Good morning, and happy Sunday! It’s been another beautiful spring week around here, complete with birthday celebrations, flowers, and ice cream. 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…
After a rainy hike in the woods with my girlfriend that morning, the sun came out and it turned into a beautiful day. Teddy just wanted to lounge…
I took the younger two boys to swimming lessons in Culpeper after lunch, while Keith took Gibbs to his soccer game.
A post-swimming donut snack!
Our friends (who own a cattle operation) gave us some of their ground beef last week, so grilled hamburgers were on the dinner menu. I used my go-to turkey burger recipe, but obviously swapped the turkey for ground beef and also omitted the Dijon.
I had 3 small zucchinis in the fridge that needed to be enjoyed, so I made half of The Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for Parmesan Roasted Zucchini. I saw her prepare it on TV the night before, and I realized that I had all of the ingredients on hand!
We also had some store-bought potato salad, as well as a kale salad that I threw together earlier in the day.
I made a dressing by combining 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon country Dijon mustard, 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 teaspoon minced or grated fresh garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a dash of pepper. I massaged the dressing into the kale and allowed the kale to “marinate” for a few hours. Finally, I stirred in diced avocado and halved grape tomatoes, finishing it off with croutons and shaved Parmesan cheese just before serving.
We jumped back into the regular routine on Monday morning. I got all 3 kids to school, and then met my girlfriend for an early morning strength class at the gym.
It was a cool, mostly-cloudy day, but we did see a few rays of sunshine here and there.
The rest of my morning was spent at the computer and taking care of house chores before Spence arrived home from school mid-day.
We took a couple walks up the road with the dog, played outside, and worked on art projects before scooping up the older boys at school that afternoon.
He has bins full of toys, but only ever wants to play with the sticks!
I fed the kids a (very early) supper before getting all of them ready for their respective soccer practices that evening.
We had a new recipe for Dump-and-Bake Mediterranean Chicken, which I served with orzo pasta. I’ll share this recipe on the blog next month. I loved it, but the boys definitely picked around the olives and feta cheese.😃
Spencer and I drove south on Tuesday for a visit with my parents. We picked up a couple of sandwiches and salads at Panera as we were driving through Charlottesville, and then just shared everything for lunch once we arrived. This was the Roasted Turkey, Apple and Cheddar Sandwich; the Steak and Arugula Sandwich; the Spinach Bacon and Poppyseed Salad; and the Greek Salad. So tasty!
After a short walk with the dogs (where my dad and Spencer tried to fetch golf balls from the stream), we hopped in the car and headed back towards home to get the older two boys from school.
I shredded the chicken and prepared chicken quesadillas, which we enjoyed with the pico de gallo and tortilla chips.
Spencer and I added some bright spring color to an otherwise very gray, misty Wednesday by going to Madison Gardens to pick up a couple of hanging baskets and potted flowers for our front porch.
The Tastee-Freez just happens to be right next door, so I treated my assistant to a cup of chocolate soft serve with M&M’s.
Fortunately, the servings are always huge, so I snagged some of this as well!
It was another evening full of soccer practices, which meant an early supper of leftovers at 4:45 p.m.! I used the extra chicken from the night before and turned it into chicken tacos for the boys and a version of this Mexican Ranch Chicken Salad for myself.
Thursday morning started bright and early with a quick dog walk with these two before school…
After a hot, steamy walk with my friend Mollie, I came home and made myself a very refreshing Orange Julius Smoothie for snack. Perfect treat to tide me over until lunch!
Aunt Barbara and I took my mom to The Market at Grelen to celebrate Mom’s birthday (which was yesterday). Grelen is a beautiful nursery and garden shop about 10 minutes south of us, with views and flowers that never fail to impress!
Photo credit: Spencer!😀
We also love the café, which features a farm-to-table lunch menu and homemade ice cream.
This was the Mediterranean Tuna Salad: cracked peppercorn seared tuna, mixed greens, red onions, artichokes, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and tapenade vinaigrette.
…and Honey Vanilla ice cream!
Back home, I had a bunch of overripe bananas sitting on the counter, so I baked a batch of Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins to have on hand for snacks and breakfasts (they keep well in the freezer). I just swapped out the blueberries (which I didn’t have), for a couple of handfuls of chocolate chips. YUM. Quite a few of these disappeared from the counter as soon as the kids walked in the door!
Dinner that night was Dump-and-Bake Chicken Marinara Gnocchi with a side salad. A nice change from the regular pasta supper!
The light was so beautiful on Friday morning as I was getting everyone ready for school.
Another stick in hand…
While I was busy admiring the view, Spence and Teddy were far more interested in a flattened frog on the road.🤢
Later that morning, I baked a yellow cake for my mom’s birthday. Once it was cool, Spence helped me make our family’s favorite chocolate frosting (with a secret ingredient). Please note: this resulted in cocoa powder splattering all over my kitchen (and all over me)…
It passed the taste test, though!
Cake-baking was the extent of my cooking on Friday, since Keith picked up carry-out dinner from the local Italian restaurant on his way home from work. We had a few subs, chicken fingers, a cheese pizza, and a salad from the fridge. Perfect start to the weekend!
Saturday was another full day! While Keith took the younger two boys to their soccer games in Madison and Orange counties,
Gibbs and I headed south to Nelson County for his game and for my mom’s birthday lunch at my aunt’s house.
We had fried chicken, potato salad and fruit salad. Perfect!
Plus the cake that I made for dessert.
I picked up an online grocery order at Harris Teeter in Charlottesville on my way home, so we had a great piece of fresh, grilled salmon for dinner. On the side I served a salad and some dinner rolls. This was a nice, light meal to balance out the more indulgent lunch!
And there you have it! Another week of easy meal ideas that I hope will inspire your own dinners in the week ahead. Thanks so much for stopping by!
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