Healthy Kids Snacks – Kale Chips | Cute Beltz

Do you eat Kale?  I am a huge fan.  I usually saute kale in a pan with olive oil and green, red and yellow peppers, minced garlic and garlic salt and eat.  But, I have not been able to get my children to eat kale, so I am thinking about trying kale chips, has anyone had success?  Here’s a recipe I found from food network, seems pretty easy.  Giving it a try tomorrow, hoping for success on the first try.

Ingredients
1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt, for sprinkling
Directions
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes. Serve as finger food.

Have any tips on making kale chips?  Love to hear them before I give it a whirl! 🙂

Hoping kids love them! –Cute Beltz

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Fun 4th of July Treats | Cute Beltz

Somehow June has flown by and the 4th of July is right around the corner.   I’ve been looking for fun and festive 4th of July treats and desserts, and thought I would share some of the fabulous sweets I’ve found around the web.

Here are some 4th of July treat ideas that include just a few simple ingredients. No real cooking is involved- just some very easy assembly is required.

Red, White and Blue Strawberries

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Strawberries taste best in the summer but these juicy fruits might be too pretty to eat! Take a strawberry and dip it in melted white chocolate (I used the Baker’s brand) and then sprinkle blue sugar on the bottom tip of the berry. Keep the strawberries in the refrigerator on waxed paper until you’re ready to serve.

Ice Cream Sandwich Pops

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These treats are a kid-tested favorite and so easy to make it should be a crime. Cut an ice cream sandwich in half or use the mini sandwiches (I know Meijer has the mini ones.) Insert a wooden craft stick into the sandwich and then allow the ice cream to soften just a bit. Roll the ice cream in red, white and blue sprinkles and re-freeze on wax paper. Take out and serve when you’re ready.

Patriotic Cones

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These ice cream cones are just too fun and couldn’t be any simpler to make. Take a sugar cone and roll the top round part in melted white chocolate and then add red, white and blue sprinkles or colored sugar. Line them up on a wax-paper covered platter to harden and then bask in the admiration you will surely receive for your talent and creativity.

Red White and Blue Layered Popsicles

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Ingredients:

  • Blue Kool Aid (and sugar) or blue Gatorade
  •  Red Kool Aid (and sugar) or red Gatorade
  •  Vanilla yogurt
  • Cool whip
  •  Plastic cups or popsicle molds
  • Craft sticks

Directions:

1. Mix the blue kool aid as directed and pour into cups or popsicle molds for bottom layer. Freeze for 1 hour, or until mixture is beginning to freeze, but not yet hard.

2. In separate bowl mix 2 cups vanilla yogurt with 2 cups Cool whip. Spoon white mixture into popsicle molds. Insert craft sticks in an upright position into popsicle molds. Stick back in the freezer until solid (white mixture won’t get completely hard, but pretty firm).

3. Mix the red Kool Aid as directed and pour into cups for final layer. Freeze overnight or for at least 5 hours

If you feel like channeling your inner Martha Stewart, give any of these recipes a try and let us know how they turned out! Happy 4th of July everyone! – Cute Beltz

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Must-Have Apps for Busy Moms | Cute Beltz

Whether you’re a working mom, or a stay-at-home mom, there’s no doubt that you’re up to your eyeballs in errands and chores. Moms are some of the busiest people in the world and keeping up with the daily to-do’s, special school projects and doctor’s appointments can become overwhelming in no time flat.  From grocery lists to travel assistance to health-related apps, we’ve pulled together a collection of our favorite phone applications that can help busy moms in their day to day routine.

Cozi

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Cozi.com allows you to organize your family calendar, make shopping lists, manage to-do lists, leave reminders to yourself and jot in your family journal — all in one place. With their free Cozi iPhone, Android and BlackBerry apps, you can access and manage your Cozi account on-the-go.

BrainPop

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My daughters are big fans of BrainPop for its interesting fun facts and “movie of the day” feature. I’m a big fan of BrainPop for the educational benefit it provides. With a variety of topics — including social studies, art, science, and more — kids can continue learning after school has ended.

Karoo

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Do you feel like your baby’s life is already flying by? Do you have trouble keeping friends and family in the loop on all your child’s latest achievements? Karoo, the first mobile app from Care.com, helps parents, caregivers and relatives stay connected and share all the moments of childhood as they happen. You can create a private network of people you want to share information, pictures and milestones with. It’s also great for working parents, as your nanny or sitter can send you updates on naps, pictures of your child’s latest craft project and videos of play time at the park.

iCookbook

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With over 2,000 recipes, this app makes meal prep simple. No more worrying about finding healthy dinnertime options to serve your kids. You can browse recipes, personalize them (great for families with picky eaters!), create shopping lists and share ideas with friends. There is also a great hands-free voice option, so you don’t have to actually touch your tablet with flour-covered hands.

Mint.com

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Organizing a family’s budget and back accounts is hard work. Those math and economics classes you took in school seem like a very long time ago and maybe you need a little help remembering how to best manage your money. Once you set up an account, this personal finance app automatically stays on top of your transactions, categorizes them into helpful groups so you know what you’re spending money on and shows you how your monthly budget is doing.

Grocery iQ

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One of the best free apps for busy moms, Grocery iQ saves money and time when grocery shopping. Their barcode scanning feature makes creating lists easy. You can sort by category, aisle and more. This app is also integrated with coupons, so you can find easily find savings on the items on your list before leaving home. Grocery iQ is free for iPhone, iPad and Android users.

Kids Meal Deals

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To get all the latest “Kids Eat Free” and other family-focused restaurant specials in your area, this app is a must-have. Kids Meal Deals is updated regularly to keep all the dining promotions as current as possible. Available for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android, this app will use your location (or you can enter another one) to find all the best dining deals for kids nearby.

Fandango Movies — Times & Tickets

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Every mom and dad deserves an occasional date night. If a movie is in your future, don’t make a move without this free app. Fandango’s “My Movies” list lets you keep track of what you want to see and alerts you when they hit a theater nearby. You can even pick and reserve your seating directly from the app. Fan and critic reviews, as well as movie trailers, are included. So hire a babysitter and treat yourself to a grownups-only night!

Do you have a favorite phone application that you can’t live without?  Share it with us!

 

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5 Healthy Snacks For Kids | Cute Beltz

Serving healthy snacks to our kids is important not only for growth and development but also to support and encourage lifelong healthy eating habits.  Get your kids on board with healthy eating through these creative healthy snack choices your kids will love!

Peanut Butter

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This versatile childhood favorite has plenty of protein and fiber. For a change, try making silly PB&J sandwiches with toasted mini waffles or rice cakes instead of bread, or try it with yogurt and raspberries in a yummy frozen treat that’s super fun to eat.

Whole Grain Cereal

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With vitamins, calcium, and fiber, a bowl of enriched whole grain cereal with milk and fruit is a power-packed snack or healthy start to the day. For a fun and flavorful twist, try our cute clusters with yogurt-covered cereal and dried strawberries

Mini Waffle Cones

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Toast a frozen whole grain waffle and fill the waffle cone with cut-up fruit and top with low-fat vanilla yogurt.

Cheese and Fruit Kabobs

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Put cubes of low-fat cheese and grapes on pretzel sticks.  To add more variety add melon balls, berries, pineapple chunks, and cubed peaches for different creation every time.

Hummus

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Made from pureed chickpeas, hummus is an excellent dip for kids. It has an appealing nutty flavor, is thick enough not to be messy, and contains folate, vitamin B6, and iron. Serve hummus with cut-up vegetables or salt-free crackers for dipping, or use it to make a pita bread sandwich.

Smoothies

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Kids go crazy over these delicious sippable treats, and they’re packed with nutrients. Use nonfat vanilla yogurt, 100 percent orange juice, and a banana as the smoothie’s base, then experiment with a combination of cut-up fresh or frozen fruit. It’s a great way to sneak two or three servings of fruit and fiber into your child’s diet.

 What healthy snacks do you like serving your kids?   –Cute Beltz

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Delicious Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes

With Mother’s Day around the corner, it’s time to celebrate all the wonderful things moms do. A perfect gift is to give mom a break from cooking.  Treat Mom to a delicious brunch this Mother’s Day with some of our favorite recipes.

Whole-Grain Waffles with Cherry Sauce

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There’s no better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than by making your mom a delicious, healthy brunch. Take advantage of spring fruits and vegetables for a delicious Mother’s Day menu. Enjoy our Whole-Grain Waffles with Cherry Sauce for a sweet breakfast or our Chard & Feta Tart, a satisfying savory dish your mom will love.

Ingredients

Cherry Sauce

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen (not thawed) pitted cherries (10-ounce package)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Waffles

  • 2 cups white whole-wheat flour (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups low-fat or nonfat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preparation

1. To prepare cherry sauce: Combine cherries, water, honey, cornstarch, lemon juice and vanilla extract in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens, about 1 minute. Set aside.

2. To prepare waffles: Preheat oven to 200°F; place a large baking sheet on the center rack.

3. Whisk whole-wheat flour (see Measuring Tip), cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Lightly beat eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Add buttermilk, oil and vanilla; whisk until well blended. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.

4. Preheat a Belgian-style waffle iron. Lightly coat it with cooking spray. Add enough batter to cover about two-thirds of the surface (about 2/3 cup); distribute evenly with a spatula. Close and cook until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the waffles to the baking sheet to keep warm until ready to serve; do not stack. Repeat with the remaining batter, using more cooking spray as needed. Warm the cherry sauce over medium heat until hot and bubbling; serve with the waffles.

Mediterranean Tuna Antipasto Salad

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Packed with protein and fiber, this tuna and bean salad is ready in a flash. For an extra kick, add a pinch of crushed red pepper or cayenne.

Ingredients

  • 1 15- to 19-ounce can beans, such as chickpeas, black-eyed peas or kidney beans, rinsed
  • 2  5- to 6-ounce cans water-packed chunk light tuna, drained and flaked (see Note)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 4 teaspoons capers, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, divided
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cups mixed salad greens

Preparation

1. Combine beans, tuna, bell pepper, onion, parsley, capers, rosemary, 1/4 cup lemon juice and 2 tablespoons oil in a medium bowl.  Season with pepper and combine the remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons oil and salt in a large bowl. Add salad greens; toss to coat. Divide the greens among 4 plates. Top each with the tuna salad.

Savory Ricotta Pancakes with Tomato-Chard Sauce

Pancakes transcend breakfast when they’re made with savory ricotta cheese and topped with an Italian tomato and Swiss chard sauce.

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Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of (8-ounce) Swiss chard, tough ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed with press
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 can of (28-ounce) whole tomatoes in puree, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup of part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup of reduced-fat (2%) milk
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of margarine or butter, cut into three pieces
  • 1/4 cup of freshly shredded Pecorino Romano cheese

Preparation

1. Cut ribs and stems from Swiss chard leaves. Cut ribs and stems into 1-inch pieces; cut leaves into 2-inch pieces. Rinse Swiss chard thoroughly in large bowl of cold water; swish to remove any dirt. With hands, transfer chard to colander, leaving dirt in bottom of bowl. Repeat process, changing water, until all the dirt is removed.

2. Prepare Tomato-Chard Sauce: In 4-quart saucepan, heat olive oil on medium until hot. Add onion and garlic, and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until tender. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring. Add tomatoes with their puree and 1/4 teaspoon salt; heat to boiling on medium-high. Stir in Swiss chard; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Remove cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes longer or until chard is tender and sauce is thickened slightly, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat; cover to keep sauce warm.

3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Prepare Savory Ricotta Pancakes: In blender or food processor with knife blade attached, blend egg yolks, ricotta, and milk until smooth. Add flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and blend until smooth; transfer batter to 8-cup glass measure or medium bowl.

4. In small bowl, with mixer on high speed, beat egg whites just until stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted. With rubber spatula, fold beaten whites into batter.

5. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, melt 1 piece of margarine on medium. Drop batter by 1/4 cups into skillet, making 4 to 5 pancakes at a time. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until the edges are dry and bottoms are browned. Turn pancakes over and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until bottoms are browned. Transfer pancakes to platter; keep warm in oven.

6. Repeat with remaining margarine and batter to make about 16 pancakes in all. Serve pancakes with warm Tomato-Chard Sauce; sprinkle with shredded Romano.

Sunrise Bellini

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This slightly tart fruity Bellini recipe will zing you awake. It’s the prettiest color imaginable and it makes a brunch instantly fun! You can serve the Bellinis in champagne flutes or in simple Mason jars—be creative!

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe papaya, peeled, halved and seeded
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 12 fresh raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves
  • 2 thin slices peeled fresh ginger (1/4 inch)
  • 2 cups fresh tangerine juice (from 6-7 tangerines) or orange-tangerine juice
  • 6 ice cubes
  • Honey to taste (optional)
  • 2 bottles (750-mL) Champagne or sparkling wine

Preparation

1. Puree papaya, pineapple, raspberries, lime zest, mint and ginger in a blender until completely smooth. Add juice and ice and blend until the ice is crushed. If the mixture is too tart for your taste, add 1 tablespoon honey at a time, blending after each addition, until it’s as sweet as you like. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

2. To serve, stir the Bellini mixture and divide among 8 glasses. Very slowly top each drink with wine. Gently stir, if necessary. (You’ll have about two-thirds of a bottle remaining; top off drinks as desired.)

 

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