May 18th, 2014 ~ Weekly Dinner Menu



Vietnamese~Style Pork Chops  |  Coconut Rice with Scallions  |  Seasoned Cucumber Spears


Orrechiette Pasta with Basil Pesto  |  Skillet Corn, Cherry Tomatoes & Scallions


Classic BLT Sandwiches  |  Potato Salad


Honey, Garlic & Lemon Baked Chicken Wings  |  Potato Salad  |  Mixed Greens with Garlic Vinaigrette


“…sometimes the happiest ending isn’t the one you keep longing for, but something you absolutely cannot see from where you are.”  ~  Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet:  Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way

“Bittersweet”…never before has one word so aptly described the current station in my life’s journey.  I have been blessed with a good life…a loving marriage, happy & healthy children, a happy home…yet, with certain milestones in our near future, I must face these sweet accomplishments with a tinge of sadness.  Madison’s upcoming graduation from high school finds her at the top of her class and getting ready to embark on a gap year of riding and competing her horse  on the East coast before attending her first choice college in Pennsylvania the following fall.  My pride and excitement for her future, however, comes with the sadness that there will be a void here at home.  Her daily arrival through the kitchen door after a day full of school and barn activities will evolve into occasional visits home and dinner table conversation recalling the days events will become phone calls.  In a few short weeks, Max will be getting his driving permit and before the end of the year we will have another driver in the family, quickly following Madison down the path to leaving the nest.

Even Mallory, now two-thirds of the way through middle school, marked an emotional right of passage these last two weeks.  She said good~bye to the pony who taught her how to ride.  The pony whom she first met as a toddler and has loved for the last nine years.  For the first time in her young life, Mallory experienced that strange disconnect in the conversation between head and heart.  Her head made a strong case:  little girls grow but ponies don’t and, with a long life ahead of him, we were fortunate to find him a new loving home with a family where he would be charged with teaching three little siblings the same way he taught her.  But in those last agonizing moments waiting for the transport to arrive and take him to his new family, her heart took over and, as the trailer drove away, reason gave way to heartbreak and tears…

Goodbye Dancer Collage

The trailer finally out of sight, we sat on a rock and as she sobbed into my jacket the beautiful hills and pastures where the pony once lived became a source of pain, a reminder of loss… a happy ending was nowhere in sight.

In the days that followed, daily photos of the pony from his new family evidencing his safe arrival and loving welcome resurrected the conversation in her head and began to heal her heart.  We began to look to the future…

The last two weeks of have been a roller coaster involving a lot of travel and very little time in the kitchen.  The time on my computer has been spent drafting purchase and sale agreements, scheduling vet exams and arranging equine transport up and down the California coast.  This past Saturday, Mallory found her happy ending (actually, a beginning) when the girls and I packed up the trailer and drove to Paso Robles to pick up her new horse.  Meet Clarissa…

Clarissa Collage

So now you know what I have been up to.  As you can see from the menu above, I return to this little space briefly as we leave on Thursday for a horse show over the holiday weekend, Maddie’s last show in California before her move…”Bittersweet”.

A few notes on this week’s menu…

SUNDAY:  These Vietnamese-Style Pork Chops made for a tasty welcome home dinner and, since all of the apples in the house went to the horses this weekend, I served a simple side dish of rice substituting coconut milk for half of the water used to cook the rice and tossing in some chopped scallions just before serving.


MONDAY:  Basil has taken the early lead in the herb garden this year which means pesto is in order.  For tonight’s dinner, I will toss pasta with homemade pesto, corn, cherry tomatoes and sliced scallions for an easy {meatless} pasta salad.

Pasta Salad Collage

TUESDAY:  I will spend most of the day piping cupcakes for a bake sale being held at Mallory’s school this week so easy BLT sandwiches are in order.  Potato salad is one of our favorite summer side dishes and it tastes great warm {the way we will enjoy it tonight} as well as cold so a generous batch will yield leftovers to go with tomorrow night’s dinner of baked chicken wings.  These berries, currently tucked into my refrigerator will be turned into this Red Fruit Salad for dessert if the children haven’t eaten all the fruit before then…


WEDNESDAY:  These Honey, Garlic & Lemon Baked Chicken Wings marinate overnight and then bake in the oven for about an hour…super easy is what I need today since I will be packing all day and getting ready for an early morning departure tomorrow.  Left over potato salad and simple greens dressed with this Garlic~Lemon Vinaigrette finish the meal.  Left over wings are great cold as well making them the perfect lunch to pack for our travels.



Have a wonderful week everyone & a great holiday weekend…summer is almost here!

K Medium




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