The kids, my hubby and I helped volunteer at the Marin Food Bank last week. One of Zoe’s friends organized it for her mitzvah project. We spent 2 hours loading boxes from these huge containers and I’m proud to say that we pretty much emptied the containers. The kids were amazing and worked so hard. Eli was the youngest volunteer, and we had to get special permission for him to volunteer as they have an age requirement. I think they should lower the age requirement, as he worked incredibly hard. I mean look at him, his arms were loaded like that the whole time and he had a smile on his face as well. The photos were taken on my phone and I had to crop a few, so they’re a bit hazy.
Here’s Zoe working away with a smile.
Here’s a photo of the gang (san’s us camera shy parents) at the end of the shift. The woman who runs the food bank told they kids they could pose with a prop if they wanted, everyone decided against it, except Eli of course. He’s just too darn cute sometimes.
We all decided that we’re going to volunteer at the Food bank more often. The kids gained a lot from the experience and had a really had a great time. It just teaches them so much about giving back and supporting their local community.
Since it was just the four of us for Thanksgiving, we decided to veer away from the normal Thanksgiving fare. My kids are not big fans of turkey or stuffing, so we all sat down and discussed what we wanted for dinner. Zoe’s first request was double baked potatoes, I wanted green bean with shallots and John wanted this dark chocolate coconut pie that Zoe and I had been promising to make him since this summer. We all decided on a honey baked ham as our entree. Eli was happy with all of the above choices. His only request was that we didn’t serve up Brussels sprouts. I tell you, it was the easiest Thanksgiving. I sat in front of the fire and read most of the day, the kids played outside and John got to catch up on some football. There was no hustling and bustling about trying to coordinate the timing of things. I truly felt like we had a vacation day and I was grateful that we followed our hearts and did what we wanted that day, rather than feeling the pressure to follow the traditions that have been passed down upon us. The most important part was that we were all together and got to share in the day doing what we each loved and needed.
Below is a photo of the double baked potatoes and the green beans with shallots. John organized them on this platter. I had to take a photo of it because he did such a wonderful job. I will post both recipes in December. They are both super easy recipes and ones that you can make up ahead of time.
Dessert! We stayed away from the typical Thanksgiving pies as well (besides for the free pumpkin pie that my local market Paradise Foods gives away). Zoe and I made this dark chocolate pie with coconut crust for the first time. It literally tastes like a macaroon with dark chocolate. It’s rich but soo good. Luckily on Friday we went to a friends house where we all shared our Thanksgiving leftovers and I got to share this pie. I really didn’t want this sitting around tempting me all week.
Ok, time to move onto this week’s menu.
Sunday: I’m going to see the new Twilight movie with some girlfriends, and it runs close to dinner time, so John is in charge of making dinner. We still have some leftover ham, so John is going to make use of that and whip up a pasta dish. We will serve that up with some lacinato kale salad, which I will make earlier in the day. I love that I get to go see a movie and then come home to a warm meal. It feels so decadent.
Tuesday: Enchiladas with pumpkin sauce and kid friendly caesar salad. We love these enchiladas any time of year. The corn tortillas are so flavorful and every time I make this dish, I get so many compliments from the family.
Thursday: Orecchiette pasta with pesto, sausage and green beans. I love one-bowl easy meals such as this. I also love that the green beans are just thrown in to cook with the pasta. It’s such an easy but delicious week night dinner.
Friday: Zoe has her dance rehearsal tonight, so we’re all eating dinner out!
Stay tuned for Thursday when I will post this easy and delicious weeknight pasta. I know it looks like my cheesy baked tortellini, but there are a few different variations.
I really want to give a shout out to Wendy McKinley of McKinley Media, as she was amazing in transitioning my blog over from blogger to word press. She is an HTML goddess and I love and appreciate how patient she was with me during the process.