Weekend Update

Feels weird to post about our weekend knowing so many people went to bed on Sunday likely reflecting on their own weekend, and woke up to their world turned upside down. I wrote this post on Sunday night before hitting the hay and as we crawled in bed we smelled smoke. I headed to the kitchen to make sure all the burners were off and we hadn’t left the oven on. We had no idea we’d awake to the terrifying news of widespread fires throughout the North Bay on Monday. We’re so grateful Roberto’s parents who live in the area are fine, but the number of people who have been displaced is devastating. If you’re looking for ways to help see here.

On Friday night we celebrated my stepdad’s birthday at local South Indian restaurant, Dosa, which was amazing! We had only been once before and were stuffed before we even got to the main course (yes samosas, yes lamb sliders, yes yes yes). The cocktails were excellent as well; I ordered their Gin & Tonic and Roberto got the Steph Curry, but we ended up trading 😬.

I slept in again on Saturday which is super out of character. On weekdays nothing can get me out of bed (#chronicsnoozer), but on the weekend I’m typically up and at em at least 3 hours before R. Once we got going we went for a run down along the Marina Green and got to see all the setup for the Fleet Week festivities. After we whipped up a quick breakfast (let’s be honest, brunch) and got cleaned up we headed to my friend Marissa’s for the airshow. She is the hostess with the mostess and had the best view from her roof! I’ve seen the Blue Angels more times than I can count growing up in San Francisco and it never gets old or less impressive. The weather always manages to be perfect and it’s such a great weekend out.

After taking in the airshow we got in our grocery shopping and headed to the movies for the first time in a long time. Roberto loves scary movies and we really wanted to see ‘It’, but there weren’t any seats available at Kabuki so we headed to our local theater and saw ‘Battle of the Sexes’. It was so excellent!!! I wish I had daughters to take to it. I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t know much about Billie Jean King and her story, but it was so inspiring… highly recommend! ‘American Made’ is on our list too. We ended the evening with a nightcap at California Wine Merchant. Perfect little date night!

On Sunday, we got all our cooking done early and headed to another friend’s roof to take in one final showing of the Blue Angels (like I said… never gets old!!!). Roberto whipped up some Frosé using a recipe similar to this one and it was delish. The cherry on top of a great weekend? Postmating a Sunday night burrito from Tacobar… YES.PLEASE.AND.THANK.YOU.

Menu for the week:

 BreakfastLunchDinner
Monday 10/9K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
R - Leftover Moussaka
K - Sushi (not in the original meal plan 😬)
K - Leftover Moussaka
R - Jerk Chicken Tacos (1/5)
Tuesday 10/10K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
K - Leftover Moussaka
R - Greek Turkey Meatballs and Shepherd's Salad (1/4)
Jerk Chicken Tacos (3/5)
Wednesday 10/11K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
R - Jerk Chicken Tacos (4/5)
K - Work Lunch
Work Event ❤️
Thursday 10/12K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
K - Jerk Chicken Tacos (5/5)
R - Greek Turkey Meatballs and Shepherd's Salad (2/4)
Pistachio-Crusted Salmon (2/2)
Friday 10/13K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Greek Turkey Meatballs and Shepherd's Salad (4/4)Cal Game!

Whole30 Moussaka

We made this Whole30 fave moussaka last week and of course had leftovers since it makes a ton of servings and I may or may not have splurged on CMG Friday which is becoming our best/worst payday Friday tradition (yes we’re geeks and refer to our lunch spot by ticker 🤓). We gotta stop the bi-weekly burritos and the nerdy abbreviations.

Turkey Meatballs

Roberto made up his own recipe, but this zucchini one from Gina is excellent. I think he just put onion, oregano, Italian seasoning, and lemon pepper in his. He made his usual Shepherd’s salad with fresh tomatoes from our friend’s family garden (thanks, Roscoe!) and cucumbers, olives and feta. I eyeballed some greek yogurt sauce from this recipe.

Jerk Chicken Tacos

This recipe is from Gina’s first cookbook and I’m including it below. We made it in our latest obsession, the Instant Pot, instead of the slow cooker and it worked perfectly. It took about 8 minutes in the Instant Pot, but if you only have a slower cooker it will take about 2 hours on high.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2tbsp Jerk Seasoning
  • 1tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice

Season chicken with a little salt and jerk seasoning then toss in slow cooker/Instant Pot with the liquid. She includes a mango salsa, but Roberto isn’t into sweet and savory so we’ve been sticking to our homemade aioli. You can whip up a quick mayo using light olive oil, an egg, and an immersion blender (recipe here). From there I use a 3 to 1 ratio of mayo to Sriracha. Roberto is obsessed and thinks it’s some magic secret sauce but it’s literally just a few ingredients. We have the mild version of the jerk seasoning and it’s still super hot so don’t forget some avocado to keep your tacos cool and creamy!

Pistachio Crusted Salmon

Another super simple easy recipe. We have this little food processor that has stood the test of time, but we’re debating upgrading our gear to a bigger processor like this or this. We’re pairing the salmon with asparagus and sweet potatoes for a complete meal.

Bullish On: September

I was thinking about a couple posts I wanted to squeeze into the month of September this week and how I only had a couple days left to sit my butt down and write them. But… it’s not September and I actually have zero days left… how the heck is it already October? Last month was a complete blur between a couple trips back east and some extra long work hours. We were finally home for more than 24 hours last weekend and it was delicious. We tried out the new sushi spot in our neighborhood, Mamanoko, on Friday night (miss you Umami 😢) and after a week of sleep deprivation, I stayed in bed till practically noon on Saturday. After resting up, we headed out for a night full of sports (hoorah!). We headed to a pre-season Warriors game (which don’t get me wrong I love) and then to our friends’ house to watch the Cal football game (womp womp). On Sunday we got all our meal prepping done early enough to enjoy a walk around the neighborhood while the sun was still out and it felt like things were finally getting back to our usual routine. I didn’t get our meal plan up this week but it was a bunch of old classics: turkey burgers, moussaka, & Instant Pot salsa chicken tacos. We’ve got some birthdays to celebrate this weekend and I’m hoping we get some of that San Francisco summer weather to enjoy some Fleet Week festivities! Here’s are the things that kept me smiling last month:

Blessings

There are two versions of this song (the other one is here). I love both. Roberto listened to Chance the Rapper’s whole album beginning to end on our redeye flight out to D.C. last month. I can’t remember that last time I did that (JK I totally can and it was when I bought a p.h.y.s.i.ca.l. copy of Taylor Swift’s Deluxe Red album from Target #notashamed). We were completely awed by his SNL performance last season, but I never took the time to listen to more of his songs (I know these aren’t new!). So glad Roberto brought these into my life cause they’re bringing me major happiness and gratitude every time I hear ’em.

Simple Things to Simplify Your Life

We got two game changers for our kitchen last month. Number one: a tea organizer like this one. Ever since we did Whole30 we try to opt for tea instead of wine on weeknights. I feel like I pick up a new box to try every week and our cupboard was becoming a serious leaning tower of boxes and bags precariously stacked up. We got a little organizer and it has saved us so much space and made the cupboard way more organized. My favorite flavor currently is the TJ’s Organic Peppermint Herbal Tea. Roberto sticks with his tried and true “Well Rested.” Word of warning: we both tried the Yogi Bedtime tea and it gave us nightmares 😱(I never remember my dreams). Freaky deaky stuff. Promise we aren’t crazy… I mean at least about this 😜.

Item number two: this simple spice rack. We got this spice rack as a wedding gift and it’s awesome since it doesn’t take up too much space and all the jars not only came labeled but pre-filled. The problem? My husband really loves his spices so we had at least twice as many as fit in this rack. We were previously storing them in a drawer, but since they weren’t labeled on the top it was always impossible to find what you were looking for without pulling out every single bottle. We got this simple rack and I absolutely love it for overflow storage since I can see everything and it’s so space efficient. We didn’t even nail it in since we aren’t even using the pull down feature.

Living Proof PHD Dry Shampoo

I am a hardcore Drybar Detox enthusiast. I absolutely love the smell and always come back to it, but this Living Proof dry shampoo has me potentially changing my tune. It smells equally amazing sans the white powder that plagues brondettes like me. One thing I’ve learned? There are two general types of dry shampoo that accomplish different things. If starch comes before alcohol in the ingredient list (i.e. Drybar), that formula is best for soaking up that post-gym sweat/oil. If alcohol comes before a starch like Living Proof? That’s great for re-upping your volume. Never one to give up the search, I just grabbed a travel size version of the Ouai foaming dry shampoo so I’ll let ya know how it goes. If you have another fave, please let me know!

The Evolution of Women in Stock Images

One of my favorite feel good articles from last month which I’m needing more and more of these days…

Teeny Tiny Hoops

I don’t think I’ve worn hoops since junior high, but I picked up these sparkly ones in rose gold during the big Nordstrom sale this summer. I was digging them so much that I went back and grabbed these teeny tiny ones for my second piecing and I haven’t taken them out since… kind of has me wanting a third…

 

Weekend Update & Meal Plan

Phew. Last week was a short one, but it was a w.e.e.k. After being gone last weekend it definitely felt like we were running on fumes and just trying to keep up. Case in point: I called Roberto midday on Friday to discuss the impending tax deadline (and our unfinished return) and he told me his life was on fire 🔥 and that he’d talk to me on Monday 🤔 (just to confirm… he did speak to me this weekend). We’ll also be gone next weekend and the weekend after so for that reason we kept this weekend super low key. I had to pack up my whole desk on Friday since they are changing our seating layout and I literally found baseball cards from the Melky Cabrera/Brian Wilson days (such a pack rat). I, of course, had plans of going through everything deliberately but ended up just dumping things in boxes at the last minute so as you read this I’m probably frantically searching for my things. By the time I was done packing and Roberto was done with his work for the night it was 8 pm. We walked home which is our favorite way to decompress at the end of the week so we didn’t get home till 9 pm. We ordered sushi for the second time in five days and essentially crashed. We slept until 11 am on Saturday which was glorious and much needed. Once we got moving, we spent the rest of the day getting serious about researching our next big trip and meal planning & grocery shopping for the week ahead.

After finalizing our research the day before, we finally pulled the trigger on the plans for our next trip yesterday! We’ve been talking about it for almost a whole year and now we’ve got another adventure to look forward to. We have our major flights booked so now it’s a matter of filling in some of the little gaps. Roberto is the research king and puts so much time and energy into putting together the perfect trip and I’m so grateful 🙌🏻. The points/price situation for this expedition so far is insane and I can’t wait to share the whole strategy with you guys! Once we got our itinerary in order and Roberto wrapped up some (non-travel agent) work we headed to Off the Grid Presidio Picnic to celebrate a friend’s birthday. I brought some spicy watermelon margaritas and I’ll share the recipe soon (my other favorite spicy marg recipe is here). There were endless choices for lunch, but we went with the lobster roll from Sam’s Chowder Mobile. I wasn’t sure it could compete with the one we get from Cousins at La Costa every year, but it was chock-full of lobster meat and didn’t disappoint.

Last week we didn’t meal prep and since we started calculating the cost of our meals it made me extra aware of how much we spent! For example, the salads we bought ranged anywhere from $15-20 😱. What made one of the salads so expensive was adding chicken which cost us $5-6 for the single portion. That’s how much it costs us for four servings of chicken from the grocery store, so you can guess how I felt about that one. Don’t get me wrong… I absolutely love splurging on a meal out, but I felt like we easily could have recreated a lot of what we purchased last week at a much lower cost. I’ll save those dollars for the beignets at Spruce thankyouverymuch.

Since we’re both out of town this weekend and I’ve got some extracurriculars this week we’ve only got three recipes on the dockett. Here’s the plan:

 BreakfastLunchDinner
Monday 9/11K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Skillet Chicken Cordon Bleu with Roasted Zucchini (2/4)Slow-Cooker Banh Mi Rice Bowls (2/4)
Tuesday 9/12K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Slow-Cooker Banh Mi Rice Bowls (4/4)K - Giants Game
R- Blackened Tilapia Tacos (1/4)
Wednesday 9/13K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Skillet Chicken Cordon Bleu with Roasted Zucchini (4/4)K - Movie Night with Friends
R- Blackened Tilapia Tacos (2/4)
Thursday 9/14K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Blackened Tilapia Tacos (4/4)K - Dinner at SFO!
R - Client Meeting
Friday 9/15K - NYC
R - Tahoe
K - NYC
R - Tahoe
K - NYC
R - Tahoe

Skillet Chicken Cordon Bleu

Roberto loves this recipe and I used to make it for him all the time. It only has a few ingredients and comes together really quickly so I’m bringing it back.

Cost/Serving: $2.66 (excludes all the stuff I have in my pantry… flour, dijon, etc. etc.)

Cals/Fat/Carbs/Protein: 258 cals/10g/6g/37g

Slow Cooker Banh Mi Rice Bowls

I think I am most excited for this recipe out of all of them. We’ve been into the chicken bowls we’ve been doing recently (Chicken Shawarma Bowls from a couple weeks ago and Chipotle Chicken Bowls from two weeks ago) and this is another spin on that. We hardly ever (if ever?) cook with Vietnamese flavors so I’m excited to do something new. If we weren’t pressed on time or were cooking for guests I’d make these spring rolls too. I bought the pre-shredded carrots and used our mandoline to slice thin radishes rounds (instead of matchsticks). I tried out the slow cooker feature on my Instant Pot and it worked like a charm. Word to the wise: I checked on the pork 4 hours in and it was plenty done so keep an eye on your meat cause it may not need the full 6 hours that the recipe suggests.

Cost/Serving: $3.49

Cals/Fat/Carbs/Protein: 353 cals/5.5g/46g/29g

Blackened Tilapia Tacos

I was first inspired by this recipe from Cooking Light, but the basil-lime mayo was a little more than I’ve got the energy for this week (I know it’s like three ingredients, but cut me some slack). So instead I’m falling back on this oldie which is super simple and has perfect seasoning. This is the only thing I don’t already have prepped, but it should be quick since all I need to do is mix up the spices and grill the fish (we make our own hard shell tacos in our toaster ovenusing the little corn tortillas from TJs). The jalapeño sour cream is delicious if you have time, but pre-made salsa and chunks of avocado are just as great in a pinch and what we’ll be going with. We’ve also got leftover carrots, radishes, and cabbage from the Banh Mi Bowls for some crunch.

Cost/Serving: $3.68

Cals/Fat/Carbs/Protein: 380 cals/11g/32g/40g

Budgeting 101: The Personal Escrow Account


escrow ∣ noun ∣ es·crow ∣ \ˈes-ˌkrō\

Escrow is a financial arrangement whereby a third party holds funds in safe keeping pending the completion of a contract or other obligation

When we talk about escrow it usually has to do with real estate transaction. When a buyer hands over their money they want to ensure the seller doesn’t receive those funds until certain conditions are met and the transaction is completed. This could mean that the transaction is pending until an inspection can be done or the buyer confirms that they can obtain a mortgage for the purchase (if you read my post on buying your first home you probably already had your pre-approval letter 😉). The funds are deposited into an escrow account where an escrow officer is responsible for overseeing them until both parties agree that all conditions have been met and the funds can be released to finalize the transaction.

Today, the escrow officer in charge of your funds is your future self. And instead of setting these funds aside for a real estate purchase, we’re setting savings aside for lumpy purchases.

If you haven’t read my last post on budgeting, hop to it 🐰. Before we can get your escrow account all set up, I want you to have at least a rough idea on what your monthly and annual spending is. It doesn’t have to be perfect… your finances are a moving target! But we need to separate out those regular monthly expenses like rent, groceries, Netflix, etc. from items that aren’t so regular, but that we still need to plan for.

In my household, the lumpy items are:

  • Gifts 🎁// We tend to spend more on gifts around the holidays and in the fall (we’ve got a strong Libra ⚖️ & Scorpio 🦂 contingency between my and Roberto’s family).
  • Haircuts and hair color 💁🏽 // My hair color doesn’t happen every month and even then I alternate between root touch-ups and refreshing my balayage so the cost varies. (I see color queen Olivia Fadda… worth every penny)
  • Big box stores 🛒 // We consider big box stores to be places like Costco and Target. We don’t visit every month, but when we do we’re normally stocking up on household items in bulk or doing seasonal spending on holiday decorations.
  • Car registration & insurance 🚗// Once a year
  • Property taxes 🏡// Twice a year

Once you figure out what those lumpy bumpy items are at your house we’re going to come up with an annual total and divide by twelve to figure out what we need to set aside each month to ensure those obligations are met. I’m a fan of setting up a separate checking or savings account to house these “escrow payments”. Take it a step further and automate your life by having either this portion of your paycheck direct deposited to your escrow account or setting up a monthly transfer so it all happens without you having to lift a finger.

Now that ‘contract or obligation’ that we’re waiting to be fulfilled? That would be spending in any of those lumpy categories that you’ve been setting money aside for. Gotta pay your car registration or go on a Costco run? No stress… you’re ready for this. Reimburse yourself out of your escrow account and keep chugging along with your regular monthly budget. Your future self will thank your past self for planning ahead!

How do you normally handle quarterly, bi-annual, or annual expenses?

Weekend Update & (No) Meal Plan

washington-dc-weekend-update-mlkHappy Wednesday! Hope you had a nice long weekend and survived the first day back at work yesterday! We took a red eye out to D.C. on Thursday night so we could spend some time exploring our nation’s capital before a wedding in Baltimore on Saturday so ours was extra long. I hadn’t been to D.C. since 8th grade and I definitely have a much better appreciation for the history of our country returning as an adult. To me, Washington D.C. is like New York City… I can’t imagine that it ever gets old or less impressive. When we saw people out jogging I couldn’t believe that all these amazing monuments are the striking backdrop to their daily workout. We also had the best meal of our lives in recent memory at The Dabney so overall I’d say the trip was a great success. As usual, we were short on time so we quite literally spent Monday morning running from monument to monument in an effort to see as much as possible and get a workout in (we were clearly inspired by the locals). In addition to being squeezed on our sightseeing, we had more recommendations on places to eat than time to visit (or room in our bellies), so I’ll summarize them all in a separate post.

The bride was from Baltimore so it was a treat to visit her hometown even if it was a quick visit. Their wedding was on the waterfront and it was a truly breathtaking view. I rented this dress and it was absolutely gorgeous, but also a complete fashion tape obstacle course (we made an emergency cocktail hour run to the drugstore in full black tie). We were only in Charm City for about 24 hours so we barely scratched the surface, but, of course, we managed to squeeze in a baseball game at the famous Camden Yards. Given that our stadium in San Francisco seems to be permanently fogged in, we were previously unfamiliar with the concept of watching America’s favorite pastime while soaking up the sun… what a treat! We’ve decided our goal is to hit all 30 (soon to be 31) stadiums in the US by the time we’re 50… think we can do it? We’ve hit 6 so far so we’re 20% there.

We got back late on Monday and despite the fact that I dutifully came up with a meal plan and grocery list on the flight back, we just didn’t feel like shopping by the time we left the office last night. Because it’s a short week, we’re just going to make it work with what we have in our freezer and buying meals out. My $16 salad for lunch yesterday definitely stung, especially since we started calculating the cost of our meals and I know I could have made the same thing for a fraction of the cost (I got the Peach & Goat Cheese Salad with Grilled Chicken from sweetgreen).

Sooo check back next week to see what I had planned for this week… I’m super excited about a new recipe we’re planning to try!

Have a great (short) week!

Bullish On: August

Rabbit rabbit! Happy September! I cannot believe it’s officially fall (a.k.a. when our summer starts in San Francisco). This month is gonna be a crazy one for us, but it’s all fun stuff so lots to celebrate! We’ve got a couple weddings (we’re in D.C. and Baltimore for one right now) and my mom and I are doing a girls weekend in NYC later this month! So much to look forward to.

Here’s a roundup of everything I loved in the month of August:

How I Built This

Roberto and I have gotten really into this podcast the last few weeks. We’ll put it on while we cook on Sundays and it’s an inspiring way to get ready for the week. Each episode highlights an entrepreneur who tells the story of how they started their business and made it to where they are today. I’ve started with the stories of brands I love myself (many of which were founded by women💪🏼): Spanx, Drybar, Rent the Runway, Dermalogica, Kate Spade, etc. I also loved Barbara Corcoran’s story… real estate tycoon #goals. Highly recommend a listen!

Ozark

Don’t get me wrong, I am still loving the Americans (hello real life the Russian embassy is burning intel… at least that’s my theory after a lot of spy TV), but Ozark has been the show Roberto and I can’t get enough of this past month. It’s a dark drama about a financial planner who gets caught up in a money laundering scheme. Highly entertaining on your television, but as charming as Jason Bateman is, a criminal advisor is likely not what you’re looking for in real life.

Slice

I.love.this.app. I use TripIt for travel since it organizes my itinerary without any action needed on my part, and Slice is the same thing for tracking packages. It scans your email for shipping notifications and organizes all the information so you can see what is coming and when. It will also let you know if the price drops on something that you’ve ordered so you can request a price adjustment. I just bought these earrings and Slice let me know the price had dropped days later. Requesting a refund was pretty much as easy as pressing a button… they draft the email for you with all the pertinent information so all you have to do is hit send. Brilliant.

Blue Belle Headband

I’ve been trying to stay on my skincare routine and got this cute lil thing to replace the old headbands I used for keeping my hair dry and out of my face while I wash my face and do my makeup. It has Belle in the name and is blue like my site… how could I not? Cheap thrills and it makes my nighttime routine feel a little less like a chore. Comes in pink too if that’s more your style.

Stop Counting Other People’s Money

Love this article from Liz Weston with a message that’s essentially what we all learned in kindergarten: worry about yourself. You should be focused on your own money and not what your peers are doing with theirs. It’s where I pulled my “You can have anything you want. You just can’t have everything.” quote in my post on budgeting last week. She also references a behavioral economics professor at my alma mater, USC’s Marshall School of Business so double points right there ✌🏼

Weekend Update & Meal Plan

Happy Monday Tuesday! This weekend was jam packed, but a good one. On Friday evening we drove up to Petaluma to surprise Roberto’s mom for a very belated birthday celebration. Roberto’s dad was the perfect accomplice, sticking to his undercover role even after we had arrived: “I have no idea what he’s doing here! He almost gave me a heart attack!” An Oscar for Oscar! We went to dinner at The Shuckery in Petaluma and it was awesome! I honestly wanted one of everything on the menu, but we stuck to oysters, ceviche, and calamari for starters and Roberto and I split the Poke Bowl and Fish tacos for dinner.

On Saturday morning we headed back to the city so I could get changed and ready for Roberto’s cousin’s fiance’s bridal shower (ya follow?). It was so beautiful and great to see some of his extended family that we don’t see often. Can’t wait for their wedding this fall! I got her this baking set since I have a real-life obsession with those non-stick pans. Then I headed back to the city just in time to do a quick grocery shop and catch the big fight (whew 100 miles in 12 hours)! Our friends graciously hosted a bunch of us and this Irish lass was really hoping for a McGregor win despite the fact that everyone said it was nearly impossible. All the experts were right, but it was a blast to watch with friends. If you haven’t seen this video, I highly recommend it to pump yourself this week.

We had a lazy Sunday morning and continued powering through Ozark. After promising we’d only watch ‘one more episode’ at least three times, we pried ourselves away to get our prepping for the week done. Once we had most everything cooked up we decided we had to get outside so we went for a quick run before meeting up with friends for dinner at Delarosa (is it even the weekend if we don’t eat here at least once?). Our pals are getting married next week in Baltimore so it was so nice to be able to steal some of their time especially in the midst of their busy week. If you have any recommendations for DC or Baltimore let us know!!!

 BreakfastLunchDinner
Monday 8/28K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Chipotle Chicken Bowls with Cilantro Lime Quinoa (2/4)K - Birthday Party Potluck (Bringing Watermelon-Tomato Salad)
R - Work Event
Tuesday 8/29K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Chipotle Chicken Bowls with Cilantro Lime Quinoa (4/4)Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Asparagus and Zucchini (2/4)
Wednesday 8/30K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Asparagus and Zucchini (4/4)Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers (2/4)
Thursday 8/31K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers (4/4)Dinner at SFO
Friday 9/1Baltimore & DC!Baltimore & DC!Baltimore & DC!

 

Watermelon-Tomato Salad

I’ve already fangirled over this, but it really is that good. After a particularly foggy couple weeks, it’s going to be over 70 here in SF this week and this salad just tastes like summer.

Cost/serving: $1.15

Cals/Fat/Carbs/Protein: 99cals/5.5g/10g/3g

Chipotle Chicken Bowls with Lime-Cilantro Quinoa

I’m clearly really into my new Instant Pot… love that this recipe used practically zero dishes and was so quick. It was also delicious… I could not stop snacking on it while I packed everything up so here’s hoping there is still plenty left in Roberto’s lunch. We used chicken breast instead of thighs since that is just our preference and Roberto made some fajita veggies instead of corn for his bowls (picky picky). We also skipped the tomatoes… mostly out of laziness (just didn’t feel like chopping them up at the end of our prep). We’ve done shredded salsa chicken before, but I feel like the chipotle paste was a game changer (we got ours at Sur la Table).

Cost/serving: $3.96 (my way a.k.a. double the corn)

Cals/Fat/Carbs/Protein: 598cals/93g/13g/54g (my way a.k.a. double the corn)

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Asparagus and Zucchini

No, we aren’t having this two-weeks back to back (although that isn’t out of the question). We made the mistake of not prepping it on Sunday last week and surprise surprise after getting home late after work we didn’t feel like cooking so we had a frozen pizza (or two).

Cost/Serving: $2.11

Calories/Fat/Carbs/Protein: 186cals/5g/8g/32g

Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers

In another episode of things we didn’t prep ahead of time and didn’t end up making was the stuffed turkey bell peppers from last week. We ended up grabbing some bison on the fly and making burgers. I like this simple recipe and added some homemade BBQ on top. This week we used the turkey to make… more burgers. If you check-in weekly you know these are a go-to. Roberto puts his own spin on them, but the one linked above was the original inspiration.

Cost/Serving: $1.59/serving

Calories/Fat/Carbs/Protein: 196cals/4.1g/5.3g/34g

Have a great week!

Weekend Update & Meal Plan

Happy Monday! We had the b.e.s.t. weekend visiting my brother and sister-in-law in Seattle. The last time we saw them was Thanksgiving and Roberto was doing his first round of Whole30 so it has definitely been a while since they were able to actually enjoy his company. We flew up Thursday after work and they took the day off on Friday to hang with us. We visited a bunch of delicious restaurants and went on an epic hike, so I’ll post a round up soon since we bounced around a few of the suburbs outside of Seattle and the Emerald City itself. We were delayed at Sea-Tac yesterday so we had plenty of time to get our meal plan and grocery list organized. All I wanted to do was get in bed when we got home (those Rivera sibs tuckered us out), but we soldiered on to TJs so we’d have a good start on our week. It was a total nightmare and they were out of a lot of a lot of the things we normally grab which reminded us why we always shop on Saturday or first thing Sunday.

Last week we were trying to figure out how much money we actually save by making our meals since our company has a cafeteria that is pretty cheap (we’re able to get hot meals or a salad for under $5 compared to $10+ anywhere else). I like knowing what is in the meals we make and I’m not sure I could do the salad bar five days a week, but we wanted to know if we were saving that much. We decided to do a quick and dirty calculation to get an idea of the cost of each meal. I’m excluding anything we had in our pantry/fridge/freezer such as EVOO, tomato paste, frozen green onions, seasoning etc. and didn’t get fancy enough to factor in the value of our time. With the exception of the Salmon, all of our meals are under $3/serving so that’s pretty tough to beat even with our very affordable cafeteria. When I compare it to what we spend on Starbucks breakfast and coffee it’s not even close. I’m also adding in the calorie and macro information if you’re curious since we normally put it in MyFitnessPal anyway. Let me know if it’s helpful or you have questions!

Here’s the plan:

 BreakfastLunchDinner
Monday 8/21K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Leftover 15-Minute Chicken Shawarma Bowls (2/2)Sous Vide Salmon with Cauliflower Mash (2/4)
Tuesday 8/22K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers (2/4)Sous Vide Salmon with Cauliflower Mash (4/4)
Wednesday 8/23K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers (4/4)Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Asparagus and Zucchini (2/4)
Thursday 8/24K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Spinach, Chicken, Strawberry, and Goat Cheese Salad (2/4)Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Asparagus and Zucchini (4/4)
Friday 8/25K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese FrittataSpinach, Chicken, Strawberry, and Goat Cheese Salad (2/4)Date Night <3 (surprisingly NOT sushi)

Breakfast

I absolutely loved my frittata last week so we’re stickin’ with that for now. Roberto’s been having the same breakfast for 6 months so no change there…

Cost/Serving of K’s Breakfast: $1.98

Calories/Fat/Protein/Carbs: 242cals/14g/21g/6g

Cost/Serving of R’s Breakfast: $2.85

Calories/Fat/Protein/Carbs: 320cals/10g/26g/34g

Leftovers

Roberto had a couple work lunches come up last week so we have these bowls left over. They were SO good. Highly recommend.

No cost cause I don’t have the receipt from last week 😬

Calories/Fat/Protein/Carbs: 403cals/4g/41g/51g

Sous Vide Salmon with Cauli Mash

My coworker recently posted a video of her cooking dinner in a plastic bag submerged in hot water and I was intrigued immediately. When I asked her for the deets I was disappointed to find out the device was $200, so I put it into my mental “save for” bucket. But then I saw this article pop up and decided I’d be willing to invest for under $100. Sous vide is the process of cooking food in vacuum sealed bags in a temperature controlled water bath and is famous for its ability to cook food evenly (i.e. ensuring the middle is cooked without drying out or overcooking the outside). I looked at a few recipes to get the gist of it and combined my fillets with salt, EVOO, and a few sprigs of thyme. We’re having it tonight so I’ll report back!

Cost/Serving: $4.53

Calories/Fat/Protein/Carbs: 246cals/13g/31g/13g

Santa Fe Turkey Stuffed Peppers

We’ve been doing a lot of meatballs and turkey burgers lately so we’re switching it up this week. I like this recipe but Roberto normally puts his own spin on it. He insists cooking the peppers before filling them with turkey cuts down on how watery the peppers can be. We haven’ prepped these yet so I’ll have to come back and refine how he ends up actually making them.

Cost/Serving: $2.76

Calories/Fat/Protein/Carbs: 293cals/10g/39g/13g

Spinach, Strawberry, Chicken, and Goat Cheese Salad

Yup, we’re doing this again. We were delayed getting home last night and just needed something quick and easy to fall back on. It’s a family fave: Roberto grills the chicken with his magic mix of spices and I hull and chop the strawberries. That’s it.

Cost/Serving: $2.80

Calories/Fat/Protein/Carbs: 215cals/4g/30g/11g

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Asparagus and Squash

If you read weekly you know this is one of R’s go-tos. The main ingredients for the marinade are Dijon and rosemary, but I couldn’t give you exact ratios (promise I’m working on getting the deets to the secret sauce!!!). Pre-Roberto my go-to was always this fig balsamic one from Skinnytaste since I always had both ingredients in the cupboard.

Cost/Serving: $2.11

Calories/Fat/Protein/Carbs: 186cals/5g/32g/8g

This is actually lighter on calories than I realized so maybe we’ll add some quinoa.

Have a great week and let me know if you think we should try!

Weekend Update & Meal Plan

Happy Monday… er Tuesday… little behind over here as usual! This weekend, one of Roberto’s best friends from college came to visit on Friday night with his girlfriend. Even though they’re only a couple of hours away we hadn’t seen them in over 6 months. We put out feelers for what they wanted for dinner earlier in the week and to our delight they chose sushi, which just happens to be our regular Friday night routine. Instead of ordering for pickup or delivery which is our m.o. we headed to our neighborhood favorite, Naked Fish, for a tableful of rolls and nigiri. After dinner, we headed back to our place where Roberto whipped up some Kentucky Mules and we queued up pics from our trip to Peru and Colombia. Our friends are 6,000 times more athletic and outdoorsy so in turn, they showed us incredible pictures from Mt. Whitney. Ever since Roberto and I did the Inca Trail, he’s been trying to convince me to take on the highest summit in the US and seeing some of their incredible photos is making me reconsider the hike. We ended the night watching Valley Uprising, an awesome documentary about the climbing counterculture in Yosemite National Park that began in the late 1950s.

We woke up on Saturday and after grabbing some emergency coffee we headed straight to Rose’s for brunch. Amazingly, I had only been to the local café once before despite the fact that it’s a neighborhood staple and just a block away from our church. They are famous for their breakfast pizza, but I went for their Chicken-Tarragon Sausage with Poached Eggs, Polenta, and Spicy Tomato Sauce. SO. GOOD. I’ll be looking for an at home Shakshouka recipe to try to replicate this deliciousness. After digesting we all headed out for a quick run with these fitness freaks and I could barely keep up with the crew.

We spent the rest of the afternoon doing chores and grocery shopping. We recently got rid of a couple bookcases that were seriously messing with our Feng Shui. They were also conveniently holding boxes and boxes of my childhood relics so I spent a majority of Saturday afternoon going through high school homework (and watching Scandal). I am such a hoarder… I got rid of a lot, but still saved some Spanish homework I’m hoping to show off to Roberto and some adorable cursive lessons I’m thinking of framing since they just look so silly and outdated. We ended the day with takeout from Delarosa (pancetta pizza and crab arancini obvi) and watched 13th on Netflix. This documentary has been on my must watch list for a while, but after the hatred, racism, and violence that we saw in Charlottesville this weekend, I was feeling the need to educate myself on the institutionalized racism in this country. It was eye-opening and a must watch if you haven’t seen it. Ideas for what you can actually do to help are here.

The beauty of getting our shopping done on Saturday is that we got right to meal prepping after grabbing coffee and breakfast on Sunday morning rather than cooking late into the night which is what usually ends up happening. We ended with a 4-mile walk up and over the Lyon Street steps which is always our favorite way to get out of the house and end the weekend.

 BreakfastLunchDinner
Monday 8/7K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Leftover Spinach, Chicken, Strawberry, and Goat Cheese Salad (2/2)Leftover Pasta (2/2)
Tuesday 8/8K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
15-Minute Chicken Shawarma Bowls (2/6)Roberto's Turkey Meatballs and Green Beans (2/4)
Wednesday 8/9K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
15-Minute Chicken Shawarma Bowls (4/6)Roberto's Turkey Meatballs and Green Beans (4/4)
Thursday 8/10K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
15-Minute Chicken Shawarma Bowls (6/6)Travel Meal
Friday 8/11Seattle!Seattle!Seattle!

Breakfast

I have been in a major breakfast rut. My AM salad attempt was a major failure. I think if I could throw a poached egg over some lettuce on the weekend I’d be more into it, but I just didn’t dig it as a make-ahead meal. I went back to my frittata roots this weekend and I was not disappointed in my mix… this week I went with broccoli, green onions, turkey, and goat cheese (which is a recurring theme in my life right now tbh).

Leftovers

How’d we end up here if we planned our meals last week? We grilled the chicken for our salads but hadn’t put everything together in easy grab and go containers and so of course when we were running late (as usual) on Thursday we just couldn’t get it together. On Friday I just brought the whole dang bag of spinach to work and WW helped me hull and chop the strawberries in the kitchen at the office (I shared my lunch with her of course). Roberto was too busy to eat 😞 so we still had two servings leftover for lunch yesterday. Still delish! On Sunday night Roberto whipped up some quick pasta with broccoli, frozen langostino, mushrooms, and alfredo. We made enough servings for us to have last night so we wouldn’t need to make a whole other meal.

15-Minute Chicken Shawarma Bowls

This recipe showed up in my Instagram feed last week and looked so good I immediately saved it to try. The recipe calls for rotisserie chicken, but I obviously wanted to put my new Instant Pot to the test so I took my friend Summer’s advice and within ten minutes had perfectly moist shredded chicken for this dish (I got extra chicken to stretch this into 6 servings). Our new chopper made the cukes a breeze and everything else came together equally as fast. So excited for this lunch today!

Roberto’s Turkey Meatballs and Green Beans

I’ve mentioned these 100 times. So good. Not so secret ingredient: Tomasso’s (we literally bought three jars this week just in casers).

We are off to Seattle this weekend to visit my brother-in-law and sister-in-law (there has to be a shorter grammatically correct way to say that…) so it’s a short week!

Have a good one and as always send any must-try recipes my way!

 

Weekend Update & Meal Plan

Happy Monday… hope you had a great weekend! After trying out Mac’d with friends on Wednesday and hitting up Mission Bowling Club on Thursday with Roberto’s coworkers we were pooped by Friday night (homebody alert). We skipped our normal sushi dinner routine and pretty much got right in bed when we got home. On Saturday we had a family party to celebrate Roberto’s grandfather’s birthday and say farewell to his cousin who’s leaving us for LA. Roberto has lots of family locally, but with everyone’s schedule we don’t get to see them as often as we’d like. These parties are always a good opportunity to see everyone and for Roberto to catch up on some razzing with his cousins. From there we raced back to the city so I could meetup with a couple girlfriends for dinner. One of my bestest friends from college was in town and I hadn’t seen her since our wedding over two years ago (shameful!!!). We headed to Causwells for their famous burger and it was sooo good to catch up. Love it when it feels like no time has passed even when it’s been (way) too long. Love you Macca!
We spent yesterday doing our usual Sunday routine: grocery shopping & meal prepping. We also made the mistake of starting Ozark and got immediately sucked in. I am even more obsessed with Julia Garner after recognizing her from my other current TV obsession:  The Americans (see here).

Anywho, here’s what we’re eating this week:

 BreakfastLunchDinner
Monday 8/7K - Let's be real I had a Chorizo breakfast sandwich from Starbucks this AM #noregrets
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers & Roberto's Shepherd's Salad (2/4)Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala with Cauliflower & Peas (2/6)
Tuesday 8/8K - BLTA Salad with Eggs
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers & Roberto's Shepherd's Salad (4/4)Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala with Cauliflower & Peas (4/6)
Wednesday 8/9K - BLTA Salad with Eggs
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Thai Coconut Shrimp Curry with Spicy Green Beans (2/4)Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala with Cauliflower & Peas (6/6)
Thursday 8/10K - BLTA Salad with Eggs
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Spinach, Goat Cheese, Strawberry, and Grilled Chicken Salad (2/4)Thai Coconut Shrimp Curry with Spicy Green Beans (4/4)
Friday 8/11K - BLTA Salad with Eggs
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Spinach, Goat Cheese, Strawberry, and Grilled Chicken Salad (2/4)Dinner with Friends!

Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers and Roberto’s Shepherd’s Salad

I never got around to making the skinny tzatziki last week so we had a bunch of cucumbers to use up. We were originally planning on having these stuffed peppers, but went for something a little more Mediterranean to go with Roberto’s Salad (cukes, tomatoes, red onion, kalamata olives, olive oil). I’ve mentioned this recipe 100 times. Not a ton of ingredients, super delish, grill ’em up and throw some avocado on top. Roberto also got this chopper to speed up his breakfast hash (potatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, etc.) and it came in super handy for all the cukes (we’re kinda obsessed).

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala with Cauliflower and Peas

Gina posted a picture of this recipe on her Instagram last week and I immediately mentally bookmarked it for our meal plan this week. The only problem? I didn’t have a pressure cooker. I ran out and grabbed this one yesterday and dove right in. The hardest part of the recipe was measuring out all the spices, but after that it was super quick. You can also make this on the stove top if you double the cooking time, or this slow cooker one from my Whole30 days is great. We’re planning to have this over TJ’s frozen brown rice. Let me know if you have good pressure cooker recipes… so excited to see what this bad boy can do!

Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp and Spicy Green Beans

This is another go-to we hadn’t done in a while. Works out well if you’re doing the Chicken Tikka Masala since neither recipe uses a full can of coconut milk on their own. We get the microwaveable green beans from TJs and then Roberto seasons them with some red pepper flakes. So good.

Spinach, Goat Cheese, Strawberry, and Grilled Chicken Salad

Roberto picked out every single blackberry from one of his salads last week after realizing he “doesn’t like blackberries in salad.” Alrightyyyyyy then. So we doing this classic combo. Fast, easy, goat cheese. I picked up these little squeeze bottles since the tiniest piece from this set wasn’t cutting it. Also debating getting these… too extra?

Do you have any awesome instant pot recipes? If so, please share!!!