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Category: the goods

  1. Wednesday, March 16

    “The Goods” Update: What I Still Think of Products I’ve Written About in the Past

    Whenever I write about a product, I tag that post so it shows up in The Goods category on my blog. Often while I’m in the kitchen using some of those items I think, “I should let everyone know I still love this thing.” So, I sat down and scrolled through every post on my blog with that The Goods tag. It was a lot of posts. The cool part? I still like everything I’ve written about, but there are a few things that could do with some updates. So, here we go! What I still think of products I’ve written about in the past!

    blentec-total-blender-top

    Blendtec Blender
    Our Blendtec blender was the first “big ticket” item I received from a company to share on my blog. That was 2009. We still use that same blender. It is awesome and I love it and recommend powerful blenders to people all the time. I especially love Blendtec because of the preset buttons for different types of food. I visited the Blendtec booth at the International Housewares Show last week and they’ve got all kinds of cool stuff on the market these days, and even cooler stuff in the pipeline. It makes me want a pretty shiny new blender, but that said, our blender is still blending up a storm!

    Bosch 800 Series Dishwasher Features | From @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.com

    Bosch Dishwasher
    Bosch gave us a dishwasher about 3 years ago and I am still head over heels in love with the thing. I never knew I could love a dishwasher so much, but I do. We have not had one problem with it and the thing is just so awesome for so many reasons. Click here to read more about it. Also, no matter what kind of dishwasher you get, make sure it has a third rack. That is key!

    KitchenAid Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator | thisweekfordinner.com

    KitchenAid Refrigerator
    I still love our fridge. There are a few things to note. First, we got a counter depth fridge and I do not regret it. That said, we have a second fridge in the garage for overflow and extra large items, like a brining Thanksgiving turkey. I think if I didn’t have the second fridge, I would probably feel frustrated with the size of a counter-depth fridge. The water and ice dispenser also take up a lot of space in the fridge, but I am SO glad we have them. There have been no problems with our fridge and I really love it, but it does get a little icy build up in the very bottom of the freezer that will sometimes melt onto the floor. It is not a big deal and easily fixed, but it does happen. Other than that, it’s a great appliance! ANOTHER UPDATE: So, the ice in the bottom of the freezer got worse and worse after this post. I contacted KitchenAid and they sent a repairman. Turns out that there is a pump or something that was easily plugged, which caused the problem, but they’ve since redesigned that part so that can’t happen anymore. They replaced our old part and the problem is gone. Thought I’d give an update in case anyone else ever has the same issue!

    Canon Rebel T2i web

    Canon Rebel DSLR
    Unless you plan to be a professional photographer and/or shoot photos for print (like a cookbook), all you need is a Canon Rebel. I love the Rebel line of cameras and they just keep getting better every year. I’m still shooting with my T2i and it works great. Of course I’d love to get the latest, but honestly it would be a waste of money to do so at this point. The post I wrote about shopping for a DSLR has lots of great info for what to look for, even 5+ years later.

    breville smart oven

    Breville Smart Oven (or any toaster oven for that matter!)
    I find that it is very difficult to convince people who do not have toaster ovens that they should have toaster ovens. But, seriously, everyone should have a toaster oven. Especially these days, with the abundance of large, beautiful, wonderful toaster ovens out there. I’ve had the Breville Smart Oven for 5 years now and it’s like the 6th member of our family. For real. THE BEST.

    BISSELL DeepClean Premiere Carpet Cleaner Review & Giveaway | thisweekfordinner.com

    Bissell Upright Carpet Cleaner
    I LOVE my upright Bissell carpet cleaner and use it regularly. It does a great job cleaning the floors and I seriously love having it, especially with my light carpets. I’ve been seeing these at Costco lately. In fact, our piano teacher bought one and is equally as in love as I am. We both highly recommend it! Side note: I ended up getting rid of the small Spot Bot because I found it to be a bit redundant and, if I had to choose one, the larger cleaner is better for my needs. I also did a poor job cleaning out the hose the first time I used the Spot Bot and it got SUPER gross, so make sure you rinse the hoses with clean water after every use! If you don’t want a huge carpet cleaner, though, that Spot Bot is super handy and works great.

    heritage line from q squared nyc by @janemaynard

    Q Squared Melamine Dishes and Serving Platters
    I’ve done many sponsored posts for Q Squared over the years (although I am not currently working with them). I love everything they’ve ever sent and use Q Squared items in our home every day. The only issues I’ve had: the “silver” on the flatware has started wearing off, and the yellow salad plates from the Montecito collection started to change color a bit. That said, I would still buy those plates because they are such a great shape and size. And I haven’t had any other issues. Great stuff.

    sharpener top web

    Knife Sharpener
    Alton Brown once said that you should only hone your knives at home but always pay a professional to sharpen your knives. And so I was a little scared to use this knife sharpener from KitchenIQ…but I finally gave in and I use it EVERY DAY. What I love about this particular sharpener is that you can change the angle, so if you have a traditional knife or a Japanese knife, it’s easy to adjust the sharpener properly. And it totally sharpens my serrated knife. And it’s easy to use. And my knives have never been happier. These kinds of sharpeners can be a little pricey, but it is worth the investment.

    the instant-read DOT probe thermometer by ThermoWorks from @janemaynard

    ThermoWorks DOT Probe Thermometer
    I bought this a year ago. It’s still awesome. I anticipate it will continue to be awesome for many years to come.

    soap dispenser web

    Olive Oil Bottle for Dish Soap
    I still use a glass olive oil bottle for my dish soap and I still love it. We’ve only had one mishap over the years when a babysitter poured soap over the caprese salad. Other than that, no breaks and no other oil-soap mixups! 🙂

    freezer inside web

    Kenmore Chest Freezer
    We’ve had our $80 Kenmore chest freezer for 5 1/2 years now and it’s still going strong. Couldn’t live without it.

    whirley pop | thisweekfordinner.com

    Whirley Pop
    We still use the Whirley Pop every time we make popcorn. Haven’t had microwave popcorn since this arrived in our home over 3 years ago. It’s holding up beautifully, even though the lid doesn’t clip on quite as tightly, which isn’t a problem.

    nielsen-massey vanilla bean paste

    Vanilla Bean Paste
    I still love vanilla bean paste and even found it on Amazon for cheap. You’re welcome.

    EarthBox Garden Kit web

    Earth Box
    I never wrote a final update on how gardening with the Earth Box went…because we went out of town and everything died. But until that point, the tomato plants were amazing and full and huge and wonderful. So, barring vacations where you neglect to care for your garden, I still think the Earth Box is a great way to garden, especially for people who have a black thumb like me.

    tortilla warmer from @janemaynard

    Tortilla Warmer
    I use this every single week. It’s the greatest. The end. And I need to get a big one for burrito size tortillas…on my shopping list!

    dash greek yogurt maker review and giveaway from @janemaynard

    Homemade Yogurt Maker
    I really like this appliance (it works beautifully) and got into a regular yogurt making groove for a time. BUT…once I got out of the groove I haven’t gotten back into it since. I also recently learned that a lot of pressure cooker/Instant Pots out there have a yogurt setting, so I think I would recommend getting that over the stand-alone yogurt maker. Multitaskers are always a good way to go!

    review of the kupp' by @janemaynard

    The Kupp
    I love these cups for kids and my kids loved them, too. Sadly, we’ve broken all five of the Kupps in our possession. Bummer.

    onion saver review by @janemaynard (spoiler alert: I love it!)

    Onion Saver
    This is another unitasker that I actually do use all the time (like the tortilla warmer). It may only do one thing, but it does it so well.

    why cheese paper and storage bags are the best way to store cheese from @janemaynard

    Cheese Paper
    This is one of those items I keep bringing up because it is awesome. ‘Nuf said.

    crisco simple measures

    Crisco 64-ounce Canola Oil Bottle
    I seriously still buy this brand and size of oil just for the measuring cup lid. Why doesn’t all oil come with this feature?

    salt box web

    Salt Box
    My salt box is another thing I love and use every day, with kosher salt. I rarely get out any other kind of salt. The family uses the salt box. It’s the best. Easy for grabbing a pinch while cooking or measuring out if you need to.

    Non-Stick Cookware
    This is just a quick update on how some of the non-stick cookware I have is holding up. The Anolon Nouvelle Copper Cookware set I received a few years ago is still great and cooks evenly, but there is a little bit of the non-stick stuff coming off on one of the pots. The Calphalon Unison non-stick frying pan I have is awesome, no peeling or scraping and I use it all the time. Lastly, I have a Le Creuset non-stick 12″ deep drying pan that is my favorite pan I own, also no scraping or peeling and I use it for almost every meal I cook.

    Phew! Is that enough updates? Like I said, if you click on The Goods tag, you can believe anything I say, but these items were ones I wanted to call out specifically for various reasons. hope it’s helpful!


  2. Wednesday, March 9

    Totspot, a Great Way to Buy and Sell Clothes

    Today I want to share a cool app with you that I am guessing just may come in handy! A few weeks ago, the company Totspot got in contact with my friend Marie from Make and Takes and me to see if we would try out their app and let you all know how we liked it. Marie and I both tried out Totspot and loved the app. I am excited to tell you about it today!

    Totspot, a great way to buy and sell used clothes

    So, what is Totspot? Totspot is an app where you can buy and sell used clothes, shoes and accessories for babies, kids, women and men. You set up an account and then can buy clothes from others or sell some of your own. That gorgeous dress that your daughter literally wore one time? Sell it! Looking for an awesome vintage Star Wars t-shirt? Buy it!

    Totspot has a website, but the app is where it’s at. Marie and I both highly recommend you use the service through the phone app. Once you create an account you can set up profiles for each person in your family with sizing information. Once profiles are created, you can search what is available on Totspot at any given time by profile. The app’s interface is clear and easy to use. I ended up buying a super cute Gap dress for myself and then a few fun things for my kids, some of which were brand new with tags still on them!

    Totspot, a great way to buy and sell used clothes

    Once you make a purchase and it is shipped to you, you go into the app and either accept or decline the order as well as rank the seller. If you didn’t get what you were expecting, you don’t have to pay for it. This is how sellers are kept accountable and you can feel safe shopping through the app.

    As far as selling clothes goes, you can sell them yourself, which is super easy to do with the app linking to your camera. You can also use the Totspot Concierge service, which is what I’m most excited about. Totspot sends you a bag with a shipping label. You bag up your stuff and send it off to one of their successful sellers, who takes care of selling the clothes and then you share the cut. Anything unsold is donated to charity. I just got my concierge bag in the mail this week and can’t wait to send some stuff off to be sold!

    Totspot Concierge Service

    Totspot definitely has a strong sense of community and users are incredibly friendly and helpful. And both of my orders, which came from different sellers, arrived personalized and wrapped in cute paper. I was super impressed! Shipping is based on the size of the order, and as you are ordering, the app makes it easy to bundle from one seller to get a discount on your order. There are so many little details like this throughout the buying and selling process that make the app super cool and easy to use.

    I know this post is sounding all salesy, but seriously, Totspot is great! Marie and I both love it and are happy to share it with you!

    And we’d love to give you a chance to try out Totspot, too! Which means…GIVEAWAY TIME! One winner is going to receive $150 gift card to Totspot to get shopping! Follow the form below to enter. Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    To join Totspot, you can create an account on their website or simply download the app on IOS or Android and set up your account through the app. When you join Totspot, be sure to use my referral code GHCOQG to get $5! And here is a cute video about how to sell on Totspot!

    Today’s post and giveaway were sponsored by Totspot. They also provided me with $50 towards my first purchase.


  3. Saturday, February 13

    Friday Show and Tell…on Saturday!

    Happy Weekend! I meant to write up this Show and Tell yesterday but…well…NBC Nightly News (!!!) came to our home to film the kids and me making dinner, while interviewing me about the “natural” food labels. It was awesome and a really fun experience, although now that it’s done, I think I’d rather not watch it. 😉 If it looks like the story will air, I will of course let you all know. All I know right now is it will probably air early next week. You never know in the news world!

    So, here’s what I was going to share yesterday…

    A Heirloom Hardwood Maple 10-inch Cake Stand, Thin Base | @janemaynard

    I was recently introduced to the company A Heirloom, a husband-and-wife team based in Brooklyn that makes beautiful cutting boards and other handmade items. I’m pretty much addicted to cutting boards, so this company is right up my alley. Among my favorite A Heirloom items are the state-shaped boards, cocktail muddlers, and cake stands. A Heirloom graciously sent me the thin based maple cake stand and it is, quite simply, lovely. My cake stand is 10 inches in diameter and about 5 1/2 inches tall. They also have larger 14-inch cake stands as well as mini 4-inch cake stands. If you’re looking for a great gift option or are addicted to cutting boards like me, be sure to check them out!

    And I have a bunch of articles over at Cool Mom Eats you should check out, too!

    That’s it for today. See you tomorrow with the weekly menu! And, as always, feel free to share whatever you like in the comments!


  4. Monday, December 21

    A Hand-Drawn Holiday Giveaway: Chelsea Harp Designs

    holiday gifts & giveaways on thisweekfordinner.com from @janemaynard

    Last year I had all kinds of giveaways set up for the holidays, but this year I took it easy. But I think we need a little bit of giveaway fun around here, don’t you?

    On Friday I mentioned an Etsy shop that I recently discovered that I am loving. Chelsea Harp Designs sells hand-drawn prints, featuring quotes and sayings perfect for many places in the home and the holidays!

    Chelsea Harp Designs: Oh Come Let Us Adore Him print

    Chelsea graciously sent me my favorite Christmas print of hers, Oh Come Let Us Adore Him. It looks beautiful on our Christmas mantel, and I’m even thinking of framing it to hang all year.

    Be sure to check out Chelsea’s shop – her prints are perfect for gifting!

    Giveaway time! For this giveaway we will have three winners! Each winner will receive the “Cook Eat Be Happy” print, which I absolutely LOVE. Simply leave a comment on this post to enter the giveaway!* The 3 random winners for this giveaway were comments #30, #40 and #41. Congratulations, ladies!

    Chelsea Harp Designs: Cook Eat Be Happy print

    Happy Holidays!

    *Comments must be made by Midnight PT on Monday, December 28, 2015. 

     


  5. Wednesday, December 16

    My First Meal Delivery Service Experience: Sun Basket Review and Giveaway!

    Over the last few years, monthly box subscription companies have exploded, delivering everything from beauty supplies to clothes to crafts for kids. Most recently, meal delivery kits have become increasingly popular and I have been very intrigued by them. Sun Basket, a meal delivery service founded in San Francisco, recently contacted me about working together and I jumped at the chance. I have really wanted to try one of these services out and Sun Basket was especially appealing to me (I’ll explain why below).

    Sun Basket meal delivery service review by @janemaynard

    If you haven’t heard of a meal delivery kit, let me give you a quick rundown. A company mails food to your house, with recipes included for cooking the meals. You don’t have to shop, you don’t have to meal plan, you just cook and eat! Like I mentioned, I’ve been intrigued by these services and definitely had some questions about the whole process. First and foremost for me was concern over excessive packaging, but I also had questions about quality of the food, difficulty of the recipes, and whether or not we would actually like the dinners in the end.

    Sun Basket meal delivery service review by @janemaynard

    Sun Basket meal delivery service review by @janemaynard

    Sun Basket is one such meal delivery company that services customers in California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Nevada. What was immediately appealing to me about Sun Basket was their emphasis on sustainability, choosing seasonal, organic ingredients and sourcing responsibly from West coast farms. Plus, Chef Justine Kelly of the famous Slanted Door in San Francisco develops their recipes!

    Sun Basket meal delivery service review by @janemaynard

    So, how was my experience with Sun Basket? It was great! From the moment the box arrived on my doorstep to the moment we ate our Sun Basket meals I was impressed with the service. Here are a few things that stood out:

    • Remember my worries about packaging? Well, your Sun Basket box comes with a prepaid return label, so you can easily ship back the box and all the packing materials to be recycled and/or reused. That’s like 1,000 points right there in my book.
    • The recipes were clearly printed on beautiful cards, complete with pictures and well-written instructions, and the food was good quality.
    • The recipes tasted great! We ordered pork stir fry, pappardelle with butternut squash, and north Indian red bean stew. All three recipes were tasty, but the pork stir fry was especially awesome. With a service like this it’s always fun, too, because there are often ingredients and spices included that you don’t buy on a normal basis, so it makes cooking interesting.
    • The kids tried all of the recipes. (Well, Owen didn’t. He doesn’t try anything these days, so he doesn’t count.) I would say the food was fairly kid friendly, although Nate and I definitely liked some of the recipes more than the girls did. The food has a bit of a gourmet bend to it, but it’s still easy to prep.
    • Pricing is $11.49 per meal, and you can order Sun Basket boxes in quantities of 2, 4 or 6 meals.

    Sun Basket meal delivery service review by @janemaynard

    I think for a family situation like mine with multiple children, I personally wouldn’t rely on a meal delivery service 100% of the time as it would get expensive and the kids don’t always love “fancier” food. However, Sun Basket’s meals were delicious and appealing to our family and I would definitely use them again. Having their meals on hand, perhaps in the freezer, would be awesome. If I lived alone or with just one other person, however, I would definitely order from Sun Basket all the time!

    So, there you have it! My first experience with a meal delivery service and I really enjoyed it. Sun Basket was a great company to work with and the food was delicious.

    Sun Basket meal delivery service review by @janemaynard

    If you subscribe to Sun Basket, be sure to do so through the links in this post to get $30 off your first order!

    You know that when I write about products or companies I always like to give something away and today is no exception! Sun Basket is giving away a box complete with 3 meals for 2 people, just like what I received. The winner will be able to choose their meals from the available menu. Delivery must be in California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Nevada. If you don’t live in one of those states, still enter the giveaway and gift it to a loved one on the west coast! Please follow the instructions for entering the giveaway in the Rafflecopter box below.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Thank you to Sun Basket for sponsoring today’s post.


  6. Friday, November 6

    Raising a Rock-Star Reader + Friday Show and Tell

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

    Raising a Rock-Star Reader review and giveaway!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team, which means they send me cool stuff from time to time. For the record, I would be addicted to Netflix in spite of said cool stuff.


  7. Thursday, October 29

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The winner of the giveaway was Comment #18 Heather B, who said, “I had no idea this edition existed, I’ve been meaning to find a copy of the original for my cookbook collection forever.” I love that she knows the book and has been keeping an eye out for it! Congratulations, Heather! I know it’s not an original edition, but I know you’ll still love it!

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

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

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


  8. Wednesday, September 30

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  9. Wednesday, September 9

    Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil Tap Rooms are FUN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  10. Thursday, September 3

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

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

    why grocery store tortilla chips are the best!

    HOLYCRAPTHECHIPSWERESOGOOD.

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

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

    why grocery store tortilla chips are the BEST

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

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

    why grocery store tortilla chips are the BEST

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