better-for-you double chocolate banana muffins, a “smitten kitchen” makeover

double chocolate banana mini muffins, foodlets

THERE ARE PEOPLE IN MY LIFE WHO LOVE MUFFINS. And we’ve made a lot of them. Banana muffins with millet, banana oat, chocolate zucchini and more. But none, not a single mini muffin, bug-shaped muffin or big ol’ muffin in the bunch compares to these. I have a toddler who now cries at the sight… 

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a new spin on chocolate chip cookies: add mint

healthier mint chocolate chip cookies, foodlets

THIS ONE’S SIMPLE. To make mint chocolate chip cookies just follow two steps: 1. Take your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and add two things: 1 teaspoon of pure mint extract plus a few drops of green food coloring OR 1/3 cup pureed spinach (and boost the flour by 1/4 cup). 2. Find your favorite… 

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sugar free chocolate cake: a (pretty) low sugar birthday party, happy birthday estelle!

estelle with cake

WHEN I ASKED ESTELLE WHAT SHE WANTED for her 3rd birthday, she said, “chocolate cake with chocolate frosting”. Okay, then I explained that she could ask for presents too, like at Christmas time. “Oh!,” she said. “And a chocolate bear.” That’s what she got in her stocking, apparently making quite an impression–more so than the… 

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no-bake oatmeal chocolate chip energy cookies

no-bake oatmeal energy cookies, foodlets

I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING–Why would my kids need more energy!?–and I hear you. About the 50th time I’ve scooped George off the kitchen counter each day, or looked down only to find something like this happening, I have the same thought. And also this one. Who can make such a mess with toothpicks?

strawberry cream puffs, a step-by-step recipe

strawberry cream puffs, foodlets

I’M A BIT OF A SUCKER FOR VALENTINE’S DAY. The kids don’t even know what it is, but now that we’re back in the US, I’m diving into all the special occasions, big and small. That’s why I can’t wait to serve them these little strawberry cream puffs on February 14. They’re pink, they’re easy… 

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2-ingredient banana cookies (and neither one is sugar)

banana cookies

THIS WAS OPRAH’S IDEA. In a recent issue of O magazine, the one I read cover to cover with so much longing for the actual Oprah show that I practically ate every page–Oprah! Where are you? Now that I am finally, for the first time in my life, actually at home every day at 4pm…you’re… 

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6 healthy Christmas cookies & treats to make with (and for) the kids

6 healthy christmas treats for kids

BOY ARE WE BAKING! ‘Tis the week for using every pan in the kitchen right? At least these Christmas recipes for kids are pretty simple, fairly healthy and all of them are kid-tested, which I hope makes for happy meals at your house too. Merry Christmas! Whole Wheat Pita Crisps with Cinnamon Sugar Dried Cranberry… 

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little things that work: simple Christmas tree brownies

christmas tree brownies, foodlets

HAVE YOU SEEN THESE YET? For part 2 of this holiday themed “little things that work” post, we bring you brownies cut into triangles and voila, Christmas trees! Along with the kids, I made them for our preschooler’s Gingerbread Fest and they were so fun and so easy that we’ll definitely do it again next… 

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whole wheat pita crisps with cinnamon sugar

whole wheat cinnamon sugar crisps, G

THESE CINNAMON TREATS ARE SO SIMPLE THAT OUR PRESCHOOLER MADE THEM practically by herself. They’re also quite healthy and definitely delicious.  We’re big on cinnamon here, because it’s a tasty way to add flavor without sugar, but also because it’s so dang good for you. Just a sprinkle of that magical stuff can do everything… 

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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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maple syrup sweet potato whoopie pies

sweet potato whoopie pies

IT’S ON. Fall is here and things are so pretty in our corner of North Carolina that I don’t miss Rome one bit. Except for maybe the food. And the amazing architecture. And the 1 euro cappucini on every corner. And the general public’s unabashed love for children. Except for that stuff. But here’s something… 

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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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mini pumpkin pies, a low-sugar halloween treat

mini pumpkin pies for kids

I CAN’T LIE TO YOU. These aren’t exactly “healthy” Halloween treats. But they’re not so bad for you–or the kiddies–either. Low in sugar, full of pumpkin and even chia seeds, the main culprit here is that deliciously buttery pie crust. But the serving size is so small that I think we can get away with… 

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no bake chocolate, fruit & nut balls

no bake chocolate fruit and nut balls, foodlets.com

THESE TOOK 10 MINUTES to make, even with my three “helpers” on hand. That’s not my favorite thing about these no bake balls though. With 4-5 ingredients and instructions like “roll”, even two-year-old Estelle could easily get in on the action. But, nope. That’s not the best part either. I love this new recipe for… 

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