So I want to start out this post by making a confession to you all. I can’t and don’t always follow my weekly menu. There are some weeks, like last week, where life is just too hectic and I don’t even have time to hit the grocery store. Last week the Italian wedding soup that I was craving on Sunday never got made. Our Sunday was filled with soccer and baseball games, as well as a soccer party, and by the time we all got home, we we’re wiped, so we just opened the fridge and had a dinner of leftovers. On Monday I had a meeting for a new work venture I’m starting, so I didn’t even have time to hit the grocery store. Eli had a family baseball game and Zoe had dance, so I ended up feeding her a boxed pasta from Annie’s, and John and Eli picked up dinner on the way home. Zoe looked at me as I made up the pasta and laughed because she hadn’t had that pasta in years. I felt frazzled and stressed and realized that if I’m going to work outside the home a bit, then I really need to come up with a better plan, get more organized as far as stocking my fridge and pantry, so when those crazy nights come up, I have a pantry and fridge full of items that I can toss together for a satisfying and tasty meal. The reason I’m telling you all this is because I don’t want to ever come off as someone who has it all together, because I really don’t. I get frazzled and stressed and feed my kids boxed pasta once and while and that’s ok! We have to make short cuts in life once in a while to keep our sanity, right? As much as I preach about keeping a well stocked pantry and fridge, I don’t always follow my own advice, and sometimes I need reminders like last week to get my game on again, so game on!
Halloween was a bit scattered this year because as the kids get older, they want to be with their friends, and they get more independent when it comes to trick or treating. So sadly we’ve said goodbye to the days of family trick or treating and hello to chasing Eli and his friends around, (I seriously mean chasing them around because they’re fast) and Zoe going off with her peeps for the night. It’s all good because I know that Zoe will eventually (maybe next year) start hanging back with us and handing out candy, so we’ll get her back, but we still have a few more years of chasing down Eli. This year for Halloween Zoe decided to be a geek and Eli was Messi the soccer player. I loved their costumes, because we didn’t have to buy a single thing! Zoe borrowed a few things from my closet and paired them with a few things from her closet. Eli pretty much wears sports shirts and shorts every day, so we just rifled though his closet and pulled together a soccer player. John stayed home to hand out candy and serve as a home base for Zoe and her friends, since they trick or treated in our hood. Here’s a quick picture of Zoe and some of her peeps before they headed out for the night.
Eli and I went over to his buddy Isaac’s house to trick or treat. We had a great time as all of his friends and their siblings were there. We feasted on pizza and I brought over 2 kale salads for the adults. I tried to get a picture of all of the boys, but only managed to get 4 of them to pose. If you take a look at their legs you can see that they’re ready to move on. I always have to set my camera to the sports setting when I’m around these boys!
Here’s a picture that we tried to get of all of the kids. We literally had to bribe the kids to pose for us. They were done taking pictures before we even started. I mean what’s up with us parents bothering them when all they want to do is play, eat pizza and get onto trick or treating, right? We’re such a nuisance to them 😉
The kids did a great job with their pumpkins this year, and I really love the teeth on Zoe’s pumpkin. Eli’s buddy was over and decided to photobomb the picture. What was cute was that he told me ahead of time that he was going to photobomb! Love it!
I did manage to cook a bit last week after I got over my Manic Monday. I made some lemon and thyme popovers.
I also made these pumpkin muffins for the kids, but I’m not going to post them, as they are pretty similar to my pumpkin muffin poppers.
Let’s move onto this week’s menu. You will see a trend this week, and that trend is comfort food. It’s finally feeling like fall with the shorter days and cooler nights, and when that transition happens, we crave comfort food.
Sunday night dinner
Buffalo burgers stuffed with cheddar cheese and topped with chipotle mayonnaise, and roasted cauliflower. For the burgers, I just take 3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and mix it in with the buffalo meat. Incase any of you are curious about that salad below, it’s a vegan caesar salad with homemade croutons.
Monday night dinner
Green bean and shallot ravioli. Eli is finished with baseball and Zoe with soccer, so Mondays have slowed down a bit, which is sad for the kids, but nice because we can sit down and enjoy a meal together again. We all have to eat on the earlier side, as Zoe still has her dance classes, but I think earlier will be better tonight at we’re all going to get used to the new time change. This is one of our favorite (Eli’s number one pick) meatless pastas, and it’s super quick to make up as well. I always just toast the almonds ahead of time to save myself one step come dinner time.
Tuesday night dinner
Parmesan-crusted pork chops, mashed potatoes with kale and broccoli rabe sautéed with shallots. This is a total comfort food dinner! The parmesan pork chops are an easy weeknight dinner. You can blanch the broccoli rabe ahead of time (like the night before) and refrigerate it till needed. To make the broccoli rabe with shallots, I just blanch the broccoli rabe ahead of time, and then sauté some sliced shallots with 2 tablespoons olive oil until they brown up, and then stir in the broccoli rabe to warm it up. It’s so tasty because the sautéed shallots taste like bacon and the kids devour the broccoli rabe.
Wednesday night dinner
Broccoli lemon pasta. For those of you that want an easy, but tasty weeknight pasta, you have to try this one. It’s one of our favorite pastas and one that we never tire of. Lately I’ve been substituting broccoli rabe for broccoli and adding it to the last-minute of the pastas cooking time, to save an additional step. If you know exactly how long your pasta takes to cook, then you can do this step. I know that my pasta takes exactly 8 minutes to cook, so I add in the broccoli rabe at 7 minutes, and let it cook with the pasta for the last-minute. I then drain them both together. Easy peasy!
Thursday night dinner
Sweet potato and chipotle soup and popovers. I picked up some sweet potatoes last week and can’t wait to make up this soup again.
Friday night dinner
TGIF! It’s Marin mama’s night off from the kitchen! I just love Fridays!
Have an amazing Sunday everyone!
14 thoughts on “Marin Mama’s Weekly Dinner Menu for November 3rd”
Don’t feel too bad about it! Like you said, it happens! The great thing about a weekly menu is that it’s there and waiting for you when you’re ready. Sometimes something else comes up, and then maybe that meal gets pushed back a night or two. It happened to me last week too, which ended up alright because then I made my sweet potato soup on Friday night. 🙂
The Halloween pictures are very cute! I love that little girls astronaut costume.
Have a great week!
So much to say – your kids and the other kids look awesome. Everyone’s having a ball!
The pumpkin muffin poppers – thanks for the link. They look incredible.
The roasted cauli and all the veggies are perfect!
Have a wonderful week xoxo
Your broccoli lemon pasta looks great. Soon we’ll be picking some of our broccoli so I’ll definitely be making your pasta dish! Have a great week girl!
Thank you for your honest account of your week, you make me feel normal!! I have a 5 year old daughter and have just started working part time – and trying to cook fresh dinner every night with healthy ingredients – the fact you have time to run your website is amazing – I’m thankful you share your delightful recipes and thankful to some of Jamie Oliver’s recipe books too (and the many many other recipe books too) – thanks for sharing – have a great week
Sarah, Perth, Western Australia 🙂
PS loved the photos of your children and the pumpkins looked amazing 🙂
Hi Sarah! Thanks so much for your sweet comment. It’s tough trying to do it all, and we as moms sometimes run ourselves ragged making sure that everything is perfect, but we have to take a step back and realize that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Sometimes dinner is just dinner, and eggs and toast or boxed pasta is just fine. The website is so much fun, but it takes a lot of work. It keeps me real as well as keeps me in the kitchen trying new things and cooking, and cooking and sharing recipes with all of you is truly what brings me joy! I need to check out some of Jamie Oliver’s books, those are next on my list! Thanks again and best of luck with your new job! xoxo, Jackie
I can imagine it’s so hard to keep up with the meal plan when you’re a busy mom. When I think about having kids, my head starts to spin! Another life to be responsible for? On top of my own?! Eesh. 😉
Zoe is so beautiful, I love that hair! They both looked adorable in their free costumes.
Your popovers look amazing and I really want to try those mashed potatoes too. Great way to sneak in some greens!
isn’t that the truth how some days are better then others…and some weeks for that matter. we’ve had days like that where I feel like the kids just ate pizza all day…but thankfully that is not the majority of the time…thanks for sharing your reality 🙂 hope all is going well if your new business venture. take care!
The Halloween pictures are so CUTE! I miss those days when my kids were little too.
So sad to say goodbye to that. You menu looks wonderful – Jackie! Good job!
I always make Friday our night out. The Kitchen is closed and we go explore the wonderful places to eat in our Seattle neighborhood! 🙂
Hi Tracey! I love that 🙂 We try and go out on Friday nights, it all depends on how tired everyone is, sometimes we get lazy and order in Chinese or pizza. It’s still nice because I don’t have to cook! Love your tradition 🙂 xoxo, Jackie
oh could your kids be any cuter seriously, they look like such amazing kids! You are so blessed! I am so sorry I have been MIA lately. We actually were in El Salvador last week (me and my hubs) on a mission trip. I went to see church orphanages and see what I can do to build more:) It was an amazing experience and now its back to grind. I hope you have had a great week so far! Love ya and miss ya and hope to catch back up soon. I just had to stop by for a second!
Finally got some time to enjoy your blog tonight. Love it! Your life sounds a lot like ours here. Our kids are at about the same stages. Fun, but crazy!
I am so excited to try some of your ideas here for dinner. Like you, I am busy and so burned out some nights. However, making some new things gets me motivated to cook more again. Can’t wait to read more of your archive too!
Your kids are adorable! Love their Halloween costumes! Great photos.
Have a good week!
Never feel guilty! You feed your family beautiful wholesome healthy food 90% of the time and that is amazing. My fave weeknight trick is my freezer. Always have lots of BPA free tupperware in the freezer filled with yummy homemade soups, sauces, stews. Just defrost one in the AM before I leave for work. Btw, love your recipes. Your lacinato kale salad changed my life! 😀
Hi Rachel! Great tip, thanks for sharing. I totally don’t use my freezer enough. I need to make some more soups and sauces and freeze them! I’m so glad you love the lacinato salad. It was a life changer for me as well. 🙂 xoxo, Jackie