“I’m not a perfect person.” You all know that song right? Anyway, it’s been replaying over and over in my mind for the past week. I’ve had one of those weeks where I’ve had some mishaps and failures in the kitchen, a few errors regarding the blog were brought to my attention, and there were a few other things that I won’t go into that made me doubt myself and wonder why I continue to do this blog. I’m truly like any of you when it comes to cooking. The only difference is that I photograph and jot down the recipes for you, that’s it. I don’t have any culinary training. I’m just a busy parent/person like any of you who has their good weeks and their bad weeks, and when I have a couple of bad days in a row, I get a bit down and need to be reminded that I’m only human. I’m not here to be perfect or an expert, I’m here to evolve, grow, learn and have fun. So, that’s where I’m at today. I’m continuing to grow as a cook in the kitchen, as a writer and photographer. I will make mistakes along the way, but I know that it’s OK, and at the end of the day this blog is my outlet to share my love of cooking and creating. It’s almost like a cooking journal for me, one that is public mind you, but still at the end of the day, it’s for me to look back on and reflect at how far I have come and where I want to go. Anyway, I just thought I would share that with you all today because that’s just how I was feeling. I don’t want to put on this facade that I’m this perfect cook, mother, writer or person. I’m just me!
Anyway, I’m also learning that I can’t just eat one way. I need and like variety and I need food to taste good. I just can’t eat something because it’s deemed healthy, it has to taste good to me and be worth the effort that it took to make it. For instance, take a look at this burger, it looks good doesn’t it?
Sadly it wasn’t our favorite, but the yogurt sauce that topped it was a hit (see I like to turn a negative into a postive). Anyway, I was excited to try these middle eastern turkey burgers that were full of spinach and herbs. I made these up yesterday for dinner and started to get nervous when making the patties. I mean they were a bit too green for my liking, but I figured hey, looks can be deceiving, I’m sure they’ll turn out great.
The thing was that these burgers were just too healthy for us. I love a good veggie burger or a healthier burger, but John hit the nail on the head when he referred to these as a “cleanse burger.” They really didn’t taste like a burger to us, as there were too many greens inside and they over powered the whole burger. We all cleaned our plates though, because that’s just what we do. We don’t like to waste good food, and this was good, real food, but it just wasn’t what we were looking for, and we weren’t satisfied. SO after dinner, I cleaned up the kitchen and John and the kids ran over to Susie Cakes to get this gorgeous slice of cake below. Ok, we all dived in and I have to say, we were very satisfied after eating every crumb of this chocolate cake.
I did have a recipe success this week though! I made this lasagna style pasta on Friday and it was a hit. It’s a great and easy weeknight pasta to throw together and it makes enough for 2 nights, bonus!
Ok, let’s move onto this week’s menu….
Sunday night dinner
Zoe has her big dance recital tonight and it’s going to be a 4 hour show that runs through dinner. So tonight we’re going to be cramming our faces with a quick wrap from Cafe del Soul during intermission.
Monday night dinner
Zoe is performing yet again, but tonight it’s with her school’s jazz band at the Giants game. Go Giants and go Hall middle school!
Tuesday night dinner
Spaghetti with cheesy broiled tomatoes and basil and crisp and easy garlic bread. I’m so excited because we’re all home for dinner tonight. Dance is over for the spring and there is no baseball practice tonight, woo hoo! The kids have been asking for this pasta, so I’m splurging and picking up a few heirloom tomatoes! Rebel, I know.
Wednesday night dinner
Chicken enchiladas with tomatillo salsa and kale and ricotta salata salad. This is the perfect springtime dinner. We love these enchiladas and I have to say that I’ve been eating up boatloads of this kale and ricotta salata salad. It’s seriously so good, and it’s Eli’s favorite salad! Whenever I say that we’re having this salad for dinner, Eli says, “YES!”
Thursday night dinner
Grilled skirt steak with herb salsa verde and wheat berries with charred onions and kale. After Saturday night’s so called “cleanse” dinner, my family asked if we could have some steak this week. We haven’t had it for a while, so it will be a nice change of pace.
Friday night dinner
We’re eating out tonight as we’re going to catch the new Star Trek movie! You see we’re closet Trekkies.
Stay tuned for Wednesday when I will post the recipe for this asparagus and gruyere cheese pizza.
Have a blissful and enlightening week.
25 thoughts on “Marin Mama Cook’s Weekly Dinner Menu for May 19th”
I’m glad you’re not perfect! I like just the way you are. Great post today! Our daughter is returning from college this week so pasta won’t be on our menu, but the kale salads and other things minus cheese will be. She hasn’t been home since I’ve been cooking from your blog so we are excited to try some things together. The favorite turkey burgers will be at the top of the list though I might have to try another cheese (cows milk is not her friend). I applaud your family for only buying one piece of cake. Such will power after the green burgers. Happy Sunday to you friend!
Awww… Thanks Melinda, I’m so glad you liked the post. John even commented to me that he really enjoyed reading my “heartfelt” post this morning as well. John and the kids were great this week, pumping me up when I was down and they gave me the best advice, all three of them had their own unique perspective. How happy you must be that your daughter is coming home from College this week 🙂 I’m lactose intolerant as well, but for some reason, cheese and ice cream don’t seem to bother me, weird isn’t it? Maybe they do bother me, but I pretend that they don’t 🙂 You might want to try those Thai style chicken burgers for her. They don’t have any cheese in them. They’re not the same at the turkey burgers, but topped with that cilantro lime mayo, your boys might not notice too much of a difference. I can’t wait to hear what you both try out and cook together. Did you see that piece of cake girl? It’s like a small cake in itself. It’s bigger than it looks and it literally fills all 4 of us up. Have a great Sunday Melinda and thanks for your sweet comment! xoxo, Jackie
I always love visiting your blog – it’s lovely that your so honest – and I LOVE the story about the cleanse burger and having to rush out to put things right with chocolate cake!!! Can’t wait for the recipe for the asparagus/gruyere pizza. I’m SO glad your not perfect – but your blog jolly well is!!
Awww… Thanks Mary! Your comment brightened up my day, so thanks! I know you understand the pro’s and con’s of being a food blogger 🙂 Yes, chocolate cake makes everything better in our house! Have a happy Sunday girl! xoxo, Jackie
I have been an avid follower/fan for awhile now. I have no idea how I stumbled upon your blog, but I must tell you that I absolutely LOVE it. I have made several recipes from your blog and you have never let us down 🙂 I appreciate your honest reviews when you are not a big fan of something you cooked. You have inspired me to do a few things. The first thing is, I now use my cast iron skillet…for years it would just sit in my pan drawer. Sad….I know. It is now my favorite pan to cook with. Second, I now cook three meatless meals a week for my family. Third, you have inspired me to venture out with new ingredients. Thank you for all of that. Being a mom of three children all under the age of four, does not allow me much time to research many recipes nevertheless TIME to cook fancy meals. I just got tired of eating Mac&Cheese. Ha. I thought your blog was perfect then and I’m sorry someone had to say something. Please know that you have a huge fan in San Jose, CA. Please keep up the awesome cooking and blogging 🙂
Hi Eunice! SO nice to hear from you! SO funny about the cast iron being neglected before. To be honest, we never used one till I started this blog and now it’s one of our favorite pans. Thanks for sharing all the things my blog has inspired to you learn, change and do. That really inspires me to keep blogging and to know that this blog is really making a difference to people. I initially started this blog to just be helpful and share what works for me with others. Just to clarify, it really wasn’t anything in particular anyone said, but just some comments made over time that shouldn’t have gotten me down, but did. Sometimes we are just more sensitive to things than other times. When you create a recipe blog, it almost has to be perfect because people are using it as a resource. I can get critical of myself at times, because I’m not an expert, thats more or less where all of this came from. Anyway, so great to hear from you Eunice and I’m glad I have a fan in San Jose! xoxo, Jackie 🙂
I’m sorry to hear you had a tough week! I, for one, really appreciate the good stuff you put out into the world via your blog, and though I haven’t commented, the tips and tricks I’ve learned on this website have enabled me to add some new, delicious meals to my repertoire. [And you showed me how to cook tofu in a way that even my 7 year old ate it.] So there’s that. Thank you, and remember that your blog has had many, many little successes in the kitchens of people who are quietly trying your ideas.
Hi Ann-Marie! Thanks so much for taking the time to write the sweet comment, I swear you guys are making me feel so much better. I’m happy to hear that you have found some great recipes, tips and tricks from the blog. I’m also psyched that you’re 7 year old enjoys the miso tofu! Hearing comments like this make my day, so thanks! 🙂 xoxo, Jackie
Good morning Jackie! First, I love the beginning of your post (I started singing that song that you started the post with)! Life is wonderfully imperfect. It’s how we learn and grow is through trial and error. If we’re not trying new things and figuring out what works for us, then we are not growing and expanding ourselves. You’ve got to eat a few green burgers to find discover what you like and don’t like.
I have days where I feel the same way about the blog. Some days I wonder why I do it, but most times I know why I do too, and it’s the same reason as you say. I started as a way to journal the things I enjoy and that still remains my primary reason, and even though we have readers now, I think they come back because YOU shine through in all your posts and they find that they have things in common with them and they like what you do because they relate or want to relate to it.
I also hear you about eating! I try to eat healthy most of the time, but sometimes I don’t and I’m really okay with it. It’s about balance and I love that you all went and got that fantastic looking chocolate cake after having the burgers that didn’t come out great. That photo just jumps right out at me and makes me want to dig into it!
Hope Zoe’s events went/go well! How exciting for her. 🙂
Your menu looks delish as always and I just want to second how good that kale and ricotta salata salad is. We make it every few weeks and I love it!
Okay, I wrote a novel here but I love your posts – they are always real and always show who you are and I really relate to that. 🙂 Wishing you a blissful and enlightening week too my friend! xoxo, Sharon
Hey blogger buddy! I love and relate to everything you said above. I know you totally get it, the good and bad parts to blogging, and I know that we do this because we love to share our passion with the world just be helpful. You rock my Seattle sister and I can’t wait till we meet up one of these days! xoxo, Jackie
Blogging can be really hard, especially when you get negative comments about the food that you’ve worked so hard not only to make, but to photograph and write about. Everyone’s tastes are different so every recipe can’t work for everyone. I love your blog and all the gorgeous food you post! Even though I follow a different diet and don’t eat some of the wonderful things you post like pasta and garlic bread, I still love reading about it! Keep up the good work and don’t let anything get you down! We all have blogging failures! I made cheeseburger stuffed sweet potatoes this weekend that I was sure were going to be a hit and my husband was like ehhh, nothing stands out.
I’m having a hard time keeping up with my blog! It’s so time consuming and we have so much going on with closing escrow and starting to renovate the house! Sometimes I wonder if the blog is even worth it, is anyone reading it? lol . All we can do is try our best!
Love ya girl! Keep up the good work!
Hey Michelle! I so know you get it being a fellow food blogger. You hit the nail on the head when you said that everyone’s tastes are different and everyone also interprets recipes differently. It’s tough writing a recipe blog without an editor, because recipes should be perfect, because they are being used as a resource, right? So it can take me 10 times to re-read a post before I hit the publish button, because I want to make sure that I have double-checked each step and ingredient. So funny about your cheeseburger failure. I think maybe we need to do a post on kitchen failures. I usually get rid of those photos, but I’m going to save them for a future post.
You are one busy gal, and I get it the whole finding time to blog thing. This blog takes up a lot of my time and sometimes I wonder why I do it when it’s really a nice hobby. I could be sitting back reading, seeing friends more, etc, but at the end of the day, it’s a passion and that’s why we keep doing it. Best of luck with all of your housing stuff girl!
Thanks for the positive words! xoxo, Jackie
Thanks so much for the tip on keeping strawberries fresh. It works !!!
Awesome Linda! It’s totally helped me over the years as well 🙂
Are you kidding?? You look pretty perfect from the outside, so I seriously wouldn’t worry about how you appear to your readers. Your kids are beautiful, YOU are beautiful, your recipes are clean and creative and your presentation of them is very clean and appealing. You have a great blog and you should feel proud that you’re brave enough to share your passion. A lot of people aren’t!
Awww.. thanks Bethany, you’re seriously too sweet 🙂 Thanks so much for your kind words and your vote of confidence. You made my day 🙂 xoxo, Jackie
Your blog is great! I’m not sure how I stumbled upon it, but I’ve been a reader ever since. Sometimes cooking blogs can make it seem so difficult to cook recipes, and the cooks never seem to have any problems! It’s really great to hear that you have trouble, and what you did to work through it and create beautiful recipes in the end! I’m trying to learn to cook, and it’s really refreshing to know that a you can cook these recipes after a long day. This weeks menu looks great- keep up the awesome work!
Thanks so much for the sweet comment Victoria! I love that you get it, and realize that I’m just a regular old cook like you, who has difficulty with recipes as well. I try and make it easier for you guys, so that you don’t have to deal with the troubles I had or make the same mistakes I made. Thanks again for saying hi and best of luck in the kitchen 🙂 xoxo, Jackie
I absolutely love your blog and I’ve made some winning recipes from it AND posted the links on facebook to many admiring comments! I live alone, so my few bad recipe experiments are never seen. When you cook for a family and blog – hey, you’re more brave! Keep it up, marinmama, you’ve got talent!
Sara from Chicago
Hi Sara from Chicago! That is the one city I have not been to yet, but totally want to visit. John and I lived in Mpls for 4 years and I wish I had visited Chicago when we lived closer. Someday though! Anyway, your so awesome to pass along some recipes via Facebook and I’m so happy to hear that you’ve had some successes. That totally makes my day. Luckily my family is good about eating the kitchen failures. They have become troopers, I tell ya! Thanks again for saying hi and for your sweet comment! 🙂 xoxo, Jackie
you words are just so right on…that is so how i feel too. your photo looks amazing….just like you want to grab that burger and chow down sorry it wasn’t as good as it looks but hey ya never know unless you try right 🙂 the pasta lasagna sounds soooo good. hope Zoe’s dance recital went wonderful….and as always thanks for the recipe ideas and gorgeous photos to drool over!
Jackie, I love your blog. I read blogs 5 days a week and only have a small group of 6 blogs that I save on my desk as favorites. I am picky. Yours is one of my favs! Keep up the good work and yummy recipes! – Seattle Jackie
Hi Jackie from Seattle! I’m so happy and feel honored that I’m one of your chose 6 blogs! Thanks so much for letting me know that. You made my night! I will keep posting and hope that you will keep on reading 🙂 xoxo, Marin Jackie
I appreciate you being so honest and real–that’s a big part of the appeal of your blog. Keep cooking, posting when you can, and continuing to generously share your ideas with us, but not at the peril of your sanity. And when you’ve hit the wall, try chocolate cake. Best advice yet. 🙂
Thanks so much for your encouraging words and advice! My readers are truly the best and I’m so lucky to have such kind readers like you. Yes, chocolate cake does make everything better! xoxo, Jackie