Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Movie #1

Our first Christmas movie of the season is a classic, well sort of.  It is The Muppet Christmas Carol based on Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol.

This is one of my favorite Christmas stories, and what better way to introduce it to kids than with Muppets?
This version follows the original story fairly closely, but lightens it up quite a bit with that trademarked Muppet humor and music.  You can't go wrong with Michael Cain as Ebeneezer Scroge, Kermit as Bob Cratchit, and Gonzo as Mr. Dickens himself.

What we'll be snacking on while we watch...

Homemade Apple Chips
We LOVE this recipe.  Sure you can buy them, but they will be loaded with preservatives and sugar to keep them "fresh". The only other option would be to make them yourself, and let me tell you it couldn't be easier.   The apples are sweet enough on their own, and you control the texture (crispy or chewy) as well as the flavor (add your favorite spices).

Firm apples (Honeycrisp, Fuji, Gala, or Granny Smith apples work well)- one apple per person
A sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)

Slice the apples thinly (about a quarter of an inch) across the width of the apple.  
Using an apple corer tool or a small cookie cutter, punch out the cores (if you don't have either of these, you can use the tip of a sharp paring knife).
Place the apples on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet.  As they dehydrate, they'll shrink in size, so pack on as many as you can in a single layer.  And don't worry if they break or aren't cut perfectly.  The ugly ones taste just as good as the pretty ones when all's said and done.
Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon (or any other baking spice you prefer- nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice...) or leave plain.
Place the cookie sheet in a preheated 200* oven.
Flip apples every 30 minutes until they reach desired texture.  It took me somewhere between 90 minutes and 2 hours.  If you want them soft and chewy take them out sooner, if you want them crispy leave them in longer.  But be sure to watch them- they can go from crisp to burnt in no time flat!

It seems these disappear as soon as they come out of the oven, but if you have leftovers (I seriously doubt that will happen), you can leave them in a container (covered for chewy, open for crispy) on the counter top for a couple of days!