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The Dolly Awards

March 31st, 2014 · 21 Comments

Tis the season for waterlogged soccer fields, hoops madness, the dreaded state tests… and, let’s not forget, awards! Yes, there are the James Beard Awards, the National Magazine Awards, the Saveur Food Blog Awards (love those nominees!) but anyone who’s anyone knows that the most coveted prize of all is right here on Dinner: A Love Story. Presenting the Fourth Annual Dolly Awards, brought to you by the highly subjective, way-to0-excitable,
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How to Get (a Rockin’) Dinner on the Table in 20 Minutes

March 13th, 2014 · 8 Comments

Tuesday night: 5:30 Wrap up work in my home office — even though I meant to wrap up work before kids got home from school two hours earlier. Oh well. 5:40 Realize that Andy is out tonight and it’s Tuesday, which means everyone has their various extracurricular pursuits until almost 9:00. Make radical decision: Let’s eat dinner before practice tonight instead of after. 5:41 Realize this means I have to
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Tags: Dinner · Quick · Seafood

Notes from The Dinner Playbook

March 3rd, 2014 · 15 Comments

There was a time, when the girls were two and three, that we dreamed of the day when they’d be 10 and 11, able to sit at the table and place food in their own mouths while filling us in on their days. Now that we’re finally here—avert your eyes, new parents—we realize that our dream was a mirage, that life finds a way of constantly moving the goalposts on
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Tags: Chicken and Turkey · Organizing, Strategizing, Planning

Friday Round-Up

January 31st, 2014 · 17 Comments

Hey, look at what book showed up on Food 52′s Provisions in time for Valentine’s Day! (Be warned: Once you click over there, you will be swallowed up in the beautiful things vortex.) The battery-operated twirling spaghetti fork: So ridiculous. So endlessly entertaining. It’s been too long, Chicken Kiev! This week, we reunite. When elite parents dominate volunteering, it’s the children who lose. Phoebe wrote a new post on her reading blog, Nerd Alert, about the book that sealed
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Pizza Kit Giveaway!

January 27th, 2014 · 407 Comments

OK so how’s this for awesome: Applegate, maker of high-quality natural and organic meats is offering Dinner: A Love Story readers an exclusive giveaway. And it’s not just because they got wind of the fact that my 10-year-old sausage lover and my 11-year-old roast turkey sandwich addict have, I’m pretty sure, kept them in business for the past decade. Turns out they’ve been doing a little family dinner research that
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Archaeological Dig Turns Up Old Favorite

December 12th, 2013 · 20 Comments

Way back in the 90s, when Oprah ruled the land, just before she single-handedly transformed the publishing industry with her Midas-touch book club, she featured a cookbook on her show, written by her private chef Rosie Daley. The recipe collection was called In the Kitchen with Rosie and was filled with low-fat, low-carb meals that Oprah credited with her dramatic weight loss. Rosie, as I’m sure you recall, sold like gangbusters,
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Tags: Chicken and Turkey · Dinner

The Morning After

November 21st, 2013 · 15 Comments

. Today’s guest poster is Maria Braeckel, an excellent colleague of mine in the book world, and a true walker-of-the-walk when it comes to Sam Sifton’s Thanksgiving. For the past couple of years, Maria has cooked her through (and sent me photographs of) a large portion of the recipes in this book. Now, with an assist from Sam, she tells us how to handle the morning after — and to
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Tags: Thanksgiving

Maple Buttermilk Custard Pie (And Then Some)

November 14th, 2013 · 27 Comments

Sometimes I think the most necessary characteristic a cook should possess is restraint — in other words, the ability to stay out of the way of something delicious. (Think summer corn, a farm-fresh egg, homemade pasta.) In this case, that rule happens to apply to food blogging as well, and the something delicious happens to be the most beautiful book I’ve seen all winter: The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie
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Tags: Baking and Sweets · Birthdays, Holidays, Celebrations · Thanksgiving

How Young is Too Young?

November 8th, 2013 · 21 Comments

If you’ve been watching MasterChef Junior with your kids these past few weeks, I’ll bet two thoughts have crossed your mind. The first: Wow, my kid is probably a lot more capable than I give her credit for. The second: Who is that adorable nine-year-old preparing Beef Wellington and molten lava cakes, and who seems to have little to no fear of anything, including Gordon Ramsay? Her name is Sarah Lane,
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Tags: Cameos · Kitchenlightenment

The Condiment Problem

October 28th, 2013 · 18 Comments

A few weeks ago, my friend Christy, mother of four, sent me a link to a pork chop recipe she was thinking about for dinner. “So I am going to make this tonight, but what bothers me is that two of my kids will put A-1 on it no matter what.” I felt her pain — soy sauce and ketchup have both been A-1 equivalents in our house — and
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Tags: Picky Eating

Friday Round-up

September 13th, 2013 · 17 Comments

Did you know that all these dinners I write about…all those tips and tricks and weekly menu plans I dream up daily are really just a way to reel you in so I can discuss the real mission of DALS? i.e. the mission to support writers and artists doing cool things everywhere? The latest of the crop is my friend Kevin — illustrator, designer, father of two of the cutest
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Happy New Year

September 4th, 2013 · 19 Comments

Under the category of “Better Late than Never,” I thought I’d share our family’s Rosh Hashana menu for the evening. Quickly. So you can go get your shopping done, like, now. As usual, it’s a group effort — I am on Salad and Side patrol. Here’s how it breaks down: My parents: A few bottles Pinot, Challah, and Dessert which has yet to be determined, but I am pulling for
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Tags: Birthdays, Holidays, Celebrations

What Makes Something a “Keeper?”

September 3rd, 2013 · 311 Comments

Keeper. It’s one of the more beautiful words in the language of Dinner. (As in “Yes, dear, this pretzel chicken? It’s a keeper.”) But for anyone who’s cooking for a family,  it’s also one of the more elusive words. Because families are usually made up of kids, and kids are usually made up of really weird genetic coding that makes them say things like “I don’t like pasta” or “the
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Tags: Dinner · Pork and Beef

A Back-to-School Meal Plan for You

August 29th, 2013 · 38 Comments

All right people, I’m back. Since last we spoke I have been cranking on work — that vacation I was so wistful for? Those handstands on the beach and dinners on the screened-in porch?  They became distant memories as soon as the iphone photos were auto-flowed into their own Apple album. Closed the book on summer vacation! Gone! To quote one of Pixar’s more brilliant characters, “I never look back,
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Summer Reading Series: Michael Paterniti

August 19th, 2013 · 11 Comments

Our next guest in the DALS Summer Reading Series is Michael Paterniti, a man who needs no introduction (and not only because we just introduced him last month). Besides being the father of three voracious readers, he is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Revenge, Betrayal, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese, and joins us today to tell us about his two
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Tags: Cameos · Children's Books, Gifts, Culture · Uncategorized

Only on Vacation: Salsa Fresca

August 14th, 2013 · 19 Comments

Far and away, the most beloved pre-dinner snack in our house is chips-and-salsa. Every night, while the grown-ups are do-si-do-ing around each other assembling something that resembles a meal, the kids are generally popping into the kitchen to dunk a chip into a bowl of decanted Trader Joe’s salsa (and ask, yet again, dinner almost ready? Mom? Dinner almost ready? Dad?) It would never occur to me to make that salsa from
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Tags: Rituals · Sides, Salads, Soup · Vegetarian

Muffin Tin Tapas

August 7th, 2013 · 25 Comments

I think by now I’ve made it clear how much of an inspiration Peg Bracken’s I Hate to Cook Book has been in my life. Not because the recipes are good — quite the contrary, in fact. With brilliantly nostalgic (but not-so-appealing) names like Ham Lime Supper and Fast Cheese Scallop, I’ve never been tempted to cook even one. The writing, on the other hand, holds up remarkably well. A former
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Tags: Dinner · Picky Eating

Best of Summer Awards (aka The Dollys!)

June 27th, 2013 · 346 Comments

If you asked our family what summer means, you’d get a few different answers. The girls would say tomato sandwiches, no school, and ice cream. (Seriously, it’s a physical impossibility not to eat a Flav-R-Ice or a scoop of mint cookie every day.) If you asked Andy, it would be tomato sandwiches and road-trips where you’re driving down some county road in upstate New York and you come upon a
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