Monthly Archives: June 2010

Table Manners for Grown-ups

Last week I was having coffee with a friend and we ran into a dad she knows from her kids’ school. Jenny, she said, This is Tom. He is the best dinner guest. I learned also that he is a writer. A film professor at a nearby university. But that’s not what stayed with me. When I saw him the… Read more »

What We Can Learn From a Cast Iron Pan

I bought this Lodge pre-seasoned cast iron skillet about seven years ago after writing a story for Real Simple about pots and pans. The 8-inch skillet costs only 17 bucks, is naturally nonstick, moves easily from stovetop to oven, has been the site of untold thousands of pancake and French toast fry-ups, and, not least, is always good for conjuring up… Read more »

MVP of the Picky Eater Arsenal: The Waffle Iron

waffle iron

You wouldn’t think that a gooey, melty grilled cheese would be too hard a sell on a kid, right? You also wouldn’t think that a grilled cheese is nutritious enough to warrant Kasparov-ian strategizing from that kid’s parents. But the Phoebe-wants-this-Abby-wants-that routine can wear on me (have I mentioned that each daughter requires her own brand of salsa when served… Read more »

Daddy Needs a Drink*

  Now that the swampy, soupy weather has officially arrived, it’s time to share a few heartfelt words about something near and dear to our hearts: the evening drink. When we got married, someone gave us one of those full-on Pottery Barn cocktail kits, the ones that come with the ten-gallon martini glasses and silver-plated shaker, stirrer, strainer, tongs, and… Read more »

Tea Party Dinner

BLT tea party

This is not exactly a traditional tea party spread, I realize. What you’re looking at is all the makings of one of my daughters’ favorite dinners: The BLT with Avocado on whole wheat toast. The girls get to assemble right at the table and it’s almost always good for a giggle: Sandwiches for dinner? Mom, you’re craaazy! On this particular… Read more »

How I Buy Meat, by Alexandra Zissu

meat counter

For the next installment in DALS’s How I Buy Meat series, we hear from Alexandra Zissu, author of The Conscious Kitchen, and the “Ask an Organic Mom” columnist at TheDailyGreen.com. The goal of the HIBM series is to share exact meat-buying strategies and philosophies from food industry insiders, environmentalists, public health officials, etc. who also happen to be parents. Last… Read more »

I’ll-Miss-You Granola

granola prep

This might also be called “Thanks-for-having-me” Granola or “Congratulations” Granola or “Just-Because” Granola. Because once you taste the crazy good olive-oil infused concoction — as I did at my friend Melissa‘s house — you will want to make it for everyone you know for every occasion. So far, mason jar after mason jar has been filled with it and given to… Read more »

Quack & Cheese

Just want to clear one thing up: My family does not all sit down to the same dish every single night. We do most nights. But like every house that is inhabited by humans born in the 21st century, there is the constant chorus of requests (an awfully nice way to put it) from the royal diners. I want spaghetti not… Read more »

DALS Giveaway (+ Some News)

mini

A friend of mine said she saw one of my “Make Dinner Not War” bumper stickers on a car in Brooklyn last week. I can’t tell you how happy this made me. I’ve sent out hundreds of them — as far away as Vancouver, and as close as up the block — and sometimes at night I lie there imagining… Read more »

Chicken Curry with Apples

starter curry

I love this dinner. I’ve been making some variation of it for fifteen years — in fact I almost want to make the claim that it was the first recipe I had ever clipped from the New York Times Dining Section (technically the “Living” section back then…God I’m old) and cooked in my Upper East Side roach-infested studio.  The fact… Read more »

2 All-Turkey Patties, Special Organic Sauce, Greens, Cheddar, on a Whole Wheat Bun

Phoebe was about four years old the first time she walked into a McDonald’s. It was somewhere in Virginia, an I-95 pitstop on our annual 800-mile drive down to South Carolina from New York. I remember her wide-eyeballing the playground outside, the Wizard of Oz doll display inside. Before she had taken a single bite of food, she turned to… Read more »

You Won’t Believe How Simple This Is

soy bean tomato salad

I had the pleasure of interviewing Ted Lee last week — he’s the co-author of the James Beard Award-winning book The Lee Bros Southern Cookbook (what they call in the trade a “category killer”) and most recently, Simple, Fresh, Southern, which is their entry into the “Everyday” category of cookbooks. (A favorite category of mine as you might imagine.) I… Read more »

Announcing: Kitchenlightenment

Is it clear yet how I feel about the dinner table? I think it’s kind of a big deal. And I don’t mean that it’s a big deal in the way all those studies tell us it is. Because for every study claiming that kids who eat with their parents do better in school and are less likely to be… Read more »

Rigatoni with Mushrooms I’d Never Heard Of

Last week, as you may have noticed on my visual market post-mortem, I came home with a pile of cool-looking maitake mushrooms from the farmer’s market. I probably sound like I know what I’m talking about, but in truth, I had never heard of maitakes before I spied them on a vendor’s table next to the Lion’s Manes (another new-to-me variety)… Read more »

Would Anybody Like to Play a Game?

Now, granted this might be hard because it involves some knowledge of my cookbook shelves pre-June 10, 2010. But the game is this: Can anyone guess what new cookbook has been added to my kitchen library? I’ll give you a hint. It’s wedged in between Ruth Reichl and Marcella Hazan, a few doors down from Martha Stewart and Bugialli and… Read more »

Detox Soup

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but we’ve been doing a lot of eating in my house lately — and while we always try to keep it relatively artery-friendly, we frequently hit stretches where this is impossible. This past week, for instance, there was the burgers-and-dogs barbecue at a friend’s house, there was the baked-good bacchanalia during the ballet recital intermission,… Read more »

Jam!

“Mom, can you help me pick out what song should be in my head today?” Abby asked me this yesterday as we were in the throes of the morning scramble. (My next website, Breakfast: A Hate Story). I took the request as a lucky break, considering I was at that very moment grabbing strawberry jam from the fridge praying that… Read more »

Candy-Crusted Grilled Pork

Last year, we hosted Christmas dinner for the first time – the full deal, too, with both sets of grandparents, brothers, sisters, kids, cousins, and an insane puppy, all wilding through the house. We needed a meal that everyone would like and were determined not to serve chicken fingers and crinkle cut fries. We discussed various festive options — filet… Read more »

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