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Category: Martha Stewart

  1. Friday, November 22

    Thanksgiving Menu 2013

    Hi everyone! I was going to post my Thanksgiving menu on Monday, but then I was thinking, we’re all probably doing a bunch of our grocery shopping this weekend, so it’s time to get planning for the Thanksgiving feasts NOW. Let’s get to it!

    2013 Thanksgiving Menu by @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.com

    Here is what we are having for Thanksgiving this year. I can’t WAIT for Thursday!

    Dessert is still up in the air. We’re going to have a serious discussion about it once everyone is in town, but there will for sure be Pumpkin Pie and something with chocolate. And maybe makes-its-own-crust apple pie. And maybe even more than that. Who knows? It might get crazy around here.

    P.S. I didn’t get any cooking done ahead of time besides the cranberry sauce. So much for being organized and ahead of the game!

    Click here to see all the Thanksgiving Prep posts I’ve published over the years for even more inspiration.

    And, as always, please share your own menu plan for next week’s Thanksgiving feast! If you have recipes or links to recipes, share those, too!


  2. Monday, October 15

    Dipping Deliciousness

    It’s time for my final Kashi review with Martha’s Circle! This month our family had the chance to try the Kashi TLC Pita Crisps Original 7 Grain with Sea Salt.

    When the pita crisps arrived, I told the girls that we had another taste test to do for the blog. They asked what the food was and I told them pita crisps. I asked, “What do you think we should eat with the pita crisps? What would go well with them?” They both responded immediately with “Hummus!” I was very impressed…not only do they know what hummus is, but they both know hummus is great with pita anything!

    I decided to whip up my most favorite dip of all time, Hummus Guacamole Dip.  Tell me you’ve tried this recipe.  Please. Tell me you have! Okay, if you have not, then I must insist you do so at the next possible opportunity! It is super tasty and really healthy to boot!

    The Kashi pita crisps were great with this dip, making for a delicious and super healthy snack. The pita crisps are nice and crunchy and can stand up to any dip or salsa you throw its way, and the simple sea salt flavor is complementary to spreads, cheeses and dips of all kinds. And, as with all Kashi products, I love knowing there are all kinds of whole grains in the mix. Kashi also sent a box of the Zesty Salsa Pita Crisps, which my sister and I really liked with the hummus guacamole dip, too. Yum!

    Thanks to Kashi for having us try out there whole grain goodies!


  3. Monday, September 17

    Cate finds another granola bar to love

    Remember last month how we had the chance to try some of the new Kashi cereals through Martha’s Circle? This month we get to try another one of Cate’s favorite foods – granola bars. It’s like Kashi knows my daughter!

    We were sent a box of the Kashi TLC Peanutty Dark Chocolate Layered Granola Bars, which are one of Kashi’s Kid-Friendly Top 10. I was honestly wondering if Cate would like the bars. They have whole peanuts sprinkled on top. Cate normally won’t eat food with nuts (this may be genetic and she may have inherited this trait from her mother). The chocolate layer is sweetened with fruit, so it has a different taste that, again, I wasn’t sure she would go for. But Cate LOVES granola bars, so I knew she’d be the best person to taste test these granola bars with.

    Cate immediately noticed the nuts on the top layer of the bar, but she was game for the taste test anyway. Her love for granola bars outweighed her skepticism about nuts. Phew! I didn’t tell her about the chocolate being a little different and just told her to eat a bar and tell me what she thought. In usual 7-year-old fashion, I received a short and succinct review: “It’s good.” A few minutes later having given her some time to enjoy the snack, I asked her why she liked the granola bars. She said that she really liked the nuts and chocolate chunks on top of the chocolate (What? Is this my kid?!) and that the chocolate was “delicious.” Cate has since eaten almost the entire box!

    I also liked the bars. The granola bar layer itself is nice and crispy, but not overly hard or difficult to bite. The crispiness of the granola pairs nicely with the soft, thick fruit and chocolate layer. What I loved most was that the peanut flavor was subtle and not overpowering, providing a nice balance of flavors overall. Plus, the bars have tons of protein and fiber and all those wholesome whole grains Kashi is famous for. It’s a great kid-approved snack I can add to our kitchen arsenal!

    Thank you, Kashi, for introducing Cate to yet another product that she can beg for every time we go to the store. (Seriously, people, she cannot stop asking for that GoLean Crisp cereal. She’s addicted!)


  4. Tuesday, August 14

    Cereal Junkie Picks a New Favorite

    As part of Martha’s Circle, Kashi sent me a few of their new cereals to try out. I’ve always loved Kashi because they used whole grains before it was “cool” to use whole grains…plus they’re based in La Jolla and I love anything born in La Jolla (especially my daughters!).

    A few months ago when I was trying out different types of milk, I had my resident milk expert and totally adorable 4-year-old, Anna Maynard, join me on my taste test. This time around I went to Cate Maynard, 7-year-old extraordinaire and cereal junkie. I am not exaggerating when I say that Cate would eat cereal every day for every meal if given the opportunity! In fact, I have to force myself not to just feed her cereal all the time…if only man (and little girls) could live on cereal alone, my life would be so easy!

    If Cate was in fact allowed to live on cereal alone, I’m pretty sure she would choose Kashi’s Go Lean Crisp Toasted Berry Crumble. When I pulled out the different Kashi cereals to try, she liked them all, but she really loved the Toasted Berry Crumble. In fact, at one point while she was eating, she stopped and said, “This {points at bowl} is delicious.” Later on she declared, “Extra good.” And each day since then she’s begged for a bowl every chance she’s gotten!

    I also really liked this cereal. The flavor is great…how can it not be with dried cranberries? But my favorite part of the cereal is the texture. I’m not one to eat soggy cereal…in fact I do crazy things like tip my bowl while eating to keep part of my cereal dry to maximize crispiness. (I told you I was crazy.) The Go Lean Crisp was just that…totally crisp! I really loved the texture and was happy that it could stand up to the milk.

    I also like that there is a lot of protein in the cereal. Cate, a new and eager reader, keeps reminding us that it has the same amount of protein as an egg, something she read on the box all by herself. Every time she brings this fact up, it is followed by a barrage of questions: “What is protein? How much protein is in an egg? Is protein healthy?” There has been a lot of protein talk around here since this Kashi cereal has come into our home!

    I am very happy to have discovered the Kashi Go Lean Crisp cereals. We’re definitely going back for more!

    Disclosure: I was not paid for this post but did receive cereal for review.


  5. Wednesday, August 8

    A Peek at Martha Stewart’s Offices

    While I was in New York City last week, I had the chance to visit the Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) offices. Just like my trip to America’s Test Kitchen, it was really fun and interesting to get a behind-the-scenes look at a place that produces so much amazing content.

    This was just a hallway. Who knew hallways could be so pretty? Owen was a charmer the entire time and several people mentioned he should go into modeling. Welcome to New York, Owen!

    My first impression of the offices was light. Lots and lots of light. The offices occupy one floor of a building in Chelsea and there are windows all around. It feels open and airy and would be a great place to get the creative juices flowing. Martha’s office is on the corner overlooking the Hudson river and Chelsea Piers. Her office wasn’t huge and I probably wouldn’t have even guessed it was hers unless they told me. Sadly, Martha wasn’t there…she was busy getting ready to speak as the BlogHer keynote that morning (which I barely made in time! Three cheers for crazy NY taxi drivers!).

    I have really loved being a part of Martha’s Circle. It has provided some wonderful opportunities and I have loved every single person that I have worked with at MSLO. So I wasn’t surprised that everyone we met along the way was friendly and nice.

    The Everyday Food team was no exception. They were delightful and fun to talk to. We had a great conversation and they were excited because they were visited by baby Owen AND a cute little dog all in the same day. Puppies and babies…nothing better. Of course the team was cooking and I learned that there are only 13 employees who work on the Everyday Food magazine each month. That seriously blows me away.

    I had the chance to see the test kitchens and the craft room, all of which were stocked with all kinds of goodies. While we were hanging out in the Living kitchen, two pans of brownies came out of the oven. It was everything I could do to not stick my hand in the pan and run for the hills.

    The rooftop patio was a lovely escape, a great place to eat lunch, if you can tear yourself away from work, of course! The summer interns were enjoying a last-day-of-work breakfast, which Owen and I helped ourselves to (yea for east coast bagels!).

    While I was chatting with folks, I learned about Martha’s American Made Awards, which she announced later that day at BlogHer. American Made is a program where Martha and her editors recognize 10 “American Makers,” talented and inspiring entrepreneurs doing beautiful work.

    In addition to the 10, there will be an 11th American Maker who will have the chance to win the Audience Choice Award. Anyone who has a small business, shop or Etsy shop and is doing innovative, high-quality work can nominate themselves (or you can nominate someone you know who fits that category!) for the Audience Choice Award. The deadline to submit for the Audience Choice Award is August 25. You really should get on this because…

    The 11th American Maker will be honored at the American Made event in New York City’s Grand Cetral Terminal in October (Martha will be there!), will appear in the December issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine and will receive $10,000 to further his or her business! Super cool! I KNOW that many of you fit the category, so hop to it!

    I am so happy I got a chance to see Martha’s offices. It was a great visit! Thank you, Martha and friends!


  6. Wednesday, May 30

    Super Cute Shower or Outdoor Party Idea: A Gourmet Picnic!

    I have a group of friends here in the Bay Area that are fancy dancy, super awesome party throwers. If I know one or more of them are hosting a party or shower, then I know I will be well fed and surrounded by beautiful ambiance. I admire these ladies and their parties. And I know I will never throw a party that is quite that awesome because I’m just too lazy, but I do find great inspiration from all the lovely things they do.

    The most recent baby shower hosted by these friends may have been my favorite yet. Our friend Katianne just had her fourth baby…which was her very first baby GIRL! In anticipation of the impending ‘girliness’ in Katianne’s life, our friends threw her a Pinknic! (You know, a pink picnic…get it? Cute cute!)

    I only took one lame photo on Instagram (see above), but Andy (one of my friends) saved the day and sent a bunch of pictures, so this post suddenly got 100% better!

    Here are a few of the party highlights for me, things I want to remember for my own party-throwing escapades:

    • The party was a picnic! They spread several quilts on the ground, with a few chairs set up around the edges. Most of the guests sat on the blankets, which was fun because we ended up in small groups that made for nice conversation.
    • They hung gorgeous paper pom-poms from the trees, as well as a clothesline across the entrance with Katianne’s old baby clothes dangling from clothespins. It was SO cute. (Click here for the pom-pom tutorial.)
    • For the food, each blanket received a GIANT picnic basket. The baskets were wide and open and filled with a delicious lunch, which included: a large glass serving bowl filled with a dinner salad (the main dish), a large cup or vase filled with fruit kebobs, a cloth napkin tied around homemade rolls, two pastry boxes filled with lemon tarts and mini cupcakes and tied with pretty ribbon, pretty plastic plates, cups and utensils wrapped in napkins, and the prettiest bottles of lemonade you ever did see. Each basket included a cute card listing all the food, a nice touch.

    It was such a nice party and I loved how they executed the picnic theme. It was super classy and I stuffed myself silly with all that good food. (Yes, I’m getting some of the recipes and will be sharing!)

    Here’s the cute (and delicious!) lemonade I told you about. I found it at Draeger’s and it sat on my counter for a few days because it was just too pretty to crack open!

     


  7. Saturday, February 4

    Silk Milk Challenge Wasn’t a Challenge At All

    The week is almost over and I am happy to report that the Silk milk challenge was a success! I was able to use Pure Almond Vanilla and Soy Vanilla Light in place of regular milk with no problem. In fact, the challenge has opened up the world of “alternative milk” possibilities to me and I am looking forward to trying other flavors, especially more nut milks and rice milk!

    I knew during the challenge I needed to try baking something that I normally use milk in.  I make waffles and pancakes all the time, so I definitely wanted to see how one of those recipes would work subbing out the milk. I decided to try the Pure Almond Vanilla in waffles.

    The waffles were delish! My friend Wendy sampled them with me and we both agreed they were great. I used the Pure Almond Vanilla because I thought the almond would make for a nice flavor in the waffles. The waffles cooked a little differently than normal and never got very brown, which surprised me. But the texture was great and Wendy and I both liked the subtle, not overpowering almond flavor of the waffles. I will definitely make them this way again…and of course I’ll share the recipe with you below!

    While I’m sure I’ll use cow’s milk again, especially when Owen is less sensitive to it, I am really happy to have discovered some alternatives. I really liked the Soy Vanilla Light and Pure Almond Vanilla that I used this week. Obviously these two milks are both sweetened and have a vanilla flavor. They worked well with my current needs, but I can see that they may not work with everything. As I mentioned before, after having tried these milks and really enjoying them, I’m excited to try other flavors and varieties based on different recipes and uses. And all of your suggestions over the week have been super helpful – thank you! I definitely count the week as a success and look forward to further expanding my milk horizons…

    Silk Milk Challenge Wasn’t a Challenge At All
     
    Fluffy Almond Milk Waffles!
    Author:
    Recipe type: Breakfast
    Cuisine: American
    Ingredients
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 2 cups Silk Pure Almond Vanilla milk
    • 2 eggs
    • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
    Instructions
    1. Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter and Pure Almond Vanilla milk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix. Cook as you normally would in a waffle iron. Enjoy with lots of butter and syrup!

    This post is sponsored by Silk through Martha’s Circle. All opinions are my own.

     


  8. Wednesday, February 1

    Silk Milk Challenge is on its way!

    I’m a few days into the Silk milk challenge and so far so good!

    At the start of the week I held a milk tasting with my 4-year-old Anna. She is the primary milk drinker in our family. She’s actually kind of obsessed with the stuff. I figured if anyone should test these new milks out with me it should be her!

    I poured us each a glass of the Pure Almond Vanilla and the Soy Vanilla Light milks and we dove right in.

    • Jane’s analysis: Both milks are yummy! I don’t know what I was expecting. Strange Textures? Weird aftertaste? Well, we had none of that. The flavors of both milks were subtle and the sweetness was just right. Thumbs up!
    • Anna’s analysis: “Mmm…chocolate milk.” Yes, the milk is actually vanilla and not chocolate, but that reaction means it’s a definite thumbs up from Anna!

    Here are a few other ways I’ve been using the milk:

    • I can finally eat my bowl of granola and flakes each morning! I’ve really missed my granola, which isn’t too sweet to begin with, so the sweetness of the Soy Vanilla Light is a perfect combo with the cereal. There are definitely some cereals that would not go well with this milk, but for my granola it works great!
    • Have you ever had almond hot chocolate? Yeah, me neither. Until now. I heated up the Pure Almond Vanilla milk, added some of my best shaved chocolate and it was delicious. The texture was good and I liked the subtle almond flavor paired with the chocolate.

    Like I said, so far so good!  The new milks are serving me well!

    This post is sponsored by Silk through Martha’s Circle. All opinions are my own.


  9. Monday, January 30

    Silk Milk Challenge Begins!

    Shortly after Owen was born, I had to pretty much cut cow’s milk from my diet. If I had milk, then that meant he indirectly was having it as well, which did not make his little belly happy. It hasn’t been too bad, but I have missed milk a lot in a few cases, especially when it comes to a mug of good hot chocolate or a quick bowl of cereal in the morning.

    When my friends at Martha’s Circle contacted me about participating in a challenge with Silk, I was all over it. For whatever reason, I haven’t tried other kinds of milk on my own yet, so this was just the kick I needed to see what else I could be using in place of cow’s milk, especially at this time in my life when I need to do so.

    So this week I’m doing the challenge. No cow’s milk for one week. Instead, I will be using Silk Pure Almond Vanilla and Silk Soy Vanilla Light wherever I would normally use regular milk. Stay tuned to see how it goes!

    This post is sponsored by Silk through Martha’s Circle. All opinions are my own.


  10. Thursday, November 3

    Martha’s Entertaining

    When one of my contacts from Martha’s Circle recently emailed asking if I’d like a copy of Martha Stewart’s new book Martha’s Entertaining, I of course said YES because, really, who turns down a free book from Martha?

    In all honesty, I was expecting just another how-to book with some ideas for various types of parties. Well, the book arrived this week and it is so much more than I was expecting. Should I really be surprised? It’s Martha, after all! Anyway, the biggest reason I love the book is because it is not a how-to book. It’s 6 pounds (yes, 6 pounds…the mailing label said so!) of beautiful photography documenting one year of Martha’s various celebrations held at her various homes. The book is also a journal of sorts where Martha shares details about each event, through short intros and captions to photos. For me this is far more inspiring than a book of templates I’ll never use.

    The book is very visual and divides the celebrations by time of day. Each event starts out with a short description from Martha, along with the menu for the event. The last 100 pages contains all the recipes for all the menus in the book.

    The book really is beautiful, a feast for the eyes more than anything else. The photography is gorgeous and transports you to a fantastical world of giant chocolate bunnies and lush floral arrangements. And, while I browse through the pages, I find myself thinking one of two things at any given moment. #1: Boy, I wish I had a house like Martha. And, #2: When is Martha going to invite me to one of her parties?

    Seriously, this book inspires a good amount of envy in me. I want that table. And the stools of various heights. And those floors. And those dishes…I’ll even take them dirty.