Sunday, April 14, 2013

Thank You For Being a Friend!

Is it just me, or do you get the Golden Girls theme song stuck in your head every single time someone invites you to a party? Imagine me belting out drunkenly and off-key:

Thank you for being a friend 
Traveled down the road and back again 
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a confidant. 
And if you threw a party 
Invited everyone you knew 
You would see the biggest gift would be from me 
And the card attached would say thank you for being a friend.

Although I suspect there would be more exclamation points in my version. Hey, why can't you do TV theme songs at karaoke? How about a KARAOKE THEME SONG PARTY?! Omg, I will have to throw this SOON! But for now my good friend CC hosted a housewarming party to show off her very modern new place close to Washington D.C.

The thing about CC is that she's better than me at everything. She has a very yummy cooking blog - Kitchen Konundrums  where she posts some of her creations. Although you can't tell from that how crafty she is, too. I spotted a home made spring yard wreath and some cool  homemade kitchen magnets at her house as well. And the lady can crochet rings around me without looking down. So when she invited us to her party and said I didn't need to bring anything, I knew I'd have to come up with something great!

Luckily there was an article in Wednesday's Washington Post by Jane Touzalin about her adventures in artisan cracker making. Now, I've made crackers before, but when she insisted, "The idea [to make crackers] struck me as brilliant, for several reasons. It would save me money. It would require no special equipment. It would let me customize my snacks to my taste. And a bag of rustic-looking crackers, tied with a pretty ribbon, would make a charming hostess gift, for the next time I had a hostess," I knew I had to dust off my rolling pin and do it again!

The crackers were simple (recipe follows) and I packaged them in a basket with jalapeno jelly made from last summer's harvest, some home grown cut sage tied into an approximation of a smudge stick, a bottle of bubbly, and some freshly cut herbs. I made matching labels for everything to match the basket, and had a cute gift to take to an equally cute friend!

The party was lots of fun and the food was A. MAZ.ING. (but you had me at home made bread and grilled squash!). For dessert, she made individual mousse cups with fresh whipped cream AND strawberry shortcake cups. WHO DOES THAT? Seriously, it was the best!

Crisp Rosemary Flatbread Crackers
from Jane Touzalin for the Washington Post
adapted from a recipe in the July 2008 issue of Gourmet

1 3/4 cups flour, plus more for the work surface
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing
Flaked sea salt, such as Maldon


  • Place a heavy baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven; preheat to 450 degrees.
  • Lightly flour a work surface.
  • Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon of the chopped rosemary in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center, then add the water and oil gradually stirring them into the flour until a soft, shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and knead gently 4 or 5 times to bring the dough together into a soft, smooth ball. 
  • Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Work with one piece at a time and keep the remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap. Divide the first piece into 4 equal pieces; roll each one out on a sheet of parchment paper into a long oval shape, roughly two inches wide and nine inches long. Use the tines of a fork to prick the cracker several times. 
  • Brush each cracker lightly with oil and scatter a little of the remaining chopped rosemary on top, then a little of the salt, pressing slightly to adhere.
  • Bake until pale golden and browned in spots, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer crackers to a rack to cool. 

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