I’m dreaming of someplace warm, sunshiny and cozy today. Floating in a boat on the lake that I love. While I love to see the excitement of my children that we are finally getting our long-awaited snow, I’m missing the lazy, hazy days of summer. 🙂
So, in the meantime, we are snuggled up at home, wrapped up in blankets and cozy socks, reading and completing schoolwork. We are working on setting goals and taking the steps necessary to accomplish them. In a couple of days, I’m hoping to post what a typical day is like for us, so all can see that we really, truly, actually do school at home. 🙂 It’s not just some farce we put on while we secretly use our children for slave labor. Can’t wait to stand on my soapbox for that one. ;0)
In the meantime, I promised to give my recipe for homemade crackers…I got the original recipe from a book called “500 Low-Carb Recipes,” by Dana Carpender, but of course, I “tweaked” it to my own liking. This is probably my favorite recipe from the book. They are gluten-free, and if you wanted to, you could make them dairy free. My diet isn’t gluten or dairy free, but I like that I can make a cracker that isn’t full of refined flours or preservatives, and doesn’t taste like cardboard. Even my husband and kids like them, and that’s a big deal. :0) I love dipping these in my homemade hummus, and I’ll post the recipe for that soon, as well. In the meantime, here you are…
1 C raw, shelled sunflower seeds (I buy mine either from Trader Joes, or our local health food store)
1/2 C grated parmesan cheese
1/4 C water
That’s it. Seriously. Super easy. I also add in garlic, a little bit of salt, and cayenne, and I’ll tell you how/when I do that, but you can just make them to your liking. Mix in parsley, salt, pepper, any spices in whatever combination you like. I just like mine a little on the “kicky” side, just like me. (wink, wink) Note that I said “kicky,” not “kinky.” Ok, sorry, I digress…
~Put the sunflower seeds in a food processor (using the S blade) and process until fine – almost a flour consistency. *You could do this in a blender, I suppose, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Maybe a Vitamix?
~Add the parmesan, and any seasonings you like, and pulse until mixed. *This is where I add in the garlic, salt and cayenne. I never actually measure, but it’s probably about 1/2 t of salt and garlic, and maybe 1/4 t or so of cayenne. Maybe a little more. Depends on how “kicky” I feel.
~Add the water, and pulse until the dough is well-blended. It will be somewhat sticky.
~ This next step is of utter importance, unless you enjoy large, difficult messes to clean in your kitchen: you must use parchment paper! Cover a cookie sheet (rectangular and flat is the easiest) with a sheet of parchment paper, or, you may use a Silpat if you have one). Turn the dough out onto the parchment (it will be a big, ugly blob) and cover it with another sheet – muy importante. Use a rolling pin to spread out the dough, making it as thin as you like. If you go too thin, the crackers will kind-of crumble as you try to dip them in anything, but you don’t want them super thick, either. If there are holes in the dough, or you can see through it, it’s probably too thin. *Using the parchment paper keeps the dough from sticking to the rolling pin, obviously. You may have to lift the top layer up and check the thickness periodically. I like mine around the consistency of a wheat thin.
~Remove the top layer of parchment, and bake at 325, for about 30 minutes, or until evenly browned and no longer soft in the center. Remove and let cool, then peel off of the parchment and break into cracker-like pieces. *You may lightly score the dough into squares before you bake, and then break it up along those lines afterwards, but I find it just as easy to do it w/out the lines. I’m a rebel that way. If you do choose to ignore me and not use the bottom layer of parchment, then you can call me and I’ll tell you “I told you so.” You will have a rock-hard layer of bird food that will take you hours to chip off. And no, I didn’t learn this from experience. I was a good girl and followed directions in the first place. Just like I always do. Except when I’m feeling “kicky.”