We’re back! Okay, so that’s more figurative than literal, although we did go camping for a week, but that was more than a week ago…. Anyways, it just takes some time to get back into the swing of things. What I really mean is that the weekly menu plan is back! I decided to take a month (okay, 7 weeks) off from meal planning to see how it would feel to just wing it every night. It was fun at first but the fun wore off a few days ago. I realized I needed some new inspiration, so after browsing our friends’ cookbook shelf and the library’s I settled on two new cookbooks to guide my plans for this week.
We actually had two camping outings in one week, the first with my wife’s family, the second with my sister and her family. Both were wonderful and relaxing. We’re so thankful for all the amazing people in our huge family! I loved the view of Meacham Lake in the Adirondacks from our second campsite’s dining area.
The two cookbooks I’m taking most of that new inspiration from are Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook from the Rebar vegetarian restaurant in Victoria, B.C., and The Accidental Vegan by Devra Gartenstein (find out more about her projects at The Quirky Gourmet).
After camping and sans children we explored Ottawa and Gatineau on bikes to celebrate our 6th anniversary. This was our first time ever without kids for a night! Seriously, they had never been away from both of us for a night in their lives! It went well, many thanks to Granny and Boppa.
I once was a vegetarian and it has shaped my cooking greatly (have you looked at any of my meal plans?) and lately I’ve been inspired by all the amazing vegan cooks who share their incredible creations all over the internet (my favorite being my college friend Sarah’s blog, The Sweet Life)! Thus when I saw The Accidental Vegan on the shelf I thought it sounded like a good fit. Devra Gartenstein is not a vegan and that’s probably why I like her cookbook so much—it doesn’t seem full of substitutes and alternate foods, it’s just real food that happens to contain no animal products, thus the “accidental” part of the title. She also does a great job in the introduction of talking about why it’s important to eat less meat and participate in a more sustainable economy.
This bridge over the canal in Ottawais covered with locks. Nice pun. However, she holds the key to my heart.
So I’m back to meal planning and I feel good about it. As usual it has served the purpose of not only making me feel prepared but also excited for the week to come! Cooking new foods with super-fresh produce is always fun and tasty, so I can’t wait to get to each new recipe. Also, I’ve been neglecting the grill lately so I’m going to try to cook on it as much as possible this week. Besides, the grill isn’t only for meat….
August 19-25 (linking at Menu Plan Monday)
|Tuesday||DIY Spring Rolls – make the ingredients, put ‘em on the table, and everybody makes their own:
|Thursday||Banh Mi-style sandwiches
Happy Anniversary and congratulations on being able to spend the night without the kids, only after 6 yrs. I think I waited for a good decade! It gets easier each time. Your menu looks promising, especially the DIY spring rolls.
Thank you 🙂 That’s funny about waiting a decade, I doubt we could have done this any sooner, but it sure felt nice. And it was wonderful to see them so happy to see us upon our return!
Happy 6th Anniversary. The pictures look great. Kind regards to your family, Jon.
Thank you, Liz.
Congrats on the kid-free 6 th anniversary! It is wonderful, rejuvenating, and makes you miss the kids simultaneously.
On another note, I love your photography of the food and the family pics sprinkled throughout. It is great that you and Madame are able to spend more time with family in beautiful surroundings.
Thanks, Samantha! Great description of how going away from the kids feels. And yes, it’s wonderful to be in a beautiful place and near(er) to our family.
Hi Jon, just wanted to let you know the link to “Baja Baked Black Beans” (wow, kind of a tongue twister) seems to be broken. 😦
Ooh, thanks, Tina! I’ve taken care of it now, it’s a great recipe, we had it on Wednesday and later as leftovers, great with rice, or in a burrito.
The veggie skeweres looks super yummy! Saving that recipe for sure!