15-minute cheesy spinach & chicken pasta

15 minute spinach pasta with chicken, foodlets

THIS ONE’S A 3-BOWLER. At least for Phoebe, our 5-year-old. Okay, okay. I admit it. I also found myself eating at least another helping, standing next to the sink while I pretended to “clean the kitchen” after dinner. It’s just that kind of pasta dish. And there’s even better news: the recipe is so simple, and… 

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perfectly flavored london broil (aka, meat your kids will eat!)

perfectly flavored london broil, foodlets

THE OTHER DAY I MADE CHICKEN CUTLETS for dinner and when I saw my four-year-old dunking each bite in her water glass, I had to ask… “This makes it softer on my teeth,” she told me. Note to self: Don’t overcook the chicken. My three small kids aren’t always the biggest meat fans but when it’s… 

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simple pasta with tomatoes, basil & mozzarella

spring pasta with tomatoes, basil and mozzerella, FOODLETS.com

AS PART OF OUR SEMI-DELUDED PLAN to have friends over this weekend, we served homemade rolls along with two pastas. (Our wonderful guests brought veggies and desserts including a chocolate layer caked called “Tall, Dark and Handsome”. And yes, we’re inviting them back again ASAP.) This was one of the pasta dishes–and by far the best… 

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steak & vegetable roll-ups with balsamic glaze, simplified (believe it or not!)

beef rollups with veggies and balsamic glaze, foodlets

I CAN’T LIE TO YOU. THIS WILL NOT BECOME ONE OF YOUR GO-TO WEEKNIGHT DINNERS. But you might love making it once in a while. With a tangy, sweet sauce plus a built-in veggie and playful presentation, there’s a lot to like here. The trouble is the number of steps it takes to get there…. 

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cheese ravioli with spinach and bacon

ravioli with spinach and bacon,  foodlets.com

SO, THERE WAS AN ICE STORM. One that I’ve never seen the likes of, though I don’t have a lot of experience in the extreme weather department. This one came on quickly and thoroughly. Overnight, every single tree in our part of North Carolina was neatly encased in ice. Then they started splitting, falling, and… 

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very small shepherd’s pies (a step-by-step recipe)

mini shepherd's pies for kids, foodlets

WE’VE MADE THESE MINI SHEPHERD’S PIES TWICE NOW, once at a kiddie cooking school here in North Carolina, and once at home, both for St. Patrick’s Day. This version is our own recipe, which is really just layering all the flavors you’d expect–but simplified. We cheated a bit with store-bought biscuit dough, which really puffs… 

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very green broccoli mac & cheese

broccoli mac & cheese, foodlets.com

YES I PUT BROCCOLI (AND SPINACH) IN THE MAC & CHEESE BUT HEAR ME OUT. When Estelle turned three she actually asked for this dish to be served for her birthday lunch with friends. Despite a pretty serious invasion of vegetables, this stuff is very tasty. Downright company-worthy. Especially when you’re two going on three.

kid-friendly mini reuben sandwiches (a step-by-step recipe)

mini reuben sandwiches, foodlets

IT’S NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT HOLIDAY, BUT ST. PATRICK’S DAY can be pretty fun. Especially if you’re four, three or even one–and there’s special food on the menu. We’ve got a bunch of fun ideas coming up and these mini-sandwiches are just the first. Bonus, they’re not limited to leprechaun season so you can make… 

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mini mac & cheese cups (with carrots too)

mac & cheese mini muffins, foodlets

LAST WEEK WE HAD A BIRTHDAY PARTY LUNCH for 6 preschoolers to celebrate Estelle’s 3rd birthday–and at the birthday girl’s request, these mac & cheese mini cups were the main course. Like our broccoli & cheese pasta cups, they’re essentially macaroni and cheese (with a built-in veggie) to go. And like our broccoli & cheese pasta… 

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healthier broccoli & cheddar soup

broccoli and cheddar soup, foodlets

ADD THIS ONE TO THE “AT LEAST I LIKED IT” CATEGORY. But we’ll try again because I actually loved this soup, so there’s gotta be hope for the rascals. Besides, they can’t get enough broccoli when it’s roasted with olive oil, so the hardest part–getting them familiar with the sometimes tricky flavor of broccoli–is already… 

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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… 

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healthier fish & chips for kids

healthier fish & chips for kids, foodlets

THE LAST TIME I HAD FISH & CHIPS–AND THE FIRST TIME THE KIDS EVER HAD IT–WAS IN LONDON. Doesn’t that sound lovely? Except, the rest of my memories include being very, very sick. No, not food poisoning, just the flu. But the worst flu, and even worse timing. We were actually moving from Rome to… 

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a little shot of spinach, the best way to start dinner!

spinach soup for kids, foodlets

This is an idea straight from “French Kids Eat Everything“, and I love it. In her amazing memoir about moving to France with two picky eaters then watching the European culture transform their whole family, Karen Le Billon explains that many French households have a baby food maker handy, even if they don’t have a baby…. 

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lemon chicken strips

lemon chicken, foodlets

MOVE OVER CHICKEN NUGGETS. These lemony chicken strips are so juicy and full of flavor that your kids may never ask for the frozen stuff again. They also MAY put their shoes and coats on tomorrow without whining one bit (and if they do, please tell me exactly how that happened, okay? Thanks!) Well anyway, let’s just see… 

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whole wheat penne with sugar snap peas & pork

pasta with pork and sugar snap peas

I DON’T THINK THEY HAVE SUGAR SNAP PEAS IN ITALY. And if they do, I didn’t know how to say it (surprise!) so my kids were new to peas until last week. Now to be clear, my brood is not always interested in new foods. Before a bite of anything unfamiliar ever touches her lips,… 

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a new spin on…brussels sprouts: just add cranberries

brussels sprouts with cranberries

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE RECIPE FOR BRUSSELS SPROUTS? Let me rephrase that, do your kids have a favorite way that you make Brussels sprouts? Ours is roasted brussels sprouts with olive oil and salt, though I’ve seen tasty ideas for pan cooking too. But when we had a small surplus of cranberries in the… 

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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… 

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