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  1. Tuesday, January 27

    Easy Homemade Carnitas, My New Favorite!

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    I love carnitas. Well, let me clarify, I love good carnitas. I’ve had bad carnitas and, well, not only do I not love bad carnitas, when I’ve had bad carnitas, the experience was traumatic. But good carnitas? Well, good carnitas are downright irresistible. It’s definitely one of my favorite meat dishes.

    easy and delicious homemade carnitas with the crock pot from @janemaynard

    I live in Southern California where Mexican food is as common as a hamburger, so we’ve been eating carnitas for years, even pre-Chipotle. I think most people probably know about carnitas nowadays, but in case you are wondering what the heck I am talking about, carnitas (which translates as “little meats”) is a Mexican pork dish where the pork is cooked for a long time and comes out all tender and delicious like.

    easy and delicious homemade carnitas with the crock pot from @janemaynard

    As you now know, I love these ‘little meats’ a lot, but for some reason I never thought of making carnitas myself. But last week I was like, “Self, why don’t you make your own carnitas already?” And I was like, “Self, you are totally right.” And then I did. And it was awesome.

    easy and delicious homemade carnitas with the crock pot from @janemaynard

    Here’s the thing. The carnitas came out perfectly. So so so so good. And it was crazy easy to make. Also, pork shoulder is my new favorite cut of meat. I am for sure going to use it next time we do Korean BBQ beef tacos. Why was I so clueless about pork shoulder and the fact that homemade carnitas is basically the best thing EVER? And I call myself a food blogger!

    I had googled carnitas recipes and read through a whole bunch of them and was leaning towards Melissa D’Arabian’s recipe. Then Sara commented on my menu a few weeks ago specifically saying to try that recipe, even though I hadn’t mentioned it, so I figured it was meant to be. The recipe was fabulous and is definitely the one I will use from here on out. Maybe I should do some experimenting but, honestly, when something is this good why mess with it?

    5.0 from 2 reviews

    Pork Carnitas
     
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    From Melissa D’Arabian, but I re-wrote the directions to incorporate my notes and changes.
    Author:
    Serves: 6-8 people

    Ingredients
    • 2½ pounds bone-in pork shoulder (2 pounds boneless)
    • Salt (I like kosher, especially for the final step, but it’s not necessary)
    • Black pepper (freshly ground if you have it, regular if you don’t)
    • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 4 cloves of garlic, pushed through a garlic press or minced
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 onion, cut into quarters
    • 1 jalapeno, seeded and ribs removed, roughly chopped
    • 1 orange
    • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

    Instructions
    1. Rinse and dry the pork shoulder. Salt and pepper liberally. Place pork shoulder in a slow cooker.
    2. Mix together the oregano, cumin, garlic and olive oil. Spread half of the oil mixture on one side of the pork shoulder, flip over and then rub the rest of the oil mixture on the other side of the pork shoulder.
    3. Place the onion and jalapeno in the slow cooker with the meat. I put some of the veggies on top and some around the edges.
    4. Cut the orange in half and then squeeze the juice into the slow cooker. Place the two orange halves in the slow cooker.
    5. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4 hours (I cooked it on low for 8 hours). Flip the meat over halfway through cooking.
    6. Once the meat is super tender, turn off the slow cooker and remove the meat. Pull the meat apart with a fork, discarding bone if using bone-in shoulder.
    7. Heat vegetable oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Sprinkle pan liberally with more salt. Evenly layer the carnitas in the pan once the pan is hot and cook just one side until you get a nice crispy edge on the meat touching the pan.
    8. Remove from heat, stir together, do a little taste test and add a bit of salt if needed (probably not needed, but check anyway).
    9. Serve with fresh cilantro, salsa, hot sauce and tortillas. You could also add other items to your taco (rice, beans, tomatoes, lettuce, guac, etc), but Nate and I found that the carnitas were just so good it was better to have a simply-dressed taco.

     

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  2. Sunday, January 25

    Week 418 Weekly Menu

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    I did way too good of a job following my menu last week…now I have to actually think about what to cook this week. Hate that! Okay, I suppose it’s a good thing, but still. ;) Here goes!

    week 418 weekly menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable meal plan and shopping list!

    MONDAY:
    Caprese Paninis (Cate’s request!)
    – Fruit and chips

    TUESDAY:
    Naan Pizzas
    – Salad

    WEDNESDAY:
    Stuffed Shells
    – Roasted cauliflower and garlic bread

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    Swedish Pancakes
    – Fresh fruit

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    – Super Bowl Sunday! GO PATRIOTS!!!!
    – We will have some family visiting this weekend and I can’t wait! I’m not completely sure what we’re eating, but I think it will probably involve Buffalo Wings, Sweet Chex Mix, 7-Layer Dip, Spinach Artichoke Dip, Chili, Lots of Chips, Onion Dip…sound good?

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

    Blah

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  3. Friday, January 23

    Friday Show and Tell: Orange Monkey Bread

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    I just have three words for you today: Orange Monkey Bread.

    orange monkey bread from @janemaynard

    orange monkey bread from @janemaynard

    Over the long weekend last week the kids and I did some baking together and created a recipe for orange monkey bread. The monkey bread was easy to make and it made for a great kids’ baking project. Plus, it was scrumptious. Even Nate, who isn’t that into treats, declared our monkey bread “dangerous.” I consider that success. To get the recipe, check out my post on Babble!

    Show and Tell time! Please share your own stuff from the week! Remember, anything goes! A simple comment with something you accomplished, a link to something funny/delicious/inspiring/crazy, or a link to your own blog posts, all of it is welcome!

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  4. Thursday, January 22

    It’s About Time We All Got a Set of Nesting Round Cookie Cutters

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    You know how last week I told you to buy a baker’s blade? Well, I have something else you need to go buy. Luckily it’s another inexpensive item so it shouldn’t be too painful!

    why you NEED a set of nesting round cookie cutters from @janemaynard

    When I was making Anna’s birthday cake last month, I bought a set of nesting round cookie cutters so I could make the marzipan pepperoni and onions. I can’t tell you how much I love this little set of cutters! Since I made Anna’s cake just a month ago I’ve used these cutters several times, for a few cookie recipes as well as a Christmas tree ornament craft we made for Cate’s birthday party. I’m thinking they’ll come in handy for biscuits as well.

    why you NEED a set of nesting round cookie cutters from @janemaynard

    I love this cooke cutter set because there are 6 different sized circles and the cutters are double sided, with a smooth and a scalloped edge.

    why you NEED a set of nesting round cookie cutters from @janemaynard

    why you NEED a set of nesting round cookie cutters from @janemaynard

    I bought mine at Michaels, but you can buy the set on Amazon as well. And you should, Right now! (That’s Bossy Jane talking. Sorry.)

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  5. Tuesday, January 20

    Crazy Easy Chicken Recipes: Savory Maple Chicken

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    I have another Crazy Easy Chicken recipe for you today! So far we have Creamy Lemon Pepper Chicken (which I posted last October) and Parmesan-Crusted Chicken. Today we’re going to go with a savory-sweet recipe, which happens to be my favorite flavor combo! (As in, don’t put any chocolate-covered pretzels anywhere near me or they will ALL disappear.)

    recipe for 3-ingredient savory maple chicken, so easy and so delicious! from @janemaynard

    We only need 3 ingredients for this recipe: chicken, maple syrup and soy sauce. That’s it, you’re done. I love how the saltiness of the soy sauce is a perfect balance to the maple syrup. It’s pretty much divine and so easy to throw together.

    recipe for 3-ingredient savory maple chicken, so easy and so delicious! from @janemaynard

    This chicken would be great on a salad, in a stir fry or maybe even just on its own with a big pile of creamy garlic mashed potatoes. Yeah, that sounds good to me. Do that.

    Savory Maple Chicken
     
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    With only 3 ingredients, this super easy chicken recipe is great for a weeknight and hits the salty-sweet spot!
    Author:

    Ingredients
    • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • 1 part soy sauce
    • 2 parts REAL maple syrup

    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
    2. Stab the chicken breasts on both sides a TON with a fork.
    3. Mix together the soy sauce and maple syrup (you should be using twice as much maple syrup as soy sauce).
    4. Place chicken in a baking dish. Pour the sauce over the chicken, turning the chicken several times to make sure it is coated in the sauce. (The little holes from your fork stabbing will help the chicken to take in some of that yummy sauce.)
    5. Bake for about 30 minutes, until inside of chicken is no longer pink and the internal temperature reaches 160º F. Don’t overcook to keep it moist and tender.
    6. I didn’t provide measurements because this is a CRAZY EASY recipe and you don’t need them! For two chicken breasts, it will probably take about ¼ – ½ cup maple syrup and ⅛ – ¼ cup soy sauce, but that’s just a guess. Adjust accordingly as you put the dish together and suit to your own tastes. If you want more sauce, whip up a little more sauce!

     

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  6. Sunday, January 18

    Week 417 Weekly Menu

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    Happy Sunday! Just like that it’s time to plan another menu for the week – oh TIME, slow down! I have a few carry-over items from last week because our leftovers were kind of like the loaves and fishes…which was awesome.

    week 417 weekly menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable meal plan and shopping list

    MONDAY:
    – Beef Stroganoff
    – Broccoli

    TUESDAY:
    – Chicken Caesar Wraps
    – Fresh fruit and chips

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Carnitas tacos (my first time to try making carnitas at home!) with rice and beans

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    Stuffed Peppers

    SATURDAY:
    – Take-out Night

    SUNDAY:
    Swedish Pancakes
    – Fresh fruit

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

    Last week was fabulous – so many menus shared! Please keep it coming, we all love seeing what you’re cookin’ up!

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  7. Friday, January 16

    Friday Show and Tell

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    Happy Friday! I have just two quick things to share today!

    First, I just heard about Food Forward on PBS. Has anyone seen it? I can’t wait to watch!

    delicious and easy baked yogurt chicken from @janemaynard

    Second, my Babble post for the week! I shared a basic, easy recipe for Baked Yogurt Chicken and provided a roundup of 6 other savory yogurt recipes. Lots of yumminess to be had, my friends.

    As usual, please share something! Whether it’s a link to your own blog, a link to something you’ve discovered or just a quick peek into your life, it’s all welcome!

    Have a great weekend!

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  8. Thursday, January 15

    It’s About Time We All Got a Baker’s Blade

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    If you bake at all (cookies, bread, whatever), then today’s post is for you.

    why you need a baker's blade from @janemaynard

    Last month I bought my very first baker’s blade. I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t owen one until now. I think I just never thought about it until I was smack dab in the middle of making a recipe and couldn’t just pop off to the store to go shopping. Anyway, I went to Michaels (my least favorite store in the history of the world) about 3,148 times this past December. About the only good that came out of that torture was that I happened to grab a Wilton baker’s blade on one of those trips.

    why you need a baker's blade from @janemaynard

    I love my new baker’s blade! Seriously, it’s awesome. It comes in super handy when making bread and cookies and other stuff, too. For example, it even came in handy when I was forming marzipan veggies for Anna’s birthday cake. The baker’s blade is perfect for scraping your floured surface clean, cutting dough up, moving stuff around, whatever. The baking world is your oyster if you’ve got a baker’s blade at the ready.

    So, if you’re like me and haven’t ever happened to buy one, hop to it! Amazon sells the one I bought and love, which means you can buy it NOW and don’t have to torture yourself with a visit to Michaels. You’re welcome.

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  9. Tuesday, January 13

    Crazy Easy Chicken Recipes: Parmesan-Crusted Chicken

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    Today marks the beginning of a new miniseries here on the blog, Crazy Easy Chicken Recipes! I’m kind of a fan of the miniseries (see: Fargo and True Detective), so I figured I’d love it just as much if recipes were involved. ;)

    recipe for crazy easy parmesan-crusted chicken from @janemaynard

    For the first crazy easy chicken recipe we have parmesan-crusted chicken. This chicken comes out so tender, moist and flavorful you won’t believe it only uses 4 ingredients. And, yes, one of those ingredients is mayonnaise. It’s like magic. And I swear to you the chicken tastes nothing like mayonnaise when it comes out of the oven. (Apparently I’m on a cook-poultry-smothered-in-mayonnaise roll – it’s how we cooked our turkey this past Thanksgiving and it worked beautifully then, too!)

    recipe for crazy easy parmesan-crusted chicken from @janemaynard

    Simply serve this chicken with any sides you like and you’ve got dinner! Also, I recommend eating this chicken fresh out of the oven, but if you have leftovers, heat them up in the oven or toaster oven to get the coating crispy once again (microwave just doesn’t cut it in this case!).

    Crazy Easy Parmesan-Crusted Chicken
     
    Prep time

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    Only 4 ingredients and minimal effort yields tender, flavorful chicken perfect for a quick dinner!
    Author:

    Ingredients
    • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • Mayonnaise
    • Fresh, grated parmesan cheese
    • Breadcrumbs (I prefer Panko for the texture)

    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
    2. Stab the chicken breasts on both sides a TON with a fork.
    3. Spread the chicken on both sides with a layer of mayonnaise.
    4. Sprinkle both sides liberally with fresh parmesan cheese, then dip both sides of the chicken in the breadcrumbs.
    5. Place chicken in a baking dish. Bake for about 30 minutes, until inside of chicken is no longer pink and the internal temperature reaches 160º F. Don’t overcook to keep it moist and tender.
    6. I didn’t provide measurements because this is a CRAZY EASY recipe and you don’t need them! For two chicken breasts, it will probably take about ½ cup each of the mayo, parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs, but that’s simply a guess. Just use what you need based on the size and the amount of chicken breasts you use!

     

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  10. Sunday, January 11

    Week 416 Weekly Menu

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    Hello! So, last night we saw Kathy Griffin perform stand up and all I have to say is I laughed so hard that I was wheezing and needed an inhaler. I didn’t have one, but thankfully I didn’t die laughing. It was a close one! ;)

    week 416 weekly menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable meal plan and shopping list

    Menu time!!!

    MONDAY:
    – Veggie Quiche
    – Fresh Fruit

    TUESDAY:
    Beef Stroganoff
    – Broccoli

    WEDNESDAY:
    Chicken Caesar Wraps
    – Fresh fruit and chips

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    Chili
    – Corn chips

    SATURDAY:
    – Take out night

    SUNDAY:
    – Breakfast for dinner or leftovers

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

    You know the drill…please share your menu for the week! I seriously love reading your meal plans each week as I plan my own!

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