Enjoy a Fun Farm Brunch for the Family at Bloomfield Farms

September 19, 2012

Bloomfield Farms U-pickAt its next u-pick event, Bloomfield Farms is offering families more than just fresh certified organic veggies. This Sunday, September 23, the farm is partnering with Hardcore Farm To Face's Chef John Lyle for a Fun Farm Brunch from 10 am to 2 pm.

This gourmet brunch buffet features a delicious menu that will appeal to everyone in the family, and of course features Bloomfield Farm's fresh produce as well as items from other farmers in the area. The Fun Farm Brunch is a "pay what you can" brunch. No reservations are necessary, just come on over to the farm and enjoy!

This Sunday's Fun Farm Brunch menu includes mini pancakes with fruit toppings, homemade Gravenstein applesauce, fresh fruit, mini grilled cheese sandwiches, heirloom tomato soup, Bloomfield Farms veggie fritters, carrot bread, blackberry bread, apple bread, vegetable quiche, fresh fruit juice, lemonade, coffee, tea, and more.

Come to the farm and eat your veggies, then go pick some veggies to bring home. Bloomfield Farms offers families the opportunity to pick their own organic vegetables, including kale, squash, celery, lettuce, green beans, Swiss chard, potatoes, and more. Fill a box for only $25. U-pick at the farm takes place Sundays through November 4 from 10 am to 3 pm. Read more about the u-pick experience at Bloomfield Farms in our article here.

Sink Your Teeth into Dino Discovery in Golden Gate Park this Fall

September 19, 2012

Dino Discovery in Golden Gate ParkThis fall, families can sink their teeth into prehistoric fun in Golden Gate Park, where dinosaurs and ancient plants spring to life at three unique destinations: the California Academy of Sciences, the Conservatory of Flowers, and the San Francisco Botanical Garden. As part of “Dino Discovery in Golden Gate Park," each attraction will offer a variety of dinosaur-themed programs and events, all of which are within easy walking distance of one another.

At the California Academy of Sciences, visitors can travel through time and learn about the fascinating animals that once roamed the earth during a series of Jurassic in the Park programs from through November 15, 2012. This new series of events focuses on the evolution of dinosaurs, sharks, birds, and living fossils that still call this planet home and features the 3D show, Dinosaurs Alive! All programs are free with Academy admission (unless otherwise noted).

It's Summerfest Time! Come Have Fun and Help San Rafael City Schools

September 18, 2012

HeadsUp SummerfestIt's Summerfest time! Come have fun and help save critical school programs for San Rafael City Schools at the HeadsUp Summerfest Carnival on Saturday, September 29, 2012 from 11 am to 5 pm.

This fun and free event takes place at San Rafael High School and features game booths, a giant slide, bounce houses, a petting zoo, face painting, henna body art, photo booth, kiss-a-pig, a dunk tank, wheel of fortune, art displays, performances by school music groups, BBQ treats, local band GWood Gents, and more. Also on hand will be the celebrated Summerfest Cake Walk—show off your baking skills or join the fun and win a cake.

Students can submit entries to the essay writing and art contest with the theme Making San Rafael a Better Place to Live. Write an essay on no more than one page that tells what you do now, what you will do, or what you'd like to do someday to make San Rafael an even better place to live. Winning essays will be from four age groups: grades K–2, 3–5, middle school, and high school. Entries are due by Friday, September 21; mail to HeadsUp, PO Box 150157, San Rafael, CA 94901, attn: K. Murphy.

Hiking with Kids in Marin: Sky Oaks and Lake Lagunitas on Mt. Tam

September 17, 2012

Sky Oaks and Lake Lagunitas on Mt. TamalpaisIt's no secret that Mt Tamalpais is Marin County's outdoor adventure hot-spot. One of the most popular ways to visit the mountain and its many trails and natural resources is via Sky Oaks just west of Fairfax.

Sky Oaks is home to the Watershed Headquarters for the Marin Municipal Water District, which manages a large part of Mt. Tam's lands (other portions of which are part of Mt. Tamalpais State Park). Sky Oaks offers easy access to numerous trails, picnic areas, and the Lake Lagunitas and Bon Tempe Lake reservoirs. With towering redwoods and Douglas firs ringing the sparkling lakes, it's a beautiful place, and it almost feels like you're up in the Sierras.

For a great family friendly hike, try walking the loop around Lake Lagunitas. The fire roads here are wide and relatively flat, with only a few gentle hills. They're open to hikers, cyclists, and equestrians, and are easily manageable with a sturdy offroad jogging stroller.

Start your hike in the Lake Lagunitas Picnic Area. At the far end of the parking lot, take the signed trail to your left up to Lakeview Fire Road to the lake's dam. On your way from the parking area you'll see a sign noting all the different species of wildlife observed in the area—from deer to bullfrogs to bobcats to bald eagles—along with dates and locations. We saw a couple deer walking across the trail during our hike, as well as red-tailed hawks and a variety of waterfowl.

How to Build Fun Lunch Boxes That Your Kids Will Love! For a Sweet Tooth…

September 17, 2012

lunchbox for the sweet toothMarin 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 and family dining ideas that will please foodies and children alike. Nicole is also the creator of the new Little Froglet line of children's activewear. Check out Nicole's meal plan for this week.

This week's featured lunchbox is for the kid who desires everything sweet and for the parent who wants to make their lunch healthy.

In this week's lunch box is the following:

Family Dining in Marin (with a View): The Mountain Home Inn

September 12, 2012

Mountain Home Inn on Mt. Tamalpais near Mill ValleyOur family loves to explore Mt. Tamalpais. Usually, we pack a picnic for lunch during our hikes, but on our last visit we decided to take the kids to the Mountain Home Inn, one of the few restaurants up on the mountain. It was a gorgeous, clear day, and we knew the views from the restaurant's deck would be amazing.

The Mountain Home Inn has been a fixture on Mt. Tam for a century, and it's a great place to stop for breakfast, lunch, or dinner before or after your Mt. Tam adventure. Of course we opted to sit outside on the deck, taking in the spectacular views of Marin County and relaxing in the shade of the patio umbrellas. Our friendly and attentive server brought us a bottle of water infused with mint as we perused the menu.

The Mountain home inn offers a variety of dishes, from bratwurst on a bun with house-made potato chips (a nod to the inn's beginnings as a Swiss/German roadhouse) and burgers to fresh pastas and a vegetable frittata. There's also a children's menu, which is offered up with crayons for coloring, that includes favorites like chicken fingers and fries, kids' pasta with butter and parmesan, french toast, and more.

The 2012 Esurance Tennis Classic in Mill Valley

September 12, 2012

Esurance Tennis ClassicThe annual Esurance Tennis Classic at Mill Valley's Harbor Point Tennis Club is a great event for all tennis lovers big or small. This year the Esurance Tennis Classic will host legendary tennis players including Lindsay Davenport, Bryan Brothers, Gigi Fernandez, Murphy Jensen, and others.

This fundraiser takes place this Friday–Sunday, September 21–23, and and raises funds for a variety of charitable causes, including the To Celebrate Life Breast Cancer Foundation and the Youth Tennis Advantage. Tickets are $35 per day or $50 for both days for adults, and $20 per day for juniors under 18.

On Friday, September 23 from 3–4:30 pm the Esurance Tennis Classic presents Kids' Day, where inner-city youth play with tennis legends; the public is welcome to watch from the stands. The gates open at 9 am on Saturday and 10 am on Sunday. Don't miss the World Cup Team Challenge: USA vs. the World on both days from 12:30–4:30 pm, and the tennis village and food court offering refreshments, product booths, and fun on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am–5 pm.

How to Build Fun Lunch Boxes That Your Kids Will Love! Homemade Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard

September 10, 2012

homemade chicken nuggetsMarin 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 and family dining ideas that will please foodies and children alike. Nicole is also the creator of the new Little Froglet line of children's activewear. Check out Nicole's meal plan for this week.

Most kids love chicken nuggets. I am not preferential to store bought nuggets for a multitude of reasons but I think they are great when homemade. Here is a quick and easy recipe for chicken nuggets that your kids will love. My son couldn’t stop telling everyone at school how his mom made him chicken nuggets. He was so proud and I am sure yours will be too!

Quick tip: Make 2 dozen and keep them refrigerated to use them as you need to. These keep for 4–5 days.

Slow Cooker Monday: Crock Pot Lasagna

September 10, 2012

Slow cooker lasagnaSometimes it seems that people make things in slow cookers just to see if it can be done—and of course be edible, too. One of the slow cooker recipes I've always been skeptical of—untiil now—is lasagna. It's possible to create a tasty lasagna in the slow cooker with a minimum of work and mess, and the results are delicious.

You do sacrifice the crispy, bubbly top that you get from the oven-baked version, but then this version is something that you can quickly make for a weeknight meal. This recipe is for a meatless slow cooker lasagna that's packed with flavor from fresh herbs and garlic.

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