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.

Get a Head Start on Thanksgiving Dinner: 5 Easy Recipes to Make the Day Before

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 25th, 2014

Baked Mashed PotatoesMaking dinner on a regular Thursday night is hard enough for most of us, but Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings can be a full-day affair. Now, I love cooking, but I also have four kids and our oldest is five, so I need to be strategic to pull it off and not spend the afternoon yelling at everyone to get out of the kitchen. Even if you aren’t swamped with little rascals running through your kitchen this year, I bet you’ll appreciate getting a few things done by Wednesday too. Here’s my plan:

Giada De Laurentiis’ Baked Mashed Potatoes
These twice-baked mashed potatoes (pictured above) end up in a casserole dish, making them perfect for reheating on the big day. And with store-bought breadcrumbs and two kinds of cheese, they’re also my favorite mix of delicious food that’s easy to make. Grazie, Giada.

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5 Slow-Cooker Dinners for Fall

by in Family, November 4th, 2014

Mushroom Barley RisottoI’ll admit it: I’m late to the slow-cooker party. But in my defense, I could never seem to find a slow-cooker recipe that doesn’t involve a packet of onion soup mix, gravy mix or can of soup — until now. Behold, five delicious, real-food dinner recipes that politely cook themselves over the course of an afternoon. Now that’s something to celebrate.

Mushroom-Barley Risotto
A vegetarian dish that’s as healthy as it is hearty? We’re sold on this one (pictured above) full of carrots, cremini mushrooms and Parmesan cheese.

Pulled Pork
As a mom of four small kids, I like meals that are simple, inexpensive and versatile. That’s why this one is a staple in our house. Any cut of pork will do, and slathering it with a mustard-based sauce before cooking gives it just the right amount of flavor. Add BBQ sauce, use it for tacos, sandwiches or whatever you (and the kids) like.

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5 Easy Veggies Kids Love — Really

by in Family, October 28th, 2014

Roasted BroccoliAs a foodie blogger, there is one thing I constantly hear from other parents: “Oh boy, you can never come to my house for dinner.” That’s not very helpful here, but the second thing I hear often might be: “How can I get my kids to eat more/some/any vegetables?” My answer is the same every time: Roast them. I do mean the veggies, and here are my favorite ways to do it.

The method (below) is the same — and delicious — every time, but if you want to add another layer of flavor, try them all.

Method: Toss veggies with 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and place into an oven at 400 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes depending on the size of the vegetables. Flip once along the way.

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10 Simple Halloween Party Food Hacks for Kids

by in Family, Holidays, October 21st, 2014

10 Simple Halloween Party Food Hacks for KidsHere are 10 of the simplest ways to bring tons of Halloween fun to a party, classroom or family table in just minutes.

1. Creepy-Crawly Caterpillars (pictured above): Thread green grapes onto a long wooden skewer until it’s completely covered. Add mini chocolate chips to each grape on the very end for eyes (use a little frosting or cream cheese for glue).

2. Spider Sandwiches: Use a biscuit cutter to cut bread into 3- to 4-inch rounds. Spread with the usual favorite fillings like PB&J. Add four pretzel sticks to each side for legs, then put the sandwich top on. Use peanut butter for glue as you add two raisins for eyes.

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Classics with a Twist: 8 New Slow-Cooker Soups

by in Recipes, October 13th, 2014

8 New Slow Cooker Soup RecipesIn our house fall means two things: crisp weather and busy schedules. That’s what makes these hearty slow-cooker soups so perfect for this time of year, but that’s not all. Each of these classic soups has a tasty new twist, adding more flavor and richness, which usually means empty bowls (and happy kids) around here.

Turkey Chili: With a hint of chocolate, this mole-inspired chili is a fresh take on a cold-weather classic.

Potato Soup with All the Fixins (pictured above): Start with the humblest of ingredients — potatoes, onions and chicken stock — wait seven hours, then pile on all your favorite baked potato toppings, like bacon, cheddar cheese, chives and more.

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14 Pumpkin Treats for Kids

by in Recipes, September 30th, 2014

14 Pumpkin Treats for KidsJack-o’-lanterns aren’t the only fun way to use a pumpkin this time of year. From breakfast to dessert, lots of dessert, we’ve got 10 delicious pumpkin recipes kids will love.

1. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies: When the weather turns crisp, what’s better than a gooey chocolate chip cookie? A chocolate chip cookie with rich and creamy pumpkin incorporated too. The perfect fall treat.

2. White Bean Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins (pictured above): These two kinds of chocolate pumpkin muffins have one thing in common: They both use white beans in the batter, packing a surprising little punch of protein (and the kids will never know they’re in there).

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9 After-School Snacks: From Super Simple to Deliciously Decadent

by in Family, September 22nd, 2014

9 After-School SnacksKids may be ravenous when they come home from school, but not all kids’ snacks are created equal. From easy-to-make treats to more-of-a-commitment (and totally worth it) eats, these are our favorite after-school snacks — not too filling but satisfying enough to hold even the hungriest kids over until dinnertime.

Super Simple:

Oatmeal-Chocolate Snack Cakes: Just sweet enough to satisfy, these cakey bars are full of hearty whole oats. Bonus: The recipe is so simple that kids can make a big batch themselves to enjoy all week long.

Peaches and Creamsicles: Even though school’s back in session, most afternoons are still warm enough to welcome a homemade Popsicle. Our favorite hot-weather treat is made with fresh peaches (or strawberries), pure vanilla and just a bit of rich and creamy half-and-half.

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10 Apple Dishes Kids Can Help Make

by in Family, September 16th, 2014

10 Apple Dishes Kids Can Help MakeNothing says fall like the crunch of a good apple. Sure, kids love eating ‘em fresh out of the fridge, but here are 10 simple ways for your brood to help cook — and eat — their way through apple season, enjoying every bite.

1. Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp (pictured above): If this is your kids’ first crisp, you can’t go wrong with Ina Garten’s classic take. Kids can sprinkle the topping on with their fingers.

2. Healthy Apple Spice Quick Bread: Make one loaf for breakfast and snacks, and a second to freeze for later. Kids can shred apples and grease the pan.

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7 Lunchbox Accessories to Pack the Best Lunches Ever

by in Family, September 15th, 2014

7 Lunchbox Accessories to Pack the Best Lunches EverPacking a school lunch has a bad reputation, but it doesn’t have to be so hard — and the results can be very sweet. Here are a few of my favorite gadgets that easily make all the difference between a so-so lunch that comes home half-eaten and a special little treat kids can’t resist.

1. Bento Boxes: It’s simple to pack a balanced lunch when you have several compartments to fill with something different. Planet Box is the most-expensive line, but with a stainless-steel box that comes in a cushy (and customizable) case, it’s hard to beat. Our favorite plastic (and more affordable) version is EasyLunchboxes, which are BPA-free and also come with cooler bags in every shade of the rainbow.

2. Our Favorite Water Bottles: Oh, the leaky water bottles. If I could have a refund for all the sippy cups, water bottles and novelty glasses we’ve bought for our brood, college would be paid for already. Along the way I’ve figured it out. This is the only kind of water bottle we’ll buy going forward: The Bubba bottle is made of stainless steel, isn’t overpriced, is dishwasher-safe and hasn’t leaked a drop yet.

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8 Creative School Lunch Ideas, No Edible Markers Needed

by in Family, September 4th, 2014

8 Creative School Lunch Ideas, No Edible Markers NeededI don’t know about you, but I think making a brilliant school lunch doesn’t have to be so hard. (Just open any parenting magazine and you’ll find glossy photos showcasing hula dancer sandwiches with cucumber skirts, rice pandas complete with sly little smiles and more.) These simple-but-special ideas will punch up your crew’s lunchboxes with nary a hand-carved cow sandwich in sight.

1. Rainbows and Butterflies Pasta Salad by Food Network Magazine: Did you know bow tie pasta is called farfalle in Italian and means “butterfly”? Ellie Krieger opts for this colorful cold pasta dish (pictured above) full of fresh carrots, corn, edamame, red peppers and, of course, a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan cheese.

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