Good morning, and happy Sunday! I was excited to get back into our regular routine this week after having the kids home for the holidays; however, I'm now looking out the window at a snowstorm that has already changed that "routine" yet again! I’m sharing all of the highlights from our past few days, 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…
After almost an entire week of gray, rainy, cold weather, we were very happy to see the sun on Sunday morning! I met my friend Mollie for a walk, and then joined Keith and the boys for an errand in Orange.
We stopped for lunch at our favorite little Mexican restaurant while we there -- Grilled Shrimp Salad plus chips and salsa!
Keith had to catch a flight for a business trip, so we dropped him off at the Charlottesville airport and then stopped at a playground while we were in town.
Had to take advantage of the 60-degree temps on their last day of vacation!
By the time the boys were done playing, we were all ready for a snack. Donuts for the boys and an iced coffee for me!
Dunkin Donuts has the Girl Scout Cookie coffee flavors again, so of course I had to try the new Trefoils Shortbread flavor. Verdict? Delicious!!
The kids were guinea pigs for dinner that night, since I tested a new recipe for 5-Ingredient Cabbage Casserole. I served the casserole with some pumpkin bread from Yoder's and leftover steak from the night before (both of which I knew the boys would appreciate)!
The kids returned to school on Monday morning after over 2 weeks of vacation. They weren't happy about getting back into the routine, but I was definitely looking forward to some quiet time at home.
After I dropped them off, I went on a chilly morning walk to get some fresh air.
Teddy was very disappointed that he wasn't allowed to "play" with the cows...
Then it was back home to a warm cup of tea and some work time at the computer.
Mid-morning our new dining room chairs were delivered (a Christmas gift to myself)! You can find out more details about our table and farmhouse kitchen in this older post.
Spence arrived home from pre-K at lunchtime, we had a quiet afternoon at the house, and then we were back out the door to get his brothers.
I served Hawaiian Chicken over rice for an early dinner before Gibbs's 6:00 basketball practice.
This is an old slow cooker favorite, which I have since adapted for the Instant Pot as well. Served with steamed broccoli on the side!
Teddy and I met my friend Mollie and her son, Miles, for a walk in town on a beautiful Tuesday morning.
My tough "guard dog" waiting in the yard for Spencer's bus to arrive at lunchtime! He misses the kids SO much while they're at school. I'm not nearly as fun!
We had a busy evening ahead of us, so I made one of my favorite easy dinners. I often serve this meal when Keith's out of town because I love it, but he's not a huge fan of curry: One Pot Coconut Chicken Curry! I had mine over cauliflower rice for extra veggies, while the boys had regular white rice.
Then we were off to Casey's basketball practice and my PTO meeting at the school. Unfortunately for Gibbs and Spencer, they got dragged along for both...which meant a very late night for all of us!
Wednesday was gray, windy and cold, so I was glad to be able to join my friend at her gym in Culpeper for a strength training class.
I stuck with light weights, which meant that I was challenged from all of the reps during the hour-long class, but I wasn't totally miserable the entire time!???? Plus -- I could walk without pain the next day!
Gibbs had requested meatloaf for dinner, which sounded like a cozy option given the weather. I prepped his favorite Healthy Mini Meatloaf recipe in advance and then just baked it for about 20 minutes after school. Again, we had to be at basketball practice that night, so this worked well for an easy option.
I dropped Teddy off at the groomer on Thursday morning, and then met my friends Mollie and Sallie for a very cold hike in the woods. At least it was sunny and the trees provided some shelter from those 30 mph wind gusts...
My afternoon included a grocery order pick-up, computer work, and house chores before all of the kids arrived home from school.
Dinner that night was a one-dish meal that the kids and I could all enjoy: Barbecue Chicken Cornbread Casserole! I prepped most of the casserole in advance, and just added the cornbread topping at the last minute.
Then, once again, we spent the evening running back and forth to the gym for Casey's basketball practice...
After a quick dog walk in the woods on Friday, the rest of my morning was spent testing recipes in the kitchen before Spence arrived home at 11:30.
We made our weekly stop at Yoder's Country Market after lunch, where we picked up the usual deli meat, Farmer's cheese and bread. We also grabbed a few "extras" this time -- including an apple pie (per Casey's request)...
and giant, warm, fresh donuts from The Donut Kitchen truck that parks at Yoder's every Friday (per Spencer's request)!
How can you resist the smell of homemade donuts wafting across the parking lot?! I'll have you know that he only ate about ¼ of this chocolate frosted beast before tapping out and saying that he was full!
Keith was finally home from his business trip, so Spencer spent the afternoon with him while I snuck out solo for a haircut before I had to pick up the older boys from school.
For the first night all week, we were free from sports practices and home for dinner together as a family. I served Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya over rice, with salads on the side. I was testing my recipe in the Instant Pot (but you can see the slow cooker version here). More details on the pressure cooker option coming soon -- it turned out great!
We had a full Saturday calendar packed with 4 different basketball games and a birthday party; however, the older boys' basketball was cancelled due to the impending snow. Instead, Spencer just had a practice at 10:00...
and then Keith took the boys to get subs for lunch while I met 3 of my girlfriends in the town of Orange for "Mom Date" with pedicures!
Seriously -- it has been over 5 years since my last pedicure. This was such a treat! And now I have pretty toe nails...to go hide inside my snow boots.????
I rushed home to eat a quick chicken salad sandwich for lunch before taking Gibbs and Spencer to a friend's birthday party.
The snow was falling as we drove home around 3:00, and we stayed tucked nicely inside our warm house for the rest of the evening.
Keith and I were supposed to go out for our anniversary dinner that night, but we cancelled our babysitter and rescheduled for another night with (hopefully) better weather. I made an easy dinner of spaghetti with meatballs and garlic bread, since that's what I could scrounge together from my freezer and pantry on a night when I didn't expect to serve a meal at home.
So there you have it! Another week of easy dinner ideas DONE! Thanks so much for stopping by and checking in with us today. I hope that you have a great week ahead and that you stay warm and dry wherever you are!
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