Good morning, and happy Sunday! We're enjoying a fun Labor Day weekend with friends and family, but I wanted to pop in this morning with my regular weekly update. 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…
After an unbelievably hot and humid summer in Virginia, we were blessed with a gorgeous, cool Sunday.
I needed to return something at the mall in Charlottesville, so the whole family rode along and stopped for lunch at Red Robin beforehand.
Keith and I split our orders -- half of a Bacon Cheeseburger and half of an Avocado Chicken Cobb Salad for each of us. Perfect combo!
And for dessert, we all shared a Chocolate Hazelnut Bliss Shake and a Gooey Chocolate Brownie Cake. YUM.
I spent some time on the porch reading my latest book...
Plus a green salad and mac and cheese on the side!
All of my boys joined me for Teddy's walk on Monday morning before school!
Once the kids were on the bus, I took Keith to the airport in Charlottesville, since he had a business trip all week. While in town, I grabbed myself lunch at Panera Bread and then made a stop at a fabric store to pick out upholstery for a window seat.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup + a French Baguette
I also brought home a dozen bagels for easy breakfasts this week. The Cranberry Walnut flavor hits the spot at this time of year!
The boys and I ate a quick dinner right at 5:00 p.m. before I had to take Spencer to football practice and Casey to his first soccer practice of the season.
We had Cowboy Casserole with Cornbread and Chicken (the cooler temps made comfort food sound good this week!), as well as steamed broccoli on the side.
I picked up our weekly eggs from my neighbor's farm on Tuesday, and then met my friends Mollie and Amanda at the gym for a yoga class before lunch.
My afternoon included work at the computer, house chores and a grocery run before the boys got home from school. Look what I found while shopping! 'Tis the season!????????????
It was a football night for Gibbs, so we ate Sheet Pan New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp with rice and green beans for dinner and then spent the rest of the evening at the fields.
Wednesday morning was devoted to recipe photography and cooking, and then I had a meeting with my friend Ashley after lunch. We're coordinating a fundraiser for the school's PTO, so we needed to visit The Green Giraffe print shop here in Madison. Fortunately, there's a sweet little bakery connected to the shop -- which meant that I came home with a handful of treats from Cake Krums!
I picked the chocolate and vanilla cupcakes for dessert that night, plus an apple butter donut (hello, Virginia fall flavor!), a chocolate sprinkle donut, and a maple pecan scone. Love the homemade taste and cozy feel of the bakery!
I got a haircut, came home to get the boys off the bus, and then served everyone dinner before Casey's soccer practice and Spencer's football game. We had Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, salad and garlic bread -- always a kid favorite!
I finished my book that night, too! I read Helen Simonson's The Summer Before the War a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it, so I figured I would probably like this one as well. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand did not disappoint!
In the small village of Edgecombe St. Mary in the English countryside lives Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson’s wondrous debut. Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, the Major leads a quiet life valuing the proper things that Englishmen have lived by for generations: honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea. But then his brother’s death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and regarding her as the permanent foreigner. Can their relationship survive the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition?
Thursday morning was a beautiful day for a walk, so I met my friend Mollie for a hike in the woods after the boys went to school.
Few things make me happier than vest season! I pulled out my cozy vests and will be living in them until May...
I had to return some samples to the fabric store near Charlottesville, so I treated myself to a Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Iced Coffee while in "the big city."
Friday morning included a cool walk in the woods with the dog before it warmed up,
followed by a stop at Yoder's Country Market for some lunch meat, a birthday gift for a girlfriend, and a loaf of bread.
This thick-sliced, fresh-from-the-oven honey wheat was perfect for the grilled cheese sandwiches that we had with dinner that night.
Keith arrived home from the airport about mid-day, and the boys had a half day of school before the long weekend, so we all sat down to a late lunch together. The kids requested Subway (as usual), so I picked up sandwiches for the whole crew to eat at home.
My fully-loaded tuna salad sub.
I made a pot of my favorite 30-Minute Tomato Basil Soup for supper, paired with grilled cheese sandwiches for dipping. This is a great meal for the transition between summer and fall. It's a warm, cozy option that still takes advantage of the fresh basil in my garden!
And that brings us to yesterday! The heat returned on Saturday, but that didn't stop Keith from putting the boys to work!
They pruned trees and hauled branches in the morning while I took care of work indoors.
My friend Maggie recently turned 40, so we helped her celebrate with a big party at their farm that afternoon. I was asked to bring a snack or appetizer, so I made a bowl of my 4-Ingredient Cream Cheese Apple Dip.
This stuff is so good, and it was made even better by stirring in some Heath toffee bits (kind of reminded me of my Snickers Apple Salad). Thanks to the blog reader that suggested this addition!
That's Keith in his hot rod pickup truck hauling the cornhole boards to the party...
The kids spent most of the party swimming, emerging from the water only when they got hungry!
Dinner was a big buffet, including smoked chicken, pulled pork barbecue, salad, baked beans, coleslaw, mac and cheese, and my apples with dip. Delicious Labor Day weekend picnic!
So that's where I'll leave it for today. I'll catch you up on the rest of our long weekend when I check back in with you next Sunday. Enjoy the holiday and have a wonderful week ahead. Thanks for stopping by!
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