Fuel 2 Live

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Category: Snacks

Cinnamon and Ginger Apple Chips


Recently I posted about my family’s trip to Ellijay, GA for apple picking. We had a ton  of fun and came home with a bushel of apples.  Having all those apples sparked an array ideas for recipes, but as usual in my house, it was my kids’ ideas that won out. One of their ideas was for me to make chips. We are a family of snackers so making my own chips seemed like a great idea. I have made other types of chips at home, like kale chips, which is my munchkins’ favorite. You won’t believe how easy it is.


Some think you must have a dehydrator in order for you to make homemade chips. Though it might make it easier it is not a must  have. What I do recommend is having a mandoline. A mandoline will save a lot of time and maybe a few fingers. Have you ever tried to thinly slice an apple by hand with merely a knife? It is not an easy task. I purchased my mandoline from Home Goods for about $15 and it is wonderful for slicing apples, potatoes, zucchini, and most other fruits and veggies. Make sure you purchase a mandoline that allows you adjust the thickness of your slices and includes a food holder to help you guide the food and protect your fingers. So, are you ready to make you homemade apple chips now?



2-3 apples, washed (I used Granny Smith for this recipe, but any variety will do)

1 tsp of cinnamon

1/2 tsp of ground ginger

Depending on the size of apples you have, you may need to use more seasoning.


1. Heat oven at 200 degrees. You the mandoline to thinly slice apples. The thinner the slice the shorter the baking time will be and the crispier the chip. Don’t worry about coring the apples, the seeds will naturally fall out when you slice the apples.

2. Mix cinnamon and ginger together and thoroughly cover each slice with seasoning mix. I put the slices i a big bowl, sprinkled the seasoning in and rub the seasoning into the chips. This gave each chip and even coverage.

3. Place chips on a foil lined cooking sheet and bake for about 2 hours or till the chips are crispy. I check on the chips often to make sure they are not burning and I flip them about every half an hour. This process is just a tad bit easier if you have a dehydrator but it absolutely can be done in your oven.

These little crispy chips are addictive, but healthy so eat them guilt free!


25 After School Snacks Ideas

Hey all you F2L fans. Hope you guys had a fun-filled Labor Day weekend. Did you go where there was water and relax? Did you have a cookout? How about a trip to a theme park?

Here at the Claiborne house we spent our last weekend of the summer enjoying the beautiful weather and artist from all over the country. Every Labor Day weekend there is a wonderful event called the Art in the Park that’s held in the historic Marietta Square. Last year we went and I bought my husband a colorful pencil and pen drawing of the Chicago skyline. He is from Chicago and fell in love with this amazing and original art piece. It is now rightfully display above his desk in the office so he may enjoy it at will. This year we saw a very talented man who cuts out silhouettes. No out line drawing, just straight free hand cutting. I almost bought one of the kids.

Now that Labor Day has come and gone, summer is just a memory, and school is in full effect we are all scrambling to get back on a routine. In my house this includes meal planning. Planning of dinners, lunches, and after school snacks. Yep, we plan those too. The minute my kids enter the doorway they are asking what’s for snack. It is always a good idea to plan ahead and to have quick healthy options for them to choose from. Eating habits are established at a young age and follow you into adulthood. Showing your kids how to eat right now is one of the biggest tools you could give them to ensure they live a full and healthy life.

Have you ever found yourself scratching your head trying to figure out what in the world you are going to feed your munchkins when they come home from school? You’ve had a long day at work and you need to cook dinner, the kids are antsy, and you are on the spot. You start pulling stuff out of the panty and behold, you find a couple bags of fruit snacks. You think to yourself, “this will have to do, I mean they have snack written on the bag!” You hand them to the kids and they are happy but you know that something that sweet before dinner is not the best idea.

Don’t beat yourself up about it. You are not alone! Just about ever parent has this struggle. To be honest it is not a horrible snack if they only have it every now and again. Things could be worst. They could be better too. With a little bit of planning you could have a snacks on hand for when the kids come home or any other time they have a snack attack. Here are 25 after school snacks that are popular with my munchkins.

After School Snack Ideas copy


(Remember that these are snack and portion sizes should be small. You still want them to eat their dinner after all. )

  1. A banana with peanut butter
  2. Carrots and hummus
  3. Air popped popcorn
  4. Turkey slices wrapped in lettuce
  5. Celery with yogurt veggies dip
  6. An apple with almond butter
  7. Tortilla chips with homemade black bean dip
  8. Roasted chickpeas
  9. A small green salad
  10. Trail mix
  11. Cherry tomatoes and
  12. Cucumbers and tuna salad
  13. A homemade lentil samosa
  14. Mini pita pockets with chicken salad
  15. Pretzels and cheese squares
  16. Greek yogurt and berries
  17. A fruit smoothie
  18. Mini quinoa and ham muffins
  19. Homemade apple chips and yogurt
  20. Zucchini muffin
  21. Steamed edamame
  22. Boiled egg and grapes
  23. Carrot stick and honey mustard
  24. Raw broccoli and veggie dip
  25. Homemade kale chips

If you have great snack recipes share below. I’m always looking for new snacks to try.

Red Cabbage, Apple, and Beet Salad

Hey guys. I hope everyone had an amazing Fourth of July. My family and I had a blast!

Since we moved to Georgia, most years we head to my family’s house and catch the fireworks at the Let Freedom Ring celebration at Lenox Square.  This year my family is in Wisconsin attending my cousin’s wedding. Due to my crazy schedule (and  the cost of education these days) we were unable to travel with them. We send our love and wishes to the beautiful couple.

Even though my family was out of town, the festivities were not at a loss. My friend Rosalind invited us to her dad’s house. My two little munchkins made friends quickly with the other children, my husband hit it off with Rosalind’s father-in-law like they were best buddies for years, we had a glorious dinner, and we enjoyed the beautiful fireworks at Marietta Square. It was truly a blessed time.

A candid picture of my husband and I taken by my friend Rosalind

A candid picture of my husband and I taken by my friend Rosalind

Now it is just rude to show up to a party empty handed (especially in the South)  so I asked what was needed. Most of the food was already assigned to various family members but no one was really bringing dessert.  I decided to make red velvet cheesecake cupcakes inspired by Crazy for Crust’s recipe.  They were a big hit. I did sub a couple of things because a few of the ingredients are not things I keep on hand or usually buy.

A quick shot of the cupcakes taken with my phone

A quick shot of the cupcakes taken with my phone


One of the things I substituted was the food dye. Store bought food dye is filled with artificial and toxic chemicals that are linked to many health risk including tumors, hypersensitivity reactions, and hyperactivity in children. I always read the back of labels and if any of these added colors are listed I run fast and far away from the item. So what did I use in place of store bought food dye? Real food of course! I used beets to get a pretty red for the red velvet cake and I use red cabbage cooked with baking powder to get a bright blue for the frosting. No worries, I will post a how to make your own food dyes soon.

Because I only needed a small amount of beets and cabbage I had some leftovers. I decide it would make a great salad. I looked high and low, in the fridge, in the cupboard, and found a few things to throw together. And  it all worked. Really well. Seriously, this salad is so delicious even my four-year-old ate it up. Well, it did help that it was a bright pink color.  Take a look.


Red Cabbage, Apple, and Beet Salad

Red Cabbage, Apple, and Beet Salad


2 c red cabbage, shredded

1 c beets, diced

1 c apple, cored and diced

1/2 of a small onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

3 Tbsp. greek yogurt

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Salt and pepper to taste


1. In a medium-sized bowl mix the cabbage, beets, apple, onion, and garlic.

2. To make dressing mix the remainder of the ingredients. Pour over the cabbage mix. Cover and chill for at least an hour to allow the flavors to fuse.

I ate mine over a spring mix and later had some by itself.

Red Cabbage, Apple, and Beet Salad

Cherry Jalapeño Salsa

So one of my favorite summer time snacks is tortilla chips and salsa. Ok, to be honest, it’s one of my favorites year round. If I’m at home watching a movie with the family I am usually snacking on chips and salsa. It’s just so tasty. So refreshing. And so terribly easy to make yourself.

Now everyone has their options on how they like their salsa. Chunky, not chunky. Lot of cilantro, no cilantro. Mild, medium, HOT! Personally, I enjoy some heat but like to be able to still feel my tongue when I’m done. Traditionally salsa’s star ingredient is tomato however there are a range of fruits and vegetables that make a great salsa. A mango salsa over baked fish is absolutely divine, a cucumber mint salsa can be very refreshing, and a corn and black bean salsa is popular with those who are not fond of tomatoes. While shopping the other day I saw some cherries thought they would make an excellent salsa. I went home and played with a few things and came up with this recipe.

Cherry Jalapeño Salsa

Cherry Jalapeño Salsa



2 1/2 C cherries, pitted and chopped

2 jalapeños, seeded and finely diced (keep seeds to add more heat)

1 small red onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 bunch of cilantro, chopped juice of

1 lime 1 tsp. of chili powder

pinch of salt

pinch of cayenne pepper


1. Mix all ingredients together. Chill for at least an hour to fuse flavors together.

Tips- For a chunky salsa, hand chop and dice ingredients. For a smoother salsa, put cherries, onions, garlic and cilantro in a food processor.

Just in time for the Fourth of July!

Just in time for the Fourth of July!

Now I had originally made this salsa to eat with chips but a friend of mine suggested having it over chicken. Man was she right! It was a great pair for baked chicken breast and brown rice. I’m also contemplating putting it on my grilled sausage this weekend for the Fourth of July. Just typing that is making my mouth water.

Let me know how you enjoy this recipe and what you decide to eat it with.

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