Good morning, and happy Sunday! I hope that you're enjoying a beautiful fall weekend. We're sweating in July-like temperatures here in Virginia, but that hasn't stopped us from enjoying plenty of cozy fall treats. 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 went for a walk with my girlfriend on Sunday morning, photographed a couple of recipes before lunch, and then headed a few miles up the road to take the boys to the Somerset Steam & Gas Pasture Party.
We wandered around, checked out the equipment, and treated the kids shaved ice.
I added sea scallops to our most recent ButcherBox order, which turned out to be a great idea. They're hard to find in our local grocery store, so this meal was a treat! Keith grilled the scallops, which we enjoyed with Garlic Roasted Broccoli and a French baguette.
Monday morning started bright and early with a cool sunrise dog walk.
I must say that after a week of having sick kiddos at home, it was nice to put all 3 boys on the bus and enjoy a cup of coffee in peace and quiet! Which reminds me -- I recently bought this new French Toast Swirl creamer, and I really like it! Definitely give it a try if you're a creamer-in-your-coffee kind of person.????
Other than a quick stop at the grocery store, I spent the rest of the day at home editing photos, tending to multiple loads of laundry, and generally recovering from a busy weekend!
I also took a break from the computer work to stir together a quick batch of Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins. I left a few out on the counter, and stashed the rest in the freezer to have on hand for easy snacks or breakfasts in the coming week.
I served Stuffed Shells for dinner that night, which I had prepped in advance so that we could eat an early dinner before Spencer's 6:00 football practice. We had the stuffed shells with a bagged Caesar salad on the side and we were out the door a few minutes later!
Before school on Tuesday morning, Casey joined me for a walk over to our neighbor's farm to pick up our eggs for the week. It was finally a bit cooler out, and this boy was ready to run!
I drove into Charlottesville to meet my parents for lunch at Zoe's Kitchen that afternoon. Love this place, which is kind of like a Mediterranean version of Panera Bread. I had the Greek Salad with Falafel, which included pita bread, potato salad, olives and Tzatziki sauce as well.
On my way home, I popped into Trader Joe's to pick up a few items. I only make it to Trader Joe's a couple of times each year (since it's about 45 minutes away), so I'm always a bit overwhelmed when I go in there. It's more crowded than I'm used to, I don't know where anything is, and they have so many unusual options. As a result, I try to focus on the seasonal products and ignore the rest. In case you're curious, here's what I found that day:
Pumpkin bagels; pumpkin bread with cinnamon bits, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds; multigrain English muffins (just because we needed more at home); pumpkin cream cheese; chocolate hummus; cotton candy grapes (the kids love these); and Orange Peach Mango juice (Casey's favorite).
Autumnal Harvest Soup (a creamy tomato based soup with butternut squash and pumpkin); Autumnal Harvest Creamy Pasta Sauce; Fall Leaf tortilla chips (so cute!); pumpkin cereal bars; Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps (one of my favorite items each year!); Fall Harvest Salsa; Cinnamon Bun Spread; and Dog Treats!
My personal favorite? This Cinnamon Bun Spread! I've never had anything like it! It kind of reminds me of a cross between honey, frosting, and apple butter -- but it's flavored like a Cinnamon Roll. Hard to explain, but so tasty when spread on toast, English muffins, or graham crackers!
Before Gibbs's football practice that night, I served Ham, Apple and Brie Panini Sandwiches for dinner. We paired the sandwiches with veggies, dip and chips. Since the kids don't like brie cheese, they just got regular ole' grilled cheese sandwiches with classic American slices! It's one of those easy meals that you can tailor to the individual preferences of your family members.
Gibbs was very excited to wear his new sweatshirt to school on Wednesday morning. I can't say that I understand 9-year-old boy fashion!
It was a beautiful, cool morning, so I joined my friend at her farm for a walk before running errands in town.
Teddy desperately wanted to play with Gold Dust!
One of my stops was at Cake Krums bakery for a gift card, so I obviously needed to treat myself to a Caramel Iced Coffee while I was there!
Keith took Gibbs to a football game in Albemarle that evening, while I brought Casey to his soccer practice here in Madison, so supper was really early (like, 4:15 p.m. early!). Fortunately, I had our meal ready and waiting for us in the Crock Pot: Farmhouse Slow Cooker Beef Stew!
It was another beautiful fall day on Thursday, so I met my friend for another walk and then stopped by Madison Gardens to buy mums and fresh apples on the way home.
Hoping these beauties can survive the 90-degree weather that's predicted for today!
I made a 5-Ingredient Crescent Roll Chicken Casserole for dinner, which I served with rice and a salad before leaving (once again) to take Gibbs to football practice.
I managed to finish another book this week, and WOW. I loved this one! It's a lot different than most of the other books that I've read recently, and it took me a few chapters to really get hooked into the story, but then The Night Tiger was a novel that I couldn't put down. I find that Reese's Book Club recommendations are almost always a hit with me, and this was no exception.
Yangsze Choo's The Night Tiger pulls us into a world of servants and masters, age-old superstition and modern idealism, sibling rivalry and forbidden love. But anchoring this dazzling, propulsive novel is the intimate coming-of-age of a child and a young woman, each searching for their place in a society that would rather they stay invisible.
I stopped by Yoder's Country Market on Friday morning to pick up some lunch meat (a Lebanon Bologna sandwich is such a treat!), and I was happy to see that all of their fall produce, desserts and snacks were on full display. Tis the season!
Meanwhile, Spencer's class was on a field trip at Carter Mountain Apple Orchard in Charlottesville. Thanks to his friend Parker's dad for sending me regular photo updates of these cuties throughout the day!
Keith was at home, so we took a long walk up the road after lunch to enjoy the weather. It was warmer (about 80 degrees), but so sunny and pretty.
Unfortunately, Spence came home from school with a fever (again!), so the rest of our afternoon was spent at the doctor's office. Two ear infections and strep throat, so no wonder he didn't feel well!
We returned home just in time for me to throw dinner together on the stovetop: chicken quesadillas, chips and salsa, and a salad.
I used this Fall Harvest Salsa and the fall leaves-shaped tortilla chips from Trader Joe's for a fun addition to the meal.
For the first time in months, we had a sports-free Saturday. We started the morning with homemade cinnamon sugar donuts from The Donut Kitchen, and then took care of some house projects and recipe testing.
Keith wanted to stop by a local classic car show after lunch, so the whole family tagged along...
My friend Sallie's mom, Debbie, recently mentioned that her husband's favorite dinner is sausage with spoon bread and fried apples. I thought that sounded like a delicious combination, so that's exactly what we had for supper!
The rest of our evening involved college football on the TV and an early bedtime for all. Have a great Sunday, and thanks so much for stopping by!
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