Four day weekend

I scored a four-day weekend this week!  Seriously, this is like a huge gift in the middle of a working-mom life moving at warp speed.  So much time and so little to do….

  • Day One – tidy the house, meal plan and grocery shop, so I can enjoy a clean house and full fridge for the next few days
  • Day Two – laundry and errands first thing, so I can be on the deck with a book by noon, maybe make some cookies or other baked goodies to share
  • Day Three – long run, big brunch, nap, more books and crafty stuff
  • Day Four – sleep in, maybe delete 20000 junk emails, cook something big and healthy for lots of leftovers for the week

How about a dinner party on the deck to celebrate the long days and pleasant evening temps?  We went for a California-fresh theme this time, and as usual, the food did not disappoint!  Bruschetta with fresh tomatoes, Shrimp tacos, cilantro/corn/poblano chowder, grilled snapper with avocado/herb salad, spring pea pasta with burrata, spicy smashed cucumbers with lime and honey, marinated eggplant and tomatoes, Meyer lemon cake, and tart frozen yogurt. Oh, and end the evening with an amazing dessert wine brought back from the Greek Islands last summer.   We are so lucky!!!

Getting back to weeknight meal planning, here’s what’s on our menu board:

  • salmon steak seasoned w/lemon pepper on the BBQ (on sale for Memorial Day weekend!), green salad
  • broccoli and farro salad, tri-tip steak
  • turkey burgers – try this quick tip for a great tasting turkey burger – mix equal parts ground turkey and turkey sausage, sweet potato fries
  • falafel, tzatziki (cucumber/yogurt/garlic) sauce, naan bread
  • panzanella (so many variations, this time I’m using asparagus, Mediterranean olives, and mozzarella cheese), grilled garlic/basil sausage
  • cobb salad
  • pulled pork BBQ, brisket, collard greens and cole slaw – even better when your guests bring it from their favorite BBQ place!
  • spaghetti with “everyday” meatballs, peas with lots of garlic
  • carnitas (I used some leftover pulled pork and sautéed with a jar of enchilada sauce I found in the pantry), Spanish rice & black beans
  • clean-the-fridge quiche – red pepper, mozzarella, ham, eggs & cream  (Making pie crust?  Always make two and freeze one for later.   Extra pie crust?  Roll it out, spread butter carefully, sprinkle liberally with sugar and cinnamon, roll up and bake for a special treat.)
  • My new favorite side dish (also great on a salad) – Super Grains
  • chickpea, leek and lemon soup (because even in May we have cold rainy days)
  • pork loin (quick dinner – pick up one of the seasoned ones at Safeway), steamed/roasted potatoes, zucchini
  • white beans with tomato, spinach and rice (with fresh eggs, of course)
  • leftover plain spaghetti in the fridge – make a spaghetti cake!

Enjoy!  xo M.

 

Four day weekend

Traveling for fun and food

It’s been too long since I’ve updated and shared my menu planning!  We’ve done some traveling, some gardening and some baking over the past few weeks.   The gardens are exploding and the chickens are (finally) laying eggs!

We surprised my mother-in-law in Oakland for her 70th birthday – awesomely fun 3 days celebrating with the West Coast family.  It was great to see everyone again and certainly made me wish there wasn’t so much land between us so we could visit more often.  Of course, the food was amazing – paella, ribs, BBQ veggies, chopped salads and cake 🙂

fullsizeoutput_15ad

My sisters-in-law got me to sign up for Stitchfix and Blue Apron.  Do you like my new fancy pants?  Definitely out of my black-pants-to-work comfort zone but I think that’s the whole point….   And, the Blue Apron meals came in handy when we were out of town.  The kids and grandparents had home-cooked dinners without having to plan and shop.  Have you tried any of these fashion or food subscriptions?  What do you think?

(Please excuse the obvious location of this photo!  Yes, I’m standing in the ladies room holding my lunch.  I needed a full length mirror!)

We weren’t home for long before Alex and I headed out to Albuquerque to visit Ana.  (We are getting a head start on this empty-nesters thing.)  We had an action and food packed four days – from hiking and fly-fishing in the mountains, to the Rio Grande gorge in Taos, $4 breakfast burritos, unbelievable flavors in Santa Fe, and BBQ’ing with old and new friends – we enjoyed every minute and are already planning our next trip.

Back home, we’re eating lots of greens from the garden, salad variations and starting to  break out the BBQ.

See you all next week!  xo M.

 

 

 

Traveling for fun and food