Hey, friends! It was another busy-but-good week around here. Shall we jump right into the details from Our Week in Meals?
For those of you who are new around here, this is where I share a little bit about what we’ve been up to over the past week — as it relates to our meals each night. I hope that 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.
Last Sunday morning I spent some time in the kitchen making the boys' lunches for school that week, as well as stirring together a batch of snacks to keep in the refrigerator. We loved the No-Bake Blueberry Almond Energy Snacks that I shared last week, so this week I made a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip version (per Gibbs's request). They were delicious, and if you follow me on Instagram then you may have seen my boys devour almost the entire batch before I could even get them in the refrigerator. The recipe is below!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Snacks
- ⅔ cup finely chopped unsalted roasted peanuts I use my food processor for quick chopping
- ⅓ cup mini dark chocolate chips
- 1 ¼ cup old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup natural salted peanut butter
- ¼ cup honey
- Optional but recommended: ¼ teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, stir together all of the ingredients until completely combined.
- Use a small ice cream scoop or spoon to scoop out the mixture into individual portions. Use your hands to roll it into balls and place on a rimmed baking sheet or small baking pan.
- Tip: Keep your hands damp with water so that the mixture doesn’t stick to your fingers and it’s easy to roll into balls.
- Place balls in the refrigerator to set for about 1 hour. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week (but they probably won’t last that long)!
Mid-morning my friends Mollie and Maggie came over for a visit. They both had husbands out of town last weekend, so they brought their kids over to play outside while the three of us walked along our fence line, got some exercise, and chatted.
Since the weather was cooler again, I thought that roasted chicken and veggies sounded good for supper. You can see the general recipe that I use in THIS POST, although I mix it up with whatever veggies and herbs I have on hand. For this meal we had roasted broccoli, carrots, onion, and sweet potato with the chicken and a loaf of Italian bread. Always an easy crowd-pleaser in our house!
Did you watch the Oscars that night? I was exhausted and nursing a head cold, so I climbed in bed as soon as the kids were asleep, watched a few minutes of the pre-show, and crashed around 8:00 p.m.!
Spence and I spent Monday morning playing at home until my mom arrived for a visit mid-day.
My car needed some routine maintenance, so we dropped it off at the dealer in Culpeper and then killed time in town while we waited for the work to be done. Spencer requested Subway for lunch, where he got his usual turkey and cheese combo with Sun Chips and Mom and I shared a Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sandwich.
We also made a Target afterwards. This photo is a very accurate depiction of how that went...
He really does NOT like shopping.
The older boys were thrilled to see that my Mom bought them the Trolls movie!
Dinner that night was a favorite from my own childhood -- Stovetop Chuckwagon Mac! So darn easy, and the kids LOVE it! I served the meal with a salad on the side.
Tuesday was kind of a crazy day. I walked with friends, had an acupuncture appointment while Spence was at school, joined a business conference call, and took a mid-afternoon break to inspect a new delivery from my friends at Arctic Zero. They wanted me to try out the new flavors that they are rolling out, and I happily obliged! For those of you who are not familiar with Arctic Zero, these are healthier frozen desserts that are low glycemic, lactose free, gluten free, and GMO free. They're also low calorie and full of protein and fiber!
Cake Batter Bars Dipped in Red Velvet; Rocky Road Trip; Peanut Butter Swirl; and Cherry Chocolate Chunk
Both of my older boys had friends come over after school, so five boys running around made for a busy afternoon.
It was pajama day at school.????
Dinner was easy, though -- turkey soft tacos! Served with diced avocado, chips, and salsa. The kids were very happy with this meal, and round 2 re-heated easily when Keith got home late from work.
Spencer and I spent Wednesday morning running errands in Charlottesville. I hadn't been grocery shopping in a week, so our kitchen was in need of some re-stocking. I also needed to shop for the baby shower brunch that I hosted this weekend, so it was a longer-than-usual outing...and this guy didn't necessarily enjoy it!
We hit both Costco and the regular grocery store...
I have a new snack find to share, too! I took a gamble when I bought a giant case of these bars at Costco, but it worked out well because the boys loooooove them. They each had two bars that afternoon before I cut them off and wouldn't let them eat a third before dinner.???? They remind me of Kellogg's NutriGrain bars, but with a better list of ingredients.
The weather was almost 80 degrees that day (so weird in March!), so a big salad sounded good for dinner. I also found a can of Sriracha almonds in the back of my pantry recently, so I pulled together my Thai Chicken and Quinoa Salad Bowls. Since my boys don't necessarily want to eat a giant bed of shredded cabbage for supper, I used the leftover tortillas from Tuesday's dinner and turned their ingredients into Thai Chicken Wraps. I made the dressing with peanut butter instead of almond butter, and it tasted amazing. An easy swap if that's what you have on hand!
Thursday was a pretty standard day -- I walked in the morning while Spence was at school, made a pasta salad to photograph before picking him up, and ate leftover Thai Chicken and Quinoa Salad for lunch. Two food highlights from the day, though:
We had these Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches for dinner,
followed by the new Peanut Butter Swirl Arctic Zero. This was peanut butter and white chips swirled in vanilla, and it tasted delicious!
Friday was an exciting day because the schools in Madison closed at noon. The high school boys' basketball team made it to the State playoffs, and the quarterfinal game was on Friday afternoon at 2:30 in Harrisonburg.
Gibbs and Casey know some of the players on the team and the coach is their P.E. teacher, so they were really excited to go. We had a quick lunch at Subway (again!),
and then headed about 45 minutes west over the mountains. The game was at James Madison University's basketball arena, which the kids thought was very cool.
We snacked on Skittles and a container of popcorn, although Spencer dropped half of the popcorn on the ground as soon as he sat down. Can you see it on the floor?!???? His brothers were NOT impressed...
We made it home around supper time, so I was very glad that dinner was waiting for us when we arrived. I wanted to try out a new recipe from Aunt Bee, so I made Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Alabama White Barbecue Sauce. Details coming soon -- it was great! I served the boys' barbecue on sandwich rolls with potato chips and raw veggies on the side.
On Saturday morning I co-hosted a baby shower with my friend Hope, which was such a fun way to spend the day! We divided the labor -- I was in charge of the food, while Hope opened her house to all of the guests. Between juggling her three kids, cleaning her house, organizing the cocktails, and setting her dining room table with china, she definitely had the harder job. Her home is beautiful!
We spent the morning drinking Bloody Mary's and Mimosas and laughing until our stomachs hurt! I kept the brunch menu super simple:
Baked Ham and Cheese Omelet (I doubled the recipe to feed our crowd)
Cheddar, Chive and Bacon Biscuits (I made these in advance and kept them in the freezer to avoid last minute baking)
Easy Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Bread (I also baked this in advance)
and for dessert I just bought lemon sorbet, fresh raspberries, and Madeleine cookies. It all tasted great together, and it was incredibly easy to coordinate. I had a blast with my girlfriends, but then it was back home to reality: sweatpants, laundry, cranky children, and dinner to cook.
Keith grilled salmon that evening, while I prepared a spinach salad and couscous on the side.
Always hits the spot!
I'm taking care of some chores around the house this morning and looking forward to dinner with friends this evening. Have a great week ahead!