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  1. Sunday, June 28

    Week 440 Menu

    Hey everybody! I’ve gotta be honest, I do not feel like planning a dinner meal plan today. I am in summer mode and just want to laze about. Good thing I have the blog to keep me on task!

    week 440 weekly menu from @janemaynard including free printable meal plan and shopping list!

    MONDAY:
    – Prosciutto & Sweet Potato Naan Pizza

    TUESDAY:
    Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwiches
    – Fruit and carrots

    WEDNESDAY:
    Carnitas Tacos
    Guacamole and chips

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SATURDAY:
    Chicken Pasta Salad
    – Rolls

    SUNDAY:
    – Leftovers or breakfast for dinner

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

    You know the drill – share your menus!!!! Thanks so much and have a great week!


  2. Thursday, June 25

    Snapshots from Malawi: Why I Love Heifer International

    Over the last six weeks as I have talked non-stop to anyone who will listen about my trip to Malawi (seriously, don’t ask me about the trip unless you have some time on your hands), I am discovering that not many people have heard of Heifer International. One of my biggest takeaways from the Malawi trip was that HEIFER IS AMAZING, so I wanted to take a moment today to share what exactly it is they do!

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheifer

    Years ago at Christmastime our aunt gave us a gift from Heifer, which meant a donation was made in our name to a family in need. It was the first time I had ever received a gift of this type, so the name “Heifer” has stayed with me. It hasn’t been until fairly recently, however, that I’ve really began to have a lot of experience with Heifer International. The more I get involved the more impressed I am with this non-profit organization.

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheifer

    In a nutshell, Heifer International places livestock with families in over 30 countries (including the U.S.) and has been doing so for over 70 years. Heifer’s goal is to end hunger and poverty through the “teach a man to fish” philosophy, and it works. The core of their model is “Passing on the Gift.” Families who receive a gift from Heifer are expected to pass it on, both by sharing their training as well as giving away the first female offspring from the livestock they receive. This not only extends the original gift but gives families the opportunity to invest in their own communities in a meaningful and sustainable way. And, as I discovered in Malawi, many of these families pass on livestock to others in their community more than just once!

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheifer

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheifer

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheiferI know I’ve already shared Luiza with you, but here are a few more pictures to give you further insight into her life

    Economic independence is the key to meaningful development and reducing extreme poverty, but it is one of the hardest things to accomplish. Heifer has found ways to do just that and we saw firsthand on our trip to Malawi how communities are being transformed in sustainable and long-term ways.

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheiferLeft: Josephine, who has started more than 15 savings and loan groups, thanks to training from Heifer; Right: Petronella Halwiindi, Country Director for Heifer Malawi, who is one of my favorite people EVER

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheiferThe chief of Gomani village (in the brightly colored shirt) addresses our delegation, explaining the impact of Heifer’s work on the village at large. I kid you not, “We Are the World” was playing on a radio in the background while he spoke. Coincidence? I think not. This is the same village where people were singing and dancing the WHOLE TIME we were there, at least an hour. Gomani wins the Most Village Spirit superlative!

    One of the biggest reasons I think Heifer is so successful is because they work within the communities they serve. Heifer employees on the ground are locals, so they understand the culture and politics of the communities where they are working. For example, in Malawi the Heifer team works with tribal chiefs to identify families that would be the best recipients of livestock. Families that are chosen are vetted thoroughly and often go on to become lead farmers in their villages, like Mr. Mtika, whom I wrote about a few weeks ago.

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheiferHeifer lead farmer Mr. Mtika

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheiferMrs. Mtika and daughter Dorothy bid our group farewell. (Take note of Mrs. Mtika’s skirt.)

    I also love that Heifer isn’t just about giving away cows and goats and calling it a day. Heifer employs many different “interventions” in the countries where they work, including disaster risk reduction, low carbon technology, village savings & loan groups, agroforestry, irrigation, livestock (which I already described), seed systems, conservation & agriculture, post harvest management, gender & family, and more. As Heifer works within communities, they identify the best interventions for each situation. For example, in Malawi they have assisted in creating milk bulking co-ops where farmers can sell their milk. We visited two of these co-ops, which were impressive facilities that were led and run by Malawians.

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheifer

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheifer

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheifer

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheiferPhotos of milk bulking co-op in Mchinji district. (Check out the skirt!)

    On the last day in Malawi we visited three farmer families in the Thoylo district. The first farmer had been working with Heifer for 6 months, the second was in the process of building a pen for livestock she would soon be receiving from Heifer, and the third farmer had not yet begun working with Heifer. I keep using the word amazing, but it was amazing to see the transformation these families go through when working with Heifer. The differences in quality of life between the first and third families was striking and it made me excited for the woman who would soon be working with Heifer and needed the help so desperately.

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheiferJanuary, began working with Heifer 6 months ago to gain additional support for the cow she received through FDIP, a government project

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheiferRhoda, who is currently preparing her pen to receive a dairy cow distributed by Heifer International under the MDIP project 

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheiferGertrude, a widowed mother of six who lost half of her home to catastrophic rains earlier this year; her cow produces significantly less milk than the cows owned by Heifer farmers; Gertrude will soon begin working with Heifer for additional training and support (Photo credit: Jeannine Harvey, ONE)

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheifer

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheiferRomani, a Heifer farmer, and his wife; His initial gift of livestock was a “pass on”

    Lastly, the Malawians we met who have worked with Heifer International really love Heifer. A lot. You can see it in their faces, in their songs, in their embraces. You can see the personal connections the Heifer employees have with the villagers. Farmers at all our stops were wearing Heifer fabric, fabric they bought at cost from Heifer. You could tell that Heifer farmers were incredibly proud to be Heifer farmers.

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheifer

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheiferWe saw Heifer fabric everywhere we went!

    I could go on and on, but I’m going to resist the urge to write a book and just keep this to a really long blog post. 😉 I’ll end with this: If you’re ever looking for an organization to donate to, Heifer is an excellent choice. Donor money is used responsibly and effectively and it is truly changing people’s lives.

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheifer

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheiferLucia, one of Mr. Mtika’s neighbors and recipient of a “pass on” gift

    Plus, it’s fun to go “shopping” with Heifer! My kids gave Nate and their grandpas animals for Father’s Day this year. The dads had a choice between flocks of chicks, ducks, geese or honeybees. We ended up gifting chicks and ducks and the kids loved it! There are many ways to support Heifer – click here to see more!

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheifer

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheiferThe Mtika’s goat pen…and goats!

    I am now a Heifer Lifer, just like the people I met in Malawi. If I wore headscarves, you’d better believe I’d have one made from Heifer fabric! I’ll just have to wear my Heifer t-shirt instead. Not quite as festive but still gets the message across!

    snapshots from malawi: the work of heifer international #oneheiferGomani village (Photo credit: Allison Stephens, Heifer International)

    In case you were wondering, a “heifer” is a young, female cow that has not yet borne a calf. Now you’re smarter. You’re welcome.

    I traveled to Malawi as an expense-paid guest of The ONE Campaign (www.one.org) and Heifer International (www.heifer.org). We visited to see the economic progress—and the lives changed—made possible by U.S.-funded programs and Heifer International’s donor-supported programs.

    ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organization of more than 6 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Not politically partisan, ONE raises public awareness and presses political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programs. ONE is not a grant-making organization and does not solicit funding from the public or receive government funding.

    Heifer International’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. For more than 70 years, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in more than 30 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant.


  3. Tuesday, June 23

    My Smart Girls, All of the Feelings, and Inside Out Homemade Butterfinger Bars

    recipe for inside out homemade butterfinger bars from @janemaynard

    I have two very smart girls. Smart girls who make posters like this when they are playing:

    inside out homemade butterfinger bars from @janemaynard

    I mean, seriously. Just look at that poster. That is how they play. To say the kids and I were excited about the new Pixar movie Inside Out is an understatement. A movie all about navigating your feelings is totally up their alley! Plus, I think I may have a couple of future psychotherapists on my hands. (When I found that paper, it seriously cracked me up.)

    "inside out" homemade buttefinger bars by @janemaynardWe were going for “Joy” in the group shot, but Owen was apparently overcome by “Sadness”; Anna was going to do all 5 emotions for me, but we only got “Disgust” and a very happy looking “Angry” out of her

    Well, we went and saw Inside Out today. It was wonderful in so many ways and I want to give it all of the awards right NOW. Here is Inside Out in a nutshell: take the last few, way-too-emotional minutes of Toy Story 3, where all you can do is sob as you think about the bittersweetness of growing up, and turn it into a 1 hour 42 minute feature film. Needless to say I cried through ALL of Inside Out, from the first minute to the last. So did Cate. We think Anna did, too, but she won’t fess up to it. (Apparently Disgust is overpowering Sadness in her brain today.)

    recipe for inside out homemade butterfinger bars from @janemaynardThis step of the recipe is perfect for Anger!

    Once the movie was done, we were all feeling a little emotional. It was actually a rough couple of minutes where none of us were at the top of our game. And then we had to stop at the store. Owen, who was crazy tired, got really mad about our errand. (Why, hello, Anger! Nice to see you!) But then I thought to myself, “Um, duh, let’s make this fun!” (Actually that wasn’t me, it was Joy stepping up to the control panel in my brain.) Owen was the most angry about our errand, so I started identifying his feelings. “Oh, man, Anger is at the controls right now. Wait, I think Sadness just took over. Whoops, now we have Disgust. [Owen looks up and sees a giant blow-up shark.] And Joy is back!” The kids and I couldn’t help but laugh, especially since Owen’s emotions were changing at an impressively quick pace! Suddenly all was right with the world.

    recipe for inside out homemade butterfinger bars from @janemaynardrecipe for inside out homemade butterfinger bars from @janemaynard

    After we were able to laugh and let Joy take the reins, I started asking Cate and Anna what they learned from the movie. Cate responded immediately with, “You shouldn’t let your emotions take control.” Perfect. The conversation evolved from there and made me want to cry {again} and reminded me just how smart my smart girls are. Seriously, they are SMART and, even though emotions are a hard thing to deal with, I think they will have the upper hand as they navigate the choppy waters of growing up.

    recipe for inside out homemade butterfinger bars from @janemaynard

    In honor of Inside Out, going to the movies and chocolate (I’m always willing to honor chocolate), I have a recipe today for Inside Out Homemade Butterfinger Bars. To say this recipe is a labor of love is an understatement. It requires time and patience and you will probably feel Disgust, Anger, Fear AND Sadness while making them, but Joy will take center stage once you take that first bite. I promise.

    recipe for inside out homemade butterfinger bars from @janemaynard

    Homemade Inside Out Butterfingers
     
    Inspired by the movie Inside Out and the classic movie candy Butterfinger. This is a time-consuming recipe but oh-so-delicious!
    Author:
    Serves: 42
    Ingredients
    • 24 ounces good quality dark chocolate (the bars you see pictured used 24 ounces of chocolate - the chocolate was quite thick, if you want it thinner you could probably go down to as low as 18 ounces of chocolate total)
    • ½ cup water
    • 1 cup sugar
    • ½ cup light corn syrup
    • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
    Instructions
    1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside, along with an additional piece of parchment paper on the side.
    2. In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar and cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add the corn syrup and stir well. Raise heat to medium-high and clip on a candy thermometer. (I used my instant read thermometer, which worked fine, but I really wish I had a clip on candy thermometer because it takes time for the mixture to get hot and I had to hold the probe the whole time.)
    3. While the mixture is heating, place the peanut butter in a small bowl and heat in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, until melted. Set aside.
    4. When the sugar mixture reaches 280º F (this takes a WHILE, probably about 30 minutes), remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in the peanut butter, mixing thoroughly. Immediately pour the mixture onto the lined baking sheet. Working QUICKLY (the stuff starts to set up fast!), put the other piece of parchment paper on top and press down, using a hot pad on top of the parchment paper as the mixture below is very hot. Press out flat to about ¼" thick.
    5. Let harden completely. Place large pieces of the homemade butterfinger in a thick, gallon-sized ziploc bag, then bang the candy with a hammer. You want small pieces, but you don't want to pulverize it to a powder, so work carefully. Set butterfinger pieces aside (you'll end up with about 4 cups of butterfinger pieces).
    6. Line a 13" x 9" baking dish with parchment paper. Cover the bottom surface of the lined dish with a layer of butteringer pieces, about 1 - 1½ cups. Set aside.
    7. Now you need to temper the chocolate. This also takes time, so get ready!
    8. Bring a medium pot of water to a simmer. Place a dry, clean bowl on top and add about 12 ounces of the chocolate to the bowl. Melt the chocolate and cook it over the simmering water until it reaches 115º - 120º F.
    9. Remove the bowl from the heat, add the remaining unmelted chocolate, stir, and let it cool to the low 80ºs F. Do NOT get any water in the chocolate. Stir regularly or almost constantly while the chocolate cools. This process took about 45 minutes for me.
    10. Once the temperature drops to the low 80s, place the bowl back over the simmering water and bring the temperature back up to between 88ºF - 91º F. (Milk chocolate tempers at 86º - 88º F, so if you subbed milk chocolate for the dark chocolate, please use this temperature.) Do NOT let the temperature go above 91ºF or you have to start the WHOLE PROCESS OVER. Once the temp reaches 88º - 91ºF, immediately remove from heat.
    11. Pour the tempered chocolate over the butterfinger pieces in the baking dish. Spread the chocolate out evenly, then sprinkle the top with more butterfinger pieces, about 1 - 1½ cups more. Be sure to press the butterfinger pieces into the chocolate while it is still soft.
    12. Let sit at room temperature until chocolate has completely hardened. Cut into small bars with a long, sharp knife, pressing straight down firmly when cutting.
    13. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
    Notes
    This makes a lot of bars and they are very rich, so it serves a lot of people. It really depends on how big you cut the bars what the final yield is. I recommend cutting it into 6x7 rows and columns.
    You will have about a cup or so of butterfinger pieces left over. Use these however you like...I'm thinking tossed in a batch of chocolate chip cookies would be delish!

     


  4. Sunday, June 21

    Week 439 Menu

    Nate and I are back from Soulstice Retreat and my parents are in town and it’s all crazy and we still don’t even know what we’re doing for Father’s Day dinner! But I’m going to quickly pound out a menu. I don’t have my regular computer, so I’m going old school with this week’s menu post…no graphic, no PDF. Next week we’ll be back in business!

    MONDAY:
    Turkey Boursin Baguettes
    – Fresh fruit and chips

    TUESDAY:
    Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
    Guacamole and Tortilla Chips

    WEDNESDAY:
    Homemade Pizza (flavor TBD)

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Hotel night with Grandma! Eat out

    SATURDAY:
    – More fun with Grandma – more eating out 🙂

    SUNDAY:
    – BBQ on the Grill Night!
    – Salads and fruit

    Now it’s time for all of you to share your menus! Please leave it in the comments and I’ll love you forever! 😉

    And Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!!


  5. Friday, June 19

    Friday Show and Tell

    Happy Friday, everyone! I am currently sitting in a beautiful hotel room at Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley, Utah and feeling incredibly spoiled. I am at the Albion Fit Soulstice Retreat and it is the BEST. I wish you could all be here with me, especially because the food has been marvelous and the gift bag is off the HOOK.

    Today I have some really fun, perfect-for-summer food links!

    homemade inside out junior mints

    First off, I created a recipe for homemade “Inside Out” Junior Mints for Babble that is AWESOME. You need to make them and then go see the movie!

    And, TWO posts about popsicle for Parade’s Community Table this week. It’s summertime!

    As usual, please feel free to share your own links, recipes, whatever!

     


  6. Tuesday, June 16

    The #1 Freezer Jam Tip You Need If You Plan to Use Sure-Jell Pectin

    If you’ve been around here for a while, you know I make freezer jam every year. It’s my favorite kind of jam. We never buy jam at the store. We’re completely spoiled and addicted to freezer jam and I blame my mom.

    instructions for making raspberry and strawberry freezer jam from @janemaynard

    ANYWAY…most years when I make my many batches of jam, I share a new tip or two on the blog. Far and away the most awesome freezer jam tip I gave was how many berries to buy for making strawberry or raspberry freezer jam. I don’t know what I would do without that post – I use it every year! If you want to read through the rest of the tips, click here – there is a lot of handy info in all those posts.

    This year’s tip, however, is CRITICAL to success if you’ve ever tried to replicate what I do. Every year I say the following: “Just buy Sure-Jell pectin and follow the instructions for freezer jam. Works like a charm!” Well, DO NOT DO THAT. This year I cracked open my box of pectin and immediately noticed the directions were different. I did a lot of google searching and discovered that last year Kraft inexplicably changed the directions. They have since fixed the problem, but apparently there are still boxes out there with the wrong directions inside. If you follow the wrong directions (which tell you to mix the sugar with the pectin and water and then boil the three together), your jam will absolutely not turn out. So, I’m going to put the CORRECT directions here on the blog, mostly for my peace of mind. I really don’t want you buying bucket loads of berries only to have your jam bomb on account of me telling you to use the directions in the box. Argh!

    Also, lest you think I am a domestic goddess (because I am not), my raspberry jam didn’t come out this year. It’s more like raspberry sauce than jam, but it still tastes like heaven, so whatever.

    With that vote of confidence (I swear this recipe works 99.99999% of the time!), here are the instructions for raspberry and strawberry freezer jam!

    Raspberry or Strawberry Freezer Jam
     
    Instruction for using Sure-Jell pectin to make raspberry or strawberry freezer jam. If you want to make another kind of jam, the instructions on the inside of the box have a chart indicating the amount of berries and sugar needed. Be sure that you follow the directions below for making the jam, however, as Kraft misprinted the jam technique in 2014.
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • FOR STRAWBERRY JAM: 2 cups crushed strawberries + 4 cups sugar
    • FOR RASPBERRY JAM: 3 cups crushed raspberries + 5¼ cups sugar
    • FOR BOTH KINDS OF JAM: 1 box Sure-Jell Pectin
    • FOR BOTH KINDS OF JAM: ¾ cup cold water
    Instructions
    1. Freezer jam can be stored in any airtight container. Make sure containers are clean and dry.
    2. Crush berries and, using a dry measuring cup, measure the exact amount of prepared fruit into a large bowl.
    3. Measure exact amount of sugar then add to the berries, stirring well. Let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    4. Once berries have been sitting for at least 5 minutes (to time everything properly), mix the pectin and the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat stirring constantly. Once mixture is boiling, boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
    5. Add to fruit-sugar mixture and stir constantly for 3 minutes, until sugar is dissolved (a few crystals may remain).
    6. Add to containers, leaving ½" space at the top for expansion when freezing. Cover with lids and let stand for 24 hours. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or freeze for up to 1 year. Thaw frozen jam in refrigerator.

     

     


  7. Sunday, June 14

    Week 438 Menu

    Hey everyone! I must be in full summer mode because I completely forgot to do Show and Tell on Friday and it’s almost 7:00 pm and I haven’t posted my menu yet! I have to admit, it’s kind of nice to relax a bit now that the craziness of school is over. I do have my menu planned, though. This weekend Nate and I will be heading to the Soulstice Retreat this weekend (he’s my +1, sorry everyone who volunteered for that spot!), so my parents are going to watch the kids. I planned a couple meals I can make ahead of time so hopefully it will be easy for them!

    week 438 weekly menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable meal plan and shopping list

    MONDAY:
    Spaghetti and Meatballs
    – Salad and garlic bread

    TUESDAY:
    Grammy’s Orange Chicken
    – Rice and Veggie

    WEDNESDAY:
    –  Leftovers

    THURSDAY:
    Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
    Guacamole and Tortilla Chips

    FRIDAY:
    Chili and Tortilla Chips

    SATURDAY:
    – Leftovers

    SUNDAY:
    – Eat out night (with family visiting!)

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

    Sharing time! Everyone tell us what you’re having for dinner this week! All menus welcome!


  8. Tuesday, June 9

    Coconut Almond Fudge Bars, i.e. Crack Bars

    Honestly, I don’t love using the word “crack” when describing food, but today I’m breaking my rule. Here’s the deal. Nate called these coconut almond fudge bars “crack” after his first bite, which is saying something. Nate is nothing like me. He can pass on dessert. I DON’T GET IT. But this dessert? He was rendered as useless as I was in its presence.  That alone should tell you how good these bars are!

    recipe for coconut almond fudge bars, i.e. crack bars, from @janemaynard

    I wanted to create a special recipe for my candied coconut almonds. The kids and I were watching some TV food show where they featured a bar from a bakery in Cambridge, MA. My bars are nothing like what we saw on TV, but they did get my creative juices flowing. And the result was, well, crack.

    recipe for coconut almond fudge bars, i.e. crack bars, from @janemaynard

    These bars have a crust that is sort of like a cookie crust but also really not at all like a cookie crust. The texture is coarser but still holds together and is all buttery and wonderful. Then comes a perfectly fudgy layer that could really be eaten on its own, but why would you do that when you can sandwich that fudgy goodness in between so much other goodness? The top layer consists of candied coconut almonds. Fair warning: coconut almond fudge bars can get a little messy because of that top layer. I recommend using a plate. But even if you don’t use a plate, the mess is totally worth it.

    recipe for coconut almond fudge bars, i.e. crack bars, from @janemaynard

    Also, these bars are better fully cooled because everything sets up so nicely. But if you cannot wait and have eat them warm out of the oven, use a fork and go ahead and indulge in the buttery, chocolatey, gooeyness.

    Feel free to call these bars whatever you like. Go the proper route and call them Coconut Almond Fudge Bars. Or go the Momofuku route and call them Crack Bars. I’m good either way.

    Coconut Almond Fudge Bars, i.e. Crack Bars
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    These bars are irresistible, with a cookie-like bottom layer, fudgy middle layer and candied coconut almonds on top!
    Author:
    Serves: 9-12
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 7 tablespoons salted butter, softened to room temperature
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour (use whole wheat for the best texture!)
    • ½ teaspoon +1/8 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk (this will be half of a 14-ounce can)
    • 1½ cups candied coconut almonds
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
    2. In a stand mixer or in a large bowl with hand mixer, beat together on medium speed the brown sugar and 6 tablespoons of the butter for 3-5 minutes, until well mixed and lighter in color.
    3. Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated.
    4. Add the flour, ½ teaspoon salt, and baking soda and mix just until combined.
    5. In an 8" x 8" baking dish, press the sugar-flour mixture into the bottom of the dish to form an even layer. Set aside.
    6. In a small bowl combine chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, remaining 1 tablespoon butter and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir well until all chocolate is melted.
    7. Spread chocolate mixture over the cookie layer.
    8. Sprinkle candied coconut almonds over the chocolate layer, then press that layer down into the chocolate with your fingers. Whatever doesn't get pushed into the chocolate will remain loose even after cooking, so you want to carefully work it to get as much pressed into the chocolate as possible. But don't worry if there are loose pieces!
    9. Cover dish with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
    10. Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting and serving.

     


  9. Sunday, June 7

    Week 437 Menu

    Hey everyone! This week is finally our last week of school. We’re all very excited. Well, except my 1st grader who cries thinking about the school year ending. It’s so sweet. Okay, on to menu planning!

    week 437 weekly dinner menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable meal plan and shopping list!

    MONDAY:
    – Take out night (CRAZY day, end of school madness!)

    TUESDAY:
    Grammy’s Orange Chicken
    – Rice and Veggie

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Mini Hamburgers
    Corn on the cob and chips

    THURSDAY:
    – Last Day of School! We have two parties that evening, so I think we’ll be snacking our way through dinner!

    FRIDAY:
    –  Leftovers

    SATURDAY:
    Grilled Naan Pizzas (flavors TBD)

    SUNDAY:
    Spaghetti and Meatballs
    – Salad and garlic bread

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

    Share, share, share! We all love reading your menus! Thank you!


  10. Thursday, June 4

    Friday Show and Tell – Brownies!

    It’s Friday! Woohoo! I’m all happy and giddy and stuff because we are finally painting our walls after replacing all the plumbing in our house last summer. Yes, that means we’ve had 38 patches on our walls for almost a year. I feel like we’re making good time, no? Anyway, the colors are coming out wonderfully, so I’ll have to do a follow up “how to pick paint” post to let you know what colors I used.

    brownie recipe roundup for weekly show and tell from @janemaynard

    I just have one thing to share today. BROWNIES. For Parade’s Community Table this week I pulled together a roundup of 15 creative, amazing, wonderful brownie recipes. You should go check them out. For those of who might want a more basic brownie, this brownie recipe from Ruth Reichl is hands down my favorite, which is saying something because I actually have a lot of “favorite” brownie recipes.

    Now, go forth and make brownies. And have a marvelous weekend. And share your stuff with us in the comments for Show and Tell!