Is anyone else finding it hard to cook this spring? First of all, you never know if it's going to be cold and raining or sunny and gorgeous. So one day we're craving chili and the next the kids are begging for freezer pops and I'm googling cold soups. So bizarre.
Plus, I must admit, I've been feeling a little lazy lately, now that there's a Chipotle around the corner, I want to go there all the time and ignore meal prep all together.
Oh well, here's a food diary of our lazy weeks . . .
MONDAY - Bon Appetit's broccoli quinoa salad with pistachios (via Bon Appetit); kids eat mac and cheese. We made the salad without the buttermilk dressing and it still tasted great.
TUESDAY - Dan makes pork chops and applesauce.
WEDNESDAY - Steak on the grill with edamame as a side.
THURSDAY - Baked chicken breasts in Trader Joe's curry simmer sauce with rice as a side.
FRIDAY - Leftovers.
SATURDAY - Dinner out at Celtic House.
SUNDAY - Pasta with eggplant spaghetti sauce (via Food 52: Genius Recipes). I love this sauce, absolutely love.
WEEK 2 (Dan out of town)
MONDAY - Perogies for the kids; salad for me.
TUESDAY - Dinner out at Texas Jacks because I'm feeling lazy and bbque tastes good.
WEDNESDAY - Dinner out with Shannon; mac and cheese for the kids.
THURSDAY - Cauliflower black bean bowl with guacamole (via Goop); black bean tacos for the kids. I'm still in love with cauliflower rice.
FRIDAY - Visit Dan in Chicago; tapas for Crystal's birthday.
SATURDAY - Visit Dan in Chicago; venison burgers with Jenny & Jordan.
SUNDAY - Visit Dan in Chicago; deep dish pizza.
WEEK 3 (Dan out of town)
MONDAY - Chipotle (just got back in town).
TUESDAY - One skillet mediteranean chicken (via Paleo Newbie), link via Not-So-SAHM. Usually I love this recipe, but I made it in a hurry and the result was sort of blah.
WEDNESDAY - Lentil mustard tomato salad for me (recipe here); hot dogs for the kids.
THURSDAY - Vegetable Skillet Lasagna (via Dinner A Love Story:the blog). By far the least healthy of our go-to recipes, but sometimes my body craves large amounts of cheese.
FRIDAY - Oven roasted chicken shawarma (via NY Times). I love this recipe.
SATURDAY - BBQ at the neighbor's house.
SUNDAY - I made a yummy bee sting cake (via Smitten Kitchen) and was too lazy to make dinner. So we ate nachos. But the cake was truly amazing.
WEEK 4 (Dan out of town until Thursday)
MONDAY - Ethiopian dinner out.
TUESDAY - Zucchini zoodles with spinach pesto (via Gwyneth's new cookbook - It's All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook Hardcover) . This pesto was crazy good and, well, zoodles are zoodles.
WEDNESDAY - Eggplant and ground turkey stir-fry (via Gwyneth's new cookbook - It's All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook Hardcover). The kids were mixed, but I could almost live on this.
THURSDAY - Dan brings back deep dish pizza from Chicago.
FRIDAY - Friends for dinner - taco/burrito bowl bar with chicken and carnitas.
SATURDAY - Leftovers.
SUNDAY - Leftovers (there were a lot this week).
WEEK 5 (Dan out of town)
MONDAY - Chipotle fundraiser for school.
TUESDAY - Polenta with tomato sauce and cauliflower tabbouleh (via Gwyneth's new cookbook - It's All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook Hardcover). As you'll probably notice, this is my new go-to weeknight dinner. It's super easy (I buy the polenta already cooked from Trader Joe's).
WEDNESDAY - Alison for dinner - Sheet pan chicken tikka (via Smitten Kitchen, blog). Okay, so I love this new recipe. Love.
THURSDAY - Mac and cheese for the kids; tomato/lentil/mustard salad for me (recipe here).
FRIDAY - Dinner out at William Jeffrey's.
SATURDAY - Dinner club with friends.
SUNDAY - Baked potato "bar"- bacon, yogurt, cheddar cheese, refried beans, tomatoes.
MONDAY - Flank steak with chimichuri sauce and cauliflower tabbouleh (via Gwyneth's new cookbook - It's All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook Hardcover).
TUESDAY - Cauliflower black bean bowl with guacamole (via Goop); black bean tacos for the kids.
WEDNESDAY - Spring fattoush salad (via Gwyneth's new cookbook - It's All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook Hardcover); perogies for the kids (with edamame).
THURSDAY - Williamsburg overnight field trip with F's 4th grade class (dinner at the Golden Coral).
FRIDAY - Neighbor's happy hour.
SATURDAY - Dan and the kids go to a friend's house for dinner; I'm not feeling well, so I eat some leftovers out of the fridge.
SUNDAY - Mother's Day, Dan makes broccoli, sausage, pasta for his parents and us. Yum!!!
MONDAY - Kale and white bean stew (via Dinner: A Love Story: It all begins at the family table). The perfect easy recipe for cold, rainy days.
TUESDAY - Sheet pan chicken tikka (via Smitten Kitchen, blog).
WEDNESDAY - Polenta with tomato sauce and cauliflower tabbouleh (via Gwyneth's new cookbook - It's All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook). This is my new dinner staple. Easy and good.
THURSDAY - Leftovers.
FRIDAY - Clean out the freezer - lots of frozen Indian dinners from Trader Joes.
SATURDAY - Mac and cheese for the kids; an easy salad for Dan and me.
SUNDAY - Dan make hamburgers on the grill with french fries as a side.
MONDAY - Avocado, bacon, almond butter sandwiches (via Gwyneth's new cookbook - It's All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook). I know this sandwich sounds gross, but wow, it's a tasty combo. And super easy.
TUESDAY - Gwyneth's sweet potato, black bean, turkey chili, perfect after a cold rainy zoo field trip (via Gwyneth's old cookbook - IT'S ALL GOOD: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great). Even though it's spring, the rain makes it feel like autumn, so we went with comfort food.
WEDNESDAY - Nachos with black beans (i.e. super lazy mom).
THURSDAY - Burrito bowls.
FRIDAY - Spring fattoush salad (via Gwyneth's new cookbook - It's All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook); mac and cheese for the kids.
SATURDAY - Dinner club.
SUNDAY - I'm photographing a wedding, so Dan takes care of dinner.
May has been so rainy and cold that it seems impossible to believe that April was gorgeous (so. so. long ago.). Oh well, have a great weekend everyone! I love this photo of my favorite 4 year old tomboy rocking her short hair and flying a helicopter. Sometimes you have to hang out with a preschooler to remember how ridiculous gender stereotypes really are.
Happy Friday everyone! Don't forget to check out this week's awesome on Cherish This Day!
* Reading Doris Lessing's The Fifth Child
* Reading Marilyn French's The Women's Room
* Reading Edna O'Brien's The Country Girls Trilogy
* Listening to Nina Simone
* Attending Father John Misty's concert with Colleen
* Watching Malcom in the Middle as a family (esp. season 7, episode 1 - the burning man episode, now the kids really want to go!!)
* Tail Up Goat with Shannon
* Making bee sting cake
* Gwyneth's new cookbook - It's All Easy - esp. almond citrus overnight oats and cauliflower tabouli
* Parents' night out on Columbia Pike during this crazy early spring
* Sunday morning family dog walks on the trail next to Longbranch
* A gorgeous Monday (school holiday) at Flag Ponds Nature Park with friends
* Learning about turtle rescues at Long Branch Nature Center with Isla
* Orange Theory three times a week and running with Kelly
* Cleaning out our old books (finally!)
* My new office!
* F writing a novel/short story about four friends
* P to T, "You'll never go first, I called dibs on everything on the day I was born."
* The kids' excitement over making Musicly videos with their friends (though I know I'll tire of it soon)
* Dinner club at Kelly's (steaks on the grill)
VACATION (weekend in Chicago with Dan)
* Drinks and dinner on Friday and Saturday night with high school friends
* Van Gogh's bedrooms at the Art Institute with my mom (though I'm still not sure why we waited in line to see three virtually identical paintings next to each other on a wall)
* Watching Naked and Afraid marathons in the hotel room while Dan worked (he had a big trial that week)
THE KIDS' LISTS:
F - a nice house to live in and food to eat, my family, that everything is so great
P - fantasy and comic books, chocolate, Coco and Happy, a lot of stuff that I don't want to tell you, playgrounds, hugs
T - soccer practice, my teachers, that grandma visited, craft projects with grandma, that you're back home from Chicago, that an author came to my school and gave me a book, swim lessons, Happy, Coco, family night, that today was a half day
1. The Princess Bride - I really can't think of a much better family movie - kids love it, adults love it. Hating The Princess Bride is inconceivable. [Common Sense media age rating - 8+]
2. ET - Oh, the nostalgia. Everyone has to see this movie at least once in their lives, so why not see it as a family? [Common sense media age rating - 7+]
3. Adventures in Babysitting - Whenever my kids watch Adventures in Babysitting (yes, we've seen it multiple times) they talk about how dangerous life was before cellphones. Elizabeth Shue singing the Babysitting Blues might be my favorite movie scene ever. [Common sense media age rating - 12+]
4. To Kill a Mockingbird - Because Atticus Finch is awesome and racism is not. And kids are always confused/fascinated by the fact that movies used to be in black and white. [Common sense media age rating - 12+]
5. Minions - In case your family needs to laugh together. Over and over again. [Common sense media age rating - 5+]
6. Legally Blond - Although this comedy is a little tongue and cheek, I love the message to believe in one's self and not to cave to society's expectations of who or what you should be (though be careful, there's some adult content in this one). [Common sense media age rating - 13+]
7. The Truman Show - F loves this movie, making me super happy that Netflix added it to streaming. A great introduction to what "real" means, especially in this age of digital fakeness. [Common sense media age rating - 10+]
8. Hoodwinked - Dan and his brother both insist that this is the funniest animated movie ever made. [Common sense media age rating - 7+]
9. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants - Because kids need to see films that pass the Bechtel test (and there aren't that many of them). Plus, the views of Greece are incredible (and made me want to travel). [Common sense media age rating - 12+]
10. Blackfish - Kids need to learn that adults/corporations/theme parks don't always tell the truth. Hence sometimes you need to dig deeper and ask hard questions in order to learn the "real story". [Common sense media age rating - 14+, mainly because the depressing theme - whales mistreated in captivity - may be hard for young kids to handle.]
Despite the rain the boys have still found time to work on their fort. I'm continually amazed that a random corner of our backyard (right next to the fence) has become such a source of entertainment.
In the past few weeks, the fort has become: a police station, complete with a "jail" and toy gun "firing range", as well as a tattoo parlor (hence why the kids keep doodling on themselves with pens) and a "man cave" (whatever that means).
Happy Wednesday! If you live in the area I hope you're enjoying this dose of sunshine.
Things to Do - When Life Gives you Lemons, Make Lemonade & When Life Gives You Rain, Photograph Flowers
I'm trying to find the upside of all these rainy days. And the answer is - PEONIES!!!
Happy Monday everyone!!
Sorry for the radio silence lately. How I've missed this space. And I had so many fun things to share. But last week both my computers died (the old iMac and the new iMac), so I haven't been able to post anything.
The last 12 days have been a tornado of genius bar appointments, calls with Applecare and multi-day hardware fixes that didn't work. And then yesterday, I learned that the continual crashing of my new iMac may have caused my external hard drive to corrupt - where I store all my photos and my lightroom catalog (yes, I know I should have backed it up, but since both computers had so many issues I could never keep the computers from crashing for long enough to backup the drive). I find out today what it will cost to save my external (they said anywhere from $200 to $2000).
And then there's all this f***ing rain.
Always, that's enough ranting. I want to keep this space happy and positive. So have a wonderful weekend and don't forget to check out this week's awesome on Cherish This Day!!
* Have you seen this music video yet? It made me smile.
* Doesn't this photography/fiction book look really cool?
* Photoshopped movie stills with guns replaced by selfie sticks. THESE ARE AWESOME!!!
* The five big spring books.
* If I can get myself together, I might try and make this over the weekend.
* The busy person's lies. Interesting, I wonder if time tracking would just make me more frustrated about mind-numbing tasks (dish washing, standing in line, buying the same groceries week after week, driving kids around, etc.) or if it would help me appreciate the time I do have.
* This videogame looks beautiful and fun.
Girl vs. boy games of capture the flag (weapons are optional).
T has decided he's a photographer too.
A cold weekday afternoon at the Spy Museum.
Flowers at the dog park.
Modern art the the National Gallery.
Lazy afternoons on the couch.
A warm spring break morning at Calvert Cliffs (there's something wonderful about the beach in April).
Busch Gardens with friends over spring break (my girls are roller coaster addicts).
The Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum in Williamsburg (I've always wanted to go to one of these and while I can't say it was truly amazing, it was a fun place to spend an hour).
Hiking at Potomac Overlook with cousins and grandparents.
Soccer season has begun.
I love this group of crazy.
A weekend in Chicago with Dan.
I love spending my afternoons with this awesome kid.
Neighborhood bike rides.
Meeting new friends.
Saturday downtime on the couch between soccer games.
Lunch out with my beautiful almost-tween.
Dinosaurs and hoses.
Sunday night on Alexandria's waterfront.
The best family ever.