Real Food For Families

Make Your Own Fudgesicles


I may or may not be addicted to these…they certainly don’t last very long around here. We are smack dab in the middle of our summer vacation and despite our “pool snack shack issues” , I am very proud of the fact that I have not yet purchased a single box of packaged frozen treats. (We won’t talk about how often I’ve ordered take out food this summer…yikes!) These homemade fudgesicles are simple to make and much better for you than what can be bought in the store. There’s still plenty of summer left…enjoy!

(Adapted from 100 Days of Real Food )
~2/3 cup real màple syrup
~1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
~1 teaspoon vanilla
~1 heaping cup plain yogurt
~1 1/4 cup milk

Whisk the maple syrup, cocoa and vanilla together until smooth. Gradually whisk in the yogurt and the milk. Pour into the molds and freeze.

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Garlic Bread


How do you get an eight year old boy to help you make dinner? “Of course you can sit up on the counter!” is what I’m going with these days. My son learned how to cook spaghetti and heat up sauce from a jar a few weeks ago, and we also added garlic bread to the menu. He came to the store with me and picked out the bread and the garlic. He also learned how to use the garlic press. I had never actually made garlic bread before, so we looked up a recipe in Betty Crocker’s Cookbook and it turned out to be another one of those “Why haven’t I been making this forever??” moments, it was so darn easy! I told my son that knowing how to cook for himself is sort of like having a superpower that not everyone else has. It will serve him well in life, that I am sure of. And someday, he will be tall enough to simply stand at the counter…but that probably won’t be nearly as fun!

~1 loaf of sliced French or Italian bread
~1/2 cup butter, softened
~1 clove of garlic, minced

Mix the butter and minced garlic together and then butter one side of each slice of bread. Reassemble the loaf and wrap in heavy duty aluminum foil. Heat in a 400 degree oven, 15 to 20 minutes.

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Grandma Kathy’s French Toast

We’re starting our fourth week of summer vacation…are your kids bored yet? I hope not! But if they are, why not ask them to be in charge of breakfast tomorrow morning? Most kids will be on board with any recipe that requires cracking of eggs. Toddlers can help whisk and soak and older kids can cook and flip. Double the recipe and freeze the leftovers for heating up in the toaster oven on busy mornings.

~2 eggs
~1/2 cup milk
~1 teaspoon sugar
~1/2 teaspoon vanilla
~several shakes of ground nutmeg
~5 to 6 slices of bread

1. Whisk all the ingredients (except for the bread) together in a shallow pan.
2. Heat a non stick (or slightly oiled) griddle or skillet over medium high heat.
3. Soak the bread in the egg mixture for several seconds and then cook in the skillet or griddle several minutes on each side until golden.
4. Remove the French Toast from the heat and sprinkle with cinnamon and maple syrup.

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Chicken That Does Not Come in a Bucket


A few years ago, when I first started paying closer attention to how I was feeding my family, one of the things that I was most impressed with, was roasting a whole chicken. It amazed me that I could shake some salt and pepper on, along with a few other spices if I was feeling adventurous, and have dinner in the oven in less time than it would have taken me to figure out what to order at KFC (those drive through menus have way too many choices…I get very overwhelmed!). After about a year of this enlightened state of chicken on our dinner table, I happened to “treat” the kids to the famous chicken in the red and white bucket with the picture of Colonel Sanders on the front. About halfway through the meal, this is what I heard, “This is the best chicken I have ever had in my life!!” My shoulders drooped and I hung my head. But, as I sat there, feeling like Charlie Brown, it occurred to me, I must not give up! These are the same kids that say things like, “You never let us have any fun!”, and “You always make me clean up my room…every day I have to clean up my room!” (I will spare you the photos of the rooms in question.) So, I have to remember, that yes, the Colonel’s chicken is tasty, but maybe, certain people around here are exaggerating for dramatic effect. And just maybe, someday, when they have lived past 8 and 9 years old, the BEST chicken of their lives will not have come from a bucket.

Adapted from Dinner, A Love Story
~3 cups buttermilk
~1 1/2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
~3 garlic cloves, halved
~3 to 4 lbs. of chicken parts, bone in. Choose whatever parts you like, or cut up a whole chicken.
~Olive oil or cooking spray
~2 cups of your favorite plain breakfast cereal flakes, crushed up (we use Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes)
~1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
~1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme
~salt and black pepper to taste

1. In a very large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mustard and garlic.
2. Place the chicken parts into the buttermilk mixture, cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large, shallow baking sheet with foil and coat lightly with olive oil or cooking spray.
4. In a large bowl, combine the cereal crumbs, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper.
5. Take the chicken out of the buttermilk (discard the buttermilk) and dredge in the crumb mixture until coated on all sides and then place on the baking sheet.
6. Spray the chicken lightly with cooking spray or olive oil and bake in the oven 35 to 40 minutes.

Sit down and eat the best chicken you’ve ever had in your life!

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Summer Oatmeal


My husband eats oatmeal every single morning. My Dad introduced him to this healthful habit not long after we were married and it’s pretty much been his go to breakfast ever since. I am a firm believer in the benefits of oatmeal and for years have been trying to get the kids on board as well. Aside from a brief run a few years ago, they have been generally unimpressed with it. I would love to report that this new idea of “summer oatmeal” did the trick…but, sadly, it was a thumbs down from both of them. But that has not stopped me from eating this almost every morning this summer. I make 2 or 3 jars of it at a time, stick them in the fridge…and I’ve got an easy breakfast the next day. When it’s already 80 degrees at 7 AM, it’s nice to have a cold version of oatmeal and I can throw in whatever add ins I want, just before I eat it. So, hopefully someone out there has kids that will like this…it will certainly make your mornings easier. And I’ll keep trying to find a way to get my kids to eat oatmeal!


I found this idea on two different websites, Weelicious and Kath Eats Real Food. I hesitate to even call it a “recipe”…it’s so simple. You just put equal parts uncooked oats, milk, and yogurt into a container (I use old jelly jars), stir it to combine everything, put the lid on and stick it in the fridge overnight. In the jars pictured above, I used 1/2 cup of each ingredient. In the morning you can add a little bit of maple syrup or honey, and whatever other add ins you would like (you can also mix the add ins in the night before if you want). I’ve been stirring in sunflower seeds and fresh berries. Other possibilities are dried fruit, like cranberries or raisins, chopped nuts, cut up banana, chia or flax seeds, peanut butter, cinnamon, vanilla…lots of possibilities. These will keep up to 3 days in the fridge.

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