Good morning, and happy Sunday! It was a fun week of vacation around here, as we cleaned up from Christmas and rang in the New Year. 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…
After an early dog walk up the road, I spent Sunday morning in the kitchen photographing a couple of recipes while Keith and the boys took care of chores.
We dragged the boys out for some fresh air that afternoon...
...where they found ice to "skate" (and fall) on.
Keith grilled scallops for dinner,
which we paired with Parmesan risotto and steamed, buttered green beans.
Teddy, always up to mischief, was caught red-handed while trying to swipe Gibbs's Legos from the coffee table that evening. The dog gets frustrated when the boys don't want to play with him, and instantly resorts to taking their toys. As Gibbs said, "it's a good thing he's so cute!"
We took advantage of a beautiful Monday while Keith was off of work this week, and spent some time walking the trails at the nearby Cedar Mountain Civil War battlefield.
I made Chicken Parmesan and spaghetti for dinner that night,
along with garlic bread and salad.
I also finished a new book! More than one of you recommended The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister when I pulled together my list of our Favorite Books from this past year, so I was excited to pick up a used copy right away. I really enjoyed The Scent Keeper by the same author, and I'd say this one was almost as good. It's the story of a chef, her students, and the evocative lessons that food teaches about life -- a quick read that makes you feel cozy inside (and will probably leave you hungry)!
Tuesday included a walk with my friend in the morning,
and hair cuts for all of us that afternoon.
I made Crock Pot Beef Barbacoa for dinner, which we stuffed into soft tacos and served with tortilla chips and homemade guacamole. This is one of Keith's absolute favorite recipes on my entire website! Quick note: I only used one chipotle pepper from the can, along with the adobo sauce, to flavor the meat. This made it a bit more mild for the kids, since using the entire can of peppers in adobo sauce yields a very spicy barbacoa!
Wednesday was our last day of sunshine before the rain arrived later in the week, so we spent as much time as possible outdoors.
First, I walked along the river that morning with my friend Becca, while Gibbs and her son rode their bikes.
After lunch, we all went "adventuring" at the pond on Rebekah's farm.
Rebekah is our neighbor who babysat the boys for years while they were all babies, and they still love seeing her when our schedules allow.
I won't tell you how many of my kids "fell" into that muddy, cold pond (all 3)!🙄 Let's just say that I did another load of laundry as soon as we got back to the house...
We had roasted Sweet Tea Chicken for dinner, which is just so easy and so darn good!
Plus buttermilk biscuits and steamed broccoli on the side.
I woke up to a beautiful sunrise on the last morning of 2020!
Keith's parents stopped by for an outdoor visit around lunchtime, and then we headed out for a walk before dinner.
The boys said "hi" to some muddy friends along the way...
Our rockin' New Year's Eve included an early dinner of chili with corn chips and salad...
...followed by Old-Fashioned Rum Cake and my regular bedtime well before midnight!
New Year's Day was basically a complete washout. It rained all day and all evening, so our Friday consisted of indoor tasks and lots of college football on TV.
Thank goodness for Christmas Lego sets that are still keeping these boys entertained!
We enjoyed a lucky New Year's dinner that evening, just like my mom taught me! She actually sent me and my brother a text on New Year's Eve to remind us to soak our black-eyed peas. Hah! I suppose we could all use a prosperous, lucky 2021! On the menu: Grilled Pork Tenderloin,
and Sauteed Spinach.
The sun returned on Saturday!
I made Split Pea Soup in a Dutch oven on the stovetop that morning, using up the ham bone that I had saved from our Christmas Eve dinner. You don't have to pre-soak the peas, the soup comes together in a little over an hour, and it keeps really well in the fridge and freezer for quick meals throughout the week.
After lunch, we took advantage of the 60-degree day and met Keith's parents for a hike at Ragged Mountain.
And since I was ready for a break from the kitchen, we wrapped up our Saturday with take-out Chinese for dinner: sesame chicken, moo shu pork, and spring rolls!
There you go, friends -- another week of easy dinner ideas! I hope you've found some new inspiration for your own meals in the days ahead. Happy 2021!🌟✨🎉