Chicken Skewers with Meyer Lemon Salsa

January 30, 2012

Chicken skewers with Meyer lemon salsaMarin 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. Nicole is also the creator of the new Little Froglet line of children's activewear.

Nicole's meal plan for this week features lamb chops with mashed sweet potatoes and onions, tofu stir-fry with spinach, lamb burgers with paneer and vegetable skewers, game day Buffalo chicken wraps, and these chicken skewers with Meyer lemon salsa.

Servings: 4–6
Cook time: 12 minutes

Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit, January 2012


Preschool Profile: Magical Garden Preschool in Corte Madera

January 30, 2012

Magical Garden Preschool in Corte MaderaCorte Madera's Magical Garden Preschool is a small preschool that offers a Waldorf-inspired curriculum in the warmth of a home setting. We asked Magical Garden's owner and teacher, Lori Callies, to tell us more about her school, its programs, and what makes it special.

You can learn about Magical Garden Preschool online at or by calling (415) 945-9409,

Please describe your school's educational philosophy. What's it all about?

Magical Garden’s philosophy takes root in the Waldorf movement and expands into best practices of early childhood education with a university-trained, credentialed teacher. We believe that the foundations of childhood are Imaginations, Friendships and Early Skills. We address age-appropriate skills through the relentless joy that Pretending can bring. Eco-education is embedded in our curriculum. We are proud to be certified as the first Eco-Healthy Preschool & Child Care in Marin by the Children’s Environmental Health Network.

What does a typical day at your school entail?

Family Dining with a View at San Francisco's Beach Chalet

January 28, 2012

The Beach Chalet viewWhen we head into the city for some fun, one of the places we like to stop for a bite to eat is the Beach Chalet at the western end of Golden Gate Park. Housed in a historic building, decorated with amazing WPA murals from the 1930s, that's also home to the Golden Gate Park visitor center, the Beach Chalet and its downstairs sibling the Park Chalet are both well worth checking out if you're in the area visiting the park, Ocean Beach, or on your way to or from the San Francisco Zoo.

Since the weather has been so amazing, we jumped at the chance to dine upstairs at the Beach Chalet with its amazing views of Ocean Beach and the Pacific Ocean. With its exquisite view, the Park Chalet is popular with tourists and out-of-town visitors, and can get pretty busy at mealtimes, so get there early to grab a table by the windows.

Many families opt for the more laid back Park Chalet, with its unique indoor/outdoor configuration. The Park Chalet features a big fireplace and an expansive lawn where kids can run around while mom and dad sample one of the Chalet's house-made beers, each of which is named after a San Francisco landmark.

Fresh Cookies the Modern Way at Modern Cookie Co. in Larkspur

January 24, 2012

Modern cookie company cookiesDon't you sometimes wish you could have the perfect cookie, made just for and served fresh out of the oven? Well you can do just that at Modern Cookie Co., Marin's new cookie bakery that recently opened in downtown Larkspur.

Modern Cookie specializes in hot, made-to-order cookies fresh from the oven. It works like this: choose your favorite cookie dough, select mix-ins—like house-made mini marshmallows, nuts, dried fruit, mini peanut butter cups, and chocolate chips, and add a finish such as a drizzle of honey, frosting, or fudge. They'll put it all together for you and bake it up. If pre-made cookies are more your thing, you can choose from a variety of cookies and cookies bars in their display case. They also make ice cream sandwiches using organic Three Twins ice cream.

Mompreneur: Misa Phutsangdee, Miss Go To Girl

January 22, 2012

Misa PhutsangdeeWhen Marin mom Misa Phutsangdee was rejected from grad school, rather than be disappointed, she used the experience to draw on her diverse range of job experience, become a "mompreneur," and start her own business, Miss Go To Girl Enterprise. We caught up with Misa and asked her a few questions about her and her startup.

To learn more about Misa and Miss Go To Girl, visit her online.

Please tell us a little about yourself. What's your background?

I have been married to my husband, Charlee, for five years. We have the most adorable four-year-old, Micah, AKA "Misa Junior" because he is a carbon copy of his mother! I graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in communication studies as well as graduating from C.L.I.B.C. with a B.A. in family counseling. I absolutely loved the communications program and wanted to continue my learning experience at SFSU. After finishing both degrees, I applied for graduate school. Twice. After the second year of anticipating the letter, I told myself that if I read, "We regret to inform you…" one more time, then God must have better plans for me than the master's program. And so, Miss Go To Girl Enterprise began...

Don't Miss the Magic and Comedy of Magician Jay Alexander at Marin Center

January 22, 2012

Jay Alexander show posterBe amazed and laugh yourself silly when Marin's master magician Jay Alexander and friends appear on the stage at Marin Center on Sunday, January 29 at 2 and 5 pm. Alexander has been amazing audiences around the world for twenty years with his funny, amazing, and intellectually stimulating magic show that will entertain children and adults alike. Featuring high-energy comedy magic that has been lauded by celebrities including Robin Williams, David Crosby, and Bono of U2, Jay Alexander has been seen on the Today Show, Good Morning America and MTV.

Tickets for either performance are $20. You'll not only be seeing a great show, but also supporting a great cause: 100% of the profits will go to Hamilton Meadow Park Elementary School in Novato for after-school, art, and music programs.

Look Out! Year of the Dragon and Your Money

January 18, 2012

dragonMarin Mommies presents another great article by Marin mom and financial planner Katy Song, CFP®.

For most of my clients, 2011 proved to be a year of getting on more solid ground (paying down debts, getting out of underwater homes, building up an emergency fund, and even taking a vacation). This was predicted for the Year of the Rabbit (2011), in which you were able to rest and have a little peace. Well, I hope you took the time to get prepared for the Year of the Dragon (2012)!

The Dragon is said to create excitement, unpredictability and intensity. This can bring out some wonderful behaviors like enthusiasm, but throwing caution to the wind can lead to unnecessary risks. Personally, I am ready for some excitement but want to steer clear of drama. So, what does this Year of the Water Dragon mean for your financial future over the next year?  Here is some advice based on Chinese interpretations of the year to come:

Experience Playland at the Beach at San Francisco's Conservatory of Flowers

January 17, 2012

I haven't been to Golden Gate Park's Conservatory of Flowers since I was a kid, so I was very excited to have the chance to take my kids to see the Playland exhibit that's currently on view there. We had a great time checking out the garden railway setup, the Playland memorabila, and the many exotic plants housed in the Conservatory.

This version of the Conservatory's garden railway celebrates San Francisco's legendary bygone Playland at the Beach amusement park, which was located along the Great Highway across from Ocean Beach and closed (and was subsequently torn down to make way for condos back in the 1970s). The garden railway display is landscaped with hundreds of dwarf plants, and model trains and trolleys travel past miniature versions of old San Francisco landmarks like the Sutro Baths, the Victorian-era Cliff House and of course Playland.

Win Tickets to the February 11 Penguins+Pajamas: An Overnight Adventure at the California Academy of Sciences

January 17, 2012

Penguins + Pajamas at the California Academy of SciencesWe a lot of fun at the California Academy of Sciences' Penguins + Pajamas sleepover when we attended last summer—it's a fantastic experience. The next Penguis+Pajamas sleepover is scheduled for Saturday, February 11, 2012, and we're giving away tickets to a lucky Marin Mommies reader!

Experience your own "night at the museum" as you explore the exhibits after-hours, stargaze at the planetarium show, and enjoy a special live animal presentation. Before bedtime, settle in for story time with cookies and milk to learn about Pierre—the Academy’s famous wetsuit-wearing penguin.

When the lights go out, unroll your sleeping bag in African Hall, next to the swaying kelp of the California Coast tank, or even at the Swamp window, face-to-face with Claude, the albino alligator. In the morning, rise and shine, then head over to the Academy Café for breakfast.

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