12 Days of a THRIVING Christmas - Day 3

Today is all about THRIVE Dairy.  THRIVE has some fantastic dairy products including Milk, Instant and non-Instant.  Instant dissolves better in cold water than the non-instant.  Both are non-fat.  We also have a great Sour Cream Powder product which I like to use for baking needs.  My favorite dairy products are our cheeses.  They are soooo good.  So Good!  I particularly love the cheddar and mozzarella cheeses.  The mozzarella cheese is fantastic for pizza and pasta dishes.  The cheddar is great straight from the can!  Or you can reconstitute it and use it in grilled cheese, casadillas, or any other favorite cheesy dish.  With my son's recent diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes it is even more important for me to have lots of food on hand that he can eat, and cheese is one of them.

Some of my other favorite THRIVE dairy products:
All of our Yogurt Bites - all but especially the Passionfruit Yogurt Bites and we now have Greek Yogurt Bites as well


There are a couple tricks for reconstituting THRIVE cheeses.  Here is our wonderful Chef Todd with a great demonstration:


My talented aunt introduced me to this wonderful homemade cracker recipe.  You have to try it!  It is amazing!  But I give you fair warning: you may never want a store bought cardboard cracker again.  You can also add extra flavor to this cracker with other seasonings.  

Artisan Whole Wheat Cheese Crackers

3 cups whole wheat flour, freshly ground*
1 1/3 cups cold butter
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese**
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon white pepper
2-3 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
additional salt (or other seasoning salts)

*You can actually use any combination of white and wheat flours to make 3 cups, but my favorite is 3 cups of freshly ground wheat flour.  
**You could also use "4 Cheese Mexican Blend" cheese or another cheese of your choice but sharp cheddar is my favorite.  If you use THRIVE Cheese it needs to be reconstituted.

Note: You can use a food processor, mixer, or do this by hand.  I usually do the first three steps by hand and the 4th step with a mixer.

To make the dough:  
1. Thoroughly mix together the flour, kosher salt, white pepper, parsley, and ground mustard.  
2. Cut in the butter so it resembles small pea sized crumbs.  
3. Using a fork, stir in the shredded cheese.  
4. Slowly add the 1/2 cup water until the dough comes together in a ball.  If needed, add the tablespoon of water.
5.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for about 1 hour.

To bake:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and cut parchment paper to fit your baking sheets.
2. On a floured surface roll out about a quarter of the dough at a time to about 1/8 inch think.
3. Cut out your cookies (you can cut them with a pizza cutter into squares, use cookie cutters, or use a 1 inch round cookie or biscuit cutter).
4. Transfer your cut outs to the parchment covered baking sheet.
5. Prick each cracker 3 times and sprinkle with sea salt/kosher salt.
6. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp.  They can burn quickly so set your timer and keep an especially close eye on the first batch to see what time works best for your oven.
7.  Cool completely on a paper towel before storing (if there are any to store).
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