Food and Cooking

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Delicious recipes, family friendly dining news, reviews, and resources for families in Marin and the Bay Area. Sponsored by Whole Foods Market

Family-Friendly Mother’s Day Brunches in Marin

May 11, 2017

Mother's Day is on Sunday, May 14. Brunch is always a popular outing in honor of mom, and here are some of our favorite family-friendly spots for a Mother's Day brunch in Marin.

All information is correct at time of publishing, but please check with the restaurant to confirm. You should also make your reservations soon, as Mother's Day brunches fill up pretty quickly.

  • Belcampo Meat Co
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
    Sunday, 9 am

    Treat mom to a special brunch featuring Belcampo specialties: Bacon & Brioche French Toast, Ham Benedict, or the infamous Belcampo Breakfast Burger. Reserve now! Location: 2504 Larkspur Landing. For more info, call (415) 448-5810 or visit their website.
  • The Caprice
    Tiburon
    Sunday, 11 am–2 pm
    Enjoy three course prix fixe brunch includes prosecco. $49/ adults; kids under 12 $19. Shrimp cocktail, brioche french toast, filet mignon, blueberry and more. Location: 2000 Paradise Drive, Tiburon. Reservations are required by calling (415) 435-3400. For more info, visit their website.

Find Fresh Seasonal Produce at Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden in Novato

May 8, 2017

Indian Valley organic Farm and Garden

This spring and summer, the Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden on the grounds of College of Marin's Indian Valley Campus is a great place to get organic fruits and veggies. A project of College of Marin, Conservation Corps North Bay, and the UC Cooperative Extension, this 5.8-acre certified organic education farm and garden is open to the public for produce shopping every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm.

Bring your own bags and browse the farm stand for a wide variety of seasonal produce grown right there on-site. Right now, you can get artichokes, beets, radishes, chard, kale, leeks, and more. They also often sell plants like poppies and other flowers, fruit trees, strawberries, and tomatoes. Bring your own plastic bags, as they aren't provided here, although you can buy washable, reusable produce bags at the stand for a nominal fee.

Make a Classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake for Mom

May 8, 2017

This Mother's Day, why not make an old school dessert for Mom—pineapple upside down cake. Pineapple upside down cake is really old school, dating back to the 1920s when canned pineapple from was introduced to the US market by the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, which would eventually become Dole Foods.

Featuring moist and light cake topped with sweet pineapple and a caramelized brown sugar topping, it's no wonder this dessert has been popular for nearly a century. In our recipe, we use fresh pineapple, but you can substitute canned if you don't want to mess around with cutting up and trimming a fresh one. It's equally good with both.

Ingredients

For the topping:

Easy Individual Chicken Pot Pies

May 7, 2017

individual chicken pot pie

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.

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.

Tasty Chicken Pozole Verde

April 30, 2017

Pozole verde with chicken

Cinco de Mayo is coming up, so why not make a classic Mexican recipe for dinner? Pozole, a hearty soup based on nixtamalized corn, also known as hominy, is considered one of Mexico's national dishes. Usually you'll encounter it in its red form with red chiles and pork, but I think the green version is just a delicious.

Instead of using dried red chiles to flavor the broth, this green pozole feautures tomatillos, jalapeños, and ground toasted pumpkin seeds. This is definitely not a throw-it-together-after-work recipe. It's slow food at its best, and you can use even use your slow cooker if you like. While you can make this with canned hominy and it will still be delicious, definitely try to prepare it using the real deal, which comes dried. You need to cook it slowly for hours, but the texture and flavor are superior.

Tacos al Pastor with Homemade Corn Tortillas

April 23, 2017

tacos al pastorThere's something about authentic style tacos that's so delicious, and one of our favorite variations is tacos al pastor, which consist of pork marinated in a red chile sauce with grilled pineapple. In taquerias the pork is usually cooked on one of those vertical spits (like the ones used to cook shawarma or gyros), but we make a simplified version that we cook on the grill and I think it's a great approximation of the real deal. The enzymes in the pineapple help tenderize the pork, and the sweetness plays off the flavor of the red chile and spices.

Family-Friendly Easter Sunday Brunches in Marin

April 13, 2017

Easter Day is on Sunday, April 16. Brunch is always a popular Easter outing and here are a few of our favorite family friendly spots for a Easter brunch in Marin. All information is correct at time of publishing, but please check with the restaurant to confirm. You should also make your reservations soon, as brunches fill up pretty quickly. Click on highlighted links for more info.

Sunday, April 16

  • Angel Island Cafe
    Angel Island State Park
    10 am–4 pm

    As part of Angel Island's Hop to It! Spring Festival there will be a special spring brunch menu at the Angel Island Cafe, as well as live music from noon–3 pm.
  • Cavallo Point
    Sausalito
    11:30 & 2 pm

    Cavallo Point's Easter brunch buffet with seatings at 11:30 am and 2 pm. Enjoy a wide selection of brunch dishes and live jazz. Adults $110 adults, kids 4–12 $55. Make reservations online or by calling (415) 339-4700.

Day Out in Point Reyes Station

April 10, 2017

Point Reyes Station

Point Reyes Station is the social and cultural hub of West Marin, and a fantastic destination for a day out with the family. While the railroad that gave this small town its name is long gone, Point Reyes Station has become something of a tourist mecca in recent years, with a focus on sustainable agriculture, locally produced artisanal and organic foods, outdoor activities, and art. On weekends, the main street of this quaint and charming gateway to Point Reyes National Seashore bustles with West Marin locals, Bay Area day trippers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, hikers, and visitors from around the world.

Even though many of Point Reyes Station's attractions are geared toward grownups, families will find plenty to do here, making it an attractive destination for an outing in and of itself, or a worthwhile stop on the way to or from the beaches and hiking trails of the Point Reyes National Seashore. Most of Point Reyes Station's businesses are clustered around Highway One (AKA A Street, Main Street, or Shoreline Highway). A walk down Main Street's sidewalks takes you past art galleries, boutiques, and gourmet restaurants, as well as businesses more traditionally associated with small rural towns, like a feed store, tack and saddle shop, hardware store, and saloon.

Easy Baja Fish Tacos

April 10, 2017

Baja fish tacos

My kids love fish, so these Baja-style fish tacos are a big hit in our house. They're easy to make, and most of the work comes in prepping the add-ons: crunchy shredded cabbage, radishes, salsa, and a creamy lime-infused sauce.

These tacos are fresh and light and remind me of a day at the beach in Southern California. Take a bite and it's summertime at the beach, even if it's the middle of winter.

If you're really short for time, you can make these with frozen fried fish filets like the halibut filets from Trader Joe's, but they're so much better with delicious fresh fish. I made our last batch with some wonderful local lingcod that I got from Real Good Fish, a community supported fishery (or CSF—it's like a farm CSA but for fish) with pick up sites in southern Marin.

Classic Coconut Mini Cupcakes for Easter

April 6, 2017

Coconut cupcakesOld fashioned coconut cake is an Easter favorite. We decided to give this classic treat a kid-sized spin and made a fun mini cupcake version.

These light and sweet little cakes with a marshmallow-like frosting are great for parties, playdates, and get-togethers, and of course as dessert on Easter! Sure, you can use fresh toasted coconut on the outside, but we love the old-school white flaked sweetened coconut from the grocery store's baking aisle.

This recipe makes about three dozen mini cupcakes. You can use it to make regular-size cupcakes, too, but of course you'll need to increase the baking time by a few minutes.