Friday, June 28, 2013

Garlic Parmesan Flax Seed Crackers

Have you tried the Garlic Parmesan Flax Seed Cracker recipe in GOOD FOOD? I make it at least every two weeks, simply because it smells so great, tastes so good, and provides that "crunch" we tend to miss when we get the junk food out of our lives.
This recipe can be tricky to make. Over the past 6 months or so, I have developed a somewhat easy method for preparation, and I thought it might be good to share it with you. If you read ALL the tips below, I know it will help you.

For those who do not have the book, here is the recipe.

1 cup flax seed meal
1/3 cup Italian Parmesan cheese, grated (To be on the safe side, I use a cheese that is a product of Italy ONLY)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 400 F.
1) Mix all ingredients together.
2) Spoon onto sheet pan which is covered with a silicone mat or greased parchment paper.
3) Cover the mixture with a piece of parchment or waxed paper. Even out the mixture to about 1/8 inch. I find a straight edge, like a ruler, works well. I also use a rolling pin and that does a good job of leveling the dough. The important thing is not to let it be too thin around the edges or that part will overcook before the center firms up. So after you spread it out, go around the edges with your finger and push the thin part inwards to even it up.
4) Bake until the center is no longer soft, about 15-18 minutes. If it starts to get more than a little brown around the edges, remove from oven. Let cool completely - it will continue to crisp up.
5) Break into pieces.

Note: Some cooks rolled the dough into balls and then flattened them with a cup measure.

I mix all the dry ingredients together, add the water and mix it all together. This forms a "ball of dough" which I form into a rectangular disc and place on a silicone baking pad in the middle of a cookie sheet. (If I didn't have the silicone pad, I would place the "disc" on a sheet of parchment paper big enough to cover the cookie sheet.) Then I cover the disc with another sheet of parchment, again big enough to cover the cookie sheet, and I roll out the "dough" between the two sheets with my rolling pin until it is approximately 1/8 of an inch thick. The rolled product covers nearly all of the cookie sheet. Rolling the dough between the two sheets allows the rolling pin to glide evenly without sticking, so getting it to 1/8 of an inch is much easier. Then I simply remove the top sheet of parchment, and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes. I set my cook timer for 15 minutes, and then WATCH the sheet of cracker VERY carefully, and AS SOON as the edges become dark, OUT of the oven it comes.

Here's another hint. Sometimes, when the outer edges are beginning to brown, the middle is not quite done. What I like to do, once the giant cracker has cooled, is to take the "softer" middle of the cracker and put it back in the turned-off oven. This helps to dry that middle so it will be nice and crunchy.

One of these giant crackers is supposed to be broken into smaller pieces and served with hummus or some other dip. In my family, this almost never happens, because breaking off pieces of the giant cracker is so irresistable when it is cooling, half of it is gone before we know it.

Maybe I should prepare two recipes.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Chicken With Artichokes and Mushrooms

Generally speaking, I find it necessary to slightly alter recipes I find online.  I "maximize" them, test them in my own kitchen, take pictures, and then post my results.  The following recipe is a rare and beautiful exception.  Chicken With Artichokes and Mushrooms is my new favourite recipe, but it comes directly from another blogger - the link is below.

The ingredients are simple.  In fact they are simpler than they appear.  The first time I made this dish, I had most of the ingredients on hand, but not all of the dried spices. Since the original blogger mentioned her own swap-outs, I decided to make the essential version without all the spices, and we were all thrilled with the results.  Recipes are like that - they are best when altered to suit your own time, ingredients, and taste! Go for it.

By the way, I am also using the original blogger's photo.  Ours did not last long enough to get a picture.

Here's the link. Chicken With Artichokes and Mushrooms


Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Here is a wonderful recipe that I found on a great website, "Tropical Traditions." I have mentioned this site before, because they feature coconut, a massively healthy ingredient. I only made tiny changes, but essentially the recipe below is directly from Tropical Traditions: 

  • 27 oz full fat coconut milk (In Canada, that's just under two cans, but I used two full cans. . .you can never have too much coconut milk)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 droppers full of liquid stevia.  You can use powdered stevia.  You are going for a sweetness factor equal to approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar. 
  • 2 tablespoons melted grass fed butter, (if you can not get grass-fed, organic is the next best option) 
  • 2-3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract - check the label to ensure there is no sugar in the ingredients
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour the blended mixture into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's directions.  I have an older ice cream maker, so I turned it on and added the mixture about 5 to 10 minutes before we sat down for dinner.  By the time we were ready for dessert, dessert was ready!