Wheaten Biscuits | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Wheaten Biscuits

Wheaten Biscuits | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

It’s well-established that I am extremely lazy. I’m also the absolute worst at arts and crafts. I can’t even draw stick people. The idea of making my own home decor is absolutely abhorrent. Who has the time and energy to make macrame pot holders? Most of the time, I’d much rather buy something than make it myself.

Food is the one exception. And still I’m far from making everything from scratch. I have no shame around serving store bought stuff. One of the best ways to entertain friends is with a gorgeous cheese board, and that can be nothing but good shopping and careful arranging. It’s delicious, and everybody is happy.

Wheaten Biscuits | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

But if you did want to make something from scratch to make your cheese eating experience a bit more special, I highly recommend these Wheaten Biscuits. They come together really quickly in the food processor, and they have great texture and flavor. I actually just ate most of these plain.

These are a great accompaniment for any kind of cheese, but I feel like a great, locally-made sharp cheddar would be ideal. And a cold cider. And lots of friends and laughter. Maybe in front of a fireplace. How could life get any better?

Wheaten Biscuits | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Do what you can with what you have, and be grateful for every moment. And when you have a few minutes to spare, make Wheaten Biscuits to eat with some great cheese and some great people.

Recipe from The Great British Book of Baking by Linda Collister.

Homemade Oatcakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Homemade Oatcakes

Homemade Oatcakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

When I first met my husband, I marveled at his lack of understanding of cheese. He once made nachos with Doritos, with shredded mozzarella, and Thai sweet chili sauce. He said, “All cheese tastes the same.” Wait. What???

It wasn’t until I moved to the UK that I figured out how he had been operating under this unfortunate delusion for so long. Most cheese in the UK is pretty much the same. Almost everything is a variation on cheddar. This can make for a pretty boring cheese plate. Not to mention that in Scotland, instead of a nice chunk of baguette, they give you dry, bland oatcakes. I have frequently been underwhelmed. 

Homemade Oatcakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Because I’m somewhat neurotic about working my way through a cookbook, I decided to try Nigella’s recipe for homemade oatcakes. I wasn’t expecting much. Turns out, oatcakes are pretty awesome if you make them yourself and roll them as thin as you can before baking.

Make sure you include a fat pinch of salt and cook them  until they’re golden brown around the edges. Eat them with a variety of cheeses with a variety of textures and flavors from a variety of countries. That’s how cheese plates should work. Throw in some grapes and some salted almonds or cashews. 

Homemade Oatcakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Drink wine. Eat oatcakes and cheese. Live it up.

Oatcakes
Yields 12
Homemade Oatcakes are flavorful and crispy and good with every kind of cheese.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons quick cooking oats
  2. Pinch of salt
  3. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  5. 6-8 tablespoons of recently boiled water
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F (200C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Put the oats, salt, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl, and give them a stir to combine. Pour in the butter and start add the first six tablespoons of hot water. Start stirring, and add hot water as needed until a stiff dough forms.
  3. Knead your dough a few times until it comes together smoothly. With a rolling pin, roll it out as thin as you can.
  4. Using a three-inch round cutter or whatever shape floats your boat, cut out as many oatcakes as you can. If you find your dough is sticking slightly, use a thin spatula or butter knife to lift it off the counter and onto the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the edges start to brown slightly. Cool on a wire rack.
Adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/

Homemade Spice Crackers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Homemade Spice Crackers

Homemade Spice Crackers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Okay, I’m gonna be quick because I know we’re all really busy spending quality time with our families over the holiday break. We’ve been pretty busy, too. Can I just say, Scotland is a total babe, and I’m having a great time showing her off to Emily, even if the weather has been largely uncooperative.

Hopefully you’re allowing yourself one last blow out on New Year’s Eve before giving over to those 2016 austerity measures we all try to put in place. Let’s just hope we don’t get so carried with resolutions that we forget to have fun.

Homemade Spice Crackers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

If you’re having friends over for drinks and a little midnight kissing this year, you should consider including these Homemade Spice Crackers in your spread. Serve them with cream cheese topped with your favorite hot and spicy mango chutney. Your friends will be so impressed.

They’re easy to make and packed with flavor. There’s a hint of heat from cayenne pepper and earthy warmth from plenty of cumin. You’ll want to roll out the dough as thinly as you can for added crispness. 

Homemade Spice Crackers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I hope your New Year’s Eve celebrations are hot and spicy and too awesome for words.

Homemade Spice Crackers
Yields 50
Homemade Spice Crackers and spicy and exotic, perfect for dipping.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  4. 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  5. 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  6. 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  7. Zest of 1 lime
  8. 1/2 cup warm milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, gently combine flour and all seasonings and spices. Use your hands to squish in the butter just like you would when making biscuits. Rub it int the flour mixture until you have a loose sand consistency.
  3. Zest your lime over this mixture and give it a quick toss. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the warm milk until a dough forms. The mixture will be very dry. You may need another small splash or two of milk.
  4. Turn out half your dough onto a floured surface and roll it out until it's as thin as possible. Your goal is to get it paper thin if you're brave enough. I wasn't. The thinner you roll, the crisper your crackers will be.
  5. Use a 2-1/2 inch cutter to cut out as many rounds as you can manage, and place them on your baking sheet. You'll probably have to work in batches.
  6. Bake your crackers for 3-5 minutes or until puffy and golden. Allow them to cool on a wire rack while you continue to roll out your dough and bake away.
  7. Serve with cream cheese and hot mango chutney or another favorite dip.
Adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/

Blue Cheese Crackers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Blue Cheese Crackers

Blue Cheese Crackers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day  

I’m in complete denial that another year is coming to an end. I don’t know how to handle it, so I’m just going to ignore it. It’s too late to worry about all the books I didn’t read, all the movies I didn’t watch, or all the recipes I didn’t try. Once again I spent too much time sleeping and not enough time exploring. Too much time working and not enough time living. Even so, it was an awesome year, and I’m ready to celebrate it.

The chances of me getting an invitation to a party that requires high heels and a sparkly dress. It’s much more likely that I’ll be at home in bare feet and yoga pants, but I would never let that stop me from eating some fancy food if I can. To me, it doesn’t get any better than a beautiful cheese plate.

Blue Cheese Crackers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

And while there certainly is an art to assembling a perfect cheese plate, it always feels a bit like cheating to me since I don’t have to cook anything. If you want to add a homemade element to your cheese plate, try making your own homemade Blue Cheese Crackers. It’s almost too easy.

These crackers are flaky, buttery, and flavorful, but not overly strong. There’s a hint of blue cheese, and they taste great all by themselves or loaded up with some other stars of your cheese plate. The dough comes together quickly and rolls out smoothly. I cut mine into squares with a pizza cutter, but you could make whatever shapes you like.

Blue Cheese Crackers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Here’s to an awesome year, and to more adventures to come. May it be filled with good friends, good wine, good food, and Blue Cheese Crackers.

Blue Cheese Crackers
Yields 25
Blue Cheese Crackers are flaky, buttery, and flavorful. Be sure to give them a spot on your next cheese plate.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup mcrumbled blue cheese
  2. 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  3. 1 egg yollk
  4. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  5. 1/4 cup corn meal
  6. pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together blue cheese, butter, and egg yolk with an electric mixer until smooth.
  2. Turn the mixer down to its lowest setting and mix in the flour, corn meal, and salt until combined.
  3. Press the dough together and wrap it in plastic wrap. Press it into a disc and refrigerate for at least a half hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  5. Roll the dough out on a well-floured surface to about a quarter inch thickness. Cut dough into the desired shape and place on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake crackers for 10-12 minutes. They should be golden brown and slightly puffy. Allow crackers to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes then cool on a wire rack.
  7. Serve on an awesome cheese plate with plenty of tasty treats or snack on them all by themselves.
Adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/



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