Good morning, and happy Sunday! It was a whirlwind week around here -- full of camps, football practices, family time and the usual summer fun. 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…
I met my friend Mollie for an early walk on Sunday morning before it got too hot, and then picked up groceries for the week ahead.
Spencer's swimming lessons were cancelled, so instead we had a quiet afternoon at home. We took the boys to get ice cream at the Tastee-Freez, which seemed like the perfect outing on a hot summer day!
Keith smoked two whole Butcherbox chickens for dinner, which I served with a Southern Tomato Pie (I used a store-bought pie crust and topped with buttered breadcrumbs), corn on the cob, and a salad with buttermilk dressing. My neighbors shared loads of tomatoes and fresh corn with us the day before, so we were taking full advantage of the available summer produce.
Monday morning was the start of a very busy week around here! Gibbs was attending an all-day camp at the University of Virginia (about 45 minutes away), while Spencer was attending a kindergarten camp at the school here in Madison. Thanks to carpool help from a friend, I was able to get everyone where they needed to be -- it was just a lot of driving and a lot of juggling!
While his brothers were gone, Casey and I took Teddy for a hike in the woods. I know my middle boy enjoyed the one-on-one time, which doesn't often happen.
I had to pick Gibbs and his friend up in Charlottesville at 5:00 p.m., and then rush back to Madison for Spencer's 6:00 p.m. football practice. As a result, dinner was a meal that I prepped in advance and then just reheated in shifts when everyone needed to eat.
We had Cheesy Ground Beef Pasta (or, as we call it, "Chuckwagon Mac"), along with cornbread and salad.
My brother and his family (from Florida) were at my parents' house for a quick visit on Tuesday, so we drove down south and had a full day of playtime with the cousins.
We spent the morning at the lake, took a brief break for lunch and indoor games, and then finished the afternoon at the pool.
By the time Gibbs joined us after camp at the end of the day, we had 7 very tired kiddos!
My parents with all 7 grandchildren!
Since our annual family beach vacation at my parents' house at Martha's Vineyard was cancelled when my mom was sick earlier this summer, Mom decided to serve a New England-inspired meal here in Virginia for dinner that night.
We started with grilled clams,
and feasted on lobster rolls, fruit and potato chips for supper.
And dessert was a Lemon Blueberry Icebox Cake!
This was a combination of lemon curd and mascarpone cheese, blueberries and blueberry jam, and graham crackers. Delicious summer treat!
Wednesday started with one of my fave summer breakfasts: Peach Cobbler Overnight Oatmeal. BUT, I realized that my peach was kind of mushy, so I only used a little bit of peach and instead loaded my bowl with strawberries and blueberries -- so I guess I really had Berry Overnight Oatmeal -- including the sliced almonds on top!
While his brothers were at their respective camps for the morning, I took Casey down to Charlottesville for his well-check at the pediatrician. Plus a Kit Kat Coolatta from Dunkin' Donuts afterwards!
Eight is great!
Plus a caramel iced coffee for Mom...
On the way home we stopped by my neighbor's to pick up another box of corn that she harvested from her garden that morning. We've been living on this stuff over the past week, and we're not complaining!
Lunch was particularly tasty that day, so I snapped a photo to share here in case you need some inspiration:
Two pieces of toasted Dave's Killer Bread, one topped with avocado and a fried egg from my neighbor; the other topped with homemade peach jam and another fried egg. Big salad on the side -- greens, diced avocado, feta, dried cranberries, and grape tomatoes in Buttermilk Dressing.
I had to pick up Gibbs and his friend from camp at 5:00, and Spencer had football practice scheduled for 6:00, so dinner that night was an easy slow cooker meal that would be ready and waiting when each of us needed to eat.
In the end, football was cancelled due to rain, so we actually had dinner together at home! As soon as the storms passed, I found the boys outside raking wet leaves in the yard in an attempt to create piles to jump in.
Think they're ready for fall?!
My Thursday morning basically involved taking kids to camps and stopping by the grocery store to pick up a few items that I needed for recipe testing.
Once I scooped Spence up at lunchtime, I took the younger two boys to the pool for the afternoon. Plus a stop at the Syria Mercantile for ice cream cups on the way home!
Gibbs had football practice that evening, so we ate an early supper before Keith took him to the fields. I made a 5-Ingredient Taco Casserole, which I served with tortilla chips, guacamole and salsa. The kids love this meal!
I finished another book this week! After reading The Residence earlier this summer, I became fascinated with Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Of all of the First Ladies featured in that book, she stood out as one of the most well-loved, interesting characters. The fact that she was only 31 years old when she moved into the White House just blew my mind! As a result, my most recent read was a biography all about Jackie, her sister and their mother.
Jackie, Janet & Lee portrays the secret lives of these fascinating women. Whether you love them, hate them or don't know much about them (like me!), this peek behind the scenes will keep you turning the pages in anticipation. It's almost hard to believe that their lives were real. Here's a quick summary:
If the Bouvier women personified beauty, style and fashion, it was their lust for money and status that drove them to seek out powerful men, no matter what the cost to themselves or to those they stepped on in their ruthless climb to the top. Based on hundreds of new interviews with friends and family of the Bouviers, among them their own half-brother, as well as letters and journals, J. Randy Taraborrelli's book paints an extraordinary psychological portrait of two famous sisters and their ferociously ambitious mother.
While his brothers were at camp on Friday morning, Casey and I took my car to the dealer for routine service. This kid was very happy with the free wi-fi, the massage chairs,
and the free chocolate chip whoopie pies.
We picked up Spencer at noon, and then made our way down to UVA to meet Gibbs after lunch.
It was the last day of his camp, so he was excited to show us around and to share the computer coding project that he had worked on all week.
By the time we walked in the door at 5 p.m., I was very glad to have dinner ready to go. Crock Pot to the rescue (again)! We had Root Beer Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches (you can also make these in the Instant Pot), with coleslaw, potato chips and fresh corn on the cob.
I took the dog for a very foggy walk on Saturday morning, and then we all hopped in the car to go to the gym in Culpeper.
The boys played in the kids' room with their friends, while I walked on the track with two of my girlfriends and Keith lifted weights.
After lunch, Keith took the younger two boys to the pool while Gibbs and I went to the grocery store to buy food for the week ahead.
And there you go -- another week of easy dinner ideas! I hope that you find some new inspiration for your own meals in the days to come. Thanks for stopping by!
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