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  1. Monday, May 13, 2019

    Week 624 Weekly Dinner Menu

    Yesterday was Mother’s Day. And for about half a second I thought, “I really should go plan the weekly menu.” And then I picked up my book and read. I think I made the right choice. 😉 But Mother’s Day doesn’t last forever, so now it’s back to normal. (Wah-Waaaah.)

    Week 624 weekly dinner menu: Monday - Turkey Chili; Tuesday - Korean Beef BBQ; Wednesday - Baked Buffalo Chicken; Thursday - Leftovers; Friday - Chicken Caesar Wraps; Saturday - Eat Out; Sunday - Dinner at Friends'

    MONDAY:
    – Turkey Chili

    TUESDAY:
    Sweet Korean BBQ Beef Tacos and Rice Bowls

    WEDNESDAY:
    Baked Buffalo Chicken
    – Salad

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    Chicken Caesar Wraps

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out

    SUNDAY:
    – Dinner at Friends’

    Your turn! Share those menus! We all need them for inspiration! 🙂


  2. Sunday, May 5, 2019

    Week 623 Weekly Dinner Menu

    Hey everyone. I have a few carry-overs from last week’s menu. I did cook last week but ended up cooking totally random stuff that wasn’t on the menu. Which means we still had a delicious week and I don’t have to think that hard with planning this week. Win win!

    Week 623 Weekly Menu: Salsa Chicken Rice Bowls, Turkey Chili, Pesto Gnocchi, Leftovers, Carne Asada Salad, and Waffles

    MONDAY:
    – Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken Rice Bowls

    TUESDAY:
    Turkey Chili

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Pesto Gnocchi

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SATURDAY:
    – Carne Asada Salad

    SUNDAY:
    – Breakfast for Dinner: Waffles, Smoothies

    You know the drill, share your menus and meal plans in the comments below!


  3. Wednesday, May 1, 2019

    Gluten-Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe for ALL of the people, not just the gluten-free people. (GF & Dairy Free)

    Today I am sharing a gluten-free oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe that is for everyone, not just gluten-free people. No, seriously, these cookies simply taste like awesome chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and no one would know they are gluten free just from eating them. They are also dairy free. And you also use a bit of black magic to make them so perfect sans flour and butter. But I swear this recipe is worth selling your soul to the devil for. 

    Top view of a platter of gluten-free, dairy-free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

    Over a year ago I chose to stop eating wheat products and felt better so I stuck with it, for the most part, indulging now and again when it made sense (trip to Sweden, birthday cake, etc). Then in September I did a whole bunch of allergy testing and learned that I am actually allergic to wheat. So my optional break from wheat became a permanent one. Which, in all honesty, was a major bummer. Although, six months in and I can honestly say it’s been easier than I thought it would be. Except for a few items, I mostly don’t miss wheat products. But there are a couple foods that I really am sad I’ll never eat again, one of them being my homemade chocolate chip cookies. I spent about a decade tracking down recipes for and perfecting chocolate chip cookies. (Click here for the ultimate winning recipe in that decade-long quest.) I tried subbing in gluten-free flour in my favorite recipe, but the cookies were nowhere near as good. Not even close. I had pretty much given up hope on ever enjoying a homemade chocolate chip cookie 10-minutes-out-of-the-oven ever again. 

    Plate of gluten-free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, lit from the side

    Then Nate’s cousin Amanda told me about a gluten-free oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe she loves in The Low FODMAP-Diet for Beginners cookbook by Mollie Tunitsky. Amanda told me this recipe would make it so I didn’t miss chocolate chip cookies anymore. I didn’t believe her. Then I tried the recipe and everyone was blown away at how good these cookies are. They just taste like awesome oatmeal cookies. IT IS THE BEST.

    Three gluten-free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies on a wood surface

    I have made these cookies many times since that first try. The cookies came out differently between takes, so I really worked on the recipe to make sure it would be consistent as well as have perfect texture. I credit The Low FODMAP-Diet for Beginners with introducing me to this recipe, but I have made some ingredient adjustments and modifications to the technique, which I will share in the recipe card below.

    Side view of platter of gluten-free, dairy-free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

    If you are dairy free, gluten free or just want to eat a really good oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, this recipe is for you. Enjoy!

    Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    These gluten-free and dairy-free oatmeal cookies are amazing and taste like the real deal. Adapted from "The Low FODMAP-Diet for Beginners" by Mollie Tutnitsky
    Author:
    Serves: 20-24 cookies
    Ingredients
    • ½ cup coconut oil
    • ⅔ cup lightly-packed brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • ¾ teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus more for sprinkling (or ½ teaspoon kosher salt)
    • 2¼ cup oat flour
    • ½ cup rolled oats
    • 1¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
    2. Put coconut oil in a large, microwave-safe mixing bowl. If the oil is already a liquid, you're all set. If it's in a solid state, microwave for appx. 20 seconds to melt it. Add the brown sugar, egg and vanilla extract to the oil and mix very well.
    3. Stir in the baking soda and salt.
    4. Stir in the oat flour, rolled oats, and chocolate chips.
    5. Place cookie dough balls on cookie sheet, leaving space between them for spreading. The dough balls should be about 2 tablespoons (medium cookie scoop size). Once you place the dough on the cookie sheet, using wet fingers gently smooth out the cookie dough balls and light press down on them, to make them all the same shape and size. They don't need to be flattened, just lightly squished a bit.
    6. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned and look done in the centers. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt immediately after taking out of the oven, then gently drop the pan flat onto the stovetop or counter to force the cookies to settle. Let cool then enjoy!

     


  4. Sunday, April 28, 2019

    Week 622 Weekly Dinner Menu

    Hey everyone! I think this week may return to normalcy for us, which I am looking forward to. Stole a few ideas from my menu from two weeks ago plus your menus from last week. Thank you!

    Week 622 Weekly Dinner Menu: BBQ Chicken Salad, Shepherd's Pie, Pesto Gnocchi, Chili, Waffles and Leftovers

    MONDAY:
    – BBQ Chicken Salad

    TUESDAY:
    – Shepherd’s Pie

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Pesto Gnocchi

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    Chili

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out

    SUNDAY:
    – Breakfast for Dinner: Waffles, Smoothies

    You all know the drill, please share your meal plans in the comments below! They are much appreciate by myself and so many others!


  5. Friday, April 26, 2019

    Plant-Based Eating Hack #2: Host a Milk Tasting Party (Ep. 54)

    This Week for Dinner Podcast Episode 54: Host a Milk Tasting Party!

    This week’s episode of the podcast is a quick tip! If you’re looking to have a positive impact on the environment through the food you eat, using a plant-based milk alternative is a great start. But there are so many milk alternatives out there it can feel overwhelming. Today Jane shares a tip that helps make it easier, less expensive, and more fun to try out all the different milks out there. 

    Shownotes:

    It’s easy to listen to the show!

    • Via the web: Click the play button below!
    • Via an app: Search “This Week for Dinner Podcast” on your favorite podcast app (iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, Spotify, etc.).

    Other Stuff!


  6. Thursday, April 25, 2019

    Chocolate Cashew Energy Bites, a.k.a. Jane’s Addiction (Plant Based, Gluten Free)

    Before I get to today’s recipe, how have I never used the phrase “Jane’s Addiction” on the blog before?!?! Speaking of Jane’s Addiction, I have a new one. (How’s that for a segue?) Okay, so now that I am not eating wheat and peanuts and almonds and dairy and shellfish and apples and cucumbers and basically have become one of those annoying people with too many dietary needs, I am exploring all kinds of great cookbooks for new inspiration. Nate’s cousin Amanda, who is on a low-FODMAP diet, recommended a book called The Low-FODMAP Diet for Beginners. I have already tried a few recipes and flagged about 20 more to try, and so far every recipe is a winner. Today I’m sharing one of them with you, the peanut-butter energy balls. Except I can’t eat peanuts. So I changed it to cashew butter. And made some other changes to the recipe. So actually I’m sharing a recipe for cashew energy bites and not peanut-butter energy balls. 

    Cashew Energy Bites

    These cashew energy bites are not just Jane’s Addiction but Anna’s Addiction and Nate’s Addiction, too. (You’re welcome for the cool band name ideas.) They are super easy to make, pretty darn wholesome, completely plant based, gluten free, and only have 2-3 grams of sugar per bite. Seriously, these little cashew energy bites are the best. Enjoy!

    Forming Cashew Energy BitesContainer of cashew energy bites

    Chocolate Cashew Energy Bites
     
    Prep time
    Total time
     
    Adapted from a recipe for Peanut-Butter Energy Balls in the book "The Low-FODMAP Diet for Beginners" by Mollie Tunitsky
    Author:
    Serves: 20 bites
    Ingredients
    • 1½ cup rolled oats
    • 2 generous tablespoons chocolate chips
    • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
    • ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt (if you use kosher, use a little less than ¼ tsp)
    • ⅔ cup cashew butter
    • ¼ cup maple syrup
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Instructions
    1. In a blender or food processor, add the oats, chocolate chips, cocoa powder and sea salt. Pulse until the oats and chocolate chips have been broken down. If you like your bites chunkier, pulse less! If you want things finer, pulse more! I go for a coarsely ground mixture.
    2. Combine the dry ingredients with the cashew butter, syrup and vanilla in a mixing bowl, stirring to combine thoroughly.
    3. Form bites into 1 tablespoon sized balls, place on a cookie sheet, and flatten them out with wet fingers so you have nice thick discs. Refrigerate until firm and store in the refrigerator.

     


  7. Show and Tell: IKEA Kitchen Finds + Live Music You Need to See

    I went to IKEA last month and found a few things for my kitchen that I am loving. And then I bought a bunch of concert tickets that I am pumped about, so I think a Show and Tell post is in order! 

    IKEA Kitchen Finds: Steak Knives, Dish Towels, Hand Whisk, Cheese Grater

    IKEA Kitchen Finds

    I haven’t been to IKEA in ages, but I went with the kids recently to get some new bedding for Anna’s room. I came home with a small pile of really awesome kitchen stuff, so I feel I must share.

    • Cheese Grater. IKEA made this type of cheese grater years ago. I’ve had mine forever and it’s still going strong. I even gave it to everyone for Christmas one year. Then IKEA stopped selling it for a while, which was sad, but now it’s back on the shelves! I’m so excited because every kitchen needs one of these. Reasons this grater is awesome: it doesn’t take up a ton of storage space, non-slip surface on the bottom, there are two grate size options, the container comes with a lid for storing cheese in the fridge, and it is only FIVE DOLLARS. This is, in my opinion, the best cheese grater around. Click here to buy.
    • Steak Knives. These little knives are only $5 a piece and work great. Here’s the thing, I got some cheap-o steak knives when we got married that were marvelous, and I’m down to only one left. I don’t want to spend $100/knife (or even $20/knife, really), but every cheap steak knife I’ve met since stinks. Not this IKEA knife. It’s great. Not quite as marvelous as my free set of Farberware steak knives, but close. 😉 Click here to buy.
    • Dish Towels. Okay, so, I bought these black dish towels and these grey/blue striped dish towels. They are exactly the same except for the color/pattern. The fabric finish is different from other dish towels at IKEA. These towels are pure magic and legit dry things off completely. Not a speck of water left behind. Plus, they aren’t white, so, you know, they don’t look like crap after a couple of uses. I ended up ordering more online and have a nice stash that will hopefully last me until I die.  
    • Hand Held Whisk. This is so random, but this whisk is like those antique hand held whisks that existed before hand blenders came along. And I love it. And you can put it in the dishwasher. It’s kinda bulky, but, whatever, I’m just glad IKEA brought the old-school hand blender back! Click here to buy.
    • Enameled Steel Grey Dishes with Blue Trim. I didn’t actually buy these dishes because I’m looking for white enameled dishes with red or black trim, however these were completely adorable. So, if you like grey and blue, you should totally get them because I feel like someone should. You can get bowls, plates and/or mugs
    • Prize Wheel Game. This is one of those wheel of fortune spinny wheel things. No, it has nothing to do with the kitchen. Yes, it is completely awesome and fun to spin and perfect for practicing cello with your 7-year-old son. I’ve told two teachers about this and two teachers have since bought it. So, you know, if you have a need for a prize wheel, here you go! Click here to buy.

    Live Music You Need to See

    I just bought a bunch of concert tickets. Happy Birthday/Merry Christmas/Everything Else to me! We have already seen these performers perform live and they were so good we are spending money to see them again. 

    • The Avett Brothers are on tour! Seriously, they are amazing live, and I’m not just saying that because they are my favorite band, which they totally are, but seriously, seriously, seriously, they are so good live. Click here for tour info.
    • Hozier is out and about, too. This dude is unbelievable live and can really jam, plus he has the happiest, kindest vibe about him. Click here for tour info.
    • Last but not least, Sara Bareilles. As a piano-player-singer-type, of course I’ve always loved Sara. But when I went to her concert a few years ago I had no comprehension of how truly spectacular she lives. Her musicianship is impressive, but she is also incredibly funny and witty. Her favorite word starts with “F” and she uses her favorite word a lot, but she makes it very endearing (haha!) and it’s not stopping me from taking my girls anyway. 😉 Click here for tour info.

  8. Monday, April 22, 2019

    Week 621 Weekly Non-Menu Menu

    Hi there meal planning friends. I am way behind this week and still don’t have my menu planned. SO. I’m getting a post published so that those of you who are a bit more on the ball can share in the comments. I have a feeling I’ll be using your menus this week!

    My grandmother died last week and, well, those kinds of weeks are never easy. After a weekend filled with travel and Easter, I am just now getting back into normal life. Hence the lack of meal planning for the week.

    Please, please, please post your menus in the comments below! We all need them even more than usual this week! 😉 Thank you and have a great week!

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwh_rNJg1Og/

     


  9. Sunday, April 14, 2019

    Week 620 Weekly Menu

    Hey, everybody. Time for some weekly meal planning!

    Week 620 weekly dinner menu: sweet potato burritos, shepherd's pie, pesto gnocchi, chili and breakfast for dinner

    MONDAY:
    – Sweet Potato & Black Been Burritos or Rice Bowls

    TUESDAY:
    – Shepherd’s Pie

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Pesto Gnocchi

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Chili

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out

    SUNDAY:
    – Easter Sunday! Ham, crispy rosemary roast potatoes, and spinach strawberry salad. Homemade rolls, too!

    Please pretty please share your own meal plans in the comments below! They are such a help every week for me and I know for others, too! Thank you and have a great week!


  10. Friday, April 12, 2019

    Meagan Francis, Co-Host of The Mom Hour Podcast, Talks Motherhood, Food and Her Most Versatile Recipe (Ep. 53)

    This Week for Dinner Podcast: Interview with "The Mom Hour" Podcast Co-host Meagan Francis (Episode 53)

    Today on the podcast I get the chance to interview my friend and colleague Meagan Francis. Meagan is co-host of the podcast The Mom Hour, an author, and an all-around thoughtful, inspiring person. Meagan and I talk about all kinds of topics related to parenting, from how motherhood has evolved to offer new career opportunities for women, the impact of social media on parenting, food values, cooking tips and more. Meagan also describes her favorite go-to recipe, one that provides a base for at least four other dinners every time she makes it. I hope you enjoy getting to know Meagan and walk away with feeling ready to get in the kitchen and cook, no matter how busy you are!

    Shownotes:

    Multi-tasker Pork Shoulder
     
    This pork shoulder can be prepared on one day and used for several more meals! Ideas for modifications in the notes below.
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Boneless or Bone-In Pork Shoulder
    • A few swigs of your favorite oil
    • Herbs and spices, your favorites (Meagan's suggestion: minced garlic, salt, Mexican spice blend, sometimes oregano/thyme/rosemary depending on what you'll be using the meat for; garlic/salt and whatever mix you like!)
    • Liquid: Stock (beef, chicken, or vegetable), Beer, or Mix of water and orange juice
    • Optional: Limes or oranges halved
    • Optional: Sliced onions
    Instructions
    1. It's generally easiest to cut the shoulder up into fist-sized pieces, but not necessary.
    2. Drizzle oil into the bottom of a dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat on the stove while preheating the oven to 250º F.
    3. Rub the shoulder all over with your choice of herbs/spices This first go around can be mildly spiced because you can re-season the meat in all its incarnations.
    4. Sear all sides of the meat in the oil for a few minutes on each side until golden brown
    5. Add your choice of liquid to the pot. Meagan also likes to add oranges or limes, cut in half, to the bottom of the pot as well, and you can't go wrong adding some sliced onions either now or earlier, while the meat is searing.
    6. Put in the oven for 6-7 hours. You want the meat to be falling apart. If you don't have quite this much time, you can increase the heat to 275 or 300, but if you have less than 4 hours I'd recommend using a pressure cooker.
    7. When you pull the pork shoulder out it should pull across easily with two forks.
    Notes
    As Carnitas: Heat the shredded meat in hot oil on the stovetop or under the broiler in your oven until it's crispy-brown. Season with lime and cilantro. Serve with tortillas, onions, more lime and cilantro, queso fresco, pico, or whatever you like.
    Shredded as-is: Serve with rice/potatoes and a vegetable
    BBQ Pulled Pork: Mix meat with barbecue sauce and serve on buns as pulled-pork sandwiches.
    Meagan's Magical Mix: Roughly chop 2 sweet potato (skins on, natch) and roast in the oven at 400º F until nearly soft. Add to a hot, oiled skillet with shredded pork, lime, and cilantro and stir until you have a golden-brown hash. Serve with eggs over easy or medium. This is the Day 3 version of the recipe, the one Meagan's son Owen called an "almost 10!"

     

    It’s easy to listen to the show!

    • Via the web: Click the play button below!
    • Via an app: Search “This Week for Dinner Podcast” on your favorite podcast app (iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, Spotify, etc.).

    Other Stuff!