Happy Sunday, friends! The past few days have been full of ice cream (x3!!!), field trips, gardening, soccer, and plenty of easy weeknight dinners! I'm sharing all of the details in today's roundup of Our Week in Meals, but first -- have you entered the awesome giveaway in this post? I hope that you'll hop on over for a chance to WIN!
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 met my friend Mollie for a walk on the trails in the morning, and then the family made a trip to the garden center to buy some plants for our garden and flowers for our front porch.
What they really wanted were these pink flamingos for our yard (I said NO).????
Keith's parents came by for a visit in the afternoon, and then dinner was a delicious way to repurpose leftovers!
I prepared 3 lbs. of Ranch Chicken in the pressure cooker for a meal last week, so we used up the extra meat in a Mexican Ranch Chicken Salad on Sunday evening. Served with extra tortilla chips, salsa, and guacamole for dipping!
This worked well for the whole family, because I could serve the boys "deconstructed" salads. I just put all of the salad ingredients on their plates in separate piles without mixing them together. They seemed happy with that arrangement.????
And the warm weekend weather made everyone crave ice cream again! I served our favorite vanilla ice cream for dessert...
It rained most of Monday morning, which just made me want a warm, cozy soup. While Spencer was at preschool for the morning, I came home and made a batch of Chicken Tortilla Soup in my Instant Pot (you can also make it in the slow cooker or on the stovetop). I used the last of the leftover Ranch chicken, as well as some leftover rotisserie chicken, and the rest of the ingredients are pantry staples that I already had on hand (with the exception of the green chilies, which I just left out).
On the way home from the preschool, Spence and I came across these cows wandering on our road. They had escaped from their pasture (which Spencer thought was hilarious), but after a quick phone call to our neighbor, they were back on their farm safe and sound.
The beautiful reward from a rainy spring morning is the vibrant colors that come out afterwards!
Soccer practices were cancelled that evening since the fields were so wet, but we still ate in shifts because Keith had a late night at the office. I served Carne Asada Tacos...and then realized that I was apparently on a big Tex-Mex kick for about 24 hours!
I will share the easy steak recipe next month, so stay tuned for that...
Spence and I were home for most of Tuesday morning, so I took advantage of the time and dealt with laundry and meal planning for the week.
Meanwhile, Spence entertained himself with these binoculars (which he LOVES) and pretended to be a "jungle explorer."
I've been doing most of my grocery shopping online recently, so I was very surprised after lunch when Spence asked if we could go to the grocery store! Hah! The boys normally despise these shopping outings, so that was definitely a first! I realized that he probably just wanted an excuse to pick out a donut in the bakery section. Either way, I seized the opportunity and headed out to the store when the motivation struck.
The problem with in-store shopping (instead of online shopping) is that (1) it takes FOREVER with a kid; and (2) we come home with WAY more items than originally planned. Impulse shopping at its best.????
Dinner that night was a meal that we had not long ago -- Foil Pack Italian Sausage and Peppers. The kids loved it and Spence requested the meal again, so I obliged.
Just like most nights, we ate at different times since Keith had to take Gibbs to a soccer game in Culpeper while I took Spence to his practice here in Madison.
I served the sausage and peppers with a loaf of Italian bread (recipe for the sausage will be on the blog soon).
I baked one of my favorite cakes on Wednesday morning while Spencer was at school. This Orange Pineapple Fluff Cake is a recipe that my friend Jackie gave me years and years ago, but the photos on the blog needed an update. Perfect excuse for a mid-week baking project!
After lunch, my "official clean up crew" spent some time eating the sprinkles off of my photo board while I cleaned up the dishes. This was a job that he was happy to help with!
Spence brought home some sprouting seeds from school, which he was very excited to plant in our garden. The only problem is that he couldn't remember exactly what kind of seeds they were.????
He told me "probably peanuts," but they looked more like kidney beans! I guess we'll find out soon...
I was on my own with the boys that night, so we had a long evening at the soccer fields for multiple practices. Fortunately the weather cooperated and it turned out to be a beautiful evening for spending a couple of hours outside.
Before we left for the fields, we had an early dinner that I called "Egg Roll in a Bowl." I've heard of this type of recipe over the past few years, but I just recently got around to creating my own version. This is basically a ground turkey and veggie stir-fry that tastes like an egg roll without the wrapper. SOOOO GOOD. I loved this dinner, so I'll share it on the blog soon! Bonus -- it was ready from start to finish with one skillet in about 20 minutes. Perfect for busy nights!
Followed by cake, of course.
Spencer and I stayed close to home on Thursday while the weather was pretty rainy and windy. I tested some recipes in the kitchen that morning, while Spence entertained himself with stickers, trains, and helping me with the cooking!
I was working on a Sheet Pan New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp recipe, so guess what I ate for lunch that day?! YUM. Can't wait to share this with you very soon!
That afternoon, all 3 of the boys came along with me to the primary school to register Spence for Pre-K next year. He will officially be graduating from the little preschool in Orange and joining his big brothers at the "big kid school" for ½ a day starting next fall.
Since we were on our own again for dinner that evening, I treated the boys to hamburgers, ice cream, and banana milkshakes at the Tastee Freez on our way home. Spencer has been asking for this soft-serve for a long time, so we finally made it happen!
Friday was a beautiful day for a field trip!
I joined Spencer's preschool class for a visit at nearby Grelen Nursery, which is definitely one of our favorite local spots.
We went for a little hike on the grounds, checked out some asparagus that was popping out of the ground, and stopped to smell the flowers.
The kids enjoyed some of Grelen's homemade ice cream (Honey Vanilla made with the honey from the farm's bees), before we returned home for the afternoon.
That evening I was testing a new recipe for my Simply Mailed subscribers, which turned out really well. Since so many of you regularly ask me for more healthy dinner ideas, I figured that I should play around with spaghetti squash as a pasta substitute. I made a simple Garlic Butter Shrimp with Spaghetti Squash, but served the shrimp with regular pasta for my boys.
We also had a salad on the side for some greens.
Would you be interested in seeing more recipes like this on the blog? If so, just let me know!
We spent Saturday morning on the soccer fields, and it was a beautiful day to be out there! We've got two more games on the schedule for this afternoon, so hopefully the sun will be shining just as much today, too.
I dragged the younger two boys with me to Costco after lunch,
and they hit the sample jackpot! I think he wanted seconds or thirds of this Triple Chocolate Mousse Tuxedo Cake...
We made it home in time to start getting dinner ready, and boy was it a good one. Since the weather was so beautiful, Keith decided to cook our meal outside on the fire pit.
He made corn on the cob, marinated pork chops (recipe coming soon), and marinated chicken breasts while I prepped the rest of the dinner inside.
In addition to the grilled meat and corn, we had a salad and these new Cheddar Garlic Biscuits (which got two thumbs up from my crew)!
I shared some behind the scenes from our day (including prepping our dinner) on my Instagram Stories, so be sure to follow along with me here if you enjoy that kind of thing. Leave me a message and say hello!
Have a wonderful week ahead, friends!
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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