This past weekend was David’s last before starting a new job. We are so thrilled for this next step in his career. Goodness, I love that guy. We made the most of our time as a family, including a post-church trip to the North Carolina Transportation Museum for a Day Out with Thomas and Friends. We went last year when Nora Beth was in the thick of her Thomas obsession. While that’s lessened a little bit, she loved it, and Annablair is at the perfect age to be delighted by every little thing. And, as per her usual, Jane Ellis was a love the entire afternoon.
About 20 minutes away from our final destination, Nora Beth frantically let us know she needed to potty. We pulled off at the next possible exit only to find the closest gas station was a mile and a half off the interstate. We zipped as quickly as we could in that direction, praising her for holding it. We pulled in the parking lot, swiftly got her unbuckled and hustled her to the door. Only to find a large “No Restroom” sign plastered to it. NOOOOOOO. So in an echo of our ABC Store parking lot episode, we found a cup and let her live.
I feel like an A+ mom every single day, and you can obviously see why.
Here’s a look at our last few weeks of eats around our house. I am loving doing these huge grocery hauls every couple of weeks. We haven’t eaten out in forever (except for a birthday date night, which was spectacular and much-needed) and a couple of trips to Chick-fil-A for the girls to enjoy a fun lunch and play time.
Honey Olive Oil Zucchini Muffins – I loved these muffins, and half of them are still in the freezer waiting for me. They are not too sweet and loaded with zucchini.
Mocha Cake – For David’s birthday, I used this cake as a base and then invented a Nutella cream cheese icing to top it with. Highly recommend. I actually made the cake twice, since it didn’t come out of the pans the first time. Oof.
Applesauce Puffs – I’m making a second batch of these puffs tonight. They are a BREEZE to throw together, and the girls chowed down on them. When I made them the first time, I happened to have some homemade apple sauce in the fridge, but I grabbed some no sugar added Aldi sauce last week, and will use it instead.
Honey Barbecue Meatloaf – David is a BIG meatloaf fan. I am not. Is there anything less appealing than a dish that is, quite literally, a loaf of meat? No. But. This one is really good. I used ground chicken. Ground pork would be great too!
Maple Apricot Sheet Pan Chicken – This was sweet, but very, very easy. Any vegetable would work well. I will probably sub the green beans for Brussels sprouts next time I make it.
Crispy Tortellini with Peas & Prosciutto – This method of cooking tortellini was intriguing to David, and I could tell he wasn’t convinced while I was making it. But we both devoured our servings and went back for a little bit more. The leftovers reheat decently, but it’s definitely best eaten fresh.
Creamy Chicken & Buttermilk Dumplings – I might suggest renaming this dish, “Dumplings with a little bit of chicken.” The flavor was excellent, but next time, I will either double the chicken and stock or half the dumplings. There weren’t any complaints as we were eating it, but leftovers were hard, since we were essentially left with lots of dumplings and very little else.
Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma – Hands down a favorite of mine. I prepped it overnight and then dumped it in the crockpot on my way out the door in the morning. The shawarma is fantastic as recommended in a pita, as a chopped salad, in a wrap, or over a hummus bowl.
Chicken Tamale Burrito Bowls – The polenta base was a welcome surprise for these tamale bowls. The Mexican recipes that we make can get a little monotonous, so this mix of flavors and textures was a really welcome switch.
Hot Ham & Cheese Sandwiches – I made a batch of these sandwiches for the girls one Sunday night, and then reheated them wrapped in foil the next day. A solid, comforting winner.
Creamy Beef & Shells – David and the girls LOVED this dish. I liked it, too, but I’m not quite as pasta obsessed as he is. I mean, I’m not complaining at all, and will certainly look forward to making these shells again, but they were a huge success for the other mouths I feed.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala – I’m positive I have waxed poetic about my love for this tikka masala plenty of times before. It makes a ton, freezes and reheats perfectly, and is overall delicious in the best of way.
Chicken Parmesan Pappardelle – Another David Arey favorite. Pasta-centric comfort foods speak to his soul.
Spicy Italian Sausage Ratatouille – We introduced Nora Beth to Ratatouille, which naturally meant that we watched it multiple times ourselves. We love it, and it’s no surprise that I felt inspired to make it for us! I thought the love of the film may extend to the dinner table, and while the polenta and sausage were scarfed down, the littlest in our crew were admittedly more skeptical of the vegetables (which David and I happily ate).
Ground Turkey Quesadillas – It doesn’t get too much easier than a bunch of Mexican-spiced taco meat. I used ground turkey, and then tossed it into quesadillas for the girlies. “I WUV DIS CWUST, Annabware!” Nora Beth kept announcing. They also didn’t notice the generous handfuls of riced cauliflower I tossed into the quesadillas as they were cooking.
Wild Rice & Feta Salad – I all-too-often forget about this extremely tasty little dish. I initially served it as a side dish to the meatloaf, but ate it as a standalone for lunches after.