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End of Summer Meals

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Our Weekly Cadence – 2023 September 25th-October 1st

Hey there, lovely readers! Welcome back to ‘Our Weekly Cadence,’ where we invite you to join us in the heart of our home. Fall has officially begun, however, where we live, summer produce is still trickling into the markets. End of summer meals mean capitalizing on the end of the season produce. We started our week with baking and we also roasted a another batch of coffee. Additionally we replenished our homemade countertop cleaner. Finally, we are taking time to get our fall garden started (better late than never).

Weekly Meal Plan – Our End of Summer Meal Ideas

This week we want to utilize okra, potatoes, zucchini, bell peppers and of course tomatoes in our end of summer meals. Roast potatoes are such a cozy addition to a meal and a wonderful way to transition from summer to fall. Also, making a warm and spicy gumbo is a great way to shift to the feels of fall but still appreciate the end of summer bounty like okra, bell peppers and tomatoes. We plan to round out the week with some classic crispy chicken breast and green beans. And we will finish our week with a kitchen sink type leftover salad as well as our weekly pizza, (made with more end of summer produce).

image of a large shallow bow topped with romaine, with chopped ingredients lining top: bacon, blue cheese, croutons, crispy chickpeas, yellow tomato, avocado, chicken paillard, jammy soft boiled eggs
end of summer meal: chopped leftover salad

Dinner This Week:

  • Flounder and roast potatoes
  • Turkey hot dogs with homemade wheat buns
  • Okra, andouille and shrimp gumbo
  • Crispy chicken paillard with green beans and potatoes
  • Salad with leftover chicken paillard, roast potatoes, green beans, summer veg
  • Pizzas – 1 pepperoni & basil; and 1 zucchini, cherry tomato, green onion, artichoke, sheep’s milk cheese

Lunch Meal Plan

School Lunches

  • roll-ups – nut-butter and honey rolled in tortilla with fresh fruits and vegetables
  • tuna salad – veggie sticks, either fresh bread or crackers, some type of pickle, chocolate covered pecans
  • tostadas – bean and cheese, pickled peppers
  • yogurt bowls – yogurt with honey, berries, chocolate crepe, granola/cheerios

Grown-up Lunches

  • tuna stuffed avocados
  • leftover pizza
  • greek cucumber tomato salad with sardines/tuna
  • leftover soup and salad

Breakfast Meal Plan

  • Leftover whole grain carrot cake
  • Oatmeal with cinnamon and pecans
  • Waffle Wednesday! (frozen multi-grain waffles and maple syrup)
  • Fried eggs and toast
  • Nut butter toast and strawberries
Meal Idea Tips
  • Gumbo: roux can take at least 30 minutes to make. Here are some ideas to tighten your cook time:
    • make a lighter roux
    • do part of your vegetable prep before starting the roux, but leave some for while your stirring the roux
    • prep your ingredients (slice your andouille and dice vegetables early in the day)
  • Crispy Chicken Paillard
    • pound a chicken breast thin (1/4′)
    • set 3 shallow bowls or containers near frying pan and move pounded chicken from on to the other and then into frying pan
      • furthest from stovetop = flour seasoned with salt and pepper for dredging
      • middle = whisked egg with a pinch of salt
      • next to stovetop = panko breadcrumbs (add fresh or dried herbs if you like)
    • fry until golden brown on both sides
  • Roast Diced Potatoes
    • Preheat oven to 400-425 Fahrenheit
    • Dice potatoes into 1″ cubes
    • Toss potatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper
    • Roast for 20 minutes – finish with more salt

Homemade Baked Goods for The Week

Carrot cake is the perfect way for us to not only get some fall spice into the week, but also a way to use up a huge bag of carrots we bought a few weeks ago. Like usual, we cut out almost half the sugar in both the cake and icing, and we used some freshly ground soft wheat (could use pastry wheat) in place of more than half the all purpose flour. We also added 1/2 cup walnuts. To give it a bit more fall spice, we added 1/2 teaspoon of ginger, 1/4 teaspoon allspice and some freshly grated nutmeg to the mix. A delectable treat to add to our end of summer meals! Half of the icing now resides in our freezer to top cupcakes or cinnamon rolls in the future.

To round out our end of summer meals, we also are making more Sourdough Pizza Dough (substituted 100g wheat flour for part of 00). And some yeast and sourdough hotdog buns (substituting 100g wheat flour for part of the bread flour). Instead of 10 hotdog buns, we make the recipe into 12-13 as 10 are pretty voluptuous. The buns would be great hoagie style buns for meatball sandwiches or lobster rolls as well. We freeze half.

Freshly Roasted Coffee for The Week

Last week we roasted coffee beans from Costa Rica Palmichal Los Santos and we did the same for this week, but upped the roasting time to get closer to a Full City+ roast. Next week we will try the same beans, roasting them Vienna style. We keep a notebook for each roast we make with times and notes so we can decide what to do the next time we roast the same or similar bean. As we get darker with our Costa Rican coffee beans, we expect a roastier flavor. A fuller roast may entice us to warm some milk and make a cafe au lait while waiting patiently for rainy book reading fall weather.

For more information on home roasting, degassing and roast levels, see our posts on how to roast coffee at home.

DIY Countertop Cleaner

Clean countertops are like a game of tetris or whack-a-mole…neverending. The minute you clean part of your countertop, the next part gets messy and needs wiping. Typically, warm water or soapy warm water works fine for cleaning, but we like to also have a spray on hand for daily maintenance and refreshing. Our spray instills a delightful scent into the air, so we use it often to refresh the counter and our mood. Since fall is coming as are more germs, we elected to give our cleaning spray with a bold, warm, invigorating blend to fight against illness and rejuvenate our moods. The blend below is called thieves or fighting five. We choose to make the blend ourselves as we had the essential oils on hand.

Vinegar Countertop Cleaner Recipe

  • 5 ounces distilled vinegar
  • 10-11 ounces distilled water
  • 1 ounce vodka/rubbing alcohol (optional)
  • Essential Oils (20-25 drops)

We use around a 1:3 vinegar to water ratio. Add vinegar and essential oils to a spray bottle and top with vodka and distilled water. Shake vigorously to mix. We also like to use lemon and tea tree or peppermint and tea tree as cleaning blends. Take a peak at our essential oil post to find out more about other oils we use.

Fall Potager Garden Time

Our fall garden has been on our list for awhile now. We are in drought conditions with what seems to be unending heat, but if we are going to have any kind of fall garden, the time is now. Since we are a bit late to the game, we scrapped a few of our original ideas (bye bye cabbages!) and we decided to direct seed greens, beets and carrots this week.

Asian Greens

Over a dozen packets of seeds for fall planting

We enjoyed some delicious Asian greens last fall and winter from our CSA (Community-supported agriculture) bin and decided to try our hand with them in our own garden this year. This week we planted Tatsoi, a small spoon shaped mustard green with a mellow creamy flavor and Choy Sum, a tender broccoli like green with edible stalks and flowers. We also planted some tiny bok choy. Next week we will add Old Tokyo Komatsuna, a delicious spinach mustard green. A mix between the tatsoi and komatsuna is a green called Chijimisai, it has a velvety umami flavor and it is supposed to be suitable to grow in most zones so we are also trying it as well. We do not have ideal vegetable garden sunlight, but these greens should be able to handle the light we do have.


Similarly to the greens light requirements, beets do not necessarily need a full 8 hours of sun. We are going to attempt Cylindra beets from Denmark that are cylinder type shaped beets known to be smooth and tender. And Also Chioggia beets that have a candy cane type stripe. We have not had a ton of success with beets in the past, but our watering system is improved this season so we are hopeful and if nothing else, we can eat the greens they produce!


Last year was the first time we actually succeeded with carrots. We plant them in a large grow bag in a corner of our garden with some other herbs and flowers. Most of the varieties we choose are squatty globe types, which are fun to pick and look at, and probably easier to grow because of their short length. This year we will also try a black tropical carrot that is known to do well in hot conditions.


We threw in some seeds for fennel, bronze fennel, chives, chervil, chamomile and dill. Typically we use transplants fall herbs, but we’ll see what happens this year!

Edible Flowers

Crossing fingers for snapdragons and pansy seeds to have time to grow and flower. If not, perhaps the seeds will come alive in the spring. In the meantime, our mums should be getting ready to flower, and they will give us some fun flowers to see and use in the kitchen as well.

Until Next Time!

Feel free to leave a comment below, sharing your thoughts/tips on weekly rituals, end of summer meals, fall gardening or any delightful moments you’d like to celebrate. After all, life is sweeter when shared with friends.

Thank you for being a part of our journey, and here’s to savoring the beauty in each week that unfolds. Until next time!

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