Good morning, and happy Sunday! This week included a Father's Day celebration and a lake vacation in the mountains of western North Carolina, so it was full of fun food and plenty of treats. 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 Father's Day! I went for an early walk up the road with my friend Adria, and then spent the rest of the day celebrating Keith.
We went for a hike at his favorite nearby trail on Skyline Drive, Hawksbill Summit.
Lots of Mountain Laurel in bloom...
Can you tell that Spencer didn't want to pose for a photo?!😂
Plus pizza and Caesar salads for lunch on our way home at one of Keith's favorite restaurants, Rappahannock Pizza Kitchen.
I spent the afternoon packing suitcases and food for our vacation the next day, and kept dinner pretty simple: perfect 15-minute grilled salmon,
along with a platter of sliced tomatoes and fresh basil dressed with olive oil, balsamic, salt, and pepper; couscous; and a basket of cheddar bay biscuits.
We left Virginia on Monday morning and drove south to North Carolina, where we rented a cabin on Lake Lure for a few days (about 45 minutes southeast of Asheville).
Swimming in the afternoon...
...and dinner on the patio that evening. We brought very basic groceries to make one supper at the cabin (as well as breakfasts and lunches), knowing that we would probably dine out in restaurants on the other nights of our vacation. Keith grilled BBQ chicken, and I made a simple Caesar salad, rice, and a can of crescent rolls.
Our rental house was about 5 minutes from Chimney Rock State Park, so that's where we headed on Tuesday morning.
These eager beavers were the first up the climb...
Beautiful views of the mountains and lake from the top!
We returned to the house for lunch, and then went back down to the lake for a swim in the afternoon.
Followed by ice cream for snack, naturally...
...and an evening in Chimney Rock Village. First, beer at the Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery, which sits right on the river...
...and dinner at the Stagecoach Saloon in the Broad River Inn, where we had "mountain-style" pizzas and salads.
Finished off the evening with a round of putt-putt. This shot turned out to be a hole-in-one...
Wednesday morning at the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge (my personal trip highlight!)...
They had a seasonal fairy and gnome garden display set up, so the boys had fun walking through the various flower beds, finding hidden paths, and hunting for the secret fairies. It was so impressive -- like a mini botanical garden!
...and then a hike on the nearby Rumbling Bald trail.
We spent the afternoon exploring the town of Black Mountain, North Carolina (so many cute shops, galleries, and breweries), and grabbed Phil's Barb-B-Que for dinner. Pulled bbq chicken on salad with hush puppies and collards. Delicious food and a fun atmosphere!
Thursday was a long, uneventful day of traveling home, unpacking, and doing laundry. We loved our vacation, but we're always happy to get back to Virginia, too!
There was plenty of time for reading on the road, so I've got a couple more good books to share with you this week. First up: Don't You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane. This "chick lit" novel reminds me of those romantic-comedy movies that we all know and love. Funny in parts, serious in others, but so fun and easy to enjoy. A perfect light pick for your next getaway or quiet weekend! Here's the summary from Amazon:
You always remember your first love... don’t you?
If there’s anything worse than being fired from the lousiest restaurant in town, it’s coming home early to find your boyfriend in bed with someone else. Reeling from the humiliation of a double dumping in one day, Georgina takes the next job that comes her way—bartender in a newly opened pub. There’s only one problem: it’s run by the guy she fell in love with years ago. And—make that two problems—he doesn’t remember her. At all. But she has fabulous friends and her signature hot pink fur coat... what more could a girl really need?
Lucas McCarthy has not only grown into a broodingly handsome man, but he’s also turned into an actual grown-up, with a thriving business and a dog along the way. Crossing paths with him again throws Georgina’s rocky present into sharp relief—and brings a secret from her past bubbling to the surface. Only she knows what happened twelve years ago, and why she’s allowed the memories to chase her ever since. But maybe it’s not too late for the truth... or a second chance with the one that got away?
Next, I read Breaking Silence by Linda Castillo. This is the third book in the Kate Burkholder mystery series, which takes place in Ohio's Amish country. I found the first two books to be really gory and disturbing in parts, but I loved this one! The crimes weren't nearly as upsetting as the other two, and the plot included plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing. If you enjoy murder mysteries, this is a fun series to sink your teeth into!
I didn't have a specific plan for supper, and I didn't want to run out to the grocery store, so I thawed some leftover taco meat from the freezer to make taco quesadillas. We had corn on the side, along with chips and salsa (no avocados on hand for guacamole that night).
Back to the routine on Friday! Keith went to work, the kids and I picked up groceries to restock our fridge, and we took a picnic lunch to the pool for the afternoon.
I took advantage of fresh summer tomatoes and basil and served pasta with pomodoro sauce for dinner,
Saturday was largely devoted to house chores, errands, and recipe testing in the kitchen.
That afternoon, we went to a going away party for our friends who are moving soon, and then came home for dinner.
Keith grilled rockfish and chicken thighs,
So there you go -- another week's worth of easy dinners! 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 Sunday!