Category: Food + Recipes

7 holiday party appetizers that kids will completely love, too.

We grownups know that the best part of holiday parties are holiday party appetizers. This year, I’m letting the kids in on our fun with seven appetizers that they’ll love, too. These kid-friendly apps are grown-up enough for the adults, but with high kid appeal. Putting these babies out is a surefire way to spoil the kids’ appetite for dinner but, hey, it beats having them fill up on tortilla chips all night. My favorite appetizers of all time are crostini because of how highly adaptable they are. You just toast thin slices of bread that have been brushed...

Read More

Coffee mavens, rejoice! This groundbreaking coffee maker will revolutionize your favorite drink.

I still remember when I got my first espresso machine for Christmas in high school. That’s right, I was hooked on lattes before I could drive, and I was the first person I knew with the magic of a frothing wand at my fingertips. If you’re that kind of coffee hipster, you’re going to love this Kickstarter project. Anyone can currently grind and brew their own coffee, but if you get in on the ground floor, you’ll be the first person who roasts their own beans, too. The Bonaverde roast-grind-brew coffee machine might not be the final name, but...

Read More

7 delicious, easy recipes to put your Thanksgiving leftovers to good use

I know: the last thing you (still) want to think about right now is food. But  whether or not you cooked on Thursday, you probably have a pile of Thanksgiving leftovers in your fridge and another plate of sliced turkey, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce just won’t cut it. Check out my seven favorite Thanksgiving leftovers recipes. These ingenious ideas are the antidote to Thanksgiving meal fatigue while still making it possible to enjoy every last bite of Thanksgiving day. (Above) Grilled cheese with a slice of turkey may seem obvious, but this Thanksgiving Leftover Grilled Cheese (above) from Serious...

Read More

Downton Abbey teas: A holiday gift of which even Lady Grantham would approve.

Nanny always said sweet tea is the thing for frayed nerves. (And we think Black Friday weekend might fit the bill, eh?) That means elegant teas are a fantastic gift for the holidays, especially when troublesome relatives like Cousin Isobel are involved. If you have a Downton Abbey fan in your life, they’ll be sure to enjoy a hot cuppa inspired by everyone’s favorite period drama. And it’s perfect to sip on a weekend — whatever that is. The new Downton Abbey teas from The Republic of Tea are the perfect gift for the Anglophile or BBC fan on...

Read More

Need Thanksgiving meal help? We can help!

This Thanksgiving, whether you’re feeding dozens or just your immediate family, you just may need some last minute Thanksgiving meal help. We all know that getting Thanksgiving dinner onto the table  can be a huge undertaking, especially when you’ve got kids underfoot. So check out our big list of helpful posts that will help you figure out everything from what to do with that big butternut squash, to yummy cocktails for the grownups, and delicious treats for the kids that can be done in a flash. Because Thanksgiving is a lot more fun if you get to enjoy it...

Read More

Thanksgiving 911: 4 cooking helplines to save your Turkey Day

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and everything is under control, right? If you just yelled at your screen, “NO!” then read on, mamas. I’ve got four cooking helplines that will provide you with answers to all of your Thanksgiving cooking questions. Breathe. That’s good. Let’s start with the most important part of the Thanksgiving meal: the turkey. BUTTERBALL TURKEY TALK-LINE If our no-panic tutorial on how to cook your first Thanksgiving turkey  hasn’t given you everything you need to make your turkey look like it’s right out of a Williams-Sonoma catalog, you’ll want to hit up the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line (1-800-BUTTERBALL). For...

Read More

How to cook your first Thanksgiving turkey: the no-panic step-by-step tutorial

Whether it’s your first time making a Thanksgiving turkey or your fifth, I’ve found that there’s always room for a little (or a lot!) of help. So, this year, I’ve put together a step-by-step Thankgiving turkey tutorial. Hope it helps. Pick a recipe My first bit of advice is to find an appealing recipe from a reliable source that you can really make (I suggest the Thanksgiving cookbook by Sam Sifton or  just grab his Herb Roasted Turkey recipe, above, from Bon Appetit). Be honest with yourselves, mamas: Thanksgiving is not the time to take on a challenge, especially when a simple...

Read More

8 delicious holiday cocktails to toast the holiday season

We’ve been talking a lot about holiday food, from make-ahead Thanksgiving dishes to once in a lifetime Thanksgivukkah recipes. Now it’s time to raise our glasses — filled with holiday cocktails, of course! Simple to make and elegant to hold, these eight holiday drinks make any  gathering more festive, whether a cocktail party with friends or small family gathering around the fire (or, you know, the coffee table). And did I mention that they are delicious? Each is brimming with holiday flavor and cheer, even the one without booze. -Stacie  I love the festive combination of flavors in the Cranberry...

Read More

6 delicious Thanksgivukkah recipes for a once in a lifetime meal

This year marks the first Thanksgivukkah–when the first day of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving day–since 1888. That pretty much requires amazing Thanksgivukkah hybrid dishes, considering the next one isn’t going to happen for another 78,000 years or so. Traditional Hanukkah foods like donuts, fried potato pancakes, apples, and sweet potatoes pair perfectly with classic Thanksgiving ingredients (like uh, apples and sweet potatoes), which means that Thanksgivukkah has opened the doors to the ultimate holiday food mash up. Donuts meet cranberry sauce. Latkes and turkey. Challah for stuffing. Yes, yes, yes! Check out these six ultimate Thanksgivukkah recipes for a...

Read More

Make-ahead Thanksgiving recipes for a delectably easy menu.

If you’re as busy as I am — and I’ll bet good money that you are — you’re starting to feel the crush of the holiday season. Take a deep breath: everything will get done, and with a little planning you can have some fun, too. Even while cooking. The trick? Relying on make-ahead Thanksgiving recipes. Whether you’re bringing one dish to Aunt Wanda’s house or are responsible for the whole shebang, these classic Thanksgiving day recipes will pace your holiday cooking so that you can breathe easy and enjoy the ride. A Thanksgiving-must, stuffing is one of the...

Read More

6 cute Thanksgiving treats for kids

Let’s face it: Thanksgiving is for feasting. Dinner may be the main attraction, but this holiday is about grazing on deliciousness all day long. The food doesn’t have to be fussy or labor-intensive either–save the hard work for your turkey dinner. And in the case of Thanksgiving day treats they just need to be delicious and ideally, kind of cute. Here are six adorable Thanksgiving Day treats to have around turkey day. Some make a great afternoon snack, while others make fun kid desserts. No matter when you serve them, these delicious munchies will keep little tummies happy until...

Read More

How to make Butterbeer. Or just buy it yourself at Starbucks.

One of the great questions, since the first Harry Potter book (or at least the launch of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando), is how to make Butterbeer. And now we have the Butterbeer recipe. The Starbucks Secret Menu blog offers this suggestion for ordering an off-the-menu Butterbeer at Starbucks without even needing Floo Powder or a trip to Hogsmeade. -A Creme Frapuccino base with whole milk. Sorry dieters. -3 pumps of caramel syrup -3 pumps of toffee nut syrup -Top with caramel drizzle Note: there is no beer in Butterbeer. Fear not parents. Now clearly this is...

Read More

4 all-natural sauces that cut weeknight cooking time in half

With Thanksgiving and Hanukkah (A.K.A. Thanksgivukkah) just three weeks away, the food conversation will soon turn to brisket and turkey, Santa cookies and pie. While I’m looking forward to holiday food as much as the next cool mom, I’m also wondering how I’ll make it through the hectic holiday season–cooking, shopping, baking, parties–while keeping up with my daily responsibilities. Can’t I just stop making dinner for a couple of months? No, I can’t. And you probably can’t either. (Sorry!) But we can make weeknight dinners easier than ever with these four cooking sauces. Add any one of these to...

Read More

8 must-have holiday cookbooks for a super delicious season

With Halloween behind us and Thanksgiving–and Hanukkah!–right around the corner, it’s time to start collecting culinary inspiration for your perfect holiday menu. There are, of course, tons of recipes online, but it’s tricky to know which recipes are reliable. It may be old school, but I say that holiday cooking calls for hitting the bookshelf. These eight awesome holiday cookbooks will help make your holidays special. And if you’re not cooking, well, maybe you need to buy Aunt Sue an early holiday gift: it will pay dividends to all! Find all these books at our affiliate Amazon or your...

Read More

Yummy recipes using leftover Halloween candy. On the outside chance you have any.

If you’re like me, you’re going to wake up in the morning with a sugar hangover, wondering just what the heck to do with all those leftover Halloween candies. Hit our archives and check out our post on 10 delicious recipes that use leftover Halloween candy on the outside chance you have actual Butterfingers or Snickers leftover. But hey, even Tootsie Rolls and Jolly Ranchers find a second use here. If not for very long. Happy Halloween...

Read More

6 easy, last-minute Halloween treats that are way more impressive than a bowlful of candy corn

You had big Halloween plans, right? And then…time slipped away. I’ve been there. Start by forgiving yourself: it’s just Halloween after all, and to a kid, everything looks delicious. Throw together a one of these super cute, last-minute treats with what you have on hand or can easily grab at the store. No trick here: these 5 festive, tasty treats from top bloggers are perfect and perfectly easy whether you’re bringing them to a friend’s house or serving them up at a classroom party.   Tell me this Halloween donut (at top) from Lovezilla doesn’t make you smile. My little one...

Read More

6 freakishly easy, terribly tasty Halloween dinners

The age-old Halloween question: what to eat before heading out to trick-or-treat? It has to be a meal that’s quick or easy to fit between the mad rush of getting home from school and heading out for your annual candy collection. Plus it has to be appealing and filling so that the kids actually get some sustenance before the sugar onslaught. And it has to be fun because, well, it’s Halloween! These 6 Halloween dinner ideas hit all the marks, helping you fuel your kids with good stuff so that they have plenty of energy to stuff themselves with...

Read More

Surprise your kids with 6 spooktacular Halloween lunch box ideas

I love beautiful bento lunch boxes, but some of them make you feel like you need an MFA in order to make your kid’s lunch. Especially holiday-themed lunch boxes! For Halloween I decided to come up with a few easy, festive lunch ideas. I found tons of excellently adorable inspiration from around the web. I’ve rounded up 6 of my favorite ideas to help you make a spooktacular bento lunch box, no artistic talent required. I recently shared my Halloween lunch box ideas with the the lovely HGTV star Genevieve Gorder. As a designer, Genevieve likes things to look...

Read More

5 tips for making Halloween safer for kids with peanut and tree nut allergies

With some of our own kids at Cool Mom Picks grappling with peanut and tree nut allergies that range from mild to life-threatening, we really have a heightened awareness of making Halloween fun and safe for all kids. If you don’t have children with allergies yourself, but want to make sure classroom friends and neighborhood kids are in good hands with you on Halloween, here are some helpful tips. (Note: This post has been updated for 2015.) Related: Allergy free Halloween treat recipes and great tips for keeping things safe   1. Read the labels: Even for things you’re not expecting...

Read More

6 pumpkin-inspired sweets you can serve up without lifting a finger

Last week we talked apple treats, and this week it’s pumpkin time. You’re picking pumpkins this year, right? If only from the grocery store? Now all you have to do is seed, peel, and cube your pumpkin. Then roast and puree the pumpkin flesh and we’re almost ready to start. You have homemade pie crust ready, right? Heh. You were getting worried there, admit it. We’d never put you through all that. These six pumpkin-inspired sweets do not call for hours in the kitchen. In fact, they don’t even require a recipe. Hold on to your gourds, cool moms: you...

Read More

Love yogurt to go? Two perfectly portable all-natural options we love

We’re big fans of yogurt here at Cool Mom Picks and with good reason. It’s an easy go-to that kids love because it’s delicious and we moms love because it’s (mostly) healthy. Unfortunately, some of the most packable yogurts are also the most sugary. Ick! Enter two new options, both of which come in easy-to-tote packaging and have something new–and better–to offer yogurt fans like us. –Stacie   If you’ve ever tried skyr, traditional Icelandic yogurt, you’ve probably tried a cup of siggi’s (above), the most popular brand of Icelandic-style yogurt here in the States. Now, siggi’s offers squeezable yogurt...

Read More

Personalized Halloween plates that kids will love using all year long

I admit that I can get a little “boo humbug” (heh, get it?) when it comes to holiday-themed goodies for kids. Because with four little ones running around, hey, I need to get one for everyone…which is perfectly fine with me if it’s something they can use well beyond Halloween season, like these adorable personalized plates and bowls. I can already hear the screeches (from my kids, that is) when they see these personalized Halloween plates on the table from CMP-fave The Silly Wagon. And considering we’re big ghost and ghouls fans here, they won’t mind if I serve their...

Read More

Crack open a coffin of gourmet Halloween chocolates. This one’s just for the grown-ups.

Most of the Halloween candy I eat is pilfered from my kids’ bags when they aren’t looking. But if you’d like to give–or get–some chocolate treats that are much more grown up than snack-sized bars, check out what we’ve unearthed for Halloween from chocolatiers L.A. Burdick. L.A. Burdick’s limited-edition Coffin Assortment is stuffed with an array of bonbons as well as friendly ghosts filled with hazelnut and dark chocolate ganache. The black coffin-shaped box makes this a perfect hostess gift to bring to that awesome Halloween party down the street. Or maybe you’ve been a very good goblin this...

Read More

How do you like them apples? 6 easy apple snack and apple dessert recipes

Apple season is in full swing, which means we’ve got to find things to make with all them apples! As much as I love them, I’m finding myself seriously challenged by the the huge quantity of fruit I end up with during apple season. It doesn’t help that everyone’s clamoring for pies, cakes, dumplings, and other sweets that take a lot of time to make. This year, I’m taking apples into my own hands with these 6 easy-to-make apple snacks and desserts, that go a little further than slicing apples up and dipping them in peanut butter. Still, your...

Read More

Six of the very coolest Halloween party snacks, no hard work required

The ever-growing lead time on holiday marketing can be overwhelming. I’m really not ready to think about Hanukkah or Christmas. But Halloween? That’s a different story. Especially Halloween party snacks. Bring it on! We’ve already had a Halloween party (no joke) and I’m happy to report back with six simple, festive snacks that will get you excited to dress up and party down. These snacks are easy to make whether you’re hosting a big gathering or just a few friends. Yup, there’s no way I’m going to give you an excuse to let the Halloween season pass without a...

Read More

8 quick, healthy breakfast recipes for even the busiest weekday mornings

Easy weeknight dinners, check. Simple school lunch ideas, check. Quick healthy breakfasts? Finally…check! Breakfast recipes–the kind that you can actually make on busy weekday mornings–are the final frontier of family cooking. But rest easy, cool moms. This pioneer woman (lower case “p” and “w”) has braved the wilds of the internet to bring you a round up of quick breakfast recipes beyond cereal, that will start your family off on the right foot (without setting you off on a late one). Turn plain yogurt and fruit into parfaits just by layering them in a tall glass. If that doesn’t look...

Read More

Coffee rings that prevent coffee rings

Need a clever coaster for that grande pumpkin spice latte? We’ve got you covered. We love how Coastermatic can turn any of your Instagram photos into coasters. But we also love the way photographer Jennifer Daniels has turned her images of disposable coffee cup lids into actual kiln-fired ceramic coaster art. Because what better way to protect your table from coffee rings and drips than images of coffee lids with drips? Oh, irony. You’re delicious. Especially with extra cinnamon. Find Coffee Lid coasters by Jennifer Daniels at Coastermatic. [h/t swiss...

Read More

9 playdate recipes and snack ideas that will make your house the most popular spot on the block

I can confidently cook for nearly anyone, but one type of guest stumps me over and over: the little ones who come over to play with my kids. In fact, figuring out what to serve on my kids’ playdates is way more stressful than planning a party for 10 hungry adults.  If you want something a little more than cracking open a bag of fruit snacks, I’ve rounded up 9 play date recipes all made with kid-approved ingredients in a mom-approved amount of time. And, of course, they are tasty, because what would be the point if they were’t?...

Read More

Keepers: a book of tried-and-true weeknight recipes kids will love, every time

For most of us, the school year is all about “keeper” recipes. Dinners you can rely on. Easy sides that the whole family will eat. Recipes that make life easier and more delicious. We’ve shared some of our favorite weeknight dinners and best veggie side recipes to help you get back into the swing of school night cooking and now, thanks to two cool moms and former Saveur editors, we’ve got a whole book of keepers–and a couple of sample recipes right here to get you started.  The cookbook is appropriately called Keepers: Two Home Cooks Share Their Tried-and-True Weeknight Recipes and the...

Read More

6 fast veggie side dishes your kids might actually eat

I consider myself a master meal planner, but there’s one thing that gets even me: veggie side dishes.  That’s right, even I–the self-proclaimed Queen of Meals–am often stumped for creative vegetable dishes to serve to the family with my pretzel chicken or one-pan pasta. Thanks to these veggie side recipes that can easily be whipped up at the last minute, I can ditch dinnertime cucumber wheels and carrot sticks for good. –Stacie    Nearly every vegetable tastes great simply roasted with oil and salt. But just a tiiiiiiny bit more effort can turn out a spectacular side dish in the...

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest