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Good morning, and happy Sunday! This week we celebrated another birthday, watched a lot of soccer, and finished a fun holiday novel. 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…

We were still in Raleigh on Sunday morning for Casey’s soccer tournament. I have so many cute pics of the team together — on the fields, in restaurants — but I don’t like to share photos of other children without their parents’ permission…so here’s one of Casey on his own!

After his game, the team had lunch together at Firehouse Subs before making the trip north to Central Virginia. We arrived home just in time for supper, which Keith had ready and waiting for us. He made my easy Texas chili, paired with Texas toast and plenty of cheese and toppings. A much-appreciated home-cooked meal after a couple of nights away!

Overhead shot of hands eating a bowl of the best texas chili recipe

How about a little book chat?! With the holiday season upon us, I wanted to mention a novel that I recently enjoyed: Christmas by the Book by Anne Marie Ryan. If you’re looking for a light and festive way to get in the spirit, this sweet story is just the ticket. It reminded me of a Hallmark movie, in the best way.

Back to the normal routine on Monday…

It started with frost on the ground, but turned out to be another beautiful, warm, sunny day.


After a few days away, I was back in the kitchen for most of the day. I tested a recipe, and also baked many batches of chocolate chip cookies to have on hand for Spencer’s birthday on Wednesday. He’s not very into cake, but he does love these cookies…

Spencer had a late soccer practice that night, so we ate an early supper beforehand: dump-and-bake veggie and meatball casserole, paired with garlic breadsticks and Caesar salad.

Overhead shot of a serving spoon in a dish of dump and bake cheesy meatball casserole with veggies

Tuesday started with a beautiful walk at the park next to the kids’ school.

I then spent the morning running errands — Teddy to the groomer, a Target pick-up in Culpeper, and a couple of other stops for last-minute birthday prep.

The boys requested Chipotle-style make-your-own chicken burritos for supper, so I made a big batch of my Crock Pot Mexican chicken and set out the tortillas and all of the other fillings: rice, lettuce, salsa, pico de gallo, corn and beans, and shredded cheese. Plus tortilla chips and homemade guac! Then we were out the door for another late night at Casey’s soccer practice…

Close up shot of the best crockpot chicken tacos recipe with tortilla chips on the side

Spencer turned 10 on Wednesday! He had us all up early for presents and Dunkin’ donuts before school…

…and my parents and my aunt came over after school for more presents and more treats! This time, the easy chocolate chip cookies requested by the birthday boy.

Square side shot of a white plate of easy chocolate chip cookies

Before Casey’s late soccer practice, we had one of Spencer’s favorite dinners: crispy baked Goldfish chicken nuggets with Polynesian sauce for dipping, along with waffle fries and coleslaw (he definitely did not request the coleslaw, hah!).

Side shot of a kid's hand holding a homemade chicken nugget

Thursday’s walk in the woods with Mollie, followed by a meeting with our landscaper, a stop at Yoder’s, and some work at the computer.

I also began our Thanksgiving prep — thawing the turkey breasts and baking a batch of corn sticks to pop in the freezer.

Drizzling honey over a tray of corn sticks.

We had breakfast-for-dinner that night, including baked apple pancake squares, baked cinnamon apple slices, and maple sausage.

Pouring maple syrup on a plate of baked apple pancakes.

Friday included a morning walk with my friend Ashley, followed by a doctor’s appointment in Charlottesville, and eventually chores at the house.

A few of Spencer’s friends came over after school for a low-key birthday celebration, as well as more chocolate chip cookies!

Beautiful late afternoon autumn light!

Keith was away that night, so the boys and I were on our own for supper. I used some prepared pulled bbq pork that I picked up from Yoder’s the day before to make a dump-and-bake bbq pulled pork casserole with rice. Easy and flavorful!

Side shot of a plate of pulled pork casserole with rice.

And that brings us to another soccer tournament weekend!

This time Spencer’s team was playing up in Warrenton, so we spent all of Saturday on the sidelines…with a break for lunch at Applebee’s mid-day.

We made it home right around dinnertime, so Keith picked up pizzas on the way. Plus college football on TV, a fire in the wood stove, and an early bedtime for all!

So there you have it, friends — another week of easy meals. I hope that you’ve found some new inspiration for your own table in the days ahead, and that your Thanksgiving holiday is a beautiful one. Thank you for being here!


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. Cindy Medvid says:

    I can’t believe Spencer is 10. I remember your post when you took him to his first day of kindergarten.

    1. Debbie Hill says:

      When in Warrenton, I make a stop at Red Truck Bakery. Have you been? The Almond cake is delicious. I’m not a fan of gluten free foods but I love almond flavoring and even though it’s gluten free, I like this cake. Plus their coffee is good!!
      I’ve never been to their larger store in Marshall but the one in Warrenton suits me!

      1. Blair Lonergan says:

        Yes, I’ve heard of the bakery, but I’ve never been. I should have thought of that yesterday, although I’m not sure we would have had the time. Keith is headed back there with Spencer today, but I’ll be home. Next time!

      2. Lisa Hammond says:

        I to remember his first day of kindergarten. Wow!! It’s hard to believe he’s 10 and I’ve been using your recipes and sharing your website with others this long.
        He is quite a handsome young man and Teddy is super cute and cuddly looking. I remember when y’all brought him home also.
        Thank you for all the easy and simple recipes over the years. My husband has recently started to help cook and he has also used some of your recipes.

        1. Blair Lonergan says:

          My goodness, Lisa — thank you for your support, for sharing my blog, and for trying the recipes for the past 5+ years! That’s amazing, and I’m so appreciative. Hope you have a great week!

    2. Blair Lonergan says:

      Wow, Cindy — that’s so awesome that you’ve been following along with us for so long. Thank you! Yes, it’s hard for my brain to believe that he’s already 10. 🙂

    3. Glenda Harding says:

      A belated Happy Birthday to Spencer!! Ok, now I am going to make your chocolate chip cookies today, thanks for sharing!

      1. Blair Lonergan says:

        Thanks, Glenda. I hope that you love them!

  2. Wendy says:

    Happy Belated Birthday, Spencer from Canada!!!! As always, thanks for the wonderful photos and delicious-sounding recipes to start the week off…we are getting snow here at the moment and it is 31 degrees…I hope you and the whole family have a wonderful Thanksgiving and may God bless each one of you…

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Thank you, Wendy. Stay cozy!!!

  3. Tylene Warner says:

    Hi Blair – Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving! And thankful for your weekly email – I look forward to it every Sunday morning.

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Thanks, Tylene. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

  4. Marina Megale says:

    Thank you for your Beautiful photos of your lives throughout the year; those cow pictures this week are just enchanting and the autumn colors in your area are gorgeous. I often tryout your weekly recipes and they are always delicious. I am truly thankful for your friendliness and your generous spirit in sharing your talent. Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Thank YOU for following along with our adventures, Marina. I’m so glad that you can get a little glimpse of Virginia — even from Seattle! 🙂

  5. Sherrie says:

    I was happy to see the ham tettrazini dump and bake recipe! I make a lot of turkey tettrazini after Thanksgiving – leftover turkey. Never even thought of ham. That’s my husband favorite meats – anything pork. I WILL be trying out the ham tettrazini dump and bake. Thanks for having so many recipe choices and easy, too – can’t beat that!
    Teddy is SO cute! Noticed he has a squirrel toy. My dog HATES squirrels and loves to chase and bark…..hasn’t caught one yet, thank goodness! He has a stuffed tree stump with an open top and 3 holes in the sides, we can stuff the squirrels into the stump and out the holes – he goes nuts shaking the thing all over the place until they all come out..it’s a hoot!!

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      We hope you enjoy the recipe, Sherrie! You can never go wrong with tettrazini. Dogs are so much fun!

  6. Norma says:

    Have to add another “wow I can’t believe your ‘baby’ is 10!!” comment! Don’t know for sure how long I’ve been reading your blog and using your recipes, but I do remember him having melt downs in stores once in a while. You used to have loads of lovely flowers as a backdrop to your photos. Anyway, Happy 10, Spencer!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Thanks, Norma! You’ve definitely been along with us for the ride!

  7. Annette says:

    Hi Blair, Happy Belated Birthday to Spencer! Hope he had a fun day. The BBQ pulled pork is on my list to make this week, when we get tired of turkey. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Thank you, Annette! Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!