Mouthwatering Snacks for Kids (But Grownups Will Love, Too!)

These snacks for kids will make your child’s mouth water. We’ve combed the web for the most delicious, gooey, crunchy, salty and flavorlicious snacks. The grownups in the house will love them, too, so be sure to make a big batch of…everything!

In our opinion, it’s high time we stop denying our natural urge to snack. Just for one day, go off your rigid diet plan/meal plan and indulge in these snacks for kids. Snacks have always been a part of the day or evening. Youngsters pause for snack time at day care. Employees hit the office kitchen for afternoon snacks. The whole family enjoys snacks while playing on the computer, watching T.V., or playing cards with the boys. But all of a sudden, people are trying to malign snacks. We’ve been told to cut out snacks for kids and grownups. We’re only supposed to eat at meal time, with no “in-between” snacking. Where’s the fun in that?

The best thing about these snacks for kids is that they aren’t intended to be healthy. Your kids can eat a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner, but for heaven’s sake, let them have a snack that just tastes good. These mouthwatering snacks fit the bill. If it happens to have a few nutrients, that’s all well and good, but it certainly wasn’t the reason we chose to include it here. So pick one or two of these mouthwatering snacks for kids and get snacking!

1. Toaster Oven Baked Potato Wedges

baked potato wedges

These baked potato wedges are inexpensive and so easy to make, even your teenager can do it! And aren’t those the best kind of snacks for kids? The recipe is designed so you can make these in your toaster oven. They are kind of a cross between an everything bagel and a proper English french fry. So basically, nothing wrong there! You’ll also find a recipe for the perfect dip accompaniment. Make a huge batch. Seriously. Like, use an entire bag of potatoes. These are totally addicting.

2. Coconut Caramel Popcorn

popcorn-with-coconut-caramel-750x500

Now don’t be put off by the fact that this recipe of snacks for kids is vegan. We are choosing it for its taste, not its health benefits, honest! It has a decadent, salty, crunchy texture combined with a sweet, gooey, gooey caramel flavor. Basically, if your kids like salted caramel flavor, they’ll love this twist on boring old regular popcorn. You can even grab a handful and put them in a Baggie for a school time snack. Get the recipe here.

3. The Ultimate Texas Nachos

Texas Nachoes

We can’t think of one kid on Earth who wouldn’t want to dig into a plate of these spicy hot Texas Nachos when s/he comes home from school. This is one after school snacks for kids that the whole family will enjoy. Be ready with a side of bread or crackers. Water will just send the fire racing around your mouth! Hint: If you have longer kids who can’t take the heat of the peppers, make half a batch using regular black olives instead of the jalapeños. 

4. Crispy Fried Pickles

crispy fried pickles

If you’ve never had crispy fried pickles, you will go nuts after tasting these. You will literally wonder where these babies have been all your life. Of course, if you grew up in the South, you probably are part pickle yourself after eating so many of these tasty snacks for kids. But if you’re new to fried pickles, you owe it to yourself to make a batch right now. If you don’t like frying foods, you can use an air fryer and get the same results.

5. Oreo Ice Cream Cake Pops

oreo cake pops

Okay, these Oreo Cake Pops take a little bit more effort than some of the other snacks for kids we’ve listed here. But the effort will be paid off with a big reward when you see how quickly your kids make them disappear! And the best part is, you can totally substitute different flavors of ice cream – or even cookies – so the taste is exactly what your kids will love!

S’Mores Bars

smores bars

We can’t think of any kid who wouldn’t like to come home from soccer practice and find a batch of s’mores on the table! These chocolatey, marshmallow delights are all the better for being made indoors; even on a hot summer day. S’mores Bars are surprisingly easy to put together, even though they look decadent and complicated. Made with mini marshmallows instead of the full sized ones, these snacks for kids are still packed with creamy goodness.

 

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5 Lunchbox Snacks Every 90s Kid Misses As An Adult

Remember the days when mom packed a lunchbox for you? As an adult you have to pack your own lunch for work, or worse, hit the vending machine at the noon hour. Somehow, tearing open a brown paper bag and seeing your smooshed cheese sandwich inside just isn’t the same as finding the lunchbox snacks you had as a child.

The whole concept of the school lunchbox is awesome. There you are, with your own private lunchbox, feeling just like dad swinging his briefcase. Or maybe you fantasized about being a woman executive, on her way to an important meeting in the school cafeteria.

The Lunchbox as a Statement

Your lunchbox made a statement about you, too. You either had your favorite superhero, favorite cartoon character, or a lunchbox that really said something about your interests. Like a lunchbox with the Apollo moon landing, or wild animals roaming on the plains of Africa. You could have a lunchbox made out of metal, or even stamped metal – those were cool. Or, you might have had one of the vinyl lunchboxes that all smelled like the inside of a Barbie Doll house.

Lunchbox Snacks: The Best Part of the School Day

But the best part about the school lunchbox was the lunchbox snacks inside. This was before all the peanut allergies, gluten-free craze, and healthy school cafeteria lunch ladies came into existence. Back then, lunchbox snacks were the most nutritionally irresponsible, totally delicious, scrumptious and tasty treats ever invented on the face of the earth. And we miss them. Which one of these lunchbox snacks was your favorite?

1. Hostess Ho-Hos

Hostess ho-Hos were always one of the most popular lunchbox snacks that a kid could hope for. If you opened up your lunchbox and found a couple of these, you could easily make a new friend just by giving one up. Ho-Hos were special. They came in their own little foil wrapped package, all ready to go. Now, everyone had their own way of eating a Ho-Ho. Here’s mine:

Carefully unwrap the foil. (Save the foil! It can be used to make a fake stick of gum, or bite your teeth into to get a weird shocking sensation.)

With the front of your teeth, carefully bite off the chocolate from the bottom of the Ho-Ho.

Now use your fingers to remove the rest of the chocolate coating. Enjoy!

Now for the cake part of the Ho-Ho: Delicately unwrap the Ho-Ho, tearing off bits as you go. You can enjoy these little by little. At the very end, when you have only a tiny little roll left, bite from one end until your Ho-Ho is gone. Now you have to make the hard decision to either trade your Ho-Ho, give it away, or eat it yourself.

2. String Cheese

string cheese lunchbox snacks

Technically, string cheese is a protein, so the fact that you mom just had to rip one off the set and toss it into your lunchbox doesn’t make it any less. String cheese was great. If you weren’t really hungry, you could just sit there and play with your food. All the while, it looks like you’re eating. String cheese comes off in such tiny little strips, it could take you the whole lunch hour just to eat one.

3. Goldfish Crackers

goldfish lunchbox snacks

Goldfish are essentially little cracker pellets that we used to toss into our mouths like fish food. But what really made them special is the fact that they’re hollow inside. That meant that you could eat a whole packet and still not feel full. When they came out with colored goldfish, the orange ones just never tasted the same, though.

4. Little Debbie Oatmeal Crème Pies

Little Debbie lunchbox snacks

Little Debbie made the best lunchbox snacks in the world. She’s still doing it, but for some reason adults aren’t allowed to have these as lunchbox snacks. But we’ll never forget that soft, chewey gooey sensation as we bit through that outer oatmeal cookie shell and reached the creamy center. (They also made good cafeteria Frisbees!)

5. Squeezeits

Squeezeits lunchbox snacks

Discerning moms who wanted their kids to have juice as part of their kids’ lunchbox snacks included “healthy” Squeezits. They came in exciting colors, with a little funny-faced guy on the box that seemed to say, “Hi there! I’m silly and delicious!” These plastic bottles of juice, which also served as bottle rockets, were nice and sugary; exactly what we need in the middle of a boring school day. Thanks, Mom!

Yeah, the days of fun lunchbox snacks are over. Your own kids will likely never know the joy of a sugar rush in the middle of the day. Those were the days, my friend.

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7 Healthy Foods That Are Causing You to Pack on the Pounds

Have you been diligently eating only healthy foods on your weight loss journey, only to discover that your scale is going in the wrong direction? The problem may lie in not understanding just how many calories you’re consuming with those healthy ingredients and snacks.

1. Brazil Nuts

Nuts have amazing health benefits, and they definitely belong in your healthy eating plan. For example, Brazil nuts are packed with selenium, which is purported to be an anti-cancer superfood. Selenium helps boost your immune system and has anti-oxidant properties, as well. However, one cup of Brazil nuts contains 872 calories. Go easy on them or you could end up with a body the size of Brazil.

2. Dark Chocolate

Women everywhere rejoiced when the health benefits of dark chocolate were announced. Dark chocolate contains large amounts of iron and magnesium. It even even contains fiber, which everyone knows is a key ingredient for successful weight loss. But before you gobble down that entire bar, know this: There are almost 600 calories in one bar. Just one small ounce has 170 calories. Given that, a few nibbles are probably a better idea than a whole bar.

3. Yogurt

Probiotics is a buzz word lately, and the best place to get them is inside a rich, fruit-filled yogurt cup, right? Wrong. Most of the popular brands of yogurt have added sugar (or sugar substitutes). One cup of yogurt has about 100 calories, but remember that the added sugar can a) increase cravings, and b) get stored as fat.

4. Cheese

What woman doesn’t feel clever choosing to chow down on some protein-packed cheddar cheese instead of junk food? While cheese is truly a healthy food when consumed in small quantities, it can sabotage your weight loss efforts if you don’t control your portion sizes. Just one ounce of cheddar cheese has about 114 calories. If you have a kitchen scale, you’ll see just how small one ounce is. In case you don’t, it’s about two tablespoons. Depressing, huh?

5. Avocado

The versatile and delicious avocado is valued by dieters for its healthy fats, which increase feelings of satiety. They are also loaded with nutrients like potassium and Vitamin B6. When you enjoy avocado, though, be aware that half an avocado has over 160 calories. And everyone knows that it’s easier to eat both halves than to let the other side go brown. There’s 320 calories right there. Enjoy.

6. Olive Oil

While everyone else was debating the differences between light olive oil, virgin and extra virgin, we turned the bottle around and checked out the calories. Yikes! Just two tablespoons of olive oil has 238 calories! Be careful of how much you use for your cooking, or you may inexplicably start packing on the pounds.

7. Coconut

The coconut is wildly popular right now. Home cooks are finding more and more ways to integrate this natural anti-biotic and healthful food into every recipe. Recipes are calling for coconut oil and shredded coconut, and women are using coconut milk and coconut water for cocktails, smoothies and sauces. While no one is disputing the health benefits of coconut, you may want to lower your intake just a bit if weight loss is your goal. Try to keep calm when you read this, but one coconut has over 1400 calories and a single cup of shredded coconut has over 280 calories.

Moderation is the key to enjoying any of these healthy, calorie-packed foods. It’s not worth giving up the tremendous health value in an effort to lose weight.

As long as you indulge lightly while keeping in mind the calorie counts, you should be good to go.

 

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The 4 Best Vegetarian Food Blogs for Non-Vegetarians

Recipes that are deemed “vegetarian” don’t necessarily have to be for vegetarians only. Everyone needs abundant vegetables in their diet, whether they are vegetarians or meat eaters. Here’s a roundup of some of the web’s finest vegetarian food blogs for the non-vegetarian crowd.

A Plant Based Soul

Every recipe on this vegetarian blog can be made for $15 or less, which is enticing to anyone with a food budget. I was drawn to the vegan, gluten-free, soy-free meatless sausages–I mean, how is that even possible? They will definitely be on my breakfast menu this week!

It turns out Shea, who writes this blog, wasn’t always a vegan. According to her “About” page, she lost 35 pounds after switching. You don’t have to be a vegan or a vegetarian to have your appetite whet with recipes like Lentil and Quinoa Stew, or Cranberry Vegan Goat Cheese.

Oh My Veggies

This image-rich vegetarian food blog serves up hundreds of delectable dishes organized in categories like “comfort foods,” “gluten-free dinners,” and “easy dinners.” You won’t find any meat-based recipes on this site, but you will find incredibly filling and satisfying meal ideas like, Spicy Mango Pizza with Black Beans & ZucchiniSesame Soba Noodle Bowls with Roasted Veggies & Baked Tofu, and Green Goddess Baked Potatoes.

The Garden Grazer

This is one of my favorite vegetarian blogs, and I’m so glad to be able to share it with you! Kaitlin’s colorful and “happy place” blog is pretty simple looking, but it holds lots of yummy recipes that non-vegetarians are sure to be tempted by.

Start with this super easy recipe for a Coconut Vanilla Matcha Smoothie. I’ve personally tried this and have become completely hooked. If you don’t know what matcha is yet, prepare to have your mind blown. Here’s a rundown of matcha that Kaitlin offers.

Next, toss together this lunch or dinner recipe for BBQ Tempeh Sloppy Joes. Your family will literally devour these, I promise.

If you’re feeling indulgent, mix up these Vegan Fudgesicles for a decadent dessert idea.

The Veg Space

Now, I know what you’re thinking. What does a brit know about fresh vegetables, right? Well, this vegetarian and vegan food blogger is all chin up on her veggie recipes, trust me.

First up, choose something from her “starters & sides” category. I recommend the Baked Onions with Hazelnut, Sultana & Feta Stuffing, because, hey, who doesn’t need an excuse to use sultanta? What’s a sultana, you ask? Well, let’s just call it a grape and go with that. Anyway, you’ll be too busy chewing to explain about sultana.

Next, let’s go for Broccoli & Walnut Pesto, because everyone loves pesto. I like this recipe because it incorporates two super healthy ingredients–broccoli and walnuts. The broccoli provides that all-important cruciferous vegetable contribution that fights cancer, and the walnuts provide the protein that vegetarians need. Even if you are not a vegetarian, this dish is sure to please everyone at your dinner table.

Finally, let’s finish up our evening meal with a classic English dessert, the sponge cake. The is called the Victoria Sponge, and you will be ever so fancy and international when you serve it to your American guests.

Well, that’s it. These are four of the best vegetarian food blogs that will keep even non-vegetarians coming back for more recipe ideas!

 

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3 Delicious Cold Soups You Can Make in Your Blender

Soup is one of the most versatile and hearty and nutritious foods you can eat. The range of soup possibilities you can whip up in your kitchen is made even wider when you consider that you can use any standard blender to make delicious cold soups.

One very attractive feature about soup is that you can make huge batches, even if you’re just cooking for one. Soup freezes really well, so feel free to go crazy with your cold soups batch sizes. You can make a giant batch and freeze portions for later. Here’s how to freeze your cold soups in a safe manner.

  1. Purchase a box of large-mouth Mason jars or Ball canning jars.
  2. Purchase a canning funnel. These are made to fill the large mouth jars without spillage.
  3. Run the jars through your dishwasher to get them squeaky clean.
  4. Use a ladle to fill the jars, leaving at least an inch of headspace at the top. (The headspace allows for the water in the soup to expand as it freezes without cracking the jar.)
  5. Seal the jar with the 2-piece canning lids.
  6. Label each jar according to what kind of soup and store in the freezer for up to three months.

Here are some cold soups to whip up in your kitchen blender today!

Chilled Avocado Soup

This soup is rich and creamy, yet it won’t leave you feeling uncomfortably full. Perfect for lunch or brunch on a warm summer day!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 avocados, medium
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • dash salt

In your blender, puree all the ingredients until smooth. Serve immediately. Garnish with lemon wedges. Serves 4.

Cold Cucumber Soup

Cold cucumber soup is something that dates all the way back to the Victorian age, and maybe beyond that. This classic is still popular, especially for those who live in hot regions of the world. This blender soup is possibly one of the easiest soup recipes you’ll ever make.

Ingredients

  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled and deseeded
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons dill
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon coriander

Blend the cucumbers first, then add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve chilled. Garnish with cucumber slices and a sprinkle of fresh dill. Serves 4-6.

Chilled Lettuce Soup

If you’re looking for an unusual way to add more greens into your diet, this is a delicious option. Serve before lunch on a warm day, or anytime you want a pick-me-up.

Ingredients

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and deseeded
  • 1 head of Iceberg lettuce, quartered
  • 1 large potato, boiled
  • 4 scallions
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup sour cream or yogurt

Blend the cucumber and lettuce first, then add the remaining ingredients, reserving one scallion for the garnish. Blend until thoroughly smooth, then store in refrigerator to chill. Serve cold. Garnish with chopped scallions if desired. Serves 4.

 

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The Hidden Cost of Fad Diets

It seems like every month, magazines are touting the next great diet. One month it’s the ketogenic diet, the next everyone’s talking about going paleo, and the next month some doctor is warning against eating white food. A girl could get dizzy trying to keep up, and your bathroom scale dial is probably spinning wildly. Does your weight control plan consist of shifting from one fad diet to the next? Serial fad dieting has serious consequences you should be aware of. Before you jump on the next diet bandwagon, read this.

The Risk of Malnutrition

Fad diets very often restrict one or more food types. Doctors, nutritionists and most physical fitness experts, on the other hand, stress the importance of eating a diversified diet that gives a person the best chances of getting all the necessary nutrients that their body needs to function at its peak.

When you drastically restrict your food intake or completely eliminate one or multiple foods, you run the risk of malnutrition. It may seem unheard of to have malnutrition in an age when so many foods are at our disposal. However, malnutrition is more common than you think, even in first world countries like the United States. A Journal of Nutrition study conducted in 2015 revealed that 85% of Americans don’t receive the FDA’s recommended daily vitamin and mineral intake. Malnutrition can lead to muscle loss (remember, your heart is a muscle, too), fatigue, headaches, and even disease.

Your metabolism is a finely tuned operating system—when you eat right. When you constantly jump from one diet to the other, however, your body doesn’t know what the heck is going on out there. One month it’s enjoying processing that fresh-squeezed orange juice you made, and the next month, all you’re glugging down is some chalky protein powder shake that has no vitamin C at all. Scurvy, anyone?

The healthiest diets don’t exclude entire food groups. If you feel you must diet, choose one that incorporates all whole food groups.

The Risk of Obesity

That’s right. Fad diets can contribute to obesity. Many fad diets have less than optimal calorie counts. If you’re used to plenty of calories at each meal sitting, you could end up feeling deprived the whole time you’re dieting. Even if you see some weight loss on the scale, you might not be able to shake the constant hunger pangs and feelings of deprivation and resentment toward those who seem to be able to eat as much as they like and still stay thin.

You’re human. You don’t like feeling hungry all the time, and really you shouldn’t have to. So, eventually, your brain starts coming up with reasons why you should eat more. It will validate the upcoming binge. Then you cave. As you binge, you savor every delicious bite. You overeat. The next morning, you feel guilty and perhaps ashamed. You decide that it feels better to eat than to starve, and you relax the reins on your dieting. You may even give up altogether. Finally, you weigh yourself again and find that amazingly, you weigh more now than you ever have!

This is how some studies have shown that starving yourself on fad diets can end up making you even fatter than you were before.

Opt for diets that have allowances built in for in-between meals snacking, and the occasional indulgence. This will give you the best chances for sticking to the plan and achieving the weight loss you desire.

Of course, the best diet is no diet at all. Making an eating lifestyle change is better than “going on a diet.” Be present when you shop for food, and when you eat. Note how you feel after each meal and avoid things that make you feel grumpy, bloated or tired. When you start to look at food as nourishment instead of as treats or rewards, you may not be tempted to go on another fad diet ever again.

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Your Microwave: Not Just For Popcorn Anymore

Does your microwave only get used on movie night when there’s popcorn to be made? Get more use out of this versatile appliance with these handy microwave hacks.

Clean A Dirty Sponge

One of the strangest microwave hacks is using a microwave to clean a dirty sponge. The crevices in sponges harbor all kinds of bacteria. To clean a dirty sponge, just wring it out thoroughly and zap it in the microwave for 30-60 seconds.

Freshen Soggy Chips

If you live in a humid climate, your potato chips probably turn soggy a little too often. Crisp them up in your microwave for a minute on a paper towel. The towel will absorb the moisture, leaving your chips crunchy.

Easily Peel Garlic

If you have a recipe that uses lots of garlic cloves, you could spend too much precious time trying to pry the skins off each clove. To easily peel garlic quickly, pop them in the microwave on high for 5-10 seconds. The skins will fall away effortlessly.

Soften Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is known for getting hard as a rock, and you usually don’t discover it until you need it for a recipe. Soften brown sugar in the microwave by putting it in a glass bowl with a wet paper towel on top. Zap for 20 seconds or until you can sift through the brown sugar with a fork.

Treat an Earache

It’s almost as painful to see your child experience an earache as it is for them to have one. While you’re waiting for the morning to come when you can see the doctor, treat the earache with a warm cloth. Wet a washcloth and heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds or until warm (not hot). The moist heat will provide some relief.

Form a Mouth Guard

Those plastic mouth guards your kids wear for sports are uncomfortable right out of the package. Heat it in the microwave for 5-10 seconds or until the plastic is malleable enough to form with your child’s bite.

Make Soap Flakes

Are you out of laundry detergent? Make your own soap flakes to use in the washing machine using a bar of Ivory soap and your microwave. Just place the bar of soap in the microwave on a dish and turn on high for two minutes. The soap will expand and turn into soap flakes when you crumble it with your fingers.

Dehydrate Fresh Herbs

Do you have fresh herbs that are going to go bad before you can use them up? Dry them quickly inside your microwave. Place a glass bowl in the microwave. Put about 1 cup of loosely packed fresh herbs on the dish and microwave for about 4-5 minutes. Crush them and store in a jar.

Now about that popcorn…

Did you know you can make your own popcorn bags?

Fill a brown paper lunch bag with half a cup of popcorn kernels. Fold the bag end so it’s nicely sealed. (No need to fold the bag into thirds.) Set your microwave to “popcorn,” and watch as the bag fills with your oil-free popcorn treat.

Enjoy these easy microwave hacks!

 

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4 Distracting Things to Do Until Your Food Cravings Pass

Food cravings can sabotage your health and weight loss goals. We all suffer from food cravings at some point, but it is possible to get through them without succumbing to the temptation. Experts say that food cravings usually go away after 15 minutes. Here are some ideas for distracting activities that will not only make the time fly by, but maybe even cut that food craving time in half.

Play Tetris

A surprising study conducted late last year at the University of Plymouth indicates that playing the video game of Tetris for as little as three minutes can reduce cravings by one-fifth. There’s something about this game that makes players forget about whatever food craving they were experiencing. This is the first test of its kind, so it’s possible that other video games can achieve similar results, though that hasn’t yet been put to the test. In the meantime, why not download this Tetris game on your smartphone so it’s ready to play when your next food craving rears its ugly head.

Have Sex

Food cravings can sometimes occur from the desire to fill something that’s missing in our lives, such as an emotional connection with another person. Having sex instead of binging on a bag of chips will not only keep you busy for 15 minutes (longer if you’re lucky), but it may also help to show you that a real emotional connection is available to you. And by the way, your partner doesn’t have to know that you’ve made a choice between him/her and a Milano cookie. That can be our little secret.

Use Aromatherapy

There is an abundance of anecdotal evidence to suggest that aromatherapy can reduce or eliminate food cravings. The next time a craving comes upon you, try brushing your teeth with minty toothpaste. The fresh taste in your mouth and your minty breath may inspire you to want to avoid ruining that fresh-brushed taste and smell. You can also keep a bottle of peppermint essential oil in your medicine cabinet. Whenever a food craving occurs, just pass the jar under your nose. Some people say that the peppermint scent will rid you of cravings and refresh your senses.

Exercise

One of the best ways to avoid the temptation of a food craving is to exercise. The activity will take your mind off whatever is in your kitchen, and the knowledge that you’re getting in better physical condition will give you willpower to resist food cravings. To make it work, keep your gym bag in the car or closet, ready to go when cravings hit. If you don’t have a gym membership, a brisk walk or jog through the neighborhood will accomplish the same thing. After as little as 15 minutes, your food cravings will likely vanish.

One thing you can count on is, the more often you can resist your food cravings, the less frequent they will become. Remember, all you have to do is get through the next 15 minutes without giving in. After that, it will get easier as time goes on.

 

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Easy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Eclair Recipe

If you’re an éclair lover who lives in America, you’ve probably been feasting on those imitation versions found in supermarkets. But as any true éclair connoisseur knows, those aren’t éclairs so much as rectangular, cream-filled donuts. If you’ve been fortunate enough to have ever visited France, you have tasted the true éclair, and you have longed for that genuine airy choux pastry filled with rich cream. Of course, here in America, we also long for the rich blend of chocolate and peanut butter, so why not have it all?

To commemorate National Chocolate Éclair Day, here you’ll find a delicious—and easy—unique version of a recipe for Peanut Butter and Chocolate Éclairs. Maybe this will even make its way back over the Atlantic where French people will yearn for our distinctly American version of one of their favorite pastries.

First, a little history. According to many historians, the éclair was invented by pastry chef Antonin Carême, for the royal Duchess in France, back in the nineteenth century. He named it, “pain à la duchesse,” but it has been since renamed the éclair. Interestingly, the first English-language recipe for the éclair appeared in the 1884 edition of the Boston Cooking School cookbook, written by Mrs. D.A. Lincoln. The word éclair means “lightening” in French, which some say refers to the shiny glaze on top of this oblong-shaped pastry.

And finally, here is a simple and easy to make Recipe for Peanut Butter and Chocolate Éclairs for you to celebrate National Chocolate Éclair Day. These are a little different than what you may be used to. The actual filling is chocolate, and the topping is peanut butter. When you bite into it, the chocolate and the peanut butter combine in that ever so delightful way. Yummy!

Recipe for Peanut Butter and Chocolate Éclairs

Yields 6

Ingredients:

For the Shells:

  • 4 sheets Phyllo (find in your grocer’s freezer section)
  • 3 Tablespoons softened butter
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

For the Filling:

  • 15-ounce can of premade chocolate pudding

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup of smooth peanut butter

Instructions:

  1. Lay out a piece of tinfoil measuring 12 x 6.
  2. On top of that, lay out a piece of parchment paper measuring 12 x 6 inches. (This ensures that the aluminum doesn’t touch your food.)
  3. Use a pastry brush and brush with softened butter.
  4. Lay a 12 x 6 measure of Phyllo on top of the parchment paper
  5. Brush the Phyllo with softened butter.
  6. Sift a sparse layer of powdered sugar over the butter.
  7. Repeat steps  4-6 until you have 4 layers of Phyllo.
  8. Repeat the process with the rest of the Phyllo on separate parchment paper.
  9. Use a spatula to spread a layer of pudding on top of the Phyllo.
  10. Carefully roll the Phyllo into loose logs, being careful to wrap the ends.
  11. Bake on a baking sheet at 300 degrees for 10 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven.
  13. Unwrap from tinfoil.
  14. Unwrap from parchment paper.
  15. Allow to chill in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  16. Use a spatula to spread a layer of smooth peanut butter across the top of your Peanut Butter and Chocolate Éclairs.

Serve with a napkin and Bon Appetit!

Celebrate National Cherry Day

Life really is a bowl of cherries if you want it to be. Why not enjoy everything that this delicious fruit has to offer? One cup of cherries has just 77 calories, and is packed with Vitamins A and C. And did you know that the Romans discovered cherries all the way back in 70 BC? Since then, people around the world have been developing new recipes to take advantage of this amazing little delight. Here are some for you to try.

Cherry Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cherries, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 small red onion, rough chopped
  • ¼ fresh basil, rough chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled over fish such as tilapia.

Frozen Cherrytini

Ingredients:

  • 6 cherries, pitted
  • 2 ounces vodka, chilled
  • ice

Blend all the ingredients together and serve in a martini glass. Garnish with maraschino cherry, if desired.

Cherry Cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • 3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk

In a stand mixer, mix the cream cheese, cherries, sugar, and flour until thoroughly blended. Turn the mixer to a low speed and add the vanilla extract, eggs, and milk.

Pour into a graham cracker crust and bake for 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Add extra time if the center does not appear to be set. Chill before serving.

Cherry-Almond Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cherries, pitted and chopped
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

In large mixing bowl, beat butter with both sugars until smooth and creamy. Turn to low speed and add egg and almond extract until smooth. Add the flour baking powder and salt until a dough is formed. Stir in cherries and almonds. Form the dough into two rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for one hour.

Heat oven to 375°F. Slice the dough rolls into ¼ inch slices. Bake in 375 degree oven for 7-9 minutes on ungreased cookie sheet. When the edges start to turn brown, they are done. Allow cookies to cool before removing from cookie sheet.

Cherry-Walnut Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cherries, pitted and chopped
  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped

In large mixing bowl, mix 1 cup of the flour, all the sugar, the baking powder, baking soda and the salt until thoroughly blended. Turn the speed to low and add the butter, the milk and the cherries. Add the eggs and the rest of the flour until blended. Finally, add the nuts. Bake in a greased 8 x 4 x 2 loaf pan for 55 minutes in a 350 degree oven. It’s done when an inserted toothpick in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool before removing from the loaf pan.

Now you have several cherry recipes from which to choose from. So next time you want your life to be a bowl of cherries, or at least have a beautiful bowl of cherries on your kitchen counter, you’ll have your pick of uses.