Hey, friends! Happy Sunday to you! Are you getting ready to watch the Super Bowl this evening?
We’re headed to a little pizza party with Keith’s family in a bit, and then I’ll be enjoying a bowl of The Best Slow Cooker White Chili in front of the TV later on. Before I jump too far ahead, how about we backtrack a bit and chat about 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 had a very gray, wet day on Sunday. I tried to go for a walk after breakfast, but it started raining on me as soon as I got to my neighbor’s farm, so I turned right back around and went home!
I tested a couple of recipes that morning, and after lunch we all jumped in the car to head south to my parents’ house for the afternoon.
Road fuel — we have to take advantage of a coffee shop when passing through Charlottesville!
While my dad and I went to an antique store, the boys worked on a puzzle with my mom. Indoor activities for a rainy day…
We stayed for an early supper, including lasagna, salad, and bread. Delish!
Dessert is always the best, though!????
Mom bought this chocolate mousse cake, which was SUCH a treat.
Spencer’s preschool was closed on Monday morning (so that they could sanitize the school after a significant flu outbreak), so he came along with me on a few errands.
In spite of the light rain, we made it out for a short hike in the woods to burn off some of the 4-year-old energy.
Keith was traveling on business during the first half of the week, but the boys and I had a tasty dinner at home that night.
I had been testing a ham recipe over the weekend, so we ate some of the leftovers with a salad on the side.
Plus a box of this mac and cheese!
ham + mac and cheese = a perfect pair.
I had to get something removed at the dermatologist on Tuesday, so my mother-in-law drove the 2+ hours down here so that she could stay with Spencer for the day (he was definitely happy about that!).
In addition to my doctor’s appointment in Charlottesville, I also managed to check a bunch of other tasks off my list. It’s amazing how efficient my stops can be when I’m not hauling around a little boy (or 3) with me! I try to take advantage of a trip into town since we live so far away from any of the stores.
I went to the fabric shop, Target, the grocery store, and Costco. I didn’t need much, but I grabbed a few of the essentials that we go through quickly (including turkey, juices, berries, bananas, salad, cereal and flowers).
I even had time for a sit-down lunch at Olive’s Grill on my way home! Luxury…
I had the Greek salad + a tuna salad sandwich. Nothing fancy, but it hit the spot.
Carole left late afternoon, and I made multiple rounds of pick-ups at the school (since Gibbs was staying for an after-school club). The kids’ basketball practice was cancelled because their coach was sick, so I was happy about a quiet evening at home after a lot of running around.
Since I knew that I would be out of the house most of the day, my dinner plan didn’t involve cooking! I just thawed and reheated my last stash of Lentil Soup from the freezer (the boys got chicken noodle soup from the pantry). With a salad on the side, our meal was ready!
For a cold evening, this tasted great.
I helped out at the preschool on Wednesday morning, which was really cute. It was “Pajama Day” and “Bring your Bear to School Day,” so the kids enjoyed a lot of fun activities that centered around their stuffed animals.
I picked the older boys up early from their school because I had to get Gibbs to Charlottesville for his 8-year-old well checkup with the pediatrician.
Not exactly the kids’ idea of a good time, but they did get some donuts out of the deal!
Gibbs had the Valentine’s Day Brownie Batter Crumble Donut (from Dunkin Donuts)❤️
For dinner I made Naan flatbreads, which were a great suggestion from a reader who participated in my free 5-Day Meal Planning Challenge. She shared the idea as an easy go-to weeknight dinner that comes together with minimal ingredients.
I made mine with olive oil, garlic, veggies and cheese, while the boys topped their flatbreads with traditional pizza toppings (marinara and mozzarella). So good, and so fast!
They’re also a nice way to use up leftovers and just clean out the fridge (they would be tasty with chopped chicken, sausage, or beef as well). Or try them with ham (or bacon) and pineapple — like a Hawaiian pizza! The options are endless…
Spencer and I had a quiet morning at home on Thursday, before we ventured out after lunch for a few errands. First stop: my neighbor’s farm to pick up a loaf of her homemade bread (and to return some books that I had borrowed).
My boys are crazy for Jan’s bread!
We then dropped off some fabric with a seamstress here in Madison.
Can you spot the horses on the road walking towards us?
Since we were right near our favorite trail in Shenandoah National Park, Spence and I decided to get some fresh air in the form of a short hike.
The temps were relatively warm, but it was so damp and gray. Blah January weather!
Spence entertained himself for a very long time, though — climbing on rocks,
and throwing sticks into the Rapidan River.
The boys had a 6 p.m. basketball practice that night, so I needed a quick dinner that I could serve in stages (early for the kids, and later for Keith).
I had been testing a new flank steak marinade the weekend before, so I froze the leftover meat and thawed it for Thursday night’s dinner. We had steak sandwiches with green salads and potato salad on the side.
Stay tuned for that steak marinade recipe — it makes a great steak salad, too! And in the meantime, you can try another favorite flank steak recipe HERE.
Friday was pretty routine: the boys were all in school for the morning, I met Mollie for a very cold walk outside, and I picked up an online grocery order after lunch.
For dinner we had Sheet Pan Chili Lime Chicken Fajitas (a new recipe that I was testing for my Simply Mailed subscribers). This was a winner (and so easy)!
I served the chicken and veggies wrapped up in tortillas, with chips and salsa on the side.
Our Saturday morning started bright and early with a basketball game.
Keith took care of yard work in the afternoon, I handled some inside chores, and I even snuck out for a walk up the road.
I chatted on the phone with my mom while I walked, but it was COLD and windy, so the warmth of our fireplace was calling!
Hannah arrived around 6:00 to babysit the kids so that Keith and I could go out to dinner at Flavor on Main in Culpeper.
This meal was delicious and it far exceeded our expectations!
Unfortunately, the restaurant was very dark…so I’ll spare you too many grainy, blurry food photos.
We started with cocktails and shared appetizers: the Crispy Calamari and the Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad.
For my entree, I went with a special: Jerk Mahi Mahi, which was topped with a pineapple salsa and served with red beans and rice and braised collards. This was fantastic, and it was definitely a nice change from the regular fare that I prepare at home!
And that’s a wrap! I’ll be back again next Sunday to share the details from another week of meals around here. In the meantime, stay tuned for even more new dump-and-bake easy dinner recipes in the next few days. Have a great week!????
Need some help planning your family’s meals? When you join Simply Mailed, I will send you 3 quick-prep dinner recipes and a grocery shopping list each week (for about $1 per week!!!). This super-affordable service takes the stress out of dinner, saves you time and money, and brings your family together at the end of the day. There are even options for smaller households of just 1 or 2!
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