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 we celebrated another birthday, reluctantly welcomed winter-like weather, and traveled to Williamsburg for a soccer tournament. I was also on TV! All of the highlights, along with each of our dinners, are included in today’s roundup of Our Week in Meals.
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.
Before we dive into this week’s meals, I wanted to share the clip of my recent TV appearance, which aired on Friday morning. We made my grandmother’s one-pan hamburger helper, and you can watch the full segment on the station’s website at the following link:
Now, let’s back up to last weekend…
Sunday morning started with an early walk at Mollie’s farm…
Once I was back home, we packed lunches for the car and headed over the mountains to the valley for Spencer’s soccer game in Waynesboro.
We returned in time for supper, and pork tenderloin with apples was on the menu!
We paired the pork with Duke’s mac and cheese (which Gibbs requested), as well as rice,
and a fall salad with maple balsamic vinaigrette. I used romaine instead of kale, since that’s what the boys in my house prefer!
Shall we chat about this week’s books? My favorite of the bunch was The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. This psychological thriller was such a page-turner! The story wasn’t too scary, but it was definitely intense — with plenty of twists and turns. Here’s the quick summary from Amazon:
EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
Next up: Life’s Too Short by Abby Jimenez. I picked this one up because I was ready for a lighter romance; however, the story was heavier than I expected. It still had all of the elements of the other “chick lit” novels that I’ve enjoyed, but it also addressed some more difficult topics.
And finally, Just Haven’t Met You Yet by Sophie Cousens. This novel is by the same author as This Time Next Year. While it was a cute romance, it wasn’t anything special in my opinion. Maybe my expectations were too high, since I know that a lot of folks have really loved this one. I’d say it’s worth the read if you enjoy the genre — it just might not knock your socks off!
Once the boys were at school, Keith and I went for a short walk on Monday morning. Then it was a full work day for me in the kitchen — photographing old recipes and testing new ones.
Spencer turned 9 on Tuesday! He had us all up by 6 a.m. so that he could open his gifts before school. Toy soldiers and various sports paraphernalia were on the wish list this year!
I snuck in a walk with Mollie that morning, and then got my hair cut before the rain arrived. It was so cold and wet! Instead of showing you pictures of gray clouds, I figured I’d mention my new planner for 2023, which arrived in the mail that afternoon.
If you’re a paper-and-pen gal like me, then I can’t recommend Emily Ley’s Simplified planners enough. The quality is incredible, the size is perfect (not too big and not too small), and they come in a variety of happy colors and designs. I got the “blue bonnet” cover in the weekly planner format for the year ahead…and they’re currently on sale!
My parents stopped by for a visit that afternoon, and soccer practices were canceled that evening due to the weather. Spencer requested my Crock Pot Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken for supper, which we paired with rice, broccoli, and frozen egg rolls.
And instead of a cake, he asked me to bake these easy chocolate chip cookies for dessert. He also blew out the candles on the white Texas sheet cake that my mother-in-law made him (shown in the picture above). Plenty of desserts to go around!
The sun returned on Wednesday, so I met my friend Ashley for a walk before buckling down to work at the computer for the day.
Both of the younger boys had soccer practices that evening, which meant an early supper of easy fish tacos with slaw, as well as tortilla chips, homemade guacamole, salsa, and corn before heading out to the fields. I used a bag of coleslaw mix for the slaw to make this meal even faster, since I didn’t have to chop the cabbage.
A pretty — but very chilly — walk on Thursday morning!
It’s starting to look (and feel) more like winter than fall around here. I know that some of you up north are already seeing snow, which I just can’t even imagine…
We had a full schedule that evening, including golf for Gibbs and two soccer practices for the younger boys, plus a parents’ team meeting afterwards…so dinner was a prep-ahead option that I could bake and serve early before we all went off in different directions.
We had my mom’s easy chicken pot pie, which is the best comfort food at this time of year! If you have some extra time, this made-from-scratch version is my absolute fave (but they’re both really great, and you can’t go wrong either way!).
I sipped a decaf chestnut praline latte at Starbucks while placing an online grocery order and waiting for Gibbs to finish his golf. Lovely! My favorite tote bag is on sale right now, too!
And that brings us to Friday! After a walk with Ashley and a trip to the groomer for Teddy, I jumped on a work-related Zoom call, packed up the car, and then scooped Spencer up early from school so that we could make our way to Williamsburg for his final soccer tournament of the season. Keith and the older boys stayed home for Casey’s tournament in Fredericksburg. Divide and conquer!
One of my birthday presents from Keith was a gift card to Dunkin Donuts (because my love for donuts runs very deep!), so Spence and I made a pit stop for afternoon snacks on our way to drop the dog off with my parents in Charlottesville. Apple fritter! I also wanted to try their seasonal special, the Cookie Butter Cold Brew, but I knew that drinking caffeine so late in the day wouldn’t be wise…
We grabbed steak and cheese subs for dinner at a Subway outside of Richmond while we were en route to Williamsburg, and finally arrived at our hotel in time for Spencer to join his teammates for an evening swim at the indoor pool in our hotel.
Spencer’s first game on Saturday wasn’t until mid-day, so we had some time in the morning to walk around Colonial Williamsburg.
It never disappoints! The weather was beautiful, it wasn’t very crowded, and we hit our favorite shops for gifts and souvenirs. Spencer always remembers to stop in the Wythe candy shop!
They even had some of their early Christmas decorations up. Being here reminds me so much of my grandmother, who always loved to visit Williamsburg during the holiday season. It’s such a special part of Virginia.
After two soccer games that afternoon, we refueled with Italian food at Carrabba’s for dinner. Spence had a big plate of pasta, while I ordered the sausage and lentil soup to start,
as well as the Johnny Rocco Salad, which included shrimp, roasted red peppers, olives, and loads of Parmesan. All was great!
And as if that wasn’t enough activity for one day, Spencer and the rest of the boys finished off the evening with a couple more hours of swimming in the pool! We’re heading back to the fields for more soccer today, so off I go. Thank you for being here, and have a wonderful week ahead!
PS — I’ll be randomly drawing the winners for my 10th Anniversary giveaway on November 23, so don’t forget to enter if you haven’t already!