All Posts By Foodlets

Charity Curley Mathews dreams of raising kids who eat (and enjoy) real food. A former VP at MarthaStewart.com, she's a contributor to The Huffington Post and heads up Foodlets.com: Mini Foodies in the Making…Maybe. Together with her husband and three small children, she now cooks in North Carolina.

11 Shortcut Items This Mom of 4 Can’t Live Without, Plus Recipes for Using Them

by in Family, Recipes, March 1st, 2017

Penne with Sun-Dried TomatoesI love cooking for my family. Mostly fresh. Usually from scratch. Sometimes ethnic. But as a mom of four small kids (seriously, the oldest one is 7), my energy is limited. Plus, it’s a bit of a betting game at this stage. Will the kids appreciate all of my effort when I set their food on the table? Yes, everyone’s clear on the expectations: Try everything and be a good sport about it. But will they actually enjoy it? In order to keep the cooking requirements and expectations in check, I take advantage of a few shortcuts for getting meals on the table quickly, easily and deliciously. Check them all out below.

Jarred Items: Olives and Sundried Tomatoes

Ounce for ounce, sundried tomatoes may have the most flavor of any single ingredient in your pantry. It takes a mere handful of ingredients to pull off Giada De Laurentiis’ Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (pictured above), which boasts a stellar 5-star rating.

Green olives create an almost instant sauce for either pork or chicken, giving either one a signature tang in seconds. Two of my favorites are Pork Tenderloin with So Many Olives and Chicken Mirabella: Chicken with Prunes & Olives.

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10 Cooking Projects to Do with Kids to Combat Cabin Fever

by in Family, Recipes, February 17th, 2017

White Sandwich BreadThere’s nothing like a little cooking to keep kids busy — and happy on a day off. If the winter weather has you indoors with your little ones all day, try introducing a hands-on kitchen project. All you need are simple recipes with reliable results, just like these.

For Young Kids and Beginner Cooks

Ree Drummond’s Homemade White Sandwich Bread (pictured above)
Kids love making bread. Since their experience with bread is usually limited to let’s say aisle six at the grocery store, making bread at home feels a little bit like seeing a teacher outside of the classroom. Though you’ll need plenty of time to prep this recipe, you can do it with only a handful of ingredients.

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How to Have a Special Valentine’s Meal with the Whole Family

by in Family, Holidays, Recipes, February 9th, 2017

Salmon Baked in FoilIf you’re like me, when your Valentine’s Day plans involve not only your spouse but also your four small kids, you improvise. You adjust. You balance romantic ideas with one simple question: How long will it take? Because kids aren’t keen on long, drawn-out meals, of course. These are my favorite ideas for a doable meal that’s still as special as ever.

Dinners to Delight

Salmon Baked in Foil
Follow the simple steps for Giada De Laurentiis’ salmon and you’ll have an elegant (and healthy) dinner on the table in a hurry.

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11 Ways to Make Potatoes the Star of Your Meal

by in Recipes, February 6th, 2017

Gnocchi with Wild Mushroom RaguInexpensive, easy to store and totally reliable in the flavor department, potatoes are hard to beat. From go-to breakfast plates to appetizers, entrees and side dishes, check out these surefire recipes for staple spuds.

Gnocchi with Wild Mushroom Ragu (pictured above)
Light and pillowy, potato-based gnocchi take the place of noodles in this hearty Italian dinner. Get the step-by-step how-to from Food Network Magazine.

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14 Macaroni and Cheese Makeovers You Just Have to See

by in Recipes, January 30th, 2017

Croque Monsieur Mac and CheeseTry a new spin on the classic dish everyone always loves for dinner. We’ve got unexpected add-ins, fun ways to serve it and top-rated rated recipes.

Make It a Meal
Adding protein to mac and cheese transforms the dish from a side to a full-on entree.

Croque Monsieur Mac and Cheese
Ham, Gruyère cheese and real breadcrumbs give this dish (pictured above) new levels of flavor and texture.

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3 Levels of Kale Recipes for the Haters and the Die-Hard Fans

by in Recipes, January 24th, 2017

3 Levels of Kale Recipes for the Haters and the Die-Hard FansTrying to feed your family more healthy foods this year? By now you surely know that kale is a powerhouse ingredient — but it also happens to be delicious. For you kale newbies, we have a few starter recipes to help you wade your way into the waters of this good-for-you green. And for you kale fanatics (even those who simply tolerate it), we have straight-up kale-focused recipes for you too. Bonus: These are all simple picks and every one of them is kid-tested too.

Level 1: Starter Kale Recipes
If your family is new to this leafy green, these mild recipes are the perfect place to begin.

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7 Breakfast Smoothies That (Almost) Taste Like Dessert

by in Family, Recipes, January 18th, 2017

Fruit Fruit SmoothiesWe’re a few weeks into January, which means that by we’ve all seen those Facebook posts with the shiny green smoothies, looking up at us expectantly, just daring us to start the year with a big swig of kale. But if you’re not quite ready to face the day with a glass of bitter greens, start with something a little softer, a lot sweeter and definitely more decadent. These are our favorite dessert-inspired smoothies — no kale in sight.

If you like berry pies, try these Frozen Fruit Smoothies (pictured above).

It’s up to you to choose among frozen strawberries, raspberries or cherries to make this top-rated smoothie. It’s blended with a frozen banana, orange juice and some yogurt, proving you can transform everyday items into a healthy treat.

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8 Kid-Friendly Slow-Cooker Meals

by in Family, Recipes, January 9th, 2017

Slow-Cooker Pot RoastWhen it comes to family meals, I’m always looking for three things: wholesome ingredients, simple preparation and kid-friendly flavors. You really can’t beat the slow cooker for the second one; just throw your ingredients in, and that contraption politely cooks dinner for you all day long. These are the crowd-pleasing recipes I’ve made over and over again. Every one of them is full of fresh ingredients and kid-tested.

Slow-Cooker Pot Roast (pictured above)
This is the meal my mother-in-law makes every time we gather for a special family meal. Pot roast may be my father-in-law’s favorite, but this dish has other things going for it too: All the veggies cook right along with the meat (one pot!), and every bite is so tender that even our two-year-old can dig right in.

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9 Surprising Ways to Use a Can of Beans

by in Recipes, January 2nd, 2017

Kale, Bean and Egg StewInexpensive and full of protein, a simple can of beans can be used in so many delicious ways — and beyond the standard soups too (though I am sharing a clever trick for one soup recipe). From savory dips to sweet chocolate muffins, we’re transforming humble cans of beans so that you’ll never look at them the same way again.

Kale, Bean and Egg Stew (pictured above)
Who can’t use a vegetarian weeknight meal to add to their repertoire? If this one looks exotic for your crew, draw on what’s familiar about it: a fried egg fresh from the skillet.

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6 Mocktails for Kid-Friendly New Year’s Eve Parties

by in Family, Holidays, December 27th, 2016

Italian LemonadeFancy drinks don’t have to be limited to the over-21 crowd at your New Year’s Eve party. Just follow these simple instructions for creating festive mocktails kids love.

Italian Lemonade (pictured above)
The addition of Basil Simple Syrup dresses up this refreshing sipper from Giada De Laurentiis.

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