Good morning, and happy Sunday! We're wrapping up another beautiful spring week full of showers, flowers, sports, school, books, and work. 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 was Mother's Day, and the only thing that I requested was donuts, coffee, and fruit for breakfast! Keith delivered, and went out early to pickup the food -- including my favorite chocolate old-fashioned donut.
It was cool and gray, but the rain held off and we were able to get outside for a walk.
Casey and Spencer picked wildflowers for me, which smell like honeysuckle. They fill up the kitchen with a fresh spring aroma!
Keith smoked a pork shoulder for supper, so we had bbq pulled pork for dinner (here's my Crock Pot version),
along with cornbread,
baked beans (from a can) and southern-style green beans. Some of my very favorite foods, and the perfect Mother's Day meal!
Plus strawberry cake for dessert, which I had baked the day before. Yes, please!
The sun returned on Monday, thank goodness! The boys headed off to school, Keith went to work, and I met my friend Ashley for an early walk before sitting down at the computer for the day.
My neighbor clipped the first of her peonies for me! Can't wait for the other local buds to open as well...
Gibbs and Spencer both had soccer practices that evening (starting at 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.), so I baked a pan of Mexican lasagna in advance. We were eating dinner in shifts, so I just reheated individual servings as we needed them. Not fancy, but it worked!
Tuesday was another gorgeous spring day!
There's a fox family that has taken up residence in this old barn behind us...
I spent my day getting work done at the house, and broke early for an afternoon walk with my friend Mollie before picking up the boys.
We had an early spaghetti dinner that evening, so that Keith could get Casey to soccer practice.
I conveniently had a container of our favorite spaghetti sauce in the freezer, so I thawed that and served it over noodles with store-bought garlic breadsticks and a green salad with red wine vinaigrette.
Wednesday included a walk, work, a grocery pick-up, and the usual house chores.
Gibbs had soccer again that evening, so we all ate an early meal before I took him to the fields for the evening and Keith cut the grass. We had Hawaiian kielbasa kabobs, which I served over rice. An oldie-but-goodie!
How about another book report?! I read not one, but two good books this week. First I have to mention A Season for Second Chances by Jenny Bayliss, which turned out to be one of my favorite books so far this year. Such a pleasant surprise! I flew through this light and predictable, but well-written story with great characters and a lovely setting. At first glance, this looks like it might be a Christmas novel; however, it's definitely not. The first ¾ of the book take place in the fall, so don't assume that you need to save this one for later in the year (in fact, I think it's a perfect summer beach read)! Here's the quick summary from Amazon:
Annie Sharpe’s spark for life has fizzled out. Her kids are grown up, her restaurant is doing just fine on its own, and her twenty-six-year marriage has come to an unceremonious end. Untethered for the first time in her adult life, she finds a winter guardian position in a historic seaside home and decides to leave her city life behind for a brand-new beginning.
When she arrives in Willow Bay, Annie is enamored by the charming house, the invigorating sea breeze, and the town’s rich seasonal traditions. Not to mention, her neighbors receive her with open arms—that is, all except the surly nephew of the homeowner, whose grand plans for the property are at odds with her residency. As Christmas approaches, tensions and tides rise in Willow Bay, and Annie’s future seems less and less certain. But with a little can-do spirit and holiday magic, the most difficult time of her life will become…a season for second chances.
Next up: The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth. This psychological thriller was a fun page--turner with a twist at the end (which I always enjoy), but it wasn't too scary. Safe for bedtime reading! Here's the summary:
There's only been one time that Rose couldn't stop me from doing the wrong thing and that was a mistake that will haunt me for the rest of my life.
Fern Castle works in her local library. She has dinner with her twin sister Rose three nights a week. And she avoids crowds, bright lights and loud noises as much as possible. Fern has a carefully structured life and disrupting her routine can be...dangerous.
When Rose discovers that she cannot get pregnant, Fern sees her chance to pay her sister back for everything Rose has done for her. Fern can have a baby for Rose. She just needs to find a father. Simple.
Fern's mission will shake the foundations of the life she has carefully built for herself and stir up dark secrets from the past, in this quirky, rich and shocking story of what families keep hidden.
Thursday started with an early walk with Ashley, followed by a day of recipe testing in the kitchen.
Friday morning was rainy and gray, but I managed a walk with Mollie before picking up the kids early from school. It was the last day of standardized testing here in Madison, so I rewarded them with lunch out in Culpeper. They chose Panera Bread, where we feasted on mac and cheese, soup, sandwiches, baguettes, and a dozen bagels-to-go.
Plus frozen yogurt from Sweet Frog for dessert!
The rest of the afternoon was a quiet one at the house, while the kids played and nobody had a sports practice to rush off to. The sun came out, it was nice and warm, and we all enjoyed the fresh air!
I made New England Shrimp Rolls for supper,
which we paired with marinated cucumbers (using up the extra dill that I had left from the shrimp salad) and potato chips. Easy, and perfect for the warmer days ahead!
A golden sunset...
Spencer had a soccer game out in Sperryville on Saturday, so we stopped for a late lunch at Rappahannock Pizza Kitchen on our way home.
This was the veggie sandwich on sourdough with provolone, an herb mayo, and a bunch of fresh vegetables, plus a Caesar salad on the side.
And dinner was more of the same! Actually, since nobody was very hungry after our big, late lunch, we just finished a bunch of leftovers for supper -- including shrimp salad from the night before, as well as the cheesy bread and margherita pizza from earlier in the day.
That's where I'll leave it for now, friends! I hope that you've found some new meal inspiration for your own table in the days ahead. Thank you for being here, and have a wonderful week!