The first few weeks of summer break are really just back-to-school time in reverse; everyone’s learning a new routine and breaking in a new rhythm. With all the new comings, goings, camp dates, don’t-forget-your-water-bottle reminders and spray cans of SPF 1 million to keep track of, I’ll just admit it: Cooking elaborate meals is last on my list right now. That’s why I love these go-to quick dinners, perfect for this time of year. And it gets even easier. I recently learned a new tip for simplifying menu planning during the week: Pick a theme for each day (think sandwiches on Mondays, pasta on Tuesdays, etc.) and rotate recipes every week. Here are a few kid-approved ideas to get you started.
Nothing says summer quite like food on a stick. And from simple starters to lunch ideas and hearty main dishes, every one of these mouthwatering recipes belongs on your summer bucket list.
As a mom of four kids who also blogs about food, I have to admit something: I don’t grill. I don’t even understand the appeal of grilling. It’s hot. It’s sometimes smoky, and the grill is definitely not next to a sink, my other pans or a counter to set a tray of food on. But I love the idea of grilled food. That’s why this list of summer foods to make indoors is so important. Cook inside, eat outside. Enjoy these dishes all summer long.
Oven-Roasted Corn on the Cob
This is the easiest dish you’ll make all season. The ingredients? Corn. Find out how plain corn on the cob is effortlessly transformed with just a quick roast in the oven.
Got a couple of aging bananas lounging on your kitchen counter, practically begging for a small army of fruit flies to move in? Don’t pitch them yet! Brown bananas mean extra flavor, and every one of these recipes will be more delicious for it.
Banana “Ice Cream” Fakeout
When bananas start to turn brown, it’s time to make your move. Slice them up and store them in a zip-top bag in your freezer. Now you have the makings for Rachael Ray’s banana “ice cream”: Just blend your frozen bananas in a food processor, adding a little milk if needed.
If you’ve got leftover chia seeds from an experimental recipe of the past, pull them out of the pantry, because believe it or not, you can put them to work in kid-friendly recipes. All six of these kid-tested options deliver tried-and-true results, for meals and treats from breakfast until dessert.
It’s never a problem convincing my kids to celebrate. They’re even pretty game for trying new foods. But the non-negotiable part about feeding most small fry is heat: They just don’t like anything spicy. You see where I’m going with this, right? It’s time for a made-over Cinco de Mayo party, one with kids in mind. This collection of delicious recipes is perfect for introducing a flavor blast of fun, without turning your first grader off salsa for life. Check out my tips below for kid-friendly party starters, new twists on taco night and even make-ahead meals you’ll thank yourself for later.
Is there an ingredient that’s more universally loved among kids than peanut butter? Add that it’s affordable, easy to find and packed with protein, and you’ll be turning to these eight simple ideas constantly, including a few big-batch recipes you’ll thank yourself for making ahead of time. (And of course, anyone with peanut allergies could easily substitute any other nut butter.)
Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Leave it to Giada De Laurentiis to come up with a homemade granola bar swirled with brown sugar, honey and melted butter, and kissed with slivered almonds and mini chocolate chips.
What’s not to love about cereal? It’s crunchy, almost always at least a little sweet, and best of all, ready in 30 seconds flat! But if you’re ready to break out of the same cereal rut we fall into at our house, here are five family-friendly breakfasts full of simple, fresh ingredients. Every idea is easy enough to pull off on the busiest of mornings, which is to say, pretty much all of them.
Nothing tastes more like spring than a sweet pea bursting in your mouth. But you don’t have to use the fresh ones for kids to eat them up. Fresh or frozen, no vegetable is easier, more affordable or tastier to serve kids than peas. Here are 10 of our favorite ways to feature them.
Pasta, Pesto and Peas
This Ina Garten classic is a favorite with kids everywhere. That’s because kids love pesto. And pasta. And peas. It’s a trifecta of kids’ favorite flavors.
This isn’t just your average pizza night. Sure, we’ve got some must-try basics, like an easy tomato sauce from The Pioneer Woman, but wait until you see what Rachael Ray has to offer when it comes to creative pizza-flavor combinations. Check out classic and all-new ways to reinvent the crust-sauce-topping game.
Dough: There are a few ways to get started with dough.