Good morning, happy Sunday, and happy New Year! I've spent the past few days keeping three boys busy, as we rang in 2020 with friends and finished up the last week of vacation. 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…
It rained almost all day on Sunday, so instead of my usual morning walk with a friend, I made an early trip to the grocery store and then went to one of my favorite nearby antique stores for treasure hunting...
My only bit of fresh air was a wet, short walk with Teddy just up the street to say "hi" to the neighbor's horses before we turned around to get back to the dry house!
For dinner that night, I made 5-Ingredient Chicken, which we paired with rice and broccoli. Easy and tasty!
After being cooped up inside on Sunday, I could tell that the boys were ready for some action on Monday. It was still rainy and nasty outside that morning, so we met my girlfriend and her kids at the gym in Culpeper, followed by a stop at Dunkin Donuts on the way home. Dunkin now has the Girl Scouts flavors, so this was a Samoa Cookie Cappuccino (coconut and caramel flavor). So tasty!
Once home, Casey's friend came over to play and joined us for lunch. Later that afternoon, our former babysitter, Rebekah, stopped by for a visit. At that point, it was sunny and 70 degrees outside, so the kids spent most of their time outside -- walking the dog and running with Rebekah in an epic game of hide-and-go-seek. Best winter weather ever!
The older boys had basketball practice that evening, so we ate an early supper at 5:00 before they headed out the door. I made Beef Barley Soup, which we had with salad and breadsticks.
Plus a tray of Rebekah's beautiful Christmas cookies for dessert!
My friend came over for a walk at our house on Tuesday morning, while her son played with my boys.
We had a couple of quick errands to run in town, which included a stop at Subway for lunch on the way.
Fully loaded tuna salad sub...
That evening, we hosted a couple of families for a potluck New Year's Eve gathering. When we all have little kids with early bedtimes, the celebrations start at 3:30 p.m.!????
An overflowing plate of goodies!
Finger foods were on the menu, since snacking and grazing was the theme of the evening. Keith wanted to grill chicken wings and John Paul smoked ribs and sausage, so we had those along with a bunch of fun dips and sides.
I made 3-Ingredient Queso in the slow cooker (with tortilla chips),
Spinach Dip with a veggie tray and crackers and pita chips,
and 5-Minute Fruit Dip, which I served with berries, apples, pineapple and graham crackers.
These were all kid-friendly options that I could prepare in advance and not have to fuss with while our friends were over. The girls also brought coleslaw, Chex mix, cookies, and Buffalo Chicken Dip. So much good party food!
For dessert, I made a 7UP Pound Cake (I'll share the recipe on the blog soon), and I also set out a tray of store-bought cookies for the children. It was a fun evening that included champagne, so many laughs, and my pajamas by 8:00 p.m..????
We woke up to a beautiful New Year's Day on Wednesday!
I took the dog for an early walk up the road,
and then the rest of the family joined me for another walk before lunch (which involved constant horseplay from these three). Did you know that it's possible to wrestle while walking?!
We took full advantage of the weather and spent a lot of time outside that day.
After a quick grocery run, Casey helped me test a new baking recipe in the kitchen. If it involves flour and sugar, he's the man for the job!
My mom taught me to always start the year with a lucky meal that includes pork, greens, black eyed peas, and cornbread. This year I put a twist on the classic ingredients and served my "Good Luck" Southern Chili recipe (which has pork sausage and black eyed peas in it),
along with a Winter Salad (the spinach = our greens) and cornbread that I pulled out of the freezer and reheated. This dinner got two thumbs up from everyone at the table!
The boys and I had a pretty low-key day at the house on Thursday, but we did get out for a short trip to the playground after lunch.
Keith was working from home, so I took advantage and snuck out later in the afternoon for a walk with a friend.
Dinner was a Slow Cooker Turkey Breast! Yep, you can easily make a turkey dinner on a weeknight by using the Crock Pot and a few shortcuts. You only need about 10 minutes of prep to get the turkey breast in the slow cooker, and the leftovers are great in sandwiches the next day.
I paired the turkey with my 3-Ingredient Cranberry Orange Sauce, store-bought mashed potatoes, gravy and a salad.
The boys and I had some time to kill in Culpeper on Friday morning while the dog was at the groomer, so we met our friends at the gym, made a Target run, and then grabbed lunch at Panera.
This basically sums up shopping with three boys -- candy in the cart and Spencer upside down...
Broccoli Cheese Soup + Baguette + Salad hit the spot on a rainy day!
Dinner that night was Baked Salmon...
...served with couscous and Southern Slow Cooker Green Beans.
Saturday was all about basketball! Spencer had his first practice in the morning, and then we all went to cheer on Gibbs and Casey for their game at lunchtime. Since it's a 3rd and 4th grade division, we're lucky to have them both on the same team this season. It makes our weekly practice and game schedule so much easier.
I was ready for a night off from cooking, so we picked up pizzas for dinner and called it a night!
And that's where I'll leave it for the week! We're winding up our Christmas vacation, packing the book bags, and getting the boys ready to return to school tomorrow. It's been a wonderful holiday, but I'm looking forward to the regular routine again. Have a great week, and thanks for stopping by!