Good morning, and happy Sunday! It was a busy week around here, complete with a switch to virtual learning, an anniversary celebration, and a quick road trip to another part of Virginia. 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…
A beautiful Sunday morning sunrise!
I met my two girlfriends for an early walk at Mollie's farm, and then returned home to test some new recipes in the kitchen.
We ran into our neighbors' chickens on our walk over to the pond after lunch!
This might look like a playful hug, but it quickly turned into an aggressive tackle...as they always do in a house full of boys...
And in between football games on TV, Keith grilled steaks for dinner, which we paired with salads...
...and oven-roasted red potatoes that I tossed in olive oil and seasoned with our favorite all-purpose seasoning. Roasted at 400° F for about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they were perfectly crispy and golden brown!
Our county closed the public schools this week, so the boys are now on a virtual learning schedule for the foreseeable future. Instead of heading to school on Monday morning, all three kids were home with me as we (once again) adjusted to a new "normal."
We met friends for a walk in the woods, but otherwise had a quiet day at the house. I finished another book that evening, which I suppose is one benefit of being home so much: Waiting Season by Melanie Lageschulte. Novel #4 in her Melinda Foster series focuses on Melinda's life on the farm during a particularly harsh winter. From the freezing water pipes to the wild animals too close for comfort, I could relate to a lot of what I read! If you're interested in diving into this series, I would start from the beginning with Growing Season. They're simple, feel-good books that aren't particularly action-packed or dramatic, but I find them to be cozy, easy reads. Sometimes that's exactly what we need!
Speaking of cozy, I made Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sausage and Apples for dinner that night...
...along with a loaf of Keith's favorite crusty No-Knead Bread. Comfort food for a chilly, gray evening!
Tuesday started out frosty and cold, but quickly warmed up and turned into a beautiful day.
After a stressful morning of many, many Zoom calls and school assignments, we were all ready to get outside for an afternoon in the woods.
I'm trying to focus on the positive aspects of "Mom's homeschool," and mid-week hikes with the boys are definitely at the top of the list.
So many rock towers...
We had Chicken Vegetable Soup for dinner,
along with leftover Cheese Biscuits from last week, which I pulled from the freezer and reheated in the oven.
Wednesday turned out to be another beautiful day, so we snuck outside for a couple of quick walks in between school work and the boys' afternoon check-up at the doctor's office.
I made a 4-Ingredient Pork Loin Roast for supper,
which I served with mac and cheese and steamed, buttered broccoli.
This was obviously the week of (healthy) doctors' appointments, because on Thursday morning I headed down to Charlottesville for a skin check at the dermatologist while Keith stayed home with the boys. Checking these to-do's off of my list at the beginning of the year!
We all took advantage of the spring-like weather and got outside that afternoon.
Dinner that night included spaghetti and meatballs,
plus a salad and garlic bread. Always a favorite with my boys!
Keith and I "celebrated" our 16th wedding anniversary on Friday, although the celebration obviously looked a lot different this year. We would normally leave the kids with their grandparents and escape for a weekend away on our own (or at least have a meal in a restaurant on our own), but that's not the case in 2021. Instead, it was a typical day at home that involved virtual learning with the boys and plenty of class Zoom calls!
I drove down to my parents' house that afternoon to drop off the dog so that he could stay with them for a couple of nights.
When I made it back home around dinnertime, I threw together a quick meal of quesadillas (no meat, just cheese this time)...
...plus corn, tortilla chips, salsa and guacamole. This is one of the easy go-to options that I serve when I know I won't be home to do much cooking! With a big cast iron griddle to cook multiple quesadillas at once, the meal comes together in minutes.
On Saturday morning, we all piled in the car and headed a couple of hours east to Williamsburg.
Our anniversary "getaway" turned into an overnight road trip with the kids in tow. They've all learned about Williamsburg and Jamestown in their Virginia history classes at school, so they've been asking to return for a few months now.
We wandered around the Colonial village and William & Mary's campus, ordered sandwiches from The Cheese Shop for lunch, and sat outside to enjoy our meal.
Tuna salad on French bread -- delicious!
It's tough to travel safely these days (as you all know), so we rented a condo at the Kingsmill Resort to avoid staying in a hotel or other more public place. Since most of the tourist destinations (including Jamestown) are completely shut down right now, we really just spent our time outdoors and did our best to avoid any other humans.😉
A sunset view of the James River from our condo's porch.
We ordered dinner from the resort's restaurant, which was a combination of chicken fingers, shrimp po' boys, cheeseburger sliders, a soft pretzel, and my Caesar salad with blackened mahi mahi. Everyone was happy, and it felt like a treat because we don't have any food delivery available at home!
The rest of our evening included football on TV, as well as the kids' horrific taste-testing experiment with these Harry Potter "Bertie Bott's Every Flavor" Jelly Belly jelly beans. The jelly beans were flavored like vomit, grass, soap, sausage, dirt, earthworms, boogers, and more disgusting things that boys find hilarious. The smell alone was enough to make me nauseous.🤢
That's it for now, friends! We're headed home this afternoon, so I'll update you on the rest of our adventures in next Sunday's post. Thanks for joining me here today, and have a wonderful week ahead!