Scenes from a pizza night

Everyone is delighted when Shane decides to make pizza, we really think it’s the best “za” around. Because the pizza making is an ongoing process and he serves the pies as they come out of the oven, we like hang out with him in the kitchen while he cooks. It’s a really fun time, and everyone gets involved, in one way or another, even if it’s just making the chit-chat… or making a mess.

Now don’t worry, that 500 degree oven kills all germs. At least, that’s what we like to think.


Not a dog’s day

 Rose helped me plan the meals for this week. She’s opinionated, and often decisive, which makes her perfect for the job.

For Monday’s dinner, she penciled in hot dogs, to which I naturally added a couple of hearty salads. Later, a couple of folks said they might like burgers with their dogs. Shane made plans to fire up the grill, and that was Monday settled.

On the way home from the gym tonight, Rose told me she no longer wanted hot dogs, she was really in the mood for a burger instead. 

We sat down at the table where Sid was already eating a plate-full of ketchup with a fork. I gave him some hot dog, he screamed “No! I don’t want it! Take it off! Take it off!” 

I removed the offending morsel from his plate at which point he immediately took another hot dog, which he spent the remainder of the meal massaging with mayonnaise by hand, while intermittently exclaiming “I sticky, I sticky, I sticky!”

I had barely tucked into my carrot salad with harissa, feta & mint* and my sesame miso great beans when Rose said “Mom! Look at my burger! Will you take a picture? Will you put it on the blog? Please? Pleeeeease?”

How could I say no.

The burgers and the carrots were the clear winners tonight. But my generous dad took one for the hot dog team, and ate the guy that had been hand-massaged with mayo. Nice one pop.

*We use the recipe from Smitten Kitchen but significantly increase all of the seasonings, the oil and the feta to make it extra-yummy.

Vietnamese noodle salad: “super-easy except for the prep”

So glad my sister reminded us about this recipe. We all absolutely love Vietnamese Noodle Salad with (or without) Shrimp. And it really is super-easy, except for the prep, specifically all of that julienning.

Fortunately, my mom did a lot of the prep in advance, which made it easier for my sister to single-handedly pull together a massive platter piled high with this delicious dish.

In case you’re wondering what we have planned for next week: Monday is going to be burgers, dogs, Carrot Salad with Harisa, Feta & Mint and a green salad. On Tuesday, Rose has requested sushi takeout instead of our usual Frank Pepe. Wednesday will be Linguini with Pecorino, Pepper & Arugula. And on Thursday Shane’s going to make some of his awesome pizza pie from scratch. We like to wing it on Friday.

Happy weekend!

The week: part 2

My last post was all about planning dinner for the week, so I thought today I’d post about prepping all the food for the week, breakfast and lunches too.

Since the kids love pancakes and I’m always making them on weekend mornings anyhow, I’ve taken to making extra pancakes which I heat up in the oven on school days. I use this pancake recipe. We go back and forth between liking them thin and thick, right now we’re in a thick phase, with chocolate chips.

If you’re going to do this, I recommend not refrigerating the cooked pancakes, they get too stiff. Just wrap them well and leave them on the counter, they’ll last 2-3 days easy. When you wake up, wrap however many pancakes you need in foil, pop them in a warm oven while you shower, and they’re ready when you the kids get up (assuming you do things in that order).

I’m an oatmeal junkie and that’s what I bring to work for my breakfast. Rather than the tedious process of microwaving at work, I do overnight oats in a jar. You combine some old fashioned oats with the liquid of your choice (I like almond milk), sweetener (maple syrup) and whatever else you like. Let it sit in the fridge overnight or for a day or two and it’s edible right out of the jar.

We do lunches the night before because we’re just not that good in the mornings. I can’t imaging finding time to make lunch in the morning short of waking up in the fives, which is something I really try my best not to do, ever.

At the top of this page is pictured Sid’s lunch for tomorrow. He’s got a sun butter sandwich, some of the shepherd’s pie that Shane made (which Sid would never eat for me but may eat for the nice ladies at daycare), an applesauce packet, yogurt and an orange.

My lunch is almost always a hearty salad. I like to make up a batch or two of grains on the weekend (farro, quinoa, wild rice, barley) and then roast up a root vegetable or two (beets, sweet potatoes, carrots) and use those as my base.

The night before I add fresh herbs, olive oil, a dash of vinegar, maybe some cheese or nuts and a big handful of greens at the very top. If you put the greens in last and then don’t toss the salad until you’re ready to eat it, the greens don’t wilt in the dressing.

Shane takes care of his own lunch (thank god), and we tag team making the kids lunches. Rose alternates between buying lunch at the cafeteria and bringing a sandwich, pasta or whatever is currently working for her.

So once all of that is done and while Sid has his afternoon nap I plan the dinners for the week (see below). Our dinner plan includes recipes, when relevant, and has spots for family members to volunteer for shopping, cooking etc. We also put notes about who will or will not be around for dinner and whether Rose is buying her lunch the next day, or needs it prepared.

And look at that, I only spent most of the day getting our food sorted out for the week. Happy work week friends!


The Week

Sid surveyed the assortment of meal-related items on the countertop today, looked at me and said: “The veek, the veek!” Sid was correct, I was preparing our food for the week (aka ‘veek’).

Because that’s what I do on weekends, I prepare for the week ahead, I make pancakes for my kids, I do laundry, and I dress ever so slightly more casually. Make of that what you will.

Here’s what we’re having for dinner this week: Monday Anna is making African Peanut Soup with Sriracha. Tuesday is our favorite Vegetarian Chili, which I just this moment finished making. On Wednesday Shane will probably prepare the Penne alla Vodka. Thursday is Frank Pepe’s Pizza (yes! it finally opened) which Chris will pick up after work. And on Friday we like to get really wild and decide what to eat at the last minute.

Here are a few highlights from last week:

Shane’s carbonara.

A simple cheese frittata, salad & tomatoes with fennel oil.

Roasted root veggies, broccoli & this farro dish (which we thought was perfectly good, but not as life-altering as promised).

Happy work week everyone!



Craving gratin

  Shane told us last night that he’s really been craving potato gratin. For dinner, he made gratin dauphinois, roasted cubanelle peppers, salad with spinach and raw yellow beets, and burgers (not pictured). 

Actually, I made the salad. And for the record, I intend to rack up hella corporate wellness program points for the variety of color on my plate. 

These days

  These days, I don’t post very much. I don’t cook much either. Shane does the cooking, or my mom or dad. My sister and her husband usually clean up. The guys do most of the grocery shopping.  I sometimes plan the meals, but that’s about it. Because I go to work at a “real place” now.

That’s how it goes these days. We still have family dinner though, every night. 

Last night Shane churned out a variety of grilled cheeses, and some oven fries while the “youngsters” (our parents are in Venice) stood around the kitchen island and made it all disappear. We also had fancy sauce

Happy New Year friends!

Papa al pomodoro

“There’s a lot of stale bread,” my sister told me over coffee this morning “we should make Papa al Pomodoro.” She also kindly pointed out that I could find the recipe on my blog.

Well that’s convenient, isn’t it?

Papa al Pomodoro, or Bread and Tomato soup, is a warm, easy, delicious, economical and belly-filling meal that conveniently uses up a whole loaf of stale bread.

You can find the recipe here, be sure not to use sourdough, ciabatta or a plain baguette is best.

Oh Shakshuka

We really love Shakshuka around here, ever since we finally decided to try it.

Since the sauce is really the only time-consuming part of the recipe—the onions cook for an hour—my mom had the brilliant idea to cook up a few batches and freeze them so that we can whip up a quick Shakshuka whenever we want.

We use the recipe from Dash & Bella with a few modifications. We cut down on the spice for the kids and I’m pretty sure my mom just roasts the garlic in the oven for the confit. (I’m not sure if it’s still considered a confit that way but it works.) Here it is, gooey yolk and all.


Tortilla Soup

Sid started daycare a couple of weeks ago. What this means is that—in addition to hearing him say “I don’t yike it day care” several times a day—he almost immediately contracted every virus in the book.

Now the various viruses are making their way through the rest of us. Nothing like a hearty bowl of Tortilla Soup to soothe a sore throat.