Happy Mother's Day to all of the special ladies out there! Before I sign off to spend some quality time with my family, I wanted to pop in with a quick roundup of 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…
Sunday morning was pretty rainy, so when everyone was getting restless at home, we loaded into the car and made a Costco run in Charlottesville.
Our cart included plenty of flowers for Teacher Appreciation Week,
as well as this Tropical Beach Trail Mix (which was an impulse buy from 6-year-old Casey). Fortunately, he loves it -- which is good, because we have A LOT of dried mango, coconut, and pineapple (plus macadamia nuts, cashews, and orange-infused dried cranberries) to work our way through!
We grabbed lunch at Qdoba Mexican Grill afterwards, which is right next to Costco. This has quickly become one of the boys' favorite restaurants. They can each customize their soft tacos or their quesadillas with the toppings, salsas, and guacamole of their choice!
The Burrito Bowls were a hit with me and Keith...
Keith left for a business trip mid-afternoon, so I took the boys over to the playground at the school to burn off some energy. It turned out to be a beautiful day!
Dinner that night was a good one! I made my favorite Turkey Burgers (which are such a fast option and come together in a total of about 20 minutes).
I prepared an Asparagus and Corn Salad for the side. I had a bunch of fresh asparagus from my neighbor's farm to use up, and this salad turned out perfectly! It will be included in an upcoming Simply Mailed meal plan.
I stayed up way past my bedtime that night to finish my book that I could not put down!
My mom gave me this book, which she loved. I loved it as well, but I will say that with a caveat: it is heavy and very intense. I feel like I need to spend the next week reading nothing but fluffy magazines so that my brain can process this novel properly before diving into something new.
Kristin Hannah's book, The Nightingale, is a #1 New York Times Bestseller, which will soon be released as a major motion picture. It's historical fiction, set in Nazi-occupied France during World War II. Obviously, it addresses some very difficult topics; however, it is one of the most fascinating, beautifully-written stories that I have ever read. Such a page-turner, too!
I would definitely recommend adding this one to your summer reading list...
And now to switch gears entirely -- I've got a new cookbook to share!
This is Addie Gundry's latest, which is called The Lighten Up Cookbook: 103 Easy Slimmed-Down Favorites for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. It's exactly what it sounds like: a book that's FULL of healthier versions of the classic recipes that we all love.
I've already dog-eared the lighter Banana Nut Bread, the Chicken Caprese Sandwiches and the Dump-and-Go Italian Meatloaf (among others), so I'll let you know when I give something a try!
You know what's really cool? The publisher included my testimonial on the back of the book! So fun.
Alrighty, on to Monday!
It was a beautiful, sunny day, so I took advantage of the sun and headed out for a walk with Mollie after school drop-offs.
The rest of the day included our usual: work, homework, and an early dinner before soccer practice.
Preparing a new meal plan and shopping list for my Simply Mailed customers at the picnic table while Spencer played in the sandbox.
I was in the mood for my Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Casserole, so I baked the side dish that afternoon and served it with a rotisserie chicken that I picked up from Costco the day before. A quick and easy meal that tasted great!
Tuesday was kind of a crazy one! It started bright and early with a stop at the grocery store for a few ingredients that I needed for recipe testing.
I spent the rest of the morning working on a bubbly summer cocktail, as well as a new salad for the Simply Mailed subscribers.
Spence tagged along while I got a haircut that afternoon, before scooping up the older boys at school.
I was SO excited to see that we have a new coffee and ice cream shop here in Madison! This is a very big deal! Our little town with one (short) Main Street hasn't had a coffee shop or ice cream shop since we've lived here. I foresee many more stops in the future...
I grabbed an iced coffee -- with a view.
Then it was back home for an early supper. We had these 10-minute Steak Salads that I prepped in the morning, and I even shared a video of me making the salads on Instagram Stories (you can still watch it in my highlights here if you're interested).
The kids had their salads "deconstructed" (with Ranch dressing for dipping on the side), plus dinner rolls.
Then we were off to Spencer's soccer practice before our babysitter arrived at 6:45. I had a 7:00 PTO meeting at the boys' school, so Mary Kate put the kids to bed while I was gone.
Wednesday was Mustache Day at school! I knew that my one eyeliner pencil would come in handy for something... ????
Spence helped me with a baking project that afternoon, since I wanted to have some goodies to send into school for Teacher Appreciation Week.
We made these Cinnamon Sugar Puff Muffins, which are some of our favorite muffins from a mix.
We didn't have soccer practices that evening, and instead enjoyed a quiet afternoon at home.
Quesadillas were on the dinner menu! This is one of my easy go-to meals when I don't have anything specific planned. I always have cheese and tortillas on hand, and I can throw any leftovers into the mix.
That night I used up the leftover rotisserie chicken to make "chicken quesadillas," which I served with diced avocado, chips, and salsa.
My little one was home with me on Thursday...
I spent time in the kitchen testing recipes that morning, and then we headed out for a short hike after lunch.
Plus a stop at the playground! It was too nice to be indoors.
We had one of my new recipes for dinner that evening: Dump-and-Bake Kung Pao Chicken! This was delicious, so I'll be sharing it on the blog soon. In the meantime, you can try my Dump-and-Bake General Tso Chicken if you're looking for a similar (easy!) dish.
The boys had an ice cream social at their school later that night, so I took all 3 of them for a sweet treat after supper.
As a second grader, Gibbs has officially reached the age where he is incredibly embarrassed by Mom taking pictures of him!????
The best way to start the day:
After watching a beautiful sunrise on an early morning jog, I returned home to get these excited little boys ready for Field Day at school.
They were also excited about the construction equipment that arrived that morning to start work on a basketball court!
We have a gravel drive, so the boys are very ready to have a designated paved spot for bouncing balls, riding bikes, etc.
Spencer treated me to a Mother's Day tea party at the preschool that morning.❤
Dinner was a bit of a mix that night, thanks to the combination of recipe testing and frozen leftovers.
First, I thawed and reheated the Apricot Glazed Pork Tenderloin that I had stashed in the freezer a few weeks ago (a Simply Mailed recipe).
We had the pork with a green salad and this new Southern Rice Salad (recipe coming to the blog soon). The fruit in the rice salad actually paired really nicely with the apricot pork, so the meal wasn't really as random as I thought it would be.
While I was out walking on Saturday morning, I ran into my neighbor, Stella, who confirmed that her dough was rising for the fresh donuts that she would be selling at the farmer's market that morning.
That was all the motivation that we needed! After an early session of soccer team photos for both Casey and Spencer,
we squeezed in a quick stop at the market to pick up Stella's still-warm glazed donuts (seriously...the BEST).
Stella's family lives on a farm up the street from us, and each year they have one of the best stands at the farmer's market. It's still early in the season for Mary Ruth's vegetables and flowers, but we made sure to grab some of her strawberries, whole wheat bread, and lettuce.
Then we were back on the fields for the boys' soccer games.
The rest of our afternoon was spent at home -- doing loads of laundry, house chores, and even working my way through my closet to pull out my winter clothes and replace them with warm-weather attire. Not a fun process, but necessary.
We kept dinner really easy (per usual). I had two packs of organic chicken wings and chicken drumsticks from our most recent Moink Box, so Keith grilled those while I thawed some dinner rolls from the freezer and made a salad with the lettuce from the farmer's market.
And there you have it! Another week in the books! I'm off to celebrate Mother's Day with my family, but I'll be back tomorrow with another easy dinner idea. Have a wonderful week ahead!
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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