Snacks


I wasn’t really planning on this blog post today. If I had planned it there would’ve been more pictures! Since this little experiment turned out so great, I had to share.


I had some apples on the counter that were past their prime and quite wrinkled. No one wanted to eat them. I just hated to throw them away. So, I decided I would try to make apple chips!

I’ve tried to make apple chips before. They just never turned out quite like I hoped. I think I just didn’t get them sliced thin enough. Here’s what I did today…

Take five small withered apples  (OK, they don’t have to be small, and they don’t have to be withered.  Any size or freshness will probably work.)

Wash your apples and leave the skins on.

Core your apples. I used an applecorer that I had. Use whatever method you prefer.

Cut the cored apples into quarters. Carefully slice each quarter into about 12 very thin slices.

As I sliced my apples I placed the slices in a bowl filled with leftover Sprite. The citrus in the Sprite helps keep the apples from turning brown immediately. This step is probably not necessary since the apples will brown in the oven.

Spray a cooling rack with nonstick cooking spray. Place the apple slices on the cooling rack in a single layer.


I placed my cooling rack on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. My apple slices filled two cookie sheets with a few leftover for snacking.

Place the apple slices in an oven preheated to 225° for 2 1/2 hours. I rotated my pans halfway through.

The apple slices won’t be completely crispy when you first pull them out of the oven. They will, however, crisp up as they cool. I really hope there are some of these left by the time my family gets home this afternoon!

Earlier this month, we had the opportunity to visit our college girl at school on homecoming weekend.

I couldn’t arrive empty-handed!

homecoming basket

Ouachita Baptist University holds a special place in our hearts. My husband and I met there! Now our oldest is a Ouachita Tiger!

Treats for OBU Homecoming HAD to  have a tiger theme!

Tiger Tails were easy to make and yummy to eat!

First, thread three marshmallows onto a bamboo skewer.

marshmallows on a stick

Melt orange candy melts.

Dip the marshmallows into the melted candy. I actually had to spread the melted candy on my marshmallows. Just be sure you get a little of the candy on the bamboo skewer and the under-side of the bottom marshmallow. If you don’t, the marshmallows will slide down the skewer.

orange candy melts

While candy coating is still wet, sprinkle with orange sugar for extra fanciness.

sprinkled with sugar

Stick the coated marshmallows in Styrofoam to dry.

Styrofoam cooling rack

If you ever let your children use your sprinkles, you can expect cross contamination of colors.

orange and blue

I had to pick out all the blue sprinkles. I think this was pay-back for the time I had them separate sprinkles for me.

blue sprinkles

Melt some chocolate chips in a zip top bag. Once melted, clip the corner of the bag. Drizzle the chocolate back and forth over the orange “tails”. Now they really look like tiger tails! Just don’t twirl the skewer. I tried it. The stripes looked like a spiral not a tiger. Carefree and unstructured is the way to go.

tiger tail treats

Of course I had to use cellophane wrappers to make them look more professional.

I thought this would be a good opportunity to practice my decorating skills a little, too.

college gift basket

I packed up the treats in an old purple Easter basket, handle removed, with yellow shredded copy paper. I needed the paper shreds to cover the foam in the bottom of the basket necessary for the tiger tails to stand.

homecoming basket

I happened to have a big cellophane bag that could house the basket and a big purple bow! Perfect!

The tiger tails were a hit! She even shared with the roommate and suite mates!

Ms. Leta' Chex Mix

We were at John and Leta’s house for a Bible study/prayer meeting last fall. Leta, being the hostess that she is, pulled out some Chex Mix for us to nibble. Y’all, I really needed prayer that night! I could NOT stop eating the stuff! It was so good!

Apparently, I was not the first of Leta’s friends to have this reaction. She had little green sheets with recipes printed up ready to pass out to those who could not control themselves.

I made some for our family that Christmas. Everyone went NUTS!

This year I decided to make the Chex Mix to send as gifts to Chip’s co-workers. (The cute little Santa tags were from the 90% off Christmas clearance one year.)

Chex Mix gift

Reactions at the office were very similar to mine.

I guess since Leta shared with me, I should share with them, and now you.

Thank you, Leta! Now I can get my “fix” any time I want.

Ms. Leta’ Chex Mix

1 bag each:

Turtle Chex Mix

Dark Chex Mix (I could not find this to save my life!)

Honey Nut Chex Mix

Caramel Bugles (Substituted for Chocolate Peanut Butter-they were hard to find.)

Muddy Buddies

Crunch & Munch (small box)

Can of Cashews (I used 8 ounces.)

Mix it all in a BIG bowl.

One batch filled about 10 little treat bags as pictured above.

Now you know my secret, well Leta’s secret.

Use caution when making Ms. Leta’s Chex Mix. It is highly addictive!!!

 

This recipe is not from MY Aunt Liz. It is from my kids’ Aunt Liz, who is actually my sister.

I have never been a fan of guacamole. I’ll wait while you start breathing again.

I don’t know why I didn’t like it–maybe the fact that guacamole is green and made from vegetables.

One summer, Liz was at our house for a visit. She has been living in Texas for quite a while, so she has learned a thing or two about guacamole.

Not wanting to be rude, I tried her guacamole. I’m sure I looked like a cat eating glue! But guess what…I liked it! I wasn’t the only one. The whole family liked it!

guacamole ingredients

Fresh ingredients are a must!

I like cutting open an avocado. Give it a slice around the pit.

cut avocado

Twist the halves apart.

Stick your knife into the pit and lift. The pit will pop right out! Do this carefully. Don’t let the knife slip off the side of the pit and onto your thumb. If it does, then you will have to wear a band-aid on that nasty gash. Then the band-aid is just in the way while you are trying to finish the recipe without adding an “extra ingredient”. Just sayin’!

You can score the avocado flesh while in the skin before you scoop it out if you are using chunks. Otherwise, just scoop out the whole thing.

scoop out avocado meat

Orange and lime juices keep the avocado from turning brown. I think this is the real reason I liked Liz’s Guacamole. The citrus made is so fresh tasting.

citrus

orange juice

Chop your onion fine to hide it from family and friends, or leave it large enough for them to pick out if they don’t like it.

fresh ingredients

Aunt Liz’s Guacamole

2 avocados, mashed

juice of 1/2 a lime

juice of 1/2 and orange

dash of garlic powder

red onion, chopped-however much you like. I think I used less than a 1/4 cup

salt and pepper to taste

Liz used cilantro in her recipe. I, however, HATE cilantro.

I’ll wait for you to breathe again, again. If you like cilantro, feel free to add some.

Chop it all up. Mix it all up. Serve it all up. Gobble it up!

guacamole served in an avocado shell

Cute! Look what I did! I stuffed the guacamole back into the avocado shell with a little garnish! Fancy, huh?!

Do you eat guacamole? Have you ever had it like this with orange juice in it?

Well, we got some freezing rain and sleet today. So, being the good Southern town that we are, everything is shut down for the day.

Here is the view out my back window…

icy trees

I’ve been saving this recipe for Rosettes for a day such as this! They are best when eaten fresh. With the kids home from school, they were able to gobble them up at the opportune time!

I remember my Mom making Rosettes for us when we were kids. It’s not like she made them all the time or anything, probably on snow days. I guess that is what made them so special.

Rosettes with Powdered Sugar

A Rosette is a similar to a funnel cake you get at the fair. While a funnel cake is squirted into hot oil in a random shape, Rosettes are a specific shape.

Making Rosettes does require specific tools, well, mainly one specific tool. A Rosette Iron!

Rosette Iron

This one belonged to my grandmother. I suppose you can still find them. Long ago, our iron had different shapes you could screw off and on the end of the iron. Today, we just have the one shape. Who knows what happened to the others. (If you don’t have a Rosette Iron, you could squirt the batter in a random shape into the oil.)

The Rosette Batter is simple enough:

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

Rosette Batter

Beat together eggs, milk, sugar and salt. Add flour; beat until smooth.

Heat 2 1/2 inches of oil to 375˚. Do be careful!

While you are waiting for the oil to heat up, lay several paper towels on a wire cooling rack. This is where the finished rosettes will drain.

oil temperature

Once the oil is hot enough, place the rosette iron in the oil for 30 seconds.

prepping the iron

Blot the iron on a paper towel, then dip it in the batter.

Dipping in batter

You only want to dip the iron about 3/4 of the way up the sides. DO NOT let the batter go over the top.

Immediately place the iron with the batter on it into the hot oil.

into the hot oil

This part gets a little tricky. Don’t try to multi-task while making Rosettes! I had to have my daughter take pictures for me.

Okay, so the iron with the batter is in the oil. It will not take long for the sides of the Rosette to loosen.

Remove with fork

As soon as you see this happening, use a fork to pry the Rosette off the iron.

TaDa!

Rosette in oil

Now, quickly grab some tongs, or I guess you could use that same fork, to flip the Rosette in the oil.

Flipped Rosette

It really goes fast, folks!

Snatch the Rosette out of the oil and place it on the paper towel to drain.

Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Fried Rosettes

Rosette back

Lots of Rosettes

Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.

Rosettes with Powdered Sugar

This was quite the perfect snack for a wintry day out of school.

Do you have a special “snow day” snack you like to prepare?

It’s not too late to make Christmas goodies. I made Cranberry Pistachio Bark for my hubby to take to his Christmas party at work.

It was very easy and very yummy!

Christmas treats

I’m convinced that you can glam up anything by placing it in a cellophane bag!

Cranberry Pistachio Bark

Recipe: Okay, it is not really a recipe. It’s just instructions. I doubt you really even need that!

Line a 10×15 pan with waxed paper. Be sure to let the paper hang over the edge.

Melt Almond Bark. I used the vanilla. You can use chocolate if you like.

Spread the melted Almond Bark into prepared pan.

Immediately sprinkle with chopped pistachios and chopped dried cranberries.

Let it sit until set.

Cut into pieces.

Package in cellophane bags. (optional-only for glamorous gifts)

packaged candies

I was inspired by Ina Garten’s version of this bark. She added apricots to hers.

It’s not too late! Head in the kitchen and whip up some Cranberry Pistachio Bark for your friends!

Christmas candies

Day 4 of BLOGtober Fest!

Today’s challenge was entitled “Fall Back”. Today is the day we are supposed to promote a post from the past.

Thinking about the topic, I first thought of my very first post called “Never Again Cookies”.  They were just so yummy but just so much trouble.

Then I thought of this post for Dr. Seuss snacks, because it seems to be well liked.

As I continued down memory lane looking at old blog posts, I realized that I never finished the Impressionist series. I had only one post left. That is so bad. It was over a year ago!

You can see the entire series over on the This and That page under The Impressionists Series.

So, here today, I finally will finish up the Impressionists! Hopefully this post will whet your appetite for the rest of the series.

Well, we finally made it to the Arts Center. Going to the exhibit was the whole reason we did the Impressionist study to begin with.

Mom and Dad went with us, so Dad took this great picture of me and the girls.

Megan even chose to wear that particular shirt because it looked like an Impressionistic painting.

There was no photography allowed at the exhibit.

The best I can do I show you the program guide.

We thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit. The artwork was quite impressive. It meant so much more to the girls, and to me, to have done our little study. I think it is something we will always remember.

We had lunch at Community Bakery in downtown Little Rock. I just love that place. Everything is so yummy! I like the fun urban atmosphere as well.

Even though it was warm and windy, we ate outside, just like the Impressionists would have. Turkey sandwiches on croissants!

Unfortunately, a man came and sat next to us and lit up a cigarette. Yuck! That made out outdoor experience not quite as nice but probably even more authentic!

After our lunch experience, we decided to head inside for dessert. Créme Bruleé!

You talk about yummy, now!

I think they liked the dessert time better than lunch time. Duh! It’s dessert! We were in the cool, non-breezy, non-smokey building!

Here is what the girls thought of the experience.

Megan:

I much preferred actually doing the art to going to the exhibit. I was very glad to have studied about the Impressionists, because it enabled me to appreciate the art more. Getting a taste of French food was like icing on the cake. It felt almost like being an Impressionist sitting in a café discussing art.

Of the ones we did, I most enjoyed the first one and the Degas. I liked the first because it was new and exciting. I liked the Degas because I had fun making it an all-day event and replicating glass. Of the ones that we saw, I like the “Blue Dancers” by Degas and “The Foggy Parliament” by Monet.

Katie:

The exhibit was very fun! There were two paintings that I can think of off of the top of my head. One was “Seascape–Isle of Shoals” by Chlide Hassam, and the other was “Paysage de mer (Seascape)” by Gustave Courbet. They were both extremely pretty, so real!

After the exhibit, we went to Community Bakery for lunch. We ate outside (like the French) and watched the traffic go by. We ate croissants with turkey inside, also chips and of course, drank water (like the French-kidding!) Then for dessert we had crème brulée, a famous French dish.

All in all, it was a great day!

P.S. I also got to paint and sketch, and watch a funny video about Monet.

I learned that when Monet got older, he got cataracts and saw a lot of yellow. A while later, he could see clearly again, thanks to some doctors.

My favorite part of the “learning” was the activities! My favorite painting was my fall leaf!

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