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Category: featured recipes

  1. Friday, October 20

    Show and Tell, Grab Bag Edition! Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer, Deodorant, Netflix Birthday Fun & Prius Envy

    Hello, friends. I have a veritable grab bag of things to share with you today, including a recipe, deodorant, Netflix and car talk. Yes, totally random. But also fun! ūüėČ Let’s start with the food!

    Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer Recipe from LAND O LAKES and @janemaynard

    Pumpkin Spice Butter Spread + Homemade Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

    Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer Recipe from LAND O LAKES and @janemaynard

    Last week¬†LAND O LAKES treated me to a surprise package, complete with a shiny new Chemex coffee maker and everything I needed to make Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer¬†using their Limited Batch Pumpkin Spice Butter Spread. We are loving the Pumpkin Spice Butter (seriously, I had to cut Cate off…she would have eaten a loaf’s-worth of toast just to consume the butter), so I felt like I needed to tell you about it!¬†Plus, I did in fact make the Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer and it was delicious. I am¬†now sharing the recipe with you!

    Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer Recipe from LAND O LAKES and @janemaynard

    Show and Tell, Grab Bag Edition! Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer, Deodorant, Netflix Birthday Fun & Car Envy
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • ½ cup half & half
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 2 teaspoons LAND O LAKES Pumpkin Pie Spice Butter Spread
    Instructions
    1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Microwave, stirring occasionally, 30-45 seconds or until butter spread is melted and sugar is dissolved.
    2. Beat with hand mixer for 90 seconds or until mixture is frothy. (Note: I whisked by hand.)
    3. Store in refrigerator in a container with a tight-fitting lid up to 1 week. Shake well before each use.

    Native Natural Deodorant

    Native Deodorant, my new favorite thing! from @janemaynard

    Years ago I wanted to switch to¬†natural deodorant but had a bad experience (read: Hello, Stinky Lady!)¬†and gave up. but the fact I’ve been smearing aluminum on my body every day for¬†over¬†30 years has always nagged at me. Well, my sister-in-law Cora recently demanded that I try Native deodorant. She was insistent. She pretty much made me buy it. Well, I must admit that I am grateful Cora was so bossy! I LOVE NATIVE. So, so, so, so much. I¬†have the Coconut & Vanilla, Coconut & Shea and Apricot¬†& Peach scents and I love them all. Note: the scents are seasonal, so a few of those flavors aren’t currently available, but there are a bunch of new ones that sound great!

    Why do I love Native so much?

    • First and foremost, the deodorant actually works. I have¬†less¬†body odor than I did with anti-perspirant and my clothes are picking up less scents, too. Cora (and the website) said that I would need about 2 weeks for my body to adjust and for the deodorant to work well. I started using the deodorant during a heat wave and loved it from Day One. But please, if you try it, give it at least 2 weeks to kick in (in case you are not lucky like I was). Also, if you need to freshen up later in the day, just re-apply and magically things smell better.
    • Native’s customer service is amazing. AMAZING. I originally ordered the summer scent pack and did not like the floral scent that came with it.¬†Native made an exchange beyond easy. Plus, even before needing customer service support, I loved their email communications. They do a great job every step of the way
    • I really like the scent options they have.¬†The deodorant¬†just plain smells good without being overpowering.
    • For those with baking soda allergy, they also have a sensitive version that does not contain baking soda.

    I must admit I thought it was a¬†little¬†funny how excited Cora was about¬†her deodorant. I mean, how can someone be that happy about deodorant. But here I am. On the Native bandwagon and happy to be here. I’m in all the way! Thanks, Cora!

    Netflix Birthday Fun!

    New! Netflix Birthday Messages for Kids! from @janemaynard

    Did you hear about the new birthday messages for kids on Netflix? They launched the¬†birthday messages just in time for Owen’s birthday last month and he¬†loved¬†them. Owen’s birthday party involved taking eight 5- and 6-year-old boys to the LEGO Ninjago movie, followed up with a dinosaur cake at the park. Having the LEGO Ninjago friends¬†and the Dinotrux friends¬†sending¬†birthday wishes his way totally made Owen’s day!

    To find the messages, simply type “birthday” or “birthdays” into your Netflix search bar and all 15 birthday message video options will appear. Definitely a cute way to kick off your little one’s special day!

    Why I Wish We Weren’t So Frugal and Had Bought¬†a New Prius

    2017 Toyota Prius Test Drive from @janemaynard

    Nate has been driving a Prius for over 3 years and has been very happy with it. When his lease was up this past spring, we decided to be frugal and buy the car he was driving rather than start a new lease with the latest Prius. I was perfectly happy with that decision until 3 months later when Toyota lent us a new 2017 Prius for our east coast trip. I love the new Prius.¬†We shouldn’t have been so responsible after all! What were we thinking? ūüėČ I am grateful I had the chance to try the Prius out for a month (thanks, Toyota!), but now I¬†totally have Prius envy. Here are a few of the things I loved about the car:

    • The car basically drives itself. The radar cruise control works¬†beautifully. I used it ALL THE TIME. For example, when we drove from Cape Cod to New Hampshire, I¬†followed¬†my sister-in-law¬†using cruise control. The system detects the speed of the car in front of you and adjusts accordingly,¬†so Jess was basically doing all the driving. There is also a lane departure alert system, pre-collision and pedestrian detection system, and¬†the car can park itself.
    • Even better gas mileage. I got over 50 miles per gallon the entire trip.
    • For such a small car, there¬† is a ton of storage. The back is roomy, and there is a net you can use to store smaller items. The storage was great for short and long trips alike.
    • I’ve mentioned this before about Toyota, but I love their remote lock system. It’s just awesome.
    • There was also a spot for doing that fancy cordless phone charging. My phone doesn’t have that capability, but I was sure wishing it did! I also like how the middle console is set up better in the new Prius versus previous models.
    • The navigation system worked better than my Google maps app on my phone. Impressive! And the car told me what the speed limit was at any given time, which is especially handy on those east coast back roads!
    • The one thing I did not love was the SofTex synthetic leather seat material. It is more eco-friendly than other synthetic leather materials and does not use any animal-based material, but if I had to choose I would go with fabric or real leather. I just didn’t love the feel of the seats or how they looked when inevitably sand and other stuff got into the seams.

    Phew! I think that’s all I have to share for today. As usual, Show & Tell is for the whole class! Feel free to chime in with your own finds and recent loves in the comments!

    Please note: I have a relationship with Netflix as a member of the Stream Team, which means they don’t pay me a dime but do send me cool fun stuff occasionally. Toyota provided¬†me with the Prius for our trip. Land O Lakes provided me with product. I have no official relationship with Native deodorant.


  2. 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!


  3. 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.

     

     


  4. 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.


  5. 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!

     


  6. 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


  7. 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!

     


  8. Monday, February 20

    Homemade Bolognese Sauce

    I’ve tried making bolognese sauce a few times in my life and was never impressed. I blamed the bolognese. But what I should have been blaming were¬†the recipes I was trying. Today I have a recipe that is divine and completely changes how I feel about homemade bolognese sauce. This past Christmas I found myself with a half a pound of ground veal left over from¬†making Swedish meatballs. I searched around the web for recipes to use up the¬†veal and happened upon this recipe for veal bolognese from Food & Wine. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly but used it as a guide and oh my GOODNESS the resulting sauce was so, so good and flavorful and wonderful and, well, I am¬†finally impressed by homemade bolognese sauce.

    Incredibly Flavorful Homemade Bolognese Recipe from @janemaynard

    I¬†think one of the reasons the sauce was so good was because I used half veal, half regular ground beef. But I’m quite certain the sauce will still be uber delicious¬†with straight ground beef, as the veggies and spices are what really make this sauce shine. If you want to use veal, by all means do. But ground beef alone is a-okay.

    Click here for the original recipe, which also includes butternut squash, which I am sure is delicious! Below is my version of homemade bolognese sauce, with some modifications from the original recipe.

    Incredibly Flavorful Homemade Bolognese Recipe from @janemaynard

    Oh, one more note! I used a rigatoni-like pasta instead of spaghetti and really liked that shape of pasta with this sauce. Use whatever pasta you like, but the rigatoni is quite delicious.

    Homemade Bolognese Sauce
     
    Adapted from a Food & Wine recipe.
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 1 pound ground beef or veal (or half pound of each)
    • 2 slices of bacon, minced
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • ½ cup minced carrot
    • ½ cup minced celery
    • ½ cup minced onion
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pushed through a garlic press
    • Kosher salt
    • ½ teaspoon ground sage
    • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon dried basil OR 1 tablespoon fresh basil (chiffonade)
    • 1 cup dry red wine
    • 2 15-ounce cans petite diced tomatoes
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • ¾ cup cream
    • Pepper
    • Optional: 4 tablespoons tomato paste (I added this to the recipe after making it many times, see directions below for notes)
    Instructions
    1. In a large cast-iron casserole (or pot), cook minced bacon in the olive oil over medium heat, for about 5 minutes until bacon is well cooked, stirring occasionally.
    2. Add the carrots, celery, and onion. Sprinkle evenly with a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat about 5 minutes. Add the fresh garlic and stir.
    3. Add the ground meat along with the sage, parsley, bay leaf and oregano. If using dried basil, add that now as well. Season evenly with a few pinches of salt. Cook until meat is cooked through and no longer pink, stirring regularly.
    4. Add the wine and cook until the wine has reduced significantly, about 3-5 minutes. Add UNdrained tomatoes and cook until liquid is reduced by about half, around 5 minutes.
    5. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. At this point if you are using tomato paste, add that as well. (Note: originally I did not have tomato paste in the recipe. The sauce base originally came out with more of a broth consistency - still unbelievably tasty, but you have to serve the pasta in a bowl. This last time I added tomato paste and it helped to thicken the sauce base up and the flavor remained the same. I will be using the tomato paste in this recipe from now on).
    6. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
    7. Remove the bay leaf. Add the cream and, if using fresh basil, the basil. Stir and add salt to taste if needed. Finish off with a few shakes of pepper.

     


  9. Thursday, August 11

    Cora’s Mexican Ground Beef Tacos

    I have to confess something. I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to Mexican food. I blame living 20-40 miles from the Mexican border for eight of the last 15 years, with the other seven years still being in California. One of my biggest fears of moving away from the San Diego area is that I won’t be able to access my favorite Mexican ingredients for cooking at home. No, really, it’s a true FEAR.

    Cora's Mexican Ground Beef Tacos | from @janemaynard

    Now that you know I’m a snob, I have another confession to make. Ground beef tacos are not my favorite and I refer to them as “gringo tacos” in my head (especially when crispy taco shells are involved). This isn’t to say Mexican cuisine does not include seasoned ground beef for tacos, it’s just not my first pick¬†and¬†ground beef is never on the menu at any of my favorite Mexican restaurants. That all said, I will still eat and even cook ground beef tacos occasionally, it’s just never my first choice.

    While we were visiting family the last few weeks, however, my sister-in-law Cora (who is a wonderful cook as well as¬†a crazy talented photographer) made the best ground beef tacos I’ve ever had. Her¬†Mexican friend Zu taught her how to make this delectable taco meat, and Cora has now passed that wisdom on to you and me.

    Cora's Mexican Ground Beef Tacos | from @janemaynardPlease note: The amount of meat you see in the picture above is the recipe below doubled.

    First off, you will not need taco seasoning packets ever again. Stop buying them.

    Secondly, after you make this taco meat, you will want to eat 10 tacos. You’ve been warned. (After Nate’s umpteenth taco he declared, “Why are these SO GOOD?!”)

    Cora's Mexican Ground Beef Tacos | from @janemaynard

    Thank you, Cora, for bringing ground beef tacos back into my life in the most delicious way.

    Cora's Mexican Ground Beef Tacos
     
    My sister-in-law Cora gave me this recipe. Her Mexican friend taught her how to make this meat and it is scrumptious!
    Author:
    Serves: 8
    Ingredients
    • 1½ pounds ground beef
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder (Cora prefers chipotle chili powder)
    • 1 teaspoon paprika (Cora uses smoked paprika)
    • 1 teaspoon oregano
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1½ - 2 tsp seasoned salt (to taste)
    • 1 handful chopped fresh cilantro
    • ½ onion, diced
    • 1 pint quartered grape tomatoes
    Instructions
    1. Brown beef over medium heat in a large, preferably deep, skillet. Use a potato masher to really break down the meat as it cooks. (The potato masher is the secret trick to this recipe!)
    2. When the beef is about halfway browned, drain off excess fat, then add the diced onion and seasonings. Continue browning, then add the chopped cilantro and tomatoes.
    3. Reduce heat to low and cook until tomatoes and onions melt into the beef mixture, at least 20 minutes. You can add a bit of water as it cooks if needed. Also, continue to use the potato masher throughout the cooking process.
    4. Awesome served with fresh homemade salsa (like this one), pico de gallo and Cholula hot sauce...but you can eat it however you want!

     

     


  10. Friday, July 29

    Cora’s Sour Cream Banana Bread Recipe + The BEST Way to Eat Banana Bread (How have I never done this?!)

    Right now I’m in New Jersey visiting my family. Despite the fact that my sister-in-law Cora had a baby just six weeks ago, she has still been caught cooking us delicious food. Yesterday she made four loaves of banana bread, which (unsurprisingly) are¬†already gone! Cora has been kind enough to share her sour cream banana bread recipe with us today. Everyone say thank you, Cora! {Thank you, Cora!}

    Cora's Sour Cream Banana Bread Recipe from @janemaynard

    Cora’s¬†recipe is wonderful and tastes like butter. The day it is baked, the top is wonderfully crispy, while the bread itself is soft and moist. And as happy as I am to now have¬†Cora’s great¬†recipe, I’m even more happy about the fact that¬†Cora and my brother Christian shared the greatest tip ever for eating banana bread.

    The Best Way to Eat Banana Bread | Cora's Sour Cream Banana Bread Recipe from @janemaynard

    You know how when you make banana bread or brownies or whatever that has a crispy top and it goes soft over night? WELL…Cora and Christian always toast their slices of banana bread and then slather the slices¬†with butter. The top gets¬†crispy again, the edges are awesome, and the bread stays soft and delicious. And then, of course, melted butter. It’s basically the greatest and I may never eat banana bread any other way again. These toasty slices of heaven might be even better than fresh-from-the-oven banana bread.¬†Crazy talk, I know, but true.

    The Best Way to Eat Banana Bread | Cora's Sour Cream Banana Bread Recipe from @janemaynard

    Enjoy! BonANA Appétit!

    Cora's Sour Cream Banana Bread Recipe
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    From my wonderful sister-in-law Cora, who is an excellent cook!
    Author:
    Recipe type: Baking
    Serves: 2 loaves
    Ingredients
    • ⅔ cup butter
    • 1⅓ cup sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla or coconut extract (either are delicious!)
    • 1½ cup mashed bananas
    • 2¾ cup flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ c sour cream
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350¬ļ F.
    2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
    3. Add vanilla or coconut extract then add eggs, beating well after each egg.
    4. Add mashed bananas and mix well.
    5. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
    6. Beating on low, add ⅓ of the dry ingredients until just combined. Add ¼ cup of the sour cream, beat on low until just combined. Repeat with ⅓ of the dry ingredients, then the rest of the sour cream, then finishing with the last ⅓ of the dry ingredients, making sure to mix until just combined with each addition.
    7. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans and bake for 40-45 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.