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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Perfect Summer Cocktail: Strawberry Ginger Mojito | Cute Beltz

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When the days start getting longer, and the weather gets a little warmer, I start dreaming of one thing: strawberry mojitos. It’s my favorite drink during the summer months and I’ll take any excuse I can to make ‘em. They’re sweet with fresh strawberries and mint and the perfect light drink for any summer meal. But my twist on the strawberry mojito is to add a little bit of ginger liqueur. It adds a slightly spicy kick that’s perfect for an afternoon barbecue.

Strawberry & Ginger Mojito
Total time: 5 minutes Serves: 1

 Ingredients

  • 6 mint leaves
  • 2 ripe strawberries, quartered
  • 1.5 oz light rum
  • 0.5 oz ginger liqueur (or ginger syrup)*
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup or agave Ice Soda water or sparkling water

* Ginger liqueur or syrup can be difficult to find at the grocery store, but there are many recipes online for making your own in only 15-20 minutes. Otherwise your local specialty beverage store should carry it!

Directions

Muddle mint leaves and strawberries together in cocktail shaker. Add lime juice, rum, simple syrup, and ginger liqueur. Fill the shaker a little over half way with ice and shake vigorously for about 15-20 seconds.

Pour into a tall glass and top with soda water. Garnish with a strawberry or mint leaf.

What’s your favorite summer cocktail?Cute Beltz

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DIY Glitter Playdough Recipe | Cute Beltz

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Add some sparkle to your homemade playdough with this glitter playdough recipe! This is a kids’ favorite and one of the best playdough recipes to make for kids birthdays or other special occasions. This playdough recipe is not edible, but it does not need to be refrigerated so it is easy to store and keep. Use multiple colors and glitters to make all kinds of playdough that can be used to create every kind of shape and object, making this playdough recipe for kids a great choice, especially for crafts with young children.

Ingredients:

  • flour – 1 cups
  • salt – 0.5 cups
  • cream of tartar – 2 tbsp
  • cooking oil – 1 tbsp
  • water – 1 cup
  • food coloring
  • glitter

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients except glitter into a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix ingredients until consistent.
  • Add to a pan at medium heat.
  • Cook until mixture is a doughy ball.
  • Put on wax paper and add glitter.
  • Knead until dough is smooth and consistent.
  • Store in a sealed container but do not refrigerate.

If you want to add even more sparkle to your playdough sprinkle some glitter on after you’ve finish kneading everything together. This recipe is very kid friendly and easy to make! It is particularly fun to make after you have made some simpler playdough recipes with your kids and they can make something a little bit more difficult with your help.

What are some things your kids would add to their playdough  to make it fun to play with? – 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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Simple Solutions to Help Transform Your Picky Eater

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Has your preschooler refused to eat anything other than chicken nuggets for the past two days? Or would your toddler rather play than eat anything at all?  There are so many possible reasons for picky eating, but whatever the reason; finding ways to deal with it is a good place to focus your energy and attention. Remember…celebrate every little accomplishment…one bite leads to more!  Check out our simple solutions to help transform your picky eater!

Get Them Involved

Although your first instinct may be to shoo your toddler from the kitchen, studies show that kids who do some mealtime prep are more enthusiastic about trying the fruits (and veggies) of their labor. So let your toddler sprinkle cheese onto the pasta, toss the blueberries into the oatmeal, or spin the salad spinner.  Chances are they will be more willing to try something they helped make.

Be Patient With New Foods

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Young children often touch or smell new foods, and may even put tiny bits in their mouths and then take them back out again. Your child might need repeated exposure to a new food before he or she takes the first bite. Encourage your child by talking about a food’s color, shape, aroma and texture — not whether it tastes good. Serve new foods along with your child’s favorite foods.

Eat Together When You Can

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Sure, it’s hard to get everyone to the table, but try to eat together a few times a week. After all, toddler see, toddler do: Your child’s more likely to want a bite of something if he sees the rest of the family enjoying it.

Be Creative and Make it Fun

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Little tricks can sometimes encourage better eating. For instance, you could cut foods into fun shapes using cookie cutters. Turn mealtime into a game to see who can “eat all their colors.” Or try an at-home picnic for a change of scenery.

Get creative with presentation too! Your child’s plate doesn’t always have to look the same.  You can string beans or noodles around the edge of the plate. Try alternating veggies, meat and grain in mini-piles or stripes all over the plate, or combine them to make a design.  Use anything other than a kitchen plate to serve up food. It’s so easy to use colorful containers, toy dishes, an ice cube tray, or a muffin tin as dishes. These platters often make a meal or snack more interesting to a child.

How do you make mealtime fun for your child? – Cute Beltz

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Fun Frozen Treats For Hot Summer Days

On those hot summer days spent at the park with your little ones running around, there is nothing like coming home and making something cold and sweet for them to cool down. Frozen treats are fun and delicious, no matter how old you are. Today we’ll be bringing you all sorts of simple ideas for frozen treats to make and enjoy with your kids.

Kiwi Ice Pops

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Glowing in green, these sweet and tart kiwi ice pops appeal to kids and adults alike. This recipe is not only refreshing but no-fuss, making it one of the coolest ways to extinguish summer’s sizzle.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup(s) water
  • 1 cup(s) sugar
  • 4 kiwis
  • 1/2 cup(s) (about 4 limes) fresh lime juice

Directions

1. Make the syrup: Combine 1 cup of water with the sugar in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Set aside to cool.

2. Make the ice pops: Using a paring knife, cut kiwis into quarters, peel, and remove the white core and seeds from each piece. Place the seeded kiwi pieces in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and purée to a liquid — about 1 minute. Combine the puréed kiwi, 3/4 cup syrup, lime juice, and remaining 3/4 cup water in a large bowl. Pour the mixture into molds and freeze until solid — about 6 hours.

Lemon Sorbet

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This fragrant sorbet can be served as an intermezzo to cleanse the palate and stimulate the appetite, or be presented, instead, with not-too-sweet cookies for a light dessert. Add fresh herbs to the sorbet to give this treat an unexpected twist.

Ingredients

  • 10 sprig(s) mint, stemmed
  • 4 teaspoon(s) mint sprigs, finely chopped
  • 3 sprig(s) thyme
  • 3 cup(s) sugar
  • 3 cup(s) lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon(s) lemon zest, finely grated

Directions

1. Combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in three small saucepans. Add the mint leaves to one pan and the thyme sprigs to another. Bring all three to a boil, remove from the heat, and steep for 12 minutes. Strain each steeping mixture into a separate bowl, stir 1 cup lemon juice into each, and cool completely. Process each batch separately — starting with plain and ending with thyme — in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions for sorbet. Stir the finely chopped mint into the mint-infused sorbet once it has set. Stir the lemon zest into the plain lemon mixture when it has set. Place a film of plastic wrap directly on the sorbet surface in an airtight container and freeze until firm — about 1 hour.

Watermelon Pops

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Don’t be fooled by these frozen treats! Made from sorbet blended with mini chocolate chips, they’re a great cool down dessert on hot summer days.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup strawberry sorbet
  • 2 teaspoons mini chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup lemon sorbet
  • 2 drops green food coloring
  • wedge-shaped popsicle molds
  • popsicle sticks

Directions

1. To make a batch, mash together 1 cup strawberry sorbet, 2 teaspoons mini chocolate chips, and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl.

2. Put the mixture into wedge-shaped popsicle molds (we used six 2-ounce molds), filling each about two-thirds full.*

3. Spoon a thin, even layer of lemon sorbet on top. In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup lemon sorbet, 2 drops green food coloring, and 1 tablespoon water.

4. Spoon a layer into each mold and insert a popsicle stick. Freeze the pops for at least four hours.

Ice-cream Cookie Cups

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This summer, double your pleasure by serving your family’s favorite ice-cream flavors in edible chocolate chip cookie bowls.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. To make the cookie cups, beat together the shortening, butter, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract, beating until combined.

2. In a separate bowl, sift together the salt, baking powder, and flour, then gradually stir them into the batter. Stir in the chocolate chips.

3. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a flat disk, and wrap it in plastic. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

4. Heat the oven to 375º. Turn two 12-cup muffin tins bottom side up and cover 10 of the cup bottoms with squares of aluminum foil (use every other cup so there’s some space between them). Grease the foil with shortening and set it aside.

5. Unwrap 1 disk of dough, place it between 2 sheets of waxed paper, and roll it out to a 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out 4-inch circles of dough and place each one over a cup bottom, smoothing out any cracks. Repeat with the other disk, rerolling and reusing any scraps.

6. Bake the cookie cups for 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown. Let them cool for 10 minutes, and then remove the foil and cookies together from the muffin pan. Peel off the foil and let the cups cool completely on a rack. Just before serving, fill each cookie cup with a scoop of ice cream. Makes 10.

What are some other ideas that would make great frozen treats?

 

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Easter Chicks Deviled Egg Recipe

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Are you looking for something different to do with your eggs on Easter? How about making them into these cute little Easter Chicks?  They are rather simple to make and cheap too.

To make deviled eggs start by first boiling them. The best way to make boiled eggs is to put 12 in the bottom of a 3 quart pan.  Cover with water (have the water about 1 inch over the eggs).  With the lid off bring the eggs to a boil once they have reached a FULL rolling boil, let them boil for 2 minutes.  Turn the heat off, put the lid on and let them stand for 15 minutes.  Once 15 minutes has passed take them out and put them in an ice bath cooling them, so you can then peel them.

Once you have all 12 eggs peeled, cut a SMALL section off the wide end, this will create a flat surface so the eggs can stand up and not roll on the plate.  Carefully remove the yolks, being careful not to tear the whites. (This will take a bit of patience.) Collect all of the yolks into a small mixing bowl and add the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and vinegar. Mix until smooth.

To make a really creamy filling, use a fork and mash the yolk up as fine as you can make it. Then mix in the mayo and a little salt (to taste) until it has a consistency of pudding. At this point, it’s still a bit gritty though. So scoop the entire mixture into a gallon-sized Ziploc and knead the baggie just as if it were dough! Spend a good 15 to 20 minutes squishing the baggie until it’s super creamy like frosting.   To fill the egg white halves from the baggie, just cut the corner of the baggie and squeeze the bag, applying it to the egg halves like squeezing icing onto a cake.

To make the Chicks eyes cut a small pickle length wise , into 4 thin strips.  Then cut those thin strips into even smaller section to create a little eye.  Do the same thing to a baby carrot, but cut the 4 thin strips into a triangle shape for the chicks beak. Place the top of the egg back on at an angle so you can see the chicks face.  Add the eyes and beak and you are done.