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Category: Recipes

  1. Wednesday, December 17

    Anna’s Deep Dish Pizza Cake

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    It’s birthday season in our home, which means I’m busy whipping up cakes for the girls! This year Anna requested a deep dish pizza cake from Cakes for Kids by Matthew Mead. I am absolutely delighted with the results and wanted to share it with you!

    how to make a cake look like deep dish pizza from @janemaynard

    This cake was actually quite easy to put together. Here’s how to get it done!

    • Use a 9-inch cake. After you remove the cake from the pan to cool, wash the pan. When you level the cake, take off about 1/8-1/4″ so that when you put the cake back in the pan for display, there is space between the top of the cake and the top of the pan.
    • Once the cake is back in the clean pan, frost the top with red-tinted butter cream for the sauce. I used red, a bit of orange, and a smidge of green to make the red color. Pipe the “crust” around the edge with buttercream that has extra vanilla extract mixed in (to make it a little more brown). I just used a ziploc bag with the corner cut to make the fat pipe with the frosting. Use cinnamon to add brown spots to the crust, rubbing in lightly with fingers.
    • Marzipan is the key to the beautiful veggies on top! For one 9-inch cake you need a 7-ounce package of marzipan, found in the baking aisle at the grocery store. Divide the marzipan into 4 equal parts. When you roll out the marzipan, place parchment paper both underneath and on top when rolling. For the mushrooms, roll out the marzipan thin and cut mushrooms freehand, using a bit of cinnamon to add color. For the bell peppers, knead in green food coloring with a bit of brown, then roll pieces of marzipan out into a skinny snake shape, make circles and then crimp the circle like a pepper. For the pepperoni, knead in red and a bit of brown food coloring into the marzipan and then roll out thin. Using a small circle cutter, cut circles and then texture with a pastry brush (genius!). I used the rippled edge side of my round cutter for the pepperoni. For the onions, roll out the marzipan then use concentric round cutters to make the onion shapes.
    • Unsweetened shredded coconut worked perfectly for the cheese! I sprinkled most of the cheese directly on the “sauce,” then placed the veggies and sprinkled a bit more “cheese” on top.

    how to make a cake look like deep dish pizza from @janemaynard

    Voila! Deep Dish Pizza…that tastes like cake! It was seriously funny all afternoon with the cake sitting on the counter. It really looked like a pizza!

    how to make a cake look like deep dish pizza from @janemaynard

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  2. Tuesday, December 16

    Best Freeze-Ahead Recipes for the Holidays {Call for Recipes!}

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    This post is brought to you by Glad. Freshness, wrapped up. This post is sponsored by Glad® Press’n Seal® Wrap/Glad® ClingWrap through FM. All opinions are 100% my own and Glad is the only plastic wrap I have ever used!

    One of my favorite parts of the holidays is the food. Homemade food, to be exact. I revel in the food traditions of our families and savor every bite of homemade goodies dropped on our front doorstep. That said, as much as I love preparing holiday food for my loved ones, I like hanging out with them during the holidays even more. As a result, I try really hard to make food ahead of time so I’m not slaving away in the kitchen when I’d rather be sitting in front of the fire.

    freeze-ahead broccoli casserole from @janemaynard

    glad wrap for freezing meals ahead of time from @janemaynard #spon

    As a result, I have three side dish recipes that are my favorites during the holiday season, both because I only make them for the holidays, making them extra special and nostalgic, and because I can make them ahead of time and freeze for later! It is such a dream on the actual holiday to just open the freezer, pull out a casserole dish and have a beautiful, homemade side to serve either for Thanksgiving or Christmas that tastes as fresh as if I just made it. So what are these magical recipes?

    • Broccoli Casserole: My mom always made this for Thanksgiving and the flavor just instantly transports me to her table.
    • Sweet Potato Souffle: I’m pretty sure this is a holiday staple for at least half of the United States if not more! I love the vanilla in this particular recipe. This is a recipe that I introduced to our family and I only ever make it for the holidays. I can’t imagine the holiday season without them now!

    freeze-ahead sweet potato souffle from @janemaynard

    • Corn Souffle: This recipe came from my friend Jen Carroll, who got it from her mother-in-law who always served it for the holidays. I lovingly think of their family every time we make this for the holidays. And not only have I adopted this food tradition from my friend Jen and her family, but my friend Robyn also adopted it and makes it every Thanksgiving herself!

    freeze-ahead corn souffle from @janemaynard

    For all three recipes, I simply prepare the base of the recipe (not the topping) and place that in a casserole dish. Once the casserole dish is prepped, I wrap it well with Glad plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer! All done! The day I want to bake the casseroles, I remove them from the freezer in the morning so the dishes can warm up on the counter, then follow the directions for the toppings and throw the casserole in the oven. No one would ever guess I made the casserole 1 to 2 months ahead of time!

    As much as I love the three recipes I shared, I always love hearing from you, too! What holiday foods do you prepare and freeze ahead of time to make the holidays less stressful? Please tell us and share links and/or recipes if you have them!

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  3. Tuesday, December 9

    Buffalo Chicken Flatbread

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    This post is sponsored by Alouette. As always, opinions are 100% my own.

    Cheese and bread. It doesn’t get much better than that. No, seriously. I kind of don’t have control around these two delicious ingredients!

    buffalo chicken flatbread from @janemaynard

    Alouette recently got in touch with me about the new Flavorology promotion they are running with Stonefire Authentic Flatbreads that pretty much fulfills my desires to combine cheese and bread. Alouette has all kinds of wonderful cheeses that we love in our house. Anna can eat almost an entire container of crème de brie in one sitting! And Stonefire is my go-to naan bread, both for eating with Indian food and as pizza crust. Put the two together and I’m on board 100%.

    alouette cheese and stonefire naan

    Our most recent Flavorology creation was Buffalo Chicken Flatbread. Using the Stonefire original naan bread as a base, this buffalo chicken pizza is super easy to make and seriously delicious. It might be the holiday season, but it’s also football season and this recipe is perfect when watching the big game! (Go Stanford! Go Patriots! I {heart} Tom Brady! Andrew Luck is our Favoritest Person Ever!)

    buffalo chicken flatbread by @janemaynardbuffalo chicken flatbread from @janemaynard

    The Buffalo cheddar soft spreadable cheese by Alouette has a really nice kick to it – Nate was surprised how spicy it is! Next time you want something Bufallo chicken-y for football season, I highly recommend this pizza. It’s really easy to throw together. Like, make-it-during-a-commercial-break easy. Buffalo chicken flatbread makes for a great snack or appetizer but serves up equally as well at the lunch or dinner table.

    buffalo chicken flatbread from @janemaynard

    Keep an eye out next time you go to the store! For a limited time, you can get a Stonefire flatbread free when you buy any one Alouette cheese. Just look for coupons at participating retailers.

    Without further ado, the recipe!

    5.0 from 1 reviews
    Buffalo Chicken Flatbread
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Naan bread
    • Alouette Buffalo Cheddar Soft Spread
    • Cooked chicken
    • Mozzarella cheese
    • Blue cheese dressing
    • Hot sauce
    • Chopped green onions (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
    2. Spread a thin layer of Alouette Buffalo cheddar soft spread on the naan bread. Top with chicken and mozzarella cheese then bake for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.
    3. Drizzle with blue cheese dressing and hot sauce. Sprinkle chopped green onions on top if using.

     

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  4. Thursday, December 4

    Drunken Mushrooms + A Mexican Food Tour of the Mission with Rick Bayless

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    This post is sponsored by Negra Modelo. All opinions are 100% my own and I can’t wait to share this post with you!

    I am super excited for today’s post because it is filled to the brim with all kinds of wonderful, including a recipe for drunken mushrooms that are pretty much perfection.

    recipe for drunken mushrooms inspired by rick bayless by @janemaynard

    Two weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity of traveling to San Francisco for a Mexican food tour of the Mission District in San Francisco with Negra Modelo and Rick Bayless. You guys, Rick Bayless. We were walking around the streets of San Francisco with RICK BAYLESS. It was beyond cool and here’s the proof!

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #sponPhoto courtesy of Negra Modelo and Vanessa Bahmani

    Our first stop on the Negra Modelo Mexican food walking tour was a tortilleria. The tortillas were unreal, like no tortilla I’ve ever tasted. Rick Bayless talked about how most tortillas today are made from maseca, not from scratch using masa, but that tortillas made with masa are infinitely better. He’s totally right and, consequently, I have begun a hunt here in San Diego to find a tortilleria just like the one we visited in San Francisco (wish me luck!). Rick Bayless also told us that Chicago is the top producer of tortillas in the world. That’s right, the world, even above Mexico City, and that the abundance of great tortillas is one of the reasons he opened Frontera Grill in Chicago.

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #spon

    The second stop on the tour was a Mexican butcher. It was beyond fascinating and we learned that the way Mexican butchers cut up meat is totally different than American butchers. We also learned the history of carne asada in the United States. That’s a whole blog post of its own, we’ll have to chat over coffee so I can share that story with you.

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #spon

    The last stop on the walking food tour was La Reyna Mexican bakery. We had the chance to sample all kinds of sweet goodness and it was endearing to have the grandson of the original owner tell us all about the bakery.

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #spon

    Once the tour was done we attended an after party, complete with Negra Modelo, wonderful Mexican food and more fascinating information from Rick Bayless. I swear we could have sat there and listened to him talk for 6 hours straight and have been enraptured the entire time. Here are a few of the Rick Bayless gems I walked away with:

    • Rick Bayless never uses jalapenos because they are completely unpredictable when it comes to the level of heat. He relies most heavily on poblanos in his cooking.
    • Rick Bayless doesn’t understand green bell peppers and I am, and always have been, in complete agreement!
    • If you want to start cooking with dried chiles, ancho and guajillo are good to start with and go well together.
    • We also learned about the confusion that is ancho and pasilla chiles…but it would take me a whole post to tell you about it. We can talk about that over coffee as well, the same day we talk carne asada. ;)
    • Rick Bayless uses Negra Modelo beer in his restaurant, including in ice cream! He likes that Negra Modelo is a medium-bodied beer with slow-roasted caramel malts, which yields a soft sweetness that works well in cooking. Which leads us to today’s recipe…

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #sponPhoto with Rick Bayless courtesy of Irvin Lin from Eat the Love

    During the party I had the chance to chat with Rick along with my friends Anita and Annelies. While we were talking I asked him what his favorite thing to cook with Negra Modelo is. He answered by saying that if a chef ever tells you that they have a favorite food, that they are probably not a very good chef because true chefs love all food and flavors. :) Despite his lack of a favorite, he did tell us how to make really wonderful mushrooms.

    drunken mushrooms recipe by @janemaynarddrunken mushrooms recipe by @janemaynard

    So, here is my recipe for Drunken Mushrooms, as inspired by Rick Bayless. These mushrooms really are fantastic, with layers of flavor that are subtle and all play beautifully with one another. Rick said he uses these mushooms in queso flameado, which I am sure is amazing. But I am also confident that these mushrooms would be delicious topped on burgers, chicken, steak and pizza. In fact, I made pizza with olive oil, bacon and drunken mushrooms for dinner last night and it was scrumptious.

    drunken mushrooms recipe from @janemaynarddrunken mushroom bacon pizza from @janemaynard

    5.0 from 2 reviews
    Drunken Mushrooms
     
    This recipe was inspired by tips shared with me by Rick Bayless.
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Bacon drippings from a 10-ounce package of bacon
    • 8 ounces white or baby bell mushrooms, sliced
    • ¼ cup Negra Modelo beer
    • salt and pepper
    • ¼ cup chopped fresh epazote or cilantro
    Instructions
    1. Heat bacon drippings over medium heat. Add mushrooms to the pan and cook until they are about half-way cooked.
    2. Raise heat to medium-high and add the beer, cooking and stirring until mushrooms are cooked through and most of the liquid has cooked off. Season with salt and pepper to tasted (a few pinches of kosher salt and a shake of pepper should do it).
    3. Remove from heat and stir in the epazote or cilantro.

    drunken mushrooms recipe by @janemaynard

    Big thank you to Negra Modelo and to Rick Bayless for spending an afternoon with us! It is a day I will not soon forget! Be sure to visit the Negra Modelo site for even more Rick Bayless recipes!

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  5. Wednesday, December 3

    Chocolate-Dipped Peppermint Shortbread + A Very Merry Giveaway!

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    The giveaway in this post is now closed, but keep reading to find out about some really cute Christmas dishes and to get the shortbread recipe!

    This post is sponsored by Q Squared NYC. As always, all opinions are 100% my own, including the opinion that these cookies are awesome.

    I am so happy it’s the holiday season! Well, I mean, now I am, after my annual early-December freak out last night over the stress that this month brings (my busiest work month, two birthdays and Christmas all wrapped up into one not-so-calm package). But now, with the freak out officially behind me, I am ready to dive into present wrapping and cookie baking!

    chocolate-dipped peppermint shortbread from @janemaynard

    I started the whole holiday baking shebang with these chocolate-dipped peppermint shortbread cookies. I’m a sucker for shortbread. No, really, I kind of can’t control myself around the stuff. I decided to give my favorite shortbread recipe a holiday twist by incorporating chocolate and peppermint. The twist worked beautifully. And now there are about 30 ridiculously-adorable and delicious cookies taunting me in my kitchen.

    chocolate-dipped peppermint shortbread from @janemaynard

    These cookies are peppermint perfection. Even though there is peppermint in every element of the cookie, the peppermint flavor is not overpowering. The shortbread, which has just a hint of peppermint, is then dipped in high-quality dark chocolate, also sporting that peppermint hint. Top it all off with crunchy peppermint pieces and you’ve got yourself a COOKIE, filled with flavors and textures that work together oh so nicely. And they look crazy cute!

    chocolate-dipped peppermint shortbread from @janemaynard

    In addition to these lovely cookies, I have some lovely dishes to share with you today, too! You all know how much I love Q Squared. Well, I love them even more now that their holiday dishes are out! When I put in my order for the Winter’s Eve collection, I knew the dishes would be cute but I was not prepared for how much I would love them once I saw the dishes in person. Serious love, people.

    q squared winter's eve collection from @janemaynardq squared winter's eve collection from @janemaynardToday we are giving away a complete set of the Winter’s Eve collection from Q Squared! One randomly-selected winner will receive 1 large platter, 1 serving bowl, 6 dinner plates, 6 tapas plates and 1 coaster set. To enter, please do the following by midnight PT on Tuesday December 9, 2014 (prize must be shipped to a US address):

    • Leave a comment on this post! Easy Peasy!
    • Bonus entry: Like me on Instagram! (You need to leave a separate comment telling us you liked! If you previously liked, it still counts but be sure to leave the extra comment!)
    • Bonus entry: Like Q Squared on Instagram! (You need to leave a separate comment telling us you liked! If you previously liked, it still counts but be sure to leave the extra comment!)
    • Bonus entry: Like This Week for Dinner on Facebook! (You need to leave a separate comment telling us you liked! If you previously liked, it still counts but be sure to leave the extra comment!)
    • Bonus entry: Like Q Squared on Facebook! (You need to leave a separate comment telling us you liked! If you previously liked, it still counts but be sure to leave the extra comment!)

    Good luck with the giveaway – I wish you could all win!

    And now for the recipe!

    5.0 from 3 reviews
    Chocolate-Dipped Peppermint Shortbread
     
    Delicious chocolate-dipped shortbread with just the right amount of peppermint.
    Author:
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Serves: 25-30
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup salted butter, softened to room temperature
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • 2¼ cup all-purpose flour
    • Pinch kosher salt
    • ¾ teaspoon peppermint extract, divided into ½ and ¼ teaspoons
    • 1 cup high-quality semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
    • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
    • ¼ cup broken peppermint pieces
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
    2. Cream butter, brown sugar and ½ teaspoon peppermint extract together on medium-high speed in a stand mixer for about 3 minutes with the paddle attachment. Scrape down bowl.
    3. Add 1½ cups of the flour and a pinch of salt. Beat with paddle attachment on medium speed until fully incorporated.
    4. Set aside the paddle attachment and switch to the dough hook.
    5. Add the rest of the flour (3/4 cup) and mix on medium-low speed with the dough hook, kneading the dough in the mixer for about 5 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed.
    6. Roll dough out on a floured surface to about ½-inch thick. Using a ~2-inch sized cookie cutter, cut cookies and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Prick the tops of the cookies with a fork.
    7. Form leftover dough into a ball and roll back out to ½-inch thick and repeat process until you've cut all the dough into cookies.
    8. Bake for 15-25 minutes, until bottoms of cookies are light golden brown. (The time will vary depending on how thick you actually rolled out the dough. The thinner the cookie, the less cook time.)
    9. When cookies have cooled completely, in a small microwave-safe bowl cook chocolate chips and coconut oil on high for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir well until all chocolate has melted.
    10. Add ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract and stir well.
    11. Dip each cookie partially into the chocolate then set on a cooling rack to let chocolate harden. Sprinkle with peppermint pieces immediately after dipping cookie.
    12. Place cookies in fridge to harden the chocolate, around 30-60 minutes. When the cookies return to room temperature, the chocolate will soften a smidge. The chocolate will be hard enough so that the cookies will be pretty and stackable (for packaging and giving!) but just soft enough that it's easy to bite through when eating the cookie. Store extras in the fridge.
    13. You will have extra melted chocolate. I like to have extra so it's easier for dipping. Just pour it over a bowl of ice cream or spread it on a silicone baking mat, sprinkle with peppermint pieces and put in the fridge for a quick peppermint bark. You need to put that chocolate to use!

     Comment #4 ellen patton was the winner of this giveaway. Congratulations, Ellen!

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  6. Tuesday, November 18

    Southwestern Corn Succotash Flatbreads {+ a Giveaway!}

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    The giveaway in this post is now closed, but keep reading for the succotash recipe!

    This post is sponsored by Libby’s. All opinions are 100% my own, this recipe is delicious and there’s a sweet giveaway, so lots of goodness to be had!

    southwestern corn succotash flatbreads by @janemaynard #spon

    I grew up on frozen corn. In fact, I don’t remember ever seeing canned corn in the house. I didn’t actually try canned corn until I was married, believe it or not, and I actually love it! Unlike frozen corn, I like how canned corn retains more of a crunch and has a nice sweet flavor. It’s one of my pantry staples for several recipes in my repertoire.

    southwestern corn succotash flatbreads by @janemaynard #spon

    I have a new use for canned corn that I am especially loving: succotash! I was thinking about potential appetizers for Thanksgiving because I stink at Thanksgiving appetizers. I get so caught up in prepping the main meal that I forget to serve food earlier in the day. This recipe for corn succotash flatbreads is a perfect pre-Thanksgiving snack and I promise it’s easy to prepare.

    southwestern corn succotash flatbreads by @janemaynard #spon

    I gave this particular succotash recipe a bit of a southwestern twist, replacing lima beans with black beans, adding tomatoes and bell peppers, as well as adding a bit of cumin and fresh cilantro. The corn is perfect for Thanksgiving but the cumin and cilantro offer a different flavor than any of the classic Thanksgiving foods you’ll be scarfing down later in the day. Just make sure you don’t fill up on succotash flatbreads – save room for turkey!

    southwestern corn succotash flatbreads by @janemaynard #sponsouthwestern corn succotash flatbreads by @janemaynard #sponIn addition to today’s recipe, Libby’s is offering up a great giveaway! One lucky, randomly-selected commenter will win a KitchenAid® 6-Quart Slow Cooker With Glass Lid plus an assortment of Libby’s products. I used Libby’s corn and black beans in today’s recipe and LOVE that they have organic canned goods! To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this post! Prize must be shipped to a U.S. address and comments need to be posted by Midnight PT on 11/26/14.

    kitchenaid slow cooker giveaway from libby's #sponlibby's organic canned veggies #sponOne last thing, Libby’s is hosting its Cansgiving sweepstakes through November 19. Participants must post a photo of what they are thankful for on Twitter, Instagram or Libby’s Table Facebook page using the hashtag #Cansgiving for the chance to win a $350 grocery gift card toward their Thanksgiving meals. You can view the full rules at www.getbacktothetable.com/cansgiving.

    Get commenting to enter the giveaway and here is the recipe!

    4.3 from 3 reviews
    Southwestern Corn Succotash Flatbreads
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    An easy and delicious appetizer with a southwestern twist!
    Author:
    Serves: 3 cups
    Ingredients
    • ⅓ cup chopped red onion (about ¼ of an onion)
    • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
    • ½ of a red bell pepper, chopped
    • 2 cloves fresh garlic
    • 1 can corn
    • ½ can black beans
    • 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
    • Fresh shredded parmesan cheese (optional)
    • Chopped avocado (optional)
    • Flatbread crackers
    Instructions
    1. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes.
    2. Add garlic, which has been pushed through a garlic press, stir, then add corn and black beans and heat for a few minutes.
    3. Turn the heat up to medium-high, stir and cook for 1 minute to reduce some of the liquid.
    4. Reduce heat to medium again then add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and cumin. Stir and heat for about 2 minutes.
    5. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
    6. Serve succotash on flatbread crackers, topping with fresh parmesan cheese or avocado if desired.
    7. You can serve right away or store in fridge and serve cold.

     Comment #15 Jen Schulte was the winner of this giveaway. Congrats, Jen!

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  7. Thursday, November 13

    The Best English Muffin You’ll Ever Eat

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    Today I bring you the best English muffin you will ever eat. Seriously. You owe me. I mentioned this English muffin trick on Facebook once, but it is sooooo delicious I have decided it deserves an entire blog post.

    Recipe for cinnamon sugar English muffins from @janemaynard - the BEST English muffins you'll ever eat!

    Have you ever read Ree’s post on cooking cinnamon toast the right way? It’s pretty great. Hop on over and check it out if you haven’t. (For the record, I regularly employ Approach #3, a.k.a. Approach #Gross, because I am always strapped for time and my kids never complain. That said, when I give myself 10 minutes for the cook time, the “right” way is tremendously more delicious.)

    Recipe for cinnamon sugar English muffins from @janemaynard - the BEST English muffins you'll ever eat!

    I recently applied Ree’s technique to English muffins and, well, it was DIVINE. (Thanks for the inspiration, Ree!) We were transported to toast heaven on the spot. As great as Ree’s cinnamon toast is, I would bet money these cinnamon sugar English muffins are better.

    Recipe for cinnamon sugar English muffins from @janemaynard - the BEST English muffins you'll ever eat!

    You’re welcome.

    Cinnamon Sugar English Muffins
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    As inspired by Ree Drummond's technique for making perfect cinnamon toast. There are no measurements because you can easily wing it - promise!
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • English muffins
    • Butter, softened to room temp
    • Cinnamon Sugar (click here for recipe if you need it)
    • Vanilla extract (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
    2. Option 1: Mix together softened butter with cinnamon sugar and a splash of vanilla extract. Spread a generous layer over the cut side of an English muffin, making sure to spread the butter mixture all the way to the edges. (The advantage of Option 1 is you get vanilla flavor added into the mix.)
    3. Option 2: Spread a generous layer of softened butter on the cut side of an English muffin, then sprinkle heavily with cinnamon sugar, then press down with your fingers or a knife to incorporate the cinnamon sugar with the butter. (The advantage of Option 2 is that it's a wee bit easier and faster and still just as delicious.)
    4. Place English muffin on a piece of foil or a cookie sheet (I would line the cookie sheet with foil to make clean up easier).
    5. Bake for 10 minutes then finish off under the broiler for about 2 minutes.
    6. Remove from the oven or toaster oven, let sit a couple minutes then eat! Seriously, let it cool down for a bit as the English muffin is literally covered in bubbly molten cinnamon sugar lava. Also, these are beyond buttery. You've been warned.

     

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  8. Thursday, October 23

    Fast and Easy: 4-Ingredient Lemon Pepper Chicken

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    I recently discovered a quick “recipe” for lemon pepper chicken that I simply have to share with you. The chicken is tender and flavorful and it’s just so easy to make! This chicken is delicious fresh out of the oven served with rice and a veggie, but I also love it served cold over salad. It would be great in sandwiches, too!

    easy lemon pepper chicken from @janemaynard

    I sort of accidentally created this recipe. I thought I was making a recipe for luscious lemon chicken that I received from a friend 15 years ago. I was going from memory and the final result was what you see here in this post. Only, when I looked the original recipe up later, I discovered I left a bunch of ingredients and steps out! So, now I have two awesome lemon chicken recipes. ;) And, yes, one day I’ll share the luscious lemon chicken recipe with you, too!

    easy lemon pepper chicken recipe from @janemaynard perfect for salads!

    Today’s version of the recipe really is SO easy and delicious. My little Anna especially loves it! Be sure you use the stabbing-the-chicken-with-a-fork trick – that is the key to this tender, flavorful chicken!

    Lemon Pepper Chicken
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Super easy with delicious results, this chicken has a nice peppery flavor with a hint of lemon.
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts
    • Lemon Pepper
    • Salt (kosher preferred)
    • Cream
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
    2. Stab chicken breast(s) all over on both sides with a fork (click here for details on this trick).
    3. Sprinkle both sides evenly with salt, then sprinkle liberally with lemon pepper on both sides.
    4. Place chicken in a baking dish then pour cream over the chicken to coat. Flip chicken breasts in the dish with a fork to coat both sides of the chicken with cream.
    5. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, until chicken juices run clear and/or internal temperature of chicken reaches 160ºF.
    6. Serve hot out of the oven with rice and veggies. Refrigerate leftovers and serve cold on salad or in sandwiches.

     

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  9. Tuesday, October 7

    Cozy Chicken Mole Rojo

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    The first time Nate and I tasted mole sauce was at a Mexican restaurant in Arlington, MA when we were in college. My roommate and best college friend Estela was from Juárez and was always educating me on what good Mexican food was. One such dish was mole, which she described as a savory “chocolate” sauce served over chicken. When Nate and I spotted it on the menu that night so long ago we knew we had to try it, and we loved it. Sadly, we’ve hardly eaten mole since then. It’s not a dish you generally find served in Mexican restaurants in the U.S. and we had no idea how to make it…until now! (If you live in the Bay Area, Lulu’s serves both green and red mole and they are both divine.)

    recipe for mexican chicken mole rojo by @janemaynard

    I finally sat down to figure out how to make a red mole sauce on my own and it turned out so so so good. This recipe is great for about a million reasons, but I’ll just share a few. It’s a crockpot recipe, making it very hands off. You just blend most of the ingredients together, dump it over chicken in the crockpot and let it cook. Easy peasy! Traditional mole sauces can take days to prepare, but the crockpot actually helps speed up the process. (That’s probably the first time a crockpot meal has been described as speedy!) This red mole sauce is quite rich and full of flavor, but not too spicy, so kids can enjoy it, too. However, you can definitely add cayenne pepper for more heat. Heat is good. And the richness from the unsweetened chocolate counterbalances the heat of the peppers beautifully. Lastly, this recipe for chicken mole rojo is healthy! I originally developed it for Disney and had to follow strict dietary guidelines, all of which I met in this recipe.

    recipe for mexican chicken mole rojo by @janemaynard

    And, if you have kids, just tell them they are eating mud and they will eat every bite of their dinner. It’s like magic.

    (>> Find out more…)

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  10. Friday, October 3

    Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Granola Bars to Celebrate Fair Trade Month + A Delicious Giveaway

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    October is Fair Trade Month and I’m so excited to help support the cause! Plus, I have a completely delicious dark chocolate pumpkin seed granola bar recipe for you. Basically there’s a whole lot of goodness going on in this here post. Before we get to the fair trade chocolate granola bars (mmmmmm….), let’s talk about fair trade for a moment and meet some of the farmers!

    fair trade dark chocolate pumpkin seed granola bars from @janemaynard

    There are a lot of labels on our foods these days. Gluten Free. Organic. Cage Free. Natural. GMO-free. The list goes on and on and ON. With so many labels, it’s easy to stop seeing them when you’re shopping. But one label that I always notice is the ‘Fair Trade Certified’ label. And, when I do see that label, I try to stop and think about the people behind the label, the farmers benefiting from that product.

    Miguel & Lucia, Fair Trade Divemex farmers (from @janemaynard)

    Two of those people are Miguel Romero Martínez, 22, from Tlapa, Guerrero, and Lucía Simón Mariano, 18, from Veracruz. Miguel and Lucía have an adorable two-month old daughter named Dulce Yamilet. Miguel’s family has been living permanently in the Chula Vista II residential area within Divemex’s La Veinte Agricultural Complex in Culiacán since 2006, while Lucía first came to Sinaloa with her parents in 2010. Divemex is a produce cooperative in Mexico that grows bell peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers. Both Lucía and Miguel are now employees, have an apartment of their own and currently Miguel is the recipient of a Fair Trade-sponsored employee scholarship as he studies open adult junior high school.

    The Martinez-Hernandez family, whose first language is Nahuatl and originally come from Tlapa, Guerrero, is one of the most successful cases of migrant families from Southern Mexico, with numerous family members employed by Divemex and recipients of Fair Trade-sponsored scholarships. Currently, two family members receive open adult education scholarships while two others receive stipends given to children of employees. All must keep a monthly B+ average in order to maintain the scholarship status.

    Divemex family From Left to Right: Miguel Romero Martinez (22, employee, open adult Junior High School scholarship recipient), his wife Lucía Simón Mariano (18, employee) with two-month old daughter Dulce Yamilet, Floriberto Romero Martinez (16, Junior High School scholarship recipient as child of employee), David Romero Martinez (20, employee), Andres Romero Martinez (24, employee, open adult Junior High School scholarship recipient, and only indigenous member of the Ten-person Fair Trade council at Divemex), Ana Martínez Peralta (family matriarch and employee), Heidi Hernandez Martinez (8, elementary school scholarship recipient as child of employee) and Felipe Hernandez Guerrero (employee, father of Heidi, and step-father to the four young men). 

    Don’t you love seeing their pictures and hearing just a small part of this family’s story? It’s kind of amazing. Plus, in learning about this family I discovered that fair trade doesn’t just apply to non-perishable goods but to produce, as well. Very cool!

    fair trade barkTHINS dark chocolate pumpkin seed bark for granola bars by @janemaynard

    Fair Trade USA sent me a box of goodies (which I will also be giving away in just a minute) and challenged me to use some of the ingredients in a recipe. As I was gearing up to make our weekly supply of granola bars, I decided to change the bars up a bit. So, here’s the deal. We love our chocolate chip granola bars so much I can’t bring myself to change the flavor. But, this week, I decided adding more chocolate would not be a bad choice.

    dark chocolate pumpkin seed granola bars by @janemaynard

    I added fair trade cocoa powder from Lake Champlain Chocolates as well as barkTHINS dark chocolate pumpkin seed bark with sea salt to the granola bars instead of boring chocolate chips. The result was SPECTACULAR. As I was making the granola bars, I realized that I had fair trade brown sugar, fair trade coconut oil and fair trade vanilla to use in the recipe as well. These granola bars are pretty soundly fair trade!

    fair trade dark chocolate pumpkin seed granola bars by @janemaynard

    Before we get to the recipe, let’s do a giveaway! One of you lucky commenters will get the same package of fair trade goodies I received, including products from Equator, Guittard, barkTHINS, Lake Champlain Chocolates, LÄRABAR, Traditional Medicinals, Dang Foods, Numi Tea, Frontier Natural Products Co-Op, Eco Lips, Alter Eco, Badger Balm, Third Street, Celestial Seasonings, SunSpire, Nourish Organic and the book Where Am I Eating?.

    Here’s how to enter the giveaway!

    Time for granola bars! Happy Fair Trade Month!

    (>> Find out more…)

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