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  1. Wednesday, December 11, 2013

    Kitchen Counter Makeover – After Pictures!

    My in-laws finally have their new countertops and we wanted to share the “after” pictures with you! (Click here for the before shots!)

    Drumroll, please…introducing Pat and Herm’s brand new Wilsonart HD countertops and sink!

    Wilsonart HD Countertop Makeover After Pictures from @janemaynard

    Wilsonart HD Countertop Makeover After Pictures from @janemaynard

    Wilsonart HD Countertop Makeover After Pictures from @janemaynard

    Wilsonart HD Countertop Makeover After Pictures from @janemaynard

    Wilsonart HD Countertop Makeover After Pictures from @janemaynard

    Wilsonart HD Countertop Makeover After Pictures from @janemaynard

    Wilsonart HD Countertop Makeover After Pictures from @janemaynard

    Wilsonart HD Countertop Makeover After Pictures from @janemaynard

    Pat and Herm chose Bainbrook Grey for the counters and decided to also go with a Wilsonart HD sink. The size and shape of their counters limited them a bit and installation was a little tricky, but they were able to figure it out! Due to the constraints, however, they were unable to get the rounded edges, which was kind of a bummer. BUT…the final product is still beautiful! The sink is integrated into the counter, which not only looks nice but is functional, too. The counters are also very resilient to staining, scratching and chipping. Wilsonart HD’s laminate counters really are a great option for when you don’t have a huge budget but want a high-quality, nice looking countertop. Click here to read more about their products. I can’t wait to get out to New Hampshire to see these counters myself!

    P.S. Didn’t Pat and Herm choose the cutest backsplash? Love it! (That was separate from Wilsonart and I think they did a great job!)

    The last picture is my favorite one – Pat’s kitchen on Thanksgiving. It makes me so happy that she has a nice counter and sink to use!

    Wilsonart HD Countertop Makeover After Pictures from @janemaynard

     Wilsonart HD paid for most of the supplies and installation. All opinions are our own.

  2. Tuesday, December 10, 2013

    Park and Main, Homemade Yogurt and a Giveaway!

    This giveaway is now closed, but keep reading to learn about a cool website, my new yogurt maker, and the winner of the giveaway!

    holiday gifts & giveaways on

    Gifts & Giveaways marches on! Today I’m sharing a whole website with you with all kinds of wonderful gift possibilities.

    homemade greek yogurt from @janemaynard

    In all honesty I had never heard of Park and Main until about a month or so ago, but I am happy to have been introduced! Park and Main carries all kinds of wonderful products for the home and, I must admit, I’ve spent quite a bit of time (too much time?) window shopping on their site! Everything just looks so pretty and inviting!

    homemade greek yogurt from @janemaynard

    Park and Main sent me a really fun product that they carry, the Dash Greek Yogurt Maker. (Ours is pink because, well, my little sous chef Anna wouldn’t have it any other way. They do carry a blue version as well.) We go through a lot of yogurt in our house. A LOT. I was really excited to try making my own yogurt and, surprisingly, my girls were just as excited! I know you can make yogurt without a specific machine, but without the machine, I never actually gave it a try. Plus I trust this process, there’s a built-in timer and straining basket, and they have a chart with the cooking times for all the different types of yogurts you can make. I also love that you can completely control the type of yogurt you make (low-fat, no-fat, soy-based, coconut milk-based, etc), you can make the yogurt more tart by cooking it longer, you know exactly what ingredients are going into your yogurt (so you control the sugar, can omit allergy ingredients, etc.), and you can control how thick you want your yogurt to be (you can make straight-up yogurt that is thinner or you can strain it to make Greek yogurt and, depending on how long you strain, you control the thickness). Basically you have SO MUCH CONTROL over your yogurt. It’s awesome!

    homemade greek yogurt from @janemaynard

    The best part? The yogurt tastes wonderful! We ate our first batch this week and it is seriously soooo good. We just mix in a little jam and the yogurt is divine!

    UPDATE 3/16/16: I love this little appliance and it works great, and I even made our own yogurt for quite a while. But I recently learned that a lot of pressure cookers/Instant Pots out there have a yogurt setting. If I were to do it over again, I would get the Instant Pot. Multitaskers are always a good idea.

    dash greek yogurt maker review and giveaway from @janemaynard

    Park and Main is giving away a Dash yogurt maker to one of you lucky people!

    Here is how to enter the giveaway (comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Monday, 12/16/13. Prize must be shipped to a U.S. address):

    Be sure to check out the Park and Main website, especially as you are shopping for the holidays. They have pages for gifts under $25gifts under $50gifts under $100, and gifts over $100. They also sell the Breville Smart Oven, which is hands down my favorite kitchen appliance.

    Good luck and happy shopping!

    The randomly-selected winner was comment #218 Becca, who said, “I’ve made homemade yogurt before, but honestly, it’s quite a bit of work. I’d love a handy little machine like this one!” You’ll love the simplicity of this machine, Becca! Congrats!

    Park and Main provided me with a yogurt maker for this post. All opinions are 100% my own, of course!

  3. Monday, December 9, 2013

    Why I Am Head-Over-Heels In Love with My Carpet Cleaning Machines {Giveaway!}

    This giveaway is now closed, but keep reading to learn about some really great carpet cleaning tools and to find out the winner!

    holiday gifts & giveaways on

    Happy Monday! Time for more Gifts & Giveaways!

    Let’s talk carpet Remember my non-camo carpets? This is the them if you would like a refresher:

    white carpet |

    This lovely almost white carpet is in our ENTIRE HOUSE. The bathrooms are tile as well as the kitchen part of the kitchen (you know, where you cook), but the rest of the house is blanketed in snow, including the dining area where our everyday kitchen table resides.

    If I had no kids and lived alone, I think I might actually love this carpet. But, alas, this is not the case. I was pretty terrified of this carpet when we bought the house and told Nate that the very first thing we had to do before moving in was put hardwood floors in the dining area. But, then, uh, yeah. We spent all of our money on the house, so here we are. White carpet in the dining room! Woo-hoo!

    BISSELL DeepClean Premiere Carpet Cleaner Review & Giveaway |

    When we moved into our house, I had a BISSELL SpotBot that I received at one of my SocialLuxe Lounge parties. When I first received the SpotBot, we lived in a house with tile, so I never used it. But I can’t tell you how glad I am that I hung onto it anyway. When we moved into this house, I was really happy I had that little machine, but little did I know just how handy it would become. I use it all the time. For example, one of my kids splattered chocolate all over the floor under the kitchen table. I grabbed the SpotBot and it was NO BIG DEAL. I’m telling you, it’s a dream.

    But as much as I love my SpotBot for quick clean-ups, we have large areas of carpet that need to be cleaned fairly regularly, especially the hallway and dining room. I got in touch with BISSELL to see if they had a machine they would recommend and they kindly sent me the DeepClean Premier upright carpet cleaner.

    I don’t think I can express how delighted I was when my new carpet cleaner arrived. And it has worked GREAT. I personally love owning  my own carpet cleaner rather than needing to call and schedule cleaning with a professional carpet cleaning service. Like I mentioned, some areas of the carpet need cleaning very regularly, but other parts of the carpet do not. I love that I can do the hallway and dining room several times a year as needed. The flexibility is great and I don’t have to constantly pay for carpet cleanings.

    And that is why I am head-over-heels in love with my carpet cleaning machines.

    If you’re looking for a big ticket gift item for a clean freak, someone with white carpet and kids, someone with pets and carpet, or someone who just really likes clean carpet, I can recommend both the DeepClean Premier and the SpotBot, depending on your needs. I love them both!

    UPDATE 3/16/16: I LOVE my upright Bissell carpet cleaner and use it regularly. It does a great job cleaning the floors and I seriously love having it, especially with my light carpets. I’ve been seeing these at Costco lately. In fact, our piano teacher bought one and is equally as in love as I am. I highly recommend it! Side note: I ended up getting rid of the small spot bot because I found it to be a bit redundant. I also did a poor job cleaning out the hose the first time I used it and it got SUPER gross, so make sure you rinse the hoses with clean water after every use! If you don’t want a huge carpet cleaner, though, that Spot Bot is super handy and works great.

    Giveaway time! One of you lucky people will win a BISSELL DeepClean Premier upright carpet cleaner (retail value $199.99)!

    BISSELL DeepClean Premiere Upright Carpet Cleaner Review & Giveaway |

    Here is how to enter the giveaway (comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Sunday, 12/15/13. Prize must be shipped to a U.S. address):

    In addition to my giveaway, starting today BISSELL is doing 12 Days of Messes on their Facebook page, where they are highlighting 12 “classic” holiday messes, solutions for cleaning those messes, and, of course, more giveaways! Just visit their Facebook page to find out more.

    Good luck! Happy Cleaning!

    The winner of this giveaway was comment #254 Vic Herreria, who said, “My dog Diego would love this!” More power to Vic if he can get Diego to learn how to use the machine! 😉 Congrats, Vic!

     BISSELL provided me with product to review for this post. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

  4. Sunday, December 8, 2013

    Week 359 Menu

    This morning I’ve been bakin’ bacon. Not for breakfast, much to Anna’s chagrin, but for dinner. I’m making BLT pizza later today because it is so, so good. It might even edge out honey goat cheese and caramelized onion as our favorite pizza flavor. I’m going to do my best to make the pizza earlier in the day so I can photograph it in daylight and share the recipe with you this week. This pizza needs to be shared.

    baked bacon |

    Apparently I was sick of cooking after Thanksgiving because I didn’t make ONE THING on last week’s menu. So bad! Honestly, December is about survival for us. Work is crazy busy for both Nate and I, both the girls have their birthdays the week before Christmas, plus all the usual December busy-ness. If we even eat at all it will be a miracle! 😉

    Moosewood Pasta Primavera

    – Hot Dogs
    – Salad or fruit or something like that

    – Breakfast for dinner (planning to do some holiday baking for gifts)

    – Caesar Salad (or chicken caesar wraps)

    – Leftovers or winging it or takeout

    – Order Pizza (birthday party day!)

    Cream of Mushroom Soup

    As always, looking forward to seeing all your menus for the week! Please share!

  5. Friday, December 6, 2013

    Oh là là, Le Creuset! {Giveaway}

    This giveaway is now closed, but keep reading to find out about this beautiful pan, my favorite item from Le Creuset and the winner!

    holiday gifts & giveaways on

    Bonjour! I have more French stuff for you!

    I’ve written about Le Creuset several times so you already know I love them, and, really, who doesn’t? Every Le Creuset piece I have is wonderful and perfect and works like a charm. If you’re looking for gift ideas for people who love to cook, anything from Le Creuset will be a winner, but I will offer one specific idea: the butter crock. That crock rocks. I give it away as a gift all the time.

    le creuset heritage fry pan with wooden handle |

    How about we move on to the giveaway portion of today’s program? You thought I’d never ask…

    Today we are giving away the Le Creuset Heritage Cast Iron Fry Pan with Wood Handle, which is a beautiful new product that you can buy at a special price over at Williams-Sonoma, you know, in case you don’t win it here! I love this pan and the wooden handle just makes me happy. The cooking surface also works beautifully.

    le creuset heritage fry pan with wooden handle |

    Here is how to enter the giveaway! (Comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Thursday, 12/12/13. Prize must be shipped to a U.S. address.)

    Bonne chance!

    The randomly-selected winner was comment #61 from Jen M (her bonus entry for liking TWFD on Facebook). Jen’s original comment said, “That pan looks awesome!  I don’t have any personal experience with Le Creuset, but I want to!” Now you will have some personal experience, Jen. Enjoy!

    I was given a Le Creuset Heritage Cast Iron Fry Pan to review for this giveaway. All opinions are 100% my own.

  6. Wild and Crazy Kitchen Gadgets!

    This giveaway is now closed, but keep reading to learn more about Dreamfarm’s great products and to find out the winner!

    holiday gifts & giveaways on

    Happy Friday! To celebrate the weekend I have TWO awesome Gifts & Giveaways posts for you today. Let’s start with a couple of wild and crazy…kitchen gadgets!

    dreamfarm clever kitchen gadgets |

    I was recently introduced to the company Dreamfarm. Dreamfarm is all about solving problems and creating products that do just that! They have lots of fun items and I have been trying out a few of their kitchen products for the last month or so.

    I’ve been using the Chopula (it’s great!),  the Clongs (work great, sits off your bench), the Garjet (you seriously have to go watch the video, this garlic press is cool!), the Supoon (love it, it’s great! also sits off your bench), and the Scizza. Let’s talk about the Scizza for a moment, shall we?

    dreamfarm scizza pizza scissors |

    dreamfarm scizza pizza scissors |

    Years ago I wrote a post about how scissors are the best pizza cutter because, well, they are! So as soon as I saw the Scizza I knew I had to give it a try. Scissors made just for cutting pizza? It’s like a dream come true! You should definitely click through to watch the Scizza video and see how cool it is! It is hands down my favorite thing from Dreamfarm.

    If you’re looking for a cool holiday gift for any cooks in your life (or even for yourself!), Dreamfarm is a great option. Very fun and original products that are definitely gift-worthy.

    Time for the giveaway! One of you lucky people will win a set of Dreamfarm products, including the chopula, clongs, garjet, supoon and the beloved scizza (total retail value of $111.75).

    dreamfarm kitchen gadgets giveaway |

    Here is how to enter the giveaway! (Comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Thursday 12/12/13. Prize must be shipped to a U.S. address.)

    • Simply leave a comment, any comment, on this post! That’s it! Although, if you want to tell us which Dreamfarm product is most appealing to you, we’d love to hear about it!
    • Bonus entry: Like This Week for Dinner on Facebook and leave a separate comment telling me you did! (If you already follow, that counts!)
    • Bonus entry: Follow me on Pinterest and leave a separate comment telling me you did! (If you already follow, that counts!)
    • Bonus entry: Follow me on Twitter and leave a separate comment telling me you did! (If you already follow, that counts!)
    • Bonus entry: Like Dreamfarm on Facebook and leave a separate comment telling me you did!
    • Bonus entry: Follow Dreamfarm on Twitter and leave a separate comment telling me you did!

    Good luck!

    I am happy to announce that comment #47 Jen M was the winner! She said, “What cool and inventive products they have!” and she is right! Congrats, Jen!

    I was given a sampling of Dreamfarm products to review for this giveaway. All opinions are 100% my own.

  7. Friday Show and Tell!

    HOW IS IT FRIDAY ALREADY? I still haven’t cleaned the house post-Thanksgiving. Someone stop the clock. Please!

    friday show and tell |

    Here are a few of my “Babbles” from the week:

    As always, please feel free to share anything like! Just a tidbit from your life, a link to something funny/inspiring/delicious, anything at all.

  8. Thursday, December 5, 2013

    What to Look for in a Refrigerator

    When we bought our house there was no refrigerator. We bought our neighbor’s garage fridge to tide us over until we found something we really wanted and loved. Thankfully I work with KitchenAid and they graciously offered to supply our home with a brand new fridge. (Another 10 points for the blog!) I wanted to share the fridge we chose with you, explain why we chose what we chose and share the best features, in case anyone is in the market for a fridge or will be in the future.

    KitchenAid Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator |

    Things to Think About as You Start Shopping for a Refrigerator:

    Space and Size:
    One of the biggest things to consider when purchasing a fridge is your space. My mother-in-law, for example, has a small space boxed in by cabinetry. When their fridge died, they were very limited in what models they could choose from based on dimensions. Nate and I found ourselves in a similar situation. The kitchen in our home was redone about 10 years ago, so it’s in wonderful shape. But the placement of the cabinets is all original, dating back to 1969. As a result, we too were limited by particular dimensions as the fridge space is enclosed by cabinets. (Granted, our space is much bigger than my in-laws…I’m not complaining!)

    Another factor we had to consider was whether or not to get a standard-depth or counter-depth fridge. Based on the height and width of our fridge space, we were pretty limited in our choices, but we could choose between standard and counter depth. My mom has a counter-depth fridge and she hates it. And when I asked the appliance salesperson at Home Depot about them, they didn’t even have any models on display and she said it’s her most returned appliance. Needless to say I was a bit nervous about getting a counter-depth fridge! But with the way our kitchen is set up, a standard-depth fridge (which is deeper) stuck out too far into our kitchen and took up precious space, right where you walk through from the garage to the dining room. We took a deep breath and decided to dive in with the counter-depth.

    Lucky for us we knew that the KitchenAid fridges we had to choose from were all high-quality appliances. As you narrow down your list of contenders, be sure to take quality into account and balance that with the budget. Once you buy a fridge you’re going to have it for a long time!

    KitchenAid Counter-Depth French Door Fridge | thisweekfordinner.comWhat We Love About Our New Fridge:

    We ended up getting the KitchenAid 20 Cu. Ft. Counter-Depth French Door Refrigerator, Architect Series II. It fits PERFECTLY in our space and we are loving it. But simply telling you we love it is not helpful, let’s get into specifics! Now that we’ve had the fridge for a few months, I definitely know what features I love and would tell people to look out for.

    • I love how the counter-depth fridge takes up less space in the kitchen, and it looks really nice having it flush with the cabinets. In terms of capacity, it’s worked great for us so far. Despite my mom feeling like there just isn’t enough room in her counter-depth, I haven’t felt that way. The reason we chose french doors over the side-by-side model was because there was more fridge capacity with the french door model (plus I like having a wider space rather than a narrow area to work with). On the other hand, the side-by-side has significantly more freezer capacity, but since I have a chest freezer (more on that in a minute), I wasn’t as worried about freezer capacity. Also, when I compared the capacity of the french door counter-depth to our old fridge that was standard depth and HUGE, it actually had almost the same exact capacity. Whether you choose french-door or side-by-side will really depend on your own needs. Just be sure to check out the specifications to compare the cubic feet.
    • The cheese drawer is AWESOME (it’s the wide drawer you see underneath the produce drawers in this picture). It holds a ton of stuff and is my favorite part of the fridge. I also love that I can fit 2 gallons of milk on the door and the butter compartment is nice and big. All of these things combine to make for easy organization and lots of storage capacity.

    KitchenAid Counter-Depth French Door Refrigerator | Inside View |

    • I thought I would hate the freezer drawer, but I actually love it. And my favorite part about the drawers in the freezer in this particular model is that they are solid  instead of basket-style, so things don’t fall through to the level below and they are easier to clean.

    KitchenAid Counter-Depth French Door Refrigerator | Freezer Drawer | thisweekfordinner.comFor the record, this is NOT my freezer drawer, lest you think I keep a tidy freezer.

    • Our fridge comes with a water and ice dispenser. It takes up a lot of real estate inside the fridge, but it’s worth it. The ice and the water both taste great (I usually HATE how ice tastes coming from fridge dispensers) and the filter is easily accessible.
    • Thank goodness for the alarm that tells me when the fridge is left open! There is also a vacation mode, which we used when we were gone for a few weeks this summer.
    • KitchenAid uses the ExtendFreshâ„¢ Temperature Management System, which uses sensors in the refrigerator and freezer to help ensure all the ingredients remain at the appropriate temperature. Our food stays super fresh and nothing is frozen or melted when they’re not supposed to be (can you tell I had some really great fridges in the past?).
    • Is the fridge really, truly big enough for our family of five? Yes, I can say that it is. Keep in mind that we DO have a chest freezer in our garage, which we’ve had for years. I freeze a lot of stuff and would need the extra freezer no matter how giant my fridge was. We did keep the old fridge and put it in the garage to see if we would need the extra fridge space. I will admit that it came in handy during Thanksgiving week, mostly for holding our giant turkey until it was time to cook and for keeping lots of soda cold for our guests. But I could have made it work with just my inside fridge if I’d had to, and the rest of the year the outside fridge is pretty much empty.
    • Even though I chose the french door model for strictly utilitarian reasons, I love how it looks! So pretty!

    Hopefully this is all helpful information! I know whenever I go to make a big purchase, I get overwhelmed with information, so I tried to highlight the features and benefits that have been most valuable for us to make it a little easier for you when looking around.

    May all your refrigeration dreams come true! (Sorry for the cheesy line – a visit to Disneyland will do that to you.)

    UPDATE 3/16/16: We still love this fridge. I am really glad we got counter depth and the water/ice dispenser, but I think the reason I can have those things is because I have a second fridge in the garage. If it wasn’t for that second fridge, I would probably feel frustrated by the space in the fridge, so consider that carefully when choosing your own fridge. Also we are getting ice buildup in the bottom of the freezer under the doors, which will sometimes melt onto the floor. It’s not a big deal and it’s really easy to remove the ice if we know it’s there, but just thought I should let you know about that quirk. Other than that, it’s been a great appliance!

    A big thank you to KitchenAid for providing us with our refrigerator. All opinions are 100% my own.

  9. Wednesday, December 4, 2013

    Oh là là, Bonne Maman!

    This giveaway is now closed, but keep reading to learn more about Bonne Maman and to see the winner!

    holiday gifts & giveaways on

    Nate lived in France for a few years and I took French in high school and college. Nate and I had the chance to visit Paris together in 2008 and we both love all things French, especially the food. Whenever I see Bonne Maman products at the store, it takes me right back to our visit to Paris. The little gingham lids make me so happy! (Side note: When I opened the photos up for this post in Photoshop, I had a bunch of pictures we took in Paris already open. We’re trying to decide which one to blow up and hang over our couch. Kind of a fun coincidence when writing this post!)

    gifts & giveaways: bonne maman gift idea and giveaway from @janemaynard

    I’m pretty picky about my jams and generally only eat homemade jam. But there is a short list of jam that we are willing to buy in our house and Bonne Maman is on that list. The jam is delicious and I love the variety of flavors, something our family doesn’t get from my supply of freezer jam. I’ll love Bonne Maman even more when they finally carry confiture de lait in the U.S. (Yes, I’ve passed on my request and am really hoping they’ll listen!)

    Oh, and did I mention how wonderfully re-useable the jars are? When you’re done with the jam, just pop the jar and lid in the dishwasher. The label falls off in one piece during the wash and the jar is high quality.

    gifts & giveaways: bonne maman gift idea and giveaway from @janemaynard

    Of course Bonne Maman is part of my Gifts & Giveaways series! Bonne Maman makes for a great holiday gift. The jars are already so cute, all you have to do is tie a pretty ribbon around it and you’re done! You can also readily find Bonne Maman in many grocery stores and markets across the U.S.

    gifts & giveaways: bonne maman gift idea and giveaway from @janemaynard

    In addition to being a great holiday gift idea, Bonne Maman also makes for a lovely blog giveaway, don’t you think? One of you lucky people will win a collection of four Bonne Maman products!

    Here is how to enter the giveaway! (Comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Tuesday, 12/10. Prize must be shipped to a U.S. address.)

    • Simply leave a comment, any comment, on this post! That’s it! Although if you want to share your favorite flavor of jam, that would be fun!
    • Bonus entry: Follow This Week for Dinner on Facebook and leave a separate comment telling me you did! (If you already follow, that counts!)
    • Bonus entry: Follow me on Pinterest and leave a separate comment telling me you did! (If you already follow, that counts!)
    • Bonus entry: Follow me on Twitter and leave a separate comment telling me you did! (If you already follow, that counts!)

    Bonne chance!

    The randomly-selected winner of this giveaway was Comment #125 Nikki CB, who said, “Raspberry is so delicious.  I don’t believe I’ve ever tasted Bonne Maman – that would be great!” Congratulations, Nikki! Now you’ll get a lot of tastes of Bonne Maman!

    Thank you to Bonne Maman for providing me with some well-loved samples and sponsoring this giveaway. As always, opinions expressed are 100% my own.

  10. Sunday, December 1, 2013

    Week 358 Menu

    Well, it’s over. Thanksgiving is done. And it was a really good one, for more reasons than I can count.

    end of thanksgiving feast |

    We made 4 dozen rolls on Thursday and 4 dozen rolls on Friday. And I MIGHT have to make a few more dozen today. We ate sooooo well this past week, I have a feeling this coming week will be a let down. 😉

    – I’m hoping I can drag the leftovers out a bit longer…if not, hot dogs. So fancy.

    White Chicken Chili (yes, this keeps appearing week after week…maybe I”ll actually get to it this week!)

    Moosewood Pasta Primavera

    – Leftovers

    – Homemade pizza (crust recipesauce recipe)
    – I’ll either do BLT pizza again because it was so good or the honey goat cheese with caramelized onions

    – Takeout

    Waffles and scrambled eggs

    Can’t wait to see your menus for the week! (Happy Hanukkah to those of you celebrating!)