Marin mama’s weekly dinner menu for November 17th

Marin mama's weekly dinner menu for November 17thThere’s my gorgeous ballerina Zoe! Zoe had her ballet rehearsal last night and I had to grab a quick shot of her before she left.  I love the pairing of the sweatshirt with the big pink tutu, as it captures who Zoe is, she’s sporty but yet also has her girly side.  I simply adore her and I love the person she is growing up to be.

If there is one thing I try to teach my kids, it’s to be kind to others, to say or do something nice for someone each day, and just to treat others as they would like to be treated. Well, I guess my kids are listening because I came home from the grocery store the other day and was greeted with this beautiful card and flower balloon from Eli.  I was feeling a bit blue that morning and Eli totally tapped into my sadness and wanted to cheer me up.  Well, he succeeded, and it was so nice to get a note saying thanks for all the simple things I do for him.  Moms, you may think that your kids don’t appreciate all the little things you do everyday, but they truly do. They may not say thanks all the time, but just know that they notice all the little things we do and they appreciate it, and us.

IMG_8412Eli loves board games and if you offer to play a board game or really any game with him, he will drop whatever he’s doing and play with you.  We’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t taken the time to really just “play” with my kids, so on Friday afternoon I asked him if he wanted to have an afternoon of game playing. He was so excited that he didn’t know what game to start with, and it took us about 10 minutes to decide. We ended up starting with the classic game, Sorry (we have the Disney edition).  I played the cute little animals and Eli played the heroes.

IMG_8524John and Zoe got in on the action and we moved onto a family tournament of Jenga. As you can see in the photo below, we were a bit nervous as the tower got higher.  We have declared to have a game night at least once a week, (if not more) as it’s a great and simple way to connect and have fun with one another!  It also makes you laugh and laughter is the best medicine.

IMG_8527I baked a bit this week as well.  I made up one of our favorite fall breads, cranberry orange bread!  Make it, it’s super easy and tasty and your house will smell amazing!

cranberry orange breadIf you follow me on Instagram and Facebook then you will see the new challenge that I set up for myself this week.   I decided to try and take a week off from caffeine and start off my morning with some lukewarm lemon water.  I take 10 ounces of filtered water, warm it up just a bit on the stove so it’s not cold, and then squeeze 1/2 fresh lemon juice and add a pinch of cayenne pepper, (optional, to boost the metabolism).  You’re supposed to drink this first thing before eating, as warm lemon water kickstarts the digestion process for the day.  You can check out more of the benefits here.  John decided to join me on this and I have to say that we’ve been enjoying our warm lemon water the past two mornings. It actually tastes pretty good and it’s soothing.  The downer came yesterday at noon when I hit a wall because I was so tired.  I went to my highlight appointment and caved when they offered me a cup of coffee.  I only took a few sips, but it immediately perked me up. Maybe having one tiny cup of coffee with breakfast (after drinking my lemon water) isn’t such a bad thing. I will at least stick to the lemon water routine.  #Ineedmydailyfixofcoffee

IMG_8540I made up an easy weeknight Bolognese pasta this past week (recipe after Thanksgiving)!  So good and so easy!

DSC_0069Ok, let’s move onto this week’s menu:

Sunday night dinner:  We’re actually going to a friends for dinner tonight, (yippee) so I have the night off, but I’ll be baking up a batch of our favorite chocolate chip cookies to bring over for dessert.

The best chocolate chip cookiesMonday night dinner: Cauliflower soup and couscous cakes.  This is such an easy and tasty soup to make up, and only require 5 simple ingredients.  It’s creamy and will warm up your tummy!  It’s also totally kid approved. I love pairing this soup with these couscous cakes, as it’s a nice break from the typical grilled cheese sandwich that we usually pair our soups with.

cauliflower soupcouscous cakesTuesday night dinner:  Easy skillet chicken parmesan, crispy garlic bread and kid friendly caesar salad.  We’re having a simple, but classic Italian weeknight dinner!

easy skillet chicken parmesancrispy and easy garlic breadkid friendly caesar saladWednesday night dinner:  Spaghetti squash tacos and lacinato kale salad.  I just love these tacos and pairing them with my favorite salad in the world makes them even better.

spaghetti squash tacoslacinato kale saladThursday night dinner:  Cheesy baked tortellini and kid friendly caesar salad. Yep, you see this pasta a lot on the weekly menu, because it’s one of our favorites and gets requested from the kids quite a bit.  It’s cheesy baked goodness.

cheesy baked tortellini & homemade marinara saucekid friendly caesar saladFriday night dinner:  TGIF! It’s Marin mama’s night off!

Have a happy Sunday everyone!

xoxo, Jackie

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{ 16 comments… add one }

  • Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) November 17, 2013, 4:38 pm

    I totally wouldn’t have guessed that Zoe does ballet. She does seem so sporty with soccer! What a great mix between hobbies!

    I love reading your weekly menu’s on Sunday morning’s because it helps me pick out some recipes to make during the week. For example, I’m adding the chicken parmesan to my menu this week!

    Have a great week!

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy November 18, 2013, 1:08 am

      Hi Kelli! Zoe’s a bit like me, she is all sporty but she also has her girly side as well.
      I hope you love the skillet chicken parm, it’s so easy and delish! :) xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Julie G November 17, 2013, 6:18 pm

    Hi Jacki!
    I am a new fan of Marin Mama Cooks! I am in the hood and learned about your website/blog via a mutual friend and neighbor. I am back for more recipes and cooking tips for week 2 of my new found relationship with cooking healthy meals for my family, thanks to the work and passion you put into helping us busy moms cook for our families. I had had enough of the rut I was in when it came to preparing meals (ie. warming up/defrosting), meal planning (ie. being on auto-pilot without meal variety) and grocery shopping (basically, loathing the experience!). We tried the parmesean meatballs, parmesean porkchops and chicken enchiladas with pumpking sauce, and loved them all. I even bought a bit of buffalo to sample. My 8 year old son, who loves to cook, formed the patties and cooked them in a skillet, topped with sharp cheddar on a small roll and served them as appetizers. Yum! I look forward to this week’s meals and just want to thank you again for making cooking a much more fun and rewarding experience for me and utlitmately, my family.
    Julie ;)

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy November 18, 2013, 1:19 am

      Hi Julie! Wow, what a great comment! Thanks so much for taking the time to say hi via the blog! I love that a fellow neighbor (was it Stephanie Bennett?) passed my site onto you, and that it has inspired you to get out of your cooking rut, and I’m so happy that each recipe you have tried has been successful and a family hit! That makes my day! I also love hearing that you have an 8 year old who loves to cook, that’s pretty cool. Please say hi if you ever see me at Paradise or walking around the hood. :) xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
      • Anonymous November 18, 2013, 1:52 am

        I live next to our lovely Nazy:) and will definitely say Hi! the next time we cross paths. Have a great week! Julie :)

        Reply
        • jackiegrandy November 19, 2013, 2:51 am

          I just love Nazy, she’s so sweet! Yes, please say hi next time you see me out and about! Have a great week Julie :)

          Reply
  • Mary November 17, 2013, 8:50 pm

    Ohhh – that note from your son is just SOOOO lovely – doesn’t it make it all worth while when they come up with something like that!!! wonderful :)) I have a ballerina too and yes I love the look – I love ALL the dishes – the cookies and the soup have me swooning! have a great week!
    Mary x

    Reply
  • Averie @ Averie Cooks November 18, 2013, 1:05 am

    I want to come over!
    the cheese bread, soup,the cookies!!!, that perfect cran loaf – all your food is amazing, Jackie! And Zoe is gorgeous – wow, growing.up.so.much! :)

    Reply
  • Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health November 19, 2013, 12:20 am

    Aw, that was just the sweetest thing for Eli to do. You can tell your kids really love you, understandably so. You seem like an amazing mother!

    I need to try some of your kale salad; it looks so good. That with some of your popovers and I’m set! :)

    Reply
  • 2 sisters recipes November 19, 2013, 3:34 am

    HI Jackie ! That is the sweetest thing Eli did for you. Your kids are so adorable!! And you ARE an awesome mom! Don’t forget that! Raising kids, I think is the most rewarding job in the world ( even though some would disagree with me on that). I love your kale salad, its so yummy.

    Reply
  • kim November 19, 2013, 4:25 am

    Jackie,
    What sweet kids you have. Adore Zoe’s tutu and sweatshirt combo too. I love ballet. Must be so fun to have a girl into it!

    Eli sounds a lot like my boys.They love board games. It is nice you took time to play with him. I so need to do that. Afternoons get hectic with homework. I bet he really appreciated the time with you!

    I read the whole thing about the lemon water. Wow, totally doing that. I actually like it too, but I think I’ll need some caffeine after. That story at the salon is so me. I would have caved! I admire you guys for trying.

    Looks like a kid-friendly menu week. I’ve got to try some of these, especially the soup and the tortellini bake. I know my kids would love it. (Me too.)

    Have a great week Jackie! Thanks for liking my page. Next time we meet in the city you’ll have to join us!

    xo Kim

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy November 20, 2013, 3:42 am

      Hi Kim! It’s funny but Zoe did not get into ballet until 6th grade. I tried it when she was younger but she was not going to have any of it, and now she LOVES dance! It’s funny how things change!

      Ok, I have to admit that I’ve been drinking the lemon water each morning which is sort of a pain because I have to drink it before food etc and my mornings during the week are hectic, so I honestly feel like I’m chugging the lemon water rather than slowly sipping it. Also, I’ve been sneaking in a half cup of coffee. I just need to have it with my breakfast. I’m not a water and breakfast sort of gal, I need something warm to sip on!

      Your boys would love the cheesy baked tortellini! It’s totally kid approved!

      Yes, I would love to join you gals the next time you plan a get together in the city, even meeting up for lunch would be great! xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • cynthia November 19, 2013, 10:48 am

    hi jackie, glad you are enjoying the warm water + lemon! i recently began this in the summer and so far so good, but helps to love lemon. recently i’ve been sneaking in herbal “immunity” syrup for some extra protection against winter colds. in the USA i would buy elderberry syrup and put a couple drops in, as i’ve heard it is excellent against sickness.
    i have my eye on those cous-cous patties this week– do you think i could sub the chickpea mixture for tahini? i figure it’s better than not making them, unless they all just crumble apart of course :)

    Reply
    • jackiegrandy November 20, 2013, 3:30 am

      Hi Cynthia! I’m liking the warm lemon water, but some mornings it’s hard to fit in and I feel like I’m cramming it down rather than sipping it the way I want to! Weekends and lemon water go together but weekdays are hard ;)
      I’m not sure how tahini would work only because I’m not sure how the cakes would hold up or hold together, you could give it a try though! If you do try it, let me know whether it worked or not! :) xoxo, Jackie

      Reply
  • Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl November 19, 2013, 5:39 pm

    I love the idea of game night – for kids or adults – its a great time to just play and get the daily stress out of the way. A few laughs and smiles is always what the doctor orders! :) As always loving your weekly menu!

    Reply
  • Jaclyn November 19, 2013, 8:07 pm

    You have the sweetest family! I enjoy seeing pictures of them as much as I enjoy all of your delicious recipes. I have done the lemon juice, water, cayenne pepper thing and I actually really enjoy the taste of it. I don’t think I could give up my coffee for it though. Every so often i’ll replace it with some tea, but I need that caffeine kick! So I’m pretty impressed with you even with that little cheat at the salon. My salon serves up wine or champagne while I’m getting my highlights done…I NEVER turn that down.

    Reply

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