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  1. Monday, February 20

    Week 526 Weekly Menu

    We had fun exploring Joshua Tree and Idyllwild this weekend (I love long weekends!), so I’m just now sitting down to plan the weekly menu. Here we go!

    Week 526 Weekly Menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable PDF with dinner plan and ingredients list!

    MONDAY:
    Asian Chicken Pasta Salad

    TUESDAY:
    – Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwiches
    – Fruit and carrots

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Rigatoni with Bolognese Sauce
    – Salad

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Caprese Paninis

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    Waffles and Smoothies

    Click here or on the menu image above for a free PDF print-out of the menu and ingredients list.

    You know the drill! Please leave your own meal plans in the comments! Thank you!


  2. Homemade Bolognese Sauce

    I’ve tried making bolognese sauce a few times in my life and was never impressed. I blamed the bolognese. But what I should have been blaming were the recipes I was trying. Today I have a recipe that is divine and completely changes how I feel about homemade bolognese sauce. This past Christmas I found myself with a half a pound of ground veal left over from making Swedish meatballs. I searched around the web for recipes to use up the veal and happened upon this recipe for veal bolognese from Food & Wine. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly but used it as a guide and oh my GOODNESS the resulting sauce was so, so good and flavorful and wonderful and, well, I am finally impressed by homemade bolognese sauce.

    Incredibly Flavorful Homemade Bolognese Recipe from @janemaynard

    think one of the reasons the sauce was so good was because I used half veal, half regular ground beef. But I’m quite certain the sauce will still be uber delicious with straight ground beef, as the veggies and spices are what really make this sauce shine. If you want to use veal, by all means do. But ground beef alone is a-okay.

    Click here for the original recipe, which also includes butternut squash, which I am sure is delicious! Below is my version of homemade bolognese sauce, with some modifications from the original recipe.

    Incredibly Flavorful Homemade Bolognese Recipe from @janemaynard

    Oh, one more note! I used a rigatoni-like pasta instead of spaghetti and really liked that shape of pasta with this sauce. Use whatever pasta you like, but the rigatoni is quite delicious.

    Homemade Bolognese Sauce
     
    Adapted from a Food & Wine recipe.
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 1 pound ground beef or veal (or half pound of each)
    • 2 slices of bacon, minced
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • ½ cup minced carrot
    • ½ cup minced celery
    • ½ cup minced onion
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pushed through a garlic press
    • Kosher salt
    • ½ teaspoon ground sage
    • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon dried basil OR 1 tablespoon fresh basil (chiffonade)
    • 1 cup dry red wine
    • 2 15-ounce cans petite diced tomatoes
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • ¾ cup cream
    • Pepper
    Instructions
    1. In a large cast-iron casserole (or pot), cook minced bacon in the olive oil over medium heat, for about 5 minutes until bacon is well cooked, stirring occasionally.
    2. Add the carrots, celery, and onion. Sprinkle evenly with a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat about 5 minutes. Add the fresh garlic and stir.
    3. Add the ground meat along with the sage, parsley, bay leaf and oregano. If using dried basil, add that now as well. Season evenly with a few pinches of salt. Cook until meat is cooked through and no longer pink, stirring regularly.
    4. Add the wine and cook until the wine has reduced significantly, about 3-5 minutes. Add UNdrained tomatoes and cook until liquid is reduced by about half, around 5 minutes.
    5. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
    6. Remove the bay leaf. Add the cream and, if using fresh basil, the basil. Stir and add salt to taste if needed. Finish off with a few shakes of pepper.

     


  3. Monday, February 13

    Week 525 Weekly Menu

    Happy Monday! Just sitting down now to get my menu down on paper. You know, I am really happy that (so far) I’m sticking with my 2017 resolution of cooking dinner more often…it’s awesome for so many reasons. HOWEVER…I have to come up with a whole new menu each week. There is definitely more thinking involved and I’m not sure I approve. 😉

    Week 525 Weekly Menu from @janemaynard including dinner meal plan and ingredients list!

    MONDAY:
    Asian Chicken Pasta Salad

    TUESDAY:
    Chicken Soup with Rice

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Homemade Hamburgers (click here for a tip)
    – Carrot sticks and chips

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Loaded Nachos and Hummus Guacamole Dip

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    – Roasted Vegetable Scrambles + Smoothies

    Click here or on image above for FREE printable PDF with dinner meal plan and ingredients list!

    You know the drill! If you feel so obliged, please leave your own meal plans for the week in the comments! Thank you!


  4. Monday, February 6

    Week 524 Weekly Menu

    Happy Monday! We got a little tied up with our Super Bowl watching and eating yesterday so I didn’t do my usual Sunday weekly menu planning. But that doesn’t mean it’s not happening…here we go!

    Week 524 Weekly Menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable PDF with dinner meal plan and ingredients list

    I have a couple carry-over items from last week because things shifted, as they do…

    MONDAY:
    Indian Tacos with Easy Tandoori Chicken and Raita

    TUESDAY:
    – Bean and Cheese Burritos with Sautéed Peppers & Onions

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Vegetarian Curry in a Hurry (instead of chicken, cauliflower, peas and paneer)

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Breakfast for Dinner: Roasted Vegetable Scrambles + Smoothies

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    – Pot Roast with Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli

    Click here or on the image above for a free PDF with the dinner meal plan and ingredients list.

    Your turn! Share those menus!


  5. Tuesday, January 31

    It’s the Blog’s 10th Birthday! Plus French Chips Recipe! Plus an Amazing KitchenAid Giveaway!

    Well, that 10 years sure went by quickly.

    French Chips Recipe (aka French fries that look like chips!) from @janemaynard

    Today is This Week for Dinner’s 10th birthday! Happy Birthday, Blog! I seriously can’t believe it. If we’re going by birth order, the blog is technically my second child. 😉 I didn’t start a blog to start a blog, I just wanted to share my weekly menu with my brother if I happened to plan one. That’s it. And then it grew. And then I made a logo. And then I promised my friends my secret hot fudge recipe if they told their friends about the blog (and, yes, the recipe is still a secret). And, just like that, 10 years have passed, with over 520 weekly menu posts, oodles of recipes and so much other crazy stuff that has happened because of the blog it blows my mind. I feel incredibly grateful for the gift this blog has been in my life and look forward to many more blog birthdays. And of course I am eternally grateful to all of you who keep it going, with your comments and your weekly menus and your simply being here to read my words and make my recipes. Thank you!

    To celebrate I have food. And a KitchenAid giveaway. Are you ready? Here we go!

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BPNomk9DEvt/?taken-by=janemaynard

    Normally for the blog’s birthday I share some sort of chocolate. But today we’re going with my second favorite food group…French fries. Well, actually, French chips. Or should that be chip fries? Or French fry chips? Whatever you decide to call them (I’m going with French chips), these are your new favorite homemade French fries. They are basically French fries shaped like chips, although much thicker chips, which is why they are not really chips at all. Unless you’re in England. Then, yes, they are chips. Anyone confused yet?

    Nate and I recently took the kids to Liberty Public Market by the San Diego harbor for lunch (which, by the way, is our new favorite place to eat. It’s awesome.) One of the food vendors, Mastiff Sausage Company, serves French fries that are shaped like discs and they are amazing. (Click here to see a picture!) No, really, why doesn’t everyone make French fries in this shape? The disc gives you the perfect proportion of potato to crispiness. It’s genius. If you’ve been around the blog for a while you know that when I get obsessed with a food from a restaurant, I generally have to figure out my own version. Enter today’s recipe for French chips. Which, coincidentally, leads into today’s giveaway!

    Making French Chips (aka fries that look like chips!) with the KitchenAid stand mixer food processor attachment - recipe included, from @janemaynardMaking French Chips (aka fries that look like chips!) with the KitchenAid stand mixer food processor attachment - recipe included, from @janemaynard

    To celebrate the blog’s 10th birthday, KitchenAid is generously giving one of you lucky commenters their brand new KitchenAid® Artisan® Mini 3.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer in Honeydew (to match This Week for Dinner’s colors! So cute!) along with the Food Processor with Commercial Style Dicing Kit attachment, which will work on standard-sized stand mixers as well.* Where do I even begin? First, have you seen the new mini stand mixers? THEY ARE SO CUTE I CAN’T STAND IT. Also, this food processor is my first stand mixer attachment and, well, I’m a believer. Slicing my potatoes for the French chips was crazy fast and easy. I was ready to make 10 pounds of fries. The retail value of today’s giveaway is $649.98, so, um, yes you need to enter! (And a huge thank you to KitchenAid!)

    KitchenAid Artisan Mini 2.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer in Honeydew

    Here’s how to enter the giveaway!

    • Simply comment on this post to enter! That’s it!

    Of course we have bonus entries! You must leave a separate comment for each bonus entry that applies to you:

    Please note: Winner must be a resident of the United States. All comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

    French Chips Recipe (aka French fries that look like chips!) from @janemaynard

    Now that the giveaway is all set, let’s get to those French chips, shall we? They are crispy on the outside, perfect on the inside, not quite a fry and not quite a chip. Also, mine are not shaped like discs because my potato was too big for the food processor’s feed tube, but I like my triangle-shaped French chips. They’re cute! In addition to the French chips, I also have a recipe for a seasoned salt to go on top. It’s a little salty, a little smoky, a little sweet…and a lot delicious. Enjoy!

    And Happy 10th Birthday, This Week for Dinner!

    French Chips
     
    French fries shaped like chips are the best French fries ever. You're welcome. (Thanks to Mastiff Sausage Company in San Diego for the inspiration!)
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Russet Potatoes (1 large potato per 2 servings)
    • Canola or Vegetable Oil
    Instructions
    1. Place a cooling rack over a cookie sheet lined with paper towels and set aside.
    2. Slice the potato into thick discs. Alternatively, use the KitchenAid food processor attachment with the slicing disc. You want medium-thick discs. If you are using the food processor attachment and your potato is too wide for the feed tube, cut the potato into quarters lengthwise - your final fry shape will be a triangle instead of a disc, but it still works beautifully. The thickness on the food processor should be set around the center point for thickness.
    3. Soak sliced potatoes in water for 30 minutes up to overnight (put the bowl in the fridge if you're going for a long soak). Remove potatoes from the water and pat dry with a towel or paper towel.
    4. In a heavy-bottomed medium-large pot, heat 1-2 inches of oil. (For 1 potato I did 1 inch of oil.) Monitor the temperature of the oil with an instant read thermometer and bring the oil to 325º F. (On my stove the knob was around 6 on a scale of 1-10). It's okay if the temperature goes a little over 325º as the temperature will drop when you add the potatoes.
    5. Carefully add about ½ potato's worth of the fries/chips to the heated oil. Keep an eye on the temperature, adjusting the heat on the stove if necessary. Cook the fries for 4-6 minutes, until they just barely start to brown. I stir them fairly regularly while they cook.
    6. With a large slotted spoon, remove fries from the oil and place on the prepared cookie sheet with the cooling rack. Cook the next batch of raw potatoes, repeating the process above.
    7. Once all the potatoes have been fried once, raise the burner's heat to bring the oil to 350º F (about an 8 on a scale of 1-10 on my stove). Cook the fries in batches once again, this time cooking the fries for 2-5 minutes, until they are a nice golden brown color. Remove from the oil and drain on the prepared cookie sheet with cooling rack.
    8. While the fries are still hot, pat gently with a paper towel, sprinkle with salt or seasoned salt (see recipe below), flip and repeat.
    9. These fries are obviously best served hot, but they are still really good even after they've cooled. Enjoy!

    Recipe for seasoned salt, perfect for french fries, from @janemaynard

     

    French Chips Seasoned Salt
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
    • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    Instructions
    1. Mix everything together! All done!

     

    *All colors are subject to availability. The prizes include:
    1. Artisan® Mini Stand Mixer in Honeydew (KSM3311XHW)
    1. Food Processor with Commercial Style Dicing Kit (KSM2FPA)

  6. Sunday, January 29

    Week 523 Weekly Menu

    Hello again! We’re almost at the end of the first month of 2017 and I am consistently sticking with our dinner meal plan each week. And I am sooooo much happier these days. It’s just better to cook at home for so many reasons and I’m grateful I’m back in the groove! Okay, so let’s get onto the next menu!

    Week 523 Weekly Menu with FREE printable PDF of the meal plan and shopping list from @janemaynard

    MONDAY:
    Indian Tacos with Easy Tandoori Chicken and Raita

    TUESDAY:
    Chicken Marsala
    – Salad

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Breakfast for Dinner: Roasted Vege
    table Scrambles + Smoothies

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    – Super Bowl: Nachos, 7-Layer Dip, Chips and the like! I think I’ll throw a salad in there, too. 😉
    Sweet Chex Mix

    Click here or on the image above for a free printable PDF with the meal plan and ingredients list for this week!

    Your turn! Tell us what you’ve got cookin’ this week! Thank you! (Oh, and GO PATRIOTS!)


  7. Indian Tacos with Easy Tandoori Chicken and Raita

    Indian Tacos with Tandoori Chicken and Raita from @janemaynard

    This recipe for Indian Tacos is pretty much a simplified version of my beloved Indian Burritos recipe. I seriously love those burritos, but the tacos involve a few less ingredients, which is welcome on a busy weeknight.

    Indian Tacos with Tandoori Chicken and Raita from @janemaynard

    I can’t tell you how much I love these tacos. The tender tandoori chicken (don’t worry, I have a shortcut way to make it that does not involve a tandoor oven) topped with delicious Indian raita sauce and just a few simple vegetables is so tasty. It’s been a while since I’ve made these and really there is no good reason for that!

    Indian Tacos with Tandoori Chicken and Raita from @janemaynard

     

    Indian Tacos with Tandoori Chicken
     
    Author:
    Serves: 6 servings
    Ingredients
    • ¾ cup plain yogurt
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
    • 1 tablespoon cumin
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 teaspoon coriander
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
    • ¼ teaspoon cloves
    • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 1 onion, sliced
    • 1 bell pepper, sliced
    • 12 flour tortillas (smallest size you can find)
    • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
    • Raita sauce (recipe below)
    • Fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish
    Instructions
    1. The night before: mix together the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, ginger, coriander, salt, cayenne pepper, cardamom, cloves, and black pepper. Stab the 2 chicken breasts with a fork on all sides, then place in yogurt mixture. Let marinate overnight.
    2. The next day: Preheat oven to 450º F. Cook chicken in oven for ~20 minutes, or until juices run clear and internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160 F.
    3. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.
    4. Sautee onion and pepper in a large frying pan over medium heat in canola oil, until veggies are softened.
    5. Top tortillas with tandoori chicken, grilled onions and peppers, red cabbage, raita sauce, and cilantro.

     

    Indian Tacos with Tandoori Chicken and Raita from @janemaynard

     

    Raita
     
    Prep time
    Total time
     
    Indian cucumber-yogurt sauce.
    Author:
    Serves: 1 cup
    Ingredients
    • ½ cup cucumber, shredded
    • 1 cup yogurt
    • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon green onion
    • ¼ teaspoon lime juice
    • ¼ teaspoon coriander
    • ⅛ teaspoon cumin
    • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
    • ⅛ teaspoon salt
    • Pinch cardamom
    Instructions
    1. Peel and seed cucumber, then shred.
    2. Mix all ingredients together. Store in fridge and serve cold.

     

     


  8. Sunday, January 22

    Week 522 Weekly Menu

    Can’t believe it’s time for another menu…the weeks go by too quickly! This week we are going with cozy foods. I am absolutely loving that we are having weather in San Diego right now – the best!

    Week 522 Weekly Dinner Menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable PDF with meal plan and ingredients list

    MONDAY:
    Chicken Kai Pa Lo

    TUESDAY:
    Tortilla Soup

    WEDNESDAY:
    Pot Roast
    – Mashed Potatoes and Salad

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    Pat’s Asian Chicken Salad

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    – Breakfast for dinner night: Roasted Veggie Scramble & Smoothies

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

    I have been absolutely loving all of your menus every week – please keep it coming! And have a great week!


  9. Sunday, January 15

    Week 521 Weekly Menu

    Happy Sunday! We’re cruising right through January and I am so happy that I am cooking so much more again. Seriously, it makes me so happy! Here’s to keeping it up as sports get going again…I have faith I can do it! (Thinking positively makes it so, right?) Here’s this week’s menu…

    Week 521 Weekly Menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable dinner meal plan and ingredients list!

    MONDAY:
    – Dinner salad topped with grilled salmon

    TUESDAY:
    – Chicken Stry Fry

    WEDNESDAY:
    – I’m going to Disneyland with friends (no kids!), Nate is going to take the kids out to a local restaurant that is doing a fundraiser for Owen’s school 🙂

    THURSDAY:
    Baked Ziti (I’m going to cut the meet and try adding fresh mozzarella to the mix)
    – Salad

    FRIDAY:
    – Leftovers

    SATURDAY:
    Sausage, Pepper & Onion Hoagies

    SUNDAY:
    – Chili

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

    Last week was awesome – so many great menus, and they were a GREAT help as I planned this week’s menu! Thank you! As usual, please share your own meal plans in the comments below!


  10. Friday, January 13

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #47: Courtney Carver, Minimalism + Awesome Chimichurri

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #47: Interview with Courtney Carver discussing a minimalist approach to life, work, food and the kitchen

    Hello, friends! The podcast is back! I know I said that two months ago, but this time it’s for real! (And I actually had a good reason two months ago for why things got a bit derailed…listen to this episode to find out what it was…how’s that for a teaser?) I am really excited about today’s interview guest Courtney Carver. Courtney writes and speaks about how to simplify life and work and is known for Project 333, a minimalist fashion challenge. She also appears in the new documentary Minimalism discussing Project 333, which you can stream on Netflix. Courtney’s interview is perfect for this time of year when we are all reassessing our lives and making resolutions. And all of the links in the shownotes below are awesome. Basically, I’m just really pumped about Courtney’s interview, the documentary Minimalism, and all of the great resources below. It’s SUCH GOOD STUFF. Plus, Courtney shares a favorite recipe and a really actionable, awesome kitchen tip. So, you know, be sure to listen to this episode! 😉

    Portobello Mushroom Burger with Avocado Chimichurri from Foodie CrushPhoto credit: Heidi Larsen, Foodie Crush

    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 StitcherPodcast 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!