Search Results for: crackers

Chef Salad with Crispy Cheese Crackers

I have decided that there will probably be lots of tomato plants lining the streets of gold in heaven.  Every time I make a salad and include the fresh tomatoes from our garden, I am reminded of God’s goodness.  There is so much yum in a summertime fresh tomato.

Last week, we had some leftover chicken which we added to lettuce and tomatoes with shredded cheese for a quick lunch.  I stirred in some Homemade Ranch Dressing and loved every single bite.

chef_salad (1)

When I told the boys we were having Chef Salad with Crispy Cheese Crackers for lunch, they weren’t super excited.  (They’d have been happier if I’d announced we were having bacon, no doubt.)

But as they worked their way through the meal, munching on the homemade crackers with their salads, even my youngest had to admit, “Mom, this is actually a really good lunch.”

Actually?  Yes, how shocking.

Whatever.  I was in the middle of eating fresh tomatoes straight from heaven.  They could say whatever they wanted.

Need more homemade salad dressing recipes?  Find them here.

High Five Recipes: Crispy Cheese Crackers

High Five Recipes 2

Move over little gold fish.  There’s a new cheese in town.

Heidi emailed me a couple of months ago asking if I had a good cheese cracker recipe.  Well no, I said, but I sure do love me a recipe challenge!  It took a bit of trial and error, but I finally figured out a recipe that not only tastes good, but is SO easy.

Who knew a cheese cracker recipe that would qualify as a High Five Recipe!!  (Oh, but psst…we’re not counting the tablespoon of water in this recipe as an ingredient…because that would mean there are technically six ingredients in this cracker.  I really wanted to make this a High Five Recipe and it just would not work without a bit of water.  Just sprinkle it in and look the other way.)

Crispy Cheese Crackers

¼  cup butter, softened
¼ t. sea salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, room temperature
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ t. baking powder
1 T. cold water

Use beaters or food processor to mix butter and salt until creamy.  Add cheese.  Mix well.  Gradually add flour, baking powder and water, mixing until dough begins to form a ball.  Form dough into a ball with hands.

Roll the dough into 1/8 inch thickness onto a cookie sheet.  (I find that placing the dough between two pieces of parchment paper helps me to roll them out more easily.)  Cut the rolled out dough into 1 ½ inch squares.  Bake 15 minutes at 350° or until lightly browned.  Turn off the oven and leave the crackers inside to crisp up.  Store tightly covered.

That’s all there is to it!  I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that my kids will eat the entire pan of these (before Matt and I get some) in one ten minute time frame.  They LOVE these!  So much for trying to make a snack to “have on hand”.  Guess I oughta double the recipe, huh?

Whole Wheat Crackers

Homemade Heart Crackers with Cheese and Turkey

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 cup oil (I use coconut oil)
1/2 cup water

Mix flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Stir in oil and water until a ball of dough has formed. Roll dough very thin, about 1/16 inch thickness on a cookie sheet. (I find it’s easiest to roll dough between two pieces of parchment paper.) Use small heart cookie cutter to shape crackers. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12 minutes. Turn off the oven, but allow crackers to sit inside while it cools. This will dry out the crackers so that they become crispy.

For square crackers, use a knife to cut the dough into 1 inch squares after rolling it onto a cookie sheet.

Whole Wheat Crackers

Homemade Heart Crackers with Cheese and Turkey

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 cup oil (I use coconut oil)
1/2 cup water

Mix flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Stir in oil and water until a ball of dough has formed. Roll dough very thin, about 1/16 inch thickness on a cookie sheet. (I find it’s easiest to roll dough between two pieces of parchment paper.) Use small heart cookie cutter to shape crackers. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12 minutes. Turn off the oven, but allow crackers to sit inside while it cools. This will dry out the crackers so that they become crispy.

For square crackers, use a knife to cut the dough into 1 inch squares after rolling it onto a cookie sheet.

Healthy Treat for Today: Homemade Whole Wheat Graham Crackers!

Here’s the promised graham cracker recipe!  These crackers are crunchy-crispy…and taste SO GOOD!  Oh, I hope you love them like we do!

Okay, and if you love the Honey Graham Cracker recipe, you’ll LOVE the fact that you can also make CHOCOLATE Graham Crackers!!!  Just add 1/3 cup cocoa to the recipe.  YUM!!!!

Whole Wheat Honey Graham Crackers

2 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup sucanat (dehydrated cane sugar juice)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
4 Tablespoons honey
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Melt stick of butter in a pan on the stove.  Set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sucanat, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
4. Add the liquids: honey, water, vanilla and melted butter.
5. Stir well until a nice ball of dough is formed.
6. Cut two pieces of Parchment paper the size of the cookie sheet.
7. Lay one piece of parchment paper on the cookie sheet.
8. Place the ball of dough on the parchment paper.
9. Lay the other piece of parchment paper on top of the ball of dough.  Squish dough down a little with your fist.
10. Use the rolling pin to roll the dough between the pieces of parchment paper.  Roll until the dough covers the whole cookie sheet.

Malachi is finishing up the rolling for Mama!

11. Remove the top piece of parchment paper.  Cut rolled dough into 2 inch squares, or cut shapes with cookie cutters, being sure to separate the shapes from the surrounding dough a little.

Here’s a shot of the chocolate graham crackers
cut into squares and ready to bake.

Malachi is using little cookie cutters to make “animal crackers”!

12. Bake in oven for 18 minutes.
13. Turn oven off, but leave crackers in the oven to get crisp.
14. Remove from oven after 30 minutes to one hour.  Break graham crackers apart.
15. Store in a air tight container.

Here’s a plate of the Chocolate Graham Crackers.
(Got milk?)

My kids get SO EXCITED when I make these!  They are a GREAT snack to have on hand!  Try them and see what you think!  :)

Menu Plan For the Week – with more freezer cooking plans

So…freezer cooking this week.  Are you in?  Most importantly, do you have your chicken?  :)  You can check out all the plans, download the grocery list, and access the recipes here.  Make plans to join us this week!

Black Bean Chicken Nachos

Here’s our menu plan for the week, which of course, includes a lot of chicken.  I also added in some coconut flour recipes since I found such a great deal on coconut flour yesterday:

Sunday, April 6
Homemade instant oatmeal, pears
Sloppy joes, carrot sticks, fruit
Small group fellowship:  Nacho bar

Monday, April 7
Green machine milkshakes, coconut flour muffins
Chicken chef salad with tons of veggie choices, crispy cheese crackers
Pizza boats, fruit salad, raw veggies

Tuesday, April 8
Scrambled eggs, quick mix biscuits, kiwi
Black bean chicken nachos, fresh pineapple, sweet peppers and cucumbers
Shepherds pie, tossed salad, strawberries

Wednesday, April 9
Whole wheat waffles, blueberries, whipped cream
Crock pot barbecue chicken breast sandwiches, creamy coleslaw, carrots and cucumbers with ranch, peaches
Tuna casserole, peas, tossed salad

Thursday, April 10
Poptarts, fried eggs, bananas
Taco corn fritters, pineapple mango smoothies green beans
Bacon wrapped cream cheese chicken (recipe in {Healthy} Make-Ahead Meals and Snacks eBook), tossed salad, roasted asparagus

Friday, April 11
Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, applesauce
Turkey ranch pinwheels, chocolate milkshakes, grape tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers
Potato soup, sweet peppers, tossed salad, coconut flour cheddar drop biscuits

Saturday, April 12
Cranberry white chocolate chip breakfast cookies, fried eggs, oranges
Chicken noodle soup, tossed salad

Did you sign up for BudgetFocus and take advantage of the big discount they’re offering?  Budgeting made simple!

How to Stretch a Meal When Extra Company Comes

How To Stretch a Meal When Extra Company Comes 2

Matt only knew my paternal grandmother for a few years before she died.  One of his favorite memories of her is the response she gave after being told that extra people were coming to join us for a meal.  “Great!  I’ll just add more water to the soup,” she said with a chuckle.  Seeing as we weren’t having soup that day, he then watched in amazement as she “added water” to stretch the meal she had prepared.

Grandma seemed to make more food appear out of no where, and in record time, too.  The table was soon filled with all varieties of goodness.  The little bowls of this and the small dishes of that didn’t look like they would feed the number of people we were anticipating.  But sure enough, just like the loaves and the fish, Grandma had enough to fill us all with twelve (give or take) baskets left over.

What was Grandma’s secret?  Well, she just always had a good supply of food on hand.  And not just frozen meat that would take hours of time to thaw and prepare.  I’m talking about home-canned fruits and vegetables, homemade bread and cookies – food that she could pull out and feed people in a moment’s notice.

This Sunday, I was blessed with the opportunity to “add water to my soup.”  We already had plans for another family of 6 to join us for lunch after church.  Their 6 plus our 6 would equal 12.  (Thank you, Laura, for stating the obvious.)  I was making a roast, carrots, potatoes, and gravy.  My friend was bringing rolls.  It would be a simple, nothing-fancy, but tasty meal.

Then, at the last minute, a friend of my brother’s family needed a meet-up place here in Nebraska.  The friend would come here, my brother’s family would drive up from Kansas and pick him up, and guess what?  They’d make it in time for church.  Bliss!  I got to worship with my brother and his family of 6 and feed them all afterward!

So let’s see here.  Six plus six is twelve, plus six more - that’s 18.  Then there was my brother’s friend who was meeting us by lunchtime.  Did I mention he was a 6’8″ college athlete?  And last but not least, a friend of Elias’ needed a place to hang out after church while his family headed out of town.  That made a total of 20 people.  Super fun.

Thankfully, I had decided to make two roasts instead of just one - just in case.  I had loaded the roasting pan with potatoes and carrots.  I caught my friend (the one already planning to come over with her family) between class and worship, filled her in on the crazy, and asked her to pick up extra rolls – plus maybe a bucket of ice cream?  She was happy to help stretch our meal.

Once I got home after church and started making gravy, I also started a big pot of green beans and another big pot of corn.  Our simple meal remained simple, yet because there were so many different foods to choose from (roast, potatoes, carrots, gravy, rolls, green beans, corn, ice cream), it looked like a feast.  We had plenty to go around and even a little bit left over.  Phew!

All of that to say, when it comes to hospitality and being able to say, “The more the merrier!” always try to have a few key foods on hand to help stretch your meal.  Here are a few items I’ve thought of that you might have on hand to pull out and serve quickly, or that you can grab at the store if you have time/accessibility:

  • Frozen food that cooks quickly like green beans, peas, or corn
  • Applesauce
  • Canned peaches, pears, or mandarin oranges
  • A jar of pickles
  • A can of olives
  • Quick breads or muffins you might have in your freezer
  • Fresh fruit like strawberries, sliced apples, oranges, or grapes
  • A fruit salad, mixing several different fruits you have on hand
  • Canned or fresh pineapple poured into a nest of cottage cheese
  • Raw veggies like carrots sticks, celery, sweet peppers, or cucumber slices
  • Crackers and sliced cheese
  • Tossed salad
  • Grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Chips and salsa
  • Dessert such as cookies or ice cream

If you’re opening a can or jar, I suggest pouring its contents into a nice serving bowl to make your “spread” look tasty and welcoming for your guests.  Did you grab a bag of prepared salad on the fly?  Pour it into a bowl and throw in some grape tomatoes to make it pretty.

Don’t hesitate to ask your guests to pick something up at the store on their way to your house (especially if they offer or ask what they can bring).  Most of the foods on the list above take little to no prep time, but will stretch your meal and offer your guests a delicious variety.

What would you add to this list?  What have you found works well to stretch a meal to feed extra people?

Food Is Nourishment. What a Concept. {31 Days to Real Food Reality ~ Day 6}

31 Days 300

It was way back in my “eating low-fat” days as a college student and young married gal.  I would eat a bowl of low-fat cereal with skim milk for breakfast.  Lunch might be a turkey sandwich with low fat mayo on “light” bread, and a side of fat free chips (aka salted cardboard).  For a snack, I’d have Pepsi and Twizzlers, which are both fat free.  Dinner would be any variety of food made with skinless chicken breast, white pasta or potatoes, and maybe a salad with fat free dressing.  At the end of the day, I would feel great about how I’d eaten for the day.  “I’ve had hardly any fat today!” I would say to myself.

That’s what I thought it meant to eat healthy.

There is a common truth in the way I used to think about eating and what I know believe about eating:  I need to be aware of what I’m putting into my mouth because it is important to eat a healthy diet.  What I didn’t recognize then, however, was that food isn’t just meant to fill a hole.  Food is meant to nourish us.


I was getting very little nourishment when I ate a low-fat diet.  Why?  Because nourishment wasn’t my focus.  My focus was on avoiding fat, not on consuming nutrients.  Somehow, candy and soda made it on my “healthy” list.

Is It Nourishing

Whether eating low-fat or not, I’m going to venture to suggest that there are many who are consuming very little nourishment.  Even people who over-eat.  How can this be?  Well, there are many edible products on the market that fill a hole, but offer very little nourishment.  What nutrients are found in a bag of chips?   A slice of white bread?  A box of crackers?  A box of cereal?  A slice of American cheese?

Please don’t hear me heaping on guilt to those of you who are still eating many of those foods.  Hey, I eat chips, cereal, and crackers sometimes too.  It’s fun, it tastes good, and we enjoy the occasional treat.  But I also know that if that’s all we were eating, we would not be receiving much nourishment – I don’t care how fortified the box claims its contents to be.

When making healthy food choices, we must always consider how much nourishment it will give our bodies.  Crackers are a fun snack and may hold our kids over until dinner, but are they doing much to give their bodies needed nutrients and fuel?

A well-balanced diet of healthy fats, lots of fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy, rich broths, nuts, and few whole grains will give our body what it needs to thrive!  When not given foods filled with nutrients, our bodies can make do for a while, but then we become depleted and sick.  Sickness takes on many forms, from sluggishness to disease to everything in between.

So when making food choices, ask yourself, “Is this going to nourish me?”

Fill your body with food meant to nourish!  What’s great: Nourishment comes in all forms of deliciousness.  Our list of options for real food nourishment is longer than my leg, because God is good to give us wonderful variety!  This real food thing just keeps getting better all the time, doesn’t it?

What’s your favorite form of nourishment?  When you picture foods that fuel the body well, what foods comes to mind?

24-Hours Only! The Gluten and Grain Free Bundle is Back

When Bundle of the Week ran this special back in March, it was a popular one.  And so, through 8:00 Saturday morning only, the Gluten and Grain Free ebook bundle deal is back!

gf bundle

Going grain-free can be overwhelming for families dealing with gluten-intolerance or Celiac disease, and this week’s bundle includes more than 275 gluten-free and  grain-free recipes plus a wealth of information and tips from the  authors’ own experiences. Today only, get all 5 ebooks for just $7.40 (a savings of more than 80%)!

Against the Grain by Kate Tietje Grain-free doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, it can include  all kinds of interesting flavors, spices, and even sauces. Against the  Grain is a cookbook full of delicious, fun to eat, whole food recipes  that are grain-free — and mostly dairy-free and GAPS-friendly as well. You’ll  even find a few bread and dessert recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Beyond Grain & Dairy by Starlene Stewart In Beyond Grain & Dairy, Starlene shares 113 grain-free recipes that contain no grains, no gluten, no dairy, no soy, no corn, no gums and no processed sugars. With full-color photos and a handy ingredients index  to help you find recipes by ingredient, Starlene has put together a  cookbook to show you that there’s no reason to feel deprived!

The Grain-Free Snacker by Carol Lovett Going grain-free doesn’t mean you have to give up tasty snacks, and in  this brand new ebook, Carol offers more than 45+ homemade, grain-free  recipes — everything from gluten-free dorito chips, crackers and cookies to ice cream, frozen treats and mini pizzas.

Best of the Grain Free Meal Plans by Cara Faus Cara has helped people from all over the world enjoy their  grain-free transition with her meal plans, and she’s now packaged the  best of her menu planning service in a helpful, full-color cookbook.  With more than 70 child-friendly, easy-to-follow recipes for busy  households, this ebook makes going gluten-free fun and exciting rather  than stressful and overwhelming.

Gluten Free and Good for You by Kimberlee Tandy & Laura Coppinger Filled with tips and information to help you to eat gluten-free or serve gluten-free meals and snacks to family members and friends who have  special dietary needs, Gluten Free and Good for You is both a handbook  and a cookbook that uses basic, everyday ingredients that you’re likely to have on hand in your kitchen. Laura and Kim make gluten-free cooking accessible for every family!

You can’t beat this deal - so if you want it get it now.  This price will only be good for 24 hours!

Click here to learn more about this bundle and to purchase.

Menu Plan for the Week

It’s been a strangely quiet weekend. Matt was gone for two days with the soccer team in Iowa.  Asa and Justus, our oldest, were out at their beloved church camp for a state-wide youth rally.  That left just Elias, Malachi, and me at home.  It’s been strange to only have two kids here, and I got loads of work done.  Why?  Because I let my younger two have more technology time than normal.  Plus I didn’t cook for two days.  Not one thing.  I splurged on bread, lunch meat, and sliced cheese and we ate sandwiches and fruit whenever we felt like it.  It was a vacation.

Our normal and busy will start up again on Monday, and I’ll be ready.  But the break was needed and I feel refreshed.

Here’s our menu plan for this week:

Monday, September 2
Almond flour muffins, raspberries
Creamy mac and cheese, peas
Grilled bbq chicken, crock pot baked potatoes, tossed salad, green beans

Tuesday, September 3
Fried eggs, pineapple mango smoothies
Tuna salad on tomatoes and lettuce, crispy cheese crackers, baby carrots
Teriyaki chicken and veggies

Wednesday, September 4
Peanut butter pancakes, bananas
Black bean salsa, chips, cantaloupe
Chicken patty sandwiches, fresh tomatoes, potato wedges, steamed broccoli

Thursday, September 5
Strawberry bread, applesauce
Crustless pizza, fruit salad
Chicken fried steak strips, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas

Friday, September 6
Homemade grape nuts cereal, blueberries
Pigs in a blanket, baby carrots, strawberries
Italian pasta bake, tossed salad

Saturday, September 7
Homemade poptarts, cantaloupe
Burgers on the grill, corn on the cob, watermelon

Have you been doing anything special for Labor Day weekend?  Hope you were able to find some refreshment!