One of my favorite things about vacation is eating. This summer, we have had to postpone or cancel our planned vacations like everyone else, but I realized that doesn’t mean we have to cancel the food.

Intrigued? Well this week’s meal plan is focused on five meals I would probably be eating if I were on vacation — but are super easy to create at home.

So grab a pen, or open up your favorite grocery app, and let’s plan out meals for next week. Maybe even buy yourself a new pair of shoes or a cute sundress and have a mock vacation in your backyard.

Top: Baked Rigatoni with Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce from The Original Dish and Spanish Paella from Tastes Better from Scratch


Almost every summer we take a trip to the Pacific Northwest to visit family.  It’s always a treat to grab a meal from one of the many food trucks that line the streets of Portland (shout out to the #WallofMoms).  Onigirazu (aka Japanese Rice Sandwich) is a favorite handheld meal that we would grab and sit on a bench near the waterfront and devour.  These Tuna and Kimchi Onigirazu from saltnpepperhere are easy to recreate at home, and you can swap out tuna with tofu or any other protein you prefer, and add in any other veggies you like such as avocado or edamame.  Make them in advance, throw in a cooler and eat dinner in a park for a change of scenery.

Also be sure to check out Masha’s Onigirazu recipe that she swears are as good – or better – than the ready-made ones ar Whole Foods.


My husband worked for several years in San Diego.  We loved tagging along on a few business trips, soaking in the saltwater and sun. Very few things are more wonderful to me than enjoying a fresh fish taco and a cold beer with bare feet in the sand. So I tracked down Marcela Valladolid’s recipe for Baja Style Fish Tacos on Food Network that has been a favorite recipe of mine for years.  It is so delicious and easy, and the kids love it.

Fill up the kid pool in the backyard and serve dinner outside.  It will feel almost like you are at the beach!  (No not really, but if you spray sunblock in someone’s eye it will be almost exactly like the beach).


San Francisco’s Little Italy has always been one of my favorite “mini-vacation” destinations for delicious food, good wine, and dine outside amid the hustle of the city. While you can dine al fresco in many locations, I’m not quite ready to venture out with my entire family where we live. So this week, I am making The Original Dish’s Baked Rigatoni with Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce — setting up a few small tables on the sidewalk in front of my house. Hey, why not?

Related: Is it safe to to eat in restaurants yet?


Summer usually involves a road trip for us and we have made a tradition of looking for the very best BBQ we can find on those road trips. This week, I am going to make these Instant Pot Ribs from Well Plated by Erin and right before dinner, put everyone in the car and drive around the block a few times. (Ha.)

If you haven’t made ribs in the Instant Pot yet, you are welcome in advance for this life changing recipe. It is so fast and simple, and they turn out amazing! Serve with extra BBQ sauce, corn on the cob (our recipe helps yours turn out perfectly!), slaw, baked beans or your favorite BBQ sides.

I had been planning a once in a lifetime trip to Spain with my son earlier this year, and…it has been postponed. (Sad face.) I dream almost every night about the food and wine we will enjoy one day!  In the meantime, I can recreate a few of the meals imagine we will enjoy there. One day. This recipe for Spanish Paella from Tastes Better From Scratch is authentic and uses ingredients you can easily find at your local grocery store. Serve this with a fun summer Sangria  and pretend life is almost normal.

I put these weekly meals plans together based on recipes I am actually cooking for my family, and with you in mind.  If you have suggestions, tips or recommendations for recipes or other food bloggers I should check out, please comment here, or shoot me a message in our Recipe Rescue group on Facebook.  – Lisa