video on how to make perfect popovers

popovers

video- how to make perfect popovers Hi peeps! Guess what? I’m finally posting another video for the blog!  Yippee!  Gosh, I can’t believe that it’s been 2 years since I posted my lacinato kale salad video tutorial. Oops, Marin mama has been slacking in the video making department, sorry! Hopefully it won’t take me 2 more years to get another one out!

For those of you that follow my blog, you know that I’m pretty much obsessed with kale and popovers.  I have 20 kale recipes on my blog (wow, I guess I really am obsessed) and a mere 6 popover recipes, so maybe I’m a tad more obsessed with kale than popovers, but I still love popovers!  My friends actually tell me that when I open my Marin mama cooks cafe, (I’m going to try and go for this in the next year or so) that I need to have popovers on the menu, as they’re one of my signature things.  I agree, as they’re the perfect carb to pair with soups and salads! Keep your fingers crossed on my cafe idea! It’s one of my dreams!

I’ve been making popovers for at least 10 years, and I make them at least 2 times a week, if not more, so I feel like I have popover making down to a science!  I know there are those of you that are still intimidated by making popovers and I totally get it! Hey, I’m intimidated by making anything with yeast, and to this day I’ve never made anything that requires yeast. Yes, that’s a true statement form a food blogger! I think pretty soon I have to face my fear of yeast, don’t you agree?  If anyone has any tips for working with yeast, please pass them on.

video- how to make perfect popoversSo seriously, popovers are super easy to make and only require 5 simple pantry ingredients, plus a special popover pan. I decided to create this video just to show you how easy it is to make the perfect batch of popovers.

how to make perfect popoversI’m going be honest about this video!  First off, this video was not done in a fancy studio or anything, it was filmed in my kitchen without any special lighting or microphones.  It was also filmed and edited by my daughter Zoe, who I think is pretty talented! GO ZOE!!  So it’s pretty much a cute little homemade video made with love!

IMG_2368It’s also pretty much a “live” video, because we just filmed me making up the popovers once, without any retakes, so what you see is what you get!  We didn’t rehearse anything beforehand, we just got out the ingredients, turned on the camera and went for it!  It was actually a fun way to bond with Zoe and I love the fact that every video on my blog was filmed by my daughter. This truly is a family blog!  Ok, so here goes, I hope you all enjoy the video and learn a little something as well…  

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how to roast chicken breasts

how to roast chicken breasts

how to roast chicken breastsSo here’s an simple question for you all.  How many of you buy a rotisserie chicken for a recipe that calls for shredded chicken, but end up just using the breast meat, and then tossing the legs and thighs? Hmmmm… I know that last sentence sounds a bit risky for a food blog, but you all get what I’m saying, right?  On one hand buying a rotisserie chicken is easy and pretty cost effective, but not when you’re tossing the legs and thighs because you’re not a fan of dark meat.  So, if you just buy rotisserie chicken for the white meat, then let me show you an easier, less expensive and less wasteful way to roast up chicken breasts for a recipe that calls for shredded or diced chicken. It’s a simple everyday tip, but one that you will use weekly, if you’re anything like me!  Hey, maybe I should start a series on the blog called, “Marin Mama’s Simple Every Day Tips!”  Hmmm…. I think I will noodle on that idea!  Feel free to chime in if you think a series like this would be helpful to you all!

So I use shredded chicken all the time, and not just for recipes that require it. Shredded chicken is incredibly versatile, so it doesn’t hurt to keep some on hand for those times when you’re in a pinch and you need a quick meal. I keep it handy in the fridge for sandwiches, salad toppers, soups and quesadillas throughout the week. It’s so handy to have shredded chicken ready to go for those last-minute “what do I make for dinner or lunch” meals.  You can toss shredded chicken into anything from pastas to soups and tacos, therefore making a simple and quick weeknight dinner!

simple weeknight chicken soup and rosemary and sea salt popoverI tend to roast up some chicken breasts on the weekend, as my weekly meal prep for the week, or at night while I’m hanging with the kiddos, or folding laundry. It just requires 30-45 minutes of your time (not active time, as the chicken is just roasting away in the oven)! I’ve converted many of my friends to this easy method, so I thought today that I would share it with all of you and maybe concert one or two of you as well!

So, here we go, let’s roast up some chicken…… 

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5-minute roasted Brussels sprouts

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5-minute roasted Brussels sproutsI’m starting a new section on my blog labeled 5-minute recipes.  These are recipes that roughly take 5-minutes or less to cook, and who doesn’t love that!  This recipe along with my 5-minute hot quinoa cereal and easy overnight steel-cut oats are the first in the series of great 5-minute recipes that don’t actually taste like a 5-minute recipe. Let’s admit it, we’re all busy and looking for shortcuts in the kitchen, but shortcuts that don’t require the use of a microwave and don’t compromise quality and taste. Well, I found a winner here. This is one of the quickest and easiest ways I’ve found to roast Brussels sprouts, and honestly the tastiest. Eli even begs for these and a year ago her hated Brussels! These Brussels are charred, crispy and caramelized on the outside, and soft with a bit of resistance (not mushy) on the inside. Pure Brussels perfection for my taste buds.  All you do is set the Brussels cut-side down in a searing hot skillet and place them under the broiler to roast the tops, easy peasy.

This is a perfect and healthy side dish for the fall and winter months.  Between these sprouts and my 8-minute roasted broccoli, I’m all set for easy weeknight healthy sidedishes. I also used virgin coconut oil in this recipe, as it’s a better oil to use at higher heat temps, and gives these sprouts a touch of sweetness, perfect for the kiddos. You can use olive oil here as well, and add a splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice after roasting, along with some parmesan to add a kick of flavor, like my friend Stacy does.  You could even be bad and toss in some crispy bacon or pancetta, the list goes on and on…

quick and easy roasted Brussels sprouts

5-minute roasted Brussels sprouts:

serves 4 as a side-dish

  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin coconut oil, melted (this is the coconut oil that smells like coconut) or olive oil
  • fine sea salt

ingredients for quick and easy roasted Brussels sprouts_… 

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roasted broccoli

roasted broccoli

roasted broccoliI thought instead of showing you all some fancy staged photo of a bowl of roasted broccoli, that I would show you my kids actually eating and liking it!  I know that if I hear about someone’s kids digging a veggie then I’m more inclined to make it up for my kids.  So, hopefully by seeing my kids enjoying this super healthy veggie, some of you may be more inclined to make this up for your troops!  I’m also letting you all know that this is not going to be a fancy post with jaw dropping photos, but instead it’s going to be a quick and simple post showing you all a quick and simple family approved recipe.  That’s how Marin mama rolls these days.  I’m a full-time working mama, working on some easy family approved recipes for you all!

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how to roast red peppers

how to roast red peppers

how to roast red peppersToday I thought I would share with you all a quick and practical post on how to roast red peppers, because I know there are some of you out there that may not know how to. Roasting red peppers is super easy, and roasting them brings out their natural sweetness. The roasted red peppers that you buy at the market are good, but they really don’t hold a candle to red peppers that you roast at home in your oven. You can roast a few red peppers at a time for a particular recipe, or roast a bunch to use in various recipes throughout  the week.  I used roasted red peppers for soups, sandwiches, pizza sauces, in omelets or scrambled eggs and as a topping for pizza. There are truly so many uses for them.  Once you start roasting your own peppers you won’t go back to buying them.

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lacinato kale salad video tutorial

lacinato kale salad

lacinato kale salad (1 of 1)-2Yes, you read the title right, I’m posting my first attempt at an instructional cooking video. Woo hoo! I actually wouldn’t call it an official cooking video because I make a few mistakes in the video, and my head totally gets cut off in places, but as I said, it’s my first attempt, and making videos is not really my forte. I almost didn’t post the video because it’s not a perfect and I’m kind of embarrassed by the way I look and sound on camera. I mean come on, everyone hates seeing themselves on video, right?  You see yourself and think, wow, that’s really how I look to people, but then you realize that your friends and loved ones love you just the way you are, so it’s not so bad, right? There’s a point when you just have to get over yourself, put yourself out there and let it be, and that’s what I’m doing today.

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easy overnight steel cut oats

easy overnight steel cut oats with blueberries and honey

easy overnight steel cut oats with blueberries and honeySo most of you know that I was a cereal addict since the age of 17.  I literally ate a bowl of cereal everyday, usually grape nuts topped with some other kind of fiberish cereal and granola. I’m one of those people that wakes up hungry and can’t sit around and wait a 1/2 hour for breakfast to cook, so cereal was the breakfast of choice, or should I say breakfast of convenience. Steel cut oats were reserved for those fancy hotel vacations or breakfast out with the family, as I was under the assumption that steel cut oats were a labor intensive and timely breakfast to whip up. I changed that way of thinking though when I cooked up my hot quinoa and oat cereal for the first time. I learned the trick to a quick breakfast of steel cut oats, and that was to bring them to a quick boil and then let them sit out overnight. I still eat cold cereal on occasion, but lately I have been devouring these steel cut oats, my 5 minute quinoa cereal and my quinoa and oat cereal.  I would have to say that my breakfast routine has changed for the better!

So I’m posting this recipe for those fellow cereal addicts out there as well as those of you that want a quick and nutritious breakfast but were intimidated by the whole steel cut oat cooking process. This is seriously one of the easiest ways to cook up steel cut oats and I bet this will change your morning breakfast routine. So grab your tablet or laptop and join me in the kitchen as we cook up some steel cut oats.easy overnight steel cut oats

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how to keep strawberries fresh

how to keep strawberries fresh

how to keep strawberries freshIt’s strawberry season folks! Yippee! So today I thought I would share with you a quick tip that I learned from my friend Carolyn on how to keep those ripe strawberries fresh. Carolyn is the queen of the farmers market and always has great kitchen and produce tips for me.  She is sort of my go-to person for anything cooking related. Anyway, she showed me this simple, but helpful tip a few years back, and it’s really helped to keep my strawberries fresher longer.

First off, try and buy local strawberries if they’re available. Buying local mean they’re fresher and will last longer, and local produce always tastes better than something that has been shipped in from another state. When you return home from the market, check any berries for mold and then be sure to throw away any moldy berries. If the moldy berries are left with the good berries, then the mold will spread to the good berries as well. Also, don’t wash your strawberries or take off their green stems. You only want to wash your strawberries right before you’re ready to use them. Strawberries retain water and they will get soggy and soft.

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carrot, grapefruit and ginger juice – no juicer required

carrot, grapefruit and ginger juice - no juicer required

carrot, grapefruit and ginger juice - no juicer required I know, I’m a day late in posting and I’m not doing my usual weekly menu, Sorry! I know there are those of you that rely on the weekly menu for dinner ideas, so I promise I will be back with that next week. This week I’m taking a bit of a blogging vacation, as my kids are on spring break and I’m going to spend quality time with the family and re-energize and re-charge (I’m so in need of some re-charging). I didn’t want to leave you all hanging for a week without a recipe, so I’m going to show you this simple, 3 ingredient juice that you can make without a juicer or with a juicer if you have one!  Yippee!

Remember when I showed you all how to make a mean green juice without a juicer?  Well, I’m showing you another one of my favorite juices. This juice is both sweet and sour with a zesty and spicy kick to it from the ginger. I love downing one of these after a morning workout, as it reenergizes me and puts a kick in my step. John loves to have this in the morning before he heads off to work, as it wakes him up. This juice is packed full of fiber and chock full of vitamin C, and who doesn’t like or need a bit of that this time of year. You can make this juice in your juicer, but if you don’t have a juicer, don’t fret, I will show you how to make this juice without one.  Ok, let’s get this party started!

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How to de-stem and thinly slice kale

DSC_0006 kale

DSC_0006 kaleOk, so I have a lot of kale salads on the blog, (20 if you’re counting) so I thought it might be nice to share a post on how to de-stem and thinly slice kale, instead of always linking you all to my lactinato kale salad recipe where you have to scroll down the post just to get the info. I’ve also created a video where I show you how to make my lacinato kale salad, as well as show you in person how to wash, de-stem and thinly slice kale. Check it out below…

I already did a post on how to keep kale and other greens fresh, and since then I have received a lot of positive comments from readers and friends saying that those simple tips have made their lives so much easier when it comes to preparing a salad at the end of the day. Kale is one of those lettuces that keeps well. If washed and stored properly, it will keep up to 2 weeks. Most kale salads last up to 3 days in the fridge. That means if you make a kale salad on Monday, you will have leftovers Tuesday and Wednesday.  I mean who doesn’t like a salad that you can make ahead or better yet have leftovers of?

A note about purchasing lacinato kale:  Don’t purchase lacinato kale that feels tough and paper-like.  It will not breakdown and thus will not absorb the dressing even when you massage it.  Kale is best when its soft and pliable, (feels like regular lettuce) as it absorbs the dressing and is tender when eaten.

Ok, here are the step-by-step photos for de-stemming and thinly slicing kale.

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how to cook spaghetti squash

spaghetti squash with tomato sauce

spaghetti squash with tomato sauceToday’s post is sort of a recipe, but really more of a “how to” post. I’m going to show you all how to cook spaghetti squash.  I figured if I didn’t have a clue the first time I cooked one up, then there are those of you that are in the same boat. Spaghetti squash is a delicious and nutritious alternative to pasta.  It’s loaded with fiber, nutrients, vitamins and is high in potassium, which helps lower blood pressure, plus its fun to eat. When cooked, the inside of the squash shreds into long, thin noodle-like strands resembling spaghetti pasta.  I didn’t believe it until I actually made it and saw the transformation.

The squash is pretty mild in flavor and really tastes like pasta.  I have to admit that my kids and hubby were not entirely satisfied with the squash as they would be with a traditional spaghetti pasta.  To make it more of a satisfying meal, I either have to top the squash with some meatballs or if I’m keeping it vegetarian, then I need to add a side of garlic bread for my carb loving kids.

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