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  1. Sunday, June 30, 2013

    Week 336 Menu

    Hello everyone! I am buried in boxes and just now realized it’s Sunday and I need to get a menu planned! I can guarantee that I will not be doing any cooking tonight, but our girls did open a restaurant for us. Cate made some snacks and Anna threw together a salad. We are lucky parents (Sadly, this is actually all I’ve eaten today. In case you’re wondering, it’s LIFE cereal, Cheerios and freeze-dried blueberries arranged very lovingly and carefully.)

    anna cate restaurant web

    Okay, I have no idea how this week is going to go, but I’ll put some semblance of a plan together anyway.

    – Takeout (even though we’re totally sick of it!)

    – Belgian waffles (I found our Belgian waffle maker in the move, so I can finally try a recipe I’ve been hanging on to)

    Turkey Boursin Baguettes

    – Happy Fourth of July! We will do a BBQ on our new back patio!

    – Leftover BBQ food

    – Takeout

    – I think I’ll do a nice traditional Sunday night dinner, roast chicken or pot roast or something.

    I know, super unclear menu plan, but it’s about all my brain can handle right now! At least it’s done, right? Just like last week, PLEASE post your menus to inspire one another! I obviously need help!

  2. Sunday, June 23, 2013

    Week 335 Menu

    Hey everybody! Okay, so my menu this week is gonna kinda be lame. The house is a disaster, with boxes and piles everywhere you turn. And we are doing the actually moving on Saturday, so we’ll definitely be eating out for a few days!

    removing kitchen cabinets |

    cabinets before

    We spent a little time at the new house this weekend and took out some overhead cabinets in the kitchen that divided the dining and kitchen areas. I can’t believe the difference taking those cabinets out made! The room feels bigger, the countertop feels bigger, there’s more light…it’s just BETTER. We lost some shelving but it was worth it. Along the wall to the right of the window above the sink, we’ll either put a cabinet on the wall, hang pots and pans from the ceiling or do a spice rack of some kind. Suggestions welcome!

    Here’s my semi lame-o menu.

    Grammy’s Orange Chicken


    Turkey Boursin Baguettes

    – Eat out, sandwiches, cereal, whatever!

    I am not providing a lot of inspiration this week, so please post your menus to inspire one another! Can’t wait to see your plans!

  3. Friday, June 21, 2013

    A New Home

    Well, it is finally official and I can tell you what has been occupying half my time for the last month. We bought a house! After years of hard work and saving, we finally bit the bullet and took the plunge. (Can I come up with any more cliched phrases to use in a row? Probably…)

    So, here it is! Isn’t she cute?

    new house web

    We even have a peek of the ocean from the front yard. CRAZY.

    And here’s my new kitchen!

    new kitchen 2 web

    This weekend I will spend time scrubbing down the kitchen and bathrooms, and Nate will be removing the cabinets you see there above the peninsula. There is a bonus room built off the kitchen, which makes it a little dark. Removing that cabinet is going to really open things up and add a bit of light. I’m also looking into some lighting options (perhaps something like Solatube) to add some natural light to the space without needing to make any significant changes (or spend a lot of money!).

    new kitchen 1 web

    I also can’t wait to get my brand new Bosch dishwasher installed in this kitchen. This dishwasher is quiet, beautiful and smarter than me and it can’t wait to get settled into its new home. Neither can I!

    So, now begins the task of moving…again…within 6 months. But we can do it, and I promise not to disappear. Menu planning and eating will still be happening!

  4. Thursday, June 20, 2013

    Cutting Triangle Half Sandwiches

    Hey everyone! It’s looking like I’ll be able to share our fun news with you tomorrow! Which is one of the reasons I’ve been missing from the blog this week. Things to do! Things to do!

    Cutting Half Triangle Sandwiches |

    Until then, I want to share a little trick I just discovered. Oprah would call it an “A-HA!” moment, but I think it can more accurately be described as an “OH, DUH!” moment.

    Okay, so I have kids who won’t eat the crust on their sandwiches. It drives me batty. They all started out as people who ate their crusts, but all three of them, at some point along the way, just stopped eating crusts. I think it’s such a waste and I hate it, but there’s not much I can do about it! Since there’s no fighting the no-crust-eating around here, I always cut their sandwiches into four triangle, which results in straight crusts. If the crusts are straight, they end up eating a lot more of the actual sandwich.

    My one problem has always been when they just want half of a sandwich. I always cut squares for half-sandwiches. When you try to cut rectangular-sized bread into a triangle for a half, the edges don’t line up.

    Cutting Half Triangle Sandwiches | thisweekfordinner.comSee, the long side of one triangle doesn’t line up with the short side of the other triangle and everything is skeewompus.

    As a result of all this, I hate giving my kids half sandwiches because I feel like they are hardly getting any sandwich at all with those dumb cornered crusts.

    And then, the other day, as I was making a half sandwich, it finally hit me. We CAN have half sandwiches AND straight crusts, too! (PS…I’m pretty sure this is what Marie Antoinette actually said.)

    uncut bread | Cutting Half Triangle Sandwiches |

    Cut the bread in half diagonally, into two large triangles.

    first cut | Cutting Half Triangle Sandwiches |

    Then, flip one of the pieces over, like so. (This is the secret to success here!)

    the flip | cutting half triangle sandwiches |

    Look at that! The long edges line up with the long edges, the short edges line up with the short edges. All is right with the world!

    bread lined up | Cutting Half Triangle Sandwiches |

    The result? A half sandwich cut into two triangles with straight crusts!

    final product | Cutting Half Triangle Sandwiches |

    When I was photographing the bread for this post yesterday, Cate asked, “Do you think other people don’t know this?” She makes a good point. You may all have already figured this out, but if there is just one of you in the “OH, DUH!” boat like me, then it’s worth writing the post!

    Happy non crust half sandwich eating, spoiled children of the world!

  5. Sunday, June 16, 2013

    Week 334 Menu

    Happy Father’s Day to all the dads and great guys in everyone’s lives out there! We started Nate’s day out today with some amazing pastries from Champagne Bakery and a nice fruit salad. We’ll be finishing the day off with perfectly-cooked steak, roasted fingerling potatoes and chocolate mousse. I think the whole family is benefitting from Father’s Day, not just Nate!

    father's day pastries web

    I have some news that I can’t quite share yet because I don’t want to jinx anything, but the “something” might be happening later this week, which may throw off our meal schedule. So, we’ll just see how the week goes! (And, no, it has nothing to do with having babies. Let’s just get those rumors out of the way now.)

    Aaron and Lindsay’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Extravaganza!

    Grammy’s Orange Chicken
    – Rice and veggie

    – Fancy Dancy Nachos

    – Leftovers

    Chicken Teriyaki
    – Rice and veggies

    – Take out

    – Breakfast for dinner (tbd)

    Menu sharing time! Show us what you got! And for the very few men who post their menus on here each week, hope you have a great day today and maybe even a break from cooking! 🙂

  6. Friday, June 14, 2013

    Summer Fun: Coloring Hair…with Chalk!

    Two weeks ago, ONE invited us to join them at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation’s annual event “A Time for Heroes” in Los Angeles. Our family had a wonderful time enjoying the carnival, seeing the sights and celebs (Richard Simmons called Nate his son and Owen his grandson, and Owen is best buds with Gwen Stefani’s dog…in fact, the dog kissed Owen AND Nate, which basically means they both kissed Gwen, right?), and spending time with some amazing people, like Marcus Samuelsson’s wife Maya.

    easy colored hair for summer | thisweekfordinner.comMy little punk-rocker princess.

    Anna was especially delighted that there was face painting and a table where they COLORED YOUR HAIR. Anna is kind of obsessed with anything that involves decorating her body (face paint, hair styling, jewelry, flashy clothes, tattoos…we’re kind of scared).

    So, anyway, I wanted to share the hair coloring trick with you because it was so simple and genius! I know, none of this has anything to do with food, but I’m pretty sure some of you reading this blog have kids and a long summer stretching before you. This is definitely a fun activity and I love how UN-permanent the color is. Plus, the color ends up looking really pretty and subtle. Win-win for parents and kids…crazy colored hair that’s actually not that crazy and washes out easily!

    Completely Un-Permanent Colored Hair
    – Chalk (color of your choosing!)
    – Water
    – Hair spray

    Wet a small portion of hair, from the root to the ends. You can spray the hair with spray bottle or use a very wet towel or papertowel. The lady at the party used a papertowel. I used a spray bottle, which was decidedly less pleasant for the hair coloree, but she was my kid, so I wasn’t too worried about it.

    Slide the chalk up and down the piece of hair, applying moderate pressure, until hair is sufficiently colored. The smaller the piece of hair, the easier it is to apply the color. Work in small sections!

    Spray lightly with hair spray to set the color, then smooth out gently with a comb and/or fingers.

    easy colored hair for summer |

    easy colored hair for summer |

    easy colored hair for summer |

    easy colored hair for summer |

    anna's delight | easy hair color with chalk | thisweekfordinner.comThis was the Instagram shot I took of her right when we finished. It was too cute, had to add it in!

  7. Thursday, June 13, 2013

    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 |

    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 |

    Your turn! Share your favorite sandwiches! Ready, set, GO!

    The Rachel Sandwich
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
    • Your favorite bread, sliced
    • Sliced turkey
    • Classic coleslaw
    • Swiss cheese
    • Thousand island dressing
    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.


  8. Tuesday, June 11, 2013

    Colorful Toast, by Anna Maynard

    Today’s recipe comes from my 5-year-old Anna! She loves cooking and is very proud that her recipe is going on the blog this morning. So cute!

    colorful toast

    Yesterday in the car Anna kept telling me she wanted to make colorful toast. I honestly thought she was just making it up, but this morning I had her explain the process to me and discovered it was something she had done at preschool. Even though I was a little doubtful about how it would come out, I decided to just go with it and let her teach me something new.

    anna and her colorful toast

    The toast came out VERY colorful and it was actually pretty good! The top doesn’t get very crispy, but it still tasted good and kids are NOT going to notice or care as they bite into their favorite-colored toast! I wouldn’t recommend serving this colorful toast at your next brunch party for fancy adults, but it is definitely something fun to do with the kids on a summer morning!

    Colorful Toast, by Anna Maynard
    Recipe type: Breakfast
    • White bread (it’s more colorful that way!)
    • Food coloring
    • Milk
    • Brush of any kind (pastry brush makes for broad coverage, smaller brushes allow for some design work)
    1. Mix a bit of food coloring with a bit of milk. Next you brush the milk on the bread “very delicately” (those are Anna’s instructions and she’s right on the money – don’t get too heavy handed with the milk or the bread will get too soggy).
    2. Toast, butter and eat!
    3. The top doesn’t get crispy, but the bottom does and there is actually a sweetness that is left behind as the milk evaporates. Very fun!

    colorful toast mlik |

    colorful toast supplies |
    painting the toast | colorful toast |

    colorful toast final product |

    The final product!

    colorful toast leftover milk |

    Add milk, a bit of powdered sugar and a swig of vanilla to the leftover colored milk for a nice drink to go with the toast!


  9. Sunday, June 9, 2013

    Week 333 Menu + Earth Box Update

    Quick update on our new Earth Boxes. It’s been just two and a half weeks since I posted the photo with Anna below and look at how the tomato plants have grown! We just might have a tomato harvest his year and I am so happy! The other Earth Box I bought has carrots and lettuce planted and they are growing beautifully, too.

    earth box update 6-9 web

    It’s our last week of school and I am so excited for summer! Granted, we have a crazy busy summer ahead of us, but at least we can let the kids sleep in in the morning and I don’t have to pack lunches!

    – Chicken Stir Fry
    – Dumplings (from Costco)

    Easy Peasy Bean Tacos
    – Guacamole and chips

    Moosewood Pasta Primavera

    – Pizza night to celebrate the last day of school!

    – Leftovers

    – Take out

    – Quiche (flavor TBD)
    – Fresh fruit

    You know the drill! Please share your weekly menu so we can inspire one another!

  10. Friday, June 7, 2013

    Special Times with Dad + Cardstore Giveaway!

    This giveaway is now closed. The winner was Paige, who said, “I LOVE CARDSTORE.  I’d better look for cards, now, too.  Pinned!” Congratulations, Paige! We have a feeling you’ll put your $100 to good use!

    Before I tell you about my dad, please note today is the last day to enter this giveaway – so get hopping!

    Father’s Day is right around the corner, so let’s talk about our dads for a moment. Since this is a food blog, wouldn’t it be perfect if I told you how the most special times spent with my dad were cooking? Yeah, that would be really cute and on theme! Alas, it’s not the case! My dad could cook spaghetti, toast with cheese and jam, and anchovy potato casserole. And I was only willing to eat one of those items. But, no matter, because I do have a special activity that I did with my dad year after year after year growing up: reading.

    where the wild things are

    Both of my parents are avid readers and they passed that along to me. In addition to always seeing my parents reading, my dad would read books to me all the time. My favorite book to read with him was Where the Wild Things Are. There is not a soul alive who can do better wild rumpus sound effects than my dad. There really is something magical about reading with your kids. You get in lots of good cuddle time. You help shape your child’s brain development in a really impactful way. And you connect over stories that stay with you for life. I am so grateful that my dad was good about reading with me and I am trying to follow in his footsteps with my own children.

    Cardstore is sponsoring my post today and I wanted to share with you a Pinterest contest called Pin it for Papa that they have running right now, celebrating those special moments shared with Dad.  And the contest involves a giveaway! Here’s how to enter!

    • The giveaway on my blog is a $100 gift card from Cardstore! This prize is AWESOME. I love their cards, high-quality and fully customizable. Cardstore can also print, stamp and mail your cards for you. This is pretty much the only way I’ll ever send a card to someone. (Sidenote: my mom’s Mother’s Day card is still sitting on my desk. I should have had Cardstore mail it to her directly!)
    • To enter to win the $100 gift card, you need to participate in the Pin it for Papa Pinterest contest (instructions below) and then leave a comment on this post telling us you did so! (Also, if you want to share a special memory of your dad in the comment, we would love to read them!)

    Pin it for Papa Cardstore Pinterest Contest Instructions | #pinitforpapa |

    How to participate in the Pin it for Papa Pinterest contest:

    Not on Pinterest? What are you waiting for? It’s fun! Good luck everyone!