Keeping things simple in a not so simple world

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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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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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refreshing summer snack

Here in North Jersey, we have had a blast of summer weather.  80’s and humid.  The kids have played in the sprinkler several times in the last day or so.
And with this fabulous heat (yes, that is sarcasm!), I have lost a bit of my gumption to cook. This happens every time it heats up.
So I turn to salads, the grill and my crock-pot.

Today’s salad was a bit basic. Not that that is a bad thing, but I needed something to zest up dinner. To keep the family interested. Something to tango the taste buds. (I’ll stop now.)

This recipe (if you can call it a recipe, it is really so very simple), came from my lovely friend Jen. It is light and refreshing with a bit of zip. And great for hot and humid summery (or summer-like) days.

Cucumber-lime salad

1 cucumber
lime juice
chili powder

Slice the cucumber, sprinkle with lime juice and chili powder to taste.
Seriously, that is it!



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recent finds

I must apologize for my absence.  My partner was out of town Monday and Tuesday (posting is difficult when you are the only parent!) and yesterday I was dealing with a migraine.

I’d like to share with you some recent finds, from the inter-connected web.

This lovely article by the Gluten-free Goddess on celiac and gluten-free living.

Drooling over this, at Smitten Kitchen.

Loving this amazing Great Gatsby menu.  (Still haven’t seen the movie, but looking forward to it!)

My daughter has been planning her birthday party for months (we celebrate her 1/2 in June because the actual is December 26!)  Her latest request, here.

Trying to figure out what I should make with these lovely fabrics.

Working hard to complete one of these projects for mother’s day/mom’s birthday.

Hope you enjoy!


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no ordinary chocolate chip cookie

I am a picky cookie lover.  I like my cookies chewy, but not cakey.  I do not like nuts in my cookies.  And I hate too much sugar.  I also dislike cookies that take too long to make or ones I need to refrigerate.  Maybe for a special occasion I will do something like these amazing bites.

Often, I just want something simple.  Quick and easy.  Something that the kids can enjoy making too.

But I don’t want them to taste simple.  I want them to be decadent.  Chewy and flavorful.   So I add pizazz to my chocolate chip cookies.

You can use whatever your favorite recipe is.  I really like Orangette’s recipe, here, modified, of course for our gluten-free needs.  On another note, you may wish to try using flours that are not basic white or whole wheat just to get something more nutritious in your diet.

Chocolate chip cherry cookies

4 cups flour (I use 2 and 1/2 cups brown rice flour and 1 and 1/2 cups Pamela’s GF Baking Mix)
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup brown sugar (dark is better)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup ground flax seed
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
3/4 cup dried cherries, chopped (preferably without sugar)

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix ingredients together.
Place cookies on parchment lined paper.
Bake until golden.

Note: The amount of sugar you use depends on your tastes and whether or not the cherries were dried with sugar. Costco carries their brand (Kirkland) cherries that have no added sugar. But if you cannot find un-sugared cherries, add less brown sugar.

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