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Category: Favorites

  1. 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! ūüėČ 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? ūüėČ 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.


  2. Tuesday, August 1

    Happy Summer! Albion Fit Swim Giveaway!

    I am currently sitting in a beach house in Woods Hole, MA on Cape Cod. The weather is perfect and we are hitting the beach every single day this week. Basically, I don’t ever want to go back to real life.

    Albion Fit Mid-Summer Swim Giveaway on This Week for Dinner (@janemaynard)

    This year I have a new swimsuit, thanks to Albion Fit, and I have been loving it on our East Coast vacation. I am loving the suit this summer. LOVING. It’s comfortable, I love the fabric, and people keep asking where I got it. (Click here for a link to the suit.¬†You can also get my suit in black, but I don’t know why you would because the Antigua pattern is awesome.)

    The founders of Albion are dear friends of ours and Liz and I thought it would be fun to do a swim giveaway for a little mid-summer fun! So let’s get right down to it! Who doesn’t want a cute new suit in the summertime?

    HERE’S HOW TO ENTER!¬†Simply comment on this post telling us your favorite Albion swimsuit! One randomly-selected commenter will win an Albion¬†swimsuit of their choice!

    BONUS INSTAGRAM ENTRY! You can also enter the giveaway on Instagram! Simply click here and leave a comment on my Instagram post about this giveaway with the name of your favorite Albion swimsuit AND tag a friend in that comment.

    All comments, both here on the blog and on Instagram, must be posted by Midnight PT on Saturday August 5, 2017.

    Good luck and happy swimming!

    The winner of this giveaway was Mary Beth, who commented, “These are beautiful suits! I am loving the Grace off the shoulder one-piece!” Congratulations! And thank you to all who entered!

     


  3. Friday, June 30

    Friday Show & Tell: NETFLIX!

    It’s been a wee bit since we talked TV here on the blog. And¬†I kind of need to because HOLY SMOKES Netflix has some so much goodness going on right now. I’ll just list a few of our recent favorite Netflix originals…and of course tell us in the comments what you’re loving on Netflix lately, too!

    Shows We’ve Watched and Loved

    Bloodline on Netflix

    Bloodline

    Who here has finished Bloodline? Do you hate it? Love it? For me¬†it took a few days of mulling everything over to come to the conclusion that I was “happy” with the ending. (Happy in quotes because, well, nothing in that show is actually for real happy, right?) ANYWAY…this was a great show! We are sad it’s over but loved watching the end.

    Master of None on Netflix

    Master of None

    We just started Master of None recently and are still on Season 1 but we love it. Apparently Season 2 is awesome, too. We aren’t sure why we didn’t watch this show until now but Nate and I are glad we finally did!

    A Series Of Unfortunate Events on Netflix

    A Series of Unfortunate Events

    A Series of Unfortunate Events¬†is a family-friendly show that every last member of our¬†family (including the adults!) loves. Cate, my 12-year-old, has seen the most episodes and she says they’re all awesome. We enjoyed watching it together as a family and honestly it’s so well done. We highly recommend it!

    Anne with an E on Netflix

    Anne with an E

    I was wary when I heard Netflix was going to remake the Anne of Green Gables series because, well, the original¬†PBS mini-series with Megan Follows from back in the day is just so darned beloved. Netflix’s Anne with an E has delivered! The show is¬†beautifully¬†done and I love it. It’s a little more real than the original (there are flashbacks to Anne’s abuse that are far more jarring than the PBS series), but for me this is one of the reasons the show is so good. It adds more depth to Anne and her experience. The casting and the shooting are both impeccable and, well, we love it! Anne is in good hands!

    Chef's Table on Netflix

    Chef’s Table

    As far as cooking shows go, I think Chef’s Table may be Nate’s and my favorite.

    The Great British Baking Show

    Okay, so this isn’t a Netflix Original, but The Great British Baking Show is streaming on Netflix once again and the girls and I are pumped! In addition, The Great British Baking Show Masterclass is also available, where Paul and Mary teach us now to cook. Yes, please!

    Shows We Need to Watch

    Glow on Netflix

    Glow

    Basically anything I see or hear about Glow declares that it is pure awesome. (For example, here is a review on The Atlantic¬†that declares the show a delight.) It’s next up on our list!

    OKJA on Netflix

    Okja

    The Netflix original film Okja¬†is supposed to be amazing. (Here’s a New York Times review that should whet your whistle.) My sister told us we¬†have to watch it. And so we will.

     

    I’m going to stop now because basically there simply¬†aren’t enough hours in the day and I want to make sure you get some sleep in, too. Happy watching!

    I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team, which means I get a free Netflix subscription and some cool goodies occasionally. I was, however, a Netflix customer prior to my relationship with Netflix and have pretty much always been addicted to TV, so I am more than happy to work with them! This post was not compensated monetarily.


  4. Thursday, May 11

    Fudgy Thumprint Chocolate Chip Cookies + A Fair Trade Mother’s Day

    Guess what? I have another fun Mother’s Day post for you, complete with an easy, delicious recipe and an equally delicious giveaway!

    Recipe for Easy Fudgy Thumbprint Chocolate Chip Cookies from @janemaynard

    Each year I create a post in conjunction with Fair Trade USA to celebrate Mother’s Day and this year is no exception! As usual they sent me a box of goodies (which we will be giving away to one of you lucky people in just a moment) to inspire a Mother’s Day baking project.

    Recipe for Easy Fudgy Thumbprint Chocolate Chip Cookies from @janemaynard

    This month has been super busy and as Mother’s Day has approached I haven’t had a lot of time to bake. Normally when Fair Trade sends me a box of goodies they include a baking mix from Immaculate Baking Company. I haven’t ever used the mixes in¬†my posts¬†because I normally create my Fair Trade recipes from scratch. This time, however, I decided to embrace the ease of the cookie mix, adding¬†a fun twist to make it special.

    First off, the Immaculate Organic Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix is so, so, so¬†good. Whether or not you add my fudgy thumbprint you’ll be happy with this mix. But the fudgy addition really takes these cookies over the top. Today’s recipe kind of had a longer journey than most of my recipes. First I tried to make cookie cups with a fudgy center but it just didn’t work practically or¬†visually, but they tasted amazing. So then I tried stuffing the cookies, which worked pretty well but not exactly what I envisioned. So then I tried a thumbprint and it worked! The fudgy “button” goes so beautifully with these cookies and you will love them, especially since it’s so easy to throw this dessert together!¬†How Fair Trade Helps Women

    The most wonderful part of this recipe is that using Fair Trade ingredients means you can celebrate strong women and mothers throughout the world by¬†supporting their livelihood. I’ve read so many stories about how Fair Trade helps women in so many countries and I love it when I can incorporate as many fair trade ingredients as possible into my recipes.¬†The infographic above is a great summary of why Fair Trade is so cool! For today’s recipe I used the¬†Immaculate Organic Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix¬†as well as Guittard’s Extra Dark Chocolate Chips, so it’s a Fair Trade double whammy! The recipe is below…but first…

    Fair Trade Goodies Giveaway!The giveaway! Fair Trade will send one of you lucky people the same gift box I received, which includes product from the following companies:

    To enter the giveaway, all you need to do is a leave a comment on this post before Midnight PT on 3/25/17! That’s it! Easy peasy…as easy as today’s recipe, which I will give to you now!¬†The¬†randomly-selected winner of this giveaway was Comment #24 Michele. Congratulations, Michele!

    Recipe for Easy Fudgy Thumbprint Chocolate Chip Cookies from @janemaynard

    Fudgy Thumbprint Chocolate Chip Cookies
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    A fair trade-friendly recipe that is easy and delicious!
    Author:
    Serves: 22 cookies
    Ingredients
    • 1 Immaculate Baking Company Organic Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
    • ½ cup dark chocolate chips (Guittard is my favorite and they are Fair Trade!)
    • ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk
    • Pinch salt
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 375¬ļF (or 350¬ļ for a dark non-stick pan).
    2. Follow directions to mix the dough for the cookie mix.
    3. Once dough is mixed, put chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and salt in a small microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high in the microwave for 45 seconds, then stir until all chocolate has melted.
    4. Let chocolate mix cool for a few minutes. While the chocolate is cooling, create 1-tablespoon rounded cookie dough balls. With your thumb press a well in the center of each cookie dough ball, then place ½ teaspoon blobs of the chocolate fudgy filling in the center. If the chocolate is sticking to your fingers a lot, just get your fingers a little bit wet with water. Keep in mind, the shape of the chocolate will look how it looks after baking as it did before, so if you want the chocolate nice and smooth, smooth it out before baking!
    5. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Let cool before eating.

     


  5. A Beautiful Up-Cycled Mother’s Day Giveaway + Maybe The Easiest Mother’s Day Craft Ever (as in, NO WORK FOR MOM)

    Sponsored by General Mills Cereals

    Happy almost Mother’s Day! To celebrate I have a fun and EASY craft idea for the kids in your life as well as some love for TO THE MARKET, one of my most favorite companies. And a beautiful giveaway that will have 20 winners (woohoo!).

    To The Market Up-Cycled Cereal Box Necklaces

    As you know I’ve worked with General Mills Cereals in the past. They approached me recently about coming up with a fun craft idea using up-cycled cereal boxes with my kids. I AM NOT A CRAFTY PERSON. But when I told my kids about the project they were all in. You see, they are crafty people. I’m not entirely sure they are my children. Anyway, my kids were doubly in when they learned they would have to eat some of their favorite, yummy cereals, Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Honey Nut Cheerios, in order to make the craft happen (empty cereal boxes are a necessity!). Basically, this is their favorite post on my blog ever.

    Up-cycled Cereal Box Mother's Day Flowers

    As a lovely Mother’s Day gift, General Mills Cereals sent me a necklace and bracelet set from TO THE MARKET. TO THE MARKET is a company that sells survivor-made goods from around the world. I’ve written about TO THE MARKET before and founder and CEO Jane Mosbacher Morris is one of my favorite people. She was even on my podcast at one point! (It’s one of my favorite episodes, by the way. Jane is the BEST.) Anyway, TO THE MARKET is helping SO MANY WOMEN and their products are beyond lovely. I have a very special place in my heart for their work.

    To The Market Up-Cycled Cereal Box Necklaces

    The jewelry that General Mills Cereals sent was created by Haitian TO THE MARKET artists, with beads made from up-cycled cereal boxes. The beads are gorgeous. You simply cannot believe they are made from cereal boxes. Both my girls are enamored with the jewelry (I think Anna might steal it) and felt very inspired for their own cereal box crafting!

    Up-cycled Cereal Box Mother's Day Flowers

    Up-cycled Cereal Box Mother's Day Flowers

    Which brings us to today‚Äôs craft. For real this is the best craft ever because the parent doesn‚Äôt have to do ANYTHING. Just give the kids some empty cereal boxes (the more colorful the better!), scotch tape and colorful straws. Then say, ‚ÄúGo make flowers!‚ÄĚ All three of my kids, from ages 5 to 12, had a blast cutting up the boxes and getting creative. Anna‚Äôs flower ended up being three dimensional, Cate made an adorable bumblebee for the bouquet, and Owen went completely off book and made a ladybug with a heart to show that the ladybug loves me. I consider it all a crafting success! And I didn‚Äôt lift a finger. (Well, okay, I helped clean up the billions of cereal box cuttings strewn about the kitchen. But it was worth it.)

    Up-cycled Cereal Box Mother's Day Craft

    Lucky for our family my beloved mother will be here for Mother’s Day this year. She will be taking home the best bouquet ever!

    Giveaway time! General Mills Cereals and TO THE MARKET¬†are providing TWENTY¬†of you lucky people with your own necklace made with upcycled cereal box beads.¬†You can’t buy these necklaces, so this is the only way to get one! Here is how to enter: (Comments must be posted by Midnight PT May 25, 2017.)

    BONUS BONUS BONUS: If you head on over to TO THE MARKET’S Stories Blog, they are also giving away these necklaces¬†and you can enter there, too! Yippee!¬†Winners were randomly selected and have been notified via email. Thank you!

    Happy Mother’s Day!

    I partnered with General Mills for this post because they are committed to strengthening communities around the world through remarkable initiatives, nonprofits and causes that help strength people and the planet. General Mills Cereals partnered with TO THE MARKET to create these handcrafted pieces of jewelry from up-cycled cereal boxes as part of this commitment and to celebrate all the moms, caregivers, aunts, sisters and special heroes who fill the world with love.

    Learn more about General Mills Cereals and its delicious line of cereals including Honey Nut Cheerios, Lucky Charm, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and many more at www.generalmills.com/cereal.


  6. Friday, March 24

    Show and Tell Time!

    I haven’t done Show and Tell in SO LONG. It’s time.

    Julie's Greenroom, now streaming on Netflix (Julie Andrews and the Jim Henson Company team up to teach kids about theater)

    TV Loves

    Okay, so Netflix is keeping us busy lately. Here are a few of our recent favorite discoveries:

    • Julie’s Greenroom. Julie Andrews is the best person EVER, amiright?¬†I just discovered that she has a new Jim Henson Company children’s show streaming on Netflix called Julie’s Greenroom. I already know I love it and I haven’t even watched it. Here’s an article from The Guardian that gives a nice summary of the show. My kids are going to be watching this show no matter what.
    • The OA. Have you watched The OA¬†yet? WHAT DID YOU THINK?!?!?! I’m not even 100% sure I know what I think about it all, but I do know we blasted through the first season in about half a second. It was crazy and fun and mysterious and that-last-episode-what-the-what?!?!
    • The Grinder. This comedy series starring Fred Savage and Rob Lowe originally¬†aired on Fox and is now streaming on Netflix. Nate and I cannot figure out why it was cancelled after one season because it’s hysterical. We’re considering watching all the episodes again because we need more Grinder in our life! (Hey, Netflix, maybe a Season 2? Just sayin’…)
    • Hap & Leonard. Netflix recently suggested this show to us and Netflix was right again. This Sundance series is great. We’re only about halfway through the first season but we are totally loving¬†it. Also, OMAR. (If you see the name Omar and know what I’m talking about, then you’ll know you need to watch this show.)

    Be sure to check out Robyn Stone's new cookbook "Add a Pinch," an easier, fresher approach to Southern cooking

    Cookbook Loves

    One of my long-time blogging friends Robyn Stone just published a beautiful cookbook and I’m so excited for her!¬†Robyn has been blogging at¬†Add a Pinch for many years (seriously, I’ve known her forever in blog years!) and has published her cookbook of the same name. It’s as beautiful as I anticipated it would¬†be and I can’t wait to dive into the¬†recipes she shares in the book. The premise of her book is easy, fast, fresh¬†Southern classics, which sounds just about perfect to me. A big congratulations to Robyn on¬†the birth of her book baby! I am so happy for her and she deserves the very best! You can pick up Robyn’s book on Amazon.

    Seaworthy shop in Carlsbad, CA + SAND+GRIT jewelry - Fab Faves from @janemaynard

    Local Loves

    I need to throw out some local love from here in North County San Diego. If you’re local or vacation in North County San Diego, be sure to check out the recently re-opened shop Seaworthy¬†in Carlsbad Village. My talented friend Ashley now owns the store and is doing beautiful things there.

    Thanks to Ashley’s store I just now have discovered SAND+GRIT jewelry, made by a local artisan in Carlsbad. I LOVE HER STUFF SO MUCH. I wear my new¬†triangle necklace and¬†copper cuffs¬†every day. The Seven Earring in 14K Rose Gold is next on my to-buy list. Bonus: SAND+GRIT is high quality and affordable, a great combo. You don’t have to be in Carlsbad to get your hands on this awesome jewelry…just visit their website! (And good luck not buying everything.)

    That’s it for me today. As you know, Show and Tell is for the whole class…feel free to share anything you like in the comments! (And, if you watched The OA, seriously, I want to know what you thought!)


  7. Tuesday, January 31

    It’s the Blog’s 10th Birthday! Plus French Chips Recipe!

    Please note: The giveaway in this post is now closed. Recipe is below!

    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. ūüėČ 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 @janemaynardTHIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU!¬†To celebrate the blog’s 10th birthday, KitchenAid is generously giving one of you lucky commenters their brand new¬†KitchenAid¬ģ Artisan¬ģ 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 HoneydewHere’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.

    The giveaway winner was comment #174, Christie! Her bonus entry for following This Week for Dinner on Pinterest got her the win, but here’s her original comment: “10 years! I know I‚Äôve read since near the beginning, so that is just crazy. Congrats!”

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

    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 325¬ļ 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 325¬ļ 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 350¬ļ 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¬ģ Mini Stand Mixer in Honeydew (KSM3311XHW)
    1. Food Processor with Commercial Style Dicing Kit (KSM2FPA)

  8. Friday, October 28

    Friday Show and Tell: The Best Plastic Wrap, Cool (Actually, Warm!) Lightbulbs and The Perfect Netflix Halloween

    Happy Friday! I have a few things to share with you today for Show and Tell.

    Costco Seriously DOES Have the Best Plastic Wrap

    People have been telling me for years to get the Kirkland plastic wrap at Costco. There is no good reason why I haven’t, I just never did. Well, this week there was a guy on the end of the aisle at Costco sampling plastic wrap. The kids were not super excited about those samples but I was! It meant I finally remembered to buy the darn stuff. And, good news, you don’t have to buy it in a truck-sized box anymore, it comes in two smaller boxes that actually fit in your kitchen drawer or cabinet. So, why do I love it? It sticks to itself and glass beautifully. AND that little slider cutter things is the best thing ever in the history of the world.

    I LOVE Costco's Kirkland Plastic Food Wrap So Much! from @janemaynard

    Finally Acandescent Lightbulbs

    This week I tried out a new kind of lightbulb, which I was pretty excited about. (I think you know you’re old when lightbulbs become exciting.) Here’s the deal: I really don’t like LED and fluorescent (CFL) lightbulbs. I will admit that both kinds of lights have improved significantly over the years, with more size and shape options as well as LEDs that come in different light temperatures, from warm to cool. But I have yet to find a non-incandescent bulb that I really love and find that my LED and CFL lights both offer a more “harsh” light, even when the temperature is warmer. Finally Light Bulb Company contacted me to see if I would like to try out their acandescent bulbs. I was totally game because of my mixed feelings about LED and CFL lights.

    Review of Finally Acandescent Lightbulbs by @janemaynard

    Finally uses what they call acandescent technology, based on a decades-old induction technology. The result is a lightbulb that is the same shape and size as a traditional bulb that offers a warm, soft white light. The best part for me is that the light is omnidirectional, meaning you don’t get those same harsh shadows that often come with LEDs and CFLs. And the level of warmth with these lightbulbs is perfect. Warm but not yellow, they give off a great soft white light.

    So, do we like the bulbs? Yes we do! We put them in one of the bedrooms and in all our lamps in the living room and have been very happy with them. Knowing that incandescent lights will be gone in a few years, it’s nice to have another lighting option to choose from. A few notes:

    • Finally’s acandescent lightbulbs are significantly more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, about the same as CFLs. LEDs are still the most efficient, but Finally comes pretty close.
    • Finally bulbs do contain mercury (you will see this on the label), but it’s the same amount as you find in a can of tuna, so very minimal. The bulbs are landfill safe and do not need to be disposed of the same way you would have to dispose of a CFL, which has more mercury levels.
    • The “omnidirectionality” (i.e. not as harsh or shadowy) and soft white color of the light from these bulbs is great.

    If you are interested, you can buy Finally Light Bulbs on their website, on Amazon or at Staples stores.

    If You Haven’t Watched Stranger Things Yet, Let’s Use Halloween As Your Excuse To Do So NOW

    Have you watched¬†Stranger Things on Netflix? If the answer to that question is “No” then let’s just use Halloween as an excuse for you to remedy that situation RIGHT NOW. And while I’m glad I’ve already watched it, I’m a little jealous of you¬†Stranger Things virgins out there. Because it is SO MUCH FUN the first time you watch it. It’s the best thing every in the history of the world (besides the Costco plastic wrap slider cutter thing, of course).

    Stranger Things on Netflix is my new favorite. From @janemaynard (poster courtesy Netflix)

    As usual, Show and Tell is for the whole class! If you have something you would like to share, please do so in the comments!


  9. Wednesday, October 26

    Sweet & Zesty MacGyver No-Sodium Vinaigrette + Sodium Breakup + A Low-So Good Giveaway!

    I’m going to start a post about low-sodium eating with a crazy statement: I love salt. No, really. I LOVE SALT. So when I met my friend Jessica Goldman Foung (a.k.a. Sodium Girl) many moons ago, I have to be honest that low-sodium eating was something I had¬†never¬†even thought about. Then I heard Jessica’s story. In 2004 she was diagnosed with Lupus and learned that the autoimmune disease had attacked her kidneys and brain. As a result of all the craziness, she had to adjust her diet, including eating no sodium. This pretty much blew my mind. No sodium? How is that even possible? After following Jessica and her culinary adventures all these years she has proven to me that a life without sodium can be a rich and delicious one indeed. She is quite the inspiration.

    Sweet & Zesty MacGyver No-Sodium Vinaigrette | Low-So Good | @janemaynard

    The American Heart Association recently asked if I would help spread the word about¬†their new Sodium Breakup campaign. I was more than happy to so that people like me (a salt lover who could definitely improve her diet to help her heart) and people like Jessica (someone who¬†had to give up salt to save her life) could both learn all about low-sodium eating. I was honored to be given the opportunity to write the kick-off post for the campaign on AHA’s website, which you can read by clicking here!¬†Over the next few months you can keep checking in with the AHA to get all kinds of great low-sodium information, tips and more. The AHA is¬†bound and determined to make your breakup with sodium a breakup you are happy about!

    And I have even more low-sodium goodness for you today: a book, a recipe and a giveaway!

    Sweet & Zesty MacGyver No-Sodium Vinaigrette | Low-So Good | @janemaynard

    First, the book. Low-So Good is a beautiful resource written by my friend Jessica. The book¬†has 70 mouthwatering recipes (hello, Jerk-ish Fish Tacos with Sauce, Slaw and Salsa, I need you in my life), but it¬†is also a complete guide to low-sodium eating. Low-sodium novices and experts alike can benefit from what Jessica has to offer, and I love the guest articles peppered throughout the book from other food experts. The photography is gorgeous, the book is well organized and easy to read, and, best of all,¬†Jessica’s infectiously happy personality shines through. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to cut some (or even all!) sodium from their diet…or really to anyone at all! Click here to buy Jessica’s book!

    Sweet & Zesty MacGyver No-Sodium Vinaigrette | Low-So Good | @janemaynard

    Second, the recipe. A really helpful part¬†of Jessica’s book is advice for eating in restaurants when you’re trying to go low-so. One of my favorite recipes in the entire book is¬†MacGyver Vinaigrette. It’s more of a formula than a recipe, providing the guidance you need to make a salad dressing on the fly with ingredients you can find at restaurants. It’s awesome. So today I’m sharing one of my MacGyver no-sodium¬†vinaigrette creations, which is sweet and zesty! The recipe is below and sized for one serving.

    Sweet & Zesty MacGyver No-Sodium Vinaigrette | Low-So Good | @janemaynardSweet & Zesty MacGyver No-Sodium Vinaigrette | Low-So Good | @janemaynard

    Lastly, the giveaway! One of you lucky, randomly-selected people will¬†win a copy of Jessica’s book¬†Low-So Good. Here is how to enter! (All comments must be posted before Midnight PT Wednesday 11/2/16. Prize must be shipped to an address in the U.S.)

    And now for a no-sodium salad that will make your taste buds super happy! And good luck with your sodium breakup adventures!

    Sweet & Zesty MacGyver No-Sodium Vinaigrette | Low-So Good | @janemaynard

    Sweet & Zesty MacGyver No-Sodium Vinaigrette
     
    Prep time
    Total time
     
    Inspired by "Low-So Good" by Jessica Goldman Foung. If you're trying to eat low-sodium, this on-the-fly dressing can be thrown together at a restaurant! (Or at home. Because it's good no matter where you eat it.)
    Author:
    Serves: 1 serving
    Ingredients
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons lime juice (about 4 lime slices)
    • 1 teaspoon honey
    • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • Generous pinch black pepper
    Instructions
    1. In a small bowl or in a small mason jar, add all of the ingredients. Whisk with a fork or shake well.
    2. Serve over salad!

     

     

     


  10. Tuesday, October 25

    Vote for Clean Air and a Happy Earth This November!

    Hey, guys. I don’t get political here on the ol’ blog. I believe all sides of all issues have valid arguments and, well, this is a food blog and not really the place to hash out those issues and arguments. But you¬†do know that I care deeply about the environment and write about environmental issues all the time. In addition to caring about the environment, I am a firm believer in the idea that every little bit helps and that all of our cumulative small actions lead to big change, hence a focus on my blog over the years¬†on things like cutting paper towels, composting and eating less meat.

    Clean Air Moms Action - Pledge to Vote for the Environment!

    In case you weren’t aware, there is an election in two weeks. (Hahahahaha! I am so funny!) I am not publicly backing any candidates or telling you which way you should vote. But I am excited about voting and have gotten more involved on the local level this year than I ever have. I am really excited to turn in my ballot and have loved talking with my kids about the election.¬†I was recently approached by the Clean Air Moms Action to see if I’d be willing to encourage the same excitement among my readers and I was like, YES! And, no matter where you fall on the political spectrum, I also want to encourage you to consider clean air, environmental factors and climate change when¬†you vote.

    I am not a one-issue voter, but if I was, the environment would be that¬†issue for me. I feel like this election season (and society at large) is like Game of Thrones.¬†In¬†Game of Thrones you have all these warring and competing political factors, all vying for power, all doing anything and everything to get that power. But while that squabbling is happening, “winter is coming,” i.e.¬†literal¬†winter but also those scary glassy-eyed White Walkers that the politicians don’t even believe exist. For me climate change is that proverbial winter. We are¬†concerned with all these other issues while the environment, the one thing that is absolutely crucial to our survival, gets largely ignored. Rising waters are eating away at our coastline (interesting NY Times report here and Wharton podcast here). Drought will not go away. CRAZY WEATHER (no links necessary!). All of it is happening, and yet the presidential debates barely touched the issue, with 82 seconds in the first debate, one question from the audience for the second debate (go Ken Bone!), and two seconds in the third debate, despite the fact that “How will you address climate change?” was the fourth most popular question submitted to the Open Debate Coalition.¬†What the WHAT.

    Okay, obviously I have a strong opinion about all of this, so I’m going to cut myself short and just ask you to think about the environment when you vote. I’m not asking you to make it your one issue (although I’d be cool with that! ;)), I just want you to give it some good consideration. The changing climate is impacting food production and so much more. Let’s get ahead of the problem and make some positive¬†changes, starting with our elected representatives and ballot initiatives!

    There are tons of great¬†voter guides online, partisan and non-partisan alike, where you can find out where candidates stand on this¬†issue. If you’re a fan of the Sierra Club, you can view their endorsements on this page. Seek out good resources and learn all you can. Vote as if your child’s health depends on it…because it does!

    And if you are feeling as pumped up about this issue as I am, go to Clean Air Moms Action and pledge to vote!

    We live in an imperfect yet great country and I am grateful for my opportunity to participate in our democracy. Happy Voting! Happy Earth!

    This post was produced with support from Clean Air Moms Action.