Marin Mama’s Weekly Dinner Menu for April 14th

Marin Mama's weekly dinner menu - April 14th

Hello dear readers! Marin mama is back! Back to the reality of life after spending last week in the magical world of Disney, sigh. We had the best family vacation and I’m happy to be home after a week of play and fun, but yet there is that part of me that still longs to be on vacation where there is no routine, no laundry and no schedules, just play and freedom. Vacations are just good for the soul and something we all need to do more often. I’m reminding myself of that as I’m typing away at this post. So last week we took a family road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway (I’m warning you that this post is chock full of photos). We loaded up on Monday and spent the day and night in Carmel with John’s parents. On Tuesday we slowly made our trek down to Santa Barbara (our pit stop on the way to Disney) We stopped at Nepenthe Restaurant in Big Sur for lunch (thanks Zirpolli family for the fabulous recommendation).  We sat outside and got to enjoy this amazing view from our table.

Big Sur

Family dining outdoors in big sur

Family dining outdoors in big sur

I had the most amazing tofu burger ever. I so need to find the recipe for this burger and I’m super bummed that it wasn’t listed in their cookbook, boo hoo!

Tofu burger

Nepenthe is defiantly a must stop for anyone headed to the Big Sur area. I seriously could have spent all day there just taking in that view and eating their delicious food. We also picked up some amazing muffins and tarts for the road at Big Sur Bakery. I also picked up their cookbook and I can’t wait to try their breakfast pizza.

Big Sur Bakery Restaurant

The ride down the PCH to Santa Barbara was spectacular. I would definitely recommend it to all of you, especially if you live in California. Its something that you have to do at least once, if not more, because it reminds you how beautiful California truly is.

Ocean view near Santa Barbara

Ocean view near Santa Barbara

We spend Tuesday night in Santa Barbara and then woke up early Wednesday to make the 2 hour trek to Disneyland! We had planned on spending 2 days and 2 nights at the park, but extended our stay for another day because we we’re having way too much fun.  I would highly recommend getting the 3-day hopper pass as well as staying at the newly renovated Disneyland hotel. We have stayed at both the Grand California and the Disneyland Hotel, and I tell you the Disneyland hotel is better.  It has bigger rooms and bathrooms, it’s super clean and is a lot cheaper!  This photo was taken on day 3 and look how happy we are!

Family at Disneyland

Here’s a photo of us on Space Mountain. This was by far our favorite ride and we went on it 6 times.  Eli and Zoe always got the front seat, of course!  Here’s one of the photos that was taken at the end.

Riding space mountain at Disneyland

I love this photo from the Tower of Terror.  We had all planned ahead of time to salute the camera.  Ok, this ride was a bit too much for me I must say.  See that little boy cringing in the front, that was me after this photo was taken.

Riding tower of terror at Disneyland

We also got to try the new Cars ride 3 times.  It’s the newest ride at the Disney California Adventure Park, so the lines were LONG! The first time we waited over an hour to ride it, and then we got smart and figured out a system, so we only had to wait 15 minutes for the next two rides. It was definitely worth the wait, as the race in the end is so much fun. Here’s a photo of the kids before the race started.

The cars ride at Disneyland

I have to say, we had an amazing time and we were very sad to leave the magic of Disney behind.  There is something magical about Disney, no matter what age you are.

Jackie, Zoe and Eli at Disneyland

Family at Disneyland

Ok, enough of the vacation photos, let’s move onto this week’s menu.

Sunday night dinner

Thai chicken burgers (new recipe I’m trying here) served up with some lacinato kale salad. I’m so excited to get back in the kitchen and get cooking again.  It was nice to have the week off, but I’m over eating out at restaurants for a bit.

Kale Salad

Monday night dinner

Miso kale salad with miso roasted tofu, cauliflower soup for the kids, and some warmed naan bread.  I really missed my kale last week, so I’m serving it up two nights in a row.

Miso kale salad with miso roasted tofu

Cauliflower soup

Tuesday night dinner

Orecchiette pasta with pesto, sausage and green beans.  We’re going to substitute broccoli rabe for the green beans.

Orecchiette pasta with pesto, sausage and green beans

Wednesday night dinner

Buttermilk roasted chicken, roasted fingerling potatoes and kid friendly caesar salad.  See, I told you this would be my new go-to weeknight dinner.

Roasted chicken

fingerling potatoes

Kid Friendly caesar salad

Thursday night dinner

Kid friendly caesar salad topped with leftover buttermilk roasted chicken.  Gotta love those leftovers!

Friday night dinner

We’re so over eating out,so we’re staying home and Marin mama is making pizza!  I’m making up a roasted red pepper and arugula whole-wheat pizza and serving up some kid friendly caesar salad on the side.

Roasted red pepper and arugula whole wheat pizza

Ok, I’m off for a much-needed workout at the gym!  Have a great week guys!

With love Jackie
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15 thoughts on “Marin Mama’s Weekly Dinner Menu for April 14th”

  1. Hi Jackie! I have missed you! 🙂 I love your pictures and how happy you look, all of you! It looks like a wonderful vacation. Disney is one of my favorite places. The first time I went there is when I was 23 and Rick and I moved to southern CA right after getting married. When I walked out of Disneyland, I remember saying, “this REALLY is the happiest place on earth!” I agree that it is magical no matter what age.
    I also love that drive on PCH. Rick and I spent a couple weekends in Carmel/Monterey area and that drive between there and Santa Barbara is one of the prettiest drives I’ve ever been on. Brings back such good memories. 🙂
    Your menu looks delicious as always and I can’t wait to see your Thai chicken burgers recipe. I love the flavors of Thai food. This should be good!
    Okay girl, hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday as you ease back into your normal routine again. xoxo, Sharon

    1. Hi Sharon! I missed you as well! Disney is such a special place and I love that it’s for all ages. I visited Disney world when I was little, but don’t remember much of it. The thai chicken burgers were a hit, of course I topped them with my cilantro lime mayo! I will post the recipe this week! I hope you had a great and gorgeous Sunday! xoxo, Jackie

    1. Thanks Averie. We had a great time and I will look back on this post with fond memories. I so enjoyed the Southern California warm temps! 🙂

  2. It looks like you guys had such a great time!!! You took some spectacular photos that will be great to look back at in a few years (or maybe next week!). And you clearly missed the kale while you were gone. 🙂 This morning I was singing the Disney theme song for no reason, but apparently I am in need of a trip there. Hope you have a great week!

    1. Hi Dani! I took all those photos with my iPhone! I tell you, it takes great automatic photos. I love that I don’t have to adjust anything. I will definitely look back on this post in a few years and sigh because Zoe will be 15 and Eli will be 10. I promised the kids that we will go back in 1 to 2 years.
      You so need to go to Disney. It truly is a park for all ages. John and I had just as much fun as the kids and it really makes you feel like a kid. Everyone is just so friendly and happy when they’re there. Have a great week as well 🙂

  3. Looks like you all had a great time and lovely weather to boot! Catherine requested the kid friendly caesar dressing last night (with kale, butter lettuce and homemade croutons) last night for her birthday!

    1. Yes, we had such an amazing time and I wish you guys could have been there. We’re actually thinking of heading back next year. Maybe we can arrange it so we can be there together. Oh, happy birthday to Cat. I hope she had a special day. We officially have teens, can you believe it? I totally feel honored that she chose to have the kid friendly caesar on her birthday. Thanks Cat! It was so great seeing you all last week. I can’t wait till you officially move back! xoxo, Jackie

      1. Yes! Her complete menu was Kurt’s “famous” flank steak, risotto cakes (Ina Garten) salad and chocolate mousse! I made a Martha choco mousse that was a hit. I’ll email it to you.

        1. Sounds totally like a dinner Zoe would love as well. I need to find that risotto cake recipe from Ina. I love her stuff! Yes, please send me the mousse recipe. I wold love another one! Have a great day mountain mama!

  4. I’m so jealous of 3 days at Disneyland! I LOVE Disneyland! Also, isn’t Big Sur beautiful? I love it up there! I think I’ve eaten at Nepenthe before also. Sounds like you guys had an amazing vacation!

    1. Big Sur rocks girl! It’s incredibly beautiful and so peaceful. I can’t wait to go back for that view and that tofu burger. I’m going to google that burger and see if I can find the recipe! xoxo, Jackie

  5. Hi Jackie!
    I wanted to answer your question about Paleo – it basically means eating primal – meat, veggies, nuts, seeds, fruit. No grains, refined sugars, processed food. I eat paleo 80% of the time, but I haven’t been big on advertising it on the blog because I don’t want to lock myself into one way of eating / cooking. Plus, most of my recipes are things I would eat even if I didn’t eat paleo, they just happen to be paleo also! I’m pretty loose with my definition of what paleo is – I just recently decided I would give readers the option of adapting my recipes to fit more strict paleo guidelines.

    Anyways, the paprika chicken would be great on rice! It makes plenty of sauce so it would be nice to have something to soak it up with!

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