Monday, March 31, 2014

Tofanelli's Restaurant in Grass Valley, is yummy and has a great historic atmosphere!

302 W. Main Street
Grass Valley, CA

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Making homemade Pizza with my son in our old bungalow

Yesterday we made pizza at our table in our old bungalow kitchen.   We had been reviewing the letter "P" and the sound it makes.  In montessori, they focus on the sound the letter makes.  We talked about words that start with "P."  We made chocolate chip pancakes in the morning, went to the park, and made pizza for dinner.  It is astounding how many children are tactile defensive, meaning they are super sensitive to touch.  My son loves touching any kinds of food, and we've been baking together since he was able to sit up.  I've found making pizza dough and touching all the ingredients is a great way to have children work with their hands and get comfortable with touch, plus it is strengthening for little hands!  My son loves it, he says that next time he wants another little pizza for himself.

We sometimes shred mozzarella cheese on our own, or I buy the "pizza blend" already shredded Wisconsin cow mozzarella and provolone cheese at market hall.  They also sell prepared pizza dough and sauce.   My son loves the taste of the Fra Mani Sopressata at market hall, and they do not add nitrates.  I asked specifically for ones that are nitrate free, though I was told there are some naturally occurring nitrates anyway.

I got a book a few years ago that has some wonderful recipes for children.  The focus is on ingredients you can get at the farmer's market and then come home and make delicious slow food!  I love the pizza recipe and have used it several times.

I use gluten free dough, since I am gluten free.  I used  Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust, and a pizza stone to make the pizza crispy like a pizza parlor.  I have gone through a few stones in my cooking pizza time since they break pretty easily.  I worked at Shakey's pizza years ago, so making pizza brings me great joy!  There is something about having my son and I's hands in the dough laughing that makes the world feel perfect for that moment.

When I was growing up, on the weekends we used to go to my aunt and uncle's house and while the parents were hanging out, the kids would make Appian Way Pizza.  With that mix, everything is in the box for you, except the cheese.  It may be fun to pick up a box now to see what it tastes like.  I remember how much fun that tradition was, of making pizza together.


Recipe book for children:

At The Farmer's Market With Kids
By Leslie Jonath and Ethel Brennan
Recipes and Projects for Little Hands
Chronicle Books, LLC
680 Second Street
San Francisco, CA  94107
(This book has a recipe for tomato and mozzarella pizza, including dough and tomato sauce from scratch.)

Bob's Red Mill
Wheat Free, Gluten Free
Pizza Crust, whole grain mix
(This pizza mix even includes the yeast, which some mixes don't, so keep some on hand!)
13521 SE Pheasant Court
Milwaukie, Oregon  97222
(This package also has a recipe for gluten free cinnamon rolls that look really yummy!)

Fra Mani Sopressata
( nitrate free, similar to pepperoni or salami)
Rockridge Market Hall
Oakland, CA
(510) 250-6005

Pizza Baking Set
(Set includes 14 3/4 Pizza Stone, serving rack, pizza cutter, recipe booklet, and wooden pizza peel)
Bradshaw International, Inc.
Rancho Cucamonga, CA  91730
(The pizza stone is also great for baking fresh or frozen breads, rolls, or biscuits.)

Softest Slippers ever with non-slip bottom - Acorn Slippers

I had gotten some really soft slippers at Macy's a few months ago and the bottom was so soft that I slipped on the stairs.  Wow, that hurt!  I found these new slippers a few days ago and they are warm on our cold kitchen floors.  Our kitchen is so cold that it feels like a garage since the previous owners put the dishwasher on top of the heat grate.  Someday, we'll remodel the kitchen and put in heat.  Until then, I found some warm slippers with sole with tracking so I won't fall down the stairs again!


Acorn Slippers
Comfort on Earth
(I got my slippers from Earthsake store on 4th Street for $45.00.)

The slippers can be hand washed.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Favorite Botanical Disinfecting Wipes for my kitchen- Clean Well

My favorite disinfecting wipes are from Clean Well.  I keep a container in the kitchen and bathroom for quick clean ups.


Clean Well Botanical Disinfecting Wipes
PO Box 2125
San Francisco, CA  94126

I like these wipes because they contain no bleach or phosphates, creates no harsh fumes and leaves no harmful residue!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The story of the Irish Coffee at The Buena Vista in San Francisco, CA

My aunt Betty's choice for an Irish Coffee in San Francisco, CA is at the Buena Vista.  She enjoyed taking my brother Rick there when he visited.  I found the story of the Buena Vista this morning, and smiled as I imagined my aunt and brother there, both have now passed.


The Buena Vista

Friday, March 14, 2014

Love Bottle also makes wonderful vase for fresh picked flowers from Billy!

My son picked some beautiful wildflowers, maybe even weeds, we got home and looked for a small vase and decided to use the love bottle.  The bottle says, "Dream big, and never let go...."


Monday, March 10, 2014

Mary Poppins is playing at the Paramount Theater on Friday, March 14th at 8:00PM

The film, Mary Poppins, received 13 academy award nominations and won 5 awards.  It is my all time favorite Disney movie!  It is playing at the Paramount Theatre of the Arts on Broadway in Oakland, CA on March 14th at 8:00PM.


Paramount theatre of the Arts
2025 Broadway
Oakland, CA

Friday, March 14th, 8:00PM
Mary Poppins
Box office opens at 6:00PM
Door opens at 7:00PM
Curtain rises at 8:00PM
All tickets are $5.00
(ticket prices include $2.00 facility fee)

Friday, March 7, 2014

T is for Tea in Berkeley, our favorite tea spot is Imperial TeaCourt in Berkeley, CA

Our favorite tea spot that also serves lunch is now the Imperial Tea Court in Berkeley, CA in the gourmet ghetto.  There is a heavenly garden by the restaurant where you can sit outside.  We had lunch there yesterday around 1:00PM and there was plenty of space for two moms, and three children to sit.  I can imagine the weekends are packed as the garden also shares space with other restaurants in Epicurious Garden.

The tea is served traditionally with little tops on top of the cups to keep the tea leaves inside, they do not use strainers here.  My son had hand strung udon noodles with broth, and I had vegetarian fried rice.  Both were delicious!  I had a delicious white tea!


Imperial Tea Court
Berkeley Store:
Epicurious Garden
1511 Shattuck Avenue
(inside the back garden)
Berkeley, CA  94709
Tel:  1-510-540-8888

My favorite Chai tea in Oakland, CA

My favorite Chai tea right now is at Highwire Cafe in Market Hall.  They serve Tipu's Chai Now brand, which tastes both sweet & spicy!  I also make it at home with the package they sell at the cafe.  Highwire Cafe is the only place I have found in Oakland that makes makes dairy free chai!  As I write, my son is playing with his new cash register and I am having a cup of this delicious chai!  I am trying to give up coffee for a little while to see if I feel better, it is hard as I love a cup of joe in the morning, but chai tea is a satisfying alternative.


Tipu's authentic indian chai
Tipu's chai now
Sweet & Spicy
(add water + milk)
46835 US Hwy 93
Polson, MT  59860
Certified Organic by CCOF

Can be purchased at Highwire Coffee Roasters
Market Hall
College avenue, near Rockridge Bart,
Oakland, CA