Easy Weekly Dinner Menu #147: An Explanation

4 minutes
August 4, 2022
Andi Gleeson

This week’s easy dinner menu features a chicken and mushroom skillet, Mexican barley casserole, butternut squash nachos, and lots more. I also explain why I’ve been running a bit behind on the blog lately, so read on!

This week's easy dinner menu features a chicken and mushroom skillet, Mexican barley casserole, butternut squash nachos, and lots more!

Hi! Have you noticed that I have been a bit late with my posts and emails and, well, everything lately? I hope you haven’t noticed, but my regulars probably have. I know I have some ‘splaining to do. I have kind of put off telling you what has been taking a huge chunk of my time and attention because it sounds really extravagant, but I can’t keep it quiet anymore: We’re buying a country house.

I think saying we are going to soon own two houses sounds pretentious and ridiculous, but hear me out. I feel a bit cramped and stifled in San Francisco, especially with two active boys underfoot. We looked into moving to a more suburban area with more space, but prices around here are completely insane. We bought our house in SF 15 years ago, and we couldn’t afford to buy it now. Moving to the burbs would get us a tiny bit more space for a huge amount of money, and Matt’s commute would be miserable. When we realized that wasn’t doable and that we didn’t want to up and move to a completely different place, I got the country house idea.

We’re getting a house on 10 acres in an extremely rural area south of Placerville, CA. It’s just under three hours to drive there if the traffic cooperates, and we’re planning to go at least twice a month on weekends, holidays, and summers. The house is in a very quiet, wooded area that is loaded with wildlife including foxes, bats, deer, turkeys, quail, even bobcats and bears. (I would be OK not seeing those last two around my house! Yikes!)

Given our roots in San Francisco and housing prices around here, this is the best way to fulfill our desire to have some space, quiet, and nature around us while keeping our life here so Matt can still work as a software engineer. I am beyond excited about this opportunity and hope to spend as much time there as possible enjoying the land, snow, animals, and QUIET. I absolutely can’t wait.

The good news, it’s pretty much a done deal at this point, so hopefully I can turn my attention back to you and my recipes. I have spent so much time searching for homes, driving back and forth to see places, and working with our agent once we decided to make an offer. Things are winding down now, and we’re buying the place furnished so it should truly be a turnkey home for us. I don’t need to figure out furniture, dishes, or decorating. We can just move right in! I can’t wait to share photos (of food and the surroundings) from our country house very soon. Thanks for your patience while we got this all settled.

Now, did you come to hear about how we’re going to spend our weekends, or did you come here for easy dinner recipes? Don’t worry. I have seven easy meals ready for you. Let’s dig in!

(Click the recipe name to see the full post!)

This creamy rice skillet dinner is loaded with chicken, mushroom, and peas in a creamy sauce. it is a perfect dinner for busy nights!

1. Sour Cream Chicken and Mushroom Rice Skillet (NEW!)

Easy Chicken with Pasta Dinner Recipe - Dress up your spaghetti with chicken, spinach, and a bit of spice!

2. Easy Chicken with Pasta Dinner Recipe

Add Fall flavor and a healthy vegetable to nacho night with these Butternut Squash and Black Bean Nachos!

3. Butternut Squash Nachos (NEW! I promise they are good!)

This easy recipe for roast beef and gravy served over potatoes and onions is perfect for Sunday dinner or busy weeknights!

4. Roast Beef and Gravy over Roasted Potatoes

Mexican Barley Casserole - Barley gets a chance to shine in this fun and tasty dinner recipe!

5. Mexican Barley Casserole

Hearty Hot Spinach Dip: Loaded with ground turkey, spinach, tomatoes and cheese - This dip eats like a meal!

6. Hearty Hot Spinach Dip – Eats like a meal!

This warm spinach salad with chicken, mushroom, couscous, and a lemon dressing is delicious, healthy, and quick!

7. Warm Spinach Salad with Chicken and Couscous

All this talk about the country reminded me of this casserole roundup I think you’ll love:

Comfort Casseroles

Andi Gleeson, food blogger

Andi Gleeson

Andi Gleeson is a passionate blogger and mom based in San Francisco who focuses on easy and delicious dinner recipes.


Emma clark
9 years ago

Congratulations! My brother in law lives in placerville and they love it !!!!

Andi Gleeson
9 years ago

Oh that’s great to hear! I think there might be some snow today, but I bet it will be gone by the time we get there later this week. We can’t wait to enjoy it!

9 years ago

Great idea the country cottage home and nice to see you have done it…can not wait to see photos of new retreat and food recipes from the country home :)

Andi Gleeson
9 years ago

Thank you so much, Larry. I’ll be sharing some photos soon, hopefully next week!

9 years ago

A country home away from home is too exciting, Andi. You’ll love it. Congrats! As always, thanks for the great recipe shares.

Andi Gleeson
9 years ago

Thank you so much, Jayla! We’re really excited about it :)

9 years ago

Congrats on your new get away! I was born on SF, and while it will always be the best city in the world, it is always great to be able to slow-it-down a bit in a rural environment as well. Good living for the soul. Enjoy~

Andi Gleeson
9 years ago

Thank you, Joanne! I spent a lot of time in rural Mississippi as a kid and want my kids to experience roaming free in the woods like I did. (I want that experience back for myself too!)

9 years ago

Andi, congratulations on your new country home! That will be such a nice change from the big city! I live in a small city, and a quiet neighborhood, which I love! My hubby and I have another smaller house in another county, which has woods around it. We go there every so often, and love just hanging out.

Andi Gleeson
9 years ago

Oh wow, Joanne! Which country is it in? That sounds so nice. Thank you!!

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