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  1. Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    ‘The Pioneer Woman Cooks’ Giveaway Winners

    I think it’s time we announced the five winners of the Pioneer Woman cookbook giveaway!

    the pioneer woman cooks winners web

    Drum roll, please…

    Diane {createdbydiane}, who said, “Thanks for the chance to win, It’s really the perfect gift.”

    Spitfire, who said, “I’d LOVE to get my greedy little hands on one of these babies. Thanks!”

    sara, who said, “oh I would LOVE one of her cookbook’s”¦pick me!!!”

    Becky G., who said, “How sweet is Ree!!! I’d love to win one of the books! Thanks!”

    Brandi Z., who said “I have loved all of her recipes that I have prepared. The pictures are so helpful for a non-cook like myself :)

    Congratulations, ladies! I’m sure you’ll all love the book! Thank goodness for the random number generator…you all made such nice comments, I could never have chosen myself!

    If you didn’t win, you still need to get this book. Click here to purchase The Pioneer Woman Cooks on Amazon. It would make a great holiday gift, and of course you can always just buy it for yourself! 🙂 Be sure to check Ree’s book trip schedule to see if she’s coming to your hometown!

  2. Sunday, November 15, 2009

    Week 147 Menu

    Yesterday we drove to Muir Woods, a national monument consisting of a beautiful Redwood grove. It was really lovely. Here are a few forest treasures we discovered on our walk. The trip was very spontaneous and we ended up driving all the way to Point Reyes. Cate fell asleep during the drive…when she woke up, the first thing she said was “I could come here everyday.” I asked her why that was, to which she responded, “Because it’s just so beautiful.” Four-year-olds sure do get it sometimes, don’t they?

    muir woods web

    Why do I share all this with you? Because that spontaneous trip completely threw off my whole weekend, which is why menu is going up so late tonight! But no matter, here we are!

    I have to apologize…there are LOTS of carry-over items from last week’s plan. It was just one crazy week, so not a lot of cooking happened…and I was able to stretch a lot of leftovers. So, please share your menus to inspire one another!!

    – This steak that I don’t know the name of right now that you get a Stanford shopping center that I promise to write about (how’s that for a run-on sentence?)
    – Butternut squash mashed potatoes
    – Caesar salad

    – Chicken and avocado paninis

    – Enchiladas

    – Leftovers

    Gobi Matar Sabzi

    – Eat out

    – Grilled sausage, pepper & onion subs

    Oh man, that is almost exactly last week’s menu. SORRY! Time to share, time to share! Bring on the menus, folks!

    One more thing…be sure to enter the giveaway for The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook here. Please enter and get your husbands/wives/friends/anybody in on it too! My OCD side is REALLY wanting to break the 1000 comment mark…one more day, we can do it!

  3. Friday, November 13, 2009

    Cranberry Chutney Recipe and More…over at!

    Want to know how to make this cranberry chutney and goat cheese appetizer?

    cranberry chutney goat cheese web

    Then make sure you click here to read my recent post on, which includes a few of my recipes (one of them is so easy I don’t think you can call it recipe, actually!). The cranberry chutney is so000 good…I think I’m hooked! My dear blogging friend Vanessa Druckman also contributed to the article and included some very delicious-looking recipes. Don’t miss it!

  4. Thursday, November 12, 2009

    Easy Peasy Bean Tacos

    Today I’ve got a quick, tasty meal idea for you, thanks to my dear friend Angie who shared this non-recipe-recipe with me recently. It’s her go-to meal and it’s a winner!

    easy bean tacos1 web

    In honor of The Pioneer Woman giveaway we’ve got going this week, I did this post Ree style, photographing every step of the cooking process. Thought it would be funny to finally do that with the easiest recipe on my site. Funny, right? A-ha-ha-ha-ha!

    Easy Peasy Bean Tacos
    Easy to make and delicious to eat!
    Recipe type: Main Dish
    Cuisine: Mexican
    • Flour or corn tortillas, smaller size
    • Shredded cheese
    • Can of refried beans
    • Toppings you like on tacos”¦tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, etc.
    1. Preheat your oven broiler. Heat up the can of beans in a saucepan.
    2. Place the tortillas on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle some cheese on half of the tortilla (you can also heat them up on the stove, whichever you prefer).
    3. Pop the tray in the oven, broil until the cheese melts. This is seriously the hardest step of the process. You still with me?
    4. Schmear on the beans.
    5. Add your favorite taco toppings.
    6. Fold. Eat. Enjoy.

    easy bean tacos2 webeasy bean tacos3 webeasy bean tacos4 webeasy bean tacos5 webeasy bean tacos6 web

    We really liked these tacos, and I loved how simple they were to make. But I’ve gotta say, I think a few grilled peppers and onions would give the tacos nice flavor and crunch…but yeah, that involves chopping stuff AND dirtying another pan. So don’t worry too much about it. These are Easy Peasy Bean Tacos, after all.

  5. Wednesday, November 11, 2009

    ‘The Pioneer Woman Cooks’ Cookbook Giveaway! (5 of you will win!)

    This giveaway is now closed. Thank you!

    I hope you won’t be upset with me, but I’ve got another giveaway for you. I know, have I just stopped cooking and gone full-time pursuing cookbook giveaways for you guys? Nope, I haven’t. But the holidays are coming and these giveaways ROCK and I just want to get them out to you before life gets too crazy! I promise to serve up some food later this week…until then…let’s talk about The Pioneer Woman, shall we?

    pioneer woman cooks giveaway web

    If you have not yet discovered The Pioneer Woman (also known as Ree Drummond), please give yourself a little time and explore her website. It’s a whole lot of fun…great info, great photography, great food, great humor. I’ve had the opportunity to meet her a few times and I just love her to pieces! (Oh, and did I mention I made it onto her blog once? Woo-hoo!)

    Enough gushing. Ree just published her first cookbook. And it’s just what you think it’s going to be – full of great recipes, step-by-step photos and a lot of life from the ranch. Oh, and it’s already on the New York Times bestseller list.

    pionner woman cooks recipes ranch web

    Ree has been kind enough to offer TWO copies of her book for a giveaway! So get your comment on here to enter! Please post a comment on this post before Midnight PT on Monday, November 16. Two randomly-selected winners will be announced next Tuesday, November 17 and will each receive a copy of Ree’s book.

    Good luck!

    STOP THE PRESSES! NEWSFLASH! Ree is just so sweet she wants FIVE of you to win. That’s right, five winners instead of two. Haven’t entered yet? Hop to it!

  6. Tuesday, November 10, 2009

    Real Simple Giveaway Winners…and a recipe!

    I’m sure you’re all dying to know who is getting this great book!

    real simple final web

    And the {random} winners are…

    Amy Worthington, who said, “I would love to have anything helpful to make simple, delicious meals!”


    t sara, who said, “i love real simple!”

    Congratulations! You will each receive a copy of Real Simple Best Recipes. Enjoy! Big thanks once again to Real Simple!

    And here’s a quick recipe from the book. It’s actually part of one of the recipes in the book. I love it because it tastes good, is healthy and super easy!

    couscous salad web

    Couscous Salad
    Cuisine: Side Dish, Salad
    • 1 10-oz box couscous (1½ cups)
    • 6 scallions, sliced
    • 4 plum tomatoes, quartered (I added a bit more)
    • 1 seedless cucumber, cut into half-moons (mine had seeds and everything was fine. phew.)
    • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1¼ teaspoons salt
    • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    • ¼ cup crumbled feta (optional, but a very delicious option)
    1. Place couscous in a large bowl and pour 1½ cups hot tap water over the top. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.
    2. Toss couscous with all the ingredients. Enjoy!


  7. Sunday, November 8, 2009

    Week 146 Menu

    This is what I’m craving today. Too bad I have to fly on a plane 6 hours to get it.

    cannoli craving web

    Another week, another menu! Where does the time go? I actually followed my entire menu last week, so no carry-overs. Thankfully I can just steal your ideas from last week!

    – Ravioli

    – Chicken and avocado paninis

    – Enchiladas

    – Leftovers

    Gobi Matar Sabzi

    – Eat out

    – Grilled sausage, pepper & onion subs

    Time to share your menu! All kinds of menus are welcome! And, you can tell us what you are GOING to be eating this coming week or what you ate last week! Thank you to everyone who posts – I love each and every one of your comments!

    Don’t forget to enter the Real Simple cookbook giveaway by clicking here and leaving a comment.

    Also, now that I’m in love with cayenne pepper, I need you to share your best spicy recipes! Click here to share!

  8. Friday, November 6, 2009

    Meet the new hottie in my life…Cayenne Pepper

    I have fallen in love with cayenne pepper.

    cayenne pepper web

    I must inform you all that until a few months ago I was a total wimp when it came to spicy (as in hot) food. I always bought mild or medium salsa. If I saw the little pepper symbol on a Chinese food menu, I wouldn’t even consider the dish as an option.

    That is until we discovered Back-A-Yard, the Caribbean restaurant I told you about a few months ago. Their jerk chicken is pretty spicy, but of course I had to try it, it’s their thing. Boy am I glad I did. Since that day my tolerance for spicy food has increased 10 fold. I’m not scared anymore! I embrace the spice! In fact, at the BlogHer Food after party, there were these chicken kabobs that everyone was saying were too spicy…and they didn’t even phase me. I have officially numbed my taste buds and boy am I proud. I’m not your typical gringo anymore!

    Which is why I’m in love with cayenne pepper. It’s such a great spice for kicking up the flavor. And it’s really so beautiful. I just love opening the lid to find this:

    cayenne 2 web

    As always, if you have any favorite spicy recipes to share, please do! We’re looking for some HEAT today!

  9. Wednesday, November 4, 2009

    Real Simple Best Recipes Cookbook Giveaway!

    This giveaway is now closed. Thank you!

    I love Real Simple. I bought the first issue of Real Simple almost 10 years ago and remember thinking that I needed to tell the world how great it was so they would stay in business. I suppose my strategy worked! 😉

    real simple cookbook web

    In anticipation of their 10-year anniversary, Real Simple just released a new cookbook, Real Simple Best Recipes. They graciously sent me an advance review copy and it was love at first sight. The book is full of wonderful, SIMPLE (go figure), delicious-looking recipes. And every recipe has a beautiful photo, a cookbook characteristic that is important to me.

    I know you’re chomping at the bit to get your hands on this cookbook. Now’s your chance! You can buy it here…and of course we have a giveaway right here on This Week for Dinner!

    Real Simple is giving away TWO copies of Real Simple Best Recipes. Just add a comment to this post by Midnight PT on Monday, November 9 and you could be one of two lucky winners to each receive your very own copy! The randomly-selected winners will be announced on Tuesday, November 10.

    Good luck!

  10. Tuesday, November 3, 2009

    Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread

    On Halloween I thought it would be fun to have something “pumpkiny” for breakfast. While we are loving the pumpkin-pancakes, we’ve eaten them a lot lately so I needed to mix it up. Our local bagel shop was out of pumpkin bagels. Before we could feel too disappointed, a light bulb went off in my head. Pumpkin cream cheese! It was a simple recipe to whip up, and a big hit with everyone in the family. Enjoy!

    pumpkin cream cheese web

    Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread
    From Jane Maynard, This Week for Dinner
    • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
    • ¼ cup brown sugar
    • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
    • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
    1. Blend all ingredients together with a hand mixer. Spread on a plain bagel or equally complimentary flavored bagel.