Those sweet kids really deserve those ice-cream cones above, you want to know why? They suffered through a Marin mama disaster dinner and didn’t complain at all. They were total troopers as well as my awesome hubby, John. Hey, we all have those disaster dinners sometimes right? Those nights where dinner just doesn’t turn out well and almost isn’t fit to eat. So, I was making up a new pizza recipe and for some reason my pizza crust stuck to the pan, when I say stuck, I mean stuck. We managed to get it up in places, so that there was just enough to feed us, (luckily I had made a salad) and I have to say the pieces we got up and ate were good, but the majority of it was stuck to the pan. John and I gave the kids the best pieces (see we really do put their needs first) and we scraped ours off of the top. After dinner we threw the pan into the sink to soak and headed out to Lapperts for ice cream. For those of you that are local, Lapperts is now open in the Towne Center (right across from Blue Barn)!
Ok, lets move on from the disaster dinner and onto what happened this past week…
The family and I were invited to a Preview Party at the new Smash Burger in Mill Valley. I guess you could say that blogging does have it’s benefits as I’ve never been to a Preview Party before. Anyway, the place was great and the service was spectacular, maybe it’s because it was a party, but I was impressed with the staff. They were super friendly and kept coming up to us and asking us if we needed anything and they also kept dropping off these mini milkshake samples, (made with Haagen-Dazs ice cream) which the kids loved. Smash Burger is a “fast casual” joint similar to a Chipotle. They use real, quality, local and fresh ingredients. Their burgers are fresh (not frozen) 100% certified Angus beef and made to order. The reason it’s called Smash Burger is because they literally smash the burger on the grill to sear the burger and seal in all the juices.
I was impressed with my black bean burger because I could tell it was made fresh there. The avocado on the burger was green and fresh and they used leafy lettuce rather than iceberg lettuce to top my burger. I know that sounds weird, but those are the things I look for! The food was great and we each sampled something different so we could really test the place out. I tried their spicy black bean burger and sweet potato fries. The burger was good and had a spicy kick to it. Eli had a basic cheeseburger and LOVED it and he got the smash fries which were our favorite. They’re tossed with olive oil, fresh rosemary and garlic. Zoe got the BBQ, applewood bacon and cheddar burger and LOVED it. John got the BBQ, applewood bacon and cheddar chicken sandwich, which we all liked, and the haystack onions. You can get one of their signature burgers or create your own, oh and I forgot to mention that the buns are soft and fresh! So next time your in at the Whole Foods in Mill Valley, walk on over and give Smash Burger a try.
Zoe had her first week of camp this summer. She went to an intensive dance camp at her dance school, Just Dance Academy. They don’t lie when they say intensive dance camp, because Zoe was dancing for 6 hours a day. She came home literally exhausted each night, but with a HUGE smile as well, because dancing is truly her passion. Her camp did a recital on Friday showcasing the different dances they learned that week. They performed 4 different routines, (Bollywood, jazz, hip hop and contemporary) and I have to say that all of us parents were so impressed with what these girls learned in one week of dance. I will admit that it brought tears to my eyes to watch Zoe. She shined and you could honestly see it in her face that she was doing something she truly loved. We had a special guest with us that night as well. My best friend’s daughter Rafferty wanted to see Zoe’s performance, so we made a night out of it. We took her to watch Zoe and then we all headed over to DJ’s for dinner. It was the perfect ending to a perfect week.
Eli had a great week as well. We took him bike riding on Tam, to the pool and he had many playdates and even a sleepover with one of his best pals, Sawyer. Eli doesn’t get to see Sawyer as much as he would like during the school year because they go to different schools, so when summer rolls around they are inseparable. Here’s a photo of the boys before we went swimming one afternoon. Eli was totally digging this Mini coupe and told me that I should get one, so I took a photo of him and his buddy Sawyer in front of it. I really love this photo because he truly looks like he owns the car. Someday Eli, someday!
Besides my pizza disaster, I did have some cooking successes this past week. I made this great Israeli couscous salad that I will be posting this week. It’s the perfect make ahead cold salad to bring to a picnic, potluck or serve up for dinner at home, and it even tastes great the next day.
I made up some easy and delicious challah bread french toast for the family (recipe soon).
I made and ate WAY too many of these peanut butter and chocolate rice crispy bars. I’m typically not a rice crispy fan, but these bars are so addicting. I literally had to stop myself at two and just walk away.
I also made a this great pineapple, mint and banana smoothie. It literally tasted like a pineapple and mint creamsicle and was rated a 10+ by the whole family.
Ok, so let’s move onto this week’s dinner menu.
Sunday night dinner
Pesto and yogurt chicken drumsticks (recipe next week), Israeli couscous tabbouleh (recipe this week), kale salad with ricotta salata. This is a total picnic dinner! You can eat it hot or cold and it tastes great both ways.
Monday night dinner
Margherita pizza with heirloom tomatoes and kid friendly caesar salad. Ok, this is the pizza that failed, (well, the crust is what really failed) so I’m trying it out again, wish me luck.
Tuesday night dinner
Ina’s summer garden pasta, kale salad with ricotta salata and the best chocolate chip skillet cookie. I’m bringing dinner over to my friend Yvonne’s house, and I want a no-fuss make ahead dinner so we can just hang out and chat while the kids swim!
Wednesday night dinner
Chipotle shrimp tacos, homemade guacamole (recipe soon) with chips and mango black bean and corn salad (recipe testing). This is an easy summer dinner!
Thursday night dinner
Thai-style chicken burgers and corn on the cob. This is another easy breezy summer dinner!
Have a great week everyone!