All Posts In Family

What to Eat the Night Before Thanksgiving

by in Entertaining, Family, November 24th, 2015

The day before Thanksgiving means travel, traffic — and, for many families, takeout. Cooking another meal the night before the impending feast isn’t high on many of our priority lists, which explains why the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the biggest pizza nights of the year across the country.

This year, skip the national delivery chains and wow out-of-town guests with a pie from the best pizza joint in your neck of the woods. Some of them even deliver. Here are some of our personal favorites from coast to coast. Plus, check out Food Network Magazine’s 50 States, 50 Pizzas for worthy pies from every state. Read more

Beyond the Kids’ Table: How to Involve Kids in Thanksgiving Prep

by in Family, Holidays, November 16th, 2015

Cooking with KidsWe get it, Thanksgiving Day is a busy one — especially if you’re hosting the meal. You have too much to do and not nearly enough help. It’s tempting to just hand over the iPad or park your kids in front of an all-day loop of Frozen to give you the freedom to prep in peace. But Thanksgiving is a family holiday, after all, and there are so many meaningful ways kids can get involved in the meal. Read more

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.

Read more

One Recipe, Two Meals: Creamy, Cheesy Potato Soup

by in Family, Recipes, November 3rd, 2015

One Recipe, Two Meals: Potato SoupGah! Potato soup.

First of all, this weather slash temperature slash time of year just begs for potato soup. Really any soup, but especially potato. Why? Because it’s carbs turned slurpable. And creamy. And wonderfully comforting. If someone puts a bowl of potato soup in front of your face there is no universe in which you would push it away. Not possible.

I’ve come up with a very simple potato recipe that’s strong with flavor, but pH-balanced for the little faces in your crib.

Instead of boiling the potatoes in water, we’re using stock. Bam.

Instead of also boiling the veggies, we saute first. Boom.

Instead of heavy cream, I kept it waist-friendly with straight-up whole milk. Biggity.

And butter.

Always butter.

Can’t not with the butter.

This soup is ridiculous as is! But for your kids, keep it super simple with lots of cheddar cheese on top. Or nothing!

And for the adult faces, we get a little crazy with the toppings. I’m talking crumbled bacon, jalapeno peppers, dollops of sour cream, cheese, some yummy chives. Yes.

Actually, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go throw the rest of this soup in my face right this second. Join me?

Read more

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.

Read more

How to Set Up a Waffle Bar in 3 Easy Steps

by in Family, Recipes, October 16th, 2015

How to Set Up a Waffle Bar in 3 Easy StepsWaffle bars aren’t just for breakfast (though they’re great for that). They also make awesome family dinners and serve as the perfect party buffet. Best of all, they’re deceptively simple. Even the most-festive waffle bar can be set up in three easy steps.

1. First, decide on the waffle recipe you’ll use. A few fan-favorite suggestions:

Read more

So, You’ve Been Asked to Bake for the School Bake Sale. Now What?

by in Family, Recipes, October 9th, 2015

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip CookiesBake sales are about appealing to the mini masses, so you want to choose a winning recipe from the start. It should be something simple enough to make without a fuss, familiar-looking (don’t forget that most of your customers are kids) and presented with a little flair. Here’s our best advice for a sold-out sale.

What you’ll need:

  • Get a platter or nice basket to display your goods. Both are universally available at every dollar store in town, so buy it there. (That way, if it never makes its way back to you, there’s no harm done.)
  • Small cellophane bags with twist ties are a great way to display anything from bar cookies to small treats that might come two or three to a serving.
  • Make a sign. Using big, clear letters, write out the name of your dish and, if possible, the main ingredients.

Read more

One Recipe, Two Meals: Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce

by in Family, Recipes, October 7th, 2015

One Recipe, Two Meals: Gnocchi with Tomato SauceOK, we all love gnocchi. How can you not? Delicious little mouth pillows of delight! It’s basically the hybrid love child of all the carbs. Potato + pasta = duh.

I will admit, making gnocchi from scratch can be a bit laborious. It’s therapeutic on a weekend, when you have the time for it (and a trough of red wine to accompany this activity). But on a weeknight, when your family is in a fit of hangryness, you need dinner pronto, man! And this is going to be the way to do it.

I’ve come up with a beyond-simple recipe that gets the kids fed quickly, yet still maintains a teensy bit of fancy for you and yours. The sauce is glorious — packed with loads of garlic and basil, but pureed to give it a smooth, silky texture.

This is actually a tip from my Italian friend, who just spent some time in Italy. She was like, “Bev, you’ve got to puree that sauce. You want it smooth, dude. Like us Italians. Smooth.” She probably didn’t say that last part, but I like to imagine that she did.

You’re using frozen gnocchi for this recipe, but shoot — dried is fine. Even homemade! The kids get the stripped-down version, topped with a simple dusting of Parmesan cheese and truckloads of crusty bread.

And for the adults, we’re simply adding a good handful of Kalamata olives and capers to the tomato sauce, giving it more of a puttanesca feel. You like it, right? I know.

You’ve got to make this! So incredibly perfect for a gorgeous, crisp fall evening. Top it off with more fresh basil, Parmesan and, like, a million pieces of crusty bread. You need these carbs. Trust me.

Read more

Cookie Dough That’s Safe to Eat Raw (and Make Into Truffles!)

by in Family, Recipes, October 7th, 2015

Everyone knows the best part of making cookies doesn’t involve the oven at all. While it’s not recommended to eat raw cookie dough made with eggs, we’ve all snuck tastes at some point. Fortunately, to save you and the kids from potential stomachaches (or worse), Food Network Kitchen came up with five eggless versions of our favorite cookie doughs that are 100 percent safe to lick right off the spatula, mix into ice cream or roll into truffles. The latter make a great DIY gift that even young kids can help make.

Read more

Where to Dine Out with Kids

by in Family, Restaurants, October 2nd, 2015

You love dining out. You love your kids. Sometimes it may seem impossible to combine these two passions, but never fear. To dine out successfully with small children, you just need a solid restaurant-selection strategy. Here are four restaurant categories to zone in on.

Read more