Jim isn't taking any vacation days this year, and so we are being very intentional with the holiday weekends being stay-cations. Because we rent, there wasn't any yard work or house projects or anything to do but play with the kids, go on bike rides, read books, and grill out. We were very much in vacation mode this weekend.
The problem with stay-cations and meals is that because we are in vacation mode, we are thinking about good food. But if I don't plan well, our well-intentioned holiday weekends can wind up with my being in the kitchen all weekend. What a holiday weekend needs is good food that doesn't require a lot of prep work.
It begins Thursday with a trip to the grocery store, come home, wash and cut up all the produce. Somehow, this process takes an entire evening, and still it will all be gone by Sunday.
Washing and cutting up produce and preparing the cold salads are time-intensive, but worth the prep work to make the rest of the weekend easy.
Here was our menu for the weekend:
Mediterranean potato salad- served over greens with goat cheese as a meal one night, another day as a side to burgers on the grill.
Orzo salad- this is my favorite pasta salad, and you can prepare it with any vegetables and vinaigrette. I used spinach, cucumber, tomato, black olives, and this vinaigrette.
This Veggie Frittata recipe from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is one of my favorites because it uses any combination of vegetables you have on hand.
It's always nice to have fresh salsa (I bought mine) or humus (my favorite recipe) on hand for dipping.
Sangria: Jim throws fruit into a pitcher of wine to marinate all weekend for our own sangria- so good!
Chicken fajitas: marinate chicken in lime juice, olive oil, cumin and garlic. Grill with peppers and onions. These can be served on tortillas, and leftovers over the orzo salad.
Usually in the mornings we will make a run for good coffee (we are on vacation after all), and I will pick up a fresh baguette. Make lazy Sunday evening sandwiches with cream cheese, tomato, spinach, salt and pepper. Or a thousand other combinations. I really need to buy two baguette. Or five.
By the end of the weekend I will pull any leftovers out of the refrigerator along with more cut-up veggies, seeds, and cheese, and have a big salad bar.
Ideally I will bake something. This weekend I was dying to make Shauna Neiquist's berry crisp, but being outside seemed like a better idea. Instead we indulged in ice cream and popsicles, and a giant bowl of cut-up fruit.
Plenty of sunshine, good food, and nearly no time spent in the kitchen.