Tasty Chicken Pozole Verde

April 24, 2016

Pozole verde with chickenCinco de Mayo is coming up, so why not make a classic Mexican recipe for dinner? Pozole, a hearty soup based on nixtamalized corn, also known as hominy, is considered one of Mexico's national dishes. Usually you'll encounter it in its red form with red chiles and pork, but I think the green version is just a delicious.

Instead of using dried red chiles to flavor the broth, this green pozole feautures tomatillos, jalapeños, and ground toasted pumpkin seeds. This is definitely not a throw-it-together-after-work recipe. It's slow food at its best, and you can use even use your slow cooker if you like. While you can make this with canned hominy and it will still be delicious, definitely try to prepare it using the real deal, which comes dried. You need to cook it slowly for hours, but the texture and flavor are superior.

It's fun for each diner to customize their bowls of pozole: add crisp lettuce and radishes, creamy avocado, crushed tortilla chips, tart lime juice, Mexican oregano, sliced jalapeños, and spicy ground red chile.

Ingredients

Hiking with Kids in Marin: Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow Divide Open Space Preserve

April 24, 2016

Terra Linda - Sleepy Hollow Divide

Marin's geography can be pretty astounding at times. Who would have thought that the San Anselmo neighborhood of Sleepy Hollow was just a stone's throw from the northern San Rafael enclave of Terra Linda? If you try to drive from one of these locations to another, it will take you a good half hour, minimum, but if you take a walk at the Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow Divide Open Space Preserve, you can go from one to the other in just a few minutes!

This 1,172-acre preserve encompasses the ridge that separates these two areas. It's perfect for a family hike, and the views are spectacular. You really get the feeling that you're on top of the world. The path that connects Terra Linda and Sleepy Hollow was at one point destined to be a road, but community members fought to preserve the area and now the only vehicles traversing the ridge are the human-powered, two-wheeled kind.

Marin Family Weekend Events for April 22, 23 & 24

April 22, 2016
Spring Fling at Slide Ranch
Family fun on the farm at Slide Ranch's Spring Fling this Saturday. Photo courtesy Slide Ranch.

Here are our picks for a variety of Earth Day events and other activities for children and families this weekend. Find more events for the whole week in Marin and beyond in our Family Events Calendar.

Friday, April 22

  • Celebrate Earth Day with Safari West
    Santa Rosa
    Saturday, 11:30–2:45 pm
    This year on Earth Day, Safari West presents an animal presentation on the lawn in front of the Amani Oasis aviary starting at noon and safari treks in the Nairobi minibus departing every 45 minutes. These guided trek tours show off the amazing ways the change from winter to spring effects Safari West itself. Lunch will be available from noon to 2:30 pm. Cost: $50 adults, $30 children, free for children 2 and under. For more info and reservations, visit their website.
  • Friday Fun Day!
    South Novato Library
    Friday, 3–4 pm

    Enjoy an afternoon of fun with the family at the South Novato Library. Whether it’s story, art, music or science, this drop-in program promises to be packed with fun! For all ages. Location: 931 C Street, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Insect Discovery Lab
    Mill Valley Library
    Friday, 3:30–4:30 pm

    Explore the fantastic lives of beetles, millipedes, tarantulas, walking sticks, whip scorpions and more! Insect Discovery Lab will introduce you to the extraordinarily diverse world of insects and other arthropods and teach you about their key role in the web of life. Creekside Room, Mill Valley Public Library. For ages 4 to 13. Advance registration required. More info and registration.
  • The Music Man
    The Playhouse, San Anselmo
    Saturday, 1 & 7:30 pm & Sunday, 1 & 5:30 pm

    Marilyn Izdebski Productions presents a production of Meredith Wilson's classic musical The Music Man, starring a cast of kids ages 8 to 18. General admission: $15. Location: 27 Kensington Road, San Anselmo. For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, April 23

  • Novato Clean & Green Day
    City of Novato Civic Green
    Saturday, 9 am–1 pm

    Bring the family and celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up our beautiful town. Help remove litter from streets, bike path, parks, creek banks and more. Some supplies will be provided. Meet at Novato Civic Green, 901 Sherman Avenue. Visit their website.
  • Mt. Tam Earth Day
    Mt. Tamalpais
    Saturday, 9 am–1 pm

    Bring the family to celebrate Earth Day on Mt. Tam with special service projects around the mountain. This special Earth Day celebration also celebrates the NPS Centennial. Following the morning work day, join an iNaturalist workshop and a wildflower hike. Visit their website for more info and project locations.
  • STEM Superhero Series: Power Up! Super Solving for Food, Waste & Energy
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Saturday, 9 am–4 pm

    During this all-day special event, children are invited to use their STEM superpowers to find creative solutions to the Earth’s food, waste and energy crisis. There will be several Museum educator-led activity stations throughout the Museum for kids to play and flex their creative problem solving skills. Each child receives a free cape to wear, plus a badge for each STEM Superhero event. Price: Free for members; Free with Museum admission. Location: 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Presidio Earth Day
    San Franicisco
    Saturday, 9 am–1 pm

    Take part in the Presidio's annual volunteer event devoted to celebrating Earth Day. Volunteers are invited to bring their friends and family for a morning of stewardship projects, a mid-day BBQ and potluck, and an afternoon of fun activities. All ages welcome. Free, but registration required here. Location: 1216 Ralston Avenue, San Francisco. For more info, visit their website.
  • Slide Ranch Spring Fling
    Muir Beach
    Saturday, 10 am–4 pm

    Celebrate springtime on the farm with live music, local organic cuisine, and hands-on farm and craft activities for all ages. Learn where your food comes from by milking goats, feeding chickens, touring the organic garden, or making bread, butter, and cheese. Enjoy live music from Tim Cain and Little Folkies. Cost: $30 per person; ages 2 and under are free. Discounts apply for families of 4 or more. Find more info here.
  • Wildcare Family Adventures: Earth Day at Corte Madera Creek
    Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10 am–1 pm

    WildCare Family Adventures will join Marin County Parks' for an Earth Day Celebration with habitat restoration and clean up of the area. We'll start with a hike along the creek looking for the elusive Ridgeway Clapper Rail, which has been spotted around the marsh. Bring binoculars to look at the aquatic birds, such as Black-necked Stilts, American Avocets, Great Egrets, and Buffleheads. Location: Bon Air Road near Marin General Hospital. For more info, visit their website.
  • Earth Day at the Bay Model
    Sausalito
    Saturday, 10 am–3 pm

    As we move closer to the 50th celebration of Earth Day in the US, plan on joining the Bay Model as we celebrate the day. We are honored to have world-renowned artist George Sumner join us with the exclusive Whale Bus that he painted. There will also be musicians, environmental films (noon and 2 pm), hands-on activities, and refreshments throughout the day. Location: 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Earth Day SF Street Fest
    San Francisco
    Saturday, 10 am–7 pm
    San Francisco's Earth Day celebration features informative and interactive learning experiences, including green jobs information, cutting-edge eco-fashion shows, eco artist grove, organic food court, and an eco-carnival and kids' zone. Location: 22nd & Valencia Streets, San Francisco. Find more info here.
  • Earth Day in the Eelgrass
    Heart's Desire Beach, Tomales Bay State Park
    Saturday, 10 am–3 pm
    Come enjoy Earth Day at Hearts Desire Beach with California State Park Eelgrass Volunteer Monitors and others! Volunteers will snorkel, kayak and wade. Please bring your own sunscreen, beach chairs, water, snacks, and lunch. Look through binoculars at birds, hear about eelgrass ecology and see it in action, play eelgrass bingo, and more. Event is free; $8 per vehicle state park entrance fee. For more info, visit their website.
  • San Geronimo Preschool Pancake Breakfast & music with Tim Cain
    San Geronimo
    Saturday, 8 am–noon

    Come enjoy breakfast in the beautiful San Geronimo Valley, while supporting preschool scholarships for low income families. This delicious tradition is lovingly prepared by a expert parents and volunteers. Good coffee, sausage, fruit and other treats included. Cost: Adults $11/ kids $6. Breakfast from 8-11am, open house from 9 am-noon.Children's musician Tim Cain will play at 10 am. Location: 6001 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Geronimo. For more info, visit their website.
  • Create-with-Nature Earth Day Celebration
    Stinson Beach
    Saturday, 11 am–3 pm
    Celebrate Earth Day by creating art on the beach! Join in as community members, professional artists, and passers-by construct sculpture using sand, rocks, shells, seaweed and other beach treasures. The event starts with beach cleanup (bags and gloves supplied). Find more info here.
  • Annual Butter & Egg Days Parade & Festival
    Dowtown Petaluma
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–5 pm

    Bring the family to this year's old-fashioned Petaluma Butter and Egg Days Parade. On Saturday, don't miss Petaluma Farm's Cutest Little Chick in the World Contest at 10:15 am on Kentucky Street, Clover kids' pre-parade at 11:30 am, and main parade at noon, as well as arts and crafts exhibitors, food vendors, sponsor booths, community and non-profit booths, and a kids' area with inflatables, rides, and activities. For more info, visit their website.
  • Dutch King's Day San Francisco
    Murphy Windmill, Golden Gate Park
    Saturday, 11 am–5 pm
    Put on your orange and join the Bay Area's Dutch community in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park as they celebrate King's Day. It's a festive celebration for the whole family, featuring food and drink, music, games, a bike ride, and more. Free (donation at the gate appreciated). Location: Martin Luther King Drive and the Great Highway. For more info, visit their website.

Earth Day Craft for Kids: Make a Mini Terrarium

April 21, 2016

TerrariumsThis fun and easy craft is a perfect Earth Day activity. My kids had a blast creating their own miniature gardens. It's fun to create your own world in a recycled glass container and decorate it with found materials. This project is great for all ages, with adult supervision, of course.

The creative possibilities for this project are endless—make a fairy garden, a prehistoric forest, a jungle, or just let your imagination run wild. You can pick up plants suitable for a terrarium at your local garden store. Mosses, succulents, and air plants are all great candidates for a terrarium.

Decorate your terrarium with interesting rocks and plastic animals, dinosaurs, or figures—whatever you have on hand. Keep it moist with spray bottle filled with water. You can put a cover on your terrarium if you want, but make sure to poke holes in the lid first to let air circulate.

Celebrate Springtime at Slide Ranch's Spring Fling

April 19, 2016

Slide Ranch Spring FlingIf you haven't been to check out the beautiful and picturesque Slide Ranch in Muir Beach, now is your chance! Come to this non-profit teaching farm overlooking the ocean this Saturday to celebrate food, family, and fun at this year's Spring Fling. It all takes place on April 23, 2016 from 10 am to 4 pm.

This year's Spring Fling features live kid-friendly music, local organic cuisine, hikes and tours, and hands-on farm and craft activities for all ages. Learn where your food comes from by milking goats, feeding chickens, and touring the garden, or making bread, butter, and cheese. See how a sweater is made through sheep shearing, carding and spinning wool, and other wool crafts.

Come reconnect with the land on a guided coastal hike, watch a sheep shearing, meet baby animals, listen to the music of Marin's favorite kids' musician Tim Cain, watch a show by Dusty's Puppets, or simply relax on a picnic blanket while eating delicious local organic food.

Train Rides and Railroad Adventures for Kids in the Bay Area and Northern California

April 19, 2016

It's hard to resist the romantic notion of riding the rails in a car pulled by an old-fashioned steam locomotive. It's something that captivates most kids—and many adults, too. Fortunately for railroad-obsessed kids and their parents, we have plenty of opportunities to take a real train ride in the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California, even if it is on a working scale-model! Many of these train rides are a short distance away, and some are great excuses for a day trip or weekend getaway. All of them are a lot of fun! Whether it's a miniature scale railroad or the full-size real deal, the sights and sounds of a train ride are unforgettable.

Keep in mind that many of these railroads keep to seasonal schedules, and rides are often weather permitting. Some offer train rides on weekends only. Make sure you check their websites or give them a call before you plan your visit.

Learn Fashion Design, Illustration, and Styling this Summer

April 19, 2016

Marin Fashion Academy Girls

Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Marin Fashion Academy, which offers summer camp programs for kids in Larkspur and Ross.

Do you love fashion? Love to sew or want to learn? Are you looking for an amazing fashion design experience that goes beyond sewing and is supportive and nurturing? Marin Fashion Academy provides full immersion fashion design, fashion illustration, and fashion styling classes where kids can learn to sew and design, start a fashion business, improve fashion drawing skills, create fashion videos, and learn to do fashion styling. We also offer fashion shows at the end of the 10 and up camps, a fun and exciting way for kids to showcase their designs and leave with a glowing feeling of achievement.

Fantastic Family Camping in Marin

April 18, 2016

Family camping in MarinKids love to go camping, and to many people there's nothing quite like sleeping in a tent, toasting marshmallows over a campfire, and spending some time in the great outdoors. Fortunately, here in Marin County we have quite a few fantastic campgrounds right in our backyard. Here are five of our favorites that are perfect for family camping.

Many of these campgrounds are booked up for summer weekends months in advance, but you can often find reservations during the week, and cancellations are common, too. Most of the California state parks, like China Camp and Samuel P. Taylor require reservations through the ReserveAmerica website. Some of these camp sites are first-come, first served, so if you're lucky you can score a great spot to pitch your tent and enjoy the outdoors.

Samuel P. Taylor State Park

Samuel P. Taylor State Park near Lagunitas offers one of Marin's most popular camping experiences. The park's campgrounds, many sited under majestic redwood trees, include tent and RV sites, as well as the new Madrone Cabins, which offer a more civilized camping experience. Samuel P. Taylor State Park is close the Point Reyes National Seashore and makes a great base for exploring the area.

What's for Dinner: Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry

April 18, 2016

chicken and broccoli stir fryI love it when I find a dish that everyone in the family loves and that's healthy, economical, and easy to make, too. This Chinese-inspired chicken and broccoli stir fry is all of those things. Serve it with some plain rice or Asian noodles and it's a complete dinner that comes together quickly.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
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