All Posts By Foodlets

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

12 Retro Food Fads (and Modernized Recipes for 2016)

by in Family, Recipes, August 8th, 2016

Chinese Chicken Salad“We didn’t have kiwi when I was little,” I explained to my kids; they were baffled. “I’m sure it existed somewhere, but, uh, just not where I was.” Then, bam! Kiwi burst onto the scene for Americans in the ’80s, and talk about a runaway hit. Remember life before baby carrots? Extra virgin olive oil? Some food fads have such a great flavor, neat technique, or interesting and new presentation that they just never fade. These are my family’s favorites.

Chinese Chicken Salad (pictured above)
One thing I love so much about watching Barefoot Contessa is listening to Ina Garten casually mention how she’s been making some particularly delectable dish for 20 years. Her Chinese Chicken Salad is one of those throwback recipes with a perfectly updated spin. Crunchy asparagus and bell peppers mingle with juicy roasted chicken before the whole thing gets doused with a simple ginger dressing.

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Zucchini Gratin and 7 Other Delicious Ways to Roast Summer Veggies

by in In Season, Shows, August 7th, 2016

Zucchini GratinI don’t know about you, but I don’t get the hype about cooking outside in the summer. It’s hot outside. That officially makes it the last place I want to be, except if the other choice is in front of a flaming grill. No, sir. When the weather heats up, I say, take it inside and let the sweet AC work its magic. That brings me to another appliance I have all kinds of love for: my oven. These are my favorite ways to enjoy all those fresh summer vegetables without sweating it out in the process. And if your oven tends to heat your house up? Roast up one of these dishes in the morning, before the sun has a chance to sizzle — that way your home will be cooler come dinnertime.

Zucchini Gratin
Leave it to Ina Garten to elevate simple zucchini to a decadent dish. With 364 reviews and a 5-star rating (not to mention the promise of fresh breadcrumbs and all that melted Gruyère), this one’s officially on my summer food bucket list.

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8 Make-Ahead Summer Dinners That Will Satisfy All Your Cravings

by in Recipes, July 26th, 2016

Broccoli with Bow TiesThere are four small kids at my table every night. And at the end of a busy summer day, nothing hits the spot like a dinner that’s already made. These are the time- (and sanity-) saving hits we rely on all summer long.

Warm and Fresh

Broccoli with Bow Ties (pictured above)
The key to serving Ina Garten’s perfectly lemony pasta in a flash is making the whole thing ahead of time and storing it in a stovetop-friendly pan. (I like to use the pasta pot I boiled the water in.) Pop it from the fridge to a warm burner set on low for a perfect summer meal in minutes.

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11 Cold Snacks for Hot Summer Days

by in Family, Recipes, July 18th, 2016

Frozen Fruit CupsFor my money, nothing beats a piece of fresh fruit for an instant snack this time of year. But when I want to kick it up a little, add a new flavor or incorporate a few veggies into a meal other than dinner, these are my go-to summer snacks. Each one is cool, refreshing and kid-tested to boot.


The Pioneer Woman’s Frozen Fruit Cups (pictured above)
This is my kind of recipe: Chop up a little fruit, throw it in a freezer-proof cup, freeze and serve. I love Ree Drummond’s idea so much that I’m already planning to whip out my muffin pan just so I can make more of them! An even dozen should do it, right?

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10 Special Summer Breakfasts to Make Your Kids’ Day

by in Family, Recipes, July 6th, 2016

Egg-in-a-HoleSummertime means two things at my house: constantly slathering four little bodies in numbers of SPF so high they didn’t exist when I was a kid; and a slower, more forgiving morning routine. With no lunches to pack, no folders to tuck into backpacks and no need to cook breakfast at breakneck speed, we have a little more time to indulge. These are some of my favorite ways to set the pace for a sunny day ahead.

Ree Drummond’s Egg-in-a-Hole
Even though the whole thing takes only five minutes from start to finish, it still feels like lots of work for busy school days. That’s what makes this top-rated dish ideal for a slower summer morning.

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10 Speedy Dinners to Make Now That School’s Out

by in Family, Recipes, June 21st, 2016

10 Speedy Dinners Now that School’s OutThe first few weeks of summer break are really just back-to-school time in reverse; everyone’s learning a new routine and breaking in a new rhythm. With all the new comings, goings, camp dates, don’t-forget-your-water-bottle reminders and spray cans of SPF 1 million to keep track of, I’ll just admit it: Cooking elaborate meals is last on my list right now. That’s why I love these go-to quick dinners, perfect for this time of year. And it gets even easier. I recently learned a new tip for simplifying menu planning during the week: Pick a theme for each day (think sandwiches on Mondays, pasta on Tuesdays, etc.) and rotate recipes every week. Here are a few kid-approved ideas to get you started.

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16 Summer Recipes for Food on a Stick

by in Recipes, June 14th, 2016

15 Summer Recipes for Food on a StickNothing says summer quite like food on a stick. And from simple starters to lunch ideas and hearty main dishes, every one of these mouthwatering recipes belongs on your summer bucket list.

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No Grill? No Problem. 7 Summery Recipes You Can Make Indoors This Season

by in Recipes, June 3rd, 2016

Oven-Roasted Corn on the CobAs a mom of four kids who also blogs about food, I have to admit something: I don’t grill. I don’t even understand the appeal of grilling. It’s hot. It’s sometimes smoky, and the grill is definitely not next to a sink, my other pans or a counter to set a tray of food on. But I love the idea of grilled food. That’s why this list of summer foods to make indoors is so important. Cook inside, eat outside. Enjoy these dishes all summer long.

Oven-Roasted Corn on the Cob
This is the easiest dish you’ll make all season. The ingredients? Corn. Find out how plain corn on the cob is effortlessly transformed with just a quick roast in the oven.

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7 Ways to Use Ripe Bananas That Aren’t Banana Bread

by in Recipes, May 31st, 2016

Banana Got a couple of aging bananas lounging on your kitchen counter, practically begging for a small army of fruit flies to move in? Don’t pitch them yet! Brown bananas mean extra flavor, and every one of these recipes will be more delicious for it.

Banana “Ice Cream” Fakeout
When bananas start to turn brown, it’s time to make your move. Slice them up and store them in a zip-top bag in your freezer. Now you have the makings for Rachael Ray’s banana “ice cream”: Just blend your frozen bananas in a food processor, adding a little milk if needed.

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8 Delicious Ways to Use Up a Bag of Chia Seeds

by in Recipes, May 24th, 2016

Chocolate-Chip PuddingIf you’ve got leftover chia seeds from an experimental recipe of the past, pull them out of the pantry, because believe it or not, you can put them to work in kid-friendly recipes. All six of these kid-tested options deliver tried-and-true results, for meals and treats from breakfast until dessert.

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