Tag Archives: Food

Dehydrated apples, homemade crackers

When I saw Honeycrisp apples on sale for 49 cents a pound (only up to 5 pounds sadly), I had to buy them! I’m pretty sure we could have just eaten them all fresh but I wanted to try dehydrating fruit again and apples would be good practice.

I used information from Don’t Waste the Crumbs since it has been a while.

I think I might have sliced these too thick because it took them almost 8 hours to become even close to crisp. My kids didn’t care that they were a little chewy. About half of them are gone already from snacking!

If my kids will eat it, I count that a success. Next time I see apples on sale though and I decide to dehydrate them, I will be slicing them thinner to get actual apple chips.

While I was putting the baby (he’s almost 2 but he will forever be “the baby!”) down for his nap, Corran baked up some crackers from Melissa K. Norris.

Since I wasn’t around, he did the whole recipe himself. He doubled the recipe but wasn’t able to roll the dough out thin enough on a pizza stone. The crackers were more like savory cookies. None of us cared much though because most of the crackers are gone too! I think he will want to make them again but I’ll hopefully be there to help him next time. I’m still impressed with Corran though for baking them all by himself.

Later, I had Corran bake Jiffy corn muffins to go with dinner. It is so helpful to have a teenager who doesn’t mind helping with the cooking!



I just returned a pack of very expensive croissants to Sam’s Club. Since we live pretty far from it, it was a 50 mile round trip. Was it worth it? Yes. There’s no way I’m paying Sam’s Club $74.70 for a package of 20 croissants. I got a refund and an apology but that was it. What’s funny is that this was my first day as a Sam’s Club member. Of course I had to pick up the package with an incorrect label!

Lesson learned! Always look at the label!

Sugar Free Root Beer Ice

For July 4th I made Root Beer Ice and Vanilla Ice Cream for the family gathering.  My mom can’t eat sugar, so I wanted to make a sugar free root beer ice to go with the sugar free vanilla ice cream I made for her.  The root beer natural extract that I bought from The Spice House doesn’t contain added sugar which allowed me to make the sugar free version of the root beer ice.


I used a Stevia blend in place of sugar in the recipe.


Bring your choice of sugar substitute, water and lemon juice to a boil.  Stir constantly while the sugar substitute dissolves into the water.  Remove the pot from the heat and add in the root beer extract.

The natural extract I have doesn’t have any coloring in it. My attempt at making regular root beer ice with the natural flavor tasted really good, however, I made a mistake when adding food coloring to turn it brown.  I ended up with pink root beer ice.  The color wasn’t horrible, but it did look odd.  Since the sugar free version was the second attempt, I think I got the coloring better.  Just add about equal amounts of red, blue and yellow food color until you get the brown that you desire.


Then allow the root beer mixture to chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.  Once chilled, mix in an ice cream maker according to the manufacture instructions.


I slightly over mixed my since it was a really small batch ( I had halved the recipe).  That caused it to look a bit icy when I scooped it out.  The flavor though, was really good especially for a sugar free recipe.

Sugar Free Root Beer Ice


  • 1 cup sugar substitute
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon natural root beer extract
  • Red, Blue, and Yellow food coloring


Mix sugar, water and lemon juice in medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes. Stir in root beer concentrate.

Add equal amounts red, blue and yellow food coloring to make as brown as desired

Refrigerate 2 hours or until chilled.


Pour into an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.


Experimenting With Root Beer Ice: Natural Flavor Extract 

For the 4th of July I made root beer ice and vanilla ice cream for our family get together. I made it first using McCormick’s root beer concentrate. I wasn’t happy with the really dark brown color (the first ingredient is caramel color), though the taste was OK.  I decided to try another batch using an extract made with natural flavors.

I found a reasonably priced extract with good ratings at The Spice House.

I like this extract much better then the first one I used. When I used it, the extract just seemed more like root beer.  It made my kitchen smell strongly of root beer, and the scent spread through the house. My five year old son, came into the kitchen to tell me it smelt like root beer in the house.

I think the flavor of this version was better then that of the one using the McCormicks.  Both taste sufficiently of root beer, but this one seemed to be less chemical tasting to me, which makes sense since it is supposed to be made of natural flavors.

The only issue I had was a minor one.  This extract is clear because there are no added colors.  I used gel food coloring to attempt to make my root beer ice a pleasing brown color.  I had read that an equal amount of red, blue, and yellow food color should be used to get brown.  Unfortunately, I must have done something wrong because my ice didn’t end up brown.  When I was mixing it up, I thought it was light brown.  However, when I took the ice out of the ice cream mixer it was more of a pinkish color.  That was more of cosmetic issue then a real problem.

The pictures actually look a bit brown, but in real life it is more pink.  I definitely didn’t add enough color, and I probably got to much red in the mix.

Using the natural flavor made for a superior root beer ice.  I highly recommend using whatever natural extract you can get your hands on if you make this.  If you can’t get natural extract, then using something bought in a regular store makes for a perfectly good root beer ice.



Sugar Free Vanilla Ice Cream

I have been working on vanilla ice cream and root beer ice frozen floats for our family 4th of July party.   My mom can’t eat much sugar, so I wanted to make sugar free ice cream for her.

I used the same recipe as my vanilla ice cream. I replaced the sugar with a Stevia blend.

I was pleasantly surprised at how good this sugar free vanilla ice cream tastes. I do not generally like the taste of sugar substitutes. However, this almost tastes just about like the real thing to me.

If you are cutting back on sugar for some reason, but still want homemade ice cream this is a great recipe. Is is incredibly simple, but still tastes good.

I halved the recipe because I don’t expect many people to want the sugar free version.  I still had no issues with it mixing and turning into ice cream.

Sugar Free Vanilla Ice Cream


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3⁄4 cup sugar substitute
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract



Prepare the ice cream mixture
In a bowl, stir together the cream and milk. Add the sugar substitute and whisk until the sugar substitute is dissolved, 3 to 4 minutes. Test for graininess by tasting a small amount of the liquid; it should feel smooth on the tongue and there should be no sugar substitute visible on the bottom of the bowl when it is stirred or spooned out. Continue whisking, if necessary, to ensure that the texture of the finished ice cream will be smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
Chill the ice cream mixture
Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface and on top of the bowl. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

Churn the ice cream
Prepare an ice cream maker with at least a 1-quart capacity according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Remove the plastic wrap from the cream mixture and bowl. Pour the well-chilled cream mixture into the mixing container of the ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The timing will depend on the type of machine and the temperature of the cream mixture.



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