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.

13 Spring Birthday Cakes for Kids

by in Events, Family, May 12th, 2014

13 Spring Birthday Cakes for KidsFrom low-sugar options to decadent cakes sure to make any sweet tooth swoon, here are some of FN Dish and Foodlets’ favorite ways to celebrate a child’s birthday in spring.

Rainbow Four-Layer Cake from Food Network Magazine (pictured above): Spring showers bring rainbows to mind and with one color per layer, this dessert makes cutting a cake even more fun. Kids can choose the colors they want, or you can make it a surprise.

Fluffy Confetti Birthday Cake: Who can resist a cake covered in sprinkles? Get the how-to tricks from Food Network Kitchen right here.

Tie-Dyed Cupcakes: Sandra Lee brings a burst of color to this batch of bright and cheery cupcakes.

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Not Your Average Apple: 6 Ideas for Teacher Appreciation Day

by in Events, May 5th, 2014

6 Ideas for Teacher Appreciation DayWhen it comes to thanking teachers, there’s no sweeter way to say it than with apples. Teacher Appreciation Day is May 6, so try one of these seven ideas sure to let the educator in your life know just how much every spelling test, bandaged knee and lesson in kindness counts to you.

No-Bake Apple-Shaped Cake Pops (pictured above): Filled with decadent chocolate sandwich cookies, these cake pops are simple to assemble and easy enough to transport, and honestly couldn’t be cuter.

French Apple Tart: Get sophisticated with this fancy French option from Ina Garten. With layers of swirling apples on a buttery crust, you can’t go wrong.

Healthy Apple Muffins: For teachers who appreciate a little whole-grain goodness, this muffin recipe works perfectly (plus they’ll freeze beautifully to enjoy longer).

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13 Spring Picnic Ideas

by in Family, April 29th, 2014

13 Spring Picnic IdeasWhen the weather’s just right — not too hot, not too cold, not too buggy — there’s only one way to describe it: It’s picnic season. From kid-friendly fare to portable desserts and spicy dishes for all, these are our favorite dishes to bring to a blanket near you.

Warm Picnic Burritos: What travels better than tortillas rolled up around simple pulled pork with extra-zesty flavors? Put this recipe at the top of your list.

Cold Classic Potato Salad: Picnic purists, this one is for you. Alton Brown’s masterpiece is destined to become a family favorite for you too.

Sandwiches on a Stick: Just say “no” to messy mayo. Instead, spear the kids’ favorite sandwich foods onto a skewer and snip in half if it can’t fit in your container.

Layered Picnic in a Jar (pictured above): Who said picnics had to be so much fuss? For a simple meal on the go, try Melissa d’Arabian’s brilliant idea for layering rotisserie chicken, green olives and more — all in individual servings ready the moment you twist off the lid.

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10 Festive Kid-Approved Eats for Spring Birthday Parties

by in Entertaining, Family, April 21st, 2014

10 Festive Kid-Approved Eats for Spring Birthday PartiesWhen it comes to children’s birthday parties, the name of the game is fun, festive and kid-friendly. That’s why FN Dish loves these miniaturized versions of everything ,from personal mac-and-cheese cups to baked corn dogs, to tiny burgers and Giada’s mini Italian subs — all perfect for small hands to dig into. And don’t forget the sweets. Ina’s sharing chocolate-dipped goodies like strawberries, pretzels and graham crackers. These recipes are decadent but never too complicated for the cook — Mom and Dad will still enjoy the party too. Here’s to hosting a happy spring birthday bash near you.

1. Lasagna Cupcakes

2. Baked Mozzarella Sticks (pictured above)

3. Mini Mac and Cheese Cups (with Carrots)

4. Chocolate Dipped Delights

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12 Easter Ideas for Kids

by in Family, Holidays, April 15th, 2014

12 Easter Ideas for KidsWith just enough spring sun to warm their little cheeks, Easter is one of the sweetest days of the year for kids — and these are some of our favorite ways to celebrate. We’ve got surprisingly simple cookies, cupcakes, brownies and even a few sugar-free options. Here’s to a happy Easter ahead!

1. Easter Bunny Cake: Complete with coconut “fur,” this bunny cake is surprisingly simple to make (hint: It starts with a boxed cake mix!)

2. Little Lamb Pull-Apart Cupcakes: As a busy mom of three small fries, I love the idea of a specially shaped dessert I can actually make. Starting with a simple batch of 24 cupcakes, this recipe lays out exactly how to do it.

3. Giant Easter Egg Cookie: Another crowd-pleaser for busy cooks, this awesome egg can be as easy as baking a batch of store-bought cookie dough.

4. Hard-Boiled-Egg Chicken Family (pictured above): The lengthiest step in this easy creation is boiling the eggs. If you’ve got the eggs, a carrot and a few chia seeds, you can do this one in minutes.

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10 Kid-Friendly Dinners Done in 30 Minutes or Less

by in Family, March 31st, 2014

10 Kid-Friendly Dinners Done in 30 Minutes or LessI have three kids under the age of 5 at home, so speed in the kitchen isn’t just nice, it’s a necessity. If your house goes a little crazy around 5 pm the way mine does, these fast, easy and kid-friendly recipes are just for you. A combination of Food Network’s best dishes and our own family favorites, these are all recipes you need to feed a crew fast, and stay sane while doing it.

1. Stovetop Lasagna: Did you know it’s possible to make lasagna from scratch in 30 minutes — sauce and all? This speedy version of a classic family favorite has fast (and delicious) dinner written all over it.

2. Pepperoni and Cheese Scrambled Eggs: What’s faster than breakfast for dinner? Robert Irvine revamps a universally beloved dish in minutes for Food Network Magazine (pictured above).

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White Bean Dip: The Key to Getting More Veggies Into Your Kids

by in Family, February 18th, 2014

White Bean Dip: The Key to Getting More Veggies Into Your KidsTwo of my three small kids love hummus and I know many, many more who do. But hummus at the store usually has lots of mysterious ingredients in it — things I can’t pronounce — and having tahini on hand to make it myself is something my pantry just can’t seem to do. Enter the easiest, healthiest dip of 2014. If you want to get your kids excited about eating a few more veggies with lunch or as a snack, this is the way to go.

All you need to do is rinse a can of white beans and add a slug of olive oil, a dash of salt and pepper, the juice of one lemon and, if you dare, mince half a clove of garlic and throw that in too (it’ll make the whole thing a little spicy so be careful with delicate palates). Then fire up the food processor — blend, eat and enjoy with your vegetables of choice.

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How I Got My Kids to Try — and Love — Sugar Snap Peas

by in Family, February 3rd, 2014

How I Got My Kids to Try and Love Sugar Snap PeasThis year I’ve figured something out. Raising kids who eat healthy, whole foods seems to be half recipes, half behavior. While I’ve been focused on the healthy recipes for the last couple of years, I’ve also read tons of great books, and my new favorite piece of advice comes from, It’s Not About the Broccoli. When trying new things, let kids be critics, says author Dina Rose, Ph. D. So when I made a new dish with a new ingredient, sugar snap peas, I told my 4 and 2-year-olds that I wanted their opinions. Thumbs-up, thumbs in the middle or thumbs down — and if it’s either of the latter options, that’s OK because we’ll try this dish again another time and maybe they’ll like it better.

Call me an amateur psychologist, but releasing the pressure and allowing them to like or not like a new food seemed to yield just the results I was looking for. Not only did they give this one a thumbs-up, they stood up on their booster seats to stretch their arms even higher in the air — like two tiny Statues of Liberty at my kitchen table. That’s what I like to see.

Get the recipe for Ginger Pork Over Pasta with Sugar Snap Peas at Foodlets.com.

2-Ingredient Banana Cookies (and Neither Is Sugar)

by in Family, January 13th, 2014

Two Ingredient Banana CookiesI’ve seen versions of this cookie recipe online in many places, so when it was my family’s turn to bring a snack to my 4-year-old’s preschool class, we gave it a shot. What a hit! It’s the only time we’ve ever come home with an empty bowl, to my toddlers’ total dismay. They were really looking forward to eating those leftovers and I don’t blame them because there are many things to love about these cookies.

First, they’re simple. You mash up two very ripe bananas with old-fashioned oats and bake. That’s the whole technique right there. But you could also add things to your liking: walnuts, raisins, almonds, chia seeds (which we used), dried cranberries, etc. Add whatever mix-ins your kids enjoy (whatever you want them to eat more of in a perfect world). Second, they’re sugar-free. And third, they’re full of great-for-you ingredients.

We have a fresh bunch of bananas sitting on our counter right now, just waiting for a brown spot or two to appear before we whip up a new batch to keep for ourselves.

Get the full recipe for Banana Cookies at Foodlets.com.

 

Sweeten Up Your Brussels Sprouts (Kid Approved)

by in Family, January 8th, 2014

Sweeten Up Your Brussels SproutsI’m going to say something that may sound like bragging, but stick with me: my kids eat Brussels sprouts. Here’s the story: there are three of them — ages 4, 2 and 1 — and each one eats these mini cabbages with a different level of, shall we say, enthusiasm. So with all those juicy cranberries around the house typically destined for muffins, I threw a handful into our last pan of oven-roasted sprouts and the good got even better. And those resigned to trying a couple of polite bites got even happier. Get the recipe for Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries at Foodlets.com.