Get The Recipes: 3 Kids Snack Hacks

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By Cooking Panda


Yogurt Bites

Ingredients And Materials

  • Yogurt flavors of choice
  • Ziplock bag
  • Parchment paper
  • Directions

    1) Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

    2) Fill a ziplock bag with your yogurt of choice. Cut off one corner and pipe yogurt onto parchment paper. You can make bite-sized circles, of even fun shapes!

    3) Freeze for at least 1 hour, or until yogurt bites are completely frozen. Remove from freezer, serve and enjoy!

    Snack Packs

    Ingredients And Materials

  • Clothes pins
  • Googly eyes
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Small ziplock bags
  • Snacks, we used grapes and fish crackers
  • Directions

    1) Glue eyes to the tops of the clothespins. Allow to dry completely.

    2) Add grapes to one side of the ziplock bag and fish crackers to the other. Pinch the bag together in the middle and seal with clothespin, this keeps the foods separate.

    3) Cut a pipe cleaner in half and stick into the top of the clothespin. Fold like an antenna.

    4) Pack in either a lunch bag or keep around the house for a midday snack. Enjoy!

    Apple Mouth

    Ingredients

  • Sliced apples
  • Peanut butter
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Directions

    1) Spread peanut butter on two slices of apples. Line one apple with marshmallows. Top with the second apple, peanut butter side down. it’s a smile!

    2) Serve, enjoy and make sure to smile back!

    Tags: hack, Kid Recipes, kids, recipes, snacks
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    Mario Batali’s Grilled Cheese Hack Is Oh So Perfect (Photo)

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    By Cooking Panda

    Mario Batali approaches his Italian-style grilled cheese less like a panini and more like a French-toast sandwich. Stick around to read this, and you’ll soon make yours the same spectacularly delicious way.

    As a guest on ABC’s “The Chew,” Batali enlightens the audience with a recipe inspired by the sandwich he ate as a child after long days of “tobogganing and winter merriment.”

    “My dear mamma would have a deliciously gooey grilled cheese sandwich waiting for me at every turn,” he says. “But now, it’s time to put a new spin on this cheesy classic, and I promise you’ll never look at a grilled cheese the same way again.”

    What’s so “ultimate” about Batali’s grilled cheese? It’s that he dips the sandwiches in an egg batter before he puts them in a hot pan, much like you would with French toast. The result is bread that’s extra crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, and it makes for an even thicker and heartier grilled cheese. In Italian, he explains, it’s called “mozzarella in carrozza,” or a fried cheese sandwich.

    Batali begins his sammies with good ol’ sliced white bread, because, at the end of the day, it is an American dish.

    He then gets started on his batter, which includes four eggs, plus three egg yolks and whole milk for added richness. He also whisks in Pecorino cheese and thyme. The cheese forms a fine crust on the bread, while the thyme “adds a beautiful herbalness that brings the cheese back to its pasteural birthplace,” Mario explains. (No, those aren’t real words, but a nostalgic chef can get away with that sort of thing.)

    Once the pale yellow mixture is thoroughly whisked and flecked with beautifully green bits of thyme, it’s time to dip. The bread has been layered with two kinds of cheese: Fontina and Mozzarella di Bufala.

    “The trick again, as with all good Italian things, is not too much of anything,” Batali explains, adding a touch of charred onion to the sandwiches.

    “Gently, but with firm intensity,” he presses the top layer of bread onto each sandwich. He dredges each one in the egg mixture before tenderly placing them in a hot pan coated with, of course, olive oil. He cooks them until golden brown, about two minutes on each side.

    Most people would be ready to devour the sandwich then and there, but Batali isn’t done yet: He adds onions to a saucepan with orange juice and sugar, making an onion marmalade to go with the sandwich. That seems to be a great call, as one of the guests exclaims, “This tastes like dipping a grilled cheese in onion soup!” Plating each sandwich with a dollop of marmalade, he sprinkles the dish with extra Parmigiano-Reggiano.

    Behold, a delicately crispy yet pillowy soft dish that is both a sandwich and savory French toast, filled with oozing Italian cheeses and herbal wonder. You’d likely crave this after a day of tobogganing on a snow-covered hill, too — or maybe just after a long day at the office.

    Hungry? Watch the video and read the recipe here.

    Source: ABC / Featured Image: Treefort Music Fest/Flickr / Embedded Image: ABC

    Tags: cheese, grilled cheese, hack, italian, mario batali, sandwich
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    McDonald’s Hack Alert: The McFlurry Ice Cream Sandwich

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    By Cooking Panda

    The latest and greatest McDonald’s hack is not for the faint of heart. It is not for someone who prefers to play it safe, to stick to lighter fare. It is instead for someone who is willing to take a walk on the wild side, to ingest quite a bit of sugar and to get a lot of chocolate on their face. 

    If that someone sounds like you, stick with me. 

    A creative and hungry Twitter user recently discovered that even though ice cream sandwiches are not on McDonald’s menu, it’s possible to create one by, here we go, ordering the McFlurry of your choice, plus two soft-baked chocolate chip cookies, and sandwiching it all together. 

    The result, in his case, was a dangerously chocolaty Oreo McFlurry sandwich situation.

    His tweet has nearly 20,000 retweets, so it’s safe to say people think this is an excellent idea. And $2.57 isn’t too shabby a price, considering the generosity of the dessert and the fact that you’ll likely have leftover McFlurry to eat.

    Others have been inspired to try it out for themselves.

    Even McDonald’s is in on the trend.

    This hack to end all hacks solves every problem of an inferior ice cream sandwich. The cookies are served fresh, so they’re soft and easy to bite into, and their temperature renders the ice cream perfectly melty. The McFlurry has a more whipped consistency than regular ice cream, which gives the entire sandwich a more pleasant sensation on the tongue. And it’s a McFlurry, meaning your already chocolate-chip-filled dessert can ALSO have M&M’s, Reese’s or Oreo bits. It’s not just delicious … it’s a game changer.

    If you’re in need of other McDonald’s dessert hacks, the possibilities are aplenty.

    Like this reverse of the McFlurry ice cream sandwich: Break up a couple of cookies, and stir the pieces into your favorite McFlurry.

    A post shared by Nick Love (@whereislove) on

    Or this apple pie shake, for which you crumble up one or two apple pies and fold the chunks into a McFlurry or vanilla shake.

    A post shared by Josephine (@joelleandchoux) on

    You could even create your own chocolate-covered strawberry sundae by ordering a fudge sundae and asking for strawberries and chocolate chips on top. 

    A post shared by @mcdonalds_secret_menu on

    Source: N8/Twitter / Photo credit: jeffreyw/Flickr

    Tags: cookies, fast food, hack, Ice Cream Sandwich, mcdonald's, McFlurry
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    The Secret Second Use Of Starbucks Cup Lids Revealed

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    By Cooking Panda

    Everybody loves a good life hack.

    And by good, of course, I mean:

    1. Useful
    2. Practical, and
    3. Easy

    Sure, I could boil an egg with some baking soda, peel a precise amount of shell off both ends once it’s been cooked, wait for it to cool, and then blow fiercely at once side because my friends heard from the Internet that the egg will slide right out intact, but I’m not going to.

    I will, however, be using this new Starbucks hack that has come to light.

    How did this ever slip past my notice? I am what you might refer to as an “avid drink spiller.” Some portion of my beverage almost always ends up on the floor, or in my lap.

    Never again though, because for once, the internet has really pulled through with a useful hack: Did you know that the plastic lids on Starbucks’ iced drinks can be used as a coaster?

    Yes. A Coaster. Check out this girl doing it right below:

    And here’s a handy guide to show you how:

    Photo credits: Skidoo_152/Twitter, Imgur, Starbucks/Instagram

    Tags: hack, lids, Starbucks
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    The Internet Is Losing It Over This Homemade Lunchables Hack (Video)

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    By Cooking Panda

    All hail the internet, for it has blessed its users with another trick to prevent death by Sad Desk Lunch. That sweet, sweet trick, ladies and gentlemen, is called homemade Lunchables. 

    Introduced in a video by crafting website Smart School House, homemade Lunchables can be made with the food of your choosing, an empty fruit cup or applesauce container and — the key to any Pinterest-worthy lunch, obviously — a mason jar (video below).

    To make your own homemade Lunchable, fill a short mason jar with with wet ingredients, like milk or deli meats and cheese. Next, put dry ingredients, like cereal or crackers, in an empty container. Place the container on top of the lidded jar, screw on the second part of the lid and stare at your handiwork for an appropriate three seconds. 

    And voila, the finished product is ready to be tossed into your backpack or purse. The hardest part is waiting until lunchtime to open it.

    Besides the fact that it’s a beautiful beacon of convenience and fun, the best thing about the homemade Lunchable is its versatility.

    For a more creative lunch, fill the microwave-safe jar with rice, beans and cheese, and add salsa to the applesauce container. To suit the healthier diner, put salad or grilled protein and veggies in the jar, and fill the container with a healthy vinaigrette. The combinations are endless.

    Once you’ve polished off your lunch, place your jar in your bag so you can wash it at home for re-use. With a full stomach and a happy heart, ponder the environmental benefits of your recycled and re-usable lunch packaging, you eco-friendly star.

    Sources: DelishKelly Dixon/YouTube / Photo credit: Delish via Smart School House

    Tags: hack, Homemade, lunch, lunchables, mason jar
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    Watch: This Strawberry Hack Is Perfect For Summe

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    By Cooking Panda

    Summer is a time for sunshine, beaches, and fresh fruit. One of our favorite fruits this season is the humble strawberry—bursting in flavor and perfect for all of your summer recipes, from strawberry pie to strawberry Bellinis, and everything in-between.

    Luckily, while researching recipes for our next summer picnic, we came across this brilliant hack for hulling strawberries (also known as de-stemming, or coring). It’s not only fast, effective, and mind-blowingly easy, but also has the potential to revolutionize all of our summer cooking plans. Strawberry shortcake? No problem! Strawberry salad with goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette? Piece of cake! Homemade strawberry ice cream? Bring it on!

    Watch the video below for inspiration, and then get to baking, grilling, and freezing. We even suggest throwing a strawberry-themed party for all your friends to show off your new skills! Just don’t forget to save some of the delicious berries to eat plain or drizzled in fresh cream for the perfect summer snack.

    Source: Youtube/fork + plate

    Tags: hack, strawberry, summer, video
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    Watch: Learn This Genius Trick For Peeling Mangos

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    By Cooking Panda

    Summer is fast approaching, and that means it’s time for fruit. Everything from strawberries to watermelon is in season right now, and when the sun is out, nothing sounds more delicious or decadent than fresh fruit.

    One of our favorite fruits this season is the mango. Mangos practically scream sunshine, and can eaten plain or used in a wide variety of recipes. Personally, we love to put mango in our morning smoothies, chop it over Thai coconut rice pudding for a healthy, delicious dessert, or even grill it to bring out the fruit’s natural sweetness.

    Unfortunately, mangos are also some of the most difficult fruits to consume. Their thin, tough skins make them nearly impossible to peel, like an orange, chop, like a melon, or even bite into, like an apple. We’ve seen the cross-hatching trick for eating mangos a million times, but somehow it never seems to work as well as we were hoping.

    Thankfully, we recently stumbled upon this video, which presents a uniquely genius way to skin a mango. Even better? It’s quick, easy, and eliminates any fear of cutting yourself while performing it. Watch the video below to learn the hack, and then prepare for a summer full of beachy, tropical fruit—no matter how far away you are from the ocean!

    Source: YouTube/Lifehacker / Photo credit: Tree Top

    Tags: Fruit, hack, Mango, summer, Trick
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    Watch: Genius Hacks For Perfectly Poached Eggs (Video)

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    By Cooking Panda

    If you’re anything like us, you love brunch. Brunch is the perfect meal to celebrate the weekend, chat with friends, and eat the most perfect of all foods: the poached egg. Personally, I’ve been known to order entire meals simply because they contain poached eggs, and don’t even get me started on eggs Benedict (video below).

    Unfortunately, brunch can also get expensive. Restaurants regularly charge upwards of 20 dollars an entree for their most decadent offerings, and that’s not including drinks, tip, or tax. One of the best ways to save money while still enjoying the best meal of the week is to host brunch at home—inviting your friends and family for a low- (or high-) key gathering of good food and good company.

    While many brunch foods are easy to make, however, from pancakes to quiche, poached eggs present a unique challenge. Why do homemade poached eggs always look less polished than their professional counterparts, and how can you make these glorious packets of perfectly cooked white and runny, golden yolk for a crowd?

    Luckily, we’ve found the perfect video to answer all your poached-egg questions. Watch the clip below for genius tips, and be sure to invite all of your your friends and family to a decadent Memorial Day brunch immediately afterwards!

    Click here to LIKE Food Please on Facebook 

    Source: Everyday Food/YouTube / Photo credit: The O'Donnell Collective

    Tags: brunch, eggs, hack, memorial day, Poached
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    Bring Your Baking Sheets Back To Life With This Simple Cleaning Tip

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    By Cooking Panda

    If you love baking but are tired of spending hours scouring your pans when you really just want to be eating fresh cookies, we’re about to dramatically improve your life with this easy cleaning hack. The best part? You only need two ingredients that you probably already have on hand.

    That’s right. With just baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, you can get all of your old, crusty baking sheets looking like you just took them home from the store.

    Grab some baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, a rough sponge or rag and your gunked up cookware and listen up.

    Sprinkle an even layer of baking soda all over your cooking sheet. Then pour a little hydrogen peroxide over the top. Sprinkle a little more baking soda to top it off, put the pan aside and let it sit for a while.

    Catch up on Netflix or do some more cleaning while the mixture works its magic — just don’t leave it on for more than two hours. After the mixture has soaked in, grab a coarse sponge or rag, and wipe it off. It should look like you just bought a new pan.

    If you’re worried that this cleaning solution will cause damage, try it on a small spot on the back of your sheet first to make sure it’s going to work out.

    Now go enjoy your gloriously spotless bakeware.

    Tags: bakeware, cleaning, hack
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