Barefoot’s weeknight bolognese

Marin Mama dinner, family favorites, Pastas, sauces, weeknight dinners 17 Comments

Barefoot's weeknight bolognese

Ok, so maybe this isn’t the best recipe to post the week after Thanksgiving since we’re all pretty much fooded out, but I’m posting it now because I know there are a lot of you who love and need easy family approved weeknight dinners. December is all about indulgence to me, so let’s go ahead and indulge, celebrate and eat to our hearts content!  Doesn’t that sound fun?  This is the perfect bolognese for those busy weeknights, as it only takes 45 minutes to pull together, and the sauce tastes like a sauce that’s been cooking on your stove top all day, not for just 30 minutes.  The orecchiette pasta is perfect because it really holds the sauce in those little …

vegetarian banh mi sandwich with sriracha mayonnaise

Marin Mama dinner, family favorites, lunch, meatless meals, salsas and dips, sandwiches, sauces, vegetarian 30 Comments

vegetarian banh mi sandwich with sriracha mayonnaise

I’m sure there are those of you that have never heard of a banh mi sandwich before, am I right?  You’re probably thinking what the heck is a banh mi sandwich.  Well, I didn’t know what one was either until this past spring when my friend Carolyn showed some photos on Instagram of her fixings for a banh mi sandwich.  Since then, I’ve seen these sandwiches popping up everywhere, it’s like my eyes were opened.  Banh mi is the perfect combination of french bread combined with Vietnamese ingredients like cilantro, pickled vegetables, and chilies.  Banh mi’s can be made with chicken, pork, beef, tofu, eggs and salmon and the sauces or spreads vary with each sandwich.  I chose to make …

Nepenthe’s ambrosia sauce for burgers and fries

Marin Mama burgers & patties, dinner, sauces 9 Comments

Nepenthe's ambrosia sauce

Remember that tofu burger that I raved about having at Nepenthe in Big Sur?  I swear it was the best tofu burger that I’ve ever eaten. Unfortunately, I  didn’t find the actual tofu burger recipe yet, but I’m still on the hunt. I did find the recipe for their amazing ambrosia sauce that they slather all of their burgers with, as well as serve up with their shoestring fries. We all devoured and raved about this secret sauce. The kids loved it, the in-laws loved it, and John and I loved it. It gave each of our burgers a pop of flavor, and was also a great and addicting dipping sauce for our fries. I replicated the sauce at home and honestly …

basic tomato sauce

Marin Mama dinner, Pastas, sauces, vegetarian 26 Comments


Here’s an easy, family friendly, homemade and vegeterian tomato sauce that will feed a crowd, or at least feed your family for a number of meals. This sauce is really simple, but tastes hearty like a tomato sauce should.  It’s the perfect sauce to top a pizza, use in a lasagna, pair with meatballs, (turkey meatball recipe coming soon) top over gnocchi, spaghetti squash or your favorite pasta. I mean it’s so simple that you can really use it as a base for just about anything. This sauce is basically a pantry sauce, you may have to run out and grab a carrot or onion, but if you have a well stocked pantry, then you should have everything you need. Another great …

easy tomato sauce

Marin Mama dinner, Pastas, sauces 9 Comments


These past few weeks have not felt like summer at all.  I know the rest of the country is going through a heat wave, but here in Northern CA we are having some fall-like weather.  It’s foggy, cool and windy.  When the weather turns cool, I start looking for warm comforting meals.  I asked the kids what they wanted for dinner the other night, as they were huddled under the blanket, (we’re wimps here in Cali) and they both said pasta.  Pasta is our comfort food and we eat a lot of it in the fall and winter. I decided to check out my friend, Denise’s site for a recipe.  Denise is the one who taught my photography workshop.  Her site …

turkey burgers with cilantro-lime mayonnaise and kale slaw

Marin Mama burgers & patties, dinner, sauces 24 Comments

turkey burgers with cilantro-lime mayonnaise and kale slaw

You’re all in for a treat as you’re getting three recipes in one post here.  You heard me right, three recipes in one post!  I treat you well, don’t I?  Also, I want to let you know that all three of these recipes can be made ahead of time.  Now, that’s really treating you well. Lets start the talk with turkey burgers.  To be honest with you, I have never been a big turkey burger fan because most of the ones I’ve tried have either been dry or lacking in the flavor department.  What’s the point of eating a meat burger if it tastes like cardboard? When we do eat a meat burger, we use buffalo meat because it has 70% to 90% less …

chipotle shrimp tacos

Marin Mama dinner, Mexican, sauces, seafood, tacos 11 Comments


My friend Em wrote an amazing post on intuition and health and it got me thinking that we do tend to take our health for granted till it’s not there.  I know that when I’m feeling sick I crave feeling good again, I miss it, and when I do feel good again I feel so grateful and strong.  Health, love, peace and safety are my top priorities in life.  I feel blessed knowing my family is in great health, that I have lots of love and friends in my life and that I have a beautiful home that keeps my family and I warm and safe.  We can all get caught up wishing and looking for the next and greatest …

salmon with almond-lime yogurt sauce

Marin Mama dinner, sauces, seafood 8 Comments


Last week was a much-needed rest from the chaos of life.  It was a week full of sleeping in, cooking up new recipes, play dates for the kids (and me) and just all around relaxing.  It gave me a glimpse of what summer will be like, and I liked it! The only downer was that it was spring break and it felt like winter break.  Remember these pics from our February ski week?Well, there was none of that going on over this past week.  We were in our winter garb and raincoats until Saturday.  When I took this picture of the salmon above, the wind was gusting, it was 50 degrees and the parsley leaves were blowing everywhere (I took this …

lemon pesto, walnut pesto & basil pesto

Marin Mama sauces 12 Comments


 Lemon Pesto  Walnut Pesto  Traditional Basil Pesto Pesto, pesto, pesto, 3 cheers for pesto!  Pesto rocks!  Not only is pesto healthy, but it also has endless uses.  Top it over hot or cold pasta, throw it over some pizza dough and make yourself a green pesto pizza, spread it on some cold or grilled bread for a different take on garlic bread, top your favorite meat or fish with it.  You get where I’m going here, right?  Pesto is such a versatile sauce in the way it’s used and the way it’s made.  There is arugula pesto, parsley pesto, broccoli pesto (I have made this before and topped it on quinoa, that recipe later). Have you ever made your own pesto …

cheesy baked tortellini & homemade marinara sauce

Marin Mama dinner, family favorites, meatless meals, most popular recipes, Pastas, weeknight dinners 19 Comments

cheesy baked tortellini & homemade marinara sauce

Want an easy-peasy weeknight meal your whole family will enjoy?  I bet you’re saying yes, yes, yes!  Well, read on, because my whole family loves this pasta and I love it because it’s tasty of course, but so quick (under 45 minutes) and easy to make. This is definitely a family and kid friendly meal.  It’s cheesy, hence the title, cheesy baked tortellini. This pasta is rated a 10+ in my house and has quickly become a family favorite. Life is getting busy around our house, and during this busy time I have to prepare my weekly dinner menu in advance. Zoe now has lacrosse, dance and cotillion 4 nights during the week so goodbye (for now) to sit-down family dinners, and …

lentil “meatballs” with lemon pesto

Marin Mama dinner, meatballs, meatless meals, most popular recipes, Pastas, vegetarian 27 Comments


Here is another wonderful “mommy” meal that I made this past week. It’s also a great “meatless Monday” meal.  I saw this recipe a few weeks back on Sprouted Kitchen and I have been dying to make it for some time.  I loved my chickpeas burgers so much that I wanted to try another meatless dish that is usually made with meat.  When you hear the word meatball you think of meat, right?  Well, these are lentil meatballs so there is no meat in them.  Maybe lentil balls would be a more fitting name for these.  It just sounds weird, so I think I will keep the name meatballs. I loved these lentil meatballs and I wasn’t even missing the meat. They were …

chickpea veggie burgers & tzatziki yogurt sauce

Marin Mama burgers & patties, dinner, lunch, meatless meals, most popular recipes, sauces, vegetarian, veggie burgers and patties 68 Comments

chickpea veggie burgers

I know this blog is about family friendly meals but I am also going to introduce you to “mommy” meals.  Mommy meals are meals that I typically eat for lunch while the kids are in school or on the weekends.  Mommy meals are nutritious, whole grain, chock full of vegetable meals.  I know most of these meals would not appeal to my kids yet so I eat them for lunch or dinner on those nights where there is an acceptable leftover for them.   Anyway, I have had Heidi Swanson’s cookbook, Super Natural Cooking for about a year.  I love this cookbook as well as her blog, 101 cookbooks.  She is a local gal, just 15 minutes from me (somewhere in SF), so …

cranberry orange sauce

Marin Mama sauces, side dishes 1 Comment

cranberry orange sauce

Thanksgiving is almost here and everyone needs a cranberry sauce to compliment their Turkey dinner, right?  This cranberry sauce is so simple to make and tastes 100 times better than the canned stuff.  I remember devouring the canned stuff as a kid each Thanksgiving.  I would peel open the can and dump out that big glop of gelled cranberry sauce onto the serving dish and call it a day.  Easy peasy right?  Well, yes, it was easy, but not so tasty, so move over canned sauce and say hello to the fresh stuff.   This recipe has been passed down from John’s mom, aka, mama mama.  She got the nickname from Zoe when she was 2 years old, and it …