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Good morning, and happy Sunday! This week included a lot of snow, no school, and an unwelcome virus. Nice way to kick off 2022, right?! It wasn’t all bad, though! The highlights from the past few days, along with our easy, comfort food 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 went on one last hike in the mountains on Sunday as our Christmas break was coming to an end.

It wasn’t sunny, but it was 70 degrees and we didn’t need coats, so that was a treat!

Back home for football-watching, followed by cabbage roll soup and cornbread muffins for dinner. Keith actually grilled hamburgers for the boys because cabbage soup isn’t high on their list of favorite foods.😉

Close up shot of stuffed cabbage roll soup recipe served in two white ceramic bowls

Talk about a change in the weather! We went from balmy and warm on Sunday evening to a winter wonderland by Monday morning…

It was our first snow of the season (and really, the first big snow in almost 2 years), so the kids were out there enjoying it for most of the day.

Yes, football even in the snow!

It was nasty all morning, but the sun came out in the afternoon and it turned out to be a beautiful day.

I picked up eggs from my neighbor’s farm, went for a short walk up the road with Keith, and otherwise stayed warm and dry inside. I am NOT a cold-weather gal!

Flag still flyin’ on the front of the general store building!

We went with the Chinese food theme for dinner that night, complete with chicken and broccoli stir-fry, rice, and (frozen) egg rolls.

Close up side shot of Chinese Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry in a cast iron skillet

Still snowy-but-sunny on Tuesday!

Since we learned that Gibbs had been exposed to a friend who tested positive for COVID (both boys were vaccinated), and since Gibbs started experiencing some mild symptoms himself on Monday, we took him to the doctor on Tuesday morning. The PCR test ultimately came back positive, so we’ve been quarantined all week. I’m just feeling very fortunate that we’re vaccinated and that Gibbs is the only family member who showed any symptoms at all!

Spencer requested breakfast-for-dinner that night, so we had baked pancake squares, along with this Vermont maple sausage that everyone loves, fresh fruit, and the best vanilla bean yogurt.

Pouring syrup over a stack of baked pancakes

Gibbs was feeling fine again by Wednesday, and joined us outside for some fresh air.

He asked for tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. So good on a cold day!

Overhead image of hands eating a bowl of homemade tomato basil soup.

We had taco quesadillas for dinner (one of Casey’s favorite meals), along with corn, tortilla chips, salsa, and homemade guac. I always ask for requests or suggestions when planning our meals for the week. Sometimes I get specific answers, and other times I don’t!

Close up shot of ground beef quesadilla in a bowl of salsa

The local schools were closed again on Thursday (thanks to our Monday snowfall), which was a nice relief since my boys were stuck at home anyway. Fewer days of make-up work! Instead, we had yet another quiet day at the house…

A walk with the dog, and snow still on the ground. It was starting to feel like Groundhog’s Day! I’m not complaining, though. There were so many parts of our own community without power all week long, causing nightmarish situations for families, farmers, and livestock. We feel very fortunate to have been warm and safe most of the time.

I’m excited to share my first good book of 2022! I read Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead, and while it was a bit slow in parts, I found the story fascinating and I wanted to keep reading to see how it would end. Here is the quick synopsis:

After being rescued as infants from a sinking ocean liner in 1914, Marian and Jamie Graves are raised by their dissolute uncle in Missoula, Montana. There–after encountering a pair of barnstorming pilots passing through town in beat-up biplanes–Marian commences her lifelong love affair with flight. At fourteen she drops out of school and finds an unexpected and dangerous patron in a wealthy bootlegger who provides a plane and subsidizes her lessons, an arrangement that will haunt her for the rest of her life, even as it allows her to fulfill her destiny: circumnavigating the globe by flying over the North and South Poles.

A century later, Hadley Baxter is cast to play Marian in a film that centers on Marian’s disappearance in Antarctica. Vibrant, canny, disgusted with the claustrophobia of Hollywood, Hadley is eager to redefine herself after a romantic film franchise has imprisoned her in the grip of cult celebrity. Her immersion into the character of Marian unfolds, thrillingly, alongside Marian’s own story, as the two women’s fates–and their hunger for self-determination in vastly different geographies and times–collide.

I took the easy way out for dinner that night, and just baked a lasagna that my mother-in-law made for us! Plus my homemade garlic bread and a green salad on the side.

Front shot of the best lasagna recipe served on a red and white plate

We had another dusting of snow overnight, so school was cancelled again on Friday, and the kids spent the bulk of the day outdoors. This time it was only an inch or two, so not nearly as much of a hassle!

I served Ham and Cheese Sliders for supper (half of them with turkey, since that’s what the boys prefer), along with a charcuterie board of cheese, crackers, fruit, sausage, Chex mix, and nuts (using up leftovers from the holidays). This was an easy, snacky meal that made everyone happy…and hardly required any cooking on my part!

Close overhead shot of a pan of easy ham and cheese sliders on hawaiian rolls in a baking dish

Our power went out on Saturday afternoon, and stayed off until later that night. I was very glad that I had prepared our dinner earlier in the day, so that I could just warm it on the gas stove.

We had chicken noodle soup (I’m realizing that SOUP was a big theme throughout this cold, snowy week)…

Hands holding a bowl of easy chicken noodle soup.

along with a loaf of homemade cheese bread. I used my recipe for cheddar jalapeno bread, but left out the jalapenos since I didn’t have any in the pantry. Dinner by candlelight, followed by an evening in front of the wood stove with football to watch on Keith’s laptop! I also made a lot of progress in my latest book reading on my Kindle…

Plate with slices of homemade jalapeno cheddar bread on a table with butter in the background

And that’s all for this week, friends! Here’s hoping that the second week of January is a little bit smoother than the first. Thank you for joining me here, and have a wonderful Sunday!

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Square overhead shot of hands serving a chicken pot pie recipe with biscuits
Overhead image of a bowl of chili mac on a dinner table with cornbread
Hands serving a platter of sheet pan sausage and potatoes

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Comments

  1. Blair,
    Wow! What a week you have had! I appreciate your upbeat positive approach while coping with difficult circumstances. Thank you for your blog – I look forward to it each week

    1. Thanks, Lori! Sometimes that positive attitude is easier than others, but I do realize that the situation is really not THAT bad! 🙂

  2. I’m glad your son is feeling better and no one else showed symptoms.
    Up here where I live we have snow like that through the whole winter, my girls laughed when I shared your schools were closed.
    Glad you are all safe and warm and I am definitely going to make some of these this snowy cold week we have up ahead.

    1. I know, isn’t it crazy?! Our schools close for any tiny bit of ice or snow. There is a good portion of our county that’s in the mountains, so if the higher parts have weather that we don’t get down below, schools are still cancelled. Plus, we’re just not equipped to deal with much. So a big snowfall of 6 inches+ is enough to cancel a full week of school! The kids think it’s great, but the parents don’t! 🙂 Have a great cozy week ahead!

  3. Good Afternoon, Blair:
    Ah, now your surroundings look like ours do: snow everywhere .
    We are now getting into the “deep freeze”. Right now the sun is out, & the temp is only -11 below zero & will keep on dropping even lower during the night. Forecasters are predicting anywhere between -20 to -35 throughout the state. So that means anything goes around here.
    And this kind of weather means SOUP, which you have on the menus for this week! Thank You for posting those recipes! The pantry, refrigerator, & freezer have just about everything needed for those soups too. Will probably use a few of the bread recipes as well. The beauty part is that soups can be frozen, which will be done also. Then they can be switched around to whatever we have a taste for.
    Btw: your gas stove must be older, as you were able to use it for reheating. Nowadays, they have electric starters, & with a power outage, you wouldn’t have been able to use it. Hang onto it for as long as you can.
    Glad to hear that everyone is OK.
    Sandra W.

    1. Hi, Sandra! I can’t even believe how cold your temps are getting!!! Don’t all of your pipes freeze? Our pipes tend to freeze if it gets below about 15 degrees, which fortunately doesn’t happen too often. My brain can’t even comprehend -35 degrees! Hang in there and enjoy the soup. 🙂

      We actually have a newer gas stove that does require an electric starter. BUT, my resourceful husband used a match to light the propane flame. Worked like a charm. 🙂