All Posts In Family

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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One Recipe, Two Meals: Crispy Baked Chicken

by in Family, Recipes, December 8th, 2015

One Recipe, Two Meals: Crispy Baked ChickenLately I’ve been getting more into breading things. Some to fry, some to bake, some to just bread and say, “I breaded this.” It feels good for my life.

But let’s get real for a second. I think it’s obvious we can all agree that the best food to bread is a good ol’ chicken nugget. How can it not be? It’s a childhood favorite, and it’s grabbable, poppable and dippable. You can’t not. But while the classic nugget will never go out of style, I wanted to upgrade our adult portions to have the same taste, but with a slightly more polished end result.

So I created a super-yummy, super-crunchy baked chicken nugget for the kids, and I used the same crunchy coating and applied it to a more adult-friendly paillard-style chicken dish! Even though technically a paillard has no coating, mine does. I like to get loco like that.

Since the coating is the exact same for all the chicken, it’s a definite timesaver on a weeknight. Holla. You’ll serve the nuggets with some ketchup and steamed broccoli for the kids. And then you’ll just drape your paillards over some super-quick lemony linguine for you. And all is right in the world.

Let’s do this already.

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9 Best Children’s Books About Food

by in Books, Family, Holidays, December 7th, 2015

Bread and Jam for Frances
When I was a kid, I had a poster on my wall that read, “A book is a present you can open again and again.” And it’s true — books make a perfect holiday gift for kids of all ages.

Some of my favorite books for children are about food. Surely you’ve read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Green Eggs and Ham, but have you heard of any of these other delicious stories?

Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban
In this classic book, Frances wants to only eat her favorite foods — bread and jam — at every meal, turning up her nose at all the delicious things her family enjoys. Mrs. Badger ultimately gives her what she wants, but Frances soon realizes an important lesson about the importance of variety.

Image courtesy of HarperCollins

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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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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.

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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?

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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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