blood orange smoothie

Marin Mama after school snacks, beverages, healthy snacks, smoothies & juices 6 Comments

blood orange smoothie

Smoothies are a year round thing in my house, not as much with Zoe, but Eli and his peeps love them! It can be cold and pouring out and Eli and his peeps will still want a smoothie. That’s why I always keep a batch of frozen bananas and some fresh or frozen fruit on hand, so when the troops come home, I’m ready to go! The kids and I have been naturally cutting back on refined sugars, and trying to find healthier unrefined alternatives for snacks and dessert in general. You know what’s funny, it hasn’t been hard to do at all, because as you naturally break away from refined sugars, your taste buds appreciate the taste of “real” …

5 on-the-go healthy snacks

Marin Mama after school snacks, bars/snacks, gluten free, Marin mama's favorite things, marin mama's favorites, random 2 Comments

5 on-the-go healthy snacks

Whose got their hands in the cookie jar? I believe that little cute hand in the above photo belongs to Eli, but I’ll admit that in my house, we’ve all been known to have our hands in the cookie jar, as we’re a family of snackers! Between the hours of 3:00 and 5:00 we all need a little something to nosh on, and something a bit sweet or salty tends to do the trick! Most afternoons the kids and I are running from one activity to another, so I prefer to hand them a homemade, healthy, grab-and-go snack, like one of these below bars, instead of something processed like goldfish or store-bought granola bars. I know all of my mom friends are always …

gluten-free healthy cookie bites

Marin Mama after school snacks, Cookies, gluten free, healthy snacks 10 Comments

gluten-free healthy cookie bites

School is just around the corner and I’m all about having healthy snacks in the house for the kids and their friends to chow down on after school. I don’t know about you, but my kids come home from school ravenous and immediately ask me, “Mom, what can I have for snack?”  I often just tell them to open the fridge or pantry and have a go at it. If I’m home I may make them up a smoothie, or some popcorn (well, now thankfully they’re old enough make up their own smoothies and popcorn). Most afternoons though we’re running from one activity to another, so I like to have an easy and healthy grab-and-go snack, like these gluten-free cookie bites, instead …

guilt-free dark chocolate chip cookie bites

Marin Mama after school snacks, Cookies, Desserts, healthy snacks 9 Comments


Just try and keep your hands out of the cookie jar with these bad boys. These little cookie bites, even though they’re on the healthier side, are super addicting.  I shouldn’t really be calling them a cookie, as they are a take on the classic Cliff Kid’s ZBAR, so they’re more of an energy bar in cookie form. Maybe I should just call them cute little energy cookie bites! These cookie bites are vegan, gluten-free (if you use GF oats), have no refined sugar, are flourless, eggless and dairy free, and they still taste great!  That’s a winner recipe in my book!  The texture is soft and a bit chewy, sort of like a ZBAR. Also, the new food guidelines are out and the …

coconut granola bark

Marin Mama after school snacks, bars/snacks, breads and grains, breakfast, family favorites 3 Comments

coconut granola bark

What?? Another granola recipe Marin mama? Yep, I’m posting another granola recipe peeps, because I’m an oat crazed gal who loves something sweet and crunchy to nosh on in the afternoon, and this granola bark fits the bill! It’s crunchy, sweet, (but not too sweet) full of goodness and very addicting! I made this bark up the other day and it went very fast, so fast that I had to make another batch the next day so that I would have something to photograph. The kids and I couldn’t stop ourselves, we kept going back for seconds, thirds and so on… Put this bark in a jar and just watch how quickly it goes. Look, I even caught of picture of …

avocado yogurt crema

Marin Mama after school snacks, condiments, dressings, Mexican, salsas, salsas and dips 10 Comments

avocado yogurt crema - Marin mama cooks

Happy Monday peeps! You’re probably confused as you’re getting 2 posts 2 days in a row. You’re most likely saying to yourselves, “what’s up with Marin mama and all of her posting lately, she’s going crazy over there!” Well, I’m not going crazy, but I have been up since 5:00 this morning, and I’m baking a fresh batch of oatmeal cookies, so I figured why not bang out a new post as well. I mean I’m currently in-between jobs, so I feel like I have all the time in the world to bake, post and cook! So, I wanted to get this avocado yogurt crema post out to you all today, as it’s truly a stand alone recipe and pairs wonderfully …

peanut butter chocolate chip granola

Marin Mama after school snacks, bars/snacks, breakfast 5 Comments

peanut butter chocolate chip granola

This granola is not what I would classify as a healthy breakfast alternative. I would say that it falls into the sugar cereal family rather than the Ezekiel cereal family, but that’s ok. My philosophy when it comes to food is that it’s all about balance, and some days we want something healthy for breakfast, and some days we want something naughty like this granola!  This granola is a cinch to whip up, as it only takes 30 minute tops, and requires only 6 simple pantry ingredients! Easy peasy! This granola is addicting!  So addicting that I find myself digging into my mason jar and grabbing handfuls all day long. I’ll be honest with you, this granola has become a …

no-bake dark chocolate peanut butter granola bars

Marin Mama after school snacks, bars/snacks, brownies and bars 25 Comments

no-bake dark chocolate peanut butter granola bars

I’m going to admit something to you all.  I’m a total snacker!  I can’t make it through lunch and dinner without some sort of snack. I mean I think/know I could make it, but I choose not to, as I love snacks.  My kids are total snackers as well, and when they get home from school, the first words our of their mouths are, “hi mom, what can I have for a snack?” Most of the time I try to rummage up some sort of healthy after-school snack for them, like a smoothie, popover, quesadilla, avocado-tahini dip or my kid’s favorite homemade popcorn, but some days you just have to have a snack that you can take with you on-the-go, and …

strawberry banana smoothie

Marin Mama after school snacks, beverages, breakfast, smoothies & juices 4 Comments


I’m officially calling it snack week here at Marin mama cooks, so in honor of snack week I’m going to be posting two of my kid’s new favorite snacks. Yippee! I mean who doesn’t love a good snack, right? I figured this was the perfect week to focus on snacks, as the days are getting longer and spring sports are starting to ramp up.  As a result, kids tend to be hungrier this time of year (at least in my house) and need some fuel to power them through the afternoon until dinnertime.  I don’t mind feeding my kids a snack, but I prefer it to be on the healthier side when possible!  I think I scored with these two snacks, …

the best corn muffins

Marin Mama after school snacks, breads and grains, breads and muffins, breakfast, muffins, quick bread 8 Comments


I know it’s a bit bold to say that these are the best corn muffins, but in my humble opinion they are. I’ve sampled many corn muffins over the years, and these bad boys are basically what a corn muffin should taste like. They’re moist, a bit sweet and savory and have a nice texture and crunch from the cornmeal. They also brown up perfectly. I mean take a look at the above muffin, it’s nicely browned on the top and the bottom, perfection! Another reason I declare these the best corn muffins is that they’re SO easy to whip up, I mean they are virtually foolproof. They take 10 minutes to prep and 15 minutes to cook, (25 minutes total) so they’re …

easy oven baked sweet potato fries

Marin Mama after school snacks, family favorites, lunch, most popular recipes, side dishes 13 Comments


These fries are SO GOOD, SUPER ADDICTIVE and honestly as easy to make up as the frozen variety (and cheaper too).  I’m serious!  They’re browned, caramelized and slightly crispy on the outside, and soft, sweet and tender on the inside. Yum, Yum!  I will admit that these fries are not going to be crispy, like fries that have been fried, they tend to be softer like steak fries. In the past few weeks these “fries” have become our new favorite dinner/lunch side, and one of the kid’s favorite after school snacks.  I hate even calling these fries, because fries have such a bad rap, and these are healthy.  I call them fries because it gets kids excited to try them, but between you …

quinoa snack bars

Marin Mama after school snacks, bars/snacks, breakfast, Quinoa 32 Comments

quinoa snack bars

So, I will confess to you all that I haven’t been cooking up any new recipes this past month, total lazy mama here.  Hey, I’ve been trying to juggle my new full-time job, crazy kid’s schedules and basically life in general, and at the end of the day I just want to come home and whip up something quick and easy, but nutritious as the same time. I’m seriously so happy that I created this blog because all I have been doing is cooking from it this past month. Yep, Marin mama is totally cooking from her blog. I’ve come to realize that I initially created this blog to share my favorite recipes with friends, but in the end I think …

avocado-tahini dip

Marin Mama after school snacks, dressings, family favorites, Marin mama's favorite things, salsas, salsas and dips, sauces, side dishes 35 Comments

avocado-tahini dip

This is the tale of the salad dressing that transformed into a dip.  It sounds like the start of a fairy tale don’t you think?   Except turning from a salad dressing into a dip doesn’t sound like a great transformation, (kind of like a prince turning into a frog) but it is, so it’s a story with a happy ending. It all began one afternoon when I was looking for a new salad dressing to massage into my kale.  I wanted to see if I could find another pantry staple dressing that I loved as much as my lacinato kale salad and my ricotta salata dressings.  I made up this dressing and tried it with the kale, but it was …

pineapple, mint and banana smoothie

Marin Mama after school snacks, family favorites, smoothies & juices 22 Comments

pineapple, mint and banana smoothie

This pineapple, mint and banana smoothie is my family’s new favorite breakfast and afternoon smoothie. It’s tangy and minty and honestly tastes like a creamsicle. I bet even your pickiest kids will love this smoothie. I made this smoothie up for Zoe the week she attended her intense dance camp. She’s not a huge fan of bananas, but I wanted her to get some potassium in her diet, so I knew the smoothie route was the way to go. I also read that pineapple contains a substance called bromelain, which is a group of digestive enzymes that can be instrumental in reducing inflammation and healing wounds. This smoothie sounded like the perfect breakfast smoothie for a girl that was going …

chocolate chip pumpkin bundt cake with chocolate ganache

Marin Mama after school snacks, cakes and cupcakes, chocolate, Desserts 13 Comments

chocolate chip pumpkin bundt cake with ganache

Happy Holidays everyone! I’m not doing my normal weekly menu post this week because it’s a holiday week, so I’m taking a holiday.  I’m actually going to take an extended 2 week blogging holiday so I can just “be” and enjoy time with my family and friends.  I plan on hiking, skiing, reading and cooking tons with the kids. I didn’t want to leave you all high and dry so I’m finally posting this recipe from my friend Averie, that I have made at least 5 times.  Averie did an amazing update on the chocolate chip pumpkin bunt bread.  She took the bundt bread recipe and turned it into a bunt cake. This is dessert guys, no longer an afterschool …