Marin Mama’s Weekly Dinner Menu for January 20th

Marin Mama's weekly dinner menu - January 20th

So, last week I had a few cooking successes and a few cooking failures. The failures are tough because I get so excited about a dish and then when it doesn’t turn out right or even good for that fact, I get sad and a bit frustrated. What I’m realizing as I evolve as a cook is that cooking is like anything in life, sometimes its great and a winner, and other times it’s just not. Usually a recipe flop has nothing to do with cooking skills, sometimes a recipe is just not what you expected it to be. I’m learning that you just have to roll with it and realize that it’s just food, and move onto the next recipe. So, I’m not going to bore you all and go into last week’s failures, but I will go into the successes.  I made some yummy cupcakes for my 3 best girl friend’s birthdays last week. We met in the city for lunch and I brought along and surprised them with these celebratory cupcakes.  I also gave each of them a favorite book from this series that I have been reading called, Anastasia, The Ringing Cedars, Book 1.  It’s a more of a spiritual book, but my girlfriends and I have a such an amazing soul and spiritual connection that I knew they would enjoy this book.  I will post the cupcake recipe soon for all you sweet tooth’s out there.


Another success were these spaghetti squash tacos. I know, the name sounds a bit strange and not to exciting, but just roll with it.  The recipe was a success, but I’m sad to admit that I wasn’t that impressed with the 50 plus photos I took.  Tacos are certainly not the prettiest nor the most cooperative models I tell you.

Spaghetti squash tacos

Let’s chat more about these tacos.  These tacos were a surprise hit.  I made them up for lunch yesterday just to test them out and to see what the troops thought.  I think you can see from the below photo what my kids thought of them.  John who is not a huge fan of spaghetti squash warned me that he was not going to try them, but he caved in and gave them a try and surprisingly liked them.  Three cheers for spaghetti squash tacos!

Thumbs up for tacos

Ok, time for this week’s menu…

Sunday night dinner

Its Sunday, but feels more like Saturday as tomorrow is a holiday.  I just love three-day weekends.  It’s finally feeling a bit like spring as its supposed to get up to the high 60’s today, so we’re celebrating by opening up the grill tonight. We’re having our favorite turkey burgers and some roasted cauliflower.

Turkey burger

Roasted cauliflower

Monday night dinner

Meatless Monday!  Roasted red pepper and tomato soup and popovers.

Roasted red pepper and tomato soup


Tuesday night dinner

Easy skillet chicken parmesan, crispy garlic bread, lacinato kale salad. This is an Italian lovers dinner.  You have your crispy garlic bread, your cheesy chicken parmesan and your crisp green salad.  Pure comfort bliss. Tuesday night is our busy night and this is meal is so easy to whip together and re-heat. It’s also quickly becoming a family favorite.

Skillet chicken parm in a skillet on the stove.

Garlic Bread slices on a cutting board

Kale Salad

Wednesday night dinner

Orcchiette pasta with pesto, sausage and baby broccoli.  This dish is another family favorite one-bowl, one-pot pasta. Yes, you heard me right, it’s all cooked up in one pot! Baby broccoli is in season right now and so good.  I’m going to substitute that for the green beans. Just be sure to cook the baby broccoli for the last minute of the pasta’s cooking time, as it cooks up quicker than green beans.

Orecchiette pasta with pesto, sausage and green beans

Thursday night dinner

Spaghetti squash tacos and arugula salad.  I will be sure to post this taco recipe next week.  If you’re not a fan of spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta, I get it. I’m not the biggest fan either, as I prefer my pasta carbs, but you may change your mind about using spaghetti squash for tacos. It doesn’t taste like spaghetti squash at all, just a good old taco. For those of you that love the Paul McCartney’s refried bean tacos, you will love these just as much.  They’re also just as easy to throw together.

Spaghetti squash tacos

Friday night dinner

TGIF!  In all honestly, when Friday night rolls around I’m tired and want a night off from the kitchen. Fridays are now my official day off, well for now anyway!  I’ve been trying to take the day off from the computer and cooking to catch up and see friends or do something fun for myself.  It really recharges me and helps me to be “on”and there for everyone else come the weekend.

BTW, if my opening shot looks enticing to you, give it a try.  It’s a mean green juice made without a juicer.  The perfect January detox juice.

Ok, I’m off to go get some much needed vitamin D.  Have a great day everyone!

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

  1. that photo of your kiddos is so cute!!!! and i think the picture of the spagetti squash tacos looks absolutely delicious…i am so excited to see that recipe. in the mean time i really should make the paul mccartney recipe – i’ve seen it before and thought that sounds SO good.

    the cupcakes and books for your friends…that is so sweet and so sweet how it is wrapped!

    i had some family dinner failures last week and the week before that…etc. etc. i am coming to terms now that i am going to have them all the time since I am trying so many NEW recipes and as much as I would hope they would all be wonderful that is just not realistic but I sure love trying…that is the adventureous side of me. haha

    have a wonderful week…send some vitamin d my way we are gettting a cloudy negative 15 degree windchill here!

    1. Brrrrr. You must live near my brother-in-law. They live in MN and the high yesterday was negative 8. I remember those days! You will love those refried bean tacos girl! Every friend of mine that has tried them loves them as well as their kids. They are also the easiest taco to make, like seriously easy. I read about your dinner failures and it made me feel better that someone was in the same boat as me. Have a great week sister 🙂

  2. Good morning Jackie! I like what you said about successes and failures with recipes. I think when we invest a little or a lot of time in finding a new recipe, deciding to try it, shopping for the ingredients, and then making it, that when it doesn’t turn out well it IS a disappointment. But as you say, it is just food in the end and creativity is so dynamic that it will sometimes be great and sometimes not. But it is all creative just the same and teaches us something. 🙂

    I love the pic with the cupcakes and wrapped books. What a lovely gift and such a pretty way to present it! Glad you had a wonderful birthday day with your girlfriends.

    I have never heard of spaghetti squash and now I can’t wait to see your recipe. I’m so curious to try it! I like spaghetti squash but it gets boring after awhile and definitely not as good as the pasta which is what I substitute it for, so this new way of eating it sounds intriguing! I think the picture is great! As you said, some food just doesn’t photograph as beautifully as others, but I think yours turned out great, love the composition!

    Another beautiful weekly menu and another week I wish I could invite myself over for dinner. 🙂 It has been freezing cold and foggy here for several days and all I want to do is stay in my cozy sweaters, yoga pants and sit by the fire watching Downton Abbey (have you seen that?). Have a great day! xoxo, Sharon

    1. Hey Sharon! Good evening I should say as I’m finally getting back on the computer now. Its tough to get on the computer when the kiddos are home. We had errand after errand to do today and it was so darn beautiful out that we had to be outside. We all had a bit of spring fever today.
      I had never heard of spaghetti squash tacos either until I saw the recipe recently. I think you will like them being that you’re already a fan of spaghetti squash. I think your son and hubby will approve of them as well.
      I wish you could come over and have dinner with me as well, or even lunch. If only you lived 2 towns or streets up instead of 2 states. Wouldn’t that be a blast? I love the sound of your cozy afternoons. I usually throw my sweats on the moment I pop in the door at the end of the day. It’s all about being comfy when I get home. I actually watched the first 4 episodes of Downton Abbey and I want to finish the season. I loved it. Zoe has been pulling me in to watch shows with her at night and so I have been doing that and then I’m just to tired to watch anything else. We’re watching and loving Once Upon a time. We started season 1 over the winter break and are finally catching up to the current episode. Its one of those shows that keeps you on your toes. Ok, off to put Eli down to bed. Speak soon! xoxo, Jackie

      1. I think we’d have such a great time if we lived near each other. We could meet up for cooking classes, go shopping (do you have a sur la table near you? love that store!), and then out for lunch. It would be fun!

        I hear you, comfy is key when we’re at home! 🙂 I really got into Downton Abbey in the last few months and am caught up on all the episodes now. It just gets better and better!

        Jake and I used to watch the Food Network together. His favorite was Alton Brown’s Good Eats and Iron Chef. It was a riot to watch that with him. He’s actually turned into a good cook himself. Right now he actually has homemade pretzels baking in the oven and they smell delicious.

        Okay girlfriend, talk to you soon! Hot pretzels are calling my name! xoxo, Sharon

        1. Oh girl! We so would have a blast! Ok, you just need to get up and move to the bay area! You would love it! Yes, we have a sur la table in waling distance girl! I shop there all the time. I actually thought about getting a part-time job there because first of all, I could get a discount, and secondly I love to cook (no surprise there) and talk to people about cooking and appliances, so it would really be a win win for me. I have to keep watching the Abbey then and get hooked like you, but then I would have no time for the blog! That would be the only downer.
          Love that Jake is the cooking man. He is going to make his college roommates and future girlfriends very happy. John earned a lot of bonus points when I met him and found out that he cooked! I hope those pretzels were tasty! xoxo, Jackie

  3. Your spaghetti squash tacos look amazing! I have to try these! Well everything looks delicious, but I can;t say i would have ever thought to combine spaghetti squash and tacos. There’s a little restaurant in Laguna Beach that would serve something like this…Cafe Zoolu. They have a vegetarian burrito that is great, but yours looks even better!

    1. Hi Annie! You’re too sweet girl! I had never thought to make spaghetti squash tacos either until I saw the recipe recently. It just sounded to tempting and unique not to try. I think your daughter will like them as well since they are pretty much vegan, if you don’t add on the cheese. That Mexican restaurant in Laguna sounds like my kind of restaurant. xoxo, Jackie

  4. the picture of the kids might just be my favorite of all the pics. Okay, we must talk! No seafood? What? I thought we were sistas? I am a little hurt but i think with time and enough energy I can make a seafood lover out of you! Now I just have to figure out how to either ship seafood to you fresh or twist your arm into making one of my recipes for yourself!

    Talk about creativity? your spaghetti squash tacos- GENIUS!

    1. Hey girl! We are still sistas, don’t you worry. This seafood aversion is just a small thing! Don’t be hurt, maybe you just need to work with me a bit on getting me to be a seafood lover. My neighbor is actually a commercial fisherman and brings over the most amazing fresh salmon, but knows not to bring over anything else, as I freak. Maybe you need to come out for a visit and cook up some of your favorite seafood recipes to get me over my aversion to raw fish! Ok, the spaghetti tacos were not my creation, as much as I would love them to be, but I’m glad I found the recipe and guess what, they’re a gluten free dinner! Yippee for you! xoxo, Jackie

  5. You totally hit it on the nail about cooking. Yesterday my 8 year old tells me she’s not perfect in anything. I tell her I’m not either. She then counters telling me I am perfect in cooking. I explain to her that it’s trial and error. Sometimes I don’t get the dish right the first time, but I retry it to make sure I covered every step and detail. I burned rice while trying to cook it on the stove for the first time, LOL.
    Great, yummy photos you took for this post. I started following you on Pinterest so it’ll be easier to Pin your recipes. Have a great weekend.

    1. I love hearing stories like that! It’s so true! You only get better at things when you try and practice and just go with the flow. I always have to remind my kids that nobody is perfect at anything, and that it’s all a work in progress. I love that you burned rice. Rice is actually harder to cook well than most people think. John bought me a rice cooker because I just couldn’t get rice right. I either made it to dry or to sticky. I love that rice cooker as it makes cooking up rice a breeze. Thanks for the sweet compliments about the photos. They’re another work in progress for me. Sometimes I get the best photos and I’m so proud, and other days I’m just uninspired with the photographing part of the recipe and I just go with what I got. Have a great weekend as well Kapanie! xoxo, Jackie

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