Author: Danielle

Edible Schoolyard – Because mystery meat isn’t good for anyone.

A few months ago, my daughter came home from school crying hysterically. A little boy in her class had tried to steal her lunch. Upon further investigation, we discovered that it was because his parents were making him buy and eat school lunch, and he decided that he wasn’t having anything to do with that, so he sought to raid my daughter’s carefully packed lunch box. While I don’t support his actions, I can’t say that I blame him. Lunches at my daughter’s public school are appalling (and reflective of many school lunches in our country). Individually packed in...

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Everyone will cheer for Hip Hip Purees (even if they groan from the pun)

I am a stubborn mom, so I am going to continue to put vegetables on my kids’ plate at every meal, but I am practical enough to realize that they aren’t always been ingested. My son has been known to slide his plate down the table at maximum velocity while shouting, “I no like dis salad!” And because I’m an anti-scurvy type of mom as well, it does make sense to be a little bit stealthy sometimes. (Sometimes.) That’s where Hip Hip Puree comes in. These convenient tubes of pureed, organic vegetables can be stored in the freezer and...

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Watch your back, Jacques Pepin

My kids have grown up knowing how important food is to me, so it’s not surprising that they are both fascinated by the kitchen. Children’s cookbooks are a frequent gift at birthday and holiday time, but I’m usually very disappointed in how so many of them dumb down of food for kids. We have cookbooks that are written in comic book format. We have cookbooks that feature only meals that look like something else (octopus-shaped hotdogs anyone?). We have cookbooks with dishes that have names so cutesy I feel like hurling. That’s why I was so pleased to find...

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Cake mixes for the cake mix haters among us

I’m one of those really obnoxious food snobs who turns up her nose at boxed cake mixes. But here’s my secret: I always kind of wished I was the type of person who didn’t. Mixes provide a lot fewer opportunities for giant messes, and they truly do take less time. But every time I start to take the plunge, I look at the long, scary ingredients list and go back to scratch. Then I found Naturally Nora. These delicious cake mixes and natural frosting mixes look just like the kid-centric cake mixes at the supermarket with the wacky sprinkles,...

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Smashies are a hit

Back when my daughter was a toddler, I’d stroll the aisles of the supermarket and get incredibly angry. As a working mom, I wanted nothing more than to buy convenient snack packs of her favorite foods, but then I’d look at the nutrition labels and walk away in frustration. As we all know, the organic companies finally did catch on to the kids’ snack pack craze, and there are now hundreds of choices when we want both convenience and nutrition. One of the better options is Smashies. These little packets of smashed fruit are both portable and neat. Kids...

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Let this cute daddy teach you how to cook for your cute baby

When my daughter was a baby, I made all of her baby food. I was only working part-time, and armed with an instruction book, I painstakingly filled ice cube tray after ice cube tray with pureed fruits and veggies. Once I had my son, I kind of lost steam, but I think if I had Chef Greg of Chef and Father by my side three years ago, I’d have gotten my baby food making mojo right back. It must be said that Chef Greg is really cute, which definitely adds to the appeal of these cooking videos. But, cute...

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1,2,3,4 Tell me that you love (my napkins) more

I have this dream. In this dream, my house is always organized, dog hair is contained on the actual dog, cushions are kept on the couch, and I frequently host elegant cocktail parties attended just by adults who speak about current events in hushed tones. This dream isn’t coming true anytime soon, but just in case, I’m going to be prepared with these awesome cocktail napkins by Butterfly and Company. Each napkin is unique, so guests can easily identify their drink, and I love the numerical theme. Even if you never get to entertain real live adults, you can...

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Making the kids set the Thanksgiving table this year

Last year, my daughter had a blast creating custom place settings for each guest at our Thanksgiving table. The setting for her little brother had a school bus on it. The setting for my stepmother’s mom featured a giant eye to symbolize her over-use of eye makeup. This year, I think we’ll be a bit more classy and opt for the Chalkboard Napkin Rings from Be Crafty. At $7 for the kit, this is a great deal–the very same rings, prepainted, are about $65 elsewhere. And, not only do you have darling re-usable napkin rings, you get the unadulterated...

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Baking kits for your own little Betty Crocker

My daughter loves cooking with me. Loves it. And, while a mother/daughter cooking extravaganza might sound good in theory, the reality is actually quite messy. So I was intrigued by the many promises of Zebra Mix. These brownie, cupcake and cookie kits gives kids the ability to manage their own baking project in the kitchen? To own the entire process and be successful? All while caregivers step aside? Count me in. True to its word, Zebra Mix was a revelation. My 7 year-old laid out the mapped instructions and got to work. My role was limited to the dangerous...

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Healthy treats that won’t get your house egged on Halloween.

Now that I’m a nutrition-obsessed mom, I get where those raisin people were coming from that I made fun of when I was trick or treating as a kid. They didn’t plan on being the lamest house on the block (although they were), but it sure is hard competing with all the sugar out there on Halloween. I think I can stick to my healthy ideals while still retaining cool mom status with the all-organic Yummy Earth lollipops. They taste just as good as the junky kind–really!–and the colors are vibrant, but not artificial, instead derived from organic black...

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