How to Cook Apple Pie Steel-Cut Oats in a Slow-Cooker

This week I wholeheartedly embraced the slow-cooker challenge along with dozens of other bloggers. I stewed beans all day, simmered a vegetable stock, and combined ginger, coconut and chicken into a fragrant dinner.

I even used my slow-cooker for breakfast, something I’m going to be doing a whole lot more of, thanks to an ingenious technique discovered via Food 52 for overnight steel-cut oats.

As you’ve read, oatmeal in all its forms is one of my pantry essentials. We use rolled oats in our Overnight Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal, stir steel-cut oats for Brown Butter-Toasted Oatmeal with Roasted Pears, and often cook a pot of quick oats on those hurried Monday mornings.

Of all the varieties of oatmeal, my affections lie with steel-cut oats. However, I am less fond of the 30 or so minutes of cooking time that they require in the morning to reach the perfect creamy, yet toothsome texture. I had tried a few overnight versions, but found that, although convenient, they left the oats with a gummy consistency.

Fortunately, I have come across a completely new method that has – yes, I dare to say it – revolutionized our breakfasts. [Read more…]

Eat Well, Spend Less: Wholesome, Homemade Food for Air Travel

We’ve just returned from a family vacation in the Caribbean where we unplugged, relaxed and enjoyed time with extended family.

Our boys, now 5 and 3, did amazingly well on the four flights, all things considered. Mateo napped during the long stretches and they both ran their little legs off between gates during our tight connections.

While flight delays, lost luggage, and air turbulence cannot be helped (or avoided, it seems) one aspect of air travel that can be controlled is nourishing food. When you bring your own, that is.

On our recent trip to Atlanta for BlogHer Food, I felt particularly gouged by the expensive, yet tasteless, food options available in the airports and on flights. Knowing I would have the kids along on the next trip, I mentally noted to pack my own snacks and lunch.

Being able to eat well in an airport is rare. Being able to spend little is nearly impossible. For this month’s Eat Well, Spend Less post, I’ll tell you how I managed to do both.

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banana oatmeal pancakes

Nutrition for Picky Eaters (Recipe: Fluffy Banana Oat Pancakes)

Feeding kids is a tough job. As parents we constantly worry about what they’re eating. Are they getting enough? Eating the right things? Trying new foods? It’s a never-ending process.

That said, some kids are naturally adventurous eaters and you don’t have to worry quite so much. On the other hand, some are much less than adventurous. You might even call them a “picky eater.” Or if it is especially bad, a “problem feeder.”

In our family we have one of each. Our daughter was a particularly voracious eater as a baby. She skipped the baby food phase almost entirely, preferring to grab at chopped up table food with her chubby hands. She’s easily encouraged to try something new and eats a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, so it’s not often that I worry.

In contrast, our son is a “problem feeder” (read more about that here). At times I have been in a constant state of worryregarding his nutrient intake. With the help of a feeding therapist and a nutritionist we were able to work around his limited palate.

Here are some healthy eating tips that have worked well for us along the way. By using these simple suggestions, you can turn many foods that a typical picky eater or problem feeder enjoys into something that is much more nutritious for their growing bodies.
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Simple Tips for Baking with Kids (Recipe: Giant Oatmeal Cookies)

Written by Lynn of Cookie Baker Lynn.

As a parent, one of my goals for my children is that they should be able to take care of themselves after they’ve left the nest. I know a young woman who called home from her first month away at college, asking how to boil water. She had never had any kind of experience in the kitchen and was starting at ground level as an 18 year old.

How much better it is if we can start our kids at an early age, letting them get comfortable in the kitchen. I have two kids out of the nest and I love them telling me that they can still hear my voice in their heads teaching them how to hold the knife when cutting vegetables. We practiced cooking and baking together and today they are able to thrive in the kitchen.

I also have two children still at home, so there are many more teaching and baking opportunities ahead for us.

Switching Gears for Baking with Kids

For me, baking with kids requires a different mindset than my everyday baking. When I’m on my own I like to put on my headphones and listen to a book or dance to tunes while I create, my hands working almost independently, they’ve had so much practice. But when my children want to help, I need to take a breath and shift gears, going from fast, efficient mode to slower, teaching mode.

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Frozen Bites Part 2: More Easy Summer Treats

Written by Shaina of Food for My Family.

This summer marks the fourth year in a house without air conditioning. We survive the 90- and sometimes even 100-degree heat year after year by living in tank tops and flip-flops. I also open the windows and blow hot air around, trying to create a breeze. Finally, I stock my freezer full of cool treats that will air condition my family from the inside out.

Having survived a late July due date with my fourth child in these weather conditions, I’d say I know a thing or two about midsummer frozen fare. I start with the obvious: popsicles and ice cubes, both perfect for plopping into water that can’t get cold enough or running across your skin, and then I move on to things like frozen fruit for daily smoothies and ice cream treats aplenty.

Here are three of our favorite frozen summer treats.

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