Hey, friends! Happy Sunday to you! Before we get to this week’s roundup of Our Week in Meals, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who sent me kind messages regarding Thursday’s post about our Farmhouse Kitchen (you can find it here if you missed it). I’m glad that you enjoyed the tour!
And now moving on to today’s update!
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…
Our Sunday morning started slowly with some gingerbread pancakes (and coffee). Perfect! Once it warmed up a bit, we made it out for a hike along the Rapidan before lunch.
I came home to a warm bowl of Roasted Butternut Squash Soup for lunch (plus some chicken salad from Costco). I had frozen leftovers from the last time that I made the soup, so I just reheated it in the microwave and lunch was ready about 2 minutes later. The best!
I took Spencer to a carnival-themed birthday party for his friend Waylen that afternoon,
and I planned a very quick dinner since I knew that I wouldn’t be getting home until mealtime.
I browned the beef earlier in the day, so when I walked in the door I only had to assemble our 4-Ingredient Crescent Roll Ground Beef Casserole. So good, and so easy! This recipe was included in this week’s Simply Mailed meal plan, along with the Southwestern Skillet Corn that we had on the side.
Monday morning was jam-packed! It was cold and gray outside, but Spencer was happy to see that our neighbor was finally harvesting the corn that Spencer watched grow all summer long.
I had our parent-teacher conference at the preschool, dropped everyone off at school, and then met Mollie and Baby Miles for a walk in town.
I noticed that most of the leaves have officially fallen from the trees, which can only mean one thing: WINTER is on the way! All the more reason to enjoy plenty of cozy foods, like the Classic Pot Roast that I shared on the blog that day!
There were more leaves underfoot than up on the branches…
Shoes are here…and they’re my favorite!
I then hustled to the dollar store (for birthday wrapping paper), the grocery store (for just a few recipe ingredients), and finally back home for a conference call with a brand and some quick laundry folding.
It was a race to get back out the door in time to pick Spence up at noon, but I even managed to get our dinner started for later that night: Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup. The soup recipe was included in this week’s Simply Mailed meal plan, but you can also find it in THIS post.
Such great comfort food on a damp evening! I served our soup with biscuits and salad on the side.
Spence and I ran some last-minute birthday errands on Tuesday morning (hello, helium balloons!) and then returned home for the rest of the day. I prepared a batch of my oldie-but-goodie Cake Balls for his special day, but I kept them kid-friendly by replacing the champagne with water. These are basically like cake pops, but without the stick! SO GOOD!I also frosted a cake for Wednesday night’s dessert, plus a dozen chocolate cupcakes and a dozen vanilla cupcakes for his preschool class — just like he requested. Spencer decided that each child should get TWO cupcakes, because nobody should have to make the tough decision between chocolate or vanilla! Both is always best. ????
After an incident a couple of years ago when the class cupcakes went flying off the seat of my car and got smashed on the way to school, I’ve been using this Cupcake Courier ever since. It holds 36 cupcakes, the frosting doesn’t get smooshed by aluminum foil on top, and I don’t have to worry about anymore mishaps in the car!
I made a new recipe for dinner that night, which turned out perfectly! We had Dump-and-Bake General Tso’s Chicken with rice (that I made in my rice cooker) and steamed broccoli (that I made in the microwave)!
The whole meal took about 10 minutes to throw together, and the appliances did the rest.???? I will share this recipe in the coming months…it’s a good one!
My baby turned 4 on Wednesday, and boy was he excited! We celebrated his birthday last weekend with an outing, dinner, and dessert, so on his actual birthday we kept it pretty low-key at home.
As soon as he woke up that morning, Spencer ran down the stairs to open gifts. He actually thought that Santa had delivered his pile of goodies!????
The new tractor and hay baler joined him at the breakfast table,
and he enjoyed his favorite donuts for his first meal of the day.
I had to peel him away from his gifts in order to take him to school that morning, where he shared the cupcakes with his class.
While he was at school, I snuck in a beautiful (but chilly) morning walk in town.
After school it was straight back home to play with his new toys — he didn’t even want to stop for a lunch date on the way!
I let the birthday boy choose our dinner that night, and Spencer requested tacos! We had the tacos with some corn, chips and guacamole, plus a birthday cake and cake balls for dessert!
Thursday was another full day around here! After dropping the older boys off at school that morning, Spence and I headed to the grocery store to do our Thanksgiving shopping before the crowds descend this week.
While we were out, I picked up a couple of big Norfolk Pines, assuming that I could use them as decor on our front porch in the coming month as a replacement for the mums that have been out there all fall. Once home, I realized that the pines can’t handle weather that’s cooler than 45 degrees F. Oops. Now we have a some very large indoor house plants for the holidays!????
We ate an early lunch at home (leftover tacos), and then made our way into Orange for a Board Meeting at the preschool.
We ran a few errands in town afterwards, since I wanted to pick up a birthday present for my girlfriend. Spencer’s obsessed with the model train that’s set up in the window of an accountant’s office on Main Street, so we have to stop here regularly to check it out!
My kind mother-in-law is trying to figure out how to recreate this display as a Christmas gift for the little guy, so I took a photo to send her.
We ate a quick, early dinner at home, which was inspired by this week’s Simply Mailed meal plan. I served my Mom’s 20-Minute Red Beans & Rice, which I made with ground turkey (since we had beef tacos the night before). Plus a salad on the side for some greens!
Then we were off again! Gibbs’s second grade class presented their Native American projects to the parents that evening, so I took him back to the school while Keith stayed home with the younger boys.
He had such a good time building this Pueblo adobe home.
Friday morning was so much fun! After dropping all of my boys off at their respective schools, I went down to Charlottesville to visit my friend Kristin.
Kristin and I both have November birthdays, so we always try to get together around our special dates for a birthday outing (last year’s lunch date was in this post).
Since she has 3 kids the same ages as mine, scheduling these Mom Dates can get challenging! We were all set to meet at a coffee shop on Friday morning, but we had a last-minute change of plans when Kristin’s oldest was home sick from school for the day. Instead, we just had a low-key morning at her house, which was absolutely perfect!
Three-year-old Jonathan even made me a hot cup of coffee when I arrived! Who needs Starbucks when he’s around?!
I made a quick pit-stop at Subway to grab sandwiches for lunch before picking Spencer up from school at noon.
I tried the Turkey Reuben sub, which is a limited-time special. It was pretty good, and I’d probably order it again, but the sauerkraut was kind of meh. Not as good as my Grandmother’s Easy Sauerkraut with Crispy Bacon! I did like the rye sub roll for a change, though. That was tasty!
This sandwich totally reminded me that I should make my own homemade Turkey Reubens for dinner next week when we have Thanksgiving leftovers in our kitchen. Both the sauerkraut and the turkey are on our standard Thanksgiving menu, so I’ll have most of the ingredients already on hand!
Unfortunately, my smooshed sandwiches never quite look the same as they do in the commercials!????
I picked up eggs and bread from my neighbor’s farm, before finally returning home for a couple of hours.
Keith was out of town for the night, so I let the boys choose our dinner menu. I figured they would probably want the regular Friday Night Pizza, but we ended up with fried chicken and ice cream at the Tastee-Freez here in Madison instead. Spencer was lobbying hard for dessert!
I burned my tongue, but this Beef and Vegetable Soup was surprisingly delicious!
Casey gave the Black Raspberry Sundae a thumbs up!
I took care of some house chores on Saturday morning, including some cooking in the kitchen. I prepped a pan of my mother-in-law’s lasagna for dinner on Sunday evening (recipe coming soon),
and I baked two batches of cornbread. One batch is for our Southern Cornbread Stuffing on Thanksgiving, and the other was for a chili dinner at our friends’ house that night.
When Keith returned home shortly after lunch, he came bearing gifts in the form of Duck Donuts.???? The boys were very happy about this box!
Blueberry glazed donuts and rainbow sprinkle donuts.
We were invited to a party at Maggie and Nick’s house for dinner that evening to celebrate Nick’s birthday. We had drinks,
and Maggie’s homemade chili with cornbread,
while the kids feasted on pizza. Perfect Saturday night with friends!
I hope that you all had a great weekend as well! Happy Thanksgiving!
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