Good morning, and happy Sunday! It was another pretty routine summer week around here, complete with sweaty time outdoors, a new book, and lots of tasty food! 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…
With triple-digit temperatures almost every day this week, it was difficult to do much outside -- unless it involved water! Sunday was no exception, so I took the dog out for a short walk after breakfast, and then spent most of the day in the cool air conditioning. I stayed busy testing recipes while Keith and the boys played Monopoly and watched movies.
My neighbor messaged me that afternoon to let me know that she had a couple of pounds of tomatoes for me, so I ventured out before supper to pick them up at her farm.
I also snuck in a quick hike in the shady woods just before some thunderstorms rolled through!
Keith made our kids' favorite Grilled Scallops that night (so easy -- just 4 ingredients and 10 minutes!),
which I served with Parmesan Risotto (I'll share my simple recipe soon),
and Sautéed Zucchini.
Another neighbor was selling her blackberries at the farmer's market last weekend, so I scooped up a few pints of those and used them to make my favorite Blackberry Cobbler for dessert!
Not too much to report from Monday -- I had a checkup at my doctor's office in Charlottesville (long overdue from last spring), so Keith took off from work and went to the pool with the boys. Formerly simple things like doctor's appointments have now become quite tricky, since the kids are home all of the time and we don't have access to regular babysitters. Fortunately, Keith's job has been relatively flexible and I was able to escape for multiple appointments this week.
I finished another book that day, too! Apparently this has turned into The Summer of Ann Patchett, since I've now read three of her novels over the past couple months. It started with The Dutch House (my favorite), and then Commonwealth (also good), and most recently The Magician's Assistant. This was recommended by a blog reader, and while it was beautifully written, the storyline wasn't my favorite. The whole book just felt really heavy and sad, so I wasn't as excited to pick it up as I normally might be. Do you have any other Patchett favorites that I should try? I've already read Bel Canto, but I've also heard great things about State of Wonder.
I made Honey Mustard Chicken for dinner that evening,
along with Southern Squash Casserole (so many of you have been enjoying this recently!),
and mashed potatoes.
I chatted with a friend on the phone while I walked the dog very early on Tuesday morning, and then basically stayed tucked indoors for the rest of the day.
It looked nice out there, but it sure felt miserable!
I purchased a package of homemade pasta at the farmer's market last weekend, so I served spaghetti with meat sauce for dinner. Plus garlic bread and salad on the side! This is always a hit with my boys...
Wednesday was another uneventful day at home!
We cancelled our afternoon pool plans when thunderstorms rolled through after lunch, so instead I caught up on some work around the house. Meanwhile, Gibbs participated in his online camp and the younger boys played countless rounds of Legos and army men.
After the rain...
I made Pecan-Crusted Chicken for dinner, which we enjoyed with rice, buttermilk biscuits, sliced tomatoes with basil...
...and a green salad with cucumbers, feta, blackberries and this peach dressing that I picked up at Yoder's. The sweet salad dressing paired really well with the savory pecan chicken!
I made the drive into Charlottesville on Thursday for a check up at the dermatologist.
A delicious Chik-Fil-A sandwich for lunch while I was in town. That drive-thru was crazy busy!
The boys were very excited to find a snake in the woods that afternoon. And don't worry -- I did not actually take a picture of the snake! I was too busy staying farrrr away...
We had Steak Fajitas for dinner,
which I paired with tortilla chips, salsa, and homemade guacamole. This meal always reminds me of my younger brother -- it was his birthday request each year when we were growing up.🥰
On Friday, the kids and I joined our friends for a (muggy) hike up a mountain on their farm. It was a pretty long one, and the little guys were troopers! We came home very sweaty and ready for a quiet afternoon indoors...
I made pizza for dinner that night -- just simple cheese with fresh basil. I've been tweaking my homemade crust recipe, so I'm excited to share that with you soon. I've had plenty of willing taste-testers to give me feedback along the way!
Saturday morning included a walk with a friend and a farmer's market pick-up. I ordered this beautiful bouquet of flowers, along with loads of peaches, blueberries, blackberries, corn and zucchini. 'Tis the season!
I also snapped this pic of the hydrangeas near our porch swing. I had to show my mom that the plant she bought for me a few years ago is actually blooming (in my yard, with my not-so-green thumb, this is a small miracle)!
Keith smoked a pork shoulder all day, so we had pulled pork for dinner (here's my Crock Pot recipe),
Crock Pot Mac and Cheese, and fresh corn on the cob.
And that's it for the week! I hope that you've found some new ideas to try in your own kitchen in the days ahead. Take care, and thank you for joining me here today!