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Cream Cheese, Veggie, and Cracker Stackers
One of the biggest driving forces for culinary creativity is the desire to break away from the norm. In my case, it's the demand for variety expressed by my children... How many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches can a couple kids eat, really, before they get bored? So, I sometimes have to find more interesting ways of feeding them, particularly with food items that we "normally" already have in the house.
- 10 Ritz Crackers, Whole Wheat
- 2.5oz Cream Cheese
- 1 Roma Tomato
- 2in length Jumbo Cucumber, Unpeeled
Our list for today: Ritz crackers (every household with kids has a box of those, right?), a bit of cream cheese, an average-sized Roma tomato, and a cucumber. To give yourself an idea of the "nutritional value" of this snack, consider that it's prepared with two servings of crackers and two and a half servings of cream cheese. We'll ignore the values of the tomato and cucumber, as they're not really influential in this case.
A normal package of cream cheese is 8oz with a serving size of 1oz. We'll be splitting the cream cheese servings into quarters for ease of application.
- Remove ten crackers from the package and set aside. Put the remaining box of crackers away... if you're like me, you'll eat half the box while preparing the "snack." So, seriously, put it away.
- Thinly slice ten cucumber rounds, set aside.
- Thinly slice the tomato into discs (should yield a total of ten discs) and set aside.
- Use a butter knife and the markings on the packaging to make lines on the top surface of the cream cheese where each half ounce would be. Just make the lines, don't cut through yet. If your cream cheese package only shows full ounce markings, make those lines, then mark again where you estimate half would be.
- Create a second marking perpendicular to the lines you've just made to split each division into a quarter of an ounce. This time, cut through.
- Using your original markings, cut through the cream cheese to remove a quarter ounce with your knife.
- Applying the creme cheese downward onto the crackers only smears it everywhere. I prefer to lay the cream cheese onto the cracker with the knife between them, then to give the knife a bit of a twist against the cracker. This method catches the exposed cream cheese on the cracker, releasing the knife cleanly under the light pressure.
- Assemble the snack by topping the cream cheese with the tomato first, then the cucumber. You could reverse the order, but then you have to deal with tomato juice on your fingers while eating. With kids... that'll get messy pretty quickly. The cucumber at the top is a little more "dry" and keeps the assembly somewhat more secure.
- Transfer to a plate and serve.
What do you think?
|Serving size: 5 Stackers|
|Calories from Fat||126|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 14 g||22%|
|Saturated fat 8 g||40%|
|Unsaturated fat 1 g|
|Carbohydrates 14 g||5%|
|Sugar 5 g|
|Fiber 1 g||4%|
|Protein 4 g||8%|
|Cholesterol 38 mg||13%|
|Sodium 239 mg||10%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|