Hey, friends! It was another wild and crazy week around here! From parties to soccer practices, snowstorms to merry-go-rounds, we saw it all. But here we are at Sunday morning again, which means that it's time for a quick update of Our Week in Meals. Shall we get right 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…
I went to Costco for a quick solo trip on Sunday morning while Keith and the boys did yard work at home.
Since I knew that Keith would be out of town all week, I was sure to pick up a few easy protein options (rotisserie chicken, shrimp cocktail, eggs) that would make dinners quick for me and the boys...with minimal effort.
Keith left for the airport after lunch and was gone until Friday on a business trip.
While he jetted off to the other side of the country, I took the kids to a birthday party for Casey's friend from school.
Fortunately, the weather was beautiful that afternoon and the kids could all be outside.
It was dinnertime when we walked in the door from the party, so I threw together a quick meal that the boys had requested: shrimp cocktail from Costco, which I served with pesto pasta and steamed broccoli.
All 3 of the boys returned to school on Monday morning, so I was able to squeeze in a walk with Mollie before returning home.
After I picked him up from preschool at noon, Spence came home to play with his trains and make some artwork while I prepped an easy dinner in the kitchen.
I noticed over the weekend that the chives in my garden had started to grow again (spring!!!), even though the garden has been completely ignored and neglected all winter.
Since I had fresh herbs on hand, I was inspired to test a new vegetarian recipe for my Simply Mailed subscribers, and this Cheddar and Chive Frittata was born.
It's a great make-ahead option, because I could cook it in the afternoon and then leave it at room temp to enjoy for an early supper before I had to rush the kids out the door for soccer practices that evening. Fruit salad and a piece of toast were perfect on the side.
I finished off the leftovers for breakfast and lunch the rest of the week, too!
Since a frittata isn't something that the boys love, I gave them the leftover fried chicken from Saturday night's party. Everyone was happy!
It was a long night out on the soccer fields, as I bounced back and forth between two different teams' practices on two different fields. This is when it gets really tricky with Dad out of town!
We were back at it on Tuesday morning, when Spence and I hit the road for a little day trip. We dropped the older boys off at school and then headed south to my parents' house for the day.
Donut Pit Stop!
My mom hosted lunch for me, my Aunt Barbara, and my cousin Carroll, who lives just over the mountains in Staunton. Carroll has 4 boys of her own and is totally my Mom Inspiration (certainly the Queen Bee in her house)!????
Spencer and my dad tolerated the "ladies' lunch"...
We had a fun time catching up, and Mom served a delicious meal: Grilled Salmon Greek Salad with Naan bread.
Plus a fruit tart for dessert!
Since I knew that I'd be gone all day, and since we had another night of soccer practices on the schedule, I planned another really quick dinner for that night.
It turned out that Spencer's first soccer practice was cancelled due to rain, but I was still happy to have this easy option on hand -- a rotisserie chicken from Costco, which I served with the kids' favorite mac and cheese.
We needed some green on the plates, so I tested a new side dish recipe for my Simply Mailed folks: Lemon-Dressed Kale. It tasted like a bit of spring...even on a night when there was SNOW in the forecast!
This basically summarizes my Wednesday:
We got about 7 inches of snow, so the boys obviously didn't have school and we were completely stuck at home.
I lost track of how many times we took the snow gear on and off, dried it, put it back on, and multiplied by THREE. Spencer was out there in the dark at 6:45 a.m.! Think he was excited?
I recently bought a few big cans of San Marzano tomatoes at Costco, so it seemed like a perfect day to simmer my Garlic & Herb Tomato Sauce on the stove.
This is a great option for using up sweet summer tomatoes, but it also works beautifully with canned tomatoes in the off season (and it only takes 20 minutes)!
I made a double batch (because why not?!), I used half for dinner that night, and then I stuck another jar of sauce in the freezer for a later meal.
I tossed the sauce with pasta and leftover chicken that evening, and I heated up some dinner rolls for the kids on the side.
The good news about a spring snowstorm is that it melts quickly!
The boys were originally scheduled to have a half day of school on Thursday, with a school holiday for a Teacher Workday on Friday. Since the roads were still icy on Thursday morning, school was cancelled, but the parent-teacher conferences were still held.
After being housebound on Wednesday, my kids were getting stir-crazy and we needed to get OUT on Thursday morning.
We met my parents at the mall in Charlottesville, since Spencer has been begging me to take him to see the Easter Bunny. Once his brothers told him that "it's just a guy in a big suit," Spencer was terrified and wouldn't even make eye contact with the bunny!????
Instead, they rode the merry-go-round, did some shopping, and had lunch at Chik-Fil-A in the food court.
My parents came back to our house in the afternoon so that they could stay with the kids while I went to the school for teacher conferences.
Dinner wasn't too exciting that night, but it came together quickly...which was my priority. The boys requested a repeat from the night before (see the photo above for an image)! I served the leftover tomato sauce with pasta again, as well as baked crescent rolls and sauteed spinach on the side.
I made myself a tasty Falafel Pita with feta cheese, spinach, and homemade tzatziki sauce. I used the falafel patties that I picked up at Costco a couple of weeks ago, which I keep in the freezer to microwave for a quick vegetarian meal. They're really good!
The sun was back out on Friday and the 50-degree temps melted most of the remaining snow. I saw the young cows on our back fence line basking in the warm sun that morning, but when I went to take their photo they got camera shy and scurried off.
There aren't many things cuter than a calf!
Spence returned to preschool that morning, while his brothers had the day off.
I was scheduled to read to his class at the school, so I dragged Gibbs and Casey along with me. Spencer was so proud to have the "big boys" there!
As a treat, we stopped at Subway for lunch on the way home.
We followed a tractor almost the whole back to our house, which totally made Spencer's day.
Keith arrived home from his trip that evening (hooray), so we finally had dinner together again. I served quesadillas with a homemade pico de gallo, corn, and tortilla chips. Another family favorite meal! I'll share the pico de gallo recipe soon...
Saturday was a busy one! Keith took the boys to run errands in the morning, while I stayed home to get some recipe testing and food photos finished. Gibbs was originally supposed to have a soccer tournament that day, but the games were cancelled due to wet, saturated fields.
Since we had a free afternoon, we decided to take a mini road trip.
Keith and the kids have been wanting to visit an arcade in Richmond, so I (reluctantly) tagged along. Arcades aren't exactly my idea of fun, but the boys were excited...so off we went!
I must say, this particular arcade was SO crowded and SO loud, that none of us lasted very long. The kids had a good time with the games for about 45 minutes, and then we all decided that we were ready for an early dinner.
We stopped in the Whole Foods cafe, which happened to be right around the block, and filled up on pizza (for the boys), sushi (for Keith), and chili + salad bar (for me).
Plus dessert to-go, of course!
We made it home in time for baths and some March Madness basketball before we all crashed in bed. A fun Saturday, and that's where I'll leave it for the week! Be sure to check back here tomorrow for a new, spring-inspired dump-and-bake dinner recipe!
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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