All Posts In Family

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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One Recipe, Two Meals: An Easy Baked Potato Bar

by in Family, Recipes, January 3rd, 2017

One Recipe, Two Meals: An Easy Baked Potato BarA baked potato is never a bad idea — ever. That said, I often forget about baked potatoes. Isn’t that awful? But, I’m vowing that in this new year, to make a change, people! More baked potatoes.

But! I wanted to make a little spread that would make my toddlers giddy and satisfy our adult appetites at the same time. So, I created a kid-friendly potato bar for them, and a more sophisticated bar for myself and Aaron, my husband. Hello, blue cheese and bacon.

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6 Mocktails for Kid-Friendly New Year’s Eve Parties

by in Family, Holidays, December 27th, 2016

Italian LemonadeFancy drinks don’t have to be limited to the over-21 crowd at your New Year’s Eve party. Just follow these simple instructions for creating festive mocktails kids love.

Italian Lemonade (pictured above)
The addition of Basil Simple Syrup dresses up this refreshing sipper from Giada De Laurentiis.

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14 Cooking Projects to Tackle with Your Kids Over the Holiday Break

by in Family, Recipes, December 15th, 2016

Baked Macaroni and Cheese CupckesI’m the mom of four small kids, and one of my goals (other than enjoying an empty dishwasher for more than three seconds at any time) is to inspire them to cook when they get to be adults. That means giving them confidence, skills and warm memories of doing it as kids. These recipes are a great place to start.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes
Giada De Laurentiis’ take on classic mac and cheese is so kid-friendly that it’s almost impossible for the little guys to resist.

Kids can: fill muffin cups with mac and cheese mixture.

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One Recipe, Two Meals: Creamy Chicken Pasta

by in Family, Recipes, December 13th, 2016

Creamy Chicken PastaIt’s almost winter. Cream sauces are mandatory. We’re adding veggies and pasta and chicken and vodka, so it’s all good.

I feel like creamy chicken pastas should be a staple in your winter-meal rotation. Actually, your all-year rotation. Your all-day rotation? Your every-hour rotation? Your right-now rotation? I’ll chill. This sauce! The sauce makes the dish here. It’s buttery, creamy and cheesy for the kids, and for you adults, it’s adorned with a tiny kiss of vodka, right at the end. These are the good things in life.

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