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  1. Sunday, January 31

    Week 471 Weekly Menu

    Happy 9th Birthday, This Week for Dinner! That’s right, it has been exactly 9 years since I posted my first menu, along with a post explaining what the blog was all about (which, unsurprisingly, has evolved since then). There were no photos and my friend Margo was the only other person to comment on those first blog posts (thanks, Margo!). I had no idea what I was getting myself into that night when I hit publish and I could not have imagined the amazing experiences and people that would come into my life as a result. Including all of you faithfully posting menus every week, helping me and so many others get a handle on dinner. Every day I am grateful for this journey and look forward to it continuing for many years (forever? sure!). To celebrate the blog’s birthday, everyone should eat some chocolate. I’ll start with this devil’s food cake donut.

    Happy 9th Blog Birthday, This Week for Dinner!

    This week’s menu is made up pretty much exclusively of my family’s requests. I aim to please! (Sometimes.)

    Week 471 Weekly Menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable weekly meal plan and shopping list!

    MONDAY:
    Malibu melt wraps

    TUESDAY:
    Chicken Kai Pa Lo

    WEDNESDAY:
    Pizza

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Omelettes
    – Fresh fruit

    SATURDAY:
    – Take out night

    SUNDAY:
    – Curry in a Hurry (recipe to come!) with rice and veggies

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

    The best blog birthday present you can give me is to post your menu.


  2. Thursday, January 28

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #23: Thursday Recipe & Tip

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #23: Recipe and a Tip!

    Happy Thursday! Today on the podcast I make a little announcement (no, I am not pregnant). Be sure to listen so you know what’s going on!

    Shownotes:

    It’s easy to listen to the show!

    • Via the web: Just click play below!
    • Via an app: For iPhone and iPad, subscribe to the This Week for Dinner Podcast on iTunes and listen to it through the purple Podcasts app. For Android devices, use the Stitcher, Podcast Addict or Pocket Casts apps. In all cases, launch the app, then search for This Week for Dinner Podcast. The benefit of using an app: once downloaded, you can listen to the show without an Internet connection.

     Other Stuff!

     


  3. How to Slice a Bagel Without Cutting Off Your Hand

    Let’s talk bagels and knives. The combination is deadly…well, at least for fingers and hands. I would hazard a guess that avocados and bagels cause the most knife injuries in home kitchens. I have ZERO data to back me up on that claim, but that’s what I my gut tells me. And I have smart guts. ANYWAY…I have already shown you how to cut avocados the awesomest most safest way ever. But until this week I didn’t actually know the safest way to slice bagels. But now I do. And so, of course, I am showing you!

    How to Slice a Bagel Without Cutting Off Your Hand

    We have a really great bagel shop down the street where I get bagels for my kids’ lunches. (PS: The bagel shop is called Top of the Bagel and it is seriously good – New Jersey native approved!) I like to buy a dozen bagels at a time, slice them, cut them in half and then put the bagels in the freezer so they are fresh for lunches. This week, as I was prepping the bagels for the freezer, I had a revelation.

    I used to always slice the bagel (you know, like when you slice it to put in the toaster or spread with cream cheese) then cut it in half (my kids only eat a half a bagel for lunch). This week, however, I reversed the cutting order, cutting the bagel in half first and then slicing it. You guys. This way is so much easier and safer. How have I never thought of it before?!? From now on I will always do this, even if we are planning to eat the whole bagel.

    I will describe in detail what I’m talking about so there is no confusion and to ensure the survival of everyone’s fingers.

    Step 1: Cut the bagel in half, as shown in the photo below.

    How to Slice a Bagel Without Cutting Off Your Hand

    Step 2: Slice the bagel. To do this, when you place the bagel vertically on the cutting board to slice it, put it cut side (flat side) down on the board. Start to slice the bagel, pinching the top of bagel and holding it firmly with your non-knife hand. As soon as the top of the knife is level with the top of the bagel, flatten your hand and press down on the bagel to hold it in place. It works like a charm and never at any point is your hand or any of your fingers in way of the blade.

    How to Slice a Bagel Without Cutting Off Your Hand

    This is not rocket science, I know. And it was one of those “Duh!” moments for me and it is seriously helpful and so much safer.

    So, there you go. Happy bagel slicing!


  4. Monday, January 25

    This Week for Dinner #22: Gabrielle Blair

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #22: Author and Lifestyle-Parenting Blogger Gabrielle Blair

    Today on the podcast I am talking with Gabrielle Blair, a.k.a. Design Mom. Gabrielle started her blog Design Mom nearly 10 years ago to write about the intersection of parenting and design. She has since written a New York Times Bestselling book and co-founded Alt Summit, a bi-annual conference for lifestyle bloggers and creative entrepreneurs. Gabrielle’s blog has garnered all kinds of accolades over the years and is a great resource parents and, really, anyone! I’ve known Gabrielle for 9 years, ever since I started my own blog, and she’s always been a supportive friend in the blogging world. In our little chat we discuss the birth of Alt Summit, Gabby’s obsession with national parks, and her award-winning recipe, plus she has a really great kitchen tip for parents. Be sure to listen!

    Quick note: In the episode, we talk about how people should sign up for the next Alt Summit. Welllll…I forgot we mentioned that and the summit happened LAST WEEK and I obviously did not time the publication of this show properly. So, my apologies. You missed it. Alt Summit is over. BUT…Alt has great things in the works, so you haven’t missed out completely. Promise!

    Shownotes:

    It’s easy to listen to the show!

    • Via the web: Just click play below!
    • Via an app: For iPhone and iPad, subscribe to the This Week for Dinner Podcast on iTunes and listen to it through the purple Podcasts app. For Android devices, use the Stitcher, Podcast Addict or Pocket Casts apps. In all cases, launch the app, then search for This Week for Dinner Podcast. The benefit of using an app: once downloaded, you can listen to the show without an Internet connection.

     Other Stuff!


  5. Sunday, January 24

    Week 470 Weekly Menu

    Hey everyone! I’m getting to the meal planning a little late today, but at least I’m getting it done, right? I have some travel this week (visiting the General Mills headquarters), so it’s gonna be a little crazy and not a typical week.

    week-470-weekly-menu-pinterest

    MONDAY:
    Rachel sandwiches

    TUESDAY:
    Pat’s Oriental Chicken Salad

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Take out night

    THURSDAY:
    Salsa chicken
    – Chips and guacamole

    FRIDAY:
    – Leftovers

    SATURDAY:
    – Another take out night, for sanity’s sake!

    SUNDAY:
    – Homemade hamburgers
    – Fresh veggies and fruit

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

    Your turn! Share your menus for the week, I love seeing them all!


  6. Thursday, January 21

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #21: Meredith Walker

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #21: Meredith Walker, Co-Founder & Executive Director of Amy Poehler's Smart Girls

    Today’s guest on the show is Meredith Walker. I met Meredith last year when I traveled with her to Malawi with ONE and Heifer International. After a week of truly life-changing travel together we are bonded for life! In addition to Meredith being completely lovable and someone I can laugh with for hours on end, she is also the co-founder and executive director of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, a website that Meredith started with her best friend Amy Poehler with the goal to empower girls. Previous to Smart Girls Meredith worked as the head of the talent department at Saturday Night Live, where she booked the guests and pretty much met everyone. Meredith began her career in television, however, working under the tutelage of respected journalist Linda Ellerbee on Nick News. The show won a Peabody and several Emmys while Meredith produced there, but the best part of her job at Nickelodeon was interviewing kids all over the country with interesting stories to tell, creating the foundation for her interest in the lives of young people.

    Meredith is the best and I feel lucky to count her as a friend. I am so happy she hung out with me on the podcast, especially since she was so pumped to share her favorite recipe with us all, as well as a few kitchen tips!

    Shownotes:

    Recipe for Joel Mozersky's French Onion Meatballs from Meredith WalkerPhoto of Joel’s Meatballs from Meredith

    French Onion Meatballs
     
    Recipe for French Onion Meatballs, as created by Joel Mozersky of Joel Mozersky Design and friend of Meredith Walker
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Onion Mixture:
    • 4 sweet white onions, halved, and sliced very thin
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 4 cups chicken stock
    • 1½ teaspoons fresh thyme
    • ½ bottle white wine - I used chardonnay
    • Meatballs:
    • 2 pounds ground chicken (breast or thighs or both)
    • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
    • 3 cloves crushed garlic
    • 1 handful of basil, minced
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 handful of chopped garlic chives
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • olive oil for frying
    • Topping:
    • ¾ cup Comte cheese
    • ¾ cup Gruyere cheese
    • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
    • garlic chives
    • Sourdough bread
    Instructions
    1. Chop the onions very thin. Put the butter and oil in a stock pot on medium low heat. Add the onions and thyme, and cook them down until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and cook for 10 more minutes. Add the chicken stock, and let simmer on low until the liquid concentrates- about 20 minutes to 3 hours- the longer it simmers, the better it gets. You want it to be a somewhat thick soup consistency.
    2. While the soup is cooking down, combine all of the meatball ingredients in a bowl. Then form the meat into meatballs, a little larger than a golf ball. They might be a little wet, but they should stick together well enough to form. Heat some olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Fry the meatballs on all sides until they have crispy edges and are cooked through- about 5 minutes per side. When they are cooked, but them in the pot with the onions and let them simmer for about 5 minutes.
    3. Transfer about half of the contents of the pot with the meatballs into a casserole dish. There should be liquid underneath and between the meatballs, and the onions as well.
    4. Cut up slices of sourdough bread. Grill or toast bread with a little olive oil on it. Put it on top of the meatballs. Then top with the cheeses and garlic chives.
    5. Broil until the cheese melts, serve in shallow bowls with crusty bread.
    6. Serve the rest of the soup on the side

    It’s easy to listen to the show!

    • Via the web: Just click play below!
    • Via an app: For iPhone and iPad, subscribe to the This Week for Dinner Podcast on iTunes and listen to it through the purple Podcasts app. For Android devices, use the Stitcher, Podcast Addict or Pocket Casts apps. In all cases, launch the app, then search for This Week for Dinner Podcast. The benefit of using an app: once downloaded, you can listen to the show without an Internet connection.

     Other Stuff!

     


  7. Wednesday, January 20

    Pork and Udon Noodle Soup, a.k.a. Plastic Noodle Soup

    My sister-in-law Cora is a great cook and also a great discoverer of recipes. When she texts me about a recipe, I always follow through and make it. I have yet to be disappointed.

    Recipe for Pork and Udon Noodle Soup from @janemaynard

    The latest Cora recipe was this Pork and Udon Soup found on the Food Network website. She had made a few modifications, sent me the link with her notes, and told me that my nephew ate three bowls. Of course I had to try it!

    Recipe for Pork and Udon Noodle Soup from @janemaynardThem’s the plastic noodles right there.

    I’ve had the soup on my menu for two weeks and today I finally made it. And it was delicious. Anna calls it Plastic Noodle Soup. I like the name and will be calling it that from now on. My kids honestly didn’t love the plastic, I mean udon, noodles, so I may try using ramen noodles next time. But they did love the pork, the veggies and the broth very much. Owen never eats the broth but today he did! (Small victories.)

    Recipe for Pork and Udon Noodle Soup from @janemaynard

    If you want the original recipe, click here. Cora and I both felt the measurements were way off for some of the ingredients and we also adjusted the directions. So, you know, I’d follow the recipe below if I were you. 😉

    Recipe for Pork and Udon Noodle Soup from @janemaynard

    Pork and Udon Noodle Soup, a.k.a. Plastic Noodle Soup
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Serves: 8-10
    Ingredients
    • For the roasted pork:
    • 1 2-pound pork shoulder
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • Kosher salt and pepper
    • Alternatively: In a pinch, you can use Aidells Teriyaki Pineapple meatballs, about half a package (Cora used the meatballs and said it was good but the roasted pork is probably better)
    • For the soup:
    • 4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
    • 2 medium carrots, chopped (my carrots were pretty skinny, I used 4 carrots)
    • ½ of a small onion, chopped
    • 1½ tablespoons fresh ginger (about 4 inches of root), minced using a zester
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 habanero, seeded and chopped (optional)
    • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
    • 2 cups cabbage, chopped
    • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons honey
    • 8 cups chicken stock
    • ~1/2 teaspoon salt
    • ~3 cups of the roasted pork, shredded
    • 2 or 3 7-ounce packages udon noodles (each package is enough for ~4 servings; toss the flavor packet)
    • Fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
    • Bean sprouts, for garnish
    • Lime wedges, for garnish
    • Sriracha sauce, for garnish
    Instructions
    1. To roast the pork: Preheat oven to 425º F. In a small bowl mix 4 tablespoons olive oil with 4 minced garlic cloves. Place the pork shoulder in a roasting pan, preferably with a rack in the bottom. Brush the garlic oil on all sides, then sprinkle all sides evenly with kosher salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes then reduce heat to 325º F and cook until an instant read thermometer inserted in the center of the pork reads 185º F, which will take a few hours. Remove from oven and let rest for 30 minutes. Shred and set aside.
    2. To make the soup: Prep the onion, carrots, ginger, garlic, chile (if using), mushrooms and cabbage before you start to cook.
    3. Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once heated add the onions and carrots. Cook until they start to brown. If pan seems too hot while the onions and carrots cook, adjust heat to medium.
    4. Reduce heat to medium (if you haven't already) then add the ginger and garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
    5. Add 2 tablespoons canola oil, then add the mushrooms and cabbage. Stir in the soy sauce, then add the chicken stock. Cook for about 10 minutes. At this point taste the soup and see if it needs additional salt. I added ½ teaspoon of salt at this point.
    6. In a separate small pot, bring about 2 cups of water to a boil. Cook udon noodles for 2 minutes then drain. Divide noodles into 4 bowls.
    7. Add shredded pork (or meatballs, if using) to the soup and cook for a few minutes, just until meat is heated. Fill each bowl with soup.
    8. Top with cilantro, bean sprouts, lime juice. Cora and I leave the habanero out of the soup so the kids can eat it, then use Sriracha to add heat to our own individual servings.
    Notes
    My kids didn't love the udon noodles. I think ramen noodles would be equally as delicious in this soup. 1 package of ramen (without the flavor packet) would probably be enough for the entire pot of soup.
    It is best to serve and store the noodles separate from the soup. You could in theory cook the noodles right in the soup. Cora said she stored the noodles in the soup for leftovers and they were okay, but it was definitely better keeping them separate.

     


  8. Sunday, January 17

    Week 469 Weekly Menu

    Hey everyone. Can’t believe we are halfway through January. Bananas! My compost bin arrived so we’re going to start composting this week and get moving with this year’s resolution. Exciting!

    Week 469 Weekly Menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable meal plan and shopping list!

    I have a few carry-over items from last week’s menu on this week’s menu. I have been cooking, I just ended up with extra meals based on the groceries we had. Plus we unexpectedly met out of town friends last night at the Anaheim Packing District, which is a fun place with great food, by the way. It’s a little busy on the weekend, fair warning, but it’s great! And there is a park area just outside that is perfect for the kids to run around and be crazy, including sliding down the astroturf hill with pizza box lids as sleds!

    MONDAY:
    – Pork and Udon Noodle Soup (recipe to come!)

    TUESDAY:
    Homemade pizza night (honey goat cheese and margherita)

    WEDNESDAY:
    Caprese Paninis

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Homemade hamburgers

    SATURDAY:
    – Takeout night

    SUNDAY:
    Salsa chicken
    – Chips and guacamole

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

    That’s it from me. You know the drill, share your menus! THANK YOU!

     


  9. Friday, January 15

    Show and Tell, including a couple of Netflix addictions for your viewing pleasure

    Happy Friday! It’s been a few weeks since the last Show and Tell and it’s fun to be back. I love sharing links!

    First, Netflix. There are two shows we must discuss.

    PBS The Great British Baking Show Season 1 on Netflix

    #1: The Great British Baking Show. Over the last few months I’ve frequently seen articles about how everyone loves The Great British Baking Show on PBS, and yet I resisted. It’s like when the Harry Potter books came out, I didn’t buy into the hype. In fact, I fought the hype. But when I finally gave in, well, I realized it wasn’t hype because Harry Potter is the greatest thing of all time. My experience with The Great British Baking Show has been similar. While nothing can be like Harry Potter, I will admit that this PBS baking show from Britain is 100% completely lovable and addictive and lives up to the hype. The first season is on Netflix, so Nate and I turned it on while wrapping presents on Christmas Eve. We were hooked after the first episode. It’s a great show. My only question is, why so much sponge cake, British people? There is so much sponge cake on this show. Copious amounts of sponge cake. As the saying goes, if you like sponge cake, you’ll love The Great British Baking Show. (You’ll still love the show even if you don’t like sponge cake, by the way.)

    Making a Murderer on Netflix

    #2: Making a Murderer. Like Serial, Making a Murderer has taken the world by storm. If you haven’t watched it yet, prepare to not only be addicted but angered and perplexed and sad ALL THE TIME. I know, that doesn’t make it seem like I’m trying to get you to watch it, but I am. Really. Watch it. Just make sure you’re ready to stay up late and be a zombie for about a week.

    As for food links, I have two for you this week:

    That’s it for today! And remember, Show and Tell is for the whole class! Share your own stuff in the comments. Especially if that stuff involves theories about Making a Murderer!!!

    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.


  10. Thursday, January 14

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #20: Stacie Billis

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #20: Parenting-and-Food Blogger Stacie Billis

    Today’s guest on the podcast is Stacie Billis. I recently met Stacie when I began writing for Cool Mom Eats. Stacie is my editor and we’re pretty much soulmates. Stacie has her own food blog called One Hungry Mama that is all about helping parents figure out how to feed their children wholesome food in a realistic way. In addition to her blog, she has a YouTube channel, is finishing up writing a cookbook, and has written for several great publications. Stacie has a background in developmental psychology and worked for Sesame Workshop and my conversation with her is super interesting. We talk about all kinds of stuff, including why Jim Henson was so wonderful and how Stacie’s work in children’s television evolved into food writing. Also, Stacie’s first cookbook Make It Easy: 120 Mix-and-Match Recipes to Cook from Scratch—with Store-Bought Shortcuts When You Need Them will be released May, 2016, so be on the look out!

    Stacie’s kitchen tip in this show is AWESOME, by the way, and I’ve used it many, many, many times since we recorded her interview a few months ago. You’re gonna have to listen to find out what it is!

    Shownotes:

    It’s easy to listen to the show!

    • Via the web: Just click play below!
    • Via an app: For iPhone and iPad, subscribe to the This Week for Dinner Podcast on iTunes and listen to it through the purple Podcasts app. For Android devices, use the Stitcher, Podcast Addict or Pocket Casts apps. In all cases, launch the app, then search for This Week for Dinner Podcast. The benefit of using an app: once downloaded, you can listen to the show without an Internet connection.

     Other Stuff!