Kid Friendly Recipes

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Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Recipe Recipe

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Recipe

11.22.11 by Jackie

As I spent my childhood in France, Thanksgiving wasn't part of our traditional feasts. I’ve come to believe that Thanksgiving is synonymous with an abundance of comfort food. My personal all-time favorite comfort food is mac and cheese, so I tried adapting the dish with the flavors of the holiday season. I added diced pumpkin to the traditional layers of macaroni, white sauce and string-y, melted cheese. The pumpkin infuses a mild sweetness into the dish and really adds another dimension. It also doesn’t hurt that the colors are so reminiscent of Thanksgiving.

Mac and cheese is a great dish that is suitable all year round. You can flavor the dish with your favorite ingredients such as morel mushrooms, red pesto or any combination of cheeses. If pumpkin isn’t your thing, make your own pasta gratin creation; let your imagination run wild!


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Pear Cider Recipe Recipe

Pear Cider Recipe

11.11.11 by Jackie

I'm sure you've noticed, but it feels like Thanksgiving already. The girls have been enjoying pumpkin smoothie drinks at Jamba Juice, Lulu recently brought home a pumpkin pie from Marie Callender's and we just bought our first fresh cranberries of the season. With the weather getting colder, what could be more appropriate to the season than a hot cup of cider? But instead of making regular ol' apple cider, I added freshly-made pear juice as well.

I used Bartlett pears (with hints of red, they are much sweeter) which were slightly firm so they would easily pass through a juicer. If you prefer a more intense pear flavor, you could use very ripe, soft fruit but I wouldn't recommend using a juicer as it would get clogged easily. Instead, mix them until mushy in a regular blender, then pass the mixture through a large sieve. I didn't opt for this method as I find the texture a little grainy. You can add whatever spices you like, but I opted for the traditional combination of cinnamon, clove and ginger. It's an easy and very satisfying recipe for the weekend!


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Halloween Dessert: Strawberry Brownie Pudding Recipe Recipe

The girls absolutely love Pocky Sticks. If you’re not familiar with them, they're a popular Asian snack consisting of long, thin crackers dipped in icing. I received several packs of strawberry-flavored Pocky Sticks from Asian Food Grocer, and instead of just letting the girls devour them, I thought it would be fun to use them in a dish.

I adapted one of Ina Garten's brownie pudding recipes and made it look pink to match the Pocky Sticks. I used mini marshmallows to create teeth and Godiva chocolate pearls for the eyes. The Pocky Sticks serve as the hair. I’m thinking of serving these happy-looking treats to the kids for Halloween in a couple of weeks. Last year, I made witch-looking finger cookies that looked so realistic, children in my little munchkin’s class refused to eat them! 



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Cold Pasta Salad Recipe Recipe

Cold Pasta Salad Recipe

09.19.11 by Jackie

Cold pasta salad is usually made with mayonnaise dressing. One member of my family is allergic to eggs, so this recipe suits her perfectly; as no eggs are used. Even though there are no eggs, I wanted the dressing to be creamy and flavorful, so I mixed in goat cheese with the usual vinaigrette ingredients. For a little extra kick, I added onions cooked down in white balsamic vinegar.

I used cork-screw-shaped pasta, but any other shape such as bowties, shells or penne would work as well. In addition to the diced tomatoes and steamed zucchini, I added black lentils and pan-seared tofu to give this vegetarian pasta dish some protein. Cooking does not always have to be complicated. If you have fresh ingredients and a lot of love, you’ll have a wonderful meal. Bon appétit!
 


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Healthy School Lunch: Raspberry Spinach Salad Recipe Recipe

I have to admit, we haven't had much problem getting the kids to eat their vegetables. How, you may ask? Well, my first rule is never trick them. Second, get your children involved in the kitchen. Once they start to enjoy cooking, they will become more emotionally interested in creating new dishes, which is exactly what you want them to do! Trust them and let them experiment with new flavor combinations.

They recently came up with a savory fruit salad with greens, which was delicious. Since today was my husband's little 7-year-old sister's first day at school, I packed a plastic container with the raspberry salad (my munchkin's favorite fruit) and raspberry salad dressing on the side. You could also make a sandwich layering a slice of cheese, raspberry salad and a slice of cold meat between toasted slices of bread.


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