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Tapanades usually have anchovies and capers. But I really don't like either of those. Neither do most kids. But I do love olives and so do my kids. The bonus is that for the most part they are really good for you. So I have developed a number of olive tapenades that are perfect for snacks. You can use them as a dip with vegetables, or spread on thinly sliced baguette or crackers. My one piece of advice is get good olives. I buy Kalamata and Castelvetrano in big jars at Costco and get specialty olives at the olive bar at Whole Foods. Here is the first in many tapenades.
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Kalamata Olives
  • 1/2 Cup Castelvetrano Olives
  • 1 Small Sweet Red Pepper
  • 1/8 Cup Sweet Pickles (I Do A Quick Pickle Of My Own, But Hamburger Slices Work Well)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • Small Splash Of Sweet Pickle Juice
  • Whole Wheat Baguette
  • Low Fat Gouda Cheese

Preparation
  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor.
  2. Pulse scraping down the sides until a chunky paste forms.
  3. Dip or spread.

Servings
About 7 servings

Nutrition
About 90 Calories Per Tapenade Serving Only - Extra For Cheese And Bread

Tips
I served this on a whole wheat baguette thinly sliced with a low fat creamy Gouda cheese from Wisconsin. But you could use other ingredients such as crackers, vegetables, tomatoes or even serve it with eggs or steak. It is very versatile.
 
 
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This is the best iced decaf coffee I have ever had. And I can make it at home quickly. 
Ingredients
  • Water In Keurig Machine
  • 1 Starbucks Decaf House Blend Medium K Cup
  • 1 Glass Of Ice

Preparation
  1. Place the K Cup into the Keurig and press the power button.
  2. Place the glass of ice into the Keurig stand.
  3. Once the buttons light up, push the "tea cup" or small serving size.

Servings
1 serving

Nutrition
About 2 Calories Per Serving

Tips
You can do this with other coffee varieties, but personally I think this is the best option.
 
 
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Smoothies are so popular and kids love them, but most of the time they are loaded with sugar and empty calories because they use concentrated juice or other added ingredients. Not this one. It is fresh, simple, creamy, and loaded with goodness!
Ingredients
  • 1/2 Cup Golden Sweet Frozen Pineapple Chunks
  • 1 Cup Frozen Strawberries
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Cup Skim Milk (Soy Or Almond Milk Also Works)

Preparation
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or power hand mixer cup.
  2. Blend until smooth. Add additional milk if needed.
  3. Pour in glass and garnish with a piece of fruit.

Servings
1 serving

Nutrition
238 Calories Per Serving

Tips
You can substitute soy or almond milk to make this dairy free. You can also add protein powder. Adjust calories accordingly.
 
 
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My father hates standing in line. He refuses to go to some church buffets because there will be a big line. He will go to lunch early at the cafe to avoid any hint of a line. And he will generally not go to weddings or funerals because heaven forbid there might be a receiving line. 

I used to think that perhaps he just hates talking to people. After all that's what you do standing in line. But he is an affable guy and can strike up a conversation with anybody. I finally realized that it wasn't standing in lines that he hates, it's that he hates wasting time.

Feeding children can be a lot like standing in line. You can spend hours on planning, shopping, preparation, cooking, and serving. The kids devour it in less than ten minutes and run off with their friends leaving you with more than just dirty dishes - that wasting time guilt.

So to assuage my guilt I devised a number of quick meals with quality ingredients. They can be prepared quickly, are colorful and flavorful, and you can spend less time over the stove and more with your children. Here is the first in many no more standing in line breakfasts!

 
 
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There are those mornings when you want to make something good for your kids that doesn't take up all of your time. Here it is: Caramelized Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes. The secret is in how the pancakes are assembled in the pan which makes the bananas caramelize and the chocolate melt just right. It took me years to perfect this - that's the real secret. Enjoy!
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Sometimes as an at home parent, a dog day afternoon comes along. Actually, more than you'd like to admit. You have been called upon by everyone else throughout the week. Schedules are shifted without your knowledge. People make plans and forget to tell you. A family crisis arises. And more.. In the middle of it all, you put on your super parent at home cape and rise to the occasion. With no groceries, no time, no patience, a phone constantly ringing, children running in and out, the dogs begging at your side; you whip up this little number in less than an hour. The kids loved it. They gave it two thumbs up. Siskel would be proud. Hooray would be jealous. You are pleased and think...oh, to be a dog.