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.

16 Kid-Friendly Recipes That Will End Dinnertime Meltdowns This Year

by in Family, Recipes, January 12th, 2016

Easy Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese CroutonsThis is it: The ultimate, every-kid-likes-it list of crowd-pleasing recipes you’ll want to add to your rotation for 2016. Featuring fresh takes on classic kid favorites like chicken, and mac and cheese, each recipe is kid-tested and full of fresh ingredients, yet still easy enough for busy parents to prepare.

Easy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
Ina Garten has a match made in heaven with this dish featured in Food Network Magazine. Even kids who aren’t into soup will love fishing a crouton out of her zesty tomato soup … if it happens to be a tasty bite of grilled cheese sandwich.

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How to Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Home with Your Kids

by in Family, Holidays, Recipes, December 28th, 2015

Lamb Sausage in Puff PastryWhen you’re little, celebrating New Year’s Eve is really just a fun reason to have special food, and this menu doesn’t disappoint! Offering a buffet of simple but festive fare is the way we love to ring in the new year with our own brood of four.

The Setup:
Create a kids’ table with party hats and noisemakers at each place. It doesn’t have to be elaborate; just throw a sheet over the craft table and get them set up. Then offer a buffet, lined with all the food. Set it out all at once, or in a couple of shifts. The second way, kids have a better chance of seeing everything.

The Menu:
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8 Things to Make with Leftover Holiday Ham

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 25th, 2015

Macaroni and CheeseIf a glistening ham is gracing your holiday table today, chances are you’ll have a bit of that smoky, juicy meat left over at the end of the meal. Don’t let that beautiful ham go to waste! These easy ideas won’t keep you in the kitchen for long. In only a few minutes, you’ll transform what was once a holiday dinner into kid-friendly fare — pizza, breakfast cups, mini sandwiches and more.

Macaroni and Cheese
Giada De Laurentiis has included diced ham and three different cheeses for a surprisingly simple dish … with more than 700 5-star reviews.

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Holiday Party Recipes That Will Please Even the Kid Guests

by in Family, Holidays, Recipes, December 18th, 2015

Antipasti de SalumiWhether it’s an open house, a dinner party or a family celebration, these are the top holiday recipes kids just can’t resist. From starters to mains and a dessert, too, this will be a bash the little guys will love.

Giada De Laurentiis’ Antipasti Platter
Use cookie cutters to create adorable cheese shapes to serve along with crackers, salami, olives and any other nibbles your kids enjoy.

Ina Garten’s Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
I love serving soup at an open house. It’s easy to keep warm and doesn’t mind sitting on the stove for hours at a time. And this tomato soup from the Barefoot Contessa is amazing. Roasting the tomatoes ahead of time punches up the flavor, an important step when it’s not tomato season.

Roasted Squash Stuffed with Sausage & Apples
Individual portions can be so popular with kids — especially when they look a little like flowers. This dish is practically a meal in itself, great for a day that includes lots of pre-dinner snacks and plenty of desserts.

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10 Christmas Cookies So Easy Kids Can Help Make Them

by in Family, Holidays, Recipes, December 12th, 2015

Cocoa ThumbprintsI have four kids under the age of 7, so you can bet there are some Christmas cookies baking in my house — and the rascals want in on it. These are our favorite cookies for baking as a two-generation team.

Cocoa Thumbprints from Food Network Magazine
Anything that involves rolling dough into a ball, jamming your finger into it and placing candy on top is a hit with kiddie cooks.

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How to Get Your Kids Eating Green Foods … Happily

by in Family, Recipes, December 1st, 2015

Spinach Tortellini SoupDid you know that experts suggest eating five servings of fruit and vegetables a day? If your kids get suspicious the second they see something green hit the plate, try these techniques I use with my own four kids. We eat a lot of vegetables around here, and this is how we do it.

1. Start with low-stakes recipes. There’s nothing worse than slaving over a big dinner only to find that exactly no one likes it. If your crew is new to healthy green food, try quick and simple dishes like these to start.

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Save Your Oven Space: 8 Thanksgiving Dishes to Make on the Stove

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 23rd, 2015

Creamed Kale with Caramelized ShallotsOn Thanksgiving Day it’s all about getting the most done with the least amount of stress. And saving space in the oven, which is at a premium on turkey day, with these stovetop recipes can do just that. (Besides, if your house is like mine, you’ll have your hands full setting up the Thanksgiving Bingo game.)

Creamed Kale with Caramelized Shallots
It’s the best mix of old-school flavor and updated ideas about nutrition.

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7 Thanksgiving Shortcuts to Be Thankful For

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 13th, 2015

Apple PieWhen you’re hosting a big crowd for the holidays or even cooking for a crew of kids — a pair of daunting tasks if there ever was one — this list is for you. And if you’re doing both like I am this Thanksgiving, this one’s for you. And because many of the dishes can easily be made days in advance (or more), you can knock out most of the cooking well before Thanksgiving Day arrives.

Make and Freeze: Apple Pie 
Prepare an unbaked apple pie, like this one from Food Network Kitchen, then pop it into the freezer until you’re ready to bake. The trick: Wrap the whole thing in three layers of plastic wrap, then place in a gallon-size freezer bag or add another layer of aluminum foil. Tips:

  • Take the pie out of the freezer and put directly into the oven, just add 20 to 30 minutes of baking time.
  • Use a metal or ceramic pie plate; glass may not be sturdy enough to go from the freezer to the oven.
  • Pumpkin (or any other kind of custard) pie won’t work as well, but in that case, you could make the crust and freeze it ahead of time.

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15-Minute Pasta Dinners the Whole Family Will Love

by in Family, Recipes, November 6th, 2015

Garlic Oil-Sauteed Pasta with BroccoliWe have four small kids, and if there’s one thing I love about serving pasta dinners, it’s how popular they are. Who doesn’t like pasta? Less fussing, more enjoying. That’s a dinnertime ratio I can get behind. But if there are two things to love about pasta dinners, the other is this: Pasta cooks in a flash. Each of these dinners will hit the table in 15 minutes, and every one of them is kid-tested, totally approved.

1. Pasta with Garlic and Broccoli (pictured above): Melissa d’Arabian’s super-fast pasta has a secret step at the end: Deglaze the pan with red wine vinegar. Nothing like scraping up all those tasty bits with a whole lot of zing!

2. One-Pot Lemon Orzo with Cod: Orzo is the quickest-cooking pasta, because it’s so small. But that’s not what makes this dish so fast (or delicious). This is: Add the fish and the peas to the same cooking water and everything will be ready at the same time. Drizzle on a bit of olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon, and dinner is served.

3. Chicken Mozzarella Pasta: With a jar of your favorite store-bought sauce plus fresh mozzarella, Parmesan and basil, it’s hard to beat the flavor — or the ease — of this 5-star recipe from Ree Drummond.

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The Busy Parent’s Best Friend: A Slow Cooker (Plus 8 Kid-Friendly Recipes)

by in Family, Recipes, October 28th, 2015

Slow-Cooker Pork TacosThe beauty of a slow cooker is obvious: It does all the work while you ignore the thing for hours at a time! But for those of us with small kids underfoot, there’s an even smarter strategy to take advantage of: If you assemble your ingredients ahead of time (say at night while the rascals are sleeping), you can simply dump it all together in the morning. When the kids are up again, and it’s the end of your day, or soccer practice is over (whichever comes first), one of these kid-friendly dishes will be ready for dinner when you are.

Pulled Pork 3 Ways: With just a few spices, this pork cooks in its own delicious juices all day long. Then it’s ready to become not one but as many as three dinners! Slather on a bit of BBQ sauce and serve it over rolls, scoop it up (along with lots of that juice) and place it on top of rice along with crunchy diced apples or use it for Food Network Magazine’s pork tacos (pictured above) topped with mango, queso fresco and avocado.

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