Tag Archives: apples

What Type Of Apple Personality Are You?

Are you a tart, sweet, juicy, tough, green, red, yellow, mixed (list goes on) apple?  Take the quiz below to see which apple personality you are.

While you’re at it learn more about apples from the experts at Brookwood Fruit Farms located in Almont, Michigan.

Hi Y’All!

We have had so much fun at Brookwood Fruit Farms.  The helpful folks there answered all our questions and allowed us to play in their orchards!  What a crew!  Grab your apple spiced cider and donuts and follow us on an interesting tour into APPLE LAND.Tea for two

What Type Of Apple Personality Are You?

Seriously, who doesn’t love to take fun quizzes.  You know the ones that make you smile or sometimes laugh right out loud.  I know we do at The Hard Hat Belles just for kicks and giggles.  So take a quick moment and pop on over to the link below to find out your apple personality type.  Remember to come back though. . . to find out how to make those awesome apple chips.  We’ve added our own twist to making them as crisp as possible short of burning them:o)

Your Apple Personality Quiz

Now that you have found out your Apple Personality let’s get on with the baking of Apple Chips!

Apple Chips

Apple Chips

Supplies needed: Apples, spices, mandolin slicer (or knife), cookie sheet, parchment paper and an ovenmandolin slicer

Slice the apples.

Place a sheet of parchment paper onto a cookie sheet (psst…waxpaper did not work), and place a single layer of apple slices onto the parchment.  If desired sprinkle spices on the apple slices.  We like pumpkin spice or cinnamon sugar.

Apples on a cookie sheet

Place cookie sheet into preheated oven of 200 degrees for 2 hours.  Prop open the oven door about two inches.  This will allow the apples to get crisper.  Drying the apples out in humid climates is difficult to get them crisp, but propping the door open helps them to become crispier.

Crisp apple slices

To view the details of how to make these awesome Apple Chips view our video here.


Want More THHB?

To watch more of our fun DIY videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click here to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases.  Or simply subscribe below to see each of our videons within our blog stories. . . . You’ll be getting two for the time of one!

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May Your Day Be Spent

Inspiring Hope

Proverbs 25:11

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke


School Snacks & Storage: Make ahead for a week

Do you hate coming up with new snack ideas or figuring out how to store them?  Do you need some ideas to make school snacks for one week? Check out this video & website to find how we did it!

Hi Y’All,

We are so happy to see you here with us today.  Please grab a seat and your fav beverage (mine of course is decaf coffee with French vanilla creamer-Yum).  What will you have?  We are going to explore the world of snack making for younger kids.

Tea for two

To Quiz or not to Quiz

Are you seriously ready to start making those snacks a week ahead?  Do you have ideas of what to start with?  How to package them so they stay fresh for a week?  Check out this quiz link below to see how ready you are.

Morning School Rushes

Don’t you just hate it when you are running late in the mornings and you have to pack up lunches and think or grab some snacks?  Sometimes you’ll strike gold and others will be a total flop because you forgot to go shopping?  snacks

For a sure fire way to be prepared we have compiled a few snack ideas below to help you on your way to becoming a snack pro.

NOTE: Remember you want your children to eat the snacks.  Healthy would be great, but you also know what they will and will not eat and it is important to keep that in mind when you work on creating snacks for a week.

School Snack Ideas

We found that the small condiment containers work best for children.  They are inexpensive, kids don’t have to worry about returning them home and best of all – they fit the little hands perfectly.  They can be found at most grocery stores in a variety of sizes. We used sandwich size zip locked baggies with the small condiment containers.  We also found that designating one spot in your refrigerator and pantry for school snacks using a container (shoe box, Rubbermaid, etc) helped cut time searching for the snacks when you need them.

**Note: Why do we only show you 4 snack ideas?  Because now it is time for you to create the 5th one to finish out your week.  We are confident that after reading this blog and viewing our video that you will be ready to start creating your own weeks worth of school snacks!

Apple Slices and Peanut Butter/Nutella etc

apple slices

To keep apple slices fresh for a week soak the apple slices in a strong lemon water and place them in the baggie along with the dip.  My granddaughter loves Nutella, but peanut butter is a big fan also. You can mix up the snacks with different types of apples (Gala, Fuji, Yellow Delicious, Macintosh) and the same goes for the dip (nut butter comes in many flavors, Nutella, Greek Yogurt).

Carrots and Ranch Dressing


Carrots also come in different shapes already pre-cut (shredded, chunks, tiny baby or regular baby cuts) if you want to provide variety and save yourself some time. We used ranch dressing, but any dressing will work that are not too liquidy.  You can also use yogurt, humus, peanut butter, flavored cream cheeses.

Salad Cucumbers and Greek Yogurt Dill Dip

Salad Cucumbers

Salad cucumbers are nice as they can be held in the hand to dip.  A perfect size for a small fist.  But hey, don’t rule out regular cucumbers either.  They can be cut up into a variety of sizes and shapes to entice your child to eat them.  We paired these salad cucumbers with our very own Greek yogurt made in a crock pot. The dip is our very own recipe of adding some dill and lemon juice to taste (yum).  These salad cukes can also be paired with a variety of dips as well – previously listed above.

Pretzels and Humus

pretzels & humus

Our final suggestion here is pretzels and humus.  Pretzels come in many different sizes, shapes and flavors and paired with the perfect humus – even your little one will eat it.  Humus comes in a variety of flavors that can be found at your grocers.



No matter how you rated on the Quiz, perfection in the snack area comes with knowing your child, what they will and will not eat and yet challenging them to try different flavors, shapes and sizes.

We found that designation one container on the shelf in your pantry and one in your refrigerator will keep your snacks organized for the week.

So whether you have one child or several all you need to have your snacks ready for a whole week is  sandwich zip baggies, small condiment containers, dips and the main snack. For more ideas check out our School Snack Before & After School Pinterest board.

We’d love to hear your suggestions – what snacks do you find work best with your children?  Store bought? or Homemade?

Want More THHB??

To watch more of our fun DIY videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe below to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the time of one!

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Psalm 18:32


Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke


How to Make Kale and Quinoa Salads – Fruit vs Greek

The Hard Hat Belles will show you how to prepare two delicious salads with Quinoa and Kale as base. Quinoa contains about 15% of protein and Kale is known for its detox properties. Combining these two turns them into the dream food for any vegetarian (and even if your not!). You are sure to enjoy these salads this summer!

Hi Y’All!

With summer coming on we decided it would be very refreshing to show you how to make some unique salads using kale and quinoa.  I have to say that KALE is my new go to salad leaf.  So, grab your drink and a seat and let’s make some salads.

Tea for two


When Wiebke and I started looking for a different type of salad to create for you – I had a very reluctant reaction to the thought of using the kale.  Why you ask?  Well, it all started a few years ago when my husband was diagnosed with cancer and we were trying to do all things healthy.  We got a special juicer and did research on the best produce for the best juices.  Kale was at the top of the list.

Unbeknownst to us was that the stomach flu was making it’s vicious way through our family.

You guessed it!  The day we decided to start off with a very healthy  CLEANSING kale juice (and of course it had to be a large 20 oz), and the flu decided to collide.  Let’s just say it wasn’t very pretty around our house for about a week and everything reeked of kale….ugh.

So, when Wiebke found some kale and quinoa recipes and we discussed them – I was very hesitant.   But she was very interested to experiment with kale and combine it with quinoa.  I have to say these two salads really changed the way I think about kale and quinoa now.  Kale really is the new lettuce in my household and I am besotted with quinoa.  I am completely converted .  Still not sure I’d try another kale juice though. . .

Hail The Kale

Once we learned the magic of making kale more tender and beautiful to boot it was up hill from there.  You’ll have to read the recipes to discover the magic yourself.  To me, kale has a flavor  similar to fresh spinach, however, it is much milder.  The other bonus that I love – is that it lasts so much longer than ice berg, Romaine, or Leaf lettuce in your refrigerator.

I have had it on homemade pizza, tacos, nachos, sandwiches. . .  anything and anywhere I might use lettuce.  I am totally sold and we hope you will be too.

Why Kale?

The potential health benefits of kale are amazing and really worth the effort to investigate.  The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health’s scientific article on . . . Green Vegetable Juices suggests that kale may even be beneficial in the role of preventing degenerative diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases.  For additional  information and a different perspective on kale, check out the Kale: Health Benefits, Uses and Risks  article written by dietitian Megan Ware, RDN,LD.  Even if you are not looking for health benefits the evidence has shown that kale can help with weight loss as well.  I am anticipating my own weight loss eating more kale and drinking more water with our Motivational Water Jug! Let’s go get our KALE fix!

Quinoa – The Ancient Protein Wonder

Quinoa has been around for thousands of years and is gluten-free, packed with protein and according to the Ancient Harvest website a nutritional powerhouse.  To me it is a healthy alternative to calorie packed pasta and rice.  I like the nutty type flavor quinoa has and it adds a wonderful texture to salads.  I can’t wait to try it in place of pasta and rice in some of my recipes. To learn more watch the video below.

Take a tour of the Ancient Harvest website to get tons more information on quinoa – from the history on quinoa to recipes and where to buy it.  You can also hop on over to the  Authority Nutrition website to read an article – 11 Proven Health Benefits of Quinoa (No. 1 is Best) May 2016, by Kris Gunnars, BSc (Bachelor’s degree in medicine).  He talks about 11 reasons why we should embrace quinoa into our diets from health benefits to losing weight.

Another good source of information is Jen’s Reviews post on quinoa.  You will find some more facts and delish recipes to try out.

To learn more about powerfoods that are easy to use with awesome benefits visit the cookingdetective.com and read their article on 23 Superfoods To Add To Your Diet For A Healthy Life.

Psst. . . I didn’t realize it until Wiebke showed me how, but quinoa is so easy to cook and much quicker than rice! Just look at the pictures below to tell when it is cooked.

Raw uncooked quinoa on the left. The germ has popped on the right, which means the quinoa is cooked.
Raw uncooked quinoa on the left. The germ has popped on the left which means the quinoa is cooked.

Kale & Quinoa Salads

Do you want to know how to get more kale and quinoa into your everyday meal menu?  We have a start for you!  It is with these two awesome salads!

Fruit-Nut Salad:Kale & Quinoa Salad

Ingredients: Kale, quinoa, apples, mandarins, dried cranberries, blueberries, honey, lime juice, olive oil

  • Rinse 1 cup Quinoa under running tap water, place in pan, add 2 cups water and boil for 15 minutes. You’ll know the quinoa is done when the germ pops out and the quinoa has a translucent color. Cool off the quinoa.
  • In a small bowl mix lime juice, honey and olive oil. Add this to the chopped and de-stemmed kale.  Massage the dressing into the kale (see video).  **See magic note below.
  • Add cranberries, mandarins, apple, blueberries and almonds (or anything that suits your fancy).
  • Finally, add the cooled off quinoa and toss all ingredients together.  Absolutely delish!

Greek Salad:Quinoa and Kale Greek Salad

Ingredients: 2 cups water,1 cup quinoa, 1 cup baby kale (or regular), stems removed, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered, ½ cup cucumber, diced, ¼ cup red onion, minced, 2 tablespoons kalamata olives, 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, ⅛ teaspoon salt , ⅛ teaspoon pepper, feta cheese for topping

  • Rinse 1 cup Quinoa under running tap water, place in pan, add 2 cups water and boil for 15 minutes. You’ll know the quinoa is done when the germ pops out and the quinoa has a translucent color. Cool off the quinoa.
  • In a small bowl mix lemon juice, and olive oil. Add this to the chopped and de-stemmed kale.  Massage the dressing into the kale (see video). **See magic note below.
  • Add chopped cucumbers, diced tomato, chopped parsley, sliced olives, diced red onion.
  • Add the cooled off quinoa and toss all ingredients together.
  • Finally, top with crumbled Feta Cheese. And the Greek Quinoa Kale Salad is ready to enjoy!

**Magic Note: This is how the kale is transformed from a cabbage texture to a softer one.  When I am using kale in other recipes or with other food, such as sandwiches, I simply use a small portion of extra virgin olive oil and massage away.

Note: Disclaimer

And there you have it! Two delish kale and quinoa salads to chose from.  For more delish THHB recipes click here. Let us know which one you preferred in the comments below.

To watch more of our crazy videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe here to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the price of one!

Please subscribe to our blog here or above.

May Your Day Be Spent

Inspiring Hope

Bible Verse Proverbs 15:17

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke