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  1. Sunday, October 29

    Week 557 Weekly Menu from Robyn Stone of Add a Pinch

    Happy Halloween Week!

    I have another guest menu for you today, this time from Robyn Stone of the food blog Add A Pinch. I’ve known Robyn for years and love every chance I get to see her in person. She is the sweetest, but she is also an excellent food writer to boot! Robyn’s work has been featured in Southern Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Redbook, and online at the Huffington Post and Food Network. Robyn’s cookbook, Add a Pinch: Easier, Faster, Fresher Southern Classics, was published in 2017 and it is beyond lovely, filled with delicious and approachable recipes. Robyn lives in Georgia with her husband, Bart, their son, Sam, and their two golden retrievers, Ranger and Annabelle. I can’t wait to share Robyn’s menu with you today. Here you go!

    Week 557 Weekly Dinner Menu from Guest Robyn Stone of "Add a Pinch" | @janemaynard

    MONDAY:
    Cashew chicken
    Broccoli

    TUESDAY:
    Halloween Soup Buffet

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Skillet Lasagna (Recipe can be found in Robyn’s beautiful cookbook!)
    – House salad

    THURSDAY:
    Sheet pan teriyaki salmon with green beans

    FRIDAY:
    Shrimp scampi

    SATURDAY:
    – Leftovers!

    SUNDAY:
    Pulled pork sandwiches
    Coleslaw
    Classic pound cake

    I am loving this menu from Robyn, so many wonderful ideas and surprisingly simple recipes. Thank you so much, Robyn! Click here or on the image above for a free printable PDF of this week’s menu and ingredients list!

    You all know the drill! SHARE YOUR MENUS! Please pretty please! We don’t care how fancy or simple your dinner plans are, share no matter what!

    Have a great week! Happy Halloween!


  2. Friday, October 20

    Show and Tell, Grab Bag Edition! Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer, Deodorant, Netflix Birthday Fun & Prius Envy

    Hello, friends. I have a veritable grab bag of things to share with you today, including a recipe, deodorant, Netflix and car talk. Yes, totally random. But also fun! 😉 Let’s start with the food!

    Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer Recipe from LAND O LAKES and @janemaynard

    Pumpkin Spice Butter Spread + Homemade Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

    Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer Recipe from LAND O LAKES and @janemaynard

    Last week LAND O LAKES treated me to a surprise package, complete with a shiny new Chemex coffee maker and everything I needed to make Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer using their Limited Batch Pumpkin Spice Butter Spread. We are loving the Pumpkin Spice Butter (seriously, I had to cut Cate off…she would have eaten a loaf’s-worth of toast just to consume the butter), so I felt like I needed to tell you about it! Plus, I did in fact make the Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer and it was delicious. I am now sharing the recipe with you!

    Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer Recipe from LAND O LAKES and @janemaynard

    Show and Tell, Grab Bag Edition! Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer, Deodorant, Netflix Birthday Fun & Car Envy
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • ½ cup half & half
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 2 teaspoons LAND O LAKES Pumpkin Pie Spice Butter Spread
    Instructions
    1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Microwave, stirring occasionally, 30-45 seconds or until butter spread is melted and sugar is dissolved.
    2. Beat with hand mixer for 90 seconds or until mixture is frothy. (Note: I whisked by hand.)
    3. Store in refrigerator in a container with a tight-fitting lid up to 1 week. Shake well before each use.

    Native Natural Deodorant

    Native Deodorant, my new favorite thing! from @janemaynard

    Years ago I wanted to switch to natural deodorant but had a bad experience (read: Hello, Stinky Lady!) and gave up. but the fact I’ve been smearing aluminum on my body every day for over 30 years has always nagged at me. Well, my sister-in-law Cora recently demanded that I try Native deodorant. She was insistent. She pretty much made me buy it. Well, I must admit that I am grateful Cora was so bossy! I LOVE NATIVE. So, so, so, so much. I have the Coconut & Vanilla, Coconut & Shea and Apricot & Peach scents and I love them all. Note: the scents are seasonal, so a few of those flavors aren’t currently available, but there are a bunch of new ones that sound great!

    Why do I love Native so much?

    • First and foremost, the deodorant actually works. I have less body odor than I did with anti-perspirant and my clothes are picking up less scents, too. Cora (and the website) said that I would need about 2 weeks for my body to adjust and for the deodorant to work well. I started using the deodorant during a heat wave and loved it from Day One. But please, if you try it, give it at least 2 weeks to kick in (in case you are not lucky like I was). Also, if you need to freshen up later in the day, just re-apply and magically things smell better.
    • Native’s customer service is amazing. AMAZING. I originally ordered the summer scent pack and did not like the floral scent that came with it. Native made an exchange beyond easy. Plus, even before needing customer service support, I loved their email communications. They do a great job every step of the way
    • I really like the scent options they have. The deodorant just plain smells good without being overpowering.
    • For those with baking soda allergy, they also have a sensitive version that does not contain baking soda.

    I must admit I thought it was a little funny how excited Cora was about her deodorant. I mean, how can someone be that happy about deodorant. But here I am. On the Native bandwagon and happy to be here. I’m in all the way! Thanks, Cora!

    Netflix Birthday Fun!

    New! Netflix Birthday Messages for Kids! from @janemaynard

    Did you hear about the new birthday messages for kids on Netflix? They launched the birthday messages just in time for Owen’s birthday last month and he loved them. Owen’s birthday party involved taking eight 5- and 6-year-old boys to the LEGO Ninjago movie, followed up with a dinosaur cake at the park. Having the LEGO Ninjago friends and the Dinotrux friends sending birthday wishes his way totally made Owen’s day!

    To find the messages, simply type “birthday” or “birthdays” into your Netflix search bar and all 15 birthday message video options will appear. Definitely a cute way to kick off your little one’s special day!

    Why I Wish We Weren’t So Frugal and Had Bought a New Prius

    2017 Toyota Prius Test Drive from @janemaynard

    Nate has been driving a Prius for over 3 years and has been very happy with it. When his lease was up this past spring, we decided to be frugal and buy the car he was driving rather than start a new lease with the latest Prius. I was perfectly happy with that decision until 3 months later when Toyota lent us a new 2017 Prius for our east coast trip. I love the new Prius. We shouldn’t have been so responsible after all! What were we thinking? 😉 I am grateful I had the chance to try the Prius out for a month (thanks, Toyota!), but now I totally have Prius envy. Here are a few of the things I loved about the car:

    • The car basically drives itself. The radar cruise control works beautifully. I used it ALL THE TIME. For example, when we drove from Cape Cod to New Hampshire, I followed my sister-in-law using cruise control. The system detects the speed of the car in front of you and adjusts accordingly, so Jess was basically doing all the driving. There is also a lane departure alert system, pre-collision and pedestrian detection system, and the car can park itself.
    • Even better gas mileage. I got over 50 miles per gallon the entire trip.
    • For such a small car, there  is a ton of storage. The back is roomy, and there is a net you can use to store smaller items. The storage was great for short and long trips alike.
    • I’ve mentioned this before about Toyota, but I love their remote lock system. It’s just awesome.
    • There was also a spot for doing that fancy cordless phone charging. My phone doesn’t have that capability, but I was sure wishing it did! I also like how the middle console is set up better in the new Prius versus previous models.
    • The navigation system worked better than my Google maps app on my phone. Impressive! And the car told me what the speed limit was at any given time, which is especially handy on those east coast back roads!
    • The one thing I did not love was the SofTex synthetic leather seat material. It is more eco-friendly than other synthetic leather materials and does not use any animal-based material, but if I had to choose I would go with fabric or real leather. I just didn’t love the feel of the seats or how they looked when inevitably sand and other stuff got into the seams.

    Phew! I think that’s all I have to share for today. As usual, Show & Tell is for the whole class! Feel free to chime in with your own finds and recent loves in the comments!

    Please note: I have a relationship with Netflix as a member of the Stream Team, which means they don’t pay me a dime but do send me cool fun stuff occasionally. Toyota provided me with the Prius for our trip. Land O Lakes provided me with product. I have no official relationship with Native deodorant.


  3. Monday, October 9

    Week 556 Weekly Menu from Cadry Nelson of Cadry’s Kitchen

    Hello! It’s time for another weekly menu already? Where do the weeks go???

    This week’s guest menu planner is Cadry Nelson. Cadry is the writer, photographer and recipe creator behind Cadry’s Kitchen, a vegan food & lifestyle blog. Cadry makes vegan eating approachable and incomplicated with her wonderful recipes and weekly videos. Plus, she is hilarious. Cadry is one of those people I really wish lived in my neighborhood so we could hang out all the time and just laugh and laugh. Anyway, I was really hoping Cadry would say yes when I asked her to pull together a weekly menu because I think it’s super cool to mix things up with some vegan recipes. Seriously, though, how delicious does her menu look?

    Week 556 Weekly Menu - Guest Menu by Cadry Nelson of the vegan food blog Cadry's Kitchen, from @janemaynard

    MONDAY:
    3-Bean Chili

    TUESDAY:
    Artichoke Pesto Pasta with Roasted Chickpeas

    WEDNESDAY:
    Bulgogi Tofu Bowls

    THURSDAY:
    Taco Pizza

    FRIDAY:
    Double Hummus Wraps
    Israeli Couscous Salad

    SATURDAY:
    Taco Salad with Spicy Black Beans

    SUNDAY:
    Mini Vegetable Pot Pie
    Roasted Brussels Sprouts

    Cadry, thank you so much for sharing some of your favorite vegan recipes with us!

    Click here or on the image above to download a free PDF of this week’s dinner plan and ingredients list. 

    You know the drill – share your menus in the comments, vegan or not! 😉 Have a great week!


  4. Thursday, October 5

    The Easiest Dinosaur Birthday Cake That Was Beyond Beloved

    Owen’s birthday was last week and I have yet to share his birthday cake with you all. I love making fun birthday cakes for my kids and my kids really look forward to planning out their cake each year. For his 6th birthday, Owen decided he wanted a dinosaur birthday party. He and I sat down and scrolled through Pinterest together to find the perfect dinosaur birthday cake. Owen picked out a few options, kept changing his mind about which cake he wanted, and then learned about chocolate candy that looks like rocks. Once he knew that candy existed he was hooked on making what turned out to be the easiest dinosaur birthday cake ever. Thanks, Owen!

    Easiest Dinosaur Birthday Cake from @janemaynard

    So, how do you make the easiest dinosaur birthday cake ever?

    1. Make a 2-layer round cake. Frost with chocolate frosting. Be generous with the frosting, especially on the top as those dinosaurs need a nice layer of mud to sink their feet into so they can stay standing!
    2. Buy chocolate candy that looks like rocks/pebbles. (I found the candy at Cost Plus World Market. They have pebble candy on Amazon, too, although the candy at Cost Plus were cuter and cheaper.)
    3. Place said candy on top of the cake.
    4. Pick out 3 of your child’s toy dinosaurs, stick them on top of the cake. (Dinosaurs should be relatively small – the big ones tip over.)
    5. YOU ARE DONE. You’re welcome.

    Easiest Dinosaur Birthday Cake from @janemaynard

    I used Matthew Mead’s chocolate cake recipe, which you can find at the end of this blog post. I made a chocolate buttercream frosting for the outside of the cake – recipe below!

    Click here for the the inspiration for this cake!

    Click here for the other easy dinosaur birthday cake idea (hello, cutest fossils ever) that I was totally trying to get Owen to choose. I had him convinced for about 2 hours, but then that rock candy ruined everything. Except it didn’t because Owen’s cake was super awesome.

    Easiest Dinosaur Birthday Cake from @janemaynardThat’s Owen’s “I knew the rock candy cake would be as cute as the fossil cake, Mom” face.

    Here is how I made the chocolate buttercream frosting. Once again, people who usually do not like cake loved my cake. These recipes are winners. Also, use HIGH QUALITY cocoa powder. I’m telling you it makes a difference. Promise.

    Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) salted butter, room temperature
    • ⅔ cups cocoa powder
    • 6-7 cups powdered sugar
    • 6-8 tablespoons milk or cream
    Instructions
    1. Beat butter with a mixer (I use my KitchenAid with the paddle attachment).
    2. Using a fine mesh sieve, add the cocoa powder to the butter. (The sieve prevents the cocoa from getting lumpy.)
    3. Gradually work in the powdered sugar, alternating with the milk/cream and beating well after each addition. I put a range for the powdered sugar and milk/cream measurements. Start with 6 cups and 6 tablespoons each, then add more powdered sugar if the frosting is too thin, or more milk/cream if it is too thick. Frosting should be a spreading consistency that still holds its shape.
    Notes
    This makes enough frosting for a 2-layer 8- or 9-inch cake, with a little leftover.

     


  5. Monday, October 2

    Week 555 Weekly Menu from Rachael White of Set the Table

    Happy October! Let’s get this month and week started off with another fabulous guest menu!

    Week 555 Weekly Menu from guest blogger Rachael White of the food blog "Set the Table" - includes FREE printable with dinner plans and ingredients list! @janemaynard

    This week our dinner plan comes from Rachael White of the food blog Set the Table. I met Rachael a few years ago on a blogging trip and she is just crazy nice and wears the coolest glasses. Rachael is a mom to two boys, wife to a school principal, and dog mom to two labs. She grew up in Minnesota, lived in Tokyo, Japan, and now resides in Colorado. She believes that food is one of the most powerful ways to connect with those we love. Gathering around the table can be simple and straightforward, or, with a little intentionality, it can be a transformative experience for everyone involved. Lucky for us we get a little bit of her food love this week and get to join her around her virtual dinner table!

    MONDAY:
    – Potato Okonomiyaki 

    TUESDAY:
    – Weeknight Marinara with Cinnamon and Mint

    WEDNESDAY:
    – 15 Minute Salmon & Avocado Rice Bowls

    THURSDAY:
    – Crispy Chicken Thighs with Peach Basil Salsa

    FRIDAY:
    – French Bread Pizza

    SATURDAY:
    – Chipotle Shrimp over Creamy Polenta

    SUNDAY:
    – Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

    Click here or on the image above for a free printable PDF of this week’s menu and ingredients list!

    Thank you, Rachael, for pulling together such a beautiful and delicious menu! I love the fall inspiration and the taste of Japan woven throughout!

    As usual, please post your own dinner plans in the comments! I can’t wait to see what everyone has cooking this week!