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Good morning, and happy Sunday! This week we celebrated a birthday, had some very late nights on the soccer fields, and made a quick trip to Raleigh. All of the highlights from the past few days, 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…

Still some hazy skies from the forest fire in the mountains.

Sunday was my birthday! I baked myself a gingerbread loaf to have for breakfast that morning, Keith took Casey to a soccer game up in Northern Virginia for most of the day, and I went over to Mollie’s farm for a visit with my friends.

Close up side shot of a sliced gingerbread loaf with icing on a red and white platter

I drove to Ruckersville to claim my free birthday drink from Starbucks, too! This was the gingerbread chai latte, and it was tasty (but very sweet). I guess gingerbread was inadvertently the theme of this year’s celebration…

A slice of the chocolate-chocolate chip-zucchini bread that Sallie gave me!

I remembered that I had a spiral-sliced ham in the freezer last week, so I made one of my favorite meals for a birthday dinner: brown sugar bourbon-glazed ham (looks fancy, but it’s super easy!),

Bourbon glazed ham on a platter

as well as a Southern Caesar salad,

Southern Caesar salad recipe on a wooden table with creamy Caesar dressing, cornbread croutons, and crispy bacon.

and a pan of Jiffy cornbread with creamed corn.

Drizzling honey on a slice of thick cornbread.

Shall we chat about this week’s book? I recently finished An American Beauty by Shana Abé (the same author who wrote The Second Mrs. Astor, which I also enjoyed). This historical fiction is inspired by the true rags-to-riches story of Arabella Huntington — a woman whose great beauty was surpassed only by her exceptional business acumen, grit, and artistic eye, and who defied the constraints of her era to become the wealthiest self-made woman in America.

The boys were definitely not happy about returning to school on Monday, but I appreciated the quiet work day at home.

With daylight savings ending, the boys’ soccer schedules have completely changed to accommodate field availability indoors and under the lights. Some nights their practices are very late in the evening, which means early dinners beforehand.

That night I thawed leftover taco meat from the freezer (I always cook extra so that I can save some for a second meal) and used it to make taco quesadillas. We paired the quesadillas with this corn and bean mixture, store-bought pico de gallo, guacamole, tortilla chips, and salsa. Then Keith spent the evening driving Casey and Spencer around Charlottesville to their practices.

Stack of cheesy taco quesadillas on a white plate


It was Election Day, so I voted on my way to a belated birthday lunch with my parents at Jack’s Shop Kitchen. This was the seafood chowder (with shrimp, smoked salmon, potatoes, corn, and more) and baguette — so good!

Casey had an earlier soccer practice that evening, so I made dinner in advance and left Keith in charge of baking it while we were gone. On the menu: chicken, broccoli, and stuffing casserole

Hands serving stove top stuffing chicken broccoli casserole on a wooden table.

…with one-bowl pumpkin muffins and store-bought cranberry sauce on the side.

Close up side shot of pumpkin muffins cooling on a rack

After a walk with Ashley on Wednesday morning, my day was largely spent testing new recipes in the kitchen.

Spencer had a late soccer practice that night, so we ate an early supper beforehand: sheet pan herb roasted chicken and vegetables served with a side of white rice.

Plate of herb roasted chicken with potatoes and vegetables on a white plate.

Thursday included a morning walk with Mollie, errands in Culpeper, and packing for our weekend away.

We were pulled in multiple directions that evening — golf for Gibbs and soccer for Casey — so I prepared dinner in advance and we just reheated individual servings as needed. I made a pot of lasagna soup, which we paired with garlic breadsticks

Close overhead image of a bowl of lasagna soup

…and also a quick batch of chicken and stars soup for the kids. They love this meal, and constantly request it.

Homemade chicken and stars soup recipe on a wooden dinner table

We finally got some much-needed rain on Friday morning, so I took the opportunity to stay indoors and get chores and computer work done before leaving town.

That afternoon, I picked up Casey and Spencer early from school to get a head start on our weekend road trip. We drove south to Raleigh, North Carolina for Casey’s soccer games. Keith and Gibbs had their own golf weekend in the mountains, which they were equally excited about!

Dinner en route was a not-so-glamorous (but easy and tasty!) cheeseburger and fries at a McDonald’s along the interstate in Oxford, North Carolina. It got the job done!

And that brings us to Saturday, which we largely spent on the soccer fields…

The best sideline cheerleader.

…while they had a beautiful morning on the course.

Back at the hotel, Casey’s team ordered pizzas for dinner — the most efficient way to fill up a group of 12-year-old boys!

And that’s a wrap! We’re headed back to the fields for another game this morning, and will eventually make our way home this afternoon. Thank you for joining us 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!

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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. Happy belated birthday. Loved all the beautiful pictures. The lasagna soup recipe and the muffins looks so delicious. Have a great week and God bless you and family!

  2. Wishing you a belated Happy Birthday!! I found so many recipes today, ordered the star pasta from Target!! Thank you for all your great recipes and the time you put in to get these recipes out!

  3. Happy belated Birthday, Blair! I hope your day was a wonderful one! As always, thanks so much for all of the delicious recipes, and beautiful pictures you share with us!

    Wishing you a wonderful week!

  4. I’m so glad you finally got some rain!

    Looks like you got some really good food for your birthday!

    Your boys are awfully lucky to have you and Keith ready, willing and able to adjust to the wild soccer practice schedules. You two are so diligent!

    I’m pleased that Gibbs and Keith were able to have themselves a golf weekend and I hope you, Casey, and Spencer had a good time in Raleigh. Spencer and Gibbs certainly both look happy. What do you do during practice?

    1. Thanks, Marion! We live too far away from their practice locations to be able to drop them off and come back home before they’re done, so we end up waiting on site for them to finish. We either chat with other parents, go for a walk, and/or read a book. I’ve also been known to plan our weekly meals, order online groceries, etc…whatever needs to be done!

  5. I tried your recipe THE BEST STUFFED SHELL EVER….delicious!!!! I have a great picture of the dish.

  6. Happy Belated Birthday Blair! Hope you enjoyed your special day with family and friends. I made the one bowl pumpkin muffins. These were great! I like how everything is mixed in one bowl. I am making another batch tonight. The quesadillas are on my list to make next. Thank you for all your great recipes!