Marin Mama’s Weekly Dinner Menu for July 28th

Marin Mama's weekly dinner menu - July 28th

I love this above Instagram shot because to me it says summer.  You’ve got your basil lemonade and a summer tomato and bean salad.  John made up a yummy batch of basil lemonade this past week and we’ve been serving it up with our dinner each night.  I will be sure to post that recipe soon, its super simple to throw together and makes a boatload of lemonade.

Last weekend was full of adventures.  We haven’t taken a vacation yet this summer, so we wanted to play like we we’re on vacation. On Friday we biked with the kids up Mt. Tam. It was their first time biking up Tam, and I was so proud because they made it to the top.  Yes, they biked up 2,350 feet.   It was an all day event and there were plenty of stops along the way, as well as a picnic lunch at West Point Inn.  Here’s the kids and I at the bottom before we started the bike ride.

Marin Mama, Zoe and Eli ready for a bike ride

John and the kid’s about halfway up the mountain.

Eli, John and Zoe biking up mountain

Our lunch spot, West Point Inn.   I love this porch and the view.   We’re thinking of hiking up to West Point Inn one afternoon with some friends, board games and picnic fare and making an afternoon of it.  I’ll just pretend that this is my porch and my view for an afternoon.

Lunch spot view

There are picnic tables galore on the porch and two amazing lounge chairs to kick back and relax in.  I mean look at these two, they are happily chilling out.

Chilling on porch

After some much-needed fuel (PB&J sandwiches, peaches and some fresh lemonade from the Inn) and rest, we made our way to the top of Tam!   This was the hardest part of the trek for the kids, as it was all uphill with barley any shade and it was HOT, but the kids made it.  Here’s a photo of the kids at the top of Tam!   What an accomplishment!   I’m so proud of them.  They were very hot and very tired at this point, but managed to stop, smile and pose for me.  Eli wanted his helmet off  at this point, as he was tired of being constrained.  Thanks guys!   What I loved most about today was that we spent the whole day in mother nature as a family.  We didn’t have any sort of schedule to abide by, we just went with the flow and had fun.  Biking together as a family is something that we do often and something I hope we continue to do for years to come.   It’s a great way to explore your community.

Eli and Zoe with their bikes

On Sunday we headed up to Healdsburg to go paddle boarding and kayaking down the Russian River.  We left early in the morning and stopped off at Peets for some coffee and hot chocolate.

Eli and Zoe with Peet's Coffee sign

When we got up to Healdsburg, we stopped off at Downtown Bakery and Creamery, which is famous for their sticky buns and croissants.  The owner, Kathleen was a former pastry chef at Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley.  This bakery is a popular place as there was a line out the door and such friendly people inside.  Healdsburg is a very friendly community and we felt very welcomed.   We got 3 sticky buns and 1 croissant and they were both amazing.  That croissant was the biggest and best croissant I’ve ever tried.  After a morning of indulgence, we were ready to paddle down the river.

Eli and Zoe having a snack

We rented 2 paddle boards and a two person kayak from River’s Edge.  It was such a fun activity and one that we haven’t done before.  The river was gorgeous as well as the views.  I would highly recommend going in May, June or early in July, as the water was getting a bit low in parts and we had to get off and walk our kayaks and boards over the rocks, but that was ok, because it was still tons of fun.  It’s an all afternoon event as it takes about 3-4 hours to go down the river.

Kayaking on river

We all took turns on the boards and the kayak.  Eli was too young to paddle board by himself, so he would jump onto my board or Zoe’s from time to time.  He liked riding on the front and kicking his legs into the water and guiding us.

Zoe paddle boarding

Zoe tried kayaking, but decided that it was too boring to her, so she basically paddle boarded the whole time.  She was in her bliss!

Zoe paddle boarding

We stopped alongside the river for some lunch.  I yelled “lunch time” and the kids came running or should I say paddling over.

Eli hitching a ride on Zoe's paddle board

After a day on the river, we cleaned up and headed into the town of Healdsburg for some window shopping and an early dinner.  It was the perfect Sunday adventure and one I highly recommend for local families.  Next up, we’re going to kayak and spend the day in Pointe Reyes.

Ok, lets move onto this week’s dinner menu.

Sunday night dinner

Grilled skirt steak with herb salsa verde, and wheat berries with charred onions and kale.  We haven’t had steak in a while, and Zoe has been asking for it, (she loves meat) so we’re grilling it up for her tonight.  I love this kale and wheat berry salad and it makes for perfect lunch leftovers.

Grilled skirt steak

Wheat berry salad

Monday night dinner

Heirloom tomato soup and popovers.  It’s supposed to be cool today, so I’m excited to make up a batch of my favorite summer soup. We also haven’t made popovers in some time, so it will be a nice treat for the kids.  I’m going to make a double batch of them so the kids can have them for lunch the next day.

Heirloom tomato soup

Popovers with rosemary sprigs

Tuesday night dinner

Chicken enchiladas with tomatillo salsa, kale salad with ricotta salad.  I LOVE these enchiladas.  I always roast and shred the chicken up ahead of time, so when it’s time to assemble the enchiladas, it only takes 30 minutes.  The salsa takes 5 minutes to whip up as well.  You can also save yourself a step and purchase your favorite green salsa to top them with, you don’t have to use the tomatillo salsa.  It really can be an easy weeknight meal.

Chicken enchiladas

Kale and ricotta salad

Wednesday night dinner

Broccoli lemon pasta.  I think this was one of the first recipes on my blog.  This is the pasta dish that got my kids to love broccoli. It’s a weeknight staple in our house.  I’ve been using baby broccoli/broccoli rabe in place or plain old broccoli and we’re loving it.  I blanch the broccoli rabe for the last-minute of the pasta’s cooking time and then drain them both together. Easy peasy.

Broccoli lemon pasta

Thursday night dinner

Egg salad sandwiches and lacinato kale salad.  A simple summer backyard dinner.  Did you know that this egg salad is made with Greek yogurt, not mayo?   You won’t even miss the mayo, so give it a try.

Egg salad sandwith

Kale Salad

Friday night dinner

TGIF!  It’s Marin mama’s night off!  How I love my Fridays!

Kids biking up trail

Adios, have a great Sunday everyone!

With love Jackie
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25 thoughts on “Marin Mama’s Weekly Dinner Menu for July 28th”

  1. Love this post! I really want to try paddle boarding! Going to try some of your recipes too this week. I tried a couple from Bon Appetit’s latest issue Friday night. I will send you a little email to share them. I think you’d love them. Happy Summer!

    1. Hi Melinda! You should definitely try paddle boarding. I’m sure there are some gorgeous spots up where you are. I saw two recipes from the latest issue that I’m going to try this week, the citrus-marinated chicken and the green bean and feta salad, please send me the ones that you tried. We have totally similar tastes, so if you liked them, then I will as well 😉 Have a great Sunday girl! xoxo, Jackie

      1. So funny! Those are the exact two recipes I tried! We do have similar tastes. You will love them. I couldn’t stop eating the beans. The flavor combinations are wonderful and fresh. Yes, we have lots of places in Central Oregon where we can bike and paddle board. It’s on my to do list next trip over.

        Happy Sunday to you too!

        1. Ok, we’re like food twins, seriously girl. That is totally hilarious and I love it! 🙂 I will let you know when we try them.

  2. What a great time you guys had! I would LOVE to try the paddle boarding – sort of like punting!! My absolutely favorite dish of your week has to be the steak – GREAT ingredients and had my mouth watering!!
    Mary x

    1. Hi Mary! I love paddle boarding because it’s just so peaceful padding about on the water and your arms get a great workout. Thought you would like the steak! 🙂

  3. What a FUN weekend for the family. I love that you guys are so active. That’s really great! I’ve been really wanting to try paddle boarding. I had no idea that you could rent them on the Russian River. It seems like it was a great weekend and the meals ahead look amazing.

    1. Hi Kelli! I never knew you could rent paddle boards there either until we signed up. I think most people think the same thing because we we’re the only ones on paddle boards that day, everyone else was in a canoe or kayak 🙂

  4. I love Mt Tam! And I love love love your family pics, posts, the blue skies, the gorgeous nature, the whole thing – reminds me of spending lots of time in Marin about 10 yrs ago. In many ways, the sky in these pics reminds me of a MN sky. That real blue blue, with the green green trees. Gorgeous! And you and your family are all looking wonderful!

  5. Hey Jackie!
    What a wonderful trip with the kids! I am jealous! I miss those years when my kids were younger and we did fun things together like that. I love the menu you put together for the week- great ideas! The soup looks so yummy!
    Hey – I Hope you stop by and enter our giveaway this week. xxoo Anna

    1. Hey girls! I didn’t know you had a giveaway. I will definitely stop over and check it out. Yes, the kids are at such fun ages because there is so much they can physically do now! I love it! 🙂

  6. Ooh, you reminded me how much I love tomatillo salsa, thanks! We have some yellow tomatoes from the garden, buuuuut I might have to buy tomatillos anyway 😉
    And so much adventuring, I love it! Your kids are adorable and I think it’s fantastic that you all get out and accomplish all these fun, active things together!
    (Plus…popovers? Yes, please! I should try making those already)

    1. Hi Christy! Thanks! We love getting outdoors with them as well. There’s nothing like nature to bond and bring a family together and it’s such an inexpensive activity. Popovers are a fave and staple in the Grandy house! 😉

  7. I wish I lived closer to an outdoor mecca like you do. Such good family time. I spent the weekend in Denver and got in some hiking and quality time with my man. One day when we have kids I hope to take them to do outdoor activities often.

    1. Hi Reba. I do feel grateful to live out here. It’s super expensive to live here, but the great outdoors makes up for it. You don’t have to travel far or spend a lot to have fun! I can totally see you running around with your baby jogger and then running and having your kids bike alongside as they get a bit older. That’s what I did and it was the best, now the kids are too fast for me to run and have them bike alongside. 🙂 xoxo, Jackie

  8. Just wanted to say a quick hi. With 3 little boys (5, 3 & 9 months) it is often difficult to get inspired to get something yummy on the dinner table. But your recipes are always delicious and easy so thank you! And as a local girl (San Rafael) I also can’t wait until the boys are a little older to try all the fun activities you and your family do. You guys look like so much fun!!

    1. Hi Gina! Wow, you have your hands full, but also you’re in such a fun time with the kids. I miss those days when they were little and didn’t have all the outside activities that they’re involved in now. I remember days when we would literally stay in our jammies till John came home from work. Fun!
      I’m glad you’re finding some recipes that your boys like! I know kids can be picky when they’re younger. My kids favorite dish was and still is the broccoli lemon pasta. That is what got my kids to eat broccoli.
      So cool to hear that you’re local. We were just in San Rafael the other night for a bar mitzvah and it was super cold and windy in Corte Madera but as we stepped out of the car for the party, it was like summer! You have such better weather 😉
      Yes, as your boys get older, I have tons of in expensive day things to do with them. There’s a great bike ride that we do every year in Sebastopol that I will do a post in August. It’s just gorgeous and takes you through Graton and Sebastopol . There are tons of wild blackberry bushes along the bike path. We always bring tons of tupperware and pick to our hearts content. They are the best blackberries ever and honestly taste like dark chocolate. They’re so juicy!
      Ok, I’m writing a novel here. The kids are both at camp together this week. Zoe is a counselor and Eli is the camper ,so I have some time on my hands. SO cute! Thanks so much for saying hi Gina. I really love hearing from readers! xoxo, Jackie

  9. Hi Jackie!
    I love your site- just found it 🙂 I had a couple questions for you – how much is your weekly grocery bill? I am trying to feed my family of 5 healthy, whole foods and I am spending so much money on groceries, so I was wondering what your grocery budget is? Any tips would be appreciated! Also, you look like you are in amazing shape – I was wondering what your exercise routine is like?
    I love your blog and love your recipes – thank you so much for sharing your life, you and your family seem so sweet!!

    1. Hi Avery! Thanks so much for saying hi and leaving such a sweet comment! I think I actually need to do a post on how to grocery shop or what I do. I have to admit that it’s hard to give you an exact budget on what I spend because I do shop for the blog a bit, and I have to make a recipe a few times to make sure that I have it down and such, so I can’t really say realistically what I spend. If I wasn’t doing the blog, then my budget would definitely be smaller.
      I will admit that a majority of our budget goes to groceries. I really believe in feeding my family whole, organic ingredients when I can. My kids are hardly ever sick (knock on wood) and I do believe it’s due to their diets. So while I may choose to spend more on groceries, I’m not fancy when it comes to other things. I don’t buy fancy clothes, I don’t get pedicures or facials and my hair stylist is the best, but he’s also super cheap. My hubby has had his Tahoe since 1997, we don’t take fancy vacations, the list goes on and on. I think if you eat healthy, then you don’t need all of that extra stuff, at least that’s what I tell myself 🙂
      If I see a sale on one of my favorite items, then I stock up (as long as it’s not something that will expire soon). If I see a sale on pasta, canned tomatoes, sauces, beans etc, then I buys a ton and store it in my garage. I also try and east seasonally and locally, and that is a cost savings in itself because typically seasonal and local ingredients are cheaper. I shop between 3-4 stores. I go to Whole Foods for certain things, Trader Joes and Safeway for others and Target for the staples like cereal and peanut butter and my Ghiradelli chocolate is always super cheap there. Believe it or not, Whole foods is cheaper for certain things than Safeway. A few years back I wrote a list and compared all 4 stores so that I knew which items were cheaper at which store and I still check that list often, but it has pretty much stayed the same.
      We don’t eat out a lot, maybe once a week and that has saved us a lot of money. We eat out most Fridays, but we’re usually eating at a restaurant that is pretty inexpensive like our favorite Chinese spot or a local burger or mexican restaurant.
      We eat a lot of kale salads, and I have to say that organic kale is pretty cheap here. You can get a bunch of kale for about $2.50. I also make my own salad dressings, desserts, etc and that saves a pretty penny as well.
      So basically, if you see a sale, stock up, buy local and seasonal produce and know which items are not in the dirty dozen. I don’t worry about buying non-organic bananas, avocados, etc. If they are on sale, great, but if not, then I go for the conventional ones. Compare the prices at your local grocery stores, you might be surprised that a store like Whole Foods might be cheaper than a store like Safeway on certain items.
      Also, my weekly menu helps out a lot because I have a budget in mind when plan the menu and I have a grocery list in hand when hitting the grocery store, so I’m not tempted to just buy whatever I feel like. For instance I know heirloom tomatoes are on sale right now, so I’m making my heirloom soup tonight, actually two batches and freezing one for later. I tend to check out what’s on sale or what’s totally in season and local now and plan my menu around that.
      Ok, I will think about this more and work on getting a realistic picture and post up soon!
      As far as working out goes, I do bootcamp or cardio/weight lifting sort of workout. Two girlfriends and I share a trainer that we see 2x a month. Sharing a trainer helps reduce the costs and makes it way more fun. She writes down our workouts for us and we hit the gym 3 times a week and workout together using one of the workouts that she puts together for us. We have about 30 plus workouts to choose from, but we also like seeing her because she keep things fresh and works different muscles each time. I also run and bike when I can.
      I’m so glad you discovered the blog and I hope you continue to read on! Let me know if you have any additional questions for me. I know I sort of wrote a novel here, but sometimes I get carried away 🙂 xoxo, Jackie

      1. Thank you for the info!! I am the same way – I spend a LOT on food but we live a pretty simple life besides that… I have 3 kids but they are all young (under 5) so I am having a hard time with veggies and snacks… well and meals – they don’t eat anything I make, but I think that is a pretty common thing for toddlers. Anyway, I really appreciate your extensive response and taking the time to reply. I would love any other tips on grocery shopping!!

        1. Hi Avery! Toddlers are the hardest to please. They don’t have their taste buds developed yet and only want the basic kid friendly foods. I didn’t really start cooking till my daughter starting eating real food. When she started experimenting with foods, then I started experimenting in the kitchen and really got into cooking. So go slow and know that pretty soon your kids will start appreciating and devouring your food and then it will fun! Also, you will be saving money and time because everyone will be eating the same thing! That’s when life gets easier 🙂 If I think of more tips I will be sure to let you know! I may also write a post! Have a great night! xoxo, Jackie

  10. okay so wish I was having dinner at your house tonight and well honestly ever night this week. After the beach last week I have been in super relax mode and just want to do simple easy things like pizza and soup! LOL! I love your popovers. Everytime i see them I say I am going to do them that night and I forget but tonight my friend! I AM DOING THEM!

    1. Hey girl! I’m so envious of your week at the beach, sigh! It sounds so relaxing. I’m waiting for beach-like weather to arrive, but it has yet to come. It’s been foggy, windy and cold these past couple of weeks. Anyway, make the popovers, super easy and super delish! xoxo, Jackie

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