Homemade Sweet Potato Chips

Homemade Sweet Potato Chips.

I’ve been trying to eat a bit healthier and make better food choices.

It’s hard.

While some people crave chocolate and sweets, I am a salty, savory girl.  I will take a crunchy pretzel or chip any day over a Hershey’s Kiss or cookie.

So when I heard about making homemade sweet potato chips, I had to try.

And HOORAY!  They totally satisfied my salty, crunchy chip-loving craving.

These are so easy to make, so delicious to eat, and healthy enough to not feel guilty!

The only tricky part is baking them long enough to get crispy without burning them.

This recipe is what works in my oven in my area.  I have an electric convection oven.  Your baking time may vary.  Just keep watching – and tasting – until you achieve your best results.

The batch pictured here is ONE sweet potato!

Here is how I made them:

Homemade Sweet Potato Chips

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp. chili powder or dry rub or your favorite seasoning (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Thinly slice sweet potato with a mandoline slicer and layer on a baking stone or cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and combine to coat well.  Sprinkle with salt and seasoning.  Re-spread evenly on the baking sheet.

Bake 20 minutes.  Toss and flip slices.  Continue baking for 10 minutes.  Toss and flip slices.  Bake 10 more minutes or until edges are browned and chips become crisp.  Remove to paper towels to dry and drain off any excess oil.   Serve immediately and enjoy!

TIP:  Some type of mandoline slicer is really a must as well to get super thin, even slices.

Hope you enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

P.S.  Do you see a familiar furry, four-legged friend in the first photo who also loves these sweet potato chips?  (Charlie says “Hi” and wants you to know how good these are!)

Homemade Apple Fritters

Homemade Apple Fritters.

Last Sunday, Hubby had to get up very early – really the middle of the night – to work during a winter weather event in our area.

Missing Sunday breakfast, I wanted to make him a special treat for when he returned home.

With some wonderful Misfits Market apples in the crisper, I thought I’d try my hand at homemade apple fritters.

Who can resist a fresh apple fritter??!!

A couple tips from a first-time apple fritter maker:

  • Don’t heat the oil too hot.  Be patient and use a medium heat.  Better to fry them a little longer and get a golden brown than to overcook the outside and undercook the inside with high heat.  (Which, by the way, is what I did with the first batch of three, resulting in us only having three total!)
  • Spread them a little flatter than I did so you get more icing in each bite as the dough itself only contains a small amount of sugar. (This was hubby’s suggestion!)
  • Use a sweeter, less firm apple for best results.  I would not recommend Granny Smith.  The recipe calls for 3 medium apples, but you could really add another apple, which I will do next time.

Let me know if you try and/or if you have made and have any of your own tips.  We sure enjoyed these on a cold, snowy, comfort food, stay-in kind of day.

Here is the recipe I very slightly adapted from I am Baker‘s blog.

Homemade Apple Fritters

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Canola or Vegetable Oil  for frying
  • Glaze
    • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
    • 4 tsp. water (or enough for best consistency)

Directions:

In a small bowl, drizzle lemon juice over diced apples.  Stir to coat.  Set aside.

In electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs on medium-high speed until combined.  Reduce speed to low, and add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Mix until combined.  Add milk, and mix until incorporated.  Fold in apples with spatula.

Fill a frying pan halfway full with oil.  Heat over medium heat to 375 degrees F.

Drop three 1/4-1/3 cup portions of batter into the oil.  Let fry for a few minutes until golden brown.  Flip and fry until other side is golden brown.  Test for doneness by inserting a small knife in center.  If uncooked batter remains, fry longer.

Remove fritters from oil with slotted spoon to wire rack layered with paper towels or napkins to drain.  Allow to cool.

Repeat with remaining three portions of batter.

Prepare glaze by combining powdered sugar, vanilla, and water.  Drizzle over cooled fritters on cooling rack.  When glaze has set, turn to coat other side with glaze that dripped through, if desired.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Chocolate Chip & Dried Tart Cherry Cookies

Chocolate Chip and Dried Tart Cherry Cookies.

I have shared many versions of cookies here at The CreativeLifeinBetween.

In fact, in some homes (very few indeed), I am known as the Cookie Queen.

And it seems no matter what kind I make, the all-time favorite is the Chocolate Chip Cookie.

I often change it up a little, but when I add dried tart cherries, I know I am going to make at least one guy smile ( who happens to be my youngest son).

So this week, I made a batch that I hope will bring a smile to our busy family as we prepare for exciting days and years ahead.

New homes – growing families – lots of love.


Here is how I make them.

Chocolate Chip and Dried Tart Cherry Cookies

Ingredients:

4 sticks (1 lb.) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
5 cups all purpose flour
1 12-oz bags Nestle Chocolate Chunk Morsels (or your favorite)
8-oz  Dried Tart Cherries (I used Trader Joe’s)

Directions:

With electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until completely incorporated. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat until light and fluffy. Add baking soda and salt, and mix another minute. Gradually add flour and beat until well incorporated, but do not overbeat.

Fold in chocolate chunk morsels and dried cherries.  Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. With your hands, form a cookie dough ball about 1-1/2 inches in diameter.  Place on baking stone. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake. Allow to cool on baking stone for 5-6 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

Cheers  & Hugs,
Jodi

Best Ever Apple Fritter Cake

Best Ever Apple Fritter Cake.

So… this happened the other day…. this absolutely amazing “cake” that is like a pan full of apple fritters.

O M G!

It might not be the healthiest or quickest or easiest to make….

but it is sooo worth it!

With all the snow and colds and flu and healing going on around here…. we needed some serious comfort food.  We needed the house to feel warm and smell wonderful.
We needed some sweetness.  We needed some yummy for our tummy.

Everyone I’ve shared this with pretty much moaned with delight.

And I am right now trying to ignore it calling me from the fridge!  (Eat me…. you know you want me…)


If you are in the mood to treat yourself….

Or need to treat yourself…

Look no further!

Here is the recipe that I slightly tweaked from Cookies and Cups.

Best Ever Apple Fritter Cake

Ingredients:Fillings:

  • 2 cups peeled and diced apples (I used 2 large Gala – use your favorite!)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon

Cake:

  • 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup chunky applesauce
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (or you can use sour cream)

Glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

Fillings:

Combine apples, granulated sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, and water in a medium saucepan.  Heat on medium-high heat for approximately 5 minutes until apples soften and a syrup forms.  Set aside.

Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, and set aside as well.

Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Blend butter and sugar for 3 minutes with electric mixer until fluffy.  Add applesauce, vanilla, and eggs, and mix until combined.  Gently mix in baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Finally, add flour and Greek yogurt in alternating parts (flour, yogurt, flour, yogurt).  Mix until just combined.

Spread half of the cake in an Deep Dish Baking Stone (or your favorite 10-12 inch round or square or 11×13 rectangle baking dish).  Top with all of apple filling to cover batter.  Sprinkle with 2/3 of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Add remaining cake batter and top with remaining 1/3 brown sugar/cinnamon.

Bake approximately 30 minutes until center of cake is set, but do not overbake.

Glaze:

While cake is baking, prepare glaze by mixing powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth.

As soon as cake is removed from oven, poke holes using a butter knife or wooden spoon handle all over the cake – 20-30 pokes.  Pour glaze over the top, spreading to cover completely and allowing to soak in the holes and edges.

Allow glaze to set approximately 20 minutes, and cake is ready to serve warm.  Also very good refrigerated cold – just depends on your preference.  (In our case, hubby likes it warm, and I adore it cold!)

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Cinnamon Pecan Crumb Cake

cinnamon-pecan-crumb-cake-piece

BEWARE:  This Cinnamon Pecan Crumb Cake is only for the most serious crumb cake lovers!  Are you one like me?  Do you love more buttery, sugary, nutty crumbs than cake?  If so, this is the cake for you!  And I dare say it should not be consumed without a large steaming cup of coffee to wash down the “crumby” goodness.  Be still my coffee crumb cake lovin’ heart!

Let’s take a closer look at all that “crumby” deliciousness…

cinnamon-pecan-crumb-cake-piece-2

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  This is a seriously “crumby” cake!

cinnamon-pecan-crumb-cake-piece-3

With buttery, nutty, cinnamony wonderfulness, this cake is a serious indulgence justified as breakfast when served with coffee…. but Hubby discovered it works very well as an evening snack when topped with a scoop of Vanilla Caramel Gelato!

If you don’t like your cake quite so “crumby,” you could double the cake batter or half the crumb topping.  Also – be careful not to overbake and dry the cake out – –  unless you are eating it with vanilla caramel gelato or dunking it in coffee.  In that case – who cares!

Diet shmiet – this cake is worth the calories!  Enjoy!

Cinnamon Pecan Crumb Cake

Ingredients:cinnamon-pecan-crumb-cake-piece-2
  • Topping
    • 2 1/2 cups flour
    • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
    • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, melted
    • 1 cup finely chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • Cake
    • 1 1/2 cups flour
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2/3 cup milk
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
    • 3 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325° F.  Prepare  8 or 9 inch square baking pan by spraying with vegetable spray and lining with parchment paper so it overhangs sides of pan. Spray the parchment paper with vegetable spray and set aside.

Make topping by combining flour, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the melted butter. Stir to combine, then add the pecans using your hands to thoroughly mix. Topping should have a loose, crumbly consistency.  Set aside.

Prepare cake by whisking milk, oil, egg, and vanilla in medium bowl.  Add sugar, baking powder, salt, and flour.  Stir until just combined.

Pour the cake batter into prepared pan. Add all of the crumb topping evenly over the batter.

Bake approximately 30 mins.  The cake will rise, and the topping will bake into the cake batter.

Remove from oven and cool for 10 mins. in pan. Run a butter knife along the edges of the pan to loosen cake and lift it out to a cutting board. Cut into 9 squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to garnish if desired. 

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*recipe adapted from Garlic&Zest

Best Ever Homemade Caramel Corn

caramel-corn-1

One of the things I make every holiday season for parties and gift-giving is homemade caramel corn.

This is not your ordinary caramel corn, however; and the secret is that its made with Hulless Puff-n-Corn instead of regular popcorn.

caramel-corn-3

Its super simple, makes a huge batch, and I have never taken it somewhere or given it away without being asked for the recipe.

caramel-corn-2

I got this recipe years ago from my dear friend, Pam, who is, by the way, one of the best Jewish “Christmas cookie” bakers I know!

Here’s the recipe, and be warned….. it is crazy addictive!

Best Ever Homemade Caramel Corn

  • Servings: huge batch
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Ingredients:caramel-corn-1

 

  • 2 6-oz bags Snyder Puff-n-Corn (or a brand you can get locally)
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup Karo light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Directions:

Spray large roaster pan with Pam cooking spray, and empty both bags of Puff-n-Corn into it.  Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

In a large saucepan melt butter and peanut butter over medium-high heat.  Once melted, add brown sugar and corn syrup.  Bring to a boil.  Stir constantly, and boil for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add vanilla and baking soda and stir well.  Pour mixture over popcorn, and stir well to coat.

Bake in oven for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Allow to cool.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Go Pink Chex Party Mix


go-pink-chex-party-mix

I made this fun pink chex snack mix for our baby shower last week, but it is very also appropriate this month for Pinktober.

go-pink-chex-party-mix-making

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I have a few people very near and dear to me who are survivors – as well as the memory of a very special sister-in-law we lost at the age of 50 to breast cancer.

go-pink-chex-party-mix-closeup

So Go Pink!

Celebrate… remember… create awareness… enjoy… by sharing this yummy treat with people you love.

Go Pink Chex Party Mix

Ingredients:go-pink-chex-party-mix-closeup

Directions:

Mix cereal, peanuts, and pretzels in a large bowl.

Place candy melts in microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on High for one minute.  Stir.  Return to microwave for one more minute.  Stir.  Microwave for additional 30-second intervals if needed until completely melted.  (My microwave only took two minutes total to completely melt.)  Pour over cereal mix to coat evenly.

Spread in single layer onto waxed paper or parchment paper, and let cool completely.

Once cool, break into pieces, and store in airtight container.

I made a triple batch for our party.  I made one with white candy melts, one with light pink, and one with bright pink, then mixed all together.

You could also make this with milk chocolate, dark chocolate or any other color candy melts to match your party theme or celebration.

It is really yummy…. and really addictive!

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Chunky Homemade Granola

Chunky Homemade Granola 0

I was itching to get back in the kitchen and make something after almost a week away.

Chunky Homemade Granola 1

And after a week of indulging, I thought I’d make something a bit healthy, but yummy to have on hand for the coming week.

chunky homemade granola 3

Homemade granola it was, and oh how yummy too!  Made with healthy ingredients like oats and nuts and dried fruits and held together with raw local honey and coconut oil, this recipe is delish just as is, but also delicious as a cereal with some extra fresh fruit like blueberries,

chunky homemade granola 4

or on top of Greek yogurt with some fresh fruit like blackberries!

chunky homemade granola 5

It also makes a lovely hostess or nice “thinking of you” gift in a clear bag with a pretty bow.

chunky homemade granola 2

It’s as simple as mixing everything together, packing it into a baking sheet, and baking.

Hope you’ll give it a try.  Enjoy!

Chunky Homemade Granola

  • Servings: a large batch!
  • Print

Ingredients:Chunky Homemade Granola 0

  • 1/3 cup raw local honey
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup raw cashews or almonds, chopped (I used cashews)
  • 1 1/2 cups dried fruit of your choice
    • I used:
      • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
      • 1/2 cup dried blueberries
      • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
    • You could also use:  raisins, dates, apricots, goji berries, coconut, or any other dried fruit you like

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Whisk honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and oil in a large bowl.

Add the oats and nuts, and stir until well coated and incorporated.  Add dried fruit and combine well.

Pour and spread mixture evenly onto a jelly roll sized  baking stone or parchment-lined baking sheet and pack down to compress.

Bake for 30 minutes until lightly browned.  Cool at least one hour in pan.

Break into pieces of your desired size, and store in airtight container.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*recipe adapted from Foolproofliving

Pineapple Blueberry Salsa

Pineapply Blueberry Salsa

It was HOT here in Mars this past weekend, so Sunday supper called for something light and fresh.  I rarely make fish as Hubby is a bit skeptical about it, but I had some frozen Hake loin filets in the freezer that needed to be used.

Pineapple Blueberry Salsa on Whole GrainTostitos Scoop

I was still OOGLING the amazing Fish Tacos I had the night before at Breakneck Tavern – O M G – and thought I’d try some type of version at home.

Pineapply Blueberry Salsa 2

So I made this super yummy, bright, fresh, fruity and savory (with just a touch of heat) Pineapple Blueberry Salsa to accompany the fish, but it also tastes AMAZING on tortilla chips.  I had some Tostitos Wholegrain Scoops, and they were just the ticket to balance out the flavors and allow for a healthy scoop of fruit and veggies in every bite!

This salsa and chips would be a great company or party snack to go with white wine spritzers or some white sangria (and everything goes with Gin and Tonics in the summertime!).

Here is the recipe.  Hope you’ll give it a try, and let me know what you think.

Pineapple Blueberry Salsa*

  • Servings: approx. 4 cups
  • Print

Ingredients:Pineapply Blueberry Salsa

  • 2 cups diced fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup chopped sweet red and/or orange peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 fresh lime, juiced (or lemon)
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped or 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (for a bit of heat)
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cumin

Combine all ingredients and serve with tortilla chips (especially yummy with Frito Lay Whole Grain Tostitos Scoops, or alongside chicken or fish for a fresh and light, summery accompaniment.

Tastes bests when chilled for several hours to allow flavors to fully blend.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*slightly adapted from Jen @ CarlsbadCravings

Fresh Orange Date Walnut Bread

Orange Date Walnut Bread 3

I was looking for something new to try baking early yesterday morning before I settled into work for the day.

It was a cool, rainy day after a wonderful stretch of warmth and sunshine.  I was in the mood for a nut bread, but after traveling most of the week, I didn’t have a lot of fresh ingredients on hand.

Orange Date Walnut Bread 1

I found a bag of dates, but I wanted to “Springify” a date and nut bread recipe up a bit, so I thought fresh orange flavor might just do the trick.  Adding a bit of freshly squeezed orange juice and fresh orange zest was just the ticket to brighten up this lovely bread.

Orange Date Walnut Bread 2

It’s nice to have something like this on hand for a quick breakfast with coffee, a nice little treat for a guest or a late night or after dinner urge for something just a bit sweet, but not too.

I’m sure this would freeze well and be great to pull out when needed.

Hope you enjoy your weekend!

May it be bright and fresh and Springy, but a little nutty too!

Fresh Orange Date Walnut Bread

Ingredients:Orange Date Walnut Bread 3

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 Tbsp freshly grated orange zest
2 eggs
1  3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
 3/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup chopped walnuts

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 9×5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.

Beat sugar and butter at medium speed with mixer, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add sour cream, orange juice, orange zest and eggs; continue beating until well mixed. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda; beat at low speed until well mixed. Gently stir in dates and walnuts.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely.

*Adapted from LandoLakes Recipe

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi