Recipes

Fantastic Family-Friendly Labor Day Recipes

September 1, 2014

Grilled Mediterranean chickenToday is Labor Day, the traditional last gasp of summer vacation. The weather is wonderful, so we've rounded up a selection of our most popular family-friendly grilling recipes, along with a few great summer sides, desserts, and other treats. So fire up the grill and cook a feast for family and friends today!

Mediterranean Grilled Chicken

This Mediterranean-inspired grilled chicken, marinated in fresh herbs and citrus, is a hit with everyone.

Santa Maria-Style Tri Tip

Cooked slowly over charcoal with plenty of wood smoking chips, this traditional Santa Maria-style tri tip is simple to make and really delicious.

Farmer’s Market Fettuccine

August 25, 2014

Marin Mommies presents this week's guest recipe from Nicole Cibellis, Marin mom and author of the blog A Family that Eats Together, where she shares meal plans and recipes that will please foodies and children alike.

With the continued bounty of my neighbor’s gardens and my own, I have been looking for new ways to eat all our succulent summer vegetables. This is a quick and easy raw summer pasta dish which can be easily adapted to fit children’s finicky palates. Just modify the recipe using vegetables that they like the best. In this recipe, I use a vegetable peeler to cut the zucchini into extra thin ribbons, which makes it fun for my son and mixes in nicely with the pasta.

Servings: 4–6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped

Homemade Pizza Night with Chef Daddy

August 22, 2014

homemade pizzaI know some people who say that pizza is one of those dishes that's always better when you dine out. I respectfully disagree! While that might be true for topping-laden old-school American pizza, we've been successfully making some pretty wonderful Italian-style pizzas right here at home. Unfortunately, we lack a wood-burning pizza oven in the backyard (someday…), but we get some good results in a regular home oven with a little preparation and a few tricks.

Our latest foray into homemade pizza was inspired by the summer surplus of heirloom tomatoes from our vegetable garden. The tomato plants seem to be going full throttle now, and we have more tomatoes than we know what to do with. Pizza seemed a great way to help with the problem!

Pizza Dough

The refigerated pizza dough sold by Trader Joe's is actually very good, and we use it all the time, especially if we want to make pizza on the spur of the moment. Making your own pizza crust isn't all that challenging, though, so if you have the time, go for it! The results are usually quite good, and you can even freeze extra dough to use later.

Fresh Summer Vegetable Pasta

August 18, 2014

summer vegetable pastaAfter our last trip to Petaluma's Green String Farm, I wanted to create a recipe that showcased some of the fantastic vegetables that we bought at the farm store there. My kids picked out a lot of cute little baby summer squash, and we had ripe red tomatoes, and a beautiful purple onion, too. Of course I wanted to make something that the kids would eat, too! We created this recipe that showcases these delicious summer vegetables.

We decided to make a creamy summer vegetable pasta with the little cheese ravioli from Trader Joes—my daughter loves them and insisted on having them for dinner. If you don't want to use the ravioli, you could use any kind of pasta shape for this recipe; penne or bow ties would be perfect.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag dried Trader Joe's cheese ravioli, or 1 lb pasta of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Apple Walnut Bread is Delicious and Easy to Make

August 17, 2014

Apple walnut breadIn the late summer and fall we love to go apple picking at farms in Marin and Sonoma County. It's so much fun to choose and pick your own fruit, but sometimes you end up with more apples than you know what to do with. I've been trying to figure out different creative ways to use apples, since I hate to see any go to waste.

Fresh-baked apple walnut bread is delicious, easy to make and a great way to use up extra apples. It also makes the house smell amazing while it's baking. It's good as part of breakfast, as a snack, or even dessert. My kids love to get a slice in their lunchboxes, too.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups peeled, cored, and chopped apples
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Make Your Own Easy and Delicious Applesauce!

August 16, 2014

ApplesauceAs you're probably aware, it's apple season, and after a few apple-picking outings and gifts from our neighbor's apple trees, we've realized that we have a real surplus of apples in our kitchen. What's an easy way to use up some of the fruit? Applesauce, of course!

Homemade applesauce is very easy to make, and really beats that stuff you get in a jar at the supermarket.

Serve it to the kids as a snack, or as a side dish with potato pancakes, pork roast, and more. You can also use it as an ingredient to make other tasty treats like applesauce muffins.

Ingredients

  • 4–5 large apples, peeled, cored, and cut up
  • 1 cup water

Building a Fun Lunch Box: Chicken Teriyaki Skewers

August 12, 2014

teriyaki skewersMarin Mommies presents this week's guest recipe from Nicole Cibellis, Marin mom and author of the blog A Family that Eats Together, where she shares meal plans and recipes that will please foodies and children alike.

I haven’t met a kid yet who doesn’t love the sweet and salty taste of teriyaki. So, this week, we will focus on an Asian inspired lunch box with fun to eat and dip skewers, sweet and tangy fruit and salty Japanese rice sticks. To make your life easy, make the chicken using my Ginger Soy Chicken Thigh recipe the day before and eat it for dinner while reserving some as leftovers for the next day’s lunch. Both parents and kids will love this lunch the next day.

Lunch Box Fixings

Fresh and Healthy Summer Garden Chili

August 11, 2014

summer chiliChili is one of those meals that can be on the hearty, heavy side and not something you necessarily want to eat for a summer dinner—except for this fresh and healthy version. For this summer chili, I lighten things up considerably and take advantage of fresh summer produce like the zucchini growing in our backyard garden and sweet corn.

Serve this chili with a variety of toppings and add-ons so each diner can customize it to his or her taste. You can make it vegetarian (or vegan, really) by omitting the ground turkey and doubling the amount of beans and squash. Either way, it's delicious! And our kids even eat it, too. There's probably no reason you couldn't make this year-round, either, although you'd have to subsitute frozen corn for the fresh.

Ingredients

Chili

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped

Healthy Lunch & Snack Ideas for the New School Year

August 5, 2014

Healthy school lunch ideasNo matter how prepared for the new school year you think you are, it can always be challenging to figure out what to pack for school lunches and snacks. Trying to balance healthy, nutritious food and things the kids will actually eat can be difficult, too.

Here are a few of my family's favorite lunchbox treats that are not only good for you, but delicious and fun to eat, too. The kids love to help make them—I find that they usually eat food they prepare themselves (even vegetables!), so I usually let them help out in the kitchen when I can, especially when we're making their school lunches.

Tortellini Skewers

My daughter absolutely loves cheese tortellini (and what kid doesn’t?) so we make these neat little skewers for a lunchtime treat.

You’ll need:

  • 1 8-ounce package of fresh cheese-filled tortellini
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