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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! 


"week in review": turkey chili & chicken mushroom sauce & ...


Day 3 Dinner: When Mr. Mari went to boarding school, there was a meal they'd affectionately call Week In Review. There was a little bit of this and a little bit of that all mashed together to make one "cohesive" dish. Taking a cue from that, I present this week's WIR: chili, chicken/mushroom sauce, pasta.

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tuna salad salad

Day 3 Lunch: What do you make for lunch when you know you're going out of town the next day so there's not a ton in the fridge other than salad fixings? Tuna salad salad! I always have a few cans of tuna for the just in case there's no cooked protein in the fridge. This version doesn't have any mayo - just a little olive oil and a bunch of vinegar and lemon juice for pop!

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turkey chili sundae

Day 2 Dinner: We didn't grow up eating chili. This first time I had chili with fixings, was at my ex-boyfriend's - during college! His mom had pots full of piping hot kidney bean and beef chili and fluffy long-grain white rice on the stove and bowls of chopped tomatoes, scallion, shredded cheese and sour cream on the counter. I loved the concept of a do-it-yourself chili fixing bar.

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tip: slicing apples

Day 2 Breakfast: I guess I've already cheated since Mr. Mari "prepared" breakfast. He usually gets up an hour before I do so he's a tad more alert than me. 

There aren't that many things that Mr. Mari will/can cook but he can cut up some apples using this OXO apple corer and divider. 

Like most people, we wash our apples. And??? Well, we're handling a piece of wet fruit so the apple corer is now also wet - aka slippery. But luckily, the rubber handles provide some traction/grip so one doesn't inadvertantly slip their hand under the cutter while pushing down. One drawback is that it doesn't handle JUMBO sized apples. But that's a small price to pay for having your loved one keep all his fingers. 


chicken + mushroom + asparagus over egg noodles

Day 1 Dinner: I made roast chicken for last night's dinner and had an entire half remaining. This is my take on chicken and cream of mushroom gravy over egg noodles. Serves 2 plus a lunch to go.

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challenge: cooking every meal

So, as an experiment put forth to me by Mr. Mari, I'm going to cook every meal we eat for the next 60 days. Doinks! With some exceptions (going to a friend's house, birthday celebrations, trips), every breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, dessert, second dessert will be coming out of our kitchen. I'm allowed some short cuts (premade chicken stock, boxed pasta, etc.) but for the most part, everything's homemade. I don't know if I'll be able to post every meal (or if they're even worth posting about) but we'll see. Wish me luck! 


flower birthday cake

A new tradition has been hatched for the Tuttle family: Every Easter, we're to go to Florida for an extended family event. Lots of good food, cocktails and of course, some egg hunts - one for the kids, one for the adults. This year, my sister-in-law's birthday happened to fall on Easter weekend so as a present to her, I made the above chocolate cake.

Since I was flying, I didn't want to assemble the cake in New York and have to transport it in its final state. I cut the flower stems to a short height, wrapped the ends in very wet paper towels, then in plastic baggies and hoped for the best. The flowers ended up in Florida just fine. I took off its wet soakings and put them back in some fresh water. 

When selecting flowers, chose a variety of shapes and sizes. Pick one color/hue and make sure that that color appears somewhere in all the flowers for the most cohesive looking arrangement. Start by placing the largest flowers you have on the cake, and work your way down to the itty bitty flowers. The latter can be used as filler between flowers. The lilacs used here were also helpful for providing a little edge draping.


The Food Questions:

Before starting this blog, I realized one of the things that I'm always curious about is what foods people love. Here are my questions and answers:

What was your favorite food growing up?
We rarely ate out as kids. But for my birthday, we would go to The Sitting Room. The restaurant had wagon wheel tabletops, paper placemats, blue walls, curtains and carpet. What I ordered was the fried chicken. Always. There must have been mashed potatoes and gravy that came with it but I don't remember that part. I just remember biting through the flaky crust and hitting the juicy meat. The order of consumption was wing, drumstick then thigh and if I were still hungry, I'd have some of the breast meat but chances are, I was saving room for dessert so the breast got packed up in a doggy bag for later.

What was the food you ate when you were sick as a child?
My mom would prepare white rice and add extra water. The rice would be more like loose oatmeal. She'd add salt and one pickled plum (umeboshi). When sucking on the plum pit, you'd get this tightening in the jaw from all the saltiness.

What food did you not like as a child but now do as an adult?
Bell peppers - minus green. I've never been a picky eater except when it comes to bell peppers. The waxy outer skin that's just a tad too woven to break through with your teeth combined with the slight bitterness completely turned me off. As a kid, I'd sit at the dinner table, picking out the teensiest mincings and leave them on my plate. The smell of them roasting at home was also abhorrent. I also distinctly remembering my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Elaine Braus, biting into one like an apple. Watching her get to the core really freaked me out. I'm still a bit picky about green peppers but I now like roasted red peppers, gazpacho, salsa romesco and occasionally add some yellow or orange pepper to a salad.

What's my favorite food as an adult?
Hmmm, this is a little tricky since I crave so many things. If there was only one food/dish to eat daily, I'd probably have to pick miso ramen. I'd eat it everyday if I weren't so weight conscious. I love the way ramen noodles are wavy in form so when you slurp them up, you feel an undulating texture as it enters your mouth. The noodles aren't fat like udon or too skinny like somen; they offer up enough chew to make you feel like you're eating something substantial. And if you slurp it fast enough, you get enough broth to coat them - adding more flavor: The fermented flavor of the miso, the crunchy bean sprouts, the bite of the scallion, the two pieces of cooked pork. Nirvana.

If you could have your penultimate fantasy meal, what would it be comprised of?
Since I could only pick one item above, here's how I envision my most happy meal. Now, this is fantasy, so it means that my stomach is a bottomless pit and only feels full when I'm good and ready. 

  • Kumamoto oysters, on the half shell with mignonette
  • Littleneck clams, on the half shell with a squeeze of lemon
  • Spaghetti with clam sauce (white!)
  • Iceberg wedge with blue cheese dressing, with bacon (bien sur)
  • Steamed bucket o' crabs with clarified butter
  • Miso ramen
  • Fried chicken, particularly Stephanie Sugiwara's from DuMont
  • Cheese fondue with cornichon, apples, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, crusty bread
  • A cornucopia of flavored chips (Sour Cream & Onion Ruffles, Nacho Cheese Doritos, Bugles, Onion Rings, Salt & Pepper PopChips, puffy Cheez Doodles, etc)
  • BLT on rye
  • Honeycrisp apple
  • Lemon verbena panna cotta
  • Apple pie - not a la mode
  • Coffee ice cream
  • Twizzlers
  • French macarons - particularly rose, caramel sea salt, coffee

What would you say?