Good morning, happy Sunday and happy Mother's Day! We're celebrating the end of the kids' school year, a birthday, a new book, delicious food, and fresh haircuts this week (simple pleasures)! 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...
After a morning walk, I dropped off some flowers at a friend's house for her birthday, and then returned home to bake some brownies (for a picnic the next day). Why make them from scratch when these are soooo good? The key is under-baking them so that they stay soft and gooey on the inside!
We cleaned the bathrooms (ugh) and then Keith went to Culpeper to pick up bagels from Panera and subs for lunch. Just like last Sunday, I had my favorite -- a classic tuna salad with pretzels on the side.
Keith gave the boys some much-needed haircuts while it rained that afternoon, and then we all made it out for a short walk before supper. That beautiful evening light!
It was nice and warm out, so we had grilled steaks for dinner,
along with Baked Potato Wedges...
...and Sauteed Spinach with Garlic.
I couldn't believe how green everything looked on Monday morning!
Thunderstorms rolled through the night before, so the combination of the rain and the early morning sunlight made Mother Nature look like she was positively glowing!
As soon as the boys got their school work done for the day, we headed south to my parents' house for a "socially distant" birthday picnic to celebrate my mom's special day.
Thank goodness the weather cooperated, because we just stayed outside in their backyard for the afternoon and feasted on Mom's favorite foods! My aunt brought the fried chicken and a fruit salad, while I made pimento cheese, crackers and potato salad.
I brought brownies for dessert, along with a sour cherry pie that my neighbor made for us that morning. We all agreed that it was one of the best sour cherry pies that we'd ever had. Such a treat!
We arrived home late afternoon...still pretty full from our big lunch. Since I knew that we'd probably want something on the lighter side, I planned to serve Salmon with Dill Sauce for dinner...
...along with rice and roasted asparagus. Perfect spring meal!
The sun was out long enough on Tuesday morning for me to walk the dog while I chatted on the phone with a friend...and then the rain arrived for the rest of the day.
I walked over to my neighbor's farm after lunch to pick up our eggs for the week, and I was treated to two little surprises. First, Fannie left out a bunch of her home-grown asparagus for me to bring home; and second, I noticed that the first few peonies were blooming in her garden! Fannie has about 25 more peony bushes in various shades of pink in her big garden, so every spring I anxiously await the days when they all "pop."
Since it was Cinco de Mayo, we enjoyed a Mexican-inspired dinner that night. I made Crock Pot Chicken Nachos...
and served them with Pico de Gallo and corn on the side.
Wednesday was another routine day at home -- filled with school, work, cleaning, cooking, eating and laundry...all of the usual fun.
I did manage to finish another book, though! Clementine is a biography of Winston Churchill's wife, Clementine Churchill. While it got off to a bit of a slow start, I became fascinated by the Churchill's lives, the role that Clementine played in shaping her husband's career, and the behind-the-scenes look at World War II from the British perspective. The book explores the Churchill's relationship with the Roosevelts during the war, the arc of their children's lives, and the unusual dynamics that shaped the Churchill's marriage. I'd definitely recommend this one!
It was chilly and damp that day, so I planned a cozy dinner that could simmer on the stovetop for most of the afternoon. Keith's in full grilling-and-smoking mode for the warmer weather ahead, but I haven't quite let go of some of my favorite comfort foods yet! We had Beef Ragù over pasta, along with Caesar salad, garlic bread, and sautéed zucchini. I prefer the stovetop method for making the ragù when I know that I'll be home all afternoon, but there's also a slow cooker version if that's more convenient.
Big excitement from Thursday -- Teddy got a haircut for the first time in months! We were just happy to be able to see his eyes again.😉
In between Lego-playing and Zoom calls for each of the boys, we took full advantage of the beautiful day with a couple of sunny walks.
Keith was gone for dinner that night (social distancing while watching a movie outside at a farm with his guy friends), so the boys and I were on our own. I took full advantage of a night off from the kitchen and let the kids choose the carryout. They opted for Chinese food, so we all shared an array of spring rolls, sesame chicken, rice, and a seafood combo that included shrimp, scallops and crab.
Friday marked the last day of the boys' official distance-learning school year. I'm not sure who was more excited -- me or the kids! We celebrated with leftover Chinese food and a semi-homemade pizza for lunch. Hah!
Bright spots in the backyard on a cool, rainy afternoon...
I continued my comfort food theme with Easy Chicken Pot Pie for dinner that night. My mom's recipe never disappoints!
We paired the pot pie with Pumpkin Bread,
Brown Sugar Roasted Carrots and a salad.
Yesterday was a pretty quiet day at the house.
After a short morning walk with Teddy, I spent time in the kitchen baking myself a cake for Mother's Day (more on that next week), while Keith mowed the grass, played Monopoly with the boys, and picked up our order from the farmer's market.
A noteworthy and very delicious grilled pimento cheese sandwich on homemade bread for lunch!
Keith was excited to smoke chicken thighs for dinner that evening, so we paired his barbecue chicken with a salad (that's apple butter on top of my cornbread below),
as well as Skillet Cornbread,
and this recipe for Asparagus Baked in Foil, which I found in my most recent issue of Cook's Country magazine. I wanted to use the asparagus that my neighbor gave me, but I was interested in doing something different than just the regular roasted recipe that I always use. I didn't have any capers or shallots, so I left the capers out and just used chives instead of the shallots. Loved the combination of butter, garlic, fresh dill and lemon juice for a nice change of pace!
And that's where I'll leave it for the week. Thanks, as always, for spending some time here with me today. I hope that you have a really delicious week ahead! Please know that I appreciate each one of you and love hearing from you every Sunday in the comments. 😍