Did you all have a really great weekend?
I hope so, I had one of the best ever! This was my first Christmas as an aunty, my last one as a teenager, and my third one living in Chile (I can’t believe it’s been that long!) and I won’t be forgetting it any time soon. Ryder was so cute opening his first presents ever, absolutely adorable and hilarious at the same time.
My dad and brother-in-law have been working all month on a homemade gift for Sophie. She’s 7 now so she kind of outgrew the little play kitchens that you can buy for toddlers but she loves to play chef (This couldn’t possibly be encouraged by the fact that she has a big sister who lives in the kitchen,(wink wink) yeah probably not.) So they made her a big kid’s version of a play kitchen out of wood, and some other very creatively thought of materials, that’s much more fitted for her size. She was ecstatic over it too. We also got two sweet little kittens. The name of the cats is still kind of up in the air but we really needed some cats around the house, because, don’t shreak, but we recently found this huge rat outside that we think was sick or something. It kept twitching and had flies all over it. Ewwww, I’m sorry that’s way TMI. Moving on….
Anyone have plans for New Year’s? Is it just me or is it a very anti-climatic holiday after the hype of Christmas? I’ve always thought so. We don’t have any traditions or anything special that we do as a family. Most years we just spend the weekend trying to cram in replays of our favorite Christmas movies before it’s too late and contemplating taking down the decorations. This year though, we’re doing a Thanksgiving dinner; take 2! Confused?
Well, some of our really good friends that we get together with all the time recently had a loss in their extended family so our friend Eric had to fly out of town for a few weeks right before our big Thanksgiving dinner. We all knew that he was looking forward to that dinner so much so we decided to have a little redo in his honor and also because, why not? It’s not like we had other plans an I’m totally up to one more feast before the year’s out.
It is making this week a little busier than past years though, so I thought I’d try to make things easier on myself and share one of my favorite easy recipes today. This one is actually a recipe inspired by my aunt Debbie (Thanks DebDeb!). By request, she would bring this to just about every holiday party I can remember, when we all lived in the same state that is. It’s only 4 ingredients for the dip and I feel like I’m cheating with the crackers here because the recipe for them is one of the first ones I posted on my blog when it was just a few empty web pages with terrible photos. It’s buried in my archives though (here is the embarrassing link if you must see it.), and I made them into cute holiday shapes for the holiday. That makes it kind of like new, right?
Be warned everyone, this is super addictive and I have to tell you that the crackers are well named ’cause they’re like crack. You want to eat the whole batch once you start (one is too many and eight is not enough). The dip is a perfect blend of tart, sweet, spice, and creaminess with a nutty crunch on top. I would say that you can’t make the dip without the crackers, but I know some of you are going to want to so I guess that’s fine. It’s good with all kinds of dippers actually, veggies, chips, pitas, you name it.
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoons salt plus extra for sprinkling
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour plus extra for rolling
- 1 (8 ounce) package non-dairy "cream cheese", at room temp
- 3/4 cup raspberry jelly
- 1 tablespoon canned jalapeno pepper + 1 tablespoon juice from can
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- Beat coconut oil and sugar until smooth. Add water, vanilla, paprika, and salt and continue mixing. Last, add flour and stir until smooth.
- On a floured surface, roll out dough into a rectangle. Make it a very thin layer. Use a pizza cutter to cut lines vertically and horizontally to create about 1 1/2 inch squares or cut into whatever shape you want. just make sure to keep them fairly thin.
- Space closely together on a parchment lined baking tray. If you want to them to be on the salty side then sprinkle salt lightly over crackers.
- Bake at 400 degrees F (200 C) for 5-10 minutes watching carefully. When the edges start to darken pull from oven and let them cool.
- Spread the "cream cheese" into a smooth layer in a high-sided plate or dish (a pie pan will work also). Chop jalapenos until they're very fine, then mix them and 1 tablspoon of the jalapeno juice with the raspberry jelly in a small bowl. Scrape the bowl out onto the cream cheese layer and also spread this layer smooth. Sprinkle chopped pecans over the top and serve with crackers or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve (you'll need to set it out about 30 minutes before to soften it again.).