Good morning, and happy Sunday! We had a week of snow days, spring days, and not much school for the kids — which kept things interesting around here. I’m sharing all of the highlights from the 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…
I met my friend Mollie for a hike in the woods with the dog on Sunday morning and then stopped by the grocery store on my way home. The kids were very happy with this cereal that I found for them (yes, I’ve tried it — and yes, it’s amazing)! 😬
Casey and Spencer had swimming lessons in Culpeper after lunch, followed by indoor soccer for Gibbs and Casey later that afternoon.
Spencer has been begging me to go out to a Chinese restaurant for weeks, so I finally made it happen on Sunday evening. There’s a little carryout place next to our grocery store in town, so I called in an order and had Keith pick it up on his way home from the boys’ soccer practice. Bonus — I got the night off from cooking!
We had Sweet and Sour Chicken, Chicken and Broccoli, Moo Shu Pork, and Shrimp with Broccoli, plus the rice and two orders of Spring Rolls!
We shared the four entrées and we all went back for seconds because it tasted so good! My favorite was the Moo Shu Pork, but the kids were definitely partial to this Shrimp and Broccoli (and the Spring Rolls)!
I also wanted to quickly share this book that I just finished, since I really enjoyed it! The Gown is historical fiction about two young women in Britain in 1947. They became friends while working on the embroidery for Princess Elizabeth’s wedding dress, but the story follows them into the present day. The novel shows how the women’s lives are woven together through the pain of survival and the bonds of friendship.
I plowed through this easy read and then quickly passed it on to my mom to enjoy as well!
Keith caught a very early flight for a business trip on Monday morning, so the kids and I were on our own for President’s Day.
We got out of the house shortly after breakfast to meet our friends at the gym. The boys played with their friends while the moms got in a workout. Everyone left happy!
We were ready for a mid-morning pick-me-up, so we grabbed donuts and iced coffee on the way home. I tried the Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mints Iced Coffee, which was good. It tasted like an iced mocha, with a subtle hint of mint. Definitely resembled the cookies!
The rest of the morning included some baking (for me) and some quiet playtime for the boys.
I made a batch of healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins, which have been a nice little snack to have on hand this week. Let me know if you’d like me to post the recipe…
When I asked the kids what they’d like to do for the afternoon, their only request was lunch at Sheetz. Hah!
We picked up subs, brought them home, and pretended that it was spring with a picnic in our yard.
This was the “Garden of Eatin'” sandwich, which included lettuce, tomato, red onion, cucumber, spring mix, cream cheese, and Pepper Jack cheese.
A short afternoon hike when they got bored and started bickering…
and then a quick, easy dinner before Gibbs’s basketball practice: Dump-and-Bake Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta! This is a new recipe that I’ll be posting soon, but you can try this similar dish in the meantime…
The boys returned to school on Tuesday morning, so I joined my friend for a spin class before heading home at lunchtime to share Chinese takeout leftovers with Spencer when he got off the bus.
I had a haircut that afternoon, picked up the older boys from school, and made “breakfast for dinner” before Casey’s basketball practice. The kids love this meal, so I try to serve some form of “brinner” whenever Keith is out of town.
We had Oatmeal Pancakes, scrambled eggs for me (the kids are not fans)…
and Honey Lemon Fruit Salad on the side!
We woke up to about 3-4 inches of snow on Wednesday, so school was cancelled and the boys and I were housebound.
Since Keith was out of town, I put the younger two to work! They helped me dig out the car and shovel paths for Teddy’s little legs, while Gibbs stayed inside — far more interested in his Xbox…🙄
Worn out! That was some wet, heavy snow.
Their labor is still cheap — just a mug of hot chocolate for each!
As a side note, I’ve recently been using the milk frother from our Nespresso machine to make hot cocoa. The boys comment on how much better this is than the usual method! Best of all, it only takes about 30 seconds!
I just put the milk and the packet of Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa in the frother and push the button. It warms the milk, incorporates the powder into the liquid, and makes the drink thick and foamy!
The snow turned to freezing rain late morning, so our afternoon was largely spent indoors. Unfortunately, Casey and Spencer aren’t really interested in watching movies or doing quiet, sedentary activities, so I did my best to entertain them and keep them moving…
Soup sounded like a cozy option for supper that night! I defrosted some of my homemade chicken stock and prepared the boys’ favorite: Chicken Noodle Soup. I used this recipe, but substituted cooked chicken for the turkey. We also had a salad and crescent rolls on the side (another kiddo fave!).
The sun came out again on Thursday morning, but the boys had another snow day thanks to the lingering ice on the ground.
At least we could get out of the house, as we were all getting a bit stir-crazy!
My friend Mollie came over for a walk around our property that morning while her son played with my kids.
While walking, we spent a good amount of time discussing important topics…such as the best flavors of Russell Stover chocolates from the heart-shaped Valentine’s Day boxes! In case you’re curious, we agreed that our favorite is the dark chocolate caramel square. Runners-up include maple nut cream, coconut, and chocolate buttercream. The Roman Nougat is a hard “NO” for both of us!😬
After Mollie left, the boys and I took Teddy to the groomer and stopped at Subway for lunch. They were hungry by about 10:45 a.m., so we had the restaurant to ourselves!
Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Sub
We then popped into the grocery store to pick up a few ingredients that I needed to test a new recipe. The boys had a field day impulse shopping for a zillion items that weren’t on our list — including fresh watermelon and snap peas, as well as ice cream cones and this peanut butter cookie dough. Some battles just aren’t worth fighting…
Gibbs baked the cookie dough on his own (with my oven supervision), which he was very proud of! Of course, he added plenty of chocolate chips and M&M’s as well.
I dragged the boys to the car dealer that afternoon because my vehicle needed an oil change. They thought it was great to sit in massage chairs in the waiting room while using the free WiFi and eating the free cookies in the waiting area! Fortunately, the oil change was fast, so we were out of there in less than 30 minutes. I’m sure that the mechanics made us a top priority as soon as they saw my crew coming through the door!😂
Back home, the kids had energy to burn so I quickly sent them outside to enjoy the 50-degree weather.
Casey shoveled the basketball court so that they could play!
5-Ingredient Dump-and-Bake Beefaroni was on the dinner menu that night, along with a side of steamed broccoli (and some freshly-baked peanut butter cookies for dessert)!
Everyone returned to school on Friday morning, and Spencer was very excited to wear his new Charlie Brown t-shirt. I have no idea why, but he has always loved Charlie Brown and the Peanuts characters. He requested this shirt not long ago, and now he insists that we call him “Charlie Brown” instead of Spencer. 😂
Keith was home from his trip, so we all had dinner together that night! I made a tasty Mexican feast — Vegetarian Burrito Bowls from a recipe that a reader sent me — plus quesadillas, chips and salsa. I’ll share the details in a separate post next month…
And that brings us to Saturday! It was a usual morning of basketball games for each child…
…and then Gibbs had a friend over for the afternoon. While these two played Farming Simulator and snacked on Goldfish, Keith took the younger boys bowling in Culpeper (a great rainy day activity!).
I pulled dinner out of our freezer, as Keith and I both agreed that Turkey Chili and corn muffins sounded appropriate on a very wet, chilly day. I used this slow cooker recipe, but swapped ground turkey for the ground beef and used chicken broth instead of beef broth. These were leftovers from a batch that I made a few weeks ago, so I didn’t even have to do any cooking that night!
So there you have it — another week’s worth of easy dinner ideas! Thanks so much for stopping by today, and enjoy the rest of your Sunday!
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