Tuesday, November 18
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!
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.
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.
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!
In 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.
One 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/
Get commenting to enter the giveaway and here is the recipe!
Southwestern Corn Succotash FlatbreadsPrep timeCook timeTotal timeAn easy and delicious appetizer with a southwestern twist!Author: Jane MaynardServes: 3 cupsIngredients
- 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
- Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, which has been pushed through a garlic press, stir, then add corn and black beans and heat for a few minutes.
- Turn the heat up to medium-high, stir and cook for 1 minute to reduce some of the liquid.
- Reduce heat to medium again then add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and cumin. Stir and heat for about 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
- Serve succotash on flatbread crackers, topping with fresh parmesan cheese or avocado if desired.
- You can serve right away or store in fridge and serve cold.
Thursday, November 13
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.
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.)
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.
Cinnamon Sugar English MuffinsPrep timeCook timeTotal timeAs inspired by Ree Drummond's technique for making perfect cinnamon toast. There are no measurements because you can easily wing it - promise!Author: Jane MaynardIngredients
- English muffins
- Butter, softened to room temp
- Cinnamon Sugar (click here for recipe if you need it)
- Vanilla extract (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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).
- Bake for 10 minutes then finish off under the broiler for about 2 minutes.
- 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.
Thursday, October 23
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!
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!
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 ChickenPrep timeCook timeTotal timeSuper easy with delicious results, this chicken has a nice peppery flavor with a hint of lemon.Author: Jane MaynardIngredients
- Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts
- Lemon Pepper
- Salt (kosher preferred)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Stab chicken breast(s) all over on both sides with a fork (click here for details on this trick).
- Sprinkle both sides evenly with salt, then sprinkle liberally with lemon pepper on both sides.
- 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.
- Bake for about 20-30 minutes, until chicken juices run clear and/or internal temperature of chicken reaches 160ºF.
- Serve hot out of the oven with rice and veggies. Refrigerate leftovers and serve cold on salad or in sandwiches.
Tuesday, October 7
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.)
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.
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.
Friday, October 3
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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!
- Leave a comment on this post by Midnight PT on 10/31/14.
- Bonus entry: Click here to repin this granola bar recipe on Pinterest! You need to specifically repin this pin and please leave a separate comment below indicating you’ve done so.
- Bonus entry: Follow Fair Trade USA on Facebook (leave a separate comment indicating you are following!)
- Bonus entry: Follow This Week for Dinner on Facebook (leave a separate comment indicating you are following!)
Time for granola bars! Happy Fair Trade Month!
Friday, September 26
Okay, so there’s a lot of “mom stuff” I don’t do. I’m not crafty. I don’t make baby food from scratch. I am a terrible gardener. The list goes on and ON. But I do absolutely love making my kids’ birthday cakes. Every year they tell me what they want and I figure out a way to make it happen! For Owen’s 3rd birthday he requested Ripslinger from the movie Planes, or as Owen put it, “the green bad guy plane.” I was a little nervous but I pulled it off! The best part was Owen loved it and today he’s asked multiple times to see pictures of the cake. (That splash sound you hear is me turning into a puddle on the floor.)
This cake was one of the easier ones I’ve done, so I have to share the step-by-step with you. Here’s how to make an airplane birthday cake!
- Bake a 9″x13″ standard cake. I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe (which you can find in this linked post) and it made for a nice tall cake, which gave the plane more height. I doubled the frosting recipe in that same post, which gave me enough frosting for the crumb coat and final coat with a bit left over.
- After you bake the cake, freeze it. Once it’s frozen, make one cut as shown in the diagram below, then flip one of the pieces so it lines up with the other piece perfectly when you stack them.
- The fat end of the triangle you created is the front of the plane – the smaller end is the back of the plane. Shape the front to round it off. Once the cake was done, I wished I had also angled the back end of the plane down a bit so that the entire plan had an upward slant towards the front of the plane, instead of just parallel to the ground (know what I mean?). Feel free to play with the shape or just keep it super simple like I did.
- I used one of the pieces of cake I cut off the front when shaping the nose of the plane to create the cockpit on top.
- Frost between the layers, and then follow the directions in my cake-making guide post for frosting (freezing cake, crumb coat, etc.) The beauty of this cake is you only need ONE COLOR OF FROSTING! Save a bit of white for the window, but other than that you can just make all the frosting one color.
- For the wings and things, I used cardstock! Just cut them into the shape you like and then stick the shaped wings and things right into the cake. You can get colored cardstock or just color white cardstock with a permament marker the color you want he wings to be. (Since I was making Ripslinger, I also made the flames out of cardstock colored with permanent markers and stuck them to the side using frosting as glue.) Don’t worry, no marker transferred to the frosting anywhere!
- The propellors were 2 popsicle sticks colored with black Sharpee marker, broken in half and then stuck in the front. I should have put a black circle of frosting or a Junior Mint on the front in the middle of the propellors. I didn’t, but you can!
- White frosting and black piped frosting made the window in the cockpit, and chocolate chips, stuck pointy side in, served as the eyes.
Show and tell time! I just have one quick share today. I put together a really fun post for Babble of CRAZY stuff my friends’ kids have eaten. It’s pretty awesome. Be sure to click through and check it out!
As usual, feel free to share anything you like in the comments, it’s show and tell after all!
Posted by Jane Maynard at 1:01 pm 8 Comments
Categories: birthday cakes, kids, Kitchen Tips, sweet things Tags: airplane birthday cake, birthday cake decorating, birthday cakes, cake decorating, friday show and tell, kids birthday cakes |
Tuesday, September 23
In case you’ve been wondering what it takes to make a perfect barbecue chicken pizza, well, today is your lucky day.
So, what does it take? If you’ve eaten at pretty much any pizzeria that serves good barbecue chicken pizza, you probably already know the answer: cilantro. Also, mixing gouda cheese in with the mozzarella is pretty much your ticket to pizza heaven.
Also #2…can we go back to the whole naan-bread-as-pizza-crust trick I recently discovered? I am completely and totally addicted and have been making pizza like it’s going out of style. Nothing beats my homemade crust (detailed post coming one day soon, I promise!), but, seriously, the naan bread thing is KILLER.
Without further ado, the non-recipe recipe for PERFECT barbecue chicken pizza. Enjoy!
Perfect Barbecue Chicken PizzaPrep timeCook timeTotal timeCilantro is the key to truly killer barbecue chicken. Also, gouda. You're welcome.Author: Jane MaynardIngredients
- Good barbecue sauce (I use one a sweet BBQ sauce for flavor contrast)
- Grilled chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Thinly-sliced red onion
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Shredded gouda cheese
- Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- Spread pizza crust with barbecue sauce. Scatter chicken and red onion evenly then top with mozzarella and gouda cheeses.
- Cook pizza until cheese is melted and bubbly. After taking out of the oven, sprinkle with fresh cilantro.
Tuesday, September 16
My mother-in-law Pat claims she’s not a good cook, but I wholeheartedly beg to differ. Some of my very best cooking tricks, tips and recipes have come from her. And some of my favorite non-recipe “recipes” come from her. Pat has a knack for making easy-to-prep food taste really good.
Today I’m sharing one of those non-recipe recipes. It is seriously beyond easy with only 3 ingredients. The recipe is a little old school, i.e. there is canned cream-of-whatever soup involved. I rarely buy canned soups, but I certainly do for this chicken recipe! The chicken comes out so tender and juicy, and the stuffing cooks perfectly, soft and yummy where it touches the chicken with a nice crunch around the outside.
Tuesday, September 9
A few months ago I was thinking that naan bread would make a good crust for quick pizzas. I wrote it on my “to try” list and then ignored the list all summer. Then, this week, I picked up the America’s Test Kitchen magazine “6 Ingredient Recipes” (which is on newsstands now until October 20 and it’s great!) and guess what they had as one of the recipes? Naan pizza! I decided to finally get my act together and give it a try.
This past Sunday I was planning to make homemade pizza. I have really perfected the pizza-making process (not to brag or anything) and was looking forward to having pizza for dinner. (Here is my crust recipe – I will also be doing a full post about making homemade pizza soon, so keep an eye out.) But Sunday ended up being really busy as well as ridiculously hot. I simply didn’t feel like turning my oven on at 550º F for 2-3 hours. So, I broke out the naan bread and fired up the grill!
Naan bread works perfectly as a pizza crust. Following the technique below, it gets nice and crispy on the bottom but still has some chew, and it’s just so quick and easy! Making the naan pizzas on the grill worked beautifully, but I also cooked one in the oven and that worked great, too. If I had to choose I would go with the grill, but you can’t lose either way!
Naan pizzas are also a great lunch option – I made one for myself yesterday in the toaster oven and it was quick and painless!
For the record, I love my homemade crust more. But these naan pizzas are still pretty amazing and are perfect for when you need a good homemade pizza cheat!
Pizza flavors pictured: Barbecue Chicken (BBQ sauce, chicken, cheese and cilantro tossed on after cooking) and Honey Goat Cheese with Caramelized Onion
Wednesday, September 3
Confession: I’m not that into fruit pies, cobblers or crisps. I mean, they’re okay but not my first choice. Nate, on the other hand, goes weak in the knees over a good apple crisp and loves those other fruity desserts almost as much. That’s really saying something because he rarely goes weak in the knees over food. This is just another of the many ways in which he and I are complete opposites! (Shout-out to the ever wise Paula Abdul.)
But there are a few fruity desserts that I can get on board with. This Apple Bavarian Torte is one of them. The recipe has been hiding on my blog since Day One, but I have never written a post about it or photographed it for you. Honestly, I’m usually making this torte late the night before Thanksgiving so photographing has never been an option!
Since autumn is in the air I decided it was a good time to finally give this apple recipe the attention it deserves. It is SO GOOD. Even this apple dessert hater loves it.
A friend named Sarah gave me this recipe nearly 15 years ago. (Sarah is also the one who gave me the pizza crust recipe that I still use to this day. I sure am glad I met Sarah!) Sarah got this apple Bavarian torte recipe at a Pampered Chef party and that’s about all I know about it. Well, besides the fact that it’s amazing.