Sunday, June 29
Hi, everyone! Still on vacation, still not planning a menu! We are having a great time here on the East Coast and, as usual, it’s almost shocking how green it is out here. We definitely miss all these trees. I’m going to share some of our food finds with you this week, but for today just a quick snap of sunset over Mount Monadnock.
You know the drill…please share your menu for the week! I need you to inspire one another since I’m a useless vacationer!
Friday, June 27
Happy Friday! We are having loads of fun here in New Hampshire. Well, besides the mosquitos. I could do without the mosquitos. But the views make up for it. And the fun with family, including Nate’s Ninja turtle-themed birthday party complete with GI Joes. Also, on a related note, we flew out via jetBlue and basically I love them more than ever. That’s all. They’re the best.
Here is my post for Babble this week:
And food fun on Cosmo!
- 20 Totally Crazy Rice Crispy Treat Recipes
- 10 Surprising Things to Do With Pudding
- 10 Cool Frozen Yogurt Recipes You Need This Summer
Lastly, I’m going to be sharing some yummy milk recipes on Babble in the next few weeks in support a new Disney web series called Citizen Kid, which features ordinary kids doing extraordinary things. Below is the first episode and it’s super cute. Click here to see more great stories! I’ll be sure link to my milk recipes when they go live, too!
Alright, you know the drill – share your own stuff!!!
Thursday, June 26
We’ve all been there. You have beautiful, perfectly-ripe avocados ready to be used…but you’re not ready to use them! Oftentimes it is simply because all of the avocados get ripe at the same time, but you don’t need all of the avocados at the same time. I do this frequently – I stock up on avocados when they’re on sale and then, suddenly one day, they are all ready to go but I just don’t need them all at once. Never fear, just because the avocados are ripe and ready to go doesn’t mean you have to use them right away. You have two options. I use both of these techniques all the time and they both work great! 1. Refrigerate the Avocados: I learned this trick on Good Eats over ten years ago and do it all the time. If you’re planning to use the ripe avocados within a week or so, just put them in the fridge, whole and uncut. The cold will essentially freeze the avocados in time, preventing them ripening further but keeping them nice and yummy for eating. This is perfect if you know you’ll want to use the avocados within a week or so and the avocados will work whether you plan to use them as chunks/slices or in guacamole. 2. Freeze the Avocados: That’s right you can freeze avocados! I learned this trick from my friends at California Avocados. This works great if you are not going to be using the avocados relatively soon and if you plan to use them in mashed up form (i.e. for guacamole). I recorded a little video for you to show you how to prep ripe avocados for the freezer! Also, in case you missed it the first time, this is hands down the best way ever to cut and pit an avocado. Life changing. Happy avocado eating and storing!
Tuesday, June 24
The 4th of July is the biggest sales time of year for avocados. Avocados are in season and, well, apparently we like guacamole on the Fourth! In anticipation of us all using a lot of avocados over the next week, I thought I’d do a couple avocado posts. Today I am going to share with you my new favorite kitchen gadget: the avocado masher!
When I visited the California Avocado groves last month, they kindly gave us all a goody bag, which included this masher. It’s essentially a mini potato masher, about 6 1/2 inches long. I’ve always used my beloved pastry blender to mash up avocados and thought that it would be my favorite tool for the job from now until the end of time. I was wrong. My new pint-sized potato masher is PERFECT for mashing up avocados. It’s just the right size and works beautifully. Plus, it’s easy to rinse off and clean, with no tiny holes, seams or hinges to deal with.
The tag on my mini masher actually said “avocado masher” on it. I looked around online and couldn’t find the exact one that I own, but there seem to be lots of good options if you do a little googling. This avocado/mini masher on Amazon is 8-inches long, so just a smidge bigger than mine, but I’m sure it would work great, too. When you’re out and about shopping, just keep an eye out for your perfect avocado masher. I’m sure you’ll love this little gadget as much as I do!
Sunday, June 22
Happy Sunday! Sooooo…I’m not planning a menu this week because it’s vacation time! We are headed to the northeast to visit all the grandparents and we are SO excited for our trip! Toyota will be lending us a hybrid Highlander again this year for our trip for the miles and miles and miles of driving we’ll be doing.
This is one of the few weeks of the year that I let myself take a break from meal planning. Which makes you sharing your menus even more important! We need your menus so you can get inspiration from one another! Please share your marvelous menus, no matter how fancy or plain!
See you on the east coast!
Friday, June 20
Happy Friday! I hope everyone is having a great summer. Our summer break is off to a great start, well, if you don’t count Owen putting a bead up his nose and having to run to the doctor to get it out. At least I got to experience that parenting rite of passage, right?
Okay, so, my posts on Babble this week are really cool and you have to go check them out! I shared some of the food and drink we had at our lip sync party last week, which was delicious!
How to Create an Italian Soda Bar: For real, I LOVED this. The sodas were delicious, there were so many ways to personalize your drink and it was pretty! Also, the Italian soda bar is appealing to kids and adults alike. Such a great thing to do for parties! Be sure to click through to see how to do it.
And here are my fun food posts on Cosmo this week!
- 18 Tasty Ways to Eat Breakfast on the Go
- 10 Awesome Desserts You Can Make in the Microwave
- The 15 Best Chocolate Chip Cookies You Will Ever Eat
It’s show and tell, which means the whole class gets to participate – share your stuff!
Tuesday, June 17
A few weeks ago my parents were staying at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach (the same hotel we stayed at a few years ago and LOVED). My mom was a head honcho for a work meeting they were holding at the hotel, so the Hyatt delivered a cheese and charcuterie tray to the room as a gift. Lucky for my mom we were all there to help her eat it! (Don’t worry, we left her a few bites.)
On the tray was a jar of sweet tomato jam. Between the six of us, the jar was empty by the end of our snacking and, ever since that day, I’ve been thinking about that tomato jam. Then my friend Gaby mentioned on social media that she was going to do a bruschetta bar for a party, which I then decided to do for my lip sync battle party last Friday night, giving me the perfect excuse to finally try a sweet tomato jam recipe myself.
Not to brag, but the tomato jam I made was just as good as what we had at the Hyatt. And thank goodness since I pretty much constantly crave it now.
The recipe is really simple but oh-so-scrumptious. The only labor-intensive part of the process is prepping the tomatoes, which isn’t hard, just a little time consuming. But it is WORTH IT. And, for those of you into canning, tomato jam can be canned, although you may want to follow the original recipe on Epicurious that has twice as much sugar and, therefore is more conducive to preserving. (Thanks to commenter Alice and my friend Aimee for input on this!)
So, what is tomato jam good for anyway? Everything! It’s a great topping for bread and pairs beautifully with all kinds of cheeses. It’s also a great condiment for just about anything – sandwiches, burgers, whatever your heart desires! It’s sweet but with a savory flavor to it. It’s basically pure deliciousness.
I found the recipe on Epicurious but cut waaaaaaaay back on the sugar. My jam was still super sweet so I can’t even imagine what their recipe would taste like! 😉Tomato JamPrep timeCook timeTotal timeAdapted from EpicuriousAuthor: Jane MaynardRecipe type: AppetizerServes: 2 cupsIngredients
- 4 pounds plum or heirloom tomatoes (I used a variety of heirlooms, all different colors!)
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon paprika (smoked paprika if you have it)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Make an ice bath in a separate bowl and set to the side. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water in batches, boiling for about 1 minute. Remove tomatoes from the boiling water and place directly in the ice bath. Remove the skins by hand right in the ice water, leaving the skins in the water. I would empty the ice water bowl between batches. By removing the skins in the ice water bowl you cut down on some serious messiness in the kitchen!
- Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise, seed them, then chop into pieces.
- Place chopped tomatoes in a large pot. Mix with sugar and stir well. And let stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Bring tomatoes and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat and let cook for 15 minutes.
- Add salt, pepper and parika and cook until thickened, about 10-15 more minutes.
This post was sponsored by Q Squared NYC. Pictured: The Heritage Small Bowl and the Cool Montecito Tapas Plate. I am as addicted to my Q Squared Dishes as I am to this tomato jam, by the way!
Sunday, June 15
Happy Father’s Day! All Nate wants today is to surf and watch the World Cup. Done and done! We’ll feed him some yummy food, too!
– Corn chips
– Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
– Takeout night
– Hamburgers on the grill
– Watermelon and salad
– Breakfast for dinner (details TBD)
You know the drill, it’s time for everyone to share their menu for the week! Thank you!!!
Posted by Jane Maynard at 7:36 am 22 Comments
Categories: weekly menus Tags: dinner plans, free printable, meal plan, menu plan, PRINTABLE MEAL PLAN, shopping list, weekly menu, weekly menu planning |
Friday, June 13
Tonight I am hosting a Lip Sync Battle/Deaf Man’s Karaoke party at my house. Why? Because I’m crazy and I am good at convincing other people to do crazy things. It should be FUN. I can’t tell you what song I’ll be performing, but I can say it will be a lip sync. I will also be setting up a bruschetta bar and a make-your-own Italian soda bar, both of which I will write about next week. Yummy stuff. In honor of tonight, here is my favorite lip sync battle from Jimmy Fallon (although, Emma Stone’s was pretty amazing, too. Oh, and John Krasinski was hilarious. Okay, I don’t have a favorite.)
Here are my posts on Cosmo this week:
- 15 Peanut Butter Cookies You’ll Want To Eat Every Day (yesterday was National Peanut Butter Cookie Day – yep, that’s a thing, and now you have 15 recipes to celebrate with!)
- 18 Crazy Cute Funfetti Recipes
- 16 Ways to Have a Piña Colada at Every Meal
And on Babble:
Okay, everybody, sharing time! Your turn for show and tell!
Wednesday, June 11
This past March, Julie from the food blog The Little Kitchen shared a recipe for flank steak with chimichurri butter. As soon as I saw her post I knew I had to make it. In fact, if I remember correctly, I made it for dinner that very night! (PS: Julie is super sweet and cute and I want to take her home in my pocket. And also make her cook dinner for me. Do you mind, Julie?)
So, Julie’s recipe is wonderful. The marinade was perfect and the chimichurri butter was delish! Be warned – the herbed butter packs a lot of flavor, a little bit goes a long way! Please visit Julie’s site to get the recipe for the marinade and for the chimichurri butter. You will not be disappointed.
I used Julie’s recipe for the chimchurri butter to top the steak. I didn’t have the Land O’ Lakes butter/olive oil mixture she made it with, so I used half butter and half olive oil and it came out great!
Today I wanted to highlight the technique Julie used for cooking the flank steak because the steak came out perfectly and the texture was amazing. I know summer has started and we’re all itching to use the grill, but you don’t need the grill for this recipe, which means you can make it any time of year! You do need a grill pan, however. If you don’t have a non-stick grill pan, I recommend it. I love mine and use it all the time to grill chicken!
So, the flank steak. This technique is pretty much foolproof! I just wish I had taken photos of the steak after I cut it so you could see the beautiful color inside, but you’ll just have to take my word for it. It was gorgeous!Cooking Flank SteakPrep timeCook timeTotal timeI learned this technique from Julie at The Little Kitchen.Author: Jane MaynardIngredients
- Marinated Beef Flank Steak
- Olive or vegetable oil
- Grill pan
- Marinate the flank steak at room temperature for about half an hour before cooking. If necessary, cut the steak in half so that the pieces fit in your grill pan. Use your favorite marinade! I loved the marinade that Julie used and shared on The Little Kitchen. Scrumptious!
- Heat the grill pan on medium high for about 5 minutes.
- Drizzle the pan with a swig or two of olive or vegetable oil and rotate pan to spread the oil around.
- Add steak to the pan, sort of moving the steak around for a few seconds at the beginning to spread the oil evenly beneath the surface of the steak.
- Cook on each side for about 3 minutes. Then, cook on each side for 1 more minute per side.
- Remove from pan and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting. Cut steak into slices, against the grain, and serve!