Good morning, and happy Sunday! We're wrapping up the kids' first week of summer break, which included pool time, hiking, sports practices, and cold treats. 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 started with a walk at Mollie's farm with 4 of my friends. We had to get an early start to beat the heat!
The pool provided perfect entertainment for the afternoon...
...and we came home to grilled steaks,
Gibbs' friend spent the day with us on Monday, so I packed a picnic lunch and took everyone to the pool. The best way to keep 4 energetic boys busy!
Casey's new donut bathing suit is one of the best fashion choices he's ever made...😂
The older two had soccer practice that evening, so I served an early breakfast-for-dinner: fluffy buttermilk pancakes...
...plus bacon and fruit salad. Taking advantage of the fresh summer berries and peaches!
The kids and I took our adventures to the woods on Tuesday, where we hiked in the shade along the Rapidan River and waded in the water to cool off.
I needed some buttermilk from Yoder's Country Market, so we made a quick stop on our way home. The boys enjoyed homemade ice cream for a cool snack on a very hot day!
And I had a gift waiting at the front gate! 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. The Summer Box is one of the best yet, since it includes so many practical kitchen tools that I use almost every day. You get tongs, a microplane, and a mandoline slicer (among other things), as well as Taste of Home's All-Time Best Recipes cookbook. If you're interested in receiving (or gifting) a Special Delivery box, you can check out the details here.
We had hamburgers for dinner that evening (at Casey's request), but I prepared them on the cast iron griddle (like I do for patty melts) and called them "smash burgers." Delicious alongside waffle fries, salad...
...and homemade baked beans (thawed from the freezer).
It rained off and on throughout the day on Wednesday, so we stayed close to home and just made a quick visit to a local antique shop when we needed to get out for a few minutes.
I finished another great book, too! In fact, I would include The Rose Code by Kate Quinn as one of my favorite books of the year so far. Not surprising, since I also really enjoyed Quinn's previous books, The Huntress and The Alice Network. It's a heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park, and the spy that they must root out after the war is over. Definitely a page-turner that I couldn't put down!
Spencer had soccer practice that evening, so we enjoyed an early meal of Grilled Pork Chops with rice and peas before heading out to the fields.
I took Teddy up the road for a walk on Thursday morning (and got rained on).
In between storm showers, we also snuck in a trip to the school playground to burn off some energy and ride the hoverboard.
Dinner took advantage of our fresh garden herbs! We had Garlic & Herb Roasted Chicken Thighs (one of the boys' favorite dinners), along with roasted broccoli and pesto pasta. Plus a night at home, since the last soccer practice of the season was cancelled due to the weather.
Friday was another rainy day, so we were stuck indoors again -- which meant that our only big excitement was lunch at Chik-Fil-A in Culpeper while we waited for Teddy to finish up at the groomer.
These boys love their nuggets and Polynesian sauce...
We had perfect 15-minute grilled salmon for dinner that night...
...along with southern-style green beans,
...and cheese biscuits.
All of the soccer games were cancelled because of flooded fields on Saturday, so we had an unexpectedly quiet day.
We ran a few errands, did yard work, and took care of house chores.
Then we went out to dinner! Brick oven pizza from Iron Pipe Alewerks was Keith's choice, and the kids were on board...
And that's where I'll leave it for now, friends! Before you go, just a note to let you know that a handful of my recipes are featured in Recipe Lion's "Countdown to Summer" Virtual Potluck, and can also be found in this roundup of the 20 Best Summer Potluck Recipes. I hope that you find some new favorites to try this season!