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  1. Sunday, July 17

    Week 495 Weekly Dinner Menu

    Hello, friends! This week marks the beginning of our annual trip to visit family on the East Coast. We have a lot of flying and driving happening this week, so I’m not going to bother thinking about what we will be happening for dinner each night. I DO know we’ll be home tomorrow night and I have the ingredients to make lentil soup, so that is happening at the very least.

    Lentil Soup

    – Annual East Coast Summer Trip!


    Even though I’ll be traveling, I’ll still publish each Sunday so you can call continue sharing your menus with one another. Plus, I have a few giveaways and fun things coming up, so the blog won’t be completely on vacation. 😉

    As usual, and especially now when I’m basically in vacation mode, we need your menus! Please share your weekly meal plans! Thank you all for your awesomeness!

  2. Sunday, July 10

    Week 494 Weekly Menu

    Hello, friends! I’ve been quiet on the blog and Facebook page this past week because, well, what a week it has been. I don’t even know what to say at this point except I’m doing what I can to amplify light in this world. Light is my focus. And love.

    We had a good weekend, away from phones and computers, with friends and family. And now, here it is, time to plan another menu. We have a quiet week this week, which the kids and I are both really looking forward to. I’m hoping it means we’ll have some time to cook together, too!

    Chicken Tortilla Soup (this recipe keeps NOT happening, but I WANT it to happen, so on the menu it goes once again!)

    – Stir Fry and Potstickers

    – Margherita Pizza

    – Leftovers

    Chickpea Veggie Burgers

    Phil’s BBQ with a friend

    Lentil Soup

    My computer with my weekly menu files is acting up tonight, so I’ll get the PDF posted tomorrow.

    As usual, please share your wonderful menus in the comments! They really are such a help each week as I plan, and I’m sure it’s a help for many others, too! 

  3. Sunday, July 3

    Week 493 Weekly Dinner Menu

    Happy 4th of July weekend! I’m pretty sure this will be a pretty quiet week for sharing menus given the holiday weekend…which is fine by me! 🙂 I am posting my menu anyway, so if you DO have a menu to share, please do! Remember, you can post any day of the week, it is still helpful! Also, yes, I have carry-overs from last week. Summer means lots of flexibility with dinner plans! 😉

    Week 493 Weekly Dinner Menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable meal plan and shopping list

    – 4th of July Cookout!

    Teriyaki Chicken with veggies and rice

    Chicken Tortilla Soup

    – BLTs

    – Leftovers

    – Camping with friends! Fire food 🙂

    – Visiting family in L.A.

    You all know the drill…please share your menus in the comments! And have a wonderful 4th!

  4. Friday, July 1

    Friday Show and Tell is Back!

    Happy Friday, friends! It’s been a while since I’ve done a weekly Friday Show & Tell post. There are a few things I really want to share with you, so here we go! Remember, Show & Tell is for the whole class, so if you have anything to share, please do so in the comments! Links, accomplishments, whatever you’ve got!

    Thing #1 to Share: This Hair Product Has Changed My Life

    My new favorite curly product, Shea Moisture's Curl Enhancing Smoothie | from @janemaynard

    This won’t be helpful for everyone, depending on what kind of hair you have, but I still have to share because it really has made my life so much easier. About 9 months ago my friend Luvvie posted about the company Shea Moisture on Facebook. I had never heard of them, so I clicked through to the website and read a bit about their company history and products. Coincidentally a few days later I noticed their product at Target. The Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie caught my eye, so I bought it.

    Okay, so here’s the deal. My hair is THICK. And very textured. About half of the strands are super kinky and thick and basically if I want my hair to look good I have to spend time styling it, and I just don’t have that time to spare. My hair is also part-curly, part-wavy, part-totally-uncooperative. It takes forever to blow dry and to flat iron, but letting my hair air dry just doesn’t work. It gets too frizzy and the waves and curls are inconsistent and blerghyblerghblergh. And I’ve tried COUNTLESS anti-frizz, curly hair products over the years that are all okay but not really what I need. And then Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie CHANGED MY LIFE.

    I can let my hair air dry! It’s a freaking miracle. I get out of the shower, wrap my hair in a towel for about 5 minutes, let my hair out of the towel and then just evenly spread smoothie on my hair. Then I go about my business and my hair looks awesome. Some days (depending on the humidity) I need to add a bit of water-based pomade to separate the curls a little, but it’s not every day and not a big deal. I LOVE THIS CURL SMOOTHIE IT’S THE BEST THING EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD THE END.

    Thing #2 to Share: Support MDA by Living Unlimited!

    Endorphin Warrior's "Live Unlimited" Bracelet to Support MDA | from @janemaynard

    Remember my little friend Lucy? She’s amazing. So is her mom, Cherisse. And her whole family for that matter. The Muscular Dystrophy Association asked if I could help support their #LiveUnlimited campaign this summer and I was ALL IN, ready to support anything even remotely related to Lucy and her family. MDA is a non-profit dedicated to fighting muscle diseases like MD and SMA (SMA is what Lucy has). To help celebrate #LiveUnlimited, MDA sent me the Live Unlimited bracelet made by Endorphin Warrior and let me gift a bracelet to someone else.

    My friend Cherisse’s daughter Lucy has been fighting SMA for years and continues to beat the odds. The very fact she can talk is a miracle, and boy does she take advantage of that gift…with all kinds of funny (often saucy) words! When MDA asked me who I wanted to give a #LiveUnlimited bracelet to, Cherisse was the only name that came to mind. You guys, I can’t tell you how amazing she is and how she inspires me to savor each and every day. The talks we’ve had over the years have truly influenced my life and I will be forever grateful to have both Cherisse and Lucy in my life. I had to make a fist for my #LiveUnlimited photo as a tribute to Lucy and her ability to FIGHT! (If you want a peak into the Lunt’s daily life, check out this awesome video. Lucy is seriously the best.)

    So how can you get involved? Go buy a bracelet! For every bracelet sold, $6 will go to MDA! You can also go to the Live Unlimited website and make a customized image to show how you are living unlimited this summer to help spread the word!

    Thing #3 to Share: HAVE YOU WATCHED BLOODLINE?!?!?

    Season 2 of Bloodline on Netflix Now!

    Nate and I recently finished Season 2 of Bloodline on Netflix. Question #1: Have you watched Season 1? Question #2: Have you watched Season 2? If your answer is “No” to either of those questions, remedy the situation STAT. Seriously, the Season 2 finale…holy cow. That’s all I’ll say, but SERIOUSLY. WHOAH.

    Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!

  5. Thursday, June 30

    Summer Grilling: Brown Sugar Bourbon Salmon Pecan Salad

    {Cue music} Summertiiiiime and the grilling is eeeasyyyy. That’s right, forget the kitchen, it’s time to start cooking all of the foods on the grill. I’ll admit, I use my outdoor grill all year, but it’s especially lovely to cook outside in the summer, and pretty much a necessity when the weather gets hot.

    Recipe for Grilled Brown Sugar Bourbon Salmon Pecan Salad from @janemaynard The Salmon Council approached me to develop another recipe with them, this time focusing on the grill. Of course I said yes because grilling salmon is my most favorite way to prepare it. The result was this delicious grilled brown sugar bourbon salmon pecan salad that our whole family loved. (Well, everyone except Owen, but he is a 4-year-old who cannot be trusted when it comes to food.)

    Recipe for Grilled Brown Sugar Bourbon Salmon Pecan Salad from @janemaynard - Preparing the ingredientsRecipe for Grilled Brown Sugar Bourbon Salmon Pecan Salad from @janemaynard - Marinating the SalmonRecipe for Grilled Brown Sugar Bourbon Salmon Pecan Salad from @janemaynard - Grilling the SalmonRecipe for Grilled Brown Sugar Bourbon Salmon Pecan Salad from @janemaynard - Hot off the Grill

    As part of the recipe challenge, the Salmon Council sent me a box of Grill Mates goodies from McCormick. They sent many wonderful Grill Mates products, but the Brown Sugar Bourbon Marinade Mix caught my eye. I decided marinated grilled salmon would taste wonderful over a mixed green salad and perfect for summer. Then I started thinking more about the spicy marinade mix and had a feeling it would be good on candied pecans. I was right! These candied brown sugar bourbon pecans are awesome on salad…or even alone as a snack! The nuts are bursting with flavor with just a hint of sweet. So good.

    Recipe for Grilled Brown Sugar Bourbon Salmon Pecan Salad from @janemaynard - Roasted Pecansbrown-sugar-bourbon-salmon-and-pecan-salad-this-week-for-dinner-prep-nuts-web

    I am so glad I had the chance to work with the Salmon Council and McCormick on this project because this recipe now exists. Enjoy!

    Recipe for Grilled Brown Sugar Bourbon Salmon Pecan Salad from @janemaynard

    Brown Sugar Bourbon Salmon and Pecan Salad
    Serves: 4-6
    • 1½ pounds salmon filet, skin on
    • 2 packages McCormick Grill Mates Brown Sugar Bourbon Marinade Mix
    • ¼ cup oil
    • 3 tablespoons water, divided
    • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
    • 1 cup pecan pieces
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon butter
    • Mixed Greens (approximately 5-6 ounce package should be good)
    • Sliced tomatoes
    • Ricotta Salata
    1. In a 9x13 baking dish, whisk together 1 package of the McCormick Grill Mates Brown Sugar Bourbon Marinade mix, ¼ cup oil, 2 tablespoons of the water and the vinegar.
    2. Place salmon filet in the dish, skin side down, then flip over so skin side is facing up. Cover dish with foil and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
    3. While salmon is marinating, preheat oven to 350º F and prepare the brown sugar bourbon pecans by placing the pecan pieces in a small bowl and tossing with HALF of the other Brown Sugar Bourbon Marinade packet. (You will have one half packet it for another day!)
    4. In a small bowl mix together 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of the water and 1 teaspoon butter. Microwave for 20 seconds.
    5. Pour brown sugar mixture over the spiced nuts and stir until evenly coated. Spread nuts on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, stir, then bake for 5 minutes more. Remove from oven, stir, and let cool. Be sure to stir and break up the nuts as they cool so they don't stick to each other or the foil.
    6. When the salmon has been marinating for about 45 minutes, preheat the grill to medium heat, around 500º F.
    7. When salmon has marinated for 1 hour, remove from fridge and, using the foil that covered the dish, place the salmon skin side down on the foil, folding up the edges of the foil to catch any liquid that cooks off while on the grill. Spoon marinade from the dish onto the salmon and spread evenly.
    8. Place foil with salmon on center of the grill, close the lid and cook for 10-15 minutes, until salmon is fairly easy to flake apart. Remove from grill.
    9. Toss mixed greens with seasoned nuts, sliced tomatoes and ricotta salata. Plate mixed greens and top with grilled salmon. Serve with your favorite salad dressing.

    Thank you to the Salmon Council for sponsoring today’s post!

  6. This Week for Dinner Podcast #45: Asha Dornfest + Whoopie Pies

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #45: Interview with Writer Asha Dornfest + A Great Baking Tip + Whoopie Pies! from @janemaynard

    The podcast is back! We have a few more episodes over the next couple of weeks, then the podcast will be taking summer vacation like everyone else. Seems only fair. 😉 We’ll start back up again with new episodes in the fall. In the meantime, in today’s episode I share a baking tip, wax poetic about New England-style whoopie pies and then interview the lovely Asha Dornfest. Asha is a Portland, Oregon-based writer. Her most recent book is Parent Hacks, which is based on here 10-year-old blog of the same name. Asha is also the co-author of Minimalist Parenting and co-host of the Edit Your Life podcast. Asha and I talk a bunch about priorities, traditionally sweet foods going savory, her favorite recipe (that is beyond easy), an AWESOME tip for entertaining toddlers in the kitchen and more! As you can tell by the long list of links below, there is a lot of great info in this episode that you do not want to miss!


    It’s easy to listen to the show!

    • Via the web: Just click play below!
    • Via an app: For iPhone and iPad, subscribe to the This Week for Dinner Podcast on iTunes and listen to it through the purple Podcasts app. For Android devices, use the Stitcher, Podcast Addict or Pocket Casts apps. In all cases, launch the app, then search for This Week for Dinner Podcast. The benefit of using an app: once downloaded, you can listen to the show without an Internet connection.

    Other Stuff!

  7. Sunday, June 26

    Week 492 Menu

    Happy Sunday, everyone! Believe it or not the girls and I just got back from yet another camping trip, this time up to the San Gorgonio mountains. It was awesome. We just got home and now it’s back to being connected and real life. 😉

    Week 492 Weekly Menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable meal plan and shopping list!

    Teriyaki Chicken with veggies and rice

    Malibu Melt Wraps
    – Fresh fruit

    Chicken Tortilla Soup

    – Leftovers

    – BLTs

    – Eat out night

    Grilled Salmon Tacos

    Click here for this week’s printable PDF of the menu and shopping list!

    You know the drill around here…we want to know what you’re having for dinner this week! Please share in the comments!

  8. Sunday, June 19

    Week 491 Menu

    Hey friends! We had an awesome Father’s Day and I am just not ready to sit down and plan a menu! But I can’t let a Sunday go by without a post…so, this is my placeholder post until I can plan the official menu for the week tomorrow. If you’re more on the ball than I am, feel free to start leaving your dinner plans for the week in the comments below! I will be back tomorrow with the actual menu! 🙂

    UPDATE TUESDAY 6/21: Okay, I just went to make the PDF for this week’s menu, and my computer is acting all crazylike! Apparently it’s on summer vacation, too. SO, I’m just going to list the menu below. Don’t worry, it’s not a menu worth downloading a PDF for anyway! 😉

    – Benihana with the kids – their end-of-school special dinner request!

    – Hot dogs & brats
    – Watermelon, potato salad, coleslaw


    Teriyaki Chicken with veggies and rice

    – The girls and I are camping again! The boys will find for themselves this weekend!

    That’s all she wrote! Some of you have already posted your menus…THANK YOU! Keep the menus coming!

  9. Sunday, June 12

    Week 490 Weekly Menu

    Hi friends! So, I’ve been a complete failure at making dinner lately. Seriously. There is just SO MUCH GOING ON these last few weeks of school. I call uncle. It is finally our last week of school and I’m just gonna see how it goes. Since it’s such a loosey-goosey menu, I’m not going to bother with the PDF! I am super excited for school to be over so that we have  a bit of time to get back into a good food groove.

    – Dinner salad with grilled chicken

    – Hamburgers

    – Pancakes and fruit

    – Pool party day

    – Benihana to celebrate the end of the school year (girls’ request!)

    – Take out night

    – Omelets and fruit

    You know the drill! Please share your menu for the week! Excited to see what you’ve got cooking!

  10. Monday, June 6

    How to Make an Italian Soda Bar

    Last Friday Nate and I hosted our second annual lip sync/deaf man’s karaoke party (which was hysterical, by the way). Anyway, for the first annual lip sync party I created an Italian soda bar. It was delicious and fun, so I decided to make it a lip sync tradition and did it again this past weekend. Today I’m sharing some quick tips for how to make an Italian soda bar so you can do it, too! It’s perfect for summertime parties, but my kids love making their soda any old time. 😉

    How to Make an Italian Soda Bar - The Supplies | From @janemaynard

    How to Make an Italian Soda Bar from @janemaynard

    What you need for an Italian soda bar:

    • Club soda or sparkling mineral water. Seltzer water works, too, but the club soda/sparkling mineral water has a little more flavor that compliments the Italian syrup nicely.
    • Italian flavored syrup, like Torani. I went to Cost Plus World Market to buy my syrup, but you can also find it on Amazon. I provided six flavors for people to choose from. FYI: Vanilla goes nicely with every flavor, so that’s a good one to have.
    • Half & Half or Cream: Both half & half and cream work, and it gives your Italian soda a certain je ne sais quoi (or however you’d say that in Italian).
    • Cups & Straws: The people need something to mix their drink in and with! I buy clear plastic 16-ounce cups with lids. For some reason the lids really impress people. The straws work for stirring and drinking.
    • Ice: Be sure to have a big bowl of ice at the ready for your guests!
    • Vodka (optional): If you want to spike your soda, vodka is a good neutral-flavored option.

    How to Make an Italian Soda Bar from @janemaynard | Mixing the drinks!

    How to Make an Italian Soda:

    • Fill glass halfway with ice.
    • Add about 6 pumps of syrup for a 16-ounce cup. Feel free to mix and match flavors!
    • Add club soda, leaving about an inch at the top of the cup. If using vodka, add 1-2 ounces of vodka to the cup before adding the club soda.
    • Add a splash of half & half or cream (about 1 tablespoon).
    • Stir gently with a straw.
    • Enjoy!

    How to Make an Italian Soda Bar from @janemaynard

    That’s it! Creating an Italian soda bar is seriously super easy and it looks impressive at a party. {You’re welcome.} Plus, the syrups last pretty much forever, so that’s nice, too! Enjoy!