Good morning, and happy Sunday! I'm happy to report that ever since my mom got sick a few weeks ago, we finally have some happy news to share. All of the highlights from the past few days, 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…
Sunday was Father's Day! I took the dog for a walk after breakfast, and then came home to a huge box of peaches that Keith and the boys had picked from our trees.
Mid-morning I packed up lunch for myself and my dad, and then headed an hour south to Charlottesville to visit Mom at the hospital.
Our bedside "picnic" was a repeat from the day before: peanut butter and banana sandwiches (i.e., our version of comfort food), plus pretzels and apples!
Always made with the best crunchy peanut butter!
I made it home late in the afternoon so that we could celebrate Father's Day. Keith grilled halibut, which I served with a salad and this couscous.
The salad included romaine lettuce with tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado and feta cheese. I dressed it with a Red Wine Vinaigrette (just shake together ½ cup olive oil + 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar + 1 tablespoon honey + 1 teaspoon salt + a handful of fresh herbs such as basil, rosemary, thyme and chives).
A delicious, light summer meal!
For dessert, I used the peaches from our yard to make my Cinnamon Streusel Peach Cake, which we topped with vanilla ice cream. Hello, summer!
Leftovers of this cake came in handy as hospital room snacks throughout the week, too!
My friend Mollie came over early on Monday morning to walk around our property while our boys played together. Perfect way to start the day -- even though we were sweating in the hot and humid Virginia weather!
Around lunchtime, the kids and I drove down to Charlottesville, where I dropped them off at my friend Kristin's house so that I could visit my mom for a couple of hours and eat lunch with my dad. Bless Kristin -- she had my 3 boys plus her 3 kiddos to keep up with!
Keith was traveling for work all week, so my dad came over to join me and the boys for supper that evening. We had a not-so-fancy dinner of "fish and chips" using the frozen fish filets that I love from Costco. Served with French fries and coleslaw, the easy meal hit the spot!
I picked up a dozen more eggs from my neighbor's farm early on Tuesday morning,
and then Mollie came by to get my boys so that they could join her kids at their farm for the day. She fed everyone Subway for lunch and entertained all 5 boys while I joined my parents at the hospital. What would I do without my amazing friends?!
Meanwhile, my glamorous packed sandwich of the day (which I enjoyed at mom's bedside) included roast beef and Dill Havarti cheese on Jan's homemade bread. Great combo!
Once the kids and I were back home for the evening, we ate a light, easy dinner: Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps. The boys had their wraps in tortillas instead of lettuce leaves, and I served rice and egg rolls on the side to make the meal more filling.
I took the boys for a morning swim at the pool before lunch on Wednesday. Perfect way to burn off some energy!
Early afternoon, our babysitter, Hannah, arrived so that I could go to the hospital to visit Mom. Instead of leaving for the hospital, I received wonderful news that my mom was ready to be discharged! After almost 3 weeks in the ICU, she was finally healthy enough to head home. Such a happy day!
I sent Hannah on her way, packed up the car with overnight bags, and headed south to my parents' house in Nelson County. I wanted to be with my dad to help Mom get settled (plus, her grandchildren were desperate to finally see her again!).
Casey found a turtle in my folks' pond that afternoon.
I had prepared Sloppy Joe meat in advance, so I just brought that with us and served Sloppy Joes with coleslaw and potato chips for supper that night. It sure beat hospital cafeteria fare!
Since we spent Thursday at my parents' house, our day involved dog walks,
searching for golf balls in the stream, grocery shopping, and helping with chores.
Gibbs has been asking about baking homemade bread recently, so my dad helped him with a couple of loaves of French bread.
Meanwhile, I baked a birthday cake for my Aunt Barbara. Her birthday was early in June (when mom was in the hospital), so this was a belated treat. The classic -- yellow cake with homemade chocolate frosting.
For dinner that night I made Dump-and-Bake Bruschetta Chicken, which I served with salad, pasta, and the fresh homemade bread!
We returned to my parents' house on Friday morning -- stopping for an iced caramel cappuccino along the way.
My brother was in town from Florida for the day, so the kids had fun with their uncle, too!
This was taken right before Spencer crashed while going down a steep hill on his scooter. He came home with a massive road rash patch on his hip (and more than a few tears).????
I made everyone tuna salad sandwiches for lunch, and then we returned home to Madison by late in the afternoon -- just in time to greet Keith, who was getting back from his business trip.
Our fridge was pretty empty by that point in the week, so I took the easy route for dinner that night: carry-out pizza from Giovanna's! It never disappoints...
I had three overripe bananas sitting on my counter on Saturday morning, so naturally I made a loaf of my favorite One Bowl Whole Wheat Banana Bread. I intended to bring the bread to my parents' house, but half of it was gone almost as soon as it came out of the oven! My boys devoured their own slices for a morning snack, and the rest of the bread eventually found its way to my mom and dad.????
I walked the dog up to my neighbor's house to pick up some yellow summer squash from her garden, went grocery shopping for the week ahead (for both our house and my parents' house), and then came home to feed the family lunch.
After lunch, we all climbed back in the car and headed south to spend the night in Nelson County. Keith took the boys to visit his parents, while I stayed with my folks at their house.
I made dinner for my folks that night -- Skillet Chuckwagon Mac (I used Kraft Deluxe Mac and Cheese instead of the Horizon version) -- which I served with cornbread and the sautéed summer squash that my neighbor picked that morning. Comfort food!
Followed by birthday cake and ice cream for dessert!
So there you go! Another week's worth of meal ideas that I hope will inspire your dinners in the days ahead. Thank you again for all of your well wishes, support, and prayers as my mom continues to recover. And thank you to the doctors and ICU nurses at the University of Virginia Hospital who literally saved my mom's life. Maddy, Frances, Drew, Ashley, Emeleigh, Dr. Gallagher and so many others -- you are truly amazing!
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