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Category: Favorites

  1. Friday, November 6

    Raising a Rock-Star Reader + Friday Show and Tell

    Happy Friday, everyone! Before we get to the usual Show and Tell portion of our program, I have to tell you about my friend’s new book!

    Raising a Rock-Star Reader review and giveaway!

    Amy Mascott (my friend!) and Allison McDonald are just published their new book Raising a Rock-Star Reader and it’s wonderful! I received an advanced copy and it is filled with all kinds of wonderful tips, recommendations and resources for getting your children to be great readers. Years I ago I had the chance to hear a lecture from a UC Berkeley professor who specialized in early education. She talked at length about why it is so beneficial to read to children from a very early age – the very act of hearing varied language and many words helps children’s brains develop in tremendous ways. It was fascinating and something I’ve thought about a lot as we’ve raised our children.

    Anna and Cate are both rock-star readers (I am grateful every day for this) and will probably be as excited to read Amy and Allison’s book as I am. Owen is still a wee thing and the tips in this book are fabulous. I can’t wait to start implementing the ideas with all three of our kids!

    Of course you know I love giveaways! So, let’s give away a copy of Amy and Allison’s book! To enter the giveaway simply leave a comment telling us your most favorite children’s book. That’s it! Comments must be posted by Midnight PT 11/13/15 and prize must be shipped within the U.S.

    Congratulations to Amy and Allison for a job very well done on their wonderful book! Here’s to happy readers!

    And, since it’s Friday, a few links to share!

    One last thing! Nate and I discovered Les Revenants (The Returned) on Netflix and it’s AWESOME. I’m always looking out for your TV watching. It’s because I care.

    Okay, so, be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway above! And, as always, feel free to share whatever you want for Show and Tell!

  2. Thursday, October 29

    Mary and Vincent Price’s Cookbook “A Treasury of Great Recipes,” Why Vintage Cookbooks Are the Best, and a GIVEAWAY!

    I love vintage cookbooks. Like cutting boards, vintage cookbooks are fast becoming an obsession of mine. For example, when I visited Portland, OR last year, I ended up spending oodles of time (and an undisclosed amount of money!) in the cookbook section at Powell’s Books with my friend Deseree, pouring over the many old and out-of-print cookbooks that lined the shelves. Those books are so delightful for so many reasons, from fun inscriptions to interesting ingredients to vintage illustrations and photographs…I love it all!

    Vincent and Mary Price's "A Treasury of Great Recipes" cookbook review and giveaway from @janemaynard

    Today I am channeling that love for older cookbooks with a really fun giveaway. Dover Publications has re-released a cookbook that has been out of print for quite some time. Of course I had to check it out…that kind of thing is right up my alley!

    Vincent and Mary Price's "A Treasury of Great Recipes" cookbook review and giveaway from @janemaynard

    Coincidentally, during the spookiest time of year, the cookbook in question is written by the Master of Menace himself, Vincent Price, along with his wife Mary, a costume designer. Mary and Vincent Price published A Treasury of Great Recipes 50 years ago and Dover just released the anniversary edition. I have had so much fun reading through this book!

    Vincent and Mary Price's "A Treasury of Great Recipes" cookbook review and giveaway from @janemaynard

    The 50th anniversary edition still has the same feel as the original publication, with all the original illustrations and photography, and includes a lovely retrospective written by their daughter Victoria Price, where you learn that Vincent Price’s grandfather invented cream of tartar baking powder, was the first person to patent extracts of vanilla, lemon and other flavorings, and also wrote many cookbooks. Food runs in the family! The cookbook follows the Price’s travels through Europe, Mexico and the United States and features the menus of restaurants they visited and loved, along with recipes from those menus. As both a food lover and a graphic designer, I especially love that the actual menus are reproduced in the book. The Prices also include many of their family’s recipes and, in true vintage cookbook fashion, there is a section dedicated to (can you guess?)…napkin folding! I just love this stuff! I told you I’m a vintage cookbook junkie!

    Vincent and Mary Price's "A Treasury of Great Recipes" cookbook review and giveaway from @janemaynard

    While Vincent may have been a master at horror, he was also a master at sharing wonderful food with people. So, this Halloween week, we are giving away a copy of Vincent and Mary’s beautiful, classic book. Here is how to enter!

    • Simply leave a comment, any comment, on this post! If you would like to share your favorite restaurant with us in your comment, that would be very fun and in the spirit of the book!
    • Bonus entry: Like Dover Publications on Facebook. Leave a separate comment indicating you have done so.
    • Bonus entry: Follow Dover Publications on Pinterest. Leave a separate comment indicating you have done so.
    • Bonus entry: Tweet this post and giveaway using the hashtag #CookingwithVincent. Leave a separate comment with a link to your tweet.

    One comment will be randomly selected to choose the winner. Comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Thursday 11/5/2015 and prize must be shipped to an address in the continental United States.

    To buy the book, visit Dover Publications and be sure to use the code WRAQ to get 25% of your purchase before 12/07/2015.  If you have any cookbook lovers in your life (or you are one yourself!), this is a very fun book, I definitely recommend it!

    Vincent and Mary Price's "A Treasury of Great Recipes" cookbook review and giveaway + 25% off coupon from @janemaynard

    Thank you to Dover Publications for sponsoring this post and giveaway!

  3. Friday, October 16

    Friday Show and Tell + The 2015 Maynard Concert Marathon!


    autumn stone wall cocktail from @janemaynard

    I have just one food link for you today. If you’re looking for a good cocktail for fall, well, I’ve got you covered. Be sure to check out this recipe for an Autumn Stone Wall on BabbleThe origin of this cocktail dates back to Colonial times, so, you know, you should totally drink it in the name of history.

    Florence and the Machine in Concert, San Diego 2015, by @janemaynard

    Okay, so Nate and I went a little crazy this week. We went to three concerts, all on school nights. And I am feeling it today. Actually, I was feeling it yesterday when we still had one more concert to go, which I think makes me officially an old lady. But it was TOTALLY WORTH IT. All three concerts rocked (pun intended) so I have to tell you about them!

    • alt-j: I wasn’t so sure how the band alt-j would sound live since their music has a very electronic feel, but they were amazing! Really, so impressive. Their music is layered and complicated and different in a very good way. Such a great show, I highly recommend catching them live if you are a fan of the band.
    • Florence and the Machine: We knew Florence’s voice would blow pretty much everything out of the water and we were right. Her voice is unreal. And she is BANANAS, running and jumping and spinning like a crazy person the entire concert. She must work out a LOT because WOW. Also, she is unbelievably endearing and sweet. At one point she got choked up and confessed that she hadn’t wanted to do the show that night as her beloved uncle had passed away less than 24 hours prior, but that she was glad she had done the show anyway. I don’t know how she pulled herself together after that. Anyway, she rocks. Go see her show if you ever get the chance.
    • Hozier: This guy. I mean, we all know he has a great voice (and it’s even better live), but he is also a phenomenal guitarist who can JAM. And his songs are all great. Oh, and he is SO nice, with just a really positive vibe. He not only introduced the band members but the entire crew, including the bus drivers. At the close of the show he linked arms with his bandmates for a big bow, which was adorable, and he kept plugging the other musicians in the nicest most un-annoying way, including the opening band Little Green Cars (who were really good, btw). Basically, we love him. I also highly recommend going to one of his shows if you ever can.

    If you visit my Instagram feed, you can watch little video snippets from each show. They’re pretty sweet.

    That’s it for me today. As usual, please share your own stuff in the comments! That’s what Show and Tell is for!

  4. Thursday, October 8

    What to Eat in New Orleans, i.e. How to Give Yourself a Food Hangover

    Last week I went to New Orleans with my mom, sister-in-law Cora and sister Anne with one goal: to eat tons of food. We not only achieved our goal, we did so with flying colors. Actually, too many flying colors. By the third night I felt strange. Physically strange. I think it was a food hangover. Listen, I’ve been known to put down a lot of food in my day, but New Orleans just about did me in. And it was totally worth it. Man, the food is awesome. And beyond food, the city is beautiful, the people are friendly and the music is the BEST. New Orleans has captured my heart. (As well as my stomach!)

    Cabildo Alley | New Orleans | What to Eat in New Orleans from @janemaynard (photo by Cora Wallin)Cabildo Alley. Photo credit: Cora Wallin

    As we prepared for the trip, Anne made us all do research and put it in a Google doc so that when we were on the ground we’d be ready to go! Of course we didn’t get to half of what was in the doc, but we did a TON in our 3 1/2 days in NOLA and I honestly can’t believe how much food we ate.

    Jackson Square | What to Eat in New Orleans by @janemaynardJackson Square

    If you follow my very enthusiastic advice and visit New Orleans (you better!!!), here are all the delicious/wonderful/interesting/fun places you should visit!


    Ruby Slipper Cafe (Days 1 & 4…we started and ended our time in New Orleans here!)
    My friend Kalli visited NOLA just one week ahead of us and recommended the Ruby Slipper Cafe, stating that the biscuits were the BEST THING EVER and that she wished she had just ordered biscuits and bacon as her meal. I do agree that those items were delectable, but I am SO glad we ordered other items, too. Honestly, Ruby Slipper really stands out for all four of us as a favorite from the weekend. Here are some of our Ruby Slipper top picks! (Click here for full menu and descriptions.)

    • Chicken St. Charles: I could eat this for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s UNREAL. The fried chicken is divine, the egg was poached to perfection, and the tasso sauce finished it all off beautifully. (Side note: Tasso ham is a southern Louisiana specialty.)
    • Eggs Blackstone: This was my first meal in New Orleans and, let’s just say, it set a very high bar.
    • One word: BISCUITS. Best biscuits we had all weekend.
    • Bananas Foster Pain Perdu: This French toast was one of my mom’s favorite foods from the whole weekend. Delish!
    • We didn’t imbibe at Ruby Slipper, BUT their alcoholic breakfast drink menu was extensive and delicious sounding. It’s always 5:00 somewhere, right?

    Chicken St. Charles from Ruby Slipper Cafe in New Orleans | from @janemaynard

    Biscuits from Ruby Slipper Cafe in New Orleans by @janemaynard

    Eggs Blackstone from Ruby Slipper Cafe in New Orleans by @janemaynard

    (>> Find out more…)

  5. Wednesday, September 30

    Honey-Glazed Chicken with Root Vegetables + The 8×8 Cookbook and Blog Potluck

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again…I have met some truly amazing people thanks to blogging. Amazing. People. One of those people is food blogger and cookbook author Kathy Strahs. We met many moons ago at a conference and our friendship grew from there. For a short time we even lived in the same neighborhood, which was the BEST THING EVER. Sadly she’s not down the street any more, but I make up for that by pestering her with text messages.

    the 8x8 cookbook recipe for honey-glazed chicken with roasted vegetables from @janemaynard

    One of the things I love about Kathy so much is her brain. She is a smart cookie, that Kathy. She also happens to be good at making cookies. She’s the whole cookie package (that’s like the highest compliment I can give someone). Anyway, yeah, Kathy’s brain. It does smart and cool and high quality stuff.

    the 8x8 cookbook recipe for honey-glazed chicken with roasted vegetables from @janemaynard

    So, why am I rambling on and on about Kathy? Because I have some of that awesome Kathy stuff to share with you!

    The 8x8 Cookbook and Kickstarter | Recipe for Honey-Glazed Chicken by Kathy Strahs from @janemaynard

    Today Kathy launched a Kickstarter for her next cookbook The 8×8 Cookbook: Square Meals for Weeknight Family Dinners, Desserts and More along with her new publishing company Burnt Cheese Press.

    the 8x8 cookbook recipe for honey-glazed chicken with roasted vegetables from @janemaynard

    Here’s the deal. You will love this book. You need to buy it. Visit Kathy’s Kickstarter page to see the different pledge levels and secure your first-edition copy today! The pledge rewards are great, including a “How to Make Mac ‘n Cheese” graphic t-shirt designed by Kathy’s adorable daughter Hayley. There is a book trailer on the Kickstarter page as well as more details about the project. Please check it out and spread the word!

    the 8x8 cookbook recipe for honey-glazed chicken with roasted vegetables from @janemaynard

    To celebrate today’s launch, I am participating in a blog potluck with Kathy and other food friends! I had the chance to make one of her 8×8 recipes – Honey-Glazed Chicken with Root Vegetables. Prep time was less than 25 minutes and dinner was delicious. I even doubled the recipe and used TWO 8×8 pans, because I knew we’d love it so much. I was right, we did!

    A potluck wouldn’t be a potluck with just ONE dish! Be sure to check out all the other recipes from The 8×8 Cookbook that are being featured today to celebrate Kathy’s Kickstarter launch!

    Without further ado, Honey-Glazed Chicken with Root Vegetables!

    Honey-Glazed Chicken with Root Vegetables
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
    By Kathy Strahs, from The 8x8 Cookbook: Square Meals for Weeknight Family Dinners and More--In One Perfect 8x8 Inch Dish (Burnt Cheese Press, 2015), reprinted with permission. As excerpted from the book: "The shiny glazed chicken drumsticks get all the attention in this dish, but the roasted root vegetables relaxing beneath them really deserve some notice. Carrots, turnips, and potatoes are flavorful in their own right, and here, with honey-balsamic glaze traveling down from the chicken, they become truly next level! They go into the oven partially cooked to make sure they’re done right in synch with the chicken."
    Serves: 4
    • 1 cup roughly chopped carrots (about 2 medium)
    • 1 cup roughly chopped turnips (1 to 2 small)
    • 1 cup roughly chopped skin-on red potatoes (about ½ pound)
    • ½ small red onion, cut into wedges
    • 2 tablespoons honey
    • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
    • ¾ teaspoon coarse salt
    • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1½ pounds chicken drumsticks
    1. Heat oven to 400º F.
    2. Place the carrots, turnips and potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 4 minutes (alternatively, you can blanch the vegetables in a large pot of boiling water for 3 minutes). Drain any excess water and transfer the vegetables to an 8x8-inch glass or ceramic baking dish or metal baking pan. Add the onion wedges to the dish or pan.
    3. In a small bowl, stir together the honey and balsamic vinegar. Set aside.
    4. In a small bowl, combine the thyme, salt and pepper. Measure out ¾ teaspoon of the seasoning mixture and sprinkle it all over the vegetables. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables and toss to combine.
    5. Season the chicken with the remaining seasoning mixture–be sure to slide some of the seasonings under the skin as well as on the outside. Arrange the chicken on top of the vegetables. Roast for 20 minutes. Brush the chicken with half of the honey-balsamic mixture and bake for another 15 minutes. Brush the chicken with the remaining honey-balsamic mixture and continue baking until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF and the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes more (tent the chicken with foil if the glaze starts to burn).

    Thank you to Le Creuset for providing the beautiful 8×8 dish!

  6. Tuesday, September 29

    Another Birthday, Another Cake! Owen’s Anchor Birthday Cake

    If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I like to make fun birthday cakes for my kids. Before you start feeling guilty for not making fun birthday cakes for your kids, don’t, because I promise there are plenty of other things you do as a parent that I’m failing at. If, however, you are like me and making fun birthday cakes is your thing, I do like to share my cakes with you so you can steal my ideas!

    how to make a kids' birthday anchor cake by @janemaynard + recipe for vanilla cake

    Owen had a pirate themed birthday party this year and he decided he wanted an anchor cake. Nate and I tried to talk him into a pirate flag cake. That would have been SO EASY…just a 9×13 cake with black frosting, topped with a fondant skull and crossbones rolled out and cut into the right shape…if only. But alas, he wouldn’t go for it. Anchors away!

    At first I thought an anchor cake would be easy peasy. Shaping the cake was in fact simple, However, frosting the cake was WICKED HARD. So many nooks and crannies around the edge! My frosting skills were no match and this was my worst-frosted cake ever, but it still looked cute enough and 4-year-olds surprisingly don’t notice these things.

    how to make a kids' birthday anchor cake by @janemaynard + recipe for vanilla cake

    Here’s how to make an anchor cake!

    • Bake a 9″ x 13″ cake.
    • Draw your anchor shape onto the cake oriented vertically by scoring the top of the cake with a sharp knife, then cut the cake into the shape. Make it a nice tall anchor. It’s okay to have the top circle cut off and the side “arrow” thingies cut off because you can…
    • …use the large cake scraps to shape pieces to round off the top of the anchor and add to the arrow-shaped sides.
    • For the chain, I mixed black food coloring into white fondant to make grey. I rolled out skinny snake shapes and linked them together. The final touch was to lightly brush the chain with metallic edible silver dust from Wilton. That was Anna’s idea and it made the chain look AWESOME. I rolled out a thin white disc for the hole in the top of the anchor where the chain is attached.

    how to make a kids' birthday anchor cake by @janemaynard + recipe for vanilla cakeClick here for my comprehensive “Amateur’s Guide to Making Super Cute Cakes,” which includes a recipe for chocolate cake and buttercream frosting as well as LOTS of tips for shaping and decorating cakes. And, because I’ve never shared it before, below is the recipe for vanilla cake we use, which was what Owen requested. This recipe comes from my favorite cake book, Cakes for Kids by Matthew Mead. The book is out of print but there are copies on Amazon.

    how to make a kids' birthday anchor cake by @janemaynard + recipe for vanilla cake

    The best part of Owen’s cake had absolutely nothing to do with the cake. The wind blew out his candles while we were singing. Nate quickly relit them all, then the wind blew 3 of the 4 candles out again. Nate went to relight them AGAIN. Instead Owen just rolled with the punches and blew out the one candle. It was super cute, although I suspect that he knew 1 candle was easier to blow out than 4. Crafty guy.

    Vanilla Cake
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
    This is a great basic vanilla cake recipe from Matthew Mead's "Cakes for Kids" book. I've re-written the directions in my own words.
    • 2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for pans
    • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ⅔ cup butter at room temperature
    • 1¾ cups sugar
    • 2 large eggs, room temp
    • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1¼ cups milk
    • 2 teaspoons grated fresh orange or lemon zest (optional)
    1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
    2. This recipe works for 24 cupcakes, 2 8-inch or 9-inch cakes, or 1 9x13 cake. If using cupcake liners, place liners in muffin tin and set aside. If using cake pan(s), lightly grease the bottom of the cake pan, line it with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper and the sides of the pan. Lightly flour the pan. Set aside.
    3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the 2½ cups flour, baking powder and salt.
    4. Using a stand mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl.
    5. Leaving the mixer on medium speed, add ¼ cup sugar. Beat for 3 minutes. Keep adding sugar ¼ cup at a time, mixing for 3 minutes between each addition until you've added all the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat on medium speed for 2 more minutes.
    6. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating at medium speed for 30 seconds between each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
    7. With the mixer on low speed, add ⅓ of the flour mixture, then half of the milk, then ⅓ of the flour mixture, then the rest of the milk, then the rest of the flour mixture, mixing until just combined for each addition. If using zest, add it now.
    8. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then give the batter one more mix at high speed for 20 seconds.
    9. Spread the batter in the pan, filling cake pans or cupcakes ⅔ full with batter.
    10. For 8- or 9-inch cakes, bake for 30-35 minutes. For 9x13 cake, bake for 35-40 minutes. For cupcakes bake for 10-12 minutes. Toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean when done.
    11. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Using a knife, cut around the edges of the cake, then invert the pan over the wire rack, lift pan to remove cake and peel off parchment paper. Let cake cool completely on the rack. For cupcakes, let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing.


  7. Wednesday, September 9

    Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil Tap Rooms are FUN

    This summer while visiting my family in New Jersey, we took a day trip to Warwick, NY. I love that cute little town and try to discover something new each time we go. This summer we happened upon the Warwick Valley Olive Oil Co., which opened up earlier this year.

    Warwick Valley Olive Oil Co. visit and why tap rooms are FUN!

    This beautiful shop is a balsamic vinegar and olive oil tap room. I had never visited a tap room prior to our visit to Warwick and quickly fell in love. I love high-quality olive oils, a love that flourished while living in the Bay Area near McEvoy Ranch.

    Warwick Valley Olive Oil Co. visit and why tap rooms are FUN!

    Balsamic vinegar is another ingredient that I was fairly clueless about until I had the chance to try a really high-quality vinegar. Several years ago I went to the Fancy Food Show with my dear friend Vanessa Druckman. In the “Italy” section of the expo there were several balsamic vinegar companies. One of the vendors had us taste his most expensive vinegar (p.s. you can really spend a lot of money on vinegar, in case you were looking for a way to spend a lot of money). I can’t even explain how amazingly delicious that spoonful of balsamic vinegar was. Otherworldly, my friends.

    Warwick Valley Olive Oil Co. visit and why tap rooms are FUN!

    Warwick Valley Olive Oil Co. visit and why tap rooms are FUN!

    As you can imagine, a balsamic vinegar and olive oil tap room was right up my alley! I was drinking oil and vinegars left and right! The balsamic vinegar flavors were especially fun, from cherry to peach to chocolate! I ended up buying the grapefruit vinegar as well as a bottle of Italian olive oil that was pressed in May 2015.

    Warwick Valley Olive Oil Co. visit and why tap rooms are FUN!

    The kids did surprisingly well in the store with us, and my girls really enjoyed trying the balsamic vinegars. That said, it was a good thing Grandma was there to read stories while my sister-in-law Cora and I reveled in the oil and vinegar. For some reason the kids didn’t think that the tap room was quite as fun as I did. Strange.

    Warwick Valley Olive Oil Co. visit and why tap rooms are FUN!

    The bottom line is this…if you have a chance to visit a tap room, do it! It is really a unique and fun experience. No, really, it IS fun. I swear!

  8. Friday, September 4

    Show and Tell

    Hey friends! I don’t have any food links to share this week, so let’s just watch some TV, shall we?

    Okay, Netflix is killing it. I have three shows I need to share.

    mr. rogers' neighborhood on netflix!

    First, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood is on Netflix! Well, 20 episodes are, anyway. Just like with Reading Rainbow, we are pumped in our house. Both of those shows are the best and I’m so glad my kids can watch them!

    documentary "on the way to school" is on netflix

    Second, the kids and I watched On the Way to School this week. It’s a wonderful documentary to watch with your children and all three of my kids were interested and engaged the whole time. It follows four children from four parts of the world as they make their way to school in the morning. For me there were definitely moments of “What difference did it make having a camera there?”, but the film was still well done and impactful. Big thanks to our friends Nikki and Brian for letting us know about it! Also, if you are prone to crying, keep a box of Kleenex handy.

    narcos on netflix

    My third recommendation for the week is not for the kiddos. In fact, keep the kids far, far away! Nate and I started watching the Netflix original Narcos this week and we are hooked. Narcos follows the story of the infamous Colombian drug trafficker Pablo Escobar and the DEA agents who worked to take him down. Basically the whole time I am watching this show, I can’t stop thinking, “How is this real?!?!?!” This show is very well done and engaging, as well as disturbing and shocking. So, if you’re into drug cartels and stuff, this one’s for you! 😉

  9. Thursday, September 3

    If Your Grocery Store Makes Tortilla Chips, You Should Be Eating Them

    Today is more of a PSA than anything. Sometime over the last year I discovered that our Albertson’s grocery store sold tortilla chips in the deli section. The chips had a sticker that said “Made here” and they looked pretty good, so I grabbed a bag.

    why grocery store tortilla chips are the best!


    Like a million times better than any other tortilla chips you can buy. They’re just so fresh and the texture is just so good and it sort of tastes like if you made the chips yourself, which of course you will never ever do but now you don’t have to.

    So, anyway, the Albertson’s where I got the chips closed down, so for the last 6 months I’ve been driving to another Albertson’s farther away JUST to buy chips. I usually buy like 3 bags at a time and I’m pretty sure the employees there call me the Crazy Chip Lady behind my back.

    why grocery store tortilla chips are the BEST

    Then the other day my friend Debbie was like, “Um, they have those at VONS, too.” VONS is way closer to my house than Albertson’s, so I was like, “WHAT?!?!?!” and promptly went out and bought a bag. The VONS “homemade” tortilla chips are exactly like the Albertson’s chips and basically now I can die happy.

    SOOOOOO…what is the point of this post? If your grocery store sells tortilla chips that are made on site, usually found in the produce or deli section of the store, you should be buying them and eating them and not buying any other tortilla chips ever. I have no idea how many stores do this in how many states, so I don’t know how helpful this advice is for you. But you need to at least investigate. The chips will change your life.

    why grocery store tortilla chips are the BEST

    Can you tell I might be a little bit teensy weensy addicted to and obsessed with these chips? In my defense, everyone I introduce the chips to feels just as passionately, so I’m not totally crazy. I swear.

  10. Thursday, August 27

    Easy Peasy 3-Bean Salad for One!

    The giveaway in this post is now closed. But there’s a recipe, so keep reading!

    When it comes to my kids’ lunches, I try to do a decent job of feeding them a balanced meal. There’s not much sugar, always a protein of some kind, and definitely fresh fruit. The one area where I am lacking, however, is vegetables. Once in a while I throw in sliced cucumbers or carrot sticks, but more often than not I miss vegetables entirely.

    quick and easy 3-bean salad recipe for one from @janemaynardLibby’s® recently contacted me about developing a quick and easy single serving recipe using Libby’s 4 oz. Vegetable Cups. To help with developing the recipe, Libby’s mailed our family a box of the vegetable cups to try out and experiment with. My daughter Anna, who loves trying food and cooking with me, was genuinely excited about the cups.

    Libby's Vegetable Cups

    Anna: “Mom, what are these?”

    Me: “Those are the veggie cups I am going to use for a recipe.”

    Anna: “Ooooo! Can I have some green beans? Please?!”

    Um, yes, she actually said that. And she actually liked the green beans! She liked the carrots, too, and she looooooved the corn. Anna is 100% supportive of me packing the Vegetable Cups in her lunches.

    quick and easy 3-bean salad recipe for one from @janemaynard

    For the recipe I developed I decided to go with a super quick and easy 3-bean salad for one! This makes for a “fancy” after-school snack or even a quick side dish with dinner when life gets busy. And this recipe utilizes one of my favorite magical ingredients: Italian Dressing. Italian dressing has a way of making pretty much any recipe easier, including salads of all kinds.

    quick and easy 3-bean salad recipe for one from @janemaynardIn addition to today’s recipe, we also have a giveaway! Not only will the winner receive an assortment of Libby’s Vegetable Cups, but they will also be gifted with this ridiculously cute Amanda’s Kids’ Lunch Playset from I wish I could enter the giveaway, all three of my kids would love this playset! (Maybe I’ll just have to go buy it!)

    amanda's kids' lunch playsetTo enter the giveaway, please do the following (comments must be posted by Midnight PT 9/3/15):

    The randomly-selected winner of this giveaway was comment #22 Kelly, who said, “What a great idea! My Mom used to make 3-bean salad, but I never thought about sending it in the kids’ lunches. Thanks for the recipe!”

    quick and easy 3-bean salad recipe for one from @janemaynard

    And now for the recipe! It seriously took me less than 5 minutes to toss this salad together. It doesn’t get easier than that. Enjoy!

    4.7 from 3 reviews
    3-Bean Salad for One
    Prep time
    Total time
    Serves: 1
    • 1 Libby's 4-oz. Green Bean Vegetable Cup
    • 1 tablespoon garbanzo beans
    • 1 tablespoon kidney beans
    • 1 teaspoon chopped red onion
    • 2 teaspoons Italian dressing
    1. Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Voila! You're done!
    Cost: Appx. $0.60/serving

    This post was sponsored by Libby’s – payment was received for services rendered.

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