Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in San Francisco Chinatown

last summer we took a road trip up the coast of California and stopped in San Francisco, one of my favorite cities in California. there are so many things to enjoy in San Francisco, from the Wharf, to the museums, to the food, to the architecture. there are also many streets or sections of San Fran that are influenced by different cultures – each one lined with stores, restaurants and architecture reflecting it. Chinatown happens to be one of our family’s favorite areas to explore. it is the largest China Town outside of Asia, and there are lots of unique things to see that are different from what we experience at home in our daily lives. we love all of China Town, but the boys most favorite part is visiting the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory – which you can probably guess…is a real life fortune cookie factory.

before i show you photos of the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, i wasted to share some of the other photos i took on our way to it. as you most likely know, most travel around San Francisco is done by walking or public transportation. i really love this way of traveling around this city. that way you can take everything in and enjoy its unique charm. we took the trolley to the main entrance of China Town – which is known as Dragon’s Gate because there are two dragon statues. it is located on Bush Street. you can easily take a bus or trolley there…it’s very well known.
once you are at Dragon’s Gate, you can walk north towards the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory which is a few blocks up. the street is strewn with red and gold lanterns and building decorated in gold and dragons.

we let the boys stop in some of the stores and buy a few souvenir. these kitty chopsticks were one of their favorite purchases.

there are also some beautiful colorful murals painted on buildings along the way. there is also lots of yummy Chinese food. you can find both nice sit down restaurants, and also takeout. since we were on the go, we opted for a quick and easy stop. the boys got all their favorites…of course, noodles too.

and we had to stop at the Golden Gate Bakery for a sweet treat.

the last stop and final destination in Chinatown was the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. it is located in Ross Alley. don’t be shocked if this area looks a bit run down and run down. it’s old…and it’s an alley, but you are in the right place. there will probably even be long lines of people waiting to enter the old original store. it’s been around since 1962. if you look closely, you will see popsicle dad waiting in line!

once you get inside the entrance, you will see fortune cookies being made right in front of you. the sweet smell of baking fortune cookies is incredible. and they give you lots of samples to taste.

you get to see the entire process, from batter to fortune to folded cookie. first, the thin circular cookie is pulled off a hot press. next, a fortune is placed on one side of the hot, flat dough. 

finally, each soft, hot cookie is shaped over a steel rod into the shape of a fortune cookie. all of this has to be done very quickly, otherwise the cookie will harden before it is created into a  fortune cookie shape.

another cool thing – you can have you own fortune cookies made with your own special message put inside.we let each boy make some to give to relatives and for themselves. they thought this was so awesome.

and here is the final product! warm, delicious and ready to enjoy.

it was such a fun experience for the boys…and us adults to see the entire process of making a fortune cookie. they also learned a lot because we ask the store owners to tell us a lot of the history behind the store. it was very interesting.  the eating part was pretty great too!


here is a short video of our time at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory.

Red Light Green Light Cars 3 Popsicles

This is a sponsored post.

we are very excited that Disney Pixar’s Cars 3 is coming to theaters this June!!! with a house of three boys, we have been watching the Cars movies since the beginning. and to celebrate, we created some yummy Cars 3 inspired Red Light Green Light Popsicles, made with fresh DOLE® Fruits and Vegetables. they are layered red, yellow and green just like a traffic signal! and guess what? they are very easy to make and have no added sugar!

Did you hear? the Walt Disney Company and Dole® have partnered for a multi-year healthy living initiative aimed at helping parents encourage their families to make healthier eating choices. Thursday, May 25th is National Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Day, a holiday created to remind Americans about the health, taste and convenience benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables, and to encourage a healthier diet. what better way to celebrate National Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Day AND Cars 3, than with these Cars 3 inspired fresh fruit and vegetable popsicles.

Red Light Green Light Popsicles are triple layered in the colors of a traffic signal – fresh strawberry, pineapple-orange, and avocado banana. i know what you’re thinking….avocado banana?!!!!! trust me…it’s really yummy. and all three of these combinations together make a really fun and fruity popsicle. you could also make them with just one of these flavors if you’d like. PLUS, did i mention there’s spinach inside of these popsicles. what better way to get some veggies into the kiddies tummies than in a popsicle! they won’t even know it’s in there.

Red Light Green Light Cars 3 Popsicles

to make Red Light Green Light Cars 3 Popsicles, you will need the following ingredients:`

3 cups Dole® Fresh Pineapple, cut into chunks
2-1/2 cups Dole® Strawberries, sliced
1 Dole® Avocados
2 Dole® Bananas
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
3/4 cups Greek yogurt
1 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons honey

Directions
• Freeze pineapple chunks and strawberries. you want the fruit to be slushy consistency after you blend them so that you can layer them in the popsicle molds.

Red layer:
In a food processor combine 2-1/2 cups Dole® strawberries, 1/4 cup Dole® pineapple, 1-1/2 cups spinach, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, and honey. mix until well blended.

Yellow layer:
In a food processor combine 2-1/2 cups Dole® pineapple chunks and orange juice. mix until well blended.

Green layer:
In a food processor combine 1 Dole® avocado, 2 Dole® bananas, 1 teaspoon honey and ½ cup Greek yogurt. mix until well blended.

• Layer the mixtures into popsicle molds of your choice. Red, yellow then Green, like a traffic signal.

• Freeze for at least 6 hours before removing them from the mold.

• Makes about 12 popsicles

in the meantime, while your popsicles are freezing, you are going to want head over to the “Fuel Up with Dole” microsite to enter the  “Fuel Up with Dole Sweepstakes”, where starting May 25th, you can enter to win a family-fun summer road trip. PLUS, you can check out when the Road to the Races Tour will be we’re rolling through your city and explore delicious recipes that will keep you revved up all the way through your last lap.

Check out these other great Cars 3 inspired recipes
“Lightning Berry Smoothie” (inspired by Lightening McQueen) 


“Crunchy Banana Roll” (inspired by Jackson Storm)


“Buffalo Bites with Pineapple and Chicken” (inspired by Smokey)

{ Disclosure: I am an official ambassador for Dole Fresh Fruit and Fresh Vegetables. Dole provided me with compensation for my time. As always, all opinions expressed in this post are mine.}

Help for the Busy Mom on Saving Money for the Kid’s College

This post is sponsored by ScholarShare.

as a mom, i know all too well that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done that needs to get done. so much to do, and so little time. does any mom EVER have a moment to sit down and figure out how she’s going to save enough money for her child’s college? you may have even heard of ScholarShare, California’s 529 savings plans, but have you had a moment to check out what it’s all about? i admit, it’s definitely a hard task to do while juggling  kids, the lunch packing, the laundry, the grocery shopping and the cleaning.

there’s school pick-ups…

there’s swim practice and dance lessons….

and babies to feed…

you can practically forget trying to get any sort of work done!

but before you know it, these guys will be going to college. am i ready???

i sure hope so.

ScholarShare is trying to make saving for college easier on us moms.

you all know how much i love Scholarshare…i’ve written about them many times, and how their  college saving plans work. but maybe you are finding that figuring out how to set up a saving plans for your kids or how the 529 plans work is hard or time consuming. so ScholarShare is here to help!

“529 Crib Notes” Webinar hosted by celebrity Fashion Designer

on Thursday, May 18 at 12:00 noon PST, ScholarShare is hosting a FREE 30-minute webinar.  “529 Crib Notes” with celebrity author and fashion designer Rosie Pope and ScholarShare’s very own Garianne Dashiell. together, both Rosie and Garianne plan to help moms tackle the seemingly insurmountable task of paying for college!

you will learn: what is a 529 plan?how do they work? the different investment options, AND things to consider when selecting a 529 plan. PLUS, there will be a live Q&A session. it will be short and sweet with everything you need to know about your child’s college saving future! so make sure that you register for the “529 Crib Notes” webinar!

and guess what?????

ScholarShare will match your first $50

it’s that time again! ScholarShare is celebrating National 529 Day. this means Scholarshare will be having a special three-day promotion to help families jumpstart college savings for their children. To be eligible for the matching promotion, families must just open a new ScholarShare account between Wednesday, May 24 and 26, 2017 and deposit $50 or more. ScholarShare will match the $50!

this is an AWESOME way to get your child’s college savings account started. it’s all about starting small. every little bit counts. last year, i shared this college savings chart. it thought it would be a great way to motivate us to save a little money each month which in turn would benefit our children greatly in the future. click here to download your own College Savings Chart, and don’t forget to open those 529 Plans from May 24 through 26, 2017 to get the $50 matching promotion. HAPPY SAVING!

Note: The matching deposit of $50 will be made to the eligible ScholarShare account on or before 11:59 p.m. PST on January 30, 2018. Limit: one matching deposit per new ScholarShare account opened for each new beneficiary. Must sign up for a $25 Automatic Contribution Plan for six months. More information and complete terms and conditions here.

 

Strawberry Picking at South Coast Farms in San Juan Capistrano

a few weekends ago, we decided to head down to South Orange County and check out the U-Pick Strawberries at South Coast Farms. it’s located in the heart of San Juan Capistrano just about a mile from the San Juan Capistrano Mission. quite a few Sandy Toes and Popsicle Blog readers have recommend i check it out, so i just had to. and i was very glad i did. our family had the best time picking strawberries and enjoying the beautiful fields, landscape and OC sunshine. and the best thing is that all the strawberries are organic!we started by grabbing a handful of baskets…you are also welcome to bring your own baskets or sacks, and headed over to the field.we read the rules and headed into the field. but not before we snapped a picture with baby girl and sat in the tractor!

the strawberries were big, red and very juicy. there were plenty to choose from. we spent a good amount of time exploring the fields and hunting out the best and biggest berries.

even Miss Dani had fun picking the strawberries! daddy too.then we headed to the farm store to weigh and purchase our freshly picked strawberries. the farm store has plenty of fresh produce to purchase as well. if you don’t feel like picking your own strawberries, you can purchase a basket or five. there are also lots of different fruits and veggies.Vann really wanted an apple! so he got an apple LOL.

we ended up with four baskets of strawberries to take home. they were prices at just $3 per pound which is great for organic strawberries. they didn’t last long because they were sweet and delicious.then it was time to head home. but first let’s eat an apple hee hee.

we had the perfect afternoon at South Coast Farms in San Juan Capistrano. i see many more trips in our future. we loved the strawberries so much, and it was a great experience for the kids to pick their own food. so much fun.

Healthy Kitchen Kids Cooking Classes at Discovery Cube

Healthy Kitchen Kids Cooking Classes at Discovery Cube if you don’t know that Discovery Cube OC has kids cooking classes…you do now! my kids LOVE to cook, and ever since we started watching Master Chef Junior as a family, they’ve wanted to learn how to be little chefs. so we certainly were very thrilled that the Petersonville Healthy Kitchen has opened at Discovery Cube OC.

the Healthy Kitchen offers 1-hour long kids cooking classes at Discovery Cube with a new recipe each month. there are multiple time slots offered on certain days of the week. you can make reservations or just ask the front desk at the Cube if there are any openings. most classes are $20 for a party of 4, so you can have up to 4 children or children and adults participate together. this includes the class and food that you will be making. the class is in addition to your admission into the Cube.

the class begins with putting on an apron and a good hand washing.Healthy Kitchen Kids Cooking Classes at Discovery Cube

an instructor will help the kids with every step of the recipe and teach them not only how to prepare the food, but also the science behind each process. it’s like a bunch of science experiments. i love how the kids can see the instructor in detail on big television screens above and also in person in front of the class. i also like that there are only 6 stations, so the classes are small and intimate.Healthy Kitchen Kids Cooking Classes at Discovery CubeHealthy Kitchen Kids Cooking Classes at Discovery Cube

i think the class is great because the kids get to learn many different techniques on how to prepare food and also get to prep it, prepare it and eat it. at this class, we made Rainbow Wraps! we have also made gingerbread cupcakes in another class. both classes were equally fun.

here are some photos of the boys cooking up their food…

Healthy Kitchen Kids Cooking Classes at Discovery CubeHealthy Kitchen Kids Cooking Classes at Discovery CubeOrange County Kids Cooking ClassesKids Cooking Classes at Discovery Cubeyes! they learned how to use a blender…Kids Cooking ClassesDiscovery Cube OCDiscovery Cube OCDiscovery Cube OCDiscovery Cube OCDiscovery Cube OCDiscovery Cube OC

kids not only learn how to cook, but also how to use real kitchen tools.

Discovery Cube OCDiscovery Cube OCDiscovery Cube OC Cooking Class

and the best thing is….that they are usually willing to taste what they made. i probably would have never been able to get Vann to eat a Rainbow Wrap at home. but since he made it, he was willing to try it. AND he liked it!!!!!

Discovery Cube OC Cooking Class

we have been loving the Healthy Kitchen at Discovery Cube OC so much, that we want to go back every month to try each new class. you can click here to get more information and for a list of classes and times. hope you have a fun time!!!!Discovery Cube OC Cooking Class