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  1. Sunday, July 16

    Week 547 Weekly Menu

    As responsible as I’ve been about meal planning the last two weeks, this week I am taking that planned-for vacation from the dinner plan! I am hopping on a plane with the kids tomorrow for our annual East Coast trip, this time tooling around in a Toyota Prius. (I am pumped about spending way less on gas this summer than we ever have!) I know in the next two week’s we’ll be having smoked pizza at some point, thanks to my brother, but beyond that I haven’t a clue. And I’m kind of excited about that!

    I won’t be totally MIA on the blog this coming month. I still need to share a special chocolate cake recipe with you soon, as well as a fun and silly grilling idea for summer. And who knows what other deliciousness will find it’s way onto the blog thanks to our travels. Plus this weekly post will go up no matter what, whether I plan a menu or not because I know some of you will!

    If you are one of those responsible ones with a menu planned this week, please put it in the comments below! THANK YOU!


  2. Wednesday, March 9

    Totspot, a Great Way to Buy and Sell Clothes

    Today I want to share a cool app with you that I am guessing just may come in handy! A few weeks ago, the company Totspot got in contact with my friend Marie from Make and Takes and me to see if we would try out their app and let you all know how we liked it. Marie and I both tried out Totspot and loved the app. I am excited to tell you about it today!

    Totspot, a great way to buy and sell used clothes

    So, what is Totspot? Totspot is an app where you can buy and sell used clothes, shoes and accessories for babies, kids, women and men. You set up an account and then can buy clothes from others or sell some of your own. That gorgeous dress that your daughter literally wore one time? Sell it! Looking for an awesome vintage Star Wars t-shirt? Buy it!

    Totspot has a website, but the app is where it’s at. Marie and I both highly recommend you use the service through the phone app. Once you create an account you can set up profiles for each person in your family with sizing information. Once profiles are created, you can search what is available on Totspot at any given time by profile. The app’s interface is clear and easy to use. I ended up buying a super cute Gap dress for myself and then a few fun things for my kids, some of which were brand new with tags still on them!

    Totspot, a great way to buy and sell used clothes

    Once you make a purchase and it is shipped to you, you go into the app and either accept or decline the order as well as rank the seller. If you didn’t get what you were expecting, you don’t have to pay for it. This is how sellers are kept accountable and you can feel safe shopping through the app.

    As far as selling clothes goes, you can sell them yourself, which is super easy to do with the app linking to your camera. You can also use the Totspot Concierge service, which is what I’m most excited about. Totspot sends you a bag with a shipping label. You bag up your stuff and send it off to one of their successful sellers, who takes care of selling the clothes and then you share the cut. Anything unsold is donated to charity. I just got my concierge bag in the mail this week and can’t wait to send some stuff off to be sold!

    Totspot Concierge Service

    Totspot definitely has a strong sense of community and users are incredibly friendly and helpful. And both of my orders, which came from different sellers, arrived personalized and wrapped in cute paper. I was super impressed! Shipping is based on the size of the order, and as you are ordering, the app makes it easy to bundle from one seller to get a discount on your order. There are so many little details like this throughout the buying and selling process that make the app super cool and easy to use.

    I know this post is sounding all salesy, but seriously, Totspot is great! Marie and I both love it and are happy to share it with you!

    And we’d love to give you a chance to try out Totspot, too! Which means…GIVEAWAY TIME! One winner is going to receive $150 gift card to Totspot to get shopping! Follow the form below to enter. Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    To join Totspot, you can create an account on their website or simply download the app on IOS or Android and set up your account through the app. When you join Totspot, be sure to use my referral code GHCOQG to get $5! And here is a cute video about how to sell on Totspot!

    Today’s post and giveaway were sponsored by Totspot. They also provided me with $50 towards my first purchase.


  3. Wednesday, December 16

    My First Meal Delivery Service Experience: Sun Basket Review and Giveaway!

    Over the last few years, monthly box subscription companies have exploded, delivering everything from beauty supplies to clothes to crafts for kids. Most recently, meal delivery kits have become increasingly popular and I have been very intrigued by them. Sun Basket, a meal delivery service founded in San Francisco, recently contacted me about working together and I jumped at the chance. I have really wanted to try one of these services out and Sun Basket was especially appealing to me (I’ll explain why below).

    Sun Basket meal delivery service review by @janemaynard

    If you haven’t heard of a meal delivery kit, let me give you a quick rundown. A company mails food to your house, with recipes included for cooking the meals. You don’t have to shop, you don’t have to meal plan, you just cook and eat! Like I mentioned, I’ve been intrigued by these services and definitely had some questions about the whole process. First and foremost for me was concern over excessive packaging, but I also had questions about quality of the food, difficulty of the recipes, and whether or not we would actually like the dinners in the end.

    Sun Basket meal delivery service review by @janemaynard

    Sun Basket meal delivery service review by @janemaynard

    Sun Basket is one such meal delivery company that services customers in California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Nevada. What was immediately appealing to me about Sun Basket was their emphasis on sustainability, choosing seasonal, organic ingredients and sourcing responsibly from West coast farms. Plus, Chef Justine Kelly of the famous Slanted Door in San Francisco develops their recipes!

    Sun Basket meal delivery service review by @janemaynard

    So, how was my experience with Sun Basket? It was great! From the moment the box arrived on my doorstep to the moment we ate our Sun Basket meals I was impressed with the service. Here are a few things that stood out:

    • Remember my worries about packaging? Well, your Sun Basket box comes with a prepaid return label, so you can easily ship back the box and all the packing materials to be recycled and/or reused. That’s like 1,000 points right there in my book.
    • The recipes were clearly printed on beautiful cards, complete with pictures and well-written instructions, and the food was good quality.
    • The recipes tasted great! We ordered pork stir fry, pappardelle with butternut squash, and north Indian red bean stew. All three recipes were tasty, but the pork stir fry was especially awesome. With a service like this it’s always fun, too, because there are often ingredients and spices included that you don’t buy on a normal basis, so it makes cooking interesting.
    • The kids tried all of the recipes. (Well, Owen didn’t. He doesn’t try anything these days, so he doesn’t count.) I would say the food was fairly kid friendly, although Nate and I definitely liked some of the recipes more than the girls did. The food has a bit of a gourmet bend to it, but it’s still easy to prep.
    • Pricing is $11.49 per meal, and you can order Sun Basket boxes in quantities of 2, 4 or 6 meals.

    Sun Basket meal delivery service review by @janemaynard

    I think for a family situation like mine with multiple children, I personally wouldn’t rely on a meal delivery service 100% of the time as it would get expensive and the kids don’t always love “fancier” food. However, Sun Basket’s meals were delicious and appealing to our family and I would definitely use them again. Having their meals on hand, perhaps in the freezer, would be awesome. If I lived alone or with just one other person, however, I would definitely order from Sun Basket all the time!

    So, there you have it! My first experience with a meal delivery service and I really enjoyed it. Sun Basket was a great company to work with and the food was delicious.

    Sun Basket meal delivery service review by @janemaynard

    If you subscribe to Sun Basket, be sure to do so through the links in this post to get $30 off your first order!

    You know that when I write about products or companies I always like to give something away and today is no exception! Sun Basket is giving away a box complete with 3 meals for 2 people, just like what I received. The winner will be able to choose their meals from the available menu. Delivery must be in California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Nevada. If you don’t live in one of those states, still enter the giveaway and gift it to a loved one on the west coast! Please follow the instructions for entering the giveaway in the Rafflecopter box below.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Thank you to Sun Basket for sponsoring today’s post.


  4. Thursday, October 29

    Mary and Vincent Price’s Cookbook “A Treasury of Great Recipes” and Why Vintage Cookbooks Are the Best

    I love vintage cookbooks. Like cutting boards, vintage cookbooks are fast becoming an obsession of mine. For example, when I visited Portland, OR last year, I ended up spending oodles of time (and an undisclosed amount of money!) in the cookbook section at Powell’s Books with my friend Deseree, pouring over the many old and out-of-print cookbooks that lined the shelves. Those books are so delightful for so many reasons, from fun inscriptions to interesting ingredients to vintage illustrations and photographs…I love it all!

    Vincent and Mary Price's "A Treasury of Great Recipes" cookbook review and giveaway from @janemaynard

    Today I am channeling that love for older cookbooks with a really fun giveaway. Dover Publications has re-released a cookbook that has been out of print for quite some time. Of course I had to check it out…that kind of thing is right up my alley!

    Vincent and Mary Price's "A Treasury of Great Recipes" cookbook review and giveaway from @janemaynard

    Coincidentally, during the spookiest time of year, the cookbook in question is written by the Master of Menace himself, Vincent Price, along with his wife Mary, a costume designer. Mary and Vincent Price published A Treasury of Great Recipes 50 years ago and Dover just released the anniversary edition. I have had so much fun reading through this book!

    Vincent and Mary Price's "A Treasury of Great Recipes" cookbook review and giveaway from @janemaynard

    The 50th anniversary edition still has the same feel as the original publication, with all the original illustrations and photography, and includes a lovely retrospective written by their daughter Victoria Price, where you learn that Vincent Price’s grandfather invented cream of tartar baking powder, was the first person to patent extracts of vanilla, lemon and other flavorings, and also wrote many cookbooks. Food runs in the family! The cookbook follows the Price’s travels through Europe, Mexico and the United States and features the menus of restaurants they visited and loved, along with recipes from those menus. As both a food lover and a graphic designer, I especially love that the actual menus are reproduced in the book. The Prices also include many of their family’s recipes and, in true vintage cookbook fashion, there is a section dedicated to (can you guess?)…napkin folding! I just love this stuff! I told you I’m a vintage cookbook junkie!

    Vincent and Mary Price's "A Treasury of Great Recipes" cookbook review and giveaway from @janemaynard

    While Vincent may have been a master at horror, he was also a master at sharing wonderful food with people. So, this Halloween week, we are giving away a copy of Vincent and Mary’s beautiful, classic book. Here is how to enter!

    • Simply leave a comment, any comment, on this post! If you would like to share your favorite restaurant with us in your comment, that would be very fun and in the spirit of the book!
    • Bonus entry: Like Dover Publications on Facebook. Leave a separate comment indicating you have done so.
    • Bonus entry: Follow Dover Publications on Pinterest. Leave a separate comment indicating you have done so.
    • Bonus entry: Tweet this post and giveaway using the hashtag #CookingwithVincent. Leave a separate comment with a link to your tweet.

    One comment will be randomly selected to choose the winner. Comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Thursday 11/5/2015 and prize must be shipped to an address in the continental United States.

    The winner of the giveaway was Comment #18 Heather B, who said, “I had no idea this edition existed, I’ve been meaning to find a copy of the original for my cookbook collection forever.” I love that she knows the book and has been keeping an eye out for it! Congratulations, Heather! I know it’s not an original edition, but I know you’ll still love it!

    To buy the book, visit Dover Publications and be sure to use the code WRAQ to get 25% of your purchase before 12/07/2015.  If you have any cookbook lovers in your life (or you are one yourself!), this is a very fun book, I definitely recommend it!

    Vincent and Mary Price's "A Treasury of Great Recipes" cookbook review and giveaway + 25% off coupon from @janemaynard

    Thank you to Dover Publications for sponsoring this post and giveaway!


  5. 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!

     


  6. Monday, December 22

    Gram’s 4-Bean Salad

    Big thanks to Libby’s for sponsoring today’s post.

    gram's 4-bean salad from @janemaynard

    I’m starting to sound like a broken record this month, but I really love how the food around the holidays reminds me of loved ones and years past. It’s definitely the time of year that I turn to beloved family recipes the most.

    gram's 4-bean salad from @janemaynard

    Nate’s Gram Maynard didn’t cook much, but she had a few signature recipes that were pretty much perfect. Like potato salad – it was simple, reliable and perfectly flavored. And her homemade hot fudge was to die for. Another one of her recipes that we loved was her marinated 4-bean salad. It appeared at every family gathering and, even though Gram is no longer with us, the bean salad is always still on the table when we all get together. Just seeing that bowl of beans instantly reminds me of Gram.

    gram's 4-bean salad from @janemaynard

    Thankfully we have the recipe and can recreate the magic whenever we want. I love this 4-bean salad because it is beyond easy to throw together, has just the right amount of sweetness and goes with pretty much anything. Plus, for our family, every bite reminds us of Gram, which is especially welcome around the holidays.

    gram's 4-bean salad from @janemaynardgram's 4-bean salad from @janemaynard

    Gram's Marinated 4-Bean Salad
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 1¼ cups canned wax beans
    • 1¼ cup canned green beans
    • 1 cup canned kidney beans
    • ¾ cup canned chickpeas
    • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced into rings
    • ½ cup chopped green pepper
    • ⅔ cup vinegar
    • ½ cup canola oil
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
    Instructions
    1. Drain al lof the canned beans
    2. In a large bowl combine the wax beans, green beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, onions and green peppers together.
    3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour over the bean mixture.
    4. Stir, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
    5. Drain before serving.

     


  7. 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!


  8. Tuesday, December 9

    Buffalo Chicken Flatbread

    This post is sponsored by Alouette. As always, opinions are 100% my own.

    Cheese and bread. It doesn’t get much better than that. No, seriously. I kind of don’t have control around these two delicious ingredients!

    buffalo chicken flatbread from @janemaynard

    Alouette recently got in touch with me about the new Flavorology promotion they are running with Stonefire Authentic Flatbreads that pretty much fulfills my desires to combine cheese and bread. Alouette has all kinds of wonderful cheeses that we love in our house. Anna can eat almost an entire container of crème de brie in one sitting! And Stonefire is my go-to naan bread, both for eating with Indian food and as pizza crust. Put the two together and I’m on board 100%.

    alouette cheese and stonefire naan

    Our most recent Flavorology creation was Buffalo Chicken Flatbread. Using the Stonefire original naan bread as a base, this buffalo chicken pizza is super easy to make and seriously delicious. It might be the holiday season, but it’s also football season and this recipe is perfect when watching the big game! (Go Stanford! Go Patriots! I {heart} Tom Brady! Andrew Luck is our Favoritest Person Ever!)

    buffalo chicken flatbread by @janemaynardbuffalo chicken flatbread from @janemaynard

    The Buffalo cheddar soft spreadable cheese by Alouette has a really nice kick to it – Nate was surprised how spicy it is! Next time you want something Bufallo chicken-y for football season, I highly recommend this pizza. It’s really easy to throw together. Like, make-it-during-a-commercial-break easy. Buffalo chicken flatbread makes for a great snack or appetizer but serves up equally as well at the lunch or dinner table.

    buffalo chicken flatbread from @janemaynard

    Keep an eye out next time you go to the store! For a limited time, you can get a Stonefire flatbread free when you buy any one Alouette cheese. Just look for coupons at participating retailers.

    Without further ado, the recipe!

    Buffalo Chicken Flatbread
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Naan bread
    • Alouette Buffalo Cheddar Soft Spread
    • Cooked chicken
    • Mozzarella cheese
    • Blue cheese dressing
    • Hot sauce
    • Chopped green onions (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
    2. Spread a thin layer of Alouette Buffalo cheddar soft spread on the naan bread. Top with chicken and mozzarella cheese then bake for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.
    3. Drizzle with blue cheese dressing and hot sauce. Sprinkle chopped green onions on top if using.

     


  9. Thursday, December 4

    Drunken Mushrooms + A Mexican Food Tour of the Mission with Rick Bayless

    This post is sponsored by Negra Modelo. All opinions are 100% my own and I can’t wait to share this post with you!

    I am super excited for today’s post because it is filled to the brim with all kinds of wonderful, including a recipe for drunken mushrooms that are pretty much perfection.

    recipe for drunken mushrooms inspired by rick bayless by @janemaynard

    Two weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity of traveling to San Francisco for a Mexican food tour of the Mission District in San Francisco with Negra Modelo and Rick Bayless. You guys, Rick Bayless. We were walking around the streets of San Francisco with RICK BAYLESS. It was beyond cool and here’s the proof!

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #sponPhoto courtesy of Negra Modelo and Vanessa Bahmani

    Our first stop on the Negra Modelo Mexican food walking tour was a tortilleria. The tortillas were unreal, like no tortilla I’ve ever tasted. Rick Bayless talked about how most tortillas today are made from maseca, not from scratch using masa, but that tortillas made with masa are infinitely better. He’s totally right and, consequently, I have begun a hunt here in San Diego to find a tortilleria just like the one we visited in San Francisco (wish me luck!). Rick Bayless also told us that Chicago is the top producer of tortillas in the world. That’s right, the world, even above Mexico City, and that the abundance of great tortillas is one of the reasons he opened Frontera Grill in Chicago.

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #spon

    The second stop on the tour was a Mexican butcher. It was beyond fascinating and we learned that the way Mexican butchers cut up meat is totally different than American butchers. We also learned the history of carne asada in the United States. That’s a whole blog post of its own, we’ll have to chat over coffee so I can share that story with you.

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #spon

    The last stop on the walking food tour was La Reyna Mexican bakery. We had the chance to sample all kinds of sweet goodness and it was endearing to have the grandson of the original owner tell us all about the bakery.

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #spon

    Once the tour was done we attended an after party, complete with Negra Modelo, wonderful Mexican food and more fascinating information from Rick Bayless. I swear we could have sat there and listened to him talk for 6 hours straight and have been enraptured the entire time. Here are a few of the Rick Bayless gems I walked away with:

    • Rick Bayless never uses jalapenos because they are completely unpredictable when it comes to the level of heat. He relies most heavily on poblanos in his cooking.
    • Rick Bayless doesn’t understand green bell peppers and I am, and always have been, in complete agreement!
    • If you want to start cooking with dried chiles, ancho and guajillo are good to start with and go well together.
    • We also learned about the confusion that is ancho and pasilla chiles…but it would take me a whole post to tell you about it. We can talk about that over coffee as well, the same day we talk carne asada. 😉
    • Rick Bayless uses Negra Modelo beer in his restaurant, including in ice cream! He likes that Negra Modelo is a medium-bodied beer with slow-roasted caramel malts, which yields a soft sweetness that works well in cooking. Which leads us to today’s recipe…

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #sponPhoto with Rick Bayless courtesy of Irvin Lin from Eat the Love

    During the party I had the chance to chat with Rick along with my friends Anita and Annelies. While we were talking I asked him what his favorite thing to cook with Negra Modelo is. He answered by saying that if a chef ever tells you that they have a favorite food, that they are probably not a very good chef because true chefs love all food and flavors. 🙂 Despite his lack of a favorite, he did tell us how to make really wonderful mushrooms.

    drunken mushrooms recipe by @janemaynarddrunken mushrooms recipe by @janemaynard

    So, here is my recipe for Drunken Mushrooms, as inspired by Rick Bayless. These mushrooms really are fantastic, with layers of flavor that are subtle and all play beautifully with one another. Rick said he uses these mushooms in queso flameado, which I am sure is amazing. But I am also confident that these mushrooms would be delicious topped on burgers, chicken, steak and pizza. In fact, I made pizza with olive oil, bacon and drunken mushrooms for dinner last night and it was scrumptious.

    drunken mushrooms recipe from @janemaynarddrunken mushroom bacon pizza from @janemaynard

    Drunken Mushrooms
     
    This recipe was inspired by tips shared with me by Rick Bayless.
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Bacon drippings from a 10-ounce package of bacon
    • 8 ounces white or baby bell mushrooms, sliced
    • ¼ cup Negra Modelo beer
    • salt and pepper
    • ¼ cup chopped fresh epazote or cilantro
    Instructions
    1. Heat bacon drippings over medium heat. Add mushrooms to the pan and cook until they are about half-way cooked.
    2. Raise heat to medium-high and add the beer, cooking and stirring until mushrooms are cooked through and most of the liquid has cooked off. Season with salt and pepper to tasted (a few pinches of kosher salt and a shake of pepper should do it).
    3. Remove from heat and stir in the epazote or cilantro.

    drunken mushrooms recipe by @janemaynard

    Big thank you to Negra Modelo and to Rick Bayless for spending an afternoon with us! It is a day I will not soon forget! Be sure to visit the Negra Modelo site for even more Rick Bayless recipes!


  10. Wednesday, December 3

    Chocolate-Dipped Peppermint Shortbread + A Very Merry Giveaway!

    The giveaway in this post is now closed, but keep reading to find out about some really cute Christmas dishes and to get the shortbread recipe!

    This post is sponsored by Q Squared NYC. As always, all opinions are 100% my own, including the opinion that these cookies are awesome.

    I am so happy it’s the holiday season! Well, I mean, now I am, after my annual early-December freak out last night over the stress that this month brings (my busiest work month, two birthdays and Christmas all wrapped up into one not-so-calm package). But now, with the freak out officially behind me, I am ready to dive into present wrapping and cookie baking!

    chocolate-dipped peppermint shortbread from @janemaynard

    I started the whole holiday baking shebang with these chocolate-dipped peppermint shortbread cookies. I’m a sucker for shortbread. No, really, I kind of can’t control myself around the stuff. I decided to give my favorite shortbread recipe a holiday twist by incorporating chocolate and peppermint. The twist worked beautifully. And now there are about 30 ridiculously-adorable and delicious cookies taunting me in my kitchen.

    chocolate-dipped peppermint shortbread from @janemaynard

    These cookies are peppermint perfection. Even though there is peppermint in every element of the cookie, the peppermint flavor is not overpowering. The shortbread, which has just a hint of peppermint, is then dipped in high-quality dark chocolate, also sporting that peppermint hint. Top it all off with crunchy peppermint pieces and you’ve got yourself a COOKIE, filled with flavors and textures that work together oh so nicely. And they look crazy cute!

    chocolate-dipped peppermint shortbread from @janemaynard

    In addition to these lovely cookies, I have some lovely dishes to share with you today, too! You all know how much I love Q Squared. Well, I love them even more now that their holiday dishes are out! When I put in my order for the Winter’s Eve collection, I knew the dishes would be cute but I was not prepared for how much I would love them once I saw the dishes in person. Serious love, people.

    q squared winter's eve collection from @janemaynardq squared winter's eve collection from @janemaynardToday we are giving away a complete set of the Winter’s Eve collection from Q Squared! One randomly-selected winner will receive 1 large platter, 1 serving bowl, 6 dinner plates, 6 tapas plates and 1 coaster set. To enter, please do the following by midnight PT on Tuesday December 9, 2014 (prize must be shipped to a US address):

    • Leave a comment on this post! Easy Peasy!
    • Bonus entry: Like me on Instagram! (You need to leave a separate comment telling us you liked! If you previously liked, it still counts but be sure to leave the extra comment!)
    • Bonus entry: Like Q Squared on Instagram! (You need to leave a separate comment telling us you liked! If you previously liked, it still counts but be sure to leave the extra comment!)
    • Bonus entry: Like This Week for Dinner on Facebook! (You need to leave a separate comment telling us you liked! If you previously liked, it still counts but be sure to leave the extra comment!)
    • Bonus entry: Like Q Squared on Facebook! (You need to leave a separate comment telling us you liked! If you previously liked, it still counts but be sure to leave the extra comment!)

    Good luck with the giveaway – I wish you could all win!

    And now for the recipe!

    Chocolate-Dipped Peppermint Shortbread
     
    Delicious chocolate-dipped shortbread with just the right amount of peppermint.
    Author:
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Serves: 25-30
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup salted butter, softened to room temperature
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • 2¼ cup all-purpose flour
    • Pinch kosher salt
    • ¾ teaspoon peppermint extract, divided into ½ and ¼ teaspoons
    • 1 cup high-quality semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
    • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
    • ¼ cup broken peppermint pieces
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
    2. Cream butter, brown sugar and ½ teaspoon peppermint extract together on medium-high speed in a stand mixer for about 3 minutes with the paddle attachment. Scrape down bowl.
    3. Add 1½ cups of the flour and a pinch of salt. Beat with paddle attachment on medium speed until fully incorporated.
    4. Set aside the paddle attachment and switch to the dough hook.
    5. Add the rest of the flour (3/4 cup) and mix on medium-low speed with the dough hook, kneading the dough in the mixer for about 5 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed.
    6. Roll dough out on a floured surface to about ½-inch thick. Using a ~2-inch sized cookie cutter, cut cookies and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Prick the tops of the cookies with a fork.
    7. Form leftover dough into a ball and roll back out to ½-inch thick and repeat process until you've cut all the dough into cookies.
    8. Bake for 15-25 minutes, until bottoms of cookies are light golden brown. (The time will vary depending on how thick you actually rolled out the dough. The thinner the cookie, the less cook time.)
    9. When cookies have cooled completely, in a small microwave-safe bowl cook chocolate chips and coconut oil on high for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir well until all chocolate has melted.
    10. Add ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract and stir well.
    11. Dip each cookie partially into the chocolate then set on a cooling rack to let chocolate harden. Sprinkle with peppermint pieces immediately after dipping cookie.
    12. Place cookies in fridge to harden the chocolate, around 30-60 minutes. When the cookies return to room temperature, the chocolate will soften a smidge. The chocolate will be hard enough so that the cookies will be pretty and stackable (for packaging and giving!) but just soft enough that it's easy to bite through when eating the cookie. Store extras in the fridge.
    13. You will have extra melted chocolate. I like to have extra so it's easier for dipping. Just pour it over a bowl of ice cream or spread it on a silicone baking mat, sprinkle with peppermint pieces and put in the fridge for a quick peppermint bark. You need to put that chocolate to use!

     Comment #4 ellen patton was the winner of this giveaway. Congratulations, Ellen!