11 Cold Appetizers for Hot Days

For my money, nothing beats a piece of fresh fruit for an instant snack this time of year. But when I want to kick it up a little, add a new flavor or incorporate a few veggies into a meal other than dinner, these are my go-to summer snacks. Each one is cool, refreshing and kid-tested to boot.


The Pioneer Woman’s Frozen Fruit Cups (pictured above)
This is my kind of recipe: Chop up a little fruit, throw it in a freezer-proof cup, freeze and serve. I love Ree Drummond’s idea so much that I’m already planning to whip out my muffin pan just so I can make more of them! An even dozen should do it, right?

Peaches & Cream PopsiclesPeaches & Cream Popsicles Pull out your blender to make the sweetest, smoothest and most-luscious ice pops of the summer. It takes only a dash of real cream to take these frozen treats to the next level, and it’s called amazing. Frozen GrapesFrozen Grapes This one works especially well when you’re traveling or out for the day. Nothing is more refreshing (or harder to make a mess out of) than popping an ice-cold grape into your mouth. P.S. Sliced strawberries, blueberries or raspberries are also excellent contenders for this on-the-go snack.

Let the Kids Assemble Themselves

Yogurt and Granola TrifleYogurt and Granola Trifle How can you go wrong with layers of sweet strawberries, crunchy granola and creamy yogurt? Yum, yum and yum! Sliced Cucumber Sliced Cucumber “Sandwiches” This idea sprang up last year when my garden started bursting at the seams with cucumbers — and we’ll do it again every year. Just set out any combination of meats and cheeses and let the kids mix and match between crisp slices of “bread.” Personal Veggie CupsPersonal Veggie Cups Mix one part ranch dressing with one part plain yogurt for a better-for-you dip that comes together in seconds. Then fill the bottoms of small drinking cups. Set out a veggie tray and ask the kids to design their own palm-sized collection of crudites. BruschettaFresh Tomato Bruschetta Stay with me here. This is one of those recipes that looks fancy and seems too sophisticated for kids, but only one of those descriptions is true (hint: it’s the first one!). If you can dice up a few tomatoes, slather on the olive oil and tear a little basil, you can make a fresh and delicious toast topping your kids will ask for all summer long. Simple White Bean Hummus with Lemon JuiceSimple White Bean Hummus with Lemon Juice Drained white beans from a can are the base of this surprisingly addictive dip. Add a little olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice and you’ve got a nutritious dip served for pennies.

Prep on the Fly

Blueberry Smoothies with a Superfood SurpriseBlueberry Smoothies with a Superfood Surprise Just in time for blueberry season, this simple smoothie packs a cool and refreshing punch, thanks to frozen bananas and the one ingredient you might not have thought of. Pimiento Cheese SpreadTrisha Yearwood’s Pimento Cheese Spread If you’ve ever been in the South, you may have heard of this one. Still not sure? Consider this threefood-ingredient cheese spread a protein-packed snack you’ll feel good about serving, and one your kids will love. #eatitanywhere Jicama Slices with Lime JuiceJicama Slices with Lime Juice This one’s so simple that it’s more of an idea than a recipe, but don’t let that fool you. Your kids will devour these crisp and juicy jicama slices, featured in Food Network Magazine, and ask for more.

Charity Curley Mathews is the mom of four small kids who live for their two snacks a day. She’s also the founder of Foodlets.com, a site that’s part simple recipes featuring fresh ingredients and part parenting advice she wishes she’d had all along.

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11 Easy Holiday Appetizers You Can Make in 10 Minutes

Going to a holiday party and need a quick appetizer? These 10-minute easy holiday appetizers will have you prepared for drop-in guests and last-minute party needs. Pick one or two recipes and keep the ingredients on hand, and in just 10 minutes you will be ready to party this holiday season!

If you’re hosting your own holiday craft party, add these slow cooker appetizers and pumpkin milkshakes to the menu, too! They’re easy, delicious, and sure to be all gone by the time the party ends.

1. Easy Italian Skewers

11 Easy, 10-Minute Holiday Appetizers | thegoodstuff

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Warm and Cozy Beef Bourguignon

There’s something extra cozy about coming in from the cold to a huge pot of something delicious bubbling away on the stove. It’s been extra cold here in Tokyo. The other day, we went to a pottery fair and froze our butts off looking at all the gorgeous pieces. I felt bad for the vendors – at least we were able to move into the sunny patches and warm up for a bit.

Cold as it was, we had a blast! There was a DIY yakimochi corner where you could buy two mochi cakes, toast them over a grill, then enjoy them on a handmade plate. It was extra cozy, warming up our hands over the grill. I’ve never had yaki mochi with just miso before, but I think it’s going to be a regular thing now. After we filled our bellies, we took at look at the pottery — it was gorgeous. We bought 5 bowls and then stopped because our luggage space is a premium and I promised myself (and Mike) that this time, I wouldn’t buy so much stuff to bring home.

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Chinese Hotpot — A Popular Chinese Dish You Should Try

Why the Chinese Like Eating Hotpot

The hotpot has a long history of over 1,000 years in China. It used to be favored only in winter, but recently hotpot has been appearing on tables all year round.

Beside the delicious flavor, there are two other important reasons for Chinese liking hotpot: the first one is that it is a great way to socialize. People gather around the pot, chatting, eating, drinking, and having fun.

The other is that hotpot is a “healthy meal”. Boiling is better than frying, and bone nutrients are released into the broth. Eating hotpot can warm the body and improve circulation in winter, and increase perspiration to help cool the body in summer. Some seasonings used in hotpots can help alleviate some minor illnesses like colds, blocked sinuses, and headaches.

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Three-Bean Chili With Spring Pesto

To make 5 Ingredient Breaded Lemon Chicken, you basically do what you would do for any breaded chicken cutlet– pound it thin, bread it, and fry it, except instead of using egg to get the breadcrumb to stick, you use lemon juice.  Believe it or not, the lemon juice does a great job of keeping the breadcrumb intact, and the acid helps your chicken stay soft and juicy inside when you pan fry it.  Not to mention, the citrus brings a whole new dimension of flavor to the chicken!


  1. 1tablespoon plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1small yellow onion, chopped
  3. 2carrots, diced
  4. 114.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, including liquid
  5. kosher salt and black pepper
  6. 115.5-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  7. 115.5-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  8. 115.5-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  9. 1clove garlic, finely chopped
  10. 3tablespoons pine nuts, chopped
  11. 1cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  12. crusty bread (optional)

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