Hello from the Blue Ridge Mountains! We’re spending the weekend with Keith’s parents and enjoying a little overnight “staycation” at Wintergreen. Before we head home today, I wanted to quickly pop in and share the weekly roundup of Our Week in Meals — it was a good one!
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…
Our Sunday started early when Mollie and I met for a walk in the woods, while the dads entertained the boys on the playground nearby.
Who needs playground equipment when there’s a skid steer to climb on?
It was a beautiful afternoon — sunny, but not too humid and a high of just 80 degrees. Not bad for mid-summer in Central Virginia! Can you believe how green everything is? We’ve had so much more rain than usual here recently (and the flooding to go along with it).
After lunch we headed out on a short hike here in Madison, where the boys whined for the majority of our time. They just weren’t feelin’ it that day…
Keith grilled steaks, potatoes and corn for dinner,
while I sautéed squash from our babysitter’s garden with onion and bell pepper in butter and garlic. Delicious summer meal!
Gibbs attended a day camp Monday-Thursday this week, so he was busy each day from about 8:30 until 3:30 (and he slept very well each night!).
After dropping him off on Monday morning, I took Casey and Spencer into Charlottesville for Casey’s annual check-up at the pediatrician. My mom was meeting us in town so that she could pick up Casey for a sleepover at her house, so we had a little bit of time to kill after the doctor’s appointment.
We went across the road to the mall, where the boys entertained themselves in the play area. I tried to get them interested in doing some back-to-school shopping, but they wanted nothing to do with the actual stores!
We had lunch at Red Robin in the mall, which the kids loved (we had never been there before). I ordered a cup of Chicken Tortilla Soup and the Avocado Cobb Salad, which was fine — but nothing great. In fact, I hardly found more than a sliver of avocado in the “Avocado Cobb.” Hah!😂
Spencer was still hungry after polishing off his plate of chicken fingers, so we stopped at Sweet Frog for him to get a treat on our way home. This finally filled him up…
I met Mollie for a walk in the woods later that day while Spencer stayed with Mary Kate, and then I picked up Gibbs before heading home for dinner.
Our meal plan changed slightly that evening when my neighbor gave me a huge bag of fresh corn and squash from her garden. Since I had pork tenderloin in the freezer, I decided to use the veggies to prepare my Grilled Garlic and Herb Pork Tenderloin with Zucchini and Corn.
I didn’t have a pre-marinated tenderloin on hand, so I just marinated my pork in a store-bought vinaigrette that was in my refrigerator. Such a tasty, seasonal dish!
Spencer and I had to pick up Casey from my parents on Tuesday, so we all met for lunch at Qdoba in Charlottesville. The boys’ current favorite restaurant!
Grilled Steak Burrito Bowl with tons of guac — so good!
I baked another batch of these M&M cookies, which my family devoured a couple of weeks ago. They’ve been requesting more ever since…
And since it was cool and rainy that day, a comfort food dinner sounded good! We had Baked Turkey Meatballs for supper, which I served with pasta (and zucchini noodles) and a jar of marinara sauce.
These healthy little meatballs were a hit with the whole family. I’ll share the recipe on the blog soon!
On Wednesday I took the boys over to Mollie’s farm for a “play date.” While Mollie and I went for a walk to get some exercise, her mom was kind enough to come over and watch our kids.
It was a beautiful day, but SO humid. We came back super sweaty!
The file cabinet in my home office completely broke earlier in the week (the top drawer came crashing down on Keith, which makes me think that we have too much STUFF in there?!). So, before we picked Gibbs up from camp that afternoon, I dragged Spence and Casey to one of my favorite antique shops to see if we could find a replacement piece of furniture.
I came up empty handed, but of course the kids found toys that they needed…
I had frozen shrimp in the kitchen, along with all of the other ingredients for this recipe, so 20-Minute Sheet Pan Shrimp Tacos were on the menu! I didn’t make the slaw, but instead sautéed bell pepper and onion to have in our tacos.
We also enjoyed chips, salsa, and guacamole, as well as more of the fresh corn from Mrs. Peachey’s garden. Perfect!
I had to jump on a business call on Thursday morning, so Mary Kate came over to stay with the boys while I headed off to Culpeper to find a quiet spot to work in Panera. I figured the restaurant chatter in the background would still be quieter than my boys at home!
I wasn’t complaining about a cappuccino + some peace and quiet…
After my call, I walked across the parking lot to do some solo grocery shopping while I had the chance, and then I made my way back to the house by lunchtime.
Keith was gone that night, so the boys and I were on our own for the evening.
There was an Ice Cream Social for the rising 3rd graders at Gibbs’s new school at 5:30, so I let the boys choose our dinner location on the way. Given that there are only a couple of options to in Madison, I wasn’t shocked when they voted for burgers and fries! I just appreciated a night off from the kitchen.
Gibbs will be starting at the elementary school in town (grades 3-5) in a couple of weeks, so the ice cream party was a nice way to see his friends and to get used to a new building.
His brothers were just happy to be included in this little treat…
I was desperate to get the boys out of the house on a rainy Friday, and the arcade at the bowling alley in Culpeper was the perfect solution.
I really dislike arcades, but this particular spot is clean, well-lit, quiet, and always deserted. So easy to manage, and the kids love it!
I had a coupon for a free donut, so naturally we had to stop at Dunkin’ Donuts on the way home for a decaf iced coffee (for me) and S’mores Donuts (for them). This donut had marshmallow fluff in the center!
I pulled out my Instant Pot and tried a new recipe that evening for dinner. This Sesame Garlic Chicken was deeeee-licious, and I can’t wait to share it with you soon. I’ve got a slow cooker version, too. Served with rice and some frozen broccoli, it was an easy supper that the kiddos loved.
Saturday morning started with an early walk.
After a lot of rain on Friday, it was a foggy (but beautiful) sunrise.
Keith and I planted this willow tree as a little sprout when we bought our house about 11 years ago, and it’s been so fun to watch it thrive.
The rest of the morning flew by as I baked my Mom’s Easy Apple Pie recipe, packed overnight bags, and took care of a few house chores. Then we jumped in the car and drove about 90 minutes south to meet Keith’s parents at their mountain house for a weekend visit.
I brought the pie with us to share for dessert, and I’m planning to post this family-favorite recipe on the blog very soon!
Keith and his dad took the boys to swim at the pool that afternoon, while Carole and I stayed at the house to get things organized for dinner.
We had a tasty summer cookout: grilled hamburgers, shrimp, corn on the cob, and salad.
While the adults had apple pie for dessert, my mother-in-law pulled out some special new treats that she found for the kids: these Krispy Kreme Glazed Birthday Cake Donuts!
Needless to say, they were a big hit!
And that’s a wrap! We’re finishing up our visit here on the mountain this morning and then heading back home later today. Have a wonderful week ahead!
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