Fritz and I did a ridiculous amount of shopping today. Something about cool weather just makes me want to spend all of our money as fast as humanly possible–combine that with the fact that we redeemed some points from our credit cards that we forgot about (thanks Cait and Jeff for the reminder!) for $250, and it was a done deal.
It was only through sheer willpower that I didn’t go adopt a fluffy orange kitten. Next year, Lauren. Next year. Maybe as a graduation present?
Since we are good kids, most of the points money will go towards our new iPhones and phone plans, but I did get an amazingly cute dress from Gap for $12, some clothes for Fritz, and the making for a DIY project (a light over our kitchen table).
If that wasn’t enough, my BFF’s mom called to say she was cleaning out her DVD collection, and she just handed us tons of DVDs to look through and claim for our own–it was like Christmas in September! Thanks, Liz!
Clearly, not much cooking happened today…but I did find a few minutes to make fennel chips.
Sea Salt Fennel Chips
- 2 fennel bulbs
- 1-2 t olive oil
- sprinkle of sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Trim the stalks off the fennel (you can save or toss, I don’t care!), and cut off the ends. Divide each bulb in half, then peel the leaves from the core. Toss them on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
When baking chips from veggies, it’s best to be conservative with the salt. The leaves shrink as they dessicate, and the salt taste can quickly become overpowering if you were too heavy-handed.
Remember, you can always add salt, but you can’t taketh away.
Bake on the middle rack, stirring them occasionally, until dry. You will probably have to remove the smaller leaves before the thickest ones are done, otherwise they will burn. It should take about 20 minutes to a half an hour.
I actually couldn’t resist tasting them as I checked on them, and didn’t finish baking them because they were just so good as is. With some moisture still in the middle of the big ones, they tasted kind of like fennel fries rather than chips.
Delicious either way.
Baked veggie chips are also great with kale or chard–see here for the recipe.
Baking the chips was a really great way to make the strong anise taste of fennel a lot more mild. You could still taste it, but it wasn’t overwhelming.
And yesterday I went apple picking with Fritz and some really lovely ladies:
We ate apple cider donuts, apple cider, and of course, tasted about a million apples on the orchard. I plan on making apple butter using what we picked, but since I’ve never made it before I want need to find a recipe I like that doesn’t add pounds of sugar. Any suggestions?