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  1. Sunday, May 3

    Week 432 Menu

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    Happy Mother’s Day! Okay, yeah, I know it’s next week, but I’ll be in Africa so we’re celebrating today! So, I’m just throwing my weekly menu up as fast as possible and then getting back to enjoying my day!

    week 432 weekly menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable shopping list and meal plan!

    MONDAY:
    – Green Noodles a.k.a. No. 3

    TUESDAY:
    – Taco night

    WEDNESDAY:
    Pesto Tortellini Soup with crusty bread

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Eat out (I leave for MALAWI, AFRICA!)

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out (yes, again!)

    SUNDAY:
    – English muffin pizzas

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

    You know the drill, we NEED you to share your menus for the week because it’s the best! Thank you!

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  2. Friday, May 1

    Friday Show and Tell

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    Happy Friday! Today I have a bunch of fun food links to share with you. Also, I’ll be heading to Africa with ONE and Heifer International in just 1 week! I just got back from Target where I got things like insect repellent with DEET. It’s going to be an adventure to say the least!

    asparagus prosciutto risotto from @janemaynard

    Here is what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the Internet this week!

    On Babble:

    On Parade’s Community Table:

    As usual, feel free to share anything you want in the comments! Show and Tell time!

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  3. Thursday, April 30

    The Best Lemons in the World Are Actually Limes + Why You Need a Lemon Press

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    Today I have a story to tell. After the story there’s a really good kitchen tip. So, you know, make sure you keep reading to the end. Which of course you would do anyway because I’m such a good storyteller, right?!

    why you need a lemon press from @janemaynard | pictured: bearss lime tree

    Our house came with a lemon tree in the backyard. A big, beautiful lemon tree that grows the best tasting lemons in the world. There was just one problem – the lemons kept getting this weird brown spot on the bottom.

    why you need a lemon press from @janemaynard | pictured: bearss lime tree, overripe fruit

    We researched the issue and came up empty. Our gardener thought maybe it was a deficiency of some sort and asked other gardeners about it. Everyone was stumped. Then, one day, Nate noticed a blue tag on the tree. He flipped it over and discovered the tag had words on it and the words were these: Bearss Lime.

    why you need a lemon press from @janemaynard | pictured: bearss lime tree

    WHAT?!?! Our lemons were limes! Our gardener was like, “Oh man, I love Bearss limes! The way the tree was pruned I just never thought of it!” Now that we knew what kind of tree it was, our research was much more fruitful (pun intended) and we discovered that our yellow limes with brown spots on the bottom were actually just overripe.

    why you need a lemon press from @janemaynard | pictured: bearss limes

    In our defense, Bearss limes can grow really big and really yellow. I think Bearss limes should be renamed Trick Lemons. I mean, seriously, look how yellow those two overripe limes are in the picture above!

    why you need a lemon press from @janemaynard | pictured: bearss limes

    The reason our lemons were the best tasting lemons in the world was because they were actually limes. My lemon bars? Lime bars. Our neighbors’ favorite lemon chicken? Lime chicken. The list goes on. Lemon or lime, we love the tree and Nate makes the best lemonade, I mean limeade, you ever did taste.

    why you need a lemon press from @janemaynardOwen says, “Hi!”

    Story’s over, kitchen tip time! If you don’t have a lemon press, aka citrus squeezer, get one! Seriously, I’ve been wanting a lemon press for years and finally, two weeks ago, I popped onto Amazon, found one that looked good and hit “buy.” I bought the Bellemain lemon squeezer and I love it. It is super sturdy and perfect for lemons and limes. Click here to check it out!

    why you need a lemon press from @janemaynard

    I now consider my lemon press an indispensable kitchen tool and don’t know how I lived so long without it. Take note: when you start squeezing, go slow or you’ll end up with juice all over your kitchen.

    why you need a lemon press from @janemaynard | pictured: squeezed bearss limes

    Happy juicing!

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  4. Sunday, April 26

    Week 431 Menu

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    Hey everyone! Real quick before we get down to the weekly menu. I normally would share this in my Friday Show and Tell post, but I feel like this is time sensitive. If you are looking for trusted, reputable, effective organizations to support to help the people of Nepal, click here for a good list from Global Moms Challenge. I hope this is helpful. I know we all feel the urge to help but are often unsure of the best ways.

    I actually did do a lot of cooking last week, but we still have some carry-overs from the meal plan. You know me, I like it when items carry over, less thinking involved! 😉

    week 431 weekly menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable meal plan and shopping list!

    MONDAY:
    – Bertucci’s Tortellini
    – Veggie and bread

    TUESDAY:
    – Homemade hamburgers
    – Chips and salad

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Stuffed Peppers
    – Salad

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Take out night

    SATURDAY:
    – BBQ Chicken on the Grill
    – Salad

    SUNDAY:
    – Breakfast for Dinner: Waffles, Eggs and Fruit

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

    You’re turn! Show us what you got! Share those menus!

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  5. Friday, April 24

    Friday Show and Tell: Instant-Read Kitchen Thermometers and Getting Ready for Africa!

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    Happy Friday! Today for Show and Tell I am super excited to tell you about my new kitchen thermometer! I know, EXCITING stuff! 😉 I am a firm believer that all home cooks need an instant-read thermometer. I’ve been using a cheapo Pyrex thermometer for years, but I could tell for the last little while that it was definitely reading incorrectly.

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

    I called my friend Lindsay to find out which thermometer she uses – I remembered that there was one she was completely in love with and had splurged on a few years ago. Today I’m sharing the details with you and demanding that any of you who do NOT have a thermometer must go buy one of these right NOW. It’s your homework. I’ll be checking next week. All of these instant-read kitchen thermometers are made by ThermoWorks and I’m providing you with three different options at three different price points, so no excuses!

    • Thermapen ($96): This was Lindsay’s dream thermometer that she saved up for. She did in fact buy it a few years ago and used it for a long time. And she did in fact love it. And she did in fact recently break it and had to get a new thermometer (more on that in a second). If you want to invest in a really nice thermometer and you think you can keep yourself from breaking it, this is the one. Click here to buy the Thermapen.
    • Thermapop ($29): This is basically the poor man’s version of the Thermapen but still super awesome. This is what Lindsay replaced her Thermapen with and she said she totally loves it, too. Click here to buy the Thermapop.
    • DOT Professional Probe Style ($39): This is the one I bought. I was going to get the Thermapop, but when I found this probe style thermometer by ThermoWorks, I was sold. I LOVE having a probe style, I use it in the oven and grill all the time when cooking meat. I received it in the mail this week and it’s GREAT. Click here to buy the DOT Probe.

    I cannot believe it’s Friday already and I REALLY cannot believe that in 2 weeks I’ll be heading for Africa! We had a logistics call with ONE and Heifer International this week and it just got me even more excited for the trip. I’m in the middle of getting all my stuff together for the trip, including breaking in my new waterproof shoes (I live in San Diego, nothing I own is waterproof!). Today I started my typhoid immunization pills, so there is currently live typhoid in my system. The team also mentioned on the call that we need to make sure we bring a headlamp because of frequent power outages in Malawi. Basically, it’s all starting to get very real that I am going to Africa and, honestly, I can’t wait! My headlamp and I are ready!

    waterproof merrell shoes for africa trip!

    That’s it from me this week! It’s Show and Tell, so please share whatever you like! And if you have a kitchen thermometer that you love and recommend that is different than what I listed above, please tell us about it!

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  6. Thursday, April 23

    Candied Pistachios + My Visit to the Super Secret Club 33 in Disneyland

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    You guys. Candied pistachios. How have I never eaten or contemplated their existence before? As much as I want to talk about these delectable little nuts, we first need to talk about where I discovered them.

    Recipe for candied pistachios, inspired by my visit to Club 33 in Disneyland

    A few days ago I received a text from my dear friend Mindy inviting me to be her date for dinner at Club 33 in Disneyland. I’ll admit, I had to Google it. I had never heard of Club 33 and, as I read about it, I found out why. It’s a “secret” restaurant in Disneyland located directly above the Blue Bayou restaurant and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. As I kept reading I realized that I absolutely needed to accept Mindy’s invitation, drive to Anaheim, pay to get into Disneyland and join her for a 5-star dinner at this mysterious restaurant for fancy mice.

    Recipe for candied pistachios, inspired by my visit to Club 33 in Disneyland

    Walt Disney had Club 33 built so he could have a quiet and elegant place to host sponsors of the park. He took great care in planning the details, including replicating a Parisian elevator that he and his wife loved dearly. Sadly Walt passed away before the restaurant was completed, but it opened nonetheless. It has a “secret” entrance with a doorbell that you ring to announce yourself. And, if you ask Disneyland employees about Club 33 or where the entrance is, they’re supposed to act like it doesn’t exist. Kinda fun, huh? It’s also the only place at Disneyland that serves alcohol…very expensive alcohol, I imagine!

    Recipe for candied pistachios, inspired by my visit to Club 33 in DisneylandThe windows in the second story of that building in New Orleans Square are the Club 33 lounge. Now you’re in on the secret, too.

    Mindy’s parents are members of the club and they were kind enough to have me join them for dinner on Tuesday night. (I’m super glad Mindy’s husband had to work this week! Thanks, Tyler!). Club 33 was updated a few years ago so now it includes a lounge and bar area in addition to the restaurant. The lounge and bar are stunningly beautiful, with all kinds of fun details, like paintings that magically change over time.

    Recipe for candied pistachios, inspired by my visit to Club 33 in Disneyland

    When Mindy and I arrived, she let me ring the doorbell (hence, the “ooooo!” face I’m making). We were then escorted up a beautiful staircase to the lounge area. When it was time for dinner, we entered the dining room, where the tables were set with Club 33 china. Everything was beautiful (I know I already used that word a million times, sorry), with great art on the walls and “fanciness” abounding.

    The food was delectable. Truly. We had 6 courses and dinner was 3 1/2 hours long. Even after eating over that long time period we were still STUFFED. Everything we ate really was beyond delicious (hello, tender filet mignon, I am in love with you) and the waitstaff was lovely. My meal consisted of such goodness as cornbread coated fried portobello mushrooms, scallops on a bed of deliciousness that I have no idea what it was made out of, filet (I already professed my love), molten lava cake that was as good as what I make at home (that is the highest compliment I can give a lava cake) and more. It was a fantastic dinner!

    Side note: the bathroom wasn’t anything to sneeze at, either. In fact, I could live in it. Happily. Forever.

    Recipe for candied pistachios, inspired by my visit to Club 33 in Disneyland

    One of our favorite parts of the night was when it was time to leave. The park had been closed for almost 2 hours at that point, but we soon learned that all the lights stay on at Disneyland through the night (insert everyone making the same jokes about electricity bills and solar panels). One of the Club 33 employees had to escort us out of the park, I presume so we wouldn’t get into any mischief with Goofy or something. Walking through the streets of Disneyland with everything aglow and not a person to be seen was, well, magical! (Come on, I have to use the word magical at some point in this post, right?) When we walked by the Mary Poppins cafe, I half expected Julie Andrews and the penguins to come dancing by. And, no, we were not allowed to take photos, which was killer!

    Recipe for candied pistachios, inspired by my visit to Club 33 in Disneyland

    I owe Mindy and her lovely parents a huge THANK YOU for a wonderful evening I won’t soon forget! I even came away with a special treat for you, too – candied pistachios! My second course for the meal was frisée salad with avocaodos and strawberries, which was topped with a wonderful buttermilk dressing as well as candied pistachios. How have I never thought to candy pistachios before? They are, hands down, my favorite candied nut and should be served on all salads from now until the end of time.

    Recipe for candied pistachios, inspired by my visit to Club 33 in Disneyland

    Enjoy your candied pistachios and know that this is what the fancy mice eat.

    Candied Pistachios
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Inspired by the candied pistachios served on my frisée salad at Club 33 in Disneyland.
    Author:
    Serves: 1 cup
    Ingredients
    • 1½ cups raw, shelled, unsalted pistachios
    • 6 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    Instructions
    1. Mix together the sugar, water and salt. Set aside.
    2. Preheat oven to 350º F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
    3. When oven is heated, stir sugar mixture well then add pistachios. Stir to coat all the nuts very well. Spread pistachios evenly on the baking sheet, spooning them onto the tray rather than pouring straight from the bowl to minimize extra sugar mixture pooling on the tray.
    4. Bake for 8 minutes. The sugar should be bubbling on the tray.
    5. Remove from oven and immediately stir the nuts around on the tray with a rubber spatula, making sure all those nuts get a nice coating of bubbly sugar. Spread the nuts back out evenly so they are either not touching each other or just lightly touching. Let cool completely.
    6. Serve over salad or ice cream or cake or whatever suits your fancy! At Club 33 they served these nuts on a salad with avocado and strawberries and a buttermilk dressing I wish I could replicate.

     

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  7. Sunday, April 19

    Week 430 Menu

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    Hey everybody. I don’t have much to say today except here’s my weekly menu! 😉 Oh, and miracle of miracles I followed last week’s menu to a T.

    week 430 weekly menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable meal plan and shopping list!

    MONDAY:
    – Caprese Salad with crusty bread

    TUESDAY:
    Grammy’s Orange Chicken
    – Rice and Veggie

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Stuffed Peppers
    – Salad

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SATURDAY:
    – Homemade hamburgers
    – Chips and salad

    SUNDAY:
    – Bertucci’s Tortellini
    – Veggie and bread

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

    You know the drill…share your weekly meal plans! Can’t wait to see what you all have cookin’!

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  8. Thursday, April 16

    Friday Show and Tell

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    Happy Friday, Everyone! I have three fun food links for you today but, before we get to those, I have some super cool news!

    one and heifer international trip to malawi

    Back in the day I was an International Relations and Women’s Studies major at Boston University. My focus was women and developing countries and my undergrad thesis looked at the complications of creating and enforcing international women’s rights laws. After graduation we moved to San Diego and I started working in PR and life took a different direction from what I studied in college, a wonderful direction that has brought me to where I am today. But all of those issues I studied and cared about so many years ago have remained close to my heart. A few years ago I connected with ONE at Mom 2.0. Every since I have absolutely loved working with ONE and using my blog as a platform to support their efforts.

    malawai | photo credit mom it forwardPhoto credit: Matthew Feldman, Research Associate for IVAC via Mom It Forward

    To complete the circle, or, more accurately, enlarge the circle, in just a few weeks I will be traveling to Malawi with ONE, Heifer International and 7 other amazing women writers (Ana, Ellen, Heather, Karen, Meredith, Rachel and Wendi). As I’ve been reading about this small and beautiful African country and learning about the specific issues that the Malawian people face, I’ve felt overwhelmed with excitement, gratitude and just overall “feelings.” I cannot WAIT to get on a plane May 8 and head south of the equator!

    For food links, here’s what I’ve got this week!

    Your turn for show and tell! Share whatever you like, from accomplishments in your daily life to blog posts to great links on the Internet. Anything goes!

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  9. Mark and Barb’s Beer Brats

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    Last weekend when we were driving through Southern Utah seeing the beautiful sights, the kids and I stayed at my Uncle Mark and Auntie Barb’s house in St. George. We had been driving all day long and, when we arrived at their house, they had a big pan of beer brats on the stove. It was so nice to have dinner waiting, especially a dinner as delicious as this one!

    recipe for mark and barb's DELICIOUS and easy beer brats, only 3 ingredients! from @janemaynard

    Barbara explained how she and Mark cook their brats and I made them myself just two days later! This is definitely my new favorite way to cook brats. And it’s super easy, with just three ingredients!

    recipe for mark and barb's DELICIOUS and easy beer brats, only 3 ingredients! from @janemaynardrecipe for mark and barb's DELICIOUS and easy beer brats, only 3 ingredients! from @janemaynard

    There are few notes throughout the recipe with hints and tips. I figured it’s better to just put all that info right into the recipe instead of here in the blog post. Enjoy!!!

    recipe for mark and barb's DELICIOUS and easy beer brats, only 3 ingredients! from @janemaynard

    Mark and Barb's Beer Brats
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Mark and Barbara are my aunt and uncle and they make the best beer brats ever.
    Author:
    Serves: 6
    Ingredients
    • 6 Brats (Barbara used Johnsonville; I went shopping at Sprouts this week and bought the brats at their meat counter, which were GIANT, so I only cooked 4. I actually preferred the Johnsonville brats.)
    • 2 onions, cut in half then sliced into ½" - ¾" slices
    • 24 ounces beer, or enough to cover the brats and onions in the pan (Barbara used Miller High Life; I tried the recipe with Negra Modelo. Both beers were delicious - the Miller has a lighter flavor, the Negra yields a darker, stronger, richer flavor...I don't have a favorite, they're both fabulous!)
    Instructions
    1. Place the sliced onions and the brats in a high-sided skillet. Pour beer over the brats and onions until they are covered.
    2. Heat over medium-high heat to bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-60 minutes, until the brats are cooked through (internal temperature 170º F). Make sure brats are simmering, not boiling, but you don't want the heat too low so that they're not cooking.
    3. Remove the brats from the pan and set aside on a plate.
    4. Cook onions until beer is almost completely cooked off, leaving you with saucy onions.
    5. Add brats back to the pan, raise heat to medium and keep them on the heat until they are hot again.
    6. Serve brats smothered in the onions on buns of your choice with mustard of your choice.
    Notes
    Barbara mentioned sometimes they'll make these ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze them. When it's time to eat them, if frozen be sure to defrost, then heat the brats up on the grill and heat the onions in the microwave or on the stove.

     

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  10. Tuesday, April 14

    Fresh Basil Plants for the Black Thumb Inclined

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    My relationship with fresh basil is one of the love-hate variety.

    living herbs basil plants are the BEST, especially if you have a black thumb!

    I love using fresh basil when cooking, but I can’t for the life of me keep a basil plant alive. I have the blackest of black thumbs. Buying fresh cut basil at the store just doesn’t really work, though. It only lasts 1 or 2 days and then it’s Bye Bye, Basil. I recently read a tip about snipping the stems of fresh basil and putting it in a glass of water like flowers in vase, but that only works about half of the time for me.

    living herbs basil plants are the BEST, especially if you have a black thumb!

    Luckily I discovered a basil plant that is AWESOME for people like me. I’ve seen it in a few different stores and it is the best! North Shore Living Herbs sells mini fresh basil plants potted in peat moss that I am completely in love with.

    living herbs basil plants are the BEST, especially if you have a black thumb!

    Here’s how it works: The basil plant comes in a mini pot with holes in the bottom. You place the pot on a plate or in a cup and make sure that it’s sitting in 1/4″ – 1/2″ of water (check it regularly to keep it watered!). The basil stays perfectly lovely for 1-2 weeks, which works really well for the home cook.

    living herbs basil plants are the BEST, especially if you have a black thumb!

    Be sure to keep an eye out for these great little basil plants. I guarantee you’ll fall in love!

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