Yesterday was Hubby’s birthday. He is a little kid who is trapped in an adult’s body. The art of stretching out the celebration for an entire week is his preferred method of celebration. I love him dearly, so let the celebrations begin. Oh and by the way, did you know that October 9th is the official start of the holiday season? Hubby deemed it so. Smile.
With the week long celebrations, even his colleagues at work got into to the spirit. Power point presentations had birthday wishes baked in. His beloved vice of apple fritters made quite a few appearances throughout the week long festivities at his workplace. Yesterday especially had many folks showering him with sweet treats, cards and other special goodies.
For me, little small gifts made their way to his hands throughout the week. My goal was to make it a special week for my hubby. Since yesterday was the actual birthday, I started the day with some pumpkin donut holes and a gift card to starbucks to start the morning right. I guess by now, you are detecting that my husband has a sweet tooth, especially for the fried dough variety. Since it was a school night, we were rather low key and I made his favorite dinner. He adores my Turkey Loaf with Mango Ginger Chutney and Garlic & Crème Fraiche Whipped Potatoes. I had a few more surprise gifts that he enjoyed opening and then we had a delicious small cake from Whole Foods - all in all a great birthday celebration.
Of course I had to start the festivities last night with a great appetizer. I absolutely love making homemade crackers and was inspired by my friend Jean to make a version of her cheddar and fennel crackers. Her recipe is absolutely perfect and makes a light and flaky cracker that is simply savory goodness. I decided to substitute the fennel for sun dried tomatoes and double the recipe. In addition, a light sprinkle of hickory smoked salt tossed on top for an added burst of flavor. I served it with a new treasure that I found at Trader Joe’s called Red Leicester that has chili and red bell pepper infused throughout. It has a radiant orange hue along with being extremely creamy with a unique blend of flavors that have you wanting that second or third slice right away. The combination with the cracker was magical but both alone are simply a treat for your taste buds.
Cheddar & Sun Dried Tomato Crackers
Make 40 crackers
Make 40 crackers
1 Cup (2 sticks) Butter, cut into cubes
6 ounces Sharp White Cheddar Cheese, grated
7 Tablespoons Sun Dried Tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 ½ Cup Flour
½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
Using a food processor, add the flour, garlic powder and grated cheese and pulse until combined. Next add the sun dried tomatoes and pulse. Last, add the cubes of chilled butter and pulse until combined. Mixture should begin to bind together. Remove and finish by forming two balls on a lightly floured board.
Form each ball into a square log that is approximately 1 ½ to 2 inches on each side. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice each cracker to 3/8 inch thick and place on cookie sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle each cracker with a bit of the hickory smoked salt. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for a few days.