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  1. Sunday, February 8

    Week 420 Weekly Menu

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    Hello everyone! Another week, another meal plan! Here goes…

    week 420 weekly menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable meal plan and shopping list!

    MONDAY:
    – Leftovers (we have so many from last week – all my meals got pushed later in the week because we had so many Super Bowl food leftovers!)

    TUESDAY:
    – Naan Pizzas
    – Salad

    WEDNESDAY:
    Easiest Ever Chicken Pot Pie
    – Salad

    THURSDAY:
    – Cuban Fricasé de Pollo (chicken stew) – new recipe I’m trying!
    – Rice

    FRIDAY:
    – Leftovers

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    – Breakfast for Dinner: Yorkshire Pudding
    – Fresh fruit

    Click here for the free printable of this week’s menu plus the shopping list!

    We didn’t get as many menus as usual last week…I think it must be because you were so busy being excited for Tom Brady, right? (Sorry, Seahawks fans! That was a GOOD game though, you’ve gotta admit!) Anyway, there is no football to distract us this weekend, so back to work! Can’t wait to see your meal plans for the week. Thank you for sharing!

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  2. Friday, February 6

    Friday Show and Tell

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    Happy Friday! I’m getting Show and Tell up a little late today because I’ve been busy as a bee finishing up our living room decor. I can’t wait to share the final product with you, but until it’s totally done and picture worthy, here’s a little sneak peak of one of the gems I found for the wall: stump prints from Light & Ink. I ordered the Spring Hollow Gold print yesterday and can’t WAIT for it to arrive.

    light & ink's stump prints - spring hollow gold - found by @janemaynard

    I have some fun news today, too! In addition to regularly contributing to Babble, I am also now going to be writing for Parade’s food website Community Table as well as the blog for Solly Baby. My first posts for both sites went up this week!

    At Community Table: 10 Romantic Cocktails for Valentine’s Day Fun!

    And for Solly Baby: 12 Fantastic Freezer Meals, Before The Baby!

    Show and Tell is for the whole class – be sure to share your own stuff and finds!

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  3. Wednesday, February 4

    Coconut Chicken Tenders

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    When we were in New Hampshire for New Year’s Eve, Nate’s mom made some chicken tenders with coconut mixed into the breadcrumbs that were scrumptious.

    coconut chicken tenders from @janemaynard - easy and scrumptious!

    I’ve made the same thing a couple times since and I think I finally have these chicken tenders perfected, with just the right amount of salty and sweet and a bit of heat surrounding perfectly tender chicken. And, of course, coconut. I love anything savory with coconut involved. So good.

    coconut chicken tenders from @janemaynard - easy and scrumptious!

    There are a few steps to the recipe, but I promise it’s an easy recipe nonetheless. Also, I highly recommend pounding the chicken. You can skip the pounding, but it’s way better when you do it.

    coconut chicken tenders from @janemaynard - easy and scrumptious!

    Enjoy!

    Coconut Chicken Tenders
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    With a little bit of sweet and a little bit of heat, these oh-so-tender chicken tenders are coconut perfection!
    Author:
    Serves: 4 servings
    Ingredients
    • 1 pound chicken tenders
    • ¼ cup flour
    • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt (divided into ½ teaspoon and ¼ teaspoon)
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
    • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
    • ½ cup sweetened coconut
    • ¼ - ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (with ¼ teaspoon it's just a HINT of heat, ½ teaspoon has more heat but isn't crazy spicy)
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    Instructions
    1. Pound chicken tenders thin.
    2. Mix together flour and ¼ teaspoon salt and pour onto a plate.
    3. Beat the egg in a small bowl and whisk in the soy sauce.
    4. Mix together the panko bread crumbs, coconut, ½ teaspoon of the salt, cayenne pepper, and sugar together in a medium bowl.
    5. Heat butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Depending on the size of your pan and whether or not you are doubling the recipe, if you need to cook the chicken in batches, add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan for each batch of chicken you cook.
    6. Dip each chicken tender in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumb mixture. Place chicken tenders in the heated pan and cook chicken tenders on both sides until golden brown and chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.
    7. Remove chicken from pan and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to allow some of the oil to drip off.
    8. Serve hot. Sweet chili sauce is the perfect dipping sauce for this chicken! We used honey mustard dipping sauce as well and that was good, too!

     

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  4. Sunday, February 1

    Week 419 Weekly Menu

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    I only have one thing to say before we get to the meal plan…GO PATS! TOM BRADY 4EVAH! Oh, wait. I have two things to say. Super Bowl is the new Thanksgiving. We have family coming to town and tons of recipes to make. The only (okay, not only) difference? It’s rude NOT to watch TV while you eat!

    Here’s this week’s plan!

    week 419 weekly menu from @janemaynard including FREE meal plan and shopping list!

    MONDAY:
    Sausage Hoagies

    TUESDAY:
    – Kai Pa Lo (Thai chicken stew – trying a recipe in the Penzey’s catalog)
    – Rice and spring rolls

    WEDNESDAY:
    Creamy Broccoli and Chicken Pasta
    – Salad and garlic bread

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    Naan Pizzas

    SATURDAY:
    – Take out night

    SUNDAY:
    – Breakfast for Dinner: Yorkshire Pudding
    – Fresh fruit

    Click here for the free printable of this week’s menu plus the shopping list!

    Thank you in advance for taking the time to post your menus! I appreciate it so much every week, as I’m sure many others do, too!

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  5. Friday, January 30

    Friday Show and Tell – Something Fun and Something Serious

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    Today I have two things to share with you. First, I wrote a piece for Babble this week on feeding picky eaters, based on great input from a lot of friends and bloggers. It was actually really helpful for me personally to write this as I tackle feeding Owen (who is quite picky these days!). Click here to read the article – there is some great insight!

    owen my picky eater! from @janemaynard

    I also have something a little more serious to share for Show and Tell. See that cute guy there making a perfect picky-eater face? Well, our little Owen has pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough. The doctor confirmed Owen’s test results last night and now our entire family is on antibiotics as a precautionary measure.

    I am not here for a debate, I simply want to share our experience. We vaccinate our children and are firmly pro-vaccine, and yet, here we are, with a very preventable, potentially-deadly disease in our home. I am aware that the anti-vax contingency has been growing, but honestly, I thought that there were only a few small pockets where people had stopped vaccinating. Well, as I learned this week, this is not the case. There are many communities where schools no longer have herd immunity because the number of vaccinated children is too low. When that happens, these previously-eliminated diseases start popping up. California has been tracking district-specific immunization numbers since 2000, so it is a good case study of the phenomenon. Click here to see some great maps and get more info about California’s numbers. I learned that in our school district there are only 4 out of 15 elementary schools with immunization rates above 93% (the magic number for herd immunity) and our school is only at 84%. The neighboring district has 0 out of 5 schools above 93%. We live right in the middle of one of those red dots you see on all the maps. (Note: California is 39th in the country, so there are 11 states with worse numbers.)

    the growth of anti-vax sentiment in CAPhoto source: Washington Post

    In the last few weeks our community (North County Coastal San Diego) has had confirmed cases of both measles and whooping cough. My son Owen is 3 years old and has 3 out of 4 of his shots for pertussis (he needs to be 4 years old to get the 4th shot), leaving him about 15% likely to contract the disease if exposed. Sadly he was and he did get pertussis. Thankfully he is doing well and I can’t imagine how terrible the cough would have been if he wasn’t immunized (having the vaccination makes symptoms less severe). We are feeling lucky despite the fact he has pertussis, but also feeling that it is just so unnecessary that we’re dealing with this. No one should be dealing with these diseases.

    If you live in California, there is a petition for the state government to make vaccinations mandatory for all K-12 students in the public school system. Click here to sign. This month the federal government approved a pledge of $1B for vaccines to Gavi to save millions of children’s lives all over the world. It blows my mind that there are developing countries with higher vaccination rates than my kids’ school. We need to remedy that so all of us everywhere will be protected from these diseases.

    I do believe some of the unvaccinated children in the stats are, in reality, partially vaccinated. I’m really hoping that the resurgence of some of these diseases will be the kick in the pants we need to get our vaccination rates back up.

    And, as I said, Owen is doing well. The first two days of the cough were the worst. We actually went to the doctor at that point but were told it was a cold – we had no reason to think it was pertussis. Ten days later he was still having coughing fits and we also learned that there were, in fact, cases of whooping cough in town, so we went back to the doctor. Owen is being treated and is in good spirits.

    Thanks for letting me ramble. Obviously this is all I can think about right now. Have a good weekend!

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  6. Thursday, January 29

    My New Favorite Cheese: Ricotta Salata

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    Just a quick post today to share my new favorite cheese. It’s called ricotta salata and it’s mighty fine.

    my new favorite cheese, ricotta salata | from @janemaynard

    The kind I buy is from Bel Gioioso. They label the cheese as “The Italian Feta,” which I think is a good description. Salata means “salted,” and that’s basically what this cheese is – ricotta cheese that has been pressed, salted and dried. The texture is very similar to feta, but the flavor is much more mild. Think ricotta with, you guessed it, salt added!

    my new favorite cheese, ricotta salata | from @janemaynard

    I pretty much put it on every salad I eat now. I can’t get enough. And, unlike feta, my kids are much more likely to eat it sprinkled on their salad, so they can eat the same salad I make for the adults. I’m thinking ricotta salata would be good in other dishes, too, like scrambled eggs or tossed into roasted veggies. Maybe it’s time I start experimenting, but, honestly, I go through enough of the stuff with just salads!

    my new favorite cheese, ricotta salata | from @janemaynard

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  7. Tuesday, January 27

    Easy Homemade Carnitas, My New Favorite!

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    I love carnitas. Well, let me clarify, I love good carnitas. I’ve had bad carnitas and, well, not only do I not love bad carnitas, when I’ve had bad carnitas, the experience was traumatic. But good carnitas? Well, good carnitas are downright irresistible. It’s definitely one of my favorite meat dishes.

    easy and delicious homemade carnitas with the crock pot from @janemaynard

    I live in Southern California where Mexican food is as common as a hamburger, so we’ve been eating carnitas for years, even pre-Chipotle. I think most people probably know about carnitas nowadays, but in case you are wondering what the heck I am talking about, carnitas (which translates as “little meats”) is a Mexican pork dish where the pork is cooked for a long time and comes out all tender and delicious like.

    easy and delicious homemade carnitas with the crock pot from @janemaynard

    As you now know, I love these ‘little meats’ a lot, but for some reason I never thought of making carnitas myself. But last week I was like, “Self, why don’t you make your own carnitas already?” And I was like, “Self, you are totally right.” And then I did. And it was awesome.

    easy and delicious homemade carnitas with the crock pot from @janemaynard

    Here’s the thing. The carnitas came out perfectly. So so so so good. And it was crazy easy to make. Also, pork shoulder is my new favorite cut of meat. I am for sure going to use it next time we do Korean BBQ beef tacos. Why was I so clueless about pork shoulder and the fact that homemade carnitas is basically the best thing EVER? And I call myself a food blogger!

    I had googled carnitas recipes and read through a whole bunch of them and was leaning towards Melissa D’Arabian’s recipe. Then Sara commented on my menu a few weeks ago specifically saying to try that recipe, even though I hadn’t mentioned it, so I figured it was meant to be. The recipe was fabulous and is definitely the one I will use from here on out. Maybe I should do some experimenting but, honestly, when something is this good why mess with it?

    5.0 from 2 reviews
    Pork Carnitas
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    From Melissa D'Arabian, but I re-wrote the directions to incorporate my notes and changes.
    Author:
    Serves: 6-8 people
    Ingredients
    • 2½ pounds bone-in pork shoulder (2 pounds boneless)
    • Salt (I like kosher, especially for the final step, but it's not necessary)
    • Black pepper (freshly ground if you have it, regular if you don't)
    • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 4 cloves of garlic, pushed through a garlic press or minced
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 onion, cut into quarters
    • 1 jalapeno, seeded and ribs removed, roughly chopped
    • 1 orange
    • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    Instructions
    1. Rinse and dry the pork shoulder. Salt and pepper liberally. Place pork shoulder in a slow cooker.
    2. Mix together the oregano, cumin, garlic and olive oil. Spread half of the oil mixture on one side of the pork shoulder, flip over and then rub the rest of the oil mixture on the other side of the pork shoulder.
    3. Place the onion and jalapeno in the slow cooker with the meat. I put some of the veggies on top and some around the edges.
    4. Cut the orange in half and then squeeze the juice into the slow cooker. Place the two orange halves in the slow cooker.
    5. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4 hours (I cooked it on low for 8 hours). Flip the meat over halfway through cooking.
    6. Once the meat is super tender, turn off the slow cooker and remove the meat. Pull the meat apart with a fork, discarding bone if using bone-in shoulder.
    7. Heat vegetable oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Sprinkle pan liberally with more salt. Evenly layer the carnitas in the pan once the pan is hot and cook just one side until you get a nice crispy edge on the meat touching the pan.
    8. Remove from heat, stir together, do a little taste test and add a bit of salt if needed (probably not needed, but check anyway).
    9. Serve with fresh cilantro, salsa, hot sauce and tortillas. You could also add other items to your taco (rice, beans, tomatoes, lettuce, guac, etc), but Nate and I found that the carnitas were just so good it was better to have a simply-dressed taco.

     

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  8. Sunday, January 25

    Week 418 Weekly Menu

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    I did way too good of a job following my menu last week…now I have to actually think about what to cook this week. Hate that! Okay, I suppose it’s a good thing, but still. ;) Here goes!

    week 418 weekly menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable meal plan and shopping list!

    MONDAY:
    Caprese Paninis (Cate’s request!)
    – Fruit and chips

    TUESDAY:
    Naan Pizzas
    – Salad

    WEDNESDAY:
    Stuffed Shells
    – Roasted cauliflower and garlic bread

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    Swedish Pancakes
    – Fresh fruit

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    – Super Bowl Sunday! GO PATRIOTS!!!!
    – We will have some family visiting this weekend and I can’t wait! I’m not completely sure what we’re eating, but I think it will probably involve Buffalo Wings, Sweet Chex Mix, 7-Layer Dip, Spinach Artichoke Dip, Chili, Lots of Chips, Onion Dip…sound good?

    Click here for the free printable of this week’s menu plus the shopping list!

    Blah

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  9. Friday, January 23

    Friday Show and Tell: Orange Monkey Bread

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    I just have three words for you today: Orange Monkey Bread.

    orange monkey bread from @janemaynard

    orange monkey bread from @janemaynard

    Over the long weekend last week the kids and I did some baking together and created a recipe for orange monkey bread. The monkey bread was easy to make and it made for a great kids’ baking project. Plus, it was scrumptious. Even Nate, who isn’t that into treats, declared our monkey bread “dangerous.” I consider that success. To get the recipe, check out my post on Babble!

    Show and Tell time! Please share your own stuff from the week! Remember, anything goes! A simple comment with something you accomplished, a link to something funny/delicious/inspiring/crazy, or a link to your own blog posts, all of it is welcome!

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  10. Thursday, January 22

    It’s About Time We All Got a Set of Nesting Round Cookie Cutters

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    You know how last week I told you to buy a baker’s blade? Well, I have something else you need to go buy. Luckily it’s another inexpensive item so it shouldn’t be too painful!

    why you NEED a set of nesting round cookie cutters from @janemaynard

    When I was making Anna’s birthday cake last month, I bought a set of nesting round cookie cutters so I could make the marzipan pepperoni and onions. I can’t tell you how much I love this little set of cutters! Since I made Anna’s cake just a month ago I’ve used these cutters several times, for a few cookie recipes as well as a Christmas tree ornament craft we made for Cate’s birthday party. I’m thinking they’ll come in handy for biscuits as well.

    why you NEED a set of nesting round cookie cutters from @janemaynard

    I love this cooke cutter set because there are 6 different sized circles and the cutters are double sided, with a smooth and a scalloped edge.

    why you NEED a set of nesting round cookie cutters from @janemaynard

    why you NEED a set of nesting round cookie cutters from @janemaynard

    I bought mine at Michaels, but you can buy the set on Amazon as well. And you should, Right now! (That’s Bossy Jane talking. Sorry.)

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