Good morning, and happy Sunday! We enjoyed the boys’ first week of “summer break” with a low-key Mother’s Day celebration, strawberry picking, and plenty of delicious sweet treats and simple meals. 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…
Sunday was Mother’s Day, so I started off the morning with the breakfast that I wanted: a slice of Blueberry Bread, along with a bowl of Greek yogurt topped with maple syrup, fresh blueberries and homemade granola. Plus a sunny backdrop!
My girlfriend came over for a walk, which was such a treat to see someone in person. We just kept a safe distance apart and enjoyed the fresh air!
I also baked myself a cake for Mother’s Day!😂 Hey, someone’s gotta do it! This was the best Carrot Cake (and so simple) — enjoyed as an afternoon snack on the front porch. I’ll share my go-to recipe in the coming weeks.
For dinner, Keith made Grilled Scallops…
…which we paired with a loaf of No-Knead Bread that I baked that morning,
as well as Sauteed Kale with Bacon. That bread is to-die-for, y’all! I’ve made more loaves over the past couple of weeks than I can even count. A loaf is basically gone in one day around here, so please give it a try and let me know what you think!
My boys know that soft-serve ice cream is one of my favorite foods on the planet, so for Mother’s Day I got my very own soft-serve maker!
I didn’t even know that these existed, but boy am I happy about the new revelation. Cone and sprinkles for dessert! It was a little too soft on our first try, so that was a good excuse to keep working on it (and to make sure that the bowl was more frozen the next time).
When I took Teddy out for his morning walk on Monday, we came across more critters than I would have liked…including a mole, flocks of purple martin birds, and a rabbit that was not the least bit afraid of the dog.
That bunny taunted Teddy for most of our walk, hopping just ahead of us on the gravel road knowing very well that Teddy was on a leash. My poor terrier was going crazy!
I actually had somewhere to go that day, too — which was kind of a weird feeling since I’ve had a blank calendar for almost 2 months now. After cleaning the kitchen in the morning, I fed everyone an early lunch and then headed off to a noon dentist appointment. It was just a routine cleaning, but the process sure felt different…including waiting in my car in the parking lot until they were ready to see me (instead of going into a waiting room).
I thawed some ground beef from the freezer for dinner that night and made my Quick and Easy Amish Hamburger Casserole. We paired the pasta with a salad and garlic bread (also from the freezer). It had been over a week since our last grocery run, so we were down to the bare bones with fresh ingredients and glad to still have a head of lettuce in the fridge.
Teddy was obviously NOT interested in going on a walk with me on Tuesday morning!
Nevertheless, I dragged him up the street while I chatted with a friend on the phone, and then made a run to the grocery store to re-stock our pantry, fridge and freezer for the week ahead.
Afternoon walk with the boys…in my effort to get them off of the Xbox and computers for a little while!
We had Hawaiian Kielbasa Kabobs for dinner that night, along with rice, salad and crescent rolls.
The morning clouds eventually parted and Wednesday shaped up to be another gorgeous spring day! I started my morning with an early walk on the trails with my friend Ashley (at a safe distance!), which was so nice — we hadn’t seen each other in months.
I took the boys to the school parking lot to ride their bikes and scooters in the afternoon (since that activity requires a paved road), and then returned home to get dinner in the oven. We had a Dump-and-Bake Cool Ranch Chicken Casserole, along with salad, corn and seasoned black beans.
I finished another book that evening, which I really enjoyed. Night of Miracles is the sequel to Elizabeth Berg’s The Story of Arthur Truluv. I read the first book last year, but only recently realized that there are even more novels to follow. These stories suck you into the heartwarming small town of Mason, Missouri, where you instantly fall in love with Berg’s characters. They are quick reads that will keep you turning the pages and wishing for more!
Strawberry picking at our neighbors’ farm was our big “excitement” on Thursday!
Notice the empty buckets these two are holding — they lost interest after a few minutes and instead spent the whole time playing at the farm, looking at the chicks and ducklings, and hiding among the hay bales. Not helpful, but whatever!
Meanwhile, Casey and I were hard at work! We picked three big buckets full of berries…and there is just nothing better.
I made French Bread Pizzas for dinner,
plus a salad and zucchini fritters on the side (recipes coming soon)!
Naturally, we’ve got big plans for strawberry season around here. We made the most amazing Skillet Strawberry Crisp for dessert (because I had the few ingredients that I needed in my pantry), and Casey has requested Strawberry Shortcakes for his birthday on Monday. I’ll share my recipe for the Strawberry Crisp this coming Thursday, so stay tuned for that!
Warm, fresh homemade donuts from Yoder’s Country Market for the boys on Friday morning: cinnamon sugar, chocolate frosted and raspberry filled.
I used some of those beautiful strawberries to make a small batch of Strawberry Freezer Jam that morning as well.
The 85-degree temps made it truly feel like summer!
Keith grilled burgers for dinner,
which we served with Grilled Potatoes,
Followed by homemade vanilla soft serve for dessert. This batch was much thicker than our first attempt, so we’re on our way!
A delicious breakfast on Saturday morning: another loaf of No-Knead Bread toasted with butter and homemade strawberry jam.
I then went over to Mollie’s farm for an early walk outside. John Paul laughed when he saw me taking a photo of his hay, so I promised to give him proper credit here on the blog for those beautiful bales!😉
Behind the scenes: I fell straight into a big hole as I was walking over to the fence to snap the photo below. Hah!😂 That will teach me to look at the ground when I’m walking, rather than focusing solely on the view! Meanwhile, Teddy was desperately trying to chase the geese…
The kids and I spent the afternoon gardening now that the last frost is hopefully behind us. We planted the herb garden in the back (as well as a few tomatoes and cucumbers that Casey picked out), potted flowers for the front porch, and pulled out the cushions for the furniture. There’s a bird building a nest in that wreath, which makes me really happy.
Officially ready for porch sittin’!
Meanwhile, Keith was smoking a beef brisket for dinner. He nursed this baby almost all day (here’s my Crock Pot version)…
We paired the brisket with stovetop mac and cheese,
pumpkin bread, salad and green beans.
Phew! That felt like a busy week — even though we didn’t really go anywhere. These boys keep me on my toes! I’m feeling grateful that we’re healthy and that a handful of businesses in our part of the state are (very) slowly starting to reopen. I hope that you’re staying safe where you are and that you’re able to treat yourself to a delicious meal or two in the coming days. Hang in there, friends!❤️