So I want to start out this post by making a confession to you all. I can’t and don’t always follow my weekly menu. There are some weeks, like last week, where life is just too hectic and I don’t even have time to hit the grocery store. Last week the Italian wedding soup that I was craving on Sunday never got made. Our Sunday was filled with soccer and baseball games, as well as a soccer party, and by the time we all got home, we we’re wiped, so we just opened the fridge and had a dinner of leftovers. On Monday I had a meeting for a new work venture I’m starting, so I didn’t even have time to hit the grocery store. Eli had a family baseball game and Zoe had dance, so I ended up feeding her a boxed pasta from Annie’s, and John and Eli picked up dinner on the way home. Zoe looked at me as I made up the pasta and laughed because she hadn’t had that pasta in years. I felt frazzled and stressed and realized that if I’m going to work outside the home a bit, then I really need to come up with a better plan, get more organized as far as stocking my fridge and pantry, so when those crazy nights come up, I have a pantry and fridge full of items that I can toss together for a satisfying and tasty meal. The reason I’m telling you all this is because I don’t want to ever come off as someone who has it all together, because I really don’t. I get frazzled and stressed and feed my kids boxed pasta once and while and that’s ok! We have to make short cuts in life once in a while to keep our sanity, right? As much as I preach about keeping a well stocked pantry and fridge, I don’t always follow my own advice, and sometimes I need reminders like last week to get my game on again, so game on!
Halloween was a bit scattered this year because as the kids get older, they want to be with their friends, and they get more independent when it comes to trick or treating. So sadly we’ve said goodbye to the days of family trick or treating and hello to chasing Eli and his friends around, (I seriously mean chasing them around because they’re fast) and Zoe going off with her peeps for the night. It’s all good because I know that Zoe will eventually (maybe next year) start hanging back with us and handing out candy, so we’ll get her back, but we still have a few more years of chasing down Eli. This year for Halloween Zoe decided to be a geek and Eli was Messi the soccer player. I loved their costumes, because we didn’t have to buy a single thing! Zoe borrowed a few things from my closet and paired them with a few things from her closet. Eli pretty much wears sports shirts and shorts every day, so we just rifled though his closet and pulled together a soccer player. John stayed home to hand out candy and serve as a home base for Zoe and her friends, since they trick or treated in our hood. Here’s a quick picture of Zoe and some of her peeps before they headed out for the night.
Eli and I went over to his buddy Isaac’s house to trick or treat. We had a great time as all of his friends and their siblings were there. We feasted on pizza and I brought over 2 kale salads for the adults. I tried to get a picture of all of the boys, but only managed to get 4 of them to pose. If you take a look at their legs you can see that they’re ready to move on. I always have to set my camera to the sports setting when I’m around these boys!
Here’s a picture that we tried to get of all of the kids. We literally had to bribe the kids to pose for us. They were done taking pictures before we even started. I mean what’s up with us parents bothering them when all they want to do is play, eat pizza and get onto trick or treating, right? We’re such a nuisance to them 😉
The kids did a great job with their pumpkins this year, and I really love the teeth on Zoe’s pumpkin. Eli’s buddy was over and decided to photobomb the picture. What was cute was that he told me ahead of time that he was going to photobomb! Love it!
I also made these pumpkin muffins for the kids, but I’m not going to post them, as they are pretty similar to my pumpkin muffin poppers.
Let’s move onto this week’s menu. You will see a trend this week, and that trend is comfort food. It’s finally feeling like fall with the shorter days and cooler nights, and when that transition happens, we crave comfort food.
Sunday night dinner: Buffalo burgers stuffed with cheddar cheese and topped with chipotle mayonnaise, and roasted cauliflower. For the burgers, I just take 3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and mix it in with the buffalo meat. Incase any of you are curious about that salad below, it’s a vegan caesar salad with homemade croutons.
Monday night dinner: Green bean and shallot ravioli. Eli is finished with baseball and Zoe with soccer, so Mondays have slowed down a bit, which is sad for the kids, but nice because we can sit down and enjoy a meal together again. We all have to eat on the earlier side, as Zoe still has her dance classes, but I think earlier will be better tonight at we’re all going to get used to the new time change. This is one of our favorite (Eli’s number one pick) meatless pastas, and it’s super quick to make up as well. I always just toast the almonds ahead of time to save myself one step come dinner time.
Tuesday night dinner: Parmesan-crusted pork chops, mashed potatoes with kale and broccoli rabe sautéed with shallots. This is a total comfort food dinner! The parmesan pork chops are an easy weeknight dinner. You can blanch the broccoli rabe ahead of time (like the night before) and refrigerate it till needed. To make the broccoli rabe with shallots, I just blanch the broccoli rabe ahead of time, and then sauté some sliced shallots with 2 tablespoons olive oil until they brown up, and then stir in the broccoli rabe to warm it up. It’s so tasty because the sautéed shallots taste like bacon and the kids devour the broccoli rabe.
Wednesday night dinner: Broccoli lemon pasta. For those of you that want an easy, but tasty weeknight pasta, you have to try this one. It’s one of our favorite pastas and one that we never tire of. Lately I’ve been substituting broccoli rabe for broccoli and adding it to the last-minute of the pastas cooking time, to save an additional step. If you know exactly how long your pasta takes to cook, then you can do this step. I know that my pasta takes exactly 8 minutes to cook, so I add in the broccoli rabe at 7 minutes, and let it cook with the pasta for the last-minute. I then drain them both together. Easy peasy!
Have an amazing Sunday everyone!