Yes, that above photo is the start of something amazing I tell you. I baked up some ham and Gruyère cheese stuffed french toast the other night for dinner (I will post the recipe this week) and it was amazing, and needless to say it got the double thumbs up from both of the kids. I mean Eli was literally licking his plate, of course he slathered his piece with maple syrup, but he was still licking his plate, and that makes any mom happy. Sometimes breakfast for dinner is the best!
So, it’s been a while since I posted a weekly dinner menu, (December 2013) but I figured it was about time for this series to come back. I’ve run into so many friends and readers who really miss my weekly menu planning. To tell you the truth, I’ve missed it as well. Since I started working full-time, I’ve been running around like a crazy person trying to organize and menu plan, and to be honest, I haven’t been very successful, but now that I’ve gotten into a groove with my new job, I’m ready to get back into a groove with my weekly menu planning.
Before I show you what I’ve got cooking up this week, I thought I would tell you all about my new job. I’m the Director of Catering at Paradise Foods, (by the way, we’re in the process of getting a new website up and running) and I have say that it’s an amazing job. It’s literally the perfect fit for me because I get to work with some amazing chefs, meet and work with wonderful people in the community, party plan, organize and work at events, and best yet, I get to work with one of my favorite things, food! I’m so happy to be out there working again, and I’m truly having a blast! I work in an office at the new Tiburon location, so seriously, if any of you are in the store ask for me and I will come out and say hi. I love seeing freinds and readers when they stop by the store. It makes my day to see a friendly face and provides a nice break. So, check out below how the owner decided to announce my role with the company, yup it’s a full-page ad, just slightly embarassing, but also cool. Recognize that picture?
We’ve recently launched our new catering menu and I’ve already catered a few parties. My first party was this cocktail party at this fabulous home. Chef Manny and Becca worked with me at the party and below is a photo of them posing with some crab cakes. The food turned out amazing and we all really had a blast, guests included! I thought to myself as I was working the event that I seriously couldn’t have landed a better job, because I was having a blast and it didn’t feel like work at all. So, here’s a small shout out! If you’re local to Marin and you’re looking to have a party catered, call or email me (see my number and email above)! I can work with you to tailor a menu to meet any occasion, whether it be a small dinner party, cocktail party, barbecue, corporate luncheon or even a wedding. We are currently the only grocery store in Marin to offer full-service catering, which I think is pretty cool!
Ok, enough about catering and my new job. The main thing I’m getting used to as a working mom is that I don’t have the 2 plus hours that I used to have to make and prepare dinner. I also don’t have time to hit the grocery store everyday. I know it’s a strange thing to say as my office is in a grocery store, but when it’s time to go, I just want to get home and see my kiddos. So, I have started focusing my efforts on simple weeknight meals. If I want to make something fancy or labor intensive, then I will make that on a Sunday night, otherwise my weeknight meals must be made in 45 minutes or less, and be healthy to boot! So I’ll begin by sharing with you what I’m attempting to make this week, I say attempt, because things don’t always go as planned in my casa, but that’s ok! I’ve learned to be gentle with myself and let things go a bit.
Sunday night dinner: Turkey meatballs, basic tomato sauce and kid friendly caesar salad. Yes, this is a labor intensive meal, but it’s a rainy Sunday, so I thought it would be a great day to cook up a nice spaghetti and meatball dinner. I will be using these meatballs to make some meatball sliders on Tuesday, as well as serve them up for the kid’s lunch boxes tomorrow, so I’m really making up dinner for 2 nights as well as two lunches. That’s some creative meal planning for you.
Monday night dinner: Paul Mc’Cartney’s refried bean tacos and lacinato kale salad. Yes, you see these tacos a lot, but they’re a family favorite and take under 20 minutes to whip up, making this the perfect weeknight meatlless Monday meal. This kale salad is by far my favorite salad ever, and takes 5 minutes to whip up if you have your kale washed and ready to go. I sometimes make this salad up the night before or the morning of, as it can last for 3 days in the fridge. I usually have the leftover tacos and salad for lunch the next day. You can also make cheese quesadillas for the kiddos with the leftover refried beans inserted with the cheese between the tortilla. My kids love leftover cheesy refried bean quesadillas.
Tuesday night dinner: Leftover night! Turkey meatball sliders with provolone cheese and kid friendly caesar salad. I love leftover nights and my kids love these sliders, so it’s a win win. To make these, I heat up the sauce and meatballs via the stove top. I take some french rolls or sub rolls and broil them just a bit under the broiler. I then layer the rolls with some meatballs and sauce, top them with some provolone cheese and put them under the broiler for a bit untill the cheese melts. These subs are amazing! My kid friendly ceasar dressing makes a batch for the week, so I just chop up some fresh kale and romaine, toss it with the dressing, and we have an easy but tasty leftover dinner.
Wednesday night dinner: Broccoli lemon pasta. This is another family favorite pasta, and it gets made at least twice a month. It’s my go-to weeknight pasta, and if you have picky eaters who won’t touch broccoli, this pasta will get them to like broccoli. I tend to use broccoli rabe/baby broccoli in lieu of regular broccoli. I just add the broccoli rabe to the last minute of the pasta’s cooking time, and then drain it all together. Easy peasy!
Thursday night dinner: Rosemary skillet chicken, rosemary and sea salt popovers and kale salad with ricotta salata. It’s a rosemary kind of night! I know this meal sounds a bit complex, but seriously it’s a simple under 40 minute meal. I make the chicken marinade in the morning and let the chicken marinate all day. The popovers take 35 minutes from start to finish, and the salad takes 5 minutes to whip up. I always have my kale washed and ready to go, so all I have to do is whip together the dressing, and I do that when the popovers are in the oven. This is a total kid approved dinner!
So you’re all probably wondering where all of this leftover food goes? Well, Zoe and Eli will both take the leftover spaghetti & meatballs to school for lunch on Monday, and then the broccoli lemon pasta along with a popover for Friday. I tend to take the remaining leftovers to lunch, especially the kale salads, so there is never any waste in this house!
Stay tuned later this week for this ham and Gruyère stuffed french toast.