Good morning, and happy Sunday! We're wrapping up another spring week, complete with flowers, rain showers, sports, school, birthdays, and easy family suppers. All of the highlights, along with each of our 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 chocolate chip muffins -- a sweet morning treat that would be a great way to spoil your mom (or yourself, or your kids) today!
We took a walk, and then headed out for Casey's soccer game that afternoon.
These two drag their baskets of plastic toy soldiers all over the house and yard. Every setting is a potential battlefield (and I find the little men on my nightstand, on my desk, in the kitchen, in my vehicle, in school backpacks, in the laundry, and more)...
Knowing that we wouldn't get home from Casey's game until shortly before supper, I marinated the steak tips in advance.
While Keith tended to the grill, I made a batch of rosemary roasted potatoes and some buttered green beans on the side.
Monday was sunny and 82 degrees, so I took advantage of the beautiful morning and met my neighbor, Barbara, for a walk up the road.
Gibbs and Spencer both had soccer practices that night, which meant dinner in shifts. I prepped a pan of baked rigatoni in advance, which the kids and I ate after school before heading out to the fields. Keith reheated the extras at the end of the night.
On the side, I served store-bought garlic breadsticks and a Caesar salad.
Tuesday was entirely devoted to cooking and photography, so I only left the house to walk the dog and to pick up the kids from school.
I served Crock Pot Chicken Gyros with French fries for supper, and then Keith took Casey to his soccer practice while I stayed home with the other two boys.
When they're not at their own practices, they're probably playing at the goal in the yard...
I've been reading a lot recently (at night, in the school pick-up lines, waiting for kids to finish sports, etc.), and I've got another good book to share with you this week! While it wasn't my favorite novel by Fiona Davis, The Magnolia Palace was still a really fun read. I appreciate how the author seamlessly weaves together different characters from two different generations, all centered around the Frick mansion and a decades-old murder. It's a lovely combination of historical fiction, mystery, and drama! Here's the summary from Amazon:
Eight months since losing her mother in the Spanish flu outbreak of 1919, twenty-one-year-old Lillian Carter's life has completely fallen apart. For the past six years, under the moniker Angelica, Lillian was one of the most sought-after artists' models in New York City, with statues based on her figure gracing landmarks from the Plaza Hotel to the Brooklyn Bridge. But with her mother gone, a grieving Lillian is rudderless and desperate—the work has dried up and a looming scandal has left her entirely without a safe haven. So when she stumbles upon an employment opportunity at the Frick mansion—a building that, ironically, bears her own visage—Lillian jumps at the chance. But the longer she works as a private secretary to the imperious and demanding Helen Frick, the daughter and heiress of industrialist and art patron Henry Clay Frick, the more deeply her life gets intertwined with that of the family—pulling her into a tangled web of romantic trysts, stolen jewels, and family drama that runs so deep, the stakes just may be life or death.
Nearly fifty years later, mod English model Veronica Weber has her own chance to make her career—and with it, earn the money she needs to support her family back home—within the walls of the former Frick residence, now converted into one of New York City's most impressive museums. But when she—along with a charming intern/budding art curator named Joshua—is dismissed from the Vogue shoot taking place at the Frick Collection, she chances upon a series of hidden messages in the museum: messages that will lead her and Joshua on a hunt that could not only solve Veronica's financial woes, but could finally reveal the truth behind a decades-old murder in the infamous Frick family.
I met my mom and my aunt for lunch at The Market at Grelen on Wednesday to celebrate my mom's birthday.
It was cloudy when we arrived, but the sun came out and we enjoyed a beautiful meal on the patio.
Mom and I both ordered the daily special, which was a roasted vegetable wrap with asparagus, portobello mushrooms, and other fresh veggies, shaved Parmesan cheese, and a really great pumpkin seed pesto.
We each brought home some flowers from the nursery, too.
Dinner that evening was a specific request from the kids: Goldfish Chicken Nuggets. These are really just basic baked chicken nuggets, but some of the breading includes crushed Goldfish crackers, which gives them great crunch and adds a subtle cheesy flavor. I paired the chicken with steamed broccoli and potato chips on the side. It's a great meal to serve when we're rushing out the door to practice, since I can prep everything in advance and then the chicken bakes in just 15 minutes.
More beautiful, blue, sunny skies on Thursday!
I took Casey to an early orthodontist appointment, and we treated ourselves to caramel frapps from the Starbucks in Ruckersville afterwards.
I met Mollie for a walk, and prepped dinner early in the day since I knew that we'd need to reheat it for an early supper before the boys' soccer practices. On the menu: one-pot American chop suey,
It rained all of Friday morning, but I was able to get out to the garden center mid-day when the weather cleared a bit. I was on a mission to get hanging flower baskets for the front porch, potting soil, and herbs.
The rest of my afternoon was spent gardening, and while it wasn't exactly nice out, I appreciated the cooler temps and the cloud cover while I was working.
Saturday was gray and wet, yet again. All of the kids' soccer games were canceled, but the rain held off in the morning so that I could meet my friend Adria for a walk.
The older boys helped Keith with yard work, Spencer helped me plant sunflower seeds, and then I made a stop at one of my favorite local antique stores to buy a couple pieces of furniture.
I also finished another book, which would be a great "beach read" to add to your summer list: 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand. I found this one to be unrealistic, but still very entertaining and moving. Here's the summary:
When Mallory Blessing's son, Link, receives deathbed instructions from his mother to call a number on a slip of paper in her desk drawer, he's not sure what to expect. But he certainly does not expect Jake McCloud to answer. It's the late spring of 2020 and Jake's wife, Ursula DeGournsey, is the frontrunner in the upcoming Presidential election.
There must be a mistake, Link thinks. How do Mallory and Jake know each other?
Flash back to the sweet summer of 1993: Mallory has just inherited a beachfront cottage on Nantucket from her aunt, and she agrees to host her brother's bachelor party. Cooper's friend from college, Jake McCloud, attends, and Jake and Mallory form a bond that will persevere—through marriage, children, and Ursula's stratospheric political rise—until Mallory learns she's dying.
Based on the classic film Same Time Next Year (which Mallory and Jake watch every summer), 28 Summers explores the agony and romance of a one-weekend-per-year affair and the dramatic ways this relationship complicates and enriches their lives, and the lives of the people they love.
While it rained that afternoon, I baked myself a strawberry cake for our Mother's Day dessert this evening. I welcome any excuse to eat cake, and the strawberry version seemed like the perfect spring treat!
We let the boys choose the dinner venue, and they opted for the sushi and Chinese buffet. It was an early meal and we were home in time to watch the Kentucky Derby on TV!
And that's it for now, friends. I hope that you've found some new inspiration for your own table in the days ahead. Thank you for being here, and have a wonderful week!💞