Upcoming Kiddie and Family Foodie Events

It that time of the year when food is almost on everyone’s mind.  We’ll all regret it in January and make resolutions to work out, eat better, eat less and the list goes on (at least for me it does).  However, while we are at it – the “over-indulging” that is – might as well check out some of the fun family-friendly foodie events coming up in San Francisco.

Holiday Cookie Swap at Seesaw
Thurs 12/9 – 4 to 5 pm
more details at: http://seesawsf.com/

Make cookies with your little ones and build your own fabulous holiday cookie plate. A sweet tooth soirée! Cookies of all shapes, sizes, and origins will be exchanged.  Join us (we are co-hosting with Seesaw) with 2-4 dozen of your favorite holiday cookies to swap with your fellow parents and kiddos and leave with a beautiful and delicious cookie assortment! I am saving my tray for our annual holiday party! Do RSVP to seesawsf@gmail.com

I am a bit nervous about this one since I am not really a cookie baker.  Ria is all fired up about this event and I am frantically looking for a simple cookie recipe.  Do send us one and help me out :).

18 Reasons Events – for more details and ticket prices where applicable check out http://www.18Reasons.org

SWAP: Homemade Family Dinner
When: Sun, December 12, 4:30pm – 5:00pm
Where: 18 Reasons

This is awesome event and we did a little food swap with our friends a few months back and have been hooked since.  Stacie and I have attended the past two family food swaps at 18 Reasons and ended up with some delicious dishes for the whole week.  I love the idea of cooking a big batch on a Sunday and swapping it with other families and having an easy, relaxing week where I can pursue my other interests (aside from cooking?).  Last time we had dishes like chicken with saffron rice with zucchini pancakes, tofu and vegetable curry, pumpkin ravioli, Moroccan chicken and beef stew with salad.  Definitely an event that is worth checking out and a good time to have an easy cooking week before the holiday “craziness” kicks in.

Non-disposable Wrapping and Gift Family Workshop
When: Sun, December 12, 1pm – 3pm
Where: 18 Reasons

At this this hands-on demonstration Molly de Vries will teach you and your little ones how to wrap gifts in eco-friendly and beautiful cloth that the recipient can use over and over in different ways! The cloth Molly uses is called Furoshiki which is traditionally known in Japan as gift wrapping and can be used a napkin, a grocery bag, or carrying cloth to name a few. The best combo is to use Furoshiki to wrap a homemade present. So bring a jar of homemade preserves, a fresh loaf of bread, or your favorite holiday cookies in a recycled tin and learn how to make them look stunning wrapped in Furoshiki.  Suitable for children ages 7 and older

Healthy Holiday Treats with Zoe and Deb
When: Sat, December 11, 2pm – 4pm
Where: 18 Reasons

Cooking with your kids is fun and gets them more interested in food.  Join personal chef and mom Zoe Philips and certified nutritionist Deb Zambetti for a 2 hour hands-on cooking class for grown-ups and kids, and walk away with the tools needed to fuel your celebrations with some healthy treats.  Suitable for children ages 5-12.  It is tough to find a cooking class with kids and parents together and this will be great bonding experience!

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Our Little Food Swap

Inspired and intrigued by the NYTimes article “Saving Time & Stress with Cooking Co-ops”, Stacie and I wanted to do a trial run of a food swap with some of our friends.  For days it was all I could think about since it’s a great concept.  Cook a big batch on a Sunday, swap with 4-5 other families and you have food for the whole week!  I even bought the “Dinner at your Door” cookbook to get us started.

According to the NYTimes article, “A cooking co-op, or dinner swap, is simply an agreement by two or more individuals or households to provide prepared meals for each other, according to a schedule. The goal is to reduce the time spent in the kitchen while increasing the quality and variety of the food eaten.”  Free time and variety!  We often get stuck in a rut and end up cooking the same 10 things over and over again and it would be helpful to get some fresh ideas and also expose the kids to some “new” foods. We were both completely sold and couldn’t wait to try it out.

Unfortunately, I had the toughest time finding friends who wanted to participate in our little food swap.  I am known to be persuasive (almost “pushy”) but I couldn’t even “close” one friend to participate in our little family food swap.  I would get close to finding someone and then it would fall apart.  Some friends were out of town or had other commitments, some were afraid to cook in big batches and others just did not want to exchange with Stacie and me for fear of having their dishes critiqued by the two of us (btw, totally unfair assumption that we would be critical).  I had no luck convincing anyone that this was just a trial run for fun and I would not be critical or laugh at their cooking skills.  Our experiment almost did not happen, if not for Stacie finding two of her childhood friends who were willing to participate.  It was a wonderful and diverse group and we were all set!

We met on a Sunday morning at Stacie’s place, enjoyed a little breakfast and catch-up.  The kids sat at the little table and mimicked the adults and shared bagels and priceless conversation.  It was a delight watching everyone roll in with their containers of freshly cooked, delicious meals.  We ended up with quite a spread:

  • Tomato soup and all the fixin’s for grilled cheese sandwiches (think a 3-cheese blend and crusty bread).  Stacie even gave everyone a laminated copy of the recipe and we have since made the soup and it was ridiculously good
  • Channa masala (Indian chickpea stew) and a spiced spinach with 2 cups of uncooked jasmine rice for each family
  • Veracruzana fish and Mexican rice (big hit with Ria)
  • Zucchini/Vegetable stew

It was a good week.  It was an easy week.  And it was a big hit with everyone.  I hope my friends are reading this and will participate next time or start their own food co-op. 🙂

We are collaborating with 18 Reasons and will be co-hosting a Homemade Family Dinner Swap at the 18 Reasons space in the Mission on Sunday, October 10th from 4:30 to 6 pm. There will be snacks to munch on and then you get to take 4 different meals home.  Feel free to bring the kidlets if you like, or stop by yourself. Hope to see you there!