Marin Mama’s Weekly Dinner Menu for August 18th

Marin Mama's weekly dinner menu - August 18th

Isn’t this picture hilarious?  Yep, that’s my goofy Minnesota family.  We just returned from a wonderful trip to Minnesota to visit John’s parents, brother, sister and all their kids. We wanted to get some photos of the family while we were there, so John surprised us all with these mustaches. They were a hit and really made the whole posing for a photo experience fun.  I took this shot below of everyone getting ready for the photo, and I have to say that I almost like this one better because it captures the silliness of it all.

Silly family photo with everyone wearing fake mustaches

The mustaches were a total hit and both the kids and adults had fun posing with them on. Eli got a bit carried away with the discarded mustaches, he thought that having just a mustache wasn’t enough, so he decided to add a unibrow.

Eli with fake mustache and fake unibrow

Then tried for a double unibrow. Looking good dude!

Eli with fake mustache and fake unibrow

He finally ended up with this look, unibrow, mustache, and goatee.  Teddy decided he wanted that look as well.  Looking good boys!

Eli and friend wearing many fake mustaches

John and I lived in Minneapolis before we moved out to California 16 years ago, so we love going back each summer as it feels like home.  I thought I would share with you some of the highlights from our trip.  I tried to keep it short and sweet, but you all know how I love taking photos and going into detail, so please bear with me.  Our second day into the trip we took the kids along with our niece Maisy to visit our old stomping grounds in the city.  We walked them by our old apartment building and visited the Walker sculpture garden.  Can you see me in the pic below? I’m on one side of the mirror taking the picture and John and the kids are on the other side.  Isn’t it creepy?  It’s some sort of reflection sculpture.

Family at sculpture park

Here’s Zoe trying to grab a bite of that cherry.  She’s so close!

Zoe playing with sculpture

We capped of the afternoon by heading over to our favorite ice cream joint, Sebastian Joe’s. Sebastian Joe’s makes the best ice cream!  I really wish they would open a location out here. Yes, we were a bit piggy with our ice cream choice, but it was so worth it.  I had the same cone as the kids shown below, Oreo ice cream on a homemade dipped chocolate cone. It was so tasty!

Kids with ice cream

We did an amazing family bike ride on the Grand Rounds Loop Bike path which takes you around Minneapolis, along the river and around the lakes. It was an all day event, but one that everyone enjoyed.  I mean how can you not enjoy being out in nature together? We were quite a large group as there were 14 of us plowing along. We started out near Lake Calhoun and biked through the city and along the river and stopped off for some lunch at Se Salt Eatery, which is located in a park right next to the Minnehaha Falls.  The owners took this old park concession building and turned it into a restaurant. Since they moved in, it has really made the falls and the park a destination spot.  People can enjoy their seafood tacos while taking in the view of the falls.  Se Salt is only open April through October because the building is not heated, and thus wouldn’t be a fun place to visit during the winter.  It’s a popular place as there was a long line out the door, which I hear is a daily thing.  John and I sneaked in a photo before lunch and you can see the falls right behind us.

Jackie and John

Here’s a pic of Maisy and Eloise posing in front of Se Salts menu.  They’re such cuties!

Kids in front of chalk board menu

After a long bike ride, the kids were ready for a quick swim at Lake Harriet and then for some ice cream.  We headed over yet again to Sebastian Joe’s for a late afternoon treat and waited in a yet another long line, but it was so worth it!  I got the salted caramel ice cream this time and it was amazing.

Over the course of the vacation we spent a lot of time at the lakes paddle boarding, boating, and of course swimming.  John’s parents took us to see the Circus Juventas.  Circus Juventas is performing arts youth circus school and they are similar to Cirque de Soleil. Most of the kids that graduate perform in the Cirque de Soleil shows.  If you live in the Twin Cities, you have to visit one of their shows. They have a spring and summer show.  The show is AMAZING and it’s so impressive at what these kids and teens can do.  I felt like it was as good as any Cirque de Soleil show.

Zoe and Eli by events poster

The circus took place in St. Paul, so we decided to stick around for dinner.  I have to say that St. Paul is a total family oriented and friendly city, and Grand Avenue is just gorgeous.  A reader, Jennie recommended that we try this ice cream shop called Izzy’s, so we headed over there after dinner.  There was a huge line outside the door, but it was worth the wait as the ice cream was fabulous. I loved how they topped each ice cream with a tiny Izzy scoop, that way you got to enjoy two of your favorite flavors without having 2 large scoops.  Thanks for the recommendation Jen!

Family with ice cream

We capped off the trip by celebrating my birthday with the best birthday cake ever.  I seriously teared up when I saw this cake.  My mother-in-law designed it, and honestly this was the best birthday present, because it was truly from the heart. Thanks Jeanne!

Marin Mama's birthday cake

I love this pic because you can see my mother-in-law smiling in the refection and it truly captures what I’m always doing around food, and that is taking pictures, hence the camera on the cake.

Marin Mama with birthday cake

As you can see from our trip, we ate way too much ice cream and ate out way too much, so we’re all ready for some healthy home cooking.  Zoe said the one things she was missing most on the trip was Marin mama’s cooking and veggies. Eli even admitted that he wanted a big kale salad when we got home.  Who are these kids?  A few years ago, they would have been psyched to have a week full of ice cream and a break from eating veggies. SO with all that being said, we’re eating plenty of kale salads this week.

Sunday night dinner

Favorite turkey burgers, lacinato kale salad, corn on the cob and minty limeade.  The kids have been craving these burgers and I’ve been craving a kale salad, so we’re excited for this dinner.  We went blackberry picking yesterday and have the biggest batch of fresh blackberries, so John and I are going to be cooking buddies and bake up a batch of blackberry cobbler for dessert.

Turkey burger

Kale Salad

Minty limeade

Monday night dinner

Paul McCartney’s refried bean tacos and kale, cranberry, apple and toasted almond salad with lemon dressing. This dinner is the perfect meatless Monday fare and great for those busy weeknight, as the tacos take 15 minutes to prepare and the salad can be made ahead in the morning or an hour before dinner. This kale salad is the first kale salad that I ever made, and it truly got me to love kale.  I think I need to update the post though, as the pictures are old and dark.  If your kids are new to kale, then this is the salad to have them try, as it’s sweet and very kid friendly.  I always make this when lacinato kale is not looking too good, as curly kale is always in abundant supply.

paul mccartneys refried bean tacos 3

Kale, cranberry, apple and toasted almond salad with lemon dressing

Tuesday night dinner

Citrus-marinated chicken, green bean salad and french bread.  I made this chicken right before our trip to MN and the kids have been requesting it ever since. I’ve actually been craving it as well.  I’m also going to make up the green bean salad so I can post it all for you.

citrus marinated chicken

Green beans with mint, dill, lemon, and feta

Wednesday night dinner

One-pan pasta and crispy garlic bread.  Eli has his first soccer practice of the season tonight, so I want an easy and quick dinner, and this one-pan pasta fits the bill.  I always make the garlic butter ahead of time, so while the pasta is cooking, I will bake up the garlic bread.

one pan pasta top view

Garlic Bread slices on a cutting board

Thursday night dinner

Pizza night!  We had this amazing pizza in St. Paul topped with buffalo mozzarella, pancetta and arugula, so I’m going to try to replicate it.  I’m going to serve it up with some sliced heirloom tomatoes topped with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Friday night dinner

I’m not sure what we’re doing for dinner tonight.  We usually eat out on Fridays, but we may just stay home and cook or just whip up something with any leftovers we may have.

I thought I would end the post with a picture of the mustache cousins.

Kids wearing fake mustaches

Have a great week everyone!

With love Jackie
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20 thoughts on “Marin Mama’s Weekly Dinner Menu for August 18th”

    1. Hi Pamela. I think the double unibrow is working for him as well. He looks good no matter what! Thanks for the birthday wishes girl 🙂 xoxo, Jackie

  1. I miss MN when I see these pics! I mean, who can resist those GREEN green trees, the blue skies, the weather this time of year (which only lasts for like 9 days before it starts snowing…lol) but yes, awesome photos and a trip down memory lane for me – Minnehaha Falls, the Lakes, the ice cream shops – all wonderful. Glad you guys had a blast and you all look so radiant, happy, vibrant, and peaceful 🙂

    1. Hi Averie. We always feel that tug to just pack up and move back whenever we return to MN. It’s just so green and vibrant and it’s wholesome living. Glad that you got a trip down memory lane. I thought you might recognize the greens in the first photo as it was taken at Woodhill right by the pool where you used to lifeguard 🙂 Small universe 🙂

  2. Jackie, adore your site and everything it offers.,… But really wanting your green bean
    recipe that you show with citrus chicken,
    Thanks a bunch, God bless you and your sweet family!!
    Kelley

  3. Glad you had such a nice time in Minnesota, Jackie! Time away from home can have such restorative effects. Even just a quick overnight trip down to NYC was lovely for us this week 🙂
    Checking out those refried bean tacos now! Welcome back 🙂

    1. Hi Christy! Vacations no matter how long or short are so worth it. We went biking in Sebastopol all day yesterday and didn’t get back till dark and we felt like we were on a mini vacation. It’s nice just to get out of the house and get away from the routine. We’re happy to be back from MN, but sad as we miss being near family. I hope you like those tacos. 🙂 xoxo, Jackie

  4. Hi Jackie,
    I love your blog – you seem so sweet and your family is so cute! I was wondering your thoughts on whole wheat pasta vs. the regular pasta? You never specify in your recipes (or at least I haven’t seen it) so I was wondering which you prefer and why?
    Thanks,
    Kristi

    1. Hi Kristi! To be honest, I really prefer regular old pasta and my kids and hubby prefer it as well. I know the whole-wheat pasta is better for you, and plain pasta is like white bread, but my kids haven’t taken to it. I do have one whole-wheat pasta recipe that we all love on the blog and the leftovers are amazing. I actually love eating the leftovers for lunch. Here’s the link, http://www.marinmamacooks.com/2012/01/whole-wheat-spaghetti-with-italian-sausage-fennel-and-broccolini/
      I sometimes use quinoa pasta when I make my Bolognese sauce or sometimes use it with pesto and my kids like it, but they really prefer the regular old pasta. How about you? Do you have a preference? Jackie

  5. Thanks for sharing all of the beautiful pictures of your family vaca. The reflection ones are really cool 🙂 I eat way to much ice cream when I’m away from home too. Its just so good! Maybe you know a good half marathon I can run in Minnesota? Or at least a good city to visit when I cross that state off of my list!

    1. Hi Reba! I don’t know off hand of any marathons in MN, but I’m sure there are tons. It’s a very healthy and active city. My ice cream consumption is down to zero this week and I like it! I’m detoxing off the sweets 🙂

  6. Your vacation looks so great! Man, I would have been thrilled to eat ice cream for a week as a kid…my mom fed me ground up brown rice, kale, and tofu instead of baby food during my early years. Somehow, though, I still love kale!

    Anyway, I saw this recipe over at Smitten Kitchen and thought it looked like something your fam might enjoy…let us know if you try a version of it! http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/08/kale-salad-with-pecorino-and-walnuts/

    1. Thanks Bethany! Your mom did a great thing because you still love kale. Instead of getting you addicted to sugar, she got you addicted to the healthier things in life. She’s a good mom 🙂
      I saw the kale recipe from Deb and was thinking about giving it a try. It sounds similar to one that I tried a year back, but never posted. Let me know if you give it a try.
      I love that you thought of me when you saw a kale salad recipe 🙂 xoxo, Jackie

  7. Looks like such a fun trip! I love your birthday cake, that IS a thoughtful cake! All that ice cream made me a taddddddd jealous! I totally want some!

    Your menu for the week will probably be extra delicious. I always love cooking when I get back from trips because I feel healthier afterwards. 🙂

    1. Hi Kelli! I feel the same way when I return from a trip, I’m so excited and inspired to be back cooking in my kitchen and eating healthy again. I feel like I let loose on vacation, which is great, but it’s always nice to get back to a routine. xoxo, Jackie

  8. is there a reason you didn’t tell me it was your birthday until now! I am sick I am just now able to tell you Happy Bday! It looks like it was a great one and how could it not be when you are spending time with that amazing family of yours! They are too too stinkin cute and I LOVE LOVE the mustache family portrait! LOL! Okay so i want everything on your menu this week -especially the one pan pasta!

    I did make those labels for my cookie jars. I have been doing printables and party decor for over a year now along with website design. its something that i just happen to start doing and now its taking off. If you ever need me to do some printables for you (free of course for you) just let me know! Love ya

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