Menu Banner
  1. Friday, August 8

    Friday Show and Tell: The Kupp’ & Back in Birks

    EmailPinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUpon

    Before I get to food links, I have two things to share with you that I’m loving.

    review of gizeh birkenstocks by @janemaynard (they rock!)

    First off, I started wearing Birks. As in Birkenstocks, specifically the Gizeh sandals. I received them as a gift last fall at a Ladies’ Home Journal event but didn’t start wearing them, despite my sister-in-law Hannah who works in fashion in NYC telling me that people were totally wearing them again. Then I bought a standing desk and my feet started hurting from standing so much and then I pulled out the fancy new Birks and THEN I FELL IN LOVE. Just thought I should let you know. My feet never hurt when I wear these. Plus, they’re actually kinda cute.

    review of the kupp' by @janemaynard

    Second, a new company started by a mom contacted me about trying out their product, the Kupp’. My kids are absolutely loving it! I love that they are made out of glass, given my goal to phase out plastic as much as possible from our lives, but the silicone sleeve makes them very kid-friendly. And my kids love having their very own cup to be responsible for. They basically haven’t used anything else for two weeks!

    Here’s my post on Babble this week. My kids and I were supposed to try a Disney recipe out and report on how it went. The popsicles are made from non-fat, plain yogurt, bananas and blueberries with just a bit of honey. I honestly didn’t think my kids would like the popsicles that much, but I was so wrong. They loved them! This is a great recipe for kids:

    And food fun on Cosmo:

    As always, please share anything you like!

    EmailPinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUpon

  2. Tuesday, August 5

    S’Morritos! a.k.a. S’Mores on the Grill! a.k.a. The Best Way to Serve S’Mores to a Crowd

    EmailPinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUpon

    The last night we were in New Hampshire this summer we were planning to build a fire and make s’mores. But then we got lazy and didn’t feel like doing the whole fire thing. But we did still feel like doing the whole s’more thing, especially since we had amazing chocolate bark and homemade coconut marshmallows from the Granite State Candy Shoppe that needed to be s’morified stat.

    s'morritos aka s'mores on the grill by @janemaynard - a great way to serve s'mores at a party!

    I was suggesting that maybe we just microwave a few s’mores. This does not make for the very best s’mores in the world but the technique works when you find yourself in a s’more emergency, which I’m sure happens all the time. My sister-in-law Hannah, however, suddenly had a stroke of genius, and that genius was quickly named the S’Morrito (she’s good with words like that). The grill was still fired up from dinner and she figured wrapping s’mores up in foil (s’mores that look like burritos…s’morritos…get it?) and throwing them on the grill should work pretty well. It actually worked great.

    s'morritos a.k.a. s'mores on the grill from @janemaynard - a great way to serve s'mores at a party!s'morritos a.k.a. s'mores on the grill from @janemaynard - a great way to serve s'mores at a party!

    Not only is this a great way to make s’mores, but it’s an especially great way to serve s’mores at a party. Here’s what I recommend:

    • Set up a s’mores bar, complete with graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows, as well as a bunch of pieces of aluminum foil and a Sharpee marker.
    • Everyone then makes their own s’mores, wraps the uncooked s’mores in foil and puts their initials on the foil with the marker.
    • Put all of the completed s’morritos on the grill and, voila, s’mores everyone can enjoy at the same time!

    s'morritos a.k.a. s'mores on the grill from @janemaynard - a great way to serve s'mores at a party!s'morritos a.k.a. s'mores on the grill from @janemaynard - a great way to serve s'mores at a party!

    As for the taste, I’m sure some of you have questions. Yes, s’morritos taste good. Yes, the warmed graham cracker is actually totally and completely wonderful. Yes, the marshmallow gets a little browned on the edges even in the foil. Yes, your s’mores will be totally gooey but who cares because they’re supposed to be. Yes, the marshmallow and chocolate heat very evenly. Yes, I may never make s’mores the old way again. (Fair warning: the s’mores are hot and super gooey when you first take them off the grill. If you let them cool for 5-10 minutes, they become less so.)

    s'morritos a.k.a. s'mores on the grill from @janemaynard - a great way to serve s'mores at a party!

    S'Morritos!
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    S'Mores on the Grill - a great way to serve s'mores to a crowd!
    Author:
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Ingredients
    • Graham crackers
    • Chocolate of your choice (I've stopped buying Hershey's bars and we use Dove chocolates now - it's just that much better. And, if you really want to go gourmet, buy some super fancy chocolate like we did in NH. It's kind of amazing.)
    • Marshmallows
    • Foil
    Instructions
    1. Heat grill on low. (If you want to try this in your oven, go for around 400º F)
    2. Place graham cracker on the center of a piece of aluminum foil. Layer with chocolate then marshmallow then another graham cracker. Wrap carefully so you don't break the crackers inside.
    3. Place on grill chocolate side UP, close grill lid and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Open grill, flip s'morritos then cook for another 2-3 more minutes. (Experiment with the time based on how hot your individual grill gets.)
    4. Remove from grill, unwrap and dig in.
    5. The s'morritos are especially gooey when it comes to s'mores since everything is warm and melted. You can dig in right away, but you've been warned. If you let them cool for 5-10 minutes, they may be a bit more manageable. If you decide to eat them hot off the grill, be sure to lift them out of the foil by lifting from the bottom so as to avoid squishing all the good stuff out before you even take a bite!

     

    EmailPinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUpon

  3. Sunday, August 3

    Week 393 Menu

    EmailPinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUpon

    Hello! I seriously can’t believe it’s time to plan another menu. This summer is going by too quickly!

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

    Let’s just get to it today!

    MONDAY:
    - Chicken Tortilla Soup

    TUESDAY:
    - Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe (thanks for the link, Bonnie!)
    - Sauteed summer vegetable medley

    WEDNESDAY:
    - Chicken Caesar Wraps with fresh fruit

    THURSDAY:
    - Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    - Cheeseburgers on the grill
    - Watermelon and a side salad

    SATURDAY:
    - Take out night
    - Cate is going to the Sara Bareilles concert with me, her first concert!

    SUNDAY:
    - Waffles
    - Fresh fruit

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

    As usual, please pretty please with a delicious summer cherry on top share your menu for the week! 

    EmailPinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUpon

  4. Friday, August 1

    Friday Show and Tell

    EmailPinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUpon

    Happy Friday! Happy August!

    la natural history museum by @janemaynard

    I don’t have anything particularly awesome to share today because I just spent three hours getting new tires on my car. Because I drove over a construction tool on the way home from the beach on Wednesday. And, you know what? As much as it all was completely inconvenient and expensive, I never freaked out. I remained surprisingly calm. On a related note, a few nights ago I got pulled over for not stopping completely at a stop sign and, again, was calm and collected. My friend Barbara said I was “cool as a cucumber.” (In the end no ticket, luckily!) So, I guess my big share today is that maybe I’m getting a little more zen than I used to be. Maybe. I am trying. Because, honestly, even when the crappy stuff happens, what do I have to complain about? I got to hang out with my kids this week, work at jobs I love, go to the beach, look at stuffed animals (literally) at the natural history museum with little people who for some reason just really love taxidermy. It’s all good, popped tires and all.

    Okay, time for some fun food links!

    On Babble, my kids and I tried another one of the Dishes by Disney recipes:

    And all kinds of yumminess on Cosmo:

    Please share your own thoughts/links/blog posts/accomplishments/anything!

    EmailPinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUpon

  5. Thursday, July 31

    My New Favorite Cupcake & Muffin Liners: Tulip Baking Cups

    EmailPinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUpon

    A couple years ago I started noticing really cute muffin liners at coffee shops that sort of stuck up on top. I had been keeping my eye out for them at the store but never found them anywhere. Then, one day when I sent on a mini shopping spree on the King Arthur website, there they were. Tulip muffin papers. I of course put them in my cart immediately! Imagine my delight when I found them a few months later at Target. Yay!

    tulip muffin liners

    Tulip baking cups are my new favorite baking cups, a.k.a. muffin papers, a.k.a. muffin liners, a.k.a. cupcake liners, a.k.a. they have a lot of names, apparently. Whatever you call them, they are wicked cute and I’m loving them!

    tulip cupcake and muffin liners info from @janemaynard

    Here’s why I like tulip liners:

    • Tulip liners are really easy to separate when you’re putting them in the pan. Makes them a bit quicker to set up than traditional baking cups, which I almost always accidentally double up a few times per batch.
    • No batter spillover on your pans! I think this is my most favorite aspect of these liners.
    • They’re purrrrty.
    • If you’re in a pinch and find yourself without cupcake liners, you can make your own tulip liners using small squares of parchment paper. Just Google “diy tulip cupcake liners” and you’ll find a plethora of tutorials.

    tulip cupcake liners

    A few more notes for when you use them as well as where to buy them:

    • You can cook cupcakes as well as muffins in these liners, although I have yet to make cupcakes myself. If you make cupcakes, you’ll need to pipe on the frosting.
    • If you make muffins with these liners, you’re not really going to get a “muffin top.” The tops still get the same texture as a normal muffin, but they don’t have that classic muffin top shape. In fact, it’s pretty much stump central. (When Nate and I realized I was making muffin stumps, it made us laugh so hard. It’s safe to say Elaine would not like these muffin liners.)
    • When filling the liners with batter, do so carefully. If you drip or accidentally get batter on the upper part of the liner, it will bake to a dark color so you’re liner will have ugly spots. Not the end of the world but something to keep in mind.
    • Like I mentioned, I recently found PaperChef tulip baking cups at Target. You can also buy tulip liners online at various sites like the King Arthur website and Amazon. Please note if you order them from somewhere online, depending on how they are packaged when shipped they may arrived “squished.” I was able to straighten mine out after some careful bending. Customer reviews on Amazon mentioned the same problem with some of the liners you can order there.

    Wow. I had no idea I had so much to say on the subject of tulip baking cups.

    Happy baking!

    EmailPinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUpon

  6. Sunday, July 27

    Week 392 Menu

    EmailPinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUpon

    Happy Sunday!

    caprese salad ingredients from @janemaynard

    So, I had a dinner item on last week’s menu that ended up being a surprising hit with my girls – caprese salad. They loved it and ended up having it for lunch a few days, too! I think I’ll throw caprese paninis on the menu this week and see what they think!

    weekly dinner menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable meal plan and shopping list

    MONDAY:
    - Quiche
    - Spinach and strawberry salad

    TUESDAY:
    - Day trip to Los Angeles to see the Space Shuttle Endeavor and visit the Natural History Museum
    - Eating dinner with my sister in LA

    WEDNESDAY:
    - Caprese Paninis

    THURSDAY:
    - Chicken Caesar Wraps
    - Fresh fruit

    FRIDAY:
    - Leftovers

    SATURDAY:
    - Takeout night

    SUNDAY:
    - Breakfast for dinner!

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

    You know the drill…please share your menu for the week! Thanks and have a great week!

    EmailPinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUpon

  7. Friday, July 25

    Friday Show and Tell

    EmailPinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUpon

    Happy Friday! I survived our first full week of summer at home. Yay! My strategy is to work a bit each day and then plan one fun thing to go out and do with the kids each day (even if it’s just a stop at the library or sprinklers in the yard). One of our fun activities this week was watching Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. I can’t even tell you how excited I was when it came onto Netflix service recently. The kids totally loved it! I especially love how nervous Cate would get during the suspenseful scenes, it was crazy cute. Also, I can’t believe how much of that movie I still have memorized. Kinda scary.

    honey, I shrunk the kids on netflix from @janemaynard

    Here are links to all my other stuff on the web this week!

    On Babble:

    And Cosmo:

    Your turn to share whatever you want! Blog posts, fantastic finds, summer activity ideas, it’s all fair game!

    EmailPinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUpon

  8. Thursday, July 24

    Why You Need a Pampered Chef Scoop and Not Just Any Old Scoop

    EmailPinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUpon

    Friends, I need to do a follow-up post about scoops because I didn’t realize a little something about my scoops until now. My sister-in-law Cora said that I needed to do a follow-up!

    medium and large scoops web

    Three years ago I wrote a post about how you absolutely need a scoop (or two) in your kitchen. I still firmly stand by that advice. HOWEVER…I learned this summer that there is a second bit of advice that I should have also included that I didn’t know was important. Not only do you need a scoop (or two), you need a Pampered Chef scoop.

    Here’s the deal. When I went to New Jersey this summer I made cookies at my mom’s house. When I went to make the cookie dough balls, I got out the scoop that I had given her last year, a scoop that I had purchased at Michael’s and was not cheap, by the way. As I pulled it out of the drawer, my sister-in-law said, “Ugh, I’ve gone through three scoops since you wrote that post about scoops. They always break on me!” I was stunned to hear this.

    And then I started scooping dough and the scoop kept getting jammed and the little swivel thingy kept getting pulled into the wrong place. It was basically the biggest pain ever. Cora was aboslutely right. The scoop could not handle a batch of cookie dough. It kinda blew my mind.

    I have NEVER had any issues whatsoever with my Pampered Chef scoops. They are in the exact same condition as the day I got them, they never get jammed, they have never broken and I can make a billion cookie dough balls with no issues. Cora and I realized that my advice to “Get a scoop” really should have been “Get a Pampered Chef scoop.” I had no idea that it made such a difference!

    Pampered Chef sells three sizes of scoops:

    • Large Scoop (~3 tablespoons): perfect for making pancakes and filling muffin tins.
    • Medium Scoop (~2 tablespoons): perfect for standard-sized cookies
    • Small Scoop (~1 tablespoon): also good for cookies, just smaller ones

    If you’re only going to get one scoop, go with the medium, especially if you’re getting it specifically for making cookies. It’s a great size.

    This post is in no way sponsored by Pampered Chef. I just needed to tell you how much better their scoops are! And also apologize if you, like Cora, have been feeling frustrated the the scoop you may have gotten based on my advice.

    Also, as usual, I love your feedback! If you have another brand of scoop that is equally as awesome as my Pampered Chef scoops, please share it with us!

    EmailPinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUpon

  9. Tuesday, July 22

    One More Travel Post…Warwick, New York

    EmailPinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUpon

    My parents recently moved to northern New Jersey, very close to the New York border. It is absolutely beautiful where they live, complete with rolling green hills as far as the eye can see. This is the third summer that we’ve visited them at their new home but the first summer that we made two really great discoveries – Dairy Swirl in Vernon, New Jersey and the little town of Warwick, New York.

    absolutely wonderful ice cream shop dairy swirl in vernon, nj by @janemaynard

    First, let’s talk ice cream. Dairy Swirl is literally five minutes from my parents’ home but, for some reason, we never went until this year. And that is a crime because it is awesome. They serve homemade ice cream in all kinds of wonderful flavors that are creative but make total sense. You know, nothing crazy, just all completely wonderful combinations of ingredients. And just outside the shop there are these giant rocks embedded in the side of the hill that are perfect for sliding. The kids could have stayed there all day. If you’re ever in northern New Jersey near Vernon, be sure to stop in!

    a visit to warwick, ny by @janemaynard

    After you hit the Dairy Swirl, keep driving north about 30 minutes to the town of Warwick, NY. Again, I don’t know why we never ventured to Warwick before but I’m so glad that we did! The town is adorable, with lots of little shops and restaurants, a cute town green where they play live music on the weekends, farmstands and more. I can only imagine how beautiful it is in the fall when the leaves are aflame!

    a visit to corbett's cookie bar kitchen in warwick, ny by @janemaynard

    My dad and I spent a few hours in Warwick with all three kids, so we kept the visit simple: lunch, dessert and a visit to the local bookstore. After lunch at Eddie’s Roadhouse (the filet sliders were awesome, the ribeye steak was just okay according to my dad), we hopped over to Corbett’s Cookie Bar Kitchen, where we had a really fun chat with the owners. They’ve been open about a year and only serve cookie bars. I love talking to small business owners who are so passionate about what they do – I really admire them because I am too chicken to do anything like that! The carmelita was our favorite flavor – it was like taking a big bite out of the best cookie dough. And the Mexican brownie was my other favorite. One bar is enough for 2-3 people, by the way, so pace yourself!

    a visit to ye olde warwick book shoppe in warwick, ny by @janemaynard

    After stuffing ourselves silly, we took the kids to Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe. This bookstore is tiny and like a maze of book shelves, which I love. The kids’ section is tucked in a back corner and the kids and I spent a lot of time back there. Basically, we loved it.

    Quick side note: another 10 minutes north there is an even smaller town called Sugar Loaf that also has some really cute shops, where you can buy things like handmade candles and soaps.

    So, this fall when you east coasters are wondering where you should take a drive to enjoy the leaves, head over to the Warwick Valley. You can’t go wrong! (For that matter it was perfectly fun in the summer, too!)

    EmailPinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUpon

  10. Sunday, July 20

    Week 391 Menu + Dinner at Veladora

    EmailPinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUpon

    Hello! We are home from vacation and I am getting back into the cooking groove! After such a long break I am actually really looking forward to it.

    review of veladora restaurant by @janemaynard

    Before we get to this week’s dinner plans, I need to tell you about the dinner that Nate and I had last night. Today is our 15th wedding anniversary (TIME FLIES! Happy anniversary, Nate!). Last night Veladora at the Rancho Valencia hotel in Rancho Santa Fe hosted us for dinner to celebrate. There are no words for how wonderful our evening was, but I’m going to give it a try! (Seriously, in the time it took for us to drive off the hotel property we must have said, “That dinner was awesome!” twenty times.) First of all, the food. Ahhh, the food. Nate ordered prime rib cap and I was treated to scallops. Both dishes were unreal. The rib cap was a beautiful cut of meat cooked to perfection, and my scallops were paired with three different corn sides that complemented the scallops beautifully. All of the food we had was wonderful, right down to the 18-year old balsamic vinegar for dipping the focaccia. Chef Matt came out to meet us at the end of our meal and it was so interesting talking with him about the food, how the menu is developed and modified with the seasons, as well as his own career path. Beyond the food, the serving staff was stellar and the restaurant itself was beautiful. The best part was that, despite the high caliber of the restaurant, we felt comfortable and relaxed, thanks to both the setting and the staff. Oh, and they gave us a little gift on the way out the door that was, of course, a tasty treat. It was truly the perfect way to celebrate our latest life milestone. Thank you, Veladora, for a night we will not soon forget.

    Despite the fact that I pretty much don’t want to eat any other food ever after Veladora, real life dictates that I still have to feed my family. So, back to the weekly menu!

    weekly dinner plans from @janemaynard including FREE printable menu and shopping list!

    MONDAY:
    - Caprese salad with crusty bread
    - Stewed green beans

    TUESDAY:
    - Taco night

    WEDNESDAY:
    - Grammy’s Orange Chicken
    - Rice and veggie

    THURSDAY:
    - Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    - Takeout night

    SATURDAY:
    - Chicken on the grill
    - Corn on the cob and watermelon

    SUNDAY:
    - Quiche
    - Spinach and strawberry salad

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

    Big THANKS to all of you who continued posting menus the last few weeks while I took a break. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!

    As usual, please share your menu for the week! Plain or fancy, we want to see it all!

    EmailPinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+StumbleUpon

Martha\\\'s Circle
Eat Less Meat
SocialLuxe
ONE