Marin Mama’s Weekly Dinner Menu for October 6th

Marin Mama's weekly dinner menu - October 6th

I’m just feeling an overwhelming sense of gratefulness and giddiness. Do you ever have days like that?  Days where you just feel grateful for life and all of its blessings?  I’m ever so grateful for health and for having an abundance of love in my life.  I’m grateful for the love from my family, friends and YOU my wonderful readers, who stop me to say hi at the grocery store or take the time to write a super sweet comment or email.  You all keep me motivated to keep this blog going.  Seriously, I keep blogging because you all keep reading, plain and simple, so THANK YOU guys!

Zoe and I were driving to soccer yesterday and we heard the song “First Time” by Lifehouse. The windows were open, the air was warm and we just belted the song out.  There’s a line in that song that I love, “Feeling alive all over again now” and that’s how we felt, alive, free and happy!  Sometimes we all need to get reawakened in life, reawakened to how amazing life truly is.

I have another reason to celebrate this week as someone is turning 9 this Friday. Hint, he’s in the picture below.  Isn’t he just the cutest?  I just love this guy!

Eli in front of door

The kids had their soccer games this weekend.  Zoe’s game was right after Eli’s, so she and her friend Madelaine sat down to watch Eli and eat some lunch before her game.  I wanted to show you guys what happens to Zoe whenever she goes to one of Eli’s games.  All of Eli’s pals have these adorable little sisters that attack Zoe whenever they see her.  She of course loves it!

Kids hanging out at soccer game

Here’s a shot of Eli in action.

Eli in action playing soccer

What I love about Eli is that he will stop and pose at any time (don’t worry, I only bug him when there’s a time out).  I just call out his name, he looks, and if he see’s me with the camera, he poses.  I love this top shot because he quickly went from that “what” face to the thumbs up face.

Montage of Eli playing soccer

Zoe is tough to get a focused picture of because she blazes around the field.  That girl has the best running stride and truly gives every game her all.

Zoe playing soccer

Ok, let’s move onto this week’s menu.

Sunday night dinner

Ina’s summer garden pasta and lacinato kale salad.  Cherry tomatoes are still available out here and they’re on sale, so I’m taking advantage of it and making up this pasta. I’m also the dance carpool mom today so I want an easy make ahead dinner, and this pasta and salad fit the bill.  I will make up cherry tomato marinade after lunch as well as the kale salad.  All I have to do come dinner time is to heat up the capellini pasta.  The other bonus is that this pasta is a two-nighter meal, so we will be having the leftovers tomorrow night. 

Inas summer garden pasta in a bowl

Kale Salad

Monday night dinner

Leftover night!  Manic Monday calls for an easy meal, and what is easier than leftovers, right?  I’m going to serve up the pasta from last night along with some fresh-cut red peppers and carrots.  

Tuesday night dinner

Spaghetti squash tacos and kale salad with pear, toasted almonds and gouda cheese (recipe soon).  Oh, how we’ve missed these tacos. They’re so good, and tastier than you would think. They’re also kid approved for those of you that may not think your kids would like them. I love having the leftovers of these tacos for lunch.

Spaghetti squash tacos

Kale salad with pear, toasted almonds and gouda

Wednesday night dinner

Easy skillet chicken parmesan, crispy garlic bread and broccoli rabe.  This is such an easy weeknight dinner.  It looks all fancy and complicated, but the chicken parmesan is a 30 minute meal.  It’s also a breadless and eggless chicken parmesan. My friend Amanda recommended this recipe to me last spring and I’m so happy that she did, because it’s become a family favorite and staple in our house.  Thanks Amanda.  Oh, she also recommended the pumpkin sheet cake that you will see at the bottom of this post as well.  Keep the recipes coming Amanda.

Skillet chicken parmesan

Garlic Bread slices on a cutting board

Thursday night dinner

Orecchiette pasta with pesto, sausage and green beans.  This is another family favorite weeknight dinner.  It’s super simple to throw together and it’s a one-bowl pasta which is even better. I’m going to use some broccoli rabe in place of the green beans. I also know exactly how long my orecchiette pasta takes, so I will just add the broccoli rabe in at the last-minute of the pasta’s cooking time, making it an even easier dinner to prepare.

Orecchiette pasta with pesto, sausage and green beans

Friday night dinner

It’s Eli’s birthday and he requested dinner out at one of our favorite spots, DJ’s Chinese.  The owner and staff at DJ’s are like family to us and we celebrate all of our special birthdays and anniversaries there.  We’ve been going there since we moved here 16 years ago and it has just become one of those special spots for our family.  Every time we go to DJ’s we’re welcomed with open arms and hugs, and you honestly can’t beat that!  I will be making our favorite chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting for Eli’s birthday dessert and sharing it with the staff at DJ’s.

Chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting

OK, since  you’re all amazing readers, I want to hear from you!  What recipe do you want to see posted this week?  I will post the one that gets the most votes, so speak up.

Pumpkin sheet cake with cream cheese frosting.  This is the perfect fall cake for those class or work parties, because it’s feeds a crowd and tastes great!

Pumpkin sheet cake with cream cheese frosting

Mixed greens with creamy mustard vinaigrette. Surprise, surprise, we do eat other salads besides kale!

Creamy mustard vinegarette

Kale salad with pears, toasted almonds and gouda cheese. This is an easy and tasty fall kale salad.

Kale salad with pear, toasted almonds and gouda

Ok, speak up and let me know what you want posted this week!

With love Jackie
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26 thoughts on “Marin Mama’s Weekly Dinner Menu for October 6th”

  1. ooh please the Pumpkin Cake! Not only will I be happy but it looks perfect for my staff meeting at school – and that will make all the aids in my room super happy!

    1. Hi Sadie. I think your wish is going to come true as pumpkin cake is what the readers are requesting. How sweet you are to bake up a treat for your staff meeting! They must love you at the school 🙂 xoxo, Jackie

  2. This post made me so happy to read! Your positive and happy energy just shines through in this post and it is contagious. I love Lifehouse and when you mentioned that song, that line you quote is the part I always remember and sing along to with the next line, as deep as the sky under my skin… 🙂
    Happy Birthday week to sweet Eli! You capture the best photos of your kids. They are in action and you totally capture how you see them and who they are.
    I vote for pumpkin cake! I think you should throw that vote part in here regularly, that’s fun we get to help decide. 🙂 Have a great week my friend! xoxo, Sharon

    1. Ok, we’re literally two peas in a pod girl. I love that you know this song and that you know all of the lines as well. Do you have Pandora? If so, listen to the Fray station. It plays a lot of Lifehouse ad well as other great artists. It’s my go-to station on Pandora.
      Thanks for the sweet words about the kids. They really are a pleasure to photograph and way more fun than photographing food all of the time 🙂
      Ok, I think pumpkin cake is going to be the winner as that is what everyone is voting for on the blog as well as Facebook. Now I just gotta get that post together! Love you girl! Jackie

    1. Hi Sandra. Yaay! I’m glad the post brought a smile to your face because honestly I had a blast writing it 🙂 I’m happy to see that someone is at least interested in the kale salad. Thanks for your vote Sandra 🙂 xoxo, Jackie

  3. hi marin mamma! i love your website, and check it every monday morning for fabulous meal inspiration before the weekly shopping trip. i love how you combine recipes & food with fun stories about your family and adventures. i especially love how simple your recipes are, as i don’t have any “fancy” appliances here where i’m living (czech republic) right now. no food processor, blender, etc. a girl’s gotta make do though.

    as much as i totally want to make that cake, i’m not sure i can find canned pumpkin over here either. (huge bummer, right? )so i ‘spose i’ll vote for the green salad…. but wouldn’t be sad if the pumpkin cake got posted too. maybe i could improvise? 😉

    1. Hi Cynthia! Thanks so much for your amazingly sweet comment 🙂 I’m so happy to know that someone else besides my family and friends likes the weekly stories about the family. I know my favorite blogs to read are not just food blogs, I love reading family and life blogs. I try and strive for simple recipes because I believe good cooking can be simple. I’m baking up cookies today that don’t require anything more than a spoon and a bowl to mix them in, that’s the way I grew up making cookies, so that’s the way I feel most comfortable. I’m so glad the recipes appeal to you and that you can make up the majority of them.
      You could always use fresh pumpkin in the pumpkin cake recipe. Here’s a link that gives you info on substituting fresh pumpkin for canned. http://www.bhg.com/advice/food/substituions/how-do-i-use-fresh-pumpkin-in-a-recipe/ I wish it wasn’t so expensive to ship overseas or else I would ship you a few cans of pumpkin puree. Honestly, I would 🙂 Don’t worry, the green salad and kale salad will be posted soon as well. I just wanted to see what people were craving next since I just did a sweet, I wasn’t so sure that people wanted a sweet again, but I guess the majority does and thats good to know. Have a fabulous week girl and it was great hearing from you 😉 xoxo, Jackie

      1. oh wow, i am over the moon about this link you posted! you are so sweet to look into this for me… i didn’t even think about DIY style. i bet i could find a pumpkin somewhere around here. if not, would squash be an OK substitute do you think?
        amazing, thanks again jackie! pumpkin sheet cake, here we come 🙂

        1. Hi Cynthia! No problem girl, I’m here to help! I think butternut squash would work. I usually substitute butternut squash for pumpkin in all of my soup recipes, so it seems pretty similar. I hope this recipe works for you girl and you get to make your pumpkin sheet cake! I just baked up another one of these today for Eli’s birthday party tomorrow. I have to say that I’m a bit pumpkined out 😉 xoxo, Jackie

  4. what great action shots of the kids…looks like such a beautiful weekend. i initially was like pumpkin cake yes…however that salad…i have some pears i need to use up and think your salad would be perfect. have a wonderful week! happy birthdy week eli!

  5. Made your kale salad last night – super delicious! I also watched your video and I had no idea you needed to strip the green off of the stalk – your video was very helpful. This is a keeper recipe. I am a big Ina fan too – she’s the best. Loving your site, and it’s cool that you are in Marin. In fact, I got the kale @ United yesterday for $1.88 bunch for organic – I thought that was a good deal! BTW your kids are darling. Have a great week!

    1. Hi Dominique. I’m so happy to hear that you made the kale salad and that the video helped make it easier to de-stem the kale. I think I need to make a shorter video for You-tube on just how to de-stem, thinly slice, massage and store kale. I think it would really help people and that way they wouldn’t have to watch the whole 7 minutes of my video. Organic kale for $1.88 at United? Wow, I think I may need to head over there tomorrow. Have a great night and thanks so much for saying hi! xoxo, Jackie

  6. All sound good, but my top vote is actually the kale salad. The whole family actually loves kale now and always looking for more ways to eat it. But it is October, so pumpkin cake will be awesome! Yum!

    1. Hi Allison! Glad you are all loving kale. I will be sure to post the kale salad next week. I actually made up this pasta with lemon and kale that my kids loved. They said it remanned them of my kale salad on top of pasta. Anyway, I made two versions, the kid friendly one with regular spaghetti pasta and parm and the mommy one with whole-wheat spaghetti and pecorino romano cheese. I will be sure to post that recipe soon as well. I wish I had more time so I could post all 3 recipes this week. Oh well! Have a great week girl! xoxo, Jackie

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