Good morning, and happy Sunday! I hope that you all had a fun-filled Thanksgiving! We celebrated the holiday with family, and now we're looking ahead to birthdays and Christmas prep in the coming days. 'Tis the season! 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…
Our Sunday started with an early Walmart run to pick up materials for a toga costume for Gibbs (among other things). No, he's not going to a frat party -- just Ancient Greece and Rome Day at school on Monday!????
Of course, they made a bee-line to the toy aisle as soon as we walked in...
We ran a couple of other errands, and made a stop at the John Deere dealer so that Spencer could check out all of the equipment.
I literally had to pull him off a tractor when it was time to go home for lunch...
I took the best shortcut for dinner that night and just heated up these frozen mini crab cakes from Costco. They're SO good, and the kids love the little size that they can pick up with their fingers.
After a walk in town with Mollie on Monday morning, I returned home to get started on some Thanksgiving prep. I set the table...
Once Spencer arrived home at lunchtime, we spent the rest of the afternoon outside.
We also went for a walk in the woods, in our effort to teach Teddy how to walk on a leash.
Dinner that night was an old blog favorite: 5-Ingredient Parmesan Ranch Chicken Tenders, which I served with rice and steamed broccoli. Always a hit!
I made a stop at Yoder's on Tuesday morning in order to grab lunch meat for the week and snacks for Thanksgiving. I also did some more prep work in the kitchen, including a double recipe of Apple and Butternut Squash Casserole (just assemble in advance, refrigerate, and add the topping right before it goes in the oven).
Meanwhile, Spencer brought a batch of mini 2-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins to his friends at school for their Thanksgiving Feast.
Dinner was an easy meal from the freezer -- leftover 20-Minute Garlic & Herb Tomato Sauce over rigatoni with Parmesan cheese. You don't need fresh tomatoes to make this sauce (canned tomatoes work well!), so it's a nice year-round option to keep in mind.
The kids had the day off from school on Wednesday, so we filled our morning with appointments instead (not exactly their idea of a good time). Teddy had a checkup with the vet at 8:00 a.m., and then we were off to Charlottesville for Spencer's 5-year-old well check at the pediatrician. He managed to find the one farm book in the office...
I treated them to donuts on the way (and White Chocolate Coffee for me)!
Gibbs was very pleased with his choice of the seasonal Hershey's Kiss donut. Basically, dessert.
In between loads of laundry and dog walks, I threw together a very easy dinner. I knew that I wouldn't feel like cooking the night before Thanksgiving, so I just thawed and reheated a pot of my Grandmother's Hamburger Soup from the freezer. Cozy, healthy and delicious!
Our holiday on Thursday was such a full, fun day! We hosted Keith's family for a Thanksgiving feast, including his parents and his two brothers' families. There were a total of 15 of us -- including 7 little boys under the age of 9!
We ate a mid-day meal, which included 3 Garlic & Herb turkey breasts (which I prepped using this recipe and Keith cooked on the grill),
Yeast Rolls and 2-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins (<-- a big hit with the kids!),
as well as the salad, coleslaw, mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes that our family brought. There seriously wasn't enough room on my plate for all of the delicious food!
When we weren't eating, we were laughing, chatting, playing football in the yard, and chasing after all of the cousins. Such a wonderfully exhausting day, which ended with a warm fire and the Redskins on TV!
And just like that, we moved on to Christmas! I fueled up with a bowl of yogurt, muesli and leftover cranberry sauce on Friday morning (such a great combination!!!) before heading to our favorite tree farm here in Madison to cut down our Christmas tree.
Spencer was mad that we couldn't bring home the largest tree on the farm, but we were quite happy with the petite greenery that won't take over our entire living room.????
Hot chocolate at the end is always the best part...
I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up the house and packing away our fall decorations. Then Keith and Gibbs headed over to the local brewery to drink beer and eat soft pretzels (respectively) with friends, while the rest of us stayed home.
Spencer was so excited to help me decorate (which made it take twice as long, but it was also twice as fun), Casey worked on a Christmas puzzle, and Teddy just tried to eat our tree.
Fortunately, dinner was already done! We just pulled the leftovers out of the refrigerator and enjoyed Thanksgiving Feast #2! Do you like the leftovers cold as well? I don't even bother to heat mine up.???? This was everything in one big bowl -- salad style on a bed of leftover greens (with a side of half-decorated Christmas tree)...and leftover pie for dessert!
It rained most of yesterday, so our Saturday was pretty low key. I went to Culpeper for a big grocery shop in the morning, while Keith took the boys to run errands and have lunch at their favorite Chinese buffet in Charlottesville.
I snagged some seasonal items at the store, including these cookies...YUM.
Since it was cold and wet outside, a cozy soup that I could simmer on my counter all afternoon sounded like the perfect easy dinner. We had Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup (which can also be made in the Instant Pot), with a side of cheese quesadillas, chips, salsa and guacamole. Delicious!
And that's all for now! We have another fun week ahead, which includes Gibbs's 9th birthday celebration. More on that in my next weekend recap! Thanks so much for stopping by. ????
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