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Summer Recipes You Can Make With Your Kids

Summer Recipes You Can Make With Your Kids

Looking for summer recipes you can make with your kids (and that they’ll actually eat)? Look no further. We know it can be hard to battle boredom and feed the kids continuously throughout the day, so why not do both at the same time? Plus, we know that kids are way more likely to eat things that they have made themselves. Even the picky ones give it a try!

To get you started , check out some of our favorite summer recipes that are kid-friendly and parent-friendly. Oh and you probably already have most of these ingredients in your kitchen already. No need to hunt down some exotic spice or extract when your 10 year old is just going to pour ketchup on it am I right?

Yogurt Pie (photo credit Ari Adams lovepeaceandtinyfeet)

Summer Recipes You Can Make With Your Kids

The best part of these summer recipes is that they are delicious for kids and adults and they are all ‘better-for-you’ options. Even the desserts are great because they are one bite wonders! Check out these 9 summer recipes you can make with your kids and let us know which one you’ll try first!

9 Summer Recipes that are Totally Kid Friendly Recipes Too

  1. Homemade granola bars

Have you ever bought a box of granola bars and then went back to get one a day later and the box was empty? Happens in my house too often! That’s why I love this summer recipe for homemade granola bars. It’s both cost-effective and delicious. The best part is that you can pretty much add anything you like into your own homemade granola bars. It’s entirely up to you (and your kids). You can try peanut butter, chocolate chips, raisins, dried fruit, or coconut. This is especially helpful for families who have to be mindful of food allergens. My trick? We use “nut-free” peanut butter and then everyone in the family can enjoy these really healthy snacks.


Granola Bars (photo credit: Ari Adams/lovepeaceandtinyfeet)

  1. S’mores Pops

Nothing says summer like a s’mores, right? But nobody has time to build a fire, find roasting sticks, and not drop all the ingredients in the dirt! For those times when a campfire is just not happening, have the kids make these s’mores pops with you (or have them make them for you…even better)! You get the tastes of s’mores (graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow) in a fun, much easier way. If you really want the gooeyness traditional s’mores have, put the s’mores pop in the microwave for 5 seconds. Get ready to win parent of the year (or at least the day)!


S’mores Pops (photo credit: Meghan Cooper/jamonkey)

  1. Yogurt Parfait Breakfast Popsicles

Honestly, this is one of those summer recipes that are just genius! It is a super quick, healthy breakfast idea and kids LOVE it. They think they are getting dessert for breakfast. Shhh…I won’t tell them if you don’t! I’m just happy they are eating something that isn’t sugar-coated cereal. These yogurt parfait breakfast popsicles are sure to please everyone because the kids can make them individually and include all the things they like. In my house, one kid adores strawberries but another one can’t stand the sight of them. I can make both kids happy with this super  healthy breakfast recipe.


Yogurt Parfait Breakfast Pops (photo credit: meghan cooper/ jamonkey)

  1. Mini Yogurt Parfait Pies

Because you definitely need more than one ‘dessert-for-breakfast’ summer recipes, this one for mini yogurt parfait pies is awesome. You can add in just the right mix of everything you love . Pick your favorite yogurt, some sliced fresh fruit that’s in season, add it to individual graham cracker pie crusts, and top with whipped cream! Voila! I love that you can make this as healthy as you want it. Turns out these kid friendly recipes can also be adult friendly too! For a different kind of cool summer treat, freeze the pies!

Yogurt Parfait Mini Pie Recipe #EffortlessPies


  1. Crock pot Apple Butter

Crockpots are tailor made for summer recipes. Don’t bother heating up the whole house! Grab some apples from the local orchards once they are in season or simple snag some from your local grocery store. With simple, wholesome ingredients, you can set it and forget it and come home to a house smelling like heaven! Want to save yourself a step? Buy apple slices that are already peeled. (It’s a thing!) Use the apple butter as a spread on just about anything from bread to waffles to saltine crackers. Your kids won’t even realize they are actually eating fruit!


Apple Butter (photo credit: Meghan Cooper/jamonkey)

  1. Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Banana Raspberry Muffins

Even if you are dealing with food allergens or diet guidelines that doesn’t mean you can’t create delicious treats for and with your kids. These muffins might not have gluten or dairy but they are packed with flavor. This kid friendly recipe is the perfect way to sue those old, brown bananas. The raspberries add some tartness and the combination is really just delicious.


Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Banana Raspberry Muffin (photo: Krystyn Hall/reallyareyouserious)

  1. Pumpkin Pasties

Who said you have to wait until Fall to eat pumpkin? Not in my house! These Pumpkin Pasties are quick to make, filling to eat and can even be a part of a balanced breakfast. These little handheld pies are made using refrigerated biscuit dough and just a few ingredients. Not feeling pumpkin? How about using that apple butter from the Crock Pot Apple Butter recipe?


Easy Pumpkin Pasties recipe (photo: Lindsey Paris/redheadbabymama)

  1. Ant Man Snack Mix

If your kids love combining food with their favorite movies as much as mine do, this snack mix is sure to be a hit. Not to mention that it is drizzled in white chocolate too! This is one of those summer recipes that are as fun to make as it is to eat! It contrasts honeycomb cereal (for the Wasp) with raisins (for the Ant). The recipe also calls for some super cute tiny ant candies which are tons of fun, but may gross you out. If, on the other hand, you have some kids in the house who like to be grossed out, then go for it! More power to them!

Ant Man & Wasp Snack Mix (photo: Lindsey Paris/redheadbabymama)

Ant-Man and the Wasp Snack Mix


  1. Chocolate Hummus

This is one of those kid friendly recipes that you must not, under any circumstances, underestimate. Yes it is made with chickpeas. Yes, it is technically a hummus. BUT, it looks like dark chocolate ganache and tastes more like brownie batter than anything else. Have your kids help you with this recipe OR just make it for them and don’t tell them how healthy it really is. Spread it on graham crackers, or really anything you want.


Dark Chocolate Dessert Hummus recipe (photo: Krystyn Hall/reallyareyourserious)


Cooking these summer recipes with your kids can be fun, educational, and delicious all at the same time. Banish boredom for good! Which of these kid friendly recipes will you try first?

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Making Pasta at Sur la Table Cooking Class

Making Pasta at Sur la Table Cooking Class

Last week my colleagues at work and I had a chance to attend a really fun Sur la Table cooking class, a fun kitchenware store located in the nearby mall. Most of us had never been to a cooking class before, so this was a virgin experience for me and others. It was a total blast and a great bonding experience. Plus, we made delicious Fettuccine with Tuscan Sausage and Caramelized Onion Ragu. We even made our own pasta noodles.

Fettuccine with Tuscan Sausage and Caramelized Onion Ragu

Our finished Fettuccine Ragu was delizioso!

Ultimately, we made this whole menu:

  • Classic Caesar Salad with Garlic Croutons
  • Fettuccine with Tuscan Sausage and Caramelized Onion Ragu
  • Tiramisu Gelato

(And no, this is not a sponsored post – just sharing because it was fun and delicious.)

Sur la Table Cooking Class

At the back of the store, there is a giant exhibition kitchen where the Sur la Table Cooking Class sessions are held. Judging from the look of their weekly class schedule, this is a very popular thing to do. As we arrived, the cooking school staff handed us aprons and told us to wash up. Just like mom used to say!

cooking class couple at Sur la Table

Getting ready to make Fettuccine with Tuscan Sausage and Caramelized Onion Ragu

We situated ourselves in groups at cooking stations around the room, and waited for the Chef to signal it was time to start. They may have been a little wine poured during this set-up period, and we may have had to send someone out for more bottles. Like I said, it was a bonding experience.

How to Make Tiramisu Gelato

Just the way I like it, we made dessert first. Chef explained we would start with the gelato because it needed time in the freezer to firm up. As we mixed the ingredients, I felt my arteries hardening. Main ingredients included whipping cream, egg yolks, sugar and mascarpone cheese (yum). From there, we mixed in lady fingers, Kahlua, espresso and some other goodies. There’s more to the prep, but it ended up in the freezer looking delicious.

people in kitchen at Sur la Table Cooking School

My work colleagues cooked up delicious Tiramisu Gelato at Sur la Table Cooking School

How to Make Fettuccine with Tuscan Sausage and Caramelized Onion Ragu

Ok, I’m an Italian boy so I should know how to do this right? Well, even I learned some new tricks. The caramelized onions with sherry was a nice touch, and something I haven’t done before. Of course, the making of the pasta noodles was really cool since I have never done that either. There is a great place in San Diego where I buy my fresh pasta called Assenti’s. They make many different kinds of pasta noodles, all in house and so fresh and delicious.

Sur la Table Cooking school ingredients

Another view of the ragu ingredients before we started the sauce.

For purposes of this post, let’s assume you have the noodles already.

Sausage and Carmelized Onion Ragu Recipe:

(with credit to Sur la Table and a few of my own edits)

  • 1 lb mild Italian Sausage, with casings removed
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 large garlic gloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup cream sherry
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 28-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes, drained and chopped, juice reserved
  • 1 Tbs minced fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Pasta noodles

To prepare ragu:

To a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add sausage and cook until browned, using a wooden spoon to break into pieces. Remove sausage from skillet and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Add butter and onions to the skillet and cook until deep golden brown, stirring often for 20-30 minutes.

ragu ingredients to make pasta sauce

As we sous chefs got ready to prep our ingredients for the ragu, Chef Douglas gave us some important instructions.

Add garlic and red pepper flakes to onions and stir. Add sherry to mixture and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Once sherry has reduced, add the sausage back to the skillet, and add the broth, tomatoes and thyme. Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower heat to simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To cook the pasta:

Chef taught us that regular dry pasta noodles have water in their recipe, which is why they turn to mush if you overcook them. Fresh pasta noodles are just flour, eggs and olive oil, and they do the opposite when overcooked – they get tougher. Fresh noodles only need 2-3 minutes to cook al dente, while dry noodles make take 8-12 minutes depending on the type. Either way, bring a salted pot of water to boil and add noodles to cook, stirring constantly to avoid sticking together. When cooked, drain the pasta and add save about a cup of the pasta water.

To serve:

Transfer the pasta to the the skillet with the ragu, and toss well with tongs. Add reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce as needed. Divide pasta among bowls, garnish with Parmesan and basil, and serve immediately.

Delicious and easy!

Fettuccine with Tuscan Sausage and Caramelized Onion Ragu

Our finished Fettuccine Ragu was delizioso!

Making Pasta Noodles

The process was fun in a group, and I enjoyed making pasta noodles together. Judging from the number of steps to make the dough, and then more steps to flatten it and cut it into strips, I don’t see this in my near future. I have the friendly Assenti Brothers to do that for me. However, I will say that fresh noodles just taste SO MUCH BETTER.


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Making Chocolate Mint Cupcakes with Sophia

Making Chocolate Mint Cupcakes with Sophia

It’s really fun when your kids catch on to something you love, and I love to cook. I learned to cook from my mom, and she learned from her mom, and so on. No mom in the house? No problem – Dads are great cooks too! I’ve taken over that cook role, and am teaching both my girls the way around a kitchen. It makes me soooo happy when one of our girls is inspired to cook, like Sophia recently when she asked me about making Chocolate Mint Cupcakes.

baking chocolate mint cupcakes

Our little baker. Sophia knows her way around the kitchen, especially when baking delicious desserts.

No matter that we didn’t have many of the ingredients in the house. Luckily for us, there is a Vons supermarket just blocks away. A little spin around the grocery aisles, and we were in business.

Making Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

A while back when cupcakes were just becoming a thing, I bought this great cookbook called Your Cup of Cake by Lizzy Early. These are not your average cupcakes mind you – they are fancy and delicious works of art. It was a little daunting for Sophia to pick a recipe from this book, but we were game on a Sunday afternoon. The results may not have been as pretty as the photos in the book, but they sure were tasty.

Watch Sophia’s video to get inspired!

Recipe for Making Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

(Courtesy of Your Cup of Cake by Lizzy Early)

For Chocolate Cupcakes:

1 box devil’s food cake mix (we used Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake Mix)

3 eggs

1/2 cup oil

1 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350-degrees and line cupcake pans with liners.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, oil, buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla together. Add cake mix until well combined.

Fill cupcake liners to 3/4 full and bake for 17-20 minutes or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean. (Ours were ready at 17 minutes). Remove from pan and let cool completely.

pouring chocolate batter into cupcake pan

Make sure you only fill the cupcake tins to 3/4 full, or the cupcakes will grow too large in the baking process.

For Peppermint Chocolate Ganache:

1 cup chocolate chips (we used semi-sweet)

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

4 tablespoons whipping cream

Put chocolate chips and peppermint extract in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Gently heat whipping cream in small pot until small bubbles form around the edges. Pour cream over chocolate chips and whisk until smooth.

Dip the top of each cupcake into the ganache, twisting and coating the top completely. Set aside to cool and harden.

frosting chocolate mint cupcakes

We doubled the recipe on the mint buttercream frosting, or we would have run out!

For the Peppermint Buttercream Frosting:

(We doubled this recipe for the frosting, and were glad we did or would have run out! The amounts listed below are NOT doubled.)

3/4 cup butter, softened

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 teaspoons peppermint extract

4 cups powdered sugar (yes that is a lot)

4-6 drops green food coloring (optional)

Chocolate peppermint candies for garnish (we used Andes Mints)

Beat butter and cream cheese for 2 minutes. Add peppermint extract and slowly add powdered sugar until buttercream reaches desired consistency. Add green food coloring if desired.

Pipe buttercream on top of ganache covered cupcakes. Drizzle any extra ganache over top of the cupcakes, and finish with a chocolate peppermint candy.

chocolate mint cupcake

Ready to scarf down in one giant mouthful, Sophia’s chocolate mint cupcake turned out beautiful and delicious.



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New Skillet Breakfast Meals from Omaha Steaks are Legit

New Skillet Breakfast Meals from Omaha Steaks are Legit

This post is sponsored by Omaha Steaks, and the views and opinions expressed here are our own.

When we heard Omaha Steaks was introducing a new line of breakfast meals, we weren’t quite sure of the connection. What did a place famous for its top quality steaks know about breakfast, we asked ourselves. But then we had the chance to taste a couple of them, and realized these new skillet breakfast meals from Omaha Steaks are legit. So yes, they know what they are doing!

Omaha Steaks breakfast skillet

The Omaha Steaks Ranchero Steak & Beans Butcher’s Breakfast is delicious and easy to prepare.

With hearty flavors like Ranchero Steak and Beans, Meat Lovers’ and Chorizo and Sweet Potato Hash, these new Omaha Steaks Butchers Breakfasts make it easy to eat well in the morning. Those same great ingredients and prime cuts of meat that have made Omaha Steaks so popular are all here for morning munching. Super easy to cook, delicious and nutritious, these Butchers Breakfasts can be prepared and hit the table in under 15 minutes flat.

Omaha Steaks Meat Lover's Breakfast Skillet

Straight from the freezer into the pan, the Omaha Steaks Meat Lover’s Breakfast Skillet is so delicious.

Quick and Easy

Our family can really use the help most mornings, since the girls are always pushing things to the last minute. Jon is the morning dad, and so breakfast duties fall on him. Everyone rushes around to get out the door for school and work. Dogs walked, hair brushed, outfits changed at least three times – sometimes there hardly seems time for breakfast at all.

With the new Omaha Steaks Butchers Breakfasts, just take the meal directly from the freezer, pour contents into a skillet, cover and cook. In a bowl, you heat the sauce packet while the skillet is cooking. Then you add the sauce to the skillet, and it simmers for a couple of minutes to blend all the goodness. We topped ours with poached eggs, and voilá! A delicious meal ready to enjoy before running to make the carpool.

Omaha Steaks Ranchero Steak & Beans Butcher's Breakfast

The breakfast skillet meals from Omaha Steaks are legit.

Delicious Ingredients

Well of course there is good meat. It’s Omaha Steaks after all! The Ranchero Steak and Beans Butcher’s Breakfast is loaded with seasoned Omaha Steak and savory uncured bacon. The meats are mixed with fire-roasted tomatoes, tomatillos, green chiles, green & poblano peppers, and onion for a morning kick. Sauté all this in their sauce of lime juice, chili peppers, and sweet paprika, and you are ready to roll. My family gobbled their breakfasts right up, and the kids arrived at school fueled and ready to learn.

Ranchero Steak & Beans breakfast skillet Omaha Steaks

Add a couple of poached eggs to to the Omaha Steaks Butcher’s Breakfast, and you’ve got a hearty meal.

That beats a bowl of cereal any day. Now how to teach the girls to cook breakfast for me . Hmm, stay tuned on that one.