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.
Whenever we're in (or near or driving through) Fairfax, we try to stop at Fairfax Scoop, the awesome ice cream shop on Broadway right downtown. It's a tiny little place, but you can't miss it—it's the bright yellow storefront with a line of people snaking out the door.
Fairfax Scoop makes fantastic handmade organic ice cream using locally sourced ingredients. The day's flavors are written on a whiteboard, and can include innovative flavors like vanilla honey lavender, toasted hazelnut, Mexican chocolate, Buried Treasure (peanut butter, chocolate, and Newman-O's), and Controlled Burn (cinnamon with crystallized ginger and red chile!), as well as the usual ice cream parlor suspects like peach, strawberry, chocolate, and mint chip. Vegan-friendly sorbet and soy options are always offered, too. Flavors rotate, so there's usually something new whenever you visit.
Kids' scoops will run you $1.95, a single scoop is $2.85, and a double is $3.95. Portions are really generous, so be sure you're really hungry before you order that double scoop! There's a 25¢ discount if you bring your own reusable container, but we always opt for their fresh-baked waffle cones, which are actually the only kind of cones they have (and they don't cost extra, like at other ice cream shops).
It goes without saying that most families these days have busy schedules, with work, school, sports, activities, homework, and more taking up plenty of time. And I won't even get started on how busy and exhausted most new parents are! Cooking homemade meals during the week is often one of those things that falls by the wayside, but fortunately, meal delivery services can pick up the slack, and offer a healthy and less expensive alternative to takeout or restaurant meals.
We had the opportunity to try some of the delicious food from Munchery, a San Francisco-based startup that's using technology, sustainability, and talented chefs—most of whom are veterans of the Bay Area restaurant scene—to offer some great dinnertime options. Login to their website or launch their app on your mobile device and browse the day's menu, which will offer options ranging from sushi and salads to grilled chicken and lasagne Bolognese. They offer plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, too. Of course they also have plenty of kids' options, too, as well as side dishes, desserts, soft drinks, coffee, wine, and beer.
Teeny Cake is opening this weekend! Your favorite farmer's market cupcake booth is making a move to a permanent home in downtown Novato at 7400 Redwood Boulevard #101. Teeny Cake will hold its grand opening celebration this Saturday and Sunday, September 13 and 14, from 8 am to 4 pm, where they'll be serving coffee, espresso, tea, and of course their signature sweet treats.
Marin Mommies had a chance to take a sneak peek at the new Teeny Cake shop and to chat with owner and master cupcake baker Michelle Mahoney. It's in a great location and really looks beautful. My family is so excited to have this right in our neighborhood.
Michelle is excited to open up and be part of the local community and mentioned they'll be open early for coffee and breakfast treats like biscuits and scones. Of course she'll be offering her signature cupcakes in all her regular flavors, like classic vanilla, red velvet, chocolate, carrot, and salted caramel, as well as monthly featured flavors like organic pumpkin, caramel apple, and white chocolate peppermint.
Wouldn't it be great if there was someone to cook you and your family a great gourmet meal with fresh local ingredients, and have it ready for everyone to eat at the end of a busy day? Fortunately, such people do exist in the person of your friendly neighborhood meal delivery service!
For many busy parents, meal services, like Marin's own Jessie et Laurent, are a blessing. From new parents overwhelmed with the reality of a brand new little one in the house to families with tweens and teens and their attendant school schedules, sports, and activities, everyone can use a great meal delivered to their door. This way everyone in the family can still sit down at the table for a real stress-free meal together.
We recently had a chance to sample some of the offerings from San Rafael's Jessie et Laurent, a meal delivery service that's been feeding local familes since the 1980s. Run by husband-and-wife culinary team Jessie and Laurent Boucher, their creations are made from fresh local ingredients, and their weekly menus have a huge selection of really delicious sounding entrees for delivery.
A few weeks ago, my kids noticed that the new La Michoacana ice cream store in Novato was almost ready to open, so we made sure to come check it out on its grand opening weekend around Valentine's Day. Since then, we've been back a few times to this shop selling delicious Mexican-style ice cream, frozen fruit bars (paletas), and other sweet treats. La Michoacana offers plenty of well-crafted ice cream standards, as well as a lot of flavors that you won't find at other ice cream stores, so it's well worth a visit if you're in Novato.
Located on Grant Avenue, downtown Novato's main drag, La Michoacana occupies a brightly colored stylish storefront. The interior is equally bright and cheerful, with a clean, modern feel. There's plenty of seating, and even a kids' area with small-scale tables and chairs for the little ones.
La Michoacana offers so many choices on its menu that it's almost overwhelming. Perhaps the first thing to do is to decide what you want: ice cream or a paleta? Ice cream flavors include familiar offerings like strawberry, pistachio, and cookies and cream, as well as more exotic options like Mexican vanilla, pine nut, mamey (a fruit native to Central America), and piña colada.
I've had several people tell me how great Screamin' Mimi's Ice Cream in Sebastopol is, so when we were in the area picking apples a couple weeks ago, I knew we just had to stop by and give it a try. Right on the corner of Sebastopol and Petaluma Avenues in downtown Sebastopol, Screamin' Mimi's has been scooping out servings of homemade ice cream since 1995.
Screamin' Mimi's offers a rotating selection of over 300 different flavors, depending on what's in season. Old standbys like chocolate, pistachio, and vanilla share space on the "Today's Flavors" chalkboard with more unusual offerings including lavendar, caramel apple, and ginger. There's also a selection of sorbets in case you're in the mood for something non-dairy. Ice cream is made from natural local ingredients wherever possible.
Ice cream here is sold by weight, and is dished up in a variety of different kinds of cones (try the amazing house-made waffle cone) and the super fun double cone that was my son's favorite (see picture). They also offer sundaes, shakes, floats, and coffee drinks. Service is friendly and efficient and the atmosphere is colorful and relaxed and encourages lingering over your ice cream cones. The ice cream, needless to say, was absolutely fantastic. I had the pistachio and I have to say that it was the best ice cream I've ever had.
Marin families now have yet another place to get their burger fix: Smashburger in Novato. The Novato location is the Denver-based chain's first Bay Area location, and it serves up a variety of innovative burgers, chicken sandwiches, and salads using fresh ingredients.
I had the opportunity to attend a media preview of the Novato Smashburger last week, where I tried a selection of their food. Smashburger offers an array of specialty burgers, including the Bay Burger (with arugula, mushrooms, Swiss cheese, and truffle mayo); BBQ, bacon and cheddar; and spicy Baja.
Each burger is also available as a grilled chicken sandwich—my favorite of Smashburger's offerings was the chicken avocado club, with avocado, applewood-smoked bacon, and ranch dressing. You can also create your own burger or sandwich from the variety of toppings, sauces, and add-ons ranging from grilled onions and "Smash sauce" to guacamole and a fried egg.
In recent years, the tiny West Marin town of Point Reyes Station has become something of a foodie hot spot, and one of the reasons for this is Cowgirl Creamery, creator of amazing artisanal cheeses crafted from locally produced milk. When you're visiting Point Reyes Station or passing through on the way to the beach at Point Reyes National Seashore, Cowgirl Creamery and Cowgirl Cantina are worth a stop to not only pick up some delicious locally produced foods, but to see how artisan and farmstead cheese is made as well.
Step through the doors of the weathered wood Tomales Bay Foods building on Point Reyes Station's 4th Street (around the corner from the town's main drag), and you'll be greeted by a cheese counter holding a bewildering variety of cheeses, many of which are the products of Cowgirl Creamery. Don't be afraid to ask for samples, which the cheesemongers will happily give.