Easy Weekly Dinner Menu #21 – Safety and Seafood

20 Comments
5 minutes
September 22, 2022
Andi Gleeson

Yesterday we went with friends to a lake beach that is perfect for little ones. You can sit in the shade, the water is calm and shallow, and there are showers and changing rooms in the bathroom. The kids were having a fabulous time, and I was mostly able to sit and talk to my friend while they splashed in the water nearby. When it came time for lunch, we called everyone to our towels. My two went to wash their hands in the lake while I pulled out sandwiches.

A couple minutes later, a lifeguard walked over to tell us that my little 2-year-old couldn’t be in the water alone. Of course he couldn’t! How did I let this happen? I thought he was safe with his brother, and I only turned my back for a minute. The Short One is fearless and thinks nothing of wandering off, wading into deep water, or climbing as high as he can. It only takes a moment for him to get away from me. He was safe and sound of course, but I felt embarrassed and ashamed to have a stranger call me on being neglectful.

The Short One's first trip to the beach, when he wouldn't leave the blanket. Those were the days!

The Short One’s first trip to the beach, when he wouldn’t leave the blanket. Those were the days!

I am absolutely one of those overprotective parents you read about, a mom who tries to protect her kids from injury at all costs. I think slides and climbing structures are too high at playgrounds, hills are too steep for bikes, and kids should surely be at least in high school before they cross the street alone. How was I the mom letting her toddler wander into the water unattended? I will be haunted for months or even years thinking about what could have happened, and I’m not just saying that to be dramatic. There are still a few mistakes I’ve made in the past that keep me up at night even though nothing bad happened.

Do you worry about what-ifs after something bad could have happened, even if it didn’t?  Are you an overprotective parent too, or do you like your kids to be free to take risks in order to challenge themselves and feel successful?

Speaking of water, I must have had a hankering for seafood after being in landlocked Tennessee for a few days because this week’s meal plan is unwittingly packed full of easy seafood dishes. I know some of you may have an allergy or aversion to seafood, or it may be cost prohibitive where you live. Never fear! I offered tasty fish-free alternative dishes just for you!

  1. Crab and Corn Chowder with Bacon and Jalapeno – We had this hearty soup the night we got home from our trip. We had eaten out so much while out of town that I really wanted something homemade, but I was also weary from traveling all day. This dish was a perfect solution because it was so easy. Serve with sliced cucumber and tomato or a side salad.  Alternative: Potato Corn Chowder.Crab and Corn Chowder with Bacon and Jalapeño - #Easy #dinner recipe for busy weeknights by @wearychef
  2. Red Thai Curry with Shrimp and Asparagus – Every time I have bought frozen shrimp in California, they have been deveined. I grabbed a bag of shrimp this week that was a new brand I didn’t recognize and turns out they were intact. Growing up on the Mississippi coast, shrimp were plentiful and I had never heard of removing the vein (AKA intestine) until I moved away. Now it seems wrong to eat the whole thing, so I painstakingly deveined them all with my thumbnail while peeling them. They only tasted that much better after putting so much work in. The Pants said this Red Thai Curry was as good as a restaurant, and I hope you will like it too. Please see the note at the end of the recipe about substituting chicken for shrimp.Red Thai Shrimp Curry - Make restaurant-quality Thai curry at home! from @wearychef
  3. Salmon and Vegetables over Rice – This dish is a classic in our house, so delicious and ready in about 25 minutes.  If you aren’t in the mood for salmon, try this instead:  Sausage and Vegetable Stir Fry over Rice.Salmon and Vegetable Rice Bowl - Dinner ready in 25 minutes! by @wearychef
  4. Spinach and Chicken Enchiladas Verdes – I love spinach but had never had it in enchilada form. This version is quite tasty and a complete meal since the veggies are baked inside! Add some extra vitamin C with a Fresh Margarita. Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Verde - Healthy #enchilada #dinner by @wearychef
  5. Italian Sausage Pasta Bake – No week would be complete without a pasta dish, and this is one of my favorites!Italian Sausage Pasta Bake - Easy, flavorful one-dish dinner!
  6. Shrimp Salad with Corn and Tangy Lime Dressing – Remember those labor intensive shrimp from the curry?  Well guess what.  They came in a two-pound bag!  I had the pleasure of prepping the other pound the next day for this salad.  The salad itself is so simple to make that I didn’t even mind the extra of work on the shrimp.Shrimp Salad with Corn and Tangy Lime Dressing - Perfect #dinner #salad for a hot day! by @wearychef
  7. Almost Homemade Pizza – The Pants had a work dinner this week at a German restaurant (yum), so the boys and I had a pizza party. We got an unbaked cheese pizza from Costco, but you could get the same from your local supermarket. Throw on your favorite toppings, and you have hot, fresh pizza for a fraction of the cost of delivery. We chose bacon and black olives, and I added sliced tomatoes and jalapenos to my half.Almost Homemade Pizza

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Andi Gleeson, food blogger

Andi Gleeson

Andi Gleeson is a passionate blogger and mom based in San Francisco who focuses on easy and delicious dinner recipes.

20 comments

Gina Kennett
10 years ago

i love your blog. keep it up!

Andi
10 years ago

Thank you so much, Gina! I appreciate the encouragement :)

SMD @ Life According to Steph
11 years ago

I’ve never thought of jalapenos for pizza. I might try that on Sunday!

We adored the crab/corn chowder. I doubled it and gave some to my parents too.

The Weary Chef
11 years ago

I’m so happy to hear that about the chowder! Thank you! I was telling my mom friend about your relaxing Father’s Day weekend, and we were questioning our life choices. My weekends are anything but relaxing!

I demand that you try jalapeños on your pizza very soon. You won’t regret it! ;)

Lilly Sue
11 years ago

Lots of fun dishes! I want that chowder! I don’t have children so I can’t relate with your frightful story but I think I will be a little more of a relaxed mother…that is how my mom is and that could be partly because she had 6 kids. So glad nothing bad happened! Try not to let it worry you too much! Just be thankful everything was OK :)

The Weary Chef
11 years ago

My friend who was with me read my story and didn’t think the situation was scary at all. I may have overreacted a tad, but still I’ll be more careful to watch that little escape artist next time!

Six kids. I don’t know how she did it. I’m dealing with sleep issues with my littlest one right now and don’t know how I would handle this with 5 other kids in the house! Maybe if I was more laid back it would be easier!

Thanks so much for coming, and I hope you get a chance to try the chowder!

Mel
11 years ago

The soup looks so good! I’m not over protective except near water, every Summer so many people (more adults than children) drown in our oceans, water safety is constantly pushed. The television ads show how quick 20 seconds is all it takes. However your baby is safe, it will be with you but think of it as a good thing. :) also don’t beat yourself up after 5 kids it amazes me the things they can do in front of my eyes.

The Weary Chef
11 years ago

Thanks, Mel. Our ocean waves are really rough here, so I don’t like taking my kids to the ocean beach. I admire you for having five kids. Lately I’m just barely making it with my two wild boys!

Thanks so much for your visit :)

Julie @ This Gal Cooks
11 years ago

I love the dinner menu, Andi! Especially those enchiladas! Delish. Pinned to the MM and Savory Dishes boards. :) Hope you have a great week!

The Weary Chef
11 years ago

Thanks so much, Julie! I only wish I had gotten a better picture of the enchiladas! The sun was almost down when I took it, and it was the night before we left for our trip so I couldn’t use leftovers the next day. Oh well! Hopefully the recipe will speak for itself :)

Lisa@ Cooking with Curls
11 years ago

I am over-protective as well! My daughter just loves to point that out. But it’s our job as parents to look out for them. I know how scared you were, but you can’t beat yourself up over it. We learn from our mistakes, and don’t repeat them…in theory at least :) I like the new header, and I love the tag cloud! I wanted to have one, but Alex said I have so many categories that it would take over the page :) Great Job!!!

The Weary Chef
11 years ago

I looked back at pictures from the day, and the water was only up to his knees, which made me feel a little better. Of course he could have gone deeper and shouldn’t have been in alone, but I can stop replaying it in my head like he was in the deep end!

Thanks for the nice compliments! I have always had the category cloud, but there was so much stuff in the sidebar that it was way at the bottom. I cleaned a lot of stuff up that wasn’t getting clicked and slowed down my site. I definitely couldn’t have a tag cloud because there are way too many, but I try to keep the category list shorter.

Claire @ A Little Claireification
11 years ago

Yum yum yummy menu! I am adding the enchiladas to my Buffer for 11AM and pinning too. :) xoxo
(PS your site looks great!)

The Weary Chef
11 years ago

Thanks, Claire! I’ve been sprucing up a bit :) I think you will really like the enchiladas. Thank you for stopping by!

Paula
11 years ago

oh Andi, I totally understand. I was so over-protective when the boys were little, I think we grow out of it somewhat as they get older. My heart is pounding as I type this, I almost ran over Ryder when he was months old. He was in a bouncy and my husband sat him in the garage, but the way our house was on a hill you couldn’t see because of the angle. When I stopped and got out his seat was INCHES from the car. Completely earth shattering even now!

The Weary Chef
11 years ago

Oh, Paula, that is so scary!! What a blessing that you stopped the car when you did! It’s good to know that the overprotective feelings might get better with time.

Liz
11 years ago

so glad your little one came to no harm. Totally understand your going over it again and again in your head. My oldest went under in a swimming pool when she was 5. (my mom and I were chatting by the side and thought my dad was watching her) I remember running toward her slo-mo when I didn’t see her and it was a guy across the pool who dove in and swam the length to pull her up. Her lips were blue and I am getting freaked out just writing it and that was seven years ago. Signed her up for swim lessons that night. So yes–freaky. What a day for you! Then home to get your menu out. No wonder you were doing dishes so late.

About the menu–the red curry looks like a meal for next week. Thanks :-) And you’re saying the margaritas are for vit C? Really? ;-) Thanks for all you do, Andi. Be sure to reward yourself with something fun–vitamin C-containing, maybe? Or something sparkly?

The Weary Chef
11 years ago

That is so scary about your daughter! Is she a good swimmer now?

Will your girls like the curry?

Well, there is a lot of lime juice in the margaritas! ;)

Liz
11 years ago

she STILL hates swim lessons, so this might be her last year. But she’s moved on to intermediate levels so can at least hold her own in the water.

No, my girls will not like the curry, but I’m a bad mom that way–sometimes I make what I want to eat and they can make a pb sandwich.

The Weary Chef
11 years ago

My oldest has gotten tired of pretty much every class or activity he has ever taken after a few months. Except swimming. He is excited to go to his lesson every single week. He can still barely make it across the pool by himself, but he’s steadily improving.

I don’t think you are a bad mom to make dinner and let your kids have a choice to eat it or not! It’s hard to please the entire family!

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