Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Becoming One of Those Moms

    It's Johnny Appleseed Week for K2's Kindergarten Class and the teacher has asked each kid to bring an apple snack for their show n' tell. Now in my quest to be one of "those" moms I knew the only thing I could do is go on Pinterest and spend hours searching for the prefect apple snack recipe...... and maybe a couple of cute ways to paint my nails (if I had any) and I may have pinned 4 difference ways to make a Halloween wreath for my door, but mostly I kind of browsed for apple recipes. Since it's fall it was super easy to find recipes. In fact, I think one of the pins I looked at was 5,000 things to make with apples or something like that. Apple Fritters, nah too much work, Apple Dump Cake, eh too sticky, Applesauce, that would require buying plastic bowls and spoons so that's out, Apple Chips... hum. How hard could that be?
    I gathered up the supplies I needed in my pantry and sent Nick to the store to get apples. We had Granny Smith Apples which I'm sure would have worked fine but all the recipes I looked at used Red Apples so Red Apples it had to be.
The Loot
   Not wanting to miss a special mother-daughter bonding moment and testing out the limitations of child labor laws I told K2 that since this was her class snack I expected her to help. Of course she was super excited. Kindergarteners are always excited to help. I could tell her to clean the cat litter box out with chop sticks and I'm sure she would probably think it was the most fun thing ever. Don't worry, I haven't asked her to do that but I may have had an extra happy helper scrubbing a toilet once or twice...... don't judge me. Note: For all those moms out there who can't wait for their little one to help them with house chores don't hold your breath because it only lasts a little while. Then they wise up and now I can barely get K1 to do anything without having to promise some form of money.
My sweet little helper
    While I used my fancy $10 food slicer from Nebraska Furniture Mart I let K2 mix the sugar and spices. Since she wouldn't understand the measurements. I told her simply enough, "For the cinnamon you do one of these and three of those." I went back to slicing the apples and then lined them on the cookie sheet. I looked over at the spices she had mixed and thought they looked a little darker then they should. "K2, how many of each spoon did you do?"
"Four." She replied.
"Four what?" I asked..... already starting to figure out the answer.
"Four of this one." She responded as she held up the Tablespoon. Not wanting our  apply chips to be too spicy, I grabbed a handful of sugar and added it to the mix. It looked equal enough to me.
Showing the spices after mommy fixed them
    With K3 watching us, we then sprinkled.... or in K2's case generously covered the apple slices with the sugar mixture. Oh well, it's for 5 year olds. I'm sure they'll love the extra sugar.... the teacher, maybe not so much. We put the apple slices in the oven and I have to admit I was feeling pretty good about myself. Apple Chips, piece of cake!
K3 overseeing the hard work
    Or at least they would have been a piece of cake if I had a food dehydrator. The recipe said that it would take roughly one and a half hours of cooking at 200 degrees while turning every 30 minutes. One and a half hours my butt, I swear it took 8 freaking hours to get these things crispy. Okay, so maybe only two hours, and MAYBE my oven is really old and that's why it took so long but after about the third flipping of floppy apple slices I was over it. But the store was closed and the kids were in bed so like a good soldier or more like one of "those" moms I kept with it. And I must say that they turned out great. They were really crispy, super tasty, and made my house smell like Heaven! K2's apple snack was ready for show n' tell and she even got to take credit for making them herself.
Apple chips hanging out in the oven
    This is the part where I show the final picture of the amazing apple chips because I'm a super blogger like that. Well after my 12th hour of flipping apple slices (you like how the time increases each time I say it?) I was tired and I went to bed and didn't think anything about taking the photo. I know, I suck. But as an attempt at redemption I took a picture of the empty container to show that they were so good there were no leftovers! Yay!! Not good enough?
These Apple Chips were Kindergarten Approved
     Well because I'm nice and I was so impressed with myself, I've included the recipe below. Enjoy! By the way, what's your favorite apple treat?
                                                                      Yours Truly,

(Adapted from Half Squeezed Lemon )

1 1/2 Tbsp. of Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Sugar
1/4 tsp. Kosher Salt
3 Red Apples

Preheat oven to 200F. Line two baking sheets with wax paper.
In a small bowl, mix together spices and salt.
Crosswise, cut off bottom of each of the apples. Do not core the apples.. Using a mandolin (or sharp knife), slice the apples as thin as possible. (Approximately 1/16″ inch). Remove and discard any seeds from the apple slices.
Transfer the apple slices to the baking sheets, in a single layer, being sure they do not overlap. Sprinkle apple slices with a touch of the spice mixture. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, then flip them over. Continue flipping apple slices in 30 minute intervals until they are crispy. Roughly 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours. Let them cool and then enjoy! 

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