Spiced Crackers

Spiced crackers have many versions and many names across the cooking blogosphere and home kitchens.  These are probably called “those crackers you make for Christmas gifts” more than any other name in my house.  But, these are good anytime and I didn’t want to ban them other people’s houses just during the holiday season.

These crackers are very easy to make and definitely more frugal than anything loaded with chocolate or nuts.  Packed into small baggies, the crackers make a great filler for a cookie tray that has a small space left and you are out of cookie cooking or candy making steam.

Larger containers of spiced crackers can work as a stand-alone hostess gift.  I have used these crackers for both purposes.

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Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter

Banana bread and strawberry butter ran hand-in-hand with the $30 salad, at a restaurant we used to eat at in Florida.  Of course, you know the drill if you have been a follower of my posts, either the restaurant doesn’t exit or it is out of my geographical location.  In this case, it is both.

The banana bread would come out in the bread basket served with the menu.  I’m not sure why they even bothered to serve yeast rolls.  You could look across the restaurant tables and see lonely yeast rolls hanging out in those bread baskets.  Obviously, the banana bread smeared with strawberry butter was the preferred choice.

I have two banana bread recipes, but I prefer this one to go with strawberry butter.  The other banana bread recipe has a pretty strong banana and brown sugar flavor that seems to overpower the strawberry butter.  It’s also almost too moist and dense for the addition of any butter.  I say almost because folks still seem to butter it when I carry it somewhere

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Grandma Hunt’s Tomato, Cucumber, & Onion Salad

This is one of those rare recipes my mother made well. But she made it all the time. The recipe for Tomato, Cucumber, and Onion Salad stayed taped to the inside of her spice cabinet. I don’t remember a time not seeing it anytime I went for a salt shaker.

It was always present at her parties by the pool. There would also be the required steaks on the grill, mushrooms, cucumbers and onions, boxed scalloped potatoes, and those little sponge cakes you can buy in the produce section of most stores alongside sweetened strawberries and vanilla ice cream (my mother’s version of strawberry shortcake).

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