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  1. Sunday, February 28, 2010

    Week 162 Menu

    I can’t find my camera cord…so no picture today. Bummer. I even have some great shots of my messy, tiny kitchen and itsy-bitsy oven so you could all feel bad for me. It’s a happy day, though…my cookie sheets just barely fit in the oven. Yippee!

    We have had such an amazing show of support from friends this past week – not living near any family, we really needed it. If you were one of the people who fed us, packed and/or moved our stuff, or took care of our daughters…THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts!

    – Eat at friends’ home

    – Paninis


    – Spaghetti

    – Leftovers (um, yeah, I realize we may not have leftovers from the previous meals”¦whatever)

    – Eat out

    – I think a soup of some sort…that’s about all my brain can handle right now.

    – Something GOOD. A real home cooked meal. Any suggestions?

    Time to post your menu for the week! I think by next week I’ll be back in cooking business, so I’ll certainly use your menus for inspiration!

  2. Thursday, February 25, 2010

    Guest Blogger Katie Goodman: Coconut Chicken Curry Soup

    katie's pictureToday we have a very special treat! Allow me to introduce you to Katie Goodman, a food blogger who’s blog goodLife {eats} is full of great recipes and writing, and beautiful photography. She’s done oodles of food writing (including for Paula Deen!) and I’m so excited to have her writing for This Week for Dinner today! She also regularly comments and posts weekly menus here on my blog, which automatically earns you 100 points in my book {wink wink}. I’m so happy to have Katie as a friend and I hope you enjoy her post.


    Hi everyone! I am Katie from goodLife {eats}. I have been a fan of This Week for Dinner since I read Jane’s guest posts on Design Mom way back. I was so excited to find a blog devoted to helping with meal plans and have been hooked since then. Last year I was able to meet Jane at BlogHer Food, and was so thrilled to make such a sweet, new friend. Thank you, Jane, for having me here to guest post!


    This recipe for Coconut Chicken Curry Soup is one of our favorite soup recipes. It is so simple, yet it is so full of flavor. I always try to keep my pantry stocked with coconut milk. I like to use “lite” coconut milk, because it has less fat and calories, but you can’t really tell any difference in the taste. When bell peppers are on sale, you can buy extra and flash freeze them for later.


    All in all, I think it is a great recipe to have up your sleeve for a busy night, because it doesn’t really take much time to prepare. If you are really pressed for time, which I’m sure we all are sometimes, you can add the chicken (uncooked), broth, coconut milk, jalapeno and curry powder to the crock pot for a few hours on low. When the chicken is cooked through, just take it out to shred it and put it back in. Then add the lime juice, sautéed onion, bell pepper, green onion, and cilantro and let it cook for a few minutes (until the peppers are tender crisp). You definitely won’t be sorry you spent some of your valuable time on this recipe!

    Coconut Chicken Curry Soup
    Quick and easy but flavorful soup, perfect for a weeknight.
    Serves: 4
    • olive oil
    • ½ of a medium yellow onion, sliced thin
    • 2½ cups chicken broth
    • 14 ounces unsweetened coconut milk
    • 1½ teaspoon curry powder
    • 1 jalapeño, seeded, minced
    • 3 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized chunks
    • 2 tablespoons lime juice
    • 1 small red bell pepper, sliced thin
    • ½ cup chopped green onion
    • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
    • ½ cup shredded coconut
    • 2 cups freshly cooked jasmine rice
    1. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the oil, season lightly with salt and pepper. Sauté until cooked through and golden. Remove chicken and set aside. Sauté the onion, adding more oil if necessary, until tender.
    2. Return the chicken to the pot with the onions. Add chicken broth, coconut milk, curry powder and jalapeno. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add bell pepper, green onion, and cilantro and simmer an additional 3 minutes. Stir in lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    3. Spoon rice into 4 bowls and top with a ladle or two of soup. Garnish with additional cilantro and a sprinkling of shredded coconut. Serve.


  3. Wednesday, February 24, 2010

    Corn Chowder

    It’s rainy and cold here in the Bay Area. I have a sneaking suspicion it’s a lot colder elsewhere, too. So how about some smoky, warm, cozy corn chowder?

    corn chowder 2 web

    This recipe is from my friend Adrianne’s mom. (Adrianne just had a baby! Welcome to the world, Baby Claire!) Adrianne is an excellent cook – every recipe or cooking advice she’s given me has always been spot on. This recipe is no exception. It’s a fairly straightforward crock pot recipe. The bacon gives it a nice salty and smoky flavor. And, despite the fact it contains half & half AND cheese, the soup is not too thick, but instead has a great consistency.

    I have a few other corn chowder recipes posted at this link from a Call for Recipes I did ages ago, in case you feel like shopping around for more corny recipes.

    Corn Chowder
    From Adrianne Campbell’s Mom
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Soup
    • 2 small onions, chopped
    • 4 slices of bacon
    • 2 celery stalks,chopped
    • 2 potatoes, chopped (Jane note: I leave the skins on, but you can peel them if you like)
    • 4 cups corn (frozen or canned)
    • 4 cups chicken broth
    • *****************************
    • 1 Bay leaf
    • 1 teaspoon. salt
    • ½ teaspoon pepper
    • 2 tablespoon butter
    • 2 tablespoon flour
    • 1½ cups cream or half n’ half
    • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
    1. Cook onions, bacon & celery, put in slow cooker. Add potatoes, corn, broth, bay leaf, salt & pepper. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Take bay leaf out and throw away. On the stove top, melt butter, add the flour so it makes a paste. Cook until light brown. Slowly add the cream to the paste, heat until it thickens. DO NOT BOIL! Move it from the heat, add the cheese and mix until melted. Add this mixture to the slow cooker mixture. Stir well and serve.


  4. Tuesday, February 23, 2010

    Apron Giveaway from Puking Pastilles

    This giveaway is now closed. Thank you!

    I have a fun giveaway for you today…this totally hip and adorable apron from Puking Pastilles, custom made to fit YOU! Seriously, how cool is this apron? I especially love how good it looks on my blog…too bad my blog doesn’t need an apron.

    puking pastilles giveaway1 web

    The winner’s apron will be made by Georgia, the talent behind the Puking Pastilles Etsy shop. I love supporting talented moms who start wonderful businesses…Georgia’s company is no exception. If you like to sew, check out their patterns (which are currently on sale…but not for long!). If you don’t sew, then hop on over and check out their “Learn to Sew” series on YouTube!

    Lucky for you non-sewers out there, the giveaway involves no sewing whatsoever. The apron will arrive ready to throw on so you can cook in style!

    puking pastilles giveaway2 web

    To enter the giveaway, visit the Puking Pastilles Etsy shop, pick out your favorite sewing pattern and leave a comment on this post telling us which one it is! My favorite is definitely the reusable grocery bag – super cute and roomy. Please leave your comment before Midnight PT, Monday, March 1, 2010. (Prize can be shipped only to a U.S. address. Thank you!) The randomly-selected winner will be announced on Tuesday, March 2.

    Good luck to everyone! And big thanks to Puking Pastilles for a perfectly lovely prize!

  5. Sunday, February 21, 2010

    Week 161 Menu

    This is my life for the next week.

    boxes web

    Which is why my menu is pretty much absent of any real cooking. We move on Saturday (staying in the same town, for the curious minds out there). I have a LOT of packing to get done before then…plus our regular day-to-day life to attend to. But it will be FUN FUN FUN! (How’s that for a positive affirmation?)


    – Sandwiches

    – Spaghetti

    – Leftovers (um, yeah, I realize we may not have leftovers from the previous meals…whatever)

    – Eat out

    – Eat out

    – I have no idea. I’m hoping our new place has a Jetsons-type kitchen that does the cooking.

    PLEASE share your menus! You need to inspire one another! My boring, busy life is encroaching on my weekly menus…hopefully in a week or two we’ll be back to normal! As always, thank you for sharing your menus every week. I love seeing them!

  6. Friday, February 19, 2010

    Call for Recipes: Nuts for Macadamias!

    I know. It’s Friday. The last think you want is homework. But I’m giving it to you anyway…but it’s fun homework, I promise!

    macadamia nuts2 web

    I have a few cups of macadamia nuts in the cupboard begging to be used. So, bring it on! Give us your best and most favorite recipes using macadamia nuts, savory or sweet! The only thing I have to offer is the recipe from last week for Chunky Blonde Blondies. Which, by the way, are very good, but I’m wanting more macadamia options!

    Not only are macadamia nuts tasty, but very good for you…read more about them here. So that means we can go macadamia nut crazy! Enveloping them in chocolate and butter doesn’t affect their health factor, right? 😉

    Can’t wait to see what recipes you have…these Call for Recipes posts always generate such great stuff. Thanks, everyone!

  7. Thursday, February 18, 2010

    Oat Bran Muffins

    I recently picked up a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Oat Bran Hot Cereal. Our girls love hot cereal so I thought we’d give it a try. On the back was a recipe for oat bran muffins.  I love bran muffins, so I had to make the recipe. (I’ve yet to cook hot cereal with our bag of oat bran!)

    oat bran muffins web

    I made quite a few adaptations to the recipe – it was far too healthy. 😉 Our muffins came out light and fluffy, with just the right amount of sweetness.  I used a mini muffin tin and was popping muffins like candy. (Side note: Cate, my 5-year-old, gave me the muffin tin for Christmas and I LOVE it. What a smart little girl. Mini muffins are my new fave.)

    oat bran muffins in tin web

    Oat Bran Muffins
    • ¾ cup whole wheat or regular pastry flour
    • ¾ cup Bob's Red Mill oat bran cereal
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ⅓ cup banana (1 medium), mashed
    • ½ cup yogurt
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tablespoon butter, melted
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla
    1. Mix dry ingredients. Mix liquid ingredients in separate bowl. Combine the two mixtures and stir until moistened. Lightly grease or line muffin tin with paper cups. Fill ⅔ full. Bake at 400º for 18-20 minutes. Makes 10-12 muffins. (If you use mini muffin tins like I did, bake at 350º degrees for 18-20 minutes. Makes 24 mini muffins.)


  8. Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Post on Make & Takes: Stenciling Brownies

    Don’t miss my post on Make & Takes today! Cate and I had a lot of fun stenciling our brownies with powdered sugar!

    final stenciled brownies above web

  9. Scharffen Berger Giveaway Winner!

    Time to announce the winner of the Scharffen Berger giveaway!

    truffles winner post web

    Lisa, who said, “These look delicious! Who doesn’t like chocolate”¦ especially on Valentines Day!!”

    Congratulations, Lisa! Lucky Lisa will receive a copy of the cookbook Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate, in addition to a Scharffen Berger 9.7-oz 99% Cacao Unsweetened Baking Bar and a 70% Cacao Bittersweet Baking Bar. Have fun, Lisa! If you didn’t win, you can buy the book here! Scharffen Berger chocolate can be purchased at specialty stores like Whole Foods or on the Scharffen Berger website.

    I have another giveaway around the corner, so stay tuned!

    Also, the recipe for these beautiful truffles can be found on the original giveaway post!

    Big thanks to Scharffen Berger for a perfectly Valentinesy giveaway!

  10. Tuesday, February 16, 2010

    Creamy Potato Leek Soup (without the cream!)

    I haven’t mentioned my Eat Less Meat Challenge lately, so thought it was time for a quick update…along with a recipe! The challenge is going very well! We’ve definitely been eating less meat overall and we are not feeling deprived one bit. I think knowing we can still eat meat occasionally really makes the whole challenge realistic for us, and we still feel like we’re making a difference. I’m so happy that I set this resolution and, for those of you who have joined along in the challenge, I hope you’re having an equally positive experience!

    creamy potato leek soup web

    Last week I made Creamy Potato Leek soup, adapted from an Emeril Lagasse recipe. Our whole family enjoyed the soup, especially our 2 year old! The soup has a nice creamy texture without having to use cream. It’s a nice mild soup yet still full of flavor. I love leeks and pretty much love any soup that has them in the recipe. Without further ado…

    Creamy Potato Leek Soup (without the cream!)
    Adapted from an Emeril Lagasse recipe
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Soup
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 2 leeks, cleaned and chopped, white and green parts
    • 2 minced garlic cloves (I used my garlic press)
    • 6 cups vegetable broth
    • Appx 1½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
    1. Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a large pot. Add leeks, cook while stirring until tender, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add vegetable broth and potatoes. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until potatoes are tender, ~30 minutes.
    2. Blend soup in batches in a blender until smooth. Return to pot and add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley. Makes 4-6 servings.