Hello, hello, hello! Hello lovely readers!
I am recovered, and back blogging as I have been longing to do!
But what have I been up to while I was away! Well, I took advantage of the state specific public holiday to zip up to the coast for a couple of days with some friends, and it was glorious. And I think the sea air did wonders for helping me start to recover. I had never been to Depot before either, and in fact it’d been quite a long time since I had even stopped in Bateman’s bay. But I was incredibly pleased at a new friend suggesting we try Depot beach, and her pick of the accommodation was even better. It became quite affordable between four people, who were also happy to cook for themselves, and better still we had a beach not two minutes from the house!
The water was icy cold, but I still think the dip I had did something to kickstart my body fighting off this viral stuff. After that very brief swim and a nap, I could feel I was getting better. The surrounds were also especially beautiful. We splashed in the water, the others went hiking, we ate delicious fish and chips at Bateman’s bay – a rare occurrence for me as a person who really does not get along with seafood, and generally had an excellent time. Although a lack of sleep on the last day set me back a bit, it was still definitely worth the trip. And I highly recommend Depot beach to anyone who wants somewhere to stay that’s a bit quieter than Bateman’s bay, but still has quite a lot to look at and enjoy.
I’ve also now caught up with an aunt and uncle, who I love dearly but haven’t been able to see in some time. So that was wonderful. They came down to see me, and despite some traumatic car issues, we still had an excellent day zooming around Canberra. Taking them to some specific furniture stores also led to the discovery of my new favourite, higher-end secondhand store – Material Pleasures. Now, I pride myself on knowing most of the second-hand and op shops around my city because I like to buy my clothes secondhand where I can. But I had never seen this place before, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. They buy and sell secondhand designer clothing, and also provide a specific list of the brands they’ll take. But their prices are incredibly reasonable, the staff are lovely, and all the clothes I picked up looked like they’d basically never been worn. Woohoo!
Following on from that, I have a few pieces of clothing I have decided to risk altering myself rather than taking to the tailor. My most accessible tailor is also somewhat pricey, although the quality of their work is really good. So I thought, now was the time to learn how to create brand new hems for trousers, to change long sleeves to short sleeves, and to learn how to alter dresses to better fit my shape! These are things I will have to do my entire life, due to struggles in finding stuff that actually fits my shape anywhere here. I have unpicked the original hem of the trousers in preparation, and I suspect it’s going to take quite a lot to get them up to where I need them to be, but I am looking forward to the challenge! I’ve also now cut out all the pieces for another sewing project, and only recently acquired 3.2m of 114cm fabric with a gorgeous pattern from a secondhand store in order to see if I can make something out of that too. I am determined to learn to sew!
I have also been on the hunt for savoury recipe inspirations, as I feel like I have been making too many sweets recently – although none of the taste-testers have complained! Haha! I was hunting for something simple, easy, and that wouldn’t leave me with a whole lot of leftovers. And that was when I stumbled back over the Minimalist Baker’s website. I found her wonderful site quite a while ago when I was first looking into whipped cream alternatives, and I really like her style and positive attitude. I also really liked the look of her 1-Bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Crackers and decided to give them a go. I’ve never made crackers before, although I love eating them. So I was quite inspired to give them a shot!
Unfortunately I didn’t quite roll my batch thin enough to get them all truly crispy as the author’s looked, and my dough certainly didn’t stretch as far as hers did and so didn’t make as many. Although, those crackers that I did make wafer thin were so crunchy and delicious I knew the recipe would have been a complete success had I done that for all of them. And as my readers know I like to post about recipes even if they aren’t complete successes. I am only human, and if I never make mistakes I don’t see how I – or anyone else, can ever learn! So in that regard I stuck to the measurements in the original recipe for thickness, but I do think – depending on what flour blend you use, you may need to try to make them thinner. As the author advised, using different flour blends than hers would produce a different result.
I also realised that I had forgotten to adjust the amount of oil and water when baking these originally, as readers may not know this – but the Australian measurements are a little different from some other countries. And this can often be a sticky point for Australian cooks and bakers when picking up recipes from the internet where the measurements aren’t given in alternatives – like mls or grams, and vice versa for anyone picking up Australian recipes! You really do have to look at the country the author is writing from. So for me, 3.5tbsp of oil was quite a bit more than the original recipe required. However, I don’t think it had too much of an impact on the final product. But I think this recipe works better if you match the source amounts.
Also, I found using dried rosemary was perfectly fine versus fresh – as I no longer have access to fresh rosemary except for criminal prices at the grocery store. It works even better if you’re able to blend or process the dough, as then the dried rosemary gets crumbled in quite well, and every bite has that delicious flavour! And I definitely recommend keeping the garlic powder in!
The Minimalist Baker’s
1-Bowl Vegan Gluten Free Crackers
Makes: up to 20, Prep: 10-15 mins, plus chilling, Cook: 20-25 mins
- 3/4 cup/120 g gluten-free plain flour
- 2/3 cup/50 g almond meal
- Heaped 1/4 tsp/2g baking powder
- 2 Tbsp/14 g flaxseed meal
- 1 tsp chopped rosemary, preferably fresh (but dried also works)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder (Optional, but I recommend it)
- 3.5 NON-AU tbsp/Approx 52ml neutral flavoured oil
- 3-5 NON-AU Tbsp – or up to approx 75ml cold water
- Preheat oven to 165C and cover two baking trays with baking paper.
- Add the dry ingredients to a food processor or a mixing bowl and process or whisk until thoroughly combine.
- Then add oil and pulse/use a pastry cutter or fork until the mixture comes together and is crumbly.
- Add cold water 1 Tbsp at a time, pulsing/stirring until it forms a semi-sticky dough that’s mouldable with your hands and no longer crumbly. It shouldn’t need more than 5 Tbsp.
- Remove from processor or mixing bowl and form into a loose ball with your hands.
- Transfer to a clean surface lined with baking paper. Lay another sheet of baking paper on top and use a rolling-pin to roll the dough out into a very thin rectangle about 1/8 of an inch thick.
- NOTE: I made mine about 2mm, and that was still a bit too thick. Try for wafer thin for crisper crackers.
- Use a knife, a pizza cutter, or a small cookie cutter to cut the dough into squares (or circles).
- Transfer the dough (still on the baking paper) to the freezer for about 10 minutes to stiffen. This will help them firm up and become easier to transfer to the baking sheet.
- Once firm, use a spatula to carefully transfer the crackers to the baking trays, making sure they aren’t touching.
- Bake for up to 25 minutes or until slightly golden brown (be careful not to burn).
- Remove from oven and let on the baking trays.
- Enjoy immediately. Or store at room temperature for 1 week, or in the freezer for 1 month.