Here's what I learned last week: long stretches of time with the kids in the neighborhood sounds awesome...until I discover that the 4th grader (!!!!!!!) got Call of Duty: Black Ops as an end-of-year present from his dad and the kids are learning way more about warfare than is good for kids who aren't yet in kindergarten or second grade. Sigh. The neighborhood boys are generally great kids but I miss last week, when Ghost in the Graveyard and Sardines were the games du jour. I don't want to be the overscheduled summer mom but we can come up with something better than this. So I have a few day trips planned and some other things to hit a better balance of too-much and not-enough. But the house-to-myself was nice while it lasted; the doorjambs look much better since I had time to take a magic eraser to them. Woohoo!
Monday: CSA day, so we'll see what comes up from the farm. Meanwhile, the kids can finish the pesto quinoa from the homemade batch of pesto from Father's Day.
Tuesday: Tuesday Wednesday Spaghetti, and soccer practice, so maybe tacos for the soccer player and spaghetti for the rest. Also trying desperately to go on a date to see Company but I don't think I can make all the pieces fit. Argh.
Wednesday: Plum jelly chicken, rice, CSA veggies, including a salad of some kind.
Friday: It's our anniversary but it's also soccer night...you can guess what takes priority! Actually, I think we'll be going out as a family...our hope is to nab Cars 2 matinee tickets (though the idea of Mater with firearms honestly makes me sick to my stomach) and go out for early dinner before soccer. Who needs Company when Pixar has a new movie?! (please let Company become available through Amazon Prime streaming...)
So last week I was counting on the splash party and the Italian festival for some dinners. Wrong. The splash party was for kids moving up to 5th grade (nope, not here yet) and the St. Anthony's Festival night was actually my book group night. So, leftovers saved the day one night and the other, I tried the easiest stroganoff ever recipe from A Year of Crockpotting. The author caught greif for posting this two-ingredient paid recipe--it's beef and Philadelphia Cooking Creme (note: I am not being compensated. Hah! As though you needed to wonder!) in a crockpot for 8 hours. Done. Is it chock full of farm-grown goodness? Of course not. But it is the easiest dinner ever and for a processed food--the creme sauce was great. I usually can't stand things like this--I avoid most creamy bottled salad dressings and pre-made dips gross me out. But I had a coupon and a driving need to make dinner and this fit the bill. I tried to console myself by putting the leftover broccoli pesto on some of the noodles, but there was no getting around the animal-protein goodness of this dish. I will make it again, even though the kids wouldn't go near it. So while it's only a 2/4 score, it's SO easy, it gets to stay in the rotation.
I spent a lot of the week eating my kale salad obsession, but on another hot night I tried a green smoothie recipe from my CSA. I had everything, though alas, the avocado was very underripe, which did not help anything. But I had lots of kale and cilantro and a lime, so I went for it. It was a little like a too-green gazpacho. I drank it but wouldn't even think about giving it to anyone else in the family. It was too brown-green and garlic-smelling. I'll give it another shot when I have tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes but it was a good end of the day after a week with more meat than I've had in a while. And it actually got better the next day. Yep, I drank it twice.
Otherwise, we revisited some old favorites, made a chocolate cake for an end-of-school celebration, and broke out the grill with Montreal burgers (which were awesome) and zucchini made in the new grill basket (which my older, less-picky son, gobbled up with great glee, to my great joy). I'm trying to keep it easy, so apologies for any lack of inspiration here. Try over at I'm an Organizing Junkie for that! Meanwhile, have a great week, and happy summer!