Hey, friends! We had a busy first week of fall around here! From birthday celebrations to sweet treats, preschool, and easy dinners -- it's all in today's roundup of Our Week in Meals! But first, I want to say that the families of Florida (and all of the southeast) are in our thoughts and prayers this week. My brother and his family live in Orlando, so this particular disaster hits very "close to home." Sending everyone virtual hugs!
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 were still in the mountains on Sunday morning with Keith's parents, so we took a beautiful morning walk around the golf course before heading home.
We made a pit stop at Costco as we were driving through Charlottesville, and then arrived at home by lunchtime. I made a chicken salad sandwich using one of these little chicken salad cups that I picked up when we were shopping. Such an easy solution for lunches during the week!
Another notable Costco purchase: this Spindrift water! Love it! It has more flavor than regular flavored seltzer water, but it's not really sweet like juice.
After unpacking and cleaning up lunch dishes, I planned our dinners for the week ahead and prepared my shopping list. Then I was off to the grocery store!
Keith and the boys picked some more apples from our trees in the afternoon.
The Red Delicious are ripe now, and they're super crispy and sweet!
Since the weather was gorgeous and we were celebrating the unofficial end of summer, we figured grilled hamburgers would be the perfect dinner that night. Keith grilled the burgers, which I served with a Caesar salad from Costco (I added a bunch of cherry tomatoes from my neighbor's farm), as well as some Crispy Oven-Roasted Seasoned Red Potatoes.
I'll share the recipe for these delicious 3-ingredient potatoes very soon!
Monday was an exciting day, and not just because it was a holiday. I sent out the first week of Simply Mailed meal plans and grocery lists to so many of my awesome readers, which was such a great feeling!
I spent the rest of the morning in the kitchen while Keith mowed the grass and took the boys to the playground. When he saw the sugar come out, Spence was quick to join me!
We made a batch of Maple Frosted Walnut Bars, which Keith took with him to his fantasy football draft that night. Keith said that they're "the best thing I've ever made!"☺️ Definitely an indulgent treat, but you should totally make them if you need a special dessert in the coming months (Thanksgiving...)!
While Keith was gone for the afternoon, the boys and I headed to the pool for one last swim of the season.
For dinner I made a really great Dump-and-Bake Shrimp Scampi with Linguine, which I cannot wait to share with you here on the blog! It's so simple, but so good!
We also had my "Autumn's Best" Tossed Salad with Apple Butter Vinaigrette...because it's apple season! Another easy recipe that works well for quick dinners as well as special occasions (coming to the blog in another week or two).
As if that all wasn't good enough, my neighbor (Mrs. Peachey), brought over a French Apple Pie for dessert (along with some tomatoes from her garden). Mrs. Peachey's son bakes bread and pies for a local country store, but apparently this particular pie had a crack on part of the crust so it wasn't "fit for sale." It was certainly "fit" for us to eat, though! The perfect way to end the summer!
This photo from the back door in our mudroom basically summarizes how I spent my Tuesday...sorting through bags of the boys' clothing, washing items from storage, and cleaning out their closets and drawers. With cooler weather upon us, we were in dire need of some warmer clothes in the drawers. Once everything was sorted and put away, I could then take stock of what we needed and do some shopping for the kids. This is a chore that I dread each season because it's just so overwhelming with three little ones, but I always feel very accomplished when it's done.????
Fortunately, Spencer was tired from the busy weekend and seemed perfectly happy to play with toys on the floor while I took care of chores all around him!
Before picking up the older boys from school that afternoon, I pulled out some of our fall decorations and we even made a quick stop at a nearby antique store. Shopping with kids isn't easy, but Spencer thought this particular trip was like a treasure hunt.???? We came home with a lantern, but didn't see anything else that we "needed."
Dinner that night was one of our favorite Crock Pot meals: Slow Cooker Pulled Barbecue Chicken with corn, broccoli, and Classic Southern Macaroni Salad on the side. It was our last warm day of the week and this meal hit the spot!
This little guy went back to preschool on Wednesday morning! He was NOT happy about it, cried all morning, and was ultimately bribed with a Twix bar just so that I could get one smiling photo of him! Fortunately he'll only be in school 3 mornings per week, so I won't have to fight this battle every single day...yet.
It poured rain all day, so my plans to walk with the other moms while our kids were in school were obviously cancelled. Instead, I headed up to Culpeper to run errands, which are much more efficient when there are no kids involved. One of my stops included a run through Target, where I stumbled upon ALL of the fall goodies! I came home with a cart full of pumpkin-flavored everything -- from coffee to breakfast bars, almonds to yogurt and cereal, I grabbed almost everything that I saw. Tis the season!
On my way to pick Spencer up at noon, I was hungry for lunch and grabbed this Rotisserie Chicken and Provolone sub to eat in the car. I love my kids, but the peace and quiet of a solo meal was quite nice -- even if it only lasted for about 5 minutes!
Both of the older boys were supposed to have soccer practices that night (which were cancelled), so I had planned a very quick and easy dinner -- quesadillas. I stuffed the quesadillas with cheese and the leftover pulled barbecue chicken from the night before. Served with salsa and a side of oven-roasted Brussels sprouts. It all tasted great, but I don't think I'll be making Brussels sprouts again any time soon, since Keith spent the rest of the evening complaining about the smell in the house!????
Spencer and I stayed close to home on Thursday, but made a point to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather.
We watched a tractor harvesting corn across the road (very exciting), and Spencer took advantage of his day off from school to drive his own tractor.
We also went hunting for giant mushrooms in the yard, thanks to all of the rain that we've had recently.
Gibbs had a make-up soccer practice that evening, so I prepared a healthy and easy dinner that I'll share with all of you soon: Garlic & Herb Slow Cooker Pork and Vegetables, served with biscuits on the side! Keith was hosting a group of his friends for a "boys' night" gathering, so my friend Maggie was kind enough to transport Gibbs back and forth to practice while I put Spencer to bed at his regular time (7:00 p.m.)!
Friday's highlight was a fun visit with my friend Kristin and her son Jonathan! While Spencer was at school, Kristin and Jonathan drove up from Charlottesville to meet me at a park so that we could walk and visit.
Jonathan was a good sport and played patiently while Kristin and I talked incessantly for a few hours before we had to part ways!
We had a little "birthday party" for Keith that evening, and since Keith didn't have any specific meal requests I let the boys pick the menu. We ended up with pizza (of course),
and an Oreo ice cream cake for dessert!
I met my friends Maggie and Mollie for an early morning walk on Saturday, which was the perfect way to start the weekend!
I then raced home to change before heading back out to the soccer fields for Casey's first game of the season.
This kid LOVES to play!
After lunch I grabbed my grocery list and headed to the store to pick up groceries for the week ahead.
And I was treated to another night off from cooking, since we met friends at Bald Top Brewery here in Madison for drinks and supper from the food truck!
Perfect Saturday night!
I've got some food to make this morning, another soccer game this afternoon, and I'll be back tomorrow with a new dinner recipe to share. Have a great week ahead!
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