Author: Stacie Billis

Cookbooks and baking blends to make a gluten-free diet delicious

My experiments with gluten-free cooking and baking have taught me that it can be a seriously tricky endeavor. Not only is it hard to find great gluten-free breads and pastas, but avoiding all of the foods that surprisingly contain gluten—from soy sauce to sausage—can be a painstaking chore. These four awesome gluten-free cookbooks and two gluten-free baking blends offer tons of inspiration, recipes, and mixes that make eating a gluten-free diet easy and, more importantly, totally delicious. The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook by the editors at America’s Test Kitchen America’s Test Kitchen is the place to start...

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Cooking with kids: Healthy snacks that kids can help make and everyone will eat

At a recent family brunch with Cool Mom Picks, Cool Mom Tech and LiveHealth Online, an awesome new service that gives you immediate access to board-certified doctors from home, I was reminded that cooking with kids is an awesome opportunity to go beyond chocolate chip cookies. And that they’re more likely to try what you make if they’ve helped. I watched my son and a slew of other kids make—and eat!—these three healthy snack recipes, and may have stolen a few bites for myself. I wasn’t alone: I watched all of the other parents sneak bites, too. These snacks are that good....

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Rosh Hashanah food goes indie.

I’m all for starting the Jewish new year off right, and for me that means a gourmet Rosh Hashanah food taster from our favorite online indie food marketplace, MOUTH. Why stick with plain old apples and honey, when the goodies in the “High Holy Day-licious” pack (ha) go a step further? They make a perfect hostess gift to bring to a Rosh Hashanah dinner or appetizer spread to kick off your own holiday celebration. The deliciousness will set the intention for a great year ahead, or at least a delicious one. But you have to order now! – Don’t miss an...

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An awesome new meal planning website that personalizes your meal plans. It’s like doing it yourself, without having to do it yourself.

How many times have you heard “Just meal plan!” when you groan about the never-ending responsibility of feeding your family night after night?  But time constraints, logistics, or the fact that organizing ahead isn’t everyone’s strong suit mean meal planning just doesn’t work for all of us. Now, thanks to new awesome meal planning website gatheredtable, someone else can do it for you. Don’t miss a big update below   Does any of these statistics resonate with you? You’re not alone, which is why so many meal planning sites and apps have popped up lately. I’ve looked into many of them and haven’t found one that I...

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Good things come in pears: 5 easy pear dessert recipes, plus how to select and store them properly.

Apples come to mind first when most people think of fall fruit. And yes, they are great–these six apple snack and dessert recipes are proof–but they’ll also be around for a while. Right now, I’m all about seizing the moment with pears–which, by the way, have more potassium, fiber and folate than apples. Pears are just as versatile as apples but beyond eating them plain, I love them most in dessert. Check out these five easy pear dessert recipes and, to help make sure that they come out perfectly, check out our quick guide to choosing ripe pears. How to select...

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Bundle Organics: Prenatal juice for pregnant moms and those babies-to-be

I’m big into fresh pressed juice and even love whipping up fresh juice recipes for kids. It’s too bad, though, that fresh juice is off limits during pregnancy when extra nutrients are always welcome, especially in a convenient sip that goes down easily. Bundle Organics, a new prenatal juice made for pregnant moms, is changing that with three packaged juices that are safe, delicious, and full of essential vitamins. Though never a replacement for fresh fruits and veggies, it’s hard to argue with a vitamin and mineral packed drink. The problem with fresh juice for pregnant women is that...

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5 delicious new tea products: Move over coffee

Back when I shared new trends for back to school snacks I promised to only pass along food and drink trends that stand the test of some time. I have watched new tea drinks and tea-flavored foods hit the market nearly every week since I started spotting them several months ago, each more delicious than the next. These tea goods are the real deal, worth sharing, and tasty enough that you just might ditch java–or at least let it share the spotlight. Tea-riffic! Ice Cream Tea-riffic! ice cream is a brand new, amazingly delicious tea-infused ice cream made from only all-natural...

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How to hard boil eggs perfectly. Plus 5 ways to use them for quick school day breakfasts

A perfectly hard boiled egg can be an elusive thing, even for those of us who cook–and cook with kids underfoot, and into everything, all the time. I’m here to help fix that! Hard boiled eggs are a super easy, nutritious go-to food that I have on hand all of the time and, when you follow these easy directions for how to hard boil eggs perfectly, you may too. They’re great to have around for any meal of the day, but especially for one of the five quick school day breakfast ideas. I’ve rounded up for you.   How to Hard Boil Eggs Perfectly First,...

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Bulletproof buttered coffee recipe: Miracle drink? Or just, well, butter in your coffee?

I heard rumblings about hot buttered coffee, also known as Bulletproof Coffee, last year, and ignored what I figured was another crazy food trend. I mean, butter in coffee? If that doesn’t scream the new bacon, I don’t know what does. It turns out, though, that the buttered coffee trend is growing, with converts claiming serious health benefits. So is this a miracle drink or just greasy java? Here’s some info and a basic buttered coffee recipe to help you find out. What is Buttered Coffee? Buttered coffee is brewed coffee blended with butter and either coconut oil or MCT oil (Medium...

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Let them eat corn! 4 easy ways to cook corn on the cob.

Labor Day does not mean labor intensive, so keep your eats fresh and easy this holiday weekend. With late summer produce at its peak, nothing needs a heavy touch. Sip on a Blackberry Smash cocktail, grill up one of these amazing burger recipes or hot dog recipes, if you prefer, and make some sweet corn to top it all off. Here are 4 easy ways to cook corn on the cob this weekend—or any time of the year—to get it just right without much effort. Then just top it off your meal with a gorgeous summer pie recipe, if you feel...

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NOURI bars: Healthy snack bars from a small company on a big mission to help end hunger.

It’s a good thing when a new snack bar helps you feed your own children healthfully, but it’s even better when it also helps you feed a hungry child. NOURI is a new snack bar company with a big social mission to help end hunger. For every bar that you buy, the good folks at NOURI donate a portion of the proceeds to their charity partners actively working to get meals into the hands of children in need. NOURI healthy snack bars are pretty tasty, but contributing to this effort makes them even sweeter. NOURI healthy snack bars come...

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Superfruits: How to pack 5 favorites as part of a super-boosted, healthy school lunch.

Though there isn’t substantive research behind claims that Superfruits Save The Day by helping you live longer (seriously, be wary of such grandiose claims on food packing), some fruits are just plain better for you than others. In fact, there are a handful of fruits that nutritionists consider “super” thanks to high concentrations of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and eating one to two cups of these Superfruits a day can help keep your family in tip-top shape. These are five of our favorite so-called Superfruits, along with some of my favorite Superfruit recipes and the products that help make packing...

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5 of the best websites for school lunch recipes that are easy, healthy, and realistic. In other words, no wacky food art allowed.

If you need back to school lunch recipes and inspiration, you are not alone. Which is why we have lots of it–websites and other online resources that are jam-packed with awesome school lunch recipes that are easy to make, healthy and even creative. Not like, make-a-sculpture-out-of-cheese-and-toothpicks creative, but healthy-and-the-kids-might-actually-eat-it creative. And that’s something we can all use a dose of in our school lunches.   ONE HUNGRY MAMA For years on my own site, I’ve put together so many great school lunch recipes that I think you’ll find helpful. Think easy rice and grain bowls that come together as quickly as you can throw four or five...

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Healthy back to school snacks: 4 delicious food trends every parent should know about.

I’m a sucker for new food trends, but I usually wait to see what sticks–and what I really like, of course–before spreading the word. Let’s face it, not every new food product is worth reporting (looking at you, green ketchup). Sometimes, though, not-to-miss food trends emerge from the fray. I recently caught on to four that I think parents should know about, just in time for back to school snacks. Some of these brand new foods may be hard to find in your local supermarket, but everything listed here–with one exception that I just couldn’t resist–is available online and seriously worth your...

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High protein snacks: A healthy snack trend parents can get down with. (Just in time for back to school!)

As much as it drives you bananas, it’s true: there’s no way to control what or how much your kids eat at lunch. (Say it with me: I’ll pack healthy food, the rest is up to them, everything will be fine.) The biggest worry for many parents is that their kids aren’t getting enough protein, which is where these high protein snacks come in. I’ve tracked down some super snacks help alleviate parental-protein-anxiety—yes, that’s an official diagnosis, according to me—by packing at least four grams of protein into every serving. And they are snacks, as in kids will actually eat...

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5 dairy-free ice cream recipes (and 1 store-bought) so good they can be a staple in any home.

Though hard to find, it turns out that great dairy-free ice cream is not a culinary unicorn. It is possible! It is real! And when you find the one that satisfies you, you’ll want the ice cream recipe on hand all year long. Because even dairy-free folks know that ice cream isn’t just for summer. And I know first-hand; I spent a year feeding one of my boys a dairy-free diet and the big surprise for this cheese-loving mama is that it became pretty easy. There were foods that he missed, like cheese and yogurt, but with so many great dairy-free...

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Plum Organics makes the leap from great baby foods to great toddler snacks

We’re long time fans of Plum Organics which is why I knew I had to give their new line of toddler snacks and purees a try the minute I saw them. Healthy, tasty…sounds promising right? We’ll my 15-month-old nephew knows what’s up and confirmed what my own taste buds suspected: this new line of Plum Organics snacks is a mighty achievement for toddlers everywhere. Two of the three new Plum Organics snacks in the Mighty line are labeled Mighty 4 and are made with ingredients from four core food groups: vegetables, grains, fruit and dairy. So basically the nutritional balance is designed to provide protein, fiber,...

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Back to school snacks: 6 exciting, creative ways to pack fruit for school lunch

They say that a balanced lunch box should include at least one serving of fruit. Apples count, but only if your kid actually eats them–and apparently they can get boring after a while. (Psh, kids these days.) This year, I plan on switching up our back to school snacks with these six fresh ways to pack fruit for school lunch. Fruit roll-ups are one of the most popular back-to-school snacks, but I’m not so sure you can consider most varieties actual fruit. These health,  homemade Mango fruit roll-ups (above) from Just a Taste are different, though. Made with just pureed fresh mango—yup, nothing added—these...

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Best cold brew coffee: Our 3 favorite brands plus one DIY cold brew recipe

Everyone may be talking back-to-school, but summer’s not over. In fact, I’ll be drinking iced coffee well into September, which gives me about two more months (at least) of cold brew coffee pleasure before I switch back to hot java. With that in mind, I recently indulged in a cold brew taste test to bring you what I think are the 3 best cold brew coffee brands on the market, plus a recipe to make your own, of course. Please, no need for praise. I do it out of the kindness of my heart. And the caffeine buzz. There...

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Save money and stay healthy with these 9 awesome travel snack recipes. (They’re so good you’ll actually be psyched to travel with kids.)

Traveling with kids is challenging enough without having to deal with hunger meltdowns—and I don’t just mean the kids. Whether you’re flying or road tripping, we’ve always preached that having an arsenal of snacks on hand is key to smooth travels. These homemade travel snack recipes are delicious, healthy,  portable and will even help you save money on the road. Now that’s travel planning I can get down with. [top images via Pizzazzerie, Half Baked Harvest, With Style and Grace]   You always need a healthy, handheld snack on the road and muffins are my go-to. My kids love these Oatmeal...

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