hi there!

I’m Mari.
On Marivelous Me! you’ll find recipes, food gifts, food I’ve traveled for and food solutions. Poke around, maybe you’ll find inspiration for something you’re working on. Enjoy! 


scrod with wilted beet greens

A few months ago, we tried a "lifestyle program" called Physique57. Those that were on the two-week exercise and food regimen supposedly lost inches and pounds - sounds good to me! Well, I lost neither. For ten days, I cooked all the recipes, did the exercises but didn't feel any lighter or leaner. It turns out, each day’s menu totaled 1500 calories. I must have been eating that many calories beforehand. What this program did teach me though is how much oil/fat I didn't need to add to food for it to taste good. I started adding more herbs, "concentrates" like caramelized onions and pop! like lemon juice or vinegar to dishes for sparkle instead of richness.

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rice krispies birthday numbers

Our dear friend (I think she'd want to remain anonymous) turned 50. The invitation said she was celebrating the 25th anniversary of her 25th birthday. So clever! So, as I often do, I made Rice Krispies Treats. But, what I do is mold the Krispies into numbers. Cute, right? But, since this birthday was special and she was being clever, I thought I should too.

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thai-inspired coconut chicken soup

I collect ingredients like some women collect handbags and shoes. I've got authentic abuela-made mole paste on the top shelf of my fridge chilling alongside a jar of preserved lemons I picked up in Marrakech; Japanese and Chinese soy sauces sit next to eight different bottles of vinegar in my cupboard. Don't ask how many different salts I own (ten+). So of course I've got a bag of dried shrimp, spicy bean paste and nam pla just waiting to be used.

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After making homemade mozzarella, I though I should make pizza. Well, you can't very well BUY dough or sauce if you've gone to the trouble of making the cheese, can you? Absolutely not. I referred to my Cook's Illustrated,The America's Test Kitchen Cookbook. They have a dough recipe for a thin crust pizza (awesome!) but have a sauce recipe using canned tomatoes (boo!). That won't do, I need to make a FRESH sauce! Thinking of the gajillion sauces I've made over the years, I went to the farmers market and loaded up on tomatoes.

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homemade mozzarella

A few months back, I purchased this mozzarella cheese making kit through Fab. I thought it would be a fun thing to do with my nieces and nephews. But, never having made cheese before, I didn't know how easy/hard/fun cheese making would be. The upside is that it's super fun to do. The downside is you have to get the cheese really hot to pull (like taffy) so it might not be the right project to do with little kids. That said, there's a huge feeling of, 'I, I have made cheese!' self sufficiency and accomplishment.

Half the cheese I used for our tomato and mozzarella salad (mozzarella, vine-ripened tomatoes, chiffonade basil, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, fresh black pepper). The other half I saved for my pizza-making project.


braided cinnamon flowers

I saw this image on Pinterest and thought "I NEED to make this". Seriously, NEED. It just looked amazing with its layers blossomed, open to the world instead of tightly wound up into those traditionally shaped spirals. I read the recipe and, as usual, checked at least 5 other recipes before making the dough/wreath. I made a bunch of different sized ones as experiments but I think the recipe works best when you just make one giant one (12 "petals") or two wreaths (each one makes 6 "petals") - or as I'd like to call them - flowers.

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roasted garlic

Roasted garlic is an awesome recipe flavor booster so I always have some on hand. Adding vinegar and herbs makes this staple much more complex.

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memorial day weekend at mom & dad's: lunch day 3

Leftover grilled chicken, corn tomato salad and celery tossed together. Dressed with white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Surrounded by julienned romaine lettuce and tomatoes.