Hey, friends! Happy Sunday to you! We've had another good week around here -- full of plenty of easy, quick-prep dinners. How about a little 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 met my friend Mollie for an early morning hike in the woods, and then stopped by the grocery store on my way home.
We had lunch at the house before Keith took the boys to a car show at the local high school.
There was some football in the yard that afternoon (until someone got hurt...of course),
and we had a delicious Italian dinner that evening. I wanted my grandmother's Baked Eggplant Parmesan, but I knew that Keith and the boys really consider the eggplant more of a side dish than an entrée.
As a result, I served the Eggplant Parm with a side of pasta and marinara sauce, plus some grilled chicken. Everyone was happy!
I marinated the chicken in this Italian dressing, which is one of my favorite shortcut kitchen "hacks." It makes the meat taste SO good (and if you have extra dressing, you can use it in this dump-and-bake pork chop recipe)!
While Keith watched football on TV that evening, I curled up on the couch and read through a couple of Addie Gundry's new cookbooks, which her publisher sent to me last week. There's a whole book on Cake!, which is basically my love language, but since I do more cooking than baking, the Festive Holiday Recipes are what really caught my attention.
From brunch recipes like Monkey Bread, Overnight Cinnamon Bread, and a Denver Omelet Bake,
to whole roasted turkey, gravy and all of the sides, these recipes have me very excited for the months to come. The Cranberry-Pecan Brussels Sprouts are going on a dinner menu soon,
and I'm just waiting for an excuse to make a Snickerdoodle Cobbler or the Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies. SO YUM!
Monday marked the first of October, so I promptly pulled out a new candle for a new month (not that I really needed an excuse to embrace all things pumpkin right now)!
Gibbs had a soccer game up in Culpeper at 5:30 that night, so I kept dinner very simple. When I was meal planning on Saturday afternoon, I asked the boys what they would like to eat during the upcoming week. Casey's request? Bagels!
While I wasn't going to serve just bagels for dinner, that suggestion reminded me that we hadn't had "breakfast for dinner" in a long time. So, on Monday night, Casey got his bagel, along with a few other "brinner" options. We had eggs, fruit and this Dump-and-Bake Hash Brown Casserole, which I will share on the blog soon. It's a recipe from my friend Jackie, and it sure is delicious!
We scarfed down our meal at about 4:30 p.m. and then raced out the door ('tis the season)...
I ran some errands on Tuesday morning, including a stop at Yoder's to pick up lunchmeat for the week,
and to stock up on local Honey Crisp apples!
It was kind of a crazy evening (and one of those days when I felt like a taxi driver), because I picked up Casey at school, had to go back out an hour later to pick up Gibbs (who stayed after school for a club activity), and then had to rush out again about 30 minutes later for 2 different soccer practices. Needless to say, we didn't have time to sit down for dinner before the 5:30 soccer practices, so I gave everyone snacks in the afternoon and then we had a late dinner when we all got back home.
I had prepared my Turkey Noodle Soup the day before, so I could just reheat it and serve it with biscuits (also reheated). Instead of the turkey called for in the soup recipe, I used up the leftover chicken from Sunday night...so technically we had Chicken Noodle Soup!
It was nice to see the sunshine, but as I was walking down the driveway to get Spence off the preschool bus at lunchtime on Wednesday, I couldn't help but think that the 85-degree temps and humidity felt way more like August than October!
That didn't stop me from embracing the season, though! I made a batch of our favorite Easy Pecan Pie Bars that morning, which I shared with my friend Jackie when she came over and with the school teachers later this week. It's an old blog recipe that I've been making every year around the holidays for as long as I can remember...so they were due for some new photos!
If you love pecan pie, then you will LOVE these bars. They're easier to prepare than a traditional pie, and they are even better -- thanks to that thick, delicious shortbread crust. Rich, decadent, and SO delicious.
We spent the afternoon getting Halloween costumes organized -- because with my boys, it's never too soon to start! They're just a wee bit excited...
and since Keith was getting work done at Panera in Culpeper that afternoon, he brought dinner home with him! I had the Roasted Turkey, Apple and Cheddar Sandwich with a Caesar Salad on the side.
I think that this sandwich is a seasonal item on the menu: roasted turkey, Vermont white cheddar, fresh apple and cabbage slaw, arugula and mustard horseradish sauce on Cranberry Walnut Bread.
I met Mollie for a hike in the woods again on Thursday morning, and then I hustled up to Target to grab some items that I needed for an upcoming blog project. As usual, I came out of there with a cart full of other items that were definitely not on my list -- including a mustard yellow cable knit sweater, a plaid blanket scarf, Halloween-themed treats, and some new dish towels!
I swear, it's impossible to leave that store for less than $100!????
Keith was gone for the evening, so I fed the kids a quick dinner before Gibbs's soccer practice that evening. I was testing a recipe for this 5-Ingredient Dump-and-Bake Turkey Shepherd's Pie, which I'll share on the blog next month. It's perfect for Thanksgiving leftovers!
I spent Friday morning cooking and photographing some fall recipes to share with you. I also stirred together a batch of this Nut-Free Granola, which I have been making and enjoying for years. In fact, I think that it was the first (or one of the first?) recipes that I ever posted on the blog -- way back in November of 2012! It's the crunchiest, most delicious homemade granola (and it's great for gifting to friends)!
Mid-afternoon I was happy to get dinner started in the slow cooker. This appliance just makes my evenings so much easier!
We had Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak, but I shaped the beef mixture into meatballs instead of patties. I served the meatballs with the mushroom gravy over noodles, with broccoli on the side. Add this one to your cool-weather meal plan!
Saturday was a very full day! We started with 3 different soccer games in the morning (that's his game face):
and then came home for quick showers before heading into Charlottesville. The boys had to get their flu shots at the pediatrician, so I treated them to burgers and chicken at Red Robin for lunch,
followed by Sweet Frog frozen yogurt afterwards. They practically forgot about the shots by the time we were done!
We went to Casey's friend's birthday party that evening, so I got the night off from cooking. Pizza at the party = dinner!
That's it for the week! I hope that you enjoy the rest of your weekend, and that you've found a few new easy dinners to add to your meal plan. See you back here tomorrow!
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