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  1. Tuesday, April 29

    Fig and Prosciutto Pizza with Balsamic Glaze

    Last summer on Cape Cod we ordered pizza from a restaurant in Falmouth called Stone L’Oven. Every last pizza we tried was delicious, but there were two flavors in particular that really stole my heart. I’ve been meaning to recreate them since July and finally got around to making one of them. (The second favorite flavor will have to remain a mystery until I can get a post together!)

    fig and prosciutto pizza with balsamic glaze from @janemaynard

    Pizza is sort of becoming my thing. The last few times we’ve had guests over it’s what I’ve made. It’s great all hanging out while the pizzas come out of the oven, one-by-one. The cooking and the eating get all mixed up together and it’s a lot of fun. And, not to brag, I’ve gotten really good at making pizza. I am planning to write a comprehensive post with all the tips and tricks I have, but for now you’ll just have to settle for a totally amazing pizza flavor – fig and prosciutto.

    fig and prosciutto pizza with balsamic glaze from @janemaynard

    THIS PIZZA. So good. It almost beats the honey goat cheese and caramelized onion pizza. (I’m coming to realize no pizza will ever actually beat that one, but coming close is an accomplishment!)

    fig and prosciutto pizza with balsamic glaze from @janemaynardfig and prosciutto pizza with balsamic glaze from @janemaynard

    This pizza is the perfect combination of salty and sweet and is drizzled with a delectable balsamic glaze. It’s so tasty you won’t know what to do with yourself.

    fig and prosciutto pizza with balsamic glaze from @janemaynard

    Also, my new trays from Q Squared NYC were perfect for pizza night. I just fall in love all over again every time I use Q Squared’s dishes! We’ve entertained a few times since my dishes arrived – they always come in handy (especially eating outside) and look gorgeous to boot. Love, love, love.

    (>> Find out more…)


  2. Sunday, April 27

    Week 379 Menu

    Good morning!

    weekly dinner plan from @janeymaynard with FREE printable menu and shopping list!

    So, I actually planned my menu yesterday and got all the grocery shopping done already. I might have to make this my new routine because it’s really nice going into the week not having to worry about getting to the store. We’ll see, I’m the worst at getting into a routine so it probably won’t last!

    MONDAY:
    – Green Noodles a.k.a. No. 3

    TUESDAY:
    – Taco night

    WEDNESDAY:
    Pesto Tortellini Soup with crusty bread

    THURSDAY:
    Grammy’s Orange Chicken
    – Rice and veggie

    FRIDAY:
    – Leftovers

    SATURDAY:
    – Take out night

    SUNDAY:
    – Swedish pancakes and fruit

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

    As always, really looking forward to seeing all of your menus! And don’t be afraid to share, no matter what kind of menu you have planned!


  3. Saturday, April 26

    I Told You So, Kids. {Plus a Netflix Giveaway!}

    Please note: the giveaway in this post is now closed.

    It’s Saturday. And I’m kind of feeling like a movie. And a giveaway. Let’s do it!

    my kids finally watching "the sword in the stone" on netflix, plus a giveaway! by @janemaynard

    First off, we love Netflix in our house. The kids especially love Netflix. It’s actually a little terrifying how adept they are at using the iPad. Even little 2-year-old Owen can find his way around an iPad, inevitably landing himself on the Netflix app watching an episode of Thomas the Train. In fact, if the house is ever a little too quiet, I usually find him hidden away in a corner with a stolen iPad cuddling with Netflix. It would be cute if it wasn’t so naughty!

    So, you know, I have to be the mean mom who says “no” like twenty times a day when the kids ask if they can “watch a show on the iPad.” It’s not that I never let them watch shows, it’s just that they would seriously go onto Netflix 24 hours a day if they could. But, when I think back to my own childhood, I realize I must have watched way more TV than my kids do. I mean, I have about 3 billion movies completely memorized. Not to mention all the TV shows I remember watching. I’m not saying my mom just stuck me in front of the TV all the time. I also remember roaming with friends outside everyday, too. (Ah, the good old days.) But what I am saying is that I think I can cut my kids some slack.

    But I have decided it’s time that the kids don’t always get to choose what they watch. (I told you I was a mean mom.) There are just so many great movies from back in the day that they have never seen. They prefer watching shorter shows like Wild Kratts (which I actually think is fabulous). But, kind of like our music education, I think it’s my responsibility as a parent to make sure my kids see all the awesome, especially the awesome that takes me back to my own childhood.

    So, whenever I tell them “Movie Time!” they get excited. And then when I tell them “And you’re watching this!” they groan at me. They say things like, “I only like watching what I’ve seen already.” Or “That’s going to be too SCARY.” (We have wimpy kids. The Little Engine That Could was too scary for them, even our 3rd grader. Wimps, I tell ya.) But I hold my ground and insist that they are watching what I’ve chosen. And I tell them they will love it, just like I did when I was a kid. And, you know what, they always do. And then I say, “I told you so.” (Okay, not really, but I want to.)

    my kids finally watching "the sword in the stone" on netflix, plus a giveaway! by @janemaynard

    Today I decided it was time for them to watch The Sword in the Stone. I LOVED that movie when I was little and it turns out Nate did, too. The kids complained so much when I started to put it on, it was like I was torturing them. (Silly kids.) But I persevered. I made them cuddle on the couch and suck it up. And they loved the movie. Owen honestly guffawed through the whole thing. It was awesome.

    In celebration of my victory over my children, I think a Netflix giveaway is in order! One randomly-selected person will win a 3-month subscription to Netflix streaming! To enter, simply leave a comment telling us your favorite tv show or movie from childhood. I can’t wait to read all your comments and take a little walk down memory lane with you! (Comments must be posted by Midnight, PT on Thursday 5/1.)

    The giveaway winner was Karen G., who said, “The Jetsons was good! My brother and I would fight over a time slot that showed GI Joes on one channel and Jem and the Holograms on another. Jem is outrageous! :)”

    I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team, which means they send me cool stuff from time to time. For the record, I would be addicted to Netflix in spite of said cool stuff.


  4. Friday, April 25

    Friday Show and Tell

    Happy Friday!

    All of the kale talk this week inspired me to throw up a post on Huffington Post about kale chips. When I shared the link on my personal FB page, it generated quite the discussion. It was kind of awesome. Also, more people hate kale chips than love them, so that makes me feel sufficiently vindicated. One more also, a friend mentioned that Jim Gaffigan also has strong feelings about kale. Basically, all of this makes me happy.

    Here are my posts on Cosmo this week:

    And a fun post on Babble that my girls helped me write!

    I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! And remember to share your own stuff, including your thoughts and feelings on kale chips! 😉


  5. Wednesday, April 23

    The Only Lentil Soup Recipe You’ll Ever Need {Plus More Pretty Dishes}

    One of the very first recipes I ever made was lentil soup. And it was terrible. It was just not a good recipe and, as an inexperienced young cook, I had no idea how to make it better. Sadly it convinced me that lentils were a bad thing. Then, about a year later, my friend Amy made lentil soup and insisted that I try it. She swore it was the best ever. I was skeptical but gave it a go and, much to my utter amazement, I discovered that lentil soup can be wonderful. I owe it all to Amy. If I ever win a lentil academy award, she’ll be the first person I thank. After the Weinstein brothers, of course, because that seems to be an academy award thank you speech requirement, especially when lentils are involved. (Sorry, I think that was a case of stream of consciousness gone wrong.)

    the only lentil soup recipe you'll ever need from @janemaynard

    The moral of the story is that I have had this lentil soup recipe hidden away on my blog since Day 1, when I added a bunch of random recipes to the site from my recipe box (you know, the real live recipe box with notecards inside). But I’ve never actually written about this recipe because, well, I have no idea why! It’s about time because it really is a gem of a recipe. Plus, the soup looked gorgeous served in my new Q Squared dishes, which I was planning to write about anyway, so it was kismet!

    the only lentil soup recipe you'll ever need from @janemaynard

    As you know, I’ve started working with a great company called Q Squared NYC. When I first received my Montecito dishes, I didn’t think I could love any of their other dishes more. But for Easter I decided to use the Heritage line for all of our serving dishes and decorated the table with a blue and white theme to match, including the flowers. The table was simple and so pretty, if I do say so myself. And I really fell in love with the Heritage dishes. I don’t know, I might even love them more than Montecito. It’s just so hard to decide!

    heritage line from q squared nyc by @janemaynard

    Last night when I was photographing the orange-hued soup that complemented the blue in the dishes so beautifully, the girls started fighting over who would get to use the fancy bowl. I think I’m going to have to buy more of these dishes because I don’t think I’m the only one who loves them. Even Nate commented on how pretty they were after dinner on Easter and he’s a guy.

    heritage line from q squared nyc by @janemaynard

    In addition to the color and pattern, the Heritage dishes have a really great texture, with sort of a hammered look to them. I tried to capture this in the photography so hopefully you can see it. The dishes really are stunning and, like the Montecito line, you can tell they are really high quality. I could go on and on and ON about these dishes.

    heritage line from q squared nyc by @janemaynard

    One last note on the recipe: you probably won’t like other lentil soups after trying this one. At least not as much! Honestly, whenever I have lentil soup at a restaurant I just end up disappointed. I now save all my lentil soup-ing for home, it’s just better that way. Oh, and one more last note: this soup is easy to throw together and is done in 30 minutes!

    the only lentil soup recipe you'll ever need from @janemaynard

    Without further ado, I give you the soup! Everyone say thanks to Amy!

    (>> Find out more…)


  6. Tuesday, April 22

    Call for Recipes: Kale!

    One of my most favorite things is when I get an email from someone requesting a Call for Recipes. I love the Call for Recipes posts myself, so it makes me happy that you guys like them, too!

    call for recipes: kale recipe roundup from @janemaynard

    I received an email from reader Lisa two weeks ago asking if I could ask you all for some kale recipes. She said she’s gotten so many great recipes from other commenters on the blog before. She’s in a kale rut and is hoping you all can help, which I’m certain you can!

    So, that’s the theme for today’s Call for Recipes: KALE! Share your favorite kale recipes, tips for cooking and working with kale, whatever! Feel free to type out recipes or just link to recipes, it’s all fair game.

    call for recipes: kale recipe roundup from @janemaynard | kale salad from costco

    Here is what I have to add to the conversation:

    • To kick us off I’ll share the best kale recipe I’ve ever made. It’s really simple. You go to Costco and buy their kale salad mix. It’s delicious and foolproof. 😉 Seriously, though, we had it for Easter and loved it!
    • I recently wrote an article on Cosmopolitan.com about kale, with tips for how to cook it and a roundup of kale recipes from a bunch of great food bloggers. Click here for the kale Cosmo fun!
    • I’ve decided the world is full of LIARS because I recently had kale chips for the first time and they are absolutely not as good as potato chips. In fact, they’re disgusting. Nate agrees with me, by the way. And, before you ask, we had beautifully-cooked kale chips at a fabulous restaurant, so if we were going to like kale chips, those would have been the ones. So, the next time someones says, “No, really, kale chips are awesome!” I’m going to throw a pie in their face. Kale pie. Also, please don’t let my obviously-strong opinion keep you from sharing your kale chip recipes because, apparently, some people actually do like this healthy snack!
    • Hansen’s makes kale soda now. Yeah, yeah, I’m sure it’s delicious. Just like kale chips.

    call for recipes: kale recipe roundup from @janemaynard | hansen's kale soda

    Your turn! Share all your kale magic!


  7. Sunday, April 20

    Week 378 Menu

    Happy Easter! My menu is getting up a little late tonight, but there are still 2 more hours left in the day (at least on the west coast!) so I’m gonna call it good. My sister was in town and we really enjoyed our Easter Sunday all together, so I decided to save the humdrum of meal planning for tonight.

    easter table + weekly dinner plans with free printable menu and shopping list from @janemaynard

    Easter was wonderful. The food was great, the company even better, and the weather was perfect for eating on the patio. I’m feeling very content and grateful. (Quick side note: I used the Heritage line of dishes from Q Squared NYC for all the serving dishes today and they were gorgeous. Seriously, I’m in love.)

    weekly meal plan with free printable menu and shopping list from @janemaynard

    Okay, menu time! Even though I gave half of our ham away we still have TONS of it leftover, so here we go with the ham!

    MONDAY:
    – Leftover Easter feast dinner

    TUESDAY:
    Lentil Soup

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Quiche

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Eat out

    SATURDAY:
    Green Noodles a.k.a. No. 3

    SUNDAY:
    Swedish pancakes and fruit

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

    You know the drill – share your menus, big or small we love them all! 


  8. Friday, April 18

    Show and Tell: So much to show, so much to tell!

    Happy Friday! I’m brimming over with things to share with you today!

    wonder by r.j. palacio | review from @janemaynard

    First, I finally read Wonder by R.J. Palacio. This book should be required reading for ALL HUMANS. And once all the humans have read it, it should be required reading in every 4th grade class every year from here on out until the end of time. Plus, it’s really just so beautifully written and touching and uplifting and WONDERFUL. Please read it. Please.

    I have a fun announcement today about some added functionality to This Week for Dinner. You may have noticed there’s a new button called “Recipe Box” on my navigation. If you roll over “Recipe Box” you’ll see that you can click on two options: “Recipe Box” and “Shopping List.” When you click either of those you will be automatically connected to ZipList, a company I am now partnering with! Some of you may already be using ZipList, in which case you know what’s up and how cool it is! All of the recipes on my site are now set up to be saved to your recipe boxes and shopping lists. If you don’t know what ZipList is, it’s basically a shopping list that makes life easier! You can save recipes to your ZipList recipe box, add ingredients from recipes to your shopping list, save shopping lists, and access all of this on the web or through a mobile app. Bottom line, it’s super handy and cool and perfect for meal planners. If you have questions, let me know!

    wimsey club arm chair from dot & bo by @janemaynard

    As you know, I’m slowly working on furnishing and designing our living room. Well, I just bought a chair to add to the space and I am SO EXCITED about it. It’s the Wimsey Club Arm Chair from Dot & Bo. I kind of just want to show it off (isn’t it purrrrty?), but also I had such a fabulous shopping experience with Dot & Bo I felt like I should shout it out from the rooftops. So, I had my eye on this chair for a while, but was scared to pull the trigger. After two interior designers said that I should buy the chair THIS INSTANT, I finally went to do so but it was sold out. Well, when something is sold out on their site, there’s an “I want it” button, which brings you to a page which says something like “Let us know you want this chair via these various social media channels and we’ll see what we can do” so of course I immediately tweeted out my anguish over not getting this chair. Within hours I had an email from someone named Jessica, who was checking with their distributors to see if there were any more chairs available. When there were not, she was able to find out they would be getting it back in stock in about 2 months. THEN, as soon as it was available, I had an email from her letting me know. She was so nice and so helpful. Even after I bought the chair (and a lamp and some cute Swedish stuff), I received another email from another customer service person just checking in and letting me know she’d be tracking my order for me. AMAZING customer service, SUPER cute stuff. I am basically in love with Dot & Bo.

    Last but not least, here are my fun Cosmo food posts for the week!

    I think I’ve shared enough, now it’s your turn!


  9. Thursday, April 17

    Lindt Hot Chocolate – Super Easy and Super Delish!

    Okay, I know it’s Spring and everyone is thinking about carrot cake and lemonade. But my friend Nikki CB shared the coolest tip for easy hot chocolate with me and now I need to share it with you, too. RIGHT NOW. So, today we’re having hot chocolate. Hopefully you’re experiencing unseasonably cold weather wherever you are so you can enjoy this recipe pronto!

    lindt hot chocolate - easy and delicious!  from @janemaynard

    Get ready for the yummiest easy hot chocolate you’ll ever have. No finely chopping chocolate with a knife necessary!

    lindt hot chocolate - easy and delicious!  from @janemaynard

    Nikki was saying how you can visit Lindt chocolate stores or something and they make hot chocolate simply by dropping Lindt truffles right into hot milk. That’s it. As soon as she said it I realized how genius it is. After all, that is some darn good chocolate. Also, think about how those truffles just melt in your mouth. If they melt in your mouth, you better believe they’ll melt in hot milk.

    lindt hot chocolate - easy and delicious!  from @janemaynard

    I finally tried the trick and it worked like a charm. The other fun part of Lindt hot chocolate is that you can easily make different flavors of hot chocolate. White hot chocolate, caramel hot chocolate, dark hot chocolate, extra dark hot chocolate, milk hot chocolate. Whatever your favorite truffle flavor is, now it can be your favorite hot chocolate flavor.

    lindt hot chocolate - easy and delicious!  from @janemaynard

    Thank you, Nikki. And you’re welcome, everyone else.

    (>> Find out more…)


  10. Spring Break Part 2: Anaheim!

    Time to share how we finished up our Spring Break last week! Once we were done having fun in Los Angeles, we hopped in the car and headed south 1 hour for a visit to Anaheim.

    I think in most people’s minds when you hear the word “Anaheim” you automatically think “Disneyland.” Disneyland is most certainly in Anaheim, but there is actually tons to do there in addition to visiting the Magical Kingdom. In the last few years the downtown area of Anaheim has been completely rebuilt, featuring local shops and restaurants. The Anaheim area has so much to offer (museums, sports, amusement parks, Medieval Times), you could easily spend a week staying in Anaheim and keeping incredibly busy! The other great thing is that there are so many hotels in town to choose from and many of them have shuttles that can take you to all the places you want to go. It’s basically a town built for vacation with the family and we have always had a blast when we visit. This time around we only had two days, so we visited Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland. We also had the chance to stay in two hotels.

    What We Did!

    visit to knott's berry farm by @janemaynard

    Knott’s Berry Farm: Here’s the thing about Knott’s Berry Farm – it is totally fun, less expensive than Disneyland, and NEVER as crowded. As much as we absolutely love Disneyland, it is almost always filled to the brim with people, which can be a little overwhelming. Even on a busy day at Knott’s there is room to breathe and the lines don’t take hours to get through. Plus, our family loves Peanuts, and Camp Snoopy is perfect for the little ones. We also had lunch at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant, where it all began. When you eat there, just eat a dozen biscuits and a few pieces of fried chicken and you should be all set. DELISH.

    visit to knott's berry farm by @janemaynard

    On our visit this time around we did a few things we had never done before, including the horse-drawn carriage ride and a ride on the narrow gauge steam engine. The carriage ride was actually really fun and the kids and I got to sit on top in front by the drivers. The steam engine was incredibly cool – it was the last working narrow-gauge engine in the U.S. when the Knott family purchased it for their park, and the cars you ride on are 130 years old. Owen is seriously obsessed with trains, so we chatted with the engineers for a bit and it was fascinating.

    visit to knott's berry farm by @janemaynardThis is the little train ride in Camp Snoopy, not the big steam engine. But the kids all look so happy here, I had to share. And, yes, this was the vacation of train rides. SO MANY TRAINS.

    Cate and I also did the Ghostrider roller coaster for the first time and, um, HOLY HEADACHE. Yes, that pile of wood you see below is a roller coaster. But Cate thought it was awesome, even “wilder than a buckin’ bronco!”

    the ghostrider at knott's berry farm by @janemaynard

    visit to knott's berry farm by @janemaynardWhen you’re 2 and you’re tired you just sit where you are.

    Disneyland: There is just something about Disneyland. Sure, it costs about a billion dollars to go. Sure, it’s almost always crowded. But it is also always magical. Everything there is just so well done and beautiful. We spent most of our day on this visit in California Adventure. Cate got to ride on Radiator Springs Racers THREE times (thanks to fast passes and the parent swap passes when you have a stroller). I think she also rode on California Screamin’ 4 times. Crazy girl!

    california screamin' at california adventure at disneyland by @janemaynard

    Cars Land will forever be my favorite part of visiting the Disney parks. It is just so BEAUTIFUL, both day and night. And the rides are all awesome.

    cars land at california adventure at disneyland by @janemaynard

    Oh, one more thing to mention! We have never ridden the entire train ride at Disneyland until this visit. The kids LOVED it. We had no idea there were dioramas at the end of the ride as you arrive back at Main Street. We actually circled the park twice before the kids would let us get off! Then we watched the parade from the train station above Main Street and it was perfect!

    visit to disneyland and california adventure by @janemaynard

    Where We Stayed!

    Ayres Hotel in Anaheim: Our first hotel was the Ayres Hotel in Anaheim. The hotel is located across the street from the Honda Center where the Ducks play, and just a block away from where the Angels play. It’s just a few minutes’ drive to Disneyland and all the other attractions, and the ART shuttle runs by the hotel if you don’t want to drive to those places. The rooms were very nice and sort of “fancy” – when Anna stepped off the elevator and looked down the hallway for the first time she exclaimed, “This hotel is BEAUTIFUL!” We stayed in a King VIP room, which had a king-sized bed and a pull-out couch, as well as plenty of room for the kids and all of our luggage. The pool was small but perfect for kids and they had a great time swimming. Plus, we got to see Owen’s true colors at the hot tub.

    owen wooing the ladies at the ayres hotel in anaheim by @janemaynardDon’t hate the playa, hate the game.

    The Ayres also had a fabulous full breakfast, with the busiest yet friendliest chef I’ve ever met! The kids were in heaven at the breakfast and I think it might have been their favorite part of the trip. (Kids are so funny!) The staff was incredibly helpful and friendly at every turn.

    The Anabella Hotel: For our last two nights we stayed at the Anabella, sister hotel to the Carousel (where we originally thought we would be staying). The Anabella is across the street from Disneyland and was just a short 10-minute walk to the park gate. The walk was also really lovely and un-crowded, running along the backside of California Adventure (rather than Harbor Blvd). We’ve gone to Disneyland both ways – staying in a hotel across the street and having to drive or shuttle ourselves in. If you’re going to Disneyland and can swing a hotel within walking distance of the park, DO IT. Parking at Disney is such a pain. Being able to just walk to the park is HEAVEN. They’re building even more hotels across the street from Disneyland, so there will be even more options in coming years.

    the anabella hotel in anaheim by @janemaynard

    The Anabella Hotel was a beautiful property, with a great pool and restaurant. We stayed in a Concierge room, which is an L-shaped room with a king bed, double bed and a pull-out couch. Our room had its own patio area, which was really lovely, too. After we put the kids to bed, Nate went outside to read on the patio in the perfect southern California air! The rooms were pretty, although we could hear our {noisy} neighbors pretty well and the bathroom wasn’t super easy to use, with practically no counter space or storage areas. There is a very long vanity area outside of the bathroom, however, which is nice for getting ready while someone else is actually using the bathroom. We had that counter covered with all of our stuff from the road trip – basically we are really good at using up all available storage space! (Note: The noisy neighbors arrived on our last night. The front desk quickly shut down the craziness at night and were very attentive to the situation. The neighbors were noisy again the next morning, but we were leaving so we didn’t request a new room or anything, but I’m certain the staff would have worked with us on that as well if we had asked.) Like the Ayres, the staff were very nice and friendly everywhere we went on the property.

    So, there you have it! A Spring Break packed with FUN. (And Nate and I even survived!)

    Knott’s Berry Farm provided us with tickets and lunch. Disney and the Anaheim Visitor and Convention Bureau provided us with media passes for Disneyland and California Adventure. We received discounted rates for our hotel stays at the Ayres and The Anabella. All opinions are my own! Anaheim is fun, fun, fun!