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  1. Tuesday, December 23

    Holiday Brunch is My New Favorite Thing + A Call for Brunch Recipes!

    A big holiday thank you to Q Squared NYC for sponsoring today’s post.

    Today we have a Call for Recipes, but let me first set the stage.

    My neighbor Kat recently hosted a cookie exchange. I love cookie exchanges, but, much to my surprise, the cookies were not my favorite part of Kat’s get together! Kat served a lovely sit-down brunch before the cookie swap and it was quite wonderful. The food was amazing and it was so nice to take a break mid-morning in the mad rush of December and enjoy good food and company. The whole thing made me feel happy and bright.

    christmas cookie exchangePictured: Ginger cookies on Q Squared’s Diamond Small Rectangular Platter

    For Cate’s birthday party this year the only time we could coordinate with her friends was yesterday morning, so, as inspired by Kat’s party, we decided to host a Christmas birthday brunch! While Cate’s brunch was a little less fancy, it was equally delicious and fun.

    christmas brunch on q squared servingwarePictured: Recipes linked below served on Q Squared’s Ruffle and Holiday Ruffle dishes

    I’ve decided brunch is my new favorite thing for entertaining. So much of the food can be made ahead of time, making for less stressful party prep. Plus, who doesn’t love brunch food? Nobody, that’s who. I also love having the party early in the day, it has a completely different feel and, honestly, I like having more time for clean-up when the guests go home, as opposed to night parties where you’d rather go to bed than clean up.

    q squared serving trayPictured: Q Squared’s Cool Montecito Large Tray

    Q Squared NYC is sponsoring today’s post and I want to give them a quick shout out. Until Q Squared came into my life I didn’t own any serving trays and very few platters. Now I am swimming in beautiful trays and platters and I can’t tell you how fabulous they are for entertaining. I used a Q Squared tray for my cookies at Kat’s party and it was adorable. For Cate’s party, the serving trays came in handy both for the food and the Christmas crafts. Three cheers for Q Squared’s high quality, durable, beautiful serving trays – I can’t live without them now! Oh, before I forget! Q Squared also gave me a few of their Bijou candles for the holidays and the candles smell scrumptious. They have also been the perfect decoration for our coffee table this year. I highly recommend them!

    bijou candles by q squared nyc

    It’s time for today’s Call for Recipes! Please share your favorite brunch recipes and tips! I really do want to host more brunches and become Queen of Brunch. Great aspirations, people. I think I might even plan a little Christmas brunch for this Thursday, so please share tips and recipes!

    I’ll kick us off with the brunch menu from Cate’s party.

    • Ina’s Banana Granola Muffins (made the day before, warmed in a 200-degree oven for 10 minutes prior to serving)
    • Grammy’s Blueberry Muffins (made the day before, warmed in a 200-degree oven for 10 minutes prior to serving)
    • Frittata Cups (used spinach instead of kale, made them early in the morning then warmed in a 200-degee oven for 10 minutes prior to serving)
    • Hot Chocolate
    • Fruit salad

    Ready, set, GO! Let’s brunch it up!

     


  2. Tuesday, December 16

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

    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!


  3. Tuesday, April 22

    Call for Recipes: Kale!

    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!


  4. Thursday, November 14

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

    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!


  5. Tuesday, July 2

    Call for Recipes: Avocados!

    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!


  6. Thursday, June 13

    The Rachel Sandwich + Call for Recipes: Sandwiches!

    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.