A peek Into My Kitchen: Oven-dried Apple Chips

I am always looking for easy, fun and healthy snacks to give my kids after school…and, quite honestly, for them to snack on on their way out the door in the morning if they haven’s had time to eat a real breakfast.

Making apple chips is surprisingly simple and, though I wish that I had one of those handy-dandy dehydrator gizmos, doesn’t require anything more complicated in the way of tools than an oven and a cookie sheet.

I like to cut the core the apples and cut them in circles, because I think they’re more fun to eat that way.  If you’d rather cut them in slices, that could work just as well. I like to make a bunch at a time because, though this recipe couldn’t be more simple, it does take time and patience.


A peek Into My Kitchen: Pink Lemonade Bars (No Dye!)

Ah, the insanity that is Pinterest.

I am developing a love-hate relationship with this fabulous new time-suck…but, when it comes to finding new food inspiration, the feeling is generally one of love.

When I clicked on the original pin for this recipe, I fully expected the bright pink color to be a result of Jello, cake mix or insanely large amounts of food coloring that would’ve sent me clicking away. Instead, I was amazed to find that freshly pureed strawberries added to the lemon-sugar mixture result in a shade of pink so super girly vibrant that it would Pinkaliscious smile 🙂

I actually want to play with this recipe some more, maybe trying a few different types of berries to get different colored bars. And maybe a thicker crust–I’ll keep you posted.


A peek Into My Kitchen: Sweet & Salty Caramel Apples (nut-free)

To be honest, it has never really occurred to me to cook with pretzels. Every once in a while, I’ve seen a recipe for Pretzel-crusted this or that and I’ve definitely watched an episode or two of Chopped in which pretzels were one of the mystery ingredients…but I don’t generally think of them as more than a snack food staple in my pantry.

That’s actually one of the reasons that I thought it would be fun to do this post–to stretch my culinary imagination a bit.

Trying to figure out what to make, I had a “eureka!” moment. My nut-allergic son rarely gets to eat fun, frivolous carnival food like Caramel Apples because they are generally coated with peanuts. I threw a handful of pretzels in my food processor, dipped some apples in melted caramel and then in the pulverized pretzels. Voila! Nut-free caramel apples which still have the salty-sweet element which is generally provided by roasted peanuts.


A peek Into My Kitchen: Homemade Candy Corn

I have always wanted to make my own candy, and now, with a nut-allergic toddler, I am even more interested in experimenting with candy that I make sure is safe for him.  Candy Corn has always been a favorite of mine despite all of the nasty waxy ingredients in the mass-produced kind, so I'm kind of excited to try to make my own without all of the factory additives!

CAVEAT–I have not yet tested this recipe.  I am merely sharing it because it is seasonably appropriate and sounds pretty simple (if labor intensive) and yummy.  My friend Sheri tried it and vouches for it–though she replaced the Light Corn Syrup with Lyle's Golden Syrup.  I hope to test it out soon…and I'll comment back!