Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Because American Cheese Singles are SO Legacy

or, The Ecumenical Cheese Weasel

For all the deserving techies in your life, here's a secret recipe straight from the Cheese Weasel's workshop (ain't industrial espionage grand?). These crackers are gluten-free and, in honor of the season, contain no leavening.

Most people, when they try a gluten-free recipe for the first time, are disappointed by the lack of the wheat taste and consistency.  However, the taste and texture of these crackers are so dominated by cheese that you'll never miss the wheat. And of course, there's no reason not to use wheat flour if you prefer.

Cheese Weasel Crackers

makes 100+ crackers
you can upsize the recipe by increasing the first 3 ingredients proportionally - once you reach a double batch, you should probably upsize everything

8 oz sharp Cheddar cheese (the cheese will be the predominant flavor, so choose a cheese you like)
1/2 cup butter, chilled
1 cup gluten free flour (I use a mix of rice and tapioca flours, but choose your favorite)
1/4 cup flax seed meal (optional)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp instant minced onion
1/8 tsp cayenne

Shred the cheese in a food processor and dump into another bowl. Switch to the mixing blade and combine the butter and flour in the food processor until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the flax seed meal and flavorings - pulse to combine. Add the shredded cheese and process to incorporate. The mixture will still be more crumble than dough - this is okay.

Grab a handful of dough and roll it out into a log about 1 inch in diameter. This may take several tries because the dough is not naturally inclined to be cohesive. Roll out the rest of the dough in same manner, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least several hours.

Pre-heat oven to 375. Cut logs into 1/4 inch slices. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown. Using a metal pancake turner, remove from cookie sheet and let cool on wire racks. Place a few crackers each in small plastic bags and tuck under the computer keyboards of deserving techies.

NOTE: These crackers are quite fragile, so really, the bag shouldn't go directly under the keyboard, but you can at least tuck a corner underneath. Larger crackers would probably be marginally more sturdy (but still not proof against oblivious typing). Using wheat flour instead of gluten-free flour might also help.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Meeting Knitting--13 Shawls

If your New Year’s Resolution is to make your meetings more productive, here’s help! Thirteen wraps and shawls suitable for knitting at one meeting or lecture, and wearing to the next one. Engaging to knit without requiring your full attention. Smallish for portability and professional wear. And pretty. In alphabetical order by designer (all links are either to Ravelry or Knitty):

City Block shawl
City Block Shawl
by Laura Aylor ($6)
triangular, garter stitch, color blocking, fingering weight

Westport Wrap
Westport Wrap
by Laura Aylor ($6)
triangular, garter stitch, fat stripes in multiple colors, fingering weight

Citron shawl
by Hilary Smith Callis (free)
crescent shaped, ruffled, one color with stripes of varying textures, lace weight

Frangiflutti shawl
by edith filzhof (free)
crescent/triangular, ribbed, one color or yarn with long color changes, fingering weight, originally in German

Moon River scarf
Moon River Scarf
by Susanna IC (free)
rectangular, simple lace, well suited for variegated or tonal yarn, lace weight

Ziggity shawl
by Kirsten Kapur ($6)
crescent shaped, simple lace and garter stitch, fat stripes in two colors, fingering weight, largeish

Cadenza shawl
by Terri Kruse ($4)
long crescent with two-color striped border, DK weight

Triton shawl
by Dagmar Lutz (free)
rectangular, ruffled, simple lace, one color, lace weight, originally in German

Spring Kerchief
Spring Kerchief
by Seattle Yarn (free)
triangular, skinny stripes in two colors, DK weight

Katriel shawl
by Robin Ulrich ($4.50)
triangular, garter stitch, skinny stripes in two colors, fingering weight, largeish

Different Lines shawl
Different Lines
by Veera Valimaki (3.9 Euros)
asymmetrical triangle, skinny and fat stripes in two colors, fingering weight

Little Colonnade shawl
Little Colonnade
by Stephen West ($6)
triangular, one color or variegated, fingering weight
(Colonnade is a free, but not as cool, version on Knitty)

Thendara shawl
by Stephen West ($6, or part of a $20 e-book)
triangular plus tails, stockinette and garter, skinny stripes in two colors, prominent shaping, sport weight