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The Weekender: What’s for Dinner?, a Stunning Bed + Bath Makeover, Showing Online Creators Support and More!

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What’s For Dinner?

Does anyone else loathe that question? We’re cooking in more than ever, and our tried and true recipes have started to feel mundane and uninspired. Takeout from our favorite local restaurants has also grown tiresome – it only makes us miss the ambience of the businesses we love supporting! All this to say, we’re officially on a mission to find simple + tasty weeknight dinners. And because we all have different go-tos, we thought:

What if everyone shared their easy weeknight dinner in the comments, and we could all pick up new recipes from each other?

We’ll start: Our favorite is pasta tossed with crispy bacon, roasted broccoli, fresh squeezed lemon juice and heaps of Parmesan (recipe here, but have fun with it!). Any pasta will do; we’ve used spaghetti, rigatoni, penne and spiralized zucchini, all with success. Okay, ready? Go!

Other Things!

Some things to keep doing this Black history month… and the other 11 months of the year.

In need of a new candle? We burned through our APOTHEKE White Vetiver 3-wick in only a few days.

Matt + Beau’s bed and bath makeover is stunning. STUN. NING. This might be my favorite view of any home, ever, of all time:

via Matt + Beau of Probably This

This coffee table is officially on my lust list.

As a small business ourselves, we’re constantly shifting our mindset when it comes to how we share with you, our DIY-loving community! Supporting our/your favorite online creators is crucial to our/their livelihood, so I especially loved this reminder:


Lucy’s – er, the whole family’s! – favorite new-to-us cartoon. Gosh, it’s adorable.

Another new-to-us family favorite: The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game! Lucy loves it for the color recognition and spinning wheel, we love it for improving her fine motor skills (and seeing how happy it makes her)!

IG I Love

Where have I been?! I only recently found Karolyn @ladydukart, but I spent at least an hour diving deep into the archives of her 1880 home restoration. That pink bathroom! Old home lover or not, I’ve been inspired and rejuvenated since following along.


Weekend Sales

Have a Warm + Snuggly Weekend!

It feels like it has not. stopped. snowing. in Chicago, and the chilly, dry, freezing cold air is making us all feel homebound on top of already being homebound by the pandemic. So! This weekend, we’ll build some forts, pile up the pillows, grab all the blankets and snuggle, snuggle, snuggle. What are your plans for the next few days? Whatever it is, we’re wishing you warmth!

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  • Louize2.12.21 - 4:28 AM

    I love pretty much every recipe on minimalist baker, but my favourite is probably the 1-pot kale sweet potato curry!ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.12.21 - 8:59 AM

      You had me at kale, sweet potato AND curry.ReplyCancel

    • Wendy2.12.21 - 1:54 PM

      I was also going to share Minimalist Baker! I choose a different curry every week, they are all delicious, super fast, and easy to throw in whatever veggies you have around. Her other recipes are great too, but I’m loving a bowl of warm curry during this cold spell.ReplyCancel

  • Karen2.12.21 - 7:17 AM

    Regarding dinners: I’m a big fan of meal planning.  Pre-pandemic, I planned meals per day.  Now, I’ve loosened up and instead make a list of meals I *can* make during the week, and buy those ingredients (or I know I have them).  Then on any given day, I look at my list (it’s at the bottom of my weekly calendar) and decide based on how I’m feeling.
    A tried and true fave for our whole family (kids give it thumbs up; it’s easy and healthy) is the Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup: 1-2 frozen chicken breasts, I container chicken stock (plus water to cover), lots of chopped veggies (whatever you have: zuch, corn, broc, cauliflower, heck this week I added brussels sprouts), 1 can diced tomatoes with juices, 1 can beans with juices; Cook on LOW for 8 hours; season with salt/pepper/garlic powder/chili powder/etc; Cut up corn tortillas into chip-sized pieces, toss with a little oil, and bake in oven until slightly crispy (15 mins or so at 400).  To serve the soup we put the chips in the bottom, then soup, and top with sour cream and cheese, fresh guac if we’re lucky.  Hot sauce for us grown-ups.  SO EASY and SO DELISH.  ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.12.21 - 8:59 AM

      We need to get out our slow cooker more, this sounds delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Maggie2.12.21 - 7:32 AM

    Any and all recipes from skinnytaste.com!  I love her!ReplyCancel

  • Lori2.12.21 - 8:02 AM

    Puffin Rock! I watched it last time I was in London with my goddaughter (more well-known in Britain?), and it is ADORABLE and so soothing. So glad your Lucy found it. ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.12.21 - 8:58 AM

      Yes! I was like, where has this show been all my life, and I was surprised to see it’s a few years old. The narration (and Irish accent!) is so soothing.ReplyCancel

  • Ryan2.12.21 - 8:30 AM

    Okay… this sounds fancy but it’s delicious and easy- I promise! Swordfish steak, we get the fish at Trader Joe’s and use this recipe: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pan-roasted-swordfish-steaks-with-mixed-peppercorn-butter-232695 
    So good! ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin Rose Low2.12.21 - 8:51 AM

    Our absolute favorite meal is gyro bowls.
    I brown ground turkey seasoned with salt, pepper, some oregano, and garlic. Serve it over cauliflower rice with chopped cucumber, tomato, bell pepper and top with tzatziki sauce, feta, red onion, and olives.  Our kiddo puts his in a pita bread.  ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.12.21 - 8:56 AM

      We make burritos bowls all the time, but this sounds like a delicious alternative!ReplyCancel

    • Carrie2.12.21 - 9:05 AM

      Caitlin – you beat me to the bowls! This sounds delicious. Adding it to our list for this week. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Halle2.13.21 - 2:48 PM

      In a similar vein, we do sushi bowls! Make rice and add some sugar, salt, and rice vinegar to make it sushi rice. Top with grated carrots, diced cucumber, avocados, dried seaweed, cooked shrimp, and soy sauce. A grocery store near us used to sell sashimi-grade tuna in small portions, so we would often add that too. ReplyCancel

  • Carrie2.12.21 - 8:56 AM

    Puffin Rock is the absolute best! Our daughter is 7 and we will all still happily pile on the couch to watch this show. The narrator is Chris O’Dowd (the cute cop from Bridesmaids!) and he is absolutely perfect!
    Easy weeknight dinner is always a bowl We have a whole section in Plan To Eat (a great meal planning app that makes things so easy! We sign up every black Friday. $30/year is worth.it.) of bowls, but really its just grain, veggies, proteins and whatever toppings sound good in the fridge. This Morrocan Spiced Chickpea bowl (https://pinchofyum.com/morrocan-spiced-chickpea-glow-bowl) is my favorite Meatless Monday meal of all time!ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.12.21 - 9:06 AM

      That’s where I recognize him! Thank you, I’d been wondering! And that chickpea bowl sounds ah-mazing.ReplyCancel

  • Megan2.12.21 - 9:05 AM
  • Phoebe2.12.21 - 9:08 AM

    This is my quick and easy go-to meal:
    Put a 3-4lb boneless chuck roast in a crockpot. Pour in a jar of sliced pepperoncinis, including liquid (if you can’t find them sliced, you can get them whole and just cut with scissors and pull out the seeds). Add a few cloves of garlic, crushed. Cook on high for like 4-6 hrs, depending on your crockpot (honestly, the longer the better). Shred meat and then serve on Kaiser rolls with provolone cheese. DELISH!ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.12.21 - 9:21 AM

      I’m drooling.ReplyCancel

      • Lily Cruse2.14.21 - 8:25 AM

        We make this same thing but with giardiniera instead of pepperocinis. It’s SO good. ReplyCancel

      • Haley2.14.21 - 9:23 AM

        Add a packet of ranch seasoning and it’s a Mississippi pot roast!ReplyCancel

        • Michelle2.16.21 - 7:18 AM

          I JUST tried this with a pork shoulder instead and it was delicious!! ReplyCancel

  • Dimara Almeida2.12.21 - 9:17 AM

    Hi! I really enjoyed the whole30 dinner plans from defined dish. She put up five dinner recipes with the full grocery list so you didn’t even have to go through the recipes to make a list. My favorites are the epic meatballs, enchilada soup, sausage Tuscan soup and sausage with rice. ReplyCancel

  • Laura2.12.21 - 9:26 AM

    A couple of my favorite, easy meals:
    Slow cooker beef stroganoff: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/16196/darias-slow-cooker-beef-stroganoff/
    Sheet pan gnocchi with sausage and tomatoes: https://www.bakingwithjoshandange.com/sheet-pan-gnocchi-with-sausage-and-tomatoes
    Salsa verde chicken enchiladas: https://www.isabeleats.com/salsa-verde-chicken-enchiladas/
    This is a great idea, so thanks for doing. My husband and I were just talking about dinner idea fatigue. We dream about a draft beer and a large menu where we can all pick what we want!ReplyCancel

  • Jacy2.12.21 - 10:06 AM

    Favourite easy dinners:
    1. italian sausage (hot or mild), lots of kale (frozen works great here), parmesan, and pasta (orecchiette is my fave here). just make sure to assemble in the pan with some pasta water.
    2. Braised ginger meatballs in coconut broth, from the always reliable Smitten Kitchen https://smittenkitchen.com/2019/05/braised-ginger-meatballs-in-coconut-broth/ReplyCancel

  • Jessica2.12.21 - 10:38 AM

    Hi Kim and Scott, my favorite quick dinners are Smitten Kitchen’s pasta and chickpeas and Test Kitchen’s cream less creamy tomato soup (with grilled cheese of course ;)
    https://smittenkitchen.com/2017/10/quick-pasta-and-chickpeas-pasta-e-ceci/
    https://www.americastestkitchen.com/recipes/4412-creamless-creamy-tomato-soupReplyCancel

  • Amanda2.12.21 - 10:58 AM

    We don’t eat meat in our house, which can sometimes make quick meals feel impossible. Some of our staples:-Anything fancy and frozen from Trader Joes. No shame.
    -Cheap ramen with frozen veggies. We will make up our own sauce to fancy up the basics.
    -This Hello Fresh recipe is amazing. https://www.hellofresh.com/recipes/chickpea-powered-mediterranean-couscous-5ccb3d65600e76000f516afc
    -Chana Masala. We usually do some combination of potato, chickpeas, carrot, peas, sweet onion. Cook/soften the veggies (we typically fry the potatoes though) add a generous amount of garam masala, tumeric, and cumin. Add a large can of unsalted crushed pulm tomatoes. Simmer for a few minutes, serve with jasmin rice.ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.12.21 - 11:23 AM

      Sometimes I forget about fancying up packaged ramen. I grew up doing that, and I need to do that more! Pile on the veggies, an egg, and a big swirl of Sriracha! And the chana masala sounds YUM. It’s one of our fav dishes we pick up!ReplyCancel

  • Susan2.12.21 - 11:22 AM

    I love looking to Smitten Kitchen for recipes. We just made her baked feta with tomatoes and chickpeas & it was wonderful.   My pantry was starting to look very disorganized after this last year so I spent a weekend re-organizing it & it has made such a surprising difference to how I feel when I look at it while trying to plan meals. ReplyCancel

  • Laura2.12.21 - 11:27 AM

    Grilled cheese! Couldn’t be more simple but always delish. We pick up a fancy loaf of bread and use a variation of whatever cheese on hand – definition of easy comfort food, doesn’t create a lot of dishes and the fancy bread makes it feel a little elevated. We probably do it once a week in the winter and then switch to BLTs in the summer.  Makes one less day to plan in this house and the leftover bread never goes to waste! Love seeing everyone’s recommendations. What a great idea :) ReplyCancel

  • Stacy2.12.21 - 11:45 AM

    Sheet pan meals are my savior when I don’t really feel like cooking. I recently made one with sweet potatoes, mixed bell peppers, red onion, and chicken breasts – all tossed in some olive oil and taco seasoning, roasted and later topped with sour cream and salsa. On my menu for next week is andouille sausage, shrimp, red potatoes and brussels sprouts. Just throw it all on a pan and roast. Some things cook at different times, but it’s easy to make it work – I chopped those sweet potatoes first and let them get started in the oven by themselves while I prepped the rest of my meat and veggies. I batch cook and these types of meals are usually great as leftovers, too!
    If I’m feeling REALLY lazy, there’s always the old Trader Joe’s standby of a bagged salad kit and a package of their chicken sausage – they have so many great flavors! My favorites are the the broccoli and kale slaw salad kit with chicken and apple sausage, or the southwest kit with the chicken and jalapeno sausage. You probably aren’t feeling salads much right now with all of that snow, but it’s almost 80 degrees (!!!) in central Florida today, so lazy salads are on the menu for me.ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.12.21 - 11:59 AM

      Sheet pan meals are something we really need to start getting into. Thank you for that reminder!ReplyCancel

  • Sara2.12.21 - 12:27 PM

    I am not much of a cooker (I kind of hate cooking), but the two recipes I am always down to cook are:
    1. Chicken Adobo: https://www.thecookingguy.com/stcg-online-stcgo-episodes/2018/1/9/easy-chicken-adobo roast some broccolini and cook some rice. Perfect. Very hands off.
    2. Trader Joes Lemon Pepper pasta with with of their shrimp cooked in garlic and sliced mini heirloom tomatoes. Toss all with your favorite olive oil. Bam.ReplyCancel

  • SLG2.12.21 - 12:59 PM

    On what’s for dinner: I’ve been enjoying @workweeklunch on instagram for meal prep inspiration. It’s also a subscription service for meal prep plans that’s fully adaptable to various dietary restrictions (gluten free, vegetarian, etc.) and focused on intuitive eating rather than following a diet. Definitely worth checking out!ReplyCancel

  • Leslie2.12.21 - 1:44 PM

    Brown rice with lentil dal ( we like red lentils cooked with fresh ginger, onion, garlic, salt, coconut milk, and green curry paste) topped with roasted veggies (acorn squash and cauliflower seasoned with onion and garlic powder, salt, pepper, cumin, and cardamom is  a good option) and avocado. Garnish with chopped unsalted peanuts and cilantro.  You can also have roast BBQ tofu on top!ReplyCancel

  • Elaine2.12.21 - 2:15 PM

    Taco bowls right now. But lazy. Isabel Eats easy chicken tacos for the chicken, cilantro lime rice, sautéed poblano, onion, and red bell pepper (other colors work too – I just like this color). And then anything you might want on tacos. I like a bit of sour cream and cheese and some verde salsa. It sounds more involved than it is, promise. Easy and quick and so good. ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer2.12.21 - 2:52 PM

    What a great idea to share recipes!!! My favorite is Crispy Chicken and Arugula from SweetPhi. All her recipes are amazing. Buy thin or extra thin chicken breasts and this recipe is done in a flash!https://sweetphi.com/crispy-chicken-arugula-salad-recipe/ReplyCancel

  • Sandy Jolley2.12.21 - 6:26 PM

    Here is my all time favorite easy dinner. 
    Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
    Pan fry meat of choice, I like chicken or a kielbasa sausage. i’ve even made this vegetarian by leaving out the meat or using Quorn meat alternative products. 
    Saute any type vegetable, whatever you have on hand. I like peppers, onion, zucchini, spinach
    Cook pasta, any type
    Blend 1 package (8 oz) creams cheese with 1 jar roasted red pepper. Don’t drain the peppers, just dump the whole jar into the blender. Blend into smooth.
    Mix together meat, veg, cooked pasta and roasted red pepper sauce. Enjoy!
    Super easy and delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Megan Powell2.12.21 - 6:28 PM

    This comes with perfect timing! I’ve been in a cooking rut too, and bored of our tried and true, so I’ve been cooking a lot of new recipes the past few weeks. Here are some winners! 
    Sticky Meatballs: https://shuangyskitchensink.com/whole30-sticky-asian-meatballs/
    One-pot gingery chicken https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/one-pot-chicken-and-rice
    Shrimp Tacos (but we added mango salsa and it was SO GOOD! I talked about them for a whole week) https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/shrimp-tacos-recipe/ReplyCancel

  • Susan2.12.21 - 8:40 PM

    https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1020823-cheesy-baked-orzo-with-marinara?smid=ck-recipe-iOS-share
    This pasta recipe is a hit at our house. And I like that it has a bin of spinach in it so if we only have bread with it, I can pretend all the nutritional bases are covered. ReplyCancel

  • Hannah2.13.21 - 5:56 AM

    We love Smitten Kitchen for, well, everything…but Deb has many great weeknight quick dinners! Our biggest go to is the Spaghetti squash tacos…but the bacon, Brussels sprout, gruyere frittata is quickly becoming a favorite! And her riff on the baked feta and tomato dish that is all over TikTok is easy and divine!ReplyCancel

  • Susana5282.13.21 - 7:26 AM

    Honey mustard salmon. Mix equal parts Dijon mustard and honey with a little oil to make it spreadable. Spread on fish. Top with either panko bread crumbs mixed with a bit of olive oil or chopped nuts (I like pecans). Bake 10 minutes per inch of thickness of fish at 400. ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey2.13.21 - 9:00 AM

    I saw that coffee table in my local Crate & Barrel store and was stopped dead in my tracks. It. Is. Gorgeous. I want one, too! Maybe it will go on sale someday?ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.13.21 - 12:52 PM

      I’m crossing all my fingers! I cannot stop thinking about it.ReplyCancel

  • Meryl2.13.21 - 9:04 AM

    I will do anything Melissa Clark tells me to! We have her cookbook, Dinner and LOVE it. Every single recipe is a slam dunk. A favorite standout is the harissa chicken, which is a sheet pan meal with chicken, potatoes, and leeks drizzled with a yogurt sauce and hidden under piles of dill and parsley 😋ReplyCancel

  • Kerstin2.13.21 - 12:29 PM

    https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1019772-spiced-chickpea-stew-with-coconut-and-turmeric?smid=ck-recipe-android-share
    I love this stew, and it was one of the first stews we could get our kid to eat. I am not normally drawn to chickpea dishes but this one is absolutely delicious and warms you from the inside out. With warmed pita and topped with yogurt, lime wedges, and cilantro it takes it to another level!ReplyCancel

  • Kara2.13.21 - 1:07 PM

    We’ve been meal planning ever since the start of the pandemic. One thing that has helped us that we’ve designated Tuesdays for tacos and Fridays for pizza. Then each week we choose what kind of tacos and pizza we want to make. We usually order out once on the weekends to support our favorite local restaurants. One easy meal that we make regularly is this sheet pan gnocchi https://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-crispy-sheet-pan-gnocchi-and-veggies-247360 We just use whatever veggies we have on hand from our CSA. There’s also a version with sausage & butternut squash that is delicious. And an easy taco meal are these carnitas https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/07/no-waste-tacos-de-carnitas-with-salsa-verde-recipe.html The leftovers usually turn into quesadillas and nachos. ReplyCancel

  • Marie2.13.21 - 4:05 PM

    Any recipe from Steph. Making this tomorrow. So good. https://sweetsavoryandsteph.com/chicken-pot-pie/ReplyCancel

  • Ann2.13.21 - 5:37 PM

    We recently had Low Country Boil in Foil, which was easy and different. Preheat oven to 425. Tear off 12″ pieces of foil and lay them on the counter. In a large bowl, combine 2 T olive oil and 1 T Old Bay Seasoning. Add peeled raw shrimp (1/4 pound per person, or more if you’re a big fan of shrimp), a 1-pound package of frozen corn, one andouille sausage sliced thin, and 1 pound of tiny potatoes which you have chopped into small pieces and partially cooked in the microwave. Mix to distribute seasoning and portion onto the foil. Sprinkle copiously with chopped parsley. Slice a lemon into thin crescents and divide between the packets. Add a pat of butter on each. Seal the foil and bake 425 for about 20 minutes. If you don’t pre-cook the potatoes it’ll take longer.ReplyCancel

  • Andrea2.13.21 - 9:03 PM

    Nobody mentioned OnceUponAChef, I don’t think I’ve had a miss from her yet. Our favorites are probably her Thai chicken crunch salad and the Greek chicken skewers we put on a Greek salad as well. ReplyCancel

  • Alissa2.15.21 - 8:12 AM

    Anything from Vegan Richa. We currently love this creamy tomato pasta: https://www.veganricha.com/fettuccine-tomato-cream-sauce-asparagus/ReplyCancel

  • Kate2.15.21 - 3:50 PM

    I can’t recommend Two Peas and Their Pod enough! They have so many great recipes and their cookbook is amazing. I’ve literally gifted it to dozens of people and receive repeated thank yous! One of our favorites from them is their greek turkey meatballs: https://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/greek-turkey-meatballs/ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn2.15.21 - 5:07 PM

    If you need another show idea for Lucy while you’re stuck home during all this snow.. one of my absolute favorites for my two kiddos is Tumble Leaf (on Amazon Prime).. it’s language rich with the sweetest characters and calm stop-motion animation..  Hope you all stay warm and cozy! ReplyCancel

  • Leah2.16.21 - 10:09 AM

    Cannot recommend this pasta enough. So easy and tastes indulgent! Fusilli alla Vodka with Basil and Parmesan Recipe | Bon Appétit (bonappetit.com)ReplyCancel

  • Katherine2.17.21 - 9:22 AM

    We have a three and four year old who love Puffin Rock too! I would also recommend Bluey – it has short episodes with wonderful messages touching on the social and emotional development preschoolers are navigating as well as heartwarming family fun. It’s an Australian cartoon that focuses on a family of blue heeler dogs. We love it!ReplyCancel

    • Scott2.17.21 - 10:21 AM

      Bluey is a huge hit in this house! Our favorite episode is ‘Camping’. When Jean Luc returns as a teenager, it’s all the feels!ReplyCancel

      • Kim2.17.21 - 10:43 AM

        Just echoing Scott. BLUEY IS THE BEST!ReplyCancel

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