Happy Sunday, friends! I hope that you're all having a great weekend! We've stayed busy over the past few days with new food, new workouts, and new games! But first, let's back up to where we left off last Sunday...
Do you remember last week's Recap when I mentioned that we returned from our vacation late on Friday night? Well Keith hopped right back on a plane the next day for a business trip, so the boys and I were on our own for the entire week. Not ideal, but we made it work!
After breakfast on Sunday morning I baked a couple of loaves of the kids' favorite Morning Glory Zucchini Bread (from THIS cookbook). It's delicious, it makes an easy breakfast or snack option, and it's a nice way to use up some of the zucchini from our garden.
While the bread was in the oven, I headed outside for a cardio workout. The boys were playing in the yard, so I did the following:
- 100 jumps with the jump rope
- Run a loop around our property that totals about ⅓ mile
I repeated this sequence 5 times (for about 30 minutes), until the timer went off and it was time to take the zucchini bread out of the oven!
Spencer joined me and even tried the jump rope himself! ?
Thanks to a 90-degree day, I was a hot and sweaty mess by the time I was done. I grabbed a glass of ice water with lime,
and squirted in some EnduroPacks to help me rehydrate. The company sent me this bottle last week so that I could give it a try...just in time for our ridiculous heat wave. Perfect!
The electrolyte solution is unique in that it's free of sugars, food coloring, chemicals and caffeine that aren't healthy and can cause GI distress. It doesn't have any taste (as far as I could tell), so it's easy to add to smoothies or other beverages to help with rehydration.
The verdict? I like it!! As I mentioned, I couldn't detect any taste whatsoever. If it comes with some added benefits, I figure it can't hurt to use it -- especially on days when I exercise outdoors and sweat a lot!
While Spencer napped that afternoon, Casey and I tackled a Star Wars puzzle that was almost more than my minimal patience could handle. I'm NOT a big fan of puzzles, so this tested me! ?
And we squeezed in an afternoon walk in the woods when the boys got bored and restless.
Casey was on a serious mushroom hunt!
Dinner that night was a BIG hit. I made THIS recipe for Barbecue Chicken Quinoa Bake and the kids all loved it.
On the side I served grated zucchini and summer squash from the garden, which I sauteed in about 1 tablespoon of butter along with ¼ cup diced onion, 1 tablespoon of garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and plenty of fresh basil and chives. Again, very popular with the boys!
They also had some Cinnamon Applesauce that I canned last fall,
while I had some Quick Dilly Carrots from the farmer's market (I found the recipe in last month's Eating Well magazine).
I stayed up way too late watching the women's gymnastics Olympic trials, but was up early on Monday morning to squeeze in some yoga before the boys woke up. I did the Strength Intervals workout from my PiYo DVD, and it was a great combination of yoga stretching as well as cardio bursts (like burpees) to get my heart rate up. I was sweating by the end of the 20 minutes!
It was a gorgeous day outside (not as humid as it had been), so we spent a lot of the morning in the yard,
and then Keith's mom came for a visit -- with a delivery of Duck Donuts. The true way to my boys' hearts!
I spent time that afternoon attempting to make a dent in my wildly-growing herb garden. I made a few batches of basil pesto,
using a modified recipe from THIS book.
I stuck a couple of jars of pesto in the freezer for a later date, saved some in the refrigerator, and then used the rest to make a dip for veggies. I just stirred a couple of heaping spoonfuls of pesto into about a cup of 2% plain Greek yogurt. Can't beat 2 ingredients!
And then I made ANOTHER quick 2-minute recipe. This one I'm really excited about! In last week's Recap I asked if any of you had ideas for using up herbs since I'm currently inundated. A sweet reader named Erin mentioned that she freezes her herbs with a little bit of water in ice cube trays, and then she has access to fresh herbs all year long for using in soups, in skillet recipes, whatever. I LOVE that idea, and it got me thinking -- how about making actual herb-infused ice cubes for summer beverages?! My first combination was lime-mint ice cubes (inspired by my Mojito-Infused Detox Water).
I just grabbed a couple of handfuls of mint from the garden, along with a lime. I placed a bunch of mint leaves in each ice cube square, muddling them with my fingers to release their oils (and flavors). Then I squeezed some lime juice in each ice cube square, filled it with water, and popped it in the freezer for a couple of hours.
After I put the kids to bed, my ice cubes were ready to use!
Evening water on the porch
This worked GREAT! It's such an easy way to add mint and lime to my water without any effort -- I can just grab them and pop them in when I want them. It's a nice way to preserve my herbs while they're at their peak, before the bugs get to them and before they take over the rest of my garden. I also think these cubes would be great in iced tea, lemonade, seltzer, wine spritzers, cocktails, WHATEVER. Erin's suggestion may have created a summer obsession.?
But backing up to the afternoon...
I took the boys to the playground for a little while before dinner,
gave them baths with the hose outside when we got home (no shame!), and then served this One Skillet Peach-Glazed Chicken for dinner. I'll share the recipe soon! We had veggies with dip and some rice on the side.
For dessert we enjoyed even more of our farmer's market peaches with a special dessert -- Roasted White Peaches with Honeycomb and Vanilla Ice Cream. Sounds fancy, doesn't it? It's NOT! It's super easy, really good, and I shared the recipe in THIS POST on Wednesday (<-- check it out if you haven't already)!
Since Keith was gone all week, I wasn't able to make it to the gym. Instead, the boys and I went over to the high school track on Tuesday morning to get in about 30 minutes of exercise. We tried to get there early to beat the heat, but by 8:00 a.m. it was already steamy. I went armed with a big bottle of water that contained BOTH my lime-mint ice cubes (for flavor) and my EnduroPacks drops (for rehydration). Perfect!
We had errands to run in Charlottesville (project supplies, birthday presents for friends, etc.) so I packed up some lunches and the boys ate while we made the drive into civilization. ?
Devoured! Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread; Horizon Dairy Organic Cheese Stick; Peanuts + Yogurt Raisins; Carrots + Cucumbers
These guys managed to convince me that they needed ONE MORE light saber, too. Unfortunately for me, these light up AND make noise (x3). ?
Playground time for some running around!
And then we returned home to a dinner that was already practically done! I used a bunch of veggies from the farmer's market, plus herbs from our garden to make Ratatouille in the slow cooker (I loosely followed THIS recipe).
And when Keith's out of town we tend to eat less meat, so I just served some pasta with homemade marinara on the side (canned with last year's tomatoes).
I was SO TIRED that evening after a day of running around in the heat with 3 little ones. I crashed hard at about 9 p.m.!
On Wednesday morning I used the remaining peaches from last week's farmer's market haul to make Peach Cobbler. This was basically just fruit baked with a wholegrain biscuit topping...and you better believe I ate it for breakfast, snack, lunch, and dessert until it was gone! So good!
We hosted a playdate that morning for Casey's friends, so I was busy keeping track of 5 little boys (which makes 3 kids seem like a cake walk)!
Painting sun catchers...
That afternoon I received a box from Amazon that included two very different items. First, a veggie spiralizer for me (I got it for a steal on Amazon Prime Day!)...and in the same box: a 5-pound bag of Jolly Rancher candy that Keith had apparently ordered. Yin-and-Yang!?
Notice Spencer's hand trying to grab the candy...
I was planning to make Chicken Fajitas for dinner that night, but I totally forgot to buy the ingredients when I was at the grocery store on Saturday. Instead, I just served cheese quesadillas (since I had the ingredients on hand), along with some leftover Ratatouille from the night before. We made it work for a quick and easy supper before heading off to the first night of the County Fair.
The fair itself is pretty small and underwhelming for an adult, but for 2-, 5- and 6-year-old kids it's one of the highlights of the year!
After a hot and humid day that felt like 109 degrees F, we were happy to see some rain clouds roll in that afternoon. We never had a storm, but the dark clouds gave us some much-needed shade that evening.
This was an easy carnival to navigate on my own with the three kids because it was practically deserted. Such a fun summer evening!
Flying high on Dumbo!
On Thursday morning I entertained the boys with some Paint-Filled Water Gun Target Practice. This was SO amusing, and it was a huge hit with the kids (no surprise)! More details coming in a separate post...
We had lunch that day with my mom at Subway as she was passing through town,
and then later in the afternoon after some hot and sweaty outdoor play, we came in for quiet time. Spence has been on a nap strike recently, so YOGA seemed like a good way to settle down his tired toddler body. We did a 20-minute flow from THIS DVD, which worked great for the first 10 minutes...and then he lost interest and started messing with his brothers. At least we know our attention span now!
I was off the hook for dinner that night because we went to a pizza party to celebrate Liam's birthday. One of the sweetest boys I know!
The kids were up early again on Friday morning, so by 7:00 a.m. they had been fed, dressed, and were ready to go outside. Ugh! So much for summer "vacation."
While they played in the yard, I squeezed in a quick but Intense At-Home Circuit Workout. One round took me about 7 minutes to get through, and I did 3 rounds total. With some warm-up, cool-down, and water breaks in between, it's about a 30-minute workout. It'll definitely have your heart pumping and the sweat flowing (especially if you do it outside in 90% humidity)!
You can grab a printable version of the workout (with links to video demonstrations of the exercises) HERE. Let me know if you try it!
We then took Casey over to his friend Henry's farm for a playdate with a few other boys, while Gibbs and Spencer were dragged with me to do some shopping at Costco. It was a day for errands, because we also went to the grocery store in the afternoon (always an adventure with 3 of them along for the ride),
and anxiously awaited Keith's arrival home after a week away.
He made it just in time for a late dinner, so I served pesto and Italian sausage flatbread with some veggies on the side. I bought pizza dough at the store, which I rolled really thin. Then I topped it with the pesto that I made earlier in the week, some shredded Italian-blend cheese, and some browned Italian sausage. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 8-10 minutes!
Before the oven...
I made it to the Farmer's Market bright and early on Saturday morning,
where I scooped up just a few items -- including peaches, tomatoes, cantaloupe, cookies, and a loaf of bread.
I spent the rest of the morning taking photos for upcoming posts, and then we headed out for a walk in the woods.
It was hot and humid, but we all needed the exercise before dinner!
Keith grilled salmon in the midst of a big thunderstorm, and on the side we had Pesto Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups that I prepared earlier in the day,
as well as toasted multi-grain bread from the farmer's market.
The kids crashed early that evening and Keith and I had a quiet night on the couch. Now it's Sunday morning and I'm about to head off to do some laundry and other chores before taking Gibbs to a friend's birthday party at a pool in Charlottesville for the afternoon. Have a good week, and I'll see you back here tomorrow for another fresh zucchini recipe!