Good morning, and happy Sunday! It was another full week of beautiful fall weather, Halloween hype, sports, and tasty meals around here. 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 hit the trails early on Sunday morning for a hike at nearby Hightop Mountain.
The leaves haven't really changed to full autumn colors yet, but the views of the Shenandoah Valley were still beautiful!
The rest of our meal included our favorite grilled shrimp,
Followed by s'mores at the firepit for dessert! We ran out of graham crackers, so we used Ritz crackers instead this time. The boys considered that a major upgrade!
It was back to business on Monday morning!
Keith went to work, Spence went to school, and I stayed home to help the older boys with their virtual learning.
I made a "Panera-inspired" meal for dinner that night, since my boys seem to really enjoy the soup-sandwich-salad combination. On the menu: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (which is much lighter than Panera's creamy version), as well as side salads and grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.
Time for another book review! This week I read How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny. This is book #9 in the Chief Inspector Gamache murder mystery series, and it was my favorite yet! While the previous book (The Beautiful Mystery) was somewhat dry and boring, this was the complete opposite. It was action-packed, full of suspense, and hard to put down. My love for the Gamache series has officially been reignited!
Tuesday included school work with the boys, soccer practice for Gibbs and Casey, and a very frustrating day of recipe testing in the kitchen.
Just so that you know it's not all picture-perfect around here (hah! far from it...), I had more than one baking fail that day -- including an old-fashioned butterscotch pie with a beautiful meringue topping and a filling that didn't set, and a made-from-scratch cake with too-thin caramel icing that slid right off the cake and onto the plate! Needless to say, I washed a lot of dishes and didn't have much to show for it...
A beautiful Wednesday morning walk before we got started with our day...
Since I had all 3 kids home with me, I promised them a trip to the Halloween shop in Culpeper as soon as they were done with their work. I'm pretty sure the creepy decorations and scary costumes were the highlight of Casey's year, while Spencer was so scared that we had to leave the store and stand out on the sidewalk.🤷♀️😂
Even though it was about 80 degrees outside, a cozy Amish Hamburger Casserole was on the dinner menu!
I paired the casserole with a salad and garlic bread.
I met my friend Ashley for a walk early on Thursday morning, and then returned home for the rest of the day to get as much work done as possible while the boys were in school.
Football practice that afternoon, followed by a quick and easy dinner!
Keith was working late that night, so I scrapped my plans to roast a couple of pork tenderloins, and instead the boys and I just had "breakfast for dinner" -- Buttermilk Pancakes with yogurt, apples and caramel on the side. Simple and delicious!
Mollie and Sallie came over for a morning walk on Friday, and then I spent the rest of my day hard at work -- checking off my to-do list while the kids were in school.
Since I was testing Thanksgiving recipes (yet again) that morning, we had the leftover roasted turkey for dinner that night.
I paired the turkey with shortcut versions of some of our favorite holiday sides: a jar of cranberry sauce (I thought this brand was particularly good), a box of Stove Top stuffing, and my favorite Green Bean Casserole.
Our absolute favorite Pumpkin Bread for breakfast on Saturday...
...followed by a morning walk at my friend's farm. It was a gray, rainy day, so the rest of our afternoon was largely spent indoors -- taking care of chores and watching college football.
We had Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce for dinner that night (I make two tenderloins for our family of 5)...
...as well as salad and Crispy Seasoned Oven Roasted Potatoes.
And because we're such a fall cliché, I thawed some Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars from the freezer for dessert! 😁
That's all for this week! Thank you for stopping by and spending your Sunday with me. I hope you've found some new inspiration for your own table in the coming days!