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Category: Fun Stuff

  1. Friday, November 16, 2018

    Rose’s Creamed Onions

    Today I was going through my favorite Thanksgiving recipes to share them on Facebook and discovered something – I have never published Rose’s creamed onions recipe here on my blog. This is not right and I must rectify the situation immediately.

    Great Grandma Rose's Creamed Onions on a plate

    When Nate and I met and married, his great-grandmother Rose was still alive. She was in her 90s and still lived in the beautiful Colonial home where she raised her children. It wasn’t until she was 99 years old that she finally moved into an assisted living facility, where she requested a cane simply because everyone else had one. She also always wore a dress, even in exercise classes. She passed away just one month shy of her 104th birthday and I am so grateful to have had the chance to know her.

    Cate with her great-great-grandma Rose, who always made creamed onions for the holidays

    Rose was able to meet her first two great-great-grandchildren, both of whom carry her name. My daughter, Cate Rose met Great-Great-Grandma Rose a few times — meetings that of course involved many laughs, hugs, and camera flashes.

    Until she moved into assisted living, Rose made creamed onions for every holiday. Her creamed onions could always be counted on for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. After she died, Nate’s grandmother and his mom both carried on the tradition. Rose’s creamed onions are beloved and elicit wonderful memories and feelings of love.

    Final Picture of Great-Grandma Rose's Creamed Onions Recipe from the food blog This Week for Dinner

    The first time I tried making Rose’s creamed onions was with Nate’s sister Jess at Thanksgiving. We inadvertently used pickled onions for the recipe and it was horrible, but also really funny. While the laughs were good, we were a wee bit disappointed at our failure. Thankfully I have since made creamed onions successfully with my girls, keeping the tradition alive.

    The more modern version of the recipe uses jarred onions, but Rose always used fresh pearl or boiler onions. The first time I made these after that initial failure, Cate and I could only find fresh onions at the store. Cate insisted that we stop looking and make the recipe the way Rose always did. She literally gripped the fresh onions to her chest, rejecting even the possibility of jarred onions. It was very sweet.

    My daughters making their great-great-grandma Rose's Creamed Onions recipesCate and Anna three years ago, making the creamed onions recipe together

    Whether you use fresh or jarred onions, the result is the same — delicious! The fresh onions take longer to cook, but if you cook them a long while, as Rose did, it works great. Either way you end up with layers of flat, soft onion petals that complement many different types of meals nicely. I will admit that my kids don’t love eating these onions nearly as much as they love making them, but I’m sure they will appreciate the taste as they get older. As my daughter Anna pointed out, even if you don’t like the onions that much, the cream around them is awesome! As for the adults in the family, we all love Rose’s onions. There are even several onion-averse members of the family who eagerly look forward to this dish each year. It’s just so good served alongside holiday food — as necessary for some family members as cranberry sauce.

    Top view of Great-Grandma Rose's Creamed Onion Recipe

    Rose's Creamed Onions
     
    Recipe for creamed onions from my husband's great-grandmother, Rose McCarthy. Perfect for all kinds of holiday meals.
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 1 16-ounce jar onions (NOT pickled) or 1 pound pearl/boiler onions, fresh or frozen (about 20-25 total)
    • ¼ cup butter
    • ¼ cup flour
    • 2 cups half and half
    • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
    • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
    • Pinch nutmeg
    • ¼ teaspoon paprika
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
    2. If you are using fresh onions, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add onions and cook for 1½ minutes. Drain onions and add to an ice bath to stop cooking. Cut off the root end of the onions and then peel the outer layer off each onion. Set onions aside.
    3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add flour all at once. Whisking constantly, cook until butter has liquefied. The butter and flour will start out pasty, then boil for about 3-4 minutes, then it will foam a bit and become liquefied, about 5 minutes total. When it reaches this point, turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for 3 more minutes.
    4. Slowly add cold half and half, whisking constantly while adding.
    5. Raise the heat back up to medium and cook until the sauce thickens, between 5-10 minutes.
    6. Remove from heat and whisk in the Parmesan cheese, dry mustard, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
    7. Add onions to the sauce, stir well, then pour into a 1½-quart baking dish. Sprinkle top with paprika.
    8. Jarred Onions: Bake uncovered for 10-30 minutes, until mixture is hot and bubbly. Cook longer if you want the top more browned.
    9. Fresh Onions: Bake uncovered for 60-90 minutes, until onions are very soft and top is very brown. If you want to cook the onions longer to make them even softer, cover with foil once the top is as brown as you want it.
    10. Frozen Onions: Boil frozen onions for 2 minutes then prepare as you would for the fresh onions.
    11. Creamed onions can be made a day ahead. Follow all directions until the baking step. Place unbaked creamed onions in the fridge, covered. The next day, remove baking dish from fridge, uncover, and let sit at room temperature while oven preheats. You will probably need to add 10-20 minutes of baking time.
    Notes
    Makes appx. 12 servings; Prep Time: 30 minutes; Cook Time: 10-20 minutes when using jarred onions, 60-90 minutes when using fresh pearl/boiler onions

     


  2. Friday, November 9, 2018

    Friday Show & Tell: Wild Kratts Live, Imperfect Produce, Native Deodorant and Oatly Update

    Happy Friday! I have a few things I want to share with you, so I think it’s time for Show & Tell!

    Wild Kratts Live

    Wild Kratts Live Show with the Family

    A few weeks ago we had the chance to take the kids to see the Wild Kratts Live 2.0 show, (big thank you to PBS Kids for the tickets). My kids love the Wild Kratts (even Cate who is pushing 14!). Nate and I kept the show a secret and surprised them the day we went. When we arrived we discovered we even had VIP tickets, which meant we had the chance to meet the Kratt brothers after the show. It was such a fun day!

    Chris and Martin talk with my kids at the Wild Kratts Live show

    If you have kids that like Wild Kratts I definitely recommend the live show. The show itself was adorable and the sound of children’s laughter was non-stop. Owen (7) was completely engaged the entire time. Cate decided that watching all of the little ones in the audience was as much fun as the actual show. Meeting the Kratt brothers was awesome. Chris and Martin have boundless energy and are so kind, speaking to each child individually and really taking their time with all the kids. We walked away from the experience in a great mood, with positive feelings and happy hearts.

    Meeting Chris & Martin at Wild Kratts Live

    Click here to check out the tour dates and locations!

    Imperfect Produce

    In my ongoing effort to make the food I buy more environmentally friendly, I recently started ordering from Imperfect Produce. In terms of environmental impact, the very best thing we can do is buy local. After that, buying food that would otherwise go to waste is pretty awesome, too. Imperfect Produce sources “ugly” and surplus produce from farmers and producers and then sells it at a discount to customers. The box of produce is delivered to your house each week. I love their mission since wasted food is something I think about all the time.

    Infographic explaining how the company Imperfect Produce works - they source imperfect and surplus fruit from farmers and deliver directly to customers

    I am absolutely loving Imperfect Produce. There is minimal packaging and all of the produce we have received has been awesome and delicious. Each week an email arrives reminding me to customize my box. You can choose from whatever they have in stock that week and there is both conventional and organic produce. In addition, it tells you were each item is grown. The website is so easy to use and my new system works great: I keep a list on my phone that tells me what will be coming each Friday from Imperfect Produce so that when I go shopping at the farmer’s market and grocery store each week I don’t overbuy anything.

    Imperfect Produce is expanding across the country and San Diego was one of their latest additions. Click here to visit their website and see if Imperfect Produce is in your city. I highly recommend them! (Note: Links to Imperfect Produce in this post are referral links. If you sign up using this link you and I both get a $10 credit. I have no relationship with Imperfect Produce other than being a customer and once you are a customer you can refer people, too!)

    Native Deodorant Update

    Remember my new favorite deodorant? I’ve been using Native for over a year now and still love it. In fact, I’m kind of addicted and have never had such a large stash of deodorant before. Their scents are just so great! Anyway, Target started carrying Native. Woohoo! Keep an eye out next time you visit Target!

    Oatly Update

    A few months ago I sang the praises of Oatly oat milk. Since then Oatly has become nearly impossible to buy because it’s just so darn popular (with good reason!). They had a day a few weeks ago where you could buy one case on their website. It felt like buying tickets to a concert – I had to set a reminder on my phone and it sold out within 20 minutes (I succeeding in getting a case!). I have confirmed with the Oatly team that they are building a factory here in the United States that will be opening in early 2019, which means pretty soon it will be much easier to get Oatly. I CAN’T WAIT. Good work, people. Keep the demand up! We want Oatly everywhere!

    That’s all I got! Have a great weekend!


  3. Thursday, September 27, 2018

    Super Cute & Super Easy Minecraft Slime Birthday Cake

    If you’ve been around this blog for a while you know that I love making fun birthday cakes for my kids. Owen just turned 7 and it was a family year for him (the kids get friend parties on their even-numbered birthdays). In addition to it being a family year I also turned 40, so I kind of forgot about making him a cake. (WHAT?!?!?) Then, the day before his birthday, Owen was talking about his Minecraft Slime birthday cake. And I realized, “OH. I need to make a birthday cake.” There may have been a bit of panic on my part, however Minecraft saved me from a full blown panic attack because SQUARES. I looked up what Minecraft slime looks like and I was especially relieved.

    Picture of a Minecraft Slime Birthday Cake (instructions for assembly included in the post)

    This Minecraft Slime birthday cake is so easy to throw together, even a mom who forgot that she makes awesome cakes for her kids every year and had to throw together a cake last minute could do it. So, if you have a kid (or grown up) in your life who loves Minecraft, you should totally suggest this cake to them. Because you’ll knock their socks off and won’t even break a sweat doing it!

    Birthday cake that looks like slime from Minecraft (assembly instructions included in the post)

    If you’re going to make this cake, I highly recommend reading my post An Amateur’s Guide to Making Super Cute Cakes before jumping in as it has lots of great tips. In addition, I used the frosting and cake recipes included in that post for this Minecraft Slime birthday cake.

    How to Decorate a Minecraft Slime Birthday Cake
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • A 1- or 2-layer 8 inch square cake (I halved the cake recipe and only did a 1-layer cake, but a regular 2-layer cake works perfectly)
    • Buttercream frosting (I one-and-a-half timesed the buttercream recipe I linked to above for a 1-layer cake; if you do a 2-layer cake I would recommend 3 timesing the recipe)
    • Fondant
    • Green food coloring (I used Wilton's Leaf Green gel food color)
    Instructions
    1. Please read the "Amateur's Guide" post to get tips about frosting the cake (which includes freezing the cake, doing a crumb coat, etc).
    2. Frost your 8-inch square cake with light green frosting. Use a long icing spatula to make the buttercream look as flat as possible.
    3. Add a lot of green food coloring to a handful of fondant - the fondant will be the same green color as the icing, but it should be darker, so keep adding color until it is darker. Massage the fondant in your hands until the green food coloring is fully incorporated.
    4. Using a rolling pin, roll out the fondant into an even, semi-thin layer. When rolling the fondant, place waxed or parchment paper on the cutting board and then another piece of waxed or parchment paper on top of the fondant before rolling. Also, rolling the fondant out once and then balling it and rolling it out again is a good way to get the color to look even.
    5. Cut two 2-1/2 inch squares out of the fondant using a pizza cutter. Cut one 1-1/2 inch square. Click here to download a template for the squares and placement on the cake. Place the large squares on the cake about where you would place them for eyes if the square was a face. Place the small square around where you would put a mouth, but be sure to offset the square to the right a bit.

     

     


  4. Monday, July 30, 2018

    Week 587 Weekly Menu

    Greetings from Cape Cod!

    Sunset in Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod, Maynard family vacation 2018

    It’s Cape week. We planned our menu as an extended family and I am sharing it below. When we got here Saturday we had Sweet Tomatoes pizza, as per tradition. I limited myself to one slice (since I’m not eating much wheat or any dairy lately)…and it was worth every bite. Man, that pizza is good.

    Week 587 Weekly Dinner Menu for week of 7/29/2018

    SUNDAY:
    7-Layer Mexican Dip,
    Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

    MONDAY:
    Seafood Sam’s (another Maynard Cape tradition)

    TUESDAY:
    – Jane: Lentil Rice Bowls with Lime-Tahini Dressing

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Jessica: BBQ Night (Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Potato Salad, etc.)

    THURSDAY:
    – Jake & Mary: TBD, something vegetarian!

    FRIDAY:
    – Eat out night and/or eat up the leftovers!

    SATURDAY:
    – Cousin Sara’s Wedding in Maine!

    It’s going to be a fun and delicious week! As usual we would love to see your menu for the week, please share in the comments!


  5. Friday, May 18, 2018

    Friday Show and Tell: Joy’s Red Beans and Rice + the Chompers Podcast

    Happy Friday! I have two quick things to share today. These two things are awesome. Ready?

    Joy the Baker's Red Beans and Rice Recipe

    Joy’s New Orleans-Style Red Beans and Rice

    When I went to New Orleans about 347 years ago I bought a bag of Camellia Red Kidney Beans, a New Orleans classic. And then I came home and put the beans in the pantry. And then I didn’t do anything with them in forever and the beans were sad. But now they’re happy because they finally made it into a pot. One of my blogging friends Joy the Baker moved to New Orleans a few years ago and has a recipe for Red Beans and Rice on her site. I trust Joy, so I decided to give her recipe a try.

    Oh goodness I really loved this dinner. Joy’s Red Beans & Rice are delicious. And I didn’t change the recipe at all, which means I’m just gonna go ahead and send you on over to her site! (Okay, I did double the amount of pancetta and sausage, a decision I firmly stand by. We also served it over brown rice, which worked great.)

    Also, people from New Orleans say you have to use Camellia’s Red Kidney Beans. And you can buy them online so there really is no reason not to.

    Also, I bought a canister of Tony Chachere’s Famous Creole Seasoning for this recipe and have since used it three times on other foodstuffs, too. So, that is also a worthy investment.

    Chompers, the kids' tooth brushing podcast that rocks

    Chompers Podcast

    If you have any kids in your life that you have any kind of influence over then you need to keep reading. CHOMPERS IS THE GREATEST THING EVER. What is Chompers, you ask? It is a twice-daily podcast show for kids that teaches them how to brush their teeth and gets them to brush for a full 2 minutes. They tell jokes, share facts, do quizzes…the list goes on. It’s the best. Owen, our 6 year old, especially loves it and has listened to the Chompers podcast twice a day every day since we discovered it. And he totally brushes the whole 2 minutes every time.

    Seriously, go subscribe STAT. (I hear even some adults listen to the podcast to make sure they get their full 2 minutes of brushing in, too!) Click here to visit the Chompers website or simply subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.


  6. Friday, May 11, 2018

    Friday Show & Tell: Cool Food, Kitchen Gear and More!

    I have so many things to share today, ranging from a non-wheat pasta product, a non-dairy milk alternative, a super cool kitchen tool that made making cut-out cookies delightful, cool shoes AND a live show for the family that is sure to be awesome. Let’s just jump right in, shall we?

    Banza Chickpea Pasta

    Banza Chickpea Pasta

    I don’t follow many celebrities on social media, but I do follow Kristen Bell (who I actually saw speak last week and she is tiny and adorable and smart and she even sells really delicious bars that save lives, go check them out!). Back in February she posted this cute Instagram video about Banza pasta. I’ll be the first to admit I ordered six boxes almost immediately after watching it. I have eaten the pasta a few times now and am ready to report that…

    I love Banza! It smells and tastes a little different than normal pasta. Because, duh, it’s not normal pasta. It’s made out of chickpeas. Which means it’s full of fiber and protein and all kinds of good nutrients. But, also, when you top it with whatever you normally top your pasta with, it totally tastes good. If you’re looking for a wheat alternative or just want a pasta with a healthy boost, I recommend Banza!

    Oatly

    Oat milk by Oatly is a great dairy alternative!

    Okay, so I have pretty much cut dairy from my diet. I still use butter, but whenever I eat anything with cream or milk, I feel awful. Which means I haven’t had a decent latte in months, which is a cryin’ shame. Then, last week, I went to one of my favorite local coffee shops Revolution Roasters and discovered they had “oat milk” as one of their milk options. After a lengthy discussion with the barista (because once you get me talkin’ ’bout food I can’t stop), I gave the oat milk latte a try and SKIPPED HOME SINGING TRALALA BECAUSE I WAS SO HAPPY THE END.

    Oh wait. That’s not the end. I went home and ordered a whole lotta oat milk from Oatly, the very oat milk my barista raved about.

    So far Oatly’s oat milk is my favorite milk alternative I have tried. It has a unique flavor, as all milk alternatives do, but it’s my favorite so far, and the flavor is more subtle than say almond or coconut milk. It kind of tastes like, well, granola or oatmeal, but, like I said, it’s subtle. And the oat milk plays nice with my body. No nuts to worry about, no dairy to worry about and I feel good afterwards. Oatly is a plant-based, sustainable product, which is another big reason I am happy to support them.

    King Arthur Rolling Mat

    The rolling mat for baking form King Arthur Flour

    Oh my goodness I am so happy I bought this rolling mat. SO HAPPY. Here’s the background: my grandma and my mom always had the Tupperware rolling mat, which I received as a wedding gift many moons ago. I know they loved it, but I never really did (sorry Mom and Grandma!). The mat would slide around and over time it started cracking and falling apart (which made me sad because nostalgia, but I haven’t missed it in the kitchen as far as cooking is concerned). Once my Tupperware rolling mat bit the dust, I bought a new rolling mat from King Arthur. It came in the mail and I promptly put it away for a few years. It stayed in the cabinet, patiently waiting, until yesterday.

    This mat is seriously awesome. It stays put on the counter beautifully, it’s really big, and it just plain worked great. I highly recommend it! Click here to buy a King Arthur Rolling Mat for yourself.

    My New Favorite Birkenstocks

    My New Favorite Birkenstock Styles - Mayari and Daloa - from This Week for Dinner

    I didn’t start wearing Birkenstocks until a few years ago. Once I did, I was hooked and it’s pretty much the only shoe I wear (as made apparent by the T-shaped tan line on my feet that I just can’t shake). The Gizeh style has served me well and I own three pair. But, I’ve gotta admit, I was getting a little tired of them. So, I started poking around, looking at different kinds of Birks. I ordered a pair of the Mayari sandals in Stone and the Daloa sandals in Mocha, just to try on, mind you. And, well, I kept both pair. They’re my new faves. Which means now I’ll have even more Birkenstock tan lines on my feet. 😐

    Wild Kratts Live!

    Wild Kratts Live US Tour

    My kids love Wild Kratts on PBS. A lot. Even Cate, my 7th grader. I just learned that there is a Wild Kratts Live show and the U.S. tour kicks off in September. We are totally going no matter what. But it’s a surprise, so don’t tell my kids. (Hopefully they don’t read this, fingers crossed!) Click here to get tickets for a show near you!

    In Conclusion…

    Please don’t tally how much money I have spent on this post. Thank you and good day.


  7. Sunday, March 25, 2018

    Show & Tell: Things That Made Me Cry

    Today I have a special edition of Show and Tell for you: Things That Made Me Cry. Fun times! Two of these totally awesome things are music related and the third has to do with food. All three are wonderful.

    This Week for Dinner Show & Tell: "May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers" is must-see viewing

    May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers

    I must give credit where credit is due…my husband Nate has been listening to the Avett Brothers for ages and is the reason I know who they are. They are hands down one of my favorite bands and their concert a few years ago was one of the best we’ve ever seen. Judd Apatow must share the same sentiments as we do because he recently produced a documentary about the brothers and their band for HBO, May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers. Please go watch this documentary. It is just so wonderful I don’t know what else to say. Oh, I do know one more thing to say…I cried pretty much non-stop through the last 45 minutes of the movie. IT IS SO GOOD.

    And, one final thing: if you don’t know who the Avett Brothers are, start listening stat. Their most recent album True Sadness is perfection, but here are a few of my favorite older songs: Murder in the City (this one made me cry at the concert, it was embarrassing), Morning Song, and (of course) I And Love And You. (Photo credit: HBO)

    This Week for Dinner Show & Tell: Yo-Yo Ma in Concert!

    Yo-Yo Ma

    I took the girls to see Yo-Yo Ma at Copley Symphony Hall in San Diego. Yo-Yo Ma played the Brahms piano trios with pianist Emanual Ax and violinist Leonidas Kavakos and it was, well, beyond words. Three masters playing music written by another master on world-class instruments (some with the name “Stradivarius”). There were a few moments where the violin and cello played harmonies where I felt overwhelmed by what we had the privilege of watching and listening to. Another fun part of the night was Yo-Yo Ma’s countenance: you can just tell the man is filled with humility, kindness and joy. (And after hearing a few personal stories from Cate’s cello teacher about him after the concert, well, he is very firmly on my list of favorite humans.) If you ever get the chance to see Yo-Yo Ma in concert, make it happen. Click here for his scheduled concerts and appearances.

    This Week for Dinner Show and Tell: The Yakitori scene in episode 5 of Netflix's "Ugly Delicious" is beautiful

    Ugly Delicious: Season 1 Episode 5

    I know I already told you to watch Ugly Delicious on Netflix, but I do want to specifically call out a beautiful moment in the series. In episode 5 of the debut season, David Chang visits Yakitori Masakichi in Tokyo, where Chef Masahiko Kodama makes David yakitori, a Japanese-style skewered chicken. The chef grills Niigata-sourced chicken seasoned with Niigata salt over Japanese binchotan charcoal. David is pretty much overwhelmed by the perfection of what he tastes. When he tries to tell the chef just how amazing his food is, the chef’s reaction is, simply put, beautiful. Click here to watch Ugly Delicious.

    Happy listening, viewing and crying!


  8. Friday, March 9, 2018

    ‘Ugly Delicious’ is as great as you’ve heard

    Just a quick Show and Tell for you today. Have you heard the buzz around David Chang’s new series Ugly Delicious on Netflix? Think the buzz sounds like hyperbole? It’s not. We love the show. Go and watch.

    Ugly Delicious on Netflix is AWESOMEImage credit: Netflix

    That said, let me warn you that if you happen to fall asleep while watching the show, you will probably have a dream (nightmare?) where you finally decide to try crawfish and halfway through eating said crawfish you look at your plate where you have set down the crawfish you were just eating and you see it lying on its back on your plate and then you notice that its little legs and claws are slightly moving. Because it’s alive. You are eating a crawfish that is still alive.

    The show, however, is worth the risk of having this dream. I promise. Enjoy! (The yakitori scene in episode 5 almost made me cry!)

    *Note for parents: there is some spicy language peppered throughout the show, so probably best viewed without the little around.


  9. Thursday, November 16, 2017

    ATTENTION! ONLY ONE WEEK UNTIL THANKSGIVING!

    I love it when Thanksgiving is a little early because then there’s more time in between Thanksgiving and Christmas but HOLY CRAP HOW IS IT ONLY ONE WEEK UNTIL THANKSGIVING?

    Just letting you know I’ve tagged all of my Thanksgiving goodness on the blog. Simply click HERE to scroll through it all. You’ll find all kinds of goodness, including from-scratch green bean casserole that is to die for, cranberry slush, SERIOUSLY THE BEST WAY TO COOK TURKEY EVER and so much more. (Did I mention the turkey? Oh, yeah, okay, I did, but really, check out my turkey roasting technique.)

    Happy Thanksgiving prepping!


  10. Friday, October 20, 2017

    Show and Tell, Grab Bag Edition! Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer, Deodorant, Netflix Birthday Fun & Prius Envy

    Hello, friends. I have a veritable grab bag of things to share with you today, including a recipe, deodorant, Netflix and car talk. Yes, totally random. But also fun! 😉 Let’s start with the food!

    Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer Recipe from LAND O LAKES and @janemaynard

    Pumpkin Spice Butter Spread + Homemade Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

    Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer Recipe from LAND O LAKES and @janemaynard

    Last week LAND O LAKES treated me to a surprise package, complete with a shiny new Chemex coffee maker and everything I needed to make Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer using their Limited Batch Pumpkin Spice Butter Spread. We are loving the Pumpkin Spice Butter (seriously, I had to cut Cate off…she would have eaten a loaf’s-worth of toast just to consume the butter), so I felt like I needed to tell you about it! Plus, I did in fact make the Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer and it was delicious. I am now sharing the recipe with you!

    Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer Recipe from LAND O LAKES and @janemaynard

    Show and Tell, Grab Bag Edition! Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer, Deodorant, Netflix Birthday Fun & Car Envy
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • ½ cup half & half
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 2 teaspoons LAND O LAKES Pumpkin Pie Spice Butter Spread
    Instructions
    1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Microwave, stirring occasionally, 30-45 seconds or until butter spread is melted and sugar is dissolved.
    2. Beat with hand mixer for 90 seconds or until mixture is frothy. (Note: I whisked by hand.)
    3. Store in refrigerator in a container with a tight-fitting lid up to 1 week. Shake well before each use.

    Native Natural Deodorant

    Native Deodorant, my new favorite thing! from @janemaynard

    Years ago I wanted to switch to natural deodorant but had a bad experience (read: Hello, Stinky Lady!) and gave up. but the fact I’ve been smearing aluminum on my body every day for over 30 years has always nagged at me. Well, my sister-in-law Cora recently demanded that I try Native deodorant. She was insistent. She pretty much made me buy it. Well, I must admit that I am grateful Cora was so bossy! I LOVE NATIVE. So, so, so, so much. I have the Coconut & Vanilla, Coconut & Shea and Apricot & Peach scents and I love them all. Note: the scents are seasonal, so a few of those flavors aren’t currently available, but there are a bunch of new ones that sound great!

    Why do I love Native so much?

    • First and foremost, the deodorant actually works. I have less body odor than I did with anti-perspirant and my clothes are picking up less scents, too. Cora (and the website) said that I would need about 2 weeks for my body to adjust and for the deodorant to work well. I started using the deodorant during a heat wave and loved it from Day One. But please, if you try it, give it at least 2 weeks to kick in (in case you are not lucky like I was). Also, if you need to freshen up later in the day, just re-apply and magically things smell better.
    • Native’s customer service is amazing. AMAZING. I originally ordered the summer scent pack and did not like the floral scent that came with it. Native made an exchange beyond easy. Plus, even before needing customer service support, I loved their email communications. They do a great job every step of the way
    • I really like the scent options they have. The deodorant just plain smells good without being overpowering.
    • For those with baking soda allergy, they also have a sensitive version that does not contain baking soda.

    I must admit I thought it was a little funny how excited Cora was about her deodorant. I mean, how can someone be that happy about deodorant. But here I am. On the Native bandwagon and happy to be here. I’m in all the way! Thanks, Cora!

    Netflix Birthday Fun!

    New! Netflix Birthday Messages for Kids! from @janemaynard

    Did you hear about the new birthday messages for kids on Netflix? They launched the birthday messages just in time for Owen’s birthday last month and he loved them. Owen’s birthday party involved taking eight 5- and 6-year-old boys to the LEGO Ninjago movie, followed up with a dinosaur cake at the park. Having the LEGO Ninjago friends and the Dinotrux friends sending birthday wishes his way totally made Owen’s day!

    To find the messages, simply type “birthday” or “birthdays” into your Netflix search bar and all 15 birthday message video options will appear. Definitely a cute way to kick off your little one’s special day!

    Why I Wish We Weren’t So Frugal and Had Bought a New Prius

    2017 Toyota Prius Test Drive from @janemaynard

    Nate has been driving a Prius for over 3 years and has been very happy with it. When his lease was up this past spring, we decided to be frugal and buy the car he was driving rather than start a new lease with the latest Prius. I was perfectly happy with that decision until 3 months later when Toyota lent us a new 2017 Prius for our east coast trip. I love the new Prius. We shouldn’t have been so responsible after all! What were we thinking? 😉 I am grateful I had the chance to try the Prius out for a month (thanks, Toyota!), but now I totally have Prius envy. Here are a few of the things I loved about the car:

    • The car basically drives itself. The radar cruise control works beautifully. I used it ALL THE TIME. For example, when we drove from Cape Cod to New Hampshire, I followed my sister-in-law using cruise control. The system detects the speed of the car in front of you and adjusts accordingly, so Jess was basically doing all the driving. There is also a lane departure alert system, pre-collision and pedestrian detection system, and the car can park itself.
    • Even better gas mileage. I got over 50 miles per gallon the entire trip.
    • For such a small car, there  is a ton of storage. The back is roomy, and there is a net you can use to store smaller items. The storage was great for short and long trips alike.
    • I’ve mentioned this before about Toyota, but I love their remote lock system. It’s just awesome.
    • There was also a spot for doing that fancy cordless phone charging. My phone doesn’t have that capability, but I was sure wishing it did! I also like how the middle console is set up better in the new Prius versus previous models.
    • The navigation system worked better than my Google maps app on my phone. Impressive! And the car told me what the speed limit was at any given time, which is especially handy on those east coast back roads!
    • The one thing I did not love was the SofTex synthetic leather seat material. It is more eco-friendly than other synthetic leather materials and does not use any animal-based material, but if I had to choose I would go with fabric or real leather. I just didn’t love the feel of the seats or how they looked when inevitably sand and other stuff got into the seams.

    Phew! I think that’s all I have to share for today. As usual, Show & Tell is for the whole class! Feel free to chime in with your own finds and recent loves in the comments!

    Please note: I have a relationship with Netflix as a member of the Stream Team, which means they don’t pay me a dime but do send me cool fun stuff occasionally. Toyota provided me with the Prius for our trip. Land O Lakes provided me with product. I have no official relationship with Native deodorant.