Hello, hi!!! We're enjoying a beautiful fall-like weekend and taking advantage of some cooler, less-humid weather before the 90-degree temps return to Virginia tomorrow. After a busy week of school, sports, travel, and date nights, I've got a lot to catch you up on -- including our easy weeknight meals. This week was full of simple, kid-friendly slow cooker suppers and other hands-off options that didn't require much effort on my part. Our schedule was packed, and I didn't have much time to spend in the kitchen at the end of the day (I bet you can relate)! With that, let's jump right into 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…
I snuck out for an early morning walk with my friend Mollie before Keith had to leave for the airport at 9:00 a.m.
Since he was on business travel for the week, the boys and I jumped in the car and headed south to visit my parents and my Aunt Barbara in the valley.
Mom served tacos for lunch, which obviously made my crew very happy. Of course, I loved her taco holders and had to order a set for our own house, too!
And I was particularly happy because my dad and I went to an antique shop near their house and I finally found the perfect pie safe (after weeks of hunting)! I couldn't get it into our house on my own, so my folks delivered it later in the week (thank you!).
Meanwhile, the kids managed to squeeze in a quick bike ride before the rain rolled over the mountains. We made our way back to Madison shortly before supper.
Since we were all still pretty full from our late lunch, I took the night off from any real cooking.
I ate the leftover smothered chicken with mushrooms, onions, and creamy gravy from Saturday night's dinner at Texas Roadhouse, but I put it on a sandwich bun which was a delicious idea! On the side I had leftover Slow Cooker Southern Green Beans and more leftover roasted veggies from last Friday's meal. Cleaning out the fridge!
Meanwhile, the boys requested fish sticks and giant carrot sticks (which they think are fun to eat?!). Everyone was happy...
I spent most of Monday morning working at my computer while the kids were at school, but I did make time for a quick loaf of zucchini bread!
I always use the recipe from this cookbook, which is still one of my very favorite cookbooks ever. I did some internet surfing, and it looks like you can find the full zucchini bread recipe online here, too!
It was cloudy and cool, but the rain held off that afternoon so that Spence could get outside after lunch.
He spent a long time mowing and smashing down all of the mushrooms that are growing on our property. This provided endless entertainment!
Gibbs had soccer practice that evening, so I put a beef brisket in the slow cooker and let it cook all day. I love when I have a quick dinner ready to go when we need it at 5:00 p.m., without any last-minute hassle.
I served the Slow Cooker Brisket as sandwiches for the boys (I had mine on the plate without the bun), with coleslaw, potato chips, and steamed mixed veggies on the side. YUM!
This is one of Keith's favorite dinners too, so I put the leftover brisket in the freezer and will serve it again soon when he's back in town.
After dropping the kids at school, I ran a few errands locally before returning home. I stopped at Yoder's for some fresh bread and lunch meat, as well as the grocery store for a few items that I needed for recipe testing the next day.
Then my mom came for lunch! She delivered the pie safe that I bought last weekend and helped me get it set up in my home office.
This is just replacing a file cabinet that broke, so it will hide some of my paperwork and photography supplies.
I made us tuna salad pitas with iced tea for lunch, she visited with Spence who arrived home from school mid-day, and then she was off again. Quick visit!
Dinner that night was easy, repurposed leftovers. I used the extra meat from last Friday's Roast Chicken and made 5-Minute Buffalo Chicken Wraps (an oldie-but-goodie). Served with celery and Ranch dip on the side, because isn't that mandatory with buffalo chicken?!
Apparently Wednesday was "National Peach Day," and I was excited to see that my recipe for One Skillet Peach Glazed Chicken was featured on Forbes HERE. It's a delicious (and easy) meal, so I hope that you'll give it a try before the season is over!
After Spence came home from school, we had a quick lunch and then headed to Charlottesville to run some errands before we had to pick up the older boys.
I brought home that giant tree to put beside my desk,
and I rewarded my patient little shopper with his request: a cup of ice cream from Dairy Queen!
I had a PTO meeting at the school that evening, so I fed everyone a quick dinner before we headed out. I dragged all 3 boys with me to the 7:00 p.m. meeting since Keith was out of town, so needless to say I had some very tired kiddos by the time they got into bed.
Our dinner was a new recipe that I had been testing earlier in the day, and then just reheated at mealtime. This Southern Baked Chicken Parmesan is SO GOOD!!! Can't wait to share! Served with pasta and salad, this was a big hit with the boys.
The humidity lifted on Thursday, so we woke up to the most beautiful, sunny, cool morning. Perfect, since I was scheduled to meet my friend Tricia for a walk after I dropped the kids off at school!
Tricia and her family live at Woodberry Forest School here in Madison, so we walked around the campus, in the woods, and on the trails for about an hour. Such a fun way to socialize and get some fresh air.
Spence came home at lunchtime, we ate a quick meal, and then we headed out to my haircut appointment.
Then it was back to the school to pick up the older kids, home for homework and an early dinner, and then back out to the soccer fields for Gibbs's 6:00 practice.
Another perfect day for a slow cooker recipe! Spencer, who is by far my pickiest eater, has been requesting my Sesame Garlic Chicken ever since I first made it in the Instant Pot a couple of weeks ago. He just loves that meal. I served it with broccoli and rice, and the kids even polished off their veggies when they were covered in that special sauce.????
I promise that the recipe will appear on the blog soon -- stay tuned! The slow cooker version worked well too, so now I have the Crock Pot and the pressure cooker options to share...
We had another chilly, fall-like morning on Friday (SO unusual for August in Virginia!), so we shifted gears from cold smoothies to hot oatmeal for breakfast. I stirred apples and toasted pumpkin seeds into cinnamon oats, and the cozy bowl totally hit the spot.
PS -- I always use this method to cook my oats, since it adds filling protein and gives the meal some staying power. Try it!
And instead of my usual ice water or seltzer, I spent the day sipping on this Pumpkin Ginger tea (too bad that we're looking ahead at 90+ degree days early next week! ????):
My mother-in-law came by for an afternoon visit, and she brought treats! The boys' faves...
While Carole entertained Spencer, I whipped together a quick batch of chocolate chip cookie dough. I used a bag of white chocolate chips (per the kids' request), but threw in about 1 ½ cups of milk chocolate chips as well.
The dough chilled in the fridge, I took myself for a short afternoon hike, and then I scooped up Gibbs and Casey from school.
Dinner was another easy Crock Pot meal! Keith and the boys love pulled pork, so I picked up a pork shoulder at the store last week when I saw them available.
I used my recipe for Slow Cooker Shredded Pork Barbecue, which you can find in THIS post called, "6 All Day Slow Cooker Freezer Meals in 1 Hour." I didn't actually prepare this as a freezer meal, though -- I just cooked it right away.
We had the pulled pork on sandwich rolls with Caesar salad and potato chips on the side.
Gibbs and I were out the door bright and early on Saturday morning to participate in a local 4-Mile Fun Run/Walk to raise money for UVA Hospital's breast cancer research.
I have participated in this walk with girlfriends for years, and it's always one of my favorite community activities of the year.
The walk takes us through Madison's Hebron Valley, so the views are gorgeous and the socializing is fun, too!
Gibbs wanted to join me this year so that he could run the 4-mile race with some of his friends and soccer teammates. He had a great time (and he was a big fan of the snack table at the end)!????
We spent the afternoon playing and taking care of chores at home,
we picked up pizza for the boys for dinner, and then Hannah arrived to babysit so that Keith and I could have a night out.
We tried Forked on Main in Orange for the first time, and we loved our meals! We sat at the bar and we each ordered a salad, plus a couple of entrées to share.
First, the fluffiest, tallest yeast biscuits I've ever seen!
I had the Everything Green Chopped Salad with chopped romaine, cucumbers, sugar peas, French beans, zucchini, asparagus, queso fresco and pepper jelly vinaigrette. So good! Now I'm on a mission to recreate that pepper jelly vinaigrette at home...
And we shared the Margherita Pizza,
as well as the Forked inside-out burger stuffed with aged cheddar, topped with applewood-smoked bacon, served with fries and red bell pepper ketchup. Delicious!
Keith says it's our new go-to restaurant because everything was just so well done. Perfect Saturday night!
Now I'm off to spend Sunday with the family, and I hope that you enjoy the rest of your weekend as well. Thanks for stopping by!
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