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Good morning, and happy Sunday! This week included a few new good books, beautiful autumn weather, and plenty of comfort food. 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 did some baking on Sunday morning — a batch of chocolate chip cookies,

Square shot of the best chocolate chip cookies on a wire cooling rack

and a loaf of easy one-bowl pumpkin bread — both of which are regular requests from the boys. I made the pumpkin bread in my harvest bounty loaf pan…a must-have for this time of year!😉

Close up side shot of stacked slices of one bowl pumpkin bread on a white tray

I joined my friends Adria and Barbara for a walk,

…fed the crew lunch, and then spent the afternoon in Orange cheering for Casey’s soccer team.

Keith grilled chicken thighs for supper,

Overhead image of a tray of grilled chicken thigh marinade

which we paired with a fall salad dressed in maple balsamic vinaigrette, and our favorite store-bought dinner rolls. The maple bacon in that salad is a the key!

Close up side shot of a kale salad with apples and other fall ingredients

Everyone returned to work and school on Monday morning, while I spent the day in the kitchen cooking, taking photos, and washing dishes.

Gibbs had soccer practice that evening, so I made shrimp rolls for supper before we headed out to the fields. Plus potato chips and pickles!

Overhead image of shrimp rolls on a table with a side of lemon and fresh parsley

Let’s chat about books! This week I read The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd, an interesting mystery-thriller with a unique premise. At first I was unsure about this one, but by the end I really enjoyed it! Here’s the summary from Amazon:

Nell Young’s whole life and greatest passion is cartography. Her father, Dr. Daniel Young, is a legend in the field and Nell’s personal hero. But she hasn’t seen or spoken to him ever since he cruelly fired her and destroyed her reputation after an argument over an old, cheap gas station highway map.

But when Dr. Young is found dead in his office at the New York Public Library, with the very same seemingly worthless map hidden in his desk, Nell can’t resist investigating. To her surprise, she soon discovers that the map is incredibly valuable and exceedingly rare. In fact, she may now have the only copy left in existence…because a mysterious collector has been hunting down and destroying every last one—along with anyone who gets in the way.

But why?

To answer that question, Nell embarks on a dangerous journey to reveal a dark family secret and discovers the true power that lies in maps…

I also finished the 7th book in Linda Castillo’s Kate Burkholder mystery series, After the Storm. Always love these!

And I finally got my hands on The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley. I know this one has been very popular since it came out earlier this year, but I had to wait for it to become available on my holds list on Libby. Just like her previous novel, The Guest List, this thriller was unrealistic, but still very entertaining. It had me turning the pages and trying to piece together the puzzle every step of the way!

After a morning walk with Ashley, I made a stop at Yoder’s Country Market for the weekly lunch meat, buttermilk, and other kitchen staples, as well as a box of pumpkin donuts!

The crock, plate, and mug pictured are from Farmhouse Pottery, the pumpkins are from Target, and both the pumpkin stems and the eucalyptus stems are from Amazon!

The rest of the day was a rush to get some house chores and computer work completed, in anticipation of spending the following day at the courthouse for my assigned jury duty.

We had Southern meatloaf for supper…and then headed out the door for the younger boys’ soccer practices. Meatloaf is one of my favorites from childhood, and this recipe just happens to be the one I love most (there’s a “secret” ingredient)!

Overhead shot of hands eating a southern style meatloaf recipe with a bite on a fork

Plus mashed potatoes

Overhead shot of creamy mashed potatoes on a dinner table.

…and crispy roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon on the side. I prepped everything in advance so that it was ready to bake/reheat when the kids got home from school. Otherwise, it’s a chaotic rush to get food on the table before everyone has to leave.

Oven roasted brussels sprouts with bacon in a cast iron pan

I spent Wednesday morning at the courthouse for jury duty. Fortunately, I wasn’t selected for the jury trial and instead was back home by lunchtime.

We had chicken stew and crescent rolls for supper, and then we split off in separate directions for the boys’ various soccer scrimmages and practices. It was a late, chilly night on the fields!

Overhead image of a pot of chicken stew

Thursday was a work day at home — time to catch up on computer work that had been neglected over the previous couple of days.

Since I knew that I would be at the house for a long stretch, I simmered a big pot of our favorite homemade spaghetti sauce for a few hours while I worked. We had the sauce over pasta for supper, along with garlic knots and a Caesar salad. As a bonus, there was plenty of extra sauce to deliver to my friend’s family for their meal, too!

Close up overhead image of a bowl of spaghetti sauce over pasta

Friday included a walk with Mollie, some recipe testing in the kitchen, and a Zoom meeting at the computer.

Gibbs had golf that afternoon, so we ate a late supper once everyone was home: chicken tenders with store-bought coleslaw and frozen French fries. Always a kid favorite!

White plate full of the best fried chicken tenders recipe

And I can’t forget the box of brownies for dessert! Gibbs asked me to bake these after school, so I put them in the oven for a warm treat while he was out on the course. Definitely our favorite brand of mix!

Front shot of easy homemade brownies on a white cake stand

The boys had 4 soccer games on Saturday, so we had to divide and conquer…again. Keith took Casey to Roanoke in southwest Virginia for his two games, while I stayed home to take Gibbs to his game in Orange, and Spencer to his game in Charlottesville. Phew!

We were back at the house in between games, so I made a pot of split pea soup with ham for lunch. Instead of just split peas, though, I used this “harvest mix” that I found at Yoder’s, which included split peas, lentils, brown rice, and wild rice. I needed a bit more broth since the rice thickened it up a lot, but the end result was great (and so easy)!

Please note, though, the boys do not have any interest in eating this meal.😂 They had quesadillas for lunch, and I shared some of the extra soup with my parents. I also have enough leftover in my fridge for a few more lunches next week. It’s great with a side of cornbread!

Close up overhead shot of split pea and ham soup in white bowls.

We had supper with my folks at Vinny’s Pizzeria in Charlottesville after Spencer’s game that evening. All of the pizza, pasta, and subs that we could eat!

Before I let you go, I have to mention two new scents for any of my fellow cozy-candle- lovers out there! The “pumpkin clove” candle shown below just might be my all-time fall favorite, while this “warm + cozy” scent is equally great for the winter. It’s a delicious combination of pine, orange, cinnamon, and fir, and would make a nice hostess gift, teacher gift, stocking stuffer, etc. throughout the holiday season.

And that’s where I’ll leave it for today, friends! I hope that you’ve found some new meal inspiration to add to your own table in the days ahead. Thank you for joining me here, and have a wonderful Sunday!


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. Debbie Hill says:

    I’ve always made meatloaf the way my mom did. For breading she used a couple of handfuls of Pepperidge Farm Herb stuffing…. the kind in the bag. Not only does it supply the breading, but also the herbs, etc.
    After reading your Southern Meatloaf recipe, I may try using Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Stuffing….

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      That’s a great tip, Debbie. I bet it would be delicious!

  2. Shannon Adams says:

    The Harvest Soup Mix….such beautiful colors!
    Looks tasty too!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Thanks, Shannon! 🙂

  3. Cindy Brown says:

    Hi Blair!
    I am so excited to try your meatloaf recipe! I have yet to make a meatloaf that l am totally satisfied with. I am a real fan of ground pork so l love the idea of the ground beef/ground pork mix! Wish me luck!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      That’s great, Cindy! I hope that you love it!

  4. Betty says:

    I would so love a cookbook full of your wonderful recipes and great pictures. Anything available or in the works?

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Thank you, Betty! We’ve had many conversations about that possibility, but there’s nothing in the works yet. I’m sure it will happen eventually, though. Stay tuned!