Hello, hello! Happy Sunday! I hope that you're enjoying another fun summer weekend. We wrapped up the kids' summer vacation this week, so our days were full of back-to-school prep and, of course, plenty of easy weeknight dinners. Speaking of dinners...shall we 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 woke up in the Blue Ridge Mountains on Sunday morning, since we were visiting my in-laws at their mountain house in Wintergreen for a little "staycation."
My mother-in-law had a kitchen stocked full of breakfast goodies, including these:
Great Harvest Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
Oh my goodness...those old-fashioned birthday cake donuts were HEAVEN.
and muesli with the best local peaches I've had all summer!
Once we were properly fueled, Keith and I went for a beautiful walk while the boys stayed at the house with their grandparents.
We left the mountain just before lunchtime, and stopped in Charlottesville for a quick bite to eat at Panera on the way home.
The Spicy Thai Peanut Chicken Salad was good, but I still prefer the Green Goddess Cobb!
I also ran into Target to grab a few items before finally heading back to the house.
We had The Perfect 15-Minute Grilled Salmon for dinner that night (a nice balance to those donuts for breakfast!),
along with this couscous and a simple green salad on the side.
Monday marked the start of the boys' LAST WEEK of summer vacation! They're not thrilled about this, but I'll be honest: I'm ready to get back to a routine that includes a few hours of quiet time during the day. I'm just not looking forward to the homework...
We dropped Gibbs and Casey off at a camp that morning, and then Spence and I returned home to photograph a new recipe for the blog. He was happy to be my assistant for this task, since it involved a Chocolate Almond Protein Smoothie (which we obviously shared for snack as soon as the photos were done)!
We picked up the older boys a little bit early that afternoon so that we could go to the pool for a quick swim before dinner. It was a very hot day, so this was a refreshing way to spend an hour.
I was working on a new recipe for my Simply Mailed subscribers that evening: 20-Minute Lemon Garlic Herb Baked Cod. This easy seafood dish is basically like a grown up version of fish sticks -- that the kiddos can also enjoy!
We had the cod with a salad and dinner rolls on the side.
After we dropped the older boys off at camp on Tuesday, I dragged Spence to the bank with me to deal with some paperwork for the school PTO. I think it's a rite of passage to suck on lollipops at the bank. I remember doing the same thing at his age (and the lollipops haven't changed in 35 years)!
Once home, he drove his tractor around the yard outside...
while I poured myself an iced coffee on the front porch. I shared the details on Instagram Stories, but I figured I should mention them here, too!
For an easy homemade Iced Caramel Latte in about 20 seconds, I've been combining Starbucks Iced Coffee (which I get at any grocery store or Walmart in the refrigerated section) with some of this Premier Protein Caramel shake. The shake adds a little bit of protein to the coffee (which is a bonus), but it also makes the drink sweet, creamy and flavored. Try it!
I usually get the Premier Protein at stores like Walmart, but I've also seen bulk cases of it at Costco.
By the way -- those running shoes below (on sale now!) and these sandals (in the Tobacco Oiled Leather with the soft footbed) are basically the only thing I've worn all summer -- and my feet are very happy about it!
Fresh back-to-school haircuts for the boys that afternoon (not their favorite activity)!
I had a PTO meeting at the boys' school that night, so I needed an early and FAST dinner that I could feed everyone before I left. The healthy 5-Ingredient French Dip Sandwiches from my eCookbook came to the rescue.
Such a delicious meal in just 15 minutes!
I'm pretty sure that I didn't sit down all day on Wednesday. It was a busy day!
After dropping the older boys off at camp, Spence and I went to the bank to deposit checks for the PTO, and then to Walmart to pick up paper products and drinks for the teachers' dinner on Thursday. This guy was lobbying hard for a cake!
Later that morning, Mary Kate came to stay with Spencer while I met Mollie for a (very hot) walk in the woods, delivered the supplies to the school, and did a week's worth of grocery shopping.
My mom arrived for a visit shortly after I got home, we picked up Gibbs and Casey, and Mom treated everyone to ice cream at Tastee Freez. Casey's a big fan of the pineapple sundae!
I defrosted a couple of pork tenderloins from the freezer and made a double recipe of my Mustard and Brown Sugar Baked Pork Tenderloin for dinner.
While the pork was in the oven, I also roasted a variety of veggies on a sheet pan. We had the roasted vegetables with the pork and a loaf of French bread. So good!
Thursday was another whirlwind of a day. Clearly we were in the midst of the back-to-school chaos!
I spent the morning photographing a couple of new recipes for the blog while Spencer played at my feet, we had a quick lunch at home, and then we picked the older boys up early from camp.
Open House at the schools took place that afternoon, so we marched through three different classrooms at two different schools in order to meet the new teachers and deliver bags full of supplies.
We then drove up to Culpeper to pick up a catering order for the teachers' dinner at the Primary School (which the PTO was hosting). I met a friend to set up the food, before rushing home to feed my own family.
These lucky boys shared one of Panera's giant frosted brownies for snack while I loaded up the car.
Since I knew that I would be at Panera for the teachers' meal that afternoon, I decided that I would just grab carry-out dinner for my own family at the same time. I needed something easy, because Mary Kate arrived at 5:30 in order to babysit the boys while Keith and I headed back out to Gibbs's school for the parents' orientation.
Black Bean Soup and Green Goddess Chicken Cobb Salad
By the time we returned home, I was ready to crash in bed. But not before treating myself to a cup of this gelato. Oh my goodness, I love it!
While the boys were at camp on Friday, I made a batch of my great Aunt Bee's 3-Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits (recipe coming soon!),
and then Spence and I went mattress shopping!
The boys have decided that they all want to sleep in the same bedroom! I just bought an inexpensive spare mattress to throw on the floor for the time being -- so that we can see how this works before committing to a full furniture rearrangement. Basically, it's a frat party every night...
Keith grilled these Italian chicken sausages for dinner, which I served with spaghetti (at the boys' request) and some unpictured oven-roasted bell peppers and onions. Always a hit!
By the time we made it to Saturday, I think that we were all completely exhausted from the crazy week. I did tons of laundry and sorted through the boys' clothes all morning, while Keith took the kids bike riding at the school.
After a lunch of leftovers to clean out the fridge, we went into Orange so that I could look at an antique shop on my quest for the perfect cabinet in my home office (no luck that day).
My neighbor spent the morning put up corn from her garden and she had some extra to share! We had Mrs. Peachey's corn for dinner, along with this "no work" grilled marinated chicken.
I served my homemade buttermilk biscuits on the side, along with a Simple Italian Green Bean Salad. Such a perfect summer meal!
There you have it -- another week of easy dinners done! I hope that you found some new ideas for your own week ahead. Thanks for stopping by!
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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