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  1. Friday, July 31, 2015

    Friday Show and Tell

    Happy Friday! I took this entire week off from work and blogging, something I haven’t done in¬†ages and now I don’t know if I can go back to real life! ūüėČ Cape Cod was, as always, perfect!¬†I do¬†have one quick link to share today, though!

    friday show and tell - poached peaches with vanilla yogurt sauce friday show and tell - poached peaches with vanilla yogurt sauce

    This week I have a post on Babble:¬†How I Got My Kids to Eat Fruit for Dessert (and Enjoy It). The post includes a scrumptious recipe for poached peaches with vanilla yogurt sauce. It’s pretty heavenly and perfect for using up those ripe summer peaches!

    Have a great weekend and feel free to share whatever you like in the comments for Show and Tell!

  2. Sunday, July 26, 2015

    Week 444 Menu

    Greetings from Cape Cod! My mother-in-law just finished planning our dinners for the week, so I’ll just share her plan!

    –¬†Christmas in July, complete with Yankee Gift Swap! (Roast chicken, stuffing, veggies – the works!)

    Seafood Sam’s

    – Date night – couples get to go out, grandparents/aunts/uncles watch the kids and make Mac ‘n’ Cheese

    – Chicken on the grill, corn on the cob, grilled veggies

    – Clear out the fridge

    –¬†On the road to New Hampshire

    – No clue! ūüėČ

    As you can see, it’s vacation around here so I’m not much of a help with the meal planning. But I’m certain some of you have some great menus to share, so please do! Share your menus in the comments! Thank you!

  3. Thursday, July 23, 2015

    Friday Show and Tell

    Happy Friday, Everybody!

    Unbelievably our East coast visit is almost halfway done. Tomorrow morning we pack up the Sienna that Toyota has graciously lent us for the trip and head north to Cape Cod. We didn’t visit the Cape last year so we are very excited to get back!

    scrotal recall, our new favorite netflix show!

    It’s been a while since I’ve talked about TV. That’s just not right. I have a Netflix¬†show to recommend today that¬†is super funny and cute.¬†But first¬†you need to know that¬†the name is TERRIBLE in my opinion (and pretty much everyone’s opinion everywhere). Nate and I didn’t even consider watching it¬†just based on the name. But my friend Wendi texted to say we had to watch it, and I trust her, so we did, and it’s the best! Okay. Ready for the name of the show? Drumroll….Scrotal Recall. I KNOW. The name is just plain silly, but I’m telling you,¬†this show¬†is hysterical while¬†also endearing and sweet. (Definitely rated R, just so ya know!)

    Two food links to share this week!

    That’s it! You know the drill, share your stuff, too! Whether just a little something from your life, a favorite new show, a link to your blog, a new recipe to share, whatever! Share away!

  4. Wednesday, July 22, 2015

    Grilled Nutella and Strawberry Sandwiches OR How to Eat Chocolate For Lunch

    We are in New Jersey right now visiting¬†my family. My sister-in-law Cora introduced us to a new way to eat chocolate for lunch yesterday. I’m always up for making chocolate into a meal, so I was 100% on board!

    nutella & strawberry sandwiches from @janemaynard

    Cora had recently taken her little girl and my niece Sophie to a cafe called Marigolds. They ordered the Nutella panini off the menu and discovered something quite delicious ‚Äď a panini made with Nutella and fresh sliced strawberries!

    nutella & strawberry sandwiches from @janemaynard

    Of course we had to try making it on our own and that’s what we had for lunch yesterday! And before you start thinking it’s all weird that this is an actual sandwich that you can have for lunch¬†(my mom couldn’t quite wrap her brain around¬†it), this is¬†basically a PB&J if you really think about it. Nutella is a hazelnut spread, so that’s just like peanut butter, right? And fresh strawberries are way healthier than sugar-laden jam. So, you know. totally the same and way healthier! (Okay, not totally, but whatever.)

    nutella & strawberry sandwiches from @janemaynard

    The cafe even served the Nutella panini with homemade potato chips. This is LUNCH, people. I swear!

    nutella & strawberry sandwiches from @janemaynard

    Whether you agree that this makes a healthy and nutritious lunch or not, I do think you’ll agree it’s delicious. Seriously, DELICIOUS. You’re welcome.

    Grilled Nutella and Strawberry Sandwiches
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
    As created by my sister-in-law Cora Wallin, inspired by Marigold's in Summit, NJ
    • Good crusty bread
    • Fresh sliced strawberries
    • Nutella
    • Butter
    1. Spread Nutella on 2 slices of bread.
    2. Layer sliced strawberries on one side then put the sandwich together.
    3. Butter the outside of both slices of the sandwich and grill in a pan over medium heat until golden brown (like a grilled cheese sandwich) or cook in a panini maker.


  5. Sunday, July 19, 2015

    Week 443 Weekly Menu

    Happy Sunday! I brought all my design files for the¬†weekly menu graphics, but I just discovered my travel laptop doesn’t have the right software. Whoops. So, instead of a picture of my menu how about one of my mom’s hydrangeas? Flowers are prettier than menus, anyway.

    week 443 weekly menu + hydrangea by @janemaynard

    Even though I don’t have a PDF of the meal plan and shopping list, I still planned a menu for the week!

    – BBQ Chicken on the Grill
    – Fresh NJ corn on the cob and summer fruit

    Chimento Chicken (aka Chicken Croissants)
    – Side veggie

    Taco night

    – Leftovers

    – Eat out for our last night in NJ

    – Arrive in Falmouth, MA for our annual Cape Cod vacation
    – No idea what we’re having for dinner yet! Who cares, we’ll be on the cape!

    Sweet Tomatoes Pizza in Sandwich, MA

    You all know the drill ‚Äď we want¬†to see what you’ve got planned for dinner this week, so please share your weekly menu in the comments! Thank you!

  6. Thursday, July 16, 2015

    Fab Faves: CC Made & barkTHINS

    Hey everybody! I am officially on vacation and enjoying every second. Also, flying with kids is SO MUCH EASIER now that I my youngest is almost 4 years old and my oldest is 10.¬†I didn’t even have that anxious feeling in my stomach that normally accompanies our plane rides. I really am shocked at how much easier it was than it has been for, oh, the last 10 years.

    Okay, enough travel talk, today I have a public service announcement. I must share two of my favorite goodies with you because it would be a crime not to.

    fab fave: cc made dark chocolate caramel sauce from @janemaynard

    First off, we flew through SFO this week and had a layover in Terminal 2. That terminal is, in the words of my friend Rebecca, magical. I love it when I have a layover there and usually spend a small fortune on food. My favorite spot in the terminal is a shop and deli called Napa Farms Market. They carry a vast array of wonderful Bay Area food products. One of the brands they carry is CC Made, a Berkeley-based artisanal¬†caramel¬†company I discovered at a food show years ago. CC Made has¬†a dark chocolate caramel sauce that is TO DIE FOR, but they never have it at Napa Farms Market…until this week! When I saw it on the shelf I think I may have done a little jig. I know I at least squealed. I believe you can buy the sauce on the CC Made website, in case you need to get your hands on a jar, too!

    fab faves: barkTHINS by @janemaynard

    The second item I want to share is barkTHINS. Fair Trade USA has sent me samples of barkTHINS several times and I even created a granola bar recipe using their pumpkin seed flavor. Anyway, suddenly I’m seeing barkTHINS EVERYWHERE…from gas stations to grocery stores to Costco, so I can regularly feed my addiction. My kids are addicted, too. barkTHINS are¬†dangerous. So, maybe this public service announcement is more to warn you about the addictive power of barkTHINS than anything else! ūüėČ

    That’s all for today! Enjoy the goodies!

  7. Sunday, July 12, 2015

    Week 442 Menu + Show and Tell!

    Happy Sunday, everyone! So, today’s menu post is a bit unusual. First, I’m sharing Friday’s Show and Tell links with you today because, quite honestly, I forgot to share them on Friday. The kids and I were having too much summer fun!

    Second, I don’t have a menu planned for this week!¬†The kids and I leave on Tuesday to visit family on the east coast, so I honestly have no clue what our food plans will be. If you need inspiration, click here to see menus from past weeks. I always read through everyone’s comments on older menu posts to get ideas when I do my own planning each week. They are¬†such a great resource! Also, just because I am not posting a menu doesn’t mean you can’t! If you have a menu planned, please share¬†it in the comments!!!

    how making my kids' lunches transformed from a chore to a privilege by @janemaynard

    For Show and Tell this week, I have several things to share with you!

    That’s it for today! As I mentioned earlier, please post your menus in the comments. We especially need you on these weeks I’m traveling to provide inspiration for others!¬†Thank you in advance and have a wonderful week!

  8. Thursday, July 9, 2015

    Light for Light + An Easy and Important Way YOU Can Help Right Now to Electrify Africa

    Today I am writing as part of a month-long blog relay for ONE called “Light for Light.” At the end of this post there is a SUPER EASY way for you to do some real good. You won’t even have to click off this site to do it, so lend your voice (and your typing fingers) and¬†help out!

    Let's help electrify africa! ONE #lightforlight #electrifyafrica blog relay | post by @janemaynard

    When I’m wearing my photographer’s hat, I crave outdoor light. It makes lighting photos easier, everything looks more natural, and the pictures¬†are generally more beautiful and striking. And, for my work as a food photographer, natural light is¬†essential. If I have to photograph something using indoor light, well, I am not a happy camper.

    This week, however, I have been trying to look at indoor light differently. I’ve been looking for the beauty in the “unnatural” light that I so often disdain. Because, truly, that light is beautiful. It is warm. It is inviting. And it gives our family opportunities beyond imagination.

    Let's help electrify africa! ONE #lightforlight #electrifyafrica blog relay | post by @janemaynard

    My children can eat breakfast in the warmth of their own well-lit kitchen, even before the sun rises.

    Let's help electrify africa! ONE #lightforlight #electrifyafrica blog relay | post by @janemaynard

    My children can read, even after the sun sets.

    Let's help electrify africa! ONE #lightforlight #electrifyafrica blog relay | post by @janemaynard

    The orchid in my kitchen glows under the 1 kitchen light we leave on during evening hours to light our way through the house. It is beautiful.

    Let's help electrify africa! ONE #lightforlight #electrifyafrica blog relay | post by @janemaynard

    Our family can enjoy holidays and birthdays and celebrations of all kinds under the lights hanging over our patio, those lights becoming a part of the fabric that is our collective family memory.

    I am truly grateful for this this light that provides so much life¬†after sunset. Yeah, I still need that “perfect” daylight for my food photography, but I will no longer shy away from the “imperfect” light that the photographer in me so often avoids. I will embrace the challenge and be grateful for that light.

    When I traveled to Malawi in May and discovered a world where less than 10% of the people have electricity, I was stunned. To see with my own eyes what life is like for an entire country essentially without electricity, well, it was beyond what I had ever imagined.

    I heard many, many, MANY statistics on the Malawi trip, and they all affected me deeply. But there were a few that really stood out, including this: 8 out of 10 people in sub-Saharan Africa heat their home and cook food using open fires. Inhalation of smoke and fumes produced from burning traditional fuels results in more deaths per year among women and children than from HIV/AIDS and malaria COMBINED. Forget the issue of simply lighting your home, lack of electricity is literally killing people every day.

    The other thing that stood out to me while looking at the homes in the villages we visited were the schoolchildren. Once the sun goes down, studying and reading is out of the question. The fact that my girls can read for hours each night is a luxury. Their head lamps for reading in bed are a blessing.

    Let's help electrify africa! ONE #lightforlight #electrifyafrica blog relay | post by @janemaynard

    Here’s the cool thing ‚Äď we can do something about it! ONE’s bill,¬†the¬†Electrify Africa Act, was reintroduced in the House this past month¬†by Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee ‚Äď Ed Royce (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY).¬† The bill would help provide electricity to 50 million Africans for the first time, at no cost to US taxpayers.¬†

    Let's help electrify africa! ONE #lightforlight #electrifyafrica blog relay | post by @janemaynardLet’s help make everyone’s nighttime merry and bright!

    This same bill did not pass last year and we can’t let that happen again! We need to tell our leaders that we support this bill. Simply fill out the form below and click “sign petition” and you will have helped in a significant way. Thank you!

    I am participating in the #lightforlight blog relay with ONE. Each day this month a different blogger is writing about light and tomorrow Whit Honea will be sharing his thoughts at Dads 4 Change, so be sure to check it out! Here are the posts that have been published so far. They are all beautiful.

    For those of you who would like to read more on the subject, here are some great resources:

  9. Tuesday, July 7, 2015

    I’m About to Give You the Best Oatmeal Cookie Recipe Ever. Are You Ready?

    jody's perfect oatmeal cookies, chock-full of chocolate chips and M&Ms, from @janemaynard

    Brace yourselves. Today I am giving you the best oatmeal cookie recipe ever. Well, the best chocolate chip M&M oatmeal cookie recipe ever. No, really. I haven’t met a cookie this addictive in quite some time. I even made myself sick to my stomach a few weeks ago eating too many, like a 6-year-old the day after Halloween.¬†Not one of my finer moments. But I digress…

    jody's perfect oatmeal cookies, chock-full of chocolate chips and M&Ms, from @janemaynard

    Back to the cookies. These cookies are delicious, with wonderful flavor and texture. Additionally, these cookies are made with oil instead of butter. The original recipe says you can use coconut oil or olive oil. I have made them with half olive oil half coconut oil, and I’ve also made them with just coconut oil. I prefer the 100% coconut oil version. If you decide to use olive oil, I would recommend¬†regular olive oil instead of extra virgin as extra virgin olive oil has more olive flavor.

    jody's perfect oatmeal cookies, chock-full of chocolate chips and M&Ms, from @janemaynard

    Okay, so, the recipe. I begged this recipe off of my girls’ piano teacher, Jody. She has no idea where she got it from, so we just call them Jody’s Oatmeal Cookies. If I ever track down the source, I’ll be sure to let you know! For now Jody gets credit for bringing these beauties into our lives.

    jody's perfect oatmeal cookies, chock-full of chocolate chips and M&Ms, from @janemaynard

    Jody's Oatmeal Cookies
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
    These Chocolate Chip M&M Oatmeal Cookies are some of the most addictive cookies I've ever eaten. You've been warned.
    Serves: 3 dozen
    • 2½ cups old fashioned oats
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • ½ cup granulated sugar
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup melted coconut oil (if your coconut oil is already liquid at room temp, you're all set. if it is solid, a few seconds in the microwave will melt it enough)
    • 2 large eggs
    • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • ¾ cups chocolate chips
    • 1¼ cups plain M&Ms
    • (I supposed you could do 2 cups of raisins instead of chocolate chips and M&Ms, but I'm a chocolate girl. If you go with raisins, add ½ teaspoon of cinnamon to the dough)
    1. Preheat oven to 350¬ļF. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
    2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Add the salt and baking soda and stir well. Add the oats, flour and both sugars and mix well until all ingredients are fully incorporated together. The dough might be crumbly. (Add a teeny bit of oil of needed - I have not ever added any extra oil myself). Alternatively you can mix all the ingredients except the chocolate chips and M&Ms in a large bowl all at once, but I find adding the ingredients in the order listed above makes it easier to mix the ingredients together evenly.
    3. Mix in the chocolate chips and M&Ms.
    4. Form cookie dough balls about 2 tablespoons in size and place on cookie sheet. The dough is tricky to work with, just be patient! Use your hands to really squeeze the dough into a ball. You may have to tuck the M&Ms and chocolate chips inside and underneath the cookie to get it to hold together on the tray.
    5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies begin to lightly brown on top but don't overcook.
    6. Cook all the dough into cookies as the cookie dough balls don't hold together well for freezing and dough is easier to work with when it is just made. Store baked cookies in an airtight container.
    The original recipe says you can use coconut oil or olive oil. I have made them with half olive oil half coconut oil, and I've also made them with just coconut oil. I prefer the 100% coconut oil version. If you decide to use olive oil, I would recommend regular olive oil instead of extra virgin as extra virgin olive oil has more olive flavor.


  10. Sunday, July 5, 2015

    Week 441 Menu

    Happy 5th of July!

    week 441 weekly menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable meal plan and shopping list!

    Last week I didn’t follow my menu at ALL. My mom took us to Macaroni Grill on Monday night and we had leftovers that lasted us two more dinners. Then my friend Kristen from Dine & Dish gave me a bunch of her expiring Panera rewards and were able to get 5¬†entrees, which also fed us for at least 2 more nights. That’s the kind of summer I like, tons of food I didn’t have to prepare! Because of all the unexpected goodies, and because we grilled tri-tip for the 4th, I’m pretty much using last week’s menu. But I already did my grocery shopping so it WILL happen as planned this week!

    ‚Äď Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwiches
    ‚Äď Fruit and¬†carrots

    ‚Äď Carnitas Tacos
    ‚Äď Guacamole and chips

    ‚Äď Chicken Pasta Salad
    ‚ÄstGarlic Knots

    – Leftovers

    – Eat out night

    – Dinner on the grill! Veggie kebabs + some sort of meat
    – Fresh fruit

    – Leftovers or Breakfast for Dinner (waffles and fruit)

    Click here for the free printable of this week’s menu plus the shopping list!

    I know it’s summer and it’s hard to get in the groove, but that’s all the more reason to get your menu plan done! Please share your weekly menu in the comments to inspired all of us!