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Category: call for recipes

  1. 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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  2. Tuesday, April 22

    Call for Recipes: Kale!

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    One of my most favorite things is when I get an email from someone requesting a Call for Recipes. I love the Call for Recipes posts myself, so it makes me happy that you guys like them, too!

    call for recipes: kale recipe roundup from @janemaynard

    I received an email from reader Lisa two weeks ago asking if I could ask you all for some kale recipes. She said she’s gotten so many great recipes from other commenters on the blog before. She’s in a kale rut and is hoping you all can help, which I’m certain you can!

    So, that’s the theme for today’s Call for Recipes: KALE! Share your favorite kale recipes, tips for cooking and working with kale, whatever! Feel free to type out recipes or just link to recipes, it’s all fair game.

    call for recipes: kale recipe roundup from @janemaynard | kale salad from costco

    Here is what I have to add to the conversation:

    • To kick us off I’ll share the best kale recipe I’ve ever made. It’s really simple. You go to Costco and buy their kale salad mix. It’s delicious and foolproof. ;) Seriously, though, we had it for Easter and loved it!
    • I recently wrote an article on Cosmopolitan.com about kale, with tips for how to cook it and a roundup of kale recipes from a bunch of great food bloggers. Click here for the kale Cosmo fun!
    • I’ve decided the world is full of LIARS because I recently had kale chips for the first time and they are absolutely not as good as potato chips. In fact, they’re disgusting. Nate agrees with me, by the way. And, before you ask, we had beautifully-cooked kale chips at a fabulous restaurant, so if we were going to like kale chips, those would have been the ones. So, the next time someones says, “No, really, kale chips are awesome!” I’m going to throw a pie in their face. Kale pie. Also, please don’t let my obviously-strong opinion keep you from sharing your kale chip recipes because, apparently, some people actually do like this healthy snack!
    • Hansen’s makes kale soda now. Yeah, yeah, I’m sure it’s delicious. Just like kale chips.

    call for recipes: kale recipe roundup from @janemaynard | hansen's kale soda

    Your turn! Share all your kale magic!

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  3. Friday, December 20

    Call for Recipes: Quick and Delicious Holiday Foods!

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    I cannot believe that it is December 20th already! Where did the month go? For that matter, where did the year go?! I thought today we would do a Call for Recipes that could potentially be helpful for all of us during this crazy time of year!

    collection of quick holiday food ideas

    I think we can all agree that food is very closely tied to the holidays. No matter what holiday you are celebrating, food plays a big role in the celebrations, traditions and memories from those holidays. Our little family is getting excited to order Chinese take-out on Christmas Eve and enjoy Swedish meatballs and bulle on Christmas Day. I can’t wait!

    I think we can also agree that November and December are INSANELY BUSY. And as much as we might like spending time in the kitchen preparing various meals and goodies, sometimes we just don’t have the time. So, that’s the theme of today’s Call for Recipes! Please share your favorite quick and easy recipes that are perfect for the holidays! Whether it’s a main dish, side dish or holiday dessert, everything is fair game!

    collection of quick holiday food ideas

    I’ll kick us off with a slow cooker idea. I had a chance to try out another one of Campbell’s Dinner Sauces again this week. I have to be honest with you all, I haven’t been cooking much since Thanksgiving. Work has been insane, we had two birthdays to celebrate, and gearing up for Christmas and all the associated activities is a full time job in and of itself! But I really am craving some home cooked meals right now – I’m sick of eating on the fly! Yesterday morning I stopped at the store real quick after dropping the kids at school and grabbed a chuck roast and Campbell’s Tavern Style Pot Roast Slow Cooker Sauce. It literally took me 2 minutes to get everything into the crockpot and I didn’t have to think about it the rest of the day. Once evening rolled around, I boiled a few potatoes and threw together a quick salad. The result was very little time and effort expended and a truly holiday-worthy dinner! The best part was the pot roast tasted amazing. Every last person in our family had seconds. This meal is definitely a great option if you want to spend more time with loved ones and less time in the kitchen.

    collection of quick holiday food ideas

    Your turn! Share your best recipes and tips for quick and delicious holiday foods! And, if you can share actual recipes in the comments or links to recipes, that would be even more amazing!

    Here’s to surviving AND savoring the holidays!

     

    This post brought to you by Campbell’s Dinner Sauces. Weekend-worthy dinners with only weekday-level effort needed! Learn more at http://www.campbellsauces.com/

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  4. Thursday, November 14

    Call for Recipes: When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade and Lots of Other Stuff, Too.

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    I’ve been totally neglecting my blog this week. I’ve been sick. Yep, I’m making excuses. Everyone feel sorry for me now. No, really, DON’T. But I do miss you all!

    call for recipes: lemon recipes | thisweekfordinner.com

    It’s been a little while since our last Call for Recipes, so I think it’s time for another! And, today’s theme is LEMONS!

    Our neighbors graciously gave us a big bag of lemons from their tree in Palm Desert. In addition to the gifted lemons, my own lemon tree is about to burst forth with fruit. I have a feeling the Maynards are going to have a lot of lemons in our near future.

    call for recipes: lemon recipes | thisweekfordinner.com

    To save my family from being served only lemons on Thanksgiving, I need you to share your best lemon recipes! I already put a call out for ideas on Facebook, which was incredibly helpful. However, it made me think we need a place to share actual recipes with one another. So, here we are!

    Share your favorite lemon recipes! Savory, sweet, cleaning “recipes,” anything! Feel free to type out the recipes or just share links, anything is game!

    I’ll start with my delectable lemon bars. Now, your turn!

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  5. Thursday, September 5

    Shopping for a Gas Grill: Share Your Tips!

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    One of the very best features of our new house is the back patio. The landscaping in the yard is beautiful, complete with lighting at night, and the patio is large with a beautiful pergola, from which I will be hanging twinkle lights.

    shopping for a grill | back patio view | thisweekfordinner.com

    Ever day I count my lucky stars that we ended up getting this home. The previous owner lived here forever and took such good care of the home, looking out for every detail. Once such detail that we discovered a week or two after moving in was the gas line wired out to the patio. How cool is that?

    shopping for a grill | back patio view | thisweekfordinner.comThe gas line comes up on the left side of the patio, near the post you see on the left in this photo.

    I never thought a gas line could look so beautiful, but it does!

    shopping for a grill | built in gas line | thisweekfordinner.com

    Over the next few months we are going to be working with Lowe’s to put in a grill and an outdoor shower in our fabulous new yard. We have started the planning process and I am really itching to get the grill installed!

    I started browsing the Lowe’s website yesterday to see what’s available before we hit the store, and I honestly felt a bit overwhelmed. I figure if I feel overwhelmed, other people must, too! And I know that some of you have knowledge and opinions about gas grills that would be very beneficial for the clueless ones among us.

    So, we’re doing a Call for Recipes, except there are no recipes involved! Today we are calling for your tips and advice when shopping for a gas grill! Which features are “must-have” and which are not so important? What do you love most about your grill? What do you hate most about your grill? Any and all tips at all different budget levels are welcome!

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  6. Tuesday, July 2

    Call for Recipes: Avocados!

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    I love the folks at the California Avocado Commission. And not just because they sent me a case of avocados today! They really are a great group of people representing a great product: California-grown avocados. In fact, a lot of those avocados are grown right here in San Diego!

    collection of great avocado recipes | thisweekfordinner.com

    The commission shared a fun fact with me last week: the Fourth of July is the highest consumption day for avocados in the US. I guess we all love guacamole on the Fourth! The great thing is avocados are actually in season right now, so our demand matches the time when they taste best!

    collection of great avocado recipes | thisweekfordinner.com

    To get us ready to eat our 96.4 million avocados this Thursday, I think an avocado Call for Recipes is in order!

    hummus guacamole bean dip | thisweekfordinner.com

    I’ll kick us off with one of my most favorite dip recipes: Hummus Guacamole Dip with Black Beans. If you haven’t tried it yet, I’m sure you’re thinking it sounds weird. It is actually really delicious. Like, I can eat the whole bowl myself. It’s also very healthy!

    Your turn! What are your favorite recipes using avocados? Please type up the recipe or share links to recipes in the comments. Anything goes as long as there are avocados involved!

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  7. Thursday, June 13

    The Rachel Sandwich + Call for Recipes: Sandwiches!

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    I looooooove sandwiches. I can eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don’t know what it is, but they hit the spot! I really like making sandwiches for dinner because they are simple and quick but are (or at least can be) filled with all kinds of balanced goodness. And in the summertime, when the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven or stove, sandwiches are a really great dinnertime option.

    call for recipes sandwiches | thisweekfordinner.com

    Since summer is here and since I love sandwiches, I have decided we need to do a sandwich Call for Recipes! Share your favorite sandwiches, whatever they may be…hot, cold, easy, complicated, open-faced, closed-faced, silly-faced, anything! Feel free to link to recipes or just give a quick description of how to make the sandwich. Let’s put together a long, fabulous list of sandwich options for us all to choose from. I know you can deliver!

    I’ll kick us off with the Rachel. I think it is safe to say this is my favorite sandwich. My friend Jami introduced them to me years ago in Cambridge, MA at a little deli near our work. I was hooked at first bite, and the great thing about the Rachel is that it is completely replicatable (new word alert!) at home. My Rachel sandwich is as good as any Rachel sandwich I’ve had in any restaurant.

    the rachel sandwich | thisweekfordinner.com

    Your turn! Share your favorite sandwiches! Ready, set, GO!

    The Rachel Sandwich
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Your favorite bread, sliced
    • Sliced turkey
    • Classic coleslaw
    • Swiss cheese
    • Thousand island dressing
    Instructions
    1. Spread dressing on both slides of bread, top with cheese, coleslaw and turkey, then put sandwich together. Butter outsides of the bread (or add butter to the pan) and grill in a frying pan on both sides until golden.

     

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  8. Tuesday, June 4

    The Magic of Vanilla Bean Paste + Vanilla Vanilla Muffins

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    Another fabulous discovery from the Favorite Things gift exchange I went to last December was vanilla bean paste. It’s so cool!

    nielsen-massey vanilla bean paste

    And just why is it so cool? You get the flavor and pretty speckliness (new word alert!) of vanilla beans without the work. It’s less expensive than vanilla beans, too. Vanilla bean paste is more viscous rather than paste-like, so it’s easy to pour and measure. It also is good for use in sauces and batter where you don’t want the vanilla extract to make things more liquidy (new word alert!).

    nielsen-massey vanilla bean paste

    You can substitute vanilla bean paste in recipes for both vanilla extract and vanilla beans. This stuff is super versatile!

    • If you want to substitute vanilla bean paste for vanilla extract, just measure the same amount that the recipe calls for. Easy peasy!
    • If you want to substitute vanilla bean paste for vanilla beans, use 1 tablespoon of paste for each whole vanilla bean called for.

    You can purchase vanilla bean paste at Williams-Sonoma, but you can also find it on Amazon where it’s cheaper. I use Nielsen-Massey’s vanilla bean paste. Apparently Trader Joe’s once carried it, but it has been discontinued so don’t bother looking for it there if you hear rumors!

    vanilla bean paste muffins

    I finally bought a bottle myself and used it for the first time today. I decided to make my friend Kristen’s Vanilla Vanilla Muffins. The muffins are simple, vanilla goodness. I don’t have one thing to say or change about the recipe, so be sure to click through to Kristen’s beautiful site to make them yourself!

    I can’t wait to use my new vanilla bean paste in more recipes! Oh the possibilities!

    In fact, I created a collection of 21 very vanilla recipes over on Babble that would be perfect for using vanilla bean paste in. Be sure to check them out!

    Also, please feel free to share your favorite recipes featuring vanilla!

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  9. Wednesday, May 29

    Call for Recipes: Cooking During Difficult Times

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    Megan, a new mom returning to work this week, recently emailed me with a request that inspired today’s Call for Recipes. Megan emailed asking for dinner ideas for moms and dads with brand new babies. In Megan’s own words, “I am looking for ideas and suggestions on how you get dinner on the table during the week that’s easy and relatively healthy when we’re both back at work and I won’t be walking in the door until around six-ish and more interested in lavishing attention on A than spending a lot of time in the kitchen.”

    call for recipes - cooking during difficult times | thisweekfordinner.comI was definitely in survival mode when this guy came along, but it sure was worth it! Look at that yummy face!

    I think we all struggle with this on a fairly regular basis, but there are definitely seasons of life where it is more difficult than usual to get dinner on the table. Case in point: newborn baby. Also, sickness in the family, stressful work/school, the list goes on and on! We’ve all been there and we all go through these seasons.

    Often during difficult times friends and family step up to the plate with meals. I wouldn’t have survived after Owen was born if people had not been so generous in this regard! But even with help, dinner doesn’t come every day and it doesn’t last forever.

    Time to share ideas! What meals, recipes and/or strategies do you have around getting dinner cooked even when you’re stretched for time and/or energy? Please share your wisdom because Megan is right–sometimes (all the time?) you’d rather be cuddling with your new baby than slaving in the kitchen!

    I’ll kick us off with a tip! Make sure your fridge and pantry are stocked up with basics so you don’t have to go to the store very often. That was key for me. Whether it was having cooked meals in the freezer at the ready or just a jar of sauce and a package of spaghetti in the cabinet, if I had supplies we didn’t starve and ate relatively well. One more piece of advice…don’t be afraid to ask for help!

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  10. Tuesday, April 9

    Call for Recipes: French Toast

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    I love French toast. So do my girls. Nate? Not so much. But I make it anyway because is it really that torturous to make someone eat French toast? I think not. Plus, he’s lying anyway. Who doesn’t like French toast? I mean, really.

    recipes for French toast

    Years ago I went to my friend Karen’s bachelorette weekend in Palm Springs, where we stayed at the Parker. (Side note: that hotel is funky and crazy and fun. Loved it.) The morning of our departure, we ate breakfast at Norma’s, one of the hotel’s restaurants. The entire meal was amazing. I ordered the “Crunchy French Toast.” Ever since that morning I’ve been on a quest to replicate that freaking awesome French toast. I have a few good runners-up, but nothing has matched. (If you’d like to check out the runners-up, both recipes are really good: Baked French Toast and Crispy French Toast. If you have NOT had Norma’s Crunchy French Toast, then you will definitely not be disappointed.)

    brioche bread

    On a related note, I used to always use nice, soft bread (like Brioche) for making French toast, but for the last 5 years or so, I’ve almost exclusively used crusty breads. I don’t know when or why I made the switch, but I did and and thought that all was well in my French toast world. Then we moved back to San Diego and found ourselves living near the Village Mill Bread bakery. They bake these giant, beautiful loaves of Brioche that make the most amazing French toast EVER. And just like that I’m back on the soft, fluffy bread bandwagon.

    brioche bread for French toast

    Wow. I really must love French toast because I feel like I could keep talking about it all day! But I’m going stop and give you the floor. We would love to hear your favorite ways for preparing and eating French toast. Comments, tips, and recipes are all welcome! Also, if you happen to have a recipe for crunchy and/or crispy French toast that you love, I would really love for you to share!

    French toast lovers unite!

    recipes for French toast

    (Note: Yes, I am aware that I italicized the word ‘really’ 3 times in this post. I guess I was just really feeling the ‘reallys’ today. Make that 4.)

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