whole wheat dried apricot tarts (or jam tarts, or prune tarts, or…)

fruit tarts in the pan, foodlets

WHEN GRANDMA COMES TO TOWN, our kitchen goes into overdrive. Paul’s mom and dad were here for a visit over Thanksgiving and made one of Paul’s childhood favorites, apricot tarts. It’s an old recipe, the original could have, maybe come from a newspaper but this version has definitely been passed around church groups, through family… 

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peanut butter hot toddies

peanut butter hot toddies, foodlets

IT’S NOT SMOOTHIE WEATHER ANYMORE. We’re heading straight into hot chocolate season here but I’d rather not spend the rest of fall with three kids crying, wrestling, climbing kitchen counters and “mommmmmmy-ing”, all thanks to the inevitable sugar crash from cocoa. No can do. Enter, the warmest little mug of goodness to hit our kitchen… 

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pumpkin bran muffins with chocolate chips

pumpkin bran muffins, foodlets

WELL, WE MAY HAVE A PICKY ONE. Usually a voracious little eater, every time I’ve tried to give 17-month-old George a bite of anything other than carbs lately, he chucks it across the room. Airborne. Veggies, cheese, certainly meat, all of it hits the floor moments after I set the offending food in front of him…. 

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even healthier pumpkin spice mini muffins

more healthier pumpkin muffins

THESE MUFFINS STARTED IT ALL. The first time I made our pumpkin spice mini-muffins in Rome, I knew we were on to something because the kids liked them, but I loved them. Finally a decadent tasting baked good that I didn’t have mixed feelings about. So we made spin-offs: carrot cake muffins, sweet potato muffins and more. But the original… 

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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.

healthy apple spice quick bread

Apple Spice Cake

I DON’T KNOW WHO ATE MORE OF THIS, ME OR BABY GEORGE (or what that says about either of us). But what I do know is that we packed this apple spice loaf with as many good-for-you ingredients as we could, and it was still so delicious the older kids were asking about it long… 

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no sugar blueberry muffins (sweetened with honey)

No sugar blueberry muffins in the pan

JUST IN TIME FOR BLUEBERRY MUFFINS! I love summer food. All those berries, sweet peaches and juicy cherries are so easy to serve as snacks (minus the juicy cleanup) but there’s an even better side effect: When I see my three rascals lined up on the counter stools, eating all that fresh goodness I feel… 

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zucchini chocolate chip breakfast cookies

zucchini chocolate chip muffin tops

YEP, ZUCCHINI. Barbara Kingsolver wrote in her amazing book, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle“, about the windfall of zucchini she had after planting her first garden. They had piles of the stuff everywhere, on every surface of the kitchen. That’s when her daughter decided to get drastic. Bake them into cookies, she said. And that’s just what… 

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low-sugar lemon chia seed cakes

Lemon chia seed cakes on Foodlets.com

THEY’RE HERE! Remember when one of you wonderful people who actually read this blog asked me about doing a makeover of a recipe you found on your very expensive bag of chia seeds? I was all, sure, I’ll do that! Then we started moving, packing, unpacking, trying to find the grocery store, hunting down preschools…and all thoughts… 

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Double chocolate zucchini muffins, a Muffin Madness contender

double chocolate zucchini muffins on foodlets

THERE’S A MUFFIN BRACKET GOING ON. It’s between Easy Peasy Organic’s sweet potato muffins and these double chocolate zucchini muffins from Mom’s Kitchen Handbook. Since we’ve already started hearing from you about the sweet potato muffins, we tried baking the zucchini first. After patiently waiting driving me crazy while the muffins baked and cooled off,… 

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Lower-sugar, lower-fat golden yam brownies (An Allrecipes.com 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… 

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Chocolate pumpkin muffins two ways (both involve white beans, both are very good)

chocolate pumpkin muffins two ways

THIS BREAKFAST WAS ORIGINALLY A DESSERT, but if there’s an option to wake up to chocolate I have only one thing to say, yes please! It’s also packed with white beans, oatmeal and pumpkin, so there’s enough good-for-you ingredients to keep a kid going all morning long. (Mom, too.) First we redid Chocolate Covered Katie’s… 

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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… 

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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… 

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