Sunday, May 25, 2008

Almost like Lesley Stowe Crackers

Just before we get into today's recipe and oh boy, it's a good one - let's just take a minute to have an award ceremony.

Our kindred spirit That Girl at Paved With Good Intentions" has so generously offered up this "I Love You This Much Award". We're so grateful and coming from That Girl makes it even so much more special. Thank you (bowing) - let's have a group hug now. In keeping with the sharing of these awards, Psychgrad and I always have this ..ahem...conversation about who we should be sharing it with. A lot of energy goes into making blogs interesting so that people will want to come back and visit (kind of like making friends), entertaining enough without being offensive and filled with recipes that whet the appetite (literally).

This time round our picks are:

1. Grace at A Southern Grace" who always makes me smile. She has this honesty about her and writes in a way that just makes you want to keep on reading.

2. Vicarious Foodie " a self proclaimed mayonnaise lover is my go to person any time I want to find a celebrity chef type recipe. And the photography..oh my - if only my best pictures looked like her worst.

3. Fellow Torontonian Big Black Dog". First of all, anybody who names their food blog Big Black Dog really deserves a hug. More importantly, when your dogs are so important, it tells me that you're heart is in the right place and when you couple a love of food with a love of animals, how can you possibly not deserve this award (not to mention of course the recipes are great too)

4. Claudia at Cook, Eat, Fret who just seems to always pull it together and has learned to adapt and thrive no matter what.

5. Culinary Bazaar" who sees food as an art and so successfully captures what she sets out to see. I would gladly take any of her pictures and put them up on the wall of my kitchen. Gorgeous!!!

Now - on to the recipe of the day. How many of you have ever made crackers? It seems like the most unlikely thing to do in the kitchen. But, when your favourites are about $6.00/box and the box is pretty small, it's worth giving it a shot - no? After much research I found this recipe and decided to give it a try.


Combine in a bowl:

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup flax or wheat germ (I used wheat germ)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, chopped
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp brown sugar

Set aside.

In a saucepan, over low heat, for less than one minute, combine:

1/4 cup buttermilk (for vegans add a little vinegar to soy milk)
2 tbsp blackstrap molasses

Gradually add wet ingredients to dry until dough just starts to hold together. (I didn't use all the liquid for this to happen)

Roll as thinly as possible between two sheets of parchment paper and bake with both sheets of parchment paper still in tact in a slow oven (250 degrees) for one hour.

After 30 minutes, take off top sheet of parchment paper

When one hour is up, turn off oven with crisps still inside. Go watch t.v., read a book, do some work - just forget about them.

Come back a few hours later when they're completely dried and break into bite-sized pieces.

Store in moisture resistent container (glass works)

Verdict: As much as I'm crazy about Lesley Stowe crackers - these are a fraction of the cost and really crunchy and flavourful.

For those who don't know what Lesley Stowe crackers are - I would call them the designer cracker that comes in a variety of flavours and fabulous with a variety of nice cheeses. My favourite so far is the combination of cracker and goat cheese or feta cheese with cranberry.

There's no question that I would make these again. Next time I'll add dried mango, dried cranberry and maybe something peppery. (one ingredient per batch)
I would package these in a rustic package combined with a nice cheese and a bow as a house warming gift. StumbleUpon


Michelle said...

Ahhh....thanks for the Awared Giz!

Truly and absolutely appreciated.

Psssst....I'm a Michigander presently living in IL.

giz said...

Gee...sorry Michelle - why did I think you were from Toronto? Oops

Bellini Valli said...

Congratulations on your award guys. These crackers would be exceptional with my fridge full of goats cheese:D

Vicarious Foodie said...

Thanks Giz! I love that award--it's so cute. Thanks again!

cook eat FRET said...

i'm honored and faklempt. thanks for liking what i do. you're not so shabby yourownself...

blog on my cyber friends... blog on...

OhioMom said...

Oh I like these, now another recipe to add to the 'to do' list.

Congrats on the awards :)

Lori Lynn said...

I'm picturing your rustic gift package with homemade crackers, cheese and a bow. Simply lovely.

Kevin said...

I have not tried making crackers yet. Those crackers look good and sound healthy.

That Girl said...

We tend to just have crackers for company - but these would make for an extra special occasion.

Emiline said...

The crackers sound so wholesome and delicious.

I've only made crackers once, and I don't remember them turning out so well...

Grace said...

awww, you guys! my cheeks are on fire--thanks so much!

nicisme said...

Lovely looking crackers, must give them a go!

noble pig said...

I've never made crackers before, I never thought they would turn out well. However, these look simple and I adore Lesley Stowe crackers. Good money saving tip.

Neen said...

I love the idea behind this award! It's so perfect for how I feel about so many fellow bloggers: warm and fuzzy!

Heather said...

Congratulations on a much-deserved award, and thank you for turning me on to new blogs!

Those crackers look really healthy, and I bet a schmear of goat cheese would really be perfect. :)

glamah16 said...

My first vist.I have heard a lot about you two. Great Blog. Thank you Giz for dropping by. I love the idea of making your own crackers. Great inspiration to experiment more.

Rosie said...

Congrats on your award so well deserved!! Those crackers look awesome guys!!

Rosie x

Ruth Elkin said...

Congrats on the award, it's very well deserved - the 2 of you are very lovable!!! And you've picked some great blogs to award them to, some of them are new to me!

Great cracker recipe as well... good to hear you'll be saving a little money by making these.

Elle said...

Congratulations on your award! Crackers are something I've always wanted to try making--these look especially good! And good for you, too!

Deborah said...

I always say that I'm going to make my own crackers, but I never do. I'm feeling inspired right now!

LisaRene said...

Glad to hear they were a success. I saw a "knock off" recipe on Eipcurious but have yet to give it a try. I love the Lesley Stowe crackers with goat cheese and a bit of chutney or blue cheese and a drizzle of honey, ooooh, so many good ways to eat these crackers!

kittie said...

Ooooo - never tried lesley stowe's but I do have a penchant for posh crackers!
I was just over at Lisa's kitchen - she did some goat's cheese balls that would be divine with these!

Elle said...

These crackers sound a little sweet, but nice and crunchy and very 'designer'. My hubby would love them.

The Casual Baker said...

Hi, just happened across your blog and thought I'd pass along this great Lesley Stowe knock-off recipe I tried the other day. It's twice-baked, a bit like biscotti.