I imagine at some point over the next few days I'll write a New Year's post. Part of me feels like skipping over the whole thing so not to repeat putting it all out there like I did last New Years. But then again, it's good to take stock, reflect on the past and move toward new beginnings. I just feel sort of vulnerable these days, we'll see.
The yoga studio that I worked/practiced/became a teacher at is having an incredible evening of yoga, chanting, meditation and reflection this New Year's Eve. I won't be able to be there which I'm so bummed about as there is little more that I crave these days than deep, soul shaking yoga. I miss practicing in a 90 degree room (though this night won't be heated), surrounded by other yogis, traveling and breathing down the same path of healing, strength and light. Practicing in a class setting isn't so much a communal experience as it is a collective of energy swirling about wildly, landing where it may and enhancing individual practices around the room. I love everything about it. There is never a time I feel more alive and like myself than about 45 minutes into a hatha yoga practice, preferably heated, the room filled with bodies, mat to mat. As important as a home practice is - for me, this type of experiential yoga is hard to duplicate in my bedroom, try as I might. Plus, I learn a great deal from my teachers, I miss them so very much.
Well... when I sat down to write I had no intention of going there... I guess it's the time of year.
This is one of the things I sat down to write about, homemade crackers! I mentioned them the other day and wrote up the recipe for you. It's a combination of a few different recipes, I hope you like it. What an incredible way to save a few bucks each week and crazy amounts of trash each year.
Rosemary Garlic Crackers
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp dried rosemary - or use chopped fresh if you have it (sooo good!), just a little less.
1 rounded tsp granulated garlic (the dried powdery stuff)
3/4 tsp fine sea salt (we like the pink kind)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper, optional
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt crystals, optional
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a bowl or food processor, mix together the flours, nutritional yeast flakes, baking powder, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the water and oil, stirring until dough comes together. If dough is too dry to mix, add another tablespoon of water or as needed. Divide dough in half.
3. Roll the dough out very thin, cracker thin. They will puff and rise a bit while baking, but not a lot. Roll them thin. Transfer the dough to a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet. I use a pizza cutter to cut the crackers into squarish shapes, a pastry wheel is great too. If desired, sprinkle a little salt over the tops (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) of the crackers and lightly press into dough with the rolling pin. Repeat with second piece of dough.
4. Bake crackers in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden and crackers look crisp. Check them at 12 minutes! They will crisp up a bit as they cool. If crackers are still soft after cooling, place back in oven and bake for another couple of minutes, they'll crisp up just fine.
One more thing while I have you here, remember the Brown Rice Patties? I usually make mine on the stove top in a cast iron pan, but tonight decided to pull out the electric griddle. I didn't feel too great about it as we made the whole, complete cast iron switch (finally!) over the summer. (Though we still use this non-stick griddle for pancakes.) Anyway, life's not always about being perfect, right? I fired it up and was able to cook just about an entire batch in one swoop! So there is my tip for you, it's a major time saver and you barely need to use any oil. I think I used 2 Tablespoons max for the whole recipe, seriously.
I was asked by a reader what to use whole wheat pastry flour in besides the rice patties. I use it in everything non-yeast, like the Rosemary Garlic Crackers! I usually do a minimum of 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour in all of my baking. It's heartier, but we like it and it is healthier for my girl than straight up white flour. Of course if you have a wheat issue you would make substitutions.
I hope you try these crackers, maybe for your New Years snack spread! I hope you have a festive evening, and a peaceful, hopeful start to 2009. See you then!
::Updated::Some fresh reading at The Co-op, stop on by!