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Good morning, and happy Sunday! It was a full week of May craziness — from a birthday celebration to a trip to Kings Dominion. All of the highlights, along with each of our dinners, are included in today’s roundup of Our Week in Meals!

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…

Sunday started out cloudy and gray, but it quickly cleared up and turned into a hot, humid, and sunny afternoon. Feeling more and more like a true Virginia summer!

I met 3 of my girlfriends for a walk at Mollie’s farm,

and Keith’s parents stopped by for a visit in the afternoon. They delivered an early birthday present for Casey, along with a box of Duck Donuts (the way to our hearts, hah)!

Keith grilled bbq chicken for supper,

Side shot of grilled BBQ Chicken breast on a platter with cornbread and coleslaw

which we paired with sauteed zucchini and yellow squash,

Hands using a serving spoon to serve sauteed zucchini recipe from a blue and white plate

and a basket of blueberry corn muffins.

Square image of hands holding a basket of blueberry corn muffins

Once again, a rainy Monday morning turned into a mostly-sunny afternoon.

I spent my day taking care of errands, working at the computer, wrapping birthday presents, and walking with a friend.

Gibbs requested spinach stuffed shells for dinner, so I prepped a pan of them early in the day, and made a second batch to stash in the freezer.

Close up image of spinach stuffed shells in a baking dish

We paired the pasta with garlic bread and a Caesar salad, and then I took Spencer to his last soccer practice. Now that Gibbs is done with his season, we’re down to just 3 nights of practices per week…which makes a big difference in our evening schedule!

Homemade caesar salad served in a bowl on a wooden table

A sunny Tuesday after the rain: everything looked so vibrant and green!

I spent most of the day cooking and photographing recipes in the kitchen, but did manage to get out for some fresh air later in the afternoon.

I also made a small batch of chicken salad for lunch, taking advantage of some extra (plain) grilled chicken that Keith had cooked on Sunday. Store-bought rotisserie chicken works well in this recipe, too!

Easy rotisserie chicken salad recipe served on a sandwich with lettuce and yellow tulips in the background

We all ate an early supper around 4:15, since Casey had to leave for his practice by 5. Fortunately, I had a couple of containers of leftover slow cooker beef chili in the freezer, so I reheated that and paired it with a skillet of cornbread.

Overhead shot of hands eating a bowl of easy chili recipe with a spoon.

Wednesday was a beautiful day for a birthday!

Casey turned 11, and we celebrated with donuts for breakfast, gifts before school, and a visit with my parents in the afternoon.

The birthday boy requested Chik-Fil-A for dinner, which is a real “treat” because it’s his favorite restaurant, and there isn’t one near Madison. I drove to Charlottesville to pick up the order…

…and baked his favorite vanilla cake for dessert.

Slice of vanilla cake with a candle in it

I cheered on Spence at his school race on Thursday morning, and then met some movers at a local antique shop. They were helping me transport a couple of pieces that I bought last week, but were too big for me to bring home on my own.

I walked with Mollie in the afternoon, picked up the kids from school, and fed everyone an early supper before Casey’s soccer practice: Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches,

Close up front shot of Crock Pot Italian Beef served on a toasted hoagie roll with giardiniera

with corn salad and chips on the side. This was a convenient weeknight meal because I could prep everything early in the day and then pull it all together to serve it in the evening.

Since the boys only have a few days of school left, we played hooky on Friday and continued Casey’s birthday celebration with a trip to Kings Dominion (an amusement park near Richmond).

We did some of the smaller roller coasters, but the favorites were definitely the flume ride, the haunted house, and the bumper cars.

Soft pretzels and Kona ice for lunch on a 95°F day!

We repurposed leftovers for dinner, which made meal prep very easy at the end of a long day. I added taco seasoning to the extra pulled pork that Keith smoked a couple of weeks ago to make carnitas (basically pulled pork tacos), which we paired with the leftover corn salad from the night before, black beans, tortilla chips, salsa, and homemade guacamole.

Close up side shot of tasty carnitas tacos on a metal plate

And how about some book talk?! I can’t let the week pass by without sharing a couple of new reads with you. It had been awhile since I picked up a mystery, so I dove into a new series that was recommended to me by a blog reader. The Kate Burkholder novels by Linda Castillo are set in Ohio’s Amish country, and the first book, Sworn to Silence, was even turned into a Lifetime movie.

I enjoyed Sworn to Silence so much that I also plowed through book #2 in the series, Pray for Silence, right after it! I really enjoy Castillo’s characters, and the mysteries keep you turning the pages. I highly recommend the books; however, with one caveat: they are far more gory and disturbing than any other crime novels that I’ve read. The author goes into great detail about the atrocities committed (much of which I just prefer to skip over). Highly entertaining stories, but not necessarily great for bedtime reading — they might give you (and me) nightmares!

We were back out on the soccer fields on Saturday morning for Spencer’s last game of the season, followed by a stop at the farmer’s market, and finally haircuts for everyone after lunch.

My neighbor’s strawberries are finally ripe, and since I didn’t have time to pick them on my own this week, I made sure to buy plenty from her at the market. There’s nothing better!

We knew that we wouldn’t have an opportunity to make a homemade dinner this evening (since we’ll be out on the soccer fields until late in the afternoon), so we made our normal Sunday supper on Saturday night instead. Keith was in charge of the baby back ribs,

Close up side shot of baked baby back ribs on a cutting board

while I sauteed the spinach and the asparagus that I bought at the farmer’s market that morning, and baked some Sister Shubert’s yeast rolls.

Overhead shot of sauteed asparagus with garlic lemon and almonds on a white rectangular dish.

And the best part? A strawberry crisp with vanilla ice cream for dessert, using our freshly-picked berries!

Overhead shot of hands eating a bowl of strawberry crisp with vanilla ice cream on top

Phew, what a week! We’re looking ahead to the last few days of school, and then finally summer break for the kids. I hope that you have a great Sunday, and that you’ve found some meal inspiration for your own table. Thank you for joining me here!


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. Happy Birthday Casey! I’ll be using your vanilla cake recipe for my daughter’s birthdays this week Thank you! Your children eat better than my grown children( lol)
    Have a great week!

  2. Everything looks great as usual, Blair! Boy, that grass sure is high and thick. You must be getting plenty of rain but also muggy as heck I’ll bet. Happy birthday to Casey. All your boys are growing so fast. Taller and better looking everyday, I should think. Keith’s grilled food looks so good. If he ever wants to hire himself as a grill cook I’d place the first order!

    1. Thank you, Marion! Yes, it’s definitely hog and muggy right now. Keith would love to be a professional griller, I think! 🙂

  3. Hi, Blair! Happy Sunday to you and your family! I just noticed that you live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Lucky you! Your pictures are so beautiful!

    I felt an immediate connection when learning this. I grew up in northern Virginia but went to Bridgewater College and have friends in the Harrisonburg area. I have fond memories of making trips to school, enjoying the scenic landscapes along the way. I also made many trips to Holy Cross Abbey to visit the monks of Berryville. It’s all God’s country, isn’t it!

    I now live in Danville which I’m enjoying a lot!

    Thanks for the great recipes and blessings on you and your family!

    Best wishes,

    1. Hi, Susan! It’s always nice to hear from a fellow Virginian. Danville is in such a great part of the state, too. We’re just over the mountains from Harrisonburg — about 45 minutes away. I know your old stomping grounds well! Thank you for reading the blog and for leaving me such a kind note. Have a great week!

  4. Hi Blair! Everything you have posted from the recipes to the all of the pictures you take, is always so marvelous. The corn salad looks so good to try! Your picture of the strawberries, just reminded me I need to buy some! I loved the pictures at the amusement park also, it always looks like your family is healthy and happy! The smiles are so nice to see! Take Care and have a good week!

    1. Thank you, Stephanie! I appreciate your kind, thoughtful note. I’m glad that you enjoy reading along with us. Hope you can get your hands on some fresh strawberries — this is definitely the time of year to enjoy them! 🙂