Chips and dip… A match made in culinary heaven, a universally loved coupling, and the ultimate “uniter” of game fanatics (like my husband) and sports haters (like moi)… They go hand in hand (again, like me and my hubs!), flavor in flavor, and bite for bite.
Clearly, I love me some chips and dips. It’s a favorite appetizer and a totally versatile starter. Whatever your preferred flavor profile there’s a perfect chip and dip combo for you–from the salty and spicy to the crunchy and refreshing to the melty ooey and gooey to the creamy and sweet.
March 23 is National Chip and Dip Day (right?!? who knew?!)–so root for your favorite team (’tis the month of March Madness, after all) or just veg out in front of the TV and binge on Netflix and ranch.
We’ve rounded up a few totally amazing dip recipes from the savory and cheesy to the fresh and healthy to the indulgent and dessert. Happy dipping!
Kids are bottomless pits… or so I’m told. My kids could pass on significant meals all day in lieu of snacks, snacks, and more snack. Salty eats, sweet treats, crunchy munchies, and ooey-gooey chewies, they don’t discriminate. For snacks, there’s no satiating their hunger… But put a balanced breakfast in front of their faces and they’ll turn up their noses and feign full bellies. If it’s labeled a “snack,” they’re game (they don’t even read… how do they know?!?) Just don’t call it a meal… or they’ll bail faster than you can say “lunch is served.”
While I’d love for them to sit down at the family table three times a day for three square meals, I’ve learned to pick my battles with my picky eaters—and to maximize the nutrition in the snacks they actually are consuming. And, perhaps most importantly, this motivated mama has learned to rely on a few sneaky tried-and-true snack-attack hacks to help keep her babies happy and well fed.
Separate Healthy Snacks in a Muffin Tin
This one little trick works to get my kids eating, quietly and cooperatively within seconds. It also encourages them to share politely—win-win! I simply put different snacks in each cup of a muffin tin. (Actually, I create a mirror image of snacks—so my each of my kids has the exact same portion, but they’re own serving.) Raisins, Craisins, dehydrated yogurt snacks, apple slices, grapes, cereal, Goldfish… if it fits in a muffin cup, fill it up!
If you have a tin like this, you can fill the middle row of compartments with extra “sharable” treats—fruit snacks, chocolate chips, and coconut shavings work wonders but might create a thumb war!
P.S. The muffin tin trick is also an amazing hack for sundae bars or taco-night toppings.
Turn Something Healthy Into Something Beautiful… or Into a Super-Indulgent, But Still Somewhat Good-for-YOu Treat!
Kids refuse to eat their fruits and veggies? You can sneak some greens into a super-delish morning smoothieor you can transform their food into works of edible art. Children are more apt to eat something that looks good—and who could blame them? Of course, if you’re willing to add a little chocolate frosting and sprinkles to an otherwise healthy piece of fruit, the kids will go gaga over these “chocolate donut apple slices.”
What kid can resist a frozen treat? They’ll ask for frozen-dessert bites and never know that this is actually yogurt they’re eating! Just freeze organic vanilla or fruit-flavored yogurt into ice cube trays, and, voila, you’ve got yourself some fun pop-in-your-mouth Popsicles to share.
Put fruit slices on a skewer, and somehow it tastes even better. Fruit kebabs are colorful, fun, and festive. Kids will especially love them when served with a yogurt or dark chocolate dipping sauce. Take them up a notch, by grilling the fruit too.
My four year old is obsessed with playing tic-tac-to. So I decided to incorporate snacks into his favorite game. We use bread sticks or pretzel rods to make our grid and then fill in the spaces with healthy snacks (think: team carrot stick vs. team celery stalk!). We call it “TIC SNACK TO.” You decide whether the winner or loser has to eat it all… depending on whether you want to cheat or not!.. Me? I always let my little people win.
This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are our own.
It’s the fourth installment of what we love to eat in NYC. Today I’m wearing ALL things I’ve owned and adored, and heading to a favorite lunch spot. Ancolie was introduced to me by a friend. Isn’t that the way we find the gems? We listen to our friends. Well, that’s my job, sharing with my friends. When you are hungry and want to do your body a favor, head to Ancolie in New York.
The idea is to offer great food that is ready to go. Start with a fantastic layered salad, then get a perfect coffee and don’t forget a sweet treat. Chloe (shown above), is the mastermind behind the brand. Thank you, Chloe, for giving us better lunch options.
Before we jump to the eats, let’s talk about what I’m wearing. Everything is OLD! Don’t worry, I’ll start talking about spring clothing soon enough. For now I am wearing what I own. I’m embracing winter, and the season I’m in right now.
Most blogs are telling you to think about spring. But friends, it’s 30 degrees in NYC and we are still in sweaters and boots. And you still have to get dressed every day and you have to feel good. And you don’t have to spend any money.
I’m wearing cabi jeans, a vintage Ralph Lauren bomber jacket, a Talbots scarf and some great boots by Robert Clergierie. If you live in a cold climate, I know what you are feeling right now. I see all the pretty spring clothes I cannot wear until late April and I want them. And I want to feel better about my closet.
Ladies, clothes can’t change the weather. It took me decades to figure this out. We have to embrace the now. I do it with owning things I adore. This bomber jacket has been worn HUNDREDS of times. These boots have had to be resoled. The jeans barely can get washed, they are in such heavy rotation.
My fashion advice for the beginning of March: dig into your closet and have fun.
Wear some leather now–soon it will be too hot to wear it.
Pull out your scarves and figure out new ways to tie them.
A pair of boots with heels will always make you feel sassier and more fabulous.
Now back to the food. The presentation, looks so pretty, it’s alive with the colors of REAL FOOD. The containers are meant to show off the fresh ingredients. I tried the Ancolie Jar with walnuts, lentils and goat cheese. Delish! After one of these salads you’ll feel satisfied, not bloated. It’s a great midday spot.
I found everything I tasted to be super fresh and scrumptious. I hope they open a Brooklyn outpost soon, for now, I’ll keep heading into the Greenwich Village to pick up the perfect lunch. If you have a few minutes, order a tea or coffee to enjoy in store. Set up by the window and watch the world go by.
This part of New York is full of students, artists and tourists. You’ve literally got a window to the world. Why not slow down and enjoy the views.
Ancolie is located in the heart of Greenwich Village. Stop in for breakfast, lunch or snacks. Please tell them Momtrends sent you.
Super Bowl LI is this Sunday! Are you ready to cheer on your favorite team to victory? While we’ve already got you covered with some crowd-pleasing beer-based cocktails, we promise that these Super Bowl appetizers will be a touchdown. Whether you are hosting a Super Bowl party at home or are looking for something tasty to bring to your game-day host, here are three Super Bowl appetizers that promise to score you some major points.
Am I the only one who can’t get enough Mexican food? I just never get tired of it. Mexican food combines so many important Super Bowl flavors – salty, cheesy, creamy and spicy. Here are three appetizers that are easy to make for a crowd and perfectly combine these key flavors.
Cheesy + Salty: DIY Nachos
Nachos are the perfect blend of so many key Super Bowl flavors – salty chips covered in cheesy cheese and dotted with spicy salsa. I love that they are a versatile vehicle to get so many different flavors in your mouth! Add black beans, ground beef or shredded chicken for some protein. And add a sprinkle of fresh cilantro, jalapenos, black olives or tomatoes and –bam!- you’ve got veggies on there too. Want more nacho inspo? Check out these variations.
Tip 1: Skip the store bought chips and instead get some fresh-made chips from your local Mexican food restaurant or anywhere else that makes their chips fresh. The deli at our local grocery store makes them a few times a week and I won’t eat anything else.
Tip 2: Be sure to stick to a single layer of chips or else layer your ingredients. Otherwise, once the top layer full of all the goodies is gone, you’ll be left with a sad, naked plate of chips.
Spicy + Cheesy: Queso Dip
Cheesy, spicy and simple – what’s not to love! I Skip the pre-made queso dip and whip up a batch of your own with this recipes from Food Network: Cook 1 tablespoon each butter and flour in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 pound shredded cheddar and 1/4 cup each cream cheese, milk and jarred salsa until smooth. You can even make it more of a meal by adding in cooked ground beef.
Creamy + Spicy: Seven Layer Dip
Seven Layer Dip is like the gift that keeps giving. When you first dig in, you get some salsa, maybe some guac. Maybe a little creamy sour cream. But as the dipping and eating and dipping and eating goes, you suddenly discover cheese and beans and ahhhhhh! It’s pretty much a burrito that you are eating over time with the help of chips. AKA heaven. I doubt there’s a “wrong” way to make seven layer dip, but here are three to try. This one adds in hot sauce and green chiles to the beans. This one combines sour cream AND cream cheese for extra creamy cheesiness. And this one relies on chopped avocados, tomatoes and jalapenos.
“I’m hungry!” This is the refrain I hear every day when I pick up my three kids from school. Sound familiar? It doesn’t matter if I’ve packed a 12-course meal in their Planetbox or sent them to school with peanuts, they are “starving” every afternoon at 3. The solution? The perfect snack equation.
Make them small. Snacks are meant to fill the gap between meals, not become a whole meal in itself.
Protein + carb. Pair a protein-rich food with a carb-rich food. Including a healthy fat will quiet hunger pangs even more.
One or two a day. Depending on the child’s age and activity level, they may need one or two snacks a day.
Here are 10 examples of health after school fuel snacks:
Whole wheat toast + avocado + cucumber slices
Apple slices + nut/seed butter
Homemade trail mix – ¼ cup sunflower seeds or nuts, ¼ cup dried apricots, cherries, or raisins (with no added sugar)
String cheese + grapes
Greek yogurt + granola + frozen berries thawed
Nut/seed butter spread on a small whole-wheat pita
Carrot sticks or sliced veggies + hummus
Rice cakes + nut butter + berries
Smoothie with kale, banana, Greek yogurt, + blueberries
Whole-wheat pita + guacamole + cucumber slices
And don’t forget water! Keeping kids hydrated is vital for keeping them ready for physical activities, helping them stay focused on homework, and balancing their moods. While the amount of water will vary based on your child’s age, gender, size and activity level, the National Academy of Sciences recommends between 7-14 cups of water per day, with the lower end for toddlers and the higher end for teenage boys. Make water more “fun” by using unflavored seltzer water or adding in frozen berries, limes or cucumber slices to infuse it with flavor.
Want more information on healthy eating? Check out the Kid’s Healthy Eating Plate with tips and advice about fueling your kid with the right foods.
What are you favorite after school snacks to keep your kids fueled for the afternoon?
Kids already complaining about their lunch food? Bored by what you’re making Monday-Friday? Make food more fun with these lunch box accessories that can help your kids get excited about eating and help sell fruits and veggies to picky eaters. Who wouldn’t want to eat a cucumber with googly eyes or a sandwich shaped like a seahorse?
1. Add eyeballs.
I just love these. I know that sticking a pair of these eyeballs into my kids’ lunches would give them a giggle. Suddenly that celery seems a little sillier, that lettuce wrap more likely to get a laugh. And a hopefully bite! As a non-crafter, I also love that these take pretty much zero creative effort on my part. BUY: Amazon
2. Silly sandwich shapes.
Another sandwich? Add some fun to that PB&J with a cute sandwich cutter. I love this variety pack that has five different shapes to let you create a different shape sandwich every day of the week or this puzzle piece cutter that encourages kids to play with their food. BUY: Amazon
3. Make a scene.
Here’s another one for those of you who like the idea of adding fun to your kid’s lunch box, but really don’t have the time or creativity to deliver a Pinterest-worthy preschool lunch creation. Food picks. Stick these cute little food picks into sandwiches, strawberries and sushi rolls to instantly add some fun to the food. I like this cute animal variety pack, cats & dogs, or this adorable sea life collection. BUY: Amazon
4. Creative cutting.
Perfect for cutting out cheese, meat, melon or some veggies, these cutters let you get creative with your lunchbox additions. Choose from animal, flowers, or this three-pack of fun shapes to cut foods into silly shapes for more fun at lunch. BUY: Amazon
5. Make it talk.
These thought and dialogue bubbles are another great way to add some fun to your kids’ lunch food. From important reminders (“Don’t forget to eat me!”) to punny jokes (“Lettuce be friends!”), these reusable, erasable labels can be a silly addition to the lunch box. Plus, they can be handy for labeling cheeses, dips or sauces on the weekends! BUY: Amazon
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.
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.
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!
Sometimes kids are picky eaters. It can make you absolutely bonkers. During the busy school year, you don’t have as much time to cater to those individual needs. That’s why I love food from Three Bridges. Their pastas and sauces are made with simple, honest, and better-for-you ingredients so there is zero guilt when you’re cooking for your family. ThreeBridges equips you to cook a gourmet, nutritious and delicious meals in minutes that the entire family will enjoy. I used Three Bridges to create three entrees; Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, to show you how easy it is to craft up incredible food with little ingredients and little time. You can also check out their website for dozens of other yummy recipes.
I made a pesto scrambled egg with a side of meatball sausage. Put some oil in a pan and crack the egg. Let it cook for a few seconds as if you’re cooking it sunny side up. Then add some of the Three Bridges pesto sauce. Scramble the egg in with the pesto and voila! Lightly cook your sausages until they are warm and you’ve got yourself a powerhouse meal in 5 minutes. You can add pesto to any style of egg you desire.
Cook Three Bridges Three Cheese Tortellini according to the package. Chop some veggies like carrots, broccoli, and tomatoes to make a tiny salad. Or for your older kids, throw in some baby kale or spinach. Marinate in some oil and vinegar then toss the tortellini in with the vegetables. Add some pesto sauce and shaved parmesan. This makes a great lunch, hot or cold, and even your pickiest eater won’t complain about this tasty meal. The best part about this is that it’s very travel friendly. You can pop it into a container and make any school lunch complete. And aren’t these plates cute? They’re from Slimware, and are designed to help with portion control. Genius!
I loved the idea that Three Bridges has for a “lazy lasagna”. You can make it in about an hour and it makes fabulous leftovers. I had extra meatballs from my breakfast and decided to make the tortellini with Three Bridges Heirloom Marinara sauce. I emptied the entire package of sauce into a pan to let it warm. Then I added in my meatballs, and after a few minutes, added the cooked tortellini. This is a dinner fit for kings (and queens, and princes, and princesses!)
ThreeBridges makes families feel great about their back to school meal routine as their products are made with better ingredients like hormone-free cheeses and cage free eggs. They never use any artificial ingredients, colors, preservatives and never add fillers which makes for healthy, stress free, tasty breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
School is out, the weather is warm, and the sun doesn’t set until late which means picnic season is here! Whether it’s an alfresco dinner with friends or an impromptu lunch at the park with the family, here are four of our favorite must-have picnic accessories for your next summer picnic.
1. The perfect picnic blanket
A great picnic blanket is key for setting the stage for your outdoor eating sesh. I want a blanket that is large enough to handle the food and guests, soft enough for lounging, and washable for the inevitable strawberry stains or wine spills. Lately, I’ve been eyeing these gorgeous Turkish towels (shown). First, the print – swoon! And I love that they are lightweight, roll up compactly and are versatile – you can use this towel for a picnic, yoga session, beach towel, even as a sarong! I also like this fold up JJ Cole blanket for picnics or playdate, this pocket-size picnic blanket that you can keep in your purse, or for something a bit different, a cute circular boho-chic blanket.
2. A cute picnic basket
True, you could just pack your food in any old reusable bag you have, but there’s something about a picnic basket that makes the whole thing a bit cuter, a bit more special, and who are we kidding, look better in that Instagram pic you know you’re going to take! You could opt for an all-in-one picnic basket kit like this affordable one from VonShef that comes with your plates, silverware and cups for four, a blanket and plenty of extra space so you’re always picnic-ready. Or an insulated picnic basket (shown) that has plenty of room for a family picnic but folds flat when you don’t need it. There’s also something about this PicnicTime basket with a removable lid that is so smart – a make-shift cutting board or flat surface to keep food upright.
3. Picnic-ready stemware
Skip the red Solo cups. Picnics are better when your beverages are in picnic-friendly, but still sophisticated stemware. I love these real glass, silicone-protected stemless wine glasses (shown) from Life Factory which we use for picnics and camping though these shatter-proof plastic ones are also an affordable option that is a step up from the Solo cup. If you’re packing your real stemware or using a picnic basket that comes with lightweight ones, check out these wine glass holders that you stick in the grass to keep your cup upright and free from curious ants.
4. Fun & Games
Yes, the food is key at a picnic, but so is a little entertainment for family and friends. I love this portable bocce set with four different colors so more people can play. Grass, sand, mulch or dirt – bocce is fun for kids and adults alike. Other fun portable picnic games are this fold-up ring toss game or lawn darts. Another simple option – a couple of frisbees. This one from Aerobie is easy to catch and flies ridiculously far – like football field far.
Momtrends was not paid for this review. It may contain affiliate links.
It’s berry season and I’m totally swooning for the fruits that are filling up the markets. Sometimes I go a bit overboard and purchase too many pints. Then I’m left with waste at the end of the week. It’s depressing…good fruit gone bad. Wasted time. Wasted money. Wasted fruit.
Here’s the scoop: Approximately 50% of food around the world is wasted each year. In the US alone, the USDA estimated in 2014 that approximately $24 BILLION worth of food, or about $192 per household, is thrown out each year due to spoiled produce.
That’s why I joined the Long Live Produce Challenge.
About a month ago, Rubbermaid contacted me about a media tour for a new food storage system. They needed someone to spread the word about a new storage container that keeps produce fresher up to 80% longer. Boom! Perfect gig. They sent me a three-pack of the Fresh Works Produce Storage to test.
I put store containers in the fridge next to FreshWorks–and then watched the fuzz grow. The berries lasted much longer in the containers.
How does it work?
The FreshWorks containers have two really cool features: the “FreshVent” lid which regulates the flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide in and out of the container and the “CrispTray” which elevates produce off the bottom of the container and helps reduce moisture and spoilage.
The containers are easy to use–just pop the fruit into the containers when you get home from the farmers market of grocery store (TIP: don’t clean the produce first, you need it to be dry)–and get a MUCH longer life out of the produce. Everything is dishwasher safe and BPA free.
Once it’s stored all you need to do is get your individual servings washed and cleaned each day. The containers work best for leafy greens and berries. Get ready to enjoy all the best fruits of the season without any waste.