Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dinners Lately

I feel like a farmer's wife this week. A little like Ree from The Pioneer Woman...a husband doing hard manual labor from dawn till dusk every day and me, the wife, handling all childcare, housework and cooking duties. About a month ago I mentioned to Matt how much I really want a nice big patio out back (our current one barely fits our table & grill), and the amazing guy that he is, he jumped in with both feet and gave up his entire spring break this week to work 14-16 hour days in 40 degree weather to build me one. I love this man! In about two weeks, we went from this...

To this...

I'm loving it! It's going to look so beautiful when it's done. I spent some time outdoors today watching him work and envisioning how I'm going to furnish and decorate the whole thing when it's complete. And chasing after Riker who loves to jump in the sand immediately after Matt gets it perfectly smooth and ready to lay pavers down. And snacking.

With Matt working so hard, I've been wanting to make sure he has something tasty and filling to sink his teeth into when he takes his dinner breaks. Of course on the days I work in the city, that hasn't been possible and we've admittedly ordered pizza and Mexican a few times over the last few weeks when I just didn't have time to cook, but for the most part we've had some good home cooked meals.

On a warm day, we had lox & fried eggs over Food For Life English muffin halves, with a side of salad with homemade dressing. This is a pretty standard staple around here, we usually eat it once every two weeks.

When it got cold (um, why is it 42 degrees in the middle of April?!), I made a pot of vegetable barley soup. Right before serving, I threw in handfuls of fresh spinach and topped it with fresh parmesan cheese. So warm and hearty.

When creativity escaped me, I took to my Pinterest boards and tried out some recipes that I'd pinned a while back. I actually included these on my meals list for the week to make sure I had the ingredients on hand. 

One of my favorites was Grilled Salmon & Pineapple with Avocado Dressing by Giada DeLaurentiis. I made a few adjustments to her original recipe, but for the most part kept it the same. It was SO good - highly recommend! I'd eat that avocado dressing on just about anything. On the side we had some roasted fingerling potatoes and steamed broccoli from my Door to Door Organics box.

My other favorite Pinterest find of the week was Orange Sesame Tofu from In Jennie's Kitchen - one of my favorite food blogs.

I made a fair amount of adjustments to this recipe too, including adding quinoa and kale to turn it into a full stir-fry meal, but I didn't mess with her sauce. The sauce was so fresh and orangey and just felt bright. Loved it!

But tonight I finally did some real cooking. I totally forgot Recipe ReDux is coming up on Tuesday, and thank goodness I remembered today or I never would've had time to come up with something since tomorrow is Easter and weekdays are just too hard for recipe testing.

We had crunchy quinoa burgers with a side of baked carrot fries. In Matt's words, these were killer. I was glad to give him a fun and delicious dinner as a reprieve to all that brick-laying he's been doing today. I'll be posting the recipe on Tuesday!

Alrighty, time to go put together Easter baskets and relax for the evening. G'night!

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