Good morning, and happy Sunday! We're wrapping up another fall week around here -- complete with hikes, football, soccer and tasty food! All of the highlights, along with our easy dinners, are included in today’s roundup of Our Week in Meals!
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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.
First, though -- a quick update: I'll be working with Taste of Home over the next year to create recipes for their site. My first post is live this week, so I'd love for you to check it out: How to Make Pumpkin Spice Creamer!
Now let’s back up to last weekend…
Sunday was a beautiful fall day, so we took advantage with a lot of fresh air.
Love that golden October light!
I met my girlfriend for an early walk while these two built "forts" in the yard at home...
and then we all went on a hike before lunch.
The air feels like autumn, but the foliage hasn't caught up quite yet. Every day I'm seeing more and more color, though...
The afternoon included a trip to the grocery store, laundry, and the Redskins game on TV (finally...a win!).
Monday was Columbus Day, but it wasn't a holiday around here. The kids went to school and Keith went to work, so I took the dog up the road for a quick walk after the boys got on the bus.
It was beautiful, but chilly! I was wishing that I had worn my gloves...
I made a brief stop at Yoder's Country Market for deli meat, where I also picked up a jar of this Harvest Jam (because it's impossible to go in that store and not grab some impulse buys)! This is a tasty blend of cranberries, apples, orange peel, pecans and cinnamon. I've been enjoying it on my grilled cheese sandwiches at lunchtime...
The rest of my day was spent at home getting work done on the computer, preparing a batch of Cranberry Baked Oatmeal to have on hand for easy breakfasts this week, and meeting a girlfriend after lunch for a walk.
At this time of year, fresh cranberries aren't in my grocery store's produce section yet. Instead, I sub with frozen cranberries, which are available year-round!
Casey had soccer practice at 5:30 that evening, so we ate a really early supper and then headed off to the fields. Crispy Roast Chicken with Vegetables was on the menu!
Since we had roasted potatoes the night before, I left the potatoes out of the chicken recipe and served the meat with rice and roasted broccoli instead. Perfect fall meal!
I met a friend at the gym on Tuesday morning for a yoga class, stopped for a Pumpkin Cappuccino across the street, and then headed home for a full day of recipe testing in the kitchen. Plenty of great new recipes coming your way!
It was a fun mail day, since the Taste of Home Holiday Baking magazine arrived at our house.
One of my recipes is featured in this year's publication, so be sure to find it on your local newsstand!
The kids and I ate an early dinner that evening, and then met Keith at the football field for Gibbs's practice.
I made a pot of Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup, which I paired with quesadillas, chips, salsa and guacamole on the side. The kids were skeptical of the soup (which didn't surprise me), but they sure enjoyed the quesadillas, chips and salsa!
This soup tastes just like the vegetarian black bean soup from Panera -- loooove it!
Wednesday was a total washout -- it poured rain just about all day, which we desperately needed. Since the weather wasn't great, I spent most of the day inside, with the exception of trip to Target up in Culpeper. I intended to buy some birthday gifts for Spencer, but instead I came home with a couple of new books for the kids, along with plenty of Halloween candy!
Casey's soccer practice was cancelled due to the weather, so we ate a cozy supper and had a low-key evening at home. I used a jar of store-bought pasta sauce, added a pound of ground Italian turkey sausage and sliced mushrooms, and served it with pasta, salad and garlic bread.
After an early yoga class on Thursday morning, I took Teddy to the groomer and ran a couple of errands in town.
Waiting for the bus at 7:30 a.m....
The rest of my day was mostly spent taking care of work in front of the computer, but I did finish a book that I want to share! Blood Rubies by Jane Cleland is another mystery in the Josie Prescott Antiques series. I love these quick reads because they're well written, they're light, and they always have a surprise ending. And by the way, you don't have to start with the first book in the series -- I totally jump around and it's not a problem!
Ana Yartsin is on the verge of becoming a celebrity chef. Her custom Faberge egg-shaped cakes have brought her national attention, as has the story behind the cakes: Her family owns the spectacular Faberge Spring Egg snow globe. As she prepares to be filmed for a reality TV show about the launch of her bakery in Rocky Point, New Hampshire, Ana hires antiques expert Josie Prescott to appraise the precious egg and snow globe. When a murder occurs and the egg goes missing, Josie teams up with her reporter friend Wes to investigate.
I served Dump-and-Bake Cranberry Chicken with stuffing (from a box) and green beans for dinner. Easy fall meal!
And then it was time for Gibbs's final football game of the season! It's crazy that the fall sports are already winding up, and now we just have a couple more weeks of soccer to go...
I love when I can pair socializing with exercise, and on Friday I did lots of that! In the morning, I met my friend Mollie at the gym for a walk and talk on the track while her two-year-old was in the childcare room.
Later that afternoon, I met Ashley for a walk in the woods, where we discussed the most recent PTO fundraisers (among other things!). Hikes are way more fun than meetings -- and Teddy burns off some energy, too!????
Since Keith was out of town again that night, the boys and I took the easy route and picked up Giovanna's pizza for dinner. Always a hit!
Saturday was a beautiful day to spend the morning on the soccer field.
Back home from Casey's game, we had leftover pizza for lunch and then I made a run to the grocery store to pick up food for the week ahead.
A local farmer donated pumpkins to the kindergarteners and set up a pumpkin patch in the park next to the school on Friday. The kids took hay rides around the school, picked out their pumpkins, and then made Halloween snacks. Spencer loved these treats so much, that he asked me to buy the ingredients on Saturday so that he could make them again with his brothers.
They spread each graham cracker with vanilla frosting, decorated with candy eyes, and then used Hershey's chocolate syrup for the mouths. Hello, sugar! No wonder the kids thought this was fun!
Keith loves to grill on the weekends, so we thawed some thick-cut boneless pork chops from ButcherBox (affiliate link) and he cooked those while I worked on the sides.
That's where I'll leave it for now, friends. I hope that you've found a few new recipe ideas to add to your own meal plan in the coming days. Thanks so much for stopping by!