Homemade Cheese Crackers

For 60 crackers:

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1¼ teaspoons kosher salt

Pinch of cayenne pepper

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

¼ cup cold water, or more as needed

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour with the salt, cayenne pepper, cheddar and Parmesan to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Add the water and mix until the dough forms a ball around the blade. If the dough looks dry, add more water, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time.

4. Divide the dough into two pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to ¼ inch thick. Cut into 1-inch squares and transfer to the prepared baking sheets (you can space them close together since they won’t spread as they bake).

5. Using the point of a small knife or the tine of a fork, poke a hole into the center of each cracker. Bake the crackers until golden brown and crisp, 14 to 16 minutes. Cool completely before serving. The finished crackers will keep, stored in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to a week.

Nutrition:

43 calories

3g fat

2g carbs

1g protein

0g sugars

cheese, crackers, and tasty image

Grilled Cheese Crostini

8 to 10 servings:

2 cups sliced strawberries

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Pinch of sugar

Pinch of salt

1 loaf crusty bread, thickly sliced

⅓ cup olive oil, for brushing

10 ounces Brie

4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the grill. In a large bowl, toss the strawberries with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, sugar and salt to combine. Set aside to macerate for 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Once the grill is hot, brush each piece of bread generously on both sides with the remaining olive oil. Grill the bread until nicely charred on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Cool slightly.

3. To serve, top each piece of bread with 3 mounded tablespoons of Brie and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the strawberry mixture. Finish with a sprinkle of mint and black pepper. Serve immediately.

Nutrition:

374 calories

24g fat

28g carbs

13g protein

6g sugars

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Broiler S’mores

4 to 6 servings:

12 graham-cracker squares

3 chocolate bars, broken into pieces (or 1⅓ cups chocolate chips)

12 jumbo marshmallows

1. Preheat the broiler on high heat.

2. In a medium cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet, arrange half the graham crackers in the base of the pan.

3. Place the chocolate on top of the graham crackers in an even layer. Top the chocolate with marshmallows. You can let them touch, but give them a little room to spread.

4. Place the pan under the broiler and watch for the marshmallows to toast, about 1 to 2 minutes. (This can happen pretty fast, so keep an eye on them.) When the marshmallows are golden brown, remove the pan from the broiler, using an oven mitt.

5. Let cool slightly, then top with the remaining graham crackers. Serve immediately.

Nutrition:

260 calories

5g fat

52g carbs

3g protein

24g sugars

food, chocolate, and Cookies image

Homemade Potato Chips

4 to 6 servings:

4 russet potatoes, washed and dried

¼ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon coarse salt, or more to taste

1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning (optional)

1. Preheat the broiler on its low setting. (Note: If your broiler isn’t adjustable or is particularly intense, just preheat the oven to 475°F.) Place a roasting rack on a baking sheet.

2. Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice the potatoes very thinly--about ⅛-inch thick. In a large bowl, toss the potato slices with the olive oil, salt and Old Bay seasoning, if using.

3. Arrange the potatoes on the roasting rack (you may have to do a few batches, as the slices should be spread out so they can get crispy). Cook the potatoes until they’re crisp and golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Repeat with the remaining potatoes. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to three days.

Nutrition:

312 calories

14g fat

44g carbs

5g protein

2g sugars

food, chips, and yummy image

Cherry-Almond Granola Bars

12 bars:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

3 cups quick oats

1½ cups almonds, coarsely chopped

1 cup dried cherries

3 tablespoons brown sugar

⅓ cup honey

1½ cups almond butter

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on both sides.

2. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oats and toast until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, combine the oats with the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine. (This can be done by hand, but it’s especially quick in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.)

4. Press the oat mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Pop the pan into the refrigerator or freezer to let the mixture set for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut into 12 evenly sized bars and serve. The bars will keep in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic for up to five days.

Nutrition:

460 calories

29g fat

44g carbs

13g protein

21g sugars

almond, bars, and cherry image

Mini Yogurt Cheesecakes

20 mini cheesecakes:

CRUST

18 graham crackers

Pinch of salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

FILLING

2 cups plain Greek yogurt

One (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1¼ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Pinch of cinnamon

Pinch of salt

TOPPING

1½ cups pomegranate seeds

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (optional, available in the international section of most grocery stores)

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease two muffin tins.

2. MAKE THE CRUST: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the graham crackers until they are finely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl and then wipe out the food processor's bowl.

3. Add the salt to the graham cracker crumbs and stir to combine. Add the melted butter and stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Scoop 2 tablespoons of crumbs into a muffin cup and press to form an even layer in the base. Repeat with the remaining crumbs in the remaining muffin cups.

4. Bake the crust for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden. Let the crust cool to room temperature. Lower the oven temperature to 325°F.

5. MAKE THE FILLING: In the bowl of the food processor, combine the yogurt with the cream cheese and sugar and process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt, and continue to process until the batter is smooth and combined, 1 minute more.

6. Scoop ⅓ cup cheesecake filling onto each cooled crust. Bake until the custard is lightly golden and set at the edges but still slightly jiggly in the center, 15 to 20 minutes.

7. Cool completely and then unmold the cheesecakes and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

8. MAKE THE TOPPING: In a bowl, toss the pomegranate seeds with the pomegranate molasses (if using). To serve, spoon 1 tablespoon of the pomegranate mixture on top of each cheesecake.

Nutrition:

Crust

74 calories

4g fat

10g carbs

1g protein

3g sugars

Filling

112 calories

6g fat

11g carbs

4g protein

11g sugars

Topping

17 calories

0g fat

4g carbs

0g protein

3g sugars

berries, cheesecake, and honey image

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