Tag Archives: Recipes

Homemade Baked Apple Chips

A couple of months ago, I realized that Andrew and I were throwing out about half a bag of apples every other week. It’s cheaper to buy them in a bag than individually where I buy my groceries (roughly $3  a bag as opposed to $1 an apple), but I hate being wasteful. There were just too many apples for Andrew and I to eat before they went bad.

So I started to think of ways that we could use those apples instead of throwing them out. That’s when I remembered my mandolin slicer that my mother-in-law bought me for Christmas, and I started making apple chips!

The whole process takes a bit of time, but it’s so easy that it’s really not a whole lot of work. It took me a couple of tries to get the temperature and the baking time right, but once I got that down it’s almost as easy as pie. ;) All you need is a couple of baking trays, some apples, a mandolin slicer, and some cinnamon and sugar.

You can use pretty much any apple you’d like. I’ve tried making them with Gala, Granny Smith, and Pink Lady apples and they’ve all turned out just fine, they just have different flavors. I usually use Pink Lady apples, as they’re a little more tart and Andrew and I like them to not be quite as sweet.

I highly recommend using a mandolin slicer, as it cuts the apples into thin, even slices. I tried once with just a knife, but my slices were too thick to fully dry and they never got crispy. I use the 1.5 mm piece in my mandolin and found that’s the best size, at least of the sizes I have.

Start by preheating your oven to 225° F and greasing a couple of baking pans with cooking spray.

Next, start slicing your apples. You can decore your apples beforehand to get the stem and seeds out, but I just cut those middle pieces in half and cut out the stem and seeds.

Arrange the apple slices on your baking sheets. You can place them pretty close together since they will shrink as they cook and some overlapping is fine. Sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top and place in the oven.

Bake for 1.5 to 2 hours. I flip the slices about halfway through cooking and sprinkle the other sides with cinnamon sugar.  Then switch the racks that each sheet was on, so that they cook evenly.

I also place an extra sheet on the bottom of the oven so that I can cook more at one time. So that they don’t burn, I switch the sheets every twenty minutes or so to get a more even baking. This isn’t necessary though if you have more racks in the oven or are only cooking two sheets at one time.

The chips should be pretty firm when they are done. They will crisp up more once they are completely cooled. If they are still really flimsy or a little damp, then they aren’t done yet. I always check on them every ten minutes or so the last half hour to make sure they don’t burn. If they’re brown, they are over done!

These are about halfway done, right before I flip them!

Let them cool and then enjoy!

I love to make these apple chips on the weekend. I can pop them in the oven while I’m watching a movie or doing housework and check on them every so often. They’re pretty easy once you figure out how long to cook them as each oven varies.

Plus, the house always smells wonderful as these cook, like apple pie!

Chilly so Chili (A Recipe)

Some of our close friends recently returned from Puerto Rico for the holiday. They went on a three week trip so I have missed seeing them! I wanted to get everyone together so we could talk about their trip – and I still had some Christmas presents to give out! I’m always very impatient for people to open presents that I give them. :P Giving is definitely better than receiving!

I was trying to come up with some dinner ideas that everyone would like as two of our friends are vegetarians. Andrew and I 99% of the time eat meat with our dinner because he hates everything that even looks like a vegetable. ;) I suggested chili. It’s very filling and it would be easy for me to make half of it without meat. But then I thought some more and said aloud, “Though, anyone can make chili.” He replied, “No one makes chili like you do.” Deadpan, serious face.

I couldn’t help but laugh. I don’t feel like I make amazing chili, but I do think it’s pretty good, if I say so myself. 8) My recipe has slowly evolved over time. I started with my mom’s recipe, but found it too bland (I like mine spicy!) so I took some pieces of other recipes and added in a few ingredients of my own.

What I like about this recipe is that it is really easy, and doesn’t take very long to prepare. To make it vegetarian, obviously leave out the meat. :)

Chili1

Ingredients:

  • 4 cans of chili beans
  • 1 can of rotel
  • Two large tomatoes, chopped (or one can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1 lb of beef
  • 1 chili seasoning packet
  • Dash of chili powder
  • Dash of crushed red peppers
  • ½ green bell pepper, diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion

Start by browning the beef with the onions and peppers. You can use the whole pepper if you prefer, but I think half of each pepper is a good ratio. (I always freeze the remaining to use later!) When cooked, drain the meat and add in the chili beans. Add in the can of Rotel, undrained. Add in the tomatoes — either the one can of diced tomatoes or the fresh tomatoes. I try to do fresh, but sometimes I forget to pick some up at the store so I use the can.

I then fill each can (the four chili cans the Rotel can)  about halfway with water and dump into the pot. This gets all the extra juice out of the cans. However if you like your chili thicker, add less water. If you like it thinner, add more.

I add a dash of chili powder and a dash of crushed red peppers to make it a little more spicy. The can of Rotel already gives it a bit of a kick, so this gives it a bit more. If you don’t like spicy foods, then skip these seasonings. It tastes fine without.  You may want to add more if it’s not spicier. Always taste. :)

Stir everything together real good and let it cook for about ten to fifteen minutes. Or until you can’t wait any longer to eat it because it smells so good. That usually is what we do, haha!

Chili2

I always serve chili with corn chips, crackers, and cheese. Andrew is weird and likes to add salsa. Sometimes I like to add hotdogs to my chili, but maybe I’m the weird one. :P Chili is perfect for chilly winter days cozied up with friends!