All Posts In Family

How to Eat Snacks for Dinner (and Feel Good About It)

by in Family, Recipes, May 15th, 2017

How to Eat Snacks for Dinner (and Feel Good About It)As a parent, I need to make dinner every single night. There are times when I simply cannot face turning on the stove, yet my four small children dutifully line up for dinner. There they are, ready for dinner. Reporting for duty. On these nights, I load up a tray (a cutting board will do just fine), pile it with a bunch of no-cook or quick-cooking bites, and declare it Snacks for Dinner Night. Here’s how to do it.

Version 1: The Feast

Somewhere between putting out a major spread and cleaning out the fridge, this kind of dinner is a collection of yummy flavors piled together in a big buffet. My kids call it “feasting.” I call it “dinner with no work.”

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The 8 Best Non-Lettuce Salads You’ll Eat All Spring

by in Family, Recipes, May 12th, 2017

Greek Quinoa SaladFor years, our four kids referred to lettuce of any kind as “salad.” Picture this: “Could you please take that salad off my sammich?” But that didn’t stop me from serving tons of fresh salads anyway, because, for one, salads are delicious and good for you. And two, not every salad has to be a green salad. They’ve since come around to the green stuff, but in the meantime, we discovered lots of simple and satisfying salads that don’t require even one head of lettuce. There are our favorites.

Greek Quinoa Salad (pictured above)
Bursting with fresh tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers and briny kalamata olives, this salad tastes like the Greek salad you know and love — but with a protein punch. Thanks, quinoa.

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Take 5: Weeknight Dinners Kids Can Make

by in Family, Recipes, May 7th, 2017

Depending on their ages (and your tolerance for mess), you may or may not want to turn dinner prep over entirely to the young chefs in your home. But these easy-enough-for-a-busy-weeknight recipes are perfect for involving both big and little kids in the kitchen, and they make tasty meals that everyone will have fun devouring. Read more

10 Creative Ideas for Teacher Appreciation Day

by in Family, Recipes, May 1st, 2017

Hey, moms and dads: Tuesday, May 9 is Teacher Appreciation Day. Looking for simple but sweet ways to tell the teachers in your kids’ life how much you care? We’ve rounded up go-to recipes, each of them easy enough for kids to help with but sophisticated enough to feel special. Don’t forget to put the kids to work making a tag or card so the teachers know who’s behind it all.

Recipes Featuring Apples, Because Of Course

“Apple” Cake Pops (pictured above)
Don’t be fooled! These may look like adorable apples, but these cake pops are full of Oreos.

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Green Pancakes, Corned Beef Pizza and Rainbow Treats: A Family-Friendly St. Paddy’s Day Feast

by in Family, Holidays, Recipes, March 13th, 2017

Spinach Pancakes and Corned Beef HashFrom a vibrant-green pancake breakfast to hearty dinners with the requisite corned beef, we’ve got kid-friendly fare to keep St. Patrick’s Day festive. Check out all of our ideas below.

Breakfast

Spinach Pancakes and Corned Beef Hash (pictured above)
Get things off to a delicious and satisfying start with these surprisingly velvety pancakes, plus all the fixings.

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11 Shortcut Items This Mom of 4 Can’t Live Without, Plus Recipes for Using Them

by in Family, Recipes, March 1st, 2017

Penne with Sun-Dried TomatoesI love cooking for my family. Mostly fresh. Usually from scratch. Sometimes ethnic. But as a mom of four small kids (seriously, the oldest one is 7), my energy is limited. Plus, it’s a bit of a betting game at this stage. Will the kids appreciate all of my effort when I set their food on the table? Yes, everyone’s clear on the expectations: Try everything and be a good sport about it. But will they actually enjoy it? In order to keep the cooking requirements and expectations in check, I take advantage of a few shortcuts for getting meals on the table quickly, easily and deliciously. Check them all out below.

Jarred Items: Olives and Sundried Tomatoes

Ounce for ounce, sundried tomatoes may have the most flavor of any single ingredient in your pantry. It takes a mere handful of ingredients to pull off Giada De Laurentiis’ Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (pictured above), which boasts a stellar 5-star rating.

Green olives create an almost instant sauce for either pork or chicken, giving either one a signature tang in seconds. Two of my favorites are Pork Tenderloin with So Many Olives and Chicken Mirabella: Chicken with Prunes & Olives.

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10 Cooking Projects to Do with Kids to Combat Cabin Fever

by in Family, Recipes, February 17th, 2017

White Sandwich BreadThere’s nothing like a little cooking to keep kids busy — and happy on a day off. If the winter weather has you indoors with your little ones all day, try introducing a hands-on kitchen project. All you need are simple recipes with reliable results, just like these.

For Young Kids and Beginner Cooks

Ree Drummond’s Homemade White Sandwich Bread (pictured above)
Kids love making bread. Since their experience with bread is usually limited to let’s say aisle six at the grocery store, making bread at home feels a little bit like seeing a teacher outside of the classroom. Though you’ll need plenty of time to prep this recipe, you can do it with only a handful of ingredients.

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How to Have a Special Valentine’s Meal with the Whole Family

by in Family, Holidays, Recipes, February 9th, 2017

Salmon Baked in FoilIf you’re like me, when your Valentine’s Day plans involve not only your spouse but also your four small kids, you improvise. You adjust. You balance romantic ideas with one simple question: How long will it take? Because kids aren’t keen on long, drawn-out meals, of course. These are my favorite ideas for a doable meal that’s still as special as ever.

Dinners to Delight

Salmon Baked in Foil
Follow the simple steps for Giada De Laurentiis’ salmon and you’ll have an elegant (and healthy) dinner on the table in a hurry.

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7 Breakfast Smoothies That (Almost) Taste Like Dessert

by in Family, Recipes, January 18th, 2017

Fruit Fruit SmoothiesWe’re a few weeks into January, which means that by we’ve all seen those Facebook posts with the shiny green smoothies, looking up at us expectantly, just daring us to start the year with a big swig of kale. But if you’re not quite ready to face the day with a glass of bitter greens, start with something a little softer, a lot sweeter and definitely more decadent. These are our favorite dessert-inspired smoothies — no kale in sight.

If you like berry pies, try these Frozen Fruit Smoothies (pictured above).

It’s up to you to choose among frozen strawberries, raspberries or cherries to make this top-rated smoothie. It’s blended with a frozen banana, orange juice and some yogurt, proving you can transform everyday items into a healthy treat.

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8 Kid-Friendly Slow-Cooker Meals

by in Family, Recipes, January 9th, 2017

Slow-Cooker Pot RoastWhen it comes to family meals, I’m always looking for three things: wholesome ingredients, simple preparation and kid-friendly flavors. You really can’t beat the slow cooker for the second one; just throw your ingredients in, and that contraption politely cooks dinner for you all day long. These are the crowd-pleasing recipes I’ve made over and over again. Every one of them is full of fresh ingredients and kid-tested.

Slow-Cooker Pot Roast (pictured above)
This is the meal my mother-in-law makes every time we gather for a special family meal. Pot roast may be my father-in-law’s favorite, but this dish has other things going for it too: All the veggies cook right along with the meat (one pot!), and every bite is so tender that even our two-year-old can dig right in.

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