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Archive for June, 2009

FATHER’S DAY: Individual Peach Pies

Peach Pie Twisters (Better Homes and Gardens/MCT) Too cute. If you’re looking for a great Father’s Day BBQ dessert – something that’s easy enough for kids to make, tastes great and goes together quickly – we’re putting our bets on these Summer Peach Pie Twisters, which our buddies over at (Better Homes & Gardens) sent over.

15-oz. package rolled refrigerated unbaked pie crust (2 crusts)
3 medium peaches or a 16-oz. package of frozen unsweetened peach slices, chopped
2/3 cup tiny marshmallows
1/2 tsp. cinnamon sugar or chili powder
1 Tbsp. cinnamon sugar for sprinkling
Vanilla ice cream

THEN… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, June 18th, 2009
Under: Cuisine | No Comments »

BEST Movie of the Summer

MovieWeb – Movie Photos, Videos & More

Summer blockbuster season is up and running. What have you seen? What did your family love most?

Posted on Wednesday, June 17th, 2009
Under: Movies | 1 Comment »

FATHER’s Day Barbecues

Family Meals (Courtesy Williams Sonoma) We really should not be reading recipes anywhere near lunchtime. Hungry!! After awhile even paper begins looking tasty. But if you’re planning a Father’s Day BBQ, and you’re looking for recipe ideas, well, we’ve found some good ones! The first, Chicken Kebabs, is perfect for doing with the kids. It’s from Williams Sonoma’s new and gorgeous “Family Meals: Creating Traditions in the Kitchen,” by Maria Helm Sinskey.

1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
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Posted on Wednesday, June 17th, 2009
Under: Cuisine, Dads | No Comments »

FAB FIVE for the Weekend

egret_pre 1. Zip out to Audubon Canyon Ranch’s Bolinas Lagoon Preserve to see Great Blue Herons and egrets, eggs and baby chicks who’ve just hatched and are learning to fly. The preserve is open weekends through July 12. ($15 suggested donation)

2. Join the celebration at the third annual King of the County BBQ Challenge and Music Festival this Saturday and Sunday at the Martinez Waterfront Park. Chow down on BBQ done by the pros – Back Forty, Kinder’s Meats and Bulldog BBQ. Check out the amateur barbecue action too. And then there’s the family-friendly live entertainment, including rides, activity booths and even soccer-playing border collies on Sunday. Free parking and admission.

3. Down in the South Bay? Check out the wild, whimsical “Adventures of Alice,” a multimedia, dance-filled take on the Alice in Wonderland tale at San Jose’s Evergreen Performing Arts Center on Sunday, June 21. (Tickets $18-25)

4. Grab Dad and head for San Francisco’s MOMA this Sunday. It’s family studio day and you’ll be doing hands-on art inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe & Ansel Adams. Free for families (kids ages 4-12 and up to four accompanying grown-ups).

5. Prefer your entertainment in the creepy crawly variety? Check out the African millipedes, Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers, Darkling Beetles and other strange and fascinating creatures in the Insect Discovery Lab at El Cerrito’s Eclectix Gallery June 20 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Posted on Wednesday, June 17th, 2009
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

YO HO, Yo Ho, a Pirate Festival for Me

Pirate Hector Barossa (Photo by Dan Rosenstrauch, Contra Costa Times) Mark your calendars! The Pirate Festival lands at Vallejo’s waterfront this weekend – pirates, wild kid-friendly entertainment, cannon battles, square riggers and free admission. What could be better?

And if you’ve always hankered to be a pirate, Captain Hector Barossa (aka actor and swordplay expert Michael Cawelti, pictured left) will tell you how.

Posted on Tuesday, June 16th, 2009
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

FATHER’S DAY: Awesome Kids’ Gifts #3

stepping stone DIY stepping stones are a wonderful craft for kids and teens, and the creative possibilities are endless. You can do handprints, add mosaics, broken tiles and all sorts of embellishments. Here’s how:

1 12-14″ plastic plant saucer, the cheap kind you stick under a potted plant

Newspapers to cover your work surface plus one extra sheet

A bucket that will likely get trashed

A cheap ruler, paint stirring stick or trowel for mixing


Quikrete mortar mix

Mosaic tiles, glass marbles, and other embellishments
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Posted on Tuesday, June 16th, 2009
Under: Crafts, Dads | No Comments »

BACKYARD FUN: Kids & Fishing

Kids & Fishing (Photo by Bonnie Trafelet/Chicago Tribune) Those lazy days of summer are upon us at last! Now it’s time to find stuff to do. Back when we first began this backyard fun discussion, both Carol and Julie K. posted musings on the joys of fishing. Julie says that when she finally manages to kick her kids off the video games, they usually head for the park to fish and find wildlife. And lucky Carol lives in a neighborhood with a lake. If you don’t have a fishing pond in your backyard, fret not. There are plenty of places to take your kids and tackle box here in the Bay Area. Start with these five ideas…

1. If you’re not a fisherman yourself, the easiest way to start is at a Fishing Clinic. These free, 45-minute clinics are sponsored by California’s Fish & Game Department, and they feature learning stations on everything from safety and knots to casting and ecological lessons too. The clinics are designed for families with kids 5 and up. All equipment is supplied. And the next one is this Saturday, June 20 from 8 a.m. to noon at Newark’s Lakeshore Park. Get there early! The last clinic starts at 10 a.m., although once you’re in, you can fish till noon.
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Posted on Tuesday, June 16th, 2009
Under: Backyard fun, Sports | No Comments »

TWEEN Book Giveaway

"113 Things to do by 13" This week we’re giving away a great little book for the tween in your life: “113 Things to do by 13,” by New York City eighth grader Brittany MacLeod and her mom Terri, a celebrity journalist and senior producer for Access Hollywood. It’s a kicky little read, full of colorful scrapbook-y appeal, and brimming with tween and teen survival advice from a who’s who of celeb experts, including:

  • Age appropriate makeup advice from “Gossip Girl” Leighton Meester‘s makeup artist
  • Writing tips from the author of “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” Ann Brashares
  • Peer pressure coping strategies from adolescent health experts
  • Mean girl survival tips from two “Twilight” stars who were bullied in high school
  • And tips on everything else from Halloween costumes to acne, cooking, homework and relationship drama. There’s even a section on how to send fan mail to the Jonas Brothers.

Want it? Click “comments” and tell us, do you think it’s harder to parent teens or tweens these days? We’ll draw a winner’s name next Monday!

(Congrats, by the way, to Lori who won last week’s giveaway – pssst, we snuck in an extra prezzie too, a copy of “Life with Father,” with Father’s Day images from the archives of Life Magazine. Very cool little book! If you’re still looking for Father’s Day celebration ideas, check out our readers’ suggestions here.)

Posted on Monday, June 15th, 2009
Under: Contest, Kids & Tweens | 2 Comments »

FATHER’S DAY: Awesome Kids’ Gifts #2

Trunk Tote (Courtesy Family Fun Magazine) Ah, the car trunk. That ubiquitous mess of jumper cables, sports gear, unrolled paper towels, madly rolling flashlights and assorted debris. So, say our buddies at Family Fun Magazine, take a large cardboard box and flatten it so the kids can decorate it with markers. Then reassemble the box, leaving the top open and sealing the bottom with strapping tape. Then, with a craft knife, cut two Xs in each end of the box and thread a length of rope through. Knot them on the inside to make handles and there you go, a frugal, adorable Tidy Trunk Tote.

Other ideas we love: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, June 15th, 2009
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

PARENT TALKS: Joyful Dads, Cranky Toddlers & More

Dad “Taming Your Preschooler”
June 15 at 7 p.m. at Bananas, Oakland
Meg Zweiback teaches parents discipline techniques for preschoolers. (Free. Limited child care is also available for $5, call 510-658-7353 to register.)

“Childhood Matters: Father’s Day Roundtable”
June 20 from 9 to 10 a.m. on Green 960 AM and streamed live on Rona Renner, RN, and panelists discuss the joys of fatherhood.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, June 15th, 2009
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »