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January 14, 2015
School’s Out: Kid-Friendly Snack Ideas for A Sunny Summer!
By Janet Tharpe
Goodbye carpool, hello swimming pool! That warm breeze tells me it’s that time again; time to switch out the school year routine and get ready for a sunny, funny summer!
Of course, with all the giggly joys of the season comes the challenge - ok, let's call it an "opportunity" - to keep the kiddos and grand-kiddos fed and entertained. If my grandson has taught me one thing it’s that you can never have too much food on hand. We always have cut veggies and whole fruit in the fridge, but we also love finding unique treats for the occasional indulgence. Lucky for us, we’ve recently come across some super fun recipes for curbing the kids' cravings between meals!
Really, what says summertime snacking more than old fashioned Cracker Jacks?! We love 'em and were thrilled to find a terrific recipe for homemade 'jacks... with a twist! "This is our movie night favorite!" says Sue Adame of her Cracker Jacks Gone Wild. "I admit I tend to over indulge, but cannot help myself!" And it's no wonder! Chock full of salty-sweet popcorn, cashews and dried cranberries, this yummy mix is an eat-it-by-the handful delight! Oh, and did I mention that every bite is laced with colorful chocolate candies?! Have the kids pick their favorite colors and, well, go wild!
"My kids and I love sweet and tart little goodies," says Honorary Kitchen Crew gal, Leah Stacey. In fact, Leah’s entire brood fell head-over-heels for JoSele Swopes' cheerful Kool-Aid Treats. The simple addition of powdered drink mix adds oodles of color and pucker-inducing fun to these otherwise classic Krispy treats. "We have tried them in several flavors,” exclaims Leah, “and they never fail. If you want an extra kick try putting 2 packs of the same flavor in them."
For a savory all-star treat, gather up the kids and whip up a batch of Christine Reardon's Fun Pizza Dip. (With a name like that, you KNOW it's got to be good!) Christine has managed to pack all the gooey, flavorful goodness of pizza into an easy anytime snack. "I have probably made this recipe over 50 times," says Christine. "It is always one of the first dishes to go!" With layers of herbed cheese, tangy tomato sauce, pepperoni, peppers and scallions, this dip is a delight for the senses. Serve with crackers, tortilla chips or pita for a filling and fun afternoon treat.
With an eye on creativity, any recipe can turn into an opportunity for special time together. Kitchens are made for experimenting... so why not grab the kids and try something new?! After all, every recipe is a success when it's prepared with the ones you love.