Best Kept Secrets: Boutiques and Beets
Those of us who live here already know that Alpine is San Diego’s best kept secret; located only 30 minutes from downtown, we enjoy less traffic, more affordable housing prices and no marine layer or smog! And, for those of us who love shopping, it gets even better.
A friend of mine from Santee (a shopping mecca) was over the other day and I commented on her cute shirt and skirt. “Oh, I just got these,” she said and added grinning, “my mom took me shopping in Alpine for my birthday! It’s such a treat and so refreshing to shop here. Alpine has a bunch of cute little boutiques. We just went from one to the next and had a blast.”
In fact, although we are only a community of about 15,000, there are close to a dozen different boutique stores: half a dozen or more specializing in women’s clothing and accessories, and another handful offering various gifts and specialty items, plus a boutique Goodwill store with a little of everything. And that doesn’t even count the beautiful Viejas outlet mall, complete with running streams and quaint walkways, beautiful foliage and an interactive fountain. Yep Alpine is full of hidden treasures.
In honor of best-kept secrets, I offer you a recipe with it’s own secret ingredient: beets. These are the yummiest crackers on the planet. Everyone will love them! I guarantee it. And, despite the daunting thought of making one’s own crackers these are simple, grain-free and will take you less than fifteen minutes to make. Definitely worth it.
FROM ALPINE’S HEALTHY HEARTH:
Almond Flour and Beet Crackers
1 small golden beet (red is okay too)
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 tsp. coconut or olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
1 clove finely minced garlic
(or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder)
1 Tbsp. rosemary, finely chopped
(or other herb to taste)
• Peel and finely grate the beet
• Sauté 1/4 cup beet gratings in oil, adding 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup water to keep from drying out
• Pulse the almond flour, salt, garlic and sautéed beets in food processor until dough-like, add a bit of beet water if necessary
• Form into a ball and sandwich between two pieces of parchment paper; roll until about 1/8” thick and flat; try to roll the dough into a rectangular or square shape
• Using a knife or pizza cutter score the dough into squares about 2” x 2”. Trim the excess pieces or use them to fill in gaps.
• Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until firm. Remove the pan and separate the squares a bit. Return to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes to make crisper. Remove and cool.