Monthly Archives: October 2011

What’s Your Secret Ingredient?

I love the idea of a recipe having a secret ingredient. When the girls were little, I would steal away to the corner of the kitchen to add a secret ingredient (sugar) to my magic hiccup potion (water). My friend Andras puts a shot of bourbon in his scrambled eggs. My old co-worker Myles adds a spoonful of peanut butter… Read more »

Pop Quiz

I think we are way overdue for another edition of Wax-On, Wax-Off, don’t you? You know the concept, right: Once you learn how to cook something without using a recipe, you are more inclined to cook it. So taking everything you know about pasta (you can use this really helpful primer from Bon App to refresh yourself), take a look at… Read more »

Eyeball Cupcakes

I really do believe that there are two kinds of people in this world: the bakers and the cooks (or “cookers” as Abby once called them.) Me — with my absolute inability to pay attention to amounts and rules and, you know, crucial details (last week I applied Athlete’s Foot cream on Phoebe’s rash instead of hydrocortisone — I fall… Read more »

Rosa’s Lentil Salad

In the mid-80s, after a long day of wrestling with algebra and 7th-grade-girl politics, my best friend Jeni and I would head to her house to decompress with a Ms. Pacman marathon. I remember the two of us walking into the sunny foyer of their tall Victorian, dumping our CB jackets and LeSportSacs in a big mound on the floor… Read more »


Many thanks to this month’s newsletter sponsor, Inmod, an online retailer of modern furniture, lighting and decor. The winner of the Inmod teak bowl (upper left) is DALS reader Merie. To be eligible to win newsletter giveaways, you must be a subscriber. Thanks to everyone who played!

Yet Another Birthday…

…where my grand plan to make Deb’s Best Birthday Cake, devolves into this instead. But Abby will forgive me when she opens these and this. (We’ve already exhausted Season 1.) I’m thinking of having a third child, if only so I can dress him or her in this for Halloween. Why can’t it be October 25 right exactly now? I… Read more »

First Place Loser

2nd Place Andy

There’s this thing Abby and I do, before every soccer game. She’s usually sitting on the wooden bench by our door, in her too-big uniform, and even though she’s in third grade, I’m enabling…I mean, tying her cleats. When I’m done, I give her a pat on the knee and look into her eyes. “You ready?” I ask. “Yeah,” she says. The… Read more »

Introducing Fave Five

When you are a parent and faced with the reality that your children are doing things like running for student government, logging into their own gmail accounts,and you know…growing up, there suddenly seems to be an emotional land mine buried in every nook of the house. Phoebe’s purple velvet first birthday dress — the one Andy bought for her at… Read more »

Question of the Day

If you present one of these baked caramel apples as an afterschool snack, don’t you think you are off the hook for just about everything else…all month long? Baked Apples with Caramel Heat oven to 425°F. Remove stems from your apples. (I used Empire here; you want an apple that can hold its shape under heat — Granny Smiths, Romes,… Read more »

A Hint of Hedonism

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been writing this blog as long as I have, and never told you about one of my greatest talents. (No, not my proclivity for cocktails.) Last night as I made dinner, it occurred to me that I have a remarkable ability to convince myself that whatever I’m making for my family is healthy —… Read more »


Just a reminder that in order to be eligible for giveaways (not to mention the trademark DALS bumper sticker), you need to register for the DALS newsletter. We have a couple fun giveaways coming up this week, so do it sooner rather than later! Photo courtesy of Raising Foodies.

Reader Mail

Love this note from longtime loyal reader “ingrid:” While I have still not improved to your cooking expertise (who am I kidding — I feel lucky if I can grab a rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods 2 blocks away?!?!?), I have come to see that parenting is a team sport. Truly, this is what your blog is about – no?… Read more »

An Anniversary Story

There are other benefits to keeping a dinner diary besides the fact that it offers daily meal inspiration as well as tangible, Pilot-Pen-V5 documented evidence of my obsessive-compulsive behavior. And that added benefit is this: It tells a story. It tells the story of how much my cooking has changed from the pre-Michael Pollan days of the 90s (asparagus is constantly showing up… Read more »

Last Gasp

We’re not the types who keep the Weber burning all year long — something just doesn’t feel right to me about grilling a leg of lamb while wearing a parka. Which means that this past Saturday night, when the sun was on its way down before the girls’ muddy cleats had been kicked off, may have just marked our final… Read more »

Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I Started Cooking

flat bag

I wasn’t sure I heard her right. “Excuse me?” I asked. “What’s up with the flat bags?” I heard her right. The question came from the photographer’s assistant during the DALS Book photo shoot a few weeks ago. She was in her twenties, hailed from Williamsburg. I didn’t get a peek at her iPod, but I feel certain it would be loaded… Read more »

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