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Good morning, happy Sunday, and welcome to September! We’re enjoying a long Labor Day weekend, complete with a birthday celebration, swimming, and family time. I hope that you’re squeezing out the last few drops of summer as well. 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 joined Mollie and Sallie for a walk at Mollie’s farm on Sunday morning, and spent the rest of the day around the house cleaning and getting ready for the week ahead.

Keith grilled marinated chicken thighs for supper,

Overhead image of a platter of grilled chicken thighs marinade on a wooden table

which we paired with a loaf of my jalapeño cheddar bread (soooo good, and not too spicy),

Hands holding jalapeno cheddar bread sliced on a wooden board

and parmesan roasted cauliflower and broccoli.

Overhead shot of a copper roasting pan full of cauliflower with parmesan bread crumbs

Let’s chat books, since I’ve got a few new ones to share with you this week. First, Mustique Island by Sarah McCoy. I found this novel highly entertaining — especially because it is based on the life of Anne Glenconner (whose autobiography I really enjoyed). Here’s the summary from Amazon:

A sun-splashed romp with a rich divorcee and her two wayward daughters in 1970s Mustique, the world’s most exclusive private island, where Princess Margaret and Mick Jagger were regulars and scandals stayed hidden from the press…

It’s January 1972 but the sun is white hot when Willy May Michael’s boat first kisses the dock of Mustique Island. Tucked into the southernmost curve of the Caribbean, Mustique is a private island that has become a haven for the wealthy and privileged. Its owner is the eccentric British playboy Colin Tennant, who is determined to turn this speck of white sand into a luxurious neo-colonial retreat for his rich friends and into a royal court in exile for the Queen’s rebellious sister, Princess Margaret—one where Her Royal Highness can skinny dip, party, and entertain lovers away from the public eye.

Willy May, a former beauty queen from Texas—who is also no stranger to marital scandals—seeks out Mustique for its peaceful isolation. Determined to rebuild her life and her relationships with her two daughters, Hilly, a model, and Joanne, a musician, she constructs a fanciful white beach house across the island from Princess Margaret—and finds herself pulled into the island’s inner circle of aristocrats, rock stars, and hangers-on.

When Willy May’s daughters arrive, they discover that beneath its veneer of decadence, Mustique has a dark side, and like sand caught in the undertow, their mother-daughter story will shift and resettle in ways they never could have imagined.

Next up, Something Wilder by Christina Lauren. I’ve now read quite a few of this author duo’s novels, and I always enjoy them. They’re light, funny, and just a perfect easy read before bed. This one was quite the page-turning adventure, too! Here’s the synopsis:

Growing up the daughter of notorious treasure hunter and absentee father Duke Wilder left Lily without much patience for the profession…or much money in the bank. But Lily is resourceful, and now uses Duke’s coveted hand-drawn maps to guide tourists on fake treasure hunts through the red rock canyons of Utah. It pays the bills but doesn’t leave enough to fulfill her dream of buying back the beloved ranch her father sold years ago, and definitely not enough to deal with the sight of the man she once loved walking back into her life with a motley crew of friends ready to hit the trails. Frankly, Lily would like to take him out into the wilderness and leave him there.

Leo Grady knew mirages were a thing in the desert, but they’d barely left civilization when the silhouette of his greatest regret comes into focus in the flickering light of the campfire. Ready to leave the past behind him, Leo wants nothing more than to reconnect with his first and only love. Unfortunately, Lily Wilder is all business, drawing a clear line in the sand: it’s never going to happen.

But when the trip goes horribly and hilariously wrong, the group wonders if maybe the legend of the hidden treasure wasn’t a gimmick after all. There’s a chance to right the wrongs—of Duke’s past and their own—but only if Leo and Lily can confront their history and work together. Alone under the stars in the isolated and dangerous mazes of the Canyonlands, Leo and Lily must decide whether they’ll risk their lives and hearts on the treasure hunt of a lifetime.

This page-turning adventure full of second chances, complicated relationships, and the breathtaking beauty of the American Southwest will take you on one wild ride.

And finally, because I love her Father Tim novels so much, I finished the 5th book in Jan Karon’s Mitford series: A New Song. If you want to dive into these heartwarming stories, definitely start with the first (At Home in Mitford). You won’t be disappointed!

I had an early doctor’s appointment in Charlottesville on Monday morning, so I drove into town with the sunrise.

Back home, I took Teddy for a quick 10-minute walk up the road, where we saw not a single car…but waved to three different tractors as they passed us by. The farmers are hard at work right now!

Casey had a mid-day appointment at the orthodontist, so we picked up subs for lunch afterwards before he returned to class. By the time I dropped off a few items at Spencer’s school and was done running around, the day was almost over!

Gibbs had his first soccer practice of the season that evening, so I served everyone an early supper before he had to leave. On the menu: spaghetti with quick and easy Bolognese sauce,

Hands eating a bowl of bolognese sauce over pappardelle pasta.

as well as garlic bread and a salad dressed in balsamic vinaigrette.

Close up shot of a bowl of the best homemade garlic bread

Spencer requested a picture on the front porch with his dog and his skeleton!

Back at it on Tuesday morning, starting with a walk with my friend Ashley after school drop-offs,

followed by a dentist appointment in town, and then a stop at Yoder’s country market on my way home.

The kids were very happy that I came home with fry pies and cookies, in addition to the usual lunch meat, buttermilk, and locally-grown produce.

We had multiple activities on the schedule that evening, so I planned a dinner that I could prepare in advance: Crock Pot bbq pulled pork and cheese on top of baked potatoes, with coleslaw (that I picked up from Yoder’s) and veggies and dip. Then I was off to Ruckersville for Gibbs’s golf lesson, while Keith took the younger two boys to Orange for their soccer practices.

Overhead shot of a bowl of pulled pork with bbq sauce

Wednesday was devoted to cooking and recipe photos, so I stayed busy in the kitchen while the kids were at school.

Once again, we were eating at different times and heading in different directions that evening, which meant an easy dinner that we could assemble as needed. I made a batch of chicken salad for sandwiches, which we paired with potato chips and fresh fruit. Keith took Gibbs to the orthodontist and to soccer practice, while I headed to Orange with Casey and Spencer for their teams’ practices.

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

Thursday included a walk in the woods with my friend Mollie,

a stop at Adria’s farm to pick some of the beautiful flowers in her gardens,

and a visit from my parents around lunchtime.

We had a night off from sports practices, so I made Garlic Butter Shrimp with Old Bay for supper, along with rice and a salad. A delicious meal in less than 30 minutes!

Close overhead shot of a bowl of lemon garlic butter shrimp.

After a walk with my friend Ashley on Friday morning, I drove up to Culpeper to take care of a handful of errands on my to-do list — and treated myself to my first pumpkin scone and pumpkin spice frappuccino of the season! Haven’t had a pumpkin spice latte yet, since it’s still almost 90 degrees here…

I made a quick stop at home, and then picked up Gibbs for a lunch date during his mid-day break at school. We had just enough time for ice cream cones, milkshakes, and fries at the Tastee Freez!

Keith took Casey to Charlottesville for soccer practice that evening, so they had a late dinner in town afterwards. Meanwhile, I let Gibbs and Spencer choose our meal at home, and they opted for pizza and subs from Giovanna’s. Perfect, easy Friday night!

I made a small batch of fig preserves on Saturday morning to take advantage of some local figs that I picked up at Yoder’s earlier in the week, cleaned and did laundry, and fed everyone lunch. Then we hit the road to head south to my parents’ house for the rest of the day.

Close up side shot of a jar of homemade old fashioned fig preserves with warm biscuits

They hosted our family, as well as Keith’s parents, for a cookout that evening as an early celebration for Keith’s upcoming birthday.

The boys swam in the lake in the afternoon…

…and we all enjoyed grilled steaks, shrimp, caprese salad, Caesar salad, roasted potatoes, and baguette for supper.

Plus my mom’s ice cream pie for dessert!

Side shot of a layered ice cream pie slice on a plate

And that’s where I’ll leave it for now. It was a full week, and we’ve got even more adventures planned for the days ahead. I hope that you all enjoy the long weekend if you’re in the U.S., and have a very relaxing Sunday. Thank you for being 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!

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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. Debbie Hill says:

    This is the first year I have not canned figs in 10 years. I usually make a few batches of spiced fig jam and sweet pickled figs.
    If you are interested in making the sweet pickled figs, I will give you the recipe. They are simple to make and so delicious.
    I serve them with Brie. I take a wedge or small circle of Brie. Chop some of the sweet pickled figs on top. Put in oven or microwave to heat and soften the Brie. Spread on slices of Baguette.
    You can use crackers but I think it’s best on the baguette.
    Let me know if you want the recipe…
    It is simple to make.

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Thank you, Debbie! I’d love the recipe, even though I probably won’t get to it this year. Maybe next year! 🙂

    2. Cathy says:


      I would love the spiced fig jam recipe. Maybe Blair could post it?

      And Blair once again, great recipes, the flowers are gorgeous! I am a real reader but I cannot figure out how you can possibly read SO many books each week. Don’t get me wrong, I love your book comments but I don’t see how there are enough hours in the day to do so!!

      1. Blair Lonergan says:

        Hey, Cathy! Yes, Debbie will probably post it here in the comments! 🙂

        Yes, I’ve been cruising through a lot of books ever since I got my Kindle and the Libby app. I do a combination of eBooks that I read on my Kindle, as well as 1 or 2 audiobooks that I listen to each week. I read before bed, when I’m waiting in the school pickup line, on the couch at night while Keith watches sports on TV, and while I wait for the kids to finish up sports practices. I can listen to the audio books while folding laundry, driving, etc. I’m not spending any money on buying new books, and I can check them out and return them on the app instead of having to go to the library. It’s so efficient, and I’m reading a lot more as a result. Love it!

    3. L Dianne Hobbs says:

      Please share the pickled figs recipe with us readers.

  2. Allyson Cruise says:

    Blair, I look forward to seeing your post every Sunday. Your pictures are just beautiful! Enjoy your Labor Day!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Thank you, Allyson! I appreciate that, and I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day as well!

  3. Jill says:

    Love Our Week in Meals. Going to make your moms ice cream pie. Wish I had a piece now. Happy Birthday to Keith and Happy Labor Day.

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Oh, good! You won’t be disappointed with that pie, Jill! 🙂

  4. Debbie Hill says:

    Note. This recipe will take 2-3 days depending on the times you start.
    BUT your actual working time is not much. The majority of time is just the figs sitting on the counter in the syrup. PLUS, you can “ fudge” on the times to suit your schedule. The last 8 hours of sitting… it can be less than 8 or more than 8…. Let the time fit your schedule.
    Sweet Pickled Figs
    3 heaping quarts whole figs
    Short stems can be on them.
    6 cups sugar
    1 cup white vinegar
    2 Tablespoons Pickling spices
    1.) Pour boiling water over figs
    Let stand 5 minutes. Drain
    2.) Mix sugar, vinegar, spices
    In a large pot. Bring to a boil.
    3.) Add figs. Slow boil for
    10 minutes.
    4.) Remove from heat. Cover
    Let stand overnight.
    5.) Next day
    Put pot on stove and bring to
    a boil. Boil 10 minutes.
    6,) Remove from heat. Cover
    Let stand ABOUT 8 hours.
    7,). Bring to a boil again.
    Boil 10 minutes.
    8.). Fill jars with figs and syrup/spices.
    9.) in a canner, do a water bath
    for 15 minutes.
    Delicious chopped on Brie, heated in oven or microwave and spread on baguette slices.
    Or, just eat them out of the jar!!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      They sound great, Debbie. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Debbie Hill says:

    Blair, I also have a Kindle and use Libby. I use Libby only when I’m driving and use Kindle all other times when I read…. So I usually have 2 books going at same time. But, occasionally I can get a book on my Kindle AND on Libby at the same time. .. a bummer is if the book is on a HOLD… but sometimes it comes before I finish the book on Kindle. They are not synced but I just notice which chapter I end on and then when go to the other device just move to that chapter. I just finished State of Terror using both. So convenient. But I’m reading The One now and I can’t get it on Libby…. Darn it!!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Yes, you get used to using Libby, and then it’s so frustrating when they don’t have something that you want to read! 🙂