Good morning, and happy Sunday! We had another quiet week at home, complete with virtual learning, cooking, baking and plenty of beautiful fall colors. 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, look at these gorgeous flowers that have added so much festive cheer to our house recently! They were delivered by my friends at Overnight Flowers, who you've heard me mention numerous times in the past. I always love the convenience of the fresh long-stem bouquets, but they're particularly ideal this year. If you're missing close family and friends, or unable to visit loved ones for Thanksgiving or Christmas, send them a gorgeous, colorful vase of flowers to let them know that you're thinking of them. The flowers are a great centerpiece for a holiday table, and the luxe bouquets are so full that you can even divide them between two or three smaller vases to add a touch of seasonal decor throughout the house.
This arrangement is called "Fall in New England," and I just love it. Below, you can see how I divided the large bouquet into two smaller vases later in the week. I've now got an arrangement at either end of our dinner table, so it's basically two for the price of one. If you're interested, you can get 25% off any of the fall bouquets right now with the code FALL25, plus free next-day delivery. Let me know if you give it a try!
Now, let's back up to last weekend…
We were blessed with an absolutely gorgeous fall Sunday, so we spent as much time outside as possible -- starting with an early morning walk at my friend's farm.
Back home, I simmered a pot of my grandmother's hamburger soup to have on hand for lunches this week. Total comfort food!
My neighbor hasn't been feeling well recently, so I took her (and her husband) a couple of meals that morning, too. I included Crock Pot spaghetti sauce, a box of pasta, and homemade dinner rolls, as well as a container of lentil soup and some corn muffins. Most of the food was stashed in my freezer -- I didn't do all of that cooking in one day! Since I was preparing the dinner rolls, I split up the batch and baked them in two separate 8-inch square pans. We shared one pan and kept the other for our dinner that night.
An afternoon hike with all of my boys!
The trees were definitely putting on a show in Virginia this week...
...and Garlic Roasted Broccoli.
We were all back to work on Monday morning -- the older boys at home for distance-learning and Spencer in the classroom.
A little bit of fresh air before we sit at our computers is a must...
Our favorite Farmhouse Chicken Cornbread Casserole was on the dinner menu that night,
along with steamed French-cut green beans and 2-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins.
Tuesday was a lot like Monday -- a morning stroll, school and work...
...plus soccer practice for the boys on a warm, sunny afternoon.
...and some focaccia bread (thawed from the freezer and re-heated). Always a crowd-pleasing meal around here!
The three boys were home on Wednesday, and it poured rain all day. We spent our time indoors and stayed busy with Zoom calls, online work, and some holiday baking (coming soon). Things got dicey when the boys became bored and stir-crazy late afternoon, but nothing that some time in the puddles couldn't fix!
I finished another book, too: The Huntress by Kate Quinn (who also wrote The Alice Network). I loved this novel set in post-WWII Boston, which is part-mystery, part-thriller, and a total page-turner!
I served Chicken and Bacon Stew for supper, which I'll share on the blog in the coming weeks (it's similar to this Slow Cooker Chicken Stew if you'd like to make it right away). Plus leftover focaccia from the night before!
I love my kids, but I sure do look forward to Thursdays when they all head back to school for the first time each week. Unfortunately, I received a phone call on Thursday morning to inform us that schools were cancelled in Madison due to excessive flooding from the rain. I get it -- it's just not safe to send buses out to the really remote parts of our rural county where the rivers are high. It meant another day of staying indoors with my crew (and adjusting my schedule as a result). Thank goodness for the XBox and Nintendo Switch at times like that!😁
While their football practice was obviously cancelled that afternoon, the rain did eventually stop and we all got outside for some fresh air before dinner.
On the menu that night? A cozy family-favorite for a cool, gray day: Chili Con Carne! This time I left out the beans and used 2 lbs. of ground beef, since that's definitely how my kiddos prefer it. I also added a cup or two of corn because there was an open bag in the freezer.
The sun came back out on Friday, the boys all went off to school, and my girlfriends came over for a morning walk up the road. I thoroughly enjoyed the quiet house, as well as the social break!
We had Salmon Pasta with Garlic Cream Sauce for supper, along with a salad and baguette on the side. Sounds kind of fancy, but this is a quick 20-minute meal!
And then it was the weekend! Our Saturday morning included raking leaves (the boys) and birthday prep (me).
Spencer turns 7 today, so I devoted some time on Saturday to baking a cake, wrapping gifts, and decorating a little bit.
By the way, I picked up these Gingerbread Oreos in our most recent online grocery order and they're delicious! I'm not usually a huge Oreo-lover, but the kids and I agree that this variety is the best. Highly recommend adding them to your cart this season!😊
Spence went to a friend's house that afternoon, so on the way home from picking him up, Keith grabbed take-out pizza for dinner. Win! I was ready for a break from the kitchen...
And that's where I'll leave it for now, friends! We're looking forward to celebrating Spencer's birthday today, so be sure to check back next Sunday for the full run-down on the 7-year-old's cake request, favorite dinner, and more. Have a wonderful weekend!