Good morning, and happy Sunday! It's been another full week around here -- including Easter, sports, play dates and parties. I’ve got 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…
Easter Sunday started bright and early with a delicious breakfast before the sun came up. I left eggs off our menu, knowing that my mother-in-law was planning to serve an egg dish later in the day. Instead, I made my dad's Cheddar Biscuits (omitting the bacon and chives in this batch), which I served with butter, jam, cream cheese, and smoked salmon.
We had a fresh fruit salad on the side,
and since my kids inherited my donut-loving genes, we needed this platter of goodness: vanilla frosted sprinkle donuts, chocolate cake donuts, honey buns and apple fritters!
Once it was light outside, we headed to the yard for an egg hunt -- which always turns into a fierce competition around here.????
Late morning, Keith took the older boys to his parents' house for Easter lunch. Unfortunately, since Spence had tested positive for the flu the day before, I had to stay home with him. We obviously weren't going to share germs with his cousins!
Keith's mom was serving an egg casserole for lunch, so Keith delivered a batch of my Strawberry Muffins to add to the table,
Stuck at home, Spencer and I entertained ourselves by building his new Lego set (a combine harvester!)...
picking buttercups in the yard, and cleaning out closets in the kids' rooms (I'll spare you those scary photos)!
Keith and the older boys didn't return home until late that evening, so dinner was just a random mish-mash of leftovers from the fridge. I made Spence a box of mac and cheese when he got hungry, and I had a bagel with cream cheese, extra salmon from earlier in the day, a fried egg and leftover fruit salad. And of course...some Easter candy for dessert!
I kept Spencer home from school on Monday to rest for another day, even though he was feeling totally fine at that point.
While it was beautiful outside, I could tell that he was ready to return to his usual routine and to see his buddies again.
For a child who doesn't have much interest in watching TV, it was just too boring at home with Mom once he felt well again!
Since we had 3 different soccer practices that evening (starting at 5:15 p.m.), dinner needed to be very quick and easy! I served fish sandwiches with the most delicious crispy baked zucchini fries (recipe coming soon!) and some coleslaw. The fried fish filets are the frozen Trident brand that I buy at Costco. They taste great, and they're a simple option to keep on hand for busy nights.
I started Tuesday with a delicious Berry Oatmeal Bake for breakfast! I threw this together in about 5-10 minutes at 6:00 a.m. before anyone else woke up, and I certainly wasn't planning to share it here. BUT...it tasted so darn good, that I took photos of my leftovers later that morning and will post the details soon. This is such a healthy and simple breakfast to stash in the fridge and then just reheat throughout the week. Plus, it takes advantage of delicious fresh berries while they're in season.
It was another gorgeous spring day, so I skipped a trip to the gym and instead opted to spend lots of time outside -- starting with a short hike in the woods with the dog.
Back home, I plugged away at some computer work and then took a walk up the road to my neighbor's farm to pick up another loaf of bread and a batch of scones.
Jan's baked goods are heavenly, and so are her gardens!
Keith was gone at a work event that evening, so the boys and I were on our own for supper. I prepared my 4-Ingredient Baked Salmon, along with a side of rice and some Ranch Roasted Green Beans and Carrots.
The veggies were inspired by a recipe that I saw in a recent Paula Deen magazine, but it was basically just 1 lb. of fresh green beans and 1 lb. of thinly-sliced carrots tossed with a 1-ounce packet of Ranch seasoning, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, fresh parsley and fresh chives from the garden, ½ teaspoon salt and a clove of minced garlic.
We roasted the veggies in the same 425 degree F oven with the salmon for about 15-20 minutes. The kids loved this meal!
Not much to report from Wednesday! It was a cloudy morning, so I was happy to meet my girlfriend for a strength class at the gym before returning home to get Spencer off the school bus mid-day.
My mother-in-law stopped by for a visit after lunch,
and we all enjoyed a quick supper before the older boys had to rush off to their soccer practices. I served ground beef tacos,
as well as my Corn and Black Bean Salad with tortilla chips on the side.
Plus some leftover Coconut Cake from Easter! Carole brought me the extra slices since I missed out on the original party when I had to stay home with sick Spencer last weekend. Definitely one of my all-time favorite desserts, so this made me very happy...
I finished my latest book that night, which was one of the best books I've read in a long time. I know that a lot of you have already raved about Where the Crawdads Sing, but if you haven't yet experienced this story, you must! My mom described it as a modern version of To Kill a Mockingbird, and I totally agree.
I spent Thursday morning running errands around town, including a trip to the groomer for Teddy, a hike in the woods with my friend Mollie, and a stop at Yoder's Country Market to pick up props for a photoshoot on Friday.
Spencer's friend rode the bus home from school with him, so I fed the two boys lunch and then eavesdropped on their 5-year-old conversations for a few hours. These kiddos have a lot of energy and hardly sat still the entire afternoon!
Dinner that night included a new recipe for Dump-and-Bake Parmesan Pasta with Chicken, which I will share on the blog soon. It's similar to this Dump-and-Bake Chicken Alfredo Pasta Casserole if you need a quick meal idea to try this week!
On the side, I made a simple salad that was really good, so here's what I did: fill a big bowl with a combination of lettuce greens and baby spinach. Add ½ of a thinly-sliced red onion, 23 ounces of mandarin oranges (drained) and 1 avocado, diced.
Dress the salad with an Orange Dijon dressing by whisking together 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of orange juice, 1 ½ tablespoons of Dijon mustard, ¼ teaspoon salt and a dash of pepper (you probably won't need all of that dressing for the salad, so you can save the extra in the refrigerator for another day).
After our early supper, the boys and I headed over to their school for a family reading night. The local 4-H kids read stories to the children and brought their animals to share. Gibbs wanted to come home with a pet goat,
Spencer was really into "milking" the cow (which was thankfully just full of water!),
and Casey loved planting cucumber seeds.
Friday morning included a stop at the Wolftown Country Store for an order of fried chicken (some of the best around here)!
My photographer friend, Carrie, came over to shoot for an upcoming project, and we used the chicken as a background prop. I don't have the "official" pics yet to share, but this is one that she took with her cell phone just as we were wrapping up...
Our end-of-the-week Friday night supper was a hodgepodge of food that needed to be enjoyed from the fridge. We had some salad leftover from the night before, fried chicken from earlier in the day, and little turkey and cheese croissant sandwiches made from a Honey Baked Turkey Breast that my mother-in-law brought us on Wednesday. Not fancy, but easy!
Plus a little bit of Yoder's cherry pie for dessert!
After a day of rain showers and thunderstorms on Friday, we were all happy to see the sun return on Saturday morning.
I took the dog for a quick walk, and then we spent the rest of our day on the soccer fields watching all 3 boys play in their respective games.
I made a trip to the grocery store as soon as soccer was done, rushed home to put away the food, and then ran back out of the house to go to the school to help set up for the Mother-Son Glow Party that evening.
The boys dressed in their glow-in-the-dark t-shirts and their light-up gear, and off we went. There was a DJ, games, and Giovanna's pizza for dinner.
Followed by a soft serve ice cream cone from the Tastee Freez walk-up window on the way home!
When the evening was over, I was completely exhausted and ready to crash in bed, so that's where I'll leave it for the week. Thanks so much for stopping by, for all of your kind comments, and for following along on our adventures. I hope that you've found some new easy dinner ideas to add to your meal plan in the week ahead!
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