Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cheap Snacks

We're getting closer to the end of the month and my grocery budget is empty. I'm finding the grocery money doesn't go nearly as far now that the girls are older! I could either use some money from the vacation budget (which I'll probably still do to some extent because Sedona thinks there's no food at all if we happen to be out of yogurt), or make up some snack with things we have on hand.

I needed to make bread yesterday anyways, so I went ahead and made up a batch of pita chips while I was at it. Original recipes were found on AllRecipes.com.

First, you have to make pita bread (this is great with greek salad (add feta crumbles) as stuffing if you're looking for dinner ideas)

Ingredients:
1 1/8c warm water
1 1/2tsp sugar
1 1/2tsp yeast
1tsp salt
1Tbsp oil
3c flour

I made these right after I had made the bread, so the bowl's "dirty" (I figured I might as well do both at the same time to minimize dishes).

Mix water and sugar and sprinkle yeast on topLet sit until yeast is foamyMix in salt and oil, then add flour 1 cup at a time (do NOT short the flour. This is one recipe where you DON'T want sticky dough)

Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, then place in lightly oiled bowl (I just spray with non-stick cooking spray)Let risePreheat oven to 500 degrees. Punch down dough and separate into 8 pieces
Roll each piece into a disc (how thin or thick is based on your preference, but if you're making pita chips, you probably want thinner)

Place discs on a cooling rack and place the rack in the oven for 4-5 minutes. I only have one rack, so I do these 2 at a time and let the other discs rise on the counter while they're waiting their turn. Pitas should puff up in the oven. I over did these just a bit

Put a damp towel over them so they soften up a bit

If you want to turn these into pita chips, you have a few more steps to go:

Mix about 1/8c olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut each pita into 8 pieces
Brush both sides of each piece with the oil/salt/garlic powder mixBake for about 7 minutes. You really have to keep an eye on these. Depending on how browned you want them, you might want to pull them early, or leave them an extra 5 minutes. When they come out, you can sprinkle with a little extra salt and/or garlic powder if you want. Voila! Cheap snack foods. I was going to have Josh make up some hummus to dip them in, but we're out of garlic too, so that didn't happen. The girls like them plain and we're in a really dry climate, so we've just left them out and everybody just walks by and grabs a few when they need a snack.

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