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Good morning, and happy Sunday! This week we canceled a spring break trip, and instead enjoyed a “staycation” at home. All of the highlights, along with our easy dinners, are included in today’s roundup of Our Week in Meals!

Bringing spring inside!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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…

I put a loaf of banana nut bread in the oven early on Sunday morning for a breakfast treat that would use up some of the overripe bananas sitting on my counter. The perfect start to the day with a hot cup of coffee!

Front shot of four slices of banana nut bread stacked on a wooden cutting board

After a morning walk, my main goal for the day was laundry, bed linens, towels, and packing the family’s suitcases for our spring break trip. No easy feat with 3 kids and a dog to account for…

We grilled two pork tenderloins for dinner that night,

Front shot of a grilled pork tenderloin on a cutting board

which I served alongside roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon,

Hands holding a bowl of oven roasted brussels sprouts with balsamic and bacon

and a platter of hoe cakes.

Front shot of honey drizzling on top of a stack of hoe cakes

If there’s one thing that any parent knows, it’s that flexibility is key and plans can change at the drop of a hat. The boys were on spring break from school this week, so we were scheduled to leave for vacation in West Virginia and Lexington, Kentucky early on Monday morning. Instead, we canceled our trip at the last minute, because Spencer got hurt on Sunday evening. He was playing outside with his brothers when something flew in his eye, and even after eye drops, water, and other efforts to clean it out, he was still in pain on Monday morning.

Instead of leaving town for spring break, we spent Monday at the doctor’s office. The eye didn’t look scratched, but the physician also couldn’t find any foreign particles stuck in there. We left with prescriptions for two different types of eye drops, and doctor’s orders to keep an eye on it (no pun intended). Since we knew that we might need to see an eye specialist in the coming days, and since there was cold, rainy weather in the Lexington forecast, we decided to scrap our travel plans in favor of a “staycation.” Oh, well — at least AirB&B has a generous cancelation policy and there weren’t pricey airfares involved!

I picked up eggs from my neighbors’ farm, got lunch with the family at a Chinese buffet in Culpeper (a favorite with the boys!), and otherwise spent my afternoon unpacking all of our luggage.

We had pasta with sausage and spinach for dinner,

Side shot of cheesy pasta with sausage and spinach in a white bowl on a wooden table

plus a side of homemade garlic bread that I pulled from my freezer.

Overhead shot of hand picking up a piece of homemade garlic bread

Cornhole in the yard, followed by a quiet evening on the couch reading and watching the men’s NCAA basketball championship!

Tuesday was gray and cool, but the rain held off for the most part. I took a walk, did some grocery shopping, and prepped a handful of recipes for photos the next day.

Casey had soccer practice that evening, so we ate an early “fish n’ chips” supper that included oven-fried fish,

Close overhead image of crispy oven fried fish on a plate on a wooden table

coleslaw, pickles, and Alexia seasoned waffle fries.

Overhead shot of a bowl of traditional coleslaw recipe with fried chicken and cornbread on the side

While I stayed home to do some cooking and photography on Wednesday,

Keith took the boys out for lunch and bowling in Charlottesville.

We had baked chicken wings for dinner,

Overhead image of crispy baked chicken wings served on a wooden table with a side of Ranch for dipping.

along with a house salad, potato chips,

Overhead shot of house salad recipe with creamy salad dressing on a wooden table

and a basket of blackberry muffins.

Close up side shot of a bowl of the best blackberry muffin recipe

The weather was crummy on Thursday, but we wanted to get the kids out of the house, so we went for a fun hike at the Blue Ridge Tunnel. This trail, which happens to be right near my parents’ house in Nelson County, was constructed between 1850 and 1858 beneath Rockfish Gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s almost a mile long inside, and you need flashlights to be able to see…so of course the kids loved it.

On our way home, we stopped for lunch at the Tip Top Diner in Charlottesville. The boys were thrilled to get chicken and waffles, while I ordered my usual tuna salad sub. I love their tuna fish!

I thawed some leftover taco meat from the freezer to make taco quesadillas for dinner,

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

along with corn, tortilla chips, salsa, and homemade guac. Soccer practices were canceled because of the weather, so we appreciated the low-key evening at home.

Close up front shot of an easy guacamole recipe served in a colorful bowl

Friday was largely devoted to spring cleaning — in the form of the boys’ clothes. Each season I have to spend hours figuring out what fits each of them, which hand-me-downs are still in good shape, which new items we need to purchase, and which pieces we can pass on to my younger nephews. I always feel accomplished when the job is done and the drawers are organized!

Mollie and Sallie came over for a walk that afternoon. The sun was shining, everything was bright green, and the birds were chirping. Hopefully all of these April showers will lead to beautiful May flowers…

For their last day of spring break, we let the kids pick the dinner restaurant. Not surprisingly, they voted for Chili’s in Culpeper! A bowl of endless chips and salsa to start (plus Spencer’s toy soldier in the mix),

…and the world’s biggest Southwest Shrimp Caesar Salad for my entree.

Let’s chat books! I recently finished The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica, and all I can say is whoa! It’s a creepy thriller with an ending that I didn’t see coming! Definitely a fun read if you enjoy this genre. Here’s a quick summary from Amazon…

Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to a coastal island in Maine when their neighbor Morgan Baines is found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie.

But it’s not just Morgan’s death that has Sadie on edge. And as the eyes of suspicion turn toward the new family in town, Sadie is drawn deeper into the mystery of what really happened that dark and deadly night. But Sadie must be careful, for the more she discovers about Mrs. Baines, the more she begins to realize just how much she has to lose if the truth ever comes to light.

We spent Saturday on the soccer fields, and squeezed in the usual laundry, yard work, and walk with my neighbor.

Keith grilled chicken breast for supper,

Marinated grilled chicken on a plate with lemon and herbs

which I paired with greens and Dijon vinaigrette,

Hands tossing a salad with mustard vinaigrette

plus shells and cheese.

Bowl of shell mac and cheese with toasted breadcrumbs on top

There you go, friends! It wasn’t the “spring break vacation” that we originally planned, but we made the most of the kids’ rainy week off. Most importantly, Spencer’s eye is back to normal, and everyone can return to school healthy on Monday. Thanks for joining me here this weekend! I hope that you’ve found some fresh, new ideas for your own table in the days ahead. Have a great Sunday!


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!

Read More

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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    1. Hi, Jan! The only updates that I send out are the weekly Sunday email, which includes all of the new recipes from the week. That way I’m not flooding anyone’s inboxes with daily emails every time a new post goes live. 🙂

  1. So sorry you didn’t get the Spring Break you expected but it sounds that you all made the best of the situation…and the best part being that Spencer was and is okay…so scary when they get hurt especially an eye…love the photos as we are still waiting for Spring to show up here in Northern Ontario, Canada…although we have seen some buds on the trees this week always a good sign…thanks for starting my Sunday off on such a high note with blooms and recipes…have a great week…

    1. Thank you, Wendy! Yes — we’re so grateful that his eye is fine, so it’s hard to get too upset about the missed trip. We’ll get there another time!

  2. Your change of plans reminds me of a similar disappointment. My husband and I had tickets for a St. Peter’s Reunion that we were both looking forward to attending. My daughter was going to babysit although she actually wanted to go to a sleepover party. At the last minute, my youngest came down with Chicken Pox, my daughter went to her party and my son, then 9 years old went to the reunion dressed up in a suit and tie. We still chuckle about our change of plans.

    1. That’s funny! I know that in the scheme of things, this isn’t really a big deal, and I hope we’ll look back and laugh at it in the future. Some things are just out of our control! 🙂

  3. Hello, Blair:
    Care to share your lovely spring weather? We are still waiting for it to show up here, and everyone is thinking the same thing….just how long are the cloudy days and rain storms going to be the norm around here? We don’t even bother watching the weather reports on TV…. it’s the same most of the time anyway…. gah!
    Glad to hear that your son’s eye is ok. The Dr. prescribed the right eye drops for him.
    Thanks for posting such a good variety of evening meals: They sure will keep me busy this week, and the change for us will be rather refreshing.
    Have a fantastic week!
    Sandra W.

    1. Wish I could share the sunshine, Sandra! After a week of rain and clouds, I’m really looking forward to the 80 degree days in the forecast this week! Hope you have a good one!

  4. I’m going to make the banana nut bread for breakfast one day this week! After the bananas turn ! Thanks for sharing. And the brussels sprouts with bacon also sound very good to try. Glad your son is alright. Yes ! We have 40s in New Jersey …cold …cloudy …do not have buds on trees like you do ! Only daffodils and hyethesis have popped up here ! Happy Palm Sunday !

  5. Blair I enjoy your site talking of your beautiful home place and family’s activities. I have enjoyed trying many of your recipes. I also hope your sons eye is feeling better.

  6. I am reading that book right now. I love your pics and recipes. I don’t know when you find the time to read with those three boys lol.

    1. Hah! I definitely have to squeeze it in where I can! Often in the school pick-up line, in the car while waiting for them to finish at sports practices, and in bed at night. Always in short bursts before I’m interrupted! 🙂

  7. Good Morning Blair! I absolutely loved the pictures you posted for this blog! The pictures of the trees and pastures were breath taking! We have not been yet fortunate enough to get really nice weather yet, where I am living. Hopefully soon though! I am happy that you and your family made the best of your week, and also that the circumstance with your son turned out for the better. (Our eyes are so important!) I look forward to hearing from you next week! Take care!