Good morning, and happy Sunday! It was another week at home -- complete with plenty of walks outside, sweet treats, and a Memorial Day picnic. 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 gray and cool, but it didn't rain! I met a friend for an early walk on the trails, and then returned home to the kitchen. Meanwhile, Keith was happy to finally get the 10-year-old involved in some real work outside!
Our cookie jar was empty (the horror!), so I made a double batch of the kids' favorite chocolate-covered graham crackers...
...as well as a loaf of Morning Glory Farm Zucchini Bread. That bread is one of our favorite summer treats, so I figured it was an appropriate way to welcome Memorial Day.
The whole family went for a walk on a country backroad near our house after lunch.
We visited with some very friendly cows (and their babies)...
...and Casey spent the whole time climbing through poison ivy to get to the honeysuckle.🙄
Grilled Beef Shish Kabobs were on the dinner menu, which I paired with basmati rice and a big green salad.
Monday was Memorial Day!
We had a quiet morning at home, so I walked the dog and gathered random "flowers" (or weeds) along the way...while Gibbs just rolled his eyes and looked at me like I was crazy.
I prepped some food for our little family cookout that evening, and Keith drove up to Culpeper to pick up bagels (to stash in the freezer) and subs for lunch. My usual order: a classic tuna salad sandwich...
Another afternoon walk, and another field of cows.
Followed by a perfect Memorial Day cookout! Since we had steak the night before, I switched it up and made Salmon Burgers on Monday. SO good!
Plus Baked Potato Wedges and salad on the side.
Paired with a cold glass of Blackberry Lemonade for a refreshing treat,
and Blueberry Buckle for dessert. It may not have been a big, festive holiday party, but we made the most of our family picnic at home.
A short Tuesday morning dog walk up the street...
...followed by bikes and scooters at the school.
Taking advantage of a beautiful 80-degree day!
I made Parmesan Ranch Chicken Tenders for lunch, along with a new mashed potato recipe that I was testing.
Since we had a bigger mid-day meal, I wasn't in the mood for cooking much that evening. The kids requested Macaroni and Cheese,
...so I paired that with a side of Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Casserole for an easy meal.
I finished another book that evening! My mom loaned me Death in a Cold Hard Light by Francine Mathews, which is actually book #4 in the Merry Folger Nantucket mystery series. I haven't read any of the preceding novels, but it didn't really seem to matter. I picked right up with the characters and the story, and really enjoyed the smart writing and the suspenseful plot. If you like mysteries, Mathews is definitely another author to dive into!
Wednesday was grocery shopping day, so I strapped on my mask and gloves and braved the store for our weekly re-stock. I'm always glad when that task is done!
Later in the day the boys and I got out for a short hike. It was beautiful in the woods -- cloudy and breezy, not too hot, but warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt. One of those sweet days before the heat and humidity of a Virginia summer really kicks in!
I made Shrimp and Sausage Pasta for dinner that night, but this time I used kielbasa rather than Italian sausage (at Spencer's request). An added bonus -- the recipe was even quicker to prepare because I just had to brown the sausage rounds (since they were already fully cooked). This was a big hit with all of my boys!
I served the pasta with a warm loaf of No-Knead Bread, a big green salad, and leftover zucchini casserole from the night before.
Look at the big guy that was waiting for me out the back door on Thursday morning! No, thank you.
The boys and I went over to nearby Grelen Nursery that afternoon to walk on the trails and have a change of scenery.
They loved playing in that stream, and only wished that they had on their bathing suits -- it was certainly warm enough for a swim!
We had Crispy Roast Chicken and Vegetables for dinner that night, with some rice on the side. Can't beat a classic!
Spence and I walked the dog on a very hot and humid Friday morning,
and then the kids and I met some friends at the school for bike riding (at a distance).
Since homemade pizza was such a hit last week, we repeated the meal again that night. I made a batch of this pizza dough, and topped one pie with cheese (for the boys), and made the other a Hawaiian pizza with ham and pineapple for the adults. This is the same pizza that Keith and I had on our first date almost exactly 18 years ago! Served with a salad for some green veggies on the side...
Saturday was another warm summer day!
I started my morning with an early walk with a friend, followed by a pickup from the farmer's market and a stop at Yoder's to re-stock some staples (like flour, sugar and pectin).
Keith and Gibbs went for a ride up on Skyline Drive after lunch, while Casey, Spencer and I stayed home to take care of laundry, dinner prep, and cleaning. We also snuck out for ice cream cones at the Tastee Freez walk-up window!
That chocolate dipped cone was melting so fast...I won't even tell you how much of it dripped on my white dress.🙄
Keith made Perfect 15-Minute Pork Chops for dinner, while I was in charge of the sides.
We paired the pork with a Creamed Spinach Casserole (one of my favorite veggie dishes),
a small batch of Classic Pasta Salad to use up some odds and ends in the vegetable drawer,
as well as coleslaw and dinner rolls. There was something for everyone!
And there you have it -- another week of meals at home. I hope that you've found a new idea to add to your own menu in the days ahead. Stay safe, and thanks for joining me!