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Good morning, and happy Sunday! We’ve been totally thrown off of our routine over the past few days, since I had a sick child at home all week. Fortunately, everyone is on the mend at this point and we’re looking forward to a “normal” holiday week. And even though I barely left the house and instead played “nurse,” I still had to get dinner on the table each night. 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…

Sunday included a family hike in the mountains here in Madison, followed by football watching in front of the fire!

Dinner was a perfectly cozy fall meal: 4-Ingredient Pork Loin Roast (love the apple cider, rosemary and garlic combo!), along with fried okra, applesauce, and this Cranberry Roasted Squash from Taste of Home.

Close up overhead shot of crispy fried okra in a blue and white serving dish
Homemade applesauce in a white bowl with fresh apples in background

I originally found the squash recipe in the new cookbook that I got for my birthday, but it’s also on the Taste of Home website here. Since I didn’t need 12 servings, I cut the recipe in half and just used 1 whole butternut squash (and omitted the acorn squash entirely). It was great!

Monday was a quiet day at the house to get work done. Other than a few short dog walks, I stayed indoors, did some planning for Thanksgiving, and took care of some behind-the-scenes blog stuff.

I got a call mid-afternoon to pick up Gibbs from school (he had a fever and a cough), so we laid low the rest of the evening and ate comfort food for dinner! On the menu: Tater Tot Cowboy Casserole, which we served with side salads.

Gibbs was home sick from school on Tuesday, and I wasn’t feeling great myself, so I sadly cancelled a coffee date with my friend and instead we had a very quiet day at home.

Other than a couple of very short walks for Teddy, I lounged around and watched Hallmark Christmas movies and simmered a pot of Chicken Noodle Soup for lunch (the cure-all!).

This is my go-to recipe, but I swap out the turkey and use chicken instead!

We had Dump-and-Bake Pesto Chicken for dinner, which I paired with rice and Cucumber Salad.

Sliced pesto chicken on a plate with rice and cucumbers

Gibbs still had a fever and cough on Wednesday morning, so I cancelled my walk with my girlfriend and took him straight to the doctor. His strep test was negative, so rest, patience, (and more Advil) were the only recommendations.

Gibbs thought that Subway sounded good for lunch after the appointment, so I picked up a couple of sandwiches for us to enjoy at home. A basic tuna salad hit the spot!

I plugged away at work for the afternoon, helped Gibbs with some make-up homework from school, and made a pot of Easy Cheeseburger Soup for dinner. We paired the soup with side salads and Texas Toast.

Front shot of cheeseburger soup with croutons parsley and bacon on top

Thursday marked day #4 with Gibbs home from school, and since he was still fighting a fever and a cough, it was back to the doctor again (this time for some antibiotics)!????

Keith was working from home that day, so at least I was able to sneak out for a few minutes in the morning to pick up groceries and then again for a few minutes in the afternoon to take the dog on a longer walk. Other than that, Gibbs was quietly plugging away at missed school work and I was testing new recipes in the kitchen most of the day.

I suppose one benefit of cancelling all plans and staying home all week was that I had a bit more time to read! I finished Louise Penny’s first book in the Chief Inspector Gamache mystery series, and it was really great. I’m excited to have another prolific mystery author to dive into. She’s hugely popular, so many of you have probably already read some of her books. Which are your favorites? Any suggestions for my next read?

I made a warm, cozy pot of comfort food (again) for supper that night. Do you sense a theme? When someone’s feeling under the weather, nourish him with Farmhouse Chicken and Bisquick Dumplings!

Close up front shot of chicken and dumplings in a blue and white bowl with serving spoon

My girlfriend came over to our house for a walk on Friday morning before the rain arrived, which was a nice way to squeeze in some grown-up talk after a week of feeling cooped up.

I had to run an errand in Culpeper, so I also grabbed lunch at Panera while I was there: Broccoli Cheddar Soup with a baguette on the side for dipping!

The boys earned free pizzas at Pizza Hut through a reading program at school, so they were excited to cash in their coupons for dinner that night! Plus air-fryer roasted veggies on the side…

I made it to the grocery store bright and early on Saturday morning to pick up everything that I’ll need for Thanksgiving prep in the days ahead. Then we were off to Culpeper, where the boys were fitted for new basketball shoes and new school shoes. Ooof! Six pairs of shoes later…

The three kids got pre-holiday haircuts in the afternoon, and then we were finally home for the evening. Dinner included Chicken and Potatoes (made in the air fryer, this time), plus a side of green beans. Simple, easy and always delicious!

Overhead shot of crispy rosemary chicken thigh and potatoes on a plate

So there you go — another week’s worth of meal ideas! I hope that you find something new to add to your own menu in the coming days. And as always, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your Sunday with us. Have a great Thanksgiving!!!????????????


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!

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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. Hey girl!
    I love reading this every Sunday morning!
    Can you give us more details on what you did for Thanksgiving prep this week, before the holiday week?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi, hi!!! Yes! Is it soon enough if I include the info in my weekly roundup on Sunday? Or do you need the details before Thanksgiving? If you want to know my plan for the week ahead in advance, I can send you an email. 🙂

  2. Hi Blair!

    I have a question. Actually two questions: (1) do you enjoy having the air fryer & is it true that you can cook faster in the air fryer than regular oven.? (2) did you cook both the chicken & potatoes in the air fryer or just the potatoes? If cooked chicken in the air fryer does it taste better or the same as in the oven? Also what brand air fryer do you have?

    1. Hi, Cecilia!

      The air fryer has been fun to experiment with, but it’s definitely not a kitchen necessity. I think it would be really ideal for a single person or a couple. It’s harder to use it for a large family like mine, because it doesn’t hold enough food at one time to make it efficient (for instance, to do 8 chicken thighs, we really should have split them into two batches…which would have taken a long time and wouldn’t have been worth the effort).

      It really works in the sense that it gives the food a great crispy exterior. I like it most for vegetables like broccoli that get crispy and browned in about 10 minutes (rather than roasting them for twice as long).

      For the meal that I showed on Saturday, we cooked the chicken in the air fryer while I roasted the potatoes in the oven. Again, I could have done the potatoes in a separate batch in the air fryer as well, but that just would have taken way too long.

      I’d say that the chicken in the air fryer has a slightly crispier finish than roasted in the oven — but not a huge difference. It required about 25 minutes for the chicken thighs (so not much faster than the oven in that case), but it preheats in just 3 minutes, so I guess you save some time there.

      We have the Cosori brand air fryer. 🙂

  3. So glad your little one is feeling better! I’m sure all the wonderful soups and comfort foods you prepared hit the spot and I look forward to trying some of the recipes!
    Sickness has been picking up speed in our daughter’s school, as with probably all schools during this time of year.
    (There’s an amoxicillin-resistant form of strep circulating through our area….unsettling to say the least!)