Zoe and I had fun playing around with the above ribbon. We were trying to figure out something creative to do with it when all of a sudden we got the inspiration to make the word joy! We were both feeling the joy so we wanted to send some joy your way. In light of the recent events in Newton, I’m trying to just hug and be with my family and appreciate each moment with them. I’m sending my love, light and prayers to those families in Newton and I can’t begin to fathom what they’re going through. I wish we lived in a world/reality where tragedies like this didn’t happen. I know that sounds a bit naive, but that is my dream and my wish. I wish we could all see that we’re brothers and sisters and connected as one and not separated. My dream is for a world where there is peace, joy, health and love for everyone. I’m hoping that we move closer to that reality.
Last Monday I was feeling overwhelmed and stressed wondering how I was going to get everything done. I felt the tug to get out into mother nature and play, so I listened to that tug and got out and ran in my favorite canyon among the redwoods. I ran and frolicked through the trails. I felt so free and liberated, just like a kid again. It was just what I needed, and I came home refreshed and so mellow. I knew everything would get done and that I didn’t have to worry and rush around to get it done. It just reminds me that when we get outside in nature, it takes all of our cares and stresses away. Mother nature truly is the most beautiful creation in the world and more beautiful than anything manmade. I thought I would share with you a few photos that I snapped on my run. This is my favorite trail to run on because it’s nestled in the redwoods and it’s so peaceful and green this time of year. I love all the trees in this canyon, from the majestic redwoods to the smaller ones that get all fuzzy and green. I also love how they hug the trails and create a natural and protective canopy. Usually when I run this trail, I don’t see anyone, and I feel like I’m running in my own private back yard. This is my time to meditate and get quiet, and appreciate the world around me. I hope you enjoy the below photos. Then feel free to enjoy the weekly menu.
Let’s move onto this week’s menu.
Sunday night dinner: We’ve all had a cold for the past week and honestly all we want is something warm and comforting like soup. I thought that my heirloom tomato soup days were over till next August, since we use up the last of the frozen reserves, but guess what? My neighborhood grocery store, Paradise Foods has tons of organic heirloom tomatoes on sale for $2.99 a pound. I snagged up 10 tomatoes, so I’m going to be making up 2 batches of soup today to serve up for dinner and lunches throughout the week, as well as freeze some for later. Tonight I’m serving up some fresh heirloom tomato soup with some turkey wraps with apples and brie. Update, I made the soup today, but honestly, wait until heirlooms are back in season, as the soup was just bland and did not have that robust flavor that it normally has. I thought it was too good to be true to be making a summer and early fall soup in December. Make the creamless tomato soup instead!
If your like most of the country and don’t have heirlooms available, but you’re looking to make up some tomato soup, I have another easy go-to soup that I make all the time, creamless tomato soup. It’s a classic tomato soup and tastes great alongside a grilled cheese sandwich.
Monday night dinner: Broccoli lemon pasta. This is an easy throw together family favorite pasta.
Tuesday night dinner: Soup night again! Heirloom tomato soup, popovers and kale, cranberry, apple and toasted almond salad with lemon dressing. This salad is so easy to throw together, especially if you have washed and ready to go kale leaves. The dressing literally takes 5 minutes to whip together and is a sweeter version of my kale salads. I predominately use curly kale with some lacinato kale thrown in for the recipe. My kids love the apple and cranberries in the salad. It’s a great salad to try on the younger ones because it’s a bit sweeter and did I mention that the dressing is vegan? Bonus.
Wednesday night dinner: Lemon chicken breasts, roasted fingerling potatoes and lacinato kale salad. Tonight it’s all about easy comfort cooking. The potatoes take no time to throw together, and the only thing that takes time with the lemon chicken is mincing all those garlic cloves, but you know how I take care of that? My kids fight over who gets to mince the garlic, so I let them each take turns mincing the garlic with the garlic press. Problem solved! I’m learning that getting kids involved on the prep work helps them out, while at the same time helps me out. It’s a win win!
Thursday night dinner: Leftover night! I’m going to take the leftover chicken breasts and cut them up into thin slices and put them over some kid friendly caesar salad. I will serve this up with some naan bread because we like our carbs. I may throw in a cup of soup for those of us that want some.
Friday night dinner: Italian wedding soup and popovers. John’s parents are coming into town today so were serving them up one of our new favorite soups! I hope it becomes one of their favorites as well.
Stay tuned for Wednesday when I will show you how to make our favorite twice baked potatoes.
I’m ending the post with 2 last photos from my run.
Enjoy your week, and if you have time, get out in this beautiful world!
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