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  1. Wednesday, November 27

    Gifts & Giveaways Cookbook Winners!

    Happy Day-Before-Thanksgiving!

    gifts and giveaways cookbook winners | thisweekfordinner.com

    It’s time to announce the randomly-selected winners from last week’s Gifts & Giveaways cookbook giveaways!

    For The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays (one signed copy of the book for each winner):

    • Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef, who said, “This cranberry sauce looks SO good!”
    • Alison, who said, “Would love to win!”
    • Cynthia Hayes, who said, “Love the Pioneer Woman”

    For The Fresh 20 (one copy of the book and one year subscription to The Fresh 20 for each winner):

    • 2wellsmade5, who said, “That’s funny I just bought bags of broccoli to make a soup this weekend! Yeah, I love new recipes. Thanks”
    • Gina Guthrie, who said, “Broccoli cheddar soup is a favorite of mine.”

    For Absolutely Avocados (one copy of the book)

    • Stella (Ex Libris), who said, “I have heard of using avocados in chocolate cakes and brownies, sounds really exciting to me, I’ll have to try it. This cookbook sounds really interesting. would love to experiment with some of the recipes! :-)

    Congratulations to all the winners! I will be in touch via email!

    For everyone else, if you want to buy any of the three books above, here are some links for you. They would all make great holiday gifts!

    And stay tuned for more fabulous Gifts & Giveaways posts…we’ve got some great stuff coming up!


  2. Sunday, November 24

    Week 357 Menu

    Hello from Disneyland! We are so excited for the next two days – it’s going to be a blast! We are currently taking bets on whether the holiday fireworks music show will make me cry.

    No picture today because, well, I’m at Disneyland!

    MONDAY:
    – California Adventure Park food

    TUESDAY:
    White Chicken Chili

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Pizza Port

    THURSDAY:
    – HAPPY THANKSGIVING! (Be sure to click here to share your Thanksgiving menu!)

    FRIDAY:
    – Leftovers

    SATURDAY:
    – Leftovers

    SUNDAY:
    – Hopefully we’ll still have leftovers…if not, breakfast for dinner!

    I am thankful that so many of you post menus – it makes me happy week after week! Thank you for helping make the blog what it is! Looking forward to seeing your menus for the week. And, don’t forget to click here to share your Thanksgiving menu!


  3. Friday, November 22

    Thanksgiving Menu 2013

    Hi everyone! I was going to post my Thanksgiving menu on Monday, but then I was thinking, we’re all probably doing a bunch of our grocery shopping this weekend, so it’s time to get planning for the Thanksgiving feasts NOW. Let’s get to it!

    2013 Thanksgiving Menu by @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.com

    Here is what we are having for Thanksgiving this year. I can’t WAIT for Thursday!

    Dessert is still up in the air. We’re going to have a serious discussion about it once everyone is in town, but there will for sure be Pumpkin Pie and something with chocolate. And maybe makes-its-own-crust apple pie. And maybe even more than that. Who knows? It might get crazy around here.

    P.S. I didn’t get any cooking done ahead of time besides the cranberry sauce. So much for being organized and ahead of the game!

    Click here to see all the Thanksgiving Prep posts I’ve published over the years for even more inspiration.

    And, as always, please share your own menu plan for next week’s Thanksgiving feast! If you have recipes or links to recipes, share those, too!


  4. Friday Show and Tell

    Happy Friday!

    chicken mole | thisweekfordinner.com

    Just a few Babbles to share!

    That’s all I’ve got. I’m furiously trying to get everything ready for our house guests and to kick off a week of FUN!

    As always, please share whatever you like!


  5. Thursday, November 21

    Avocado Brownies (Say What?!?)

    holiday gifts & giveaways on thisweekfordinner.comThis giveaway is now closed, but the recipe is awesome so keep reading!

    Ready for another awesome cookbook? If you have someone in your life who loves avocados, this is the PERFECT holiday gift for them.

    avocado brownies from 'absolutely avocados' | thisweekfordinner.com

    First off, my friend Gaby from What’s Gaby Cooking is awesome and my little Owen is also completely smitten with her. It’s the cutest thing ever – he loves Gaby! Unfortunately for Owen, Gaby is already spoken for. For some reason he hasn’t noticed the ring on her left hand and I haven’t had the heart to break the news to him. 😉

    absolutely avocados cookbook | thisweekfordinner.com

    Gaby recently published her first cookbook  Absolutely Avocados. The book is a great avocado resource, well designed, beautifully photographed and features all kinds of scrumptious avocado recipes, including a really delicious Caesar dressing that I love and, today’s featured recipe, brownies!

    avocaod brownies from 'absolutely avocados' | thisweekfordinner.comWe need to talk about these brownies. They are DELISH. Super rich and fudgy, these brownies have a wonderful crust on top that actually stays crispy the next day. It’s like a brownie miracle. The brownies taste nothing like avocados and, by replacing half of the butter with a healthy avocado, a little bit of the guilt can be alleviated when enjoying this tasty treat.

    avocaod brownies from 'absolutely avocados' | thisweekfordinner.comSince it’s the Gifts & Giveaways time of year here on This Week for Dinner, you better believe we are giving away a copy of Gaby’s book!

    Here is how to enter the giveaway! (Comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Tuesday, 11/26.)

    • Simply leave a comment, any comment, on this post! That’s it!
    • Bonus entry: Follow This Week for Dinner on Facebook and leave a separate comment telling me you did! (If you already follow, that counts!)
    • Bonus entry: Follow me on Pinterest and leave a separate comment telling me you did! (If you already follow me on Pinterest, that counts!)
    • Bonus entry: Follow me on Twitter and leave a separate comment telling me you did! (If you already follow me on Pinterest, that counts!)

    I asked Gaby if, at any point along the way of writing her book, she got sick of avocados. She exclaimed, “Of course not! I love them!” That is one dedicated woman.

    Avocado Brownies (Say What?!?) and a Very Gaby Giveaway!
     
    From Absolutely Avocados by Gaby Dalkin
    Author:
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Ingredients
    • 1 Hass avocado (4.5 ounces)
    • 2 cups granulated sugar
    • ½ cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • ½ cup chocolate chips
    • 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
    2. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise. Remove the pit from the avocado and discard. Remove the avocado from the skin and place the avocado flesh in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix until the avocado is mashed and smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add the granulated sugar and beat until full incorporated.
    3. In a double boiler over simmering water, melt the butter and cocoa powder until smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool.
    4. Add the chocolate mixture to the stand mixer bowl and mix until the chocolate is fully incorporated.
    5. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, followed by the espresso powder, vanilla extract and salt.
    6. Add the flour and mix until there are no streaks of flour showing. Stir in the chocolate chips with a spatula.
    7. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes. The brownies will be dense and moist. Let cool for at least 1 hour before cutting. Dust with confectioners sugar just before serving if desired.

     


  6. Wednesday, November 20

    Easy and Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup from The Fresh 20 {Giveaway!}

    holiday gifts & giveaways on thisweekfordinner.com

    Today I’m sharing another great cookbook that would make a fabulous gift and of course there is a giveaway, too!

    This past spring I met Melissa Lanz from The Fresh 20. Melissa and her husband Trent are more of those sweet and wonderful people that I am so happy to have connected with through blogging. They are absolutely adorable together and they do an amazing job putting out great content and services. Melissa’s website is a weekly menu subscription service where you buy just 20 fresh ingredients each week for the recipes in the menus. I find it all very impressive and, since many of us are meal planners, I’m sure you would love her site, too!

    the fresh 20 broccoli cheddar soup from @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.com

    Melissa published a beautiful cookbook this year called The Fresh 20. The book provides 4 weekly menus for each season of the year with accompanying recipes. The book is a great primer on meal planning and stocking your kitchen, and the recipes look absolutely scrumptious.

    the fresh 20 broccoli cheddar soup from @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.com

    Last night I made the Broccoli Cheddar Soup. The recipe for broccoli cheese soup that I normally use is really, really good. But it is sooooo unhealthy, boasting butter, fat and gobs of cheese as some of the ingredients. Melissa’s recipe is a delicious alternative, with just a hint of cheese and no cream or butter to be found. Nate and I agreed that, despite the lack of fats, it is just as yummy and much fresher tasting. And, biggest win, all three kids liked it. In fact, Owen LOVED the soup. He ate three bowls. This is quite the feat considering I normally can’t get him to try anything new or eat vegetables. Every time he asked for more soup last night, it made me so happy!

    the fresh 20 broccoli cheddar soup from @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.com

    Melissa has offered up an awesome giveaway for today! TWO of you lucky people will each win a copy of her book plus a 1 year subscription to The Fresh 20. So great!

    the fresh 20 cookbook | @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.com

    Here is how to enter the giveaway! (Comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Tuesday, 11/26.)

    • Simply leave a comment, any comment, on this post! That’s it!
    • Bonus entry: Follow This Week for Dinner on Facebook and leave a separate comment telling me you did! (If you already follow, that counts!)
    • Bonus entry: Follow me on Pinterest and leave a separate comment telling me you did! (If you already follow me on Pinterest, that counts!)
    • Bonus entry: Follow me on Twitter and leave a separate comment telling me you did! (If you already follow me on Pinterest, that counts!)

    And, of course, here is Melissa’s fabulous soup recipe. This is just scratching the surface of how great the recipes are. If you want to buy the book, click here!

    Easy and Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup from The Fresh 20 {Giveaway!}
     
    From The Fresh 20 by Melissa Lanz
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Soup
    Ingredients
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • ½ onion, roughly chopped
    • 2 heads broccoli, stems and florets chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, cut in half
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
    • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
    Instructions
    1. Heat the oil in a 5-quart dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender about 4 minutes.
    2. Add the broccoli, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the broth and bring the soup to a simmer. Remove from the heat.
    3. Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor in batches and puree until smooth. Return the soup to the pot, bring to a simmer and simmer for 3 minutes.
    4. Just before serving, fold in the cheese.
    Notes
    (Jane note: we also sprinkled a bit of cheese on top when serving)

     


  7. Tuesday, November 19

    Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce from The Pioneer Woman

    holiday gifts & giveaways on thisweekfordinner.com

     

    This giveaway is now closed, but keep reading for a great recipe!

    I’ve decided this year I’m going to make a lot of our food for Thanksgiving ahead of time. So, this week I’m going to get cooking and freeze it all so that we can really enjoy our time with family next week. To kick off the flurry of pre-Thanksgiving cooking I made homemade cranberry sauce!

    ree's easy homemade cranberry sauce from @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.com

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, one of the best parts of blogging has been building relationships with wonderful, amazing people from all over the country. One of those people is Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman. Ree is pure kindness and I am thankful to know her! As you may know, Ree just came out with another fun and colorful cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays.

    ree's easy homemade cranberry sauce from @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.com

    I decided since Thanksgiving is right around the corner I should check out the Thanksgiving section of her book, which is chockfull of homemade goodness, including several different kinds of stuffing. I decided to make the cranberry sauce because, well, we need some for next week! The recipe is delicious and very simple to throw together. So simple, in fact, I forgot I was cooking the sauce. Like, as I was typing this paragraph and I started typing the word “cranberry sauce” it reminded me that I was simmering the sauce on the stove for quite some time and had to stop typing immediately and  run to the kitchen to save the sauce from certain destruction. Crisis averted, cranberry sauce is a-okay! So, in addition to being delicious and easy, this sauce is also indestructible!

    the pioneer woman cooks: a year of holidays giveaway + recipe for easy homemade cranberry sauce from @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.comThe cranberry sauce and the book are both great, which is just what I would expect from Ree! And today I get to give away her wonderful book! THREE of you lucky people will win a SIGNED copy of Ree’s new book The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays.

    Here is how to enter the giveaway! (Comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Monday, 11/25.)

    • Simply leave a comment, any comment, on this post! That’s it!
    • Bonus entry: Follow This Week for Dinner on Facebook and leave a separate comment telling me you did! (If you already follow, that counts!)
    • Bonus entry: Follow me on Pinterest and leave a separate comment telling me you did! (If you already follow me on Pinterest, that counts!)
    • Bonus entry: Follow me on Twitter and leave a separate comment telling me you did! (If you already follow me on Pinterest, that counts!)

    ree's easy homemade cranberry sauce from @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.com

    To wrap things up, here is the recipe for Ree’s Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce. Enjoy!

    Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce from The Pioneer Woman {Giveaway!}
     
    Author:
    Cuisine: Side Dish, Thanksgiving
    Ingredients
    • One 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
    • 2 large oranges
    • 1 cup pure maple syrup
    Instructions
    1. Rinse the cranberries under cold water. Zest the oranges. Add the cranberries and zest to a medium saucepan. Squeeze the juice from both oranges into the saucepan. Add the maple syrup and stir it all together. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until it’s nice and thick. If the sauce still seems a little thin, just simmer longer until it’s the right consistency.
    2. Transfer the sauce to a dish and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Can be made up to 2 days in advance. Store in the fridge. (I am going to freeze mine and defrost it the day before Thanksgiving.)

     


  8. Introducing “Gifts & Giveaways” for Some Holiday Fun!

    holiday gifts & giveaways on thisweekfordinner.com

    I seriously cannot believe that Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK. Consider my mind blown. I actually started Christmas shopping yesterday and I am bound and determined to send out a holiday card this year. (We’ll see if that happens…)

    Since it’s the season of giving, it’s time to talk gift ideas! I have oodles of fun things to share with you and a whole slew of giveaways I’ll be hosting over the next few weeks. We will be kicking off Gifts and Giveaways with some fabulous cookbooks. Stay tuned, it’s going to be fun!


  9. Sunday, November 17

    Week 356 Menu

    Hello! Before we get to menus, a quick update on the the banana dessert I teased last week. I need to make a few tweaks to the recipe and then it will be ready for sharing! Also, on a completely unrelated note, the Stanford football game was pretty brutal last night. Nate and I have decided that we are bad luck charms and can’t attend their away games anymore. Yes, we are that powerful. At least I have some pretty hydrangeas to make me happy.

    hydrangeas | thisweekfordinner.com

    How is it time to plan a menu already? CRAZY! I was sick all last week so I didn’t make anything from my menu. This week I will go to the grocery store and I will follow the plan!

    MONDAY:
    – Cilantro Sour Cream Enchiladas
    – Rice and beans

    TUESDAY:
    – White Chicken Chili

    WEDNESDAY:
    – BLT Pizza

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    Chicken Tortilla Soup (my family arrives for a week of Thanksgiving fun!)

    SATURDAY:
    – Driving up to Anaheim, eating out on the road

    SUNDAY:
    – Disneyland!

    As always, thank you for posting your menus! Can’t wait to see what you’ve got cookin’ this week!


  10. Friday, November 15

    Friday Show and Tell

    Wow! Friday is almost over. Where did the day go?

    safari snacks healthy and delicious trail mix | thisweekfordinner.com

    Quick show and tell today. A few “Babbles” for you:

    And, if you watch The Vampire Diaries (don’t judge), I just want to make sure you are following Price Peterson’s photo recaps on tv.com. Because it is almost worth watching the show JUST to be able to read his recaps. Such a perfect combination of sarcasm and admiration. Okay, mostly sarcasm, but it’s 100% awesomesauce.

    Have a happy weekend! And don’t forget to “show and tell” your own stuff. Anything goes!