Monday, September 28, 2020

Weekly Eats: Spaghetti for Four


A weekly round up: eats, watches, and reads.  In this week's adventures, we had a major breakthrough on the family dinner front. 

My stepsons are slightly picky eaters. It's really not that bad, and in fact down right mild compared to myself when I was a kid.

One sticking point that they have is meat sauce on pasta...I mean why would anyone eat something so weird?  Back when their grandparents were alive we used to have a family pasta dinner nearly every week, so it's not like they were never exposed to it, it's just something that had fallen in the "ugh" category.  And hey, that's their parents' battle to fight and not mine.  In a typical dinner where we have our favorite pasta I make it for the adults and give the kids buttered noodles and chicken nuggets.  Until this week....when we were trying to figure out what to have for dinner last night, my husband had a yen for pasta...for all four of us.  I plopped down four plates of marinara on the table and...everyone ate it with no complaints and no drama like it's a perfectly normal thing.  Hmm, did I pull one over on them or have they been punking me all along?

Anyway, with the roaring success of one meal, I am kind of out of my meal planning slump that's gone on for the past few weeks? months? years?  It's radical enough that my family now eats fish but pasta and meat sauce as well?   Whoa, where is this crazy train going to go from here?

But before the breakthrough we had a solid week of tacos and pizza.  Oh and NBD but I ran a half marathon so if my food choices look a little odd this week, it's because I was going for some serious calories to fuel up.


Usual boring stuff throughout the week.  That pre-half marathon air fryer French toast tho...


Early in the week I feasted off sofritas bowls.  Here's the rundown since the picture only shows you that I have everything but the kitchen sink in that bowl: roasted sweet potatoes, rice, refried beans, salasa, sofritas from Pinch of Yum, a Trader Joe's guac pack and of course some fritos to help scoop it all up.

Later in the week I switched over to lower fiber fare to prepare for my half marathon on Saturday.  Mini pizzas from Costco fit the bill.  With garlic stuffed olives on the side.

After the race I immediately had a beer and a protein bar, which held me over until brunch.  Bacon, egg, cheese sammie.


Monday and Tuesday: leftover tacos

Wednesday: "fend for yourself night".  The boys had dinner with their mom, hubs had tuna salad, and I had a chicken sausage, rice, and peas.

Thursday: out on the town!  We went to the Lebanese place.

Friday: pre half marathon pizza.  I got a small alfredo, spinach, and tomato pizza and yes I ate the whole thing, I mean the whole thing except for the crusts.  And I mean, it was small.  I think I've found my standard pre-race dinner.

Saturday: family bash at our house.  We grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, and my SIL's brought chips, veggies, and apple crisp for dessert.

Sunday: pasta with Budget Byte's Weeknight Pasta sauce.


No TV this week, just some old movies here and there to tide me over.  I cannot find a decent TV show to save my life.


Back in the grove!  Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones and it is good, very good.  I've been in something of a mood with TV and books recently, and after clicking thumbs down on practically every show on Netflix and walking away from countless books after a few pages, I start to ask myself "hey what's up with me anyway?"  And then I come across a truly good book like this and it's like "duh, it's not me it's the books".  I'm trying to take this one slow instead of binging it.


  1. What do you mean, Birchie, you "ate the whole thing EXCEPT the crusts?!"
    The crunchy crusts are the best part!!!

    Well done on your half-marathon, I read your recap. So cool!

    And isn't it strange that your stepkids are now not moaning about bolognese? Definitely a big win!

    I'm so happy you found a good book. Enjoy it! I ordered "Above the Clouds" that Wendy featured in her post last week. I'm looking forward to it.

    1. Oh no, the crust is just what you use to hold on to the slice...unless you're getting way better quality pizza than we do;-)

  2. Oh, I love pasta! Back in college, when I was too lazy to cook meat and sauce, I plastered butter on my pasta. Apparently, I pulled that maneuver on the kids more than I remember, because all of them have told me that they make buttered noodles on the regular LOL

    1. My adult version of buttered noodles is pasta with a scoop of pesto mixed in. I don't think any of us would turn down a plate of buttered noodles, it's just nice that we have other options now.

  3. Your spaghetti picture makes me want pasta! We're definitely having the weather for it. I'll add it to the menu next week.

    I just subscribed to HBO because we couldn't find much to watch on Netflix. We were binging on Bloodline--the first season is so good! But it fizzles out in the second season. I'm so bummed about that.

    1. I know, it's so hard to find a good show. Let me know what's good on HBO. We haven't had it since the last season of GOT.

  4. Pasta with meat sauce was in the rotation growing up but here it is no longer, mostly because I am gluten free. The kids opt for mac n cheese or alfredo. It's been slim pickins on Netflix lately. We just finished the last season of I'm Sorry. It was weird.

    1. I know that we all have different tastes, but why is it so hard to find a good TV show? Like seriously, why??????

  5. I love pasta! I could eat it every day but I try to keep it at a minimum, lol.

    1. Ha ha, my problem isn't the pasta so much as the pound of parmesean that I always seem to put on top;-)

  6. I swear, every time I read about your sofritas bowls, I tell myself to make the darn recipe. I still haven't. That needs to change! Planning to prep it next weekend for my lunches for that week. Thanks for reminding me consistently. :) And, isn't is crazy how kids can hate-hate-hate something forever, then turn on a dime and just eat it without complaint? It always makes you wonder... what happened this particular time to change their minds? (I suspect we'll never know...)

    1. The sofritas recipe is hands down the best new recipe that I've tried all year. I could probably just make it on repeat and never get bored with lunch. Enjoy! And no I don't do the complicated parts of the recipe, like roasting a poblano pepper over an open flame, I think you could probably cut it down to tofu, chipotle peppers, and salsa and still have a great meal.