Create a Burger Bar

burger bar family meal

Time to fire up the grill. This party theme is such a crowd pleaser–a burger bar. Find out how we set up this family-friendly meal

I’m walking you through my picks for toppings and options to make the meal a bit healthier with sides of raw veggies.

Veggies for dipping

and we’ve got tips for making a skinny burger!

Skinny burger

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Exploring NYC with Foods Of NY Tours

Exploring NYC with Foods Of NY Tours

One of the most incredible aspects of living in NYC is having access to so many unique and varied food choices.

However, with there being so many restaurants and cultural neighborhoods it can be challenging to see and experience everything! Enter, Foods Of NY, an interactive and fun tour experience that started in 1999 by Todd Lefkovic whose goal was to introduce locals and visitors to the ultimate, off-the-beaten-path, food and cultural experiences.

Originating the Food Tourism concept 15 years ago with his Original Greenwich Village Food Tour, FoodsOfNY tours offer an “insider” experience at the best local restaurants and specialty gourmet shops in each neighborhood, with a concentration on historic family owned and operated businesses.

My daughter and I recently experienced this fun and interesting tour where we started out at Murray’s Cheese Shop and enjoyed a walking (and tasting) excursion of this historic area. This included an experience with a licensed tour guides who had an in-depth knowledge of history, culture and architecture of NY, a contagious love of food and true New Yorker’s point of view.

Food Tour NY 1 Food Tour NY 2 Food Tour NY

During the intimate tour, this included visits to so many different and unique places that I have never experienced – even as a native New Yorker – including enjoying olive oil at O & Co Olive Oil Shop, pizza at Joe Pizza, rice balls at FAICCO’S ITALIAN SPECIALTIES, meatballs at PESCE PASTA and much more where we were able to soak in the history and culture of these amazing eateries. We also enjoyed a history of Cornelia Street – stopping in the Cornelia Street Cafe and learning all about this distinct and special street that is filled with small restaurants. Personally, I loved hearing about the history of the area as well as how some of the most renowned restaurants in the area got their start.

Food Tour NY 4 Food Tour NY 3 Food Tour NY5

Food Tours NYC

With so many chain stores dominating NYC, it was really nice to see a different side of NYC through the eyes of Mom & Pop owned specialty food shops. This is fantastic for tourists to experience NYC as well as residents as they experience in ultimate food and cultural experience “off the beaten” path.

With a company whose mission to continually seek out and share food and cultural finds, we loved how the Foods of New York Tours took us on an incredible three-hour journey into the Greenwich Village as we explored the neighborhood, food, and venues that made for a truly special NYC experience.

More Foods of New York Tours:

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Kickers Powdered Fruit Blends


Are you looking for an easy way to enhance and amply the nutritional benefits in your food? We recently discovered just that with Kickers® powdered fruit blends, an all natural, gluten free, non-GMO, fruit based powdered sweetener.


Whether you have picky kids, or are looking to enhance the flavor in your food, Kickers are a great way to add in a burst of fruit flavors to your everyday foods such as oatmeal, pancakes, yogurt, ice-cream, cottage cheese, hot and cold cereal, popcorn, protein drinks, smoothies, and so much more.


We recently tested out the delicious line, and loved how easy it was to enhance our food by simple sprinkling on these natural flavorings. This includes Apple Cinnamon, Maple Banana Cream, Strawberry Banana, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana that are made with real fruit and contain NO artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors, preservatives, or high fructose corn syrup.

Containing only 15-20 calories per serving and with 2-3 grams of sugar per serving, Kickers are a wonderful and easy way to enhance your food without drastically changing up the way you eat. They are also low in fat or fat free, and come packaged in a 25 serving family sized spouted pouch (retail $9.99) and a double serving ‘on the go’ stick pack (retail $1.49).

Perfect for families and those looking to enhance their health, Kickers are a convenient and portable way to ‘sprinkle a little goodness’ directly on your favorite foods.


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Holiday Tea & Cookie Decorating Party


 Start the party off right with a cute invitation like this one from Polka Dot Design!
Holiday Christmas Tea Invitation

The holidays are such a special time, but let’s face it, they can be really hectic. Between gift wrapping, hiding the Elf and holiday baking, the holidays are a lot of work for busy moms! With a sweet holiday tea party and a super easy baking kit from Betty Crocker, a holiday tea and cookie decorating party can be just the break you need from the hustle and bustle of the holidays.


Betty Crocker’s holiday baking kit comes wrapped up in a pretty package complete with everything you need to bake with your kiddos! From sugar cookie mix to spoons to a cookie cutter, the only thing you’ll need is an egg and a stick of butter! It doesn’t get  much easier than that!


The holiday baking kit from Betty Crocker lets you #getyourbettyon with all the ingredients needed to whip up fabulous holiday treats. From sugar cookie mix to frosting to oven mitts, the kit has it all! All you need are your kiddos creativity to bring the cookies to life!


Cookie decorating is a fun activity for a group of kids any time of year! To prepare the cookies to be decorated at the party, bake cookies with your child ahead of time. To create easy sugar cookies, you just use the Betty Crocker mix and add in butter and an egg. A party dress from Counting Daisies makes the perfect baking outfit for a holiday tea!


Transfer the dough to a floured cutting board and start rolling out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick, a little extra help might be needed.


Now comes the fun part! Using the gingerbread cookie cutter from the Betty Crocker kit, start cutting out little gingerbread men and placing on an ungreased baking sheet.



After baking in the oven for 5-7 minutes, your gingerbread men are ready to cool and more importantly, ready to be decorated! Set up a simple decorating station for your party including the baked cookies, sprinkles and different colored frosting made with Betty food coloring gel. CLK_1890CLK_1908 CLK_1910The kids will love getting their Betty on! From frosting to sprinkles, these cookies will almost look to good to eat!


CLK_2035 CLK_2017  Who can blame the kiddos from sneaking a quick lick of yummy frosting?


CLK_2090  CLK_2093When setting up for this fun tea party, use festive tablecloths and napkins. The colors green, pink and red are perfect for the holidays but the color combo can be used any time of year! Sparkly ornaments in a bowl and candy canes make great holiday table decorations!


Flowers are always a fun addition to any party table!

CLK_1946For an added party favor, personalized ornaments are a fun take home gift for each child!

CLK_1938Since this is a tea party, don’t be hesitant to use tea cups all around the party! Pretty white teacups from Ikea are perfect for displaying candies and snacks like these fun snowmen marshmallows also from Ikea.


CLK_1877In addition to cookie decorating, a craft station is also a fun addition to any party to keep kids busy! Michaels has a wide array of easy crafts for all ages and any time of year!  The Ikea tea cups are  great for storing small art supplies at the craft station!

CLK_1960CLK_2098 CLK_2067Set up a cute tea and hot chocolate station on Ikea’s easy to assemble rolling cart. Add in a pop of color with Ikea’s festive tan and red table runner.

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This festive red bowl from Ikea is perfect for storing their fun Snowmen marshmallows at the tea and hot chocolate station.

CLK_1962A tea party typically doesn’t need a lot of food, but small finger sandwiches and other light snacks are a welcome addition. Using the cookie cutter from the Betty Crocker holiday kit is a cute way to make tea sandwiches in the shape of gingerbread men.

CLK_1827CLK_1888  Light snacks like popcorn and veggies and hummus are great for an afternoon spread.



Bringing a hostess gift is always a good idea, and luckily Ikea has a mini tea set that any little girl will love.

CLK_1846CLK_1859From cookie decorating to hot chocolate, everyone will love this party! With super easy baking items from Betty Crocker and cute decor from Ikea, throwing this party will be no-stress fun for the holidays!

For more party tips and tricks, head over to Jackie Fogartie Events‘ blog!



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Classic Thanksgiving Recipe: Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole Recipe

With 30 million green-bean casseroles set to appear on Thanksgiving tables next week, I’m writing to suggest a story for MomTrends on a fun holiday survey:  “New York is ranked #20 in the U.S. for love of green-beancasserole, according to the Del Monte Green Bean Index.”

To conduct this study, bean counters at Del Monte asked 1,500 Americans to “go green bean” and rate their fondness for the classic green-bean casserole side dish.

Check out the Top 20 U.S. states with the highest concentration of green-bean casserole lovers as well as the classic recipe below.


#1:  Kentucky (78% of residents ‘really like or love the dish’)
#2:  Wisconsin (77%)
#3:  Missouri (76%)
#4:  Iowa (75%)
#5:  Maine (74%)
#6:  New Hampshire (73%)
#7:  Florida (72%)
#8:  Colorado (71%)
#9:  California (69%)
#10: Mississippi (68%)
#11:  Oklahoma (67%)
#12:  Utah (66%)
#13:  Kansas (66%)
#14:  Texas (65%)
#15:  Maryland (64%)
#16:  Ohio (63%)
#17:  Massachusetts (62%)
#18:  Illinois (61%)
#19:  Michigan (60%)
#20:  New York (60%)


Del Monte also asked state residents to rate their favorite “secret ingredient” — a single, creative item that can be added to the casserole‘s iconic green bean, cream of mushroom, and french fried onion flavors to make it unique and different.  According to the survey, the Top 5 most-wanted secret ingredients are:

#1:  Bacon (37% picked it as their favorite secret ingredient)
#2:  Cheese (19%)
#3:  Mushrooms (15%)
#4:  Bread crumbs, croutons, or crushed crackers (12%)
#5:  Almonds (8%)

Green Bean Casserole:

2 can (10.75oz.each) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup milk
2 tsps. soy sauce
¼ tsp. black pepper
4 can (14.5oz.each) any style Del Monte® Green Beans, drained
2⅔ cups French’s® French Fried Onions, divided

Stir soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 1 1/3 cups onions in a 3-qt. casserole.
Bake at 350° F, uncovered, 25 minutes or until bean mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir bean mixture. Sprinkle with remaining onions.
Bake 5 minutes longer or until onions are golden brown.


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(Video): Vegan Homemade Chili Recipe

Vegan Homemade Chili Recipe

While we are loving the cooler weather as an excuse to rock our favorite fall fashions, it is also an incredible time to enjoy the comforts of staying in. With that comes more cooking and baking with one of our favorite recipes being a Vegan Homemade Chili. A healthy addition for the whole family, this easy recipe was made in a slow cooker where you essentially combine the ingredients, set the timer and enjoy a hearty fall staple in a few hours. Be sure to check out this food video below, and discover even more tasty recipes by visiting our YouTube channel.

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Halloween-Inspired Lunch Ideas

We love decking the house for Halloween, but for even more Halloween spirit, add a little frightening fun to your kid’s lunch box with these eerie ideas. Not crafty? No worry. Scroll down to see our no-skill needed ideas.

Who can resist eating their fruits and veggies when they are presented like this? I mean, that FrankenKiwi? Love that.

Halloween Lunch Ideas

Banana Ghosts & Clementine Pumpkins | FrankenKiwi | Mummy Fruit | Monster Mouths & Carrot Fingers | Grape Spider | Jack O Lantern Fruit Cups

To satisfy a monster appetite, fill your kid’s lunch with one of these eerie entrees. Even better, have them help you the night before to make them.

Halloween Lunch Ideas 2

Mummy Pizza | Spider Eggs | Mummy On A Stick | Mummy Dog | String Cheese Brooms | Monster Sandwich

If craftiness is your not strength, try one of these no-skill needed Halloween lunch ideas that only require a Sharpie. Zero crafting skill needed, but still all the haunted fun.

Halloween Lunch Ideas 3

String cheese ghost | Pumpkin Fruit Cups | Pumpkin Clementine

Here’s to happy Halloween lunches this month!

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Unilever Project Sunlight

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1 in 5 children face hunger every day. To help drive awareness to the issue and to help solve the problem, Unilever launched Project Sunlight in November 2013. Unilever Project Sunlight embodies the consumer product company’s global mission that encourages people to take small steps that make a big difference toward building a brighter future for children. The initiative is made up of a growing community of people who believe in a world where everyone has enough food to eat and no child goes to bed hungry.

The Momtrends team is blessed to live in abundance when it comes to food. When we hear that an estimated 16 million children under 18 years old live in “food insecure” households which means they don’t know where – or when – their next meal will be, we try to jump in and help the cause.

Project Sunlight

It’s not just bloggers lending a voice to the campaign. Actor and advocate Josh Duhamel led the “Share A Meal” launch in partnership with Feeding America®.  Feeding America is the nation’s largest hunger relief organization. Josh says, “As a father, it’s inconceivable to me that the kids I see on the playground, or in my neighborhood, could be from a home that doesn’t have enough food on the table.”

Feeding America serves 12 million children each year. Through Feeding America, Unilever has been able to contribute nearly 30 million meals to families and children (more than 13 million pounds of food and more than $3 million in support) in just five years.

Now here is where YOU get involved. We put together this simple graphic to get you inspired to take part. Why not start by pinning or tweeting this image to get YOUR community inspired with the hashtag #ShareAMeal

stamp out hunger 2 Ways to give back:

· Help a Family in Your Neighborhood: Simply sharing a meal with a neighbor either in the form of a simple lunch or dinner party, or even packing an extra lunch for your child to take to school, could go a long way.
· Partner with Local Organizations: Local community organizations are great resources for sharing a meal in your area – simply tap into their networks to see how you can help.
· Coordinate with Your Local Food Bank: Whether you wish to volunteer or host your own local food drive, use Feeding America’s online Food Bank Locator tool to get in touch with a food bank in your area.
· Host a Virtual Food Drive: Feeding America’s Personal Fundraiser tool is a great place to start and to reach out to friends, family, and colleagues for contributions.
· Donate: Consider swapping a night out with a night in and share those extra savings with children and families in need in the form of a donation to Feeding America.
· You Buy One, We Give One: Look for the Unilever “You Buy One, We Give One” coupon offer in the Sunday paper on November 16. Redeem at participating stores from November 16 – 30 and Unilever will donate one meal* to Feeding America when you purchase any participating Unilever product.
· Lend Your Voice: Inspire others by revealing why you’re helping to end child hunger on social media using, “I #ShareAMeal because…”

Here’s a sample shopping list to print and share.

shopping list

To find out more about how you and your family can give help head to to download the Unilever Share A Meal Toolkit.

Need more inspiration? Award-winning filmmaker and Unilever Bright Future Award recipient, Patrick Creadon, teamed up with Unilever to create four-minute documentary about how Americans are grappling with child hunger in a, “Going to Bed Hungry: The Changing Face of Child Hunger.”

Click here to view the full 4-minute film on YouTube:

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in more than 190 countries.
Click here to find out more

Click here to find out more about Feeding America a nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States.

Momtrends is being sponsored by Unilever to bring awareness to the issue of hunger in America. All language and opinions are our own.*$1 helps provide 9 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local food banks. $0.111 from each qualifying coupon redemption will be donated to Feeding America. Unilever guarantees a minimum donation of $150,000 and a maximum donation of $200,000 from 11/16/14 to 11/30/14 date through the redemption of each coupon. Meal claims valid as of 5/29/14 through 12/31/14. Limit 1 per person, per household.

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Fair Trade Aprons from Dsenyo

Dsenyo Aprons

As an avid home cook with two little ones around, things can get messy. To combat any mess on my clothes I use aprons for my meal prep.

One of my favorite brands is Dsenyo, a member of the Fair Trade Federation who works with groups in Africa and Latin America to create jobs for those less fortunate.

Fair Trade Aprons from Dsenyo Fair Trade Aprons from Dsenyo product-2014-FALL2_large

Featuring a vivid and gorgeous collection of aprons, the Dsenyo collection showcases handmade aprons that are made by the Vipambi Women’s Group. This includes chic prints and colors like Blue Green, Fuchsia and Yellow Circles Handmade Full Pocket Apron, Purple and Green Circles Handmade Full Pocket Apron and much more! This can be used for cooking, grilling, art and much more!  Also, a fantastic gift option, these aprons are made with bright African patterns and 100% cotton African fabrics that is also washer and dryer friendly. 

Fair Trade Shopping Fair Trade Shopping

You can also discover tons of other unique items from Dsenyo including such features as their Handmade Greeting CardsKitana Necklace and the Eva Básica Clutch (among many others).

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New Subscription Box: The Candy Club

Candy Club

Do you have a sweet tooth that can’t be tamed? Well, then we have the perfect subscription box for you with Candy Club. As a monthly subscription service, you can enjoy curated sweets including a diverse selection of delicious favorites and hard-to-find classic candies conveniently delivered to your doorstep.

Candy Club

The concept is simple. First, visit Candy Club’s website ( and choose a one, three, six, or 12 month plan option. Second, receive your box of premium, hand-picked candy delivered to your home or business every month. Last – and most important – enjoy! Selections vary each month, offering members an assortment of three different types of candy stored in novelty Candy Club containers.

One month’s box may surprise recipients with Haribo® Gummi Techno Bears, Sour Power® Wild Cherry Belts, Gimbal’s® Sour Gourmet Jelly Beans and, as an added bonus, Butterfields® Peach Buds – all on a bed of Sweet’s® Salt Water Taffy. Whether you’re craving a short-term fix or long-term satisfaction, Candy Club offers the perfect solution for your insatiable sweet tooth as it delivers classic, nostalgia-inducing candy that is sure to bring joy to whomever you give this special gift to.

We recently tested this out, and I loved that our box was filled with sweet treats like jelly beans, gummy bears and cherry belts and taffy that contained in bright and fun packaging and cool jars.

This would be a fantastic gift for the holidays, Valentine’s Day or a simple way to show that sweet person in your life that you are thinking of them. The boxes are $29.99/month, $24.99/month, $22.99/month, and $19.99/month, respectively (not including shipping) – which allows you to save cash while sweetening your or a special someone’s stash.

For more information about Candy Club and national online ordering, please visit

Interested in joining the club? Use the code 35offjs2b19 at checkout to receive 35% off your first month’s payment. 

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