Good morning, and happy Sunday! We celebrated Thanksgiving this week, cut down a Christmas tree, and kicked off the start of the holiday season. 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...
We quickly went from 70 degree weather the week before to a frosty, winter-like Sunday morning.
I met Mollie for a walk at her farm...
...where Teddy said "hi" to his friend, Gold Dust.
Back home, Keith put the boys to work in the yard,
We had sausage on hand, so I used that to make Red Beans and Rice for dinner...
...along with oven-roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon, and a loaf of pumpkin bread that our neighbors delivered the night before.
Keith took the whole week off from work, so we went for a "day date" on Monday while the kids were at school. First, a walk at a park in Culpeper...
...followed by lunch at Pinto Thai. I had the kra pow with chicken, which set my mouth on fire until I realized that I was eating the hot peppers thinking they were scallions. Hah! The lunch special also came with wonton soup, chicken satay, and a spring roll. It was all delicious, and a fun change of pace.
I made a batch of cranberry orange sauce for Thanksgiving, as well. It's one of those great sides that keeps well for many days in the fridge, so it's ideal for prepping ahead.
We had my homemade baked meatballs for supper, which I served in the form of meatball subs. Just pile the meatballs and sauce on toasted hoagie rolls, top with cheese, and pop the sandwiches under the broiler until the cheese melts. Perfect with a green salad and red wine vinaigrette on the side!
On Tuesday morning, I assembled the apple and butternut squash casserole for our holiday feast, and then headed over to Ruckersville. I wanted to pick up Thanksgiving gift cards for the teachers, so I also treated myself to a Chestnut Praline Latte and a quick spin through one of my favorite antique shops.
I met my friend for an afternoon walk, and then picked up the boys from school.
Moo shu pork was on the dinner menu, along with rice, broccoli, and store-bought egg rolls. Quick, easy, and better than takeout!
I have not one, but two books to share this week! Both are light, fluffy Christmas novels that should help you get into the holiday spirit. First, I picked up Debbie Macomber's The Perfect Christmas on a whim when I saw it on sale at Target recently. It's exactly what you would expect: a fun, quick read with a touch of romance and plenty of festive cheer.
I also flew through The Blessed Season. This is the eighth novel in Melanie Lageschulte's Melinda Foster series. These books remind me a lot of Hallmark movies -- light and predictable, but also entertaining and heartwarming. I love reading a new one at the start of each season, so this was the perfect way to kick off Thanksgiving week!
Wednesday was largely devoted to cooking, washing dishes, setting the table, and cleaning up the house. I made a pan of sausage stuffing, as well as a double recipe of my mom's easy green bean casserole.
We had Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas for supper, along with tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole, and corn. The kids love this meal, and it seemed like a good option on the night before Thanksgiving. Such different flavors from a traditional holiday feast!
Thursday was the big turkey day, and it turned out to be a gorgeous 66 degrees!
Keith's parents and brothers joined us with their families mid-day for an early celebration, so we had a total of 8 adults and 7 boys. So much love, and never a dull moment!
For dessert, my mother-in-law brought a Texas sheet cake (to celebrate the November birthdays in our family), my sister-in-law brought a pumpkin pie, and I made an apple crisp (at Spencer's request). Plus vanilla ice cream on top!
Friday morning marked the start of the Christmas season in our house.
We went to a nearby tree farm to cut down a tree...
Casey thought it was too small!😂
Spencer helped me decorate...
...and Casey made a gum drop tree. Gibbs joined us briefly to put 2 ornaments on the tree!😁
For dinner, I just pulled out all of the Thanksgiving leftovers and let everyone make their own plates. Turkey sandwiches for the win (I'll spare you a photo), but I was definitely happy to finish off the last of Meghan's pumpkin pie for dessert!
I made a quick stop at Yoder's on Saturday morning to re-stock our weekly staples like buttermilk, lunch meat, and local apples; Keith took the boys to buy basketball shoes in Culpeper; and we filled the rest of our day with even more holiday fun -- like cookie decorating and gift wrapping. This cookie icing is so easy and mess-free for the kids to use, and it actually tastes good, too. I'm stocking up! 😀
We returned to our usual Saturday dinner of takeout pizza, which I always appreciate. A night off from cooking and dishes!
So there you have it, friends! Another week of dinners that hopefully provide a bit of inspiration for the days ahead. Thank you for joining me here each week, and have a wonderful Sunday!