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Good morning, and happy Sunday! It was another routine week around here, complete with school, work, kids’ sports, books, and a handful of easy meals. 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.

Now, let’s back up to last weekend…

Sunday morning was chilly and gray, but I snuck in a walk at Mollie’s farm with two of our friends before the rain arrived.

The boys’ hockey game was canceled that afternoon (thanks to the weather), so Keith ran a couple of errands in Culpeper, and we otherwise had a very cozy day inside. I proofed a loaf of cheese bread in front of the stove in my office, and we watched soccer and football on TV.

We had marinated flank steak for supper,

Grilled marinated flank steak on a serving tray

along with the jalapeño cheddar bread that I baked earlier in the day (minus the jalapeños, since I didn’t have any in the pantry),

Hands holding jalapeno cheddar bread sliced on a wooden board

sauteed zucchini,

Overhead shot of the best sauteed zucchini recipe on a blue and white serving plate

and Duke’s super-easy mac and cheese (frequently requested by Gibbs!).

Close overhead shot of a pan of easy mac and cheese with a serving spoon

Let’s chat about this week’s books! My mother-in-law loaned me Horse by Geraldine Brooks, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Based on the true story of a thoroughbred named Lexington, this novel beautifully combines historical fiction with romance, science, and more difficult cultural issues. Here’s the summary from Amazon:

A discarded painting in a junk pile, a skeleton in an attic, and the greatest racehorse in American history: from these strands, a Pulitzer Prize winner braids a sweeping story of spirit, obsession, and injustice across American history.

Kentucky, 1850. An enslaved groom named Jarret and a bay foal forge a bond of understanding that will carry the horse to record-setting victories across the South. When the nation erupts in civil war, an itinerant young artist who has made his name on paintings of the racehorse takes up arms for the Union. On a perilous night, he reunites with the stallion and his groom, very far from the glamor of any racetrack. 
New York City, 1954. Martha Jackson, a gallery owner celebrated for taking risks on edgy contemporary painters, becomes obsessed with a nineteenth-century equestrian oil painting of mysterious provenance.
Washington, DC, 2019. Jess, a Smithsonian scientist from Australia, and Theo, a Nigerian-American art historian, find themselves unexpectedly connected through their shared interest in the horse—one studying the stallion’s bones for clues to his power and endurance, the other uncovering the lost history of the unsung Black horsemen who were critical to his racing success.

I also finished Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane, an entertaining thriller that kept me turning the pages. A fun, twisted read!

The sun returned on Monday, so I started the morning with a short walk with Keith…

…and then took Gibbs to the orthodontist to get his braces. Not his idea of fun!

For a quick dinner before the boys’ hockey practice, I served Rice Krispies Parmesan Ranch Chicken,

Overhead shot of a tray of ranch chicken

as well as Parmesan roasted cauliflower and broccoli, and a side of rice.

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

Tuesday included a sunny walk with Mollie, and a quick stop at Yoder’s Country Market for the weekly restock of buttermilk, lunch meat, peanut butter, and the like.

I served this 30-minute tomato basil soup for supper, along with grilled cheese sandwiches on the side. A soft dinner for sore teeth with new braces!

Close overhead shot of a spoon in a bowl of tomato soup with parmesan cheese and fresh basil on top.

I squeezed in a walk with my friend Ashley on Wednesday morning before the rain started. Here’s a cozy scene from the kitchen counter on the day spent indoors: tea in my favorite heart mugs, alongside chocolates that the boys love (these and these) in heart-shaped dishes.

I took the kids to get haircuts after school, and since I knew that we wouldn’t be home until dinnertime, I prepped some chicken salad in advance. We paired the chicken salad sandwiches with potato chips, carrot sticks, cucumbers, and ranch dip, for a quick meal that I could throw together when we walked in the door.

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

I shot some recipe photos at the house on Thursday morning, and made a pot of this easy ham and bean soup to take advantage of the leftover ham bone that I had stashed in our freezer after Christmas.

Close overhead shot of crockpot ham and bean soup on a table.

I had the soup and some cornbread for lunch, took the dog out for a short walk up the street,

…and then headed to the Starbucks in Ruckersville for a meeting. The renovations at our house are a little bit too noisy for Zoom calls at the moment…

Once I scooped up the boys from school, I made spaghetti and meatballs for supper,

Overhead shot of homemade meatballs and spaghetti in a bowl with marinara on a dinner table

which we paired with salad and homemade vinaigrette and garlic bread. Then Keith and Casey were out the door for Casey’s soccer practice in Charlottesville. What a day!🤪

Close up side shot of a mixed green salad

I started my Friday with a long walk up the road with Keith, and spent the rest of the morning editing photos at the computer.

After lunch, I went to my friend Adria’s house to use her quiet library for another Zoom meeting, picked the kids up from school, and eventually made it back home for supper. On the menu that night: oven bbq chicken breast,

Overhead shot of a pan of oven bbq chicken

along with coleslaw (from Yoder’s) and Jiffy cornbread with creamed corn.

Drizzling honey on a slice of thick cornbread.

Then it was the weekend!

Keith and Casey headed up to Fredericksburg for Casey’s soccer training that day, while I took the other two boys to Charlottesville for Spencer’s indoor soccer game.

Keith and I went out to dinner at Graves Mountain Lodge here in Madison again, since we enjoyed it so much when we were there a couple of weeks ago. It wasn’t a buffet that night, but instead we each ordered entrées, and every entrée was served with every single one of the family-style sides. It was a ton of food, and we came home with plenty of leftovers!

I had the chicken and cheddar dumplings, Keith had the coffee-rubbed smoked brisket, and all of these sides were delivered to our table: a bread plate (dinner rolls, cornbread muffins, and corn pudding); house salad; baked potatoes; honey poached winter vegetables (golden beets, carrots, butternut squash, and parsnip); corn casserole; and a red winter wheat berry salad with pecans, roasted mushrooms, kale and Brussels sprouts. It was a cozy evening at the lodge, with a roaring fire and live bluegrass music downstairs!

That’s where I will leave it for today, friends. I hope that you’ve found some new inspiration for your own table in the days ahead. Thank you for being 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. Thanks for the great recipes, made a note to try the Duke’s Mac and cheese soon. Hope the renovations will be completed soon, and that Gibbs is adjusting well to his braces. Have a great week!

    1. Enjoyed the gorgeous pics…and I just finished HORSE which was excellent.
      Thanks for all your work and great suggestions.

      1. Thank you so much, Lori! So glad you enjoyed Horse as well. Thank you for following along! We hope you have a fantastic week.

    2. Thank you so much, Ann! We hope you enjoy the mac and cheese if you try it. Have a great week as well!

  2. Love all the beautiful photos! And I remember getting braces myself and my boys too! Such pain after getting them tightened! I think it’s a rite of passage for a lot of us. 🙂 Have a great week!

  3. Hi Blair,
    I made your “Best Ever Banana Nut Bread” a few days ago. My husband declared it the best banana nut bread he had ever tasted in his life. I had to watch him. When I wasn’t looking he’d sneak into the kitchen for another slice. It was gone in two days, and there are only the two of us in the house! (I guess I didn’t watch him closely enough). Thanks, Blair.

    1. Hi Joy-Dawn,
      We’re so glad the recipe was such a hit! It does tend to disappear. Thank you so much for trying it out!

  4. I saw your Corn Dip on Facebook and I think you will like this one. This came from my friend from NC who gave me the Chicken and Pastry (flat dumplings) recipe I gave you. Sadly, Susan past away about 2 years ago.
    Susan’s Dip
    1/2 pound sausage- crumbled, cooked, drained
    1 can Mexican Corn. Drained
    1 cup Mayo ( Duke’s is best)
    1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
    Mix all together.
    Bake 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes
    Optional – sprinkle paprika on top
    We like it served with large Fritos but use any “dipper” you like.

    1. Hi Debbie,
      We’re so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing Susan’s recipe. We will definitely have to try it out!

  5. I really enjoy your blog. Thank you. I just noticed your branded ‘post card’ at the end. I LOVE IT.
    Someone really nailed it.
    Have a great week.

  6. Hello from Colorado in the mountains at 8600 ft.
    I am new to your blog. I chose it because I like that you 1x, 2x, 3x your recipes !!
    Just two of us at home now, but often cook for more.
    Also that you include the name of the recipe on your Pinterest photo !!
    Makes finding a recipe easy.

  7. Thank you for the recipes. And for the books I’m going to have to read Pretty Little Wife sounds thrilling!