Good morning, and happy Sunday! I celebrated a birthday this week, spent the bulk of my time house training a puppy, and enjoyed some quiet evenings at home now that we're in between sports seasons. I'm sharing all of the highlights, along with our easy dinners, in today's roundup of Our Week in Meals!
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 dinners 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…
Keith left for the airport and a business trip bright and early on Sunday morning, so the boys and I were on our own most of the week. It was a gorgeous fall day, so we spent most of it outside!
House training a puppy is much easier when we can be outdoors, so we played in the yard quite a bit, went to the school playground to burn off some more energy, and stopped at Tastee Freez for an afternoon snack: chocolate ice cream with M&M's, banana milkshake, and black raspberry milkshake for the win!
Dinner that night was a new dump-and-bake casserole that I was testing for the blog. This cheesy chicken penne pasta dish was a hit with the boys, so I'll be sharing the recipe here next month. Stay tuned, and in the meantime you can try this similar dump-and-bake penne recipe!
I turned 39 on Monday! I still feel 29, so I suppose that's a good thing! With both Keith and my parents out of town, I had been enjoying early birthday celebrations for weeks, so my actual birthday on Monday was relatively low-key.
I started my morning with a pumpkin bagel and a Cake Batter Smoothie, which seemed appropriate. Birthday cake flavor for breakfast? Yes, please!
The day still felt special, thanks to a lunch visit from my Aunt Barbara! She brought over sandwiches from Jack's Shop Kitchen, along with a sweet treat.
Fried Green Tomato BLT sandwich, which included crispy bacon, lettuce, fried green tomato, turkey, and herb aioli:
Plus a half-eaten Carrot Bundt Cake with Honey and Yogurt Icing, since I forgot to snap a photo before we started cutting it!
For dinner I made an old blog recipe, which is a delicious way to prepare salmon when the weather isn't great for grilling. You'll love this easy Honey Soy Glazed Salmon!
We had the baked fish with rice and frozen steamed broccoli. Happy birthday to me!????
On a very rainy Tuesday morning, I got out to vote and then returned to my desk to work for a couple of hours while Spencer was in school.
We were all happy when the sun came out at lunchtime. House training a puppy in a downpour is no fun!
By the way, these were an impulse buy at the grocery store this week, and I'm here to report that they are VERY good. The kids love them, too. I'm sure I'll be picking up a few more boxes before the season is over!
I had seen this Curry Shrimp Linguine recipe in a recent issue of Simple & Delicious magazine, so I decided to make it this week while Keith was out of town. He's not usually a big fan of curry dishes, so I took advantage while he was away. This was really easy and really tasty -- and it didn't require any unusual or hard-to-find ingredients!
We had the shrimp with a mix of roasted veggies that I threw on a sheet pan and tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper because I was cleaning out the vegetable drawer and they needed to be enjoyed.
Wednesday was pretty uneventful, and largely involved a lot of outdoor time (and continued house training). These two playmates are currently obsessed with leaf piles!
For dinner I made a recipe that we haven't had in ages, and it tasted so good -- my 20-Minute Easy Chicken Marsala. Love this meal! I just served the chicken with a loaf of French bread and a salad on the side.
My friend Mollie and I had beautiful weather for a hike in the woods on Thursday morning.
And look at these amazing Yorkie socks that she found for my birthday!!!???? She obviously knows me well, because she also gave me a new Tervis coffee mug (which are my favorite!) in a Christmas design and two hand creams that smell ah-mazing (here and here)! That Pear & Pink Magnolia scent is particularly awesome.
Girlfriends are just the best...and these would all make great stocking stuffers the holiday season!
My parents came for lunch at about the same time that Spencer got home from school, so they brought along subs for us to enjoy. I always appreciate a meal that I don't have to cook!
Since Keith was still out of town, we kept dinner easy that night. I served soup and grilled cheese sandwiches -- which is an easy go-to meal that we all enjoy at this time of year.
I started reading a new book that evening, which my mom gave me. This has been on my list for a long time, so I'm super excited about it (so far, so good -- although I'm so tired in the evening that I've only read a few pages at this point)!
Spencer woke up at 1:30 a.m. on Friday morning with a bad ear infection, so we made our way to the doctor's office that day instead of going to school.
I promised him a fresh, warm Cinnamon Sugar donut from the truck parked at Yoder's after his appointment, which he gladly accepted. Never too sick for a donut!
Keith was back home from his trip that day! I made Dump-and-Bake Chicken Fajita Quinoa, which is an easy one-dish meal that only requires about 10 minutes to stir together. This healthy casserole was a cozy option on a cool, rainy night.
Saturday was another full day -- starting with our family photo session here at the house at 8:30 a.m. It was a dash to get everyone looking presentable before Carrie arrived!
Once we were finished with the pictures, I took the boys to Charlottesville to run errands. We had to pick up a grocery order at Harris Teeter (which included our Thanksgiving turkeys), as well as buy a birthday present for their friend Henry at Target. I bribed three reluctant boys through the stores with the promise of lunch from Panera!
Turkey chili and Caesar salad
My in-laws came for a visit that afternoon.
They brought Spencer's birthday presents, so we celebrated with an early birthday party for the soon-to-be 5-year-old!
Carole got this cake at Trader Joe's and it was incredibly good!
Pondering his birthday wish...
I served easy leftovers for dinner last night. There was a jar of pasta sauce in the refrigerator that needed to be used, so I just boiled pasta and heated meatballs from the freezer. Ta-da! One of the boys' favorite dinners!
And that's a wrap, friends! The coming week brings Spencer's 5th birthday and some Thanksgiving prep, so I'm bracing myself for another full week of fun. Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the week ahead!
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