Marin mama’s weekly dinner menu for November 10th

Marin mama's weekly dinner menu for November 10thSo I’m happy to say that I did much better on keeping in line with my weekly dinner menu this past week.  Actually Zoe was the one who made me stick to it.  She took a look at Sunday’s weekly menu post, and was so giddy at what I was planning on making for the week.  She couldn’t wait for the buffalo burgers with the chipotle mayo. Oh my goodness, those burgers were so good. We all seriously stopped speaking as we ate. I put in 1/2 cup of sharp grated cheddar cheese into the patties, topped them with the chipotle mayo, put the burger between two grilled brioche buns, and it was pure burger bliss.  BTW, if any of you are wondering what’s in the top photo, it was my lunch on Tuesday.  I had a lemon and thyme popover (recipe soon) and a spinach power smoothie.

On Tuesday we had pure comfort cooking and a full stove top as well.  John and I pulled dinner together as a buddy team (I love when I have a cooking buddy) and even cleaned up as we went along.  As you can see in the picture below, I really do follow my advice and have everything prepped off to the side ready to go.  It just makes cooking that much easier.

IMG_8298Here’s a snap shot of our dinner. Parmesan-crusted pork chops, mashed potatoes with kale and broccoli rabe sautéed with shallots (not in the pic).  Since we were sautéing shallots, we put some in the mashed potatoes and omitted the garlic, and they were so good! We all declared that we need to have this dinner at least once a month.  It was one of those dinners, like Thanksgiving, where everything tasted great together.

IMG_8310Thursday was the only night that we broke away from the planned menu.  It felt a bit like summer, so I wasn’t in the mood for cooking up soup, and honestly no one wanted to eat soup, so I made up these coconut-lime pork tacos instead.  They were so good and so easy to make (recipe soon).

IMG_8373My family’s excitement helped me stick to the menu this week, but I was also smart with my grocery shopping.  I bought all of the staple items on Sunday for the week like the pastas and pantry items, veggies that can last a few days in the crisper, like the kale and broccoli rabe, and stocked up on my pantry items.  This upcoming week is going to be busy, so I’m planning on getting the bulk of my items on Sunday and doing some food prep as well.  Also, I’m having a lot of kale salads on the menu this week and kale keeps for up to 2 weeks if properly washed and stored.  The only night that I really have to buy fresh items is Sunday and Tuesday as I like picking up my meat the day of.

So my tradition has been that within a few days after Halloween I bake up something homemade for the kids to steer them away from their Halloween candy.   This was a great tactic a few years ago when the kids LOVED Halloween candy, but they don’t love candy the way they used to, and this year I got lazy and let the homemade dessert thing slide.  On Monday night the kids asked if there was anything else besides candy for dessert, as they were totally over it. So I felt the tug (and guilt) to make up something homemade, so on Tuesday I made up our favorite chocolate coconut pie.   This pie is a chocolate and coconut lovers dream, and only requires 4 ingredients, bittersweet chocolate, coconut, heavy cream and butter.  I  wanted to try making mini pies, so I put them in muffin tins.  I felt a hesitation as I started molding the crusts into the tins.  I had a feeling that they were going to stick to the muffin tins and be a pain to get out, (which they totally were) also it was sort of labor intensive molding 9 mini crusts instead of one big one.  What I learned from this experiment is that I prefer molding one pie crust, and that muffin tin pies are cute, but a messy and labor intensive way to go.

chocolate coconut pieI also have a new cereal additction. I’m topping my 5-minute hot quinoa cereal with creamy peanut butter and sliced bananas.  The peanut butter melts into the quinoa, and honestly it tastes like a peanut butter and banana sandwich.  I’m not kidding, so if you like peanut butter and banana sandwiches, then you will love this cereal.  If you’re not a fan of peanut butter and bananas, then omit the bananas and just stick to the peanut butter on top. It’s great both ways.

5 minute hot quinoa cerealSadly soccer season has come to a close.  Watching my kids play soccer in the fall is one of my favorite things.  I love watching them race around with that determined look on their face. I love seeing the teamwork, joy, freedom and support among the kids.  I also must admit that there is nothing better than sitting in the sun on a beautiful day.  The games gave me an excuse to put aside all of my chores at home and get out and enjoy mother nature for 3 hours each Saturday. Here’s a pic of Zoe and her team, aka Beckam’s Babes. John is one of her coaches and he’s been co-coaching her team for the past 8 years. Hopefully he will stay on as a coach, as Zoe wants to continue to play rec soccer in high school.

IMG_8073Eli’s team is a bit smaller, as it is with this age group.  His team had all of his best buds on it and the two coaches were dads as well.  These boys wanted to have a silly team picture, so they chose to wear mustaches.   The boys are trying to play cool manly guys in this photo below.

DSC_0021For those of you that have kids addicted to rainbow looms I found this great carrying and storage case from the Container Store (thanks to my friend Carrie) to keep all the rubber bands sorted and contained.  I was finding rubber bands everywhere, and since Eli and I picked this up, they have been contained.  Eli also loves taking his case with him on play dates.

IMG_8325

Ok, let’s move onto this week’s menu.

Sunday night dinner:  Favorite turkey burgers and kale salad with cranberries, apples and toasted almonds. It may be dark at 5:30, but it’s still warm enough to grill in my neck of the woods.  The kids have been craving these burgers, so I’m making them up.  These burgers are filling, so a simple fall kale salad is the perfect side.  My kids have also been craving my chocolate chip skillet cookie, so I’m going to be baking up that as well.

favorite turkey burgerskale, cranberry, apple and toasted almond salad with lemon dressingthe best chocolate chip skillet cookieMonday night dinner:  Roasted red pepper and tomato soup and roasted red pepper paninis with cilantro lime mayo. Ok, this may seem like a complicated dinner for a Monday night, but it’s not, because I’m going to be roasting up the red peppers on Sunday as well as making a double batch of cilantro-lime mayo on Sunday as well.  All I have to do Monday night is re-heat the soup and assemble the panini sandwiches.  This is a tasty Meatless Monday night dinner.

roasted red pepper and tomato souproasted red pepper panini with cilantro-lime mayoTuesday night dinner:  Chicken with shallots, popovers with rosemary and sea salt and lacinato kale salad.  Tuesdays are now our comfort dinner night.  There’s no after school activities, so I’m able to make up something that might be a bit more elaborate.  Chicken with shallots is one of our favorite fall and winter chicken dishes (the recipe is from Barefoot, so you know it’s good).  The sauce that accompanies the chicken is AMAZING!  We often find ourselves dipping our popovers into the leftover sauce.  I’m making up our favorite kale salad earlier in the day because between the popovers, the chicken and the sauce, I will be busy slaving away at the stove and won’t have time to deal with cooking up a vegetable. That’s another reason why I LOVE kale salads.

chicken with shallotspopovers with rosemary and sea saltlacinato kale saladWednesday night dinner:  Pasta with kale, lemon and toasted walnuts and crispy garlic bread.  This is such a simple and tasty pasta dinner and is totally kid approved. The kids really love garlic bread (I’m trying to stay away from the extra carbs) so I’m going to make up a small loaf for them.  The pasta makes great leftovers, which I will use in the kids lunches this week.   I just re-heat the pasta in a warmed cast-iron skillet and it’s so tasty.  pasta with kale, lemon and toasted walnutscrispy and easy garlic breadThursday night dinner:  Easy skillet sausage and white bean stew and whole-grain bread.  This is a 30 minute meal and honestly tastes like a stew that’s been cooking all day. The kids love dipping their bread in the stew. It’s an easy one-pan and one-bowl meal!

easy skillet sausage and white bean strewFriday night dinner:  TGIF!  Kitchen is closed! It’s Marin mama’s night off!

Ok, I have 2 questions for you all!

How many nights a week do you all actually cook at home?   I will honestly say that I cook between 4-5 nights a week, and sometimes those nights will be leftover nights.

What recipe do you want to see next?  

Coconut-lime pork tacos.

coconut-lime pork tacosButternut squash and apple soup from my friend Andrea.

DSC_0013-3Lemon and thyme popovers.

lemon and thyme popovers-2Have a great Sunday everyone!

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{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) November 10, 2013, 5:01 pm

    I would love to see the tacos, but then again, I love any variation on tacos!

    Yesterday I got together with some family members and my Nanny. We went out to Valley Ford and ate at Rocker Oysterfellers, while we were eating, my Nanny brought up “Marin Mama” (she lives in Novato) and how she had seen you in the paper. It was so cute that my Nanny had heard of my blogger friend “Marin Mama”! haha. I love it. Just thought you’d like to know you’re getting rather locally famous. :)

    I think I might have to make that sausage bean stew this week — it looks delicious. I honestly cook 5 times a week. Sometimes up to 6 but I’d say that’s rare.

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy November 10, 2013, 5:16 pm

      Ok, I’ve got you down for the tacos. They’re so easy to whip up girl, and you will love the combination of flavors. So funny and totally cool that your nanny brought up “Marin mama.” Thanks for letting me know! It really makes you realize what a small world it is.
      xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Sharon B. November 10, 2013, 6:23 pm

    Hey mama! I love seeing your menu for the week and getting an update on how things are going. My niece and nephew are totally into the rainbow looms. They brought their case to NYC and they were making them for everyone. So sweet and I love doing craft kind of things with them.
    I love the soccer pic with the mustaches, they’re hilarious! Jake has been playing intramural soccer up at his school, I’m so glad that he still enjoys it, but I do miss watching the games too.
    You should rename your favorite breakfast the Healthy Elvis, that’s who I thought of as you were describing the PB and banana combo. :)
    I cook about 4 nights a week. I’d like to only go out once a week but some nights cooking just doesn’t happen. And I vote for the tacos! I do want to see the other recipes though. :) Have a great week, friend! xoxo, Sharon

    Reply
  • Sarah November 10, 2013, 6:29 pm

    Tacos! We love any sort of tacos and do fish tacos weekly. Would love a good change up.

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy November 13, 2013, 1:28 am

      Will do Sarah! I’m posting the tacos tomorrow, so stay tuned :)

      Reply
  • Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl November 11, 2013, 12:02 am

    I love these weekly dinner posts, you’re such a inspiration in the kitchen Jackie! You made such yummy fresh recipes that always leave me in awe! I am super swooning at that chocolate coconut pie which I have got to make soon! I love that it’s only a few ingredients! Have a great week!

    Reply
  • Linda November 11, 2013, 12:43 am

    I love seeing your works of art! I cook about 5 dinners a week. My husband picks up take-away from a new organic catering company that takes family orders on Friday nights only. A treat. I think cooking your own meals guarantees quality and is so much healthier. Especially when I include one of your Kale recipes!

    Like everyone else so far, if I had to choose one recipe I’d like the taco recipe.

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy November 11, 2013, 2:15 am

      Hi Linda! Thanks for your super sweet comment :) So cool that you have a great new organic take out place. Someday I want to have a tasty take out and eatery, but that’s in the future, when the kids are older and I have the time. Love that you love the kale salads. Yaay! Thanks for voting! :) xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
      • Anonymous November 11, 2013, 5:03 am

        I always find it heart warming when parents put babes first!
        There is always time for a new venture, but kids are kids only for a short time. Sorta like fresh asparagus season here in Australia! Hugs!

        Reply
  • 2 Sisters Recipes November 11, 2013, 3:07 pm

    Hey Jackie! We love seeing the menu for the week, you inspire us to cook healthy meals each week. Thanks again!

    Reply
  • Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health November 11, 2013, 3:23 pm

    I’m sorry the muffin tin method was such a pain! I would have definitely used a pie dish if I had one because they were finicky. I actually went and bought a pie dish over the weekend to avoid the hassle in the future. Like you said, they’re cute but a lot more work.

    That red pepper soup and those popovers need to happen very soon! Yummy.

    Have a great week girl! :)

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy November 11, 2013, 3:32 pm

      Hi Sarah! The muffin tin was a pain because I was just lazy and didn’t line my pan with muffin cups or parchment paper. Your little pies looked so perfect and I wanted mine to come out that way as well, but sadly, they didn’t ;) They tasted good though, so that’s what matters in the end :) xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Jaclyn November 11, 2013, 5:48 pm

    You brought back memories for me of my own soccer days when I was younger, I look forward to having kids of my own one day and reliving those times!

    I probably cook four to five nights a week as well, with moving recently though it’s been a lot less. I’m anxious to get settled in and get back into a regular routine. I’d love to see the taco recipe, I don’t have any recipes for pork tacos and yours sound delicious.

    Reply
  • cynthia November 12, 2013, 12:54 pm

    hi jackie, everything looks great as always! probably will attempt the stew and definitely attempt the chicken this week. my vote is hands down for the pork tacos!

    i cook at 5-6 dinners per week. this is the most frequently i’ve ever cooked before (a bit overwhelming!) because there are not very many options for instant meals here (some would say this is blessing, i’m sure), i do have a bit more free time than i used to, and i always eat at home instead of out or at work…. so there ya go. it’s difficult to find interesting and healthy recipes that can be made without fancy appliances. which is, of course, why i love your blog! hope you have a great week! cynthia

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy November 12, 2013, 2:23 pm

      Hi Cynthia! Wow, so proud of you for cooking 5-6 dinners a week. I’m like you that I eat at home most days for lunch. I’m the one eating all of the leftover salads and soups, which I don’t mind because I love them! Pork tacos it is. I already wrote the post and will get it out first thing tomorrow morning! It’s another one of those easy weeknight recipes. I do hope you have pineapple juice and coconut milk where you are ;) xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
      • cynthia November 14, 2013, 11:15 am

        fortunately, yes! asian goods are not so hard to come by, so i make curries and soups with coconut milk quite often. (thank goodness)
        leftovers– that’s really the key, isn’t it? i always try to make leftovers but i never end up making enough food and they get all gobbled up by my boyfriend. gotta up the portions! :)

        Reply
  • Kitchen Belleicious November 12, 2013, 8:48 pm

    oh all my friends kids have the rainbow looms thingy. My kids are too young but always want our friends to make some for them. Love love love the mustaches on eli’s team and I am with Zoe I would be giddy over that weeknight dinner menu! I want some of that tart and the buffalo burgers- oh and the porkchops! oh and the quinoa. Okay, i just want it all! Hope you are doing fantastic!oh and I only cook 4 nights too! always using leftovers to create something new the next night but only 4 nights are the dishes from scratch

    Reply
  • Reba- Not So Perfect Life November 12, 2013, 10:56 pm

    I cook at home twice a week and make lots of leftovers to be re-heated. I’m traveling 50-70% for my job now so I think that is a big sucess! I try to have healthy things left in the fridge for when I’m gone so that he has healthy options and will not order in pizza!!!

    I vote for the butternut squash soup recipe. I am a sucker for soups :)

    Reply

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