Good morning, and happy Sunday! I hope that you’re enjoying the weekend! We survived the first week of school around here, and we’re slowly adjusting to a new routine. 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…
We were up bright and early, so we grabbed a quick breakfast in the coffee shop (in the lobby of the hotel) when it opened. One thing that we all agreed on: the food at The Homestead was incredible! ????
I had a still-warm glazed donut, fruit and yogurt — with coffee, of course.
Properly fueled, we then headed out on a long hike to watch the sunrise.
It was such a beautiful morning to be in the mountains — sunny, but a cool 58 degrees! A welcome change from the humid, 100+ degree temps that we’ve been “blessed” with all summer in Central Virginia. Felt like fall!
Once we finished the hike, we checked out of our hotel rooms and left the resort to return home. The boys were starving by about 11:00 a.m. (thanks to an early breakfast and a lot of fresh air), so we grabbed lunch at the Golden Corral buffet in Waynesboro before picking the dog up from my parents’ house. The kids polished off large quantities of fried chicken, biscuits, meatloaf and more!
My first plate: fried catfish, steak tips with gravy, fried cabbage, and lots of veggies. Definitely not the same quality as the food at The Homestead, but it sure got the job done and we all left happy.
Plus, you can’t beat a dessert buffet! I’ll never turn down soft-serve ice cream, while the boys couldn’t get enough of that chocolate fountain.????
After a weekend away, I was very glad to return to my own kitchen and a home-cooked meal on Sunday evening. I wanted something light and summery (but super easy), so I prepared Tomato Pesto Pasta with Grilled Chicken.
We also had garlic breadsticks and a salad dressed in Italian Balsamic Vinaigrette (definitely still my favorite homemade vinaigrette recipe).
I took the dog for a walk on Monday morning before the heat returned with a vengeance!
The boys were still pretty tired after our weekend away, so they were happy to play quietly at home that day while I tested some new fall recipes in the kitchen.
We had some folks come that afternoon to install two new stoves — this gas stove (below) to replace the wood stove that was in my office, and a new wood stove for the living room to replace the older, less efficient one. We’re ready for the colder weather — whenever it decides to arrive!
Frito Pie and salads were on the dinner menu. We ate nice and early at 5:00 (as usual, these days) so that I could get Spencer to the football fields for his 6:00 practice.
The boys went back to school on Tuesday morning! This was a big deal for me, because it marks the first time in almost 10 years that I have a full day at the house without kids. Spencer is in kindergarten, Casey is in third grade, and Gibbs is in fourth grade.
There were only a few tears at drop-off (ahem…Spencer), and then I walked the dog in the woods and returned home to a very quiet house. I spent the rest of my day editing photos, doing laundry, attending a yoga class at the gym, stopping in the grocery store, and participating in a blog-related conference call. Phew!
The kids got off the bus shortly before 4:00, so I had dinner in the Crock Pot ready to go for our 5:00 p.m. supper: Slow Cooker Chinese Meatballs with Peppers and Onions, which I served with jasmine rice and steamed broccoli.
I used turkey meatballs for the recipe since we had ground beef the night before, but turkey, chicken, pork or beef meatballs would all work well.
I took the dog for a walk in the woods on Wednesday morning as soon as the boys were at school.
Then I immediately headed south to my parents’ house for a visit with my mom. Dad was traveling on a business trip, so Mom and I went to Basic Necessities for a “ladies’ lunch.”
I honestly can’t even remember the last time that Mom and I had lunch on our own without kids in tow (maybe my birthday last year?!). Anyway, it was really fun and we split a very tasty meal: Spinach and Feta Quiche; a Tomato, Basil and Cheddar Panini; and House Salads.
I prepped a meal for dinner that night that the boys and I could eat early (before Spencer’s football practice), and then I could reheat for Keith when he came home later. We had Honey Dijon Pork Tenderloin, along with Baked Apples, 3-Ingredient Beer Bread (which I had in the freezer and just thawed and sliced) and steamed green beans.
Thanks to my friend Amanda for this cute action shot!
I met Mollie for a hike on Thursday morning, and then stopped at Sheetz to fill up my car with gas on the way home. While I was inside grabbing an iced coffee, I came across the Halloween candy at the register. It’s never too soon!???? I’m a big fan of those Pumpkin Pie M&M’s, while Gibbs was excited to try the new Hazelnut Spread flavor.
Keith was out of town for the night, so I stirred together a pan of Dump-and-Bake Summer Pasta with Zucchini, Corn and Chicken for a quick dinner before Gibbs’s football practice.
I finished another book this week! My mother-in-law recommended Evvie Drake Starts Over, which I really enjoyed. It’s a light, quick read, but it was perfectly entertaining. For those of you who read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, this book reminded me of that novel. Definitely a good one!
Casey joined me for a dog walk on Friday morning before school to burn off some of that never-ending energy. He loved the fact that he was “so fast” that it made the photo blurry!????
I spent most of the day working on new fall recipes, which was a tad bit confusing since it was almost 90 degrees outside! I know that the chilly weather will be here soon, though — and I’ll be ready with plenty of easy comfort food dishes to share with all of you…
Our dinner that night was a simple option that didn’t heat up my kitchen: Pizza Quesadillas! I added pepperoni to Keith’s quesadilla and to my quesadilla, while the kids prefer them with just basic cheese. We also had salads on the side.
Saturday marked the official start of football season — and it was a steamy one!
We spent the morning at home — taking care of chores and mowing the grass. I also baked a batch of my 5-ingredient Dump-and-Bake Buttermilk Pancakes, since I had some buttermilk in the fridge that needed to be enjoyed. I added blueberries to this batch, which was a delicious choice. Now we have tasty blueberry pancakes to slice and reheat in the days to come.
Gibbs’s football game didn’t start until 2:30, but he had to be at the field by 1:15 in Culpeper, so that consumed our afternoon. In spite of feeling nervous, he did really well!
Keith grilled burgers for supper, which I served with grilled potatoes and salad. Always a family favorite!
So there you go — another week of easy dinner ideas that I hope will inspire your own menu in the coming days. Thanks for stopping by!
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