Practical ideas for celebrating parents all year round


Whatever the occasion, any excuse to celebrate moms and dads is valid. From birthdays and holidays to regular weekends at home, one of the best gifts you can give them is time together.

The whole family, including toddlers, can get involved when the celebration calls for easy yet delicious recipes. Start a party day off right with these Apple Cinnamon Waffles for a sweet breakfast in bed. As the day progresses, keep everyone energized with apple, peanut butter and honey sandwiches or apple and berry salsa served with fries, apples or graham crackers . Finally, as the day draws to a close, end the festivities with Apple Blondie Cupcakes for a final reminder of how much mom and dad mean to you.

These recipes and other family-friendly breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snack ideas are enhanced by the satisfying texture and taste of apples.

Try serving them as a tasty snack the next time your loved ones get together to watch an exciting family show like “Strawberry Shortcake.” Enjoy seasonal stories about her and her pals discovering hidden treasures while on vacation, encountering mysterious monsters, and tangling with out-of-control spring flowers as she’s ready to “make the world a better place” all year round .

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4-6

2 apples, cored and chopped
1 pound strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 pint blueberries
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
tortilla chips, pita chips, apple chips or graham crackers, for serving

■ In a medium bowl, combine apples, strawberries, blueberries and salt.
■ In a small bowl, whisk honey and lime juice. Pour the honey and lime juice over the fruit mixture. Mix to combine.
■ Serve immediately with tortilla chips, pita chips, apple chips or graham crackers, or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Blonde apple cupcakes. Family characteristics

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and cooled
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch dice

■ Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 12 muffin pan with cupcake tins and set aside.
■ In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
■ In a large bowl, whisk butter and brown sugar for 2 minutes or until well blended. Add vanilla and egg; whisk until incorporated.
■ Add the flour mixture to a large bowl of wet ingredients. Stir until just combined; be careful not to overmix.
■ Stir in diced apples.
■ Pour batter evenly into cupcake pans.
■ Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Let cool and serve.

Apple, peanut butter and honey sandwiches. Family characteristics

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 (1 sandwich per serving)

1 apple
6 tablespoons peanut butter
4 slices of bread
2 tablespoons of honey

■ Core the apple and thinly slice.
■ Spread 3 tablespoons of peanut butter on two slices of bread, reserving two slices of bread for the top of the sandwiches.
■ Layer apple slices on peanut butter.
■ Drizzle 1 tablespoon of honey over the apple slices of each sandwich half.
■ Top each sandwich half with the reserved slice of bread.

Apple and cinnamon waffles. Family characteristics

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted
1 apple, peeled and cored
non-stick cooking spray
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), at room temperature
maple syrup, to taste

■ In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and brown sugar.
■ In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and melted butter.
■ Do well in the dry ingredients then stir in the wet ingredient mixture until just combined.
■ Using a cheese grater, grate the apple. Fold the grated apple into the dough.
■ Prep waffle maker with nonstick cooking spray.
■ Pour 1/4 of the batter mixture into a waffle iron and bake according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
■ Top each waffle with 1 tablespoon of room temperature butter and maple syrup, to taste.

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