Great idea from FamilyFun: Give your lunchbox fruit a cushy ride by making these supercute cozies. Get the how-tos from FamilyFun on parents.com.

Great idea from FamilyFun: Give your lunchbox fruit a cushy ride by making these supercute cozies. Get the how-tos from FamilyFun on parents.com.

FamilyFun this weekend: Get into the Halloween groove by downloading our special issue, stuffed full of ideas for costumes, pumpkins, treats, and more. Get it on Android, iOS, PC, and Mac for only $4.99! To buy, head to zinio.com/halloween2014. 

FamilyFun this weekend: Get into the Halloween groove by downloading our special issue, stuffed full of ideas for costumes, pumpkins, treats, and more. Get it on Android, iOS, PC, and Mac for only $4.99! To buy, head to zinio.com/halloween2014. 

FamilyFun Test Drive: Everyday Fun blogger Amanda and her cute kiddos tried the Grab-and-Go Gear bag craft from our September issue. The totes can corral all the stuff for after-school activities—just throw ‘em in the backpack or the car, and they’re ready as needed. See more on our Everyday Fun blog.

FamilyFun favorite: Chilly evenings are setting in…time to get your soup on! Try our recipe for scrumptiously cheesy chowder.
CHEESY POTATO-AND-LEEK CHOWDER
Ingredients:
21/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
2 leeks, white and light green parts, washed and thinly sliced
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth 1 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1 cup whipping cream
3 cups grated cheddar
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Dash of nutmeg
Dash of cayenne
Minced fresh chives (optional)
Croutons (optional)
Directions:
1. Combine the first five ingredients in the slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 hours on high or 4 to 5 hours on low, until the potatoes are tender.
3. Mash the soup with a potato masher or blend with an immersion blender. Add the cream. In a medium bowl, toss the cheese with the flour, then stir it into the soup along with the lemon juice. Cook until the soup is heated through, about 20 minutes more. Add the nutmeg, cayenne, and more salt and pepper to taste.
4. Serve with a sprinkle of chives, croutons, or both, if desired.
ACTIVE TIME: 20 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 2 HOURS 40 MINUTES (HIGH) TO 5 HOURS 40 MINUTES (LOW)
MAKES: 6 SERVINGS
Nutrition per serving: 542 calories, 23g protein, 35g fat (21g sat. fat), 36g carbs, 3g fiber, 3g sugar, 479mg calcium, 3mg iron, 937mg sodium 


FamilyFun favorite: 
Chilly evenings are setting in…time to get your soup on! Try our recipe for scrumptiously cheesy chowder.

CHEESY POTATO-AND-LEEK CHOWDER

Ingredients:

21/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes

2 leeks, white and light green parts, washed and thinly sliced

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth 1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup whipping cream

3 cups grated cheddar

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Dash of nutmeg

Dash of cayenne

Minced fresh chives (optional)

Croutons (optional)

Directions:

1. Combine the first five ingredients in the slow cooker.

2. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 hours on high or 4 to 5 hours on low, until the potatoes are tender.

3. Mash the soup with a potato masher or blend with an immersion blender. Add the cream. In a medium bowl, toss the cheese with the flour, then stir it into the soup along with the lemon juice. Cook until the soup is heated through, about 20 minutes more. Add the nutmeg, cayenne, and more salt and pepper to taste.

4. Serve with a sprinkle of chives, croutons, or both, if desired.

ACTIVE TIME: 20 MINUTES

TOTAL TIME: 2 HOURS 40 MINUTES (HIGH) TO 5 HOURS 40 MINUTES (LOW)

MAKES: 6 SERVINGS

Nutrition per serving: 542 calories, 23g protein, 35g fat (21g sat. fat), 36g carbs, 3g fiber, 3g sugar, 479mg calcium, 3mg iron, 937mg sodium 

The latest from FamilyFun:  Beware the Bagel of Doom! To make this Halloween lunchbox or party treat, slather a halved bagel with pb & j. Stick on candy eyeballs, using a dab of peanut butter as glue. Insert plastic fangs. Get ready for screams of fright and/or delight. 

The latest from FamilyFun:  Beware the Bagel of Doom! To make this Halloween lunchbox or party treat, slather a halved bagel with pb & j. Stick on candy eyeballs, using a dab of peanut butter as glue. Insert plastic fangs. Get ready for screams of fright and/or delight. 

Must-share: Loving this tickle-filled video of Lupita Nyong’o and Elmo, chatting about skin.  Watch the video.
via: thekidshouldseethis

Must-share: Loving this tickle-filled video of Lupita Nyong’o and Elmo, chatting about skin.  Watch the video.

via: thekidshouldseethis

FamilyFun favorite: Perk up a lunchbox with our Bunny Blondies, a yummy cross between carrot cake and brownies. Here’s the recipe!
BUNNY BLONDIES
Ingredients:
8 medium carrots
2½ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
2½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1½ sticks of butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
⅓ cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional) 

 
Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.
2.   Peel, trim, and finely shred the carrots (you can use store-bought shredded carrots). 
3.   In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. 
4.   With a mixer set on medium, blend the butter and both sugars in a separate bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and the vanilla and beat on medium until well blended. With the mixer on low, mix in the carrots.
5.   Stir in the butterscotch chips and walnuts, if using, then blend in the flour mixture completely. Pour the batter into the dish and spread it evenly.
6.   Bake on the center rack until the batter has risen slightly and a thin crust has formed, 30 to 35 minutes. Do not overbake. Test for doneness by inserting toothpicks into the bars 1 inch and 2 inches from the edge, and in the center. The first should come out clean, the second with a little batter, the third with a little more. 
7.   Cool on a wire rack. Run a knife around the rim of the pan, then cut up into bars.

FamilyFun favorite: Perk up a lunchbox with our Bunny Blondies, a yummy cross between carrot cake and brownies. Here’s the recipe!

BUNNY BLONDIES

Ingredients:

8 medium carrots

2½ cups flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

2½ teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1½ sticks of butter, softened

1 cup packed light brown sugar

⅓ cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup butterscotch chips

1 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional) 

 

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.

2.   Peel, trim, and finely shred the carrots (you can use store-bought shredded carrots). 

3.   In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. 

4.   With a mixer set on medium, blend the butter and both sugars in a separate bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and the vanilla and beat on medium until well blended. With the mixer on low, mix in the carrots.

5.   Stir in the butterscotch chips and walnuts, if using, then blend in the flour mixture completely. Pour the batter into the dish and spread it evenly.

6.   Bake on the center rack until the batter has risen slightly and a thin crust has formed, 30 to 35 minutes. Do not overbake. Test for doneness by inserting toothpicks into the bars 1 inch and 2 inches from the edge, and in the center. The first should come out clean, the second with a little batter, the third with a little more. 

7.   Cool on a wire rack. Run a knife around the rim of the pan, then cut up into bars.

FamilyFun Test Drive:  Our blogger Amanda puts the washi-tape touch on new school supplies. Sweet! Read more on the Everyday Fun blog at parents.com.

FamilyFun Test Drive:  Our blogger Amanda puts the washi-tape touch on new school supplies. Sweet! Read more on the Everyday Fun blog at parents.com.

From this month’s issue of FamilyFun:  In need of lunch-packing inspiration? Smile! We’ve got you covered, with these lunch ideas from FamilyFun on parents.com.

From this month’s issue of FamilyFun:  In need of lunch-packing inspiration? Smile! We’ve got you covered, with these lunch ideas from FamilyFun on parents.com.