With such little time together these days (thanks to continuous overnighters from the Airline) Jesse and I bathe in our quality time together and shared meals. The joy we get from sitting down to an early evening glass of wine with some quality cheese..
Living in a gourmet-food-center of Calgary (Inglewood) we have a huge range of outstanding cheeses at our fingertips (with an extensive sales pitch and plenty of samples at the local groceteria to aid our decision). Sometimes, at these wine-and-cheese occasions, we include crackers, but only when we can get our hands on decent ones. Raincoast Crisps by Lesley Stowe (Vancouver) have become well popular in Canada. We first tried them at a dinner party in Norman Wells and, like the rest of the country, were pretty keen on them.
Because we are not ones to buy store bought anything (and because this blog is essentially called homemade in Spanish), I was stoked to find they are easily made at home.
With a stash of these on hand we are well equipped for an unscheduled sit down and catch up, for those rare occasions in which we find ourselves at the same place at the same time.
Almond, Cranberry & Rosemary Raincoast Crisps
Barely adapted recipe from fellow Calgary blog, Dinner with Julie
These freeze well, both before and after baking. I like to make two loaves, slice one and bake into crackers, and freeze the other. Alternatively I’ll make all the crackers and freeze half of them – both methods work great. The slight sweetness of the crackers mean they are great on their own too. Note: The loaves are much easier to slice thinly when very cold. I recommend cooling overnight, then freezing for 30 minutes or so before attempting to slice.
1 cup wholewheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups buttermilk (or milk with a dash vinegar)
1/4 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup flax seed, ground
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a large bowl, stir together the flours, baking soda and salt. Add the buttermilk, sugar and honey and stir. Add the craisins, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flax seed and rosemary and mix until blended.
Pour the batter into two 8”x4” loaf pans that have been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for about 35 – 40 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch. Remove from the pans and cool on a wire rack.
Slice the loaves as thin as you can and place the slices in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet. Reduce the oven heat to 300° F and bake them for about 15 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes, until crisp and deep golden.
On this particular occasion, instead of buying our usual soft (or blue) cheese, we worked with what we had. Which happened to be a 600g tub of dry curd cottage cheese (has anyone else made the mistake of buying this for its outrageous protein content and non-existant fat/sugar content, only to find it’s horrible on its own and barely purees without becoming gritty? No? Apparently I’m not the only one.). Eager to find a use for this, I simply whizzed it with a splash of natural yogurt, a few springs of cilantro, a squeeze of lemon juice, a handful of baby spinach and some chopped spring onions. Quite an impressive hit of protein before even starting on the meal.