Food and Cooking

Whole Foods Market

Delicious recipes, family friendly dining news, reviews, and resources for families in Marin and the Bay Area. Sponsored by Whole Foods Market

Hearty and Healthy: Pasta e Fagioli

January 7, 2008

tasty healthy foodCooking with your children is a great way to spend quality family time, and, above all, it's fun! Here's a healthy and light, but warm and cozy, recipe for those cold winter evenings, courtesy of Michelle Stern, owner of What's Cooking. What's Cooking is a Marin-based business that offers cooking workshops in home or school for kids aged 2-1/2 through 19.

Pasta e Fagioli (Italian Pasta and Bean Soup)
 
2 Tbs (2 turns around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil  
2 (4 to 6-inch) sprigs rosemary, left intact  
1 (4 to 6-inch) sprig thyme with several sprigs on it, left intact  
1 large fresh bay leaf or 2 dried bay leaves  

Family Dining: El Encanto, Novato

December 26, 2007

We live in Marin's northernmost outpost, Novato, which is not exactly known for its fine dining opportunities, let alone decent restaurants where you can take children. So we were really happy  when we finally made it to El Encanto Restaurante y Cantina, located in downtown Novato on 7th Street between Grant and Novato Boulevard. El Encanto offers Mexican food, and is relatively new—it's been open for a little over a year—and occupies the space the once housed a Lyons, followed by a string of other unlucky, short-lived, and now-forgotten restaurants.

Getting the Kids Involved: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

November 19, 2007

Cooking with your children is a great way to spend quality family time, and, above all, it's fun! Here are some fun and delicious Thanksgiving side dish recipes to help you get started cooking with your children, courtesy of Michelle Stern, owner of What's Cooking. What's Cooking is a Marin-based business that offers exciting, fun, and educational cooking workshops in home or school for kids aged 2 1/2 through 19.

Good Stuff from the Baby Bistro Cookbook

November 5, 2007
Baby Bistro CookbookWhile dueling cookbooks Deceptively Delicious and The Sneaky Chef have been grabbing the headlines lately, we recently got our hands on a fantastic little book that relies not on sneaking vegetable purees into your unsuspecting kids' food, but rather making delicious and nutritious meals that children love. The Baby Bistro Cookbook by Joohee Muromcew, a Marin mom and a frequent contributor to Town & Country and San Francisco magazines. The book, which gets kudos from food world heavy hitters like Mario Batali and Alice Waters, has great recipes that are often simplified but no less delicious versions of grown-up favorites. We like the chicken and white bean chili and peanut sesame noodles, but there are many more good things from simple dishes like toasted cheese sandwiches to shepherd's pie. Highly recommended!

But Canned Pumpkins Are So Much Easier…aren’t they?

October 22, 2007

pumpkinsCooking with your children is a great way to spend quality family time, and, above all, it's fun! Here's a fun seasonal recipe to help you get started cooking with your children, courtesy of Michelle Stern, owner of What's Cooking. What's Cooking is a Marin-based business that offers exciting, fun, and educational cooking workshops in home or school for kids aged 2 1/2 through 19. Find out more at www.whatscooking.info

Dining with Kids: Phyllis' Giant Burgers

September 22, 2007
not phyllis' burgers, but burgersI grew up in Marin and, amazingly, have never been to the revered Phyllis’ Giant Burgers until yesterday. Phyllis’ has been in Marin seemingly forever. Every time I drove through San Rafael’s Miracle Mile, I would pass it, but never stopped to try one of their so-called giant burgers. I always heard that their burgers were wonderful, so I though it would be a good time to try one. Now that they opened one in Novato, in addition to their long-time location in San Rafael, so I thought this is the perfect opportunity to try it out. I don’t eat a lot of hamburgers, so when I do it’s something of a treat and I want it to be a good one.

Greek Chicken

August 28, 2007

Here's another fun and easy recipe to make with your kids from What's Cooking's Michelle Stern. She's recently launched What's Cooking Weekly, a subscription service that offers five healthy meals ideas for your family every week, including easy recipes, shopping lists, nutrition information, and tips on how to get children involved in the kitchen. Click on the title link above for a version that's easier to print out.

The simple topping for this chicken dish is fresh and delicious. And you won't believe how fast it is to prepare!

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup mint, fresh
2 tablespoons olive oil

Jimbo's Hot Dogs!

August 26, 2007

For many years, I've driven past Jimbo's Hot Dogs, located on the frontage road paralleling 101 near that big business park just south of Lucas Valley Road in San Rafael. When I write "many years" I mean many, many years. Having grown up in Marin, Jimbo's is one of my local childhood landmarks, and one that is still there, unlike the wooden statue of Don Quixote that used to stand near the Marin Civic Center and the magically refilling neon beer glass that used to grace the top of the Hamm's brewery in San Francisco. Anyhow, Jimbo's has been there for me through the years, except that I had never actually been there. As a child, I asked my parents to take me there on numerous occasions, and it never happened. So when I had kids of my own, I made a solemn vow that I would take them to Jimbo's and go there at last. Yesterday I decided: it's time to go to Jimbo's.

Cooking with Your Kids: Macadamia Cod with Nectarine Salsa

August 10, 2007
Here's another fun and easy recipe to make with your kids from What's Cooking's Michelle Stern. She's recently launched What's Cooking Weekly, a subscription service that offers five healthy meals ideas for your family every week, including easy recipes, shopping lists, nutrition information, and tips on how to get children involved in the kitchen. Click on the title link above for a version that's easier to print out.


Macadamia Cod with Nectarine Salsa
   
4 nectarines (small and ripe), pitted and diced  
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely diced  
4 Tbs scallions, thinly sliced  
4 Tbs limejuice  

Cooking with Your Kids: Quick and Healthy Pita Pizzas

August 3, 2007
mini pita pizzasMini pizza made with a pita bread base probably isn't the most original recipe on the planet, but I thought I'd share it anyhow, since it was quick, easy, inexpensive and everyone loved it! Best of all, it's simple and fun enough where you can get the kids involved in the kitchen helping to make their own lunch or dinner. My husband actually thought this one up, and made it with leftover pasta sauce and string cheese, but here's my slightly more refined version:

  • 1 pita bread, whole wheat or plain
  • 2-3 tablesoons prepared pizza sauce (we usually use the jarred or refrigerated kind from Trader Joes)
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese or to taste
  • Toppings, such as olives, sliced mushrooms, bell peppers, shredded cooked chicken, broccoli, or whatever you happen to have on hand