Marin Mama’s Weekly Dinner Menu for October 13th

Marin Mama's weekly dinner menu - October 13th

Happy Birthday to my little man!  We now officially have a 9-year-old in the house!  Oh yeah!   We celebrated Eli’s special day by making our family’s favorite cake for dessert, chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting.  Since Eli’s birthday is in October he always asks me to make a Halloween themed cake.  This year we added some grave stones complete with dirt and bones and a marshmallow ghost.  This cake is homemade and looks homemade, but it’s full of love.  I got a quick picture of the family posing with the cake before Zoe and John ran off to Zoe’s soccer practice. These are the only pictures you will see of the cake because it we brought it with us to DJ’s, and left the rest of the cake there for the staff to devour and enjoy.

Family with birthday cake

We celebrated Eli’s birthday with a late dinner at DJ’s after Zoe’s soccer practice.  We didn’t get home till after 9:00, and we were all a bit tired, but not Eli.  He was ready to tear open his presents.  One of his favorite presents, and one that he requests every year, is copy paper.  He loves copy paper.  He uses it for drawing, making paper airplanes and origami.  I mean he jumped for joy when he opened this present!

Eli with copy paper present

Eli also got a Lego set that he’s been asking for!  He’s into super heroes right now, so he couldn’t wait to get building this.  He’s totally laughing at Zoe in this picture because she kept photobombing the pictures, but of course she didn’t want me posting those pictures.  All in all, Eli had a great birthday!  We’re having his birthday party today at the park.  It’s going to be an old-fashioned birthday complete with 14 boys (chaos) and sports galore. The boys are picking teams out of a hat and they’re playing kickball, soccer and basketball.  John and Zoe are going to be the referee’s and coaches and I’m going to be helping out where I can.  Eli requested that I make the pumpkin sheet cake for his party, so I made that up yesterday and I’m going to quickly finish decorating it at the park.

Eli with Lego present

This week was filled with cake baking and trying new recipes.  I had some recipe successes, such as these rosemary and sea salt popovers.  OMG, I’m enjoying one right now with a bowl of butternut squash soup (because it’s cold today) and they’re so good. I’m totally posting the recipe soon, as they pair well with just about any fall comfort dish.  Yummo!

Popovers with rosemary and sea salt

This pasta with lemon, kale, garlic and walnuts was also a family hit!   John says this pasta is a great gateway to get your kids to like kale.  It’s a cross between my broccoli lemon pasta and lacinato kale salad.  The kids had the pasta sans the toasted walnuts, but John and I loved the walnuts topped on the pasta.

Pasta with kale, lemon and toasted walnuts

I also made a “mommy” version of this pasta for lunch. It’s the same recipe as the one above, but I used whole-wheat pasta and Pecorino Romano cheese.  It’s so good. The pecorino romano cheese adds such a salty flavor to the whole-wheat pasta.  I will be sure to post this recipe soon.

Whole wheat pasta with kale, lemon and toasted walnuts

Sadly, I also had a recipe failure this week. Of course it had to be a sweet, right? I made a batch of peanut butter cookies and dipped them in bittersweet chocolate. They look tasty right?  Well, unfortunately they just didn’t gel, and are not blog worthy. I may try and tweak the recipe, but I need a break from baking for the next week or so.  After baking 4 cakes in the past week and these cookies, I’m totally baked out and in need of a sugar cleanse!

Peanut butter cookies dipped in chocolate

I got together with my friend Andrea (pictured below in the blue shirt) to attempt a cooking with friends series that I’ve been thinking about starting on the blog.  Andrea is the one who sent me the recipe for these favorite turkey burgers, which are now our favorite burgers. Her adorable neighbor Laura (whose also a reader of my blog) stopped by to hang with us as Andrea cooked and I attempted to photograph her cooking. It proved to be a bit more challenging than I thought it was going to be to photograph the step-by-step process of someone making a dish. I think I scared Andrea at first when I came in with my light and all of my props.  The girls also had a few laughs as I was posing and standing on top of different chairs to take photos of the process.  I realize that putting friends through the arduous task of  taking the step-by-step photos is too much to ask, as it really takes 3 hours, so I gave being the crazy photographer early on in the process and just hung out with the gals. If I decide to do the cooking with friends series, then I’m going to have to tweak a few things.

Two women in kitchen

Andrea made me her favorite butternut squash soup (which I will attempt to make and photograph at home so I can give you all the recipe) and a perfect grilled cheese sandwich. Below is a photo of the beautiful lunch that Andrea served up. Don’t you all just want Andrea to cook lunch for you?  She’s an amazing cook and she’s so relaxed and at home in the kitchen. I want to say a HUGE thank you to Andrea for opening her house and kitchen to me, making me an amazing lunch, and just for being open to this whole cooking with friends concept.  She was the first one to say yes when I sent the email out asking friends about the idea and she kept on me to give it a try.  Andrea has been a huge supporter of my blog since day one and I love and appreciate her!

Table set with soup and sandwiches

Ok, so let’s move onto this week’s menu:

Sunday night dinner

Grilled steak, rosemary and sea salt popovers (recipe soon) and roasted cauliflower.  Zoe asked if we could have some steak for dinner tonight because we haven’t had it in forever, and she’s been craving it.  That girl loves her meat, and I haven’t been the best at making it at home, so tonight we’re grilling up some steak along with our favorite new popover recipe and some roasted cauliflower.  It’s a total fall meal perfect for the fall-like weather we’ve been having lately.

Popovers with rosemary and sea salt

Roasted cauliflower

Monday night dinner

Roasted red pepper paninis with cilantro lime mayonnaise and lacinato kale salad.  Manic Monday!  I’m going to roast up some red peppers this afternoon so come tomorrow all I have to do is assemble and grill the sandwiches at dinner.   It’s like setting up a taco bar, but it’s really a sandwich bar!  I can’t wait for dinner because I love this panini!

Roasted red pepper panini with cilantro lime mayo

Kale Salad

Tuesday night dinner

Buttermilk roasted chicken, roasted fingerling potatoes and kid friendly caesar salad.   Tuesday nights are mellow as there are no after school activities, so we can all enjoy a nice relaxing family dinner around the table.  Nothing says fall like chicken and roasted potatoes.

Buttermilk roasted chicken two pieces.

fingerling potatoes

Kid Friendly caesar salad

Wednesday night dinner

Leftover night. I’m taking the leftover buttermilk chicken and making chicken caesar salad. I will serve these up with some naan bread on the side.

Thursday night dinner

Paul McCartney’s refried bean tacos, lacinato kale salad.  I love these tacos because they’re so easy to make and they just taste great. If you haven’t tried them yet, you need to.  All of my friends and their kids love them, so give them a try and I bet you will love them too!

Paul McCartney's refried bean tacos

Kale Salad

Friday night dinner

TGIF!  It’s Marin mama’s night off!  I think we’re going to have an early dinner at Sol Food and then come home and snuggle up with some popcorn in front of a movie!  Perfect family Friday night!

Whew, sorry about the lengthy post guys, but sometimes I just keep writing and writing, and now I have to just stop, so I’m stopping 😉

Have a great week!

With love Jackie
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17 thoughts on “Marin Mama’s Weekly Dinner Menu for October 13th”

  1. A cooking with friends section sounds really awesome. Were you thinking of doing 1 post a month?

    Eli’s cake looks great! I can’t believe you made 4 cakes in 1 week! Man, I’d go nuts! I love cake, but I’m not always up to baking them. They are kind of a lot of work!

    1. Hi Kelli! I’m thinking about the cooking with friends series. I need to evaluate how I do it though, because it’s hard to photograph in other people’s kitchens due to lighting and what not, but If I do it, then I was thinking of doing it once a month.
      Yes, 4 cakes in one week, yikes, and I’m totally caked out and I’m so on a cake cleanse now! 🙂

  2. Happy Bday to Eli. What a gorgeous cake!

    And the cookies that failed – gah, they don’t look like a failure to me! Was it that the choc didn’t set? Or you felt the flavors were off? B/c I would have gobbled those in a hurry!

    1. Yes, they look way better than they tasted. I almost emailed you for some advice. It was really all of the above. The chocolate just didn’t gel with the cookies and the cookies got lost in all of the chocolate. Oh well, back to the drawing board 🙂

  3. Marybeth Bowles

    Hi~ I live near Boston, MA in Melrose with my husband and 3 kids (5 year old daughter and 3 year old twin boys). I somehow found your site last month and I just had to let you know how wonderful I think it is. I have been following your weekly menus and trying out your recipes and they are delicious. I absolutely love how healthful, balanced and tasty they are. You do such a great job with your posts/directions and commentary on each recipe. Thank you so much for this website – I look forward to your posts each week!

    1. Hi Marybeth! Wow, I’m so happy that you found my blog! Thanks so much for your amazingly sweet comment and I hope you find many more recipes that you and your family love! I’m also glad to hear that you’re following the weekly menus. It just makes life that much easier to know ahead what’s for dinner each night! Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to say hi Marybeth, I really appreciate it 🙂 xoxo, Jackie

  4. Hey Jackie your son is so adorable and the photos are just darling!
    How funny, I just made peanut butter cookies as well, last night for my girls- boy we are on the same… thanks for the menu!!

  5. Eli is the cutest kid and I find it hilaaarious that he loves copy paper! What a character. Those popovers with butternut squash soup sounds perfect. My big brother makes an excellent butternut squash soup, and now I’m craving it!

  6. That face…Eli is so adorable…my oldest loves legos too…and what a great toy for kids…i never realized the learning and concentration a child has to put into making their legos. so cool to watch them build! Friends series on your blog – love it. what a fun idea….i just love how food brings people together and you do such a wonderful job of sharing the love!

  7. This is such a great post! I loved every bit of it with all the stories. Happy Birthday to sweet Eli! His spirit always shines through in your photos and Zoe is adorable for photobombing and making him laugh. Homemade birthday cakes are the BEST cakes and if I know you, this cake is super delicious. I love how you decorated it too – I like decorating cakes but one of my favorite ways is just simply decorated with love. I can’t wait to see all your new recipes, and I like that you post your recipe fails too. Keepin’ it real, girl!

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