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Category: Favorites

  1. Thursday, December 18

    Beautiful Giveaway from TO THE MARKET

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    holiday gifts & giveaways on thisweekfordinner.com from @janemaynard

    A few weeks ago I shared some of my favorite organizations that give back, one of them being TO THE MARKET | Survivor-made Goods (TTM). I learned about TTM at the AYA Summit with ONE this past October and was completely taken with the founder, Jane Mosbacher Morris, a woman dedicated to lifting survivors throughout the world. Jane was energetic, passionate, smart as whip and had a really cool first name, so obviously I fell in love with her.

    the small navy/silver all across africa basket from 'to the market" by @janemaynard

    TTM combines the powers of commerce and storytelling to empower the world’s most courageous survivor populations. TTM works with proud and passionate artisans who have overcome the perils of abuse, conflict and disease and they just launched their online marketplace, making their survivor-made goods available to anyone at any time!

    the small navy/silver all across africa basket from 'to the market" by @janemaynard

    I shared TTM with you on Giving Tuesday as a great gifting option for the holidays, which it obviously still is! (Seriously, if you get me this Sari Blanket for Christmas I’ll love you forever. Oh wait, this isn’t about me. Sorry about that. It’s just, well, that blanket!) In addition to TTM being a great place for you to shop for the holidays, TTM is hosting a giveaway here on the blog!

    TO THE MARKET will be giving one lucky randomly-selected winner their choice of one of the All Across Africa baskets (you can see the baskets by clicking on this page). I have the navy/silver small basket and it is beautiful.

    the small navy/silver all across africa basket from 'to the market" by @janemaynard

    There are several ways to enter the giveaway! Comments must be posted by Midnight PT on 12/23/14.

    • Leave a comment! Easy peasy! If you would like, please share with us something you love on the TO THE MARKET website!
    • BONUS ENTRY: Sign up for the TO THE MARKET email list. Click here, scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your email address in the box on the very bottom right. Leave a separate comment telling us you subscribed to get the extra entry.
    • BONUS ENTRY: Follow TO THE MARKET on Facebook. Leave a separate comment telling us you did so to get the extra entry.
    • BONUS ENTRY: Follow TO THE MARKET on Instagram. Leave a separate comment telling us you did so to get the extra entry.

    I am SO happy to be connected with TO THE MARKET and grateful I can share them with you, too! Thank you for showing them support and good luck with the giveaway!

     

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  2. Tuesday, December 16

    Best Freeze-Ahead Recipes for the Holidays {Call for Recipes!}

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    This post is brought to you by Glad. Freshness, wrapped up. This post is sponsored by Glad® Press’n Seal® Wrap/Glad® ClingWrap through FM. All opinions are 100% my own and Glad is the only plastic wrap I have ever used!

    One of my favorite parts of the holidays is the food. Homemade food, to be exact. I revel in the food traditions of our families and savor every bite of homemade goodies dropped on our front doorstep. That said, as much as I love preparing holiday food for my loved ones, I like hanging out with them during the holidays even more. As a result, I try really hard to make food ahead of time so I’m not slaving away in the kitchen when I’d rather be sitting in front of the fire.

    freeze-ahead broccoli casserole from @janemaynard

    glad wrap for freezing meals ahead of time from @janemaynard #spon

    As a result, I have three side dish recipes that are my favorites during the holiday season, both because I only make them for the holidays, making them extra special and nostalgic, and because I can make them ahead of time and freeze for later! It is such a dream on the actual holiday to just open the freezer, pull out a casserole dish and have a beautiful, homemade side to serve either for Thanksgiving or Christmas that tastes as fresh as if I just made it. So what are these magical recipes?

    • Broccoli Casserole: My mom always made this for Thanksgiving and the flavor just instantly transports me to her table.
    • Sweet Potato Souffle: I’m pretty sure this is a holiday staple for at least half of the United States if not more! I love the vanilla in this particular recipe. This is a recipe that I introduced to our family and I only ever make it for the holidays. I can’t imagine the holiday season without them now!

    freeze-ahead sweet potato souffle from @janemaynard

    • Corn Souffle: This recipe came from my friend Jen Carroll, who got it from her mother-in-law who always served it for the holidays. I lovingly think of their family every time we make this for the holidays. And not only have I adopted this food tradition from my friend Jen and her family, but my friend Robyn also adopted it and makes it every Thanksgiving herself!

    freeze-ahead corn souffle from @janemaynard

    For all three recipes, I simply prepare the base of the recipe (not the topping) and place that in a casserole dish. Once the casserole dish is prepped, I wrap it well with Glad plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer! All done! The day I want to bake the casseroles, I remove them from the freezer in the morning so the dishes can warm up on the counter, then follow the directions for the toppings and throw the casserole in the oven. No one would ever guess I made the casserole 1 to 2 months ahead of time!

    As much as I love the three recipes I shared, I always love hearing from you, too! What holiday foods do you prepare and freeze ahead of time to make the holidays less stressful? Please tell us and share links and/or recipes if you have them!

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  3. Friday, December 12

    Le Creuset and Dreamfarm Goodies!

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    holiday gifts & giveaways on thisweekfordinner.com from @janemaynard

    Today we have a really fun giveaway package featuring two companies who’s products I use in my kitchen every day – Le Creuset and Dreamfarm! Gifts & Giveaways is all about sharing great gift ideas and then, you know, giving some of those awesome things away and that is exactly what we’re going to do today!

    le creuset butter crock from @janemaynard

    Before we get to the giveaway, here are a few gift ideas. These are my most favorite items from Le Creuset and Dreamfarm, the things that I use ALL the time in my kitchen:

    Now that you have some ridiculously awesome gift ideas, I think it’s time for a giveaway. Brace yourself, it’s pretty great.

    le creuset cheese fondue - gift idea and giveaway from @janemaynard

    The Le Creuset and Dreamfarm Holiday Giveaway Set Includes:

    dreamfarm holiday gift ideas and giveaway from @janemaynard - fabulous kitchen gadgets!

    To enter the giveaway simply leave a comment on this post! That’s it! Easy peasy! Comments must be posted by Midnight PT Thursday, 12/18/14 and prize must be shipped within the U.S.

    Good luck and happy shopping!

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  4. Tuesday, December 9

    Buffalo Chicken Flatbread

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    This post is sponsored by Alouette. As always, opinions are 100% my own.

    Cheese and bread. It doesn’t get much better than that. No, seriously. I kind of don’t have control around these two delicious ingredients!

    buffalo chicken flatbread from @janemaynard

    Alouette recently got in touch with me about the new Flavorology promotion they are running with Stonefire Authentic Flatbreads that pretty much fulfills my desires to combine cheese and bread. Alouette has all kinds of wonderful cheeses that we love in our house. Anna can eat almost an entire container of crème de brie in one sitting! And Stonefire is my go-to naan bread, both for eating with Indian food and as pizza crust. Put the two together and I’m on board 100%.

    alouette cheese and stonefire naan

    Our most recent Flavorology creation was Buffalo Chicken Flatbread. Using the Stonefire original naan bread as a base, this buffalo chicken pizza is super easy to make and seriously delicious. It might be the holiday season, but it’s also football season and this recipe is perfect when watching the big game! (Go Stanford! Go Patriots! I {heart} Tom Brady! Andrew Luck is our Favoritest Person Ever!)

    buffalo chicken flatbread by @janemaynardbuffalo chicken flatbread from @janemaynard

    The Buffalo cheddar soft spreadable cheese by Alouette has a really nice kick to it – Nate was surprised how spicy it is! Next time you want something Bufallo chicken-y for football season, I highly recommend this pizza. It’s really easy to throw together. Like, make-it-during-a-commercial-break easy. Buffalo chicken flatbread makes for a great snack or appetizer but serves up equally as well at the lunch or dinner table.

    buffalo chicken flatbread from @janemaynard

    Keep an eye out next time you go to the store! For a limited time, you can get a Stonefire flatbread free when you buy any one Alouette cheese. Just look for coupons at participating retailers.

    Without further ado, the recipe!

    5.0 from 1 reviews
    Buffalo Chicken Flatbread
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Naan bread
    • Alouette Buffalo Cheddar Soft Spread
    • Cooked chicken
    • Mozzarella cheese
    • Blue cheese dressing
    • Hot sauce
    • Chopped green onions (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
    2. Spread a thin layer of Alouette Buffalo cheddar soft spread on the naan bread. Top with chicken and mozzarella cheese then bake for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.
    3. Drizzle with blue cheese dressing and hot sauce. Sprinkle chopped green onions on top if using.

     

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  5. Thursday, December 4

    Drunken Mushrooms + A Mexican Food Tour of the Mission with Rick Bayless

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    This post is sponsored by Negra Modelo. All opinions are 100% my own and I can’t wait to share this post with you!

    I am super excited for today’s post because it is filled to the brim with all kinds of wonderful, including a recipe for drunken mushrooms that are pretty much perfection.

    recipe for drunken mushrooms inspired by rick bayless by @janemaynard

    Two weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity of traveling to San Francisco for a Mexican food tour of the Mission District in San Francisco with Negra Modelo and Rick Bayless. You guys, Rick Bayless. We were walking around the streets of San Francisco with RICK BAYLESS. It was beyond cool and here’s the proof!

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #sponPhoto courtesy of Negra Modelo and Vanessa Bahmani

    Our first stop on the Negra Modelo Mexican food walking tour was a tortilleria. The tortillas were unreal, like no tortilla I’ve ever tasted. Rick Bayless talked about how most tortillas today are made from maseca, not from scratch using masa, but that tortillas made with masa are infinitely better. He’s totally right and, consequently, I have begun a hunt here in San Diego to find a tortilleria just like the one we visited in San Francisco (wish me luck!). Rick Bayless also told us that Chicago is the top producer of tortillas in the world. That’s right, the world, even above Mexico City, and that the abundance of great tortillas is one of the reasons he opened Frontera Grill in Chicago.

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #spon

    The second stop on the tour was a Mexican butcher. It was beyond fascinating and we learned that the way Mexican butchers cut up meat is totally different than American butchers. We also learned the history of carne asada in the United States. That’s a whole blog post of its own, we’ll have to chat over coffee so I can share that story with you.

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #spon

    The last stop on the walking food tour was La Reyna Mexican bakery. We had the chance to sample all kinds of sweet goodness and it was endearing to have the grandson of the original owner tell us all about the bakery.

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #spon

    Once the tour was done we attended an after party, complete with Negra Modelo, wonderful Mexican food and more fascinating information from Rick Bayless. I swear we could have sat there and listened to him talk for 6 hours straight and have been enraptured the entire time. Here are a few of the Rick Bayless gems I walked away with:

    • Rick Bayless never uses jalapenos because they are completely unpredictable when it comes to the level of heat. He relies most heavily on poblanos in his cooking.
    • Rick Bayless doesn’t understand green bell peppers and I am, and always have been, in complete agreement!
    • If you want to start cooking with dried chiles, ancho and guajillo are good to start with and go well together.
    • We also learned about the confusion that is ancho and pasilla chiles…but it would take me a whole post to tell you about it. We can talk about that over coffee as well, the same day we talk carne asada. ;)
    • Rick Bayless uses Negra Modelo beer in his restaurant, including in ice cream! He likes that Negra Modelo is a medium-bodied beer with slow-roasted caramel malts, which yields a soft sweetness that works well in cooking. Which leads us to today’s recipe…

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #sponPhoto with Rick Bayless courtesy of Irvin Lin from Eat the Love

    During the party I had the chance to chat with Rick along with my friends Anita and Annelies. While we were talking I asked him what his favorite thing to cook with Negra Modelo is. He answered by saying that if a chef ever tells you that they have a favorite food, that they are probably not a very good chef because true chefs love all food and flavors. :) Despite his lack of a favorite, he did tell us how to make really wonderful mushrooms.

    drunken mushrooms recipe by @janemaynarddrunken mushrooms recipe by @janemaynard

    So, here is my recipe for Drunken Mushrooms, as inspired by Rick Bayless. These mushrooms really are fantastic, with layers of flavor that are subtle and all play beautifully with one another. Rick said he uses these mushooms in queso flameado, which I am sure is amazing. But I am also confident that these mushrooms would be delicious topped on burgers, chicken, steak and pizza. In fact, I made pizza with olive oil, bacon and drunken mushrooms for dinner last night and it was scrumptious.

    drunken mushrooms recipe from @janemaynarddrunken mushroom bacon pizza from @janemaynard

    5.0 from 2 reviews
    Drunken Mushrooms
     
    This recipe was inspired by tips shared with me by Rick Bayless.
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Bacon drippings from a 10-ounce package of bacon
    • 8 ounces white or baby bell mushrooms, sliced
    • ¼ cup Negra Modelo beer
    • salt and pepper
    • ¼ cup chopped fresh epazote or cilantro
    Instructions
    1. Heat bacon drippings over medium heat. Add mushrooms to the pan and cook until they are about half-way cooked.
    2. Raise heat to medium-high and add the beer, cooking and stirring until mushrooms are cooked through and most of the liquid has cooked off. Season with salt and pepper to tasted (a few pinches of kosher salt and a shake of pepper should do it).
    3. Remove from heat and stir in the epazote or cilantro.

    drunken mushrooms recipe by @janemaynard

    Big thank you to Negra Modelo and to Rick Bayless for spending an afternoon with us! It is a day I will not soon forget! Be sure to visit the Negra Modelo site for even more Rick Bayless recipes!

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  6. Wednesday, December 3

    Chocolate-Dipped Peppermint Shortbread + A Very Merry Giveaway!

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    The giveaway in this post is now closed, but keep reading to find out about some really cute Christmas dishes and to get the shortbread recipe!

    This post is sponsored by Q Squared NYC. As always, all opinions are 100% my own, including the opinion that these cookies are awesome.

    I am so happy it’s the holiday season! Well, I mean, now I am, after my annual early-December freak out last night over the stress that this month brings (my busiest work month, two birthdays and Christmas all wrapped up into one not-so-calm package). But now, with the freak out officially behind me, I am ready to dive into present wrapping and cookie baking!

    chocolate-dipped peppermint shortbread from @janemaynard

    I started the whole holiday baking shebang with these chocolate-dipped peppermint shortbread cookies. I’m a sucker for shortbread. No, really, I kind of can’t control myself around the stuff. I decided to give my favorite shortbread recipe a holiday twist by incorporating chocolate and peppermint. The twist worked beautifully. And now there are about 30 ridiculously-adorable and delicious cookies taunting me in my kitchen.

    chocolate-dipped peppermint shortbread from @janemaynard

    These cookies are peppermint perfection. Even though there is peppermint in every element of the cookie, the peppermint flavor is not overpowering. The shortbread, which has just a hint of peppermint, is then dipped in high-quality dark chocolate, also sporting that peppermint hint. Top it all off with crunchy peppermint pieces and you’ve got yourself a COOKIE, filled with flavors and textures that work together oh so nicely. And they look crazy cute!

    chocolate-dipped peppermint shortbread from @janemaynard

    In addition to these lovely cookies, I have some lovely dishes to share with you today, too! You all know how much I love Q Squared. Well, I love them even more now that their holiday dishes are out! When I put in my order for the Winter’s Eve collection, I knew the dishes would be cute but I was not prepared for how much I would love them once I saw the dishes in person. Serious love, people.

    q squared winter's eve collection from @janemaynardq squared winter's eve collection from @janemaynardToday we are giving away a complete set of the Winter’s Eve collection from Q Squared! One randomly-selected winner will receive 1 large platter, 1 serving bowl, 6 dinner plates, 6 tapas plates and 1 coaster set. To enter, please do the following by midnight PT on Tuesday December 9, 2014 (prize must be shipped to a US address):

    • Leave a comment on this post! Easy Peasy!
    • Bonus entry: Like me on Instagram! (You need to leave a separate comment telling us you liked! If you previously liked, it still counts but be sure to leave the extra comment!)
    • Bonus entry: Like Q Squared on Instagram! (You need to leave a separate comment telling us you liked! If you previously liked, it still counts but be sure to leave the extra comment!)
    • Bonus entry: Like This Week for Dinner on Facebook! (You need to leave a separate comment telling us you liked! If you previously liked, it still counts but be sure to leave the extra comment!)
    • Bonus entry: Like Q Squared on Facebook! (You need to leave a separate comment telling us you liked! If you previously liked, it still counts but be sure to leave the extra comment!)

    Good luck with the giveaway – I wish you could all win!

    And now for the recipe!

    5.0 from 3 reviews
    Chocolate-Dipped Peppermint Shortbread
     
    Delicious chocolate-dipped shortbread with just the right amount of peppermint.
    Author:
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Serves: 25-30
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup salted butter, softened to room temperature
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • 2¼ cup all-purpose flour
    • Pinch kosher salt
    • ¾ teaspoon peppermint extract, divided into ½ and ¼ teaspoons
    • 1 cup high-quality semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
    • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
    • ¼ cup broken peppermint pieces
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
    2. Cream butter, brown sugar and ½ teaspoon peppermint extract together on medium-high speed in a stand mixer for about 3 minutes with the paddle attachment. Scrape down bowl.
    3. Add 1½ cups of the flour and a pinch of salt. Beat with paddle attachment on medium speed until fully incorporated.
    4. Set aside the paddle attachment and switch to the dough hook.
    5. Add the rest of the flour (3/4 cup) and mix on medium-low speed with the dough hook, kneading the dough in the mixer for about 5 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed.
    6. Roll dough out on a floured surface to about ½-inch thick. Using a ~2-inch sized cookie cutter, cut cookies and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Prick the tops of the cookies with a fork.
    7. Form leftover dough into a ball and roll back out to ½-inch thick and repeat process until you've cut all the dough into cookies.
    8. Bake for 15-25 minutes, until bottoms of cookies are light golden brown. (The time will vary depending on how thick you actually rolled out the dough. The thinner the cookie, the less cook time.)
    9. When cookies have cooled completely, in a small microwave-safe bowl cook chocolate chips and coconut oil on high for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir well until all chocolate has melted.
    10. Add ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract and stir well.
    11. Dip each cookie partially into the chocolate then set on a cooling rack to let chocolate harden. Sprinkle with peppermint pieces immediately after dipping cookie.
    12. Place cookies in fridge to harden the chocolate, around 30-60 minutes. When the cookies return to room temperature, the chocolate will soften a smidge. The chocolate will be hard enough so that the cookies will be pretty and stackable (for packaging and giving!) but just soft enough that it's easy to bite through when eating the cookie. Store extras in the fridge.
    13. You will have extra melted chocolate. I like to have extra so it's easier for dipping. Just pour it over a bowl of ice cream or spread it on a silicone baking mat, sprinkle with peppermint pieces and put in the fridge for a quick peppermint bark. You need to put that chocolate to use!

     Comment #4 ellen patton was the winner of this giveaway. Congratulations, Ellen!

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  7. Tuesday, December 2

    Happy Giving Tuesday! Great Organizations That Give Back!

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    Forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is where it’s at! If you don’t know what Giving Tuesday is, click here to watch an introductory video. Essentially it’s a bunch of really great people from all over the world coming together to GIVE and to also share ideas for giving. To show my support I want to highlight a few organizations that I have personally supported and worked with.

    ways to support and celebrate giving tuesday from @janemaynard #givingtuesday

    ONE: I love ONE because it’s all about advocacy. They don’t ask for money, they just ask for your voice. Click through to ONE’s website to find out all of the amazing ways to make your voice heard and help those in the world who need it most. If you really want to shop and support ONE at the same time, buy the Alex and Ani New Beginnings bracelet. I bought this for myself as a stocking stuffer but, alas, it will never make it to my stocking. It just really, really, really wanted to be on my wrist.

    buy the alex and ani new beginnings bracelet to support ONE this giving tuesday! #givingtuesday

    To The Market: This website just launched and it is beyond beautiful. The woman who started the organization To The Market (also named Jane!) is filled with so much positive energy (and smarts) I almost don’t know what to do with her. ;) To The Market’s goal is to support survivors by selling their goods. Read more here and don’t forget to shop!

    support survivor made goods by to the market this giving tuesday! #givingtuesday

    fashionABLE: I love fashionABLE and am basically swimming in their scarves. I also bought myself a beautiful bag that I have yet to open because we’re saving it for Christmas morning. That closed box is taunting me and I don’t know how much longer I can stand it! Anyway, fashionABLE creates sustainable business for women in Africa and the founders are amazing and also filled with energy that inspires. Click through to learn more and shop!

    support fashionABLE this giving tuesday! #givingtuesday

    Heifer International: Last year I bought some goat shares. Maybe this year we’ll make it a llama. I’m still deciding. No matter what, it’s gonna be cute. Heifer is the best, click through to find out more!

    support heifer international this giving tuesday! #givingtuesday

    Fair Trade USA Holiday Guide: Fair Trade USA, another organization I love, put together an awesome fair trade shopping guide, so make sure to check that out, too!

    support fair trade USA this giving tuesday! #givingtuesday

    I KNOW there are so many worthy organizations out there, but I wanted to share the ones that I have most recently supported myself because A) I know from personal experience that they are awesome, and B) I know that these organization really truly help people – it’s not lip service.

    Happy Giving Tuesday! Whether you get out there and shop from companies that give back, make a donation to your favorite non-profit or you just deliver cookies to the widowed elderly woman down the street, get out there and give. It’s the best way to kick off the holidays!

    And please share your favorite giving organizations in the comments! The more suggestions the merrier!

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  8. Friday, November 21

    The Magic of Holiday Dishes

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    This post is sponsored by Q Squared NYC.

    I was recently chatting with my dear friend Amy about the holidays and she mentioned the dishes her mom used when she was growing up. Amy talked about how those dishes are firmly entrenched in her memory and that the dishes themselves are as much a part of the experience of the holidays as anything else. As she got thinking about it, she found she felt the same way about the dishes her grandmother used, too.

    the magic of holiday dishes by @janemaynard

    I loved this conversation because it really got me thinking. Often when I look back on holiday meals with the family, the food is what I focus on. In fact, when I pass traditions on to my kids it’s almost always focused on the food and sharing family recipes. But I haven’t thought much about the significance of the dishes we used. After chatting with Amy I realized my experience was the same as hers, that the dishes actually played a large role.

    the magic of holiday dishes by @janemaynard

    When I was very young, most of our holidays were spent with the extended family, so a lot of the memories of dishes I have are from my grandmothers. My Grandma Wallin was the type of woman who would bring china to the beach for a picnic, so you can imagine what her table would look like for the holidays. Crystal glasses (perfect for serving 7-Up!), crystal bowls and china dishes abounded. As a young girl, I loved it. Her dishes made those family dinners feel extra special and fancy.

    the magic of holiday dishes by @janemaynard

    My Grandma Blomquist had 7 children, so when that family got together it was always a large group. I’ll never forget the tall stacks of plates on the buffet table or the basket she used for her giant rolls. What stands out most, however, is the silverware. She had several sets of silverware, complete with intricate patterns. I remember helping get the silverware out of the drawer in her china cabinet (and how that drawer was always a bear to open!). We would wipe the silverware down with a towel and, when dinner was done, carefully put it all back in the drawer.

    the magic of holiday dishes by @janemaynard

    Eventually we moved far from our extended family, at which point the dishes my mom used for the holidays take over my memories. My mom had a set of Christmas china that made an appearance very year at Thanksgiving and Christmas. We loved those dishes and using them at Thanksgiving quite literally marked the start of the holiday season in our home. Once the holidays were over, we would scour the post-Christmas sales to find more pieces to add to the collection. Those dishes are firmly planted in my holiday memories and, to this day, whenever I see that set of dishes at a store, I am transported back in time.

    the magic of holiday dishes by @janemaynard

    As I mentioned before, while I’ve always had these memories, I’ve never stopped to think about how strong they are. And, on a related note, I haven’t really thought much about the dishes I use for the holidays and whether or not my kids have the same kinds of memories. Our family is young, relatively speaking, so I’m still in the phase of collecting those dishes that will play a special role at our holiday dinner table year after year. After doing all this thinking about these particular memories, it makes me that much more excited about adding new dishes to our holiday collection and setting the table with my kids each year.

    I want my children to have similar memories to what I have, memories like polishing silver and pulling china down from the high cupboard. Of course I have fond memories of the food, but as I ponder those holiday meals from the past, I find that the act of preparing the table for those meals is where the strongest memories lie. Making the table special and beautiful with the women that meant the most to me in my life ended up being the times where we talked and bonded most and I will be forever grateful for those memories.

    I hate ending posts with open-ended questions because it feels super cheesy, but I’m breaking my own rule today because I really want to hear from you! Please tell us about your own memories!

    Pictured above: I’ve added some really lovely pieces to our holiday dish collections from Q Squared NYC. For Easter we use white dishes combined with serving dishes from the Heritage collection. For Thanksgiving we’ve added serving dishes from both the Ruffle and the Diamond collections, both of which are pictured above. Also pictured is the Maple Apple Bijou candle, which is the perfect scent for Thanksgiving and looks beautiful on the table, too!

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  9. Tuesday, November 18

    Southwestern Corn Succotash Flatbreads {+ a Giveaway!}

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    The giveaway in this post is now closed, but keep reading for the succotash recipe!

    This post is sponsored by Libby’s. All opinions are 100% my own, this recipe is delicious and there’s a sweet giveaway, so lots of goodness to be had!

    southwestern corn succotash flatbreads by @janemaynard #spon

    I grew up on frozen corn. In fact, I don’t remember ever seeing canned corn in the house. I didn’t actually try canned corn until I was married, believe it or not, and I actually love it! Unlike frozen corn, I like how canned corn retains more of a crunch and has a nice sweet flavor. It’s one of my pantry staples for several recipes in my repertoire.

    southwestern corn succotash flatbreads by @janemaynard #spon

    I have a new use for canned corn that I am especially loving: succotash! I was thinking about potential appetizers for Thanksgiving because I stink at Thanksgiving appetizers. I get so caught up in prepping the main meal that I forget to serve food earlier in the day. This recipe for corn succotash flatbreads is a perfect pre-Thanksgiving snack and I promise it’s easy to prepare.

    southwestern corn succotash flatbreads by @janemaynard #spon

    I gave this particular succotash recipe a bit of a southwestern twist, replacing lima beans with black beans, adding tomatoes and bell peppers, as well as adding a bit of cumin and fresh cilantro. The corn is perfect for Thanksgiving but the cumin and cilantro offer a different flavor than any of the classic Thanksgiving foods you’ll be scarfing down later in the day. Just make sure you don’t fill up on succotash flatbreads – save room for turkey!

    southwestern corn succotash flatbreads by @janemaynard #sponsouthwestern corn succotash flatbreads by @janemaynard #sponIn addition to today’s recipe, Libby’s is offering up a great giveaway! One lucky, randomly-selected commenter will win a KitchenAid® 6-Quart Slow Cooker With Glass Lid plus an assortment of Libby’s products. I used Libby’s corn and black beans in today’s recipe and LOVE that they have organic canned goods! To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this post! Prize must be shipped to a U.S. address and comments need to be posted by Midnight PT on 11/26/14.

    kitchenaid slow cooker giveaway from libby's #sponlibby's organic canned veggies #sponOne last thing, Libby’s is hosting its Cansgiving sweepstakes through November 19. Participants must post a photo of what they are thankful for on Twitter, Instagram or Libby’s Table Facebook page using the hashtag #Cansgiving for the chance to win a $350 grocery gift card toward their Thanksgiving meals. You can view the full rules at www.getbacktothetable.com/cansgiving.

    Get commenting to enter the giveaway and here is the recipe!

    4.3 from 3 reviews
    Southwestern Corn Succotash Flatbreads
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    An easy and delicious appetizer with a southwestern twist!
    Author:
    Serves: 3 cups
    Ingredients
    • ⅓ cup chopped red onion (about ¼ of an onion)
    • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
    • ½ of a red bell pepper, chopped
    • 2 cloves fresh garlic
    • 1 can corn
    • ½ can black beans
    • 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
    • Fresh shredded parmesan cheese (optional)
    • Chopped avocado (optional)
    • Flatbread crackers
    Instructions
    1. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes.
    2. Add garlic, which has been pushed through a garlic press, stir, then add corn and black beans and heat for a few minutes.
    3. Turn the heat up to medium-high, stir and cook for 1 minute to reduce some of the liquid.
    4. Reduce heat to medium again then add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and cumin. Stir and heat for about 2 minutes.
    5. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
    6. Serve succotash on flatbread crackers, topping with fresh parmesan cheese or avocado if desired.
    7. You can serve right away or store in fridge and serve cold.

     Comment #15 Jen Schulte was the winner of this giveaway. Congrats, Jen!

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  10. Thursday, November 6

    Gifts and Giveaways: Green Kid Crafts!

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    holiday gifts & giveaways on thisweekfordinner.com from @janemaynard

    This giveaway is now closed. But keep reading to find out more about these wonderful craft kits for kids!

    This post is sponsored by Green Kid Crafts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own…and my kids’!

    It’s November, which means my holiday shopping has commenced! I find the more I can get done early, the more I enjoy December! Just like last year, as I start shopping around I’ll also be sharing Gifts & Giveaways posts with fun gift ideas and, of course, giveaways! We’re going to kick off this year’s festivities with a GREAT gift for kids.

    green kid crafts review and giveaway from @janemaynard

    Have you heard of Green Kid Crafts? Two very good friends of mine had recommended this company separately, so I was excited to work with them and try out their product! (Those friends who did the recommending? They’re amazing and totally trustworthy. I would do anything they tell me to do. Maybe even jump off a cliff.)

    green kid crafts kitchen science box - review and giveaway from @janemaynard

    Green Kid Crafts is a green company that provides creative and educational activities to do with kids through an eco-friendly Subscription Service, Craft Boxes, Birthday Activities, STEM Science Kits, and Creativity Kits, targeting kids ages 3-12. Our family recently received the Kitchen Science kit from Green Kid Crafts to try out and my kids LOVED it. REALLY loved it. Am I getting the point across? THEY. LOVED. IT. From 3 years old up to 9, all three of them had so much fun doing the science projects in our kit. Maybe a little too excited…I definitely had to play referee when it came to taking turns! Anna was so cute, while we were getting set up she asked, “Are we doing a science project?” When I responded in the affirmative, she simply stated, “Oh, GOOD.” And she was ready to get down to business!

    green kid crafts - kitchen science kit - review and giveaway from @janemaynard

    You can order Green Kid Craft boxes one at a time or sign up for a subscription, in which case boxes are delivered monthly. I know my kids would love me forever if I signed up for the subscription service…I’m thinking that just might be one of their Christmas presents this year, especially after seeing how much they loved this first box!

    green kid crafts - kitchen science kit - review and giveaway from @janemaynard

    Giveaway time! One lucky, randomly-selected person will win a 3-month subscription to Green Kid Crafts (winner must have a U.S. or Canadian address). Here is how to enter!

    All entries must be received by Midnight PT on Wednesday, 11/19.

    Good luck on the giveaway! And Happy Crafting!

    Comment #65 angie was the winner of this giveaway. Congrats, Angie!

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