Good morning, and happy Sunday! This week the boys (finally) returned to school, the basketball season resumed, and we even snuck in a quick anniversary getaway. 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...
There was freezing rain in the forecast for Sunday afternoon, so we got the kids outside early for a very cold, windy walk.
The rest of the afternoon was largely devoted to house work. I've been updating some of our rooms, so Keith helped me put down new rugs in the front hall and dining room (love this green and blue rug so much!), I hung new toile curtains in our bedroom, and I replaced the comforter, bed skirt, shams, pillows, and artwork over our mantle in our bedroom. This big vase and branch look really pretty on the dining room sideboard, too. An instant January refresh!
Keith wanted to grill dinner that night (in spite of the nasty weather), so we had marinated chicken thighs and NY strip steaks, along with sauteed spinach and pasta tossed with butter, olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan.
Between two weeks of Christmas break and a week of cancelled school due to snow, the boys returned to school on Monday for the first time in almost 3 weeks!
It was weird and oddly quiet after I dropped them off (two hours late for an ice delay), but I was also looking forward to returning to the structure of our regular routine.
I picked up eggs at my neighbor's farm, chatted outside with another neighbor, got some work done at the computer, picked up a grocery order, and even baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies (kids' request).
Spencer had basketball practice that evening, so I served one of Gibbs's favorite dinners beforehand: Chicken and Stuffing Casserole. A comfort food classic from my childhood! I paired the casserole with a side of sauteed zucchini and a basket of biscuits.
Teddy bundled up in 2 layers -- a turtleneck sweater and a coat -- on Tuesday morning! He hates when I "dress" him, but he definitely needs the extra protection at this time of year. To add to the poor dog's humiliation, the farmers that drive by on their tractors or in their pick-ups while I'm walking will often honk their horns or stop and chat about his attire. He cracks them up, as a little dog in clothes is definitely not something they're used to seeing around here!😂
I met my friends Mollie and Sallie for a walk that afternoon before picking the boys up from school, and then came home for the regular routine of homework and dinner. On the menu: Pasta Fagioli Soup, plus garlic breadsticks on the side.
Let's chat about books! This week I read a great novel called Northern Spy by Flynn Berry. This was a mystery, a thriller, and an interesting look at espionage, the IRA, and the Irish political and religious conflicts during the 20th and 21st century -- subjects I knew very little about. Most importantly, I couldn't put it down and needed to find out how this dramatic story would end...
I met my friend Ashley for a walk on Wednesday morning, and then returned home to do some cooking and photos.
I found this note that Spencer left for me on my desk that morning (it says, "mom you make the best cookies"). The kid is NOT subtle, and he certainly knows the way to my heart!😂 He obviously wanted me to bake another batch of chocolate chip cookies (since the others were quickly devoured), so I added those to my "to do" list for the day.
I also got some work done at the computer, and made a stop at Yoder's for my regular re-stock of lunch meat and buttermilk.
A friend of mine is dealing with a lot of tough stuff on her plate right now, so I dropped off a tray of homemade buttermilk biscuits for her that afternoon. Biscuits make everything better!
Speaking of biscuits, I made a batch for us to have with dinner that night, too. The rest of the meal included oven fried pork chops, green beans, mac and cheese, and a jar of homemade applesauce that I had stashed in the freezer.
The sun came back out on Friday, and I met my girlfriends for a walk in the woods that morning.
A couple of errands, a stop at the groomer for the dog, lunch with Keith, and house chores took up most of the rest of my afternoon.
Early basketball games on Saturday morning!
We then dropped the kids and the dog off with my parents around lunchtime, and Keith and I headed to nearby Lexington, Virginia for an overnight getaway.
We were celebrating our 17th anniversary!
With a snowstorm in the forecast for this morning, it was definitely a chilly, gray afternoon.
Lexington is a cute little college town in the mountains, so we walked around the Washington & Lee campus and the Virginia Military Institute, popped into a few shops, and eventually returned to our room at The Georges Inn on Main Street. The view from our balcony...
Keith was very excited to see The General Lee parked in town! Any other Dukes of Hazzard fans out there?!
We both agreed that this was one of the best meals we've had at a restaurant in many, many years! The atmosphere was cozy, with a pianist playing live music, the service was impeccable, and the food was delicious. We started with bread and salad (the Apple Walnut Salad with Maple-Cider Vinaigrette for me; Caesar for Keith), shared the lobster mac and cheese side; and I had the sockeye salmon with sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, sweet peppers and pecans. Keith's filet mignon was also great!
And that's it for now, friends! We're hustling home this morning to scoop up the kids and make it back to Madison before another snowstorm arrives. Stay warm, stay safe, and have a great Sunday. Thank you for being here!