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  1. Friday, February 28

    Friday Show and Tell

    Happy Friday! It is rainy and windy and awesome here in San Diego today – we are reveling in the rain!

    the lunt family

    A few things to share with you today. First, remember my miracle friend Lucy? Today is International Rare Disease Day and my friend Kristen from Rage Against the Minivan wrote a blog post, sharing several people’s stories, including Lucy’s. I am honestly teary eyed looking over the post, feeling grateful and inspired. And I am so grateful to Kristen for helping to get Lucy’s story heard and spread the word about SMA.

    On to less important stuff…

    I wrote a guest post for KitchenAid’s blog Kitchenthusaist about simple and elegant winter entertaining. Check it out!

    On Babble, I talked about time travel foods, beef stroganoff and a night with my kids (a little color behind the recipe I shared here earlier this week!).

    Here are my Cosmo posts for the week!

    Have a wonderful weekend and here’s to more rain in California!


  2. Thursday, February 27

    Recipes are Getting REAL Around Here

    Today’s post is a quick update to let you know about a few little upgrades here on This Week for Dinner. Some of you have been asking for these things for a loooong time, so I’m happy to finally deliver!

    recipe index for this week for dinner from @janemaynard

    • We now have a mobile version of the website! Woohoo! It will be much easier to view and navigate the site on your phones and tablets now.
    • We now have a recipe index, with links to all the recipes on the website, organized into all kinds of handy categories. You’ll be able to access the recipe index from the top navigation of the website (look top left!) as well as under the recipe category in the secondary navigation (coming soon!). In addition, the recipe index is very easily accessible from the top drop-down navigation menu on your mobile device.
    • Recipes have a brand new look and feel. You can see examples here, here and here. My assistant (yes, I hired an assistant and I love her to PIECES – shout out to Rachel!) and I are going to be updating all the recipes on the site to the new format over the next few weeks. In addition to the recipes being prettier, they will be linked to ZipList. What is ZipList? Well, read the next bullet to find out!
    • I am now partnered with ZipList, so you’ll be able to save recipes to your own recipe boxes as well as create shopping lists. I’ve been meaning to hook up with ZipList for years but my recipes weren’t formatted properly. Now I’ve got my act together and we can get this show on the road!

    This is all stuff I should have done ages ago, but better late than never, right? Enjoy! (And please be patient as we slowly get all the recipes updated!)


  3. Wednesday, February 26

    Simple and Delicious Homemade Beef Stroganoff

    As a kid my favorite dinner was beef stroganoff. My mom didn’t make it often and she only liked to make it when she could get the meat from a particular butcher in town, so when we did have stroganoff it was such a treat. I suppose I’ve been a sucker for sour cream and mushrooms since the early days!

    simple and delicious homemade beef stroganoff from @janemaynard

    I also rarely make beef stroganoff and, until now, always just used those dried sauce packets from the grocery store. I must admit that I liked how it tasted and it didn’t require any thought. But what I like more is cooking food from scratch whenever I can, so I decided it was time to try completely homemade beef stroganoff. And, in all honesty, it wasn’t any harder than using one of those sauce packets!

    This recipe is simple but delicious. I researched tons of different recipes as I thought about how I wanted to put the dish together and this is what I came up with. The sauce was creamy and tasty, the meat was tender and I totally had seconds (just like the old days). I also love meals that use meat sparingly. This recipe makes a ton of food with just 1 pound of steak – I love that!

    simple and delicious homemade beef stroganoff from @janemaynard

    In the interest of full disclosure, Anna did not like it, but I think she just doesn’t like stroganoff to begin with. (She also doesn’t like chicken pot pie, so can we trust her? I think not.) Owen only ate two bites, but that was more a function of Anna giving him a giant granola bar 5 minutes before dinner without telling me. Soooo helpful. Cate said it was really good and worthy of sharing on the blog and Nate agreed. At least I have some supporters in the family!

    (>> Find out more…)


  4. Sunday, February 23

    Week 370 Menu

    Happy Sunday! We are getting a quick visit from my dear friend Allison later today, so the house is actually cleaned up. Of course, I’m still in pajamas and need a shower. Priorities.

    weekly dinner menu from @janemaynard including printable menu and grocery list

    I kind of had a hard time getting inspired this week, but I finally got a menu put together. It’s seriously been sitting open on my computer all morning!

    MONDAY:
    – Beef Stroganoff with egg noodles
    – Asparagus

    TUESDAY:
    Moosewood’s Pasta Primavera (this was Anna’s idea!)
    – Bread of some sort

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Leftovers for the kids, Nate and I are going out with friends and then seeing Robert Randolph and the Family Band at the Belly Up. We’re actually doing something FUN. 😉

    THURSDAY:
    Chicken Caesar Wraps
    – Fruit and chips

    FRIDAY:
    Easiest Ever Chicken Pot Pie

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out or take out with the kids

    SUNDAY:
    – Breakfast for dinner: Waffles and scrambled eggs

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

    As always, I am so grateful to have your menus to browse through every week! Please keep it coming! Can’t wait to see what you have planned for dinner this week!


  5. Friday, February 21

    Friday Show and Tell

    Happy Friday! Hope everyone is having a good day and getting TOTALLY AMPED UP for the Downton Abbey finale this Sunday!!!! (I might be. It’s hard to tell, right?) Also, True Detective. The end of last week’s episode slayed us. Basically Sunday night is my favorite right now.

    3 kids, a mom and a kitchen: banana bread bites from @janemaynard

    Here are the links to my writings in places elsewhere on the web this week, including the second installment of 3 Kids, a Mom and a Kitchen. This time we made banana bread bites that were gone by the end of the afternoon!

    Babble!

    Cosmo!

    As always, please share whatever you want with us! I love reading your links and random sharings!


  6. Wednesday, February 19

    Maple Soy Glazed Salmon

    Confession: Our family hardly ever eats fish. I cook it once every few years or so and that’s about it. There are a few reasons for this. First, Nate does not like fish, which is shocking since he comes from a long line of seafood-loving New Englanders. The second reason is I just don’t know the best ways to prepare seafood since I never do it. Practice makes perfect and there just isn’t any practice going on in my kitchen!

    maple soy glazed salmon from @janemaynardmaple soy glazed salmon from @janemaynard

    The Salmon Council reached out to me recently about doing a salmon recipe in support of American Heart Month (which is right now!) and I thought it would be a good opportunity to get some fish going on in our house. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating fish because it’s a good source of protein and high in omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is at the top of their fish list and the AHA recommends eating two servings of heart-healthy fish TWICE A WEEK, which can reduce your risk of dying from a heart attack by up to one-third. I guess my twice a decade isn’t quite up to snuff!

    maple soy glazed salmon from @janemaynardmaple soy glazed salmon from @janemaynard

    I decided it would be fun to throw together a simple and delicious salmon recipe, in the hopes that my kids would go for it. As I was making dinner last night, Cate walked in and asked what we were having. I told her salmon, to which she replied, “I don’t like fish.” I asked her, “Well, what fish have you had?” She didn’t have an answer, so she said she would give it a try and as soon as the salmon came out of the oven, she asked for a bite. She was immediately converted. In fact she had three servings for dinner and exclaimed that it was “AWESOME.” She also said that the “salmon people” would be happy with my blog post because I could tell everyone kids love it. It was super, duper, crazy cute. She also asked if we can have salmon more often. Success! Anna wasn’t quite as enthusiastic, but she did like dinner and cleared her plate no problem! Nate is still on the fence – he said the recipe is good, but…you know, fish. But he promised he would never voice those opinions out loud in front of the kids since they like are really liking fish and it’s so healthy!

    maple soy glazed salmon from @janemaynardmaple soy glazed salmon from @janemaynard

    This recipe is so incredibly simple it’s surprising. Even if you’ve never cooked fish before you’ll have success! The leftovers were pretty good, but honestly, when the salmon is fresh out of the oven it is IRRESISTIBLE. So flavorful and moist with great texture, Cate and I were swooning!

    Also, Cate told me I should take a picture of she and Anna enjoying their salmon. I obliged. How could I not?

    my kids enjoying heart-healthy maple soy glazed salmon for dinner (from @janemaynardIn celebration of American Heart Month, the Salmon Council is giving away a fun salmon starter package! One randomly-selected winner will receive a $30 Visa gift card (to get your salmon!), a Hooked on Salmon Thermo-tote, and  1 pack of Weber Firespice cedar planks (visit Weber.com for recipes and tips including this step-by-step guide for perfect salmon planking). Here’s how to enter the giveaway! (Comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Tuesday 2/25. Winner must have a U.S. address.)

    • Leave a comment on this post – any comment! Easy peasy!
    • Bonus entry: Leave an additional comment with your favorite salmon recipe (either share the recipe or a link!)
    • Bonus entry: Follow The Salmon Council on Facebook! (leave a separate comment indicating you’ve done so)
    • Bonus entry: Follow This Week for Dinner on Facebook! (leave a separate comment indicating you’ve done so)

    The giveaway winner was comment #77, Natahsa P. Congratulations, Natasha!

    Without further ado, the super easy, even more scrumptious recipe for Maple Soy Glazed Salmon!

    (>> Find out more…)


  7. Tuesday, February 18

    Handy Trick When Forming Granola Bars

    Ever since I wrote about homemade granola bars last fall I have been consistently making them every week. I haven’t bought a box of granola bars since – the homemade version is just too delicious!

    tip for shaping homemade granola bars easily from @janemaynard

    With all this granola bar making that I’ve been doing, I finally have the recipe memorized and making them is a snap. However, there is one part of the process that is always a little tricky – pushing the granola bar mixture out into a rectangle before baking. The granola mixture sticks to your hands so you have to work very carefully, especially around the edges. Well, I accidentally stumbled upon a trick that solves the problem: push the granola into shape with wet hands!

    One day I washed my hands and went to make the granola bar rectangle without drying my hands off first – it was the most magical mistake! With just slightly damp hands, the granola mixture does not stick at all to your hands, making it sooooo much easier to form the granola into a nice, squared-off rectangle.

    tip for shaping homemade granola bars easily from @janemaynard

    That’s all for today. Just a simple little trick to make your granola-making endeavors easier. Also, if you haven’t started making homemade granola bars, hop to it already. Super, duper, crazy delicious.


  8. Sunday, February 16

    Week 369 Menu

    Wow, it’s Sunday already! Yesterday our family was completely lazy. I don’t think we’ve ever had a day like it! The kids thought it was pretty hilarious and it was actually kind of fun. But now it’s back to real life, starting with this week’s menu plan!

    weekly dinner menu plan from @janemaynard, including printable menu and shopping list!

    The ingredients list for this week’s menu was a lot shorter than past weeks’. Lots of basic ingredients and repeats from meal to meal, which is interesting because the meals are all so different. I love shorter grocery lists!

    MONDAY:
    – Salmon – recipe TBD!
    – Rice and salad

    TUESDAY:
    –  Swedish Pancakes (Cate’s favorite!)

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Easy Apricot Chicken
    – Rice and veggie

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Beef Stroganoff
    – Veggie and egg noodles

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out

    SUNDAY:
    Stuffed Shells
    Garlic knots and salad

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

    You know the drill! I want to read all your menus! Please share, they really are such a wonderful help as we all plan each week!


  9. Friday, February 14

    Friday Show and Tell + Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Happy Valentine’s Day! No matter your feelings on this oft-beloved and oft-detested holiday, I hope it’s filled with chocolate and cookies!

    happy valentine's day from @janemaynard

    I have a bunch of stuff to share today. Get ready!

    Netflix Stream Team | @janemaynard

    First, I’m now officially a member of the Netflix Stream Team (basically a bunch of bloggers who like Netflix). Our family uses Netflix ALL the time, so I am happy to be working with them! Also, I started a TV blog to help alleviate the guilt associated with my excessive TV watching because I love TV, so obviously I have no problem talking about television shows and movies! To kick off my stream teaming, just a few quick things:

    • If you aren’t using Netflix already, you DO know it’s only $7.99 a month for the streaming service, right? My friend Rebecca loves TV as much as I do but hasn’t signed up yet. When I told her it was only $7.99 she was like, “That’s it? I had no idea!” and I think she might have even stopped at Best Buy to get a Roku that night. So, I’m just making sure those of you who have no idea how inexpensive Netflix streaming is now know. Totally worth it, even if the only thing you ever watch on there is Breaking Bad (please note that you should only click that link if you’ve seen the last season or you might hate me forever).
    • Netflix profiles are the best. You can set up profiles for different members of the family. This, in my opinion, was the greatest improvement to the service that Netflix could have made. Now we always make sure the kids login with their account, that way Nate and my queue isn’t filled with kids’ shows and the kids never get inappropriate content (ahem, Breaking Bad) suggested to them.
    • House of Cards season 2 is back today. Happy. Valentine’s. Day. To. You. WOOHOO! (Even Pres. Obama is down with Frank Underwood.)

    20 chocolate and pretzel recipes from @janemaynard on Babble

    Here’s all my Babble stuff from the week!

    And my posts on Cosmopolitan this week!

    My kids don’t have school today, so I’m off to quickly finish work and then have some fun! We started the day with stuffed French toast and chocolate from Mimi. It should be a good day!

    As always, please share anything you would like – links to funny/interesting/sad/inspiring stuff you found on the Internet this week, links to your own blogs, or just tidbits from your lives, it’s all good!


  10. Thursday, February 13

    “Where there is love there is life”

    Yesterday Nate was reading ESPN.com and there was a giant ad for Tiffany & Co. Of course I asked if the computer was showing him that ad because he had just bought me something from Tiffany for Valentine’s Day, to which he replied, “Oh yeah, I bought you tons of presents for a made-up holiday.” And then we both totally laughed. Yeah, we’re romantic like that. Don’t get me wrong, I love celebrating Valentine’s Day with our kids and I honestly don’t have anything against Valentine’s Day per se. In fact, any excuse to make pretty cookies and give them to friends and neighbors is fine by me.

    free printable gandhi quote from @janemaynard

    Valentine’s Day aside, I have been thinking a lot about love lately, for many reasons that I won’t get into. You know the Beatles song All You Need is Love? That line has become cliché by now, but I really do think all you need is love. I can’t help but imagine how different the world would be if everyone loved first. Now, I know life isn’t always that simple. But I can’t help but think if we did love first that we’d all be kinder, more patient, more giving, more forgiving. At least I know I would be. Sometimes it’s not easy to love, but that’s what makes it all the more powerful. Nate and I teach the 16- and 17-year-olds at our church each Sunday. There is a lot to think about in this life, especially when you’re becoming an adult and navigating those often choppy waters. But I am surprised how often, when I am teaching them, it all comes back to loving others and serving without judgment. It’s so simple and yet one of life’s greatest challenges.

    Nate’s Gram Maynard lived a life of love. We all knew she was amazing and most certainly the kindest person we had ever known. She knew what it was to love unconditionally and was a great example to me. When she died, we were all heartbroken. The world needed Gram. At her funeral there was time set aside for anyone who wanted to speak to do so. It was beautiful (and not at all surprising) to hear stories from people we didn’t know, sharing how Gram had served them and touched their lives in profound ways. We knew that she had loved. We knew she had served. We just didn’t know how much.

    gram maynard | love | @janemaynard

    I recently saw this quote from Mahatma Gandhi somewhere and it really resonated with me: Where there is love there is life. When I think of Gram, a pure example of love, I can’t help but think of the full life she lived. A quiet life, filled with quiet acts of love. Her life was unremarkable by the world’s lofty standards. She was from the South Shore near Boston and lived there her entire life. She raised five children. She stood by the Red Sox through thick and thin. She had the most marvelous accent, once telling Nate’s mom she could find the fox in the dishwasher (10 points if you can figure that one out). She hardly ever cooked, but when she did it was always for others – I don’t know how many tins of her chocolate chip cookies were carried by postal workers nationwide. I don’t even think she ever flew on a plane. And yet, her love filled so much more of the world than just the South Shore. Her love made ripples that have been felt far and wide. She filled the world with life by simply loving. She was more remarkable than anyone could probably comprehend.

    Like I said, lots on my mind lately. But I keep clinging to this word: love. I need to let it fill me the way it did Gram. I need to let it spill over.

    If you click here or on the quote at the beginning of this post, you can download a pretty pdf of the Gandhi’s quote. Happy Valentine’s Day!