All Posts In Family

7 Gooey Chocolate Treats for Kids (and Kids at Heart)

by in Family, Recipes, February 7th, 2016

Chocolate FondueNothing says happy Valentine’s Day quite like chocolate. Stick with these seven recipes to wow your family with easy, sweet-tooth-satisfying treats.

Chocolate Fondue
This easy, creamy fondue comes together in minutes and works for dunking your pick of fresh fruit.

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One Recipe, Two Meals: Southwest-Style Chili

by in Family, Recipes, February 2nd, 2016

One Recipe, Two Meals: Southwest-Style ChiliOnce a month Bev Weidner, of Bev Cooks fame and the mom of adorable twin littles, stops by to share an easy, one-two approach to dinner to keep everyone happy: Start by making one classic recipe for the kids in the house, then dress up that same dish with bold flavors for the adults.

You hardly hear anyone say, “I love this time of year!” in regard to winter. Especially that dreadful stint from January to March when you feel Old Man Winter won’t ever pack his stupid bags and leave you the heck alone. And I’ll tell you, I’m in that boat. I usually loathe the wintertime. But I’m trying to be better about my grumpy bump winter ‘tude and suck it up. Because you know what? CHILI.

You can’t go wrong with a good ol’ chili, ya know? While there are 15 million versions of chili out there, I wanted to keep this one classic on the flavor front, but give it a little twist for the adults. Think spicier. Definitely spicier.

The chili starts off the same for everyone: browned seasoned beef, a dose of veggies, black beans, tomatoes and a little bit of tomato sauce (to thicken). At this point the kids’ version is ready! It’s chunky and simple. Serve it with cornbread and a mountain of shredded cheddar. I’m almost sure your littles will praise your name for the rest of ever.

Now, to up the ante for the adults, I added a bit of beer, beef stock, more chili powder, a minced jalapeno and brown sugar to round it out. It’s got a KICK, yo. And it’s a bit soupier than the kids’ version, but I prefer that in a chili. I like the beans to swim a little — practice their backstroke. Do you? That’s right, you do.

We’re kind of liking this time of year now, aren’t we?

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The Busy Parents’ Guide to Cooking with Kids

by in Family, Recipes, January 30th, 2016

Taco PocketsOne of the most-important life skills I’ll ever teach my kids will be about food: how to prepare fresh dishes that nourish their bodies and, with any luck, taste good too! And since cooking with kids (like any task) takes longer than doing it by yourself, we’ve put together these basic recipes complete with starter tasks designated by age. Building confidence in the kitchen can turn into a lifelong habit that will serve everyone well … especially if the kids start making meals themselves! Let’s get started.

Taco Pockets (pictured above)
One part burger, one part taco, Rachael Ray’s 5-star recipe delivers a hearty dinner with all the Mexican flavors kids love.

Kids: Fry turkey patties, cook tortillas
Preschoolers and Toddlers: Measure out spices, assemble lettuce, tomatoes and cheese on “pockets”

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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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One Recipe, Two Meals: Chicken Burritos

by in Family, Recipes, January 8th, 2016

One Recipe, Two Meals: Chicken BurritosI always get super giddy when it’s burrito night. I think about it during the day. I fantasize and strategize when to start prepping. It’s not that burritos take long to put together! I’m just a weirdo and think about my next meal approximately 26 months before I eat it.

But these, these chicken burritos are SO easy to pull together. A. Hello, we’re using a rotisserie chicken. Shred, shred, shred; done. B. The kid version is crazy-simple, with black beans and a kiss of salsa, and takes, like, four seconds to make. C. The adult version is BAMMIN’ with fresh flavors and spice. No idea why I said “bammin'” just now.

You just need to make these. What takes them over the top is a little jaunt under the broiler. Oh my. You guys, the cheese will brown and bubble. Your face will sing praises. Your legs will involuntarily do a little jig.

In other words, it’s winter and you really need these in your life.

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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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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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