Eli is all smiles in the above picture because he’s wearing the jersey of his soccer idol, Messi. It’s all about Messi right now in Eli’s world. Honestly, I didn’t know who Messi was until 2 weeks ago, but now I do, and I bet there will be many more “Messi’s” in Eli’s world as the years go on. So as you all know, Eli turned 9 last week! We had his birthday party last Sunday and I have to say that it was a blast, but it was also exhausting. Sixteen boys is a lot to manage and I’m so glad that we had his party at a park, because a park is the perfect place for 16 boys to get their ya ya’s out. I only got 2 photos of the whole party, can you believe it? Those boys were too quick for me to get any sort of photo. They were too busy playing kickball, soccer and four-square that I only managed to get 2 pretty lame pictures. I got a quick photo of Eli’s cake before it got devoured. I made the pumpkin sheet cake with cream cheese frosting and it was the perfect cake as it fed all those boys. I didn’t want to mess up the frosting, so I put a large rimmed baking sheet under the cake pan and then covered it with another large rimmed baking sheet and just taped down the sides so it didn’t move. It kept the cake fresh and made it so easy to transport!
I also attempted to get a photo of some of the boys before we sang happy birthday, and this is what they gave me. Lovely, right? At least Eli is looking at me and smiling. He’s so used to having to stop what’s he’s doing and pose for me at any moment. Eli’s parties are so different from Zoe’s parties. Zoe and her friends love posing for pictures and they love sitting down to a nice meal chatting and having cake. Eli and his buds just want to play, cram food down as quickly as they can, and then get back to playing. I think next year we will just have his party in the late afternoon, serve snacks, ice-cream bars or cookies, and those boys will be happy campers, and my life will be easier as well. Note to self, keep it simple next year!
There was a lot of cooking going on at Marin mama’s casa this week. I baked these rosemary and sea salt popovers again so I could take photos and get the recipe out to you all. I will post these this week and I know you’re all going to LOVE them!
On Monday I posted this below picture on Instagram of a kale and spinach smoothie I was making up as part of my mini cleanse from eating too much cake over the weekend. I also posted the following hashtags #cakedetox #nomorecakeforaweek.
So this cake cleanse of mine lasted one day. Yep, one day. I caved and baked up some chocolate chip pumpkin bundt bread on Tuesday. I wanted to try making it using 1/4 cup applesauce in place of the half the oil, and I also threw in some Greek yogurt as well as a few more spices. It was so good and really moist! So I ate tons of that this week. Besides being a kale addict, I’m also a cake and cookie addict
I did make up some healthy dishes though. I made up some butternut squash tacos. They were good, but I need to tweak the recipe a bit and add a sauce to it as well. I also made up these coconut-lime pork tacos for dinner Friday night and they were so good, and so easy to make. They have some interesting ingredients in them, such as coconut milk and pineapple juice, but it all works so well together and the family loved them!
Last week I met up for lunch with a fellow food blogger, Nathalie who has a site called Vanille Verte. Nathalie and I instantly hit it off and had such a great time taking about everything blog and food related! Nathalie took a Natural Chef and Nutrition program at Bauman College, (where I want to go someday) so she knows a lot about nutrition. Her blog is all about healthy cooking and showcases gluten-free recipes and healthy treats like these homemade peanut butter cups. She just started blogging, but she already has some great recipes on there, and if you sign up with her blog via email, you get this awesome little e-book on creating a natural kitchen. Her e-book is jam-packed with useful info and it’s a great reference tool. It made me want to create some sort of e-book. Oh, if you check out her blog you have to see the post on her kitchen. I’m totally having kitchen envy as her kitchen is so organized and clean, and I secretly love checking out what people have in their fridge as well as pantry.
Ok, let’s move onto this week’s menu.
Sunday night dinner: Buffalo apple burgers with sage jalapeño pesto and roasted cauliflower. Eli and I will be heading back from Carmel on Sunday afternoon, so John and Zoe are in charge of dinner, and these burgers are what’s on the menu! I’m so excited as we love these burgers, and the sage jalapeño pesto rocks!
Monday night dinner: Vegetarian banh mi sandwiches and lacinato kale salad. The kids are off from school today due to a teacher work day. We’re all excited because we haven’t had a mellow at home day in a while. I’m going to be spending the day cooking and prepping for the week. I’m going to roast up some chicken for the enchiladas I’m making tomorrow night. My kids still have their Monday afternoon and night activities so I want dinner time to be easy. I’m making up the pickled veggies, the sriracha mayonnaise and the miso roasted tofu earlier in the day,(you can also make these up the day ahead) so all I have to do come dinner time is cut up some of the fresh veggies and assemble the sandwiches. Easy peasy!
Tuesday night dinner: Chicken enchiladas with pumpkin sauce and mixed greens with creamy mustard vinaigrette. If you like pumpkin, then you will love these enchiladas. They’re super tasty and are a two-nighter meal which I love because I get a night off from cooking! If you’re pressed for time, you can always cook and shred the chicken up ahead of time and then refrigerate it till you make the enchiladas or even use a rotisserie chicken.
Thursday night dinner: Butternut squash soup, rosemary and sea salt popovers and aged gouda and salami. This is a classic fall picnic sort of dinner. Butternut squash is everywhere and on sale, so pick some up! I just love that Robusto gouda that I used in my kale and pear salad, so I picked up some to have around the house. We’re paring that with some sliced salami and I’m making up my new favorite popovers, rosemary and sea salt. I will be sure to post the recipe this week for you all.
Friday night dinner: I had so much fun cooking and experimenting last Friday that I might just cook up something new again. I’m in a total cooking mode lately, as you can see from all of the new recipes I’ve been making. I think it’s the change of seasons and the fact that I’m craving savory fall dishes, but it’s good for all of you because I’m inspired to share new recipes. The only thing I have to do now is start publishing them faster and get them out to you, right?
Have a great Sunday everyone!