Good morning, and happy Sunday! I'm checking in today after a fairly quiet week that included some hiking, loads of apples, a new book, and plenty of good 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…
Sunday morning was wet and cool, so we started the day with a cozy breakfast of fluffy blueberry pancakes and bacon.
Once the rain stopped, we took advantage of the cooler temps and went for a hike on a mountain trail at Finks Hollow here in Madison (it connects with Big Meadows on Skyline Drive, but we didn't make it quite that far).
Keith smoked chicken for dinner that evening,
which we paired with Sauteed Zucchini and Squash,
and Spoon Bread.
Book time! I finished Louise Penny's The Beautiful Mystery this week, which is the eighth novel in her Chief Inspector Gamache series. I really love these mysteries, but I have to admit -- this one was not my favorite. It wasn't bad (her work is always really well done), but I just didn't get into the story as much as I usually do. I was missing the characters from the town of Three Pines, since this book took place solely at a monastery in Quebec.
Such a pretty Sunday evening...
The kids and I headed south on Monday morning to visit my parents for the day.
They just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary (!!), and while we couldn't have any big parties or go on any big celebratory trips this year, we figured that we could at least bring them a meal and wish them congratulations! I used the leftover smoked chicken from the night before to make Chicken Salad for sandwiches, which we enjoyed with local ripe nectarines and potato chips.
Plus an old-fashioned Orange Juice Cake for dessert, which is so easy (it starts with a box of cake mix). I'll share the recipe soon!
Back home, I served meatball subs for dinner -- a kids' request -- as well as salad on the side. This is one of those quick meals that every single one of my boys loves (in other words, I need to remember to make them more often)!
Tuesday was another beautiful day!
When it warmed up, we joined our friends at their farm for a swim in the pool. Our pool club is now closed during the week for the last part of the summer, since the lifeguards returned to college. The seasons are changing...
I kept dinner simple that night and took advantage of the Papa Weaver's fresh pork sausage that I picked up from the farmer's market. We had breakfast for dinner -- a batch of my favorite Southern Buttermilk Biscuits,
plus Fried Apples on the side. I served a salad as well so that I felt better about having something green on our plates!
Wednesday was a pretty quiet one at home, including a couple of dog walks once the rain stopped, laundry (always so many loads!), and recipe testing in the kitchen.
We got out for a short hike in the woods later that afternoon when the kids started to get restless...
You know that you live in a house full of boys when you find G.I. Joe figures in odd places (like a cookbook shelf in my office)!😍
Dinner that night was a family favorite: Crispy Fried Chicken,
served with Potato Salad,
and a loaf of No-Knead Bread.
Thursday was sunny and cool...it was in the low 80's and almost felt like fall! Naturally, we met friends at the apple orchard to pick some of the season's first Honey Crisp apples. Definitely my favorite time of year!
The apples were almost too easy to pick! The kids grabbed about 20 lbs. worth in a matter of about 5-10 minutes. I'm going to be busy in the kitchen in the next week or so...
I made Stuffed Peppers with Rice for dinner that evening, which we paired with a simple green salad on the side.
I worked on a few projects that kept me busy all of Friday morning, and the kids seemed happy to play at the house.
My basil is thriving at the moment, so I'm constantly looking for ways to take advantage of it! I made pesto that afternoon and used the pesto in my mom's Shrimp with Ravioli recipe for dinner. We also had garlic bread and a salad on the side. This meal was a big hit with all of my boys!
Saturday morning farmer's market pickup: flowers, eggs, tomatoes and peaches!
Plus a walk in the woods with my boys...who refuse to stand still for a photo.
Keith and Gibbs went to a classic car show that afternoon, while I stayed home to can apple butter. It simmered in my slow cooker all morning, making the house smell amazing. Wish I could turn that aroma into a candle!😂
I also made a quick pot of applesauce on the stovetop to have with dinner that night. Taking advantage of some of the apples that we brought home earlier in the week...
In addition to the applesauce, we had Grilled Pork Chops for dinner...
...as well as Cucumber Salad,
and Drop Biscuits with our homemade apple butter. I'll share that easy biscuit recipe soon (just stir-and-bake)!
There you go, friends! I hope that you've found a little bit of meal inspiration for your own week ahead. Thank you for joining me here again this Sunday! I'm so appreciative of each and every one of you, and I always love hearing from you in the comments. Let me know what you're excited to make for dinner in the coming week!