O: (Announcing at the dinner table) Everyone, every time I help cook, my nose gets itchy so I get a little bit of germs in your food. Just so you are aware.
1. Shrimp Rolls and Avocado Boats
We wanted to start with a guaranteed win. Both girls love shrimp and serve anything on a brioche roll and you've won their hearts and tummies forever. Plus, it felt like a fitting farewell to summer (and I had a half a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer.)
2. Roasted Salmon and Lentils
3. Black Bean Soup and Avocado and Tomato Salad
We made this ahead on the weekend and had it ready to go for one of our late evening swim lesson nights. I get home with the girls around 6:45 so Jim gets dinner on the table in the 15 minute window he has before we get home.
4. Spagetti with Red Sauce and Green Salad
Another solution to our swim lesson night problem. Plus, it used a jar of sauce that had been lurking in the cabinet.
5. Pan-Fried Whole Wheat Pizzas with Ham and Leeks
If you haven't pan fried a pizza yet, I'm here to tell ya, I might never turn my oven on again.
Everyone ate! Everyone helped! We had five very tasty and very pleasant meals together. O and P loved the salmon and shrimp, but hated the lentils. The pizza was a huge hit with Jim, not usually a pizza guy, and I had leftovers for lunch all week.
The trip to the grocery store en masse was chaos. We only had one master list so Jim had to keep wrangling P back to the cart to receive his next mission for retrieval. I was so distracted trying to manage the list and the cart that O managed to sneak a couple of items of contraband into the cart.
Next time, two lists, two carts, we'll split up to cover sections of the store. Jim takes produce, dairy, and P and I'll take meat and fish, dry goods, and O.
We did a lot of prep on the weekend and every morning. Anything that could be done ahead, I did. I'm a lot more ambitious at 10:00am after my coffee than I am 5:00pm. It was interesting how just having chopped or prepped a few things in the morning made the planned dinner feel somehow inevitable.