Marin Mama’s Weekly Dinner Menu for July 14th

Marin Mama's weekly dinner menu - July 14th

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.

Smash burger menu

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.

Black bean burger from Smash Burger

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.

Zoe, Eli and Rafferty

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!

Eli and his friend with a cool car

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.

israeli couscous salad in a bowl

I made up some easy and delicious challah bread french toast for the family (recipe soon).

Challah bread french toast

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.

Peanut butter and chocolate rice crispy bars

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.

Pineapple mint and banana smoothie

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.

Pesto and yogurt chicken drumsticks

israeli couscous salad in a bowl

Kale and ricotta salad

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.

Kid Friendly caesar salad

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!

Ina's summer garden pasta

Kale and ricotta salad

Chocolate chip skillet cookie

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!

Chipotle shrimp tacos

Thursday night dinner

Thai-style chicken burgers and corn on the cob. This is another easy breezy summer dinner!

Thai style chicken burger

Have a great week everyone!

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

    1. Hi Sylvia! So happy you made and are obsessed with the lacinato kale salad. I am as well 😉 Love hearing that! xoxo, Jackie

  1. Everything is looking good! Looking forward to that salad recipe, a great place for me to use our cherry tomatoes (drowning in them!).

    Smash Burger is good, now I got to try the black bean burger!
    So nice of you guys to put your kids first in that pizza situation.. with pizza here, it’s survival of the fittest! :D)

  2. Oh yes – I’ve had my share of disasters !! and hey – if we get ice cream afterwards that makes it into a triumph! Wonderful meals as always – that shrimp in particular has my taste buds going! My daughter is due to start an intensive dance camp too in a few weeks!!!
    Mary x

  3. Ooh, that Smashburger place sounds pretty freakin’ cool- I’ll have to tell my Bay Area friends about it! Olive oil, rosemary and garlic sounds like the perfect thing to toss fries in! And you don’t sound weird, I pay attention to how green & fresh the veggies are at places like that, too 🙂

    I agree with Averie- your love and joy of your family really comes through in your posts, I love it.

  4. Bummer about the pizza 🙁

    I am SO excited for your new recipes. Every time I read your blog my mouth starts watering. You have such beautiful photos and I know that everything is delicious, especially if Eli and Zoe have approved the dishes.

    1. Oh well, it was only pizza right? Thanks so much Dani! You’ve been around since the beginning of my blog and I love that you’re still inspired and excited each week! I have an amazing chocolate ice cream that I will be posting soon that I know you will LOVE! You rock girl! xoxo, Jackie

  5. Well good morning! That photo of the kids with the ice cream instantly grabbed me because they look so sweet. You take such wonderful photos, plus they are so photogenic! I love that Zoe loves to dance. I relate to her on that and it brings back memories of when I was her age. That love will probably stay with her for life since there are so many forms of dancing that she can try and love over time. And Eli leaning on that car like a boss? I love it! Looks like a great summer for all of you.
    Your menu as always looks delish. I can’t wait for the pesto yogurt chicken and couscous – that is just the kind of meal I’d love to take on a picnic somewhere! Okay my friend, I’ll chat with you soon. xoxo, Sharon

    1. Hey Sharon! Yes, Eli is one that I’m going to watch out for. He has that great smile and he charms the pants off of whoever he meets. It’s funny about Zoe and dance, she didn’t start loving or getting into dance until 5th grade. It was a later thing for her, but now it’s her passion! I love it! I love seeing my kids passionate about something.
      You will love both of those picnic recipes girl! I’m actually making a batch of the couscous salad today to bring over to my bestie’s house! xoxo, Jackie

    1. Hi Reba! I get my heirlooms at Whole Foods and they go on sale from week to week. They get even cheaper as the summer rolls on and can be as low as $2.99 a pound. Right now they are $4.99 which is a bit pricy, but I typically only pick up 3-4 at a time or 5 if I’m making my soup. I figure it’s cheaper than eating out because the other ingredients I use for all of my heirloom recipes are pretty inexpensive. Heirlooms are the cheapest from the end of July through Sept out here. Keep watching and I’m sure your prices will drop as well. xoxo, Jackie

  6. Wonderful ideas for dinner and I just love the photos of your kids! Hey jackie the first photo is so fabulous ( with kids eating ice cream cones) you should use this photo as the cover of your cookbook – 🙂 !!

    1. Thanks girls! The kids love seeing their photos up there as well 😉 Love your suggestion on the cookbook cover idea. I’m actually thinking of making one up with my favorite family recipes for my family and friends for Christmas. xoxo, Jackie

  7. Hi Jackie! Lookin good out there in Marinland;) I’ll have to try Smashburger next time we’re in town, so many new places in just a year! Looking forward to the couscous recipe, I have a bag of Bob’s Redmill sitting here waiting to be used. Were you able to find the chocolate peanut butter pie recipe? If not, let me know and I’ll send it to you.

    1. Hey you! You’ve been having some great Instagram shots as well this week. That soup photo and your picnic fare tonight, love those pics! Try the couscous salad, it’s totally up your alley and my kids love it, so I know yours will as well. I’m also sure you have a killer batch of cherry tomatoes from the farmers market sitting in your kitchen! I haven’t had a chance to look for that recipe, but I will take a gander this week. You know how summer is with the kids around non stop. Crazy! xoxo, Jackie

  8. girl i have had too many of those types of dinner disasters to even remember. I mean from pasta to casseroles to especially eggs- me and eggs just don’t fare well all the time- I have done my share of mess ups but thru the mess ups we find progress and learn from them and out of mistakes come the most amazing food at times so as cooks we just persevere right??? Love the pic of eli and the car and tell Zoe congrats on making it thru camp. I did many of those when I was in school. I did ballet, tap and jazz and I loved it but I felt it everyday too as it is tiring!!!! I so wish we had a smash burger!!!

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