Good morning, and happy Sunday! It's been a busy week behind the scenes on the blog, as we released an updated version of my website. You'll find a new homepage, a recipe index, and a fresher design. The goal was to make it more user-friendly for you, so I always appreciate your feedback! 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.
First, a quick note that my latest article for Taste of Home is now live HERE. I hope you’ll check it out and give the Easy Lentil Soup a try soon! It’s simple and flavorful -- perfect for the chilly days ahead.
Now, let's back up to last weekend...
It rained all of Sunday, so we stayed warm and dry inside by the fire. Casey carved a pumpkin on his own (with my supervision nearby) and was very proud of his handiwork. His brothers had no interest in joining him...
Keith smoked ribs for dinner that evening (find my Crock Pot version here)...
...which we paired with Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese (just half of a recipe is enough for a side dish),
Sweet Potato Biscuits, and a salad for some veggies!
The rain stopped by Monday, so I dropped Spence off at school and then enjoyed a damp and cloudy walk in the woods with the older boys before we sat down at our computers to focus on their virtual learning for the day.
A little glimpse of sunshine at the pond that afternoon!
We had Easy Fish Tacos for supper...
as well as homemade guacamole, tortilla chips, salsa and corn on the side. A tasty twist on Mexican night!
Time for this week's book review! My mother-in-law gave me her copy of The Vanishing Half, which had been on my radar for quite a few months. I know that it's been very popular this year, so maybe you've read it too? I highly recommend this one!
The story follows African American twins that choose two different paths for their lives -- one returns to their hometown in Louisiana, while the other moves across the country, marries a white man, and passes as a white woman for her entire adult life. I didn't love the ending, but it was still a great read that hooked me early!
Tuesday was full of school, work and soccer practice.
Since it was chilly and gray outside, a cozy dinner was on the menu!
We had our favorite Dutch Oven Pot Roast with veggies and potatoes,
plus a side of Cranberry Muffins (pulled from the freezer), and the leftover store-bought cranberry sauce that I had stashed in the fridge from a previous day. So simple, and a meal that practically cooked itself while I was busy with the boys all afternoon!
Another very foggy, gray day on Wednesday! We were sure missing the sunshine this week, but I was still grateful that it wasn't the snow and ice that other parts of the country saw. I'm definitely not ready for that!
All 3 boys were home from school, so we stayed busy with their virtual work all morning, and then my parents came by for lunch. They brought fried chicken for the kids, and I made fried oysters for the adults. My dad was an enthusiastic taste-tester as I continued to perfect my recipe. Stay tuned!
Since we had such a big, filling lunch, I didn't plan too much for supper. The kids and I were happy with breakfast-for-dinner (pancakes and fruit), while Keith finished the lunch leftovers.
It poured rain almost all day on Thursday, so while the kids were at school I put a pot of soup on the stove for supper, tested a cookie recipe for the holidays, and tackled my own work while staying dry inside.
Then, late afternoon, the clouds parted and blue skies appeared momentarily. We all got outside to enjoy it before the rain returned a few hours later!
I served Stuffed Pepper Soup for dinner, along with side salads and a loaf of French bread. Hit the spot!
The work week ended on a high note with a gorgeous Friday. Two friends came over for a walk in the morning once the kids were at school, and I otherwise plugged away at my to-do list at home.
Fried Chicken Cutlets and Country Gravy were on the dinner menu (a big hit with all 4 of my boys),
along with mashed potatoes and peas. Comfort food!
Saturday was a beautiful day for Halloween!
The holiday looked different for most of us this year, but I was determined to make it fun for the kids. We don't have neighborhoods nearby, so the boys have never actually been door-to-door trick-or-treating. Since our community's annual trunk-or-treat event was cancelled, we invited two other families to join us outside for a safe get-together in the yard.
I was in charge of the candy scavenger hunt (which kept the 6 boys busy and running around our property)...
A creepy scarecrow, Harry Potter, and a storm trooper who didn't want to wear the rest of his costume!
...while Mollie brought Jack-O-Lantern pizzas and Sallie brought snacks and goodie bags.
Keith was tackled by the little guys and their glow sticks at one point...
The kids had a blast, the weather cooperated nicely, and we all finished off the evening with boatloads of chocolate. A Halloween success -- in spite of the crazy year we've had.
That's where I'll leave it for now, friends. Thanks, as always, for joining me here today. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead!