Happy Labor Day weekend to all of my American friends! I hope that you're enjoying a long end-of-summer celebration! We're sweating in true summer weather here in Virginia, making the most of the last few days of the season. From street fairs to barbecue and pumpkin spice lattes, we've had plenty of fun and delicious food this week. How about we jump right into the Sunday 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…
I started the morning with a Pumpkin Spice Smoothie (willing fall to arrive quickly!), which I topped with unpictured granola. The crunchy topping made it taste like a pumpkin pie!
I then met my friend Mollie for an early walk while Keith took the boys to the playground, and I made a quick solo run to the grocery store afterwards.
Keith has been craving good barbecue, and he heard that Shawn's Smokehouse BBQ up in Culpeper is the best around, so that's where we went for lunch.
We tried almost everything on the menu, from pulled pork sandwiches to ribs, smoked chicken, most of the sides, and even a pound of brisket to-go. It lived up to the hype!
Keith grilled our favorite 15-minute salmon for dinner, while I prepared pesto pasta and salad on the side. Always delicious!
Monday morning was work, work, work until Spence came home from school at lunchtime. I spent a few hours in the kitchen and behind the camera -- testing some new fall recipes and updating images for a couple of old favorites (like these corn muffins!).
Gibbs had soccer practice that evening, so I fed the boys earlier and then served round #2 to Keith when he came home later.
We had some delicious Make-Ahead Ham and Cheese Sliders, which are coming to the blog very soon! These are perfect for football tailgates, party snacks, easy lunches, or quick weeknight dinners.
Can I just tell you how excited the boys in my house are for football season to start? It's all I hear about these days, and Keith and Gibbs are strategically planning their upcoming Fantasy Football drafts...
On the side I added a bowl of my Summer Vegetable Soup to get some produce in there. This was just thawed and reheated from the freezer, and it can be prepared in the slow cooker, in an Instant Pot, or on the stovetop. Keith and the boys had carrots and Ranch dip instead!????
After a beautiful (but dark) Tuesday morning walk,
I took the boys to school, stopped at Yoder's Country Market for lunch meat and bread, and then buckled down to get some work done at my desk before Spence came home from school at lunchtime.
Casey had soccer practice that evening at 5:30, so I fed everyone a very early supper before Keith took him to the fields.
We had spaghetti with Italian meatballs (from Costco, which I keep in my freezer for nights like this) and marinara sauce, which I served with salad and garlic bread on the side.
Wednesday morning was uneventful (in a good way). I took the kids to school, grabbed a cup of coffee, and then parked myself at my desk again to knock out some more work.
My mom arrived around lunchtime so that she could watch Spencer while I jumped on an important business call for the afternoon.
Before my call, I started dinner in the slow cooker so that I wouldn't have to worry about it once the older boys came home from school.
We had my Slow Cooker Greek Chicken Gyros with pita bread, Tzatziki sauce, hummus, feta cheese, and a variety of fresh toppings that I let everyone customize. Definitely one of my favorite slow cooker meals!
I ran a few errands on Thursday morning, and then Mollie and I hit the trails for a hike in the woods. It was hot and humid, but pretty!
Gibbs had soccer practice that evening, so we had another early, easy dinner -- Steak and Cheese Subs. I used this steak (that I had in the freezer from Costco), sautéed onions, and added melted cheese on top.
Keith was thrilled with this dinner, Gibbs complained that I put American cheese on his sub instead of Provolone (but he ate the whole thing anyway), Casey complained that I put mayonnaise on his sub (and ate half of it anyway), and Spencer cried hysterically because there was cheese on his "hamburger" and refused to take more than about 3 bites.???? Oh well -- I've learned that it's tough to please everyone, and I don't really worry about it at this point!
Spence and I headed to Costco on Friday afternoon to stock up. We hadn't been in weeks! Our primary mission? Order a birthday cake for Keith's upcoming party.
Spencer was very happy to help with this task, although he was quite upset when he realized that we wouldn't be bringing the cake home with us that day...
He would also like you to note that the Halloween decorations and Christmas wrap is already for sale! Spencer was very apprehensive of this loud, talking monster, so at least he didn't ask me to buy it.????
I picked up my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season, which was very exciting. 'Tis the season (even though it was 90 degrees that afternoon)!???????? Keith was appalled that I bought one in August!????
I didn't really have a specific plan for dinner that night since I hadn't been grocery shopping all week, and we often just order pizza on Friday nights. While we were at Costco that afternoon, I let Spencer pick out something for supper from the prepared foods section. His choice: this rotisserie chicken!
I served the chicken with a box of mac and cheese and a big Caesar salad (also from Costco). Just as easy as carry-out pizza!
Madison had its Taste of the Mountains street festival on Saturday, so we took the boys over to Main Street for the fun after lunch.
The kids basically spent the entire time either (1) eating or (2) climbing trees. They had no interest in any of the actual vendors!
We filled up on kettle corn, soft pretzels, baked goods from the church ladies, and cold lemonade.
Dinner was a simple end-of-summer supper for the last weekend of the season. This meal totally hit the spot!
We had grilled steaks, sweet potato, green beans, and a small salad to use up the last of some arugula that was in my fridge. I dressed the arugula in a homemade pepper jelly vinaigrette, since I was trying to recreate the vinaigrette that I had on my salad at Forked the week before.
For the vinaigrette just put the following ingredients in a jar and shake until completely combined: ¼ cup red pepper jelly + ¼ cup olive oil + 1 T red wine vinegar + ½ teaspoon coarse Dijon mustard + 1 teaspoon minced garlic + ¼ teaspoon salt and a dash of pepper. YUM.
I used a couple of bags of these steakhouse seasoned green beans for an easy side dish to go with the meat. We liked the spicy seasoning on the veggies, but there was a bit too much of it. Next time I'll stick with plain green beans and season them myself!
The rest of our evening was spent in front of college football games on the TV, so that's it for now. Have a wonderful, long weekend!
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