Crisp days, blurry days, and a weekly menu

There was last Monday. The first day of our family road trip. The anticipation of joyful moments, picnics, walks, meals and laughs. Looking forward to the unsuspected. The discovery of new places.

The bright crisp air of the central coast of California. Ocean and
country. We are surrounded by beautiful gardens. I wake up and feel compelled
to go explore what the early morning sun brings out of this gorgeous
vegetation. I want to go out and see the light. See nature. Capture it. My mind
is clear, light, peaceful, inspired. Unencumbered by the everyday. All it is
interested in this morning is witnessing the surrounding beauty. It is not
interested in the forest, it is interested in its trees. Perhaps that is the
meaning of Zen.

And there was this morning. Back to “real life” and its
burdens, deadlines, obligations, fires to put out. But in fact, it is less real.
My mind projects into an uncertain future, is flooded with worries and doubt. I feel
down, anxious, guilty, overwhelmed, helpless. It’s uncomfortable and downright
depressing. I try to talk myself out of it. It doesn’t work. What I try to
teach my son I must practice myself: just be with my feelings, without
judgment, without solution. Just be with them. It’s difficult.

Some time ago, this morning would have paralyzed me. Kept me
from doing anything. It would have been all-consuming. And for several minutes,
it was.

Then I just go on anyway. I have been away from this haven
of a blog for a week, too long. I have so much to share. There’s an
effervescence around it: a wonderful stay at a lovely goat farm I want to tell
you about, the first anniversary of this blog coming up in a few days, cherry and berrypicking field trips, and an
exciting new collaboration with my favorite goat cheese maker. There’s going to
be a lot of talk of goat around here in the coming weeks, so I hope you’re
ready for that 🙂 Til then, sharing our week’s menu with you.

Looking back at these photos of last Monday, I read life
into them. Patches of color. Bright or dark. Growth, that sometimes bears fruit.
Lots of blur. And some clarity too. Perhaps that is why I felt so inspired that
morning. Why I wanted to share them here with you. Perhaps you will see some of
your life in them too.

On to the week’s menu.

Cheeses of the week: Following French tradition, I always offer a little bit of cheese at the end of every meal, between the main course and dessert. Rotation this week: Comté, Port Salut (cow cheese), fresh goat cheese.

Desserts: At lunch, I offer a fruit yogurt (or plain yogurt with fresh fruit), but at night, I prefer sticking to plain yogurt (regular homemade* whole milk, sheep’s milk, goat’s milk and Greek yogurt for extra protein) to avoid too much sugar before bedtime.

If you would like a particular recipe on the menu, feel free to contact me! (I marked with a * the recipes that will be the topic of upcoming posts).



Appetizer / Finger Foods: New potato, Italian parsley salad with poached egg

Main course: Smoked salmon, avocado

Goûter (4pm snack) – White nectarine


Appetizer / Finger Foods: Persian cucumber salad in creamy yogurt tarragon sauce

Main course: Pan-fried leg of lamb, cannelloni beans, lettuce & vinaigrette



Appetizer / Finger Foods: Cauliflower, tomato salad

Main course: Sauteed lemon shrimp

Goûter – Strawberry rhubarb compote + plums


Appetizer / Finger Foods: Sauteed rainbow chards, orange, goat cheese salad inspired by Vanilla Bean

Main course: Braised ham-wrapped endives au gratin



Appetizer / Finger FoodsGrated carrots French-style

Main course: Steak tartare, butter lettuce with herbed hazelnut vinaigrette

Goûter – Apricots


Appetizer / Finger Foods: Green beans, cauliflower, chives salad

Main course: Roasted chicken, zucchini eggplant au gratin*



Appetizer / Finger Foods: Mixed quinoa, crudités, beans salad

Main course: Ham, leftover zucchini eggplant gratin

Goûter – White peach


Appetizer / Finger Foods: Authentic Greek salad

Main courseDover sole fillets with spinach-broccoli puree



Appetizer / Finger Foods: Sauteed watermelon radishes & romano Italian beans inspired by Gourmande in the kitchen

Main course: Chicken liver salad with raspberry vinaigrette

Goûter – Cherries


Appetizer / Finger Foods: Greens soup (from carrot, beet, radish greens)

Main course: Bison patties, baked yams


Lunch – We’re going cherry picking at Copeland Cherry Ranch

Packing a picnic with feta chickpea salad, cherry tomatoes, melon and prosciutto, cheese.

Goûter – Cherries!


Appetizer / Finger Foods: Yellow heirloom tomato gazpacho

Main course: Leeks lemon feta quiche with mâche salad


Lunch – OUT – going foraging again, looking forward to learning more from Pascaland Mia!

Goûter – Cherry clafoutis*


Appetizer / Finger Foods: Artichoke custards

Main course: My mother’s oven-roasted ribs, peas and carrot jardinière

2 thoughts on “Crisp days, blurry days, and a weekly menu

  1. Every now and then, when I lag, I return to your web for inspiration! I see some of the food you are making and say "OOH! where's the recipe?!" I want to ask for (almost all) your recipes, but, I know you're a busy mom!!

    So when are you going to do a cookbook? lol…no kinda seriously…

    Ericka (6yr old twin boys & 20 month old daughter)

    1. Ah yes… currently working on making that happen… hopefully, fingers crossed 😉 Thanks for your kind words, Ericka.

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