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  1. Sunday, January 8

    Barbecue Chicken Salad Recipe

    For a while I wrote a fun series of posts on Babble called “3 Kids, A Mom & a Kitchen.” For one of the article the girls and I made a super tasty Barbecue Chicken Salad recipe. I just clicked through to link to that recipe for today’s weekly menu and discovered that Babble did a website update, which means the captions that had the recipe included are missing! So, I’m reposting the recipe here, for posterity’s sake. Well, actually, mostly for my sake so I can have the recipe handy. 😉

    Barbecue Chicken Salad Recipe from @janemaynard

    This is one of those recipes that’s not really a recipe – no measurements necessary and feel free to add or omit ingredients at will. I pretty much stole the idea for this salad from a restaurant called Croutons. Enjoy!

    Barbecue Chicken Salad Recipe from @janemaynard

    Barbecue Chicken Salad
     
    Adapted from a dish served at a restaurant called Croutons
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Grilled chicken breast
    • Barbecue sauce
    • Romaine lettuce, chopped
    • Shredded cheese, cheddar or mozzarella
    • Canned black beans, rinsed and drained
    • Canned corn
    • Chopped tomato
    • Cornbread croutons (if I can find these at the store I toast cubed cornbread in the oven until crispy)
    • Chopped Granny Smith Apples
    • Ranch dressing
    Instructions
    1. Shred grilled chicken and toss in barbecue sauce to coat.
    2. Toss everything together and serve with ranch dressing. Voila!
    3. No set amount for ingredients - plan for about ½ chicken breast per person and adjust ingredients as necessary for the size of the salad!

     


  2. Thursday, December 15

    Sea Salt and Brown Butter Rice Crispy Treats

    Here’s the thing with today’s rice crispy treats. When you look at them they look like normal, everyday, boring rice crispy treats. And then you take a bite. And you’re like, “What am I eating!?!?” You’re eating sea salt and brown butter rice crispy treats, that’s what. And they are so good.

    Recipe for Sea Salt and Brown Butter Rice Crispy Treats from @janemaynard

    I discovered this recipe thanks to my friend Nikki, who is also the reason that the SoNo Chocolate Ganache Cake is in all of our lives. We went camping with Nikki and her family this summer and she brought these for dessert on the beach. As soon as I took a bite I knew she had done something different with the recipe. Sure enough brown butter was involved. And lots of it. The original recipe that Nikki uses is from Joanne Chang’s Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe cookbook. I have adapted it and my version is below. (You can see the original recipe on Epicurious.) I use vanilla bean paste to get that wonderful vanilla bean look and flavor but without messing with the pods, which I never have on hand anyway. I also added coarse sea salt to the mix because coarse sea salt always makes everything more delicious.

    Recipe for Sea Salt and Brown Butter Rice Crispy Treats from @janemaynard

    By the way, if you don’t really like rice crispy treats then I don’t think these are going to miraculously change your opinion. They are still rice crispy treats after all…but they have a really wonderful salty-sweet flavor and I myself can’t get enough of them! Enjoy!

    sea-salt-brown-butter-rice-crispy-treats-side-horiz-this-week-for-dinner-web

    Sea Salt and Brown Butter Rice Crispy Treats
     
    Prep time
    Total time
     
    Adapted from Joanne Chang's "Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe"
    Author:
    Serves: 32
    Ingredients
    • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) salted butter
    • Generous ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus a bit more for sprinkling
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
    • 2 10-ounce bags large marshmallows
    • 10 cups rice crispy cereal
    Instructions
    1. Spray a 9" x 13" baking pan with oil and set aside.
    2. Heat a very large pot over medium heat on the stovetop. While pot is heating, gather all of your ingredients so they are ready to go.
    3. Cut butter into squares and add to heated pan. Cook, stirring regulary, for about 7-10 minutes until the butter has browned. For the first 5 minutes or so there will be a white foamy layer on top, then that will start to disappear, then the butter will start to bubble and foam up again. The butter will brown sometime after this happens. It will look light brown below the foam and have a lovely nutty aroma. Be sure to cook until butter just turns brown (you have to really look because the foam on top can obstruct your view. It is helpful to cook the butter in a light-colored pan so it's easier to see the color of the butter.)
    4. As soon as the butter has browned, reduce the heat to low and stir in the salt and vanilla paste. Mix well then add the marshmallows, cooking over low heat and stirring constantly until all of the marshmallows have melted and you have a smooth mixture.
    5. Turn off the heat but leave the pan on the stove. Add the rice crispy cereal and stir well to coat. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
    6. Using wet hands, press the mixture firmly and evenly into the pan.
    7. Sprinkle the top with just a bit of sea salt.
    8. Let cool 1 hour before cutting. Store in an airtight container.
    Notes
    Makes 32 1½" x 2" squares.

     


  3. Thursday, February 18

    Curry in a Hurry!

    My dear friend Michelle had the opportunity to live in Hyderabad, India for a year and is, therefore, well versed in Indian cuisine. One day when we were hanging out, she was ranting and raving about curry powder. Her complaint is that Americans think that curry powder makes curry, when in fact curry powder totally isn’t Indian. Sure enough, if you look up curry powder on Wikipedia you’ll see this: “Curry powder and the contemporary English use of the word “curry” are Western inventions and do not reflect any specific South Asian food.” Michelle explained that “curry” basically means a saucy dish with tons of spices, and there are lots of different kinds of curries in India, and that none of them have curry powder.

    Curry in a Hurry recipe from @janemaynard

    Basically, curry powder isn’t Indian. The end.

    Curry in a Hurry recipe from @janemaynard

    Michelle was feeling bad, however, once she realized that there is a recipe she has from an Indian cookbook that actually does use curry powder. It’s called Curry in a Hurry and it’s her favorite non-Indian Indian food recipe. I’ve had this recipe sitting in my “to-try” pile for years and we finally made it last week! It was very good, even if it is fake curry. 😉 Nate commented that it actually tastes more like a North African dish, which is kind of true. Whatever it is, it’s delicious. All of my kids liked it, too, especially my 8-year-old Anna. (Here’s a link to the cookbook the recipe came from originally – Michelle likes this book a lot!)

    Curry in a Hurry recipe from @janemaynard

    As for which curry powder to use for this recipe, just use whatever you find at the store. I used McCormick’s curry powder. Michelle said that since she first shared the recipe with me, she has discovered Penzey’s curry powders and she likes them better than the standard grocery store versions. The Sweet Curry Powder is milder and Michelle says her kids really like that one, but her favorite is the Maharajah Curry Powder, which has really good flavor.

    Curry in a Hurry recipe from @janemaynard

    Thank you, Michelle, for giving us a way to use curry powder that doesn’t make you want to yell at us. 😉

    Curry in a Hurry
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Originally from "Indian Home Cooking" by Suvir Saran (I modified the measurements slightly on a few things and wrote the directions in my own words.)
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 1½ tablespoons oil
    • ½ of a small onion, chopped
    • 5 teaspoons curry powder
    • ½ 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
    • 4 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces (original recipe was 2 chicken breasts, but I added more)
    • 3-5 cups fresh spinach
    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 chicken; simmer until chicken is fully cooked. (Alternatively, you can add already cooked chicken if you have it, just cook until heated through.)
    5. Add spinach, stir and cook until spinach as wilted.
    6. Serve over rice.

     


  4. Thursday, February 27

    Recipes are Getting REAL Around Here

    Today’s post is a quick update to let you know about a few little upgrades here on This Week for Dinner. Some of you have been asking for these things for a loooong time, so I’m happy to finally deliver!

    recipe index for this week for dinner from @janemaynard

    • We now have a mobile version of the website! Woohoo! It will be much easier to view and navigate the site on your phones and tablets now.
    • We now have a recipe index, with links to all the recipes on the website, organized into all kinds of handy categories. You’ll be able to access the recipe index from the top navigation of the website (look top left!) as well as under the recipe category in the secondary navigation (coming soon!). In addition, the recipe index is very easily accessible from the top drop-down navigation menu on your mobile device.
    • Recipes have a brand new look and feel. You can see examples here, here and here. My assistant (yes, I hired an assistant and I love her to PIECES – shout out to Rachel!) and I are going to be updating all the recipes on the site to the new format over the next few weeks. In addition to the recipes being prettier, they will be linked to ZipList. What is ZipList? Well, read the next bullet to find out!
    • I am now partnered with ZipList, so you’ll be able to save recipes to your own recipe boxes as well as create shopping lists. I’ve been meaning to hook up with ZipList for years but my recipes weren’t formatted properly. Now I’ve got my act together and we can get this show on the road!

    This is all stuff I should have done ages ago, but better late than never, right? Enjoy! (And please be patient as we slowly get all the recipes updated!)


  5. Thursday, October 31

    Trick or Treat? Chocolate Pumpkin Butter

    Okay, so, a couple of weeks ago I had this brilliant idea to create a recipe for chocolate pumpkin butter. That just sounds like it should be good, right? I did a little searching and there are practically no recipes for it out there, at least not for what I was envisioning in my head. (Side note: I should have taken that fact as a warning but, alas, I plowed on.)

    trick or treat? chocolate pumpkin butter | from @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.com

    Anna and I created the recipe together other day and were feeling pretty good about our butter. It had the texture I was looking for and it was nice and chocolatey. We tasted it quickly and saved it for Halloween morning. I got up early today, made waffles and broke out the special chocolate pumpkin butter. AND…here is how breakfast went down.

    Anna: “It’s good!” (She proceeded to eat all of the pumpkin butter on her plate.)

    Cate: “I can’t decide what I think of it.” (Cate would never say anything bad about anyone or anything, so I think we can all guess what she really meant.)

    Owen: He didn’t say anything but he didn’t have to. He left the pumpkin butter untouched on his plate and ate the waffles plain.

    trick or treat? chocolate pumpkin butter | from @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.com

    Nate walked into the room about halfway through breakfast and asked how the pumpkin butter was. I actually  enjoyed it on my waffle and, as I started to tell Nate that I though it was pretty good but that next time I would use water instead of apple juice for the liquid, Owen piped in with a very loud, very clear, very spirited “YUCKY!”

    Nate took one bite and said, “I have to admit, I do not like this at all.”

    And THAT is how my special Halloween concoction turned from treat to trick.

    Okay, seriously, I liked the chocolate pumpkin butter on my waffle. Anna liked it, too. But we were the only ones in the family who did. So, I’ll share the recipe with you but please know that you will probably think it is “yucky.”

    Trick or treat!!!

    trick or treat? chocolate pumpkin butter | from @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.com

    Chocolate Pumpkin Butter
     
    Created by yours truly…which may or may not be something to brag about. Hey, we can’t win ‘em all.
    Author:
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Ingredients
    • ¼ cup water (I used apple juice and that was a bad choice, stick with water!)
    • ¼ cup brown sugar
    • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3 pinches salt
    • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
    • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    Instructions
    1. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir well until all chips are melted. Set aside.
    2. Add all the rest of the ingredients to a small sauce pan and heat over medium-high heat. As it starts to simmer, it will actually start sputtering a lot, so make sure you are constantly stirring. Let it cook for about 5 minutes. It should be steaming throughout this process.
    3. Remove from heat then stir in the chocolate.
    4. Store in refrigerator.


  6. Tuesday, October 22

    Easy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup (a.k.a. Homemade Ramen)

    Today I have a super fast and easy dinner recipe for you that is also delicious and healthy. That’s the best kind of recipe, right?

    easy asian chicken noodle soup aka homemade ramen | from @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.com

    But first, a confession. I love ramen noodle packs. You know, the 89-cent packages of ramen noodles paired with the sodium-rich broth that is oh-so-good. But…but. The sodium. Ah, the sodium. I haven’t bought ramen in years and years because of that darn sodium. Happily, today’s recipe will let us have our ramen and eat it, too!

    easy asian chicken noodle soup aka homemade ramen | from @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.com

    You will need to buy one of those cheap-o packages of ramen for this recipe, but you’re going to throw the flavor packet in the trash where it belongs. Instead, we’ll use healthy, natural ingredients and just a bit of salt to create a yummy meal that’s perfect for kids, adults and college-kids alike!

    This recipe is fast to prepare and should be eaten immediately, so plan accordingly!

    easy asian chicken noodle soup aka homemade ramen | from @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.com

    Easy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup (a.k.a. Homemade Ramen)
     
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Adapted from a recipe in America’s Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Soup, Poultry
    Cuisine: Asian
    Serves: 4
    Ingredients
    • ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
    • ½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded*
    • 2 green onions, sliced thin with greens separated from whites
    • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 garlic clove, minced (I use my garlic press)
    • 3½ cups low-sodium or sodium-free chicken broth
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus extra as needed (a commenter mentioned that soy sauce can be high in sodium, so if you really want to cut back, try using low-sodium soy sauce or reducing the amount used)
    • 1 3-ounce package ramen noodles, flavor packet discarded
    • 1½ cups shredded coleslaw mix (I used a coleslaw mix made only with green cabbage)
    • 1½ cups fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
    • ½ tablespoon sesame oil, plus extra as needed
    • salt and pepper
    Instructions
    1. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chopped white green onions (reserving the greens for later), ginger and garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
    2. Stir in chicken broth and soy sauce and bring to a simmer (you’ll want to turn the heat up to get it boiling gently, then reduce the heat to medium or so to maintain the simmer).
    3. Stir in ramen noodles and coleslaw and cook for 4 minutes.
    4. Add chicken and spinach and cook for 1 minute.
    5. Stir in the rest of the green onions and sesame oil. Mix together, taste, then add salt, pepper, soy sauce and sesame oil to taste. Serve immediately.
    Notes
    *Cook the chicken however is easiest for you – grill, sauté, boil, whatever!

     


  7. 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!


  8. 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.

     


  9. Friday, April 26

    White Chicken Chili

    Last week I decided to make white chicken chili for the first time, which involved using two ingredients I’ve never worked with before: hominy and poblano chili peppers.

    America's Test Kitchen White Chicken Chili Recipe

    Honestly, I was skeptical of the hominy. Like I said, I had never used it before and when I opened the can, the smell was reminiscent of corn nuts. I can’t stand the smell of corn nuts, by the way, so I was really hoping the soup would turn out! I am happy to report that the soup not only turned out but was very delicious and a big hit with every member of the family. In case you are wondering, it tasted nothing like corn nuts. PHEW! Nate came home from work, looked in the pot and declared that he was certain he was going to love this soup, even before he knew what it was. And he did!

    America's Test Kitchen White Chicken Chili

    I used the white chicken chili recipe from The America’s Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook. So far every recipe I’ve used from that book has been a winner. The recipes have all been delicious and quick! This chicken chili was no exception. This recipe was simple to prepare and was no problem to throw together on a busy weeknight. I will include my various notes on the recipe below!

    White Chicken Chili
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Poultry
    Ingredients
    • 1 15-ounce can white or yellow hominy (ATK recommends white because it has a deeper flavor)
    • 4 cups chicken broth
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (Jane note: I used two chicken breasts)
    • Salt and Pepper
    • 3 poblano chili peppers (Jane note: I only used 1) – de-seed and core the pepper, then chop
    • 1 onion, chopped fine (Jane note: I only used ⅓ of a large yellow onion)
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced (Jane note: I used my garlic press)
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander (Jane note: I didn’t use coriander b/c I didn’t have it in the cupboard and didn’t feel like buying it)
    • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (Jane note: I used ¼ teaspoon of black pepper because I am out of cayenne, which makes me very sad – I need to rectify that!)
    • ½ cup tomatillo salsa or salsa verde
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro (Jane note: I bought flat leaf parsley instead of cilantro, which I didn’t discover until I took it out to start chopping. I was SO bummed because cilantro would taste wonderfully in this soup, but I just went with the parsley because that’s what I had. I am happy to report that the parsley was also very delicious! So, feel free to choose the herb you like better and go with it!)
    Instructions
    1. Process the hominy with 1 cup broth in blender of food processor until smooth.
    2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, season with salt & pepper then brown chicken lightly on both sides, about 5 minutes. (If you don’t have a dutch oven, a large pot should work.) Transfer chicken to a plate. Add remaining oil, poblanos and onion to the pot and cook until onions and peppers are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, garlic, cumin, corinader (if using) and cayenne (or pepper) and cook about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in remaining 3 cups broth, deglazing the bottom of the pan. I used a flat whisk here and it worked very well, but a standard whisk will suffice.
    3. Stir in pureed hominy. Add chicken, along with any accumulated juices, and simmer gently over medium-low to medium heat until chicken registers 160 degrees, about 10 minutes. I highly recommend using an instant-read thermometer so that you don’t overcook the chicken – it will be super tender if you cook until 160 degrees. Remove chicken, shred then return to soup. Add salsa, cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook about 1 minute then serve!