Weekly Menu: June 30 – July 6, 2013
Sunday:  At Lake Tahoe
Monday:  At Lake Tahoe
Tuesday: SavoryGirl's Tortellini Soup
Wednesday: Taco Night
Thursday: 4th of July BBQ!
Friday: Leftovers: Tacos
Saturday: Eat Out
Since we're just returning from Tahoe this week, we're going to keep it simple once again with a few quick and easy stables.  My family Tortellini soup that I grew up eating and one of our all-time favorites...taco night!  Of course 4th of July is this week as well which means parking ourselves down at Chrissy Field nice and early to stake our claim to a grill and enjoying one of my favorite holidays in the sun.  Hopefully.  We do live in San Francisco, after all...and the 4th is notoriously known for being our foggiest and windiest days of the year, but fingers crossed it's not this year.  When it comes to the 4th, I'm a traditionalist...so no fancy recipes.  Good ole' cheeseburgers, bratwursts, potato salad, chips and dip and American beer and wine. For dessert I do like to do something a bit festive (yet still traditional) with red, white and blue...so we'll see what I come up with this year!  Enjoy a fabulous day with family, friends, good food and great fireworks!

Since, once again, this week's menu is a bit sparse due to all of the summer fun here is a link to past menus and recipes to help you make the most of your dinners this week.
Weekly Menu: June 23-29, 2013
Sunday: Summer Minestrone Soup
Monday: Salmon Panzanella
Tuesday: Leftovers: Salmon Panzanella
Wednesday: Leftovers: Minestrone
Thursday: Dinner with Friends in Town
Friday: Lake Tahoe Wedding Weekend!
Saturday: Lake Tahoe Wedding Weekend!
I'm back from my trip and Summer is in full swing....which means another short fun trip this upcoming weekend. I love that about Summer, every time you turn around there's something fun going on.  This upcoming weekend it's the wedding of someone Christian went to high school with, so all of his friends from high school (who he is still pretty close with and I've known for 14 years) are flying in and we're all heading up to Lake Tahoe to rent a house and have some fun.  Lake Tahoe is one of my all-time favorite places in the world, so having good friends there, a hot-tub to soak in and a great wedding to go to is going to make for an epic weekend...love Summer!

Ok, back to the food...we're dishing up two of our Summer favorites this week.  Summer Minestrone Soup, chock full of zucchini and squash and basil...I know most people don't think of soup for the summer but this is a great, light dish. Our other Summer stand-by is Salmon Panzanella, which I've been making for years. So healthy, easy and delicious it never disappoints.  Great for a quiet dinner in with a glass of white wine or perfect for a summer party since it scales up easily. Happy first week of Summer everyone!
Weekly Menu: June 16-22, 2013
Sunday: Out of Town
Monday: Out of Town
Tuesday: Out of Town
Wednesday: Out of Town
Thursday: Grilled Chicken and Roasted Rapini & Tomatoes
Friday: Eat Out
Saturday: Leftovers: Chicken Fajitas with Black Bean, Mango, Avocado Salad
This is not a very helpful menu - I realize that!  But since I am out of town for work most of the week here is a link to past menus and recipes to help you make the most of your dinners this week.  Back to normal next week...
S’Mores Cupcakes!

Holy Schmoly do I have a treat for you...S’Mores Cupcakes!  That’s right people, bring that campfire treat into your home year round in the intoxicating form of a cupcake. And since we're right on the cusp of camping and s'mores season I thought it was the perfect time to share this amazing twist on an old classic.

To be perfectly up front, this is a relatively labor intensive cupcake to make, but I don’t bake very often so when I do I like to give it my all and this little piece of heaven is certainly worth the effort. Here is the recipe for Society Bakery’s S’Mores Cupcakes, which appeared in a 2011 Bon Appétit, but my photos and comments are shared below for a little added motivation to make these yummy treats.
Weekly Menu: June 9-15, 2013
Sunday: Chimichurri Marinated Steak with Grilled Corn and Seasonal Greens
Monday: Grilled Halibut with Mango Avocado Salsa and Quinoa
Tuesday: Leftovers: Fish Tacos with grilled corn & black bean salad
Wednesday:   Leftovers: Steak Salad with Roasted Red Peppers & Artichoke Hearts
Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner
Friday: Eat Out - friend visiting
Saturday: Out of Town
We've been on a pretty light and clean kick lately, but for tonight Christian has requested some red meat...so we're going to marinate some steak in an Argentinian Chimichurri sauce and grill it up alongside some fresh corn from the Farmer's Market and whatever other seasonal greens look good. Monday we'll return to our lighter ways with some grilled fish and a mango avocado salsa...super simple and easy, but I've attached a link to a Gwyneth Paltrow version featured in Bon Appétit above if you'd like a specific recipe to follow. Then the rest of the week is easy breezy...leveraging our steak and fish leftovers to make tacos and salads, an easy breakfast for dinner dish on Thursday and then the fun of the weekend begins.

Have a yummy week everyone!
Disappearing Zucchini Orzo with Grilled Shrimp

This is an oldie but a goodie that I found years ago when I read one of my now favorite books Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It is a super simple, healthy and delicious dinner.  Perfect for a warm summer night…particularly late summer when you're just starting to get sick of zucchini.  If you eat seasonally like we do, in the early summer it's hard to imagine you'll ever get sick of zucchini since it's been so long since you've had it…but it can happen!

So if it happens to you whip up this dish,  because as the name of it suggests, the zucchini kind of disappears within the orzo and it helps you use up lots of zucchini if you're lucky enough to have one of those neighbors who keeps bringing you baskets- full!  It's also a great dish if you're trying to sneak some veggies into the kids as I know you parents often need to do.

The original recipe can be found here, but I've also copied it below with a few very minor adjustments (including the addition of grilled shrimp).
Weekly Menu: June 2-8, 2013
Sunday: Basil Quinoa Cakes with Grilled Asparagus
Monday: Disappearing Zucchini Orzo with Grilled Shrimp
Tuesday: Leftovers: Basil Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Cauliflower
Wednesday: Leftovers: Disappearing Zucchini Orzo with Grilled Shrimp
Thursday: Grilled Peach & Chicken Salad (DIY)
Friday: Leftovers: Chicken Tacos with Peach & Black Bean Salsa
Saturday: Kayaking & Wine Tasting in Russian River Valley
Last week got away from us a bit and we ended up eating out/ordering in three times...three!  That's a lot for us since we're usually so good about sticking to our planned menus, but you know it happens to the best of us.  So you'll notice that one of the recipes from last week that we never ended up making, Basil Quinoa Cakes, is reappearing this week since we have all of the ingredients on hand already.

We're also bringing back an old summer favorite from one of my all-time favorite books (which just happens to have yummy recipes included!); Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.  The whole idea of Disappearing Zucchini Orzo is that by the end of the summer everyone is starting to get a bit sick of zucchini since it is so darn plentiful.  So this dish gracefully sneaks it in and uses lots of it up.  So typically this is more of a late summer dish for us, but it's simple, yummy and healthy so we're moving it up in the rotation.  To make it a bit more interesting and filling we always grill up shrimp and serve them right on top of the orzo.

Last, but certainly not least we're whipping up an impromptu salad dish to end the week.  Since peaches have arrived but aren't quite great just yet we'll give them a bit of help by grilling them to bring out their natural sweetness.  Then we'll likely just mix in some fresh mint, toasted almonds and thinly sliced red pepper with some mixed greens and serve a nice piece of grilled chicken on top.  Maybe a sprinkle of goat cheese. Summery, healthy and easy.  Make sure to grill up some extra chicken and peaches and set them aside so you can make a quick salsa (mix peaches with black beans, cilantro and fresh diced jalapeño) and turn this easy dinner into grilled chicken tacos for leftovers.