pasta bake with pancetta, tomato sauce and mozzarella

pasta bake with pancetta, tomato sauce and mozzarella

Come on, take a good look at that pasta, the cheese is all melted and browned on top, the sauce is clinging to each pasta shell.  I just want to take a bite right now, though I don’t think it would taste to good at 6:00 in the morning.  I’m sure there are many of you that aren’t cheese fans or think a dish like this might not be too good for the old waistline, I get it, but I also believe life is about moderation and if you have balance, then you can eat just about anything (real food that is).  For the rest of you that are licking your choppers, this dish is pure comfort bliss, especially on a cool fall or winter night.

Yes, there’s a lot of cheese in this recipe, but I love cheese, so that made me happy.  If you’re not a cheese fan than this might not be the pasta for you. I balance this rich meal by serving up a large vegetable portion on the side, so I don’t fill up on just pasta. I either serve it with a nice big kale salad or kid friendly caesar salad, or some sort of dark green vegetable, like broccolini. You could also whip up some garlic bread to serve on the side.  This is definitely a two-nighter meal or the perfect meal to serve a crowd.  I baked it in these cute individual caserrole dishes, but it’s truly the perfect pasta to be baked in a large casserole dish.

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Marin mama’s weekly menu for November 25th

Marin Mama's weekly dinner menu for week of nov 25

The kids, my hubby and I helped volunteer at the Marin Food Bank last week.  One of Zoe’s friends organized it for her mitzvah project.  We spent 2 hours loading boxes from these huge containers and I’m proud to say that we pretty much emptied the containers.  The kids were amazing and worked so hard. Eli was the youngest volunteer, and we had to get special permission for him to volunteer as they have an age requirement.  I think they should lower the age requirement, as he worked incredibly hard.  I mean look at him, his arms were loaded like that the whole time and he had a smile on his face as well.  The photos were taken on my phone and I had to crop a few, so they’re a bit hazy.

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turkey wrap with apples and brie

turkey wrap with apples and brie

turkey wrap with apples and brieHere’s a tasty and simple weeknight or lunchtime sandwich to serve up alongside a bowl of soup or salad.  I alternate between serving these wraps and grilled cheese sandwiches on soup and sandwich nights. This is the perfect sandwich to make use of all that leftover turkey you have lying around.

You might be thinking brie cheese is not going to work with your child, but give it a try, as it’s a fairly mild cheese.  I was worried at first that my kids wouldn’t like this wrap due to the brie cheese, because whenever there is a tray of cheese, brie is not one they gravitate towards.  So the first time I made these wraps, I served them up as an hors d’oeuvre, just to see how they would be received.  My kids loved them, and loved the melted brie and apple combination. Let’s admit it, melted cheese tastes good on most anything.

turkey wrap with apples and brie paired with heirloom tomato soup

turkey wrap with apple and brie:

recipe from The Supper Club
serves 4

  • 4 whole-wheat or whole-grain wraps or tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 pound turkey – You can use roasted or smoked, basically your favorite type of turkey
  • 1/2 pound brie cheese, cut lengthwise into slices
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced with skin on – You can use granny smith or fuji, basically whatever apple is in season
  • fresh spinach or watercress

First off, lets make your honey mustard.  Just take 2-tablespoons honey and 2- tablespoons Dijon mustard and mix them together in a small container.  So simple,wouldn’t you agree?  If you want more honey mustard, then add in another tablespoon or two of both.  Basically, to make honey mustard, you need equal parts of both honey and Dijon mustard.  You can store the leftover honey mustard in a sealed container in the fridge.

I have step-by-step photos below on how to assemble the wrap.

Spread a layer of honey mustard on one side of the tortilla.

Add some turkey slices.

Add some apple slices.

Add the brie cheese.

Top it off with some spinach.

Fold over the wrap and place it in a pre-heated panini press for about a minute or two, or until the cheese melts and the wrap gets warm.

You can also use a cast-iron skillet, or toast the wraps into a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 5-10 minutes.

Note: I put my panini press on the sear setting.  The sear setting works wonderfully with grilled cheese sandwiches as well.  

See those wonderful sear marks.

Cut each wrap in half on the diagonal, and serve them up  There are so many ways you can change up this sandwich to accommodate your family.  You can make a roast beef and brie wrap, ham and swiss wrap, you name it.

My favorite lunchtime wrap is filled with avocado, jack cheese, arugula and roasted red peppers.  So easy and so delish!

I typically serve these wraps up alongside my heirloom tomato soup.

turkey wrap with apples and brie paired with heirloom tomato soupRoasted red pepper and tomato soup.

roasted red pepper and tomato soupCreamless tomato soup.

creamless tomato soup

mashed potatoes with kale

mashed potatoes with kale

mashed potatoes with kaleI’m sorry that I’m not doing my regular weekly dinner menu post, but this considered a vacation week, so I’m kind of taking a vacation from cooking (until Thanksgiving that is). I’m also in the process of moving my site over to Wordpress, so I’m going to be busy working on getting that up and running with the help of my HTML goddess Wendy, thanks Wendy!  I can’t wait to move over, as I’m feeling limited on blogger and have finally decided that it’s time to make the move!  I promise to have my weekly dinner menu up and running next Sunday.

If you love kale and mashed potatoes, then you will love these.  Zoe and I were looking through Sprouted Kitchen’s new cookbook one afternoon where she saw the photo of these potatoes. She bookmarked the page, and told me that I had to make them.  I think her love of potatoes comes from John, as he loves any kind of potato dish. I honestly love what a foodie my daughter has become.  She would have never asked for potatoes with kale a year ago, (come to think of it, I don’t think I would have either) but our tastes change and grow, and now she and I both love kale.  

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kale salad with delicata squash, almonds and aged cheddar

kale salad with delicata squash, almonds and aged cheddar
kale salad with delicata squash, almonds and aged cheddarOk, I must admit, I’m not a holiday recipe kind of food blogger. I don’t feature holiday recipes months before the holidays, unless it’s a recipe that can be used for any occasion, like this salad. I’m honestly not an expert when it comes to cooking turkey or stuffing. I make the same stuffing every year (sausage and chestnut stuffing) and John cooks the turkey, as cooking large birds sort of scare me. I also figure that most of you have family favorite Thanksgiving recipes that have been passed down through the generations. We actually have a family favorite cranberry sauce that John’s mom passed down to us, which John makes every year for Thanksgiving.  

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Marin mama’s weekly dinner menu for November 11th

DSC_0004-2-1

What was I thinking with last week’s menu?  I exhausted myself by cooking dinner every night. I realized that I didn’t plan for a two-nighter meal, LAME!  By the time Friday came around, I was done in the kitchen, so I had John pick up a pizza on his way home and I whipped up Eli’s favorite caesar salad. This week I’m back to reality and back to serving up leftovers, which is honestly more realistic for us!  We’re having leftovers on Monday as well as Thursday. 

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kid friendly caesar salad

photo[3]

Moms, do I have caesar salad recipe for you.  This is one of Eli’s favorite salads now and he literally requests it daily.  He eats a whole plate full, even when I sneak some lacinato kale in the salad.  I told him the other night as he scarfed down a plate full of salad that he just polished off about 1/4 a head of kale. His jaw just about slammed down on the table.  He said he didn’t even know there was kale in the salad, he thought the dark green leaves were darker romaine lettuce pieces. The dressing is what makes this a kid friendly salad (no anchovies or raw egg) or should I say adult friendly as well. You can make it more of an adult salad by adding some kale as well as multigrain croutons. To keep it truly kid friendly, I would just serve the dressing over some romaine leaves and make up some sourdough or french bread croutons.  BTW, I don’t always add croutons to the salad, so don’t feel the pressure.  We usually just have this salad as a side to our meal sans the croutons.  I just don’t always have time to whip up a batch of croutons during the week.

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how to keep kale and other greens fresh

fresh

Ok, I’ll be frank with you all, this isn’t the most exciting post I have ever put out there. As I was writing it, I kind of yawned a few times and thought to myself, am I really writing about how to keep lettuce and kale fresh, really?  I’m writing this post because I want you all to see how easy it is to whip up a nightly salad on the fly without having to buy the pre-washed bagged lettuce or kale.

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quinoa patties

quinoa

Happy day after Halloween!  Are you all candied out?  Are you putting yourself on a diet of kale salads and quinoa dishes till Thanksgiving? I’m not going to go that far, but I do need some sort of cleanse from all the sugar I’ve been eating lately. It’s not candy that I need a break from, but baked goods. I have been baking way to many pumpkin muffins, cupcakes and bundt cakes lately, and I need to stop!  Maybe with all of this new candy in the house, I won’t be asked to bake anything. I think the trick-or-treat candy will give me about a week off before the kids start getting sick of it and start asking me what I’m going to bake up. 

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