Looking 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.
Our 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.
A 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).
2–3 lbs chicken thighs or leg quarters, bone-in and skin-on
A roast chicken can be satisfying and delicious, but it can be deceptively difficult to make. I've been experimenting with trying to make the perfect roast chicken (I'm getting there, I think), and have been using different techniques to see how they turn out. One of the more successful ones is a "faux-tisserie" chicken, which attempts to develop the same fall-off-the bone texture that you get from your favorite rotisserie-cooked bird.
The general technique comes from Bon Appetit magazine, which advocates cooking the chicken low and slow for hours. I decided to flavor it like they do at Gira Polli in Mill Valley, whose wood-fired rotisserie chickens I think are some of the best in Marin. While this is not a whip-it-up-after-you-get-home-from-work recipe, it's really pretty easy. You just need to be around for the 3 hours it takes to cook it.
Marin Mommies presents this week's guest recipe from Nicole Cibellis, Marin mom and author of the blog A Family that Eats Together, where she shares meal plans and recipes that will please foodies and children alike.
Hummm… bacon and eggs for dinner? Count us in! Sometimes it just seems right. Think of this dish as a take on quiche but instead of a crust I use cooked pasta. Add in some veggies and the kids will never know that you sneaked them in because my frittata is just that good. The best part is that this recipe is so quick and easy it is a perfect weeknight dinner. It can also easily be made vegetarian by leaving out the pancetta.
If you're looking for some fantastic family-friendly recipes for Thanksgiving, then we're here to help! We've decided to list all our recipes for Thanksgiving favorites here in one place for easy reference this week. We've included two different recipes for turkey, as well as a variety of sides and desserts. Enjoy! And we hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends.
When we crave those classic holiday dinner flavors, we often grab a turkey breast roast from the market and make this easier, smaller scale, and faster version of a Thanksgiving feast. It's perfect for a nice family meal or Thanksgiving dinner if your family is smaller and you don't want to deal with cooking and storing a whole turkey. Another bonus when just cooking the turkey breast: you're less likely to overcook it since it's all you're dealing with.
I grab a handful of fresh herbs from the kitchen garden and use them in a compound butter to season the turkey breast bother under and on top of the skin. Not only does this give the turkey an amazing flavor, but it makes the skin extra crispy, too.
Put the roast in a cast iron skillet or roasting pan, pop it in the oven, and you'll have dinner in no time. I love using a cast iron skillet because it makes it easy to make gravy out of the pan drippings.
This delicious Thanksgiving side dish has the flavors of fall—winter squash and spiced apple cider. It's easy to make, and looks pretty on the holiday table, too. If you use Delicata squash, those orange- or green-striped cream-colored oval winter squash, you don't even need to peel them, and the colors look great, too. You can also make this with cubed butternut squash or pumpkin.
I adapted this from a recipe in the New York Times but used the spiced apple cider from Trader Joe's. The spice flavors are subtle and really enchance the flavor of the squash. Feel free to substitute regular apple cider.
Use up leftover rotisserie chicken in these quick, easy, and delicious individual pot pies. The kids love getting their own little pies, and they really like both helping make them, too! Topping each pie with a square of frozen puff pastry dough makes this really easy to make any night of the week. It's classic comfort food that's especially welcome on a cool fall evening.
If you don’t have any leftover chicken you can just cook up a couple boneless skinless chicken breasts for an equally tasty dish. Full of vegetables, they're meals in themselves.
Feel free to adapt this recipe to whatever you happen to have on hand—other vegetables you can use include broccoli, cauliflower, and sliced mushrooms, and you can use any kind of leftover meat (it's a great use for Thanksgiving turkey), or none at all for a vegetarian version (substitute veggie broth for the chicken broth). Dried herbs may be used instead of fresh—use half the amount indicated in the recipe.
If you don’t have ramekins, you can make one large pot pie in a casserole dish and place the puff pastry dough over the top; cooking time may vary from that indicated.
We always experiment with a lot of pumpkin recipes every fall. The hands-down favorite of all our pumpkin creations has to be these pumpkin waffles. With a subtle spice flavor, they're moist on the inside with a crisp exterior, just like a waffle should be.
Serve them for breakfast with butter and maple syrup, or even for dessert topped with vanilla ice cream. They're a great fall treat that's so good we'll probably start making these year-round, since canned pumpkin is easy to come by!
They're easy to make, too, and you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry already.