Low Carb Crunchy Flax Crackers

Thanks to blood sugar issues, I gotta watch my carbs.  But I love crunchy food!!!

Good thing I found flax crackers. The first few times I made these, I made them with regular flaxmeal, and I gotta say, the smell was not . . . appetizing.  Then I found Golden Flaxmeal from Bob’s Red Mill and now I’m making these every two weeks or so.  When I have a craving for something crunchy (which is like, nearly every day!), this is my go to snack.  I’ve even taken them on business trips in a tupperware in my suitcase. Watch TV in the hotel room and have a crunchy snack!

not worried about carbs? that’s cool. these are gluten free, vegan, and paleo-friendly. It’s just flax, water, and spices.  What could be easier??  nothin’, that’s what.  Nearly every recipe you find online will be 2 parts flaxmeal to one part water. But beyond that, that’s where you can get creative!

flax crackers are done

Flax Crackers

you’ll need: Mixing bowl, fork, unrimmed cookie sheet, parchment paper

1 cup Flaxmeal (I like Bob’s Red Mill Golden Flaxmeal)

1/2 cup water

salt & pepper to taste

couple of shakes oregano

pinch dried crushed rosemary

flax crackers ingredients

 

Preheat oven to 400.  Line an unrimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper. The parchment paper is non-negotiable. Keep reading, you’ll see why.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix well with a fork. The mixture will be very, very wet.  Let it sit uncovered for about 10 minutes, so that it dries out a tiny bit and so the flaxmeal can absorb more of the water.

flax mixed

Most of the recipes I’ve seen online call for you to roll out the “dough” on a greased countertop, with a greased rolling pin. Seriously? Roll this stuff out? Are you kidding??? This isn’t dough, it’s batter!  Trust me when I say this stuff is WAY too sticky to roll, and it is not worth the hassle. Use a fork to put a blob on your parchment paper lined cookie sheet, and use the fork to smush and smear it down into a very thin layer. The thinner you can get it, the better.   See how wet this is? Can you imagine putting this right on your cookie sheet?  yep,  parchment paper is your friend!

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A fried egg makes everything better

A fried egg really does make everything better.

I donated blood yesterday, and spent most of yesterday afternoon snoozing on the sofa and eating everything in sight. I have an epic bruise on my arm today! Now that I’ve got some energy back, I wanted to make some comfort food.  Which means eggs!   This recipe makes enough for one, but it is easily scaled up.

 

1/2 bunch swiss chard, cleaned very well

1/2 sweet pepper, diced

butter and or oil, 1/2 tbsp

1 garlic clove, minced

a little bit of minced ginger, optional

salt and pepper

1 egg

Cut the stems from the chard, and cut stems into small pieces.  Heat the  butter or oil in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the stem pieces, stirring occasionally. After a few minutes, add in the diced sweet pepper  and cook for another 5 minutes.  The stem pieces will give up some moisture, and will shrink up a little bit like onion does when you saute it.

While that is going, roll up the large chard leaves into a tight tube and very thinly slice the tube so that you get thin ribbons of chard.  Into the skillet add some black pepper and salt, and stir in the garlic (and ginger, if using). When the garlic and ginger become fragrant, dump in all the chard ribbons and stir them in.  They will wilt very quickly. I like my greens very wilted, but at this point the veggies are done at whatever level of wilted you like.  once cooked down to your preference, put all the greens from the frying pan into a bowl.

Crack and egg and fry it in the oil and moisture that’s left in the frying pan. You can add more oil if you need to, but you should have enough.  Put your fried egg on top of your grees in your bowl, and enjoy!

 

greens n eggs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#AmCooking

It’s been a cold, gloomy, slushy, sleety day.

 

luckily, my kitchen is full of warmth and deliciousness!!

I defrosted some home made gingerbread cake from the freezer

I made flax crackers

baked potatoes are cooling, are soon to become potato skins with cheese, green onions, and bacon

minestrone is going on the stove

I’ll most likely blend some minced green onions with cream cheese later as a decandent schmear for my flax crackers.

Yum!

 

 

 

 

Egg Drop soup made simple

what’s your favorite soup at the Chinese Restaurant?

Eggdrop Soup!!

(I feel like in an alternate universe those sentences could be sung to the tune of the Spongebob Squarepants song, but I’m weird, ok?)

egg-drop-soup

Eggdrop soup is fantastic. It’s warm and soft and comforting, and it’ll cure what ails ya.  This recipe over at one of my favorite cooking websites The Kitchn, looks super easy and I’m sure it’s crazy delicious, but I’m lazy in the kitchen so I made it even simpler. But if you want to add mushrooms or ginger or tofu, that The Kitchn recipe will really come in handy for you. Hubs isn’t a huge fan of this dish, so I made just enough for one person, and it all came together in about 5 minutes. here’s what you’ll need to make one serving of egg drop soup:

2-3 cups chicken broth (from the chicken you roasted up, of course)

splash of soy sauce

1 tsp + 1/2 tsp cornstarch

one green onion, chopped thinly, on the diagonal

2 eggs

put your broth in a saucepan with a splash of soy and the white parts of the green onion. Bring to a boil.  ladle out about 1/3 cup broth and put it in a bowl. Whisk 1 tsp cornstarch into the bowl, and return this thickened broth to the pot.  Bring back to a boil, and then turn down a simmer.  beat the eggs in a small bowl (I used the same one I used for broth+starch, because one less thing to wash!), and whisk in 1/2 tsp cornstarch.

there’s two ways you can add your eggs to the soup, one way will give you egg shreds, the other way will give you egg ribbons.  Either way, the soup should just be at a simmer when you add the eggs.

if you want egg shreds – use one hand to continually whisk the soup in the pot, and with the other hand very carefully drizzle in the egg mixture.

if you want egg ribbons – very carefully drizzle the egg mixture over the barely simmering soup. The egg will slowly sink into the soup and cook as it sinks.

After you’ve added your eggs, let the soup cook another minute or so, just long enough to cook the eggs, and then pour into a bowl.   Garnish with the rest of the thinly sliced green onions.

Enjoy!

Butter makes it better. Also? Salt.

We do a lot of whole chickens in my house.  Cook up an entire chicken (or turkey), have dinner, have sandwiches, have chicken salad, and make chicken stock from the carcass. All that from one chicken!

We’ve all had dry boring chickens.  Gravy boat was invented for a reason.

But your chicken can be insanely moist and flavorful!  The secret?  Lots of butter, and salt. I’m not talking Paula Deen quantities of butter, and don’t get scared away by using some salt. it’s kitchen chemistry magic!

I am a huge fan of compound butter. It’s basically softened butter that is mashed up with a bunch of other flavorings like herbs, garlic, spices, and such.  Every time I make a whole bird, I make a compound butter with a half stick of butter, some dried thyme, fresh or dried parsley,  minced craisins, and sometimes I will chop up some pistachios if I want to be extra fancy. Use the herbs and dried fruit that you like. It’s the butter that’s important. That means don’t use margarine or any of that not-butter stuff.  if you want the benefits of butter, you gotta use the real stuff.

To prep your bird for roasting,  rinse it off in the sink, and then pat dry with paper towels. put 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt in the cavity.  Other yummy aromatics to put in the cavity – chopped onion, parsley, celery, I’ve even done orange chunks.  Arrange your bird in a roasting pan, and prepare to get messy.

Loosen the skin all over the breast, thighs, and legs, and smear the butter mixture under the skin, getting into all the nooks and crannies. Smear butter over the entire outside of the chicken as well, including the legs and wings.

Many cookbooks call for different roasting temps and times, and everyone’s oven and roasting pan is different. You do you, but with a butter covered chicken you’ll get browned skin and moist meat.

here’s why this works, or at least why I think it works.  The butter creates a water resistant cloak around the chicken, and the salt helps draw moisture out from the inside out. All that moisture has no where to go because the butter locks it in, so it stays in the meat. The flavors in your compound butter help season the meat while it cooks.

This method has always worked for me, so I hope it works for you too!

 

 

 

 

In defense of day drinking

I’m a huge fan of having a beer, or a glass of wine, or a shot of whiskey at three in the afternoon.  Need that 2:30pm cup of coffee to get you through the rest of the afternoon? I highly recommend adding a shot of Jameson’s.

I used to have my beer or glass of wine with dinner, or while watching tv after dinner.  But then, if I wanted to go somewhere after dinner? Up to the grocery store to pick some things up, or a joyous Target run, or going out to a friends house after dinner?  hey, I’ve been drinking, so those car keys are off limits! Guess I’ll spend another evening in.  #sadface

that’s the genius behind day drinking.  Have a drink (or two) in the afternoon, and you’re sobered up by dinnertime.  You can drive safely, use super sharp knives in the kitchen safely, entertain the inlaws without slurring your words, do whatever you want, because you’ve already sobered up, yet you still have that happy warm memory of a recent buzz.

Life your life on your own schedule.   If you typically get 8 hours of sleep and have 1 drink a day,  that doesn’t mean you have to sleep for 8 hours in a row or sleep when everyone else is sleeping or wait until dinnertime or cocktail hour to have your drink.

 

 

secret language

do you have a secret language with anyone? Your significant other, your best friend, your kid, your dad? a secret language that is all in-jokes and movies lines and things only that person understands?

My husband and I have a secret language full of movie quotes, science fiction references, video game references, and other injokes. I don’t know if we could go 24 hours without one of these references. Shit, I don’t know if we could go 12 hours.

And I feel like it strengthens our relationship to have so many private in-jokes. A term we were throwing around earlier today was “peach cookie”. It’s a reference to a low level health power up in a video game we both played years ago, and I say it in a particular tone of voice that imitates a character from an online flash cartoon called “Radiskull and Devil Doll” from back when flash was a brand new thing and google barely existed. In our private language, “peach cookie” means something is fun and will help you feel better either physically or emotionally, along with the emotional connection of “I have been with you since we saw this flash cartoon and since we played this video game, and I have happy memories of experiencing those things with you”. I can communicate all of that by just saying “peach cookie” in a particular tone of voice.

My husband loves the movie Buckaroo Banzai. I’m just lukewarm on it. We do the call and response of “what’s the watermelon for”, “I’ll tell you later”. That call and response means I have a special and very strong bond with you and every time we use this phrase or anything from our secret language that bond gets stronger.

I hope everyone reading this has a secret language with someone. A language full of in-jokes and references, and little ways you tell that person how strong your bond is with them, and that every day it gets stronger.