Good morning, and happy Sunday! We've had a very full holiday week around here, and I'm just trying to keep my head above water while entertaining the 3 boys on summer break. There's never a dull moment! All of the highlights, along with our easy dinners, are included 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 an early walk on Sunday before it got too hot outside.
The kids were supposed to have swimming lessons that afternoon, but those were cancelled at the last minute, so instead we headed to the outdoor pool to splash around with their friends.
Plus an ice cream snack at the Syria mercantile on the way home!
For dinner that night, Keith wanted to smoke some Beer Can Chickens on the grill.
Perfect summer cookout meal!
We celebrated the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, so Keith was home from work.
I met my friend for another walk early that morning, and then took the boys to get much-needed haircuts. The blonde buzz is back!
I used some of the leftover smoked chicken from the night before to make Chicken Salad Sandwiches for lunch. So good!
Spencer has repeatedly been asking me to take his picture on these hay bales, so of course his brothers had to join in.
We went for a hike on the Graves Mill Trail in Shenandoah National Park after lunch. The boys had fun collecting rocks in the water, and the weather was beautiful (i.e., not too hot!).
Plus a stop at the Wolftown Mercantile for ice cream on the way home. Welcoming summer in the best way!
Our holiday cookout included grilled hamburgers and grilled tuna steaks, as well as my Southern Potato Salad, leftover pasta salad from the night before, and a green herb salad with homemade lemon vinaigrette.
Spencer helped me make the green salad, which included romaine lettuce, baby spinach, diced zucchini, diced avocado and handful of herbs that he picked from the garden (thyme, rosemary, basil and chives). The dressing was a combination of olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey, salt and pepper.
My overflowing plate!
Casey went to basketball camp from 9-12 on Tuesday, so while he was gone for the morning, these two had some time to play together. I also dragged them to the gym so that I could join a yoga class while they entertained themselves in the kids' room.
Back home, I walked the dog over to my next door neighbor's house to pick up some farm-fresh eggs! Fannie just has 24 chickens in her barn, but they're producing over 2 dozen eggs per day! Needless to say, I was happy to take some of them off of her hands.????
We went to the pool for a quick swim late afternoon...
...and then came home to a dinner that I had prepped earlier in the day. It was 90 degrees outside, so I knew that we would want something light and cool, but I also needed a dish that would be ready for us when we walked in the door. Loaded with sweet fruit, crunchy nuts, and flavorful marinated chicken, this Southern Chicken and Rice Salad fit the bill!
On the side we had a quick green salad and cheddar scones.
While Casey was at basketball camp on Wednesday morning, my girlfriend came over to join me for a walk on our property while the other two boys played.
Before picking up Casey at lunchtime, we also squeezed in a trip to the grocery store and a stop at my neighbor's Spring Lake farm. Scooped up a loaf of her still-warm freshly-baked bread!
We stayed close to home for the afternoon, and since it was 90 degrees outside again, we didn't do much more than sit in the shade on the front porch watching the tractors make hay across the street...
and behind our back fence! Best entertainment -- and it's free!????
Dinner that night was an easy Crock Pot meal that felt like a good summer option: Slow Cooker Cowboy Pork and Beans. This is a perfect potluck side dish, but it's also hearty enough to enjoy as a main course (kind of like a cross between baked beans and Sloppy Joes).
Plus cornbread and steamed broccoli on the side!
Breakfasts have looked a lot like this one from Thursday morning: a couple of Fannie's eggs, Jan's bread toasted with butter, and a bowl of fresh berries. So good!
Gibbs reminded me that it was his half birthday that day, so I let him pick out a half Lemon Cake at Yoder's to "celebrate." Hah! We'll find any excuse to buy a dessert...
When we left our house that afternoon to go swimming, it was 95 degrees and sunny. By the time we drove 15 minutes into the mountains to the pool, it was pouring rain and 66 degrees!
We hung around for a little while to see if it would stop (it didn't), so we returned home for a water balloon fight instead!
They were already in their bathing suits, so it seemed like a good idea...
Chicken quesadillas (using up the last of Keith's leftover smoked chicken) were on the dinner menu that night, along with homemade guacamole, which I quickly prepared by mashing together 2 ripe avocados, the juice from 1 lime, a dash of garlic powder and about ¼ teaspoon of salt. The best!
We also had Texas Caviar and tortilla chips on the side.
Another tasty breakfast combo from Friday morning: Jan's toast with leftover guacamole and Fannie's fried egg, plus a bowl of yogurt with berries and granola.
Followed by a beautiful dog walk...
Mid-morning, we stopped by Yoder's on our way out of Madison. The kids reminded me that the donut truck parks there on Fridays, so they each got a warm, fluffy glazed donut for snack...
while I ran into the store to pick up a container of pimento cheese (aka "Southern Caviar"????) that I needed for dinner that night.
We then drove into Charlottesville, where we met my Aunt Barbara for a round of putt-putt golf. The temps were finally a little bit cooler, so it was a perfect morning to be outside.
And finally, before heading back home, Aunt Barbara treated us all to lunch at Firehouse Subs!
This was the "Engineer," which included smoked turkey breast, melted Swiss, sautéed mushrooms, mayo, deli mustard, lettuce, tomato, and onion. Hit the spot (although the boys say they still prefer Subway, which is just weird)!
I had a PTO meeting that evening, so I served an early supper before dashing out the door.
Keith and I recently saw an episode of The Best Thing I Ever Ate on The Cooking Channel, which featured a panini sandwich from a diner called Wallace Station in Kentucky. This panini was a combination of pimento cheese, sliced tomato, and country ham. Keith and I were drooling over the sandwich on TV, so when I realized that I could pick up all of the necessary ingredients at Yoder's, I put it on our menu!
We used the house-made pimento cheese with local tomatoes and locally-made Kite's Country Ham. Grilled on our panini press, this was perfection! We served the sandwiches with a side salad, leftover potato salad from earlier in the week, and leftover Texas Caviar from the night before. Cleaning out the fridge!
Yesterday morning included a lot of chores -- grocery store, changing the bed sheets, etc.
After lunch, Gibbs had a play date with a friend, Keith and the younger boys went to the pool, and I picked up my parents' dog at their house so that we can take care of him for a few days.
Dinner included grilled chicken thighs and grilled steak, grilled sweet potato, sautéed zucchini, and my Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed dressing.
I used pecans in the salad (since that's what I had), added sliced mushrooms, and just used a store-bought dressing from the fridge. Easy and fresh!
So there you go! Another week of easy meals that I hope offer some new ideas for your own week ahead. Thanks for stopping by!
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