If Trader Joe's has not come to your area, you can try option two: the homemade graham. I tried the recipe from Smittenkitchen. It is easy, has ingredients you regularly have on hand and delicious. I made a few minor adjustments to suit my pantry and my taste. I also like the Video from Joy of Baking. She gets all whackity whack about perfect shape. As you will see I am WAY more of an eyeballer when it comes to cutting the dough.
1 cup (176 grams) dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon (6 grams) baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt (4 grams)
7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
1/3 cup (114 grams) mild-flavored honey, such as clover
5 tablespoons (77 grams) milk, full-fat is best
2 tablespoons (27 grams) pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons (43 grams) granulated sugar *I used my vanilla sugar.
1 teaspoon (5 grams) ground cinnamon
Make the dough: Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla extract.
Roll out the crackers: Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be sticky, so flour as necessary. Trim the edges of the rectangle to 4 inches wide. Working with the shorter side of the rectangle parallel to the work surface, cut the strip every 4 1/2 inches to make 4 crackers.
Place the crackers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets (I used SILPAT baking sheets) and sprinkle with the topping. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes in the fridge or 15 to 20 minutes in the freezer. Repeat with the second batch of dough. Finally, gather any scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and re-roll.
Adjust the oven rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat the oven to 350°F.
Decorate the crackers: Mark a vertical line down the middle of each cracker, being careful not to cut through the dough (I cut right through and baked like a cookie) (again, this is for the traditional cracker shape). Using a toothpick or skewer (I like to use the blunt end of a wooden skewer for more dramatic dots), prick the dough to form two dotted rows about 1/2 inch for each side of the dividing line.
I found that 11 minutes was the right time for me- Just watch for brown.
You will not regret the time spent on these wholesome slightly gourmet versions of s'mores. My girlie and her friends love them. And I appreciate the happiness she gets from being "just one of the kids" eating treats.
Don't forget to include some delicious TJ's dark chocolate!! (little secret- If you give your kids dark chocolate first they love it. They have nothing to compare it too and will never miss dark chocolates super-sweet-kick-in-the-pancreas cousin; milk chocolate.)
BONUS DELICIOUSNESS: VANILLA SUGAR
I am pretty sure I found this idea surfing Pinterest and then adapted it to how I wanted it.
It's fruit pizza - how you like it. Individual sugar cookies that you get to top however your heart desires.
Three little components: Cookie / "Frosting" / Fruit
Cookie: I used Pillsbury Ready to bake cookies. Just does not get easier than these. (If I make them for my girlie - I will make my own as they do have some artificial flavors and preservatives. There are the "simply cookies" that have no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives but sugar is not an option yet.
Frosting: Is 8 oz of cream cheese, 1 cup of powdered sugar and fold in whipped topping until light and fluffy. (I used about 2/3rds of a container of Trader Joes whip.)
Fruit: I like - Strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, raspberries and Kiwi.
Hope you enjoy.
I had been looking for a great egg bake recipe since egg bake is well...... Egg bake.
I needed something special. Because my retreat attendees are about as special of people as you can get. Discerning folks with attention to detail. No run of the mill egg bake will do!!
I found one on http://jamiecooksitup.net
Everyone has a recipe - Many say theirs is "the" recipe and mine has beans so as far as Sheldon Cooper is concerned mine can not even be called Chili. You can watch that episode here. But around my neighborhood mine IS Chili and it is requested. I should tip my hat to my dear father who started the Chili tradition and encouraged the idea that it should have the same building blocks but every-time should be a new adventure with random additions. So what you get here are my building blocks+rough estimations +plausible potential additions with portion guesstimates. Good luck :)
3 Lbs rump roast trimmed and cut into slightly smaller than 3/4 inch cubes.
3lbs 90% lean ground beef
2 LARGE onions
1 bottle stout beer
6 cloves minced garlic
5 cans chili beans
5 cans kidney beans
4 cans diced tomatoes
1 Large 64 ounce can crushed tomatoes.
Dried hot chili peppers whole
Crushed Red Pepper
2-4 squares dark chocolate
1 tablespoon Sambal Olek
When roast is partially thawed ( or partially frozen depending on how you start) cut into cubes. Season meat liberally with salt and pepper and sear. If you want to understand the difference between searing and steaming- and there is a BIG difference review this.
Move seared beef to new bowl and add onions to soften and caramelize.
Then add garlic till fragrant.
Add dry spices to bring out oils string constantly.
Before garlic burns add bottle of stout beer and get all the bits off the bottom of the pan.
Add your diced tomatoes and cook for a minute to cook out some of the acid.
Add the rest of your tomatoes and enough water to make it a bit more watery than you like (it needs to cook all day and you want there to be enough liquid to simmer without burning)
When there is an hour or two left before serving add all your beans and start tasting.
Add your finishing flavors and adjust spices accordingly.
Photos to follow.
♥ I love the way she focuses on good photos with clean elements and important stories.
♥ I love the way she takes the stress out and puts the focus on the love.
I have done several projects influenced by her. December daily- Mine , December daily -Hers Project life (which is by Becky Higgins - but no one does it better than Ali) and now Photo a day. Her site is a constant source of inspiration, admiration and just plain enjoyment.
Creative Memories has a new CD called Photo a day. I think this will be the fastest, easiest way to document, and enjoy everyday life. Will you join me? Will you actively click and drag bits and pieces of your life into templates so that at the end of this year 2013 you have something TANGIBLE? Will join me in an effort to help you capture 2013 in a way that documents the strange, the ordinary and the extraordinary all in one book of your life?
Here. I will be pulling pages from Facebook to talk about and discuss. Or if you are not on Facebook feel free to use the contact me button and email me your pages.
This is a FREE guided journey through photos, stories and elements that ends with a keepsake to treasure.
Get the Photo a day template CD Here.
There are a lot of recipes out there for granola. It is an easy way to save bu-cu-bucks since granola goes for a kings ransom in the stores. I have mixed and blended several recipes to make one that I like quite a bit. Let me know what you think.