Good morning, and happy Sunday! We're wrapping up the kids' last full week of summer break with pool time, sweet treats and a new book. 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…
Teddy the Yorkie turned 2 on Sunday, so the kids had a fun time showering him with stuffed toys and mini tennis balls -- all of his favorite things!
I met my friend for a walk in the woods before it got too hot, and then took the boys to the pool after lunch.
We had our favorite Glazed Salmon for dinner that night, along with rice and salad on the side.
Plus Morning Glory Muffins in the bread basket!
I dressed the salad in the best Buttermilk Dressing since I had fresh dill on hand.
And I've got another new book to share with you this week! Growing Season was one of those impulse buys from an Amazon recommendation, and it turned out to be pretty good. I couldn't decide if I loved this book or not while I was reading it. It was a feel-good story, but it wasn't very action-packed (not a page-turner like some). I've already ordered the sequel (Harvest Season), so I guess that means I enjoyed it?! This is definitely a light, fun read -- nothing too heavy, nothing too dramatic, but sometimes that's all we need.
Monday morning started bright and early with an adventure at nearby Cedar Mountain Civil War Battlefield. It was a nice change of scenery, and it's on the way to Culpeper, which was our next stop.
The woods were cool on an otherwise hot and humid day!
Never posing normally...🙄
After getting some fresh air, we made our way to the Starbucks drive-thru in Culpeper. Casey had seen a commercial for their Kiwi Starfruit Refresher drink and wanted to try it. Since I hadn't been to a Starbucks in about 6 months, I decided that was a perfect excuse to make the 35-minute drive north! I stuck with a regular vanilla iced coffee, and Casey took about 2 sips of his starfruit drink before deciding that it was gross. Oh well...now we know...😀
While we were in the "big town," we also went through the Panera Bread drive-thru to pick up bagels and lunch. Back home, I had the broccoli cheese soup with a Caesar salad and baguette. Hit the spot, and it was nice to get a break from the kitchen for one meal!
Dinner that night was a kids' request: homemade cheese pizza with fresh basil, plus salad on the side for some greens.
My neighbor called at 7 a.m. on Tuesday morning to let me know that she had plenty of corn from her garden if I wanted to come pick some up. Of course! I used the corn for dinner later that evening...
The only other notable excitement from our day came when the kids and I headed to the school to pick up the laptops that they will be using for their distance-learning days. They start classes next week on a hybrid model (a couple of days per week at school and a few days at home), so this made it more "real." Definitely a bittersweet feeling to know that our summer is coming to a close...
I made Sour Cream Chicken for dinner that night,
which we paired with Skillet Fried Corn,
"Secret Ingredient" Jiffy Cornbread, and steamed green beans with butter.
Wednesday morning -- blue skies and (slightly) cooler temps! We met my friend Ashley and her girls for a hike in the woods, which was a really fun way to get us all out of the house...especially now that the pool is closed during the week.
I baked a loaf of No-Knead Bread that afternoon so that I could use it to make grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner...
...which we paired with Tomato and Basil Soup -- a great way to take advantage of that fresh basil that's growing like crazy at the moment.
Thursday morning started with a walk outside while I chatted with my friend on the phone, followed by chores inside -- like laundry, school supply sorting, and paperwork.
The crepe myrtle trees looked so pretty against the sunrise!
I gave the kids a couple of different options for outdoor fun that afternoon, and they chose to stay at home and play in the hose. We've had more rain than usual recently, so I didn't mind letting them use the well water for some splashing and fun. This is a treat for country kids!
Followed by ice cream cones from the walk-up window at the Tastee-Freez. A perfect snack for the last week of summer!
We had Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder for dinner that night (thawed from the freezer and reheated), which I served on little rolls as pulled pork sliders.
and Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese on the side.
Friday was hot and muggy, so we spent the morning at home in the air conditioning while I tested some delicious fall baking recipes...
...and then joined friends at the pool for the afternoon.
I made Taco Quesadillas for supper,
which I paired with Texas Caviar (I used some black beans that I had on hand instead of the black-eyed peas, and cut the recipe in half),
Easy Guacamole, and tortilla chips for scooping! Such a delicious combination.
It rained most of Saturday, so after a morning indoors, we headed up to Culpeper for a picnic with subs from Jersey Mike's...
...followed by a walk at a park in town. We only got a little bit wet when it started to rain on us again!
Keith grilled pork tenderloin for dinner,
And that brings us to today! We're looking forward to some pool time and steaks on the grill this evening. Hope you have a great week ahead -- thank you for stopping by!