Monthly Archives: December 2010

I Heart Christmas

I’m not sure how often I’ll be chiming in between now and 2011, so I wanted to be sure to point you in the direction of anything you might need in the next 12 days. (What did Dorothy say: “If you’re looking for your own heart’s desire, don’t go further than your own backyard?”) So here it goes. If you… Read more »

Emily’s Christmas Dinner

My mom has been making this on Christmas Day for as long as I can remember. This is one of the ten or so recipes she gave us, handwritten on index cards, when we got married — our own family dinner starter kit — many of which are still in rotation today. You’ll have to check out DALS: The Book to… Read more »

Twas the Week Before Christmas…

…and neither you nor your spouse…can even think about getting dinner on the table. Especially if you are the one cooking the Big Dinner in a few short days for a few dozen guests. This easy pasta dish is a good fall-back plan for these kinds of nights, when all you want to do is pour a glass of milk… Read more »

Korean Short Ribs

Korean Short Ribs (the non-slow-cooker version) 1 T. canola or vegetable oil 3-4 pounds beef short ribs, salted and peppered (I used a combination of bone-in and boneless — don’t ask — but I prefer all boneless) 1 c. of brown sugar 1 c. soy sauce, low sodium ½ c. water 3 fresh whole jalapenos scallions for garnish Heat oven… Read more »

Holiday Exclusive: Santa Speaks!

Santa: Hello? [To elf] I don’t think this thing is working. There’s no one… [Into phone] Hello? Hello? DALS: Hi, Santa. Santa? I’m here. Santa: Oh, okay. [To elf] It’s working now, Shorty. Go wrap. [Into phone] So, what can I do for you? DALS: First, I just wanted to say it’s an honor talking to you and thanks so much for… Read more »

You Can’t Mess This Up. I’ve Tried.

I did everything in my power to screw up this braised pork loin. Not on purpose, of course. But seriously, what was I thinking taking a work call during homework hour, a time when Abby absolutely must know immediately if 348 + 218 is indeed 9,843? And then, since it was approaching 5:00 and I wanted this pork to simmer… Read more »

A 15-Minute Keeper

In spite of this Greek chicken soup (aka avgolemono) being the single most popular dinner we ran in Cookie* and in spite of it being the first on the list of Victoria Granof-written recipes that we knew must be included in the cookbook, and in spite of the fact that it takes 15 minutes to whip up from start to… Read more »

Chop-and-Chat Recipes

With all the rather large variables conspiring against family dinner (long hours, long commutes, overscheduled kids) sometimes the best thing you can do to feel in control of the situation is eliminate a bunch of the smaller variables. You know how I feel about getting the milk poured before you start to cook, and about dreaming up strategies to distract… Read more »

The Death of Anticipation


It’s hard to wait for Christmas. Why? Because it might just be the only thing in the world kids are forced to wait for. Herewith, a timeline chronicling the demise of excitement, suspense and the simple pleasure of looking forward to something. (First published in Cookie; Text by me; illustrations by Brian Rea.)

Absolute Value (or…A Note About Splurging)

In the mid-90s, my father and I worked two blocks away from each other — he was on 47th and Third, and I was on 45th and Third, toiling away at my first Big City job while simultaneously trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. We’d regularly meet for lunch — at sushi bars, bagel… Read more »

Point and Cook

A few notes on Time for Dinner — besides the fact that it was selected as a favorite cookbook of the year by Bon Appetit, and besides the fact that you are all scooping up multiple copies to give as gifts for all your parent friends. I want to talk about the New York Times including TFD in their special Holiday… Read more »

Sunday Minestrone

Let me just start by saying this recipe is not a 30-Minute Meal. Nor is it a One Pot Wonder, a Five Ingredient Dinner, a Fix-it-and-Forget-it Dish or any of the other cute little titles dished up daily in magazines, cookbooks, and, um, blogs exactly like this one. This minestrone, which Pilar first introduced me to in 2004, is not… Read more »

Pancake Dinner

I know — such a buzzkill that mom has to go ahead and add shredded vegetables to the latkes. But how else am I supposed to justify potato pancakes being the only thing on the dinner plate? Simple Potato Latkes Adapted from Faye Levy’s International Jewish Cookbook Grate 3 large russet potatoes and 1 small onion in a food processer… Read more »

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