Good morning, and happy Sunday! From Halloween celebrations to a birthday getaway, it was a full (and fun) week around here! 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. Now let’s back up to last weekend…
I piled the kids into the car on Sunday morning and headed about an hour south to my parents' house for a visit. After almost two months on Martha's Vineyard, they were finally back home in Virginia!
We had pizza for lunch, walked the dog, played outside, and my dad and I even squeezed in a stop at our favorite antique store.
I didn't want to have to stress about dinner when we arrived home later that day, so I let the Crock Pot do the work while we were gone. I opted for a seasonally-appropriate Slow Cooker Pork with Spiced Apples (mostly because I noticed that Smithfield pork loins were on sale at the grocery store this week).
Plus biscuits and Brussels Sprouts with Bacon on the side!
The kids went back to school on Monday morning and the sun was shining!
I met my friend Ashley for a walk, ran errands in town for the school PTO, and eventually made my way back home just before lunch.
Teddy got a new puffer vest!????
The rest of my day was spent working on the computer and preparing yet another batch of oatmeal raisin cookies. I can't tell you how many variations I have tried in an attempt to find the perfect thick, chewy cookie...and I finally nailed it! So excited to share these with you on the blog soon...
This was the first week in months that we've been home for dinner in the evenings. What a nice break! Both soccer and football are over and basketball hasn't yet started, so I'm enjoying the calmer schedule for a brief period.
I made Stuffed Cabbage Roll in a Bowl, which I served with pasta and marinara sauce. I wasn't sure that the kids would love the cabbage, but I knew they would be able to fill up on pasta, if necessary (and that's exactly what happened)!
Tuesday started with a short yoga class with my friend Mollie, followed by a walk and chat afterwards.
Other than a haircut after lunch, the rest of my day was pretty quiet.
Thanks to the damp weather, Minestrone Soup and a crusty French baguette sounded like the perfect cozy dinner. Love this meal!
I managed to squeeze in a walk at my friend's farm on Wednesday morning before the rain arrived.
Plus a stop at Madison Gardens for a couple of new pots of mums for the front porch (the flowers that I bought earlier in the season were looking tired)!
My friend Jackie delivered some of her delicious chocolate chip cookies, plus some trick-or-treat goodie bags for the boys. So sweet (literally)!
Dinner that night was Dump-and-Bake Chicken Divan, which I served with a side of rice. Simple and easy!
Thursday was Halloween! I helped Spencer's class make "Bone Soup" (from this book) that morning, as well as a fun Halloween snack mix. Kindergarteners are officially the cutest!
The rest of the day didn't quite go as planned, since the weather didn't cooperate. The trick-or-treating in Madison was postponed until Friday (due to nasty thunderstorms), so the boys were really disappointed.
Instead, I put together some fun treat baskets for all of my little monsters (including Keith, who made it home from his trip in time to celebrate with us) and we had our own Halloween party at home. Glow-in-the-dark spiders, skull glasses, vampire teeth, and all of the best candy!
Dinner was also on theme with bowls of Pumpkin Chili, cornbread, and salad.
Plus a special Halloween cake for dessert (as though there weren't already enough sweets in the house)!
The storms passed by Friday morning, which meant that the kids had fun finding many tree limbs and sticks down on our property.
While the boys were at school, I met two girlfriends for a walk, took care of some banking for the PTO, packed suitcases, and got us all ready to leave town for the weekend. Then it was time for a quick dinner and trick-or-treating!
I made my Dump-and-Bake Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes (one of Casey's favorite meals), but instead of the roasted potatoes I made a side of mashed sweet potatoes.
We also had sweet and sour red cabbage (that I had in the fridge, not homemade) and a salad with apple, cranberries, feta, bacon, pecans and a citrus vinaigrette.
Once fed, we got the kids dressed in their costumes and out the door for Madison's Annual Trick-or-Trunk event (which is basically the only way to trick-or-treat when you live in the country and there aren't neighborhoods to visit)! We had a soldier, a creepy clown and Commander Cody this year, and the boys had the best time seeing their friends and collecting their candy.
We left the house bright and early on Saturday morning for our weekend away. I'm turning 40 in a couple of days, so Keith took me to The Greenbrier in West Virginia for a quick overnight trip. First, though, we stopped by my parents' house to drop off the kids and the dog -- plus a stop at Starbucks as we cruised through Charlottesville...
Mocha caffe misto for me, hot chocolate for the kiddos
We arrived at the resort around lunchtime, so deposited our bags, grabbed a delicious lunch, and then spent a good chunk of time outside on a long walk around the property.
My cords matched the mums!????
The lighting is dark and it doesn't look like anything special, but this was THE BEST tuna melt I've ever had. Seriously! And those sweet potato fries were pretty darn good, too.
The weather was perfection, and the West Virginia mountains were at their best -- cool, crisp, and colorful!
We grabbed afternoon tea in the lobby, and then got dressed up for dinner.
This Christmas decorations are already up! LOVE.
My birthday dinner was at Prime 44 Steakhouse in the resort, where we had an amazing meal! It took us a long time to decide on what to order (because everything sounded delicious), but we ultimately started with cocktails (Prosecco!) and bread...
Cornbread, Bacon Buns and Molasses Rolls
...followed by salads. This House Salad was perfection:
Mixed greens, feta cheese, pickled onions, tomato, cucumber, roasted beets and spiced pecans in a whole grain mustard vinaigrette
Finally, for my entree I decided to try the Peach Tea Chicken, since we had enjoyed glasses of The Greenbrier's Iced Sweet Peach Tea earlier in the afternoon and loved it. I was curious to see how they incorporated the tea as a brine for the chicken, and boy was it tasty! Really, you can't go wrong with fried chicken...
A combination of fried peach tea chicken and pan-seared chicken; corn with bacon; braised Swiss chard; Greenbrier peaches
The rest of our evening included some wandering through the shops and a visit to the sports book in the casino to watch college football. So that's where I'll leave it for today! We're planning on a big breakfast buffet in the formal dining room this morning before heading out on a hike, scooping up the kids, and then making our way back home. I'll fill you in on all of the delicious details in my next roundup.
Have a great week ahead, and thanks so much for stopping by!