Good morning, and happy Sunday! We're wrapping up another week around here -- complete with football, a lunch date, and another good book! 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 a walk on Sunday morning, fed everyone lunch, and then Keith took Casey to the pool for the afternoon (with a stop for ice cream on the way home!).
The other two boys didn't feel like swimming, so I stayed home with them. Spence and I made a double batch of brownies for him to bring to school the next day, since his class is reviewing colors and we were assigned a "brown" food for the party. Not surprisingly, he was very happy to help with this task...
Dinner that night was delicious! After enjoying a really good blackened snapper sandwich at The Homestead the weekend before, I was reminded of my 5-Minute Blackened Salmon recipe. Since the weather was nice and warm, Keith grilled the fish (instead of my usual cast iron skillet method). Worked perfectly!
We left a couple of pieces of salmon plain (and just rubbed them with olive oil, salt and pepper) for the kids, since the blackened seasoning is a bit too spicy for their taste.
And finally, because I had a couple of spotted bananas sitting on the counter begging to be used, I made my Quick and Easy Banana Pudding for dessert. Try it if you haven't yet -- so good!
The light was beautiful on Monday morning (even if it quickly turned into another stifling, hot day)!
I spent the morning at the house photographing a couple of recipes, ran an errand for the school PTO that afternoon, and took care of a few chores.
I prepped dinner in advance so that we could eat an early meal before Spencer's 6:00 football practice. On the menu: Italian Baked Turkey Meatballs served with pasta and a batch of our family's favorite homemade marinara sauce (I just used canned tomatoes for a quick 20-minute sauce -- no peeling or chopping necessary)!
Gibbs joined me for a dog walk before school on Tuesday morning -- this is a great way to get the boys to open up and actually talk to me! I can only imagine the struggle I'll have when they're all teenagers...
I started dinner in the Crock Pot,
took Teddy for another quick walk,
and then attended a yoga class up in Culpeper. I had been dealing with a migraine all morning, so I stopped to get myself a regular Coca Cola Classic on the way home. Anyone else find that Coke cures all????? It's what my mom always gave us when we didn't feel well, and it still seems to help with just about every ailment -- maybe it's just placebo?!
I made my Dump-and-Bake Swiss Steak for supper that evening (before Gibbs's football practice), but this time I cooked it in the slow cooker because it was just way too hot to turn on the oven. I included the Crock Pot instructions in the original recipe, but this time I used a 2-lb. top round (instead of the smaller 1-lb. steak shown in the photos), because I knew that we would need more food! I still prefer the oven-baked version, but you can't beat the convenience of the slow cooker. Served with store-bought mashed potatoes and a side salad...
I read another good book this week, which my mom loaned to me. Glow of Death is part of the Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery series, but it was the first Jane K. Cleland novel that I've read. This quick mystery will keep you turning the pages to find out "who dunnit!" Here's a quick summary:
As a warm ocean breeze ruffles the tall grass along Rocky Point’s sandy dunes, Josie Prescott visits the house of a wealthy local couple, Edwin and Ava Belcher. She’s been called in to appraise their Tiffany lamp, which everyone is delighted to find is genuine.
Josie’s good friend, Police Chief Ellis Hunter, is helping prepare for her annual Fourth of July barbeque when he gets a call that Ava has been murdered.
Josie is stunned to discover that the dead woman lying on the Belcher kitchen floor is not the woman she knew as Ava. Astonishment turns to shock when Josie discovers that everything she thought she knew about the Tiffany lamp and the Belchers has been built on lies.
I met my parents in Charlottesville on Wednesday for lunch at Jason's Deli, plus a quick spin through HomeGoods next door -- where I found a cart full of stuff that I didn't know I needed (like this Autumn Harvest candle, which smells amazing!).
and ice cream!
Even my morning coffee is ready for fall! I just ordered this variety pack, which includes Apple Crumb Donut Coffee, Pumpkin Spice Coffee, Pecan Pie Coffee, and Cinnamon Bun Coffee. YUM. Who cares if it's not even Labor Day yet!?
I made Dump-and-Bake Chicken Cacciatore for dinner that night, which we enjoyed with rotini pasta and garlic breadsticks.
Then we were back out the door for Spencer's first flag football game of the season!
Most of my day on Thursday was spent hustling around town running errands. After dropping the boys at school and the dog at the groomer, I met Mollie for a quick hike in the woods before making my way up to Culpeper.
I buzzed through Target, and then stopped at the grocery store for "essentials" like the best store-bought chocolate chip cookies (perfect when paired with vanilla ice cream)!
I needed bagels from Panera Bread, so I grabbed myself lunch as well: Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup with a French baguette. Hit the spot!
Then it was time to pick up a clean and fluffy Teddy, before returning home to tend to chores and meet the kids from the school bus.
With the exception of a couple of errands in town, I spent a rainy Friday at home in the kitchen. I was hard at work on plenty of new fall recipes, which felt really cozy since the temperature outside finally dropped below 80!
When the sun came out later in the day, I opened all of the windows and the front door and let the cool breeze blow through the house for the first time in months. Felt amazing!
I made my Dump-and-Bake Chicken Curry for dinner that night, but this time I prepared it in the slow cooker (on LOW for 5 hours, adding a bag of thawed frozen veggies during the final 30 minutes). Served on a bed of jasmine rice!
I was out of the house bright and early on Saturday morning so that Teddy and I could participate in our favorite local charity walk here in Madison.
We walked the four mile course with my friend Becca, so the time flew by as we chatted, took in the views, and appreciated the gorgeous weather.
Followed by a box of everyone's favorites on the way home!
Perfect post-walk snack. Donut perfection = the Old Fashioned Glazed!
Gibbs had a football game that afternoon, so the rest of our day was basically spent on the field.
And since I knew that we wouldn't be getting home until close to dinnertime, I planned another really easy meal: tacos! Casey requested these last week, so he was happy to find one of his favorites on the menu. We had the tacos with guacamole, salsa and chips -- plus a bagged salad!
So there you go, friends -- another week of easy dinner ideas complete! I hope that you've found some inspiration for your own meals in the coming days. Thanks so much for stopping by!
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