Hey, friends! I hope that you've had a great week! My older boys were on Spring Break, so our past 7 days have been full of adventures! Shall we backtrack to last weekend for a little bit of a recap from Our Week in Meals?
For those of you who are new to the blog, this is where I share a little bit about what we’ve been up to over the past week — as it relates to our meals each night. I hope that 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.
Last Sunday was a beautiful day, so we made a point to spend the afternoon outside. After an early lunch we headed into Charlottesville to watch the UVA baseball game.
Snacks included peanuts!
Before we left the house, I marinated chicken and shrimp in the leftover Tuscan Marinade that I prepared the week before. When we returned home late in the afternoon, Keith just had to grill the chicken and shrimp while I sliced a loaf of French bread and steamed broccoli (in the microwave). Quick, simple, and delicious (recipe coming soon)!
On Monday my mom and I took the boys on a short little road trip to one of our favorite spots in Richmond -- the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. The weather was cloudy but otherwise perfect for a morning outside! The boys had such a great time running along the trails, finding turtles in the pond, and playing in the giant tree house.
While I was posing and trying to smile for this picture, I was simultaneously yelling at Spencer to stop opening the Emergency Exit door to escape the greenhouse.????
We stopped for lunch at T.G.I. Friday's on the way home because it was the most convenient option that we could find before jumping on the interstate.
Chicken Cobb Salad
After lunch we parted ways: my mom took the boys home with her for an overnight, while I headed back to Madison on my own. It was so oddly quiet...and nice! Keith and I briefly toyed with the idea of going out to dinner, but it was rainy and late by the time he got home from work. We both agreed that an evening inside would be perfect. #weregettingold
Dinner was a quick 4-Ingredient Thai Shrimp Curry with Brown Rice. Hit the spot! There's hardly a recipe involved, but I'll share the details on the blog soon...
I went for a walk with my friends Mollie and Sallie on Tuesday morning before my mom returned the boys from their overnight trip. The peace and quiet was nice while it lasted, but those kids came home very tired and grumpy. Too much excitement for one day!????
Casey had a dentist appointment at 4:00 in Charlottesville, so I knew that it would be a rush to get everyone home, fed, and changed before Gibbs's 5:30 soccer practice in Madison. Instead, we took all of the soccer gear with us, and I fed the boys an early dinner in the car on the drive between the dentist and the fields. Hey, not glamorous...we just make it work!
Packed dinners included turkey and cheese sandwiches, clementines, carrot sticks, pretzels, and our favorite No-Bake Blueberry Almond Energy Snacks!
The weather was too nice to stay indoors on Wednesday, so the boys and I went to play basketball and ride scooters after breakfast.
We're still trying to teach Spencer how to use the brake on his scooter, so right now his favorite method of stopping is either (1) dragging his leg on the ground until he rips a hole in his pants; or (b) crashing into a tree or fence.???? Not exactly ideal...
After a short hike in the woods,
we were all ready for lunch. The boys' request? Subway (of course)!
Foot-long Turkey and Cheese Subs for the boys + a Club Sandwich with all of the toppings for me.
Keith worked late that evening, so we ate dinner in stages. I prepared the 4-Ingredient Skinny Enchiladas from my eCookbook, but divided them into separate baking dishes. I often do this when I know that Keith will be eating later because then I can cook his meal separately and he doesn't have to eat cold leftovers.
It stormed all day Thursday, so while Spencer was at preschool for the morning I spent time inside on an unplanned Spring Cleaning kick. This project seriously took up my entire day! I dread the task each season, but I'm obviously relieved when it's done.
With 80-degree days in the forecast for this coming week, I knew that I needed to sort through the boys' warm weather clothes. After rummaging through zillions of bags in storage, washing multiple loads of laundry, and putting away the winter gear, I had plenty of hand-me-downs set aside to pass on to my friend Kristin's son.
I paused mid-morning for a quick snack, and snapped a photo because I was using a new bowl that my mom made. So pretty for spring!
Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt + Maple Syrup + Grapes + Granola
That snack held me over until I got home from preschool pick-up and reheated the leftover enchiladas for a late lunch. Still good the next day!
Keith and his friends got together for a "Boys' Night" at our house, so the kids and I were on our own for dinner. By special request, I made the kids' favorite dinner: my 4-Ingredient Spring Pasta. So fast, but always a hit!
Keith took the day off from work on Friday so that we could go on a mini road trip up to Baltimore. Our destination? The National Aquarium! But before leaving Madison, we had to make an important stop:
The Donut Kitchen food truck, which is parked at Yoder's Country Market every Friday!
Warm, homemade Glazed Blueberry Donut perfection.
We also made a caffeine stop mid-way. I'm a big fan of the Starbucks app, which allows me to order and pay ahead of time so that I just have to pick it up and go!
We made it to Baltimore around noon, so our first stop was lunch. After a small amount of research, we settled on Miss Shirley's Cafe at the Inner Harbor. We later learned that it was even featured on Diner's, Drive-Ins, and Dives!
The restaurant is known for it's breakfast, brunch, and lunch...and it was delicious. The food is basically Southern comfort food with a Chesapeake Bay twist. Think Crab Cake Po' Boy sandwiches, fried oysters on salad, and giant crabmeat omelets.
I had a bowl of the Maryland Crab and Vegetable Soup + the Southern Chopped Salad.
I loved how the kids' meals were served in these divided trays like Bento boxes. Such fresh ingredients, too!
We walked around town after lunch, but it was cold and VERY windy by the water.
After a quick walk, we made our way into the Aquarium. Such a fun way to spend the afternoon! No surprise, the sharks and the piranhas were the main attractions for my crew. Oh, and the escalators were BY FAR Spencer's favorite part! These country boys couldn't believe their eyes when they saw so many skyscrapers, traffic lights, parking garages, and elevators in the Big City.???? I lost track of how much time Spencer spent staring out of our hotel window in awe of the lights and the traffic!
When we were all tired and ready to leave the Aquarium, we made a quick snack stop in the cafe.
Sugar overload! These things were huge! Cupcake (Spencer), Oreo blondie (Gibbs), and Rice Krispies Treat (Casey).
After checking into our hotel, we walked to Fells Point for dinner at Brick Oven Pizza.
Keith wanted to re-live his Johns Hopkins University fraternity days, and apparently this was a favorite late night spot! Fortunately, it was pretty quiet when we were there...
Our night ended early with some very tired kids (and parents) in the hotel room -- especially since we knew that we would be leaving by 6:30 a.m. on Saturday morning in order to get back to Madison for the boys' soccer games.????
I picked up some breakfast food at the Whole Foods across from our hotel the night before (yogurt, fruit, muffins) so that we could just jump in the car and leave. It wasn't the most relaxing start to the day, but we made it where we needed to be! I took Gibbs to his 9:00 a.m. game in Madison with Spencer in tow, while Keith and Casey headed to Rappahannock County for Casey's first game of the season.
After feeding everyone lunch, I ran to Charlottesville for a week's worth of groceries and then came home to make a quick Corn and Black Bean Salsa. My friend Maggie invited us over for a cookout and s'mores that evening, so my contribution was this salad + tortilla chips for dipping.
There's not really a recipe -- just 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed), 1 can of corn (drained), 1 pint of grape tomatoes (halved), 1 bell pepper (chopped), and 1 bunch of green onions (sliced). I tossed it all in this Lemon Vinaigrette that I had in the refrigerator, but it also works well with just some olive oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Serve as a salad or as a salsa for dipping!
My boys were exhausted that evening, so we only lasted at the cookout for a couple of hours before we made it home for baths and bed. Maggie had an amazing spread of grilled sausages, hot dogs, chicken, Caesar salad, macaroni and cheese, the works. Sallie also brought these great appetizers that I photographed so that I could tell you about them! These were Pimiento Cheese Pinwheels, which she made with pimiento cheese and flat crescent roll sheets. They were a big hit, and now I want to try a batch in my own kitchen!
And that seems like a pretty good place to leave it for the week! I've got a busy morning ahead of me in the kitchen, and then we're probably taking a family hike to enjoy the weather. Have a wonderful week!