Hi, friends! Are you enjoying a long weekend? It's Sunday morning, which means that it's time for another roundup of Our Week in Meals. Let's get to it!
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 left warm, sunny Florida on Sunday morning to return to Virginia (more on our trip in last week's post here).
3 very tired little boys at 8:00 a.m. on the way to our gate at the airport.
We were starving and needed lunch as soon as we landed at Dulles, so we grabbed carry-out for the ride home.
Southwestern Chicken Salad.
By the time we made the drive back to Central Virginia, it was late afternoon. I was so glad that I had placed an online grocery order, so I swung by the store to pick up our food for the week before returning home for laundry, unpacking, and dinner.
I didn't have time (or energy) to do much cooking that night, so I scrounged a meal from our freezer: these Garlic Chicken Sausages (from Costco), which I roasted on a sheet pan in the oven with sliced acorn squash (425 degrees F for about 25 minutes, flipping halfway through).
We had a salad on the side for some greens and fresh veggies.
After a good night's rest and the chance to recover from our travels, we were back to our usual routine on Monday.
While Spence was at preschool for the morning, I made a quick trip to Charlottesville for a doctor's appointment and a spin through Costco to restock our staples.
Dinner that night was another meal pulled from the freezer -- my Quick and Easy Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce (a family favorite!), plus a Caesar salad from Costco and a loaf of Italian bread.
Spencer and I had a quiet Tuesday morning at home, while I tested recipes for the blog and did some last-minute Valentine's Day prep.
My boys don't have much interest in writing Valentine's Day notes to their classmates, so I addressed 3 classes worth of cards (and candy). I was also in charge of the fruit for Spencer's preschool class party, so I put together a big tray of these fruit kabobs to bring on Wednesday.
I cut the hearts out of watermelon using cookie cutters and alternated them with strawberries on the mini skewers.
My mom came for a visit in the afternoon and delivered some Valentines to the kids -- lucky boys!
After Mom left, we had an early supper: Sheet Pan Shrimp Tacos with chips, salsa, avocado, and corn on the side. Delicious!
I'll share the taco recipe on the blog soon!
And then it was Valentine's Day! Our Wednesday morning started with a few gifts for the kiddos, and a Valentine's Day breakfast of heart-shaped toast, pink (strawberry) yogurt, and extra heart-shaped fruit kabobs.
While Spence was at preschool for the morning, I met Mollie for a walk and some fresh air.
Then it was back to the preschool at 11:00 for the Valentine's Day party.
Forget the fruit kabobs...he just wanted to eat frosted sugar cookies!
We didn't exactly do a "romantic" Valentine's dinner that night, since we were rushing out the door to 6:00 basketball practice.
Instead, Keith and I planned a date night for Saturday!
I made Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps in advance, which I could quickly serve at room temp before practice. The boys ate their meat in tortillas (rather than lettuce wraps) for a more filling and kid-friendly option.
This was a recipe that I was testing for my Simply Mailed subscribers, and I love how they turned out.
I sent Aunt Bee a Valentine note on Wednesday, which reminded me of her favorite muffin recipe. On Thursday morning, I was still thinking about those muffins, so I pulled the ingredients from my pantry and stirred together a batch in about 5 minutes!
These 2-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins are an ancient recipe from the old days of the blog. Aunt Bee has always loved them, and has prepared them many, many times for guests. It had been way too long since I made the muffins for my own family!
For this batch, I used a yellow cake mix (instead of the spice cake mix called for in the original recipe), since that's what I had on hand. I also baked the muffins in a standard muffin tin (which yielded 13 muffins), rather than the mini muffins that my toddlers used to love. Bigger boys = bigger muffins. ????
I baked the larger muffins at 350 degrees for 27 minutes and they came out perfectly! I also used silicone muffin liners, which I sprayed with cooking spray, so that the muffins popped right out without sticking.
Here's an old photo of 1-year-old Casey eating a pumpkin muffin (with both of our sweet puppies in the background). My how time flies!
Back to Thursday morning!
Carole (my mother-in-law) made the 2-hour drive down from Alexandria for a visit. Since she was available to stay with Spencer for a little while, I took advantage and scheduled a much-needed oil change and service appointment for my car. That's a hard thing to do with a 4-year-old in the waiting room, so I was thrilled to have her help at home.
I enjoyed a big bowl of Black Bean Soup for lunch at the dealer while I was waiting. YUM.
After my car was finished, Spence and Carole were on a lunch date of their own, so I snuck out for a short walk to enjoy the almost 70-degree temps! It felt like Spring.
Instead, we topped our pork with the last of the coleslaw that I had prepared for our shrimp tacos on Tuesday, plus a bottle of store-bought barbecue sauce.
We had the pulled pork sandwiches with chips and salad. Barbecue will forever be one of Keith's (and the boys') absolute favorite meals!
The rain held off on Friday morning just long enough for Mollie and I to squeeze in a walk after I dropped Spencer off at preschool.
His class was celebrating Chinese New Year, so he was treated to teriyaki noodles and chicken from a local restaurant in lieu of his regular "morning snack." Fun!
We picked up a grocery order that afternoon, grabbed the older boys from their school, and came home for an early supper before basketball practice.
I had some salmon in the freezer from Costco, so I grilled the fish (on my indoor grill pan) and served it with sauteed zucchini and a loaf of French bread.
An easy dinner for the first Friday in Lent!
We split up on Saturday morning in order to be in multiple places at the same time.
I took Spencer and Casey to the basketball game,
Can you tell that he dressed himself?!????
while Keith and Gibbs went to Charlottesville for Gibbs's Destination Imagination regional competition with some of his classmates.
We rendevoused for lunch, and took the boys to get haircuts later that afternoon.
Then it was time for our Valentine's Day date night! Hannah came to babysit the boys for the evening so that Keith and I could go out to dinner on our own.
We tried a new-to-us restaurant in Culpeper that had great reviews -- Piedmont: a Virginia Steakhouse.
We started with homemade dinner rolls dipped in Tuscan herb-infused olive oil and salads.
For my entree I ordered the Char Grilled Shrimp, which came with a baked potato and green beans. It was a great meal, and we especially loved the atmosphere of the restaurant. Such a beautiful old building!
And now I'm off for the day! I hope that you all have a wonderful week ahead!
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