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  1. Sunday, February 6, 2022

    Happy 15th Anniversairy, TWFD! Plus Gram’s Homemade Hot Fudge Recipe & Week 737 Weekly Menu

    This Week for Dinner is officially FIFTEEN YEARS OLD. Happy 15th birthday, Blog! To celebrate I have a gift for you all: Gram Maynard’s Homemade Hot Fudge Recipe. This recipe was a big part of the beginning of this journey…

    15 year anniversary - This Week for Dinner

    When I started the blog 15 years ago, I only had one child, blogs weren’t a thing, and I had an old iMac Nate found at work to use in the kitchen (I truly had no idea why I would use a computer in the kitchen). My good camera was a film camera, so I used a point-and-shoot digital camera for the blog (please do not judge the early photography on the blog, it’s mortifying). The blog began with a list of dinners I made on a regular basis and a few weekly menus to share with my brother, who was still in college. 

    Then I noticed a curious thing – people were actually visiting the blog. I decided to design a logo, spruced up my free Blogger blog, and asked friends to share the link with other friends. I promised those who shared a copy of Gram Maynard’s homemade hot fudge recipe. They were asked to not publish the recipe anywhere. It was our little secret. 

    Fast forward to today. I have three children (the youngest of which is TEN), I’m a professional food writer and photographer, I am now an excellent recipe writer, I received all kinds of work over the years through the blog, I met all kinds of people and had crazy amazing experiences, I started a podcast, and I am still posting my weekly dinner menu. Most importantly, you are still here sharing your menus and cooking right alongside with me. I’ve experienced ups and downs personally and, through it all, my family still had to eat. I may not have always been cooking because, well, life. But every week the community on this blog kept the food game going. I have been oh so grateful.

    So…thank you. And to show my thanks, I am finally publicly sharing Gram’s homemade hot fudge recipe! She was such a giver, it’s what she would have wanted anyway. To be honest, it’s good for you I waited 15 years because it’s written much better than it was back when I was secretly emailing it to friends. 

    Homemade Hot Fudge Recipe

    Funny enough, I cannot find my DSLR camera charger, so today’s photographs are done with the modern version of a point-and-shoot, my iPhone. I will probably come back and reshoot this recipe once that damn battery is charged because, man, there’s nothing like a real camera.

    While today is a celebration of 15 years as well as decadent chocolate, I am of course posting my weekly menu! You know the drill…share your menu in the comments below! 

    A note on this recipe: Gram had a few “ors” throughout the recipe, where you could kind of choose which ingredients you wanted to use. I have settled on my choice of ingredients and am sharing my version of the recipe. Also, the heating instructions in the recipe are important for texture, so take your time and follow the directions. This truly is my favorite hot fudge sauce ever. Nothing else ever compares. (Thank you, Gram. I miss you every day.)

    Gram Maynard's Homemade Hot Fudge
     
    Homemade recipe for hot fudge from Barbara "Gram" Maynard, one of the best humans to walk this planet. We miss you, Gram.
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 8 tablespoons butter
    • 3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
    • ½ cup cocoa powder
    • 1½ cups granulated sugar
    • 5 ounces evaporated milk
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
    Instructions
    1. In a heavy-bottomed small or medium pot, melt butter and baking chocolate over medium-low heat.
    2. Keeping the heat at medium-low, whisk in the sugar and evaporated milk. Sift the cocoa powder into the pot and whisk thoroughly.
    3. Raise heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes, whisking almost constantly.
    4. Raise heat to medium-high and whisk constantly until mixture is boiling and sugar is completely dissolved, which will take ~ 2-5 minutes.
    5. Remove from heat. Let cool 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    6. Mix in salt and vanilla.
    7. Serve over ice cream, bread pudding, fresh strawberries, or whatever you like rich amazing chocolate served on.
    Notes
    Store in the refrigerator.
    Makes around 3 cups.

     

    Week 737 Weekly Dinner Menu from This Week for Dinner

    MONDAY:

    TUESDAY:

    WEDNESDAY:

    • Rigatoni with Italian Sausage in a Creamy Tomato Sauce

    THURSDAY:

    • Leftovers

    FRIDAY:

    SATURDAY:

    • Takeout night

    SUNDAY:

    Looking forward to seeing your dinner plans for the week! As always, thank you for sharing and for being here!


  2. Sunday, January 30, 2022

    Week 736 Weekly Menu

    Hello everyone! Time to plan another week of dinners…

    Week 736 weekly dinner menu

    MONDAY:

    • Chicken Enchiladas Verdes (Owen’s request!)

    TUESDAY:

    • Roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and salad

    WEDNESDAY:

    THURSDAY:

    FRIDAY:

    • Leftovers

    SATURDAY:

    • Takeout Night

    SUNDAY:

    Your turn! Please share your weekly meal plan in the comments below!


  3. Sunday, January 23, 2022

    Week 735 Weekly Menu

    I have been deep cleaning like a crazy person all weekend…so haven’t gotten to the store yet, but no matter. Getting my menu ready and will take care of that tomorrow. We are loving eating at home more. I am loving cooking again. It’s all great!

    Week 735 Weekly Dinner Plan from This Week for Dinner

    MONDAY:

    TUESDAY:

    WEDNESDAY:

    • Grilled Salmon with Rice and Butternut Squash

    THURSDAY:

    • Leftovers

    FRIDAY:

    • Pizza night (I think we’ll do build-your-own naan pizzas)

    SATURDAY:

    • Takeout Night

    SUNDAY:

    Your turn! Share your own plan for the week in the comments below! Have a great week!


  4. Sunday, January 16, 2022

    Week 734 Weekly Menu

    Menu time! With a new look!

    Week 734 Weekly Menu from Jane Maynard at This Week for Dinner

    MONDAY:

    • Mini roadtrip to a mountain or a desert or somewhere fun!

    TUESDAY:

    WEDNESDAY:

    THURSDAY:

    FRIDAY:

    • Leftovers

    SATURDAY:

    • Takeout night

    SUNDAY:

    Please comment below with your own meal plan!

    And, before we go, check out this egg yolk! Yes, that is an orange bowl. Yes, the yolk is the same color. And yes, scrambled eggs are orange instead of yellow when using these Happy Egg Co. Heritage eggs. No this is not sponsored. Yes, I am stunned by these egg yolks – they’re darker than the eggs from my backyard chickens!

    Happy Egg Co Heritage Eggs - Dark Yolk

    Have a great week!


  5. Sunday, January 9, 2022

    New Year’s Resolution “Back to Basics” + Week 733 Weekly Menu

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    I hope the year has gotten off to a nice start for you, but I have a sneaking suspicion it might be a little crazy for everyone. 2022 has already proven to be quite a ride for me. I won’t get into boring details about work, life, etc…but our family is getting PCR tests tomorrow morning. Pretty sure COVID is making another unsolicited visit to our home. Apparently it missed the memo that the Maynards aren’t hosting guests right now. Update 1/13: None of us have COVID-19, hallelujah! We are definitely sick but at least it’s not that. Phew.

    George Clooney contemplating where he’s been and where he’s going…

    2022 Kitchen Resolution

    A new year means a new kitchen resolution for me. I’ve been thinking about this a lot this week. If you’ve been hanging around on this blog for a while, you know that each year I choose a resolution that links what we do in the kitchen to environmental goals. You may also know (or not, that’s fine) that in October 2020, I severed a tendon in my thumb, which turned into a year-long journey of surgeries and physical therapy. Today I can use my thumb again. (Woohoo!) It’s not the same as it was before but it works, so I am grateful. Bottom line, last year I did not make a resolution and I did not cook much at all…mostly because I couldn’t. Hello Fresh is the only reason we cooked at home in any capacity.

    This Week for Dinner New Year's Resolution - Meal Plan, Grocery Shop and Cook

    Which brings me to this year’s resolution. I’m going back to basics, back to what started this blog in the first place. 

    Plan. Shop. Cook.

    I am re-committing to weekly meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking at home. I am fine with the fact that I fell out of practice over the last 15 months – there were many good reasons why that happened. But I am also ready to get back to the thing that not only alleviates stress every week but is just plain good for my family’s health and the environment.

    First Weekly Menu of the Year!

    I appreciate each and every one of you who have stayed here posting menus, even when I wasn’t able to be here every week. I am scared to even say it out loud, but I will be back every week putting our menu up! Starting today! Plus I actually do have a list of photographed recipes to share with you…here’s hoping I can get those published this year, too!

    Week 733 Weekly Menu from This Week for Dinner

    MONDAY:

    • Spicy Chicken Tacos

    TUESDAY:

    • Mushroom Ravioli and Salad

    WEDNESDAY:

    • Homemade Hamburgers

    THURSDAY:

    • Rotisserie Chicken + Mashed Potatoes + Brussels Sprouts

    FRIDAY:

    • Leftovers

    SATURDAY:

    • Takeout Night

    SUNDAY:

    This week in the comments, I would love to not only hear what you’ve got cooking this week but also what your New Year’s resolution is! 


  6. Sunday, December 19, 2021

    Week 732 Weekly Menu

    Happy Holidays! I have survived the busiest two weeks of the year for our family…and now it’s time to relax. No work for the next week, just eating, puzzling, and enjoying Christmas. Figured I may as well finally sit down and plan a menu for the week!

    Week 732 Weekly Dinner Menu

    MONDAY:

    TUESDAY:

    WEDNESDAY:

    THURSDAY:

    • Leftovers

    FRIDAY:

    • Christmas Eve lunch: Swedish feast at my parents’
    • Christmas Eve dinner: Chinese Takeout

    SATURDAY:

    SUNDAY:

    • Leftovers

    Your turn! Please share your menu for the week below! Happy holidays to all!


  7. Sunday, November 21, 2021

    2021 Thanksgiving Menu + Week 730 Menu

    Happy Thanksgiving Week! Today’s post is all about the Thanksgiving menu. If you care about the rest of our dinner plans for this week, it’s Hello Fresh meal kits Monday – Wednesday, then leftovers after Thursday. Pretty simple!

    Side view of roasted turkey breast with instructions for roasting with a dry brine and spatchchocked bird

    Okay, here is this year’s plan for Thanksgiving. I will be combining forces with my family this year, which means way less work than usual. Yippee for me!

    2021 THANKSGIVING FEAST

    OTHER WINNING THANKSGIVING RECIPES

    We aren’t cooking these recipes this year but not because we don’t love them. In fact, we love them so much it’s hard to strike them from the list! But there is already so much food on our plates, so what are ya gonna do?

    Your turn! Share your weekly menu plans and/or Thanksgiving menu! Have the most delicious week!


  8. Monday, November 8, 2021

    Week 729 Weekly Menu

    Hello! This week I’m only one day late and a dollar shot. Progress! Last week the company I work for ended up hosting a large virtual conference the same week as quarterly earnings and announcing a new CEO…and I was involved in the communications for all of it. I ended up cooking only one of our Hello Fresh kits (well, actually, my 13-yo cooked it), so this week we have a lot of Hello Fresh meals to eat. Fine by me! (And no, actually, this blog is not sponsored by Hello Fresh.)

    Week 729 Weekly Dinner Menu from This Week for Dinner

    MONDAY:

    • Homemade Honduran Baleadas (thanks to my talented sister-in-law Cora – we are planning to do a post and share the recipe soon!)

    TUESDAY:

    • Italian chicken over lemony spaghetti

    WEDNESDAY:

    • Sweet chili pork bowls

    THURSDAY:

    • Firecracker Meatballs

    FRIDAY:

    • Citrus pork tacos

    SATURDAY:

    • Leftovers

    SUNDAY:

    • Cheesy smothered mushroom chicken

    Your turn! Share your menus in the comments below! And THANK YOU for all your kind thoughts last week, it means so much.


  9. Wednesday, November 3, 2021

    Week 728 Weekly Menu

    HELLO. Whoah boy. 2021 has been a year. I have missed you all the last month or so. I know everyone is busy and life is hard, but for real the past several months have been a doozy in our household. All is well, but cooking dinner has fallen by the wayside and I have been dropping balls left and right, including my weekly menu planning. One of you wonderful people sent me an email this week to check in and make sure everything is okay, which was beyond sweet and thoughtful.

    Week 728 Weekly Dinner Menu

    SO. My menu is late this week. But I’m just gonna get it published and try to hop back on this meal train! I have always firmly believed that planning and shopping at the start of the week makes life so much better. So, in the interest of my own sanity, I am going to get back to it. 

    MONDAY:

    • Smoked brisket with salad and cornbread

    TUESDAY:

    • Leftovers

    WEDNESDAY:

    • Rubio’s and Panda Express (real talk, y’all)

    THURSDAY:

    • Hello Fresh to the rescue! Italian chicken over lemony spaghetti

    FRIDAY:

    • More Hello Fresh! Sweet chili pork bowls

    SATURDAY:

    • Hello Fresh again! Mushroom chive risotto

    SUNDAY:

    • Smoked pork shoulder

    I appreciate all of you so much! I love our little corner of the web here on This Week for Dinner. Can’t wait to see your menus and “see” all of you each week once again.


  10. Monday, September 27, 2021

    Week 727 Weekly Dinner Menu

    It was a big birthday weekend for Owen and me! So, here I am on Monday planning the menu. Better late than never, and I need it.

    Week 727 Weekly Menu from This Week for Dinner

    MONDAY:

    • Takeout night (because I am just now planning!)

    TUESDAY:

    WEDNESDAY:

    • Grilled chicken with rice and salad mix

    THURSDAY:

    FRIDAY:

    • Leftovers

    SATURDAY:

    • Takeout night

    SUNDAY:

    Your turn, please share your own menu below! And thank you all for your love and healthy sentiments on last week’s menu post. I am feeling SO much better, I appreciate it so much! Happy eating and sending love and health back to you all.