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Category: guest blogging

  1. Tuesday, November 12, 2013

    Pumpkin Chili Recipe from Snack Girl

    A few weeks ago I went to a 1-day conference put on by Ladies Home Journal in New York. I learned some great stuff but, more importantly, I connected with people in person. That’s always the best part of an event! One of those people was Lisa Cain from Snack Girl. Lisa is great – I could talk to her for hours! Her blog is all about eating healthy food and she breaks down the nutritional content of all the recipes on her blog. Since you totally don’t get that from me, I thought it would be fun to share a bit of Lisa with you today with a guest post! Enjoy and be sure to check out her blog!


    snack girl's pumpkin chili recipe |

    Snack Girl posted this chili recipe with pumpkin last year and people are still talking about it. Yes, it was a hit.

    Why add pumpkin to your chili?

    It’s cheap, easy, and has 763% of your daily value of vitamin A in one cup (and only 83 calories). You can sneak a bunch of nutrition into food by adding pumpkin.

    After creating a no-bake pumpkin cookie and a pumpkin smoothie, I decided to try a savory dish. This chili recipe below is the healthiest chili (with meat) that I have ever made. It boasts 28% of your daily value of iron, 45% of your daily value of vitamin C, and 293% of your daily value of vitamin A per serving.

    This is like a nutritional “rock star” chili. I used ground turkey breast because it is low in saturated fat, and beans, corn, and tomatoes to up the vegetable content.

    I did think the flavor was nice, but missing the depth of a beef chili. I might sneak a wee bit of cheese on top of mine to make it taste a bit more luxurious. The pumpkin made it a great color and added a creaminess to the chili.

    As we greet fall, it is time to stock up on cans of nutritious pumpkin.

    Pumpkin Chili Recipe from Snack Girl
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Soup
    Serves: 6
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (such as canola, sunflower, etc.)
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 pound ground turkey breast meat
    • 2 tablespoons chili powder
    • 1 tablespoon cumin
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon oregano
    • 1 small can diced green chili peppers
    • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 cup corn kernels, frozen or fresh
    • 1 28 ounce can tomatoes
    • 1 can cooked pumpkin
    • salt and pepper to taste
    1. In a large saucepan, heat oil and add onion. When onion has softened add turkey and cook until cooked through (should look white). Add the rest of the ingredients and taste to adjust seasonings. Simmer for 10 minutes and seve.
    2. For one serving = 268 calories, 4.7 g fat, 32 g carbohydrates, 8.7 g sugar, 26.3 g protein, 10.2 g fiber, 399 mg sodium, 6 Points+
    3. Points+ values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only.


  2. Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    Guest Post: Chocolate Idiot Cake

    Today I have a DELICIOUS guest post for you. Melissa Esplin is a friend of mine who used to live here in Menlo Park. She also happens to have a pretty awesome blog with a staggering amount of original content that I am in awe of. Melissa was an art major in college and has continued to utilize her artistic abilities years after graduating from school. You cannot believe the amazing things she creates…I mean, the girl knows how to weld. WELD. How can you not make amazing things with those kinds of skills?

    Anyway, as a baby gift to me, Melissa agreed to do a guest post for my blog. And I’m so glad she did because it involves chocolate and David Lebovitz, a few of my favorite things. (I know David isn’t a thing, but how can I resist a Julie Andrews reference? Especially since David (and chocolate) are way better than raindrops on roses.) Thanks, Melissa, for helping out. I hope you all enjoy her lovely post!


    Hello! Melissa Esplin here, can we all collectively say, “WOW & Congratulations!”? I’m just so amazed at how Jane is right back into things after kiddo numero 3! I’m so excited for you, Jane! Owen is absolutely beautiful.

    I’m here to share with you my new favorite treat: Chocolate Idiot Cake with a salted caramel whipped topping. Mmm. Mmm! Chris said he just wanted chocolate or fudge for his birthday cake. No cake. Immediately I knew what I needed to make. I had found a recipe for a flourless chocolate cake on Pinterest that I knew would totally fit the bill. And it did. This cake is decadent, you only need the tiniest of slivers to send your tastebuds in chocolate shock. This recipe is so easy “Only an idiot would mess this up”, which naturally made me nervous before embarking. The guy who wrote the recipe is obviously a professional, and major foodie at that. What he thought would be an idiot-proof recipe I thought might be a bit on the complicated side. No way.

    I made one change to the recipe, which ended up alright in the end. I don’t have a springform pan (gasp!). Aren’t ladies like me who like to cook supposed to have multiple springform pans? Instead I used a regular cake pan & lined the bottom with parchment paper. You’ll want to cut out the disc shape in your parchment, butter the bottom of your pan, then set place the parchment down. You don’t want the batter going underneath the parchment, hence the butter. Then you butter & powder the pan as suggested in the recipe. It took under 7 minutes to prep the cake batter & put it in the oven. SO FAST! Once I was done cooking, I let the cake cool properly before getting it out of the pan. I loosened the sides with a butter knife & loosened a couple of the edges of the parchment lining the bottom (being extra careful not to disturb the cake itself). I inverted the cake onto a cake plate & tapped the heck out of the pan. The cake came out perfectly!

    For the topping, I made a salted caramel sauce (if the link to the blog that the recipe originally came from does not work, you can also find the recipe here) and folded a few heaping tablespoons of that into stiff whipped cream. Mmm. The salted caramel cream balanced out the rich cake with a lot of lightness & a touch of sweet. I can’t wait to make this again!


    If this cake is really as easy as Melissa claims, I might just try making it myself despite the fact I’m a total zombie right now. 😉 Be sure to check out Melissa’s blog I Still Love You for a daily dose of fashion, crafting, tutorials, printables & more! I’m telling you, it’s good stuff.

  3. Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    Guest Post on Make and Takes: Hot Chocolate on a Stick

    I am giddy with excitement over my guest post at Make and Takes today. Hot Chocolate on a Stick is my new favorite thing. Beyond delicious and completely adorable, I can’t wait to pass them out to all of our friends! Why is it that when you put something on a stick, it automatically becomes cute? Well, besides corn dogs, but you know what I mean.

    I have platefuls of homemade marshmallows lying about, tempting my girls at every turn. Yesterday morning Anna called from the kitchen, “Can I have a marshmallow?” I decided to let her indulge, it is Christmastime after all. So I called out, “Yes!” A few minutes later I went into the kitchen and this is how I found her.

    I thought she just wanted a marshmallow. She meant the entire hot chocolate stick! And then, THEN she didn’t even eat it all! I couldn’t let that chocolate go to waste, so I had to eat the rest for her. Ah, the sacrifices of motherhood.

    Now, get on over to Make and Takes. Yes, I’m being bossy. But I told you, I’m excited! Chop, chop!

  4. Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Guest Post on Make and Takes Today: “Healthy” Brownies

    Be sure to check out my post on Make and Takes today, The Great “Healthy” Brownie Experiment…and Why You Shouldn’t Trust Oprah.

    Special thanks to Anne Van Hoose who shared the black bean brownie recipe (pictured above) in the recent Call for Recipes: Beans. It was great inspiration for my Make and Takes post!

    P.S. It’s really easy to make the black bean brownies. Just get a dark chocolate brownie mix and a can of black beans. Drain and rinse the beans, then fill the can (with the beans) back up with water, puree the beans and water, add to the brownie mix, and bake to package instructions. Voila! To find out if we actually liked the brownies, you have to go read my guest post! Plus, I try another brownie recipe that you won’t want to miss. Enter Oprah.

  5. Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    Homemade Roasted Tomatoes on Make and Takes

    I’m super excited about my guest post on Make and Takes today. I made homemade roasted roma tomatoes for the first time and loved it! Not only were they easy and very tasty, but I really had fun photographing them!

    homemade roasted tomatoes web

    Big thanks to Faye and Ginger, who both commented on my menu post this week suggesting I roast the 12 romas I had lying around.

    I’m typing up the “recipe” below, but make sure to check out my full post on Make and Takes to get all the details and see all the photos!

    Homemade Roasted Tomatoes
    Cuisine: Side Dish
    • 10-14 roma tomatoes (you could experiment with other tomatoes, but romas are less delicate and less seedy and work well)
    • Olive oil (probably about ¼ – ½ cup)
    • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
    • Salt (kosher, preferably)
    • Pepper
    • Spices you like – Oregano, Basil, Parsley, Red Pepper Flakes, whatever!
    • Sugar
    1. Add minced garlic to the olive oil and let sit while you prepare the tomatoes. Slice tomatoes into wedges, 8 per tomato. Spread on cookie sheet and brush with garlic olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, spices, and sugar. Bake at 200ºF for 2-6 hours or so (5½ hours was my magic number).
    2. Store in the refrigerator drizzled in olive oil.


  6. Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    Guest Post on Make and Takes Today: Edible Science!

    Don’t miss my post on Make and Takes today, Edible Science Experiment: Making Butter & Whipped Cream.

    making butter and whipped cream top web

    Cate and I had a grand old time performing our cream science experiment. If you have kids, this is definitely a fun, easy and tasty project for a rainy afternoon, or any afternoon for that matter! Enjoy the post!

  7. Tuesday, March 2, 2010

    Guest Blogger Maria Lichty: Homemade Yogurt

    maria-&-josh-webToday we have a very fun post from a very fun guest blogger, Maria Lichty of the food blog Two Peas and Their PodShe is going to tell us all about homemade yogurt, something I’ve yet to make and am now super excited about trying!

    Like our last guest, Maria has been commenting and posting menus on This Week for Dinner for years (and she’s another of my blogging friends I have actually met in person!). Maria is a sweetie and writes about her cooking adventures with her husband, Josh (hence TWO peas). They have a great food blog (hello oodles of amazing vegetarian recipes) and you can read more about Maria and Josh in a recent interview on The Pioneer Woman’s Tasty Kitchen website. Without further ado, I present Maria!


    First of all, I am thrilled to be a guest blogger for TWFD. I have been following Jane’s blog for quite some time now. I love her recipes, photos, stories, sense of humor, ok – I just love everything about Jane. She is the best, but you all know that.


    Today I am going to share a recipe that will change your life for the better – homemade yogurt. I love yogurt. I enjoy it for breakfast, a healthy snack, or even dessert. I usually eat one a day. Greek yogurt is my favorite – I love Fage brand. Unfortunately, it is not cheap. A single, 6-oz. serving is usually $2.00 or more. Not so friendly on the pocketbook if you eat one every day. I tried to cut back on my yogurt intake because it was so expensive, but depression soon set in. Not really, but I missed it! 🙂 I decided it was time to start making my own yogurt at home.

    I really wasn’t sure how, so I did some research and consulted with my Twitter friends. I purchased a yogurt maker and set up my “yogurt lab.” I was amazed at how easy it was to make. Basically, you heat up some milk, cool it down, whisk in a 6-oz. yogurt with the milk, and then let it “sleep” in the yogurt machine for 12 hours. How simple is that?

    Instead of paying $2 every day for yogurt, I just purchase one Greek yogurt to use as my starter and then I have a week’s worth of yogurt. Making our own yogurt has saved us a lot of money. Yes, we had to buy the yogurt maker, but it has already paid for itself”¦and then some.

    I always start my yogurt at night so it is ready when I wake up in the morning. It really is that simple. And it tastes just as good, maybe even a little better, because homemade recipes always come with extra love!


    Here is my basic recipe:

    Guest Blogger Maria Lichty: Homemade Yogurt
    Cuisine: Side Dish
    • 42 ounces fresh milk, we use skim
    • 6 oz. plain yogurt, we use fat free Fage for our starter (use your favorite brand)
    1. Pour milk into a high-sided saucepan. Place a candy thermometer on the side of the pan. Heat the milk until it reaches-180 degrees. The milk will start to climb the side of the pan.
    2. Remove pan from heat and allow the milk to cool to lukewarm-110 degrees. To speed up the process you can place the pan in an ice bath. Sometimes I do this and sometimes I am just lazy and let it cool on its own. Both ways work.
    3. When the yogurt is cool, put the yogurt starter in a large bowl. Stir in some of the milk. Whisk well. Make sure the yogurt is dissolved. Add the rest of the milk and whisk until smooth.
    4. Pour the mixture into the jars of the yogurt maker. Follow the yogurt maker’s instructions. We usually do ours so it rests overnight. It takes 10-12 hours. We usually let it rest for 12 hours because we like our yogurt thicker.
    5. When the yogurt is done resting, chill it in the fridge with the lids on the jars. The yogurt will stay good for 10 days.
    I purchased my yogurt maker at Williams Sonoma. I really like the individual jars, but you can buy a yogurt maker that makes one large batch too. Find a machine that is right for you. Make sure you read the instructions before getting started.
    Make sure you choose a yogurt starter that has live active cultures.
    Use the freshest milk and yogurt you can find.
    I use fat free Greek yogurt because that is the yogurt I like. You can use a yogurt with fat. It just depends on your preference.
    I use fat free milk and yogurt and the finished product is thick enough for me.
    You can use your homemade yogurt as the starter, but only once.
    If you want really thick yogurt you can strain it with a cheese cloth or coffee filters.


    So what are you waiting for? If you are a yogurt fanatic like me, start making your own. It is so easy, a lot cheaper, and it’s good for you!

    For an extra special treat, try a yogurt parfait with fresh fruit and homemade granola. Double Yum!

    Thanks again Jane for letting me do a guest post. Come visit Two Peas and Their Pod anytime – our kitchen is always open! 🙂

    • You can make flavored yogurt by adding honey, fruit, or jam, but we prefer plain. I usually add fresh fruit and sometimes a drizzle of agave nectar to my plain yogurt.

  8. 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.


  9. 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

  10. Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    Edible Peanut Butter Playdough on ‘Make and Takes’

    Don’t miss my post today on Make and Takes…edible peanut butter playdough! It’s fun and yum!

    peanut butter playdough happy m&t