Good morning, and happy Sunday! It was another beautiful spring week, complete with visits from friends and family. 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 a rainy evening, we woke up to the most beautiful, spring-green Sunday morning!
I met my friends for our regular morning walk at Mollie's farm, which turned into quite the nature adventure.
Adria was busy identifying trees for us with an app on her phone, a bald eagle watched closely as we walked along the river,
and when we noticed that this crawfish had eggs to lay, we carefully moved her to a quiet spot near a stream. Such excitement!😉
Keith took the boys to Culpeper for lunch so that I could get some work done at home, and then he spent the afternoon taking care of yard work and grilling ribs for supper.
We had the ribs with creamy baked mac and cheese (just a half recipe is plenty as a side dish for our family),
and sauteed kale with bacon (one of my favorites...but not the boys')!
Back to the routine on Monday...
Spencer went to school, while the older boys stayed home with me to work on their virtual assignments. We're finally in the 4th quarter of this less-than-ideal year, and we're all counting down the days until summer break.
That morning sunshine makes the young leaves and blossoms look fake, doesn't it?! I'm always so amazed by the images that my cell phone's camera can capture...
The dogwoods are blooming all over right now -- Virginia's state tree!
I do a lot of work with Taste of Home magazine, so they're kind enough to send me their "Special Delivery" box each season. On Monday evening, I was so excited to see this package waiting by our front gate! The Spring Box includes the Farm to Table cookbook, as well as a number of everyday kitchen tools -- like a "spoonula" (a cross between a spoon and a spatula), silicone stretch lids (that eliminate the need for plastic wrap), and durable, long-lasting Skoy cloths that replace dishcloths and sponges -- among other things. If you're interested in receiving (or gifting) a Special Delivery box, you can check out the details here. It would be a great Mother's Day gift for enthusiastic home cooks!
A foggy start to Tuesday...
The highlight of our day was a visit from my childhood friend and her partner, who now live in New Orleans.
It was such a treat to catch up over Tuna Melts for lunch!
Dinner that evening was simple, but tasty: Baked Chicken Breast...
...plus a Wedge Salad with that delicious homemade buttermilk ranch dressing to take advantage of the herbs outside...
...and cheese biscuits (a kid favorite)!
Plus the absolute best soft and chewy classic chocolate chip cookies for dessert, which I baked earlier in the day to share with our guests. And to finish off the evening, a virtual PTO meeting via Zoom!
I also read another interesting book this week. I had seen quite a few folks rave about The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, which has a really unique premise. Here's a summary:
Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?
Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place. I enjoyed this one, and found it to be a very heartwarming story!
Since all three boys were home from school on Wednesday, my mother-in-law joined us for a visit.
In between rain showers, we even managed to sneak outside for dog walks and wiffle ball!
Dinner was a pan of Baked Ziti with Sausage that I had stashed in the freezer (no asparagus that time, since the boys prefer it without).
On the side: Caesar salad and homemade focaccia bread (also from the freezer).
Thursday was the first day that all 3 kids were back in school, so I took the dog up the road for a short walk that morning, and then buckled down to focus on my own work for the day.
I also walked across the street to my neighbor's farm that afternoon to pick up some of her fresh eggs. I always love seeing her rows of lavender on the hill over the pond!
I made the kids very happy with chicken nuggets for dinner,
...along with coleslaw, French fries and broccoli.
Friday was a good mix of work and play while the kids were at school. I met my girlfriends for a walk in the woods, took care of computer tasks and house chores, and visited with my parents when they stopped by for lunch.
I served shrimp rolls (coming to the blog soon), leftover coleslaw and potato chips.
And more seafood for dinner that night! Keith made it home early enough to grill, so we had marinated grilled salmon, along with rice and green beans.
Keith kept the boys busy on Saturday with outdoor chores, while I stayed busy with work inside.
It was a relatively quiet afternoon, and Keith was in charge of dinner so that I could take a night off from the kitchen.
Takeout pizza was on the menu -- and everyone was happy!
That's it for this week, friends! I hope that you've found some new meal inspiration for the days ahead. Thank you for being here!