Friday, July 31, 2015

Weekend Makes

This weekend marks the beginning of the Citi Open in DC -- one of the first open professional tennis tournaments in the US -- and it will all go down just a stone's throw away from our house. Naturally, my entrepreneurial children have big plans for the event -- they'll be opening their long-begged for lemonade + aqua fresca stand to crowds enduring the lovely, humid 90 degree + DC days. While we aren't necessarily huge tennis fans, we generally love all organized sport fanfare and have no problem jumping on board. When we're not hawking cold drinks (or trying to track down Andy Murray), odds are we'll be working on some of these tennis makes.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Butternut Squash and Prosciutto Pasta with Lemon, Garlic, and Sage + 30 Days of Dinner

This "pasta" is by far my favorite new Paleo-friendly dish. It's incredibly bright and filling, so much so that I don't mind peeling and peeling and peeling the butternut squash (and then spiralizing and spiralizing and spiralizing ....). My kids wouldn't go near this one, but I can't get enough.

Despite the loveliness of this dinner, I'm happy to bid farewell to the strict rules of the Whole30/60. I just wrapped up the end of my Whole60 and I think I did remarkably well, especially considering that I was traveling and on vacation for much of the last 30 days. There was a little wine and a little soft serve in the last week, which technically means I didn't complete a Whole60, but I'm declaring victory. My plan is to stay pretty strict Paleo during the week and let up a bit on the weekends for the occasional cocktail and slice of 'za. Plus, we are headed to Italy soon and I heard that's a Paleo free pass zone.

In any event, here's the deeelish Butternut Squash recipe from The Roasted Root (I love her whole blog, actually) and my last 30 Days of Dinner -- since I was on vacation and some unexpected travel, there are lots of repeats, grilling, others cooking (yay!), and easy thrown-together meals, but I made it work. I picked up where I left off last month, on a Friday, so that's where my 30 Days start. But feel free to use the recipes however they work for you.

Butternut Squash and Prosciutto Pasta
with Lemon, Garlic, and Sage
(slightly adapted from The Roasted Root)

- 1 large butternut squash, peeled and spiralized (about 6 cups worth)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp salted grass-fed butter (or extra olive oil if doing Whole30)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 4 ounces prosciutto (torn or chunked)
- zest of 2 lemons
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- sea salt to taste

1. Spirazlize the squash (click here for The Roasted Root's easy to follow directions).
2. Heat the olive oil and butter over medium-low heat in a large skillet.
3. Add the garlic and sage, and sauté until very fragrant (about 2 - 3 minutes). Add the prosciutto, lemon zest, lemon juice, and butternut squash noodles. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the squash noodles are soft, but still al dente (about 12 - 15 minutes). Note: if you are having a difficult time getting your noodles to soften up, cover the skillet for a few minutes and allow them to steam.
4. Dish it up hot!!

*          *          *

30 Days of Dinner

Day 1 (F) -- Whole Foods salad bar dinner out.
Day 2 (Sat) -- Back-Pocket Bolognese (from Dinner: A Love Story), which was easy and loved by the whole family and required just a tad of tweaking for Paleo-compliance. I had mine over Spaghetti Squash Pasta with leftover roasted veggies.
Day 3 (Sun) -- leftover Bolognese with "clean out the crisper kebabs."

Day 4 (M) -- Potato Breakfast Skillet with Bacon.
Day 5 (T) -- leftovers
Day 6 (W) -- Spiced Grilled Chicken and green salad.
Day 7 (Th) -- Balsamic Marinated Steak, sweet potato fries, and roasted brussels sprouts.
Day 8 (F) -- Paleo Burgers with spicy guacamole, grilled asparagus with lemon, and salad.
Day 9 (Sat) -- dinner out -- ahi tuna, steamed veggies, and baked potato.
Day 10 (Sun) -- My father-in-law's Salsa Salmon (divide jar of salsa evenly atop 4 salmon filets, poach at 375 for 20 minutes) with roasted veggies from the farmer's market.

Day 11 (M) -- Balsamic Grilled Chicken, grilled nectarines, and leftover roasted veggies.
Day 12 (T) -- dinner out -- burger and a side salad.
Day 13 (W) -- Ginger Chicken with Green Onions and Roasted Southwest Cauliflower.
Day 14 (Th) -- Italian Baked Eggs (sans cheese and bread) with green salad.
Day 15 (F) -- Grilled Flank Steak and Green Beans and Beets with Balsamic Reduction (leave off cheese if Whole30 -- SO GOOD).
Day 16 (Sat) -- Butternut Squash and Prosciutto Pasta with Lemon, Garlic and Sage, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
Day 17 (Sun) -- dinner "out" at O'Hare airport -- a salad from Frontera Grill.

Day 18 (M) -- Chicken Burgers (I had chicken so I used that instead of turkey) with Mint + Kale Pesto (see, I love The Roasted Root!!) and sweet potato fries.
Day 19 (T) -- dinner out -- roasted beet salad, steak, potatoes, and salad.
Day 20 (W) -- Salsa Salmon (see above) with Cauliflower + Carrot Puree.
Day 21 (Th) -- Paleo Burgers with Caramelized Balsamic Onions + Avocado, Roasted Potatoes, and veggie kabobs.
Day 22 (F) -- Roasted Spaghetti Squash with leftover pesto, roasted veggies and potatoes.
Day 23 (Sat) -- Paleo Burgers, grilled hot dogs, and salad (for the start of a week-long family vacaye!!)
Day 24 (Sun) -- Balsamic Grilled Chicken and grilled asparagus.

Day 25 (M) -- Paleo Turkey Meatballs and green salad.
Day 26 (T) -- dinner out -- scallops, steamed vegetables, and baked potato.
Day 27 (W) -- My father-in-law's shrimp scampi over veggie kabobs and asparagus.
Day 28 (Th) -- leftovers and sweet potato fries.
Day 29 (F) -- My father-in-law's grilled steak and roasted brussels sprouts and potatoes.
Day 30 (Sat) -- Fried eggs with salsa, turkey sausage, Roasted Potatoes, and avocado.

Monday, July 20, 2015

National Geographic Museum: Indiana Jones + the Adventure of Archaeology

With two archaeologically-obsessed children in our home, I knew that we had to make our way to the National Geographic Museum to catch the Indiana Jones exhibit this summer. I hemmed and hawed beforehand whether to let them watch the first Indiana Jones movie, but decided I'd better err on the side of avoiding sleepless nights and wait. And since our kids are also totally obsessed with history and ancient cultures, they were perfectly fine not knowing the first thing about the actual movies -- they were able to pick up on things right away. The exhibit is enormous (which is unusual for that museum), largely due to the fact that so, so much of it is done via "personal video companion." But there are also a ton of historical and cultural artifacts to view. So, be prepared to spend a lot of time in there!!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Weekend Makes

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month!? Without even being aware, my kiddos have been seriously celebrating all month already. I'm wary of telling them of the "holiday," but I think I'll try to work in some of these other sweet makes as sugar-free alternatives!!

1 / such cute paper ice creams! 2 / Wayne Thiebaud-inspired ice cream art 3 / our favorite frozen playdough turned ice cream parlor 4 / cute ice cream math with pom poms 5 / DIY ice cream scoop bath bombs