Hey, friends! Happy Labor Day weekend! I’m popping in today with some highlights from the past few days, a roundup of the easy dinners that we enjoyed, and a quick recipe for Southern Fried Apples. These apples are a great fall side dish or light dessert, so be sure to scroll down for the full details! But first…
For those of you who are new to the blog, Our Week in Meals is where I share a little bit about what we’ve been up to over the past week — as it relates to our meals each night. This series gives you a glimpse “behind the scenes” at some highlights from our life, shows you how I balance a busy schedule with feeding my family, and offers a few new ideas for your own weekly meal plan. Now let’s back up to last weekend…
I took a cool and foggy Sunday morning walk up the road,
and then came home to write a tentative meal plan and grocery list for the week. While Keith mowed the grass, Spence came shopping with me to buy our food for the rest of the week.
After lunch we all headed up to Culpeper for a walk,
and then had a snack at Sweet Frog before coming back home.
I marinated shrimp in the refrigerator while we were gone so that Keith could grill them for dinner once we got home. I used this recipe for Marinated Grilled Shrimp (one of our FAVES!) and served them with oven-roasted green beans from our neighbor’s farm, plus Rice-a-Roni.
We each had a small slice of the remaining Apple Walnut Cake from Saturday for dessert to finish off the pan! Perfect end to the weekend!
Spence and I made another stop at our little country post office on Monday morning before heading to the preschool for my monthly Board Meeting.
This post office cracks me up. It’s open from 11:30-1:30 p.m., and the “Customer Parking” is right next to the tractors. Hey, at least there’s never a line to get in! 😂
Both Casey and Gibbs had soccer practice that evening, so it was a great night for a Crock Pot dinner! I tried a new-to-me recipe for Slow Cooker Pork Chops and Vegetables, which was sent to me by a reader named Barb, who was a member of the 5-Day Meal Planning Challenge group. It was a delicious one-pot meal, so I’ll be sure to share Barb’s recipe on the blog soon!
Our park play date with Mollie and her boys was cancelled on Tuesday morning due to the rain, so Spence and I entertained ourselves at home instead. We stayed warm and dry indoors and sipped on coffee and herbal tea while getting lots of work done. Not exciting for the 3-year-old, but productive for me!
Dinner that evening was a new recipe that I will be sharing on the blog soon: 5-Ingredient Dump-and-Bake Philly Cheesesteak! This is an easy dish that’s totally family-friendly (and no prep work necessary). Hint: it involves refrigerated biscuit dough!
The sun was back out on Wednesday and it was a cool 75 degrees, so Spence and I decided to get some fresh air by heading about 10 minutes down the road to Montpelier.
Want some laughs? Check out this OLD blog post that I wrote about our visit to Montpelier 4 1/2 years ago. Crazy how time flies — Gibbs and Casey were so little!😂
On this particular morning, Spence and I just wandered the trails and walked around the grounds until his legs got tired and we came home for lunch. No mansion tours for us!
I made a really easy Dump-and-Bake Chicken Supreme for supper, which I served with steamed broccoli and Southern Fried Apples. The chicken casserole only took about 5 minutes to prep and I pulled it together earlier in the day so that I could just pop it in the oven after the boys came home from school. I will share the recipe later this fall!
I’ll share these delicious Southern Fried Apples with you today, though!
If you haven’t noticed, September and October are the HEIGHT of apple season here in Central Virginia, so the fruit makes an appearance at almost every meal of the day. Last week you saw my favorite Apple Walnut Cake with Caramel Glaze for dessert, and these fried apples could actually pass as a light dessert, too. Serve them with a side of vanilla ice cream and you will be in heaven!
In our house, however, fried apples are more of a special side dish…because why not? They’re so easy, and they only require a few pantry staples. I used this inexpensive apple corer to punch out the center of my apples before slicing them (you can also use a knife if you prefer).
The corer just makes it so neat and easy! I also use the tool when I’m serving the kids regular fresh apple slices, which we sprinkle with cinnamon and call “apple donuts.”
So whether you enjoy the fried apples as a side dish this season or as a simple dessert, I hope that you’ll give one of our favorite Virginia treats a try!
You can grab my recipe for Southern Fried Apples below…
Southern Fried Apples
Yield 2 servings
2 medium apples, cored but not peeled and sliced into ½-inch thick rings
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of salt
Heat butter over medium-low heat in a large, heavy skillet. In a small bowl, stir together sugar, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
Place the apples in a single layer in the bottom of the skillet.
Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture over the apples.
Cook apples for 5 minutes without moving them. Then use a spatula to gently flip the apple slices.
Sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture and continue to cook apples over low heat until apples are almost transparent (about 3-5 more minutes). Be careful not to overcook the apples or they will fall apart.
Serving a Larger Family? Just multiply the recipe to prepare as many apples as you need. You can fry them in batches.
After dropping the older boys off at school on Thursday morning, Spencer and I drove over to Orange for a walk/play date with Mollie and her boys at the park. Beautiful morning! I’m not sure how much walking we actually did (since it was like herding cats trying to keep track of the boys), but it was still fun to catch up.
For dinner that night I made one of our go-to favorites: 3-Ingredient Salsa Chicken. There’s not really a “recipe” — just put about 2+ lbs. of chicken in the Crock Pot, sprinkle with a packet of taco seasoning (or your favorite homemade version), and cover with a 16-ounce jar of salsa. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours. Cooking time will vary depending on your personal slow cooker, as well as the size, quantity, and thickness of your chicken. When it’s done, you can shred the chicken with two forks and put it in tortillas as chicken tacos, serve it over lettuce and make taco salads, or stuff it in burritos, enchiladas, or quesadillas. Just add shredded cheese, sliced olives, green onions, guacamole, and any other toppings that you love. Leftovers freeze really well, too!
On that particular evening we used the shredded salsa chicken to make my Slow Cooker Chicken Nachos. Always a hit with the boys!
I had a few different errands to run in Culpeper on Friday, so Spence and I made it a lunch date!
We “dined in” at Chik-Fil-A so that he could run around on the playground with about a zillion other little kids on the cool, rainy afternoon.
Blurry pic because he never stopped moving!
I made one of the coziest dinners that I could think of, which has been requested by numerous blog readers: a Slow Cooker Beef Stew (just like my mom makes it)! Recipe coming soon…
Keith’s parents were at their mountain house for the long weekend, so on Saturday morning we headed about 90 minutes south to join them at Wintergreen.
Cinnamon Dolce Cafe Misto for the road…
We arrived with hungry bellies just in time for lunch.
The rainy afternoon included college football watching,
and intense Monopoly battles!
Plus Carole’s brownies!
For dinner we had barbecue chicken sandwiches, coleslaw, broccoli, and salad. Cleaned that plate!
And that gets us to today! We’re heading home later, so I’ll be back next week with a recap from the rest of our long weekend. Have a great Labor Day holiday, friends!
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