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Rosemary Crackers

I seriously ate a whole box in one day  really like the
Trader Joes Raisin-Rosemary
crisps, I had to try and make my own version...  :)
When we were in Milwaukee for Panic last month, we stayed a night with Danos cousin and her husband- Erin had made her own version of these type of crackers that were *so* good- she had just ripped the ingredient label off of the box and went to town! We snacked on them with aged goat gouda (my personal fave is Midnight Moon ) which I could eat with just about anything, but is especially good with these!

Its kind of like biscotti- bake it in 'loaves' then slice and bake again. Very easy but takes a little bit of time, however you could do break it into two steps- I baked the loaves and found that freezing them before slicing helps a lot- just leave the loaves in the freezer then pull out and slice off as many as you want to bake off whenever you want!

The original label off the box says:
low fat buttermilk, wheat flour, cane sugar, 
sunflower seeds, raisins, flax seed, millet, 
baking soda, sea salt, rosemary and black pepper

So I came up with:
1c. AP flour
1c. AP wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2c. buttermilk
1/4c. brown sugar
1/4c. honey
1c. raisins- I used craisins!
(plumped in hot water and drained)
1/2c. unsalted sunflower seeds
(or pecans would be good!)
1/2c. flax seeds
1/4c. millet
2T. chopped fresh rosemary
1T. black pepper

Oven to 350 degrees. Prep 2 bread pans with parchment paper and grease. Whisk together flours, baking soda and salt. Add buttermilk, sugar and honey and combine. Then add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into prepared pans and bake, rotating once, for about 30 minutes.

Let cool completely before wrapping and freezing.
When ready to make the crackers, remove loaf from freezer just before slicing- dont let it thaw out- unwrap and slice as thin as possible (without crumbling) with a serrated knife
Lay out on a parchment lined sheet pan, close together and bake for about 10 minutes at 325 degrees, til dried out and crispy (you dont want them to brown!) Let cool and thats it! Store in an airtight container for a couple weeks (if they even last that long!)



BING! cherry jam's Bing Cherry season!!!
----------- advice before embarking on prepping a lot of cherries for a recipe is to invest in a cherry pitter- theyre only about $12 and will save you boatloads of precious time...
i love love love the OXO cherry pitter! i dont have the special williams sonoma red one, but it works just the same!

I've got about 10 lbs in my fridge... today will be JAM day!

This recipe is so incredibly easy peasy...

You literally just put everything (plus i added chopped crystallized ginger) in a big heavy bottomed pot and boil it until you can't stir it down, add the pectin and let it boil 1 minute more. Skim foam of the top and put it in jars! Viola!



Almond-Butter Cookies...

Rainy Days make for lots of Baking...

This is my fave peanut butter cookie recipe, but I had a huge jar of almond butter- and I wanted to try ALMOND butter cookies! So here goes...


 I just threw everything in my Kitchenaid- makes quick work of dough!
Preheat oven to 350
You'll need:

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp.
2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
seeds of 1/2 a vanilla bean
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c. almond butter (or peanut butter, or whatever kind of nut butter you like!)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
3 c. AP flour

1/2-2/3 c white sugar in a bowl, for rolling 
...and a fork
Beat butter, sugar and salt together, scrape vanilla seeds in and vanilla extract. Add nut butter and eggs- combine thoroughly. Add baking soda and flour- cover mixer with a towel to avoid a 'cloud' of flour...


 Using a cookie scoop, and drop balls into bowl with white sugar- toss to coat and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Use a fork to imprint, not pressing too hard.

Bake for about 8-10 minutes, checking and rotating halfway through... Let cool a couple minutes and then move to wire rack to cool completely...

btw ...I made about 70  2" cookies using a 18/8 scoop


Playing with my new cookbook...

I made THE best rice casserole last night for dinner- based off of Heidi Swansons recipe from her new book, Super Natural Every Day (pg155)... My new favorite book btw if you couldnt tell...

Actually, what this reminded me of is Gma Nina's beef stroganoff, served on rice... Im always trying to make a veggie version, and using tvp 'crumbles' doesnt cut it. This has all the hearty-ness, but no greasy meat! 

You can find Heidi's original recipe on her *lovely blog*  HERE.

 ~This is my rendition~ 

You'll need 3 cups of cooked rice- I used a multi-grain blend with about 6 kinds of rice- a mix of brown and wild rice would work well too. Cook according to package and set aside 3 cups for this recipe. (Then I cool and freeze any leftover rice in ziplocs to use for quick fried rice or whatever...)
Preheat oven to 350, lightly grease a medium-sized casserole dish.

In a large bowl, mix together: 
2 large eggs
1 cup cottage cheese- I used large curd
1/2 cup sour cream
1 T. dijon mustard
pinch of salt & pepper
1 T. white truffle oil
1T. dried tarragon
1/2 cup grated parmesean

Saute in 1 T olive oil: 
1 medium yellow onion
4 cloves of garlic
8 oz. mushrooms
(I used baby bellas, Heidi calls for cremini)

Add 3 cups of cooked rice to pan and combine. Pour altogether into bowl of cottage cheese mixture and mix well. Transfer to prepared casserole dish and cover with foil- Bake for 30-40 minutes, remove foil and bake for 20 minutes more, until lighly browned. Serve immediately. YUM.




Seed Starting- 2011 what seeds are YOU starting this year??? My order from Pinetree Seeds-  just showed up- Im late on starting everything because we were in Hawaii during the week Id start planting- oh darn ;)

...better late than never I guess