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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

So you want to grow raspberries?


So in the last few weeks, I've been showing off my raspberries frequently on Facebook at all sorts of stages. This has inspired several people to decide they are planting them next year. In order to avoid a lot of people saying "It's all your fault!" to me in 3 years, here are some observations I've made growing raspberries.

Getting your initial canes-

It's tempting to look at the canes, and look at the area you plan to plant them in, and decide "Oh, I need lots of plants to fill in that area." DON'T. Really. Trust me, once your canes are established, they will fill in the area. Figure 1 cane per 12-18 inches at least. Maybe less, and not more. Raspberries are very invasive. They like lots of room to spread, and don't take long to spread. This year, that patch maybe fairly barren with only 2-6 canes, but next year it will fill in some, and in 4 years, you'll be completely filled in. 

If you don't care about type- you can frequently get canes very low cost or even free. Post a note on Craigslist, a local supermarket bulletin board or a local gardening forum on FB that you are looking. I know that around spring I saw lots of ads on Craigslist offering raspberries to people if they were willing to come dig them up. My own berry thicket started as 3 canes bought at a local farmer's market for 1.00 each. Yeah, 3 whole dollars. They weren't pretty, they were pretty much sticks with a couple leaves stuck in a fast food cup with some dirt. If you have friends who grow raspberries, you can also ask them. I know that I'm willing to share!

If you care about type and want more than one kind, you may have to pay a bit more. Here, golden raspberries are very popular and can cost 15-25 dollars even at farmer's markets, but friends who grow, or getting in contact with local gardeners can get you a better price. Did I mention that raspberries LIKE to spread? They really, really do. If you want specific strains, talk to local gardeners, and only if that doesn't work, go to a nursery either online or in person. 

Raspberries are sent much like roses. You'll get a root and a cane to plant. Find an area that gets a good amount of sun. Here in Alaska during the summer, pretty much every part of my yard gets at least 8 hours a day. They are in a place that gets 10 hours.
Pick an area that drains well, they don't like to stand in water.
Dig a hole a little deeper than the roots and about twice as wide as necessary, place in the plant, and fill in the dirt. Work in a little good organic fertilizer or  better- compost. What you don't need? Fancy, expensive, specialty garden soils. If you live in an area raspberries grow, they are dead unpicky about soil types. They even like it a little acidic. If you're growing a couple kinds, keep them separated by as much distance as is feasible in your yard or they may cross. That's what my raspberries are, a cross between wild raspberries and a couple strains that the original grower had a little too close together. I love them, they are sweet and tart and really good producers.

Care and feeding-

Raspberries don't need much care. I do give mine a bit of a good organic fertilizer or compost tea every so often. Usually just the little bit leftover from taking care of my more demanding plants. However, if it's dry, you will need to water regularly. This summer has been fairly dry, and on the hottest days, I water them once a day even though the rest of my plants get twice a day. Why less for the raspberries? Because my thicket is very well established, and very dense which provides lots of shade for the ground they are in. Water just doesn't dry out as quickly as it does in my beds and has time to really soak in. 

First year canes are a greenish color, after that, they turn brown which makes it very easy to tell which are the new canes. First year canes don't generally produce fruit, but second and third year canes do. After that, you'll want to prune them back to make room for the new canes that came in that year. This is what my mature canes look like. These will be pruned after they are harvested because there are lots of new canes coming in.
They are nearly horizontal with fruit, and some of them need to be staked because they are literally bending so far they are touching the ground. Some are ripening now and taste fantastic.

Spread

I mentioned that raspberries spread right? While the berries do have small seeds, that's not how they spread for the most part. They spread through the root system which can go deeper than expected and cause the raspberries to jump barriers. What a lot of people do, once they have them established, is just mow the new canes down when they mow the lawn when they get outside their area. What you don't want to do is try to plant anything near them. I had a rhubarb that was a couple feet away from these 2 years ago, and this year it didn't come back at all even after I dug up the crown and replanted it. The raspberry roots killed it. My original plan was a 4x3 foot area for raspberries, now I've decided to let my raspberries grow outside that, and they take a space that's about 15 square feet now, I moved some of the new canes down that wall and plan to let them grow to fit a space about 8x4 feet. But this is where I don't want people yelling it's all my fault in 3 years. They WILL spread. If they are in the kind of soil they like, getting enough water and sunlight, they will spread like crazy and can destroy anything else you have planted in that area. I have seen cases where they didn't spread, but in my non-expert opinion, that was a soil issue. They were planted in a good, alkaline soil which is not the preferred soil for raspberries. The friend had them in the yard when she bought the house. I saw some areas in her backyard that might be better and I'm giving her some of my smaller canes to try planting. 
Plan your planting carefully. Because if you want the raspberries, they will want the entire part of your yard you are planting them in. So don't try putting a few canes by your prize irises. Raspberries can even outspread mint. 

They do have thorns, so if you have a patch as deep as mine, it helps to have two people to harvest. One to hold back the canes while the other gets in and grabs the berries. The best thing about growing your own raspberries is getting them at their absolute peak. They are easy enough for anyone to grow which makes them an awesome choice for kid's gardening. The ones that I planted as a kid grew and produced berries with my indifferent care. Well cared for, like my current thatch, they will give you lots of berries to make all sorts of wonderful treats. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Printable alien gift box

Groovy chibi alien
We are up to season 7 on X-files now. So an alien seemed like the thing to do. I hope you like this printable gift box!

Click on the image for a larger version, print on card stock, cut out, score folds, fold, glue!


Raspberries are ripening! Yum yum. More later. It's been an exciting week!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mixed Patterns Mandala to color

Mixed Patterns Mandala to color

Mixed patterns were at one time considered a definite fashion no-no. That's changed. This mandala combines polka dots, chevrons, and stripes. I hope you enjoy it. Click on the images for larger versions to print and color.

JPG version:
Mixed Patterns Mandala to color- jpg version

Larger transparent PNG version:
Mixed Patterns Mandala to color- transparent PNG version

And look! My raspberries are starting to ripen!




Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Young ducks, geese and seagulls- photo post

Today I had an eye appointment. Close to my eye doctor is a little man made pond that's teeming with ducks, geese and seagulls. This time of the year, you get to see lots of adolescents! You can click through to larger versions, but the larger versions are still resized to 25% of the originals.


These ducklings are divers. It was adorable watching them disappear under the water to pop back up a foot away.


Young seagull. Just fyi- they sound adorable squeaking out the normal seagull cry. It also kind of reminds me of  Felonious Gru! 


Really reminds me Gru.


Mama diving duck and her ducklings.


Just a seagull, but I loved the colors in this picture.


This duck seemed as baffled by my daughter wearing heavy, steel-toed boots on an 80 degree day as I am!



Goslings!



I hope you enjoyed the photos!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Leaded Glass Effect Printable Boxes




4 colors for this leaded glass effect box which has an odd origin. My husband was in between jobs for a while, and while he was- we spent a lot of time going out and doing things like hiking, going to the zoo, and just working in the garden together. We also power-watched 6 seasons of X-files. A lot of the house doors in X-files have simple, geometric leaded glass in them, which inspired this box.

Click the images for the larger versions, print on card stock, cut out, score folds, fold, glue!

Leaded glass printable box in 4 colors

Leaded glass printable box in 4 colors

Leaded glass printable box in 4 colors

Leaded glass printable box in 4 colors

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Christmas in July-craft gift idea!

I really like the Choose Friendship line of products, and have reviewed a few of them in the past like the My Friendship Bracelet Maker, which comes in several designs and more recently My Lanyard Maker.

They are well built, and I've recommended them to friends in real life as well as on here, showing people how to use them. They will have products featured on QVC for Christmas in July. The My Circle of Creativity is an incredibly well-built kumihimo type loom for weaving cords that can be used as friendship bracelets and My Ribbon Barrette Maker works as that very needed extra set of hands to weave 80s style ribbon barrettes.




Full Disclosure-
Crorey Creations does not pay me to post recommendations for their products, but they do give me free products to review. My opinions are always my own.

Bear Mandala to color

Bear Mandala- colored version
Today it's raining, so I finally stayed in the house long enough to finish up a mandala! This one is bears and the fish in the center is a salmon.
Click the images for larger versions to print and color.

You may notice a little new change here on Don't Eat the Paste- if you hover over the photos, you'll see a little "Pin It" logo. You can click on that to pin the images to your pinboard, but it doesn't affect clicking through to the larger images.

Small JPG:
Bear mandala to print and color- 100 ppi jpg version- transparent PNG version also available.

Large transparent PNG:
Bear mandala to color- transparent PNG format- jpg version also available.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mint Matcha Ice Tea Pops- Recipe

Mint Matcha Tea Ice Pops

The green ice pops in my review of Stars Wars Ice Sabers Cookbook? Those were a wild idea I had recently. I was thinking of making a mint tea ice pop for the super refreshing and cool taste of mint. But I wanted them to be green, but naturally green. Which made me think of matcha green tea.

Matcha is a finely ground green tea that has a few varieties available. For things like this, you are looking for culinary grade. It adds nice flavor, and a great green color. The much more expensive ceremony grade matcha should be appreciated properly on it's own, and not as an ingredient. Check your local Asian grocery or if your supermarket is very well stocked, it might be available there. 

The ice pop mold I used has cavities that take about 2 tablespoons of liquid. Check the volume of your mold, and adjust recipe to fit.

You will need:
1/4 cup fresh mint OR a mint tea bag- I used fresh mint from my garden
1 Tbs honey! That's why they have kind of a murky- Yoda like color. The honey I used is a local produced darker honey that I love.
1 cup boiling water
1 or 2 pinches of matcha tea

In a medium sized bowl-
Bruise the mint with a spoon, or put in the tea bag. Then add 1 cup of boiling water and the tablespoon of honey. Mix the honey in well until it dissolves completely. Cover the bowl with a plate and let the tea steep for 5-10 minutes. (I like it strong so I went 10 minutes)

Strain out the mint, or take out the tea bag. Apply pressure to the leaves or tea bag to get out as much liquid as possible.

Add a pinch of matcha powder, and using a small whisk, whisk it well. If you want it a little greener, add another pinch of matcha. 

Use a funnel to pour the liquid into your molds, and freeze until solid.

It's an unusual flavor, but it's really good and just as refreshing as F5!

I do recommend planting mint. Even if you have the blackest thumb in creation, it's hard to kill mint. I have a little corner of my yard that's dedicated to mint. Mint likes to take over so it's best to plant it in containers, or have it walled in someway. 

Book Review- Star Wars Ice Sabers Cookbook

When you buy this cookbook, you get the really cool ice saber molds and that's probably enough for a lot of you. Because the ice pop molds are really just that cool.

The book has 30 recipes for frozen treats. There are only 3 recipes for ice pops in Darth Vader Red, Obi-Wan Blue and Luke Green. The rest of the book is easy to make recipes inspired by the movies.

My daughter, who has strong cooking skills, really likes Chewie Chocolate Cheesecake Pops. This is one of the recipes that doesn't look like something from the movies, but each step is explained well and they are easy to make. A basic chocolate cheesecake without a crust is baked, frozen, cut into pieces and dipped in chocolate.

Sometimes the tie between the movie and the dessert is a catchy, rhyming or punning name such as Bananakin Splits or Tauntun Bon Bons. Other desserts like Ice Cream Clones look like something from the movies. The Twin Suns Sherbet Bombe is my favorite visually, it's simple to make and stunning. The name that had me laughing out loud is the incredibly refreshing citrus Mos Icely granita which is also my favorite recipe in the book.

So a fan, especially a younger fan who is learning to cook, would enjoy the cookbook. The recipes are simple and really nice for a hot summer day. The recipes are clearly written by author Lara Starr, and the photographs by Matthew Carden are just delightful, featuring lots of action figures with the various desserts. It's a soft cover book in full color.

The molds! One cup of liquid is enough to fill all 4 molds with a couple tsps left over. The molds stand easily in a fridge and the pops release easily after running a bit of warm water over the mold. They are fantastic, and I think even adult fans won't be able to resist crossing ice pops at least once.

 The recipes use American volume measurements.

Published by Chronicle Books- check out their Facebook page for contests and more information about their books.

The green pops above are not a recipe from the book. The Luke sabers from the book are a lot brighter green. The pops shown above are my own recipe- Mint Matcha Tea Ice Pops

You can get the set using my Amazon.com affiliate link. I'll make a small commission if you use the links below which helps pay for this site.

U.S.A. U.K.
I received a complimentary copy of this book to review, I received no other compensation, and my review is my honest opinion of the book. You can read more about my review policy here.



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Quick to stitch kerchief crochet pattern



I love bottom up techniques for kerchiefs and shawls because everyone likes a different size. Some people like them tiny, just a scrap of a triangle. TG and I like them wide enough to trap back the side of our hair behind our ears. This one is one of my favorite techniques because it works with nearly any yarn or thread for shawls or kerchiefs.

You will need:

  • size H hook (5 mm)
  • size I hook (5.5mm)
  • worsted weight yarn- my example is done in Bernat Mosaic in the Psychedelic colorway
  • scissors
  • yarn needle
Pattern is in American terminology.
Stitches and abbreviations used:
  • chain = ch
  • single crochet = sc
  • double crochet = dc
  • slip stitch = sl st
Repeat ** means to repeat what is between the asterisks.

Chain 9, sl st to join
Row 1: ch 5, sc in ch 9 ring, ch 3, dc in 5th ch from sl st in in ch 9 ring. (2 loops)
Row 2: ch 5, sc in ch 3 from previous row, ch 3, sc in ch 5 from previous row, ch 3, dc in 3rd ch on the ch 5 from the previous row. (3 loops)
Row 3: ch 5, sc in first loop of previous row, ch 3, sc in next loop, ch 3, sc in last loop, ch 3, dc in 3rd ch on the last loop of previous row. (4 loops)

Each row works the same way, starting with a chain 5 loop that is joined with a single crochet in the first loop, and ch 3 loops all the way across to the last loop which is ch 3, double crochet in the 3rd chain of the ch 5 from the last row. Each row increases the loops by one. 

So when you get your triangle big enough for your kerchief- for the one above, it was 22 rows, then you put on the final row.
Last row: ch 1, sc in same stitch, *ch 3, sc in next loop*, repeat ** across, on the last ch 3, sc in 3rd stitch from ch 5 loop on previous row.

Single crochet border and ties-

Switch to I hook- Ch 1 to turn. working down the sides of the kerchief, sc in last sc of previous row, work 2 sc in each space until the bottom corner. Do 5 chains in bottom corner, then 2 sc in each space up the other side. When you get to the first sc in the last row, sc in that.
Chain 50 or 60 (depending on how long you want your ties, I did 60) then slip stitch back up the chain. Do another sc in the last sc of previous row. Sc in each stitch across the top of the kerchief. When you reach the last sc, chain 50 or 60, sl st back up the chain, then sl st to join to the first sc on the round. 

Weave in all ends.

This is what it looks like from the back-
And this is what a shawl looks like worked using the same technique. This is one of my favorite shawls! Sorry, can't help you with that pattern because so far, I've been completely unwilling to count stitches to figure out how I made it! 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Santa Claus Printable Boxes


Santa Claus


It's July, which means it's time for a Christmas in July printable. This one is for a Santa box that's 3x3x1 inch. Click on the images for a bigger version, print on card stock, cut out, score folds, fold, and glue.







When I was a little girl, one of my mom's biggest pet peeves around the holidays was trying to find dolls with darker skin and dark hair and eyes. I've never forgotten her determination that I would never have only blonde haired, blue eyed dolls. Because Native American dolls were always pretty stereotyped, the end result was a collection of gorgeous, handmade dolls in a rainbow of skin tones. I haven't done every skin tone possible on this set, and if you want something specific, just email me or leave a comment to let me know. Santa, no matter what the origins of his story are, should be a universal symbol for people who celebrate Christmas.

Happy Christmas in July!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Summer photos and staying hydrated with Coke® products

This post brought to you by Coca Cola. All opinions are 100% mine.

Stay Hydrated

It's summer, and Anchorage, Alaska has had such wonderful weather it actually made the national news.

It gets to be about 10 am, and the sun starts calling me, to work in my yard and garden, or to go out hiking and exploring, go bird watching or go to the zoo. Just anything to be out in that gorgeous summer weather.

Enjoying the weather

It's easy to get very busy, and to forget to stay hydrated. Sam's Club has you covered with Coca Cola products at great prices.

So if I can't enjoy the water like this happy seagull-

Happy seagull

I can enjoy a bottle of Dasani® while taking photos.

My daughter likes Vitamin Water® and Powerade®, my son has been wild for Fuze® for years and he likes their ice tea too! NOS® has electrolytes and caffeine for lots of energy for hiking and other outdoor sports.

It's so important to stay hydrated, and having great tasting options will make it easier. It's easy to slip a bottle into a backpack or bag.

Really, it hasn't been hard to remember to stay hydrated on the very warm days. I know a lot of you don't consider 70 degrees warm, but for a family completely acclimated to Alaska like mine is? 70 degrees is very warm. You perspire to keep cool, and lose so much liquid that way. Drinking something nice and cold helps you feel cooler too.

The winters last so long that I'm loving the very warm days that start at 4 am and end around 11 pm. I'm loving gardening and having to water my thirsty plants twice a day. If they need it, I do too.

Speaking of plants, Coke® products use plant based plastics in their bottles!

 

 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Saturday, July 6, 2013

July Birthstone and Flower Mandala

Waterlily and Ruby mandala for July


Happy Birthday to everyone born in July! Which includes The Amazing Turnip Girl!

The birthstone for June is ruby, and the flower is either larkspur or waterlily. I decided on waterlily for this months flower and stone mandala. 
You can find the rest of them here-
The Birthstone and Flower series of Mandalas

Click on the image for a larger version to color.

Small JPG version:
Waterlily and Ruby mandala for July- JPG version

Large transparent PNG version:
Waterlily and Ruby mandala for July- transparent PNG version

And some gift ideas for the July birthday in your life from Amazon.com, Amazon links help support this site and my reading habit. 


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Frozen Malted Hot Chocolate and about malt


The Amazing Turnip Girl and I were going through a couple cookbooks that I'll be reviewing soon and there were two recipes that caught her chocolate loving eye immediately. One was for a malted hot chocolate, the other was for a frozen hot chocolate. We discussed making our own malted frozen hot chocolate which was an idea she was very enthused about.

First, I had to learn about malt. Because I know I'm not really a fan of Carnation malted milk which is the kind most easily available at our super market. So after a bit of research, I learned that malted milk is made with non-diastatic malt and dry milk. So then off to find out more about diastatic and non-diastatic malts. Diastatic malts have active enzymes in them that work well in baking in small amounts with yeast for a great rise and brown. Non-diastatic malts are generally used as a sweetener and flavor and don't have active enzymes. A bit more research pointed up that a lot of home beer brewing is done using non-diastatic malt extracts. Since I knew my recipe would have milk in it, I just wanted a good malt flavor.

So off to the local brewing supply, Arctic Brewing Supply where they had a ton of options for malt. We had decided powder already, malts are available as both liquid and dried powder. Then we picked out 3 different malt powder extracts to bring home and try. Light, amber and dark. The very helpful person working that day specifically recommended against dark for baking and recipes because she had fielded complaints from people about the flavor.

We got home, and mixed the malts in chocolate milk. Just a chocolate milk powder, milk and a small amount of malt, and we tried each one. We actually liked the dark malt best. It has a toastier, warmer flavor.

After all that time looking into malts, we also decided to use a better chocolate.

Frozen Malted Hot Chocolate- makes 4 tall servings (12 oz)

You will need:

  • 6 cups of milk
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 3.5 oz dark chocolate bar- we used Lindt
  • 4 Tablespoons dry malt extract
Cut up the candy bar into small pieces.
Put 4 cups of milk, pinch of salt and sugar into a sauce pan and heat while whisking in the sugar until small bubbles are forming around the edge of the pan. After it's hot, add the chocolate and malt and keep whisking until the chocolate melts completely and you have no clumps of malt extract powder. Take off heat and whisk in the vanilla. 

If you have silicone ice cube trays, just pour it into the ice cube trays and put them in the freezer. If you have regular ice cube trays, let it cool a bit so it doesn't warp the plastic. Freeze into cubes.

After it's frozen, put half the ice cubes and a cup of milk into a blender, and blend until all the cubes are completely crushed and mixed in. At this point it looks a lot like a milk shake. Fill 2 cups with that, then repeat with the other half of the cubes. Serve with whipped cream or marshmallows!

Because of how it's made, you could make 2 servings, then save the rest of the cubes for another 2 servings later, or even make just one serving at time by using 1/4 of the cubes and a 1/2 cup of milk!

It turned out really delicious. Even my husband who is hit or miss with malt really likes the flavor. 




Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Soft Waves Bangle Bracelet- crochet pattern


I love making soft bangle bracelets! This one is really easy and uses increases and decreases in single crochets to create a softly wavy pattern that looks great in oceany colors.

You will need:

  • 3 colors of size 3 fashion thread
  • Size D- 3.25
  • Tapestry needle big enough for the thread
  • scissors
I used Aunt Lydia's Fashion Crochet Cotton in Blue Hawaii, Lime and Soft Teal. 

Stitch abbreviations:
st or sts= stitch or stitches
ch= chain
sc= single crochet
dec sc= decrease single crochet
sl st= slip stitch
Repeat ** means repeat the steps between the *asterisks*

To work a decrease- insert hook first stitch, yarn over and pull through the stitch leaving 2 loops on the hook, insert hook in next stitch, yarn over, pull through the stitch, yarn over, pull through all the loops on the hook. 

American terminology. 

You only need a small amount of each color. 

Chain 48, slip stitch to join being careful not to twist the chain.
Round 1: ch 1, (doesn't count as first stitch here or throughout) sc in each st around, sl st to first sc to join. Make sure you have 48 stitches.
Round 2: Repeat round 1, break of yarn.
Round 3: Join in second color, ch 1,  sc in first st, dec sc in next st, sc in next st, dec sc in next st, sc in next st, dec sc in next st, sc in next st, dec sc in next st, 2 sc in each of next 4 sts, *sc in next st, dec sc in next st, sc in next st, dec sc in next st, sc in next st, dec sc in next st, sc in next st, dec sc in next st, 2 sc in each of next 4 sts,* repeat **, sl st in first sc to join.
Round 4: ch 1, sc in each st around. Break off thread.
Round 5: join in new color, ch 1. dec sc over first and second sts, dec sc over next 2 sts, dec sc over next 2 sts, dec sc over next 2 sts, sc in next st, 2 sc in next st, sc in next st, 2 sc in next st, sc in next st, 2 sc in next st, sc in next st, 2 sc in next st, *dec sc over next 2 sts, dec sc over next 2 sts, dec sc over next 2 sts, dec sc over next 2 sts, sc in next st, 2 sc in next st, sc in next st, 2 sc in next st, sc in next st, 2 sc in next st, sc in next st, 2 sc in next st,* repeat **, sl st to first sc to join.
Round 6: ch 1, sc in each st around. sl st to join, break off thead and weave in all ends with the tapestry needle.

I love how this turned out, and it's so simple and quick. I hope you enjoy it too! 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Book Review- Crackers and Dips


Crackers and Dips- More Than 50 Handmade Snacks is one of those specialty books that will appeal to a lot of home bakers. Homemade crackers give you complete control over the flavors and ingredients and taste wonderful.

The author starts by introducing herself, and explaining "snack tooth" which is like a sweet tooth but for savory more than sweet. Then she explains a lot of the tips to make cracker making a lot easier. How to roll out the dough perfectly, and how you can also do pressed crackers or use a pasta machine. She explains how to get a perfectly crisp cracker, how to cut and pierce them, and other tricks for perfect crackers. It also covers some of the most used ingredients and why she chooses them.

Then into the recipes. The focus is on great ingredients and flavors. The first chapter has a lot of traditional favorites like cheddar crackers, goldfish shaped mini-crackers and soda crackers. She uses yeast frequently as leavening agent instead of baking powder, and gourmet touches like alder-smoked salt make even a soda cracker very special.

The next chapter is inspired by recipes from the around the world. Japanese rice crackers, my favorite rye crisps, Norwegian crackers made with oatmeal and other savories. These crackers, like the ones in the other chapters also come with dip, spread and topping suggestions.

Healthful Snacks and Wheat-free crackers has several gluten-free crackers. Nut lovers will also love this chapter with things like Brown Butter-Hazelnut Crackers (my new favorite!).

Quick and Crunchy uses mostly pre-made items to create crackers with flavor and snap. This is the "instant gratification" chapter, and has my daughter's favorite recipe, the Frico with Basil- made with cheese with basil from our herb garden they are fast, amazing and gluten free.

Up next is a dessert chapter, which straddles the line between cookies and crackers, but still more on the cracker side. It starts with the classic animal cracker, but made for adult tastes with a lemon glaze and good ingredients. There are also recipes for a chocolate/mint cracker and some recipes that are globally inspired.

Then the dips! I made the Smoked Salmon Creme Fraiche because it combines two of my favorite things with other flavors for an amazing dip. Everyone will find a good dip in here, some use seafood, there is a vegan pate, bean dips and cheese dips. There are enough dip varieties that you could make a dinner of them serving various dips with crackers and crudites.

This is a wonderful book for people who love to bake and entertain. The recipes are well explained. There are not photos of every single cracker or dip, the focus of the book is the recipes. The photos shown are charming, carrying the cover theme with the crackers on a chalkboard background. Measurements are in American style volume and metric.

You can get the book from Amazon.com using the links below and help support this site.

U.S.A. U.K.

Amazon.com affiliate links don't affect your cost, and provide extra income to me personally, which helps support this site.

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review, I received no other compensation, and my review is my honest opinion of the book. You can read more about my review policy here.


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