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  1. Sunday, August 21

    Week 500 Weekly Menu – Let’s Celebrate!

    The giveaway described below is now closed. Thank you to all who entered! Winners are listed below!

    Today is a big milestone for my blog. It’s my 500th weekly menu post. FIVE HUNDRED. Five hundred Sundays in a row I have posted. No matter what. Yes, some of those posts didn’t have menus (like when I had babies or traveled to Africa or whatever). But most of those posts did include a weekly dinner plan and, more importantly, a place where our little community could come together to support and help one another get dinner on the table each week! I know these weekly posts have helped our family immensely over the years. I hope that it has helped some of you, too! In related news, I looked up the Week 1 Menu post. Oh man, we’ve come a long way from half a menu and only one comment from my friend Margo (thank you, Margo!).

    I think it’s time to celebrate the big 5-0-0, don’t you? We’re doing two special things this week in honor of the big occasion.

    The 500th Weekly Menu from @janemaynard, including favorite recipes from the blog and a fantastic giveaway!

    Celebratory Act #1: Menu #500

    First, I need to post a menu! This week’s menu is completely, totally, 100% UNrealistic and is actually a list of some (although not all) of my most favorite recipes on the blog. This seems like the best 500th menu I could pull together and is most certainly my dream menu (I would never in a million years make all of these recipes in one week, but it sure would be delicious!) Here are the links to all the recipes (links are also included in the downloadable PDF, which you can access by clicking the menu image above or by clicking here). As usual, please share your own weekly menu in the comments! (In fact, when you share, well, see celebratory act #2 below!)

    Celebratory Act #2: An awesome GIVEAWAY that you all need to enter!

    You guys. For real. Today’s giveaway is golden. I was able to get some of my favorite kitchen brands to donate all kinds of wonderful items for the 500th menu giveaway. AND we’re going to have three winners! Winner #1 will receive every last thing you see listed below. (Winner #1 is a lucky dog.) Winners #2 and #3 will each receive the first item on the list below (that beautiful 6-quart casserole from KitchenAid, which we will get to in a moment). Not too shabby, my friends!

    Here is how to enter the giveaway (prizes must be shipped within the US):

    • Leave a comment, any comment, on this post before Midnight PT on Sunday 8/28/16. That’s it!
    • BONUS ENTRY: Leave an additional comment with your menu for the week! (You must leave a separate comment to get the bonus entry.)
    • BONUS ENTRY: Follow This Week for Dinner on Facebook! (If you already follow, that counts! You must leave a separate comment to get the bonus entry.)
    • BONUS ENTRY: Follow This Week for Dinner on Pinterest(If you already follow, that counts! You must leave a separate comment to get the bonus entry.)

    This giveaway is now closed. Here are the winners!

    • Ana was our grand prize giveaway winner! Her Pinterest bonus entry (#82) is what got her the prize, but here is her initial comment! “Jane, congrats on reaching 500! I’m in awe of you! What a generous prize!! Would absolutely love to win!!”
    • KitchenAid Casserole Winner #1: Nora B (#214), who said: “Wonderful giveaway!”
    • KitchenAid Casserole Winner #2: Barbara (#118), who said: “Congrats on your 500th menu. They are a huge help to me on those weeks when I just can’t think of anything to cook.”

    You may be wondering what the giveaway actually is.  Here we go!

    KitchenAid's Professional 6-quart Cast Iron Casserole is functional and gorgeous. from @janemaynard

    • KitchenAid Professional Cast Iron 6-Quart Casserole (retail value $249.99): I love KitchenAid and they are always willing to provide the most wonderful gifts to celebrate my blog’s milestones. This cast iron casserole (with a lid that also works as a cast iron grill pan) is GORGEOUS and I love it so much. As I  mentioned, all three winners of the giveaway will receive one of these for their very own (you get to pick the color, but I gotta tell you, you’d be crazy not to pick Fiesta Blue. Really, it is so pretty.)

    Reliable's Steamboy 200CU Steam Floor Mop is my new favorite, we use it all the time! from @janemaynard

    • Steamboy 200CU Steam Floor Mop from Reliable (retail value $99.00): I’ve had my Steamboy since the start of the summer and it is my new favorite. It is just so easy to clean the kitchen floor and my 9-year-old Anna loves cleaning with it, which has actually been very helpful! I also love that there are zero chemicals involved. I use it once or twice a week and am so happy this steam mop is in my life.

    Force of Nature Green Cleaning Kit from @janemaynard

    • Force of Nature Kit (retail value $89.99): This is another new green cleaning tool we have in our home that is really cool. I actually just got mine, so I don’t have a lot of experience with it yet, but so far I love it. Basically you make a cleaning agent that is powerful, effective, chemical-free and safe. I’ve really tried to cut back on chemical use in our home for many reasons and this gadget will help tremendously.

    le creuset butter crock - one of my favorite kitchen items! from @janemaynard

    • Le Creuset Butter Crock: You should all own one of these by now because I talk about it enough. But I have a sneaking suspicion a few of you may still need one. Into the giveaway it goes!

    silpat half-sheet baking mat, a must have for any home baker! from @janemaynard

    Q Squared NYC Melamine Dishes - Perfect for Entertaining! Knoll Gardens Pattern | from @janemaynard

    • Q Squared NYC’s Knoll Gardens Serving Bowl with Provence White Salad Servers: Q Squared makes the best melamine dishware around and their new Knoll Gardens pattern has stolen my heart. (Note: the salad servers are not pictured above but are included in this giveaway.)

    Magic Chef Microwavable Cookware from @janemaynard

    • Magic Chef Microwave Cookware Set: Earlier this year I worked with Magic Chef to do recipe demos at a huge housewares show in Chicago to show off their new microwave cookware, which just hit the market! My favorite thing about this cookware is how it allows you to harness the steaming power of the microwave to cook all kinds of things, like perfectly tender chicken and heavenly chocolate lava cakes.

    KitchenIQ's Better Zester from @janemaynard(Better Zester photo credit: KitchenIQ)

    • Better Zester from KitchenIQ: Everyone needs a good zester in their life, and everything I’ve ever gotten from KitchenIQ has been awesome (including their knife sharpener, which I use every day!).

    The Smood from Dreamfarm (@janemaynard)(Smood photo credit: Dreamfarm)

    • Smood from Dreamfarm: Dreamfarm makes incredibly fun kitchen gadgets, many of which I own and love, and this one is no exception!

    live fashionABLE scarves from @janemaynard, supporting women in Ethiopia

    • ONE Beaded Bracelet, ONE T-Shirt and a fashionABLE Scarf: One of the very best things that has come out of having my blog is working with ONE. The work they do is inspiring and really making a difference and I am grateful to be a part of that work. Go ONE! And fashionABLE! (fashionABLE is a company I discovered through ONE and the work they do is amazing. And I love their scarves and have like a bazillion of them.)

    A huge THANK YOU to all of these companies for making this giveaway possible!

    Here’s to another 500 menus! (Oh man, can you imagine? Am I going to be posting these until I die? That would not be a bad thing, actually. ;))


  2. Sunday, April 6

    Week 376 Menu & Spring Break Here We Come!

    Today we are hopping in the car and heading north to Los Angeles for 3 days and then down to Anaheim. We are going to be staying at the Hotel Angeleno in LA in one of their suites. I’m super excited because, as many times as we’ve been to LA, we’ve never gone and seen the sites or spent any time there. Any suggestions of fun things to do are welcome! We are for sure going to hit the Getty, the La Brea Tar Pits and the Griffith Observatory. Geesh, that might fill our three days right there, but would still love to hear your ideas!

    hotel angeleno in los angeles

    After LA we are heading south to Anaheim, where we’ll brave the spring break crowds for one day at Disneyland and then spend a few days exploring the area. Our hotel the Carousel Inn & Suites is literally across the street from the park, which will be super convenient (I hate parking at Disneyland, it’s bananas). Nate and I are both taking off time from work, which I think will be the best part of the trip, honestly!

    carousell inn & suites in anaheim

    Needless to say I am not cooking this week. Woohoo! I’m sure we’ll be sick of eating out before the week is done, but I am excited to get a little break from the kitchen.

    It’s weeks like these that we need you even more to share your menus and provide inspiration for one another. So, please post those menus!