April Relief Society Activity

Hi Sisters!

We had a wonderful evening visiting, talking about and tasting homemade crackers and making first aid kits. Following are some of the recipes we used for the crackers and dips.

Marcella and I (Christie) both made crackers for everyone to taste. They were surprisingly easy to make and tasty :)

I didn’t take any pictures of the crackers we made, so if you want to see photos of the crackers check out the links. Sorry I don’t have links for all the recipes.

I’ll start with the graham cracker recipes. I made three different recipes all slightly different:

Recipe #1 – Homemade Graham Crackers
from (http://m.joyofbaking.com/cookierecipes/HomemadeGrahamCrackersRecipe.html)
She has a nice video demo.

3/4 cup (95 grams) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (65 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (13 grams) wheat bran
1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons (95 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1 tablespoon (20 grams) mild flavored honey
2 tablespoons (30 grams) milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place the flours, wheat bran, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of your food processor and process until combined. Add the cold pieces of butter and process until it looks like coarse crumbs. Add the honey, milk, and vanilla extract and process until the batter starts to clump together.

Then divide the dough in half. Take half of the dough and roll it between two sheets of parchment or wax paper until it’s 10 x 9 inches (25 x 23 cm). As you roll, periodically check the top and bottom sheets of parchment and smooth out any wrinkles. Using a ruler and a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the 9 inch (23 cm) width into 4 – 2 1/4 inch (5.5 cm) wide strips. Then cut each strip in half, so each cracker is approximately 2 1/4 inches wide and 5 inches long (5.5 x 12.5 cm). (You will get 8 rectangles from each half of dough.) Slide the dough (and the parchment paper) onto a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator until cold and firm (about 30 minutes). (For faster chilling, place in the freezer for about 15 minutes).

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C), with the oven rack in the center position.

Once chilled, remove from refrigerator and peel off the top piece of parchment paper. To make the graham crackers look like the store bought ones, take a sharp knife and gently cut (score) each rectangle in half lengthwise and crosswise. Then using the tines of a fork or the end of a wooden skewer, make small holes in each rectangle.

Bake for about 12 – 15 minutes or until the edges of the graham crackers are golden brown. The longer you bake them the more crisp they will be. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to completely cool (they will become more crisp as they cool). Store in an airtight container for about a week.

Makes about 16 – 2 1/4 by 5 inch (5.5 x 12.5 cm) Graham Crackers.

Recipe #2 – Homemade Graham Crackers
from: (http://kitchensimplicity.com/homemade-graham-crackers/)

This dough is hard to mess up, you can re-roll the scraps as many times as you please without any ill effects.

Makes: 16 large crackers (but the number will depend on the size you make them)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • • ¼ cup honey
  • • ¼ cup water

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer add flours, sugar, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir to combine. Add butter and mix until the mixture has turned to coarse crumbs. Add honey and water. Mix until incorporated and the dough is easily gathered into a ball.
  2. Shape dough into a flat disk. Roll between two large pieces of parchment until ¼ inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and sizes. Place crackers on a parchment lined baking sheet. Re-roll remaining dough until all of dough is used up.
  3. Bake at 350ºF for 15 minutes, until slightly darkened around edges, they should be set but still slightly soft (they will harden as they cool). Remove crackers to a wire wrack to cool. Store in an airtight container for 1 week, or freeze for longer storage.

(Note: This recipe doesn’t call for wheat bran, which makes it different from the other two. This was the first batch I made and I made them too thick. I liked them better a few days old. ~Christie)

Recipe #3 – Homemade Graham Crackers
from: (http://www.marthastewart.com/343771/homemade-graham-crackers)

Yield Makes 20

Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for working
    • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
    • 1/2 cup untoasted wheat germ
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
    • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons high-quality honey

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flours, wheat germ, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Put butter, brown sugar, and honey into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add the flour mixture, and mix until combined.
  3. Turn out dough onto a floured surface, and divide into quarters. Roll out each piece between 2 sheets of floured parchment paper into rectangles a bit larger than 9 by 6 inches, about 1/8 inch thick.
  4. Using a fluted pastry wheel, trim the outermost edges of each rectangle, and divide into three 6-by-3-inch rectangles. Pressing lightly, so as not to cut all the way through, score each piece in half lengthwise and crosswise, to form four 3-by-1 1/2-inch crackers. Stack parchment and dough on a baking sheet and chill in freezer until firm, about 20 minutes.
  5. Remove two sheets of dough from freezer. Pierce crackers using the tines of a fork. Transfer to large baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake, rotating halfway through, until dark golden brown, 8 to 9 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough. Let cool on sheet 5 minutes; transfer crackers to wire racks to cool completely.

Cook’s Note: Crackers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

(Note: This batch of graham crackers instructs to cream the butter and sugar together rather than cutting the butter into the dry ingredients. I think if I were to make them again I would try cutting the butter in as the graham crackers seemed kind of greasy to me and more like a cookie than a graham cracker. Flavor wise this was a favorite! ~Christie)

A Variety of Crackers from White Flour:

Saltine Crackers (circa 1840′s recipe)
from: Food Storage for the Clueless

4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
Egg white mixed with a little water
Salt or sesame seeds

In bowl, combine flour, soda, and tartar. Cut butter into dry ingredients. Add water until it is the consistency of biscuit dough.

Roll out on floured board, brush with egg white mixture and sprinkle with salt. Use a pizza cutter to cut into shapes. Place on baking sheet.

Bake till golden brown. 350 degrees for flat crackers. 400 degrees for puffed crackers.

Butter Crackers or Double Butter (circa 1840′s recipe)
from: Food Storage for the Clueless

4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup butter
1 cup water
Egg white mixed with a little water
Salt or sesame seeds

In bowl, combine flour, soda, and tartar. Cut butter into dry ingredients. Add water until it is the consistency of biscuit dough.

Roll out on floured board, brush with egg white mixture and sprinkle with salt. Use a pizza cutter to cut into shapes. Place on baking sheet.

Bake till golden brown. 350 degrees for flat crackers. 400 degrees for puffed crackers.

How to Make Crackers at Home (Fancy Crackers)
from: (http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-crackers-at-home-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-186144)

Makes about 100 crackers

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour, or a mix of all-purpose and whole grain flours
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup water
Optional topping: 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon poppy seeds, 1 teaspoon sea salt

Equipment
Mixing bowl
Measuring cups and spoons
Sturdy spoon or spatula
Rolling pin
Pastry brush
Pizza cutter or sharp knife
Baking sheet
Dinner fork

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 450°F: Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat to 450°F. Sprinkle a baking sheet lightly with flour and set aside.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
  3. Add the oil and water: Add the oil and water to the flour mixture. Stir until a soft, sticky dough is formed. If a lot of loose flour remains in the bottom of the bowl and the surface of the dough, add more water a tablespoon at a time until all the flour is incorporated.
  4. Divide and shape the dough into a square: Divide the dough into two halves and set one half aside. Sprinkle your work surface lightly with flour and set the other half on top. Pat it into a thick square with your hands.
  5. Roll out the dough: Working from the center of the dough out, roll the dough into a rectangle roughly 1/8-inch thick or thinner. If the dough starts to shrink back as you roll it, let it rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes and then continue rolling.
  6. Sprinkle dough with topping (optional): Brush the surface of the dough very lightly with water. Combine the seeds in a small bowl and sprinkle half of them (roughly 1 1/2 tablespoons) evenly over the surface of the dough. See Additional Notes below for additional ideas for toppings and flavorings.
  7. Cut the dough into cracker-sized rectangles: Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut the dough into individual crackers roughly 1-inch by 2-inches. Alternatively, cut the crackers into squares, diamonds, or use cookie cutters.
  8. Transfer crackers to baking sheet and prick with fork: Transfer the crackers to the baking sheet using a metal dough scraper or spatula. It’s fine to crowd the crackers very close to each other. Prick each cracker with the tines of a fork to prevent them from puffing during baking.
  9. Bake for 12-15 minutes: Bake the crackers in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are browned. Thinner crackers will bake more quickly than thicker ones; you can remove the crackers as they brown to your liking and continue baking the rest. While the first batch of crackers is baking, roll out and cut the remaining dough.
  10. Cool and store the crackers: Transfer the baked crackers to a wire rack to cool completely. The crackers will crisp further as they cool. Store the crackers in an airtight container on the counter for 3-5 days. If you’re crackers are a little old and less-than-crispy, lay them on a baking sheet and put them in a 350°F oven for a few minutes to re-crisp.

Additional Notes:

  • Other Ideas for Toppings: dried herbs, chili powder, za’atar seasoning, dukkah
  • Cheese Crackers: Add 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese to the flour mixture. Pulse in a food processor until the mixture resembles course cornmeal. Proceed with adding the oil and water as directed.

(Note: for our activity I just made these with white flour. But feel free to experiment with a combination of flours. I learned that if you forget to prick the crackers they puff up. Which I kind of liked. ~Christie)

Whole Wheat Crackers:

Recipe #1 – Wheat Thins
from Cookin’ with Home Storage
(this is an almost paper thin cracker that Marcella made)

1 cup of wheat  flour
1 cup of water
1/2 tsp of salt

Mix until free of lumps. Grease cookie sheets. Spread 1/2 cup batter on entire sheet (do several of these). Season with celery, onion, or garlic salt. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove and break up into chips sized pieces.

Recipe #2 – Wheat Thins
from: (http://www.momables.com/homemade-wheat-thins/)
This is more like the Wheat Thins we buy.

Makes approximately 60 crackers.

Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups 100% whole wheat flour
  • 1½ Tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus extra for sprinkling
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons water (or more if dough is too dry)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a non-stick mat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, paprika, salt).
  3. With a pastry cutter (or two forks), cut the butter into the flour mixture until crumbly.
  4. Mix together the water and vanilla and then pour into the flour and butter mixture. Stir this mixture until it comes together. You made need to use your hand a bit to really mix this together. If the dough appears dry add a touch of water, but not too much, as you do not want the dough to become sticky.
  5. Split the dough in half. On a floured surface or on a non-stick mat, roll out one half of the dough very thin (1/16th inch). Using a pizza cutter, large knife, or cookie cutters, cut into whatever shape you desire. Using a spatula, place the crackers on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat as necessary. Sprinkle with more salt, if desired.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, watching closely, because they can burn quickly. Half way through baking, rotate the pan to ensure even baking. Cool completely. Store in an air-tight container.

(Note: Marcella made this recipe. I made an almost identical recipe from:
http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2012/09/homemade-wheat-thins/)

Dips:

Here are the recipes for two of the dips we sampled.

White Bean Dip
from: Giada DeLaurentiis

1  15oz can white beans (Cannellini), drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup + 4 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup loosely packed parsley

Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Salt and pepper to taste.

Garlic Cucumber Dip
from: (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Garlic-Cucumber-Dip/Detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=garlic%20cucumber%20dip&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Home%20Page&soid=sr_results_p1i1)

4 oz cream cheese
4 oz sour cream
1/2 large cucumber, peeled & diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 small onion, diced
Salt & Pepper to taste

Place cream cheese and sour cream in a medium bowl. Cream together. Stir in cucumber, garlic, and onion. Season to taste and serve.


 

Remember on our Stake Individual and Family Preparedness Goals for April we are supposed to collect recipes and store the ingredients to make crackers. So give a recipe or two a try and see how easy they are! Or look for some recipes of your own you would like to try.

~Christie

Black Bean Brownies

black-bean-brownies-1

From Chocolate Covered Katie

  • 1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well) (250g after draining)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder- dutch or regular (10g) (add a little extra if desired)
  • 1/2 cup quick oats (40g) (See nutrition facts link below for all substitution notes.)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave (Honey will work, but not for strict vegans.) (75g)
  • 2 nunaturals stevia packs or 2 tbsp sugar (or omit and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil (40g) (See “nutrition facts” link for all substitution notes.)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (115-140g) (Not optional. Omit at your own risk.)
  • optional: more chips, for presentation

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. (A blender can work if you absolutely must, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.) Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. Makes 9-12 brownies.

Pressure Canned Beans

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI fear a pressure canner. It could be residual from my mother who warned me never to touch it as it could blow up. I’m a grown up now. Maybe I should try these beans.

  • Garbanzo bean pints + 1/2 teaspoon canning salt + water
  • Garbanzo bean quarts + 1 teaspoon salt + water
  • Pinto bean pints + 1/2 teaspoon canning salt + 1/2 teaspoon dehydrated onion + 1/4 teaspoon garlic pepper blend + water
  • Black (turtle) bean pints + 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon chipotle season (make your own with this recipe)
  • Pinto bean pints + 1/2 teaspoon dehydrated onion + leftover seasoned broth from cooking a pork roast

Just rinse dry beans or peas of any kind except lentils, then put 1/2 cup of them in each hot sterilized pint jar. Add 1/2 teaspoon canning salt (optional) to each jar and other seasonings if desired (see below), pour in boiling water or broth, leaving a full 1 inch of head space.  Give them a quick stir to release any air bubbles.

Adjust the two-piece lids and caps and process in a pressure canner at 10 pounds for 75 minutes for pints.  Let the pressure release on its own, then remove from the canner.  The beans will still be bubbling away and as often as not will seal before or right as they come out of the canner.

If you prefer to use quart jars, double all the ingredients, but still leave 1 inch of headspace (I left 1-1/2 inches and it was a little too much) and process them for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.  Be sure to check with your local extension office or the Ball Blue Book for adjustments in pressure if you live at high altitude.

Old Wives Tale Hungarian Mushroom Soup

hungarian-mushroom-soup_finalFor a crowd of starving people. If you want smaller, halve or quarter this recipe. If you want left overs, keep the recipe as is. Lots and lots of left overs. Give some to your neighbors, the missionaries, your visiting teachers and home teachers. It makes that much.

1 pound butter, plus 2 pounds for roux
6 cups chopped yellow onions
10 pounds mushrooms
1 cup dill, chopped
1 cup paprika
2 cups tamari
2 gallon water
2 pounds butter
6 cups flour
1 gallon milk
1.75 gallons sour cream
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper

Melt 1 pound of butter. Add onion, and saute until wilted. Add mushrooms, saute until juices are released. Add dill, paprika, and mix well. Add tamari, water, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. In a large stockpot, make roux using 2 pounds butter and flour, cook 10 minutes. Drain some water from soup and beat into roux in stockpot until smooth. IMPORTANT- you will get flour lumps if you try to skip this step! Add water-smoothed roux to kettle. Add milk and simmer until it thickens again, coating back of spoon. Turn off heat, beat in sour cream until well blended, then beat in salt and pepper.

Recipe Summary 
Prep Time: 10 minutes 
Cook Time: 35 minutes 
Yield: 12 to 14 servings

Creamy Pumpkin Curry Soup

20101026-curried-pumpkin-soup-step-4
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon butter
1 (3 pound) sugar pumpkin – peeled,
seeded, and cut into matchbox-size
pieces
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
20 ounces chicken broth
2 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil
sour cream
toasted pumpkin seeds
Directions:
1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the pumpkin, brown sugar, and curry powder to the butter; cook and stir until the pumpkin caramelizes, 6 to 10 minutes. Pour the chicken broth over the mixture; bring to a boil, and cook until the pumpkin is tender, about 20 minutes more.
2. Pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway. Hold the lid of the blender in place with a towel; start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Process in batches until smooth.
3. Garnish each portion of soup with 1 teaspoon pumpkin seed oil, a dollop of sour cream, and a few pumpkin seeds.

Red Ribbon Salsa

Salsa. Such a great word! It makes me want to dance. Sallllsa! It evokes the spiciness of a Mexican party. Make your own salsa and invite us over.

salsa_final_450

Ingredients:
2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced
tomatoes, drained
1 bunch fresh cilantro
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
1. In a medium bowl, mix together tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, and salt and pepper. Mix well, cover, and chill for at least 3 hours before serving.

Applesauce

IMG_4451
Ingredients:
4 apples – peeled, cored and chopped
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions:
1. In a saucepan, combine apples, water, sugar, and cinnamon. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until apples are soft. Allow to cool, then mash with a fork or potato masher.