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Weekly Menu

This weird sudden downpouring weather has been perfect for my vegetable garden, it's growing out of control and it's not even July yet!  Unfortunately, it also means a lot of delayed plans too.  We got out to ComFest on Friday night before the weekend thunderstorms.  It meant everyone has hot and sticky though.  Love seeing Cbus show its inner hippie with streets shut down, people lounging in the grass, fun crafts being sold, local foods eaten, and sustainable methods on display (using solar to power some of the food trucks).  

We always end up getting the jerk chicken every year because it's the only time know we can get pretty authentic jerk.  After perusing the merch tents, we grabbed a spot on the lawn for some people watching (always fun at festivals, but particularly fun to see what kind of outfits come out at ComFest).


I swear, the breakfast sandwich at North Star has to be the best ever.  So much so, I had to make my own version the next morning because I was still thinking about it!

My dog has a rain jacket.  He hates the rain and will not go outside without it.  He is such a weirdo.


With all of the rain we have had this June, the garden is doing amazing.  Of course now that I have said that, a hoard of insects will devour everything overnight.  That or we won't get rain for the rest of the summer and it will be 100+ degrees while I'm standing out there with the hose.  Let's hope the trend continues with a couple nice downpours a week.  I like it the monster banana peppers and giant chard leaves we're getting right now.  Perfect for topping pizzas with!  :)

Since it's the week of Independence Day (wait, where did June go?!) we have a lot of plans that involve us not eating at home.  So the meal planning this week is pretty limited at best.  But to sort of make up for it (and because I had some super ripe bananas I forgot about), I have chocolate chip banana muffins in the oven right now.

chicken and green beans
zucchini enchiladas
more salads (still not tired of them yet)
blackberry bourbon chicken and green beans (check out these marmalades we found at Celebrate Local made in Reynoldsburg!)

Turkey Tacos - total time 20 minutes

I can't believe it is already the end of June!  Where did the month go?!?  I need to get out of the office earlier so I can really enjoy the summer.  Whether it's late nights at the office or you just want to get dinner on the table quickly, taco night is always a great solution.

What's funny is as often as we have taco night around these parts... I've never made ground beef (or ground turkey) tacos.  I have made chicken (of course), fish, veggie, fajita, and shrimp tacos... probably even some more that I can't think of off the top of my head.  But the default taco at every Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurant is always ground beef.  Likely because it is the less expensive meat (but not always).  Maybe it's because the original Mexican taco was made with beef.  Who really knows!

So... I thought I would give these tacos a try.  The thing about tacos is really getting the spices right.  You don't need a prepackaged mix... you don't know what is in that thing and you can't customize it either.  I always keep a few spices on hand; chili powder and red pepper flakes.  Those two combined give anything the right amount of flavor and spice to make taco night a success!  And don't worry, for those of you adverse to spicy foods... regular chili pepper isn't really spicy (though chipotle chili pepper is, I breathed in steamy chipotle air by accident and my lung felt like they were on fire!).  The recipe below is spicy enough to keep you reaching for your water but not make you sweat.  And of course you can adjust how much you add depending on how you like your tacos (the beauty of not using a mix)!

Weekly Menu

It's officially summer!  Hope you're all enjoying the extra sunshine!

I'm so excited with the progress of my garden this year.  It definitely shows that practice really does make perfect eventually.  I went from killing every plant I touched (I never remembered to water things) to having a 8'x16' garden that is already producing more than we can eat!  

After all those years, I would have to say, the trick is definitely the soil.  I read several articles and books saying the same thing and I always thought dirt was dirt.  It's what you put in the soil that counts.  That is what the plant 'eats'.  Yep... they do need water (everything does) and sunshine (for photosynthesis), but neither of those are feeding the plant to make it grow.

The secret to getting your soil right is really just some good organic fertilizer (or compost) with crushed asprin and calcium pills.  The fertilizer when get a good base of nutrients back into your dirt.  The asprin wards off disease in plants, just like it does for us.  And then the added calcium helps several plants, especially tomatoes, from rotting prematurely.  I have been using this technique for the past couple years thanks to Tom at Seeding a Good Life (check out his crazy large harvests).

My tomatoes are starting to turn from blossoms to fruit, green beans are finally trellising, zucchinis are growing, and my cantaloupe vines have taken over my chair.  Now I just need to keep the bad bugs away and eat, share, and put up for later!


So now that my garden is hopping and will soon be producing pounds of zucchini (knock on wood)... this week I'm dusting off a few zucchini favorites and working on a couple new ones.  Here is this week's meal plan...

stuffed squash blossoms
squash stuffed shells
fish fillets, steamed broccoli, and cheesy chard biscuits
hamburgers and red white and blueberry salad (go USA!)
pizza night

Quick Crepes - total time 10 minutes

We're prepping for our vacation in Europe and I'm so excited!  Things are finally coming together after years of saying we would go and finding excuses to put it off another year.  So now that the flights are booked and we're landing the plane on some other decisions (including getting our tickets to London Fashion Week!), some times I try to start our vacation a little early with some classic french foods.

I'm normally a pancakes and eggs kind of girl on the weekends, but I swapped out my pancakes for a little french crepe.  It felt especially french since there wasn't a single word of english on the packaging!  I've tried making my own crepes before, after all, the batter is really just thinned down pancake mix (for the most part, I won't say that in Paris, I promise).  When I tried making them, they always fell apart.  It's hard to get something that thin and delicate!

After a couple times making crepes in the morning, I like them two ways... cold and warmed up.  The pictures and steps below are for the cold version using yogurt.  For the warmed up melty version, take the crepes, carefully spread peanut butter thinly across, then add slide bananas on one half... fold it in half twice and heat them in a pan on medium-low heat for a minute or two each side.  The heat crisps up the crepe for some textured crunch and warms the peanut butter to be gooey inside.  Perfect!

The cold version is just as good!  The main difference is toasting up the crepe first to avoid warming the yogurt.  Nice and creamy.

Weekly Menu

What a beautiful weekend!  Couldn't ask for better weather, seriously!  I hear it is supposed to rain all week, but hey, I'll take that (and so will my garden) if the weekends are this perfect.

The World Cup started last week (did you see those cute commercials with Adriana Lima?).  Of course we've had it on (usually recorded) every day.  Seems like less people are as into it this years as I remember the last one.  Maybe that's just because USA hasn't played yet.  I'm sure Sam's Army will be out in full force tomorrow night.  Are you watching the games?

Last week we celebrated our 7 year anniversary (he surprised me with two dozen roses at work)!  Then we were out and about town this weekend for (614) day, tested stand up paddle boards and kayaks with Outdoor Source (we finally made a decision), and tried some restaurants we've been meaning to try for a while now.  All while hobbling around on my semi-bum knee (too many squats in hip hop?  hopefully the doctor will fix it tomorrow).


So I'm taking it easy this week, no hip hop CRT, which would normally mean more time to cook more elaborate dinners... but we're going out to watch the USA game tomorrow.  And then this weekend we're in Canton for graduation and summer solstice parties.  So mostly quick meals this week... with lots of side salads because we have lettuce coming out our ears between our garden, Green BEAN, and our CSA delivery.

grilled bbq rub chicken and salad
coq au riesling and grilled asparagus
pizza night
seared scallop alfredo and salad
shrimp gumbo

6/14 in the (614)

Happy Flag Day... or if you live in Columbus... Happy (614) Day!

Columbus Ohio Heart map  - 11x14 print

Here are just a couple events around town celebrating our city.  Don't forget to #614day in your photos!

Summer in the 614 (Worthington)

Digfest (Granview)

Moonlight Market (Downtown)

Breakfast Enchiladas - total time 30 minutes

We used to have a game on trying to make every meal into a sandwich... you know, since sandwiches are so awesome.  I think breakfast might have been the beginning of this challenge when I was using pancakes and sandwich ends before McDonalds made it a thing.  We made spaghetti sandwiches between garlic toasts.  Of course we sandwiched our pizza.  Pretty much anything was fair game to be between two slices of bread.

Now I feel like it's tacos time to shine (or enchiladas in this case).   Fish and veggie tacos that may have been hard to find a few years ago are not available everywhere.  With Taco Bell's waffle taco, you really have to wonder what can't be turned into a taco (and when does it stop being a taco and start just being a way to eat with your hands and shove food in your mouth).

Enter breakfast enchilada!  While it's not technically a taco, it sorta is.  Ha.  It's also kind of like a mini breakfast burrito.  Perfect serving size for your brunch table or for making on a Sunday and heating up throughout the week.  I went with more of a fajita approach, but add potatoes, beans, salsa, etc if that's what floats your boat!

Weekly Menu

Another fabulous weekend in the Cbus!  We only get about six months of nice weather, so the city really seems to make the most of it with tons of events and everyone is out and about grilling and enjoying the sunshine.  It really makes me wonder about Canadians and how they handle an even shorter window of summer because the other six months in Columbus really wears on my spirit staying indoors so much.  I can't even imagine living in Edmonton or, even more extreme, Alaska.  Requires a thicker skin and tougher spirit.

So to get outside and enjoy the weather, we started the weekend at my favorite patio closest to home, Pies.  Great pizza and small plates (looove the crispy brussel sprouts)... 


Crews are working on getting the Scioto Greenway project complete.  After removing the dam last year, they are now carving out the old natural river bed to get the river flowing again for healthier wildlife habitat.  An added bonus for us (besides restoring things back to the way nature intended) the project will include 33 acres of waterfront parks and connects miles of multi-use trails.  

At Cbust Arts Festival this weekend I got to enjoy fried arts from my favorite food truck, Sweet Carrot, while listening to some hip hop and beat boxing.  Then strolled around perusing the photography, paintings, and sculptures.  Piada sponsored street artists which were creating some beautiful art on the sidewalk with pastels (I hope to see some of this in Italy later this year!).


On our way back to our Jeep we took our time going up alleyways and roads we don't often frequent finding some cool little downtown gems.  I just got A Historical Guidebook to Old Columbus from the library and was noticing some of historic landmarks. As someone who has lived in Cbus her entire life, I am still astounded by all of the history that has taken place in this city. 

So on to this weeks recipes.  Our fridge is stocked full of produce between our CSA delivery and Green BEAN.  I was busy making roasted strawberry ice cream and peanut butter granola earlier today using some of our surplus.
creamy springtime pasta taco night
grilled asparagus with poached egg
lasagna rollups
bok choy stir fry
and lots more of these spinach, strawberry, green onion, and feta salads...


Roasted Tomato and Garlic Pasta - total time 20 minutes

It's nice and warm outside now (finally), so a quick light pasta is the only kind of pasta that will do.  

I planted my garden the first weekend in May and covered it with a hoop house... getting it in the ground early and the extra heat from the plastic cover means I'm starting to get cherry tomatoes already!  They're perfect for roasting quickly in the oven along with some garlic and tossing into pasta with basil and parm.  So simple and quick, it might end up being your go-to meal this summer!

Weekly Menu

Another fabulous weekend in Columbus!  Perfect weather... somehow it managed not to rain on the Memorial Tournament.

Celebrated three years of drinkupcolumbus with a couple local brews.  Got to sit in the company-I-work-for's suite for the Clipper's game on Friday.  They kept some of the stuff from Cooper stadium, so every time I go to Huntington Park it takes me back!  Finally got some drinks a Denmark where they take the time to make your drink right.  Headed over to Hayden Run to the 35 foot waterfall in the middle of the city and then took a stroll along the river.  Finished up the weekend hanging out with my college roommates, one of which was in from Chi-town.  Wish we could get together more often!


I love the busy summer schedule... but weekends are typically when I catch up on sleep, not get less than I do on 'school nights'.  I'm so ready for a nap!

This week's menu...
rosemary parm chicken and asparagus on the grill!
pizza night
asian meatballs and rice
... and lots of spinach, strawberry, green onion salads with feta using my bingredinets from GreenBEAN and CSA.


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