Marlene asked for help finding a recipe for a healthy snack she baked in the early 1990s, a cheese cracker made with sunflower seeds and oats. She was tickled that her brother remembered those crackers and wanted to make them again.
“I didn’t think anyone but me still made homemade crackers,” said Jean Quick of Fayetteville, N.C.
Sandy Oulette had a similar response: “I am so happy to know there’s someone else out there who enjoys the challenge of making crackers. My friends all think I’m crazy. But it is something I learned to enjoy when snowed in, before I started coming south from my home in Nova Scotia to Florida for the winter.”
I enjoyed trying out the recipe here, which Oulette says came from a booklet she got from the National Sunflower Association. It is not as daunting as homemade graham crackers, and is more like making Southern cheese straws.
Q. I have never tasted sweet potatoes as delicious as the ones at Ruth’s Chris Steak Houses. Can you get the recipe? I’d love to put it on the Thanksgiving table.
Ah, the bliss of sweet potatoes, butter, pecans and sugar. This sweet potato casserole has been on the Ruth’s Chris menu for nearly 50 years. (If you are streamlining your Thanksgiving, you can buy family-sized portions at the restaurant.) You can double this recipe and bake in an 8-inch square casserole.
Tried and New
I still love cookbooks and treasure old paper recipe cards, but I have gotten spoiled by being able to look up recipes quickly — even the ones from my own column — online. So I was eager to try an iPad/tablet cooking stand made from sustainably grown bamboo that props up the tablet for clear viewing. A see-through plastic shield allows you to tap and type without smearing the screen. The stand measures 9 1/2 by 10 1/2 inches and is available at greatusefulstuff.com for $29.95.
I love pumpkin and think it’s too bad that it’s pigeonholed as a fall flavor. The recipe here from Spice Islands for pumpkin cupcakes, nicely complemented by orange cream cheese frosting, is one you’ll want to make year round.