by Melissa d'Arabian in Family, Food Network Chef, June 13th, 2014
by Foodlets in Family, June 2nd, 2014
Saturday evening was meant to be our anniversary celebration. Philippe and I were planning on grilling outside with our four daughters, ending the evening with s’mores around the firepit and an exchange of traditionally themed gifts (steel for year 11; I went with beverage bins). The kids were upstairs showering after our (sandy) beach afternoon. I hummed along to the music the girls had put on the stereo, grabbed the long, skinny lighter and headed outside to start the barbecue. I opened the (steel!) hood and placed the lighter on the ignition burner, and through the grates small, beady eyes looked up at me. I froze. A grayish-brown puff starting running wild around the inside of the grill, searching for an exit, making tiny scratching sounds that gave me the chills and basically made me want to scream. I didn’t, but only because I now I have kids and I can’t scare them. (This never-let-them-see-you-sweat instinct to put their needs before my own comes from parenting.)
I hollered upstairs to Philippe, doing my best to convey a sense of calm and confidence while infusing just enough controlled urgency so that he would run downstairs and catch the mouse before it ran into the house. (I think it’s understood that I didn’t close the back doors when I raced into the house?) But kids are smart and know when something’s up. They raced downstairs even faster than Philippe, screaming in half-fear, half-delight at the possibility of a mouse-in-house crisis. There was talk of keeping him and naming him Snowflake. (Did I mention he was dingy brownish gray?) Or maybe Cuddles. The girls jumped up on the couch, squealing out of fear that the mouse would run over their feet.
by Foodlets in Family, May 27th, 2014
If “Eat your vegetables!” is a constant (and frustrating) refrain in your house, boy, are these ideas are for you. I have three small kids and not one of them likes carrots. Not really. Not if you asked them. But when I cook carrots in dishes like these, voila. Suddenly everyone’s a fan.
Honey-Glazed Carrots: One of my most-successful strategies at home is adding beloved flavors to previously unpopular foods. Kid-friendly ingredients like honey and lemon transform plain carrots into a thumbs-up dish — or at least one that everyone’s willing to try without a fuss.
Mini Mac-and-Cheese Cups with Carrots (pictured above): The secret to getting these to hold together is a mixture of beaten egg and ricotta cheese, making everything just gooey enough before baking to stay solid when it’s time to serve. Bonus: These carrot-packed pasta cups work well for lunchboxes too.
Pastina with Peas and Carrots: Giada De Laurentiis’ “little pasta” dish can be made with any pasta shape you (or your kids) like. And with special ingredients cream cheese and mascarpone cheese, this creamy dish is bound to be a hit, carrots and all.
by Foodlets in Family, Holidays, May 20th, 2014
When the weather turns warm, there’s nothing more refreshing than a Popsicle — except one made with fresh ingredients and not an iota of fake coloring in sight. Here are FN Dish and Foodlets’ favorite ideas for sunny days ahead.
Chocolate Sundae Ice Pops: Low-fat milk plus ripe avocado and bananas, not to mention honey and cocoa powder, make Melissa d’Arabian’s chocolatey pops a surprisingly healthy treat.
Strawberry-Banana Frozen Yogurt Pops: Full of fresh fruit and organic yogurt to boot, these frozen treats are low in sugar and even pack a punch of protein.
Italian Ice Pops: Frozen raspberries plus fresh mint and lemon juice are the base for these light and refreshing pops by Giada De Laurentiis.
by Allison Milam in Family, May 14th, 2014
If you’ve ever been to a potluck with a kid, you know how challenging it can be to find a plate full of food he or she is familiar enough with to enjoy. So if you have upcoming cookouts or campouts, or you just want a festive meal to celebrate the start of summer, try one of these dishes. Your kids (and everyone else’s) will thank you.
Chicken and Pineapple Skewers (pictured above): Chicken coated in favorites like soy sauce, ketchup, honey and even a little brown sugar doesn’t get much more kid friendly — until you add fresh pineapple chunks and put it all on a stick.
Better-for-You Peach Crisp: Full of whole oats, fresh fruit (like peaches, plums, apples or any fruit of your choice), along with coconut oil and crunchy almonds, this crisp is tasty and so good for you that it even works for breakfast — but we doubt you’ll have any left.
Grilled Link Hot Dogs with Homemade Pickle Relish: Sure, you can go with a package of regular dogs, but finding link hot dogs might be a fun twist for the little guys. And what kid can resist a crunchy dill pickle on a hot day? Let kids help you make this tangy relish and watch those proud faces when it’s time to serve.
by Foodlets in Events, Family, May 12th, 2014
If you’re raising some budding scholars or you’re studying the day away yourself, you can bet all eyes are on the calendar these last few days before summer. And amidst all the final exams and projects, even the most focused student is bound to get hungry. When you need brain power the strength of jet fuel to get through a tricky finals season, look no further than Food Network’s healthy snack recipes. Just in time for college finals season, these wholesome, easy bites definitely beat a trip to the vending machine.
It’s no secret that bananas and peanut butter are a power-packed match made in heaven. Banana Dippers (pictured above) are dunked in granola or trail mix for added crunch.
by Heather Ramsdell in Family, Holidays, May 10th, 2014
From low-sugar options to decadent cakes sure to make any sweet tooth swoon, here are some of FN Dish and Foodlets’ favorite ways to celebrate a child’s birthday in spring.
Rainbow Four-Layer Cake from Food Network Magazine (pictured above): Spring showers bring rainbows to mind and with one color per layer, this dessert makes cutting a cake even more fun. Kids can choose the colors they want, or you can make it a surprise.
Fluffy Confetti Birthday Cake: Who can resist a cake covered in sprinkles? Get the how-to tricks from Food Network Kitchen right here.
Tie-Dyed Cupcakes: Sandra Lee brings a burst of color to this batch of bright and cheery cupcakes.
by Foodlets in Family, April 29th, 2014
It’s almost Mother’s Day: the day to appreciate motherhood even more than we do on other, ordinary days. Who cares that the holiday was invented by a greeting card company? Moms rock, and we love them.
Moms make us think of babies, and babies are cute. They’re just designed that way. We like to look at them. We like to talk about them using teeny voices. Baby fruits and vegetables are basically our two favorite things rolled up into one: Babies plus Food.
On this special day we wanted to send out some love to the hardworking vegetable and fruit moms for giving birth to them. First up (above): baby ghanoush.
by Foodlets in Entertaining, Family, April 21st, 2014
When the weather’s just right — not too hot, not too cold, not too buggy — there’s only one way to describe it: It’s picnic season. From kid-friendly fare to portable desserts and spicy dishes for all, these are our favorite dishes to bring to a blanket near you.
Warm Picnic Burritos: What travels better than tortillas rolled up around simple pulled pork with extra-zesty flavors? Put this recipe at the top of your list.
Cold Classic Potato Salad: Picnic purists, this one is for you. Alton Brown’s masterpiece is destined to become a family favorite for you too.
Sandwiches on a Stick: Just say “no” to messy mayo. Instead, spear the kids’ favorite sandwich foods onto a skewer and snip in half if it can’t fit in your container.
Layered Picnic in a Jar (pictured above): Who said picnics had to be so much fuss? For a simple meal on the go, try Melissa d’Arabian’s brilliant idea for layering rotisserie chicken, green olives and more — all in individual servings ready the moment you twist off the lid.
by Foodlets in Family, Holidays, April 15th, 2014
When it comes to children’s birthday parties, the name of the game is fun, festive and kid-friendly. That’s why FN Dish loves these miniaturized versions of everything ,from personal mac-and-cheese cups to baked corn dogs, to tiny burgers and Giada’s mini Italian subs — all perfect for small hands to dig into. And don’t forget the sweets. Ina’s sharing chocolate-dipped goodies like strawberries, pretzels and graham crackers. These recipes are decadent but never too complicated for the cook — Mom and Dad will still enjoy the party too. Here’s to hosting a happy spring birthday bash near you.
1. Lasagna Cupcakes
2. Baked Mozzarella Sticks (pictured above)
3. Mini Mac and Cheese Cups (with Carrots)
4. Chocolate Dipped Delights
With just enough spring sun to warm their little cheeks, Easter is one of the sweetest days of the year for kids — and these are some of our favorite ways to celebrate. We’ve got surprisingly simple cookies, cupcakes, brownies and even a few sugar-free options. Here’s to a happy Easter ahead!
1. Easter Bunny Cake: Complete with coconut “fur,” this bunny cake is surprisingly simple to make (hint: It starts with a boxed cake mix!)
2. Little Lamb Pull-Apart Cupcakes: As a busy mom of three small fries, I love the idea of a specially shaped dessert I can actually make. Starting with a simple batch of 24 cupcakes, this recipe lays out exactly how to do it.
3. Giant Easter Egg Cookie: Another crowd-pleaser for busy cooks, this awesome egg can be as easy as baking a batch of store-bought cookie dough.
4. Hard-Boiled-Egg Chicken Family (pictured above): The lengthiest step in this easy creation is boiling the eggs. If you’ve got the eggs, a carrot and a few chia seeds, you can do this one in minutes.