Mexican Street Corn- Kids Cook Monday


Mexican Street Corn

We love Mexican food around here. In fact my hubby lived in Mexico for quite a while, so he often talked about the corn on the cob they used to sell on the streets. When he described it with mayonnaise lathered on, I have to admit that sounded odd, but go figure, it’s delicious!! Brady absolutely loves corn on the cob, so I thought we’d give this Mexican Street Corn (or Elotes) recipe a try.

5 Ears of Corn
Package of Mexican Crumbling Cheese
1/2 cup of Mayonnaise
About 1Tbs. Chopped Cilantro
1/2 tsp. paprika (or chili powder for some heat)



We started by picking up some fresh corn on the cob. It’s so cheap and tasty this time of year. Brady and I got to shucking.


Please excuse the shirt-less-ness. He’s 4 and it’s summer.

Then, the hubby brushed the grill with some olive oil and grilled up our corn.

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Brady and I then lathered each piece of corn with some mayo using a basting brush.


We then rolled each piece of corn in some Mexican crumbling cheese. (Brady also ate handfuls of cheese during this process)

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Last we sprinkled our corn with some chopped cilantro and a little bit of Paprika. Traditional recipes call for Chili Powder, but I wanted to keep the spice to a minimum since this recipe was for Brady.


He adored this recipe. Corn + Cheese= Heaven for Brady.

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Vegetarian Taquitos! {Kids Cook Monday}


T is for TAQUITO!

We Smiths have been on the go lately. We’ve celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, Father’s Day and took a 12 day road trip this month (more on that in another blog post!) It’s been a while since we’ve done a Kids Cook Monday meal so we were excited to get back in the kitchen. Today we made some yummy, vegetarian taquitos packed with veggies and protein. We baked them, so they are virtually guilt free. I mean, there is some low fat cream cheese in there, because you gotta live a little!



Corn Tortillas
1 pckg.low-fat cream cheese (softened)
1 cup of salsa
1 can black beans (drain and rinse)
2 ears of corn (cooked and cut off cob)
2 cups of spinach leaves (chopped or torn into small pieces)
Olive Oil (for brushing tortillas with)
A pinch of salt (to sprinkle on the tortillas before baking)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese (optional for topping)
Optional Dipping sauces: salsa, guacamole or sour cream

This is a super easy recipe. All we did was mix, blend, fill, roll, and bake! We started by blending our softened cream cheese with our salsa. You could seriously just eat this stuff with a chip. So tasty on it’s own!


Then, we prepared our veggies. You could throw in anything you like here. We used up some leftover corn on the cob, spinach leaves and black beans. Chopped peppers or onions would be tasty as would ground turkey (if you weren’t making this for Meatless Monday!)


Perfect way to use all that sweet corn that’s in season right now!


Look at this little helper getting in on the action- just ripping spinach like a champ!



Well this sums up life right now with a 2 year old and a 4 year old. “Whaaa! It’s my turn to stir!”


Still chip-worthy!

Then, we went ahead and pre-heated our oven to 400*. We brushed our tortillas with a little olive oil, and filled them with our cream cheese mixture.




We sprinkled a little bit of salt on the outside of each taquito and put them in our hot oven for about 10 minutes.


When they had just begun to brown and get a little crispy, we added some shredded cheddar cheese on the top of some of our taquitos for fun. Then we stuck them back in the oven for another 10 minutes.



Once the cheese had melted and the taquitos were all golden and bubbly, they were ready to come out!


These came out super hot and gooey. The outside is crispy but the filling is soft and yummy! The kiddos and I loved these because they’re easy to eat and have so many of our favorite ingredients packed inside.


I love all the hidden nutrition stuffed inside these little guys. Lots of flavor and fun to eat! Also, taquito is just plain fun to say. Taquito!




Homemade Chips and Guacamole- Kids Cook Monday


We love guacamole around here- especially Brady and Nolan! So, you can understand why I was so inspired by this blog post from Teeny Tiny Foodie…

Not only is guacamole delicious, but it’s super easy and fun to make. And with these easy to follow instruction sheets, they’re perfect for the littlest of chefs.

Guacamole GuacamoleInstructions

I have to admit, the teacher in me was really excited about these. I can definitely see a fun Science or Writing lesson that could happen with these on Cinco de Mayo!

I knew I wanted to try this guacamole recipe with Brady, but we made a bigger batch because, well, Nolan eats a lot.


We gathered all our ingredients and got to chopping. We ended up using 2 avocados, the juice of 1 lime, 1 tomato, a handful of chopped cilantro, 2 cloves of garlic and about 1/3 of a white onion.


Brady felt so big following the recipe instructions on the I-Pad and his favorite part was definitely squeezing the good stuff out of the avocados!


We also made some homemade corn chips today to go with our guacamole. This was fascinating for B. “Wait. Chips don’t always come from a bag?!” Here’s how we made our baked corn chips.

Baked Corn Chips


Corn Tortillas
Olive Oil
Sea Salt


Here’s how we made our baked chips. So much easier than you would think!


First we brushed each tortilla with a small amount of olive oil on each side.


Then we stacked our tortillas (we had 5) and sliced them up with a pizza cutter.


Then we spread the chips out into an even layer on a baking sheet.


We liberally sprinkled the sea salt on the chips.


Then we put the chips in the oven for about 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees. (Until they were crispy and golden brown.)


There ya have it- A healthy snack that was easy and fun to make! (And maybe a little learning took place along the way!)

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Full disclosure… the chips were a hit, but Brady definitely asked me for a spoon at one point. Apparently, it’s now socially acceptable to just eat guacamole straight from the bowl!



“Healthy” 7 Layer Dip- Kids Cook Monday (Football Edition!)

One of our favorite things to do on the weekends is watch football. Our kiddos cheer for our teams and clueless-ly scream, “Touchdown!” whenever we get excited about a play. This weekend was full of NFL playoff games (sadly, the Cowboys were robbed of their win) and tonight is the college football Championship game. We’re sad to see football end this year, but happy to indulge in some football-watchin’ food!


One of our favorite party foods is 7 Layer Dip (or Taco Dip). We have it at most of our family gatherings, but I thought it would be fun to do a little makeover with a few tweaks for a slightly healthier version. We made this up yesterday for a meet and greet with our new neighbors to watch the Broncos/Colts game and are enjoying it again tonight for the Ohio State/Oregon Championship game.

Here’s what went into our new and improved 7 Layer Dip…



1 Can Refried Black Beans
1 Container Guacamole
1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 can sliced black olives
About half a jar chunky salsa
3 stalks of chopped green onion
1 brick of Colby-Jack cheese, shredded
Chips for Dipping

We swapped out the refried pinto beans for refried black beans, and the sour cream for non-fat Plain Greek Yogurt. I also switched up my regular onion for green onion (just for a change!) and regular tomatoes for salsa (just for a little more flavor!) This was an easy dish to assemble. Here’s how we layered ours…

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Beans, guac, Greek Yogurt, Black olives, salsa, green onions, and cheese on top!

There were lots of kid helping opportunities for this dip- Spreading the beans on the bottom of the dish, grating the cheese, opening and draining the olives, sprinkling the cheese on top, and Brady’s favorite…cutting the green onions with big scissors!


Even though this dip did not bring the Cowboys much luck, it did help Chris drown his sorrows…


And Brady is pretty much a fan of anything with guacamole and olives. He’d root for that team all day long!


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You really can’t go wrong with any combo of these ingredients…


And for what it’s worth, you could really healthy up this football food by eating it with Baked Tortilla chips (And the leftovers also make a mean taco salad!)


Happy Football Watching!


Fiesta Mac-N-Cheese {Kids Cook Monday}

What’s better than mac-n-cheese? I pretty much love all kinds. Fancy versions with truffle butter, super cheesy ones at BBQ restaurants, and even the kind you make from a blue box. While I have no shame in stocking up on Annie’s Mac-N-Cheese when they go on sale at Harris Teeter for 10/$10, every once in a while it’s nice to make a big home made batch that you can eat leftovers of for days. This mac-n-cheese recipe is substantial enough to have as a main dish, and has a fun Mexican flair. Who doesn’t love flair in their mac-n-cheese?!




Fiesta Mac-N-Cheese



I actually used 2 of those bags of cheese (just forgot it for the picture!)

1 lb. Elbow Macaroni
1/2 stick of butter
1/3 cup of flour
2 1/2 cup whole milk
4 cups of shredded cheese
1 can tomatoes with green chilies
1 can black beans
1/2 bag of frozen corn (or 1 can)
1/2 bag of spinach leaves
1/2 tsp. Chili Powder, Cumin, and Garlic Powder
Optional Toppings; Green Onion, Crushed Taco Chips, Sour cream

Here’s how this one went down…


Begin by boiling the macaroni in a big pot. Cook until just tender. Don’t overcook it because it will cook a little more in the oven.


Drain canned tomatoes. Rinse and drain can of beans.


Begin to make cheese sauce by melting your butter in a big (oven safe) pot.


Whisk flour into melted butter and cook on low for about a minute.


Slowly stir milk into the flour/butter mixture. Cook on low and stir until smooth.


Stir in your Cumin, Chili Powder and Garlic Powder along with a little Salt & Pepper.


Stir in 3 Cups of your cheese into the sauce. (You save your fourth cup of cheese to top it with before it goes in the oven.)



Delicious Cheese Sauce!


Now you add in the cooked macaroni, can of tomatoes, can of beans, corn, and half a bag of spinach.

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Top everything with the remaining cup of cheese and put into a 350* oven and bake until bubbly and hot (about 15-20 minutes.)


Patiently stare at it in the oven…


Take a quick selfie!


Put your party hat on. It’s FIESTA Mac-n-Cheese afterall!


The finished product! This recipe makes a boat load. I put a couple containers in the freezer to have for quick, easy meals when Chris is out of town.


I’m loving that I have tons of leftovers of this meal. I also love that you could really throw in whatever veggies you have on hand and it would still be delicious!


A kid friendly meal that is full of protein, fiber, and cheesy goodness.


Veggie Breakfast Burritos- Kids Cook Monday

It’s time for my favorite foods to come together…Breakfast for Dinner + Mexican= YUM! And the fact that this meal gets my kids to eat a protein packed meal WITH veggies is a total bonus! This meal is not very difficult to make because it’s mostly just assembling all the parts. Here’s how it went down!



Scramble up about a half dozen eggs. I always make mine with a little milk, salt and pepper, and some American cheese melted in.


Chop up one green pepper, a clove of garlic, and one onion. Look at my lil’ helper snagging some peppers to munch on!



Rinse and drain one can of black beans.


Sautee the onion, pepper, garlic mixture in a little olive oil until just tender.


Add the beans to the onion mixture and season liberally with salt, pepper, cumin, and a little bit of chili powder. Cook until the beans soften and are nice and hot.


We made a little sauce to add to our burritos. It was just half plain Greek yogurt, half jarred salsa, with a little bit of chopped cilantro.



Meanwhile, make sure your other little chef is not getting into trouble behind you!



Fill a large tortilla with your scrambled eggs, bean and veggie mixture, shredded cheddar cheese, and salsa/yogurt sauce. Optional toppings could be avocado, jalapenos, or tomatoes.



Wrap up all the goodies and enjoy!


This meal easily fed our family of 4, but if we make it again (which we definitely will!) we’ll probably make a double batch and freeze a couple for easy breakfasts during the week. I hope you and your kiddos give this meal a try. With all the fun ingredients to munch on during the cooking process, your kids are sure to love it!

Fruit Salsa- Kids Cook Monday

We recently discovered a small strawberry farm near our house that let’s you come pick your own strawberries. They are the most delicious strawberries I’ve ever had!!! So sweet and so juicy! We’ve gone a couple of times recently because they are so ripe right now.


Brady hard at work pickin’ “drawberries.”


The “fruit of our labor.”

Brady will gobble up strawberries by the pint, but I wanted to try some fun recipes with some of the berries we picked. For Kids Cook Monday, I thought I’d make a fruit salsa that has lots of strawberries, apples and kiwis with a little basil from our herb garden. This recipe was mostly chopping and mixing. I did the fruit cutting and Brady did the lime squeezing, basil ripping and sugar stirring. I’d be lost without him! 🙂

Fruit Salsa


About a pint of strawberries- chopped into bite sized pieces

1 green apple- peeled and diced

2 kiwis- peeled and diced

the juice of 1 lime

1/4 cup of white sugar

About 1/4 cup chopped basil (or ripped by toddler hands!)

*Cinnamon & Sugar pita chips for dipping

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This recipe comes together so easy. You chop, dump in a bowl, and mix. It gets tastier if it sits for an hour or so, but you can also eat it right away.  We loved that it was such a refreshing, light dessert. The hubby liked the pop of basil and Brady could’ve just eaten it with a spoon.


Mexican Popcorn- Kids Cook Monday!

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Or…Happy “excuse to eat as much Mexican food as possible” Day! The hubby lived in Mexico for several years, so by proxy, we’re totally an authentic Mexican family. Right?! Anyways, we do cook our share of Mexican food around here, but I wanted to switch it up today.

While we did go to a Mexican restaurant today for lunch, I thought it would be fun to do a different kind of Mexican themed snack for after Brady’s nap. Brady was (ever so nonchalantly) requesting popcorn today. He brought it up in the car, and then again in Target, so I promised him that would be our after-nap snack.

Mexican Popcorn



1/2 cup Popcorn Kernels
Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

“Fancy Butter”

1/3  Stick of Butter (melted)
the juice of one lime
about a tbsp. of chopped cilantro


1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Tbsp. parmesean cheese to sprinkle on top



Stove top popcorn is so much fun to make! The anticipation of the first kernel popping is pretty exciting, like for me, as an adult. So, I figured Brady would love it too. And sure enough he did! We popped our popcorn according to the kernel directions and then added our fun, Mexican themed toppings. You could also make this with microwave popcorn, it’s just not as fun! For toppings we used a combo of fancy butter, seasonings, and cheese. First we poured our “fancy butter” (a combo of melted butter, lime juice and cilantro) on the hot popcorn and shook it up in a big bowl with the lid on. Then we put our seasonings on the popcorn, put the lid back on, and shook it up some more. Finally, we topped it with a little bit of parmesan cheese.


Pickin’ cilantro leaves off and squeezin’ limes!


Shake, shake, shake! That bowl is as big as him!

It was muy deliciosa! Que Bueno! And, as an added bonus, Brady got to use some of the cilantro we’ve been growing from our garden. Love, love, love when things work out like that!


Yummy, buttery, salty, tangy, popcorn! Sidenote: I used tri-color kernels so my popcorn has an even cooler look to it (in my opinion). Just know those pieces are not burned pieces 🙂

Taco Boats- Kids Cook Monday

Our family loves Mexican food! Sadly, there is a severe shortage of Mexican restaurants in Lancaster County, PA (go figure!) so we make it at home quite often. I love how versatile it can be…soft tacos, hard tacos, dips, casseroles, burritos, nachos, enchiladas…. Ok, time to get ahold of my Mexican loving self. Side note; Mexican restaurants are one of the things we are most looking forward to in our next hometown!

So, I wanted to make a kid friendly Mexican meal that was also meatless. We used a combo of black and refried pinto beans on some new, cool, “Fiesta Flats” I found in the grocery store.  They are flat-ish like a tostada, but curved up on the edges to keep your toppings in place. So cool! (It’s the little things in life, people.)

I warmed the corn shells (Fiesta Flats) in the oven on 350* for about 10 minutes and then my trusty sidekick Brady helped me load up our “Taco Boats.” You can use any combo of ingredients that you like, but here’s what we used…

Refried pinto beans
Black Beans
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Black Olives

Some corn, diced onion, or tomatoes would be great on these as well!


Ingredients (Not the bananas!!)

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Um, no, I wasn’t about to eat guac straight from the bowl.


Who am I kidding…this stuff is delicious!




Taco Boats!

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My lil’ taco lovin’ stinkers!