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  1. Tuesday, January 13

    Crazy Easy Chicken Recipes: Parmesan-Crusted Chicken

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    Today marks the beginning of a new miniseries here on the blog, Crazy Easy Chicken Recipes! I’m kind of a fan of the miniseries (see: Fargo and True Detective), so I figured I’d love it just as much if recipes were involved. ;)

    recipe for crazy easy parmesan-crusted chicken from @janemaynard

    For the first crazy easy chicken recipe we have parmesan-crusted chicken. This chicken comes out so tender, moist and flavorful you won’t believe it only uses 4 ingredients. And, yes, one of those ingredients is mayonnaise. It’s like magic. And I swear to you the chicken tastes nothing like mayonnaise when it comes out of the oven. (Apparently I’m on a cook-poultry-smothered-in-mayonnaise roll – it’s how we cooked our turkey this past Thanksgiving and it worked beautifully then, too!)

    recipe for crazy easy parmesan-crusted chicken from @janemaynard

    Simply serve this chicken with any sides you like and you’ve got dinner! Also, I recommend eating this chicken fresh out of the oven, but if you have leftovers, heat them up in the oven or toaster oven to get the coating crispy once again (microwave just doesn’t cut it in this case!).

    Crazy Easy Parmesan-Crusted Chicken
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Only 4 ingredients and minimal effort yields tender, flavorful chicken perfect for a quick dinner!
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • Mayonnaise
    • Fresh, grated parmesan cheese
    • Breadcrumbs (I prefer Panko for the texture)
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
    2. Stab the chicken breasts on both sides a TON with a fork.
    3. Spread the chicken on both sides with a layer of mayonnaise.
    4. Sprinkle both sides liberally with fresh parmesan cheese, then dip both sides of the chicken in the breadcrumbs.
    5. Place chicken in a baking dish. Bake for about 30 minutes, until inside of chicken is no longer pink and the internal temperature reaches 160º F. Don't overcook to keep it moist and tender.
    6. I didn't provide measurements because this is a CRAZY EASY recipe and you don't need them! For two chicken breasts, it will probably take about ½ cup each of the mayo, parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs, but that's simply a guess. Just use what you need based on the size and the amount of chicken breasts you use!

     

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  2. Sunday, January 11

    Week 416 Weekly Menu

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    Hello! So, last night we saw Kathy Griffin perform stand up and all I have to say is I laughed so hard that I was wheezing and needed an inhaler. I didn’t have one, but thankfully I didn’t die laughing. It was a close one! ;)

    week 416 weekly menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable meal plan and shopping list

    Menu time!!!

    MONDAY:
    – Veggie Quiche
    – Fresh Fruit

    TUESDAY:
    Beef Stroganoff
    – Broccoli

    WEDNESDAY:
    Chicken Caesar Wraps
    – Fresh fruit and chips

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    Chili
    – Corn chips

    SATURDAY:
    – Take out night

    SUNDAY:
    – Breakfast for dinner or leftovers

    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! I seriously love reading your meal plans each week as I plan my own!

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  3. Friday, January 9

    Friday Show and Tell

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    Happy Friday!

    5 shortbread recipes that are divine from @janemaynard

    First off, you HAVE to go read my post on Babble this week where I share 5 shortbread recipe variations. Every last one of the flavors was divine. In addition, I have two fun holiday posts on Babble that I never shared here on the blog, so here you go!

    Before I sign off, Nate and I have been watching The Walking Dead on Netflix and went to bed last night after watching episode 8 of season 4 and all I have to say is…why are we torturing ourselves with this show?!?!?!? Good GOLLY. It’s just so good, we can’t stop!

    Show and Tell means the whole class gets to share…show us what you’ve got this week!

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  4. Thursday, January 8

    Managing Your Grocery Shopping List Using iPhone Reminders

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    If you don’t have an iPhone, then let me apologize in advance for today’s post. It’s pretty much useless to you, unless you get an iPhone one day and then you need to be sure to come back and read this! For those of you sporting iPhones, I am so excited about today’s post and I hope you’ll find it as useful as I do!

    How to use Reminders on your iPhone to manage your weekly grocery list from @janemaynard

    My neighbor Joan was telling me a few weeks ago how she uses Reminders on her iPhone to manage her grocery shopping list. She was describing how she uses it and it sounded pretty cool, so I gave it a try. Joan was right! Reminders is perfect for building a shopping list you can use week after week. The list is saved each week and it’s easy to make visible only the items you need for a particular shopping trip and then checking them off. I thought I’d run through the steps for how to use it and highlight why it’s so cool in the steps.

    1. Open Reminders on your iPhone.

    iphone reminders grocery list step 1

    2. Click on “New List” at the top.

    iphone reminders grocery list step 2

    3. Name your list. I went super fancy and called my shopping list “Grocery Store”. You can also select the color you want the header to be, if you’re into coordinating your Reminder lists by color (which I am).

    iphone reminders grocery list step 3

    4. Start typing in your items. Easy peasy!

    5. After you’ve entered in all the items for your shopping list, click “Done” on the top right.

    iphone reminders grocery list step 3

    6. Click “Edit” on the top right to reorder the items on your list (using the little parallel lines on the right-hand side to move things around). Order your list however you want. I chose to order the items by what section of the store they are in. I also add in parentheses what store I prefer to buy certain items at, just for my own reference.

    7. Now you have your list and it’s time to go shopping! Go through and check off any items on your list that you do NOT need that week, then select “Hide completed” at the bottom. Sometimes you need to click the title of the list at the top to go to the Reminders home screen and then click back into the list to reset the list and make the “Hide Completed” and “Show Completed” button show at the bottom.

    iphone reminders grocery list step 5

    8. Go to the store and check off items as you shop. If you have “Hide Completed” selected they will disappear like magic!

    9. When it’s time for the next shopping trip, choose “Show Completed” and uncheck the items you need that week. It should automatically reorder to how you originally organized the list – if it doesn’t, just click the list title to get to Reminders home screen then click back into the grocery list and it should be all good!

    My goal is to put EVERYTHING I ever shop for at the grocery store on this one list. That means the first few times you go to the store, you’ll be constantly adding items you remember and re-ordering the list, but once it’s all put together it will be SO awesome and worth the work (and, honestly, it’s not very hard work). Note: when you are adding items and reordering them, you will need to have ALL the items on the list unchecked (so, NOT completed) to make sure you are putting them in the spot where you think they are going.

    Hopefully this all makes sense! As soon as you start playing with it I promise it will. Here’s to happy grocery lists for 2015!

    Update 1/18/15: 

    • My friend Jamie excitedly texted me this morning saying she had just set up lists in her reminders and it was perfect! She actually set up separate lists for the different grocery stores (a Trader Joe’s list, a Von’s list, etc). I thought that was a great idea and wanted to share!
    • Android users: Be sure to check out Comment #6 below, where Kay describes and app called Google Keep and how she uses it for grocery shopping.
    • Comment #7 below also shares another great iPhone app with sharing capability. If two people in your household equally do the shopping, I would definitely check it out. I know Reminders has a sharing aspect to it, but I’ve yet to try it out and see how well it works.
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  5. Tuesday, January 6

    My 2015 New Year’s Resolution: No More Paper Towels!

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    It’s January, which means it’s time to set a resolution! As you know, I like to choose a resolution each year that is related making a change in the kitchen that has a positive environmental impact.

    my 2015 new year's resolution...no more paper towels!

    A few weeks ago I went to a party at my neighbor’s house. I accidentally spilled a drink and immediately called out, “Where are the paper towels?” Kat then handed me a stack of cloth towels. Because, apparently, real-live cloth towels dry things, too. Who knew? Okay, I knew. But for some reason I kind of ignore that fact a lot.

    I use too many paper towels, both for cleaning the house and for day-to-day use in the kitchen. That simple experience at Kat’s house made me realize how dumb it is that I so often default to the disposable solution when I need a towel, even after my efforts to reduce plastic, paper napkins and the like in past years. I was talking about this with Nate’s mom last week and she said that she only buys paper towels when we’re in town. Geesh. It is seriously time that I tackle this ridiculous addiction once and for all!

    So, 2015 is the year! No more paper towels! We’ll use up the paper towels we have left and then, after that, I’m not allowing myself to buy any more. As my paper towel supply begins to dwindle, I will be stocking up on cloth towels of all kinds. If you have suggestions for towels you like, both for the kitchen and for cleaning in general, please share!

    On a related note, I love our cloth napkins and we use them quite frequently, but I will admit to grabbing paper towels when I’m feeling too lazy to walk across the room to the napkin drawer. All of this is changing this year! Go Team! You Can Do It!

    So, who’s with me? Let’s cut the paper towel cord together! I need the moral support. ;)

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  6. Sunday, January 4

    Week 415 Weekly Menu and Why Meal Planning is a Great New Year’s Resolution!

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    Happy New Year! We are home from the east coast and are gearing up for getting back into the groove of real life. Given that it’s January, I’m sure some of you are making new year’s resolutions! Which means it’s time for me to make my annual plug for meal planning! Whether you’ve never planned menus before or just want to be more consistent, meal planning is a great, actionable goal that is quite easy to implement, especially if you decided to post your menu here each week to stay accountable. See? It’s totally the best resolution around. ;)

    week 415 weekly menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable meal plan and shopping list!

    So, here’s my first menu for 2015! We are starting the week with Grammy’s Orange Chicken. We are really missing her this week and I think orange chicken pretty much has to happen.

    MONDAY:
    Grammy’s Orange Chicken
    – Rice and Side Vegetable

    TUESDAY:
    Easiest Ever Chicken Pot Pie

    WEDNESDAY:
    Real Simple Lasagna
    – Salad

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    Rachel Sandwiches

    SATURDAY:
    – Takeout Night

    SUNDAY:
    – Veggie Quiche
    – Fresh Fruit

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

    Okay, let’s see your menus! Please share! Happy New Year!

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  7. Wednesday, December 31

    Happy New Year!

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    Happy New Year!

    We are in New Hampshire where it is very, very cold. But the kids are having a blast and, admittedly, it’s fun to experience some winter weather this year – it’s been a while!

    sparkly blood orange basil mocktail from @janemaynard

    I just wanted to share two quick New Years things with you today. First, I shared a recipe for a fun, sparkly mocktail (that can easily be turned into a cocktail, if you prefer!) on Babble this week. Be sure to check it out!

    And, tonight, to party with the kids…many, many hours before midnight!

    Have a Happy New Year and see you on the other side!

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  8. Sunday, December 28

    Week 414 Menu

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    I hope everyone is having a happy holiday season!

    grammy mccarthy

    So…today I don’t have a menu planned. Nate’s Grammy McCarthy (of orange chicken and blueberry muffin fame) passed away this week, so we are in Massachusetts with family. We’ll be here all week, wishing Grammy was with us and yet still grateful for time together. We were all very close to Grammy and the loss has been hard. She was a grand woman and, in the words of Aunt Janet, like a “tinkling bell.”

    Even though my life isn’t in the usual routine this week, if you have a menu planned please feel free to leave it in the comments like normal!

    Once the new year starts, I’ll be back to whip us into menu-planning shape. That’s how Grammy would want it. She was a pull-up-your-bootstraps-and-keep-on-moving kind of lady, so that’s what we’ll do. But this week I’m going to let the bootstraps dangle and simply enjoy time with the people I love.

    Have a wonderful week and be sure to eat a blueberry muffin in honor of Grammy.

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  9. Tuesday, December 23

    Holiday Brunch is My New Favorite Thing + A Call for Brunch Recipes!

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    A big holiday thank you to Q Squared NYC for sponsoring today’s post.

    Today we have a Call for Recipes, but let me first set the stage.

    My neighbor Kat recently hosted a cookie exchange. I love cookie exchanges, but, much to my surprise, the cookies were not my favorite part of Kat’s get together! Kat served a lovely sit-down brunch before the cookie swap and it was quite wonderful. The food was amazing and it was so nice to take a break mid-morning in the mad rush of December and enjoy good food and company. The whole thing made me feel happy and bright.

    christmas cookie exchangePictured: Ginger cookies on Q Squared’s Diamond Small Rectangular Platter

    For Cate’s birthday party this year the only time we could coordinate with her friends was yesterday morning, so, as inspired by Kat’s party, we decided to host a Christmas birthday brunch! While Cate’s brunch was a little less fancy, it was equally delicious and fun.

    christmas brunch on q squared servingwarePictured: Recipes linked below served on Q Squared’s Ruffle and Holiday Ruffle dishes

    I’ve decided brunch is my new favorite thing for entertaining. So much of the food can be made ahead of time, making for less stressful party prep. Plus, who doesn’t love brunch food? Nobody, that’s who. I also love having the party early in the day, it has a completely different feel and, honestly, I like having more time for clean-up when the guests go home, as opposed to night parties where you’d rather go to bed than clean up.

    q squared serving trayPictured: Q Squared’s Cool Montecito Large Tray

    Q Squared NYC is sponsoring today’s post and I want to give them a quick shout out. Until Q Squared came into my life I didn’t own any serving trays and very few platters. Now I am swimming in beautiful trays and platters and I can’t tell you how fabulous they are for entertaining. I used a Q Squared tray for my cookies at Kat’s party and it was adorable. For Cate’s party, the serving trays came in handy both for the food and the Christmas crafts. Three cheers for Q Squared’s high quality, durable, beautiful serving trays – I can’t live without them now! Oh, before I forget! Q Squared also gave me a few of their Bijou candles for the holidays and the candles smell scrumptious. They have also been the perfect decoration for our coffee table this year. I highly recommend them!

    bijou candles by q squared nyc

    It’s time for today’s Call for Recipes! Please share your favorite brunch recipes and tips! I really do want to host more brunches and become Queen of Brunch. Great aspirations, people. I think I might even plan a little Christmas brunch for this Thursday, so please share tips and recipes!

    I’ll kick us off with the brunch menu from Cate’s party.

    • Ina’s Banana Granola Muffins (made the day before, warmed in a 200-degree oven for 10 minutes prior to serving)
    • Grammy’s Blueberry Muffins (made the day before, warmed in a 200-degree oven for 10 minutes prior to serving)
    • Frittata Cups (used spinach instead of kale, made them early in the morning then warmed in a 200-degee oven for 10 minutes prior to serving)
    • Hot Chocolate
    • Fruit salad

    Ready, set, GO! Let’s brunch it up!

     

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  10. Monday, December 22

    Gram’s 4-Bean Salad

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    Big thanks to Libby’s for sponsoring today’s post.

    gram's 4-bean salad from @janemaynard

    I’m starting to sound like a broken record this month, but I really love how the food around the holidays reminds me of loved ones and years past. It’s definitely the time of year that I turn to beloved family recipes the most.

    gram's 4-bean salad from @janemaynard

    Nate’s Gram Maynard didn’t cook much, but she had a few signature recipes that were pretty much perfect. Like potato salad – it was simple, reliable and perfectly flavored. And her homemade hot fudge was to die for. Another one of her recipes that we loved was her marinated 4-bean salad. It appeared at every family gathering and, even though Gram is no longer with us, the bean salad is always still on the table when we all get together. Just seeing that bowl of beans instantly reminds me of Gram.

    gram's 4-bean salad from @janemaynard

    Thankfully we have the recipe and can recreate the magic whenever we want. I love this 4-bean salad because it is beyond easy to throw together, has just the right amount of sweetness and goes with pretty much anything. Plus, for our family, every bite reminds us of Gram, which is especially welcome around the holidays.

    gram's 4-bean salad from @janemaynardgram's 4-bean salad from @janemaynard

    Gram's Marinated 4-Bean Salad
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 1¼ cups canned wax beans
    • 1¼ cup canned green beans
    • 1 cup canned kidney beans
    • ¾ cup canned chickpeas
    • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced into rings
    • ½ cup chopped green pepper
    • ⅔ cup vinegar
    • ½ cup canola oil
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
    Instructions
    1. Drain al lof the canned beans
    2. In a large bowl combine the wax beans, green beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, onions and green peppers together.
    3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour over the bean mixture.
    4. Stir, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
    5. Drain before serving.

     

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