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

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.

Spring Vegetable Pasta is a Dinnertime Hit

March 28, 2016

spring vegetable pastaAfter seeing all the fantastic spring produce at the Marin Civic Center Farmer's Market, I've been determined to create a recipe that showcases some of the season's best vegetables. I made this spring pasta dish this weekend, and my kids loved it. It's built around the organic English peas that I picked up, and is fresh, light, and delicious. I also found the first of the season's white corn, which I usually think of as a summer thing, and I decided that would go well in this dish too (and it did).

Put the kids to work in the kitchen shelling the peas and shucking the corn. It's always fun for them to get involved in cooking a meal. If you don't have the time or inclination to deal with the fresh peas and corn, frozen would work fine, too.

Serves: 6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb farfalle or other pasta shapes
  • 1 lb English peas in the pod (or 1 cup frozen peas)

Inside-out Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuits

March 21, 2016

inside-out chicken pot pie with buttermilk biscuitsThis dish subverts the traditional chicken pot pie and makes it into an easier but no less delicious weeknight meal. Make a chicken pot pie filling, with plenty of chicken and vegetables, then spoon it over buttermilk biscuits. It's a dish that everyone in the family loves!

You can use either homemade or refrigerated biscuits to make this—it's great with either. Feel free to mix up the vegetables in the "filling"; broccoli and mushrooms are great additions. This recipe makes 6 servings.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken (leftover rotisserie or roast chicken works great)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Bird's Nest Cookies for Easter

March 20, 2016

birds nest cookiesThese cute and clever bird's nest cookies are the perfect treat for Easter. Light and airy coconut-filled meringues really look a lot like birds' nests—you can complete the illusion by adding a few egg-shaped Easter candies. We like the Cadbury mini eggs, but malted milk eggs or even jelly beans will work equally well.

The kids love to help make these, and of course love to eat them. These treats are a great addition to Easter baskets, too. Give them a try, and you'll probably find that they earn a spot in your spring baking repertoire.

Ingredients

Fast Food Gets Healthy at Amy's Drive Thru in Rohnert Park

March 7, 2016

Amy's Drive Thru Rohnert Park

The terms "fast food" and "health food" have never really been synonymous—until Amy's Drive Thru opened last summer in the Sonoma County town of Rohnert Park! Created by the same people who run the Amy's Kitchen, famous for its vegetarian and vegan frozen pizzas, mac-and-cheese, burritos, and other prepared foods, Amy's Drive Thru is like a traditional fast food restaurant with, as the name implies, a drive through, but everything is either vegetarian or vegan, as well as made from sustainable, local, and organic ingredients. We've stopped by Amy's for lunch a few times when up in the area, and really enjoyed their unique healthy take on traditional fast food treats.

Sunday Fundays Return to Hard Rock Café at PIER 39: Kids Eat Free!

February 12, 2016

Hard Rock Cafe FamilyMarin Mommies presents a sponsored shout-out from the Hard Rock Café at PIER 39 in San Francisco.

Back by popular demand… SUNDAY FUNDAY: Kids Eat Free with family friendly entertainment at Hard Rock Café, PIER 39! Mom and Dad get to rock out, drink, and eat while the kids enjoy a free meal with every adult entree purchased, 1:1. Mention that you saw it on Marin Mommies and get a free souvenir for the kids. Make your reservations here.

Enjoy face painting, pirates and fairies … it changes every SUNDAY FUNDAY. Count on Hard Rock Cafe for healthy meal options, great ambience, and rock star service! Join us please for the best deal on the pier and say "hi" to the sea lions while you are down here.

Offer is valid noon to 2 pm and is not combinable with other offers. Free validated parking with purchase at PIER 39 garage. This week come please see Bri Crabtree, San Francisco circus artist specializing in juggling and variety entertainment. 

Sweet Treats for Valentine's Day at Teeny Cake Bakery in Novato

February 9, 2016

Teeny Cake Valentine's DayLooking for a sweet treat for someone special this Valentine's Day? Teeny Cake, Marin's favorite cupcake bakery, is getting geared up for the big day this Sunday, February 14. All of their delicious teeny cakes will be decorated for heart-filled celebrations, and special Valentine's Day boxes with either a dozen or half-dozen cakes will be available for pre-order and pick-up on Saturday or Sunday.

Delivery is also available for a small fee (with minimum order). Pre-ordering is encouraged, as many popular flavors are expected to sell out!

Teeny Cake will also be hosting a high tea service at 11 am and 2 pm on Sunday, February 14. Reservations are required—spots are filling up quickly, so call soon to reserve your spot. Tea service includes a selection of loose-leaf tea, an organic fresh fruit scone, clotted cream and jam, assorted finger sandwiches and hand-made sweets. The high tea costs $40 for adults and $18 for children 12 and under, including tax and gratuity.

Family Dining in Marin: Taki Japanese Restaurant

January 12, 2016

Taki Japanese restaurant in NovatoOur go-to place for Japanese food in Marin has always been Taki restaurant in Novato's Pacheco Plaza. We've been dining there for years (even before we had kids), and it's consistently provided good food, friendly service, huge portions, and a pleasant atmosphere. It's a great family dining experience.

Taki has a rustic Japanese country inn atmosphere, with lots of woodwork and Japanese art and decor. While most of the seating is at regular tables, there's a Japanese-style tatami area for larger groups in back, where you sit on the floor, courtesy of cutouts for your legs in the raised platform. There's even an outdoor dining area in front of the restaurant, in case you happen to be there on a nice day.

The a koi pond and fountain near the entrance contribute to the serene atmosphere, and the owner sometimes lets the kids feed the brightly colored fish, who swim over to them in anticipation of a meal. The kids also enjoy watching the sushi chefs at work at the wooden sushi bar, and looking at all the Japanese decor items around the restaurant, including traditional geisha dolls, lucky cats, and darumas.

Classic Chicken Paprikash

January 10, 2016

Chicken paprikashA classic central European comfort food dish, chicken paprikash is a great recipe to add to your winter cooking repertoire. Essentially chicken braised in a paprika-laden sauce finished with some sour cream, chicken paprikash is popular in Hungary and its neighbors like Austria, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia.

Make sure you use sweet paprika—preferably Hungarian or Hungarian-style, not the hot or smoked varieties. Dark meat chicken pieces, bone-in and skin-on, work best in this slow-cooked dish. You can use bone-in chicken breasts, too, if you like or even a whole cut-up chicken. Also make sure you serve this with lots of noodles, mashed potatoes, or spätzle to soak up the delicious sauce (it's the best part).

Ingredients

  • 2–3 lbs chicken thighs or leg quarters, bone-in and skin-on
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced