Fix Me A Snack

A blog created by a mom who got sick of feeding her kids crackers and ice cream

Meet our new favorite way to eat oatmeal. I really like it with some chopped pecans on top. The kids prefer it without.

Apple Pie Oatmeal Recipe

This is a perfect not-too-sweet and healthy way to start your family’s day. You can use maple sugar instead of brown sugar if you have it.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large or 2 small apples, peeled and cored
2 tablespoons brown sugar, not packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch salt
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 3/4 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Chop up the apples and cook them until they start to get soft. Add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and cook for another minute and stir well.

Add the oats and water and cook on medium low heat until thick, stirring occasionally. It should take about ten minutes for the oats to thicken. Stir in the vanilla and serve. Top with chopped toasted pecans if you wish.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Prep-time: 15 minutes

One of the best parts of being a food blogger is that I feel required to keep a well-stocked pantry. I keep a large quantity of nuts, specialty flours, and, um, chocolate in my extra fridge that lives in the garage. The likelihood of me following through with a suggestion or random idea goes way up if I have all the ingredients on hand.

Now that I think about it, all it really takes to keep my family snacking healthy is a) a tiny bit of forethought, b) a bowl full of fruit on the kitchen counter, and c) a well-stocked pantry that leans toward healthy real stuff because you know I’m going to reach for that which is salty, fatty, sweet, and easy first if it’s anywhere in the house.

There, now you know all my secrets. Now that we’ve got that all figured out, go have some fun.

Seriously, a friend suggested that I try mixing some finely chopped chocolate into nut butter over a year ago. We’ve been munching away on this fabulous little treat on a regular basis now that the apples are starting to come in. This snack is a lot like Mud Dip. But it’s even quicker to pull together.

Peanut Butter with Chopped Chocolate Recipe

Serve this concoction as a dip with thickly sliced apples. Part of me wants to top it with roasted marshmallows, sliced banana, and top it with crumbled graham crackers…But that’ll have to wait.

It’s easiest to chop chocolate if you go at it if a serrated knife at an angle shaving off a little bit at a time.

2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1/2 ounce dark chocolate, chopped fine

Mix. Serve.

Yield: one generous serving
Prep-time: 5 minutes

Here’s another one to add to the simple yet brilliant category. My five-year-old thinks they’re the bee’s knees. Any snack that can momentarily distract her from her seemingly constant fixation on sugar is a winner in my book.

I think I’m going to save you from my blather and not post a recipe for this one. It’s obvious from the picture right? All you need is a slice of apple, peanut butter, and raisins and you’re good to go. I do the apple and peanut butter prep and let the child go to town with the raisins. We really know how to live it up here.

These remind me of Apple Flying Saucers which I wrote a recipe for back in 2009.

Supposedly, back in the day, a piece of warm apple pie with melted cheese on top was the bee’s knees. I haven’t tasted it yet. But I feel like I read a whole chapter about it a couple years ago in John T. Edge’s Apple Pie and have been salivating ever since.

If you’re not in the mood to make dough from scratch, please just keep it simple and make an apple tower which could be almost as good if the cheese and the apple are excellent. But there’s nothing quite like pastry. And this filling is pretty awesome.

Dough Recipe

Adapted from The New York Times Cookbook.

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter, softened
1 1/2 cups fine, soft homemade whole wheat bread crumbs
1 cup coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cayeanne pepper
Dash of paprika

Combine all the ingredients except the Parmesan cheese in the bowl of a food processor. Process for until the dough starts to come together, about 30 seconds.

Remove the dough from the processor and form it into a flattened rectangle about 1 – 2 inches thick. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight.

Filling Recipe

2 medium apples, peeled and cored
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
1 egg
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farhenhiet.

Grate the apple with a box grater. Squeeze excess moisture out of the grated apple. (Save the juice for a little drink if you wish.) Place apple in bowl along with the sugar, applesauce, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well and set aside.

Roll out the dough on a well floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut dough into 4-inch squares with a pastry cutter or pizza wheel. Transfer the squares to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place a generous tablespoon of the apple filling in the middle of each of the squares.

Beat the egg in a small bowl. Paint a bit of the egg wash on the outer edge of each square. Fold each square over into a triangle and gently press the edges together with your fingertips. Seal the triangle with the tines of a fork. Paint more egg wash on the top of each triangle and make a small slit on the top with a serrated knife. Sprinkle each turnover with finely grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 48 hours.

Yield: 10 turnovers
Prep-time: 1 hour
Bake-time: 35 minutes

Oh, and by the way, we just got a new puppy. He’s the sweetest little boy in the world. His name is Otter. He’s a mutt/rescue. Supposedly his mother was a Boxer/Lab mix.

 

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I’m feeling oh-so back-to-basics with this little bundle of dried sage hanging by my kitchen window. For a recent lunch, I used some of it in a quesadilla with apples and cheese. It was delightful.

2 8-inch flour tortillas
1 1/2 – 2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, sliced thinly
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 small apple, peeled and coarsely grated
7 – 10 dried sage leaves, crumbled into bits

Place one tortilla in a skillet over medium heat and cover evenly with cheeses, apple, and sage. Top with second tortilla and cook until the bottom tortilla is golden brown and cheese is starting to melt (around 5 minutes). Flip the quesadilla with a stiff spatula and cook for a few more minutes or until the tortilla is golden brown. Transfer quesadilla to a cutting board and allow to cool for a couple minutes. Cut into 8 wedges with a large knife and serve.

Yield: 8 wedges
Prep-time: 5 minutes
Cook-time: 8 minutes

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I used some sweet and juicy Garnet Spy apples for this recipe today. Try to use fresh apples as I can see a mealy grocery store apple really ruining the party.

Adapted from “Apple and Sweet Potato Puree” in the Apple Cookbook by Olwen Woodier.

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1 small sweet potato (yields approximately 1 cup of cooked potato)
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into quarters
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground ginger (optional)
Pinch freshly ground nutmeg
Pinch salt
1/4 cup plain yogurt

With a knife or fork puncture the skin of the sweet potato a few times. Microwave on high for approximately 4 minutes or until soft throughout. Test by inserting a knife into the potato. If there is little resistance, it is cooked. Set aside and allow to cool.

Microwave apples in a small bowl for 3 minutes or until well cooked. Transfer apples to a blender along with any juices that were released while cooking. Slice the sweet potato in half lengthwise and remove most of the skin. Put the potato plup in the blender along with the apples.

Put the remaining ingredients in the blender (butter, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and yogurt) and puree until smooth. Allow to cool 2 minutes and serve in small bowls. If you feel like pulling out all the stops top with chocolate sprinkles. Store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.

Yield: 4 servings (approximately 2 cups)
Prep time: 15 minutes

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The only problem I’m having with yogurt these days is that I’m not sure whether to give it to my kids for breakfast, lunch, dinner or all of the above. Apparently the live cultures found in yogurt are all the rage for fighting off the flu. But I also just read an article that encouraged yogurt consumption close to bedtime because it is relatively high in the amino acid L-tryptophan.

More importantly, don’t you just love the kitty bowl? Sur La Table.DSC02704

1 cup plain greek-style yogurt
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped apple (plus more for garnish)

In a small mixing bowl stir together yogurt, maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla. Add chopped apple and stir again. Serve garnished with extra chopped apples.

Yield: 2-3 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes

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I need to make these again sometime soon because I might have eaten most of them myself and my kids might not have really gotten a chance to taste them. Poor little souls.

The key with these, unless you enjoy running the oven all day, is to create a uniform and consistant thickness as best you can. One little fat blob of apple can take up to an extra hour to dry out. Either that or you’ll be forced to eat it immediately because it won’t keep well if it’s not totally dried out.

4 apples, coarsely grated (approximately 1 1/2 cup lightly packed)
2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional, especially if you have some sweet apples to work with)
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 250 F.

In a medium bowl mix together the apple, brown sugar, wheat germ, butter, cinnamon, and salt. Place heaping tablespoon-sized scoops of the apple mixture onto parchment lined baking sheets. Make sure the scoops are 2- inches apart. With the back of a spoon, flatten the scoops until they are 1/4-inch (or less) thick. Pay careful attention to achieving a uniform thickness as the cookies will require more time in the oven if they are too thick.

Bake for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until the cookies are dry yet pliable. Allow to cool before serving. Once cool, the cookies should crisp up considerably. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 20 cookies
Prep time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 1 1/2 hours

Note: These “cookies” will cook differently depending how thinly they are spread out on the baking sheets. So after an hour and a half, check in on them every ten minutes or so. They may brown a bit and that’s fine. They dry quite a bit after they cool down so if they’ve been in the oven for two hours and no longer feel squishy, they are most likely done.

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1 apple, cored
5-6 teaspoons nut butter
Raspberries (for garnish)

Slice apple horizontaly into rings approximately 1/4 inch thick. Make a sandwich by spreading approximately 1 teaspoon of nut butter between two apple rings. Insert raspberry in center. Serve.

Makes 5 to 6 flying saucers
Prep time: 5 minutes

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I started thinking seriously about kid snacks about a year ago and apples were featured in some of my first experiments. This is probably the first of my homegrown recipes that made me smile when I tasted it.

Today I used a Jonamac apple (which is a cross between a Jonathan and a MacIntosh). Other tart and sweet apple choices are: Cortland, Empire, Golden Delicious, or Winesap.DSC01899

4 slices soft whole wheat bread
1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and chopped fine (approximately 1 cup of chopped apple)
4 tablespoons cream cheese or vanilla greek-style yogurt
4 teaspoons apricot preserves
Cinnamon sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cut the crusts off of the bread slices and discard. Spread the bread slices out on a large cutting board and flatten with a rolling pin. Cut a small (approximately 1 ½ to 2 inches long and ½ wide at the base) triangle out of each of the four corners on each slice.

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Transfer the bread slices to greased muffin pan. Make sure the center of each slice is resting on the bottom of a cup and the sides are overlapping slightly. Using your fingers, press the side flaps together and make adjustments to minimize any gaps or holes.

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In the bottom of each bread cup, place ¼ of the chopped apple. Center 1 tablespoon of cream cheese and 1 teaspoon of apricot preserves on top of the apples. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (if desired).

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Bake on the center rack of the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the edges of the bread crust are browned and the preserves start to sizzle. Allow tarts to cool in the pan for at least 5 minutes or more depending on your child’s age and preference. Gently remove from muffin pan and serve immediately.

Makes 4 “tarts” (easily doubled)
Assembly time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes

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