Menu Banner
  1. Tuesday, February 11

    Cream Cheese and Banana Stuffed French Toast

    I’m kind of in love with French toast. And I think the love might be genetic because Cate is equally obsessed with it, too. Which is why it’s surprising that with this deep abiding devotion, I’ve never made stuffed French toast before. Crispy French toast? Check. Baked French toast? Check again. Begging for delicious French toast recipes from all of you? Triple check! But for some reason I’ve never ventured into the world of stuffed French toast…until now.

    cream cheese and banana stuffed french toast from @janemaynard

    A few months ago we met my sister in Dana Point for breakfast. I ordered cream cheese-stuffed French toast because, well, who wouldn’t? And, in all honesty, I was supremely disappointed with what came to the table. I was expecting a cream cheese filling but got slabs of straight-up cream cheese. I was expecting magically stuffed bread but got two slices of French toast lying on top of each other with the aforementioned cream cheese just sitting in the middle. The dish did not at all live up to my expectations. This weekend I finally decided to make what I had envisioned a reality. (Yes, I have French toast visions. I told you it was serious.)

    cream cheese and banana stuffed french toast from @janemaynard

    My homemade version was everything I imagined the restaurant version should have been. The right amount of sweet, the right amount of gooey, the right amount of cheesy. Nate really liked it, which is saying something because he does not in fact love French toast the way I do. (Never has the case of “opposites attract” been more true than with Nate and I!) Cate of course loved the stuffed French toast just as much as I did.

    This stuffed French toast recipe was inspired by the Banana Cream Cheese Pie from the Dodo in Salt Lake City. Side note: I have been trying to recreate that pie at home but I’m finding it’s nearly impossible. I know some of you have been waiting for that recipe to appear on the blog but it may never happen, which is tragedy of epic proportions. While I may not be able to get the pie perfected, at least I can enjoy it in breakfast form!

    cream cheese and banana stuffed french toast from @janemaynard

    I had leftover cream cheese frosting from when we made the chocolate heart sandwich cookies last week. I just used that for the filling and it was perfect! You could also simply let cream cheese soften to room temperature and mix in a bit of powdered sugar, vanilla extract and, if needed, a bit of milk to make it easier to mix up. Just add sugar to taste. You don’t want it to be too sugary, but you also want some sweetness involved.

    (>> Find out more…)


  2. Sunday, February 9

    Week 368 Menu

    Hello everyone! I hope you’re all having a great weekend! Let’s just get down to business, shall we?

    weekly meal plan from @janemaynard

    Only one carry-over from last week’s menu, mostly because I made our leftovers drag out for many, many nights. Amazingly the kids didn’t protest!

    MONDAY:
    – Butternut squash soup
    – Grilled cheese sandwiches

    TUESDAY:
    Easy Apricot Chicken (Owen grabbed a jar of apricot preserves at the store, which I didn’t discover until we got home. We haven’t had this recipe in ages, so going to see if the kids like it!)
    – Rice and veggie

    WEDNESDAY:
    Pasta with simple cream sauce, chicken and broccoli
    – Garlic bread

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Eat out

    SATURDAY:
    – Nachos with Mexican 7-layer dip

    SUNDAY:
    BLT Pizza

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

    Alrighty, your turn! Please share your menu for the week. As always, reading through your menus from last week was such a great help as I sat down this morning to plan, so, thank you!


  3. Friday, February 7

    Friday Show and Tell!

    Happy Friday, everyone! I can’t tell you how happy I am the week is over. Not that it was a bad week, I’m just ready for the weekend!

    Time to show and tell a few things with you all. As always, please share your own stuff in the comments! Whether it’s links to things you discovered or just a little tidbit from your own life, anything goes!

    new column: 3 kids, a mom and a kitchen by @janemaynard

    I started a new column over on Babble called 3 Kids, a Mom and a Kitchen. The kids and I are going to try out different recipes and then report back on how we like them, complete with a ranking system involving smiley and frowny faces! My first post went up this week (we made lemon pound cake) and it was a lot of fun. I’m excited to do more of these posts and my kids are loving the idea of helping me write a column!

    Here on This Week for Dinner I’m finally getting my recipes all ship shape (it’s about time, right?). Pretty soon individual recipes will have a much better format, with the ability to rank and save them. I also finally created a master Recipe Index page (it’s at the very top of the site). It’s not totally updated yet, but we’re getting there. I also now have a mobile version of the site, so it will be much easier to navigate This Week for Dinner on your phone or tablet and you’ll be able to get to the recipe index lickity split.

    cilantro sour cream scramble from @janemaynard

    Here are a few of my “babbles” from the week:

    My posts on Cosmopolitan.com are in full swing, too. I haven’t done show and tell in a couple weeks, so I won’t barrage you with a bunch of links, but there are some fun posts on there. Click here and scroll down to check them out – it’s easy to see which posts are mine. (P.S. It’s still cracking me up that I’m writing for Cosmo. I think the greatest challenge yet was coming up with punchy blurbs about kale recipes because, you know, kale is super sexy.)

    Happy Friday! Please share your own stuff!


  4. Wednesday, February 5

    Chocolate Cream Cheese Cut-Out Sandwich Cookies

    chocolate cream cheese cut-out sandwich cookies from @janemaynard

    Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, which means it’s time to break out the cookie cutters!

    chocolate cream cheese cut-out sandwich cookies from @janemaynard

    Anna and I decided to make some cute heart sandwich cookies yesterday to deliver to the neighbors. We used my favorite recipe for chocolate cut-out cookies (SOOOO good) and my other favorite recipe for cream cheese frosting, combined into one delicious sandwich of goodness. You can, of course, make these any time of year with different shapes and we do!

    chocolate cream cheese cut-out sandwich cookies from @janemaynardchocolate cream cheese cut-out sandwich cookies from @janemaynard

    A quick rundown of how we made the shapes for the sandwiches and why this is a great way to decorate cookies with kids. If you want to make them exactly how I did, you’ll need 3 heart-shaped cookie cutters that are different sizes but the same shape. Using the largest cutter, cut an even number of cookies. In half of those cookies make holes with the next smaller cookie cutter. Plan it so you end up with an even number of the middle-sized cookies, too. Then take the smallest cookie cutter and cut out holes in half of the middle-sized cookies. Get what’s happening? In the end you will have two different sizes of peek-a-boo sandwiches and a bunch of tiny, super cute chocolate cookies. You can of course still do this with just two heart cookie cutters, you’ll just have one size of the peek-a-boo sandwich cookies.

    chocolate cream cheese cut-out sandwich cookies from @janemaynard

    I really liked having the two sizes of sandwiches along with the tiny cookies because it looked really cute on the plates for the neighbors.

    chocolate cream cheese cut-out sandwich cookies from @janemaynard

    Once the cookies are all baked and cooled, spread frosting onto the rough side of a cookie with no hole and top with a cookie that does have a hole, then fill the exposed frosting center with pretty sprinkles or colored sugar. This ended up being a really great way to decorate cookies with kids. It’s super easy for them to fill the holes with sprinkles and Anna had such a fun time with it. The other nice thing about making these cookies with Anna was that she was able to spread frosting on the cookies and it didn’t have to be a perfect spreading job because the frosting gets sandwiched inside the cookie and then covered with sprinkles. The project ended up being empowering for her because she could make a sandwich cookie from start to finish without any help and they looked just like mine, well, with maybe a few more sprinkles. 😉

    chocolate cream cheese cut-out sandwich cookies from @janemaynard

    Without further ado, chocolate cream cheese cut-out sandwich cookies!

    Rolled Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
    • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
    • ⅛ teaspoon salt
    • ¾ cup butter, softened
    • 1¼ cups white sugar
    • 1 egg
    Instructions
    1. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. In another medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth – this will take several minutes. Beat in the egg and mix well. On low, beat in the sifted ingredients and mix until you can’t see any white flour.
    2. Divide the dough into two and form into round balls. Place each ball on a large pieces of plastic wrap then press the dough out into a dish, about ½″ thick. Refrigerate for about an hour. You can refrigerate longer than that, but you’ll need to let it soften up a bit before you’ll be able to roll it out. It is important to refrigerate it so that the dough is workable, otherwise it’s too sticky, but the original recipe said to refrigerate for 2 hours and whenever I do that the dough is just too hard to work with.
    3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). On a surface that has been floured pretty heavily, roll out the dough to ⅛ inch thickness. When I do sandwich cookies I go pretty think when rolling it out so that when you bite the cookies later they aren’t too heavy on the cookie. You’ll definitely need to flour the rolling pin and make sure you keep the surface below the dough floured to avoid sticking. Even after refrigeration, the dough is prone to sticking.
    4. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies on cookie sheet – I like to line mine with a Silpat. The original recipe says to place them 1½ inches apart, but the cookies do not spread that much, you can definitely get them closer together, about ½ inch apart.
    5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven (mine are always done at 8 minutes). Cool cookies on a baking sheet for 5 minutes then carefully remove them with a spatula to cool on a wire rack completely.

    chocolate cream cheese cut-out cookies from @janemaynard
    Cream Cheese Frosting
     
    Prep time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • ¾ cup butter, softened
    • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 3½ – 4 cups powdered sugar
    Instructions
    1. Cream the butter and cream cheese with a hand blender or in a stand mixer until smooth. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high speed until frosting is smooth. Add powdered sugar until you get the consistency you want, somewhere around 3½ to 4 cups. (Whenever you add powdered sugar, be sure to start on low and then work the speed up so you don’t blow powdered sugar all over the kitchen. I may or may not have done this many times before. I plead the fifth.)

    chocolate cream cheese cut-out sandwich cookies from @janemaynard


  5. Sunday, February 2

    Week 367 Menu

    Good morning! Hope you are all having a great day! My Sunday began with donuts and a 6-year-old telling me she does not want to go to church and she is sooooo bored with it. Out of the mouths of babes. 😉

    weekly dinner menu from @janemaynard + free printable menu and shopping list

    I’m trying a lighter version of the Pinterest menu image. What do you think? Do you like it better than the darker version I used the last few weeks? I’ll probably keep playing around with it for a while!

    MONDAY:
    Rachel Sandwiches
    – Chips and Fruit

    TUESDAY:
    Chicken Piccata
    Mashed potatoes and salad

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Taco night

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    Chicken Tortilla Soup

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out

    SUNDAY:
    Butternut squash soup
    Grilled cheese sandwiches

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

    As always I am looking forward to seeing all of your menus. They are such a help as I plan every week!