We 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
Tag: kids & family
We 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.
Gah! 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.
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?
Every Saturday we do a family movie or game night. On the menu is some version of a DIY dinner: Make your own pizza, build your own burrito bowl, taco night, you get the idea. Lately my kids are very into the baked potato bar. And because I love to buy potatoes in the 10-pound bag (compare the per-pound price and it’s hard to pass up that bag!), I am all for this fun and inexpensive movie night meal.
Now that I’m a bit of a potato bar expert with more than a few under my belt, I want to share some surprise bonuses to putting this on your menu. I mean, of course baked potatoes are tasty, but check out this list of truly awesome extras.
Bonus 1: Making a ton of potatoes doesn’t really take any longer than making a few. So this meal is ideal for slumber parties, classroom get-togethers and casual entertaining. The only limit is the size of your oven, and a standard oven fits a lot of potatoes.
The 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.
Waffle bars aren’t just for breakfast (though they’re great for that). They also make awesome family dinners and serve as the perfect party buffet. Best of all, they’re deceptively simple. Even the most-festive waffle bar can be set up in three easy steps.
1. First, decide on the waffle recipe you’ll use. A few fan-favorite suggestions:
Bake sales are about appealing to the mini masses, so you want to choose a winning recipe from the start. It should be something simple enough to make without a fuss, familiar-looking (don’t forget that most of your customers are kids) and presented with a little flair. Here’s our best advice for a sold-out sale.
What you’ll need:
- Get a platter or nice basket to display your goods. Both are universally available at every dollar store in town, so buy it there. (That way, if it never makes its way back to you, there’s no harm done.)
- Small cellophane bags with twist ties are a great way to display anything from bar cookies to small treats that might come two or three to a serving.
- Make a sign. Using big, clear letters, write out the name of your dish and, if possible, the main ingredients.
OK, we all love gnocchi. How can you not? Delicious little mouth pillows of delight! It’s basically the hybrid love child of all the carbs. Potato + pasta = duh.
I will admit, making gnocchi from scratch can be a bit laborious. It’s therapeutic on a weekend, when you have the time for it (and a trough of red wine to accompany this activity). But on a weeknight, when your family is in a fit of hangryness, you need dinner pronto, man! And this is going to be the way to do it.
I’ve come up with a beyond-simple recipe that gets the kids fed quickly, yet still maintains a teensy bit of fancy for you and yours. The sauce is glorious — packed with loads of garlic and basil, but pureed to give it a smooth, silky texture.
This is actually a tip from my Italian friend, who just spent some time in Italy. She was like, “Bev, you’ve got to puree that sauce. You want it smooth, dude. Like us Italians. Smooth.” She probably didn’t say that last part, but I like to imagine that she did.
You’re using frozen gnocchi for this recipe, but shoot — dried is fine. Even homemade! The kids get the stripped-down version, topped with a simple dusting of Parmesan cheese and truckloads of crusty bread.
And for the adults, we’re simply adding a good handful of Kalamata olives and capers to the tomato sauce, giving it more of a puttanesca feel. You like it, right? I know.
You’ve got to make this! So incredibly perfect for a gorgeous, crisp fall evening. Top it off with more fresh basil, Parmesan and, like, a million pieces of crusty bread. You need these carbs. Trust me.
Everyone knows the best part of making cookies doesn’t involve the oven at all. While it’s not recommended to eat raw cookie dough made with eggs, we’ve all snuck tastes at some point. Fortunately, to save you and the kids from potential stomachaches (or worse), Food Network Kitchen came up with five eggless versions of our favorite cookie doughs that are 100 percent safe to lick right off the spatula, mix into ice cream or roll into truffles. The latter make a great DIY gift that even young kids can help make.
Nothing is better at this time of year than a crisp, juicy apple. And no one is hungrier at a certain time of day (say, when they come home from school) than kids. From no-cook options to baked goods that will perfume the whole house, here are nine delicious snacks made with apples.
It could be the buttermilk, or all those chopped pecans, but Ellie Krieger’s gorgeous apple muffins have 230 perfect reviews … and counting!