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  1. Sunday, February 7

    Week 472 Weekly Menu

    Happy Super Bowl Sunday! (Can I get sued for using “Super Bowl” in that instance? I think I’m safe.) I’m making Sweet Chex Mix and 7-Layer Dip today. What are you having for the big game?

    Week 472 Weekly Menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable meal plan and shopping list!

    Here’s the plan for this week…

    MONDAY:
    – Homemade Hamburgers

    TUESDAY:
    Cilantro Sour Cream Enchiladas

    WEDNESDAY:
    Homemade pizza (didn’t get to that last week!)

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    Sausage, Pepper & Onion Sandwiches

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out

    SUNDAY:
    – Breakfast for dinner (TBD…omelettes, waffles, something like that!)

    Click here for the free printable of this week’s menu plus the shopping list!

    Can’t wait to see your meal plans for this week. Please share!


  2. Thursday, February 4

    This Week for Dinner #25: Thursday Recipe & a Tip!

    twfd-podcast-025-shownotes-header-jane-maynard-recipe-tip

    It’s Thursday, so I have a recipe and tip for you today on the podcast! Short and sweet, and the kitchen tip is an oldie but goodie.

    Shownotes:

    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.

     Other Stuff!


  3. Tuesday, February 2

    Spicy Layered Chocolate Mousse Squares

    Last week I traveled to Minneapolis to visit the General Mills headquarters, where I had the chance to meet with the director of sustainability at General Mills as well as participate in a small group Q&A with the president of cereal (at which point I asked waaaay too many questions). It was a great visit and I learned a lot, much of which I will share later. But today I have to tell you about the birth of Spicy Layered Chocolate Mousse Squares.

    Recipe for Spicy Layered Chocolate Mousse Squares from @janemaynard

    During the visit they had all the visiting food bloggers participate in a recipe challenge with Justin Warner (winner of Next Food Network Star Season 8). We had to create a recipe within 1 hour incorporating a General Mills cereal along with at least 2 items from the list of natural ingredients used for flavoring and coloring their cereals. (Over 75% of Big G cereals no longer use artificial colors or flavors and they are on track for almost 100% within the year.)

    Recipe for Spicy Layered Chocolate Mousse Squares from @janemaynardMe being all serious about the challenge that wasn’t even being judged.

    I have zero desire to ever be on a competitive cooking TV show, so when they told us what we were going to be doing, I was not excited. But I put my thinking cap on and got to work. With General Mills professional cook Mary Kaye at my side (I wanted to take her home with me!), I created the dessert I’m sharing with you today. I decided to use Cocoa Puffs, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and cocoa powder.

    Recipe for Spicy Layered Chocolate Mousse Squares from @janemaynardJustin giving his stamp of approval for the chocolate mousse technique I stole from Nigella Lawson; Mary Kaye and I writing up the recipe

    I ended up with a delicious layered dessert using the following layers. Layer 1: Cocoa Puffs crust with a hint of cinnamon (the crust had great flavor). Layer 2: Sweetened, whipped cream cheese. Layer 3: Chocolate mousse spiced with cayenne pepper. Layer 4: Unsweetened whipped cream, sprinkled lightly with cocoa powder and cayenne pepper. The final product tasted great, with a subtle heat that builds over time.The richness of the chocolate and the spice of the cayenne is counterbalanced by the almost sour flavor of the cream cheese, and all that creaminess goes perfectly with the crunchy crust. Plus, the layers look really pretty on the serving plate.

    Recipe for Spicy Layered Chocolate Mousse Squares from @janemaynard

    I made the recipe again last night just to be sure I had all the measurements where I wanted them. Once again I enjoyed it thoroughly. Nate had a chance to sample it as well and said that it is really good, but that I might have hyped it up too much. I told him it was a hit in Minnesota so whatever.

    So, here you go! Spicy Layered Chocolate Mousse Squares! Maybe I should put cooking competition shows on my to-do list after all. Actually, no. Never going to happen. One hour with a helper and no judges was already too much pressure! 😉 (Side note: I totally stole the chocolate mousse technique from Nigella Lawson and it works beautifully. Click here for Nigella’s instant chocolate mousse recipe and save it to your recipe box.)

    Recipe for Spicy Layered Chocolate Mousse Squares from @janemaynard

    One more thing! We had the opportunity to work in the photo studio to photograph our recipes. We had a professional prop stylist, food stylists and photographers all there to help, along with more beautiful props than you can imagine. This is the first time I shot a recipe with artificial light. Until I have this set up in my house, I probably won’t do it again…but it sure was fun!

    Spicy Layered Chocolate Mousse Squares | General Mills Photography StudioMe acting all serious again.

    Spicy Layered Chocolate Mousse Squares
     
    Prep time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Serves: 16
    Ingredients
    • 3 cups Cocoa Puffs
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 8 tablespoons butter, divided, softened to room temperature
    • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 pint (2 cups) heavy whipping cream
    • 1½ teaspoons vanilla, divided
    • 1½ cups mini marshmallows
    • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons hot water
    • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more for dusting
    • cocoa powder for dusting
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
    2. Place 3 cups Cocoa Puffs in a zip-top plastic bag. Using a rolling pin, crush the cereal until it is in crumbs, with no large pieces remaining. Pour crushed cereal into a medium mixing bowl.
    3. Add 6 tablespoons of the butter and 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the cereal, combine well with a fork or pastry blender.
    4. Press mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of an 8" x 8" baking dish. If crust is sticking to your hands, wet your fingers lightly with water.
    5. Bake for 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and set on counter to cool completely. While the crust is baking and cooling, make the cream cheese, chocolate mousse and whipped cream layers as described below.
    6. For chocolate mousse layer: In a heavy medium saucepan, melt bittersweet chocolate, 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of hot water over medium-low heat. Once melted, add the mini marshmallows and cook until marshmallows are completely melted. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
    7. While chocolate is cooling, in a medium mixing bowl, mix together ½ cup of the cream, ½ teaspoon of the vanilla and ¼ teaspoon of the cayenne pepper. Whip with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
    8. Fold chocolate mixture into the whipped cream, carefully mixing until there are no more white streaks.
    9. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes (not longer). If you are still prepping other layers at the 30 minute mark, remove the mousse from the fridge and set aside until ready to assemble the dessert.
    10. For the cream cheese layer: Using a hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, ½ cup of the cream and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla. Start out at low speed until ingredients are mixed evenly together, then slowly increase speed to medium-high. Beat for about 1 minute, until very well blended. Set aside until ready to assemble dessert. Do not refrigerate before assembling - this will make it easier to spread.
    11. For the whipped cream layer: Beat 1 cup of the whipped cream in a large mixing bowl until thick but still spreadable. You do not want stiff peaks to form, but it should be thicker than soft peaks.
    12. To assemble the dessert: Once the crust is completely cooled, spread the cream cheese layer first directly on the crust, spreading evenly. Next add the chocolate mousse layer, spooning the mousse onto the cream cheese layer in several spoonfuls around the dish, then carefully spreading to all the edges. Finish with the straight whipped cream, spreading evenly on top and using a frosting spreader or knife to smooth out the top.
    13. To dust the dessert with cocoa and cayenne: Using a mesh sieve, over the sink spoon some cocoa powder into the sieve carefully. Hold the sieve over the dessert and tap it with a finger to sprinkle a thin layer of cocoa powder over the entire top surface. Repeat the process with cayenne pepper, making sure to sprinkle just a very light layer.
    14. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Serve cut into 16 squares.

     


  4. Monday, February 1

    This Week for Dinner #24: Ann Miura-Ko

    This Week for Dinner Podcast Episode #24: Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Ann Miura-Ko

    It’s Monday, which means it’s interview day on the podcast! Today I talk with Ann Miura-Ko. Ann is co-founder of Floodgate, a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley that backs digital companies before traditional VCs are ready to invest. Essentially they’re really good at figuring out what the next big thing is. Ann has been called “the most powerful woman in startups” by Forbes and is a lecturer in entrepreneurship at Stanford. You can read more about Ann here and follower her on Twitter here.

    I asked Ann to be on the show because I knew she would be fascinating to talk to, funny and have great things to share related to food. Ann delivers on all counts and I love this episode. Enjoy!

    Shownotes:

    • Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller (recipes Ann loves from the book: prime rib, buttermilk fried chicken, savory bread pudding)
    • A Hero in the Family (the real reason I wanted to be an astrophysicist as a child)
    • Ann’s kitchen tip originated from Michael Mina (you’ll have to listen to the show to get the tip!)
    • And…pictures of Ann with sumo wrestlers making mochi. She wins.

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #24: Ann Miura-Ko makes mochi with sumo wrestlers in Japan

    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.

     Other Stuff!


  5. Sunday, January 31

    Week 471 Weekly Menu

    Happy 9th Birthday, This Week for Dinner! That’s right, it has been exactly 9 years since I posted my first menu, along with a post explaining what the blog was all about (which, unsurprisingly, has evolved since then). There were no photos and my friend Margo was the only other person to comment on those first blog posts (thanks, Margo!). I had no idea what I was getting myself into that night when I hit publish and I could not have imagined the amazing experiences and people that would come into my life as a result. Including all of you faithfully posting menus every week, helping me and so many others get a handle on dinner. Every day I am grateful for this journey and look forward to it continuing for many years (forever? sure!). To celebrate the blog’s birthday, everyone should eat some chocolate. I’ll start with this devil’s food cake donut.

    Happy 9th Blog Birthday, This Week for Dinner!

    This week’s menu is made up pretty much exclusively of my family’s requests. I aim to please! (Sometimes.)

    Week 471 Weekly Menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable weekly meal plan and shopping list!

    MONDAY:
    Malibu melt wraps

    TUESDAY:
    Chicken Kai Pa Lo

    WEDNESDAY:
    Pizza

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Omelettes
    – Fresh fruit

    SATURDAY:
    – Take out night

    SUNDAY:
    – Curry in a Hurry (recipe to come!) with rice and veggies

    Click here for the free printable of this week’s menu plus the shopping list!

    The best blog birthday present you can give me is to post your menu.


  6. Thursday, January 28

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #23: Thursday Recipe & Tip

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #23: Recipe and a Tip!

    Happy Thursday! Today on the podcast I make a little announcement (no, I am not pregnant). Be sure to listen so you know what’s going on!

    Shownotes:

    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.

     Other Stuff!

     


  7. How to Slice a Bagel Without Cutting Off Your Hand

    Let’s talk bagels and knives. The combination is deadly…well, at least for fingers and hands. I would hazard a guess that avocados and bagels cause the most knife injuries in home kitchens. I have ZERO data to back me up on that claim, but that’s what I my gut tells me. And I have smart guts. ANYWAY…I have already shown you how to cut avocados the awesomest most safest way ever. But until this week I didn’t actually know the safest way to slice bagels. But now I do. And so, of course, I am showing you!

    How to Slice a Bagel Without Cutting Off Your Hand

    We have a really great bagel shop down the street where I get bagels for my kids’ lunches. (PS: The bagel shop is called Top of the Bagel and it is seriously good – New Jersey native approved!) I like to buy a dozen bagels at a time, slice them, cut them in half and then put the bagels in the freezer so they are fresh for lunches. This week, as I was prepping the bagels for the freezer, I had a revelation.

    I used to always slice the bagel (you know, like when you slice it to put in the toaster or spread with cream cheese) then cut it in half (my kids only eat a half a bagel for lunch). This week, however, I reversed the cutting order, cutting the bagel in half first and then slicing it. You guys. This way is so much easier and safer. How have I never thought of it before?!? From now on I will always do this, even if we are planning to eat the whole bagel.

    I will describe in detail what I’m talking about so there is no confusion and to ensure the survival of everyone’s fingers.

    Step 1: Cut the bagel in half, as shown in the photo below.

    How to Slice a Bagel Without Cutting Off Your Hand

    Step 2: Slice the bagel. To do this, when you place the bagel vertically on the cutting board to slice it, put it cut side (flat side) down on the board. Start to slice the bagel, pinching the top of bagel and holding it firmly with your non-knife hand. As soon as the top of the knife is level with the top of the bagel, flatten your hand and press down on the bagel to hold it in place. It works like a charm and never at any point is your hand or any of your fingers in way of the blade.

    How to Slice a Bagel Without Cutting Off Your Hand

    This is not rocket science, I know. And it was one of those “Duh!” moments for me and it is seriously helpful and so much safer.

    So, there you go. Happy bagel slicing!


  8. Monday, January 25

    This Week for Dinner #22: Gabrielle Blair

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #22: Author and Lifestyle-Parenting Blogger Gabrielle Blair

    Today on the podcast I am talking with Gabrielle Blair, a.k.a. Design Mom. Gabrielle started her blog Design Mom nearly 10 years ago to write about the intersection of parenting and design. She has since written a New York Times Bestselling book and co-founded Alt Summit, a bi-annual conference for lifestyle bloggers and creative entrepreneurs. Gabrielle’s blog has garnered all kinds of accolades over the years and is a great resource parents and, really, anyone! I’ve known Gabrielle for 9 years, ever since I started my own blog, and she’s always been a supportive friend in the blogging world. In our little chat we discuss the birth of Alt Summit, Gabby’s obsession with national parks, and her award-winning recipe, plus she has a really great kitchen tip for parents. Be sure to listen!

    Quick note: In the episode, we talk about how people should sign up for the next Alt Summit. Welllll…I forgot we mentioned that and the summit happened LAST WEEK and I obviously did not time the publication of this show properly. So, my apologies. You missed it. Alt Summit is over. BUT…Alt has great things in the works, so you haven’t missed out completely. Promise!

    Shownotes:

    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.

     Other Stuff!


  9. Sunday, January 24

    Week 470 Weekly Menu

    Hey everyone! I’m getting to the meal planning a little late today, but at least I’m getting it done, right? I have some travel this week (visiting the General Mills headquarters), so it’s gonna be a little crazy and not a typical week.

    week-470-weekly-menu-pinterest

    MONDAY:
    Rachel sandwiches

    TUESDAY:
    Pat’s Oriental Chicken Salad

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Take out night

    THURSDAY:
    Salsa chicken
    – Chips and guacamole

    FRIDAY:
    – Leftovers

    SATURDAY:
    – Another take out night, for sanity’s sake!

    SUNDAY:
    – Homemade hamburgers
    – Fresh veggies and fruit

    Click here for the free printable of this week’s menu plus the shopping list!

    Your turn! Share your menus for the week, I love seeing them all!


  10. Thursday, January 21

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #21: Meredith Walker

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #21: Meredith Walker, Co-Founder & Executive Director of Amy Poehler's Smart Girls

    Today’s guest on the show is Meredith Walker. I met Meredith last year when I traveled with her to Malawi with ONE and Heifer International. After a week of truly life-changing travel together we are bonded for life! In addition to Meredith being completely lovable and someone I can laugh with for hours on end, she is also the co-founder and executive director of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, a website that Meredith started with her best friend Amy Poehler with the goal to empower girls. Previous to Smart Girls Meredith worked as the head of the talent department at Saturday Night Live, where she booked the guests and pretty much met everyone. Meredith began her career in television, however, working under the tutelage of respected journalist Linda Ellerbee on Nick News. The show won a Peabody and several Emmys while Meredith produced there, but the best part of her job at Nickelodeon was interviewing kids all over the country with interesting stories to tell, creating the foundation for her interest in the lives of young people.

    Meredith is the best and I feel lucky to count her as a friend. I am so happy she hung out with me on the podcast, especially since she was so pumped to share her favorite recipe with us all, as well as a few kitchen tips!

    Shownotes:

    Recipe for Joel Mozersky's French Onion Meatballs from Meredith WalkerPhoto of Joel’s Meatballs from Meredith

    French Onion Meatballs
     
    Recipe for French Onion Meatballs, as created by Joel Mozersky of Joel Mozersky Design and friend of Meredith Walker
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Onion Mixture:
    • 4 sweet white onions, halved, and sliced very thin
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 4 cups chicken stock
    • 1½ teaspoons fresh thyme
    • ½ bottle white wine - I used chardonnay
    • Meatballs:
    • 2 pounds ground chicken (breast or thighs or both)
    • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
    • 3 cloves crushed garlic
    • 1 handful of basil, minced
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 handful of chopped garlic chives
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • olive oil for frying
    • Topping:
    • ¾ cup Comte cheese
    • ¾ cup Gruyere cheese
    • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
    • garlic chives
    • Sourdough bread
    Instructions
    1. Chop the onions very thin. Put the butter and oil in a stock pot on medium low heat. Add the onions and thyme, and cook them down until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and cook for 10 more minutes. Add the chicken stock, and let simmer on low until the liquid concentrates- about 20 minutes to 3 hours- the longer it simmers, the better it gets. You want it to be a somewhat thick soup consistency.
    2. While the soup is cooking down, combine all of the meatball ingredients in a bowl. Then form the meat into meatballs, a little larger than a golf ball. They might be a little wet, but they should stick together well enough to form. Heat some olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Fry the meatballs on all sides until they have crispy edges and are cooked through- about 5 minutes per side. When they are cooked, but them in the pot with the onions and let them simmer for about 5 minutes.
    3. Transfer about half of the contents of the pot with the meatballs into a casserole dish. There should be liquid underneath and between the meatballs, and the onions as well.
    4. Cut up slices of sourdough bread. Grill or toast bread with a little olive oil on it. Put it on top of the meatballs. Then top with the cheeses and garlic chives.
    5. Broil until the cheese melts, serve in shallow bowls with crusty bread.
    6. Serve the rest of the soup on the side

    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.

     Other Stuff!