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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!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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!).

Dinner was a team effort: Keith grilled steaks from ButcherBox (use code AP10 for $10 off and free bacon in your first box!) outside while I prepared the sides in the kitchen.

Close up front shot of sliced marinated new york strip steak

We paired our steaks with Crispy Seasoned Oven Roasted Potatoes, as well as roasted acorn squash and roasted Brussels sprouts. Plus a Caesar salad!

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.

Close up shot of bowl of Crock Pot Spaghetti on a wooden surface

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!

Front shot of cast iron baking dish with cranberry chicken

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.

We paired the pork chops with creamed spinach, baked apples, store-bought biscuits and steamed green beans. Delish!

Long overhead shot of creamed spinach in a cast iron skillet

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!


Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

Square overhead shot of hands serving a chicken pot pie recipe with biscuits
Overhead image of a bowl of chili mac on a dinner table with cornbread
Hands serving a platter of sheet pan sausage and potatoes

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  1. I am really fussy, and often need quick and easy recipes because I cannot stand for long periods. Also, it is difficult to find delicious, easy, and inexpensive recipes with low carbs and, often low sugar.
    I really appreciate the nutritional facts after the recipe! This is the most important factor for us in choosing a recipe, as my son is diabetic and must watch low carbs and low sugar.

  2. Hi Blair,
    Those first two picture of the October Sun look like they could be from a movie set–just beautiful!
    I’m looking forward to buying & browsing through the Taste of Home Holiday Baking–how exciting that you & your recipe are included in the issue.
    Have a good week! Pam

    1. Thank you so much, Pam! I love when a photo kind of captures the beauty or the views that we actually see with our eyes. It’s such a perfect time of year!

  3. Hi Blair, Since I started reading your blog, I’ve really become interested visiting your area of Va. My friend and I visited Liberty Mills Farm and walked the corn maza. We also drove to Yoders had an awesome time shipping. It was a nice day trip from Richmond. I also love your meals, recipes and pictures and I look forward to reading your blog every Sunday.

    1. That’s wonderful, Laura! I’m so glad to hear that you’ve had a chance to visit this part of the state. Thanks so much for following along with our adventures! Yoder’s is great, right?! 🙂

  4. Ughhhh!, so many pop up ads this week. Difficult to read your post.
    Every 2 seconds another ad is in your face. Very intrusive.

    1. Sorry about that, Judy! I’ll have to get back with my ad company and see if they’ve changed the settings again. 🙁