Real Food For Families

Game Day


While the rest of the country is gearing up for tomorrow’s “Big Game Day”, here in Syracuse, our big game is today! Syracuse University’s Men’s Basketball team is undefeated and going up against the legendary Duke Blue Devils for the first time since moving from the Big East to the ACC. For those of you who don’t follow college basketball…I know this means nothing …but here in the ‘Cuse, where everyone bleeds orange…this game is going to be a lot of fun to watch!

So we’re serving up home made chicken wings, meatball sliders, macaroni & cheese, salad (I had to sneak something good for us in there!) and orange cheese doodles!! Yes, I am giving in for one day and letting the kids eat cheese doodles and Doritos. But that is the beauty of trying to eat well most of the time. When these special occasions come along, you don’t sweat the bag of artificial colors and flavors you’re letting your kids consume.

I do want to share the recipe for the chicken wings and sauce. I completely stole this from Catherine Newman’s blog, Ben & Birdy, so I will send you right over there. What I love about it…the hot sauce she recommends for making the classic Buffalo wing sauce…has 5 ingredients, all real food! Win! Enjoy the game!

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2013 in 13 photos

I’m linking up with House Unseen today…13 photos from 2013…HAPPY NEW YEAR!




And Now…Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming


Of course, the “Regularly Scheduled Programming” involves a list as long as my arm of things that need to get done…but right now…I’ll relax for at least a few minutes! The kids are off to school on a beautiful sun drenched morning and although they won’t admit it, I think they are just a tiny bit excited. Here’s a peek at what I packed in their lunches…nothing too exciting…but that’s kind of the point. Keep it simple and it’s manageable.


Unfortunately, it was not “Bring Your Dog to School Day” so you know who had to remain at home!


Hiking and Snacking


The summer is starting to wind down…swim team is done, our trip to the Adirondacks is behind us and there’s some much welcome white space on the calendar. Beginning now and heading into the fall is our favorite time to take advantage of some of the beautiful places around us to go hiking. We live in Central New York, and there are some amazing spots that are easy to get to and fun for the kids. The above pictures were taken at Clark’s Reservation . For the relatively short hikes that we go on, a bottle of water would suffice, but somehow I always get talked into bringing a snack. As the kids get older, I imagine that we will try to go on longer and more difficult treks (except that I am also getting older, and more lazy!) when the right kind of snacks will actually become important. For now, I guess our snacking during hiking is practice for the future!

SNACKS TO BRING ALONG WHEN HIKING (in addition to water!)
1. Plain popcorn
2. Whole grain bread, pretzels, crackers or tortilla wraps
3. Whole grain cereal (with 5 g or less sugar per serving)
4. Apples, bananas or oranges
5. Carrot/celery sticks
6. Raisins or other dried fruits
7. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
8. Unsalted mixed nuts and/or seeds
9. Combine #s 3, 6, and 8 to make your own trail mix

We hope to check out Pratt’s Falls and Chittenango Falls before the summer is over. What is your favorite place to hike?

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Food For Hair


My kids are on the swim team at our neighborhood pool and every year around mid July, their hair starts to look and feel like straw. I considered cutting it off and using it for autumn decor…but they objected. So this summer, Katie tried using a food remedy, with amazing results. Okay…we’re lying…that “After” picture was actually taken immediately following her haircut appointment. But we think that the mayonnaise is worth trying. She only did it twice this summer, but her hair did feel much nicer afterwards. All you do is scoop out about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of real mayonnaise, smear it over your hair, put a plastic bag around it and leave it in about 20 minutes. Then rinse it out and that’s it!





KATIE: A couple of days ago my mom tried to teach me how to make steak. Well, by the time my mom was done I was trying to escape to the backyard because of all the smoke. By the way my mom did most of the cooking, so I’m not to blame for the burned steak. Now, here above is a picture of the pot we used when my mom was done with it!

DEBBIE: Obviously, we need to tweak this recipe a little bit before we post it. The steak was actually edible, but we don’t want you to end up with a pot that looks like ours!


Ahhh…That’s Better

The piles are gone (well…at least the ones on this table!) and now we can get back to cooking and blogging! Stay tuned for a post by Katie about her favorite “real food” snacks. Have a wonderful, restful weekend!


Help…I Can’t Find My Dining Room Table


Does your dining room table ever look like this? Mine seems to look this way a lot lately. And this is sort of a good day…because for the past week I have been trying to get it cleared off. There was about a two week stretch last summer when we were actually able to eat at our dining room table. But recently, it seems that unless I am expecting visitors (then, of course, everything gets shoved into a closet) this is my dining room table. So I have decided that this coming week, all of the flat surfaces in the downstairs of my home are getting cleared off. (Yes, sadly, the dining room table has some company…I’ll spare you any more photos).

So…this week…the meals will be simple. Check back here on Saturday and we’ll share 3 simple recipes for the upcoming week. One chicken, one pasta, and one fish. Nothing new, nothing fancy, just old standbys I can make without even thinking about them. Because this week, I have a dining room table to look for.

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At Least We Are Supporting a Local Small Business


This isn’t exactly the type of meal you would expect to be featured on a blog about cutting back on processed food…but like I’ve said before…we are certainly not perfect. The kids have been sick this past week and it finally hit me last night. Our local pizza place does make their own dough and use fresh ingredients, but I’m thinking the wing sauce and the chunky blue cheese might not fit our definition of “real food”! I promise that when things are back on track around here I will post an easy recipe for homemade pizza dough. We hope you are staying well and warm as you dig out from the storm!




My name is Katie. my mom and I created this blog to show some of our favorite recipes. We changed the original recipe to make it “real food”.  We hope you enjoy the recipes!  – Katie

Hi, I’m Debbie, Katie’s mom.  We love to cook and we have spent a lot of time adapting recipes so that they are easy to make and use as little “processed” ingredients as possible.  So we hope you will be able to use some of the ideas for your family.