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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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.

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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just add almond meal. a new (healthier) chocolate chip cookie recipe!

chocolate chip cookies

LIKE CAKE, COOKIES CAN ONLY BE SO “HEALTHY”. And that’s not really the point of them anyway. A treat is a treat, but with all the birthday parties and special celebrations going on during any given week, most of us are deeper in the throes of “cupcake creep” than we want to be. Enter the… 

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no-sugar frozen fudge pops (bananas, yes, avocados, yes, sugar, nope!)

fudge pops

WE HAD A LITTLE PREVIEW OF SUMMER for a while, and when the sun came out, we made these. To our chocolate-avocado-banana pudding, we added honey and milk then froze the whole thing in Popsicle molds. The taste is rich and creamy and the ingredients are only good for you.

flourless black bean chocolate cake. yep.

black bean cake

I HAVE A LIST OF TOP 5 FOODS. In fact, on one of our first dates, I asked Paul about his. With a sort of deer-in-the-headlights look, he shrugged and explained that he didn’t have such a list (he politely left out saying anything like “because I’m not 9″). No matter. Mine, I announced, were:… 

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strawberry lemonade tiramisu, a dessert recipe from “The Yummy Mummy Kitchen”

YMK image - strawberry lemonade tiramisu

SPRING, MEET A DESSERT MADE IN YOUR HONOR. Fresh from the pages of *The Yummy Mummy Kitchen, a beautiful kid-friendly cookbook, and the same one that we just happen to be giving two copies away (hint: enter now!), I’m delighted to share this pretty little treat by Marina Delio. So simple to prepare–it’s mostly stacking–I… 

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A little bit green for St. Patrick’s Day: better-for-you shortbread shamrock cookies

shamrock shortbread cookies

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… 

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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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coconut milk and chia seed no-cook, no-sugar pudding

coconut milk and chia seed no-cook, no-sugar pudding on foodlets.com

THEY LOVE THIS STUFF. I’m shocked and amazed myself, but our girls do. I’d been hearing about the health benefits of chia seeds for years–fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants and protein–but in Italy, if it ain’t the stuff that mama made, it ain’t available. At least not in my grocery store. (The Italians are… 

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diy dark chocolate truffles

dark chocolate truffles on foodlets.com

THESE WERE A DISASTER. A delicious disaster, but nonetheless. I decided to update Heidi Swanson’s No-Bake Chocolate Cake to give it a kid-friendly spin. It turns out that a recipe basically made of pure chocolate doesn’t actually need a spin. Except for the part where the debilitating sugar crash ends the activity in tears. See: disaster… 

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low sugar coconut cookies (a 101 cookbooks makeover)

low sugar coconut cookies from Foodlets

WE KNEW THEY WERE GOING TO BE HEALTHY, because this cookie recipe was inspired by 101 Cookbooks. But we’re all pleasantly surprised to know they’re tasty too. (And when I say “we” I mean Phoebe and Estelle who keep hanging out by the little blue storage bin, longingly.) With a quarter of the sugar you’d usually… 

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