Healthy Homemade Snack – Baked Zucchini Chips

I love a good snack, snacks are delicious! Are they good for you? Ehhh it’s always up for debate, but if you are going to eat something between meals, perhaps while you’re cozying up to watch a movie or play a game, why not make it a healthier choice?

I think most nutritionists agree that anything deep-fried should be consumed in moderation or not at all, but chips are sooooo good! The solution? Let’s create our own oven-baked chips! And not just potato chips, let’s create some delicious vegetable chips too! This way we are regulating exactly what is going into and/or on to our chips with no deep-frying to be found!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 large zucchini
  • Salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 240 F.
  2. Wash the zucchini, then use a mandolin to uniformly slice them into thin chips.
  3. Place the zucchini slices on a clean dish towel or paper towels. Cover them with another dish towel or paper towels and set a baking sheet on them, pressing own slightly to remove excess moisture.
  4. After drying, place the zucchini slices into a bowl and toss them with olive oil and a few pinches of salt (how much depends on your preference).
  5. Coat a large baking sheet (or more) with cooking spray or cover with parchment paper.
  6. Place the zucchini slices on the baking sheets in a single layer.
  7. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until crisp and golden.
  8. Allow the chips to cool completely. 
  9. Enjoy!

Simple Shaken Homemade Ice Cream Recipe

You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream!

It’s summertime, and many of us think about cold and refreshing treats for the hot days ahead. When I was a little girl, my grandpa would bring out a hand-cranked ice cream maker during family barbecues and my job was to sit on it to hold it steady. It may sound silly, but I loved that job, and felt super important doing it.

I’m not sure if that old ice cream maker fell apart, or it’s stored away somewhere and I can’t find it. I would love to buy or make another one some day, but for now we’ll get Zoey involved in making ice cream another way, that will admittedly burn off more energy!

Let’s make some homemade ice cream in bags!

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup of half and half
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • Ice
  • 1/4 cup of salt
  • 2 plastic sandwich bags
  • 1 plastic gallon bag
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Pour the half and half, sugar and vanilla extract into a small bowl, then whisk to combine.
  2. Pour the half and half mixture into one of the plastic sandwich bags and seal, then place it into the other sandwich bag and seal.
  3. Fill half of the gallon bag with ice and the salt.
  4. Place the smaller bag into the larger bag and cover the rest of it with ice, then seal the larger bag.
  5. The salt will make the ice colder than comfortable so wear oven mitts to protect your hands and shake the bag for about 6-12 minutes.
  6. Remove the small bag from the larger bag and rinse it well to remove any salt residue.
  7. Carefully open the bag and empty the ice cream into a bowl, stirring a bit to smooth.
  8. Enjoy!

Healthy Homemade Snack – Baked Potato Chips

I love a good snack, snacks are delicious! Are they good for you? Ehhh it’s always up for debate, but if you are going to eat something between meals, perhaps while you’re cozying up to watch a movie or play a game, why not make it a healthier choice?

I think most nutritionists agree that anything deep-fried should be consumed in moderation or not at all, but chips are sooooo good! The solution? Let’s create our own oven-baked chips! This way we are regulating exactly what is going into and/or on to our chips with no deep-frying to be found!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound of russet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Wash the potatoes, then use a mandolin to uniformly slice them into thin chips.
  2. Place the potato slices into a large bowl and cover them with cold water. 
  3. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator to soak for at least 30 minutes to overnight.
  4. Drain the potato slices and pat them dry.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  6. Coat a large baking sheet (or more) with cooking spray.
  7. In a large bowl, toss the potato slices together with the olive oil and salt to coat evenly. 
  8. Spread the potato slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  9. Place in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the chips are a very light golden color and appear crunchy. Keep a careful eye on the potatoes to make sure they don’t brown and overcook.
  10. Allow the chips to cool completely. 
  11. Enjoy!

Classic, Fluffy Sugar Cookie Recipe

Classic Fluffy Sugar Cookies

Have you tried a classic, fluffy sugar cookie? They are so cozy and delicious, and would pair perfectly with any warm beverage of your choice. Share them with family, friends, even leave them out with some milk for Santa Claus!

Classic Fluffy Sugar Cookies
CLASSIC FLUFFY SUGAR COOKIES
  • 2 3/4 cups of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, then set this bowl aside.
  2. In another large bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the butter and 1 1/2 cups of the sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and the vanilla extract to the creamed butter, and thoroughly mix again.
  4. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated (you may need to use your hands). The dough will be soft and slightly dewy when ready.
  5. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour or more.
  6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator when ready and pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  7. Place the remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar into a small mixing bowl and set it aside.
  8. Line a large baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper.
  9. Scoop out portions of 1 to 2 tablespoons of dough, rolling them into balls about an inch to an inch and a half in diameter. Roll each cookie dough ball in the bowl of sugar to coat, then place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  10. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes (this varies per oven so keep an eye on them) or until the top of the cookie begins to crinkle and the bottom sides turn golden brown.
  11. Let cookies rest on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire cooking rack to finish cooling completely.
  12. Enjoy!
Classic Fluffy Sugar Cookies
Classic Fluffy Sugar Cookies
Classic Fluffy Sugar Cookies

Skillet Roasted Pumpkin Seed Recipe

Skillet Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I love snacking on roasted pumpkin seeds! So delicious, easy to prepare and eat, and with numerous health benefits, who could say no? Traditionally I make large batches every year after we carve our Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns and we snack on them for weeks!

I do not use oil in this recipe.

Skillet Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Salt
  • Seasoned salt (optional)
  • Water
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. As you carve your pumpkins, keep all the seeds in a bowl. I find it easier to separate the seeds and pulp into two separate bowls as I go, rather than sort that mess out later.
  2. Place the seeds into a colander and rinse them under cold water, stirring with your hands to make sure they are all rinsed thoroughly.
  3. Place the seeds in a medium saucepan, then add 4 to 6 cups of water and about 1 tablespoon of salt for each half cup of seeds.
  4. Bring the saltwater and seeds to a boil for 10 minutes, then remove them from the heat and strain.
  5. Spread the seeds out on a baking sheet or two and allow them to completely dry (this may take up to a week).
  6. Once the seeds are completely dry, prepare a small bowl with salt water. This is to crystalize on the outer shell, so dissolve as much salt as you want for a saltier outer shell, or less if you feel the brine was enough.
  7. Place the seeds into a skillet and roast on medium to low heat, stirring continuously for an even cook.
  8. When they nearly roasted to your liking, dip your fingers into the salt water and splash it as evenly as possible over the roasted seeds, then continue to stir until the water has evaporated.
  9. Remove the seeds from the heat and allow them to cool.
  10. Enjoy!
Skillet Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Skillet Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Homemade Apple Cider Recipe

Homemade Apple Cider
INTRODUCTION

Welcome back friends! Autumn is my favorite season and while pumpkin spice has its charms, I prefer apple cider!

My family and I are starting a new Halloween tradition this year that includes drinking apple cider (check back on Friday for more details) and I thought it would be special to create our own!

Please feel free to use this recipe to create some delicious apple cider for you and yours! This cider is sweet and spiced; I used all Honeycrisp apples, but you can experiment with the combination of apples to change the flavor!

Homemade Apple Cider
HOMEMADE APPLE CIDER

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 medium apples, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cloves
  • 4 – 6 tablespoons of sugar
  • Water

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place the apples, cinnamon, cloves and sugar into a crockpot, then add enough water to cover the apples.
  • Cover the crockpot and cook the contents on low for 6 hours.
  • Once the 6 hours have passed, use a spoon to gently crush the apples, then allow them to cook for 1 more hour.
  • Once cooked, turn off the heat and allow the contents to cool slightly.
  • Slowly ladle and strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a large pot or pitcher, then strain it a second time; discard the solids.
  • Enjoy warm or cold!