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  1. Tuesday, September 11

    Kitchen Tip: I actually really do love the flat whisk

    Okay, remember the last Pioneer Woman giveaway we did? And how Ree talked about her kitchen essentials? And how one of the essentials was a flat whisk? Well, I must admit, I was skeptical of the flat whisk. I’m pretty loyal to my classic-shaped, oodles-of-tines whisk. But I’ve been forcing myself to use the flat whisk recently and really give it a chance.

    And, I have to tell you, I love it! It whisks well, I feel like you can scrape out the corners of the pots and pans better, and I LOVE how food doesn’t get caught inside the whisk. It’s pretty awesome.

    That’s all. Just wanted to tell you the flat whisk is totally cool and you should get one, too.


  2. Sunday, September 9

    Week 294 Menu

    I think I’ve admitted this before, but I sort of dread feeding babies real food…it’s just so much work. That said, I don’t think there’s much cuter than babies feeding themselves. Holy SMOKES, those little fingers picking up little bits of food to place in little tiny mouths is just SO CUTE. Sorry, I got distracted by Owen and his total cuteness there for a second. It happens, oh, like, 50 times a day…

    The first week of school went well! The girls love their new classes. Yay! I did forget, though, how frantic life gets when school is in full swing. One day this week I didn’t eat lunch or shower until 4 pm. I just need to get a little more organized, I suppose.

    MONDAY:
    – Stir Fry with Rice (we haven’t done a stir fry in a billion years!)

    TUESDAY:
    Pasta Primavera

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Leftovers

    THURSDAY:
    – Soccer practice eat-out-as-a-family night

    FRIDAY:
    Homemade pizza (probably cheese and barbecue chicken)

    SATURDAY:
    Chili

    SUNDAY:
    – Leftovers

    I hope you are reading through one another’s menus each week…it is seriously AWESOME how many great ideas you all have! Please keep the weekly menus coming!


  3. Thursday, September 6

    Crispy French Toast

    Have I convinced you yet to make cornflake or crispy crunch? If not, maybe today’s post will tip the balance!

    Years ago I stayed at the Parker Palm Springs, a Jonathan Adler paradise with very delicious food and beautiful grounds. For breakfast one morning I ordered French toast that was coated in…wait for it…I bet you can’t guess…or maybe you can…crisped rice! That French toast was SO GOOD. Okay, so I think you can figure out the rest of this story…when Cora started telling me about cornflake crunch in the Milk Bar cookies, visions of crispy French toast danced in my head.

    This week we tried making French toast with both the crispy crunch and the cornflake crunch. The crispy crunch was good, but I LOVED the French toast with cornflake crunch coating. It had a great crisp texture and was very tasty!

    So, that’s all I’ve got so far for the cornflake and crispy crunch…but I’m sure I’ll think of more ways to use it! And if you think of other ways too, please share!

    Crispy French Toast
     
    From Jane Maynard, This Week for Dinner
    Author:
    Recipe type: Breakfast
    Ingredients
    • Sliced bread of your choosing (French, brioche, whatever!)
    • Eggs whisked with about 1 tablespoon of milk per 2 eggs or so (2-3 slices of bread per egg)
    • Cornflake crunch (you can use crispy crunch, too, but I liked cornflake better)
    • Butter
    Instructions
    1. Dip bread slices in whisked egg. Dip in cornflake crunch to coat both sides. Dip bread AGAIN in the egg – some of the crunch will fall off, but that’s okay, most of it will stay on and you can just sort of pat it back in place.
    2. Cook in a buttered pan over medium-low to medium heat until both sides are browned.
    3. Delicious coated in butter and pure maple syrup!


  4. Wednesday, September 5

    Crispy Crunch Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Okay, so there’s a bakery-cafe called Le Boulanger in my town that has these chocolate chip cookies filled with crisped rice. The cookies are darn good and have a great texture. You may recall last spring I was experimenting with crisped rice in cookies, but I wasn’t very happy with the result. I’m here today to proclaim that I have cracked the crispy code!

    When my sister-in-law was first telling me about the Milk Bar cookies and mentioned that they had cornflakes in them, I started asking all kinds of questions with the crisped rice cookies in mind. Sure enough, the cereal was baked in butter and sugar before being put in the dough. I couldn’t wait to get home and try making the corn flake crunch with crisped rice and trying them in cookies. I had a sneaking suspicion this was just the little trick I needed to get it right.

    I was right – it was just the trick I was looking for! My sister and I agree hands down that the crisped rice in these cookies has great texture, nothing like that first batch I tried. Also, I used my Perfect Cookie recipe instead of the NY Times cookie recipe, which also greatly helped with the outcome.

    The end result? A seriously awesome cookie that pretty much comes out perfectly every time. They’re chewy, they’re crispy, they’re buttery, they’re chocolatey…they’re pretty much heaven.

    You’re welcome.

    Crispy Crunch Chocolate Chip Cookies
     
    From Jane Maynard, This Week for Dinner
    Author:
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Ingredients
    • 2 sticks butter, softened to room temperature
    • 1 cup packed brown sugar
    • 6 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 cup flour
    • 2¼ cups oats
    • 1½ cups crispy crunch
    • 1 package (10-12 oz) MINI semi-sweet chocolate chips (the mini chips help with distribution and texture)
    Instructions
    1. Cream butter and sugars at medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Add eggs and beat at medium-high speed for 5-7 minutes. Beat in vanilla, baking soda, and salt just until mixed. Add flour and mix at low speed until just blended. Stir in oats, crispy crunch and chocolate chips.
    2. Make cookie balls (appx 2 tablespoons in size) and arrange on a cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. Pat cookies down flat-ish, cover with plastic wrap and freeze or refrigerated for at least one hour.
    3. Preheat oven to 350 F.
    4. Bake cookies ~14 minutes, rotating the pan at the 7 minute mark. Cookies should be brown on the edges and starting to brown in the center when you take them out. Let sit on pan a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack…or eating! They are good warm but these cookies are also excellent cold, which is saying a lot coming from the fresh-baked-warm-cookie addict that I am.
    5. Freeze or refrigerate remaining dough that doesn’t get cooked.


  5. Sunday, September 2

    Week 293 Menu

    Yesterday I ordered a Blurb book of some of my Instagram photos. Because my friend Moosh did it. And that means it’s cool. Plus, she has a great deal on her blog right now where you can get a FREE Blurb book of your Instagram photos. How could I pass that up? (P.S. You can also get a free book, just click here and order before Midnight ET tomorrow 9/3.) ANYWAY…as I was going through my Instagram photos deciding which ones to use, I was once again drawn to this shot.

    How is it possible I took that photo with my phone? It blows me away. iPhone magic aside, are those not the cutest little girls ever?

    School starts Tuesday! We are super excited around here for a new year, although I’m a bit scared of getting back into life with a schedule. It’ll be good for me, I’m sure, even if painful!

    MONDAY:
    – Happy Labor Day! We’ll grill some hot dogs at the pool!

    TUESDAY:
    – Chicken Pot Pie (I made this last week and all three kids loved it, so figured it would be good for the first day of school!)

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Chicken and Bean Enchiladas (recipe from Erika B. that I’ve yet to make myself, can’t wait b/c it’s delicious!)

    THURSDAY:
    – Soccer night – eat out! (This will be our Thursday routine this fall, eating out right after soccer practice with Dad as assistant coach)

    FRIDAY:
    – Baked potato bar with green beans on the side

    SATURDAY:
    – Leftovers

    SUNDAY:
    – Pork chops…didn’t get to these last week…which means I also didn’t get to…
    – …my mom’s delicious creamy potatoes

    BRING IT ON! Share your menus! Be inspiring! Or not…even if you’ve got cereal on the weekly dinner plan, we want to read about it!