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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.



  • 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

Chicken-Spinach Burgers

August 4, 2014

Chicken-spinach burgerMarin 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.

These burgers really pack a punch with big flavors and healthy ingredients. They are a nice change from the same old beef burger and great for summer barbeques. If you can’t find ground chicken substitute ground turkey.

Servings: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes


  • 1 lb. ground chicken (I prefer thigh meat but breast meat is also fine)
  • 2 cups baby spinach

Easy and Awesome Zucchini Bread

August 3, 2014

At this point in the summer our backyard garden is in full production, especially the zucchini and summer squash plants. If you've got too much zucchini on your hands, or if you find one of those monster squash hiding out among the leaves, use it to make some delicious zucchini bread!

Just be careful what you call it around your kids, in case any of them are zucchini-phobic. (I promise they won't know that there's any squash in it.)

This recipe is super easy and makes two loaves. If that seems like too much, don't worry—it freezes well, and neighbors, family, friends, and even teachers all love the gift of a fresh-baked loaf of zucchini bread (probably better than gifts of your excess zucchini).

Makes 2 loaves
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour

A Family That Eats Together: Grilled Pizza

July 28, 2014

Grilled pizzaMarin 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.

If you have tried grilled pizza then you know how good it can be. It is most similar to a wood-fired pizza. If not, I bet you worry about things like the dough slipping through the grates or think it is too complicated. We love pizza year around in our house and I hate to cook at super high temperatures in the kitchen on hot days, which is why I took to grilling our pizza outside. Follow the below essential tips, which will make grilling pizza so much easier.


  1. Make sure that the dough you buy is room temperature if not a little warm. The warmer it is the more pliable it will be to shape into a round.
  2. Have a pizza peel and tongs at the ready.
  3. Use semolina flour to flour the pizza peel. It makes the dough slip right off.
  4. Have all your ingredients ready and at the side of your grill.
  5. Oil the grill grates with a soaked paper towel. Use the tongs to hold the paper towel when oiling the grates.
  6. Make sure your grill is very hot. Ideally hotter than 450ºF. But make sure it is not flaming as it will quickly burn the dough.
  7. Make sure your grill grates are clean and free of debris.
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