Along with summer vacation came a new job title for me. Yep, I am officially a 24/7 short order cook for my children. Their constant demands for food, snacks, juice, and water are relentless. They are by far the most hard to satisfy customers I have ever encountered.
And my oldest daughter, god bless her and her very endearing mature palate, does not just want a peanut butter sandwich. She wants handmade by mom tofu summer rolls, cucumber sushi, carrot lentil soup, roasted beets and polenta squares! Seriously??? You are 6 years old!
What they don’t understand is if I am always in the kitchen cooking and cleaning and cooking and cleaning I will never get to the garage to the endless stack of boxes where my sushi mat and immersion blender patiently wait to be unpacked.
From here on out in the name of sanity, I am going to be more prepared. I will spend a little time each morning packing some snacks and sandwiches just like it’s a glorious school day. Ironic because not having to get up and pack a lunch each morning was one of the most exciting prospects of summer for me.
I am tempted to go to Costco and buy a cart full of hot pockets and pre-made rice crispy treats and just let them have a go at it. Unfortunately, that’s just not how I roll. Besides my little gourmet would probably turn her nose up at the over processed “food” and I’d be $100 poorer.
The thing is, I love my kids to pieces and I want to be the best mom I can be. I want my kids to eat healthy. They are growing girls and I feel like right now will set their eating habits for the rest of their lives.
And while fruit is great, sometimes you need something crunchy to satisfy that snack craving. I hear you on that one kids. Thus, drum roll please…Apple Chips! It’s like eating potato chips without all the fat, salt and lack of nutritional value. Ever try to buy apple chips at the store? It’s like $6 for a bag of 10 chips! (At least that’s how it is in Hawaii.) There is no need to spend that kind of money on something so simple to make.
If you are going to be home for a while pop some sliced up apples into the oven and out comes an amazing snack for your hungry little munchkins to attack. Way better than the over-priced kind you buy in a bag at the store! Not to mention your house will smell like you’ve been baking apple pies all day. Bonus!
Make as many as you can fit in your oven, you won’t regret it, they go fast! And they satisfy even the most demanding of customers. At least for a little while that is.
Cinnamon Apple Chips
Apples (whatever kind you got, organic preferably)
Preheat your oven to 200. Mix your sugar and cinnamon together, cinnamon toast style. Wash and pat your apples dry.
If you have a mandolin, great! Use it to make nice even apple slices. If not, no big deal, just use a sharp knife to thinly slice your apples.
Use a small ring mold to individually cut out the center core and seeds. Or use a knife if your ring molds are still in a box somewhere. If you have a apple corer you could core your apples first before slicing but I never have much luck with that method, I always miss the seeds…
Line as many sheet pans as you can fit in your oven with parchment paper. Lay out your apple rings in a single layer and sprinkle with your cinnamon sugar mixture.
Place your pans in the oven and leave it be for about 2 1/2 hours. After you take them out of the oven, your apple chips will become crisp as they cool. Try a few and then try your best to save the rest for your kids. Good luck!
Feeling crazy? Don’t have little kids? Well forget the cinnamon sugar and get creative. Lemon juice, Balsamic vinegar, cayenne pepper, flax seeds? You are the artist, go for it and let me know how it turns out!
Happy summer from one mom to another,