Tuesday, January 31, 2012

healthy homemade chips

It's been a while since I've shared any recipes here, so how about a two-for-one? Today, I bring you some tasty snacks that are well loved by kids, and since they involve vegetables, they make this mama pretty happy, too.

The first up: Seaweed Chips. The kids beg for these on a regular basis and love helping to make these quick, tasty snacks.


Nori sheets (used to wrap sushi)
Sesame seed oil

Heat a cast iron skillet (or pan of your choice) over medium heat. Lightly brush one side of a sheet of nori with oil. Sprinkle with salt and lay oil side down in pan. Brush the top side with oil, salt and turn the nori over. Thirty seconds a side should result in lightly toasted nori, but you can adjust the time depending on your pan and the level of heat. Break the crisps into pieces and enjoy!

Next in line: Baked Sweet Potato Chips


2 sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Place oil and potato slices in a covered dish and toss to coat lightly (you may want to work in batches depending on how large the potatoes or how small the dish). Arrange potatoes on one or more cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes a side. Let cool and dig in!

And for a little more snack inspiration... remember the kale chips I shared before? Try sprinkling them with nutritional yeast (as though they needed to be any better for you!) and garlic powder before baking, then top with parmesan cheese once they're done. It's worth it. I promise.

So there you have it. Give 'em a try and let me know what you think. If you have any favorite healthy snack recipes to share, please pass them along! We're always looking for new snacks to enjoy.

Happy snacking!

Monday, January 23, 2012

puppy love

There's someone we'd like you to meet...

Hello, Lincoln.

I wasn't sure about a new puppy. I love dogs, I do, but puppies are work. Nipping, yapping, peeing, toy-chewing, wake-you-in-the-middle-of-the-night work. Several of those issues are already well tended to in this house. And really, I didn't think I was ready to open up to another dog. The last one's farewell is still a bit tender for me. But things have a funny way of working out.

One evening, I saw a lovely german shepherd in the background of a news clip, a dog pretty enough to send me back to the pet adoption sites I've tried to avoid. We knew we wanted to adopt our next dog, preferably as a young dog, and hopefully with a bit of shepherd in him. I searched, and there he was.

His mama was a shy white shepherd, rescued from a bad breeder by the fantastic Echo Dogs White Shepherd Rescue. Echo Dogs is a nationwide, volunteer run, not-for-profit organization that does an incredible job caring for and placing these beautiful animals. There aren't enough superlatives to express how thoroughly impressed we were with this group and its volunteers at every step of the adoption process.

On that Wednesday evening, I sent out a hopeful e-mail to inquire about these pups, not knowing where in the country they were or if they were still available. That night, I received a response and a link to the application, which I immediately filled out. Bright and early the next morning, a call came in from New Hampshire to follow up on our application. There were still pups in need of homes, and they were a mere 30 minutes south of us! Families were flying in from far away places to adopt these dogs, but all we had to do was hop in the car.

By noon, the representative had spoken with our vet and our three personal references. Less than 24 hours after submitting our application, another volunteer from Echo Dogs was in our living room, carrying out the home visit required for adoption approval. The next morning, we met our pup.

Everything came together so smoothly it's easy to believe this was meant to be. Everyone is adjusting here. The pup is settling in, the children are ecstatic, Matt and I are taking turns tending to the pup's middle of the night needs. As for Mickey, our lab, well she might just be the happiest of all.

Ah, puppy love!