Tag: kids & family

How to Eat Snacks for Dinner (and Feel Good About It)

by in Family, Recipes, May 15th, 2017

How to Eat Snacks for Dinner (and Feel Good About It)As a parent, I need to make dinner every single night. There are times when I simply cannot face turning on the stove, yet my four small children dutifully line up for dinner. There they are, ready for dinner. Reporting for duty. On these nights, I load up a tray (a cutting board will do just fine), pile it with a bunch of no-cook or quick-cooking bites, and declare it Snacks for Dinner Night. Here’s how to do it.

Version 1: The Feast

Somewhere between putting out a major spread and cleaning out the fridge, this kind of dinner is a collection of yummy flavors piled together in a big buffet. My kids call it “feasting.” I call it “dinner with no work.”

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The 8 Best Non-Lettuce Salads You’ll Eat All Spring

by in Family, Recipes, May 12th, 2017

Greek Quinoa SaladFor years, our four kids referred to lettuce of any kind as “salad.” Picture this: “Could you please take that salad off my sammich?” But that didn’t stop me from serving tons of fresh salads anyway, because, for one, salads are delicious and good for you. And two, not every salad has to be a green salad. They’ve since come around to the green stuff, but in the meantime, we discovered lots of simple and satisfying salads that don’t require even one head of lettuce. There are our favorites.

Greek Quinoa Salad (pictured above)
Bursting with fresh tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers and briny kalamata olives, this salad tastes like the Greek salad you know and love — but with a protein punch. Thanks, quinoa.

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6 Recipes That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Spring Produce

by in In Season, Recipes, May 11th, 2017

Buying and preparing in-season produce is part and parcel of maintaining a balanced diet, but it’s much easier to eat nutritiously when the whole family is on board. In a world full of boxed mac and cheese and freezer-friendly dinners, we can understand why packaged or prepared foods are a reliable fallback. But we’re hopeful that the right seasonings and preparation methods can turn spinach, carrots, asparagus and more into healthy homemade dishes for the whole family to enjoy. Here are six recipes that incorporate spring produce in ways that will appeal to even the pickiest eaters.

Carrot Mac and Cheese
We’ve never known a kid to turn down mac and cheese, so in our eyes, it’s the perfect dish for camouflaging vegetables! You can get really sneaky with it by mixing pureed carrots in with your family’s favorite recipe: Before baking, just stir in one tablespoon of carrot puree for every serving of mac. Not only does it fortify the dish with an extra serving of vegetables, it also lends a beautiful boost of color.

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10 Creative Ideas for Teacher Appreciation Day

by in Family, Recipes, May 1st, 2017

Hey, moms and dads: Tuesday, May 9 is Teacher Appreciation Day. Looking for simple but sweet ways to tell the teachers in your kids’ life how much you care? We’ve rounded up go-to recipes, each of them easy enough for kids to help with but sophisticated enough to feel special. Don’t forget to put the kids to work making a tag or card so the teachers know who’s behind it all.

Recipes Featuring Apples, Because Of Course

“Apple” Cake Pops (pictured above)
Don’t be fooled! These may look like adorable apples, but these cake pops are full of Oreos.

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10 All-in-One Casseroles to Add to Your Weeknight Dinner Rotation

by in Recipes, March 28th, 2017

Chicken, Sausage, Pepper and Onion Fake-BakeThere’s something so satisfying about serving a warm casserole for dinner, especially when it covers all the bases by combining a protein, grain and vegetable. But there’s more to love about the casseroles we’re talking about today: You can almost always prep them ahead of time or double them up as you go. Make one for now, and save the other in the freezer for later or for a friend.

Chicken, Sausage, Pepper and Onion Pasta Fake-Bake (pictured above)
Not every casserole requires hours of time in the oven. Rachael Ray saves time by cooking the pasta, sausage and veggies separately, then popping the whole casserole under the broiler for a few minutes at the end.

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What to Do with the Season’s First Asparagus

by in In Season, Recipes, March 25th, 2017

Roasted AsparagusSomething new has happened in our house this year. We’ve become a two-bundle family — in terms of asparagus, this is. One dainty parcel of asparagus, wrapped in a single rubber band, won’t cut it anymore. That’s because every time I cook a pound of asparagus, my husband and our four small rascals hoover that stuff up so fast I hardly have time to snag a spear myself.! So we’ve graduated. And it’s for the best. Now if I could just decide on which of these dishes to start with.

Ina Garten’s Roasted Asparagus (pictured above)
If you’ve never cooked asparagus before, and certainly if this is your children’s first taste of it, you must start with this classic recipe. Only the Barefoot Contessa could use so few ingredients to generate a fan-favorite dish with more than 300 user reviews.

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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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