Good morning and happy Sunday! We're wrapping up a week full of sick kiddos, basketball games, and plenty of sweet treats. All of the highlights from the past few days, 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 met my girlfriend for a cloudy, chilly walk on Sunday morning, before returning home to spend a couple of hours testing recipes in the kitchen.
While I cooked, the boys played -- and Teddy desperately tried to join in on the fun. Caught in the process of trying to steal a Lego!
Keith and Gibbs picked up sandwiches for lunch at The Market in Ruckersville while they were out, and brought back "The Jefferson" for me: maple turkey, cranberry relish, cheddar, lettuce and herb mayonnaise on French baguette. Great combo!!!
I also finished another book that afternoon! Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown is a novel about a modern-day woman and aspiring author who finds inspiration in hidden notes left by her home’s previous owner, a quintessential 1950s housewife. As she discovers remarkable parallels between this woman’s life and her own, it causes her to question the foundation of her own relationship with her husband--and what it means to be a wife fighting for her place in a patriarchal society.
I really enjoyed the story, but I wouldn't say that it was my favorite. It's a fun read with some vintage recipes and a peek into life in the 1950s (which I found really interesting), but I felt like the ending needed some better closure. If you've read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Spencer's definitely a child after my own heart. He spent most of the day outside running around with his brothers, and then came inside, marched upstairs, and changed into his pajamas for the evening...at 2:00 in the afternoon! It's never too early for jammies as far as I'm concerned.😂
Our dinner that night was completely designed by Keith! He smoked ribs, and requested mac and cheese, baked potatoes, and salad for the sides. I also set out some leftover Three Bean Salad and coleslaw from the day before. A delicious meal that required little effort on my part and that all of the boys enjoyed...I'll call it a win!
The boys had the day off from school on Monday for President's Day, so they joined me at the gym in the morning, where they played with their friends in the kids' room while I walked on the track with my girlfriend.
As usual, I treated them to a stop at the Dunkin Donuts across the street before we made our way back home. Coffee for me, festive strawberry donuts for them!
The sun was out and the day warmed up nicely, so we spent a lot of the afternoon outside at home (walking the dog, playing in the stream, etc) before making dinner and hustling out the door to basketball practice.
I made Dump-and-Bake General Tso Chicken that evening, which I served with rice, steamed broccoli and spring rolls.
The boys returned to school on Tuesday morning and I headed to the gym for a strength class with a friend. Back home, I made my mom's classic Strawberry Pie (the summer dessert of my childhood!) so that I can share it here on the blog in the coming weeks. Guess what we had for dessert that night?!
After lunch I took the dog for a hike in the woods -- once again, taking advantage of the unseasonably warm February weather before the rain arrived that evening.
For dinner I made this meatloaf, but I baked it in the oven (according to the recipe notes) instead of the Crock Pot, since the oven was more convenient on that particular day. We served the meatloaf with mashed potatoes, peas, and crescent rolls.
Wednesday started with a walk at my friend's farm, before I eventually made my way to Charlottesville.
I met my parents for lunch at Timberwood Grill, stopped in Target to pick up supplies for Gibbs' school project, and bought bagels at Panera.
The House Salad plus "The Hercules" sandwich -- Thinly sliced roast beef, truffle horseradish mayo, and melted Swiss cheese all piled onto a toasted sub roll and served with homemade French Onion soup for dipping.
Dinner that night was a pot of Chicken Pot Pie Soup with biscuits and a simple green salad on the side. Love a soup and salad dinner at this time of year!
It was a nice run, but our family's healthy streak came to an abrupt end on Thursday when Casey stayed home from school. It was nice while it lasted! He had complained about a sore throat for a couple of days, but had no other symptoms and kept saying that he felt fine. I decided to take him in for a strep test on Thursday, just to make sure that his sore throat didn't need more attention, and sure enough it was positive. No school for this kiddo on Thursday or Friday -- which he was thrilled about, since he really felt okay otherwise and spent a lot of time outside shooting baskets.
While we were out, my friend Jackie dropped off a plate of her homemade Chocolate Caramel Pretzel cookies, which were delicious! She used a regular chocolate chip cookie recipe, but added bits of pretzels to the dough and used Nestle Toll House Sea Salt Caramel Filled Baking Truffles instead of regular chocolate chips. Perfect mix of salty and sweet!
I made my 20-Minute Garlic Shrimp Skillet for dinner (the kids definitely picked around the mushrooms, which was fine -- left more for me!).
On the side, we had this Basil and Herb Pearled Couscous as well as French-cut green beans. The kids have been requesting the couscous for ages (it tastes a lot like pesto), and since I can't find it in our little local grocery store, I ordered a multi-pack recently on Amazon. You'll be seeing it again soon, I'm sure!
Casey seemed to be feeling fine on Friday, but he stayed home to give the antibiotics more time to work (and to avoid sharing germs at school). Fortunately, Keith was working at home that day so Casey could stay at the house with him while I spent the morning at the car dealer in Culpeper getting my car serviced, inspected, and dressed in new tires. Not fun, but necessary -- and the free coffee, wi-fi, and baked goods don't hurt!
My girlfriend came over for a walk after lunch, and then before I knew it, Spencer was arriving home on the school bus. The days disappear! Gibbs spent the night at a friend's house, where they burned a brush pile and toasted s'mores.
Meanwhile, I prepared a quick dinner for the rest of us before I had to leave for the night. I worked at the Father-Daughter Dance at the school (on behalf of the PTO), which is always a sweet event.
Our dinner included cheese quesadillas, which I paired with tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole, and Black Bean and Corn Salad.
Saturday was non-stop -- packed full of errands (bank, grocery store), laundry, two basketball games, and work on a school project with Gibbs.
By the time dinner rolled around, I was tired and ready for a night off from the kitchen...so take-out pizza was the perfect solution. Keith and I shared a Hawaiian pizza, which we haven't had in ages...but we're bringing it back! I love the combination of sweet pineapple with salty ham and smoky bacon. Plus side salads for some green!
And that's all for now! Thanks so much for stopping by to join me for a little catch-up today. I hope that you've found some easy meal inspiration for your own week ahead!