Hey, friends! We've had another good week around here -- including sunny picnics (as well as plenty of rain), hikes, and lots of easy weeknight dinners.
It's Sunday morning, which means that it's time for another roundup of Our Week in Meals, so 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…
While Spencer and I made a run to Costco in the morning, Keith took the older boys on a hike.
We woke up to the remnants of snow and ice in the mountains from a storm on Saturday night, but that quickly melted away when the temperatures rose to the mid-50's on Sunday. Hooray!
I took advantage of the beautiful afternoon and met Mollie for a walk in the woods while the kids were having "quiet time" in their rooms.
Since Monday was a holiday, Gibbs was so excited to have a sleepover at his friend's house on Sunday evening.
He had pizza for supper (along with the chocolate chip cookies that we sent over to Will's house), while the rest of us enjoyed my Dump-and-Bake Sloppy Joe Casserole here at home. I served it with sauteed spinach on the side for extra leafy greens.
The full recipe is in this post, but you can also watch me make the dish in this video:
While Keith returned to work on Monday morning, the kids were all home from school for President's Day.
They had received gift cards from Target for Valentine's Day the week before, so we did some shopping after lunch.
My in-law's stopped by for a visit that afternoon as well!
We even made it out for a short hike before supper.
For dinner I just reheated a dish that I had prepared earlier in the day.
I actually shared a live video of this 5-ingredient Bacon, Egg and Cheese Crescent Roll Casserole on Instagram stories that morning, and you can still see the clips in my "highlights" on IG if you're interested in that sort of thing.???? The full recipe will be on the blog soon.
We had this breakfast casserole with some fruit on the side. So simple and full of flavor!
PS -- Casey (who we recently discovered has a mild egg allergy) got some rotisserie chicken from Costco for his dinner instead...
The older boys went back to school on Tuesday morning, while Spence and I stayed close to home.
We were blessed with unseasonably warm weather, so we took full advantage (in between loads of laundry and other work)!
We even took our lunch outdoors to the picnic table in our backyard.
Leftover slow cooker pulled pork over salad for me | Quesadillas, guacamole, chips & salsa for him
Plus cookies and fruit for dessert!
I spent most of the day burning this candle that Mollie gave me...in an effort to disguise the smell of some poor dead animal that is decomposing under our house.
The joys of country living (with a crawl space)!????
The Rosemary Eucalyptus "Energize" scent is perfection.
Gibbs had a performance at the school that night, so we ate an early supper before I carted the boys back out for the evening.
I served this "No Work" Citrus & Herb Baked Chicken with rice and roasted butternut squash. So good!
I bought pre-diced butternut squash at Costco (which is a huge time-saver because there's nothing worse than trying to hack at a big butternut squash), and I could roast the squash on a pan in the same 425-degree oven as the chicken for an easy side dish. Rice is always made in my rice cooker.
While Spencer was in preschool for the morning, Mollie and I took advantage of another beautiful day on Wednesday by getting out for a walk.
Then it was home for a business phone call with Dana, laundry, and back out to the school for pickup.
We had an early dinner before the boys' basketball practice that night: tacos!
I feel like I serve these at least once or twice a month, because it's one of the kids' favorite meals (and options that everyone loves can be hard to come by)! Plus, I can prep the meat in advance and then just assemble everything when I'm rushed at the end of the day trying to get everyone's homework organized, practice gear on, etc.
We had our tacos with corn, chips, salsa, and guacamole on the side. I like to serve my meal in the form of a taco salad, so I use the beef, cheese, corn, salsa, and guacamole over lettuce, and add some black beans as well. Again, it's a dinner that keeps everyone happy!
Spencer and I made a quick run through the grocery store on Thursday morning since we were already in Charlottesville for an appointment.
He then enjoyed a lunch date at Chik-Fil-A with my mom, while I headed across the street to the doctor's office.
When we returned home early afternoon, I started the Crock Pot for dinner.
I made Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Vegetables and Gravy, but I swapped chicken breasts for the pork (since I had some chicken in the freezer to use). The chicken worked fine, and the meal was cozy and delicious, but the pork chops are definitely better here. They just stay more moist and tender than the boneless chicken breasts.
Friday was pretty uneventful -- in a good way, I suppose!
I walked with Mollie while Spencer was at school that morning, and then picked up an online grocery order before heading back to the school.
I had a Board meeting at the preschool most of the afternoon, which was longer than usual because we're in the midst of planning for our spring fundraiser. By the time Spence and I made it home from the school, we had about 30 minutes before we had to go back out to pick up the older boys.
Just enough time for a batch of applesauce in the pressure cooker!
I was SO impressed, you guys! This applesauce is just as good (if not better) than the low-and-slow method...and it only required 8 minutes in the pressure cooker!
I used sweet Pink Lady apples, and the applesauce definitely did not need any added sweetener. If you have tart apples, you might want to add a bit of sugar, to taste.
There's just nothing better than warm, homemade applesauce!
Here's what I did, in case you want to try it:
Pressure Cooker Applesauce
- 10 sweet apples peeled, cored, and chopped into quarters (I used Pink Lady apples)
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ cup water
- Place all of the ingredients in a pressure cooker.
- Seal the pot and use the "manual" setting to program the pressure cooker for 8 minutes on HIGH.
- Allow the pot to naturally release.
- Give the apples a stir! There's no need to puree or blend (if you like a slightly chunky sauce), but if you prefer a super-smooth sauce you can use a hand blender, regular blender, or food processor.
- Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Before the boys went to basketball practice that night, we had a really easy dinner -- straight from the freezer.
I thawed and reheated some leftover Virginia Brown Sugar Baked Ham (recipe is coming to the blog in about a week), and served it with the applesauce, roasted green beans, and biscuits. Keith had his ham on the biscuits as little sandwiches when he got home later that evening.
We were back at the gym by 7:45 on Saturday morning for the boys' last basketball game of the season.
They didn't win, but they sure had fun.
The cheerleaders' half time show was the cutest, though!
We had a quiet afternoon at home, which involved a lot of bedroom basketball and Olympics-watching, since Gibbs's soccer practice was cancelled due to rain.
That also gave me a chance to test a couple of recipes in the kitchen and prepare dinner for the family.
We had two new spring-inspired dishes, which I'll be sharing on the blog in the coming weeks. The kids loved these!
Dump-and-Bake Lemon Chicken
and Dump-and-Bake Spring Pasta!
So there you have it -- another week of meals and adventures from our house!
Have a great week ahead, and be sure to check back tomorrow for a delicious new chicken dinner idea...
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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