family time in the kitchen {caesar salad and play dough}

name anne-renee



Growing up, one of my favorite things to make with my family was homemade pasta. We had this little silver gadget thingy that clipped onto the counter with several rollers and a super fun-to-turn handle. Somehow the little wonder, in spite of extra itty-bitty fingers and insane amounts of flour, could manufacture nice smooth restaurant quality pasta. We would have contests to see who could make the lengthiest piece, tenderly holding the dough between fingers and chairs, each child hoping against hope that theirs was the longest.

Now the next generation is learning the art of cooking together. The kids and I love to crank up Dean Martin on Pandora (one of our favorite stations) and fill the kitchen with the aroma of tomato, basil, garlic and pasta. And although I don’t think I have an ounce of Italian in my American-mutt blood, that particular ethnic food strikes a chord with my heart. I just can’t seem to help myself. No matter the dish, I find myself singing right along with Dean – loudly and exuberantly.

Wanna join in the fun? Here’s our family’s well-loved, well-used, and ever-changing recipe for Caesar Dressing. Because seriously – you can’t have pasta without some mouth-watering garlic bread and a humongous Caesar salad.

It’s super easy. Just make a bed of romaine. Add any toppings you may want: croutons, parmesan cheese, or extra veggies. Then toss with dressing. (We like to top ours with fresh ground pepper… and lots of it.)

I’ll leave the musical set list up to you. Buon appetito!


name amanda



If I could pick anything to cook right at this moment, other than honey chocolate chip cookies, I’d pick Kool-Aid Play Dough. Partly because it’s not actually cooking, unless you count boiling water, and partly because it is just so, so easy and wonderful.

Kool-Aid Play Dough

photo source

I was given this recipe years ago and it has since become our go-to for homemade play dough. It lasts forever, stays soft, and smells divine!

Next time you’re at the store, grab some Kool-Aid packets and cream of tartar so you can give it a whirl — I promise you’re going to be so in love with this recipe. It’s an easy one to include the kids on and bonus: they can help with the kneading once the mixture cools. You’re also going to be so happy with the way this play dough engages your kiddos. Have fun!

kool-aid play dough recipe


What recipes do you like to make with your family? Whether for eating or for playing, we’d love to hear.


Masterpiece Weekend


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