Kid-Friendly Recipes for Summer

The school year is coming to an end (or has ended). That means the kids are home for the summer. This week we have some kid-friendly recipes.

Let us know if there is something you would like us to put in our column, or if you have a recipe to share, please submit to

Blueberry Fruit Smoothie


Prep/Total Time: 5 min.

Makes: 3 servings


1 c. reduced-fat vanilla ice cream

1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 c. chopped peeled fresh peaches or frozen unsweetened sliced peaches

1/2 c. pineapple juice

1/4 c. vanilla yogurt  


In a blender, combine all ingredients; cover and process until smooth. Pour into chilled glasses; serve immediately.


Easy Beef Taco Skillet


Prep/Total Time: 20 min.

Makes: 6 servings


1 lb. ground beef

1 sm. red onion, chopped

1 can (15-1/4 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained

10 corn tortillas (6”), cut into 1” pcs.

1 bottle (8 oz.) taco sauce

1-1/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Hot pepper sauce, opt. 


In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the corn, tortillas, taco sauce and 1 cup cheese; heat through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Serve with pepper sauce if desired.


Pizza Monkey Bread


Prep Time: 15 min.

Bake Time: 40 min. + cooling

Makes: 16 servings


1/3 c. olive oil

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

2 cans (16.3 oz. ea.) lg. refrigerated flaky biscuits (8 count)

2 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

20 slices pepperoni, halved

1/2 c. marinara sauce

Additional marinara sauce, warmed

Torn fresh basil leaves, opt.  


Preheat oven to 350°. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine first four ingredients; microwave, covered, on high for 30 seconds. Cool slightly.

Cut each biscuit into four pieces; add to oil mixture and toss to coat. Add cheeses and pepperoni; toss to combine. In a heavy 10-in. fluted tube pan coated with cooking spray, layer half of the biscuit mixture; drizzle with 1/4 cup marinara sauce. Repeat layers.

Bake about 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan 10 minutes.

Run a knife around sides and center tube of pan. Invert onto a serving plate. Serve with additional sauce and if desired, top with torn fresh basil, additional grated Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.


Quick Taco Wraps


Prep/Total Time: 15 min.

Makes: 4 servings


1/2 c. cream cheese, softened

1/4 c. canned chopped green chiles

1/4 c. sour cream

2 T. taco seasoning

1/2 c. bean dip

4 flour tortillas (10”)

1/2 c. guacamole dip

1 sm. onion, chopped

1 sm. sweet red pepper, chopped

1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1 can (2-1/4 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained


In a small bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Stir in green chiles, sour cream and taco seasoning.

Spread bean dip over tortillas to within 1/2 in. of edges. Layer with guacamole dip, cream cheese mixture, onion, pepper, cheese and olives. Roll up tightly and serve.


Rainbows and Butterflies Pasta Salad


Level: Easy

Total: 20 min

Prep: 10 min

Cook: 10 min

Yield: 4 servings


8 oz. bow tie pasta, preferably whole grain

3 T. plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 c. corn kernels, thawed if frozen

1 c. shelled edamame, thawed if frozen

1 med. red bell pepper, diced

2 med. carrots, shredded (about 1/2 c.)

1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese (about 1 oz.)



Cook the pasta as the label directs. Drain and toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil to prevent sticking; let cool.

In a large bowl, toss the cooled pasta with the corn, edamame, bell pepper and carrots. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and toss to coat. Add the parmesan and 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss again and season to taste.


Tater Tot-chos


Prep/Total Time: 30 min.

Makes: 6 servings


4 c. frozen miniature Tater Tots

1 lb. ground beef

1 envelope reduced-sodium taco seasoning

2/3 c. water

1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

2 c. shredded lettuce

1/4 c. sliced ripe olives, opt.

1/4 c. taco sauce

1/2 c. sour cream  


Bake Tater Tots according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles, 6-8 minutes; drain. Stir in taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes.

To serve, top Tater Tots with beef mixture, cheese, lettuce and, if desired, olives. Serve with taco sauce and sour cream.


Zingy Baked Chicken Nuggets


Prep/Total Time: 30 min.

Makes: 6 servings


1/4 c. plain yogurt

1 T. lemon juice

1-1/2 tsp. seasoned salt

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 to 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1-1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-1/2” pieces

2 c. whole wheat or regular panko breadcrumbs

Honey mustard, opt.


Preheat oven to 400°. Mix first 6 ingredients; stir in chicken to coat.

Place breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl; add chicken, 1 piece at a time, and toss to coat. Place 1 in. apart on a greased baking sheet.

Bake until lightly browned and chicken is no longer pink, 18-20 minutes. If desired, serve with honey mustard.


Chocolaty S’mores Bars


Prep: 15 min. + cooling

Makes: 1-1/2 dozen


1/4 c. butter, cubed

1 pkg. (10 oz.) large marshmallows

1 pkg. (12 oz.) Golden Grahams cereal

1/3 c. milk chocolate chips, melted


In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows; cook and stir until blended. Remove from heat. Stir in cereal until coated.

Press into a greased 13x9-in. pan using a buttered spatula. Drizzle with melted chocolate. Cool completely before cutting. Store in an airtight container.


Test Kitchen Tips

•Use a butter wrapper to press the cereal into the pan.

•For a rich twist on a classic, add 1/4 cup of peanut butter to the marshmallows and stir a handful of chopped peanuts into the cereal.


Italian Ice Pops


Level: Easy

Total: 5 hr 50 min

Prep: 15 min

Inactive: 5 hr 30 min

Cook: 5 min

Yield: 12 to 14 pops


1 (12 oz.) bag or 1-1/2 c. frozen raspberries, defrosted

1/4 c. chopped fresh mint leaves

1-1/2 T. lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

3 or 4 T. simple syrup, recipe follows

14 wooden ice pop sticks


Simple Syrup:

1/4 c. water

1/2 c. sugar


In a blender, combine the raspberries and the mint. Puree until combined. Add the lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of the simple syrup. Blend to combine. Taste the mixture and add the remaining 1 tablespoon simple syrup if you like. Spoon the mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze for approximately 30 minutes, or until partially frozen. Insert the wooden sticks and return trays to the freezer for another 3 to 5 hours.

Simple Syrup: In a saucepan, combine water and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Take pan off heat and cool the syrup. Any extra cooled syrup can be saved in an airtight container. Yield: 1/2 cup


Rainbow Fruit Skewers with Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries


Level: Easy

Total: 45 min

Prep: 30 min

Cook: 15 min

Yield: 12 skewers

(serving size 2 skewers)


1 kiwi, peeled

1 lg. orange, peeled

1/2 c. blueberries

1 c. pineapple chunks

12 chocolate dipped strawberries, recipe follows


Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries:

2-1/2 oz. dark chocolate

1 lb. strawberries, washed & trimmed


Cut the kiwi and orange crosswise into 4 rounds, then cut each round into 3 pieces, so you end up with 12 pieces of each fruit. To prepare the skewers, put 2 blueberries about 1/3 of the way down the skewer, add a piece of kiwi, a pineapple chunk, a piece of orange, and top with a chocolate dipped strawberry.

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries: Line a tray with waxed paper. Break up the chocolate into small pieces and place about two thirds of it into the bowl of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Make sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir occasionally, very gently, until the chocolate has melted, about 1 minute. Remove the bowl from the double boiler and add the rest of the chocolate, stirring gently until it has melted. Dip the strawberries in the chocolate, place on the waxed paper and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes until chocolate is set. Yield: 6 servings (serving size is 3 medium strawberries) 


Quote of the Week:

“Instead of going out to dinner, buy good food. Cooking at home shows such affection. In a bad economy, it’s more important to make yourself feel good.”   

~ Ina Garten



The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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