Kids Snacks

Very Easy Homemade Crackers Recipe

This recipe is so easy and so delicious that after making it twice, my kids already learned the recipe! I hope you try it out. It’s also very non-expensive as you probably already have all the ingredients you need in your pantry.  It’s our family favorite! Yum!

This recipe yields 30 crackers with each  being 4×2 inches ( rectangular shaped) approximately.

Ingredients

2 cups of flour; 1 Tsp salt; 1 Tablespoon of sugar; 1 Tsp baking powder ; 4 Tablespoons of meltes butter; 1.5 cups warm water.

Directions:

1. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. 

2. Add water to dry mix. Start mixing in the bowl and add more water little by little until you get the correct consistency before kneading.

3. Add flour to a clean counter surface. Add flour to your hands.

4. Place the dough from the bowl into a clean counter. Knead by hand adding additional flour as needed. When the dough is no longer sticky, take a rolling pin and stretch out the dough. It should be about 1/4 or 1/8 inch thick when ready. Both thicknesses work fine. It depends on your preference.

5. Cut the dough into strips of approximately 1 inch wide. Cut each strip into rectangles or squares ( your choice) and with a fork pinch the dough. The pinching of the dough is fun but also important to get the oven heat to bake the cracker all throughout. ( My kids do the pinching of the dough, it’s their favorite part!)

6. Prepare baking pans by covering with a small amount of butter. Place the crackers into the baking pans.

7. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or until golden on top.

Below is a short video showing you thickness of the dough and how to cut it.

My cracker shapes are very original as my kids are the ones involved in that part of the process, and having tons of fun with it. 🙂
Once you take the crackers out of the oven, let them cool. Then store them in an air tight container. Although I typically skip this step as these crackers don’t last long at home.. I never really get to store them. 🙂 
Enjoy!

Crackers in the oven.

Ready! 

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Old-Fashioned Home-made Crackers

 

Little “tiendas” (corner home-based food stores) in Cartagena still carry old-fashioned home-made crackers. When I travel back home, I definitely make an effort to get them… Indeed, they bring back wonderful childhood memories!

Four simple, affordable ingredients (at hand in most kitchens), and a straightforward recipe yields anywhere from 32 to 42 crackers, depending on how you decide to cut them out.

I make the dough by hand which works out just fine. If you prefer to use a mixer, that is OK too. You can make them look fancy and tidy, or not. In my case, I let my kids ( and their imagination ) be part of our home baking crew. Fun! That surely means… No fancy home-made crackers for me.  🙂

Recipe

Ingredients: 4 cups of flour, 1-1/2 tsp baking powder, 3/4 cup butter (or 1.25 sticks of butter), 1-1/2 cups water.

1. Sift the flour with the baking powder.

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2. Add butter cut into slices and mix in with the flour.

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3. Add water.

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4. Mix by hand until a dough is formed.

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5. Transfer the dough to a clean kitchen counter covered with some flour. Knead for 2-3 minutes. Roll out until a thin layer of dough forms. Transfer to an non-greased cookie sheet and prick with a fork. This is my kids’ favorite part! 🙂

Tip: You may also cut the dough into squares (or rectangles) on the counter, before transferring  the pieces to the cookie sheet.

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6. Bake for 12 minutes at 375 F degree oven.

Serve with jelly, chocolate hazelnut spread, peanut butter or simply by itself!

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My kids love them, especially as after-school snacks. Certainly, these old-fashioned home-made crackers are guaranteed to go fast! 🙂

Fresh Tortillas. A Tip from my Mexican Friend

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Norma is a good friend from Mexico. Every time I go to her house she has fresh tortillas for me. I once asked her what was her secret. She told me that if I didn’t have a “tortilleria” nearby I could always apply her tip to the regular supermarket packaged tortillas. A tortilleria is a shop typically owned by a Mexican family that produces and sells freshly made tortillas.

Here is Norma’s tip:

1. Place corn or flour tortilla on microwave safe plate.

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2. Sprinkle a few drops of water over the tortilla. Cover the tortilla with a slightly damp paper towel. Place covered tortilla in microwave for 15 seconds.

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3. Add shredded mozzarella cheese if you want to prepare a cheese quesadilla.

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4. Fold the tortilla, cover again with the slightly damp paper towel, and place in the microwave for another 15 seconds.

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These fresh warm tortillas can be enjoyed alone, in soft tacos, or by dipping them in a good Mexican salsa. In the case of this post, I applied Norma’s tip for my fresh cheese quesadillas. Follow this tip to enjoy warm and fresh tortillas at home every time!

 

 

Healthy Snacks (Part 3 of 3)

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Nuts and dried fruits.

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Low fat yogurt topped with granola, nuts and raisins.

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Low fat yogurt topped with granola, nuts, raisins and fresh kiwi.

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Celery with peanut butter.

Combine nuts, dried fruits, veggies, [low-fat] dairy several ways. Indeed, a clean, easy, low-cost way to go when it comes to healthy snacks. This is not breaking news; rather a reminder. Healthy options abound in local and [even] convenience stores everywhere. Yet, sometimes what matters most are the choices we make.

Healthy Snacks (Part 1 of 3)

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Fruits make healthy, affordable snacks. We’ll pick on strawberries in this post. 🙂 Strawberries and fruits are a good alternative to fatty prepackaged snack options.

A word about fat and fatty snacks… Our bodies are programmed to store fat, to equip us with a means to respond to hardship (famine, winter, severe illness, etc.) Body fat was a key survival mechanism for our early ancestors, who were exposed to aggressive environmental conditions and severe health risks. Today, most of our society leads an overall sedentary life, without frequent natural opportunities to burn accumulated fat. We live in temperature controlled homes (with air conditioning or heater, depending on the season of the year.) We ride to work or school, and we only set time aside for daily exercise, if under a disciplined regimen. Otherwise, we struggle to carve out time for sporadic exercising, due to our busy life styles.

Strawberries are very low in saturated fat and contain high nutrition value. They are low in cholesterol and sodium. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and folate, which supports red blood cell production and helps prevent anemia, among other benefits. They are also a source of potassium and a good source of dietary fiber and manganese. Eight strawberries provide more vitamin C than an orange and contain antioxidants.

Whether for kids or adults, fresh, juicy strawberries always make a healthy snack option.