Still Too Hot to Cook
Hi friends! News flash: Houston is HOT. That means I’m keeping the meal plan simple again. This is our last full week of summer before my two youngest start high school on August 17. We’re reaching full throttle organization mode, which gives me a sense of calm and structure before the start of the school year. It may be an illusion, but it keeps my anxiety in check!
This time of year I typically host a free online webinar called Kitchen Reboot. Sadly, I don’t have time to schedule it this year. I’m getting ready to drop my oldest in Paris for her freshman year of college, so it’s a little busy around here. Plus, MY FIRST COOKBOOK is coming out later this fall and I’m working on a marketing plan and book tour schedule. Stay tuned! I’m beyond excited.
I highly recommend you clean out your kitchen and pantry to get ready for the school year. It feels so good to simplify and refresh. Purge anything that’s broken or missing parts, donate the gadgets you don’t use and group like items together. I’ll share photos and videos of my own mini Kitchen Reboot in Instagram highlights.
Here’s what we’re cooking this week!
My husband and son return (begrudgingly) from Sun Valley, Idaho, where we always spend a chunk of summer. Since they arrive late tonight, I want something that can stay warm in the slow cooker or Instant Pot.
When we return home from trips, we always have either a pantry pasta recipe or Mexican food. Tonight, I’m using Flor de Junio beans that Primary Beans sent me to try. I’m developing a recipe for charro beans, but I might get lazy and just follow my Instant Pot recipe for black beans, instead. I’ll also make Slow Cooker Carnitas or a variation of Zucchini Taco Skillet from my friend Carolyn Williams’ book, Meals that Heal.
I have any greens pesto to use up, so a batch of pesto pasta salad is in the works. We can have it for lunch during the week.
I have an online cooking class with my Smart in the Kitchen School members tonight. We’re making summer salads: grain and veggie salad, kale salad with lemon-tahini dressing and cucumber salad. We’re also making the Family Meal Spaghetti I posted in last week’s meal plan and Instagram. Dinner will be class leftovers!
Since it’s too hot to cook and my teenagers may or may not be home tonight, I’ve decided it’s panini night. Set out bread, deli meat, cheese and your favorite condiments. For a little something extra, add pesto or sundried tomato pesto, caramelized onions, olive tapenade or sriracha mayo.
I’m in need of a date night before the chaos of school starts. My favorite spots in Houston right now are Squabble, Bludorn, and Nancy’s Hustle. Pre-game cocktails at Julep, which just won a James Beard Award, or Better Luck Tomorrow sound good, too.