the start of a good day

 I ran my heart out this morning.

 

I ran in the dark.  I ran in the cold.  I ran with nothing but a flashlight.

I watched the sun rise from over the trees.  Gentle light.  Nature’s promise of warmth.

I watched the neighborhood wake up.  Lights flicking on.  The smell of sweet pancakes and warm maple syrup floating through the air. 

I was chased by a spunky black pug with an attitude.

I watched my breath float up and into the sky.  A wisp of smoke.

I ran my heart out this morning and then I realized that today was going to be a very good day.

 

I came home, showered, went to work, came home, went for a walk.

And then—at the end of the day—I baked sixty-five crackers. 

Yes.  Crackers.

Honestly, if you would have told me five years ago that I’d be baking my own crackers, I would have quite literally rolled on the floor laughing.  Even today, as I was poking little breathing holes into a bite sized cracker, I felt just a little silly.

Family members wanted to know “What’s cookin’?”  “Oh…well, crackers.”  With the lift of an eyebrow and the sweep of a grin, they reminded me that the store down the street is still selling crackers, as far as they knew.

But I was as determined as ever.  Determined to find a cracker that—much like yesterday’s plate of fettucine—wouldn’t need a plethora of toppings, just to make its point.  I wanted a cracker to be crunchy, flaky and just a little bit salty.  I wanted a cracker that could hold its own. 

I think I may have found that cracker.  Well, not exactly.  Not quite.  But almost.

This recipe still needs a little tweaking and some TLC.  So maybe I should have waited before running out and sharing it with all of you.  But I can’t, really.  Patience has never been one of my strong suits.

Besides, it’s pretty close to perfect.  And if I know you readers like I think I do, most of you like to play around with a basic recipe, transforming it into something new and exciting.  You like to take a recipe and go wild with it.  And these crackers are practically begging you to do just that.  Get creative.  Branch out.  Throw in your favorite flavors and make it your own.  Be daring with cinnamon.  Go bold with cayenne.  Simplify with specks of sea salt. 

And, as Julia Childs would say, “most of all, have fun!”

Whole Wheat Crackers—a basil and garlic variation

Be sure to roll the dough out very thin.  Otherwise you’ll end up with a thick, chewy cracker.  CRUNCH is what you’re after.  That being said, however, my dad actually preferred it a little on the soft side with crispy edges.  So—as always—go with what you like! 😀

I made this batch with garlic and basil, but you could nix that and go for a sweet flavor (chocolate? cinnamon?) or spice things up with cayenne.  The possibilities are endless. 😀

  • 3-1/4 c. whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 T. basil

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Stir together flour, seasonings of choice and salt.  Pour in vegetable oil and water.  Mix until blended.

3. Roll dough as thin as possible (no more than 1/8 inch) on a lightly floured surface.  Place dough on ungreased baking sheet (may need to use two separate cooking sheets) and mark squares with a knife, but don’t cut through.  Prick each cracker with a fork a few times.

4. Bake for 15-20 minutes in oven or until crisp and light brown (avoid undercooking).  Baking time varies depending on thickness of cracker.  When cool, remove from baking sheet and separate into individual crackers.

Question: What is your favorite kind of cracker?  I’ve always been a Kashi fan, but I also *love* Dr. Kracker’s Seeded Spelt.

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14 thoughts on “the start of a good day

  1. Ahhh, I live for early morning runs like that. There is no better way to start the day in my opinion.

    Also, funny that you posted the crackers because I was thinking today that I want to make my own crackers for some appetizers for a dinner party I’m having on Friday. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. your run sounds like a great way to start the day. I always have great plans to get up early and run but usually bed is so comfy that I don’t actually get up when I should. Some day I will.
    Those crackers sound yummy too, also home made is often times way better than the box stuff.

  3. i have a couple of questions if you wouldn’t mind answering (i’d seriously be so grateful)- I’m thinking about pursuing a different degree to become an R.D. I know that some of the required classes involve chemistry, biology, and anatomy&physiology, but do those materials influence the bulk of your work interning or working as an R.D.? Chemistry isn’t what I’m passionate about, food and eating well are. I am not sure how intricately the science is connected to the career, though it is heavily a part of the program I’m looking into. What do you think?

    • Hi, and thanks for asking the questions. I love talking nutrition/food/college, so feel free to ask questions any time. 😀

      I’ve never been a chemistry girl and you’ll find that many dietitians/nutritionists aren’t either (some are though, which is great!) So when I realized that I had to take a good 5 semesters worth of chemistry, I was a bit more than just freaked out. 😉

      But the honest truth is that while it’s important to understand the basics of chemistry, most of what you need to know about it circles around a few things. Metabolism, for example. And you’ll see the Krebs cycle so many times that it will become second nature to you.

      Same goes for biology and anatomy/physiology. Once you understand the basics, you’re golden. Yes, you’ll keep learning new information, but it’s related to nutrition in the sense that you’ll be reading about current research that was done. And (best of all) you’ll really have a grasp on what they’re talking about.

      Long story short: you will use biology, chemisry, anatomy, in nutrition, but it won’t be the bulk of your work unless that’s the field you want to take. It will definitely *support* what you know though.

      For the internship, in food service, I haven’t touched any of that information. Community probably won’t either. Clinical will touch anatomy and physiology the most, since you’ll need to know how certain diseases effect the rest of the body/what you need to feed/etc.

      I really hope this helped. Feel free to email or ask me here if you have any more questions. 😀

  4. I don’t really eat crackers! I don’t really know why… I just would much rather spread something on bread or toast than a crispy cracker. The idea of making your own at home rocks though 🙂
    ❤ Tat

  5. Wow, what an amazing-sounding run!! I’ve never been an early-morning exerciser, but I think you’ve convinced me to give crack-of-dawn runs another go 🙂

    I love that you made your own crackers! I don’t think I’ve ever had a home-made cracker…but I can pratically smell the aroma through your pictures. They look just perfect!

    My favourite crackers are probably the plain Kashi TLCs. Terribly addictive. I also love rice crackers flavoured with seaweed.

  6. I love most of the Dr. Krackers, for their crunch and buttery flavor.

    I’ve thought about making my own crackers for a few years, since there are some wonderful recipes in my King Arthur Flour cookbook, but I haven’t tried any yet.

  7. Sounds like an amazing run.

    I used to make my own raw crackers a lot. It was mostly flax seed, but had other veggies mixed in including bell peppers and jalapenos. They are dehydrated rather than baked though.

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