Traveling with Kiddos Without Losing Your Mind

Just the title alone is funny — and maintaining your sanity while traveling with kids sometimes seems impossible! Have no fear, mama birds: There are a few things your can do to make life easier on yourself. Not that I am an old pro at this mama game by any means, but I certainly do spend my fair share of time on an airplane. I like to think I have picked up a thing or two along the way.

Don’t overpack your carry-on bag: If you do, you are doomed before you even leave the house! It’s too much to juggle. Streamline your packing, and stick to the essentials. (I will break down my carry-on items at the end of this post, and I have a fab ultimate packing list on RealGirlsKitchen.com.)

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Watch Haylie Duff vs. Food on Haylie’s America

Eating your way across America may sound like a fun, glamorous job, but it’s a lot more work than it appears. In a behind-the-scenes preview of Haylie’s America, host Haylie Duff admits that she feels like she’s entering a Man vs. Food battle before eating plate after plate of food for the Cheat Day episode.

“You’re gonna have to roll me down the block!” she exclaims in the new clip, explaining that bites that don’t happen on camera don’t count. Check out the full video after the jump, and watch Haylie’s America starting Thurs., Sept. 8 at 10pm ET on Cooking Channel. Haylie will also be taking over Food Network’s Snapchat Discover on premiere day, so be sure to check it out.

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Haylie’s 5 Must-Have Travel Items

I feel so lucky that my “job” takes me to all kinds of fun and exciting places, but we all know that even traveling somewhere wonderful still includes a trip to the airport and some in-air time. Here are my five travel must-haves for making the experience a bit more enjoyable!

1. Always wear shoes that require socks, or put an extra pair in your carry-on bag! This is, hands down, my No. 1 rule. Have you seen those floors?? Germs galore. Don’t be the one who’s barefoot and standing on your tippy toes, thinking that that will keep you from picking up whatever is on the ground. BTW, this isn’t just a cleanliness thing — this is a great way to protect yourself from getting sick. I mean, you can wash your hands, but ya can’t really wash your feet in an airport or on a plane.

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A Tisket, A Tasket, 5 Recipes Fit For Your Labor Day Picnic Basket

Prepare for a lazy Labor Day picnic with a basket full of easy, portable snacks. Before you lay out your blanket at the park, make Instagram-ready Macaroni Icebox Salad — 16-ounce mason jars filled with refreshing ingredients — and the four more basket-worthy recipes below!

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How to Put New Twists on Trendy Food: Poke, Matcha and More

Technology hasn’t advanced enough that you can reach into your phone and grab food from your Instagram feed, so it’s time to take matters into your own hands.

Instead of just re-creating versions of trendy dishes and drinks at home, take it a step further with new twists like matcha-infused Green Tea Chiffon Cake (pictured above). Check out three more trendy food ideas below.

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Get Bowled Over by These Spiked-Punch Recipes

We’re in peak grillin’ and chillin’ season, and the best way to get a party started is with an abundance of booze. Go ahead and spike the punch. It’s perfectly acceptable at an end-of-summer party — unlike when you’re at prom. Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite spiked-punch recipes.

Try the Sunrise Punch (pictured above) — a rum-based drink that is slightly creamy from coconut milk and stays ice-cold thanks to frozen pineapple and strawberries — and get more ideas for your party with our collections of fruity alcoholic drinks and our best summer cocktails.

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5 Peachy-Keen Savory Summer Dishes

When you have an overabundance of fresh peaches and are suffering from peach cobbler fatigue, try taking the juicy fruit for a walk on the savory side. One of our favorite easy summer dinner ideas is Michael Symon’s Peach and Blue Cheese Salad, aka grilled peaches, peppery arugula and pungent blue cheese served atop a big ol’ grilled steak.

Check out four more peachy ideas below.

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How to Make Pok Pok’s Kai Yaang, the Ultimate Roast Chicken

Chicken doesn’t have to be boring, and Pok Pok’s chef, Andy Ricker, proves that with his cult-favorite dish, Kai Yaang. A whole roasted chicken is brined, stuffed with Thai aromatics like lemongrass, garlic and cilantro, then marinated in soy and fish sauces and basted with shallot oil and honey to ensure maximum flavor.

If you can’t get to Pok Pok in Portland, Oregon, or its outposts in Los Angeles and Brooklyn, you can check out Ricker’s recipe for Kai Yaang here. Then watch him make it with Man Fire Food host Roger Mooking on Tuesday, August 16 at 9pm ET on Cooking Channel.

Get more Man Fire Food recipes.

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Praise Caprese with 6 Twists on Tomato Salad

An easy way to add Italian flair to your next shindig is with vibrant red, white and green food. Transform classic caprese salad  — aka layers of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil — into bite-sized Caprese Salad Skewers (pictured above), sliders, fruit-and-cheese plum caprese and more.

Check out five more of our favorite inventive versions of caprese below.

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Pesto, Change-o: 5 Recipes to Use Up Leftover Basil

When you’re short on time but need to add a punch of flavor, turn to one of our favorite condiments: pesto. The versatile, herbaceous sauce can be spread on sandwiches, tossed with pasta or used to marinate meat. It’s also great for using bunches of leftover basil and other herbs you have sitting around.

Find out how your favorite chefs make pesto with six of our favorite recipes, including Kelsey Nixon’s Every Herb Pesto (pictured above) — mint, tarragon and basil — perfect for topping crunchy crostini.

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