Hello, and happy Sunday! We've had another jam-packed summer week, including amusement parks, pool parties, and road trips. I also managed to squeeze in some easy weeknight dinners, so let's jump right into today's 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…
We made sure to squeeze in as much fresh air as possible on Sunday morning before the rain arrived at noon.
I started the day with a walk in the woods with my friend Mollie, picked up a grocery order, and then took the boys to the school to ride their bikes while Keith packed up and headed to the airport for a business trip. The kids and I were on our own for most of the week, so I had to keep them movin'!
I was testing a new recipe for my Simply Mailed subscribers that evening, so our dinner included Slow Cooker Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken served with buttered egg noodles and steamed green beans. Delish, easy, and very kid-friendly!
With Keith gone, I tend to get a lot more reading done in the evenings (instead of chatting and TV watching). That night I finished up my latest book, My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss, which is a lovely memoir full of stories, recipes, and adventures! Such a fun, light read.
Monday was mostly a wash-out, with pouring rain off and on all day. We snuck out for some bike riding again after lunch, but otherwise entertained ourselves at home with recipe testing (me!), train track building (them!), and more than our fair share of bickering, too (them!).
Being stuck indoors is definitely not ideal for my crew...
We had a new recipe for dinner that night, which I was testing for the blog. Coming soon -- this Dump-and-Bake Italian Fish with Broccoli and Rice. I used mahi-mahi here (because I had 4 fillets from Costco in the freezer), but it would also work well with cod.
This easy one dish meal is similar to the Dump-and-Bake Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole that you can already find on the blog.
Then we were off to the lacrosse fields! The rain stopped long enough for the boys to get out and run around, which was a huge blessing!
Tuesday was another day of off-and-on wet weather, but we still managed to sneak out during the dry moments.
Mary Kate stayed with the boys in the morning while I walked with my friend Mollie. The crepe myrtles in our yard (and all over the area) are in bloom -- and adding color to the very gray days!
We had an early lunch at the house and then got in the car for a mini road trip. We headed south to Nelson County to see my parents...and grabbed some snacks along the way.
You know, high quality nourishment like Cosmic Pineapple Coolattas,
and strawberry frosted donuts. ????
At my folks' house, the boys got out for bike rides,
finished a puzzle while it rained,
and Dad and I made a stop at my favorite antique store (I came home with a giant copper pot, an antique kitchen scale, and some books). Keith was probably just relieved that there were no big furniture purchases this time!
Gibbs stayed to spend the night with my parents, while I brought the younger two boys home for supper.
On the menu? Another old blog recipe to take advantage of the fresh peaches that we're still enjoying from our trees: this Grilled Chicken, Nectarine and Walnut Salad (I substituted peaches for the nectarines). The boys just had their salads deconstructed, with dinner rolls on the side.
Wednesday was a busy one! Gibbs was still livin' the high life with my parents at their house that morning, so I took Spencer and Casey to ride bikes and to run an errand at the bank before lunch.
Then we were off to Charlottesville, where we got my vehicle cleaned at the car wash (so long, beach sand!);
ran and jumped at Bounce n' Play until the boys were sweaty and exhausted;
and picked up a few odds and ends at Costco. We eventually reunited with Gibbs and my mom so that I could bring him home with us.
Tip: I just realized that I can order 1 cup of frozen yogurt at Costco, but the workers will divide that yogurt equally between 2 (or 3) cups. Since the servings are so huge, the kids always end up throwing away most of the fro yo if they each order their own. This way, they can share it, have just the right amount, and not waste anything (and not fight over a single cup!). It's the perfect solution, and bonus: it only costs a total of $1.69 for a massive amount of dessert!
This entertained them for most of our shopping excursion...
When we finally made it back home to Madison that evening, I was so glad that dinner was basically ready to go.
I was trying another new recipe for my Simply Mailed folks: Slow Cooker Smoky Kalua Pork. I served the pork with rice, and topped the kids' plates with grated cheese and chives. They added Stubbs' BBQ sauce after I snapped this photo, and I added guacamole to my plate. SO GOOD!
On the side we had the last of Mary Kate's homegrown zucchini and squash, which I tossed with this new dressing from Costco and then roasted in the oven at 425 degrees F for about 25-30 minutes.
Thursday was such a fun adventure!
We left the house bright and early for a little road trip to Kings Dominion -- an amusement park about 90 minutes away. My friend Mollie and her oldest son, Henry, joined us for a full day of rides and excitement.
It was hot out, but the shade felt nice and the park wasn't crowded at all.
With the exception of a brief break for chicken fingers and fries at lunchtime, it was a day of non-stop bumper cars, small roller coasters, and water rides.
We made it home just before dinnertime (tired, hungry, and in desperate need of showers), so it was KEY that I had assembled my Dump-and-Bake Chicken Salad Casserole in advance.
I just popped it in the oven for about 20 minutes and our meal was ready!
Our old babysitter, Rebekah, came over for a visit on Friday morning. She helped raise my babies (and is now teaching a classroom full of students of her own), but since she lives just up the road on her family's farm, we still get to see her during school breaks.
The boys had a blast with Bek-Bek, as always!
Keith was home from his business trip on Friday, so he joined us at the pool that afternoon. It felt like a Saturday!
For dinner I served a new recipe (which will be on the blog soon): Johnny Marzetti Casserole. Can you tell that I'm ready to transition to some fall comfort foods?!
Spencer requested brownies for dessert, so I stirred together a batch that afternoon when we came home from swimming. Someone needs to make a candle that replicates the smell of brownies baking in the oven. It's the best!
Keith took the boys to Charlottesville on Saturday morning to run errands and to get some donuts. I enjoyed the quiet house while I changed bed linens and photographed a couple of recipes.
Our friends organized a pool party that afternoon, so we headed over to the farm for some fun antics after lunch.
Boys will be boys...
I fed the kids their favorite 4-Ingredient Pesto Pasta for supper that night, and then Mary Kate arrived so that Keith and I could go out on a date.
He wanted to visit a classic car Cruise-In that was set up at an ice cream shop in Culpeper, so we grabbed dinner at Chili's beforehand.
We had salads, chips and salsa to start. This Fresco Salad was good, but it was drenched in Honey Lime Vinaigrette. I need to remember to order the dressing on the side!
The chicken and shrimp fajitas were perfect (as always).
We finished off our evening at the car show,
with some delicious ice cream. I got the Birthday Cake flavor, which was the best way to end a beautiful summer evening.
I hope that this roundup offered a few new recipe ideas for your week ahead. Have a wonderful Sunday!
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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