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

Slow Cooker Chicken Pho

June 26, 2016

Chicken phoI love my slow cooker, but I really don't use it much during the summer, because, after all, who wants to eat hearty soups and stews on a hot day? Lately, however, I've been trying to think about how to use the slow cooker to make more warm-weather kinds of dishes. One of my successful recipes is for a slow-cooker version of chicken pho, that delicious Vietnamese noodle soup. Simmer the broth all day in the slow cooker, then prep the garnishes and noodles and dinner is ready!

Pho is usually associated with beef, but this chicken version is a little healthier and easier to make. It's probably not 100% authentic, but it tastes pretty darn close to the real thing, without the need to pay a visit to your favorite Vietnamese restaurant (and there aren't too many of them in Marin). One of the great things about pho is that you can vary the taste to your own liking by adding traditional garnishes like fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and chiles. If you (or your kids) like it plain, that's fine, too!

Make Your Own Summer Sun Tea

June 23, 2016

Sun TeaNow that summer is here and the weather is warm, it's the perfect time to not only enjoy a cold glass of iced tea, but to make your own sun tea, too. I've found myself drinking a lot of iced tea over the past few years (it probably has something to do with parental sleep deprivation). I usually buy bottles of Tejava tea, which I love because it's unsweeted and has a good strong tea flavor.

I decided to try making my own and maybe save a little money in the process. I remember my mom making sun tea way back when, and thought I'd give it a try. The results were really fantastic, so I thought I'd share them here. It's really easy to do, really inexpensive, and the kids actually had fun helping make it.

You'll need:

  • A two-quart sealable glass jar.
  • Four to six black tea bags
  • Sprigs of fresh mint (optional)
  • Water

Place tea bags and mint (if using) in a clean glass jar. Fill the jar with water and seal.

Hawaiian Style BBQ Short Ribs

June 12, 2016

Hawaiian style short ribsThese marinated and grilled short ribs are the perfect thing for a summer backyard BBQ. They only take a few minutes to make and cook (outside of the marinating time), and the sweet-salty soy sauce-based Hawaiian marinade delivers a taste of the islands without having to get on a plane.

You can serve these short ribs in classic Hawaiian plate lunch style, accompanied by two scoops of rice and macaroni salad, but we opted to be a little healthier and make an island-style sesame-cabbage slaw that has added texture from crumbled dry instant ramen noodles.

You'll want to get Hawaiian-style—also called Maui- or flanken-style—short ribs, which are cut in thin strips across the bone. These don't need to be marinated all that long, and only need to be grilled a few minutes on each side. The marinade works great with chicken or pork, too.

Farmigo Brings the Farmer's Market to You

June 8, 2016

Farmigo

Love the idea of buying your food at the farmer’s market, but don’t have the time or opportunity to make it part of your shopping routine? Farmigo is here to help! This startup works with local farmers and producers to offer families weekly deliveries of fresh produce, prepared foods, bread, eggs, meat, seafood, and more. It’s kind of like a CSA—in fact, Farmigo created the software that many CSA programs use for membership and online ordering—but one where you can choose between many different offerings.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Organic Ice Cream in Marin!

June 5, 2016

Three Twins in San Rafael

With summer almost here, it’s time to think about ice cream! And to make yourself feel a little bit better about eating this rich treat, why not indulge in some locally made organic ice cream? There's nothing quite like freshly made ice cream with local organic ingredients, and we have three favorite spots in Marin where you can satisfy your organic ice cream urge this summer (or at any time of year).

Fairfax Scoop

This small ice cream shop at 63 Broadway in downtown Fairfax offers a rotating selection of innovative organic ice cream flavors like vanilla honey lavender, toasted hazelnut, Mexican chocolate, and controlled burn (cinnamon with crystallized ginger and red chile!), as well old favorites like strawberry and chocolate.

Easy-to-Make Peach Crumble is the Taste of Summer

June 3, 2016

Summer peach crumbleFew things signify that summer is finally here as much as the easy availability of fresh and juicy stone fruits like peaches, nectarines, and apricots. Now that we're seeing delicious peaches at the farmers' market and in the produce section of the supermarket, why not make a fantastic dessert like peach crumble? This recipe is a summertime staple in our house, especially when my mom brings over a load of peaches fresh off the tree in her front yard.

Fruit crumbles don't look as pretty and require less work than pies, but are just as delicious. Born out of the need for rationing flour and sugar during World War II, crumbles, in their basic form, involve a fruit filling covered with a crumbly flour, sugar, and butter topping. It's something that's easy enough for the kids to help make, too. They love to mix up the crumble topping and spread it on top of the fruit filling.

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

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

Healthy Ingredients a Mom Can Trust

April 4, 2016

Whole Foods Market Marin

Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Whole Foods Market.

Aspartame? Vanillin? Ammonium chloride? Shopping for groceries shouldn’t feel like reading a chemistry textbook. And once children enter the picture, the stakes are even higher.

At Whole Foods Market, we stock our shelves with products we buy for our own kids. We carry the widest selection of organic foods of any retailer, but it doesn’t stop there. What goes on your little one’s body is just as important as what goes in it. Looking for diapers? Ours don’t contain synthetic fragrances, inks, or chlorine. We offer lotions, soaps, sunscreen, and baby powder that don’t contain irritating preservatives, artificial colors, or scents.