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  1. 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!"

     

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  2. Friday, March 22, 2019

    The Benefits of Food Routines (Ep. 52)

    Header for Episode 52 of the This Week for Dinner Podcast - Routine Eating

    Today on the podcast I’m talking about how routine has increasingly played a role in how I eat over the last year. One year ago I had to change my diet pretty drastically, doctor’s orders. I’ve seen all kinds of positive changes as a result. Once change that I hadn’t really thought about, though, was how my diet has become much more routinized, that there are foods that I eat pretty much every day. I read an article in The Atlantic last week that got me thinking about this topic, and now we have a podcast episode! Listen in to see how routine has helped me with more healthful eating and how it might be able to help you.

    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.).

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  3. Friday, March 15, 2019

    Megan O’Rourke, Sustainable Agriculture Professor at Virginia Tech, Shares Her Thoughts on Organic Farming (Ep. 51)

    Episode 51 Podcast Header: Interview with Megan O'Rourke, PhD, on Organic Farming

    In episode #51 of the podcast, I get the chance to interview Megan O’Rourke, professor of sustainable agriculture at Virginia Tech. If you’ve been following my Eat Well, Heal the Planet posts this year, you know Megan! She’s our resident scientist, providing all kinds of great info around food, farming and the environment. In case you missed it, yesterday we published a post with a quick guide for mindful food shopping as well as Megan’s thoughts on the current state of organic farming. Today’s podcast interview builds on that article. Megan is a fantastic resource and I am delighted to share her with you! 

    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.).

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  4. Friday, March 8, 2019

    Awesome Avocado Tips You Need In Your Life (Ep. 50)

    Header for Episode #50 of the This Week for Dinner Podcast - Avocado Tips Today marks the 50th episode of the This Week for Dinner podcast! To celebrate I am sharing some of my most favorite kitchen tips and they all have to do with avocados. Over the years I’ve had the chance to visit some avocado groves and here from some avocado experts and along the way I have picked up some really great tips. In the show I cover the best place to check for ripeness on an avocado, strategies for storing them at peak ripeness, and how to get the pit out without cutting off your hand. These tips have been game changers for me and I’m excited to share them with you all on the podcast.

    Shownotes:

    Plastic refrigerator wine bottle holder used to store avocados

    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.).

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  5. Friday, March 1, 2019

    Entrepreneur and Children’s Book Author Rana D’Orio Shares Her Entrepreneurial Career Path, Her Latest Book and Italian Food (Ep. 49)

    This Week for Dinner Podcast Header for Episode #49 Interview with Rana DiOrio

    In episode #49 of the This Week for Dinner Podcast I get the chance to speak with Rana DiOrio. Rana is an entreprenuer, author, mom to 3 and life learner. Rana has an interesting background. She started out as a corporate securities lawyer and took a winding road through a few endeavors, eventually matching her values with her career by creating a publishing company for really cool children’s books. She is a great example of a working mom who cooks for her kids all the time. (You’ll find out in the episode what her kids thought of the time she tried a meal delivery kit service.) Rana and I talk about how her new book What Does It Mean to Be American? came to be, and of course Rana shares with us one of her favorite recipes and a great kitchen tip. You can follow Rana on Twitter @ranadiorio and on Instagram @ranedear. In addition to Rana’s interview I also share this year’s first plant-based eating hack. Enjoy the episode!

    Cover of "What Does it Mean to Be American?"

    Shownotes:

    Rana's Crock Pot Sausage & Peppers
     
    Adapted from The Spruce Eats
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 2 pounds sweet or hot Italian sausage
    • 2 yellow onions, chopped
    • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced into 2-inch pieces
    • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into 2-inch pieces
    • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into 2-inch pieces
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 (28-ounce) can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes
    • ½ cup dry red wine
    • 1 tablespoon dried parsley leaves
    • ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
    • 4 fresh basil leaves OR 2 Trader Joe's frozen basil cubes
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    • Additional ingredients for transforming into a Puttanesca sauce:
    • 1 cup red wine (whatever you're drinking with dinner that night!)
    • Olives, chopped or sliced (Rana prefers green Castelvetrano, but any olives will work)
    • Handful of sun-dried tomatoes
    • Red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Over medium heat in a heavy skillet, cook the sausage until browned, slipping occasionally during cooking time. Remove skillet from the heat and set aside.
    2. Lay half of the onions in the bottom of a 4-quart crockpot then top with half of the bell peppers. Add all of the sausages then do another layer of the onions and peppers along with the bay leaves and garlic.
    3. Add the diced crushed tomatoes, red wine, parsley, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper to the skillet and mix well. Pour the tomato mixture into the crockpot
    4. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours or until sausage is 165º F. Resist opening the lid until near the end of the cook time to check on the sausages.
    5. Once sausage is done, remove the bay leaves. Taste the sauce and add any additional spices to taste if needed.
    6. To adapt the above recipe to make a Puttanesca sauce:
    7. Once the sausage is done cooking, remove them from the slow cooker and slice into rounds.
    8. Add the additional 1 cup wine, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper flakes (if using) and the sliced sausages to the slow cooker.
    9. Simmer in the crockpot until you are ready to serve over the pasta of your choice.

     

    It’s easy to listen to the show!

    • Via the web: Just click play below!
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  6. Friday, February 22, 2019

    Plant-Based Eating Goals and the Carbon Costs of Different Diets (Ep. 48)

    Welcome back to the podcast! Yep, the podcast is back and today I’m launching Season 3. It’s been two years since my last episode (where does the time go?) and I’m excited to get this show back on the road. Going forward the podcast will be a mix of quick episodes with helpful tips, tricks and more as well as interviews like I’ve done in the past. We’ve got some great interviews lined up that I can’t wait to share with you! Today for the podcast I’m introducing this year’s “Eat Well, Heal the Planet” new year’s resolution to focus more on plant-based eating.

    Carbon Costs of Different Diets

    Shownotes:

    It’s easy to listen to the show!

    • Via the web: Just click play below!
    • Via an app: Just search “This Week for Dinner Podcast” on your favorite podcast app.

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  7. Friday, January 13, 2017

    Minimalism Expert Courtney Carver Discusses Her Path to Minimalist Living and Food (Ep. 47)

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #47: Interview with Courtney Carver discussing a minimalist approach to life, work, food and the kitchen

    Hello, friends! The podcast is back! I know I said that two months ago, but this time it’s for real! (And I actually had a good reason two months ago for why things got a bit derailed…listen to this episode to find out what it was…how’s that for a teaser?) I am really excited about today’s interview guest Courtney Carver. Courtney writes and speaks about how to simplify life and work and is known for Project 333, a minimalist fashion challenge. She also appears in the new documentary Minimalism discussing Project 333, which you can stream on Netflix. Courtney’s interview is perfect for this time of year when we are all reassessing our lives and making resolutions. And all of the links in the shownotes below are awesome. Basically, I’m just really pumped about Courtney’s interview, the documentary Minimalism, and all of the great resources below. It’s SUCH GOOD STUFF. Plus, Courtney shares a favorite recipe and a really actionable, awesome kitchen tip. So, you know, be sure to listen to this episode! 😉

    Portobello Mushroom Burger with Avocado Chimichurri from Foodie CrushPhoto credit: Heidi Larsen, Foodie Crush

    Shownotes:

    It’s easy to listen to the show!

    • Via the web: Just click play below!
    • Via an app: For iPhone and iPad, subscribe to the This Week for Dinner Podcast on iTunes and listen to it through the purple Podcasts app. For Android devices, use the StitcherPodcast Addict or Pocket Casts apps. In all cases, launch the app, then search for This Week for Dinner Podcast. The benefit of using an app: once downloaded, you can listen to the show without an Internet connection.

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  8. Thursday, November 3, 2016

    Journalist and Novelist Nicole Blades Shares Her Favorite Caribbean Recipes (Ep. 46)

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #46: Interview with Author Nicole Blades + Her Favorite French Toast Recipe + A FABULOUS Recipe for Caribbean Coconut Sweet Bread

    The podcast is back! Yippee! We’re kicking off the second season with a really lovely interview with author Nicole Blades and her family’s beloved Caribbean Coconut Sweet Bread recipe. Before we get to the recipe and shownotes, a few quick notes about Nicole! Nicole is a novelist and journalist who has been writing since third grade. She’s worked for magazines like Essence and written articles and essays for pretty much everyone, from NYTimes.com to WashingtonPost.com and more. She also has a blog (link below!) and her second novel “The Thunder Beneath Us” published last week (congratulations, Nicole! Woohoo!). Nicole and I could basically talk forever (we pretty much did) and in this episode we hit on all kinds of topics, everything from the virtues and vices of digital communication, vegetarianism, ancestral DNA tests and, of course, FOOD.

    Caribbean Coconut Sweet Bread from @janemaynard

    Nicole shares two recipes in the podcast. One of them is for Caribbean Coconut Sweet Bread, a recipe that really represents family for Nicole. I wanted to make the bread before the show went live so I would have good photos to include. I am so glad I did. This bread. It is dangerously delicious! Nicole also took photos of the actual recipes she uses. The French toast came from an old magazine and the sweet bread is in an old Caribbean cookbook. I am so happy to have those photos to share with you, too. Hard copy recipes are one of my favorite things in the world.

    Caribbean Coconut Sweet Bread from @janemaynard

    I think it’s time we get down to business! First the shownotes, then the recipes, then the podcast itself! Enjoy!

    Shownotes:

    Caribbean Coconut Sweet Bread from @janemaynardLeft: Loaves sprinkled with granulated sugar; Right: Loaves brushed with sugar water. Both techniques work beautifully.

    Caribbean Coconut Sweet Bread from @janemaynardPictured: The original recipe from the cookbook “Caribbean Cookbook” by Rita G Springer

    Caribbean Coconut Sweet Bread
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    This recipe is adapted from the book "Caribbean Cookbook" by Rita G. Springer. Nicole shared the recipe with me along with a few notes about how she modifies it. I have written it up in my own words below!
    Author:
    Serves: 2 loaves
    Ingredients
    • 4 cups flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 150 grams sugar (this is ¾ cup sugar minus 1 tablespoon)
    • ½ pound melted shortening or butter (Nicole and I use butter)
    • ¾ cups milk
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 cups grated unsweetened coconut (important to use grated unsweetened; Nicole said it's best if you buy a whole coconut, crack it open and grate it yourself, but store-bought grated unsweetened coconut works, too)
    • Sugar for sprinkling OR equal parts sugar-water mixture, for the top of the bread
    • Optional Stuffing: ⅓ cup unsweetened grated coconut + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract + ½ tablespoon sugar mixed together
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
    2. Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl then stir in sugar. (I used my KitchenAid mixer, which I highly recommend if you have one.)
    3. Add melted shortening/butter, milk, egg and vanilla extract. Stir in coconut.
    4. Blend ingredients well (this is where the mixer comes in handy!).
    5. Knead slightly on lightly floured board or knead in your mixer with the dough hook for a couple of minutes.
    6. Divide dough into two, shape into loaves and place in greased bread pans, ensuring dough does not fill the pans more than ⅔ full. Optional: Stuff the optional "stuffing mixture" from the ingredients list above into the center of the loaves, opening the loaf and putting the mixture in the middle and then reshaping the loaf again before putting it in the pan.
    7. Score the top of the loaf (Nicole likes to make Xs, a long line down the middle is pretty, too!) and sprinkle liberally with sugar. Alternately, Nicole likes to brush the tops with a sugar-water mixture (use equal parts water and sugar, about ¼ cup each - mix together and let sit a few minutes to dissolve before using). About every 5 minutes or so during the cooking time brush the loaves with the sugar water. Either technique works beautifully.
    8. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until bread is golden brown.
    Notes
    The bread is quite crumbly but far from dry...the flavor and texture are wonderful! Just use a serrated knife when slicing!

    Caribbean Coconut Sweet Bread from @janemaynard

    Here is Nicole’s favorite breakfast recipe, a French toast recipe she tore out of a GQ magazine many years ago!

    Nicole Blades' Favorite French Toast recipe

    GQ French Toast
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Nicole Blades found this recipe in a GQ magazine many years ago.
    Serves: 4 slices
    Ingredients
    • 2 page eggs plus 1 yolk
    • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
    • 1 pinch of cinnamon
    • 1 pinch of nutmeg
    • 1 pinch of salt
    • 2 drops vanilla extract
    • 1 drop almond extract or dash of amaretto
    • 4 slices brioche or other high-quality white bread, cut 1 inch thick (Nicole uses a brioche bread made in France that is sold at Whole Foods - whatever bread you use, make sure it's good - that's the key!)
    Instructions
    1. Whisk together all of the ingredients except the bread. Cook in a skillet greased with unsalted butter on the stove over medium heat like you would any regular French toast!

     

    It’s easy to listen to the show!

    • Via the web: Just click play below!
    • Via an app: For iPhone and iPad, subscribe to the This Week for Dinner Podcast on iTunes and listen to it through the purple Podcasts app. For Android devices, use the StitcherPodcast Addict or Pocket Casts apps. In all cases, launch the app, then search for This Week for Dinner Podcast. The benefit of using an app: once downloaded, you can listen to the show without an Internet connection.

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  9. Thursday, June 30, 2016

    Writer Asha Dornfest Talks Parent Hacks, Priorities, Recipes and More (Ep. 45)

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #45: Interview with Writer Asha Dornfest + A Great Baking Tip + Whoopie Pies! from @janemaynard

    The podcast is back! We have a few more episodes over the next couple of weeks, then the podcast will be taking summer vacation like everyone else. Seems only fair. 😉 We’ll start back up again with new episodes in the fall. In the meantime, in today’s episode I share a baking tip, wax poetic about New England-style whoopie pies and then interview the lovely Asha Dornfest. Asha is a Portland, Oregon-based writer. Her most recent book is Parent Hacks, which is based on here 10-year-old blog of the same name. Asha is also the co-author of Minimalist Parenting and co-host of the Edit Your Life podcast. Asha and I talk a bunch about priorities, traditionally sweet foods going savory, her favorite recipe (that is beyond easy), an AWESOME tip for entertaining toddlers in the kitchen and more! As you can tell by the long list of links below, there is a lot of great info in this episode that you do not want to miss!

    Shownotes:

    It’s easy to listen to the show!

    • Via the web: Just click play below!
    • Via an app: For iPhone and iPad, subscribe to the This Week for Dinner Podcast on iTunes and listen to it through the purple Podcasts app. For Android devices, use the Stitcher, Podcast Addict or Pocket Casts apps. In all cases, launch the app, then search for This Week for Dinner Podcast. The benefit of using an app: once downloaded, you can listen to the show without an Internet connection.

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  10. Thursday, May 26, 2016

    Award-Winning Food Writer, Author and Yogurt Expert Cheryl Sternman Rule (Ep. 44)

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #44: Cookbook Author and Yogurt Expert Cheryl Sternman Rule + My Favorite Pasta Tip and Recipe

    Today on the podcast I share my favorite pasta cooking tip along with a great pasta recipe. Afterwards comes the really good part – I chat with award-winning food writer, cookbook author and yogurt expert Cheryl Sternman Rule. Cheryl is fabulous and she shares all kinds of fantastic yogurt tips and recipes with us today. It’s a must listen! Cheryl’s done all kinds of cool things, from getting a masters from Harvard, attending culinary school, working at the Department of Justice as well as doing a Peace Corps stint in Africa. What hasn’t Cheryl done?! The best part about Cheryl, though, is her warmth and approachability and I’m sure you’ll fall in love with her just as I have. Thanks for being on the show, Cheryl!

    Shownotes:

    It’s easy to listen to the show!

    • Via the web: Just click play below!
    • Via an app: For iPhone and iPad, subscribe to the This Week for Dinner Podcast on iTunes and listen to it through the purple Podcasts app. For Android devices, use the Stitcher, Podcast Addict or Pocket Casts apps. In all cases, launch the app, then search for This Week for Dinner Podcast. The benefit of using an app: once downloaded, you can listen to the show without an Internet connection.

    Other Stuff!