*** This is a sponsored article written by me on behalf of Safeway. As always, all opinions expressed are 100% mine. ***
I'm always looking for quick and easy starters, especially during the holidays.
With more of us entertaining at home these days, having simple appetizers on hand is a must! That's why I always have crackers in my pantry.
BUT! When I talk about these crackers, they are all from my local Safeway. Their high-quality products from their exclusive O Organics®, Open Nature® and Signature SELECT ™ lines make it easy to select ingredients for parties and everyday shopping. I know I can walk into Safeway and find quality, trendy products at a great price in every corner of the store every time I visit. Huge relief!
Holiday crackers: three ways!
It is true. I wanted to give you all the options to keep you entertained. Today, I'm showing you how to use crackers from the Safeway O Organics, Open Nature and Signature SELECT product lines. You can do:
- Seasoned baked crackers using Signature SELECT Fun Crackers
- Festive chocolate ganache crackers Open Nature water crackers
- Honey Whipped Goat Cheese Dip O Organics Rosemary Flatbread Crackers
Holiday cracker: # 1
Seasoned Baked Crackers Using Signature SELECT Fun Crackers
These buttery crackers are not to be missed. A mix of melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper makes these crackers a show.
You will simply dip the cracker in the melted butter mixture, bake for a few minutes, then serve. That's it! These will go fast so you better hit a jackpot!
Holiday cracker: # 2
Festive chocolate ganache crackers using Open Nature water crackers
You always need something sweet to give when it comes to entertaining and these chocolate ganache crackers are sure to please. You will melt chocolate chips and incorporate heavy cream. Take a cracker and dip it in the ganache mixture. Sprinkle with festive golden edible sprinkles and freeze until chocolate is set. Can you say a little easy?
Holiday cracker: # 3
Honey Whipped Goat Cheese Dip with O Organics Rosemary Flatbread Crackers
What is a party without a dip? Wait. What's a party without something to dip in that dip? This honey whipped goat cheese dip is the perfect companion for these O Organics Rosemary Flatbread Crackers. You are going to mix the honey, the goat cheese, the lemon zest and the olive oil. Sprinkle fresh rosemary on top, then soak. The flavor is extraordinary and it can also be prepared ahead of time!
Don't have a Safeway near you?
You're in luck! Safeway is part of the Albertsons Companies family of stores that carry all their O Organic products and Signature SELECT products! You can find them exclusively in your area at Albertsons, ACME Markets, Jewel-Osco, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Shaw's, Star Market, United Supermarkets and Carrs / Safeway!
Safeway also offers grocery delivery and DriveUp & Go ™ for convenient ways to shop!
You can always visit safeway.com to find a store near you! For more information or recipe inspiration, be sure to check out www.safeway.com!
Yield: For 4 to 6 people
Holiday Crackers: 3 Ways!
Seasoned Baked Crackers SELECT Signature Fun Crackers
- 12 Signature SELECT Fun Crackers
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons of ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Festive Chocolate Ganache Crackers Using Open Nature Water Crackers
- 12 Open Nature water cookies
- 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon of whipping cream
- Gold powder
O Organics Honey Whipped Goat Cheese Dip with Rosemary Flatbread Crackers
- 12 O Organics Rosemary Flatbread Crackers
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
- 2 ounces of goat cheese, room temperature
- Seasoned Baked Crackers SELECT Signature Fun Crackers
- Preheat an oven to 300 degrees. Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Combine butter, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder in a medium bowl. Take a cracker and dip it in the butter mixture. Place the cracker on the baking sheet. Repeat the process until all the crackers are covered. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove and cool before portion.
- Festive Chocolate Ganache Crackers Using Open Nature Water Crackers
- In a microwave-safe dish, add the chocolate chips. Melt on high power for 30 seconds. Check the crisps, stir and put back again for 30 seconds. Do this until the chocolate chips have melted. Incorporate the whipping cream. Take a cookie and dip it in the chocolate ganache. Place it on a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle chocolate with gold chips. Repeat the process until all the crackers have been soaked.
- O Organics Honey Whipped Goat Cheese Dip with Rosemary Flatbread Crackers
- In a small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, honey, olive oil, lemon zest and goat cheese. Pour the mixture into a bowl and then dip it into the honey-whipped goat cheese with a rosemary flat cracker.
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Rock climbing is everywhere these days. From the Dawn Wall to your Instagram feed to the new gym going up in town, climbing is no longer the fringe sport it once was. Kids are starting to climb almost before they can walk, and now more than ever, there’s no reason for you not to give it a try as well. However, climbing can be one of those intimidating hobbies to begin. Many ask, “How do I get started ? ” citing fear and feeling overwhelmed with gear and safety as huge barriers to entry. We get it, and so what follows is everything you need to know to get out on the rock'n'roll.
The term “rock climbing” encompasses a great number of techniques, from bouldering to big wall climbing, to mountain climbing and mountaineering. Before you begin, it might be important to first identify what style of climbing you are interested in, or perhaps to ask, “Why do I want to climb ? ” Do you want to summit peaks, boulder at your local gym, or perhaps learn to lead climb at the local crag ? Do you want to make friends, be outdoors, or get in shape ( or all three ) ? Once these questions are answered, you can work out the potential steps you’ll need to take to get there. Below ( in the Sport vs. trad vs. bouldering section ) we attempt to inform this decision by breaking down the various types of climbing; each has its own specific culture, gear, and learning curve.
Climbing is a complex sport : it’s potentially expensive to get into, difficult to find mentors, and can be dangerous if not done correctly. With the evolution of climbing gyms, however, it’s easier than ever to give climbing a try : just grab a friend and head to the nearest gym, rent a pair of shoes and a harness, and jump on the bouldering wall. However, if and when your progression leads you to climbing on ropes and outside, technical skills become essential to safety. Many choose to learn from friends; however, safety is so important that we recommend enrolling in a formal class. The easiest and best way to learn the essential skills, which include belaying and tying proper knots, is by taking an introductory course at your local gym. Or, if you’re interested in climbing outside or even more specifically climbing in the mountains, seek out a chic either through your gym or a local guide.
The first indoor climbing gym opened in Seattle in 1987. Now just 30 years later, there are 430 gyms across the nation, with over 50 more in construction at the time of writing. Areas like the Denver metropolis have as many as 10 gyms, all stuffed to capacity each day. Whereas climbers used to be a tiny community of mostly adult men with access to the wilderness, the climbing gym revolution has brought climbing to the masses. It’s safe to say that more people now climb indoors than outdoors. The climbing gym has developed its own culture, and climbing inside - “pulling on plastic, ” as climbers often say - is vastly different from climbing outdoors. It is arguably safer, much more convenient to access, and far more social; for these reasons, the gym is an génial place to begin climbing. Gym passes cost anywhere from $6 to $30/day, with monthly memberships being the best option for those who go regularly. Outdoor climbing takes place on boulders, on cliff bands, and in mountains - anywhere where there is solid rock'n'roll, climbers can be found. Some of the most popular variétés of rock'n'roll to climb include granite, sandstone, limestone, basalt, and conglomerate blends. Each of these kinds of rock has its own style of climbing, from overhanging jugs much like gym climbs, to technical slabs, to splitter cracks. Climbing outdoors demands a higher level of expertise than climbing in the gym, as there are more variables and risques on real rock. Weather can be a factor, as well as rock'n'roll fall. Climbers will also need to possess a great deal more gear to climb outside, including their own rope and harness, quickdraws or other protection, a personal anchor and locking carabiner, and a helmet. Although many climbers begin in the gym, some learn to climb immediately outside, most commonly with the help of a guide or an instructional course.
Rock climbing is generally broken down into three categories : sport climbing, traditional ( trad ) climbing, and bouldering. Climbers tend to specialize in or prefer one discipline over the others, though many climbers participate in all three. Sport climbing is a style of climbing where the leader attaches quickdraws to pre-existing bolts, looping the rope through the quickdraws for protection while ascending the cliff. Sport climbs are often one-pitch climbs where the leader then comes back to the ground after fixing the rope to the anchor, though in some cases these climbs might continue up larger faces for multiple pitches. As a discipline, sport climbing focuses on difficult movement, résistance, learning to face fears, and risking a fall ( and being caught by the rope, oui ! ). Trad climbing is the most rootsy and historical form of climbing, in which the leader climbs weaknesses in the rock'n'roll ( generally, cracks ) and places gear in these weaknesses that will hold the rope in the case of a fall. Although trad climbs can be single-pitch routes like the majority of sport climbs, they often ascend features that are more than one rope length and end at a summit ( these are called “multi-pitch climbs” ). Trad climbers generally love long and adventurous days of climbing in wilderness areas, focusing on movement, logistics, technical rope and gear skills, and partnership. Bouldering is perhaps the most modern form of climbing, and certainly the fastest-growing. Boulderers ascend boulders or bermuda cliffs ( generally 20 feet and under ), using pads and spotters at the base for protection instead of ropes. Bouldering is a form of climbing that focuses on difficult movement and problem solving, and is more social than the other techniques. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention a few other forms of climbing : aid climbing, alpine rock'n'roll climbing, speed climbing, and deep water soloing. Pick your poison ( or shall we say passion ) : each has its own set of joys and challenges !
One of the first things you’ll learn when starting to climb is how to choose a route that suits your ability level. In the gym, climbs generally are labeled with a difficulty rating; outside, climbers use guidebooks and often a phone app called Mountain Project to identify the difficulty of climbs. In the U. S., climbs are rated using the Yosemite Decimal System; in bermuda, 5. 3 is a very beginner climb, and 5. 15 is an expert-level route. These ratings do not denote danger, only difficulty. As a beginner, you’ll most likely be choosing routes 5. sept and under, and often routes that can be top-roped. Top-roping means that the climber establishes an anchor from the top of the climb so that the rope is already in place, rather than leading the route from the bottom. Many routes in the gym are set up with top ropes; outside, climbers can often hike to the top of the cliff or feature to drop a rope down over the climb.
Each discipline of climbing necessitates a different set of gear. For all genres of climbing, however, a beginner will need a pair of climbing shoes. For just starting out in the sport, we recommend finding a comfortable pair of climbing shoes ( don’t be persuaded by the salesperson at your local gear site to purchase painfully tight shoes ). Delicate footwork will come later in your climbing career; for now you will just be developing an ability to stand on your feet and trust the rubber of your new shoes. All climbers will generally want to carry a chalk bag and chalk as well, which they will either wear around their waist or keep on the ground ( sometimes the case while bouldering ). Climbers dip their hands into chalk to dry off sweat and keep them from slipping off the rock'n'roll. Boulderers will need the above two pieces of gear, in addition to a bouldering pad ( and friends with bouldering pads ! ). Bouldering pads are placed in the fall zone of a boulder problem, and the more the merrier ( and safer ! ). to climb on ropes both in a gym or outside, climbers will need a climbing harness. Climbing harnesses come in a range of weights and specifications - some for sport climbing in particular, some with larger gear loops or more padding for trad climbing. Harnesses need to be replaced every few years for safety reasons, so we again recommend purchasing an affordable harness and replacing it when you have a better understanding of your needs. Along with a climbing harness, it is essential to own a belay device and locking carabiner. This equipment will enable you to belay your partner in the gym or outside, and rappel if needed. If climbing outside, a helmet is extremely important in case of rock fall. The above-mentioned gear provides the basics for personal gear needed for a day of climbing or bouldering, either in the gym or with an experienced and well-equipped partner. If you are looking to buy gear so that you can be fully self-sufficient ( and not need a partner or a group with shared gear ) you’ll want to also purchase a climbing-specific rope ( 60-70 meters, 9-10mm in diameter, dynamic ), a personal anchor ( PAC ) or daisy chain, extra locking carabiners, cams, nuts, quickdraws, and slings. It is extremely important to buy new gear or to know the history and age of the gear if acquiring used. Both soft materials and metals degrade over time and with wear and should be carefully assessed before using.
We wholeheartedly recommend taking a course taught by professionals before attempting to climb or belay on your own. Climbing is inherently dangerous, though when done correctly can be very safe. After all of the proper skills have been learned, it is still incredibly important to stay on top of safety at every moment. Before leaving the ground, or transitioning from climbing to lowering/rappelling, there are a number of safety checks that must be completed.