Thursday, January 27

Five Fun Family Friendly Foods

As much as I love to bake, cook, & creat in the kitchen; there are days when I just don't have time. Since it takes me a little longer to measure & chop, I like to have a few super simple "throw-together" recipes on hand.
Here is a list of my faves. They are easy to make, store well, & they're easy on the pocketbook.

1. Kids love spaghetti:

Keep some noodles & a can or 2 of sauce, boil & drain the noodles, pour the sauce over & stir over medium heat to warm, you can even sprinkle some parmesan or mozarella chese over it. & who says you need those long noodles, try some stars, macaroni, shells, or any other pasta you can find. Get creative.
2. Soup & sandwich:

A can of tomato or vegetable soup accompanied by a grilled chese or ham/turkey sandwich makes a perfict meal & it's easy too. Kids can even put their sandwich together if it's a cold one. Heat the soup in a pan & ta-da! This is so easy. For a fancier touch, use mini bagles to make the sandwiches.

Note: To reduce the saltyness of condensed soup, drain the liquid & add the can of water as usual.
3. PB&J:

As a child my favorite lunch was a PB&J (peanut butter & Jelly) sandwich & a glass of milk. Don't like Jelly? try honey or apple butter instead. Kids can spread these using a spoon or butterknife & you can even use cookie cutters to make shapes if crusts are a problem or even just to be "fancy".
4. English muffin Pizza:

These can be made ahead or have fun with the kids while they create their own. English muffins, sauce & chese are the base of this meal. You can add any toppings you want; from pepperoni & olives, to roasted tomato & mushrooms. The possibilities are indless. Bake them for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees & serve them warm.
Note: I love this for play dates because it pulls the group together & if I line the baking sheets with foil cleanup is a snap.
5. Chicken bites & fries:

I love how easy this is to make & the kids love to help . I cut boneless skinless chicken breast in to 1 inch cubes, roll them in egg, then put them in a bag of crushed potato chips (our favorite is BBQ), once they're coated, put them on a foil lined baking sheet & bake at 375 until golden brown about 20 minutes. The kids love to crush the chips, & shake the rolled top bag to coat the pieces.
To make the fries, cut 6 clean unpealed russet or sweet potatos length wise to create 1/4 inch wide sticks, coat them in a mixture of 1/4cup oil, 1tsp garlic-salt, & pepper. Arange in a layer on a lined baking sheet; Bake at 450 for 30 minutes until golden brown,
Note: While this can take more time to prepare, the fries can be cut & seasoned (omitting the oil) & frozen to have on hand for a later time. If using sweet potatoes use 1/2 tsp salt instead.

Serving these with some fresh fruit, carott or celery sticks, or some apple sauce adds a yummy extra bit of neutrition to these easy fun & healthy meals.
What easy recipes do you like to keep on hand? I'd love to hear your responses, please leave a comment below.

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