how to store basil and tomatoes

Marin Mama how to 6 Comments

how to store basil and tomatoes

This post came to me out of the blue as I was making up the tomato marinade for one of our favorite summer pastas, Ina Garten’s summer garden pasta.  As you can see from the below photo, this marinade uses both fresh basil and tomatoes.  So it got me to thinking, why not bang out a quick post showing you all how to best store these two summer staples.  Both of these methods have worked for me, my tomatoes taste juicer and sweeter, and my basil lasts longer and smells and looks great in the kitchen, as it sits on the counter!  Bonus!  This post is not fancy, but a simple how-to post, so here goes! Storing Basil: Lets start …

6 tasty recipes using heirloom tomatoes

Marin Mama dinner, heirloom tomatoes, Marin mama's favorite things, meatless meals, random, summer meals 6 Comments

6 tasty recipes using heirloom tomatoes

Heirloom tomato season is in full swing and Marin mama can’t get enough of them. I simply LOVE heirloom tomatoes!  Heirloom tomatoes are sweet, juicy and have an intense one of a kind flavor, they’re not bland like most grocery store varieties. Because heirloom season is short (only 3 months) I tend to get a bit obsessed with them and eat them daily if I can. So I thought I would share with you all 6 tasty and easy recipes that incorporate heirloom tomatoes. I’ve even tossed in 2 new recipes ideas into this post.  So go out and grab a couple of heirloom tomatoes today and make one of the below recipes this week. Your taste buds will be thanking me… …

gluten-free healthy cookie bites

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

gluten-free healthy cookie bites Marin mama cooks

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 …

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 …

oatmeal pancakes

Marin Mama breakfast, family favorites Leave a Comment

oatmeal pancakes

Do pancakes on a weekday morning seem to good to be true, or too difficult for working or crazed parents? Well, that doesn’t have to be the case anymore, as I found recipe where most of the batter can be made ahead the night before. Yippee!  I’m not even sure if I made any sense there in my intro, (see, I’m typing this up at 5:00 am, so bear with me) but basically the batter for these pancakes can be made ahead the night before, so all you have to do in the morning (when you’re all tired, crazed and sleepy-eyed) is melt some butter, (in the microwave folks, so it’s like 30 seconds here) crack and egg, mix both …

quinoa with tomatoes, cucumber, parsley and mint

Marin Mama dinner, lunch, meatless meals, Quinoa, salads, vegetarian Leave a Comment

quinoa with tomatoes, cucumber, parsley and mint_

I’M BACK!!!!  I’m back from vacation and back to reality!  Yay   I love vacations (I mean really, who doesn’t love a good vacation).  I love playing and bonding with family and friends, exploring new places, as well as having a break from the routine of life, and the routine of cooking and cleaning! Vacations are great until they end, and then you have to leave paradise and get back to reality!  YUCK! The one and only thing I love about returning from vacation is getting back to my kitchen and cooking and eating healthy again. The first thing I made up when we returned was my favorite kale salad, (of course) and this summer quinoa salad. I ate this up for lunch …

easy overnight hot quinoa and steel cut oats

Marin Mama breakfast, marin mama's favorites, oats, Quinoa 3 Comments

easy overnight hot quinoa and steel cut oats

Yes, I’m a bit obsessed with breakfast! It’s my absolute favorite meal of the day! I love starting out the day with an easy, tasty, hot and healthy power-filled breakfast, and this cereal fits the bill. It’s a blend of quinoa and steel-cut oats, (which in my eyes and tummy is pure perfection) that can be made the night before, (in under 6 minutes) which is even better. All you have to do come morning is turn on the stove and re-heat the cereal, easy peasy.  I love steel-cut oats and to pair them with the protein power and nutrition of quinoa, well you have yourself a yummy and healthy breakfast. This hot and healthy breakfast requires only 3 simple ingredients, quinoa, steel …

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. So you’re probably wondering what my kiddo’s think of …

pasta with pesto and broccolini

Marin Mama dinner, meatless meals, Pastas, pesto Leave a Comment

kale, spinach and basil pesto with broccoli rabe and rigatoni pasta

Ok, we’re always looking (well, at least I am) for a tasty, easy weeknight, 30-minute, one-pot, one-bowl meatless pasta, right (wow, that was mouthful)?  Well, good news because I’ve got one for you! I wasn’t sure if this pasta even qualified as a post since I do have some similar pesto-type pasta’s on the blog, but they have meat in them, and that might throw some of you off from even looking at the recipe, so I’m posting this meatless pesto pasta recipe for you! I make this pasta up all of the time! I love it because it’s simple and easy, kid approved and even makes enough leftovers for the kid’s lunches the next day! Yippee! I occasionally use …

kale, spinach and basil pesto

Marin Mama dinner, Pastas, pesto, sauces 3 Comments

kale, spinach and basil pesto

Oh my gosh, this pesto is SO tasty, fresh and chunky that it’s seriously bowl licking and spoon licking good (yep, Zoe and I licked our bowls clean)! I’ve made this pesto up twice already and Zoe and I couldn’t keep our spoons out of the jar. We kept opening the jar taking a spoonful, closing the jar and then sneaking back for another spoonful, you get the picture…  We were totally digging this pesto. This pesto is chunky in texture from the roasted almonds and SO vibrant in color and flavor. It’s kid approved and can be paired with virtually anything, or even just eaten by the spoonful, because it’s that good.  After whipping this up, I may seriously never …

coconut granola bark

Marin Mama after school snacks, bars/snacks, breads and grains, breakfast, family favorites Leave a Comment

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 …

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Marin Mama Cookies, Desserts 6 Comments

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

So, I’m being a bit naughty and giving you all a sugary treat today! I’m posting a new cookie recipe that has been happily tested on at least 40 kids and adults, ranging in age from 6 to 44 (yes, you guessed it, I’m the 44-year-old)!  These cookies got the double thumbs up, and there were even some kids that gave me the feet thumbs up as well! Crazy kids! These cookies are chock-full of flavor from the cinnamon, allspice and the turbinado sugar. The turbinado sugar helps gives the cookies a nice crunchy texture. You can also tastes bits of salt in each cookie bite, and those bittersweet chocolate chips, wow, they just make anything better in my opinion. Give me a cookie with some …

sweet potato tacos with avocado crema

Marin Mama dinner, meatless meals, Mexican, tacos, vegetarian 3 Comments

sweet potato tacos with avocado crema . These are the perfect meatless taco!

If you’re looking for a new meatless taco recipe, then you’ve come to the right place! Sweet potatoes make the perfect hearty filling for a taco when you’re craving a meatless meal. Insert them in a corn tortilla with some black beans, cotija cheese and the avocado crema and you have yourself not only a beautiful looking taco, but a tasty and healthy one as well. These tacos are perfect for your next meatless Monday or taco Tuesday, as these tacos can literally can be made in under 30 minutes, making them an easy weeknight dinner. You just prep and roast the sweet potatoes and make the avocado crema (it only takes 5-minutes to make) while they potatoes are roasting.  Easy …

avocado yogurt crema

Marin Mama after school snacks, condiments, dressings, Mexican, salsas, salsas and dips 9 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 …