Good morning, and happy Sunday! It was a fairly uneventful week around here; however, I still managed to document our tasty food and local adventures. 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…
We started our Sunday morning bright and early with a hike to Hawksbill Summit on Skyline Drive. This mountain marks the line between Madison County (where we live) and Page County, and is the highest point in Shenandoah National Park!
The local hikes have been even more crowded than usual this summer, so we've learned that we need to beat the tourists by hitting the trails early in the day if we want to avoid other people.
It was sunny, a cool 68 degrees, and absolutely beautiful at the top of the Blue Ridge.
We picked up sandwiches from The Market in Ruckersville on the way home, and enjoyed a picnic lunch in the shade at the table in our backyard. I had "The Afton" sandwich, which was basically a reuben: corned beef, coleslaw and Swiss cheese on rye. Plus the green beans that came with Spencer's fried chicken because he wouldn't touch them, and a local Honey Crisp apple because it's the best time of the year!
Keith grilled steak for dinner that night,
which we served with corn muffins (that I had stashed in the freezer) and fresh corn on the cob,
Braised Red Cabbage (because I had just picked up a red cabbage at the farmer's market the day before),
Monday -- you know it's going to be hot and humid when it looks this hazy at 7:00 a.m.!😩
We spent the morning at the pool with friends, then picked up a grocery order on the way home.
Frozen turkey breasts were on sale last week, so I grabbed one of those and made my Slow Cooker Turkey Breast for dinner that night. This is a great option when you want to free up oven space for Thanksgiving, but it's also a nice alternative to roasting a turkey when it's 90+ degrees outside and you don't want to have your oven cranking for hours. The skin doesn't get crispy in the Crock Pot (so I just pull it off at the end), but the meat is incredibly flavorful and juicy.
I paired the turkey with green beans,
a box of Stove Top stuffing that I found in the pantry, canned cranberry sauce, and our favorite 2-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins. It was like a mini Thanksgiving feast with minimal effort!
The kids and I were ready for a quiet day at home on Tuesday. I did some cooking for the blog in the morning, and then stayed busy ordering new shoes and school supplies for the boys (among other tasks that I had to check off my list) while it stormed that afternoon.
I also finished a new book! I purchased Potluck and Pandemonium when it popped up as a recommended read on Amazon. Clearly Amazon knows that I like mysteries and cooking, because this murder mystery also includes recipes in the back of the book! The story was cute, and it was a very light, quick read. I wouldn't say that it's high quality writing, but it was entertaining nonetheless. It's definitely highly rated on Amazon (5 stars)! I haven't yet decided whether I'll read the subsequent books in the Sweetwater Springs Southern Mystery series, but it was fun to try out a new author.
I made Chicken and Rice Casserole for dinner, which I paired with side salads for some added greens. I'm definitely itching for some cooler weather and the return of comfort food dinners...can you tell?!😊
I baked a batch of Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins for breakfast on Wednesday -- kids' request!
We then spent another very hot morning at the pool. Not much else to do when I need to wear out the boys!
Dinner was one of my all-time favorites -- my grandmother's Baked Eggplant Parmesan! The kids tolerate this dish, especially when I pair it with spaghetti and marinara, so that's exactly what I did. Plus garlic bread and salad on the side.
Thursday was cloudy and rainy, so our only outings were short walks up the road with the dog and a quick trip to the vet to pick up Teddy's flea and tick meds.
The boys suggested tacos for dinner, which sounded like a tasty, easy option to me!
We paired the tacos with tortilla chips, salsa, and homemade guac.
Blue skies reappeared after dinner!
I got everyone out of the house for a walk in the woods early on Friday morning. I needed to get some work done, and I know that exercise first thing helps the kids (and the dog) play quietly inside.
We dropped Teddy off at the groomer for the afternoon, and stopped in Yoder's to pick up country ham (necessities).😂
On the dinner menu: Italian Sausages with Peppers, plus gnocchi and a salad on the side.
It was cloudy and rainy on Saturday morning, but finally cool enough to open the house for the first time in months. Nothing beats (less humid) fresh air!
Keith picked up our order from the farmer's market that morning, and then we all headed out for haircuts after lunch. My hair dresser cuts hair at her house, so we don't have to risk going to a more public or crowded salon. Even so, this was the first time the boys have had "real" haircuts in 6 months. While Keith did a great job of keeping them somewhat trimmed, I figured it was time for a clean-up from a professional if they're heading back to school in a few weeks.😊
This week's haul included peaches, tomatoes, corn, squash, eggs, blueberries and a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
Dinner was another kid request: grilled hamburgers!
I paired the burgers with Baked Potato Wedges, corn on the cob, and fresh tomato slices.
That's it for now, friends! I hope that you've had a great weekend and that you're looking forward to some tasty meals in the days ahead. I'd love to know what's on your menu, too. Any favorites or regular kid requests in your house?! Have a wonderful day!