Good morning, and happy Sunday! We celebrated another birthday this week, finished another book, and enjoyed some beautiful fall weather. 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 was Spencer's 7th birthday, so we started our morning bright and early with his favorite Krispy Kreme donuts and gifts. I met two of my friends for a walk, but otherwise we had a pretty quiet day at the house since the weather was rainy and gray.
The birthday boy was in charge of our dinner menu, so he picked Grilled Hamburgers, which we served with tater tots...
...and a Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad. The salad wasn't Spencer's request -- that was my own addition!😉
Plus birthday cake for dessert! He asked for a Texas Sheet Cake with white frosting, so I combined my mother-in-law's two recipes -- this recipe for the cake and this recipe for the frosting. It was a hit, as always!
The sun came back out on Monday morning!
We dropped Spencer off at school, walked the dog in the woods, and then tackled the older boys' distance learning assignments for the day.
I snuck out for a dentist appointment in town around lunchtime, but otherwise kept busy at the house.
We had French Fried Onion Chicken for supper, which I paired with green beans, corn and rice. Easy and tasty -- all 4 of my boys cleaned their plates!
Tuesday was a lot like Monday -- a morning walk, followed by school work. The kids had soccer practice after lunch, but they were practically blown right off the field thanks to 30 mph winds. It was crazy weather!
I made my mom's classic Tuna Noodle Casserole for supper...
...plus a Caesar salad and baguette on the side. We've been feasting on a lot of baguette for breakfast, lunch and dinner over the past couple of weeks as I perfect my (easy) homemade recipe. Can't wait to share the details here, so stay tuned for that!
The boys were all at home with me on Wednesday, so we took care of their school work in the morning, and then made a trip to the drive-thru Chik-Fil-A in Culpeper for lunch.
Life is pretty quiet these days...
Dinner that night was Salisbury Steak...
which I paired with make-ahead garlic mashed potatoes and peas. I used the last of my garden chives for those potatoes, which I harvested right before our first frost the night before. We're officially moving into cooler temps around here...
I also finished another book this week: The Long Way Home by Louise Penny. This is the tenth book in her Chief Inspector Gamache series, and it was another great one! Highly recommend these mysteries if you haven't already discovered them! You'll definitely want to start with book #1 (Still Life), though. You'll fall in love with the characters and with Penny's incredible writing!
Since the kids were back in school on Thursday, I used the solo time to accomplish the items on my to-do list that are more difficult with kids in tow. That included an early morning stop at Yoder's on my way home from school drop-off, where I re-stocked baking supplies like flour and sugar, as well as local homemade butter, buttermilk, honey roasted peanut butter, country ham, and local apples. Plus caramel corn and the best homemade peppermint stick ice cream. It was a full cart!
The rest of my day was largely spent in the kitchen -- testing and photographing recipes -- until I had to pick up the boys.
Keith wasn't home for dinner that evening, so I kept our meal really simple. I just thawed some Brunswick Stew and corn muffins from the freezer and reheated them when we got hungry. Quick, easy and cozy!
Friday was a beautiful morning for a walk in the woods with two of my friends.
I was headed into Charlottesville afterwards, so I just had to drive-thru the Dunkin' Donuts in town to get an Iced Gingerbread Latte as a mid-morning pick-me-up. Sallie gave me a gift card for my birthday a couple of weeks ago and it was burning a hole in my wallet! This latte was really good...just a bit too sweet for my taste. I'll request half as much of the sweetener next time, but I loved the spiced gingerbread flavor.
The sunny, 70-degree day was perfect for lunch outside at Burton's Grill with my mom and my aunt. I had the Reuben sandwich and sweet potato fries...so delicious!
King Ranch Chicken Casserole was on the dinner menu that evening,
as well as chips, salsa and homemade guacamole.
We tried these new Sugar Cookie M&M's, too -- they're awesome! The Fudge Brownie version is good as well, but the Sugar Cookie flavor is the best seasonal choice!
Our only real outing that day was a trip to my hairdresser's house so that we could all get haircuts. Other than that, we picked up a grocery order and took care of chores at the house.
The boys helped me decorate some sugar cookies so that I can share our favorite recipe here on the blog soon,
and they worked on the cutest Christmas Lego set that afternoon.
We had pulled pork with Alabama white barbecue sauce for dinner that night, along with a salad and potato chips on the side. We're keeping meals pretty simple in the coming days, especially since I've got plenty of Thanksgiving prep on my calendar!
Unfortunately, we will not be getting together with our extended family for the holiday. We're trying to keep everyone safe! It will just be the 5 of us, but we're still planning a full Thanksgiving menu. I want to make it feel as special and "normal" as possible.
Our traditional meal includes Garlic & Herb Turkey Breast, Sausage Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole, Apple and Butternut Squash Casserole, my grandmother's Sauerkraut, Ambrosia, Cranberry Sauce, Mac and Cheese and Homemade Crescent Rolls. Yikes! Listing it all out like that makes it seem like I've got my work cut out for me. Fortunately, almost all of it can be prepped in advance and many of those dishes are very quick and easy. Oh, and Pumpkin Chiffon Pie for dessert!
I'd love to hear how you're celebrating the holiday this year, too. What's on your menu? Are you sticking with the comforting classics, or will you try something different -- like a lasagna or a roast chicken? Let me know!
Thank you, as always, for joining me here today. I hope that you have a wonderful week ahead and a festive holiday -- however that might look in 2020!❤