how to make homemade croutons

Marin Mama breads and grains, how to, salads, Soups 4 Comments

how to make homemade croutons

For me it’s the little things that stand out and make a recipe pop, like these homemade croutons. Every time I toss these bad boys into a salad or soup, I always get compliments on how amazing the croutons are. Yes, something so simple as homemade croutons can make a recipe go from great to outstanding! They truly beat out any store-bought variety, and are a great way to use up any leftover bread you have lying around. Homemade croutons take roughly 15 minutes to make from start to finish, and require 4 simple pantry ingredients that I know you all have in your house; bread, salt, pepper and olive oil, so there are no excuses for not making a …

heirloom tomato gazpacho

Marin Mama dinner, meatless meals, Soups, summer meals 2 Comments

heirloom tomato gazpacho

It’s summer, and what soup says summer better than gazpacho, right? Gazpacho is seriously the perfect summer soup for many reasons. First off, it’s a cold soup, so it’s the perfect soup to sip on a hot summer day or night. Secondly, it doesn’t require you to heat up a stove or oven, which is bonus when it’s 90 plus degrees out. I call it the lazy mans soup because when your tired and famished all you have to do is pull out a batch from the fridge, pour it in a bowl and eat away. It’s also a great weekday soup because it takes under 30 minutes to make, just chop up the fresh ingredients and toss them in a blender! Make a batch in the morning …

simple weeknight chicken soup

Marin Mama chicken, dinner, family favorites, Soups, weeknight dinners 79 Comments

simple weeknight chicken soup

So, I’m back, well sort of. I’ve realized during this brief hiatus that I really missed my blog and I really missed all of you.  This blog is a part of me and a part of me that I don’t want to quit or give up on just yet.  I’m a person who loves to share with people, sharing just makes me happy, so I’m going to keep sharing with you all my recipes as well as my journey. There are a lot of changes going on in my life right now, some changes that are amazing and others that are difficult, so I don’t know the frequency of how often I will post, it may just be two times a …

sweet potato and chipotle soup

Marin Mama dinner, lunch, meatless meals, most popular recipes, Soups 29 Comments

sweet potato and chipotle soup

I know it’s not exactly soup season anymore as spring is in full swing and summer is around the corner, but for me, it’s soup season anytime of year. I mean, my all time favorite soup is my heirloom tomato soup, which is basically a summer and early fall soup. I make batches upon batches of that soup and don’t mind making it in 90-degree heat, because it’s that good. I wasn’t planning on posting anymore soup recipes for the season, but I saw this recipe in Gwyneth’s new cookbook and I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I made it up, and was happy that I did. This soup is wonderfully creamy, but without the cream, as it’s dairy free …

easy skillet sausage and white bean stew

Marin Mama dinner, family favorites, Soups, weeknight dinners 33 Comments

easy skillet sausage and white bean stew

Let’s face it, we’re all busy, and coming home at the end of a hectic weekday and cooking up an elaborate meal is not really anyones’ idea of fun. We’re not living in June Cleaver reality here. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun cooking up a nice meal when there’s time, (like the weekend) but on most weeknights I prefer to keep things simple, tasty and quick.  This stew fits that bill. This is an easy one-skillet, one-bowl weeknight meal. It can be made in approximately 30 minutes (give or take a few) and you only dirty up one pan, yes you heard me right, one pan, oh, and a cutting board (but that doesn’t really count). When I made …

Italian wedding soup

Marin Mama chicken, dinner, family favorites, meatballs, most popular recipes, Soups 42 Comments

Italian wedding soup

I love this Italian wedding soup and I love Barefoot for supplying me with this recipe. I’ve seriously never had a bad recipe with Barefoot, honestly, every recipe that I’ve tried from her turns out great. Maybe we’re kindred spirits or something, but I get her cooking, and I like it.  I have her new book, Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust, on my Christmas wish list, and I’m hoping that Santa delivers me a copy.  

heirloom tomato soup

Marin Mama dinner, family favorites, lunch, meatless meals, most popular recipes, Soups, summer meals 60 Comments

heirloom tomato soup

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and had one of those dishes that stands out so much that you remember it and still crave it years later? Well, this soup is one of those dishes. My girlfriends and I went to Calistoga for a girls weekend a few years back, and we stayed at the Solage resort in Calistoga.  It was such a luxurious and fun filled weekend. The resort’s restaurant, Solbar, is hands down amazing.  Everything on its menu is seasonal, local, organic and just overall scrumptious. We all enjoyed a cup of their heirloom tomato soup and our taste buds were in heaven. We were in shock to learn that there wasn’t any cream in the soup, because it tasted so creamy. This soup is vegan, …

carrot ginger soup with homemade croutons

Marin Mama dinner, family favorites, lunch, meatless meals, most popular recipes, Soups, vegetarian 26 Comments

carrot ginger soup with homemade croutons

I was sitting down for breakfast Friday morning and received an email from my friend Carolyn raving about this carrot ginger soup that she had made for her family the night before. She said I had to try it. Carolyn is an amazing cook, actually so amazing, that she could have her own cooking show.  So, when she recommends a recipe to me, I trust that it’s going to be wonderful. I was already planning on making this miso-garlic and tofu salad for lunch and knew this soup would be the perfect compliment. I know what your thinking, carrot soup?  How boring!!  Well, actually, this soup is not boring at all!  It’s rich and creamy (without the cream) with a hint …

creamless tomato soup

Marin Mama dinner, lunch, meatless meals, Soups 20 Comments

creamless tomato soup

Folks, I posted this recipe in the first couple of weeks of my blog, but I wanted to reintroduce it to you all because it’s literally my favorite go-to soup.  I call it my 30 minute soup as it really only takes 30 minutes to make.  As Barefoot would say, “how easy is that?”  This is not a barefoot recipe though, this recipe is from Cooks Illustrated. I love this soup because it’s easy to make and you can get a few meals out of it.  I usually whip up a batch on the weekend when I know I am going to have a busy week and need that quick go-to meal.  It’s also a great pantry soup that you can whip up at the …

Rustic Bakery’s roasted butternut squash soup

Marin Mama dinner, lunch, meatless meals, Soups 12 Comments

Rustic Bakery's butternut squash soup

I have a few favorite local lunch spots that my girlfriends and I frequent often when we want to have a ladies lunch, Marin style.  Marin style means it’s all about being casual when going to lunch to meet your friends.  It’s really about the conversation and food, not the stuffiness of having to get all dressed up or look a certain way, who wants to do that?  Marin is a laid-back, easygoing community, and that is why I love it so. One of our favorite lunchtime spots is Rustic Bakery in Larkspur.  This is not just a bakery but also an amazing breakfast and lunch cafe. They have some of the most magnificent salads, sandwiches and baked goods.  Everything at …

roasted red pepper and tomato soup

Marin Mama dinner, lunch, meatless meals, Soups 9 Comments

roasted red pepper and tomato soup

OK, I admit, I am on a soup kick lately.  I love that I can make soup ahead of time and then re-heat it later for dinner or for lunch throughout the week.  Soup is just so uncomplicated, pure and so darn easy to make. Once you make a homemade soup, you will never go back to the canned variety. I’ve been trying to eat seasonally and take advantage of all these amazing vegetables that are available right now.  While I was at the market the other day, I noticed these beautiful, enormous, organic red bell peppers.   We love red bell peppers raw, but have never tried them in a soup, so I was ready to experiment.  I’m so …

cauliflower soup

Marin Mama dinner, family favorites, lunch, meatless meals, most popular recipes, Soups 35 Comments

cauliflower soup

Its fall people and that means its time for to bring out those yummy comfort soups!  I made this soup yesterday, as I had a head of cauliflower that had to be used up.  This soup was super easy to whip up and required only 5 ingredients.  How easy is that? I love this soup because it’s a creamy soup without the cream!  The cauliflower makes its taste creamy, so its warm and comforting without all that fat!  My family rates this soup a 10+.  My kids ask for this soup as when the weather starts turning cool.  I often serve this up with some couscous cakes or chickpea veggie burgers.  Cauliflower Soup: recipe from Smitten Kitchen 1 medium sized head …