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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!
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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…
I did some baking on Sunday morning — a batch of chocolate chip cookies,
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,
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!
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.
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 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)!
Plus mashed potatoes…
…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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!