Hey, friends! Welcome back to another roundup of Our Week in Meals! I hope that you’ve been enjoying a fun summer weekend!
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 had a quiet Sunday morning at home, which included packing school bags for the week ahead, and soaking up the last bit of summer vacation with some Nutella on the porch swing.
We spent a lot of the morning picking the fruit that’s finally ripe on the trees in our little orchard, too!
The sweetest, juiciest white peaches I’ve ever tasted…
and some crisp, sweet-tart Gala apples.
I took Spencer to his friend’s birthday party that afternoon, while Keith and the older boys went hiking.
Every birthday party should have a few roosters roaming around…
For dinner Keith smoked two whole organic chickens on the grill (these are SO affordable at Costco!), which I served with mac and cheese and salad.
Monday was the boys’ last day of vacation, so my mom came for a visit in the morning. We headed to Culpeper to run errands, which included a shopping trip to buy the kids some new school clothes, as well as a lunch date at Chik-Fil-A.
Casey had a quick doctor’s appointment in Charlottesville that afternoon, so we all went next door for a sweet snack afterwards: Sweet Frog!
It was a soccer practice evening for Gibbs, so shortly after we got home I had to feed the kids an early supper before we left for the fields. This Dump-and-Bake Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Casserole is a twist on my Polish grandmother’s famous recipe, and it totally reminded me of her. I will share the recipe next month, because it’s a delicious way to accomplish the cozy taste and feel of Stuffed Cabbage Rolls without any of the prep work! So, so good.
On Tuesday morning Gibbs and Casey put on their new outfits, their new shoes, and their new backpacks and headed back to school! I packed the requested Perfect PB&J sandwiches in their lunch boxes, and just like that they were off to 1st and 2nd grade!
While these kids claim that they would rather be at home “playing,” I could tell that they were excited about seeing their friends again. Spencer was happiest of all, though — he gets to stay home with Mom for a few more weeks until preschool begins!
After a crazy summer, Spencer and I relished our slower morning at home. The weather was cooler and rainy, so we stayed busy indoors with house chores, cleaning, and artwork.
I also baked a loaf of my Mom’s Cranberry Bread for breakfast and snacks during the week, which seemed like a cozy thing to do! It made the house smell awesome.
Swimming lessons were cancelled that afternoon due to the weather, so I prepared a low-key meal at home without the rush of starving swimmers breathing down my back! I had originally planned to serve Italian sausages with peppers, onions, and provolone cheese on hoagie rolls, but when I learned that Keith wasn’t going to be home for supper that night I decided to leave the sausages in the freezer and save that meal for another day. Instead, we turned to leftovers!
I used some of the extra smoked chicken from Sunday’s dinner to make salads with pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, and poppy seed dressing — with a slice of cranberry bread on the side. Delicious!
On Wednesday morning I took the older two boys to school, prepared a weekly meal plan and shopping list, and then dragged Spence to the store with me to buy another week’s worth of groceries.
We drew (and played with) road maps, and then fixed a quick dinner to have before Gibbs’s soccer practice.
On the menu that night: 5-Minute Honey French Baked Chicken Breasts (recipe coming soon),
plus my oldie-but-goodie 4-Ingredient, 4-Minute Corn Pudding and a salad!
Then it was off to practice!
On Thursday morning Spence and I had to make a run to a different grocery store to pick up one ingredient that I needed for a blog post and couldn’t find at my regular store. While there, Spencer pushed one of those mini carts and did some shopping of his own — including this mac and cheese that he picked out for his lunch that day!????
We also made it home with this cookie dough, which he tossed into his cart as well. He “baked” them later that afternoon to share with his brothers for snack after school. And yes, I realize it’s only August…but around here, the Halloween costume scheming and planning has already started among the boys. I’m sure they will change their minds 15 times between now and October 31, but right now Spence wants to dress as a storm trooper (mostly so that he has an excuse to buy a new toy gun). Boyzzzz.????
We packed up our warm cookies, grabbed the older two boys at school, and headed straight to the pool for their final swimming lessons of the season.
When we returned home for supper that night, I had some very tired and hungry little boys. Dinner was this delicious 3-Ingredient Tuna Casserole, which is a recipe from a reader. Sam shared it with our Facebook group during the free 5-Day Meal Planning Challenge as one of her favorite go-to meals with pantry staples. I instantly knew that it would be a hit in my house as well! I’ll be sharing the full details in a blog post in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned (and thank you, Sam)!
Friday was so hot and steamy that even Spencer didn’t want to be outside. Instead, we took care of some errands — including a stop at the post office to mail the first shipment of Simply Mailed recipe binders to customers (!!!!), as well as a quick run through Costco for a few staples.
Dinner that evening was simple and flavorful! We had Italian Turkey Sausages in hoagie rolls, topped with sauteed peppers and onions, plus Provolone cheese. I cooked everything in advance while the older boys were at school so that I could just assemble the sandwiches and pop them in the oven when we were ready to eat later that night. Worked perfectly!
Since I have a lot of readers who prefer lower-carb meals, I should also note that you can serve the sausages and veggies with zucchini noodles and marinara, over cauliflower rice, or with salad for various grain-free alternatives!
I took a (hot and humid) Saturday morning walk…
and then I headed to Sallie’s baby shower after lunch.
I made it home in time for dinner, which included grilled steak salads and grilled potatoes. These are the same potatoes that I shared in last week’s post, and it sounds like so many of you have already tried them and enjoyed them. Glad they’ve been a hit in your houses as well!
And that’s where I’ll leave it for the week! Before I sign off, though, I want to say a HUGE thank you to every single one of you that has already signed up for the Simply Mailed service! It has been a huge labor of love and it’s a project that my designer, Sydney, and I have been working on since January. After almost 9 months of “development,” it’s so incredibly exciting for me to see your enthusiasm and to know that this is an affordable, user-friendly option that will help so many of you get easy dinners on the table each week. And if it’s not in your budget for now, that’s totally fine too! You’ll still get plenty of free recipes here on the blog each week, and you’re always welcome to sign up for my free 5-Day Meal Planning Challenge, which will teach you my favorite tips for planning weekly meals and shopping lists on your own. There’s something for everyone, and I can’t thank you enough for the support. You guys are seriously the BEST!