4 Burger Riffs for Your Family to Try

Summer may be over, but the weather is still warm enough to fire up the grill for burgers. If your kids already like traditional burgers, you can use them as a gateway food to introduce your kids to new flavors and ingredients. Here are four burger riffs to help your kids try some new foods and eat a bit more adventurously.

4 New Burger Riffs for your Family to Try

Before you try these burger riffs, three tips to keep in mind.

Start with sliders. Trying a new recipe is always a risk. If you serve sliders (small burgers) instead of full size burgers, you can try out these burger riffs without wasting food.

Get the kids involved. Kids are always more likely to eat things they’ve helped make. Burgers can be especially fun because you can use your hands to mix ingredients together and make patties.

Allow for constructive feedback (and the possibility of failure). I’m not above sneaking in healthy food to my kids’ meals without telling them (hello kale smoothies!), but more often than not, I’m upfront about a new recipe. I tell the kids that we’re trying out a new recipe for dinner and everyone has to try at least 2-3 bites and wait 10 minutes into dinner before giving feedback. Then we go around the table and talk about what we like, don’t like, and how we could improve it. I give my feedback too and it’s good for the kids to see that sometimes I don’t like the new recipe either! When I introduce new recipes this way, I’m always impressed with the feedback I get from my kids. Instead of just “Eww!” or “This is gross!”, I get comments like “I like the flavor, but the texture is a little weird” or “I think it tastes better without the sauce.”

Here are four ways to build off your family’s love of burgers.

1. Make a change to your meat.


If your basic burger is always made with ground beef, switch it up by making your patty out of a new ingredient. Try out this recipe for a super moist turkey burger (the secret ingredient is ricotta cheese!) or go decadent with a 50/50 bacon and ground beef blend (ask your butcher for a blend). Try this Trader Joe’s frozen Salmon Patty or skip the meat completely and try out this Quinoa Back Bean Burger. See if the kids can guess what the burger is made out by tasting it.

2. Switch out your sauce.


If your kids always slather their burgers in ketchup, mix it up by letting them help make and choose from three new burger sauces. (Hint: You’ll be able to sell these new sauces if you pair them with a complimentary topping.) Try a strip of bacon and this easy aioli sauce. Or pesto sauce with a slice of fresh mozzarella. Or a homemade BBQ sauce with sautéed or grilled onions. Consider serving it without the bun to help your kids see beyond the traditional burger.

3. Add in a new condiment.

burger condiments

Often times kids get in food ruts because we keep making them the same foods the same ways. Mix up your topping options and tell kids they need to choose at least one new burger topping – parents too! Branch out from cheddar cheese and offer pepper jack, smoked gouda or swiss. Try grilled onions or pineapple on your burger. Slice up an avocado or cucumber. Top with coleslaw or mango salsa. Give an award for the most creative, best looking and best combo. Again, making mini burgers like sliders allows kids to try multiple options.

4. Branch out from a traditional bun.


This Spiced Lamb Patties with Nutty Garlic Sauce puts many of these steps together into one delicious dinner option. It’s quickly become one of my family’s favorites. It may seem like a big jump from a traditional burger, but all the basic elements are there – a “bun” (the flatbread), a “patty” (an oblong-shaped lamb patty), and toppings (peanut sauce and herb salad). While my 6-year-old eats this as is (herb salad on top and all!), my 8-year-old prefers to eat the parts separately – a kind of deconstructed burger. Another family favorite are these DIY P.F. Chang’s Lettuce Wraps which include a crunchy lettuce “bun” and a chopped up ground chicken “patty”. Of if you’re really feeling adventurous – try out this tomato bun!

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Saturday Sips: 4 Ways to Enjoy Lillet

Have you tried Lillet? I admit I was a Lillet newbie, but was intrigued by Mom Boss author and Momtrends CEO Nicole Feliciano’s love of it and had to give it a try. So I’ve had the rough assignment of getting to know Lillet this last month and am sharing my four favorite ways to enjoy this drink.

4 Ways to Lillet

Lillet is an aperitif which is a drink designed to be enjoyed before a meal and help “open up” your palate. (Impress your friends: The name aperitif comes from the Latin verb aperire which means “to open”.) It’s also a fortified wine which is made from combining selected wines (85%) with fruit liqueurs (15%). This means it has more alcohol than your traditional bottle of wine, but less than a shot of vodka. Oh, and it’s pronounced, “lee-LAY” so you don’t embarrass yourself like I did at the liquor store.

Lillet flavors

Lillet currently offers three varietals – Blanc, Rosé and Rougue. Use the handy chart above to find your perfect Lillet match. I tried both the Blanc and the Rosé and prefer the latter. Blanc was a bit too sweet for me on its own.

Ready to give it a try? Or find a new way to love Lillet? Let’s start with one of the best ways to enjoy Lillet….

On ice

Lillet on ice

The simplest way to enjoy Lillet? On ice. Maybe with a orange peel or a slice of peach in the glass to make you feel fancy. Lillet is designed to be served ice cold, so you’ll want to keep it in the fridge to ensure it’s nice and cold. Just don’t leave it in the freezer – the alcohol content isn’t high enough to prevent it from freezing like vodka.

In a cocktail

Peach Cocktail stepsLast week, I shared the Tabernacle Crush, a delicious combination of Lillet, gin, peaches, basil and club soda. If you can’t find peaches any more, I’m guessing this would still be delicious with plums, berries or even melon. The Lillet website also has a great collection of Lillet-based cocktails for each of the varietals to choose from too like the Lillet Mojito, the Reverse Martini and the Lillet Le Rouge.

In your dessert

Lillet and berries

For my monthly cooking club this month, I opted to make these delicious mini peach and berry galettes. My one upgrade? Adding in a few shots of Lillet Rosé to the peaches and berries beforehand to let them soak in the boozy goodness. So. Good.

Lillet dessert

For dinner

No, I’m not just suggesting that you have Lillet for dinner (though depending on what kind of day it’s been….), but Lillet can help you make a simple, delicious dinner entreé. Fish + Lillet + shallots + butter. Pan sauce perfection!

Lillet and fish

While this recipe calls the Mediterranean favorite gilthead sea bream, you can also substitute in red snapper or sea bass instead. Some Lillet for the fish, some for me – a winning dinner combination.

What’s your favorite way to Lillet?

Looking for more cocktail inspiration? Check out our past Saturday Sip recipes or head on over to The Shopping Mama to see what they are pouring!

Momtrends was not paid for this post. We did receive Lillet samples.





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What to Do With All the Summer Tomatoes You STILL Have

Oh the summer tomato! Come June and July their fragrant aroma and juicy interiors deliciously announce the arrival of summer. You highlight them in caprese salads! You toss them with warm pasta! You chop them into fresh bruschetta! You eat them without any adornments because they are just that good. But like too much of any good thing, come August you may be getting a little weary of those juicy gems. Here are five creative ways to use up those remaining summer tomatoes.

Summer Tomato Recipes

Get ready to get creative with your remaining tomatoes!

Drink Them: Tomato Water Bloody Mary

Tomato Water Bloody Mary

You know that here at Momtrends, we love our cocktails. If you’re a fan of the Bloody Mary, you’ll love this cocktail adaptation that is lighter and can easily be served outside of brunch without raising eyebrows. I came across this Tomato Water Bloody Mary in the Food52 Genius Recipes book (which I highly recommend for its writing and recipes) and it seems like a fun new way to use up those summer tomatoes. Here’s another tomato cocktail to try too!

Bread Substitute: Tomato Bun BLT

Tomato bun BLT

I’ll admit it – I’m a BLT fan. Once when I did an all-veggie juice “cleanse” for three days, I broke it by making myself a BLT and I think, years later, it is the single best tasting food memory I have to date. This BLT riff tosses the bread (see ya, carbs) and leaves the essentials: a delicious woven bacon web, crisp, cold lettuce and, get this….a tomato bun. See all the magic here:

Appetizer or Lunch? Tartine with Tarragon-Flavored Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Prosciutto

Tartine with Tarragon-Flavored Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Proscuitto

This Martha Stewart recipe one of my all-time favorite appetizers. It’s so good that sometimes I’ll just make it for my lunch! Toasted bread + goat cheese + prosciutto + roasted balsamic tomatoes = heaven! The recipe calls for roasting the tomatoes for over an hour but I often just pop them in my toaster over on broil for 10-15 minutes. It’s a delicious app served hot, warm or cold!

Do Dessert: Balsamic Roasted Tomato-Basil Ice Cream

Tomato Balsamic Ice Cream

I know what you’re thinking – tomato ice cream?! You’ve gone too far. That’s what I thought until I came across this creative recipe from Grishma. On her cooking blog Zaika Zabardast, she created a Balsamic Roasted Tomato-Basil Ice Cream. It’s all the flavors of the caprese salad that you love captured into a cold, frozen dessert. Check out her creative tomato creation here.

Dry Them: DIY Sun Dried Tomatoes

DIY Sun-dried tomatoes

You can also preserve your tomatoes for later by drying them. In a few months from now when your longing for summer tomatoes has returned, you’ll be happy when you get to pull out these DIY sun-dried tomatoes to toss onto homemade pizzas, into pastas, and on your sandwich. I love this recipe on Food.com that gives you directions for making sun-dried tomatoes in your oven, in a dehydrator, and old-school, in the sun. This can also be a great project to enlist your kids’ help if they haven’t gone back to school yet!

What is your favorite tomato recipe?

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Three Top Summer Sangria Recipes

I know the kids will back to school in no time flat and, thus, we’ll back to our busy routine, so I’m holding on to the last bit of summer with both hands! I plan on squeezing out at least a little more magic out of the next few weeks…and that means the hubs and I will continue to enjoy our cocktail hour. Haha! Each night after the kids go to bed, we sit back, relax and enjoy a refreshing summer cocktail. It’s been fun experimenting with mixology and some of my favorite drinks to make have to be sangria recipes.

There are so many variations to try, so I rounded up a few of my favorite sangria recipes in case you too are in the mood to mix it up! Even if you aren’t down for putting the time into a drink with loads of ingredients, never fear…Two of my top “recipes” are pretty much already mixed for you. You know how much I love a nice ready-made drink.

easy sangria recipe

And I really love how Take Time for Style made their ready-made sangria their own by adding fresh cut up fruit. Spending just a little bit of extra time on a detail like that can make it look like you spent some serious time in the kitchen.

sparkling sangria

If you’re up for a little extra prep time and you’re all about the bubbles like moi, this La Dolce Vita Sangria recipe is delightful. I’ll never turn down a sparkling cocktail and when we’re talking about sparkling sangria…I’m definitely all in!

white sangria

Ok, this one isn’t exactly a recipe, but if a summer filled with the kids being home ALL the time has wiped you out, you might only be interested in a pour and sip scenario. That’s when this ready to go sangria becomes your best friend!

So, as we close out another fun filled summer, I hope you’ll take a moment to relish the magic. This girl will be testing a few more sangria recipes if you want to stop by!

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Four Fun Fourth of July Recipes

With the long weekend nearly upon us, I thought it would be a great time to share some of our favorite Fourth of July recipes. Whether the whole neighborhood is coming over or it’s just going to be your immediate family, we have some backyard barbecue ready Fourth of July recipes that are perfect for all your festivities…and they’re each and every one is a dessert. What can I say? I have a sweet tooth and holidays are the perfect time to indulge a bit!

I don’t know about y’all, but for me, the Fourth of July is all about celebrating our great country while enjoying some laid back quality kinda time with my loved ones. So, you won’t find anything overly complicated here…Let’s hear it for EASY dishes that will enhance your fun without requiring loads of prep time!

fruit cups

First up we have our Fourth of July party…complete with easy DIYs like Tin Fruit Cups. No matter what holiday we’re talking about, you always get extra credit for presentation! These fruit cups look great and are super simple to make!


Sara from Mom Endeavors never steers us wrong with her yummy recipes…and she’s particularly good at dressing up sweets! Head over to find out how to make her Patriotic Firecracker Cupcakes. They might take longer than fruit cups, but they’re worth a bit of extra effort!

krispie treats

Everyone loves krispie treats right? Keep the kiddos busy at your celebration by letting them decorate their own star shaped krispie treats! The messier they are, the cuter they are…Am I right?! The little ones might just have to fend off hungry adults from eating their masterpieces. Haha!

baked brie

And for a slightly more sophisticated take on dessert…Take Time for Style came up with a Red, White and Blue Baked Brie Dish that is as easy to recreate as it is impressive looking. This isn’t your ordinary old pot luck dish!

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4 Health Foods to Sneak Into Smoothies

Ahh, the beloved smoothie. One press of the blender button and who can remember if there was a handful of spinach in there with those blueberries, a few chard stalks under that banana. It’s cold, it’s delicious, and it’s a great way to sneak some healthy foods in to your kids’ diet (and your own!)

4 Health Foods to Sneak into your Next Smoothie

First a few tips for getting adventurous with your smoothies:

Start small: Start by adding a little bit of the new addition at a time so you/your kids get accustomed to any flavor or texture changes.

Cover with color: Worried your kids will notice the green tint from the kale? Cover up color changes with berries. Blueberries are great for this.

Give it an awesome name. Kids catch you dumping chia seeds into the blender? Call them “strength seeds” and tell them how chia seed can swell to ten times their original size. Just like their muscles will. *wink, wink*

Here are four health foods that will bump up the nutrition of your next smoothie.

For more greens: Spinach or kale


If your smoothies consist of mostly fruit, start with this first easy step by sneaking in a handful of spinach or kale into your next batch. I like to use baby kale (shown here) or lacinato kale which can be slightly sweeter and less hearty than curly kale. My kids never notice a cup of kale but will start to complain if I get closer to two cups. Start small while taste buds adjust.

For more omega-3s: Chia seeds

Healthy Smoothie Ideas

Chia seeds are another healthy no-brainer for throwing in a smoothie. One ounce of chia seeds (about 2 tablespoons) has 10 grams of fiber which is good for your gut and to help that smoothie feel more filling. Chia seeds are also a great plant-based source of omega-3s which many of us are deficient in as well as a good source of iron, calcium and magnesium. These little black seeds are flavorless and nearly invisible in a smoothie – especially if you have other berries with small seeds like strawberries. Do note: just like berry seed  have a way of getting stuck in your teeth, so do chia seeds so be sure to do a quick post-smoothie mirror check. Chia seeds can swell to ten times their normal size as they sit in liquid and take on a gelatinous, tapioca-like texture, so these are best used in smoothies that will be consumed right away.

For added fiber: Oats

Healthy Smoothie Ideas

Yes, rolled oats. For added fiber and to help your kids feel full longer, start by adding some  rolled oats to your blender first and blending them into a flour-like consistency. Then add your other fruits, veggies and liquids. The pulverized oats will blended in easily to your other ingredients adding some extra nutritional and consistency oomph to your smoothies.

A serious superfood: Spirulina

Healthy Smoothie Ideas

If you’ve master hiding kale and chia seeds, then your’re ready for the big time: spirulina. This blue-green algae powder is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and antioxidants. It contains about 60% plant-based protein and is a good source of many B vitamins, iron and chlorophyll. But it is not for the faint of heart. It smells – as my children kindly offered – like swamp water, so start with a half a teaspoon and work your way up.

Ready to blend? What kale? What chia seeds? Looks purple to me!

Healthy smoothies


What else do you like to sneak into smoothies? And for even more smoothie fun, check out this recipe from The Shopping Mama!

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Saturday Sips: Four Ways to Rosé

Summer is in the air – can you feel it? Time to break out the rosé. Tonight we’re looking at four ways to enjoy this warm-weather wine.

SATURDAY SIPS - Four Ways to Enjoy Rose

1. Drink it straight.

I have a serious confession to make: I had NEVER had a rosé until recently. I think my fear of rosé stemmed from my dad drinking white zinfandel with crushed ice when I was growing up – which is pretty much a smoothie (don’t worry – he’s moved on to “real” wine- ha!). Luckily, I am a convert! Rosé is a delicious and pretty addition to my fridge and perfect for warm-weather drinking. I’ve been trying out this 2014 SIMI Sonoma County Dry Rosé which has hints of berries and citrus without being too sweet. It pairs perfectly with one of my favorite weeknight appetizers – goat cheese and these Trader Joes crackers that I am obsessed with. SIMI also recommends trying this rosé with grilled salmon or a roasted pork loin.

2. Make a rosé cocktail.

Rose Sangria

If you’re looking for a way to spice up your next bottle of rosé, try this rosé sangria that combines the wine with brandy, raspberry liquor, fresh fruit and seltzer for a boozy picnic-ready pitcher.

3. Cook with it.

Brick Chicken with Rosé Wine and Bacon

Cooking a delicious meal with a glass of wine and some good music is one of my favorite things. And this Brick Chicken with Rosé and Bacon recipe has been calling my name this month. A splash of rosé for the chicken. A splash for me. Another splash for me…

4. Make a boozy dessert.

Rose dessert

Looking for an easy summer dessert? Combine fresh strawberries, raspberries or blueberries with a little sugar and half a cup of rosé wine. Gently stir and let the mixture sit to let the flavors blend (psst – this is called macerating). Add in some chopped mint and spoon on top of vanilla ice cream, lemon sorbet or a shortcake. Or try the berries on this rosé gelée that combines wine, gelatin and sugar for a grown-up DIY jello.

Cheers to the weekend!

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Sipping Cocktails and Talking Hair at the #FairyTalesMix Event

Fairy tales, hair care, and cocktails… Does an event get any sweeter?

Rosemary cocktail

Nicole Feliciano Hosts #FairyTaleMix

Earlier this week, Momtrends hosted a #FairyTalesMix event in Manhattan for New York City bloggers and influencers. We were introduced to the new formulations from Fairy Tales Hair Care—and, better yet, got to mix our own delicious libations inspired by the products’ aromatic ingredients.

Scene at Fairy Tales Event

margaritas on the terrace

Sherri at Fairy Tales event

Sipping exotic cocktails on a Tribeca rooftop is most definitely my kind of moms’ night out, and I had great fun “mixing” and mingling with industry peeps. We even challenged our bloggers friends use the kitschy props (like miniature sunglasses and teeny-tiny hairdryers!) to capture silly, inspiring, and memorable photos.

FairyTales Mix Instagram contest

Product Testing


Fairy Tales lice prevention

Cute itty-bitty props and delicious drinks aside, I was so excited to learn more about Fairy Tales—often referred to as the “lice” brand, even though there’s more to them—I promise! I’m a longtime fan of the mom-owned company, that’s been around since 1999, and was even more impressed hearing firsthand about the quality, standards, and core mission behind the brand.

Fairytales blueberry product

So what’s different? They’ve taken all the “bad stuff.” As a mom, I’m consciousness of the personal products I use on my children—and hair care is no exception. I need the things I buy to feature healthy, safe, and effective ingredients. (Is that too much to ask for?) No, I’m not living in a fairy tale, it actually is possible to keep your kids’ hair clean and shiny without compromising your standards as a protective parent. Fairy Tales boasts no harsh chemicals, toxins, pesticides, parabens, and sulfates. They’ve even taken out the soy, gluten, and nuts—because, as a brand, they’ve listened to what parents want. Simple as that.

Nicole With Fairy Tales Founder

After hearing from our very own Nicole (who informed the crowd that Fairy Tales is a must for her kids at summer camp) and Fairy Tales founder, Risa Barash, we were invited to the bar station to whip up our own formulations—of the “drinkable” variety, of course! We learned to make three drinks for three new-and-improved Fairy Tales collections. I’ll take you through each recipe and share a little bit more about its “product inspiration.”

sangria with prosecco

Sunburst Sangria
1 Bottle Dry White Wine
1 cup Cointreau
1 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
1 cup Pineapple Juice
6 Fresh Oranges, peeled and muddled
A Splash of Simple Syrup
A Splash of Prosecco

Steps: Combine all ingredients and chill . Pour into a wine glass. Top with a splash of Prosecco. Garnish with fresh oranges and lemons.

Inspired by the Sun-and-Swim Collection: This line is specially formulated to heal sun-and-chlorine-damaged hair with natural fruit extracts and moisturizing ingredients, like orange flower, grapefruit extract, and lemon peel. Vitamins and minerals gently restore softness and give locks a beautiful shine. Plus, it smells like summer and lemon-aid. Ahhh, so refreshing! (The collection includes Lifeguard Clarifying Shampoo, Lemon-Aid Conditioner, and CoCo Cabana Spray.)

rosemary raspberry vodka cocktail

Rapunzel Red Ringer
1.5 oz. Premium Vodka
6 Raspberries, muddled
1 oz. Fresh Ginger, peeled and muddled
2 oz. Grapefruit Juice

Steps: Muddle raspberries and peeled ginger in a shaker. Add vodka, ice, and grapefruit juice. Shake well. Serve in a rocks glass. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and candied ginger.

Inspired by the Rosemary Repel Collection: With rosemary, tea tree oil, citronella, geranium oils, and organic herbs and plant extracts, this line is clinically proven to help prevent head lice. And it smells so fresh and revitalizing! The collection includes Rosemary Repel Daily Shampoo, Rosemary Repel Conditioner, Rosemary Repel Conditioning Spray, Rosemary Repel Hair Spray, and Rosemary Repel Styling Gel.

Blue Fairy Margarita
2 oz. 100% Agave Tequila
1.5 oz. Aloe Vera Juice
1.5 oz. Lime Juice
.5 oz. Blue Curacao

Steps: Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vicorogous and strain over ice into a salt-rimmed glass. Garnish with lime.

Inspired by the No-More Knots Collection: With natural Keratin extracts and vitamins, these products naturally de-tangle and smooth out curly, knotted, unruly locks, and transform them into a soft, beautiful, movie-star worthy mane! The collection includes Super-Charge Detangling Shampoo, Super-Charge Detangling Conditioner, and Static-Free Detangling Spray.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are our own.



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