Marin Mama’s Weekly Menu for November 25th

Marin Mama's weekly dinner menu - November 25th

The kids, my hubby and I helped volunteer at the Marin Food Bank last week.  One of Zoe’s friends organized it for her mitzvah project.  We spent 2 hours loading boxes from these huge containers and I’m proud to say that we pretty much emptied the containers.  The kids were amazing and worked so hard. Eli was the youngest volunteer, and we had to get special permission for him to volunteer as they have an age requirement.  I think they should lower the age requirement, as he worked incredibly hard.  I mean look at him, his arms were loaded like that the whole time and he had a smile on his face as well.  The photos were taken on my phone and I had to crop a few, so they’re a bit hazy.

Eli helping out at food bank

Here’s Zoe working away with a smile.

Zoe helping out at food bank

Here’s a photo of the gang (san’s us camera shy parents) at the end of the shift.  The woman who runs the food bank told they kids they could pose with a prop if they wanted, everyone decided against it, except Eli of course.  He’s just too darn cute sometimes.

Kids volunteering at food bank

We all decided that we’re going to volunteer at the Food bank more often.  The kids gained a lot from the experience and had a really had a great time.  It just teaches them so much about giving back and supporting their local community.

Since it was just the four of us for Thanksgiving, we decided to veer away from the normal Thanksgiving fare.  My kids are not big fans of turkey or stuffing, so we all sat down and discussed what we wanted for dinner.  Zoe’s first request was double baked potatoes, I wanted green bean with shallots and John wanted this dark chocolate coconut pie that Zoe and I had been promising to make him since this summer.  We all decided on a honey baked ham as our entree.  Eli was happy with all of the above choices.  His only request was that we didn’t serve up Brussels sprouts.  I tell you, it was the easiest Thanksgiving.  I sat in front of the fire and read most of the day, the kids played outside and John got to catch up on some football.  There was no hustling and bustling about trying to coordinate the timing of things.  I truly felt like we had a vacation day and I was grateful that we followed our hearts and did what we wanted that day, rather than feeling the pressure to follow the traditions that have been passed down upon us. The most important part was that we were all together and got to share in the day doing what we each loved and needed.

Below is a photo of the double baked potatoes and the green beans with shallots.  John organized them on this platter.  I had to take a photo of it because he did such a wonderful job.  I will post both recipes in December.  They are both super easy recipes and ones that you can make up ahead of time.

Double baked potatoes

Here’s a photo of my plate.  We had to cut the double baked potatoes in half as they were so filling.

Plate of food

Dessert!  We stayed away from the typical Thanksgiving pies as well (besides for the free pumpkin pie that my local market Paradise Foods gives away).  Zoe and I made this dark chocolate pie with coconut crust for the first time.  It literally tastes like a macaroon with dark chocolate.  It’s rich but soo good.  Luckily on Friday we went to a friends house where we all shared our Thanksgiving leftovers and I got to share this pie.  I really didn’t want this sitting around tempting me all week.

Dark chocolate pie with coconut crust

Ok, time to move onto this week’s menu.


I’m going to see the new Twilight movie with some girlfriends, and it runs close to dinner time, so John is in charge of making dinner.  We still have some leftover ham, so John is going to make use of that and whip up a pasta dish.  We will serve that up with some lacinato kale salad, which I will make earlier in the day.  I love that I get to go see a movie and then come home to a warm meal.  It feels so decadent.

Kale Salad


Meatless Monday.  After a few nights of meat, I’m ready for a meatless meal.  Carrot and ginger soup and popovers.

Carrot ginger soup with homemade croutons



Enchiladas with pumpkin sauce and kid friendly caesar salad.  We love these enchiladas any time of year.  The corn tortillas are so flavorful and every time I make this dish, I get so many compliments from the family.

Enchilada with pumpkin sauce

Kid Friendly caesar salad


Leftovers!   Enchiladas with pumpkin sauce and kid friendly caesar salad.


Orecchiette pasta with pesto, sausage and green beans. I love one-bowl easy meals such as this.  I also love that the green beans are just thrown in to cook with the pasta.  It’s such an easy but delicious week night dinner.

Orecchiette pasta with pesto, sausage and green beans


Zoe has her dance rehearsal tonight, so we’re all eating dinner out!

Stay tuned for Thursday when I will post this easy and delicious weeknight pasta.  I know it looks like my cheesy baked tortellini, but there are a few different variations.

Cheesy baked tortellini

I  really want to give a shout out to Wendy McKinley of McKinley Media, as she was amazing in transitioning my blog over from blogger to word press.  She is an HTML goddess and I love and appreciate how patient she was with me during the process.

Thanks Wendy!

With love Jackie
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17 thoughts on “Marin Mama’s Weekly Menu for November 25th”

    1. Hey girl! Yes, I did see your email and sounds like a great idea. I will respond later tonight! Yes, we do need to live near each other so we can swap menus!

    1. Thanks girl. I’m hoping it’s worth it. Blogger was so much easier and so user friendly. Thanks for listening to me vent the past few day 🙂

    1. Hi Sue! Glad you like the site. We still have more work to do, but the first thing was getting the site up and running.

  1. Congratulations with the move to word press. Moving’s no fun: virtual or real one, it’s pain in the neck. I am glad you had help to transition smoothly.
    What a nice way to spend Thanksgiving: togetherness is priceless. 🙂

    1. Hi Marina! You definitely know quite a bit about moving! Yes, a virtual move is almost as difficult as a regular move. I’m such a wimp!

  2. Hi Jackie,

    Your kids are so amazing volunteering. I wish that my boy will be as sweet as Zoe and Eli helping the needy as much we could.

    I hope that you are migrating well to word press now… Now seeing your smooth transition, I’m tempted to move too 😀

    Btw, the cook like a star, Martha Stewart event is on-going in Dec 2012. Please link up with us if you can and can’t wait to check out your dark choco coconut pie.


    1. Hi Zoe! Ok, I’m in for Martha’s cook like a star! I promise I won’t flake out like last time. John and Zoe are making sure I get the post up soon, as they want me to make that pie again. I guess I know what I’m doing on Friday!

      If you have any migration questions, email me!

  3. Ciao Cia hot mama! Love the food bank photos so much. Did I tell you I volunteered for the ‘quarter meal’ (a free meal for the homeless once per day) when I was in Berkeley?! I LOVED it.. like totally loved it. I adored being there and I also loved the connections and just how groudning the whole experience was. I hope you guys can carry on helping out.. so good for the soul, right?! xo

  4. Ooooh! I’ve been dying to try a pie with a coconut crust. Looks delish. I just found your blog recently and I am loving it. 🙂 Your kale salads are making me drool (especially after carb-magedon thanksgiving.) I am a fellow Marin gal myself and a newbie blogger. So happy to find such a lovely blog and a fellow Marinite. xo

    1. Hey neighbor thanks for stopping by! I will be sure to post that coconut pie recipe soon! I just have to make it and photograph it again. I ate too much at Thanksgiving as well, and am I’m still recovering so I’m eating lots of kale salads and soup this week.

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