I love this above Instagram shot because to me it says summer. You’ve got your basil lemonade and a summer tomato and bean salad. John made up a yummy batch of basil lemonade this past week and we’ve been serving it up with our dinner each night. I will be sure to post that recipe soon, its super simple to throw together and makes a boatload of lemonade.
Last weekend was full of adventures. We haven’t taken a vacation yet this summer, so we wanted to play like we we’re on vacation. On Friday we biked with the kids up Mt. Tam. It was their first time biking up Tam, and I was so proud because they made it to the top. Yes, they biked up 2,350 feet. It was an all day event and there were plenty of stops along the way, as well as a picnic lunch at West Point Inn. Here’s the kids and I at the bottom before we started the bike ride.
Our lunch spot, West Point Inn. I love this porch and the view. We’re thinking of hiking up to West Point Inn one afternoon with some friends, board games and picnic fare and making an afternoon of it. I’ll just pretend that this is my porch and my view for an afternoon.
After some much-needed fuel (PB&J sandwiches, peaches and some fresh lemonade from the Inn) and rest, we made our way to the top of Tam! This was the hardest part of the trek for the kids, as it was all uphill with barley any shade and it was HOT, but the kids made it. Here’s a photo of the kids at the top of Tam! What an accomplishment! I’m so proud of them. They were very hot and very tired at this point, but managed to stop, smile and pose for me. Eli wanted his helmet off at this point, as he was tired of being constrained. Thanks guys! What I loved most about today was that we spent the whole day in mother nature as a family. We didn’t have any sort of schedule to abide by, we just went with the flow and had fun. Biking together as a family is something that we do often and something I hope we continue to do for years to come. It’s a great way to explore your community.
When we got up to Healdsburg, we stopped off at Downtown Bakery and Creamery, which is famous for their sticky buns and croissants. The owner, Kathleen was a former pastry chef at Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley. This bakery is a popular place as there was a line out the door and such friendly people inside. Healdsburg is a very friendly community and we felt very welcomed. We got 3 sticky buns and 1 croissant and they were both amazing. That croissant was the biggest and best croissant I’ve ever tried. After a morning of indulgence, we were ready to paddle down the river.
We rented 2 paddle boards and a two person kayak from River’s Edge. It was such a fun activity and one that we haven’t done before. The river was gorgeous as well as the views. I would highly recommend going in May, June or early in July, as the water was getting a bit low in parts and we had to get off and walk our kayaks and boards over the rocks, but that was ok, because it was still tons of fun. It’s an all afternoon event as it takes about 3-4 hours to go down the river.
We all took turns on the boards and the kayak. Eli was too young to paddle board by himself, so he would jump onto my board or Zoe’s from time to time. He liked riding on the front and kicking his legs into the water and guiding us.
After a day on the river, we cleaned up and headed into the town of Healdsburg for some window shopping and an early dinner. It was the perfect Sunday adventure and one I highly recommend for local families. Next up, we’re going to kayak and spend the day in Pointe Reyes.
Ok, lets move onto this week’s dinner menu.
Sunday night dinner: Grilled skirt steak with herb salsa verde, and wheat berries with charred onions and kale. We haven’t had steak in a while, and Zoe has been asking for it, (she loves meat) so we’re grilling it up for her tonight. I love this kale and wheat berry salad and it makes for perfect lunch leftovers.
Monday night dinner: Heirloom tomato soup and popovers. It’s supposed to be cool today, so I’m excited to make up a batch of my favorite summer soup. We also haven’t made popovers in some time, so it will be a nice treat for the kids. I’m going to make a double batch of them so the kids can have them for lunch the next day.
Tuesday night dinner: Chicken enchiladas with tomatillo salsa, kale salad with ricotta salad. I LOVE these enchiladas. I always roast and shred the chicken up ahead of time, so when it’s time to assemble the enchiladas, it only takes 30 minutes. The salsa takes 5 minutes to whip up as well. You can also save yourself a step and purchase your favorite green salsa to top them with, you don’t have to use the tomatillo salsa. It really can be an easy weeknight meal.
Wednesday night dinner: Broccoli lemon pasta. I think this was one of the first recipes on my blog. This is the pasta dish that got my kids to love broccoli. It’s a weeknight staple in our house. I’ve been using baby broccoli/broccoli rabe in place or plain old broccoli and we’re loving it. I blanch the broccoli rabe for the last-minute of the pasta’s cooking time and then drain them both together. Easy peasy.
Thursday night dinner: Egg salad sandwiches and lacinato kale salad. A simple summer backyard dinner. Did you know that this egg salad is made with Greek yogurt, not mayo? You won’t even miss the mayo, so give it a try.