This week I was feeling rather uninspired in the meal planning department.  I sat in my car in the basement parking lot of Whole Foods on Sunday afternoon and tried to dream up an exciting menu for the first week of school.  And, I sat.  And sat.  Uninspired and unexcited.   Then, I realized, what we really need this week is basic good home cooked meals for the first week of school and soccer and soccer and soccer.  Easy!

  • Grilled Italian sausages, polenta with Italian cheese, sautéed zucchini with tomatoes and onions
  • Roasted chicken & asparagus, garlic bread
  • Hamburgers with sweet potato fries and kale salad
  • Asian noodle salad with carrots, scallions and edamame
  • Chicken with BBQ sauce, Bita rice (rice with noodles), steamed broccoli
  • Sheet pan pizza with ham and artichokes, arugula salad

I visited the best bakery last weekend in Portland, Maine.  The chocolate rye cookies were the best.  So was the pecan sticky bun.  And the plum frangipani tart.  WOW!  Next time I’m in New England I will go out of my way to visit the mother of all bake shops.  How does chocolate pie sound?  Or key lime?  OK, now I’m feeling inspired.

Speaking of Disney (were we speaking of Disney?) I’ve had The Lion King stuck in my head all week since feeling “uninspired” on Sunday.  And, at Church on Sunday, John whispered in my ear that the meditation song sounded like a Disney princess tune.  Could Not Stop Giggling.  I love it when my kids make me laugh.

I hope your back-to-school routines are going well.  xo M.


Saturday night meal planning

It’s almost 6pm on a Saturday night and I’m finishing up my weekly menus and grocery list while drinking a glass of wine.  Just one, as I’m heading out to the grocery store when I’m done with the list to actually do the shopping.  Yes, this can be quite a time consuming process, but so worth it to not end up eating *processed* food!

  • Last night was a night like this, when it seems like there’s nothing to eat and then you end up creating a fabulous ramen noodle soup with tons of spinach and grated carrots and eggs.
  • Tonight I’m making myself a big green salad, with baby tomatoes from the garden, palm hearts and hopefully some salmon if the price is right!  Need some salad inspiration?  I’m loving these chopped salads.
  • Tomorrow will be Sunday steak and salad:  grilled skirt steak, with corn tomato and edamame salad over arugula.  Strawberry shortcakes (really, cream scones) because I come home to find notes like this left for me on the kitchen counter (I love it when the kids and their friends read my baking magazines!)

Photo on 8-15-15 at 5.53 PM (1) Photo on 8-15-15 at 5.53 PM #2

  • Monday will be Asian chicken salad with rice noodles (heavy on the carrots and cabbage for extra veggies)
  • Tuesday will be Ana’s last night at home before she starts her SENIOR YEAR IN COLLEGE and she always asks for carnitas or pulled pork, so I’m planning on  pork tacos with corn tortillas, rice and beans, and all the usual fixin’s.
  • Panini sandwiches with turkey, tomatoes, spinach, cheese, etc.

That’s all for now – enjoy your week everyone!  xo M.

Saturday night meal planning

Cooking from the garden


Wow, an hour harvesting in the garden and this is what Alex gets!  What to cook, what to cook…. This should be (relatively) easy!

IMG_1802IMG_0014IMG_1695The kids have been out and about a lot recently, visiting grandparents and cousins and colleges.  I love the foodie pics I get (heavy on the baked goods, go figure)!

IMG_1784 IMG_0018 IMG_0016

Soccer try-outs start next week for school, which makes it feel like this is the last weekend of summer.  Sigh.  I’m going down to the beach to soak up all the sand and salt water just one more time….    xo M.

Cooking from the garden

Mid-summer catch-up!

A few weeks ago I posted a comment on FB about how I resolved to stop using that 4-letter-word “BUSY,” and the positive change that made on my outlook and my everyday life.  It feels like karma came back to get me though, because the next few weeks were, well, “BUSY.”  A trip to Boston to pack Ana out of her summer dorm room (who doesn’t love to spend a long weekend on the NorthEast I-95 corridor?!), multiple camp pick-ups and drop-offs and doctor/dentist/PT appointments (thank goodness my new government job is very generous with vacation and sick hours), and a handful of trips to the airport for traveling kids (all good stuff, including suitcases full of sweaty camp clothes).  Today I have an empty house and a full to-do list:  pay bills, grocery shop, work out, piano practice, book club book, laundry….  I think I’ll start with the important stuff….  Oh the luxury!!!

Looking back, here are some of the food highlights from our kitchen recently:

One of the fun things about traveling is collecting menus from local hot spots.  We had the best sandwiches here (loved the Fig n’ Pig), the best nachos here, the best lunch stop here, and the best bloody Mary’s and our first chicken and waffles right here in our home town.

What’s up next?   I’ve been taking notes from friends and have some great dinners in mind for the next few days:

Have a great week!  xo M.

Mid-summer catch-up!