Monday, February 20
We had fun exploring Joshua Tree and Idyllwild this weekend (I love long weekends!), so I’m just now sitting down to plan the weekly menu. Here we go!
– Asian Chicken Pasta Salad
– Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwiches
– Fruit and carrots
– Rigatoni with Bolognese Sauce
– Caprese Paninis
– Eat out night
– Waffles and Smoothies
You know the drill! Please leave your own meal plans in the comments! Thank you!
I’ve tried making bolognese sauce a few times in my life and was never impressed. I blamed the bolognese. But what I should have been blaming were the recipes I was trying. Today I have a recipe that is divine and completely changes how I feel about homemade bolognese sauce. This past Christmas I found myself with a half a pound of ground veal left over from making Swedish meatballs. I searched around the web for recipes to use up the veal and happened upon this recipe for veal bolognese from Food & Wine. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly but used it as a guide and oh my GOODNESS the resulting sauce was so, so good and flavorful and wonderful and, well, I am finally impressed by homemade bolognese sauce.
I think one of the reasons the sauce was so good was because I used half veal, half regular ground beef. But I’m quite certain the sauce will still be uber delicious with straight ground beef, as the veggies and spices are what really make this sauce shine. If you want to use veal, by all means do. But ground beef alone is a-okay.
Click here for the original recipe, which also includes butternut squash, which I am sure is delicious! Below is my version of homemade bolognese sauce, with some modifications from the original recipe.
Oh, one more note! I used a rigatoni-like pasta instead of spaghetti and really liked that shape of pasta with this sauce. Use whatever pasta you like, but the rigatoni is quite delicious.Homemade Bolognese SauceAdapted from a Food & Wine recipe.Author: Jane MaynardIngredients
- 1 pound ground beef or veal (or half pound of each)
- 2 slices of bacon, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup minced carrot
- ½ cup minced celery
- ½ cup minced onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or pushed through a garlic press
- Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground sage
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil OR 1 tablespoon fresh basil (chiffonade)
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 15-ounce cans petite diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ¾ cup cream
- In a large cast-iron casserole (or pot), cook minced bacon in the olive oil over medium heat, for about 5 minutes until bacon is well cooked, stirring occasionally.
- Add the carrots, celery, and onion. Sprinkle evenly with a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat about 5 minutes. Add the fresh garlic and stir.
- Add the ground meat along with the sage, parsley, bay leaf and oregano. If using dried basil, add that now as well. Season evenly with a few pinches of salt. Cook until meat is cooked through and no longer pink, stirring regularly.
- Add the wine and cook until the wine has reduced significantly, about 3-5 minutes. Add UNdrained tomatoes and cook until liquid is reduced by about half, around 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf. Add the cream and, if using fresh basil, the basil. Stir and add salt to taste if needed. Finish off with a few shakes of pepper.
Monday, February 13
Happy Monday! Just sitting down now to get my menu down on paper. You know, I am really happy that (so far) I’m sticking with my 2017 resolution of cooking dinner more often…it’s awesome for so many reasons. HOWEVER…I have to come up with a whole new menu each week. There is definitely more thinking involved and I’m not sure I approve. 😉
– Asian Chicken Pasta Salad
– Chicken Soup with Rice
– Homemade Hamburgers (click here for a tip)
– Carrot sticks and chips
– Loaded Nachos and Hummus Guacamole Dip
– Eat out night
– Roasted Vegetable Scrambles + Smoothies
You know the drill! If you feel so obliged, please leave your own meal plans for the week in the comments! Thank you!
Monday, February 6
Happy Monday! We got a little tied up with our Super Bowl watching and eating yesterday so I didn’t do my usual Sunday weekly menu planning. But that doesn’t mean it’s not happening…here we go!
I have a couple carry-over items from last week because things shifted, as they do…
– Bean and Cheese Burritos with Sautéed Peppers & Onions
– Breakfast for Dinner: Roasted Vegetable Scrambles + Smoothies
– Eat out night
Your turn! Share those menus!
Tuesday, January 31
Well, that 10 years sure went by quickly.
Today is This Week for Dinner’s 10th birthday! Happy Birthday, Blog! I seriously can’t believe it. If we’re going by birth order, the blog is technically my second child. 😉 I didn’t start a blog to start a blog, I just wanted to share my weekly menu with my brother if I happened to plan one. That’s it. And then it grew. And then I made a logo. And then I promised my friends my secret hot fudge recipe if they told their friends about the blog (and, yes, the recipe is still a secret). And, just like that, 10 years have passed, with over 520 weekly menu posts, oodles of recipes and so much other crazy stuff that has happened because of the blog it blows my mind. I feel incredibly grateful for the gift this blog has been in my life and look forward to many more blog birthdays. And of course I am eternally grateful to all of you who keep it going, with your comments and your weekly menus and your simply being here to read my words and make my recipes. Thank you!
To celebrate I have food. And a KitchenAid giveaway. Are you ready? Here we go!
Normally for the blog’s birthday I share some sort of chocolate. But today we’re going with my second favorite food group…French fries. Well, actually, French chips. Or should that be chip fries? Or French fry chips? Whatever you decide to call them (I’m going with French chips), these are your new favorite homemade French fries. They are basically French fries shaped like chips, although much thicker chips, which is why they are not really chips at all. Unless you’re in England. Then, yes, they are chips. Anyone confused yet?
Nate and I recently took the kids to Liberty Public Market by the San Diego harbor for lunch (which, by the way, is our new favorite place to eat. It’s awesome.) One of the food vendors, Mastiff Sausage Company, serves French fries that are shaped like discs and they are amazing. (Click here to see a picture!) No, really, why doesn’t everyone make French fries in this shape? The disc gives you the perfect proportion of potato to crispiness. It’s genius. If you’ve been around the blog for a while you know that when I get obsessed with a food from a restaurant, I generally have to figure out my own version. Enter today’s recipe for French chips. Which, coincidentally, leads into today’s giveaway!
To celebrate the blog’s 10th birthday, KitchenAid is generously giving one of you lucky commenters their brand new KitchenAid® Artisan® Mini 3.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer in Honeydew (to match This Week for Dinner’s colors! So cute!) along with the Food Processor with Commercial Style Dicing Kit attachment, which will work on standard-sized stand mixers as well.* Where do I even begin? First, have you seen the new mini stand mixers? THEY ARE SO CUTE I CAN’T STAND IT. Also, this food processor is my first stand mixer attachment and, well, I’m a believer. Slicing my potatoes for the French chips was crazy fast and easy. I was ready to make 10 pounds of fries. The retail value of today’s giveaway is $649.98, so, um, yes you need to enter! (And a huge thank you to KitchenAid!)
Here’s how to enter the giveaway!
- Simply comment on this post to enter! That’s it!
Of course we have bonus entries! You must leave a separate comment for each bonus entry that applies to you:
- Bonus entry: Like This Week for Dinner on Facebook
- Bonus entry: Follow This Week for Dinner on Pinterest
- Bonus entry: Join the This Week for Dinner email list
- Bonus entry: Like KitchenAid on Facebook
- Bonus entry: Follow KitchenAid on Pinterest
Please note: Winner must be a resident of the United States. All comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Tuesday, February 28, 2017.
Now that the giveaway is all set, let’s get to those French chips, shall we? They are crispy on the outside, perfect on the inside, not quite a fry and not quite a chip. Also, mine are not shaped like discs because my potato was too big for the food processor’s feed tube, but I like my triangle-shaped French chips. They’re cute! In addition to the French chips, I also have a recipe for a seasoned salt to go on top. It’s a little salty, a little smoky, a little sweet…and a lot delicious. Enjoy!
And Happy 10th Birthday, This Week for Dinner!French ChipsFrench fries shaped like chips are the best French fries ever. You're welcome. (Thanks to Mastiff Sausage Company in San Diego for the inspiration!)Author: Jane MaynardIngredients
- Russet Potatoes (1 large potato per 2 servings)
- Canola or Vegetable Oil
- Place a cooling rack over a cookie sheet lined with paper towels and set aside.
- Slice the potato into thick discs. Alternatively, use the KitchenAid food processor attachment with the slicing disc. You want medium-thick discs. If you are using the food processor attachment and your potato is too wide for the feed tube, cut the potato into quarters lengthwise - your final fry shape will be a triangle instead of a disc, but it still works beautifully. The thickness on the food processor should be set around the center point for thickness.
- Soak sliced potatoes in water for 30 minutes up to overnight (put the bowl in the fridge if you're going for a long soak). Remove potatoes from the water and pat dry with a towel or paper towel.
- In a heavy-bottomed medium-large pot, heat 1-2 inches of oil. (For 1 potato I did 1 inch of oil.) Monitor the temperature of the oil with an instant read thermometer and bring the oil to 325º F. (On my stove the knob was around 6 on a scale of 1-10). It's okay if the temperature goes a little over 325º as the temperature will drop when you add the potatoes.
- Carefully add about ½ potato's worth of the fries/chips to the heated oil. Keep an eye on the temperature, adjusting the heat on the stove if necessary. Cook the fries for 4-6 minutes, until they just barely start to brown. I stir them fairly regularly while they cook.
- With a large slotted spoon, remove fries from the oil and place on the prepared cookie sheet with the cooling rack. Cook the next batch of raw potatoes, repeating the process above.
- Once all the potatoes have been fried once, raise the burner's heat to bring the oil to 350º F (about an 8 on a scale of 1-10 on my stove). Cook the fries in batches once again, this time cooking the fries for 2-5 minutes, until they are a nice golden brown color. Remove from the oil and drain on the prepared cookie sheet with cooling rack.
- While the fries are still hot, pat gently with a paper towel, sprinkle with salt or seasoned salt (see recipe below), flip and repeat.
- These fries are obviously best served hot, but they are still really good even after they've cooled. Enjoy!
French Chips Seasoned SaltAuthor: Jane MaynardIngredients
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Mix everything together! All done!
*All colors are subject to availability. The prizes include:
1. Artisan® Mini Stand Mixer in Honeydew (KSM3311XHW)
1. Food Processor with Commercial Style Dicing Kit (KSM2FPA)
Sunday, January 29
Hello again! We’re almost at the end of the first month of 2017 and I am consistently sticking with our dinner meal plan each week. And I am sooooo much happier these days. It’s just better to cook at home for so many reasons and I’m grateful I’m back in the groove! Okay, so let’s get onto the next menu!
– Chicken Marsala
– Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken
– Eat out night
Your turn! Tell us what you’ve got cookin’ this week! Thank you! (Oh, and GO PATRIOTS!)
This recipe for Indian Tacos is pretty much a simplified version of my beloved Indian Burritos recipe. I seriously love those burritos, but the tacos involve a few less ingredients, which is welcome on a busy weeknight.
I can’t tell you how much I love these tacos. The tender tandoori chicken (don’t worry, I have a shortcut way to make it that does not involve a tandoor oven) topped with delicious Indian raita sauce and just a few simple vegetables is so tasty. It’s been a while since I’ve made these and really there is no good reason for that!Indian Tacos with Tandoori ChickenAuthor: Jane MaynardServes: 6 servingsIngredients
- ¾ cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 bell pepper, sliced
- 12 flour tortillas (smallest size you can find)
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- Raita sauce (recipe below)
- Fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish
- The night before: mix together the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, ginger, coriander, salt, cayenne pepper, cardamom, cloves, and black pepper. Stab the 2 chicken breasts with a fork on all sides, then place in yogurt mixture. Let marinate overnight.
- The next day: Preheat oven to 450º F. Cook chicken in oven for ~20 minutes, or until juices run clear and internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160 F.
- Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- Sautee onion and pepper in a large frying pan over medium heat in canola oil, until veggies are softened.
- Top tortillas with tandoori chicken, grilled onions and peppers, red cabbage, raita sauce, and cilantro.
RaitaPrep timeTotal timeIndian cucumber-yogurt sauce.Author: Jane MaynardServes: 1 cupIngredients
- ½ cup cucumber, shredded
- 1 cup yogurt
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon green onion
- ¼ teaspoon lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon coriander
- ⅛ teaspoon cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Pinch cardamom
- Peel and seed cucumber, then shred.
- Mix all ingredients together. Store in fridge and serve cold.
Sunday, January 22
Can’t believe it’s time for another menu…the weeks go by too quickly! This week we are going with cozy foods. I am absolutely loving that we are having weather in San Diego right now – the best!
– Chicken Kai Pa Lo
– Tortilla Soup
– Pot Roast
– Mashed Potatoes and Salad
– Pat’s Asian Chicken Salad
– Eat out night
– Breakfast for dinner night: Roasted Veggie Scramble & Smoothies
I have been absolutely loving all of your menus every week – please keep it coming! And have a great week!
Sunday, January 15
Happy Sunday! We’re cruising right through January and I am so happy that I am cooking so much more again. Seriously, it makes me so happy! Here’s to keeping it up as sports get going again…I have faith I can do it! (Thinking positively makes it so, right?) Here’s this week’s menu…
– Dinner salad topped with grilled salmon
– Chicken Stry Fry
– I’m going to Disneyland with friends (no kids!), Nate is going to take the kids out to a local restaurant that is doing a fundraiser for Owen’s school 🙂
– Baked Ziti (I’m going to cut the meet and try adding fresh mozzarella to the mix)
– Sausage, Pepper & Onion Hoagies
Last week was awesome – so many great menus, and they were a GREAT help as I planned this week’s menu! Thank you! As usual, please share your own meal plans in the comments below!
Friday, January 13
Hello, friends! The podcast is back! I know I said that two months ago, but this time it’s for real! (And I actually had a good reason two months ago for why things got a bit derailed…listen to this episode to find out what it was…how’s that for a teaser?) I am really excited about today’s interview guest Courtney Carver. Courtney writes and speaks about how to simplify life and work and is known for Project 333, a minimalist fashion challenge. She also appears in the new documentary Minimalism discussing Project 333, which you can stream on Netflix. Courtney’s interview is perfect for this time of year when we are all reassessing our lives and making resolutions. And all of the links in the shownotes below are awesome. Basically, I’m just really pumped about Courtney’s interview, the documentary Minimalism, and all of the great resources below. It’s SUCH GOOD STUFF. Plus, Courtney shares a favorite recipe and a really actionable, awesome kitchen tip. So, you know, be sure to listen to this episode! 😉
Photo credit: Heidi Larsen, Foodie Crush
- Courtney’s website Be More With Less
- Courtney’s Instagram Account
- The Story of Stuff (20-minute video about “stuff”, stream online)
- Minimalism (documentary, stream on Netflix)
- The True Cost (documentary, stream on Netflix)
- Essentialism (book)
- A Newsweek article about the environmental crisis of old clothes (not the exact article I mentioned in the episode but close enough!)
- Courtney’s Simple Kitchen Post
- Avocado Chimichurri Bruschetta
- Portobello Mushroom Burger with Avocado Chimichurri
It’s easy to listen to the show!
- Via the web: Just click play below!
- Via an app: For iPhone and iPad, subscribe to the This Week for Dinner Podcast on iTunes and listen to it through the purple Podcasts app. For Android devices, use the Stitcher, Podcast Addict or Pocket Casts apps. In all cases, launch the app, then search for This Week for Dinner Podcast. The benefit of using an app: once downloaded, you can listen to the show without an Internet connection.
- If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a rating and/or review on iTunes! It helps a lot!
- Big thank you to d&m for providing the music for the podcast!