Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hop over to a giveaway, you won't be sorry!

Head over here for a chance to win some amazing soaps and an organic cloth from Pumpkin Seed Baskets, hosted by Growing Home.  I've entered, here's your chance! :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Oh, Mary! You've gone crackers!!!

So, I have been on a mission.
A mission to find a suitable 'copy cat' recipe for Mary's Gone Crackers.

A month or so ago, while discussing icky gluten and my desire to steer away from it with my neighbors...they turned me on to this swanky little snack. I was SOLD immediately...gluten free or not, "healthy" or not, they were just plain good.

Ahhhhhhh but the kicker.  At our local health food store, as much as I LOVE the place... they are more pricey than I want to pay.  Of course, if I want to foot the bill I can order in bulk and the price per box plummets, but where's the adventure in that!?

I want to MAKE THEM MYSELF...and so began the mission.

I tried...
too soft
too brittle
too rancid flax seeds <oops, and I even fed that batch to said neighbors, eep!!>
too much Bragg's
not enough salt
not enough Bragg's
etc. etc. ad nauseam

I finally did it though.
After reading several other knock off recipes, which I am sure worked for the folks that made them, I really had to settle in the end, for tweaking everything into one fantastic copy cat recipe.

So, off we go:

Tuesday Went Crackers Making These.....Crackers

1/2 cup brown rice <dry>
1/2 cup quinoa <dry>
1/4 cup flax seed
1/4 cup poppy seed
1/4 cup chia seed
1/4 cup sesame seed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder 

First, I prepared the rice and quinoa using traditional methods.

While they cooked I measured out the rest of the ingredients.
I also preheated the oven to 350 degrees.

Next I added the cooked brown rice to my blender (it would work so SO much easier in a food processor, but, well...that's a story for another day)...I pulsed it into a paste, adding *just* enough water to make it easily blended down.

Put the paste into a bowl, and add the quinoa, mixing it well.

Toss in all your yummy seeds and seasonings!

Again, mix it well.

 Here comes the fun part.

Cut a small square of parchment paper (very important, foil, plastic wrap, etc. will not have the same effect)...I used a piece about 5x5 inches or so. Set it aside and grab a can of spray oil (olive!). Now you are ready to begin the tedious process of cracker smooshing!

Spray your pan. (must be directly baked on the pan...when done on parchment they do not brown properly)

Wet your hands well and shape the dough into balls 1/2 inch in diameter.

The interesting part now.  You take the piece of parchment you cut, and LIGHTLY spray it with oil. (On a few batches, I 'overdid it' on the oil and you could taste it to the point of distraction).  Take a flat bottom cup, or in my case the lid to the spray oil, and with the oiled side down, cover the ball with the paper, then SMOOOOOOSH it with the lid.  Continue until they start sticking and you can respray the paper.

 The crackers need to be thin to the point of transparency...if they are thick they don't crisp properly or brown as well.  They also don't have that CRUNCH  they need. Some of mine actually had gaps where it was spread so thin, and those turned out great!

 And we bake!  The first several batches I baked on a lower setting for a longer time. It seemed to make more sense that way, as well as a few of the other recipes I had looked over suggested this as well.  One time I totally forgot and just went with your 'one-size-fits-all' 350 degree setting, and whaddaya' know...they cooked faster and were FINE. So...yeah.

I'll be honest, I cooked them in wildly varying time frames, sometimes 10 mins, sometimes as much as 20, you really want to just keep an eye on them and when they get that nice, dark golden brown color...yank them out of there!  I rotated the pan a few times just to ensure they browned/crisped oven is fickle like that.

Take them out, let them chill on the pan for a while....and there you have it!

I'm planning now to start trying variations on the recipe....Cracked Black Pepper...Rosemary and many possibilities!

If you get brave and give this recipe a whirl, let me know how it turns out!

In 'what's going on at home' news...I did plant a few things in the garden today, I may try to sit down and post about that tonight or tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

May my thumbs turn green this year!!

So we have spent a lot of time this week preparing our garden.  We have kind of gave it a 25% effort the past 3 years since buying the house...however THIS year I plan to make it happen!

We have build 2  4X8 raised beds and are going to put a connecting 2x8 between them along the back edge, eventually making it a large 'U' shape.  Nick has gone to great lengths to make sure all is true, square and even. We got a mixture of Organic Compost and Top Soil to fill them.

The kids are really getting into the action and enjoying the hard work, which makes me SO happy.  We'll see when I put them on 'earthworm duty' if they are still excited ;)

Olivia and I started seeds for Basil, Cilantro and Sunflowers yesterday (24 of each).  There is a plant sell Thursday at The Black Feather that I plan to attend and get some plants, rather than starting from seed.  (baby steps, right? :P)

All-in-all, my excitement level is at about 11 on a scale of confidence is at a very solid 6 however :P

Monday, March 26, 2012

So, yeah....basically ONCE AGAIN ;) I am going to attempt to reactivate this blog...Here we gooooo!!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cup of Coffee Cake, yes please

So lots of things happened today...the biggest at FIRST was going to be the announcement that we had sent of our letter of intent to pull our daughter from public school and return to homeschooling after three years.

UNTIL we were looking online at blogs together and saw THIS!  Single serve Coffee Cake, under 5 mins, in a MUG? Yes yes please. 

Of course I made Liv do all the measuring, converting and 'doubling' the recipes..impromptu math? SURE THING!

Yeah, so it was pretty impressive for something so simple!

Go check it out in detail, you'll thank me.  Perfect timing for this yummy cozy fall weather!

Monday, October 10, 2011

 Yes, yes indeed we do!  Catching up would be an understatement!  If anyone is still out must not cull your feed reader very often ;P

Since we are entering into my favorite time of year, which means I feel more inspired/creative/motivated and so on...I hope to post with more frequency over the coming months!  Lots of personal changes and family changes to eek some fun out of!

Hope all are well and enjoying Autumn 2011!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pictures around the house

So, most of my day today is involved catching up on chores...nothing too exciting.  But, I did find a few things to share.

 For instance, the back of the shed, in the area next to the garden. This is where Nick will begin building our chicken coop this weekend! A little bit of cleaning out still to be done by me...but I moved all the rocks that were bordering around the back of the shed (the previous home owners had used that area as a small garden). I used them to line the edge of the garden.  
The amount of energy I used up moving them was super disappointing hahaha! Hopefully garden work will fix THAT over the next few weeks!

With the kids at school, it's just me and Mollee rooting around outside today...she keeps me company. I can't believe she was left in a high kill shelter!! She is *such* a good, family dog.  I love her.

It's about time to get this set back up! I can't wait. I love LOVE sheets and towels hung to dry. Nick *hates* what he refers to as 'crispy clothes' from hanging out. I was told a few ways to avoid that, so I'm eager to try this year!

I found this bucket out in the shed. It's coming in to the house for me to use each day in gathering what goes out to the compost pile. Of course, I anticipate it'll spend more time just-outside-the-house on the back porch...I don't know how Nick will feel about it sitting on the counter until the end of the day! haha!

We are fortunate to have wonderful neighbors that share the bounty of their mushroom harvest with us!! This is going to be great in my favorite pasta recipe tomorrow!!

And, last but not least, today is my 'sprout day'. We are out, so time to grow some more!! I'm hoping, if I can get all my chores and goals done for today it'll be a 'bread day' too and I can make a few loaves of bread!!

What are you finding around the house today? How is your weather? Spring here? or is it still a little wintery for you?  Do you do anything on certain 'days', like sprout or bread day?