simplelittlespaces

Keeping things simple in a not so simple world


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crackers

So you know those Trader Joe’s crackers – the raisin and rosemary ones – that cost a fortune for a teeny tiny box…well, I’ve found a homemade version.  It is based on a recipe from the Kitchn and is quite amazing. I’ve adapted the recipe to our gluten-free eating and reduced the sugar from the recipe, as well as a cup of other tweaks.

The recipe is easy and it is very simple to always have some on hand. I usually double or triple the recipe. The mini-loafs are frozen before slicing into crackers and baked again – so you can have the loafs ready in a pinch.

1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup pecans
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary (or 1 tablespoon dry rosemary)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup pepitas or pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place cranberries in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover the bowl with a towel. Let sit until ready to add to the recipe.

Mix together the rest of the ingredients and then add cranberries, mixing thoroughly.

Scoop the dough into greased mini-loaf pans and bake until just lightly golden. Watch them carefully. The original recipe says to bake until golden brown, but I find that when I go to make the crackers they get too dark.
Let the mini-loafs cool and then place in a freezer proof container or baggies and freeze until ready to make the crackers.

When ready to make crackers:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Remove the mini-loafs from freezer but do not thaw.
Slice the loafs while still frozen. It makes is simpler to slice even, thin slices that don’t mush into nothing.
Place the crackers on an non-greased cookie sheet and bake until golden brown and crispy, flipping at least once to make sure the crackers are browned on each side.

Let the crackers cool before eating.

Crackers can be kept in an air-tight container for at least a week – if you don’t eat them all.

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seville arroz

This is one of my favorite recipes…a simple one pot. The original recipe calls for chicken and spicy sausage, but I find the spicy sausage enough. I recently made it for my birthday party and it was a hit. A bit of sweet and spicy…

Seville Arroz

1 to 1.5 lbs spicy sausage, preferably andouille or chorizo (Trader Joe’s makes a decent andouille); half length-wise and then cut into bite-sized 1/2 moons
1 vidalia onion, chopped
1 garlic clove minced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
2 cups brown rice
1 8 ounce can tomato puree
1 quart chicken broth
1 zest of 1/2 orange
1 orange cut into segments and the segments halved
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a heavy bottom pot. When hot, add the sausage and cook until just starting to brown. Remove sausage, add onions, garlic and peppers and cook until glistening and onions are transparent. Add the rice and stir until coated with the oils. Add sausage, tomato sauce and broth. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until rice is almost cooked through and liquid almost absorbed. Add the orange zest, orange segments and almonds, mix thoroughly. Serve when broth is absorbed completely.

Sprinkle with cilantro if desired.
Serve as a main course or like a risotto appetizer.


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a tasty treat

I may have shared before, that we like bean popcorn.

Here is a new version to try!

italian style roasted chickpeas

3 cans chickpeas or 4 cups homemade, washed and dried
3 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil (I use Spanish – I love its fruity flavor!)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
red pepper flakes to taste
salt and pepper
dried oregano

Add all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Mix well and let sit to marinate for a minimum of 3 hours.
Heat oven to 300*
Place chickpeas on a baking sheet.
Bake for 45-60 minutes, checking every 10 minutes or so. They should be dark and crispy; basically dried.
Add to salads or eat like popcorn.


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crackers

Today was a crazy day, but I finally made crackers. I know, sounds crazy, that I have been waiting weeks for time to make crackers, but it just wasn’t happening. I had grander plans for today…many things I wanted to make, but circumstances worked against me and all I made was crackers.

But these crackers. Oh! These crackers. I have used this recipe before…based on the one from this lovely book.
It even has a gluten-free substitute for the original recipe. But I have been dying to modify it. I have wanted to add more substance than just brown rice flour.

Gluten-free crackers

2 cups Ancient Grain Blend
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup white rice flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2/3 cup ground flax seed
3/4 uncooked millet
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1/2 cup olive oil + 2 tablespoons
1/2 cup water + more

In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add olive oil and mix with fork. Slowly add the 1/2 cup of water (adding more if needed) until the dough is smooth.

On a clean surface, roll out the dough until about 1/4-1/8 inch thick. Cut into squares or use a cookie cutter for shapes. Place on a unprepared cookie sheet and place in a preheated oven at 350*.
Turn over about 6-10 minutes into the baking process.
Remove from oven when hard and crispy.

Other variations:
Add any type of seeds or ground nuts. Experiment with herbs – fresh or dried.


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loving

Things I’m loving lately…

-Trader Joe’s Greek Apricot Mango Yogurt

-Kale from the garden (fresh kale, shredded golden beets and purple carrots, drizzled with olive oil, lemon juice and sprinkle of sumac)

-My next embroidery project, for my husband’s office, here and this one, here, for a friend

-Excited to try this

-My daughter is drooling over this

-Awaiting the arrival of my new bag

-Scouting out Nashville for parks, restaurants and coffee shops for our two week vacation.  I love exploring a new city!