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A Week of Comfort-Food Dinners from Cookie Rookie’s Becky Hardin
When there’s a toddler in the house, it makes all the difference to have a handful of dinner recipes that don’t take long to pull off. Now that your kiddo is running around, you can’t turn your back for a second! And even more importantly, you need meals that will please the newly choosy palates of little eaters without boring bigger eaters to tears.
Dec 9, 2020
The 10 Best Holiday Cookies to Bake with Kids
As a kid, there were few things more exciting this time of year than the annual tradition of baking holiday cookies with my family. From pressing my fingers into dough to make thumbprint cookies and adding the chocolate kiss to the peanut butter blossoms, to decorating sugar cookies and even pouring the chocolate chips into the bowl, there was always a way for me to get involved.
Dec 7, 2020
These Are the Very Best Fish Sticks You Can Get at the Grocery Store
When I was growing up, we didn’t eat meat on Fridays. Instead, in our household, the sad alternative was usually fish sticks. I don’t have particularly fond memories of them from back then — the standard ones we often bought were usually pretty bland and soggy — but nevertheless, we ate them for dinner and got on with it. I now can honestly say that frozen fish sticks don’t have to be sad. In fact, they have come a long way since the days of my youth.
Dec 2, 2020
The Romance Novelist Wisdom That Helped Me Relax About Food This Year
In January of this year, back when we were all children, I read a tweet from author Jennifer Lynn Barnes about the prolific romance novelist Nora Roberts. Barnes recalled, “One time, I was at a Q&A with Nora Roberts, and someone asked her how to balance writing and kids, and she said that the key to juggling is to know that some of the balls you have in the air are made of plastic and some are made of glass.
Nov 24, 2020
Super-Power Morning Smoothie
Now and then, a girl needs a little magic to get through the day and fly above it all. While moving a mile a minute isn’t my preferred way to live, it’s been a reality. At times, I move so fast that I forget to eat, and I get clumsy and frantic. That’ll knock the wind right out of a lady’s magic fairy wings. To make sure I stay on top of it all, I need a nourishing and energizing breakfast. For years, the smoothie routine was yogurt, orange juice, and frozen fruit.
Nov 24, 2020
Here’s Your Permission to Not Have a “Real” Thanksgiving Celebration This Year
Last week I asked some fellow parents how they’re feeling about the looming holiday. Henry, a coworker, said something that got our virtual heads nodding: “Right now I would appreciate other voices saying that it’s OK to not have a real ‘celebration’ this year.” Did you nod too? Are you still struggling over whether to gather with your parents?
Nov 18, 2020
“Thankfulness Is a Responsibility”: How Parents Are Celebrating a Very Different Thanksgiving
I was raised as a Muslim. There are no celebrations in the Islamic faith that do not center reverence for Allah—but for my family, Thanksgiving was an exception. On the hour-and-a-half bus ride to my aunt’s home in South Philly, my mother would remind us to make sure that what we put on our plates did not contain any “swine,” her favorite word to use describing anything pig.
Nov 18, 2020
10 Small, Easy Thanksgiving Recipes That Will Delight You and the Whole Family
Thanksgiving is almost here and, if you’re like me, you’ve probably barely started on your holiday meal planning. Those of us who are parents—especially if your kids are small, like mine—are busy enough already, and it’s been a tough season. I have found it hard to get jazzed up about cooking for a holiday that will just be my immediate family. But then today I kind of shook myself and said, Why so glum?
Nov 18, 2020
My Toddler Refused to Eat Anything Even Mildly Spicy. Then I Made Chrissy Teigen’s Miso Noodles.
I spent the spring eyeing Chrissy Teigen’s spicy miso pasta, a combination of one of my favorite dishes (carbonara) with extra umami from miso and a hit of spice. Photo after photo popped up on Instagram, my Twitter feed seemed to taunt me with its popularity and its savory, carb-y heat. The internet seemed to be obsessed in general, but also a lab designing my favorite food could only have come closer by somehow working in a little ice cream at the end.
Nov 11, 2020
Teach Your Kids How to Make Lunch at Any Age
If you count up the whole year, every day of lunches, from now until summer break, did you know that back to school means packing 180 school lunches? I’ll let you sit with that for a moment. Whether your district started back to school virtually or you’re adjusting to a new normal in person, getting your kids to help with lunch will obviously make your life a little easier. Just like any new skill, teaching your kids to prep and pack their own lunches takes time and patience.
Nov 9, 2020
Breakfast Banana Split with Yogurt and Jam
A banana split for breakfast? Oh, yes! This quick, easy breakfast takes a dessert classic and lightens it up for the morning with ultra-creamy Greek yogurt and a warm drizzle of jam. It’s also a perfect antidote to those fussy mornings when your child doesn’t want to eat anything.No, there’s no ice cream involved. (Ice cream for breakfast—that seems best saved for birthdays, eh?
Nov 4, 2020
How to Get Your Kids to Eat Salad (and Love It!)
Salads are a staple of healthy eating. Add in the fact that a good salad requires zero cooking, and I’m won over. But I am a salad-lover who is also a mom of two. And when guests come over, they are often surprised to see me making salad for my kids—and more surprised to see the kids eating it. How do I do it? The answer is actually simple: I make finger salads.
Oct 28, 2020
Here’s How to Make a Fun & Festive Halloween Snack Board
Snack boards are my never-fail, super-easy appetizer—and a clever way to serve dinner on busy nights. Take this Halloween snack board, for example: It’s perfect for a party (when we’re not in a pandemic, of course), but doubles as a quick meal before trick-or-treating (again, in non-COVID times) that will delight kids and adults alike.
Oct 28, 2020
The Top 10 Halloween Treats of All Time (and How to Make Them — The Easy Way!)
Even though it looks very different this year, Halloween is here — and secretly, I think it’s the most amazing time for food-lovers and their kids. Why? You get to play with your food! Our collective digital feeds are filled at present with cute spider sandwiches and bat-wing cookies, but this is not a modern phenomenon. For nearly a century, there has been pressure on parents to rise to the occasion of Halloween.
Oct 16, 2020
12 Fast & Easy Dinner Ideas for Hungry Toddlers & Tired Parents
At 5, my youngest has officially left the toddler years, but the struggles of feeding a toddler are not too far away from my memory. Toddlers bounce from happy and inquisitive to tired and cranky easily without the capacity to tell us that they are hungry and headed for a meltdown. All of this is to say that after a day, or a week, or even hours of extraordinary emotional highs and lows and generally wrestling a wild, stubborn 2-year-old, you are tired. And you all still need to eat.
Oct 12, 2020
These Snickerdoodles Are the Best Cookie to Make with Your Kids This Fall
I’ll be honest with you: Classic snickerdoodles are one of my least favorite cookies. I love their crunchy cinnamon-sugar coating, but I’ve always wanted something more—something to really kick them up a notch. So in an attempt to reimagine the snickerdoodle into a cookie I would actually get excited about, I added an additional layer of flavor to the mix, completely transforming them into a brand-new treat that’s bold, delicious, and unexpected. My secret ingredient?
Oct 12, 2020
The Easiest Pigs in a Blanket
Do you remember the absolute joy you’d feel when your mom would pop open a can of biscuit dough and a package of bite-sized sausages — meaning pigs and a blanket were on the horizon? Our version embraces that exuberance, but we’re upgrading the whole thing. Thanks to our smart technique, you don’t have to individually wrap 50 tiny sausages to create the perfect bite of flaky, buttery pastry and smoky sausage (but more on that later).
Oct 12, 2020
Baklava Breakfast Parfaits
Hello, and welcome to the first recipe in my new column, But First, Breakfast! I’ve been thinking about the idea for this series for a long time, probably ever since I started touring to promote my breakfast cookbook, Whole Grain Mornings, and readers told me how much they longed for really simple weekday breakfast ideas. This series is about real-world, make-ahead breakfasts that you can actually fit into your busy, everyday life.
Oct 12, 2020
How To Make Chicken Lettuce Wraps
For all the times I have ordered chicken lettuce wraps at Chinese restaurants like P.F. Chang’s, inhaled entire “appetizers” by myself, and sighed with happiness while licking sticky sauce from my fingers, it never once occurred to me to try making this dish at home. Partly, lettuce wraps have always felt like an indulgence that needed restriction to restaurant visits only.
Oct 12, 2020
Chickpea Nuggets
Getting kids to try new foods is simply an exercise in marketing. Case in point: When I made falafel for dinner one night, I called them chickpea nuggets instead of falafel and my children gobbled them right up. They asked for chickpea nuggets again and it got my mind churning with an idea for an actual chickpea nugget recipe — one with all the flavors and textures of chicken nuggets, but baked and egg-free.
Oct 12, 2020
Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup
Packed with vitamin-rich sweet potatoes, this simple soup is a quick family meal that ensures a dose of veggies even in a relatively small portion. The natural creaminess from the potatoes provides a pleasing texture for kids and is delicious topped with everything from crumbled bacon to a dash of hot sauce for parents. The red lentils are more subtle in flavor than their brown and green counterparts, and they cook about three times as fast, so they’re ideal for weeknights.
Oct 12, 2020
How To Make the Best Macaroni and Cheese on the Stove
This is the macaroni and cheese recipe I grew up on — creamy sauce, chewy pasta, and plenty of cheese. It always felt like a special treat to us kids, although I suspect my mother liked it more because it was an easy stovetop dish that requires just five ingredients and almost no thought to pull together at the end of a long day. Whatever the reason, whatever the occasion, a bowl of this mac and cheese will always spell comfort.
Oct 12, 2020
10-Minute Black Bean Tacos
When you come home extra late after a crazy day at the office, it may seem like your only options for dinner are takeout, those questionable leftovers in the fridge, or scrambled eggs and toast. You’re starving and cranky and you need dinner fast, after all. Luckily there’s a fourth option: these 10-minute tacos. Yes, making tacos in 10 minutes is absolutely possible.
Oct 12, 2020
Zucchini Pesto Pizza Rolls
Five simple ingredients tag team on a dinner that everyone at the table will love — including mom and dad, given all of the veggies tucked inside!
Oct 12, 2020
Avocado Toast Two Ways, for Mama & Baby
Oh, avocado toast — the perfect shortcut meal for any time of day. And one of my absolute favorite ways to serve up a meal that works for the entire family, even the wee ones. Avocado toast is the perfect example, too, of the type of food I am sharing this week for DIY Mama; simple, adaptable meals that with a few adjustments are equally delicious and nutritious for mama and toddler.
Oct 12, 2020
Make-Ahead Smoothie Packs: Super Greens Smoothie
Because you know, drinking your greens always feels good.
Oct 12, 2020
Our Top 12 Kid-Friendly Grocery Finds for Fall 2020
Every one of these is kid-approved.
Oct 7, 2020
10 Easy Lunches that are Better Than Sandwiches
Whether your kids are at school or at home these brilliant lunchbox ideas will shake up your stuck-between-bread routine.
Oct 7, 2020