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.
Good morning, and happy Sunday! This week was full of books, baked goods, pool time, and other summer fun. 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…
I met two of my friends for an early walk on Sunday, took recipe photos, and otherwise stayed close to home to get work done around the house.
Keith grilled shrimp for dinner,
Let’s chat about some of my recent reads! First up, Assaulted Caramel by Amanda Flower. This is the first in a series of mysteries set in an Amish town in Ohio. It’s similar to Linda Castillo’s Kate Burkholder books, but much lighter, and not at all scary or gory. This cute and entertaining novel actually reminds me a lot of the baking mystery series on the Hallmark Channel starring Allison Sweeney (Murder, She Baked). Here’s the summary from Amazon:
Bailey King is living the sweet life as assistant chocolatier at world-famous JP Chocolates in New York City. But just when Bailey’s up for a life-changing promotion, her grandmother calls with news that her grandfather’s heart condition has worsened. Bailey rushes to Harvest, Ohio, where her grandparents still run Swissmen Sweets, the Amish candy shop where she was first introduced to delicious fudge, truffles, and other assorted delights.
She finds her grandfather is doing better than she feared. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for a local English developer, whom Bailey finds dead in the candy shop kitchen—with Jebediah King’s chocolate knife buried in his chest. Now the police are sweet on her grandfather as the prime suspect. Despite the sincere efforts of a yummy deputy with chocolate-brown eyes, Bailey takes it on herself to clear Jebediah. But as a cunning killer tries to fudge the truth, Bailey may be headed straight into a whole batch of trouble . . .
I also finished Out to Canaan by Jan Karon, which is the fourth book in the Mitford series. I just love Father Tim and these funny, feel-good novels so, so much. Working my way through the whole set! If you’re interested, you’ll definitely want to start with the first novel, At Home in Mitford.
Finally, a light romantic comedy that I also adored — perfect for summer beach reading! The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood is predictable (yes!), but the characters were so good, and I found it to be a wonderful escape. Couldn’t put this one down! Here’s the summary:
As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.
That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs.
Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.
Gibbs attended another day camp this week on Monday through Thursday, so the younger two boys started their Monday with a bike ride,
and then were dragged along on my various errands for the rest of the morning.
I baked a batch of chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies at the kids’ request that afternoon,
and made a Cool Ranch Dorito Chicken Casserole for supper.
On the side, we had a tomato salad and corn, using the veggies that we picked up from the farm stand earlier in the day.
A Tuesday morning walk with Keith…
The local corn is growing so tall, thanks to plenty of rain from the regular afternoon thunderstorms we’ve had recently.
Spencer and Casey made a “house” out of sticks at the base of this tree in our yard for the frog that they found while riding their bikes. It stayed in there for a long time, so I guess it was cozy and safe (or maybe just too terrified to move?!).
We packed a picnic lunch and met friends at the pool, then picked up Gibbs from camp,
and baked a loaf of our favorite zucchini bread for an afternoon snack. ‘Tis the season!
Wednesday was non-stop — a morning walk, a swim at our friends’ pool so that the boys could burn off some of their energy with their buddies, and then home to shower and change before I jumped on a work-related Zoom call.
We picked up Gibbs from camp, went over to my friend Adria’s house to check out her garden,
…and finally returned home for supper.
Thursday started with an early morning walk with my neighbor, Barbara. The humidity was already stifling at 7:00 a.m.! I know that many parts of the country are experiencing a similar heat wave this week (and next), and it’s no joke…
The younger boys and I made a quick stop at Yoder’s Country Market for peaches, blueberries, corn, and buttermilk,
…and to say hi to the animals. Otherwise, our day was spent up in Culpeper visiting the Open House for the final day of Gibbs’ camp.
I left a pork shoulder slowly cooking in the Crock Pot all day while we were gone, so we came home to pulled pork sandwiches for supper. Instead of chicken broth, I added a can of Coca Cola as the cooking liquid (it was great). I also stashed enough leftover meat in the freezer to use in a pulled pork casserole or on pulled pork nachos at another time. Double win!
We paired the sandwiches with quick refrigerator dill pickles, store-bought coleslaw, and potato chips.
I brought some sour cream blueberry muffins to my friend before our walk on Friday morning, and she gave me homemade grape juice, grape jelly, applesauce, and some of the purple potatoes from her garden. Yes, please!
Our only other outing of the day was a trip into Charlottesville to meet my parents for lunch at Burton’s Grill. This was the corn chowder, a seasonal special, with a Caesar salad.
And that brings us to Saturday! Keith took the kids to the pool for a swim and to Yoder’s for ice cream, while I stayed home to get work done.
My hydrangea is finally blooming!
I was ready for a break from the kitchen that night, so we picked up supper from The BBQ Exchange in Gordonsville, which is one of my local faves. A little bit of everything: pulled pork, mac and cheese, coleslaw, baked beans, collard greens, pickles, and cornbread!
There you go — another week of dinner ideas! I hope that you’ve found something new to add to your table in the days ahead. Thank you for being here, and have a wonderful Sunday!