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  1. Tuesday, August 15

    Week 551 Weekly Menu

    Hello! We are finally done traveling and home. Phew! This week is a quiet week (the only one of the summer) and we do have a meal plan pulled together for the most part. Just taking it easy. Also, Nate went to the store with me so our menu is a little more meat-heavy than normal, which kind of makes me laugh for some reason.

    Week 551 Weekly Menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable PDF of the meal plan and ingredients list!

    MONDAY:
    Sausage, peppers & onions
    – Green beans and broccoli

    TUESDAY:
    Chili

    WEDNESDAY:
    Bolognese and Pasta
    – Salad

    THURSDAY:
    Steak
    Asian-style green beans

    FRIDAY:
    – Leftovers

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    – TBD…we have family arriving for a visit that evening, so I’ll probably have a soup or something waiting for them!

    Click here or on the image above for a free printable PDF of this week’s meal plan and ingredients list.

    Thanks to all of you who have been diligently planning menus and sharing them all summer! As usual, please share your own dinner plans for the week in the comments below!b


  2. Tuesday, August 8

    Chocolate Ganache Praline Cake, a.k.a. The Viking Lite

    Each year for my birthday Nate buys me a cake called the Viking from Extraordinary Desserts in San Diego. I’m pretty sure this cake was the actual ambrosia of the gods on Mt. Olympus. IT IS SO GOOD. Also, I will never make this cake in its entirety. I have the Extraordinary Desserts cookbook (now out of print) and the cake requires SIX(!!!!!) separate recipes in order to make the entire thing. Yeah, not gonna happen. I am perfectly happy waiting for September to roll around each year in order to indulge in the goodness that is the Viking.

    Chocolate Ganache Praline Cake, a.k.a. The Viking Lite from @janemaynard

    That said, for Nate’s birthday I wanted to make something decadent and delicious. I decided to cut down the original Viking recipe and just use three of the elements, rather than all six. The final product was awesome. Nate couldn’t believe how much his birthday cake tasted like the Viking, so we named it the Viking Lite. While the Viking Lite is a bit of a labor of love it is totally worth it…and much less a labor than the original recipe!

    Chocolate Ganache Praline Cake, a.k.a. The Viking Lite from @janemaynard

    The Viking Lite is made up of layers of chocolate sour cream cake and semisweet ganache, then coated in crushed chocolate praline. When I made the cake I only put the praline on the outside of the cake but we decided a layer of the praline inside the cake would have made it even better. I had leftover praline so we would just sprinkle it on each of our slices. Also, I recommend splurging for high-quality chocolate, like Guittard brand (they make baking chocolate and cocoa powder). Good-quality chocolate really will make a difference in your final product.

    Chocolate Ganache Praline Cake, a.k.a. The Viking Lite from @janemaynard

    Chocolate Ganache Praline Cake, a.k.a. The Viking Lite
     
    Based on the original Viking cake created by Karen Krasne of Extraordinary Desserts. Her cookbook is now out of print. I am sharing only the parts I used of the original Viking recipe below, along with my notes and modifications.
    Author:
    Serves: 1 8- or 9-inch cake
    Ingredients
    • GANACHE:
    • 24 ounces (4 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • CHOCOLATE ALMOND PRALINE:
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • ¼ cup whole milk
    • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, cubed (I used salted so that there was a bit of salt flavor in the praline)
    • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
    • ½ cup granulated sugar
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 1 cup slivered almonds
    • CHOCOLATE SOUR CREAM CAKE:
    • ⅓ cup unsalted butter (I used salted because the recipe doesn't call for salt and I like a bit of salt flavor), room temperature and cut into ¼" cubes, plus ~2 teaspoons at room temperature for greasing the pans
    • 3 ounces (1/2 cup) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
    • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1½ cups granulated sugar
    • ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
    • 1 cup water
    Instructions
    1. GANACHE:
    2. Put the chocolate chips in a medium, heatproof mixing bowl.
    3. Bring the cream to a boil in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, stir slowly and gently in a circular motion until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is fully combined. Set ganache aside for later. You will want the ganache to be thickened and at a spreading consistency when it's time to assemble the cake. I put mine in the fridge, covering the bowl with plastic wrap, and checked it every half hour or so, stirring it each time.
    4. PRALINE:
    5. Generously coat a baking sheet with oil or line with a silicone baking mat (I highly recommend using a Silpat or similar mat if you have one).
    6. Toast almonds on another baking sheet in a 350ºF oven for 5-10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
    7. Bring milk, butter, corn syrup and sugar to a boil in a medium, heavy saucepan. Insert a candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer and cook over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches 310ºF, about 7-8 minutes (I think it took a little longer than that for me). The mixture should be thick and have started to lightly color. Remove the pot from the heat and set the thermometer aside.
    8. Add the cocoa powder and mix well with a whisk. (I added the cocoa powder through a fine mesh sieve, shaking it into the pot to avoid large lumps from forming.)
    9. Stir in the toasted almonds.
    10. Using a rubber spatula, carefully spread the hot mixture onto your oiled or Silpat-lined baking sheet, making sure the mixture is spread into an even layer. Set aside to cool.
    11. Once praline is completely cool and hardened, either blast it in a blender or food processor or place in a ziploc bag and hammer with a meat pounder on a wood cutting board, breaking the praline up into small bits.
    12. CAKE:
    13. Preheat oven to 275º F. Grease bottom and sides of two 8-inch or two 9-inch round cake pans with butter. Place a parchment round the size of the bottom of the pan in each cake pan, butter the top of the parchment, then lightly flour the pans. Set aside.
    14. Place chocolate in a heatproof mixing bowl. Bring a pot of water to a simmer, place bowl on top of the pot (do not let bowl touch water surface), and melt chocolate, stirring occasionally.
    15. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
    16. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs and sugar at medium-high speed until the mixture is very thick and light in color, about 7 minutes.
    17. Add the cubed butter and then the sour cream, mixing until full incorporated after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
    18. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
    19. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed, just until fully incorporated, being careful not to over mix.
    20. Bring water to a boil then add to the batter. Mix on low to medium speed until full combined and smooth. Batter will be much thinner after the addition of the water.
    21. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans, dividing evenly. Place pans in the center of the oven and bake until cake springs back slightly when pressed in the center and a cake tester comes out clean. Bake time could be up to 60 minutes, but start checking around 40 minutes for doneness.
    22. Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pans sitting on a cooling rack. Once completely cooled, run a thin knife around the edges and invert pans, carefully knocking the bottom of the pan if cake doesn't fall out immediately. Cakes can rest on the cooling rack until you are ready to place them on the cake platter. Remove parchment from bottom of cakes. If you are not immediately assembling the cake, wrap the cakes individually tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate, but cake can also remain wrapped at room temperature for up to 2 days.
    23. ASSEMBLY:
    24. Place one of the cakes on your serving platter. Place pieces of waxed or parchment paper under the edge of the cake all around. This will prevent icing from getting on your serving platter as you decorate the cake.
    25. Coat top of the first layer of cake with a nice thick layer of ganache.
    26. Optional (but recommended!): Add a layer of the chocolate almond praline layer on top of the ganache.
    27. Add the second cake layer. Spread a ganache layer on top, then frost the sides of the cake with the ganache. Once you have finished icing the sides with ganache, using your hands press the praline pieces on the sides of the cake all the way around to coat the sides of the cake. Carefully remove wax/parchment paper, using a knife to hold the frosting in place as you pull out the paper in spots where it gets stuck.
    28. If you did not put a layer of praline inside the cake, reserve the extra praline and sprinkle on each cut slice when serving.

     

     


  3. Monday, August 7

    Week 550 Weekly Menu

    Hello from beautiful New Hampshire! We are visiting my in-laws, who recently purchased a circa 1770s farmhouse with a perfect view of Mt. Monadnock. Owen informed us on arriving that he is sad this is just vacation because we don’t get to stay here all the time. I have to agree with Owen, this home is a little slice of heaven on earth.

    maynard mt monadnock view web copyright jane maynard

    This week we are for sure having pasta with the bolognese recipe I have shared on the blog, Grammy’s orange chicken as well as dinner at Kimball Farm one night. Beyond that we don’t know what we’re eating, but that seems like some pretty good planning for being in vacation mode. 😉

    As usual, please share your weekly menu plans in the comments! And have a great week!


  4. Tuesday, August 1

    Happy Summer! Albion Fit Swim Giveaway!

    I am currently sitting in a beach house in Woods Hole, MA on Cape Cod. The weather is perfect and we are hitting the beach every single day this week. Basically, I don’t ever want to go back to real life.

    Albion Fit Mid-Summer Swim Giveaway on This Week for Dinner (@janemaynard)

    This year I have a new swimsuit, thanks to Albion Fit, and I have been loving it on our East Coast vacation. I am loving the suit this summer. LOVING. It’s comfortable, I love the fabric, and people keep asking where I got it. (Click here for a link to the suit. You can also get my suit in black, but I don’t know why you would because the Antigua pattern is awesome.)

    The founders of Albion are dear friends of ours and Liz and I thought it would be fun to do a swim giveaway for a little mid-summer fun! So let’s get right down to it! Who doesn’t want a cute new suit in the summertime?

    HERE’S HOW TO ENTER! Simply comment on this post telling us your favorite Albion swimsuit! One randomly-selected commenter will win an Albion swimsuit of their choice!

    BONUS INSTAGRAM ENTRY! You can also enter the giveaway on Instagram! Simply click here and leave a comment on my Instagram post about this giveaway with the name of your favorite Albion swimsuit AND tag a friend in that comment.

    All comments, both here on the blog and on Instagram, must be posted by Midnight PT on Saturday August 5, 2017.

    Good luck and happy swimming!

    The winner of this giveaway was Mary Beth, who commented, “These are beautiful suits! I am loving the Grace off the shoulder one-piece!” Congratulations! And thank you to all who entered!

     


  5. Week 549 Menu…Cape Cod!

    It’s Tuesday. I said I’d have the menu post up on Sunday. And that did not happen because I”ve been too busy with staring at views like this….

    Falmouth, MA sunset July 31, 2017 @janemaynard

    I am, apparently, in serious vacation mode. But my goal this week is to finally share my Viking Lite chocolate cake recipe with you, no matter how much sunset gazing is happening.

    As usual, if you have a menu to share, please do so in the comments! Have a great week!


  6. Tuesday, July 25

    Week 548 Menu

    Well, I guess I am officially in vacation mode because I forgot to put up the weekly menu post on Sunday as promised! Sorry! This week we’re cooking pizza’s in a smoker, making pulled pork in the smoker and other delicious things. Also, one day in NYC! So, that’s the extent of my weekly menu planning. 😉

    If you do have a menu planned and are ready to share, please put it in the comments below. Your menus are the best and great inspiration for so many!

    Have a great week!


  7. Sunday, July 16

    Week 547 Weekly Menu

    As responsible as I’ve been about meal planning the last two weeks, this week I am taking that planned-for vacation from the dinner plan! I am hopping on a plane with the kids tomorrow for our annual East Coast trip, this time tooling around in a Toyota Prius. (I am pumped about spending way less on gas this summer than we ever have!) I know in the next two week’s we’ll be having smoked pizza at some point, thanks to my brother, but beyond that I haven’t a clue. And I’m kind of excited about that!

    I won’t be totally MIA on the blog this coming month. I still need to share a special chocolate cake recipe with you soon, as well as a fun and silly grilling idea for summer. And who knows what other deliciousness will find it’s way onto the blog thanks to our travels. Plus this weekly post will go up no matter what, whether I plan a menu or not because I know some of you will!

    If you are one of those responsible ones with a menu planned this week, please put it in the comments below! THANK YOU!


  8. Monday, July 10

    Week 546 Weekly Menu

    Hi everyone! Okay, I have another meal plan…three cheers for being sort of organized in the middle of summer! 😉

    Week 546 Weekly Menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable PDF with meal plan and ingredients list!

    MONDAY:
    – Pat’s Asian Chicken Salad

    TUESDAY:
    Vegetarian Curry in a Hurry

    WEDNESDAY:
    Green Noodles

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    Caprese Paninis

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    – Eat out night…again. We’ll be packing for our 4-week east coast trip, so just going to assume I won’t be cooking much that night!)

    Click here or on the image above for the free printable PDF of this week’s menu and ingredients list.

    If you have your own dinner plans pulled together, please share in the comments! Have a great week!


  9. Vegetarian Curry in a Hurry

    Hi friends! This is an evolution of a recipe I already have shared on the site, Curry in a Hurry. Click here to read about the origin of that recipe and if you love chicken. Today’s version, however, is vegetarian.

    Vegetarian Curry in a Hurry from @janemaynard

    I’ve gotta tell you, this vegetarian version of Curry in a Hurry is just as good as the original. Indian food just lends itself so beautifully to vegetarian cooking.

    Vegetarian Curry in a Hurry from @janemaynardVegetarian Curry in a Hurry from @janemaynard | Homemade Paneer

    The first time I made this, I tried making paneer (a fresh cheese common in India) from scratch. It was delicious but took FOREVER. When I posted my paneer on Instagram and lamented the amount of time it took, several of my friends said, “Well, it shouldn’t have taken that long.” I followed this recipe from Aarti Party on the Food Network and I think the bottom line is that I could have increased the heat to speed things up. My paneer tasted great but when I discovered I could buy it at Sprouts, I may have broken into a little Hallelujah chorus right there in the cheese section. Maybe one day I’ll try making it again. We’ll see…

    Vegetarian Curry in a Hurry from @janemaynard | Homemade PaneerVegetarian Curry in a Hurry from @janemaynard

    That’s about all I have to say about this recipe besides that fact that it’s simple and delicious!

    If you want to try making baked homemade samosas, click here. The ones pictured in this post, however, are from the freezer section at Sprouts…and they are delicious! I’m getting really good at cheating at my Indian food, eh?

    Vegetarian Curry in a Hurry from @janemaynard

    Vegetarian Curry in a Hurry
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 1½ tablespoons oil
    • ½ of a small onion, chopped
    • 5 teaspoons curry powder
    • ½ teaspoon garam masala
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 dried red chilies (I just used 1 so it wouldn't be too spicy for my kids)
    • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
    • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 3-5 cups fresh spinach
    • 1 cooked cauliflower florets
    • Half package frozen peas
    • 1 cup cooked potatoes, cubed
    • 1 can chickpeas
    • 8-12 ounces paneer, cubed
    Instructions
    1. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent.
    2. Add curry powder, garam masala, garlic and red chilies. Stir for one minute.
    3. Add coconut milk, tomatoes, tomato paste and simmer until thickens, stirring regularly.
    4. Add spinach, stir and cook until spinach as wilted. Add cauliflower, peas, potatoes and chickpeas and cook until heated through. Add paneer just before serving.
    5. Serve over rice.
    Notes
    You can do any combination of the vegetables and cheese above - you could leave out the paneer and just do the veggies, or do paneer with just one or two of the veggies. Basically it's totally flexible and the measurements do not have to be exact either!

     


  10. Sunday, July 2

    Week 545 Weekly Menu

    Hi friends! I am SO glad I didn’t plan a menu last week…so many times this past week at around 4:00 my kids were in the middle or pure summer “funness” and I couldn’t bear to tear them away to go make dinner. We had quite a few lame-o dinners, but it was totally worth it!

    Week 545 Weekly Menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable PDF with menu and ingredients list!

    This week I am planning a menu, mostly because I need a little guidance on my grocery shopping. I’m pretty certain we won’t be sticking to this completely, but at least we’ll have options and actual food in the house!

    MONDAY:
    – Grilled Chicken Fajitas

    TUESDAY:
    – Fourth of July BBQ! Hamburgers, hot dogs and the like!
    – I’m not entirely sure what our sides will be, but I think I’m going to make these Crispy Rosemary Potatoes per my little Anna’s request!

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Homemade Pizza (Honey Goat Cheese and Sausage Ricotta using this no-cook pizza sauce and crust recipe)

    THURSDAY:
    Braised Chicken with Rice and Veggies

    FRIDAY:
    – Leftovers

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    Pat’s Asian Chicken Salad

    Click here or on the image above for a free printable PDF of this week’s menu and ingredients list!

    For those of you who have been diligently sharing your menus in the comments week after week, THANK YOU! Keep it coming! Share those menus!