Feeding kids is expensive and never-ending. You buy a box of snacks at the store, only to find them wiped out by the end of the day.
Sure, it is easier, to whip up a box of mac ‘n cheese or open a package of cookies, and believe me, I do that often, but, if you have a little time, there are plenty of kid-favorite foods which can be made easily, while saving you a few bucks at the grocery store.
My oldest could eat pizza for every meal. And, some days, he does. For a long time, I relied on buying frozen pizzas at the store. But, because, I prefer the organic, all-natural variety, I was spending a good chunk of my grocery bill on these frozen pies. On top of it all, these pizzas took up a ton of valuable freezer space.
A couple of years ago, we were visiting my parents, where my mom served the kids a very simple home-made pizza. I always thought making your own pizza was something that required a lot of skill.
Turns out, it’s very simple.
Pizza dough (store-bought, or make your own)
Mozarella cheese (shredded or sliced)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grease a large cookie sheet, or pizza pan, if you have one.
Stretch out dough to desired thickness, keeping in mind dough will rise and thicken while cooking. For a crispy, thin-crust pizza, you want to stretch the dough until it is almost thin enough to see-through.
Poke dough with a fork.
Depending on the type of pizza you want, or if you want to have crust ahead of time, you can pre-bake the crust for five minutes before putting on the toppings.
Add sauce, cheese, and toppings as desired.
If pre-baked, bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until desired crispness.
If not, bake for 15 minutes or longer if needed.
For something so easy, I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t make whipped cream all that much. Probably because I don’t buy cream enough, but that is no excuse. Fresh whipped cream is amazing, and I won’t even talk about how much better it is than the other “stuff” (my apologies to those who don’t eat dairy.)
Whipped cream is a wonderful treat to make with kids. All you need is your cream and sugar.
1 pint whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
Pour whipping cream into your mixer bowl (note: you do not “need a mixer, but it makes things a lot easier)
Add sugar (amount can vary depending on how sweet you like your whipped cream).
Start your mixer on its lowest setting and gradually increase the speed as the cream thickens. The goal is to get a mixture that is light, fluffy, not too runny and not too firm. This is where having
I love avocadoes, so, naturally, guacomole is one of my favorite dips. The frpopularity of this creamy, deliciousness has lead to guacomole taking over the store shelves. I appreciate the convenience of being able to pick up a tub of guac, however, freshly made guacomole is well worth the effort.
2 to 3 Avocadoes
1/4 cup Tomatoes diced
1/4 cup Onions (Red onion or shallots are ideal) diced
Cilantro (If you like it)
When I make my guacomole, I like to let the avocadoes shine. I believe one of the biggest mistakes people have when making their own guac is not having the right consistency in their avocadoes. Usually, this happens about two to three days after purcasing firm avocadoes. When you cut them open, the flesh should have a nice, light/yellowy green color, be easily scoopable and be mashable with just a fork.
Add your avocado to a large bowl and mash until desired consistency (some people like it more chunky, others smooth).
Mix in onions and tomatoes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Finish with squeeze of lime.
I can take or leave cilantro, but you can certainly add this if you are a fan. You can also spice things up with a little jalepeno pepper.
Macaroni and Cheese
On busy nights, few things are easier than cooking up a box of macaroni and cheese. However, if you are tired of going through box after box, want more control over what your kids are eating, or simply want to mix things up, making mac ‘n cheese from scratch is much easier than it looks.
1 box macaroni, shells or preferred noodles
4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese*
2 cups milk*
*Add more or less as desired
Cook noodles according to intructions, following time recommendations for “al dente” pasta.
Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan, melt better and add flour, combining until a golden brown paste is formed.
Add the cheese.
Slowly add the milk, stirring as you go.
Sauce should start to thicken up.
Add more cheese and/or milk as desired.
Salt and pepper to taste.
For color and a bolder flavor, add about a teaspoon or two of turmeric.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Few things remind me of my childhood more than homemade cookies. I fondly recall coming home from school to a fresh-baked batch of chocolate chip cookies. Simple, and delicious, these are a favorite of so many.
What’s awesome about chocolate chip cookies is the recipe is on the back of most bags of chocolate chips.
But, if you don’t have a recipe handy, here’s one.
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 bag or about 8 oz, chocolate chips.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in one bowl.
In a mixer or food processor, combine butter and sugar.
Add the egg and vanilla extract.
Add flour a little bit at a time until ingredients are well combined.
Mix in chocolate chips.
Using a teaspoon as a guide, drop small balls of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet. (should fit about 12).
Bake for about 9 to 11 minutes, depending on oven and desired texture.
Makes about 24 cookies.
Making foods your kids will love is easier than you might think. What are some of your favorite recipes to make for your family? Share in the comments.