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Archive for the ‘le•top Chef Series’ Category

I just recently came back from St. Barths from my fiancé’s family vacation…it’s a French colony and of course, there were croissants EVERYWHERE, and EVERY morning! Not exactly a meal at the top of my healthy radar for kids, BUT I came back to New York craving croissants (I have a weakness for chocolate! I am human!). My nieces loved them and I thought to myself, “What about just once-in-awhile making mini chocolate croissants as a special breakfast treat? SURE!” 🙂

Here is a 20-minute recipe anyone can do and they are DE-LISH!

Yes, you can make croissants in just 20 minutes. You’ll only spend five minutes assembling them from refrigerated crescent rolls and chocolate chips before popping them in the oven to bake.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 8-count tube of refridgerated crescent rolls (buy at your nearest grocery store)
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped semi-sweet chocolate 

DIRECTIONS:

1.    Heat oven to 375° F.
2.    Unroll the dough and separate it into 8 triangles. Place about 10 chocolate chips on the bottom third of each triangle and roll the dough up around the chocolate.
3.    Transfer the croissants to a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper, if desired, for easier cleanup). Bake until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

CHECK OUT LE TOP CHILDREN’S CLOTHING AT
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I grew up going to school in Berkeley, California and every day my nanny would take me to a 50s style soft serve joint that served other diner type food like hamburgers, hot dogs and even corn dogs! Every child (well, almost all) love hot dogs, but why not make it fun and do it at home? I found this fabulous baked corn dog recipe that lightens up the calories, but still makes it delicious for your little one. Check it out!

Note: Be sure to buy ice-pop sticks if you don’t have them on hand. You can usually buy them at a craft store or even online at Amazon.com

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for dusting sausages
  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 4 precooked smoked chicken sausages (13 ounces total)
  • Ketchup and mustard, for serving (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1.    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Make a well in center; add milk, eggs, and oil. Mix just until combined.

2.    Insert an ice-pop stick into one end of each sausage, leaving a 1 1/2-inch handle. Dust with flour; tap off excess. Using handle, rotate each sausage over bowl as you spoon batter to coat evenly. Place on sheet; bake 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Using a spatula, reapply batter that has slipped onto sheet. Return to oven; bake until golden, 20 minutes. Serve with ketchup and mustard, if desired.

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With the holidays here – your kids are probably eating cake, sugar cookies, cupcakes, and tons of candy (as we all like to do as kids)…and it can be tough as a parent to get your children to actually want to eat healthy when they eat more junk food during the holidays. Letting kids eat unhealthy food increases the chances they will become overweight and eat a poor diet as adults. Kids who eat a healthy diet are more likely to get enough nutrients, have more energy, build strong bones and muscles and maintain a healthy weight. Parents can encourage their children to make healthy eating choices by providing lots of healthy options, being patient and setting a good example.

Here are some tips on how to get your kiddo to eat healthy and persuade your little one not be such a picky eater!

1.  Make a schedule. Children need to eat every three to four hours: three meals, two snacks, and lots of fluids. If you plan for these, your child’s diet will be much more balanced and he’ll be less cranky, because he won’t be famished. Put a cooler in the car when you are out with your kids and keep it stocked with carrots, pretzels, yogurt, and water so we don’t have to rely on fast food.

2.  Plan dinners. If thinking about a weekly menu is too daunting, start with two or three days at a time. A good dinner doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should be balanced: whole-grain bread, rice, or pasta; a fruit or a vegetable; and a protein source like lean meat, cheese, or beans.

3.  Don’t become a short-order cook. Don’t get into the bad habit of preparing a meal for your kids and one for you and your partner. It can be exhausting. Prepare one meal for everybody and serve it family-style so the kids can pick and choose what they want. Children often mimic their parents’ behavior, so one of these days, they’ll eat most of the food you serve them.

4.  Introduce new foods slowly. Children are new-food-phobic by nature.

5.  Dip it. If your kids won’t eat vegetables, experiment with dips. One example is when your child tries your first veggie such as a carrot, dip it in ranch dressing or even hummus, salsa or some sort of yogurt-based dressing.

6.  Make mornings count. Most families don’t eat enough fiber on a daily basis, and breakfast is an easy place to sneak it in. Make up batches of whole-grain pancake and waffle batter that last all week. For a batch that serves five, sift together 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, 4 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 2 Tbs. sugar. When you’re ready to cook, mix in 2 Tbs. ground flax meal, 2 cups water, 3 Tbs. canola oil, 1/4 tsp. vanilla, and 2 Tbs. applesauce.

7.  Get kids cooking. If your children become involved in choosing or preparing meals, they’ll be more interested in eating what they’ve created. Take them to the store, and let them choose produce for you. If they’re old enough, allow them to cut up vegetables and mix them into a salad.

8.  Cut back on junk. Remember, you — not your kids — are in charge of the foods that enter the house. By having fewer junk foods around, you’ll force your children to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products.

9.  Allow treats. Having less healthy foods occasionally keeps them from becoming forbidden — and thus even more appealing. Even treat them to McDonald’s for lunch every so often.

10.  Have fun. The more creative the meal is, the greater the variety of foods my kids eat. We make smiley-face pancakes and give foods silly names. (Broccoli florets are “baby trees” or “dinosaur food.”) Anything mini is always a hit too. I often use cookie cutters to turn toast into hearts and stars, which the children love.

11.  Be a role model. If you’re constantly on a diet or have erratic eating habits, your children will grow up thinking that this sort of behavior is normal. Be honest with yourself about the kinds of food messages you’re sending. Trust your body to tell you when you’re hungry and when you’re full, and your kids will learn to do the same.

12.  Adjust your attitude. Realize that what your kids eat over time is what matters. Having popcorn at the movies or eating an ice-cream sundae are some of life’s real pleasures. As long as you balance these times with smart food choices and physical activity, your children will be fine.

SEE ALL LE TOP CHILDREN’S CLOTHING
AT WWW.LETOP-USA.COM

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So there I was, it was 8pm on the night before my daughter’s last day of school before the winter break. I had signed up to collect money from the parents for gifts for the teachers and distribute it to our teachers. Before I went to bed I had cards to write for all 9 teachers (from the parents), figure out how much money to put in each envelope, plus, I wanted to give each of the teachers homemade cookies as a token of our appreciation.

I had baked up the cookies (sugar and chocolate chip), and then came the time to decorate the sugar cookies…

This post has been moved to our website. To view the full post on how to frost. glaze and decorate you holiday cookies, go to: http://blog.letop-usa.com/?p=23048

 

CHECK OUT LE TOP CHILDREN’S CLOTHING 
AT
WWW.LETOP-USA.COM 

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I have always secretly wanted to buy the lollipop cake pan you see on TV or at Bed Bath and Beyond and make really cute lollipop cake pops for guests as a cute dessert or for my nieces. I just read about this recipe and it’s perfect for family’s to make together without having to go out and buy a special lollipop cake pan! Kids will love rolling the cake ball and dipping them into the delicious icing. As a note to any last minute Christmas/Hannukah shoppers, this is a great idea as a holiday gift for the neighbors on your block. 🙂

This post has been moved to our website. To view the full post go to:
http://blog.letop-usa.com/?p=22991

 

CHECK OUT LE TOP CHILDREN’S CLOTHING AT
WWW.LETOP-USA.COM!

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One of my favorite (and nostalgic) things about Christmas is waking up as a child (and still now when I go home to see my family) and having Christmas morning breakfasts.

Here is a delicious breakfast recipe that is sure to have your kids drooling and ready to eat before opening their stockings and Christmas gifts from ‘Ole Saint Nick!

This post has been moved to our website. To view the full post go to: http://blog.letop-usa.com/?p=22887

 

CHECK OUT OUR CHILDREN”S CLOTHING
AT WWW.LETOP-USA.COM

 

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Winter is here and it can be easy to order-in Chinese or want comfort foods. Why not have a festive bagel wreath pizza that also incorporates veggies for your kiddos?! I always think this is a fun recipe that gives you the taste of pizza, but is also healthy and sure to keep your kids’ energy high on a fun play date.

Makes: 8 servings
Serving size: 1 bagel half
Yield: 8 bagel halves
Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: 10-12 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 whole wheat bagels, split
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli flowerets, steamed
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 ounces roasted red sweet peppers

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Arrange the bagel halves, cut sides up, on prepared baking sheet. Spread each with 1 tablespoon pizza sauce. Top each with some of the cheese. Arrange broccoli and tomatoes on top of each to resemble a wreath.
  2. Cut peppers into long thin strips and shape each into a ribbon. Place on each bagel half.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese melts and cheese browns lightly.

CHECK OUT LE TOP CHILDREN’S CLOTHING AT WWW.LETOP-USA.COM.

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It’s winter time, its hard to get up and you are rushed to get your family ready and have a good breakfast on the table. Sound familiar? Chances are your preschooler has eaten powder doughnuts, Lucky Charms, or even popcorn for breakfast. Getting your kiddo to eat oatmeal or scrambled eggs isn’t always easy, especially when you’re in a hurry to get your child to school. But your child does want to eat — and whatever he or she puts in his or her mouth depends on the options you give your kid. By the time they start their day, most preschoolers have gone at least 12 hours without food. Here, quick and easy ideas aplenty that make eating a nutritious and power-packed breakfast fun.

Fruity Oatmeal
Good news, moms! Instant oatmeal counts as a whole grain and has all the health benefits of steel-cut and old-fashioned varieties — it’s high in cancer-fighting antioxidants and also lowers the risk of heart disease. Make this in a jiffy: mix 1/4 cup one-minute oats or one packet instant oatmeal with bananas, raisins, or coconut flakes. Let your preschooler choose the fruits so she feels like she has control over her breakfast.

Protein-Rich Burritos
Lots of fiber combined with lots of protein is filling and can provide energy for up to four hours.  Make your kid a burrito with a whole wheat tortilla rich in fiber (at least 5 grams), organic cheese, and a soy sausage link.

Yogurt Dippers
Kids who love carrots and dip might like to dip apples or strawberries into yogurt. Cut fruit into small chunks and have your child dip them into 1/4 cup plain yogurt. Serve with a side of protein, like a small handful of nuts or a couple of slices of turkey bacon.

Jazzed-Up Pizza
There are endless spin-offs of traditional pizza. Spread 2 tablespoons fruit jam or nut butter on a small whole wheat pita (leaving a “crust” at the edges), and top with sliced bananas or strawberries. Or use a base of half a whole-grain English muffin, and add cream cheese and almond slices. Another idea: top a pancake with scrambled eggs and slices of chicken sausage.


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www.letop-usa.com

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What better way to start your Friday than whipping up a batch of GIANT chocolate chip cookies for your loved ones and kiddos. It makes them a little extra fun being a larger size, plus they are so appealing to your little ones eyes (and especially cute in their small hands). 

Note: For each cookie, use a ¼-cup measuring cup to scoop out and level dough before dropping onto the baking sheet.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: Makes 16

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until combined; mix in vanilla.
  3. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture; mix until just incorporated. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Drop 1/4-cup mounds of dough onto ungreased baking sheets, at least 4 inches apart and away from edges of pan. (You will fit about 4 cookies to a sheet; bake in two batches, using two baking sheets per batch.) Bake until golden, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating sheets front to back and from top to bottom of oven halfway through.
  5. Cool 1 to 2 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

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Parent, nanny, or just on-the-go…Mondays can be crazy! I just had this realization I have a meeting this morning and need something fast, fruity and yummy while I scram out the door. Here is a great receipt for you or the kids…or your hubby to start his day off right!

Breakfast Pita Pocket Recipe 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups fat-free milk
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup chopped broccoli
  • 4 slices packaged ready-to-serve cooked bacon, chopped
  • 4 whole-wheat pita breads, cut in half

MAKE IT:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 2-quart square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, flour, salt, and pepper until smooth. Stir in cheese, broccoli, and bacon. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the center is just set. Remove and cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Cut into triangles and serve in pita halves, or refrigerate, covered, and reheat the next morning in the microwave.

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