Recipes

Bird's Nest Cookies for Easter

April 15, 2014

Bird's Nest Cookie These cute and clever bird's nest cookies are the perfect treat for Easter. Light and airy coconut-filled meringues really look a lot like birds' nests—you can complete the illusion by adding a few egg-shaped Easter candies. We like the Cadbury mini eggs, but malted milk eggs or even jelly beans will work equally well.

The kids love to help make these, and of course love to eat them. These treats are a great addition to Easter baskets, too. Give them a try, and you'll probably find that they earn a spot in your spring baking repertoire.

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar

Classic Coconut Mini Cupcakes for Easter

April 14, 2014

Coconut cupcakesOld fashioned coconut cake is an Easter favorite. We decided to give this classic treat a kid-sized spin and made a fun mini cupcake version.

These light and sweet little cakes with a marshmallow-like frosting are great for parties, playdates, and get-togethers, and of course as dessert on Easter! Sure, you can use fresh toasted coconut on the outside, but we love the old-school white flaked sweetened coconut from the grocery store's baking aisle.

This recipe makes about three dozen mini cupcakes. You can use it to make regular-size cupcakes, too, but of course you'll need to increase the baking time by a few minutes.

A Family That Eats Together: Thai Chicken and Basil Stir-Fry

April 14, 2014

Thai basil chickenMarin 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.

This recipe makes cooking Thai more simple than you can image. In less than 20 minutes dinner is served and it is sweet, savory and delish! Did I mention it’s also healthy? After you make this, you will wonder why you ever ordered out for Thai food. Serve with brown rice.

Serves: 3–4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 boneless, skinless cutlets, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

When Life Hands You Meyer Lemons, Make Lemon Bars

April 12, 2014

Lemon barLemon bars have to be one of my all time favorite desserts. I usually reserve lemon bars for special occasions, because they are so sweet and rich. They are great for a special treat, party or a school event.

When a friend gave me a big bag of Meyer lemons from her tree and mentioned that they make spectacular lemon bars, I just had to try them out with this recipe. If you're not familiar with Meyer lemons, they're a seasonal citrus fruit that's similar to the regular Eureka lemons that you find in the grocery store, but with a thinner peel and sweeter and more aromatic. The lemon bars they made were truly fantastic, with an amazing citrus flavor that you simply won't get from grocery store lemons. If you don't have a Meyer lemon tree yourself (or have a friend who does), you can find them Trader Joe's or at one of the local farmers markets—while they're in season.

Here is the recipe I used for lemon bars. Yes, it seems like a lot of sugar, but you have to offset the tartness of the lemons. If you don't have Meyer lemons, that's OK. This recipe is still fantastic with regular lemons, too.

A Family That Eats Together: Butternut Squash Risotto

April 7, 2014

butternut squash risottoMarin 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.

Finding Butternut Squash puree in the freezer section at the grocery store last week was like finding gold. I don’t know why I never knew about it but, boy am I happy I found it.

In our house butternut squash might be one of the most adored veggies. We love it in ravioli, pasta, soups, and alone as a side dish. One of our favorite comfort foods is risotto and I am always looking for ways to make it as healthy as possible so when I found the butternut squash puree in the freezer section, I knew exactly what to do with it.

Serves: 6
Prep time:
5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups Arborio rice

A Family That Eats Together: Pasta with Spring Peas and Pancetta

March 31, 2014

Pasta with spring peas and pancettaMarin 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.

There is something about Spring Peas and Pancetta that ring in springtime for me. This dish is a perfect marriage of the two with pasta and Pecorino-Romano cheese. It is something like a modern day mac and cheese kicked up a notch!

Serves: 6
Prep time:
10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound your favorite pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

A Family That Eats Together: Shaking Beef

March 24, 2014

shaking beefMarin 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.

Charles Phan of the Slanted Door made Shaking Beef famous. Its succulent sauce, a perfect salty/sweet combination, is tossed with filet mignon. It might be one of my all time favorite dishes to eat at his restaurant and to make at home. You won’t believe how simple it is to make and your family will go crazy for it! Serve with rice.

Serves: 4
Prep time:
10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1½ pounds filet mignon or top sirloin, chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 ½ tablespoons sugar

A Family That Eats Together: Whole Wheat Chicken Chow Mein

March 18, 2014

chicken chow meinMarin 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.

Do you love chicken chow mein but want a healthy alternative? Making it yourself is not only quick and easy but you control what you are putting into the dish unlikely what you might get at a restaurant. In this recipe, I use whole-wheat pasta as a healthier alternative for noodles. The sauce is simple with easily found ingredients from most any grocery store. Don’t order out, eat in with a dish you will be proud you gave your family!

Serves: 6
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Make Your Own Version of the Famous "Shamrock Shake"

March 17, 2014

Shamrock ShakeWhen I was a kid, I used to love the time around St. Patrick's Day, mainly because that's when McDonald's came out with their famous limited-time-only Shamrock Shakes. I thought I would try to replicate this seasonal treat at home, and it ended up being not all that difficult to do, and tastes remarkably like the real thing. (It's probably healthier, too, since you control the ingredients that go into it.)

OK, I realize that the Shamrock Shake is not exactly a traditional Irish drink, but I always associate it with St. Patty's day, in the spirit of childhood nostalgia. Its basically a peppermint flavored vanilla milkshake with some green food coloring added to it. Not that difficult, right? You might even have the ingredients in your kitchen for whipping up one of these treats for your kids today. The following recipe serves 2 to 3, and can be doubled to make more.

The green food coloring is entirely optional. We all know artificial food coloring isn't very good for you, so use the natural kind (available at Whole Foods) or leave it out altogether—it won't make it taste any different, but your nostalgia quotient will be lower.

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