Posts Tagged ‘kid-friendly’

pumpkin dipFrom now through Thanksgiving, I’m going to share some of my most favorite pumpkin recipes, so stock up on pumpkin….and stay tuned…

I’ve been making this yummy dip for years and often share the recipe.  It’s a little different than many dishes, and easy to make.  Hope it is a hit at your place too!!


1 – 8 ozs. pkg. cream cheese, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1 – 15 ozs. can solid pack pumpkin

1 T. ground cinnamon

1 T. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. frozen orange juice concentrate

In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.  Gradually mix in the pumpkin.  Stir in the cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and orange juice until smooth and well blended.  Chill until serving. Let stand atleast 2 hours before serving to allow flavors to blend.

This is great to dip graham crackers, gingersnaps or apples in.


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I’ve had the recipe for years in my files, but had never made them until recently.  I had to add the adjective to their name, as they are sooo yummy!!  Pretty easy too, but my suggestion is that you keep a sink or bowlful of soapy water nearby…not only are they a little messy to make, I found myself licking my fingers a lot too.  *-*  They make a great appetizer or snack anytime.


cheese blintzes12 ozs. block cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 loaf sliced white bread
1-1/2 cups melted butter
1 cup sugar mixed with 1 Tb. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Mix cream cheese, sugar, egg yolks and lemon juice until smooth.  Cut crust off each slice of bread and roll flat with a rolling pin.  Spread with cream cheese mixture and roll up into spiral, then cut in half.  Dip in butter, then in cinnamon/sugar mixture and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 15 minutes (or longer if you place them close together).  After they’re cooled, they can be frozen or chilled and reheated in the oven or microwave.

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choc eclair cakeWe’ve always called this a cake, though it’s a simple, no-bake, delicious dessert.

Try it…you’ll like it.

(I use sugar free pudding and 50% reduced-sugar frosting, and serve it to company.  No one knows unless I tell them – the only real difference is that using sugar free makes the pudding softer set…frosting doesn’t set up as much either, but it’s still delicious)


3 cups cold milk
2 small pkgs. instant french vanilla pudding mix
1 – 8 ozs. frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 pkg. (14.4 ozs) graham crackers
1 – 16 ozs. can chocolate frosting

In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes.  Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set.  Fold in whipped topping.  In a 9″ X 13″ X 2″ dish, layer a third of the graham crackers and half of the pudding mixture.  Repeat layers.  Top with remaining graham crackers.  Refrigerate for atleast 1 hour.

Spoon frosting (I rarely use all of it) into a microwave-safe bowl.  Cover and microwave on high for 15 – 20 seconds or until softened, stirring once.  Spread over graham crackers.  Chill 12-24 hours before serving.

Yield: 15 – 18 servings

For a flavor change – use one pkg. of pistachio pudding, in place of one vanilla. This makes a lovely presentation!

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With cooler weather setting in, sometimes you want to get the oven going and do some baking.  These delicious and simple recipes – with only a few ingredients – are great to whip up for kid’s lunches or an anytime snack/dessert.


1 – 16 ozs. tub chocolate fudge frosting
1 egg
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Remove 1/3 cup frosting from tub.  In a large bowl, combine egg, peanut butter and remaining frosting. Stir in flour until moist.  Drop by rounded Tablespoons 2″ apart onto greased baking sheets.

Flatten cookies with a fork dipped in sugar.  Bake for 8 – 11 minutes or until set.  Remove to wire racks.  Cool completely; spread with frosting.

Yield: 3-1/2 dozen



1-18 oz. pkg. cherry chip cake mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 – 8 ozs. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 – 16 oz. tub cherry ready-to-spread frosting
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Beat cake mix (dry) and butter in large bowl on low speed until crumbly; reserve 1 cup. Press remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9″ X 13″ X 2″ baking pan. Beat cream cheese and frosting in bowl together on medium speed until smooth.  Beat in eggs and blend well.  Pour over crust – sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture.  Bake about 45 minutes or until set; cool completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Cut into bars – refrigerate any leftovers.

(My daughter-in-love, Kym, has made this recipe using cream cheese frosting and it was wonderful too!)

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It’s always fun to have dips made up for an easy snack – for the summer, for a getaway, for company. Hope you enjoy!!

credit: heydrienne

credit: heydrienne


1 8-oz. pkg. reduced fat cream cheese
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup (8 oz) reduced-fat sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup cold 2% milk
1 pkg. (3.4 ozs) instant vanilla pudding mix
(can use sugar free if desired)
Assorted fresh fruit

In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth.  Beat in the sour cream, extracts and cinnamon until smooth. Add milk; mix well.    Add pudding mix; beat on low speed for 2 minutes.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  Serve with fruit.


1 – 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 small container marsh(a)mallow cream
Blend well – use as fruit dip or dressing for fruit salad.  MMM!
(I once worked in the kitchen at a preschool – when I had to type up the new inventory list, I automatically typed my name when typing the word marshAmallows, and I’ll always remember that!)

credit: ^riza^

credit: ^riza^


8 oz cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sour cream
6 Tbsp powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 qt fresh strawberries
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add the sour cream, sugar, milk and extract; mix until smooth.  Transfer to a serving bowl.  Place the strawberries and crumbs in separate serving bowls.  Dip strawberries into cheesecake mixture, then into crumbs.  Makes about 2 cups.

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These are some easy treats/snacks for the summertime. Very yummy and no heating your oven. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

This is an all-year-round family favorite. We have it for birthday parties, picnics or any kind of get together.


1 (lg. or sm.) can of refried beans
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/2 pkg. taco seasoning mix

Top with your choice:
grated cheese
diced tomatoes
chopped onions
black olives

Spread beans on large platter or bottom of 9″ X 13″ glass dish.
Mix mayo and sour cream together – stir in taco seasoning and blend well. Spread over beans – then top with any, or all, of the toppings. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. I suggest letting the flavors blend for atleast 4 hours – so it’s a good ‘make ahead’ dish also. Serve with Tostito or Dorito chips.

I normally use fat free beans, lite mayo and sour cream – since there’s no baking involved, you could use fat free if you choose. Serve with baked chips.

I got this recipe from my dear friend Janean – these are some of my ‘favoritest’ snacks. I have to be careful not to eat more than my share!


1 cup white sugar
1 cup white karo
1 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 cup chopped nuts, optional

Bring sugar and karo to a boil in a saucepan – boil 1 minute – remove
from heat; stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Blend well, then pour over
cereal (and nuts, if using) and mix until coated evenly. Press into a 9″ X 13″ pan. Cool and cut – if you can wait until they’re cool. YUM-O!


11 regular sized, or 17 miniature ice cream sandwiches
1 jar (12 ozs) caramel ice cream topping
1 (12 ozs) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
1 large (7 ozs) symphony candy bar, chopped

Arrange ice cream sandwiches in an ungreased 9″ X 13″ X 2″ dish.  Cut a sandwich, or two, in half length-wise, and fill in the spaces in the dish.  Spread with caramel sauce and then whipped topping. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. Sprinkle with chopped candy bar.  Cover and freeze for atleast 45 minutes.  Cut into squares when serving.  Makes 15 – 18 servings.

My variation of this dish is simple – I don’t use the syrups, but stir into the whipped topping –  1-1/2 – 2 cups chopped candies – malted milk balls, peanut butter cups, toffee pieces, (your favorite)  and spread over the sandwiches.  Cover and freeze.  This keeps well for over a month.

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Just about anyone could eat more fruits and veggies, and summertime is a great time to enjoy more of them. But you don’t want to purchase a lot, and then have to throw it away because they haven’t been eaten. That’s definitely a waste of money and nutrition.

According to the Produce for Better Health Foundation:

  • Fewer than 15% of school-aged children eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables needed every day.
  • Over half of all elementary school-aged children eat no fruit on any given day.
  • Three out of 10 elementary school-aged children eat less than one serving of vegetables a day.
  • One-quarter of all vegetables eaten by school aged students are french fries.

What’s a mother to do?

The amounts recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is – younger children should eat atleast 1.5 cups each of fruits and vegetables every day.  Older, and more active children should be eating up to two cups of fruit and 3.5 cups of vegetables each day.  (Amounts are based on recommended calorie intakes for sex, age, and activity level: Check out www.mypyramid.gov to find out the amounts you and your children should be aiming for.

Here’s some ideas to help you get your kids steered in the right direction when it comes to consuming enough of these nutritious foods….

  • Take your children to the grocery store or open air market and let them choose a fruit or vegetable they like or would like to try.
  • How about giving them each $5 and letting them do shopping on their own – not allowing bread or candy to be among their purchases.
  • Add berries to their cereal; shredded lettuce and sliced tomatoes to their sandwiches; finely chopped carrots or broccoli added to soups, or other dishes, will give them the nutrition they need, without them even realizing it.
  • Encourage fruits and vegetables as snacks. Serve fruit as a dessert, and keep a dish of fruit visible to your family.  They will be more likely to eat more without thinking about getting something sweet instead.
  • Give them fresh baby carrots and/or celery for snacking, along with their own little cup of ranch dressing for dip.

Apple Smiles

Here’s a fun thing I did for my kids when they were growing up and have done it for my grandchildren as well.  If you can make eating ‘fun’, you’re more likely they will eat more nutritionally without a fight.

Take a red apple and cut it in half – core it, and slice it into 8 or 10 slices…to make ‘lips’.  Spread one side of two apple slices, with peanut butter, lay mini marshmallows on top to make ‘teeth’ and put the other apple slice on top.  I can just about guarantee you’ll make them smile as well – and that will be good for mom too.

apple smiles


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