and into the fridge. I totally followed the recipe to a T and used my pasta roller. If you have one this is absolutely the way to go. I can’t speak to how easy or hard it is to roll these out by hand since I didn’t even try.

photo-(1)

Also this is a great snowy day activity for your littles people. Painting activities at our house involve egg wash. I’m the best kind of mom. Really.

Cheese and Rosemary Crackers

One year ago today: Tuna Noodle Casserole and Peppermint Pattie Cookies

Cheese and Rosemary Crackers (make about 16)
From Martha Stewart Baking Handbook

1 cup warm water
3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl and plastic wrap
15 ounces (about 3 cups) all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for sprinkling
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup freshly grated aged cheese (I used manchego and parmesan), plus more for sprinkling
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves (or 3 tablespoons caraway seeds)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, stir the water and yeast together. Attach your dough hook. Add olive oil, flour, salt, and honey and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Switch to medium speed and mix until dough is soft but not tacky, about 2 minutes. Add cheese and mix for 1 minute more.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface; knead four or five times, forming into a ball. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap; let rest for 10 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour or overnight. Meanwhile, line two baking sheets with parchment.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide dough into 16 equal pieces. Flatten the dough with your hands into a disk. Using a pasta machine, run it through on either #3 or 4. If you don’t have a pasta roller, just roll out thinly with a rolling pin. Transfer pieces of dough to prepared baking sheets. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon water; brush over dough. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and additional cheese and top with sprigs of rosemary (or with caraway seeds).

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until crisp and golden, about 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Bread can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Cheese and Rosemary Crackers

One Year Anniversary Party

I meant to post on Friday but see there was this party and I was kinda busy…

Then I meant to post something Saturday morning but was terribly busy….

So I am sorry. But not really. Because it was totally worth it to miss getting a post up.

Thank you all so very very much who came. Thank you for the lovely kind words from those of you who didn’t make it. What a fun fun day.

The party went off without a hitch. There were hardly any leftovers and yet I think everyone got to try everything they wanted. I could not have been more perfect.

So here are a collection of pictures from right before everyone showed up. I intended to take pictures during but set my camera down as the first guest appeared and didn’t pick it back up.

IMG_8587

One year anniversary party!

One year anniversary party!

One year anniversary party!

One year anniversary party!

One year anniversary party!

One year anniversary party!

One year anniversary party!

One year anniversary party!

One year anniversary party!

One year anniversary party!

One year anniversary party!

Those beautiful cards with the names of the dishes? Yeah I am not that crafty. I was blessed to have the talented Jayma Malme visit me and so generously make them. She is amazing. Go check out her blog. I am in awe.

Let’s do this again next year!

Ps. Want the recipes? Here is the cookbook! Enjoy!

Graham Crackers

I love comfort food. Who doesn’t? It is called comfort food because not only does it feed out tummies but somehow manages to nourish our soul at the same time. I enjoy the traditional comfort food like stew, this soup, delicious mac and cheese (even the healthier version), and my mom’s chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles.

Homemade graham crackers

However, having grown up abroad, I have some odd comfort foods.

  • Peanut butter has a way of lifting my spirits like few other foods do. All the peanut butter we had while living in Spain was lovingly brought over from the US in someones suitcase. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were a treat.
  • String cheese was a treat we got only when we were stateside. I can remember once, when my grandparents picked my sister and I up at the airport after just returning to the US, we stopped at a gas station on the two hour drive to their house and they bought us string cheese. Little devours it and I couldn’t be more proud.
  • Lastly a huge comfort food for me is graham crackers. When I was in school in Switzerland when I was 18 my mom shipped me over a box. They were also a stateside only treat. If we make smores I will munch on just the crackers. Give me a cold glass of milk and package of graham crackers and I am a happy girl.

Homemade graham crackers

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to make my own graham crackers. When the gingerbread house making fiasco happened we had a few extra crackers on the table the next morning. Little is a fiend for anything that appears to be a carb and begged for the cracker. He loved it (as he does with most carbs). The ingredient list on the package of crackers is longer than I like and, as with most things, I had the thought “I can make that!”

Homemade graham crackers

After a bit of perusing I settled on this recipe. Throw everything in the food processor. Blend. Roll out. Chill. Bake. Couldn’t be easier. Next time I need to roll them out a bit thinner and maybe add a bit more water. They were a tad crumbly and, while perfect dipped in a latte, they can be a little hard for Little to eat.

Either way- yum. Not completely a “real food” as it has white flour and a touch of sugar but it is close enough for me.

Homemade graham crackers

Graham Crackers (makes nearly two sheet pans full)
straight out of Gourmet Today cookbook

2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbls. cornmeal
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
2 Tbls. molasses
2 Tbls. honey
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 stick (8 Tbls.) cold butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1/4 c. cold water

In a food processor, combine all ingredients except butter and water, pulsing until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle water over mixture and pulse until dough forms a ball, about 30 seconds.

Divide dough in half. Roll out one piece between two sheets of parchment paper into a 15×10″ rectangle and put on a large baking sheet. Repeat with second piece of dough. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Put racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

Remove top sheets of parchment from dough. Using a knife or pizza cutter, trim edges of dough and cut into squares or rectangles (do not separate pieces). Prick each piece several times with a fork and bake, switching position of sheets halfway through, until edges are golden brown, 15-20 mins. Transfer crackers, on parchment paper, to a rack to cool completely.

Homemade graham crackers

And in case you are wondering (because I know you are)- here is how the making of the crackers and the photo shoot went with Little helping out.