Hey, friends! Happy Sunday! Welcome back to another roundup of Our Week in Meals! It was a tasty few days, complete with ice cream on the porch, Sno Cones at the County Fair, wine dates with friends, and plenty of easy dinners (including a new 3-ingredient recipe)!
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 meals 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…
We got to sleep with the windows open on Saturday night, and we woke up to a cool, less humid, 67-degree Sunday morning. Heaven.
We took advantage of the weather and headed out on a family hike.
The woods was beautiful (and the boys were disappointed when I wouldn’t let them go swimming)…
Post-hike snack. Loved this Maple Sea Salt flavor RX Bar that I picked up on a whim at the grocery store last week!
We spent the afternoon at the pool, and then came home to a summer feast for dinner. Keith grilled salmon, while I prepped a couple of side dishes indoors.
I received 2 lbs. of zucchini in our CSA order last week, as well as a bunch of little red potatoes. I used the veggies to make my Easy Zucchini & Squash Gratin, but used double the zucchini (and no squash). I also made our favorite Crispy Oven-Roasted Seasoned Potatoes (an oldie-but-goodie blog recipe). Both of the sides cook in a 400-degree oven, so it was easy to pop them both in there together. The meal was perfect!
Ice cream for dessert! My boys picked this one out at the store last week, and it’s definitely gooooooood!
Monday morning mountains!
I think we were all tired after a busy weekend, so the kids and I stayed close to home until lunchtime when we headed to the pool.
I prepped the sauce for our dinner that night while I had a few extra minutes in the morning. We had Chicken Penne with Vodka Tomato Sauce, so I just had to reheat the sauce and boil the pasta when we returned home later that evening. Pasta recipe coming soon!
Served with a salad and the leftover Zucchini Gratin from Sunday.
Henry joined us for a playdate on Tuesday morning, and then I fed everyone an early lunch before he headed home.
I promise Casey was having fun!????
I had to run a quick errand in town that afternoon, so these guys got a special treat for snack while we were out!
Tastee-Freez soft serve!
Last week, out of the blue, Casey requested chili for dinner (I have no idea what prompted that request on a 90-degree day). As a result, I was sure to add “chili” to our meal plan for this week to satisfy his craving!
I made a huge batch of Slow Cooker Beef Chili for dinner on Tuesday, and it inspired me to create a free printable recipe booklet of healthy slow cooker dinners for fall so that I can share it with you in the coming months. I’ll be testing some new recipes over the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned for that once it’s ready!
I served our chili with a side of cornbread, and I had enough extra food to send a meal home with Henry’s mom, Mollie. Chili for everyone!????
There’s definitely no such thing as sleeping in around here…even on summer vacation. Casey was out on the porch painting with water colors by 6:15 on Wednesday morning.????
We were out of the house early that morning for a fun outdoor playdate before the temps got too hot.
Our mission: hunting for rocks and tadpoles in the Robinson River on Mollie’s farm.
The boys had fun with Henry while Mollie and I sat on the shore and held baby Miles. Fortunately, the river was shady…but OH MY GOSH it was so humid!
The guys were moving hay bales on the farm that morning, so it was the highlight of Spencer’s week when he got to watch the tractor coming back and forth through the water. Simple pleasures for a 3-year-old!
Dinner that night was a tasty twist on tacos! This Doritos Nacho Cheese Taco Bake will be on the blog soon! It’s basically crushed nacho cheese tortilla chips with a taco meat filling. The kids loved it (of course) and were literally high-fiving each other when they realized they were getting Doritos with dinner.????
I had prepped the taco meat over the weekend, so I just had to assemble the casserole and bake it on Wednesday night. Since Keith was getting home late from work, I divided the mixture between two smaller dishes and baked one for us and a separate one for him. That’s an easy solution if you find your family eating in stages some nights as well.
I served the casserole with sliced cucumbers and tomatoes on the side for a few added veggies!
While Casey was at a friend’s house on Thursday morning, I dragged the other two boys with me to Culpeper for a shopping run at Target.
They were good sports, so I treated them to lunch at Panera before we headed back to pick up Casey.
This Green Goddess Cobb Salad was delicious!
You know it’s officially the heart of summer in Virginia when you get beautiful tomatoes like this in your CSA basket, along with cucumbers, zucchini, eggs, and fresh bread. Hooray!
And perhaps channeling cooler fall weather, I baked a batch of these delicious little Applesauce Pumpkin Muffins that afternoon. Perfect for kids’ snacks, prep-ahead breakfasts, or lunch box treats.
Keith was gone that night, and I knew that the boys and I would need a quick and easy dinner option because we had BIG plans later that evening. Reader recipe to the rescue! Rene was kind enough to send me an email last week with one of her favorite FAST dinners. It was tasty, so I’m sharing it here with you, too!
Rene’s “Easy Sloppy Joes” are prepared with just 3 ingredients, so you might already have these items in your kitchen!
Ground meat, ketchup, and chili powder.
The kids and I love a good Sloppy Joe, so I knew they would be a hit. Here’s Rene’s recipe (with my changes noted). You’ll see that I used ground turkey breast instead of ground beef, only because I knew that we would be eating ground beef in our taco bake the night before. Use whatever type of meat your family prefers!
Rene's 3-Ingredient Sloppy Joes
- 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef or you can substitute with ground turkey or ground chicken
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
- Ketchup to taste
Brown ground beef in a large skillet. Drain off any excess fat and return beef to skillet.
Add chili powder to the beef and stir to combine.
Mix in as much ketchup as necessary until the beef is moist and the Sloppy Joes come together.
Tip: Rene suggests that you serve the Sloppy Joe meat on sandwich rolls with a side salad of greens and tomatoes. That's exactly what I did!
Note: I just had 1 lb. of ground meat, so I only used 1 tablespoon of chili powder.
After our quick supper, the kids and I were off to the Madison County Fair! Fortunately, the Fair is very close to our house and very small, making it easy to manage with little kids. Unfortunately, it was about 97 degrees (and incredibly humid) that night. Not ideal conditions, but the boys didn’t seem to mind and they had so much fun with their friends from school. I just took a cold shower as soon as we walked in the door…
Muggy Friday morning!
We spent another 100-degree-day at the pool…
and ate a picnic lunch in the shade before heading home.
Later that afternoon we went to visit my friend Kristin and her three kids at their new house in Charlottesville. I brought a salad, Kristin cut up a watermelon, and we ordered pizza for dinner.
Every Friday play date should involve wine…
On Saturday morning I met Mollie for a walk in the woods at Hoover Ridge before taking care of the grocery shopping for the week ahead.
We spent the afternoon at the pool (again!) and came home to a delicious dinner. Keith smoked two chickens on the grill, which I served with a salad and Jan’s homemade bread.
So thankful that Keith eats the less-desirable chicken wings (and other parts) so that the rest of us can enjoy the white meat!
And that wraps up another week in meals! We’ve got another fun week coming up with some adventure thrown in the mix. Stay tuned for those details next weekend, and in the meantime watch out for a new summer dinner recipe coming to the blog on Monday!