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

Cool Off This Summer with Melon Aguas Frescas

May 31, 2016

Watermelon agua fresca

When the weather warms up, one of the things we often cool off with are aguas frescas, those refreshing traditional Mexican-style drinks made from various kinds of fruit. You don't have to go to your local taqueria to get them, either—they're inexpensive and really easy to make at home. Kids love them, and they're a healthy alternative to sodas and other soft drinks.

We often make aguas frescas with melons like cantaloupe or watermelon; whatever we happen to have on hand. It's a great way to use up all that watermelon that's been sitting in the refrigerator, which is what we made out latest batch out of. You can use other fruits, like strawberries and even pineapple, but melon is an economical choice and a delicious one, too.

Easy Chinese Cashew Chicken

May 9, 2016

cashew chickenWhenever we get Chinese take-out, my kids love to order cashew chicken. Like many Chinese-American restaurant staples, cashew chicken is actually easy to make at home, and requires only a couple special ingredients, which you should be able to find in the Asian foods aisle of your local supermarket. Accompany this with stir-fried green beans and steamed brown rice for a healthy weeknight meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted cashews

Make a Classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake for Mom

May 5, 2016

Pineapple upside down cakeThis Mother's Day, why not make an old school dessert for Mom—pineapple upside down cake. Pineapple upside down cake is really old school, dating back to the 1920s when canned pineapple from was introduced to the US market by the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, which would eventually become Dole Foods.

Featuring moist and light cake topped with sweet pineapple and a caramelized brown sugar topping, it's no wonder this dessert has been popular for nearly a century. In our recipe, we use fresh pineapple, but you can substitute canned if you don't want to mess around with cutting up and trimming a fresh one. It's equally good with both.

Ingredients

For the topping:

Day Out in Point Reyes Station

May 3, 2016

Point Reyes Station

Point Reyes Station is the social and cultural hub of West Marin, and a fantastic destination for a day out with the family. While the railroad that gave this small town its name is long gone, Point Reyes Station has become something of a tourist mecca in recent years, with a focus on sustainable agriculture, locally produced artisanal and organic foods, outdoor activities, and art. On weekends, the main street of this quaint and charming gateway to Point Reyes National Seashore bustles with West Marin locals, Bay Area day trippers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, hikers, and visitors from around the world.

Family-Friendly Mother’s Day Brunches in Marin

April 25, 2016

Mother's Day is on Sunday, May 8. Brunch is always a popular outing in honor of mom, and here are a dozen of our favorite family friendly spots for a Mother's Day brunch in Marin.

All information is correct at time of publishing, but please check with the restaurant to confirm. You should also make your reservations soon, as Mother's Day brunches fill up pretty quickly.

Click on highlighted links for more info.

  • Brick & Bottle in Corte Madera features an all-day Mother's Day buffet featuring both brunch and dinner dishes from 11:30 am to 9 pm. Brunch items include eggs benedict, brioche French toast, duck confit hash, and special selections at the hot table. $39.95 for adults and $17.50 for kids 12 and under. Reservations recommended: (415) 924-3366. Brick & Bottle is located at 55 Tamal Vista Boulevard, in the Marketplace shopping center.

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

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

Strawberry Shortcake Is a True Taste of Springtime

April 12, 2016

Strawberry ShortcakeOne of the best things about spring is knowing that you can get fresh, sweet, locally grown organic strawberries at the farmer's market or grocery store. To celebrate, we love to make this easy and delicious strawberry shortcake dessert. This simple combination of lightly sweet shortcake, fresh strawberries, and vanilla flavored whipped cream is a hit with just about everyone, and is suitable for every occasion, from a fancy Easter dinner to a kids' tea party.

These shortcakes are kind of like sweet (but not too sweet) buttermilk drop biscuits, and don't take very long to put together. If you're really in a hurry, you can use whipped cream from a can, but it doesn't take too much time or effort to make some fresh whipped cream with your electric mixer, and it tastes so much better, too.

You can make the shortcakes and whipped cream in advance and let diners assemble their own strawberry shortcake creations at the table, if you like. It's fun for both children and adults. Whipped cream keeps fine in the refrigerator for a few hours, and you can make it extra-thick and rich by putting it in a strainer over a bowl and letting some of the water drain out.

Kick Off Your Spring Break at PIER 39 with Hard Rock and the 7D Experience!

April 7, 2016

7D Experience PIER 39Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Hard Rock Cafe San Francisco at PIER 39.

Kick off your family's spring break at PIER 39 in San Francisco with two great special offers from Hard Rock Cafe and the 7D Experience. The Hard Rock is expanding its great Sunday Fundays kids eat free deal (normally on Sundays only) all weekend for this weekend only. Kids 10 and under dine for free off the Hard Rock's kids' menu all day and night from Friday, April 8 through Sunday, April 10, 2016. Mom and Dad get to rock out, drink, and eat while the kids enjoy a free meal with every adult entree purchased, 1:1.

In addition, kids also get free admission this weekend to the 7D Experience at PIER 39 with each full-price adult admission. The 7D Experience combines the thrill of a rollercoaster with the excitement of a state-of-the-art laser blasting game in a 20-seat theater with a massive movie screen. There's also the Lazer Challenge, where you compete to make it through a maze of criss-crossing laser beams.

Raspberry Almond Oatmeal Bars

April 5, 2016

raspberry almond oatmeal barsMy kids love to have a sweet treat when they come home from school, and I always try to make them as healthy as I can. These berry-filled oatmeal bars are really delicious, and I sometimes even use whole-wheat flour in them. Use either strawberry or raspberry preserves—they're both equally delicious. Even apricot would work! The sliced almonds can be replaced with chopped walnuts, too.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups unsalted butter, cut into pieces (plus more for greasing the pan)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour