Hey friends! I haven’t done a weekend recap in ages, so thought today might be a good time to do one!
Matt’s parents were in town visiting this past weekend which was a fun treat; they were here for Riese’s end of year dance performance which was on Sunday morning.
The grandparents arrived on Friday evening around dinnertime; to keep things simple I got us a take away chicken dinner (rotisserie chicken + roasted potatoes + a baguette + some veggie sides) from Del Ray Cafe which worked out really well.
On Saturday morning, we walked over to the Del Ray Farmer’s Market and picked up some fruit and other fun things before heading to the playground with lattes and breakfast tacos (from Rubia’s, where Stomping Ground used to be) in tow.
For lunch I had a simple grain salad bowl with arugula, some leftover orzo from earlier in the week, feta, leftover chicken, and a super lemon-y homemade vinaigrette. It was light and refreshing!
On Saturday evening, we had a fun adventure: trying out our pizza oven!
My parents gave it to us ages ago and we hadn’t had the right opportunity to test it out yet, but with Matt’s parents in town we decided it was good timing to give it a shot.
The pizza oven (it’s this one – Amazon affiliate link FYI) is gas powered, so we hooked it up to a propane tank like you would a grill. It gets crazy hot – up to 950 degrees F at the max – and can cook a pizza in 60 seconds flat.
It took some trial and error to figure out how to yield the best results. Our first try we used flour to keep the dough from sticking to the pizza peel and stone…
But very quickly learned that flour didn’t work super well and what we really needed was cornmeal (it’s a lot coarser so it works better than regular flour), which we unfortunately didn’t have.
Luckily I did some research and read that parchment paper, which we did have, was a good substitute for cornmeal, so our second attempt we used that…
Which worked great to get the pizza into the oven and onto the baking stone, but then we realized that – duh – since the pizza oven was WAY hotter than a normal oven would be, the parchment paper immediately burst into flames. Whoops!
The good news is that the parchment paper underneath the pizza did totally fine (just not the parts that were outside of the pizza dough), so for round 3 we finally had it figured out and cut the parchment paper to exactly the size of the pizza before putting it into the oven.
Success!! (Finally – ha.) It was tricky to figure out the right temperature and also thickness of pizza that yielded the best results – if the pizza was a little too thick the outsides would burn before the inside was totally crispy/cooked.
But, eventually we figured it out and the pizza ended up being quite yummy!
The kids were into it, too. (As was Millee, Matt’s parents’ dog – she reeeeeally wanted a taste!)
On Sunday morning, I went to an early yoga class, and then we all went to watch Riese in her big end of year dance performance! She’s been taking a “creative movement” dance class this year and it was SO fun to see her on stage. She had the best time ever and it was adorable seeing the other classes perform, too.
After the dance performance, we took Riese out to lunch in Old Town, Alexandria with my parents (who also came to the show) and Matt’s parents. Wes was at home with a sitter because we knew he wouldn’t be able to sit through an hour of performances and lunch without losing his mind or running wild!
We had fun exploring the waterfront on the walk to and from our car to the restaurant, which was Virtue Feed and Grain.
I had the seared tuna salad, which unfortunately was not that great – it was absolutely drowning in dressing (Asian-themed – would have been good in much smaller quantities) and the tuna itself was sooo salty. Meh. Disappointing as usually I love this place! Oh well. The others enjoyed their meals!
We were sad to say goodbye to Matt’s parents once we got home from lunch. We spent the rest of the afternoon laying low at home – tidying up, giving the kids baths, etc.
For dinner we all scrounged up whatever leftovers we were interested in.
I had a creation involving the leftover chicken, some leftover rice and lentil mix, black beans, string beans, and some sautéed mushrooms and spinach (leftover from the pizza night – I just sautéed them in some olive oil).
The kids love the rice + lentil mix (it’s a 90 second microwave one from Whole Foods), so they had that, plus some string beans and fruit. Simple and easy!
We still have some leftover chicken on hand, so I’m going to make a batch of my Cranberry Chicken Salad with Walnuts to eat on this week… I’m getting tired of grain bowls now as I had another one for lunch yesterday!
This one had barley, chicken, diced celery, arugula, feta, and another homemade lemon vinaigrette (similar to my Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette but with apple cider vinegar instead of balsamic vinegar).
One last picture from the weekend – well, from Friday morning – I organized our pantry and it felt SO GOOD. Does anyone else love organizing and decluttering? I have to be in the mood for it and have enough energy, but once I’m in the zone I love it.
I wish I had gotten a before picture, but here is the after pic! Our pantry was a total mess and it felt so good to throw some things away, get everything much better organized, and vacuum and wipe down the pull out drawers, too.
Now snacks are where the kids can reach them, glass containers like pasta sauce are up high where Wes cannot reach them, things are organized together in themes, etc. Hizzah! It makes me happy every time I open the cabinet now!
I’ve been on an organizing tear lately – last week I tackled a couple of the other kitchen drawers that we use a lot and that were a mess, and the week before that I gave away a bunch of kid stuff (clothing and toys that are no longer used) and decluttered and organized my office.
Hoping I can keep the momentum going because our bedroom closet could use some attention next, but I’ve been putting that off because it will be a really big project!
Anyway – I hope you have a great day, my friends! See you back here on Friday for some recipe inspiration.