Rae goes into the kitchen and emerges with something other than an empty oreo box

Warning: this post is about food and not at all about sewing (I know, right? where did THAT come from?)

On Monday, in a not entirely unprecedented flurry of domesticity I decided to make whole wheat crackers.  I know, strange.  I’m not a huge cook, although baking is a little more up my alley. But you’re still thinking, crackers?  Let’s just say my kids (yes, both of them) eat about a metric ton of crackers each week and as most store-bought crackers have next to no nutritional merit I’ve been looking for a heathier replacement. Also: I always keep a box of flaxseed meal in the house and this seemed like a decent way to get it into our bodies where it could do some good.  I was pleasantly surprised a) at how easy they were and b) that they actually resembled crackers when I was finished. The key to a really good cracker is rolling it really super duper double dog thin and then baking the heck out of it so it’s nice and crispy.  Listen to me, I sound like a pro already.

Sorry if this grosses you out, I’m not exactly a food photographer.  Oh, did I mention I also made spinach and artichoke dip?  I mean, you can’t eat wheat crackers alone!?!

The crackers are a combination of this recipe from All-Recipes.com (yes, yes, the poor man’s Epicurious, but I am way too amateur for all that foodiness) and the comments that people left on the recipe, which you might want to peruse for tips and variations and such.  And would you also like my spinach dip recipe?  OK, OK. I made this one up myself after failing to find a single spinach dip recipe that does NOT call for frozen spinach.  We eat fresh spinach all the time over here and it seems like we always have the end of a bag sitting in our crisper.  Frozen spinach, on the other hand is something I would have to make a concerted effort to find at the store (or rather Mr Rae would, as it is he who buys all of our groceries) and is therefore, in my opinion, more annoying.

WHOLE WHEAT CRACKERS

1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/4 c flaxseed meal
3/4 tsp salt
1 c water
1/3 c olive oil
salt and garlic salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 F/180 C.  Combine ingredients until just blended (I ended up with some extra flour at the bottom and pretty dry dough.  Just toss the extra flour, you’ll still get plenty of crackers).  Divide dough into quarters and roll between two pieces of wax paper or parchment paper until it is super duper double dog thin, like a wheat thin.  If dough is a little sticky lightly flour it before rolling.  Place each rolled quarter of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet (you can bake it right on the parchment paper if you want but I reused mine for rolling).  Score with knife but don’t cut all the way through.  Poke holes with fork to give professional-cracker look.  Sprinkle with salt and/or garlic salt.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until brown and crispy (tap them with a fork to check).  Cool a bit and then crack them apart by hand.  If they are bendy at all and don’t crack apart easily, put them in for another 5 minutes.

SPINACH AND ARTICHOKE DIP

2 c chopped fresh spinach (doesn’t have to be exact, I think I used roughly a 1/4 of a small bag)
1/2 jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (12 or 14 oz jar)
2 garlic cloves, minced (this is really garlicky, maybe just use one if you’re not a huge garlic fan)
1/2 c plain yogurt*
1/2 c cream cheese*
1/2 c mayonnaise*
1 c mozzarella cheese*
1/4 c parmesan cheese*
1/2 tsp worchestershire sauce (“wooster”)
dash cayenne

Throw ingredients in a saucepan on low to medium-low heat until spinach wilts and cheese melts and it bubbles a bit. You can also bake this in the oven in a baking dish but I find that too fussy.  Let it cool and serve.  It’s good warm or cold.  With wheat crackers.

*I’ve found you can adjust the amounts of the creamy stuff and the cheeses quite alot without changing this dip.  For instance you can put more mayo in if you don’t have cream cheese, and one time I used sour cream instead of the yogurt and cream cheese and it was still great.  The mozzerella and parmesan are the same way; there’s a lot of play here which makes this recipe pretty fail-proof.  I mean honestly it’s just a bunch of deliciously bad things thrown in with spinach and artichokes.  Easy, peasy.

19 thoughts on “Rae goes into the kitchen and emerges with something other than an empty oreo box

  1. That's Great!! My kids eat tons of those Triscuits! I suppose a person could also add dried herbs like rosemary and sea salt, or oregano to change them up a bit! Thanks, I think I may try these tomorrow.

  2. Thanks for sharing! Those are some great looking recipes. I will have to try them. I've never seen a recipe using the fresh spinach before. I bet it tastes much better with the fresh spinach too!
    You will have to add your recipe to allrecipes.com if you haven't yet.
    =^..^=

  3. Recipes? YAY!

    PS. Homemade graham crackers are better tasting and healthier than storebought. Also easy and cheap!

  4. Your post titles, as always, make me laugh. I don't remember any funny people like you teaching at MY high school. Keep up the good humour!

  5. I love trying to make new things. Our family goes through a lot of bread and since we would always buy the super cheap (which equals no nutrition) bread I knew I could make the healthier stuff for less $$. Now I make most of the bread we eat.

    And as for a cooking post and no sewing post…
    if we didn't eat we wouldn't have the strength to make all the beautiful things we would like to make. =)

  6. Oh I love spinach and artichoke dip. I could sit there with a spoon and eat it directly out of the bowl. It's also delightful with fresh homemade french bread! :0) mmm…

  7. Thanks, Rae!

    I've tried making crackers before and they didn't turn out so great. I'm going to try your tips and recipe and see what I get. (Your crackers look great!)

    I also love spinach-artichoke dip, so thanks for that recipe too!

  8. Ahhh! Crackers. Great idea–Lately, I've been trying to use real ingredients to make my own versions of all of the horrible, over-processed, chemical-laden crap that my kids love. Crackers are definitely one of their staples, but I didn't even think about making some. I wonder if they make mini fish-shaped cookie cutters?

  9. I've gotten pretty good at biscuits, noodles, and pie crusts…crackers were next on my list. Thanks for the recipe! Would you say these would stand up to getting cut (pre-baking) into fun shapes, or are they the kind of thing that should definitely be square?

  10. Making these this weekend. Why not? We have a similar cracker consumption dilemma. I think my 11 yr old boy eats his weight in crackers and pasta a week(109 lbs). I am always wondering how to make sure that carb load is healthier.

  11. OK, so some of you have asked about the possibility of using a cookie cutter w/ these and making cool shapes, and while I think that would be so cool, one of the problems with this dough is that if it gets overhandled the crackers turn out dense and tough rather than light and crispy. So while the cut crackers would probably turn out great, the leftover dough that would have to be re-rolled might be a problem. Just sayin'…but go ahead and try!! I'd love to hear how these turn out for all of you.

  12. I made these over the weekend and they were a hit! Thank you so much for posting this. Now I need to find that graham cracker recipe…

  13. This has been on my to-do list to try since…well, since you posted it I guess. FINALLY got up the gumption to try them (crackers, not yet the dip) today and yummers! I was a tad overzealous with the sea salt on my first try but they are absolutely light and crispy and delish. And I CANNOT believe I made my own crackers. Now I feel like what CAN'T I do?!Look out world!

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