Ginger Peanut Noodles with Bell Peppers

peanut ginger salad review, foodlets

These cold noodles are a summer staple. Because they are awesome. At least some of our kids think so. Use any shape of pasta your kids like and don’t worry about the flavor of whole-wheat pasta taking over because in this salad, that nutty whole-wheat taste holds up perfectly. Even better than regular pasta. These noodles are a simpler… 

Read More »


Low-Sugar Hummingbird Cake

low sugar hummingbird cake, foodlets

It’s already been a year! We celebrated Violet Agnes’ first birthday in exactly the way you’d expect. With balloons, grandma visiting from the West coast and of course, a low-sugar birthday cake. This one is our version of a “hummingbird cake”, which Wikipedia calls “a banana pineapple spice cake common in the Southern United States”. My mom… 

Read More »


The tiny way we improved the already moist (and healthy!) cornbread our kids love

healthy cornbread for kids

Is bacon. These bacon-topped cornbread squares are a riff on our already beloved makeover of Ina Garten’s cornbread. As with all of our Barefoot for Babies recipe makeovers, our version is healthier, sweetened with honey and packed with either wheat germ or ground flaxseed. But there’s also lots of plain yogurt and milk in there, resulting… 

Read More »


applesauce zucchini muffins

zucchini muffin tops

WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU 12 CUPS OF SHREDDED ZUCCHINI, FRESH FROM THE GARDEN, YOU… If you’re a crazy person like me, you hit the kitchen and make zucchini muffins. Lots of muffins. Now these are not our first healthy zucchini muffins. (So far we’ve done zucchini spice muffins and a zucchini chocolate cake.) But they’re some of… 

Read More »


15-Minute Homemade Macaroni & Cheese

15-minute homemade mac & cheese for kids

OBVIOUS CONFESSION COMING… I’M TOTALLY OVERWHELMED. Have I mentioned that before? It turns out that managing four kids under the age of six is hard, especially when you don’t get to sleep at night. I know you know that. The silly thing is, I didn’t know that. Or, I guess somehow I thought it wouldn’t be…. 

Read More »


moroccan couscous made kid-friendly

moroccan couscous for kids, foodlets

REMEMBER WHEN YOU USED TO EAT ETHNIC FOOD? If you haven’t had a zesty international flavor from somewhere other than Taco Bell since before the kids were born, this one’s for you. I actually love Moroccan food but wondered how all those unfamiliar spices and unexpected ingredients would go over with my three knee-highs. So we… 

Read More »


low-sugar muffins with berries & ricotta cheese, a Food 52 Makeover

gift shaped muffins, foodlets

MOTHER’S DAY IS A TRICKY ONE. At least for me. I know the customary “gift” is something along the lines of breakfast in bed, but the only time I’ve eaten breakfast on a tray since becoming a mom has been inside a hospital, right after giving birth. Otherwise it’s off to the races starting around dawn ever since…. 

Read More »


coconut pineapple mini-muffins, a Serious Eats recipe makeover

coconut pineapple mini muffins, healthy muffins for kids, foodlets

WE’VE BEEN MAKING A LOT OF LUNCHES around here. Foodlets Friday Lunch is a teeny, tiny pilot program that we started this spring. Every Friday I make lunch for the kids at Phoebe’s preschool and parents who are keen to buy one simply cover the costs. It’s not catering, not yet, but I hope it… 

Read More »


roasted lemon chicken with vegetables, the perfect make-at-nap-time dinner

roasted lemon chicken with vegetables for kids, foodlets

RIGHT AROUND 5PM THINGS GET ROUGH at my house, maybe even 4. There’s too much whining and not nearly enough wine. That’s why I love to make dinner earlier in the day and let it just hang out — or in this case, roast away — until we’re ready. When the cranky hour arrives I… 

Read More »


super simple turkey pot pie (and yes, I cheated)

turkey pot pie

WHEN YOU HAVE A FRIDGE FULL OF TURKEY and a house full of guests, the best way to handle both is a big casserole of turkey pot pie, just like this one. It’s a new riff on the Barefoot Contessa’s chicken pot pie recipe we made over once (and still the number one recipe of… 

Read More »


tomato, basil & spinach soup with cheese tortellini (and bat croutons)

tomato, basil and spinach soup with cheese tortellini

DEAR INA GARTEN, YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU and your amazing recipes, but I can no longer spend 45 minutes roasting tomatoes BEFORE the soup making process truly begins. That is because there are three small crazy people living in my house now. I can however, make a simpler (and healthier) version of your wonderful… 

Read More »


Ina Garten’s gazpacho becomes kid-friendly watermelon gazpacho

watermelon gazpacho, kid-friendly gazpacho on

SOME RECIPES FOLLOW YOU wherever you go. The Barefoot Contessa’s gazpacho is one of them, and I’ve been making it longer than I’ve been a parent. Maybe even longer than I’ve known Paul. There were big batches blended up in small New York City apartments, at least as many in Rome and now our first… 

Read More »


peach crisp so good (and good for you) you’ll eat it for breakfast too

peach crisp cooked on right

IF YOU WANT TO SCORE POINTS WITH THE RASCALS, serve them dessert for breakfast. Make it this dessert and you won’t even have to feel weird about it. It’s basically fresh fruit, oats, nuts, a little honey  and yep, wheat germ.  


Little Bit o’Spinach Shortbread Cookies for St. Patrick’s Day

spinach shortbread cookies for kids

OUR KIDS HAVE BEEN MISBEHAVING. I’m sure this never happens at your house, but this has been one of those weeks. We’ve had a whining, crying, tantrum-throwing, Pull-Up-removing time of it for days now. But this morning when Paul and I mentioned working toward a picnic dinner at the playground tonight, as in, we only… 

Read More »


Sauteed cabbage

Sauteed cabbage on

I’VE EATEN CABBAGE QUITE A FEW TIMES, BUT ENJOYED IT EXACTLY TWICE. The first delicious cabbage I ate was many years ago when a friend with Irish roots (and her own Grandma Curley, just like I had) spent a full Saturday making “Boiled Dinner” for St. Patrick’s Day. Despite my own fairly Irish roots, I’d… 

Read More »


Lower-sugar, lower-fat golden yam brownies (An makeover)

Lower sugar, lower fat yam brownies, sweet potato muffins

THIS REQUEST CAME IN FROM ALASKA. Tricia, who is a mom to three boys living waaay up north, sent me a link via Facebook to these decadent treats with a healthy sounding name, Golden Yam Brownies on Allrecipes. She asked if I could do a healthier makeover. “My family LOVES it but it’s loaded with… 

Read More »


Frittata with spinach, pancetta & ricotta (a Barefoot Contessa makeover)

spinach, peppers and pancetta fritatta

MY BIG INDULGENCE IN ITALY, other than one trip to the Gucci outlet and one million bowls of gelato (which was probably more expensive in the long run!), has been an international subscription to the Food Network magazine. I’ve definitely learned a lot from Italians when it comes to food, family and the combination of… 

Read More »


Lentil sausage soup with spinach (a Barefoot Contessa lentil soup makeover)

Lentil sausage soup with spinach up close

IT’S HERE! I LOVE SOUP SEASON. Even though the Roman weather keeps playing tricks on us–one day it’s cool and crisp, the next is so hot and humid that everyone is sweating before we leave the house–we’ve started making soup. And even better, we’ve started freezing soup too. This recipe makes more than enough to… 

Read More »


Healthy chocolate-zucchini muffins for kids (a Paula Deen zucchini bread makeover)

zucchini muffins up close

STOP EVERYTHING. THESE ARE THE BEST MUFFINS you’ll ever make. And don’t tell Ina Garten because I’ve strayed again and updated another Paula Deen recipe for this one. Right now Paula’s zucchini bread is the most popular thing on the Food Network website; and my remake of her pumpkin cake (now pumpkin spice mini-muffins) is… 

Read More »


Individual plum crisps (a Barefoot Contessa recipe makeover)

Individual plum crisps already cooked on the pan

WE’VE DONE SOMETHING LIKE THIS BEFORE. Last summer a friend appeared on our door, bag in hand overflowing with juicy purple plums. We combined them with a few berries for a family-style dessert at a friend’s summer rental. This time we got our own plums and this time they were yellow. And this time, I… 

Read More »