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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Ina Garten’s gazpacho becomes kid-friendly watermelon gazpacho

watermelon gazpacho, kid-friendly gazpacho on Foodlets.com

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… 

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little sandwiches for lunch: rollie pollies kids can’t resist

peanut butter and jelly rolly pollies on Foodlets

THERE’S USUALLY A WAY TO MAKE it more interesting, but not always time. I went to a parents’ discussion at our local library last night, something that made me feel extremely grown-up, where the social worker who was speaking described parenthood in two ways: sometimes it’s about surviving, other times we’re thriving. Immediately I thought… 

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tomato & cheese tart

tomato and cheese tart

THIS WAS THE HARDEST RECIPE I’VE MADE in a long time. But I did it. And it was delicious, at least two parents and one preschooler thought so. Baby George and Estelle who is two, begged to differ. But here’s my theory: Phoebe helped me make it and when you’re a kid in the kitchen,… 

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how to pack amazing school lunches kids love, Katie Morford’s best tips

Best Lunch Box Ever by Katie Morford

UGH. THAT’S THE SOUND OF MOST PARENTS MAKING SCHOOL LUNCHES. But not Katie Morford. Katie heads up the popular blog, Mom’s Kitchen Handbook: Raising Fresh-Food Kids in a French-Fried World and just wrote a new book with a promising title, “Best Lunch Box Ever“. Brimming with fresh, creative ideas that look just as tasty as they… 

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An easy pop of color, half way to eating the rainbow

Colorful foods in the fridge

THEY SAY YOU SHOULD EAT THE RAINBOW, and when I say “they” I mean everyone from Grover to Oprah and Michelle Obama, also the editors of Whole Living and you know, the US Cancer Society. OK, we’re listening. But also, we’re very busy and that sounds complicated. Like a lot of shopping and chopping and possibly quite… 

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The best roast beef sandwiches you’ll ever have

roast beef sandwiches with gorgonzola spread

THESE PLAYDATE SANDWICHES WERE MADE WITH ON-THE-GO EATING IN MIND. Admittedly, they were more for the moms and dads than kids–who got turkey sammies smothered with honey mustard and mayo spread–but on this blustery fall day in Rome, every parent not only commented on how good they were, but couldn’t stop talking about the roast… 

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Ham, cheese and apple melts

Ham, cheese and mustard

I LOVE A GREAT IDEA WHEN I HEAR ONE. A friend shared the concept of “freezer food” with me this weekend. If you aren’t familiar, it goes like this: never make just one batch of something when you can double or triple it. Eat one serving tonight and freeze the others for future meals. That… 

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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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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… 

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no-cook dinner: antipasto with ham, cheese, breadsticks, melon and more…

proscutto e melone

IT’S BEEN OVER 90 DEGREES EVERY DAY in Rome for weeks. This is a normal summer in Italy but that doesn’t mean we’re not melting! Particularly those of us from the Pacific Northwest where it simply doesn’t do this. Ever. My Floridian husband, however, is soaking up the sun, humidity and all the heat for… 

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Fresh strawberry milk

strawberry milk

While I enjoy my mini-maternity leave, I’m thrilled to present a guest post from fellow mom and former colleague, Marie Facini. The genius in this drink is threefold: it’s exceedingly simple to prepare, it’s a great way to pack the all-important calcium punch, and it puts spring’s bounty of strawberries to good use.

homemade deep dish pizza with pepperoni (with a surprisingly healthy ingredient)

homemade pepperoni pizza for kids, foodlets

THERE ARE TWO IMPORTANT THINGS to say about this pizza: First, it’s (pretty) good for you. Second, it’s only moderately popular at our place. {Wah, wah.} Estelle and I seem to like it best…which makes Paul and Phoebe something of pizza purists. This is after all, Italy…

corn dog mini muffins and sautéed green beans with garlic

Corndog mini muffins

IS IT ME OR ARE CORN DOGS having a moment? I’ve seen tons of ideas all over Pinterest, including this gorgeous batch of fried mini dogs from Food Glorious Food, and decided to give it a whirl. The results were mixed: one-year-old Estelle liked them, nearly three-year-old Phoebe wasn’t thrilled. And so it goes…

Pizza with asparagus, ricotta and lemon

fresh asparagus

NOTHING SAYS SPRING IS HERE LIKE the arrival of asparagus. And it’s delicious, so I’m in. Actually the little guys did pretty well with the asparagus pizza. They each ate a piece or so, and in this house, that’s a win. (Plus Phoebe loved helping make this simple dish.) Mixed with creamy ricotta full of… 

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