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Category: Recipes

  1. Sunday, September 3

    Burger Dogs and Week 552 Weekly Menu

    Happy Labor Day weekend, friends! I have a little something fun for you to potentially make at your barbecues this weekend, plus a menu. That’s right, I’m actually planning a menu this week. My goodness, I CANNOT believe I went two weeks without posting a menu. That is something I have not done in over 10 years, but I suppose there is a first time for everything. Honestly, it’s just been a crazy summer and we ended it with a bang. I decided to just give myself a break and not worry about it. Jane of This Week for Dinner from a few years back would be horrified. Miss a weekly menu post? QUEL HORREUR! But the world kept on spinning and this week I’ll give it a go again!

    How to Make a Burger Dog from @janemaynard

    But before the menu, I need to share this fun idea with you. One day when we were grilling up hot dogs and hamburgers, someone in our family (not sure who…maybe Nate? or one of the kids?) thought it would be funny to make a hamburger into a hot dog shape and serve it on a hot dog bun. I was like, “Sure, why not?” and proceeded to make hot dog-shaped burgers, a.k.a. burger dogs. The kids were downright giddy, it was really fun. So, the burger dogs totally worked and the kids loved it! It’s not that they taste different or anything, it really is just the novelty of it all. If you were to serve burger dogs as a meal, I would recommend chopping your lettuce and tomatoes as opposed to slicing, but other than that have at the burger dog like you would a regular hot dog or hamburger!

    How to Make a Burger Dog from @janemaynard

    How to Make a Burger Dog from @janemaynard

    I don’t have instructions because, well, all you do is shape the meat into what looks like a hot dog and then cook it like normal. Easy peasy! Now go and make burger dogs to celebrate Labor Day!

    Menu time…

    How to make Burgers Dogs! Plus this week's dinner plans from @janemaynard, including free printable PDF of the meal plan and ingredients list!

    MONDAY:
    – Labor Day Cookout! The food will be the usual suspects I’m sure ūüôā

    TUESDAY:
    – BLTs

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Caprese Salad and baguette

    THURSDAY:
    – Grilled Brats
    – Salad and watermelon

    FRIDAY:
    – Leftovers

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    Bistro Chicken
    – Salad and mashed potatoes

    Click here or on the image above for a printable PDF of this week’s menu and ingredients list.

    As usual, if you have a meal plan for the week, please share it in the comments!

    And, before we go, I just want to take a moment to send love to anyone reading this affected by Hurricane Harvey. All week it has felt strange to me to be going about my daily life, knowing of the catastrophe unfolding for so many. For those of you looking for ways to help from afar, my friends at Mom2 created a great list of ways parents and kids can help with the hurricane relief efforts. Much love to all!


  2. Tuesday, August 8

    Chocolate Ganache Praline Cake, a.k.a. The Viking Lite

    Each year for my birthday Nate buys me a cake called the Viking from Extraordinary Desserts in San Diego. I’m pretty sure this cake was the actual¬†ambrosia of the gods on Mt. Olympus. IT IS SO GOOD. Also, I will never make this cake in its entirety. I have the Extraordinary Desserts cookbook (now out of print) and the cake requires SIX(!!!!!) separate recipes in order to make the entire thing. Yeah, not gonna happen. I am perfectly happy waiting for September to roll around each year in order to indulge in the goodness that is the Viking.

    Chocolate Ganache Praline Cake, a.k.a. The Viking Lite from @janemaynard

    That said, for Nate’s birthday I wanted to make¬†something decadent and delicious. I decided to cut down the original Viking recipe and just use three of the elements, rather than all six. The final product was awesome. Nate couldn’t believe how much his birthday cake tasted like the Viking, so we named it the Viking Lite. While the Viking Lite is a bit of a labor of love it is totally worth it…and much less a labor than the original recipe!

    Chocolate Ganache Praline Cake, a.k.a. The Viking Lite from @janemaynard

    The Viking Lite is made up of layers of chocolate sour cream cake and semisweet ganache, then coated in crushed chocolate praline. When I made the cake I only put the praline on the outside of the cake but we decided a layer of the praline inside the cake would have made it even better. I had leftover praline so we would just sprinkle it on each of our slices. Also, I recommend splurging for high-quality chocolate, like Guittard brand (they make baking chocolate and cocoa powder). Good-quality chocolate really will make a difference in your final product.

    Chocolate Ganache Praline Cake, a.k.a. The Viking Lite from @janemaynard

    Chocolate Ganache Praline Cake, a.k.a. The Viking Lite
     
    Based on the original Viking cake created by Karen Krasne of Extraordinary Desserts. Her cookbook is now out of print. I am sharing only the parts I used of the original Viking recipe below, along with my notes and modifications.
    Author:
    Serves: 1 8- or 9-inch cake
    Ingredients
    • GANACHE:
    • 24 ounces (4 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • CHOCOLATE ALMOND PRALINE:
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • ¼ cup whole milk
    • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, cubed (I used salted so that there was a bit of salt flavor in the praline)
    • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
    • ½ cup granulated sugar
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 1 cup slivered almonds
    • CHOCOLATE SOUR CREAM CAKE:
    • ⅓ cup unsalted butter (I used salted because the recipe doesn't call for salt and I like a bit of salt flavor), room temperature and cut into ¼" cubes, plus ~2 teaspoons at room temperature for greasing the pans
    • 3 ounces (1/2 cup) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
    • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1½ cups granulated sugar
    • ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
    • 1 cup water
    Instructions
    1. GANACHE:
    2. Put the chocolate chips in a medium, heatproof mixing bowl.
    3. Bring the cream to a boil in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, stir slowly and gently in a circular motion until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is fully combined. Set ganache aside for later. You will want the ganache to be thickened and at a spreading consistency when it's time to assemble the cake. I put mine in the fridge, covering the bowl with plastic wrap, and checked it every half hour or so, stirring it each time.
    4. PRALINE:
    5. Generously coat a baking sheet with oil or line with a silicone baking mat (I highly recommend using a Silpat or similar mat if you have one).
    6. Toast almonds on another baking sheet in a 350¬ļF oven for 5-10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
    7. Bring milk, butter, corn syrup and sugar to a boil in a medium, heavy saucepan. Insert a candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer and cook over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches 310¬ļF, about 7-8 minutes (I think it took a little longer than that for me). The mixture should be thick and have started to lightly color. Remove the pot from the heat and set the thermometer aside.
    8. Add the cocoa powder and mix well with a whisk. (I added the cocoa powder through a fine mesh sieve, shaking it into the pot to avoid large lumps from forming.)
    9. Stir in the toasted almonds.
    10. Using a rubber spatula, carefully spread the hot mixture onto your oiled or Silpat-lined baking sheet, making sure the mixture is spread into an even layer. Set aside to cool.
    11. Once praline is completely cool and hardened, either blast it in a blender or food processor or place in a ziploc bag and hammer with a meat pounder on a wood cutting board, breaking the praline up into small bits.
    12. CAKE:
    13. Preheat oven to 275¬ļ F. Grease bottom and sides of two 8-inch or two 9-inch round cake pans with butter. Place a parchment round the size of the bottom of the pan in each cake pan, butter the top of the parchment, then lightly flour the pans. Set aside.
    14. Place chocolate in a heatproof mixing bowl. Bring a pot of water to a simmer, place bowl on top of the pot (do not let bowl touch water surface), and melt chocolate, stirring occasionally.
    15. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
    16. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs and sugar at medium-high speed until the mixture is very thick and light in color, about 7 minutes.
    17. Add the cubed butter and then the sour cream, mixing until full incorporated after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
    18. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
    19. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed, just until fully incorporated, being careful not to over mix.
    20. Bring water to a boil then add to the batter. Mix on low to medium speed until full combined and smooth. Batter will be much thinner after the addition of the water.
    21. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans, dividing evenly. Place pans in the center of the oven and bake until cake springs back slightly when pressed in the center and a cake tester comes out clean. Bake time could be up to 60 minutes, but start checking around 40 minutes for doneness.
    22. Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pans sitting on a cooling rack. Once completely cooled, run a thin knife around the edges and invert pans, carefully knocking the bottom of the pan if cake doesn't fall out immediately. Cakes can rest on the cooling rack until you are ready to place them on the cake platter. Remove parchment from bottom of cakes. If you are not immediately assembling the cake, wrap the cakes individually tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate, but cake can also remain wrapped at room temperature for up to 2 days.
    23. ASSEMBLY:
    24. Place one of the cakes on your serving platter. Place pieces of waxed or parchment paper under the edge of the cake all around. This will prevent icing from getting on your serving platter as you decorate the cake.
    25. Coat top of the first layer of cake with a nice thick layer of ganache.
    26. Optional (but recommended!): Add a layer of the chocolate almond praline layer on top of the ganache.
    27. Add the second cake layer. Spread a ganache layer on top, then frost the sides of the cake with the ganache. Once you have finished icing the sides with ganache, using your hands press the praline pieces on the sides of the cake all the way around to coat the sides of the cake. Carefully remove wax/parchment paper, using a knife to hold the frosting in place as you pull out the paper in spots where it gets stuck.
    28. If you did not put a layer of praline inside the cake, reserve the extra praline and sprinkle on each cut slice when serving.

     

     


  3. Monday, July 10

    Vegetarian Curry in a Hurry

    Hi friends! This is an evolution of a recipe I already have shared on the site, Curry in a Hurry. Click here to read about the origin of that recipe and if you love chicken. Today’s version, however, is vegetarian.

    Vegetarian Curry in a Hurry from @janemaynard

    I’ve gotta tell you, this vegetarian version of Curry in a Hurry is just as good as the original. Indian food just lends itself so beautifully¬†to vegetarian cooking.

    Vegetarian Curry in a Hurry from @janemaynardVegetarian Curry in a Hurry from @janemaynard | Homemade Paneer

    The first time I made this, I tried making paneer (a fresh cheese common in India) from scratch. It was delicious but took FOREVER. When I posted my paneer¬†on Instagram and lamented the amount of time it took, several of my friends said, “Well, it shouldn’t have taken¬†that¬†long.”¬†I followed this recipe from Aarti Party on the Food Network¬†and¬†I think the bottom line is that I could have increased the heat to speed things up. My paneer tasted great but when I discovered I could buy it at Sprouts, I¬†may have broken into a little Hallelujah chorus right there in the cheese section.¬†Maybe¬†one day I’ll try making it again. We’ll see…

    Vegetarian Curry in a Hurry from @janemaynard | Homemade PaneerVegetarian Curry in a Hurry from @janemaynard

    That’s about all I have to say about this recipe besides that fact¬†that it’s simple and delicious!

    If you want to try making baked homemade samosas, click here. The ones pictured in this post, however, are¬†from the freezer section at Sprouts…and they are delicious! I’m getting really good at cheating at my Indian food, eh?

    Vegetarian Curry in a Hurry from @janemaynard

    Vegetarian Curry in a Hurry
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 1¬Ĺ tablespoons oil
    • ¬Ĺ of a small onion, chopped
    • 5 teaspoons curry powder
    • ¬Ĺ teaspoon garam masala
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 dried red chilies (I just used 1 so it wouldn't be too spicy for my kids)
    • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
    • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 3-5 cups fresh spinach
    • 1 cooked cauliflower florets
    • Half package frozen peas
    • 1 cup cooked potatoes, cubed
    • 1 can chickpeas
    • 8-12 ounces paneer, cubed
    Instructions
    1. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent.
    2. Add curry powder, garam masala, garlic and red chilies. Stir for one minute.
    3. Add coconut milk, tomatoes, tomato paste and simmer until thickens, stirring regularly.
    4. Add spinach, stir and cook until spinach as wilted. Add cauliflower, peas, potatoes and chickpeas and cook until heated through. Add paneer just before serving.
    5. Serve over rice.
    Notes
    You can do any combination of the vegetables and cheese above - you could leave out the paneer and just do the veggies, or do paneer with just one or two of the veggies. Basically it's totally flexible and the measurements do not have to be exact either!

     


  4. Wednesday, June 28

    How Shopping at My Local Farmer’s Market Reinvigorated Life in the Kitchen…and Got Our Family Eating Healthier!

    This post is sponsored by the American Heart Association Healthy For Good movement. The views, opinions and positions expressed within this post belong to Jane Maynard of This Week for Dinner and do not necessarily represent those of The American Heart Association unless explicitly stated.

    Local Tomatoes from Cyclops Farms | Photo from @janemaynard

    My¬†new year’s resolution for 2017¬†was to cook more. I know it might seem strange to have a food blogger make this her resolution, but the fact of the matter was I had let cooking take the back burner (pun intended!). So, as 2017 kicked off, I decided to really focus on cooking again. And that focus has worked and made me a much happier person as a result.

    2016 was a rough year for several reasons that I won’t get into, but it really is no surprise that making dinner wasn’t a top priority for a good portion of the year. We were eating out a¬†ton, which always makes me uneasy because I know we’re consuming¬†way more calories, fat and sodium than we should be eating. There were a lot of pancake and cereal nights, too. I’ve made peace with how dinner went down in 2016 and have told myself “everything in its season.” But I am also feeling so good about the fact that I’ve been in the kitchen more this year, even during times that get especially busy.

    Cyclops Farms in Oceanside, CA | image from @janemaynard

    One of the keys to the success of this year’s resolution has been shopping at our local farmer’s market each week. There is a farmer’s market every¬†Wednesday¬†(all year!)¬†in my town and after 3 1/2 years into living here I had never visited. I KNOW. It’s just so weird because things like farmer’s markets and CSAs make me so happy! So, as part of the resolution to cook more, I started going to the market each week. We also discovered a small, organic farm smack dab in the middle of a nearby neighborhood that is perhaps the happiest place¬†in San Diego, with devoted shoppers and restaurateurs carefully selecting their produce each week.

    I cannot tell you how AWESOME this change in my life has been. First off, it’s fun telling my friends that I am going “to the market.” They think like I sound like a European grandmother and never quite know what I’m talking about.

    Cyclops Farms in Oceanside, CA | image from @janemaynard

    Beyond sounding like a European grandmother, going to the market each week has kept me much more in touch with what food is in season at any given time and our meals have reflected that natural seasonality more and more. And I love buying local Рmost of the farmers represented are located in my town or neighboring communities. I love knowing that our family is having a positive environmental impact through buying so much more of our food close to home.

    There’s been another unexpected benefit of going to the farmer’s market each week: my cooking has gotten more fun and creative. As you know, I’m totally about planning a weekly menu. My shopping list is¬†always¬†built around that plan and I rarely stray from the list when I am at the store. Going to the farmer’s market has gotten me to have a little more fun with our meals and add a bit of flexibility to the planning. Yes, I go into the market with a list, but I also let the fruits and vegetables that happen to be there that week drive what we eat. It’s made cooking fun and creative.¬†(If you‚Äôre looking for a little creative inspiration before your next shopping run, consider¬†shopping and serving the rainbow!)

    And, of course, the biggest benefit has been that we are eating¬†way¬†more homemade food, which is just plain healthier than takeout and most restaurant foods. I have been meaning to write this post about my new farmer’s market habit and the American Heart Association finally gave me the kick I needed to get it done. I am so happy to share my experience as part of their¬†Healthy For Good¬†campaign (did you know it‚Äôs National Fruit + Vegetable Month?), which encourages us all to Eat Smart, Add Color, Move More and Be Well.

    Remember that rough year I had in 2016? It kind of got me down. I felt uninspired and the stress of everything definitely caused me to rely too heavily on eating out. This post from the AHA about unhealthy eating as related to stress really spoke to me, especially numbers 2 and 6! I am telling you that this new focus I have had on nourishing myself and my family through food has been transformative. Yes, I still feel stress. Yes, I am still getting over some of that 2016 nonsense. But taking the time to focus on food has been amazingly uplifting. Plus, getting outside and walking for my grocery shopping sure has made life happier, too!

    I’m sure you’re wondering if I get all of my food at the farmer’s market…and the answer is no! First I hit the farmer’s market then pop over to my local grocery store to get other staples that weren’t at the market. I’ve never really loved food shopping, but now I look forward to it each week!

    So, that’s the update¬†on this year’s resolution to cook more. The farmer’s market is my new happy place and I love the effect it’s had on our eating and on my life in general. And it’s totally helping me keep my new year’s resolution.

    Happy cooking!


  5. Wednesday, May 31

    Milk Toast is Actually Delicious

    My oldest daughter Cate got braces last week. She’s been a real trooper and it’s gone better than expected. But she is mourning the fact she can’t eat things like Kettle Brand Salt & Pepper Krinkle Chips for almost two years! (Seriously, though, she’s right. That sucks.) Cate usually eats wheat toast for breakfast and even that has been bothering her a bit. So this week I made my Grandma Blomquist’s homemade bread to cheer her up. My strategy¬†worked.

    Sweet Milk Toast Recipe from @janemaynard - A delicious and easy breakfast!

    This morning as I was dragging myself to the kitchen to get breakfast and lunches made, I remembered that Cate¬†loves milk toast, which is basically toast soaked in milk. It’s a super old-school recipe and pretty much no one even knows what it is, but milk toast is delicious. And, despite being half asleep, I had a major LIGHTBULB! moment. Milk toast is the perfect breakfast for someone who just got braces, especially when that someone already loves milk toast.¬†So I grabbed my homemade bread, made Cate milk toast and was declared the best mom ever.

    Sweet Milk Toast Recipe from @janemaynard - A delicious and easy breakfast!

    The first time I made milk toast it was essentially¬†because I was intrigued by the idea of this recipe, but I was not so sure that it would actually taste good. I had only heard people talk about it in a nostalgic way. Let’s be honest, nostalgic recipes can be hit or miss. I dove in anyway and am so glad I did because milk toast is AWESOME. It is mighty delicious and all my kids love it. I created¬†a sweet milk toast recipe (as opposed to savory) and it’s a lot like eating bread pudding for breakfast. You can’t go wrong with that, amiright?

    Sweet Milk Toast Recipe from @janemaynard - A delicious and easy breakfast!

    So, try this recipe. And then next time someone describes something as “milk toast” in a demeaning way, stand up for milk toast. Be sure to let that person know that milk toast is actually awesome. And send them this recipe. Everyone will thank me.

    Sweet Milk Toast Recipe from @janemaynard - A delicious and easy breakfast!

    Milk Toast
     
    Prep time
    Total time
     
    I researched several different recipes for milk toast and landed on this version of my own, which is a sweet milk toast (not savory).
    Author:
    Serves: 1 serving
    Ingredients
    • 2 slices bread (preferably white and homemade!)
    • ½ cup milk (divided into 6 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons)
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon butter
    • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • ¾ teaspoon flour
    • pinch salt
    • butter for toast
    • honey or cinnamon sugar for toast
    Instructions
    1. In a cereal bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of the milk with the flour, vanilla and salt. Set aside.
    2. In a small saucepan, whisk together the rest of the milk (6 tablespoons), the butter and sugar. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring regularly to avoid scorching. Cook until milk is steaming a lot and about to simmer. Give the cold milk-flour mixture a quick whisk then whisk it into the milk on the stove. Cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and set aside.
    3. Toast bread, butter then cover with cinnamon sugar or drizzle with honey. Cut bread into bite-sized pieces then place in cereal bowl you used earlier. Pour milk mixture over the toast, stir and let sit for about 30 seconds, pressing the pieces of bread and stirring to get the toast to absorb the milk.
    4. Eat!

    Dishes pictured are from Q Squared NYC.


  6. Thursday, May 11

    Fudgy Thumprint Chocolate Chip Cookies + A Fair Trade Mother’s Day

    Guess what? I have another fun Mother’s Day post for you, complete with an easy, delicious recipe and an equally delicious giveaway!

    Recipe for Easy Fudgy Thumbprint Chocolate Chip Cookies from @janemaynard

    Each year I create a post in conjunction with Fair Trade USA to celebrate Mother’s Day and this year is no exception! As usual they sent me a box of goodies (which we will be giving away to one of you lucky people in just a moment) to inspire a Mother’s Day baking project.

    Recipe for Easy Fudgy Thumbprint Chocolate Chip Cookies from @janemaynard

    This month has been super busy and as Mother’s Day has approached I haven’t had a lot of time to bake. Normally when Fair Trade sends me a box of goodies they include a baking mix from Immaculate Baking Company. I haven’t ever used the mixes in¬†my posts¬†because I normally create my Fair Trade recipes from scratch. This time, however, I decided to embrace the ease of the cookie mix, adding¬†a fun twist to make it special.

    First off, the Immaculate Organic Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix is so, so, so¬†good. Whether or not you add my fudgy thumbprint you’ll be happy with this mix. But the fudgy addition really takes these cookies over the top. Today’s recipe kind of had a longer journey than most of my recipes. First I tried to make cookie cups with a fudgy center but it just didn’t work practically or¬†visually, but they tasted amazing. So then I tried stuffing the cookies, which worked pretty well but not exactly what I envisioned. So then I tried a thumbprint and it worked! The fudgy “button” goes so beautifully with these cookies and you will love them, especially since it’s so easy to throw this dessert together!¬†How Fair Trade Helps Women

    The most wonderful part of this recipe is that using Fair Trade ingredients means you can celebrate strong women and mothers throughout the world by¬†supporting their livelihood. I’ve read so many stories about how Fair Trade helps women in so many countries and I love it when I can incorporate as many fair trade ingredients as possible into my recipes.¬†The infographic above is a great summary of why Fair Trade is so cool! For today’s recipe I used the¬†Immaculate Organic Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix¬†as well as Guittard’s Extra Dark Chocolate Chips, so it’s a Fair Trade double whammy! The recipe is below…but first…

    Fair Trade Goodies Giveaway!The giveaway! Fair Trade will send one of you lucky people the same gift box I received, which includes product from the following companies:

    To enter the giveaway, all you need to do is a leave a comment on this post before Midnight PT on 3/25/17! That’s it! Easy peasy…as easy as today’s recipe, which I will give to you now!¬†The¬†randomly-selected winner of this giveaway was Comment #24 Michele. Congratulations, Michele!

    Recipe for Easy Fudgy Thumbprint Chocolate Chip Cookies from @janemaynard

    Fudgy Thumbprint Chocolate Chip Cookies
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    A fair trade-friendly recipe that is easy and delicious!
    Author:
    Serves: 22 cookies
    Ingredients
    • 1 Immaculate Baking Company Organic Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
    • ½ cup dark chocolate chips (Guittard is my favorite and they are Fair Trade!)
    • ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk
    • Pinch salt
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 375¬ļF (or 350¬ļ for a dark non-stick pan).
    2. Follow directions to mix the dough for the cookie mix.
    3. Once dough is mixed, put chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and salt in a small microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high in the microwave for 45 seconds, then stir until all chocolate has melted.
    4. Let chocolate mix cool for a few minutes. While the chocolate is cooling, create 1-tablespoon rounded cookie dough balls. With your thumb press a well in the center of each cookie dough ball, then place ½ teaspoon blobs of the chocolate fudgy filling in the center. If the chocolate is sticking to your fingers a lot, just get your fingers a little bit wet with water. Keep in mind, the shape of the chocolate will look how it looks after baking as it did before, so if you want the chocolate nice and smooth, smooth it out before baking!
    5. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Let cool before eating.

     


  7. Monday, April 17

    Masala Salsa for Indian Tacos and Burritos

    An addition to my regular weekly menus in recent years has been Indian burritos and tacos. Basically we make cheater tandoori chicken and then wrap Indian-spiced foods in tortillas. And we love it. After a few times serving them, I felt like we needed some sort of tomato salsa to go on the burritos, in addition to raita. And that is how masala salsa was born.

    Masala Salsa, perfect for Indian tacos and burritos, from @janemaynard

    This recipe is simple, quick and easy and adds great flavor to your Indian tacos and burritos.¬†And when I say it’s easy, I mean it. I make this little sauce every time I make the Indian burritos and tacos and it’s no big deal.

    Masala Salsa, perfect for Indian tacos and burritos, from @janemaynard

    Also, I totally made this up. The name, the concoction, all of it. I’m not claiming this is actual, real-live Indian food. These are simply recipes inspired by Indian cuisine that are delicious and fun. Disclaimer over. ūüėČ

    Masala Salsa, perfect for Indian tacos and burritos, from @janemaynard

    Masala Salsa
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Perfect topping on Indian tacos and burritos. Serve warm or cold.
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
    • ½ teaspoon garam masala
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
    Instructions
    1. Slice cherry tomatoes into halves.
    2. Put tomatoes into a small saucepan and add the garam masala, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat as low as it will go while still maintaining a simmer, probably around medium-low. Let tomatoes simmer until some of the fluid cooks off, about 10-15 minutes.
    3. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. Can be served fresh and warm or cold from the fridge!

     


  8. Sunday, April 9

    If you’re looking for an awesome cake idea…Chocolate M&M Cake

    Here’s the deal with this post. The pictures are not that great. And I’m just linking to recipes. HOWEVER. I must write this post because I must share this cake with you. It is¬†too delicious not to share. Let me introduce you to the most divine Chocolate M&M Cake you will ever eat.

    Chocolate M&M Cake from @janemaynard

    The pictures of this Chocolate M&M Cake are no good because I finished making the cake after the sun went down..and then we ate too much of it for me to take photos the next day. It was that good. Lest you think the Maynards are big ol’¬†piggies, we were hosting a party so we had a whole group of people helping with the consumption of this cake! (Although…I might be able to put down a good portion of this cake myself.)

    Chocolate M&M Cake from @janemaynard

    Here’s what I did to make this cake:

    1. I used the cake part of the SoNo Chocolate Ganache Cake recipe.
    2. I frosted the cake with my M&M frosting recipe.
    3. I broke up a bunch of M&Ms in a zip-top bag with a hammer and then stuck those broken M&Ms on the sides of the frosted cake.
    4. Angels descended from heaven and sang Hallelujah.

    You’re welcome.


  9. Saturday, March 18

    Smoking, please. Competitive smoking.

    So, you know how my sister-in-law Cora is going to start writing for the blog now? Apparently she and her husband (a.k.a. my brother) are on a quest to take over my blog because now HE¬†has written up a recipe to share on the blog. Fine by me…less work for me, more good food for you! Also, the recipe he is sharing is in a competition and we need your votes. It’s easy and you don’t have to sign up for anything, so if you’re bored…GO VOTE! YAY! He’s in the East bracket at the very bottom. Without further ado, here’s Christian!¬†

    Recipe for Smoke N Grill Flank Steak by Christian Wallin for This Week for DinnerThis is Jane’s overly bearded brother, Christian. Husband of Cora, whom you might remember from such blog posts as Charcuterie for 500, please, Alex.

    We bought a house about 2 years ago, moved in and discovered the kitchen oven didn’t work. Like, at all. (Actually, turns out the gas lines didn‚Äôt work either as evidenced by the 3 or 4 fire trucks that greeted us within the first week of living in the house, much to the joy of the then 4- and 6-year-olds in the family.)

    In the interest of roasting two birds with one heat source, we went ahead and bought a smoker. With no working oven in the house. My wife obviously has a good sense of humor… and an insatiable desire for smoked flank steak. She saw the irony, but also the perfectly smoked bark and juicy inside of our first brisket. It is an oven after all. It just doesn’t make your house hot in the summer.

    Today I‚Äôm here to share a spectacular grilling recipe of mine with you, born from that smoker, in hopes of warming up the weather to bring on spring. And if it looks good enough to you to lick the screen, I‚Äôd love your vote in the ‚ÄúEast‚ÄĚ division of¬†this lil‚Äô March Madness-style BBQ competition I‚Äôm in, bottom right. It‚Äôs a tight race and should only take 1 minute.¬†UPDATE: You can’t vote for Christian because he won¬†the competition! SO AWESOME! Go, Christian!

    This recipe has emerged from many a trial-and-error cooks. And it’s my favorite. If I made and sold my own barbecue sauce, this would be sketched in the background of the label. It uses the smoker first and then the grill to finish it off. If you don’t have a smoker, you can skip step 3 and go straight to the grill. It will still be delicious.

    But let me tell you. It only takes one smoke to never stop.

    If you have even the faintest of a smoke itch, check out a pellet smoker. It makes monitoring the heat source as easy as turning a dial and then you can focus on mastering the craft of BBQ, complete with wood-fueled flavor. And if you’re really feeling the urge to take on Spring with a vengeance, pick up Franklin’s BBQ book. In hardcover; it’s way more fun that way. If you can cook it in an oven, you can cook it in a smoker. Smoking opens up all sorts of culinary opportunity.

    With that, enjoy the recipe! And support competitive smoking (I’m the bottom right matchup). It’ll only take a second and then the steak will be spread to more beloved hearts.

    Smoke ’n Grill Flank Steak
     
    Get the smokey goodness of the smoker and the searing punch of the grill all in one glorious, marinaded slab of heaven. The smell of the marinade will make you want to pop open a beer at 11:00am, the aroma of the smoker will get the neighbors peaking over the fence, and the fire of the grill that afternoon will ensure your status as BBQ god amongst friends.
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 2 lb flank steak
    • 1‚ĀĄ4 cup red wine
    • 1‚ĀĄ4 cup vegetable oil (I don‚Äôt use olive so it doesn‚Äôt solidify in the fridge)
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1‚ĀĄ8 cup soy sauce
    • A little less than 1‚ĀĄ8 cup Worcestershire sauce
    • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 limes, fresh squeezed
    Instructions
    1. Mix all ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Give it a stir and take a good whiff - it should make you want to lick it. Need some more citrus? A lil' more garlic? Add it. I like a strong garlic presence, solid lime scent, a wave of soy and enough Worcestershire sauce to make it unique (a little less than ⅛ cup).
    2. Put it in a plastic bag with the meat. Push out as much air as you can without shooting the marinade across the counter. Toss it in the fridge for 8 hours. I use vegetable oil instead of olive so the marinade doesn't solidify in the fridge.
    3. Load up your smoker with your wood of choice. I often use mesquite or hickory, maybe some apple mixed in. Keep it at about 180-200 degrees for 3 hours. If your steak is smaller, shoot more for 2½ hours.
    4. In the last 30 min of smoking, fire up your grill. I use charcoal because I can get it HOT. You want it as high as you can get it. Visiting my parents once I set their gas grill aflame getting it to where I wanted it. Not the safest grill moment I've had but had a hell of a good sear.
    5. Once your coals and grill are hot (HOT), transfer the steak from the smoker. Grill it about 3 minutes per side. You want to sear the dickens out of it, getting some nice char and grill markage. It will go about a minute faster than usual because the temperature of the meat is higher from smoking.
    6. Knowing when to pull a steak off is a bit of an art, but just takes practice. This steak is a little different because it will seem stiffer from smoking, but follow you gut. If you're unfamiliar with steak doneness, Google "using palm to test steak." It's remarkably accurate.
    7. Pull the steak off the grill, wrap in foil and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
    8. Carve that sucker, against the grain. Pencil-width slices. Adorn with Chimichurri sauce and sides of your liking. Crack a beer or other favorite beverage and bask in the smoky grace of BBQ.

    Chimichurri
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 1 bunch cilantro, washed WELL and chopped
    • 6 large cloves garlic, minced
    • 3‚ĀĄ4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1‚ĀĄ4 cup red wine vinegar
    • 1 lime, fresh squeezed
    • 1 tablespoon diced red onion
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1‚ĀĄ2 teaspoon salt
    Instructions
    1. Put all ingredient in a food processor or blender and ZOOT! ZOOT!
    2. You're done. Easy. Be a hero and offer it to your guests for their steak.

    Hi, it’s Jane again. Christian doesn’t think I should post this photo, but I am anyway. Because THAT SHIRT.

    Recipe for Smoke N Grill Flank Steak from Christian Wallin | This Week for Dinner


  10. Sunday, March 5

    My New Favorite Go-To Meal: Roasted Vegetable Egg Scramble

    You may have noticed Roasted Vegetable Egg Scramble on my weekly menus a lot lately. That’s because that dish is¬†my new favorite go-to dinner. FAVORITE. Since I’ve started going to the farmer’s market every Wednesday, I’ve been regularly roasting vegetables¬†to have on hand in the fridge¬†throughout the week. As a result, we’ve been making¬†these roasted vegetable egg scrambles on busy nights and it is just so darn tasty. The first time I made these eggs, Cate was especially enamored and when Nate walked through the door that night she exclaimed, “You are going to LOVE dinner tonight.”

    Roasted Vegetable Egg Scramble from @janemaynard - a great breakfast as well as go-to dinner idea!

    This is not a precise recipe, more of a jumping off point for you to make these eggs¬†however you want. I recently received¬†an email from a reader asking what vegetables I use for the scrambles. The answer? Whatever vegetables I happen to find at the market that are good for roasting! Since it’s winter time, it’s been a lot of cauliflower and squashes mixed with potatoes and onions. I’m sure when summer rolls around the mix will be different. I have to say, the cauliflower and butternut squash have been my favorites.

    Roasted Vegetable Egg Scramble from @janemaynard - a great breakfast as well as go-to dinner idea!

    One quick note: the reason that this is such a fast and easy dinner option is because I already have the vegetables roasted and sitting in the fridge. I have yet to actually roast vegetables simply to make these eggs. Although, they are delicious enough to be worthy of the effort. BUT…the reason this is my new go-to dinner is because those veggies are sitting there waiting for me. I didn’t use to be a person who roasted vegetables every week, but now that I do, well, I love it. It really is wonderful having them on hand all the time, I highly recommend it!

    Roasted Vegetable Egg Scramble from @janemaynard - a great breakfast as well as go-to dinner idea!

    Roasted Vegetable Egg Scramble
     
    Author:
    Serves: 1 serving
    Ingredients
    • 2 eggs
    • ~1/2 cup diced roasted vegetables
    • Pat of butter
    • 4 pinches salt
    • Pepper
    Instructions
    1. Heat a small frying pan on the stove over medium heat. Once the pan has been heating up for a few minutes, add the butter and roasted vegetables. Stir occasionally as they heat up.
    2. Whisk the two eggs with the salt (my rule of thumb is 2 pinches of salt per egg, so if you're cooking more than 2 eggs, just add more pinches accordingly). Note: this recipe is for one serving, but you can easily up the amount of eggs and vegetables and just cook them in a larger pan. Works great!
    3. Once the vegetables are heated through, pour the egg into the pan. Let cook for about a minute, then start to "flip" the eggs, turning the eggs and veggies over in the pan evenly. Cook until all the egg is just cooked through, making sure not too cook too long.
    4. Slide onto a plate, sprinkle with black pepper and enjoy!
    Notes
    Click here for an article I recently wrote about roasting vegetables. For these eggs, you can roast just 1 or 2 veggies or a large assortment. There are no rules here! Vegetables that I like to roast that I think are good in the eggs: always a bit of yellow onion, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, squashes, broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, the list goes on!