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Good morning, and happy Sunday! This week included a lot of holiday baking, a couple of lunch dates, and a new Christmas novel. You’ll find all of the highlights from the past few days, along with each of our dinners, 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…

I met my friends for a very cloudy, damp walk at Mollie’s farm on Sunday morning, and then spent the rest of the day working in the kitchen and watching football (or reading) with the boys.

Keith was in charge of the baby back ribs for dinner that night, while I took care of the sides.

Close up shot of oven baked baby back ribs on a cutting board with a side of sauce

We had a skillet of cornbread,

Overhead shot of cast iron cornbread on a rustic wooden table

…as well as this boxed mac and cheese that the kids love (here’s my homemade version if you have a little bit more time) and sauteed spinach.

Plate of sauteed spinach with garlic and lemon.

I’ve got a great book to recommend this week, too! Last year I enjoyed Mary Kay Andrews’ Christmas novel, The Santa Suit, so I was really excited to pick up her latest seasonal story, Bright Lights, Big Christmas. Her writing reminds me so much of Fannie Flagg’s — it’s entertaining, funny, and heartwarming. This is the perfect quick read to cozy up with and get in the holiday spirit!

Fun weekends and the approaching holidays are making it harder and harder for the kids to get out the door to school on Monday mornings!

I made a stop at Yoder’s that day to pick up some country ham for my mom’s upcoming holiday party, where the Christmas goodies were on full display.

Makes me want to decorate some sugar cookies! Maybe soon…

Cookie tin full of the best sugar cookie recipe

Spencer’s friend came home with him from school that afternoon, and Keith took Casey to an early soccer practice in Charlottesville, so we had a late dinner once everyone was back at the house: shortcut chicken pot pie with biscuits,

Overhead shot of hands serving easy chicken pot pie with biscuits

and a house salad with (store-bought) candied pecans (here’s the brand that I buy). This sounded like the perfect comfort food when I was planning our meals on a very rainy weekend!

Overhead shot of house salad recipe with creamy salad dressing on a wooden table

Tuesday started with a walk in the woods with Mollie,

followed by a lunch date with my mom and my aunt at First Watch in Charlottesville.

I had the ham and gruyere sandwich with vegetable soup, and we shared an order of the gingerbread spice donuts for dessert.

Spencer had an orthodontist appointment after school, so we rushed home from that, fed everyone an early dinner, and then Keith took Casey to another soccer practice that evening. Thank goodness for slow cooker recipes on days like these! We had a “weeknight Thanksgiving supper” — Crock Pot turkey tenderloin (doubled the recipe for my crew) with gravy, Stove Top stuffing, steamed broccoli, and store-bought cranberry sauce.

Overhead shot of a platter of sliced crock pot turkey tenderloin

The sun eventually came out on Wednesday, but it definitely felt like winter out there! I met Ashley for a walk, picked up a grocery order, and otherwise buckled down for work at the computer.

We had an evening off from kids’ activities, so I made my grandmother’s baked eggplant Parmesan for supper, which I always serve with pasta and marinara sauce. That way, anyone who doesn’t want the eggplant can just have spaghetti for dinner, and we’re all happy!

Close up side shot of a tray of the best baked eggplant parmesan recipe.

Plus a salad with creamy Caesar dressing and a baguette from Panera on the side.

Add homemade creamy Caesar dressing to a bowl of chopped romaine lettuce.

After another walk with Ashley on Thursday morning, my day was largely devoted to testing new recipes in the kitchen.

You can look forward to these gingerbread streusel muffins with eggnog glaze, which I’ll share on the blog this week! They’re the perfect make-ahead breakfast for Christmas morning (or any other morning this month)…

For my birthday last month, Keith gave me a monthly ice cream subscription through Goldbelly. Each month (for the next 3 months) we’ll receive 6 pints of ice cream from various creameries across the country. The first shipment arrived that afternoon.

This is such a fun gift, and it would be a great option for hard-to-shop-for friends and family during the holidays! This month’s ice cream comes from The Comfy Cow in Louisville, Kentucky and includes six “Kentucky Classics” — like this Simply Southern flavor: butter pecan and bourbon ice cream made with chocolate chips and chunks of homemade pecan pie. Yes, please! Keith was most excited about the flavor called Secretariat, which includes Callebaut white chocolate ice cream with pieces of blueberry cobbler.

I had some leftover Crock Pot beer pulled pork in the freezer, so I thawed that and used it to make pulled pork nachos for an early supper before Casey’s soccer practice that night. We added homemade guac to the nachos, plus a side of corn and beans.

Overhead shot of a pan of pulled pork nachos on a wooden table

Keith and I got out for some fresh air on Friday morning, took care of work and house chores, and then ran errands in Culpeper before picking up the boys from school.

I wanted to get bread and bagels at Panera, so we grabbed lunch while we were there: a big bowl of cream of chicken and wild rice soup with a hunk of baguette on the side!

Spencer’s friend came home from school with us, and the boys spent most of the afternoon outside at the soccer goal. Thank goodness for sunny December days!

We had sheet pan New Orleans shrimp for supper, which I paired with rice and steamed green beans. Quick and easy!

And that brings us to the weekend! Keith took Spencer to play in an indoor soccer tournament all day on Saturday, while I stayed home with the other two boys.

I took advantage of a quiet day at the house and did a bit of holiday prep in the kitchen. First, I canned a batch of Christmas jam to share with friends and neighbors this season…

Hands holding a jar of Christmas jam with a ribbon around it for a gift

…and then baked soft ginger molasses cookies,

Plate of chewy ginger molasses cookies on a table with milk

as well as Keith’s absolute favorite — cranberry white chocolate chip cookies — to bring to an upcoming holiday cookie exchange. Between the Christmas jam and the ginger cookies, my house smelled like the North Pole! If only I could bottle that up…

Side shot of a stack of Christmas cookies with cranberries and white chocolate chips

My friend Barbara and I snuck out for a quick walk that afternoon, and Keith brought home pizzas for dinner after the soccer games.

So there you have it, friends — another week of easy dinners! I hope that you’ve found a new idea or two to add to 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!

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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. Hi, Nancy! I actually use big freezer Ziploc bags the most, since they can lay flat and take up less space. I’ve used plastic deli containers in various sizes as well, but really the bags are what I reach for most often. Hope that helps!

  1. I really enjoyed that book too. I love getting your blog each Sunday. I just wish I was good like you at planning dinner each night. Thanks for all the recipes.

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! Our weeknights would be chaotic if I didn’t plan ahead. I don’t love the process, but I always appreciate when I take the time to sit down for about 20 minutes once a week and plan out our meals before ordering my groceries. It saves me time, money, and stress, so I keep at it! Some weeks things change or I move meals around, so flexibility is key.

  2. Good Morning Blair!

    Sounds like Christmas prep is in full swing at your home this week … Your comment about and picture of your gingerbread streusel muffins with eggnog glaze made my mouth water! I’m looking forward to that recipe!

    My brother asked me if I had the recipe for my Grandmother’s molasses cookies. I don’t, but I remember them. She always kept them in a round tin with wax paper between the layers. And my Dad, true to the nature of any boy (regardless of age) who loves his Mom’s cookies, knew exactly were she kept that cookie tin and what to expect to find in it when we visited! I think I might try making your recipe of the soft ginger molasses cookies and see if I put them in a round tin with wax paper between the layers and gift them to him, if that will seem like her recipe. We’ll have to see.

    Thank you for all of your delicious recipes and beautiful photos Blair. You are one gifted lady and I appreciate your willingness to share those gifts!

    1. That’s wonderful, Kris! I hope the cookies live up to your brother’s fond memories. They are a personal favorite!