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Category: the goods

  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. 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.

     


  4. 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.


  5. 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)

  6. 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!


  7. 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!

     

     

     


  8. Friday, October 14

    Mexican Brownies + Fair Moments for Fair Trade Month

    Today I have a Mexican brownies recipe for you. And it’s fair trade. And it’s delicious. Are you ready? Let’s go!

    #FairMoments Fair Trade Mexican Brownies recipe from @janemaynard

    I love Mexican chocolate. I was first introduced to this wonderful flavor by my Mexican college roommate Estela. She brought me Abuelita Mexican hot chocolate tablets from home and I hoarded, um, I mean cherished them. (Okay, hoarded. I would not allow anyone to use that chocolate willy nilly!) Fast forward to today and basically if we go anywhere and anything is Mexican chocolate flavored, I order it. The hint of cinnamon and chile peppers paired with chocolate just makes me happy. (And it reminds me of Estela, too, which also makes me happy!)

    #FairMoments Fair Trade Mexican Brownies recipe from @janemaynard

    Fair Trade USA approached me to help celebrate their Fair Moments campaign this month, which is all about showing how our small everyday decisions can have a huge impact, something I really believe. For the post I wanted to share a recipe that used lots of great fair trade ingredients, but for some reason I was having a hard time settling on something. Then, as I was sitting in my kitchen staring at a pile of fair trade goodies with the kids, discussing what we could make, Cate mentioned brownies. Then the cinnamon started chanting, “Abuelita, Abuelita, Abuelita” and I knew Mexican brownies had to happen. (Okay, maybe that last part didn’t happen, but whatever. Close enough.)

    #FairMoments Fair Trade Mexican Brownies recipe from @janemaynard

    Brownies are one of our family’s favorites and probably the most frequently baked item around here, after chocolate chip cookies, of course.¬†Anna and I decided to¬†make the Mexican brownies together and had a great conversation about what fair trade means. We talked about which ingredients in the recipe were fair trade and about how they are ingredients we use all the time. It was really cool neat sharing this with my daughter and I was grateful I could show her how we actively support such a great cause day to day.

    #FairMoments Fair Trade Mexican Brownies recipe from @janemaynard#FairMoments Fair Trade Mexican Brownies recipe from @janemaynard

    The best part was taste testing with Anna and my mom, trying to get the perfect amount of cayenne pepper and cinnamon in the brownies. In case you’re wondering, we succeeded. The brownies came out awesome and everyone in the family loved them (even my mom who was most certainly suspect when I used the words “cayenne” and “brownies” in the same sentence). The cinnamon and cayenne flavors come through but in a subtle way and without too much heat.

    #FairMoments Fair Trade Mexican Brownies recipe from @janemaynard

    Before we get to the post, let’s do a Fair Trade giveaway! One lucky, randomly-selected winner will receive a package from Fair Trade USA with the following goodies:

    Fair Moments Fair Trade Giveaway at @janemaynard

    To enter this Fair Trade giveaway, please do the following:

    • Leave a comment on this post! (Optional: Tell us your favorite fair trade ingredient that you use all the time!)
    • Bonus entry: Like Fair Trade USA on Facebook! (Please leave a separate comment indicating you have done so. If you already follow, that counts!)
    • Like This Week for Dinner on Facebook!¬†(Please leave a separate comment indicating you have done so. If you already follow, that counts!)
    • Follow This Week for Dinner on Pinterest!¬†(Please leave a separate comment indicating you have done so. If you already follow, that counts!)
    • All comments must be posted by Midnight PT on October 31, 2016.

    #FairMoments Fair Trade Mexican Brownies recipe from @janemaynard
    And now, the recipe!¬†I basically just used Ruth Reichl’s “A Better Brownie” recipe, which is one of my most favorite brownies. The brownies come out¬†super fudgy and rich with this amazing crusty top that is to die for. Click here for the original non-spicy version.¬†If you want to try the spicy version, here you go!

    #FairMoments Fair Trade Mexican Brownies recipe from @janemaynard

    Mexican Brownies
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    This is one of my favorite brownie recipes, originally written by Ruth Reichl. I've given the recipe a Mexican twist with sugar and spice and everything nice...and Fair Trade!
    Author:
    Serves: 16
    Ingredients
    • 5 ounces unsalted high-fat butter (I use regular old salted butter!)
    • 5 ounces unsweetened fair trade chocolate
    • 2 teaspoons best-quality, fair trade vanilla extract
    • 1½ teaspoons fair trade ground cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon fair trade cayenne pepper
    • 4 farm fresh organic eggs (Jane note: my eggs are not farm fresh, everything turns out fine!)
    • ¬Ĺ teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1 cup all-purpose white flour (spooned into a cup and leveled with a knife)
    Instructions
    1. Preheat the oven to 400¬ļF.
    2. Butter a 9x9 or 8x8 square pan and line the pan with parchment paper. Butter the bottom and sides once again.
    3. Melt the chocolate and the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
    4. Beat the eggs and salt in a stand mixer. Add the sugar and beat on high for about 10 minutes, until the mixture has turned very light and thick. Add the chocolate mixture to the eggs, beating on low until just mixed.
    5. Gently stir in the flour until it just disappears.
    6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, place in the middle of the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 350¬ļF. Bake for 40 minutes; the brownies will be quite fudgy and a toothpick should come out not quite clean. Cool on a rack.
    7. Lift the brownies out of the pan by pulling up on the parchment paper. Set on a cutting board and cut into pieces.

     

    The little plates in this post are from Q Squared NYC, in case you need to buy them because they are the CUTEST.


  9. Thursday, September 22

    Fab Faves: Barefoot & Chocolate Spreads

    Summer is over and I think it’s time I get back into posting more regularly again. I’ve missed you! Today I want to share a new discovery in our house: Barefoot & Chocolate Spreads.

    My New Favorite Chocolate Spread: Fair Trade Certified Company Barefoot & Chocolates | from @janemaynard

    A week or two ago I posted about Barefoot & Chocolate’s Almond Coconut Chocolate Spread on social media and had quite the response as well as a few questions about the product. Honestly, I think it deserves a quick blog post. I need more than 140 characters!

    My New Favorite Chocolate Spread: Fair Trade Certified Company Barefoot & Chocolates - Almond Coconut Chocolate Flavor | from @janemaynard

    I discovered Barefoot & Chocolate¬†through my work with Fair Trade USA and am so glad I did! They make Nutella-like chocolate spreads that are in my opinion better than their more famous counterpart. Here are a few things I’d like to mention that I didn’t specify on my social media posts:

    • While Barefoot & Chocolate does make a hazelnut chocolate spread, I am head-over-heels in love with their Almond Coconut Chocolate Spread. The Dark Chocolate Almond with Sea Salt is also mighty fine, as is the Hazelnut. But that Almond Coconut?¬†Irresistible. (Note: You probably should like coconut…if not, go with the other two flavors!)
    • Yes, Barefoot & Chocolate contains less sugar than Nutella and you can taste the difference. Barefoot & Chocolate’s spreads are, well, less sugary with a creamier texture. If you want to talk numbers, a¬†2-tablespoon serving of Nutella has 21 grams of sugar while Barefoot & Chocolate has 13 grams. Obviously there is STILL SUGAR and the fat content is the same as Nutella. It is a treat, after all (don’t be fooled by those Nutella commercials telling us chocolate for breakfast is healthy). But, yes, there is less sugar than Nutella, which I think is a good thing for nutritional and taste reasons.
    • Barefoot & Chocolate¬†is Fair Trade certified and many of the ingredients are organic.
    • You can buy Barefoot & Chocolate on their website or in 2-packs on¬†Amazon (click on the following flavor names for Amazon links:¬†Almond Coconut Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Almond with Sea Salt, and Hazelnut. You can get mix-and-match-the-flavor 2 packs on Amazon, too.)

    My New Favorite Chocolate Spread: Fair Trade Certified Company Barefoot & Chocolates - Almond Coconut Chocolate Flavor | from @janemaynard

    PS: Graham crackers + Almond Coconut Chocolate Spread = THE BEST


  10. Thursday, July 21

    Perfect Summer Dishware {Plus a Giveaway!}

    It’s summertime, which means two things. One, we need to do something fun. Two, you need good dishes for summer entertaining. How about I combine the two by doing a giveaway (fun!) of¬†my most favorite melamine dishes (perfect for summer)? Let’s do it.

    Q Squared NYC Melamine Dishes - Perfect for Entertaining! Knoll Gardens Pattern | from @janemaynardPictured: Knoll Gardens Serving Bowl

    I’ve been working with Q Squared NYC for some time now and continue to love their dishes and serveware¬†year after year. Not only does Q Squared have gorgeous designs, but the quality of their melamine is top notch. I know you think you know melamine, but this melamine is just so much better than what you normally see in stores ‚Äď thick, heavy (in a good way!) and just plain pretty. You can click here to learn¬†more about what melamine is (I just¬†discovered myself that it’s an organic-based material!) and why Q Squared’s is so lovely.¬†We have a set of Q Squared plates we use every day. I’ve been cleaning them in the dishwasher for years and they look as good as new. And my kids have yet to break anything made by Q Squared. Their dishes¬†are¬†indestructible!

    Q Squared NYC Melamine Dishes - Perfect for Entertaining! | from @janemaynard

    While our family uses Q Squared dishes every day no matter where we eat, I am especially grateful for the dishes when we are eating outside. I have zero worries about anything getting broken. And I love hosting parties and taking food to potlucks because it means I get to break out all of my awesome Q Squared serving platters and trays. I kid you not, I get compliments on them every time.

    Q Squared NYC Melamine Dishes - Perfect for Entertaining! Royal Lapis Pattern | from @janemaynardPictured: Royal Lapis Dinner Plate, Salad Plate and Bread & Butter Plate

    Since it’s summer, I think you need a little Q Squared loveliness in your life, too!¬†You have two options to make this happen.¬†First, go shopping and use the code JANE20 to get 20% off everything at Q Squared (code is valid through Labor Day 9/5/16). I promise you will love whatever you buy! Your second option is to enter the¬†summer giveaway below!

    Q Squared NYC Melamine Dishes - Perfect for Entertaining! Knoll Gardens Pattern | from @janemaynard

    To celebrate their beautiful new summer collections, including the Knoll Gardens and Royal Lapis patterns you see in this post, Q Squared is giving away a 12-piece dinnerware set to one of you lucky people! To enter, leave a comment below telling us which pattern you would choose. That’s all you have to do! Click here to view all of the collections. Be sure to leave your comment telling us your favorite pattern by¬†Midnight PT on Friday, July 29, 2016.

    I don’t want to influence you too heavily or anything, but I am head-over-heels in love with my new Knoll Gardens dishes. They are GORGEOUS. I mean, the Royal Lapis is gorgeous, too, but Knoll Gardens¬†really has me smitten. ūüėČ

    Happy Shopping!

    Thank you to Q Squared NYC for sponsoring today’s post and hosting the giveaway!