A peek Into My Kitchen: Oven-dried Apple Chips

I am always looking for easy, fun and healthy snacks to give my kids after school…and, quite honestly, for them to snack on on their way out the door in the morning if they haven’s had time to eat a real breakfast.

Making apple chips is surprisingly simple and, though I wish that I had one of those handy-dandy dehydrator gizmos, doesn’t require anything more complicated in the way of tools than an oven and a cookie sheet.

I like to cut the core the apples and cut them in circles, because I think they’re more fun to eat that way.  If you’d rather cut them in slices, that could work just as well. I like to make a bunch at a time because, though this recipe couldn’t be more simple, it does take time and patience.


A peek Into My Kitchen: Seedy Granola #nutfree #allergyfriendly #breakfast

I love granola, but, as the mom of a kid with nut allergies, most packaged brands are off-limits.  This is an easy recipe which, even if your household is allergy-free, is a much cheaper, healthier option than most of what you can find in your supermarket’s cereal aisle.

Note: Some people who are allergic to tree nuts also cannot have coconut, in this case you can easily substitute canola or other mild vegetable oil.  Likewise, any seeds which pose an allergy risk can also be omitted. If you are cooking for someone with a severe allergy, check packages to make sure that the oats, seeds and dried fruit you have purchased have not been packaged on a line with nuts.

Seedy Granola


A peek Into My Kitchen: Vacation Snacks to Pack for Small Children

I’m typing this post into my phone with one thumb in a hotel room in Israel with intermittent WiFi…
Traveling with kids can be tough, routines get thrown off, familiar stuff is left at home (the favorite stuffed animal or blanket of the moment almost always turns out to be the one you left behind) and, often, changes in time zone wreak havoc on sleeping patterns.
I’m a big believer in traveling with a whole bunch of medication, toys, gear and especially snacks to make the change more palatable. I promise to share my other lists at some other point, but here are some easy to throw in a suitcase foods that can be ready to appease little mouths for your actual traveling time as well as for when you get to your destination and thoughout your stay:
For plane/car/bus/train:
*Refillable water bottle per child (if you’re flying internationally, empty it before you go through security so the TSA doesn’t bug you and have stewardesses refill on the plane)
*Empty milk cup/bottle per child (good to keep your cups for milk and other beverages separate, especially when you may not be able to wash them so well)
*Applesauce or other puréed fruit pouches–some good ones are Happy Baby, Plum Organics, Earth’s Best, Revolution Foods and GoGo Squeeze. These are great for older kids as well! Freeze a couple and pop them in your bag for slushy treats en route! They also make great ice packs for…
*cut up apples, pears, grapes, carrots, clementines, cheese sticks/cubes
*frozen single serving shelled edamame
*raisins, dried apricots or other dried fruit
*fruit leather
*cereal (either in small bags or snack cups)
*crackers, pretzels, rice cakes, cookies, cereal bars, yogurt drops
*For a plane–lollipops, sucking candies gum are essential for kidlets too big to suck on a bottle or to nurse during takeoff and landing. Toddlers under 3 should probably stick to the lollipops to prevent choking scares.
*small sandwiches, mini yogurts or yogurt squeeze sticks if it’ll be meal time
Note: if you are traveling between countries, you may need to leave any leftover produce on the plane so as not to have problems with agricultural authorities (particularly when entering the US)
For the trip itself:
*more of all of the non-perishable items from above
*if your children are avid milk drinkers, you may want to pack a few boxes of shelf stable milk–particularly if you prefer organic, which isn’t always easy to find. Milk tastes different in different places, and, you may not want to jeopardize this source of protein and calcium for a picky child.


A peek Into My Kitchen: Popcorn–Two Ways

My husband loves popcorn, particularly movie theater popcorn. Greasy, deadly, salty, bright yellow, god-knows-what’s-hiding-in-there-popcorn. In the days before kids, we would see a movie almost every Saturday night, reveling in bottomless buckets of popcorn and endless cups of High-C fruit punch (that being my own chemical dependency.) Some Saturday nights we would even see two movies back-to-back, particularly if the first movie was a complete disappointment….or a little bit scary. (Yes, we always bought tickets to the second movie instead of theater hopping–because that’s just how I roll.

With 2 young kids in tow, the movies nights are fewer and far between, having given way to DVR, movies on demand and a whole lot of HBO.

The love for popcorn and for each other endures 🙂


Did you hear about the Recall of Children’s Benadryl Allergy Fastmelt Tablets and Junior Strength Motrin caplets

McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc. has initiated a voluntary recall of all product lots of Children's BENADRYL® Allergy FASTMELT® Tablets, in cherry and grape flavors, that were distributed in the United States, Belize, Barbados, Canada, Puerto Rico, St. Martin, and St. Thomas and all product lots of Junior Strength MOTRIN® Caplets, 24 count, that were distributed in the United States.

Though the company claims that "No action is required by consumers or healthcare providers and consumers can continue to use the product." would you want to give this to your kids?

Not me.

You can address questions (and furious comments!) to the McNeil Consumer Care Center at 1-888-222-6036 (available Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. ET and Saturday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Eastern Time.)


Allergy Danger! Raisinets Recalled–May Contain Peanuts!

As a mom of a nut-allergic child, this is the kind of recall that gives me nightmares. 

Nestle has received a handful of reports of peanuts being found in some of their fun size Raisinets with the production code of 02015748/UPC number 2800010255.  Though the packages were printed with the allergy warning "made on equipment that also process peanuts"  they still should not have contained actual nuts.

The company advises those with peanut allergies who have purchased the recalled product not to consume them. Nestle urges consumers to contact their consumer services hotline at 1-800-478-5670 for a full refund and to immediately throw out any remaining packages.