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Anatomy of a Thursday Night Dinner

October 20th, 2014 · 24 Comments

6:30 Walk in the door to an empty house. Andy is traveling. Girls have gotten rides to practice. Scan fridge. Some leftover bagged greens, a head of cauliflower, a vinaigrette I made on the weekend. The only meat we have is frozen. Not enough time to thaw. Scan the pantry. Jackpot: Two cans of chickpeas. Center-of-the-plate problem: Solved. 7:20 Pick up Daughter 1 at soccer. 7:40 Return home. Daughter 1
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Tags: Anatomy of a Weeknight Dinner · Dinner · Vegetarian

Friday Round-up

October 10th, 2014 · 132 Comments

What I’m reading this week: What if You Just Hate to Cook Dinner?  Virginia Heffernan, mother of two, poses the question “Why is food such a big part of raising children?” then proceeds to discuss the condescending language in family cookbooks, including mine. I have a fair amount I’d like to say about this essay, but for now, I’m going to do my mom proud and save it for the burn
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Tags: Uncategorized

Spicy Pork Tacos with Peach Salsa

September 3rd, 2014 · 20 Comments

When you picture dinner in my house, do you imagine two starving little middle schoolers, banging utensils on the table with both hands, and rolling their eyes at their mother as she snaps photos and re-positions garnishes just so? Or me shouting “one more second” from the next room waiting for the sun to sink to just the right place, creating optimal lighting conditions? Well, you wouldn’t be entirely wrong.
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Tags: Grilling · Pork and Beef

Recipe Index_new

August 10th, 2014 · No Comments

Sides and Starters Curried Carrots with Butter Rosa’s Lentil Salad Bibb Lettuce with Summer Peas Romano Bean and Tomato Salad with Preserved Lemon Potatoes with Mayo, Chives, and Preserved Lemon Guacamole Steamed Little Necks Cheater’s Naan Fennel and Apple Slaw Sauteed Chard with Horseradish Fava Bean Crostini Twice Baked Potatoes Grilled Vegetables with Haloumi Roasted Spring Ramps Asparagus with Chopped Egg and Onion Quinoa Salad with Roast Tomatoes and Feta
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Neat Trick

July 21st, 2014 · 6 Comments

Last week I was driving with my best friend — Leonard Lopate, obviously — whose guests were two parenting podcasters: Dan Pashman, host of “The Sporkful,” and Hillary Frank, host of “The Longest Shortest Time.” They were discussing “Raising Adventurous Eaters,” and had some good advice for parents of picky eaters — I’m happy to report that family dinner and the idea of repeated exposure came up a few times. But my
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Tags: Picky Eating · Uncategorized

The Third Piece of the Puzzle

June 5th, 2014 · 21 Comments

I know it’s all about The Third Plate these days, but I have another dilemma in my house, namely the Third Piece issue. That is, in the meat-veg-starch triumvirate, I usually have the meat and vegetable down, but lately I’ve been stumped by what else goes on the plate that my brown-rice and bean-hating kids will be excited about, but that isn’t a big pile of potatoes. (I know, everyone
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Tags: Sides, Salads, Soup

Birthday Party Burrito Bar

June 2nd, 2014 · 28 Comments

Is it just me, or is it impossible to open a newspaper these days without reading about Chipotle? I know they’ve had a few setbacks lately — there was that whole executive excessive salary issue last week; and then last month when they decided to print inspirational quotes from the country’s literary lights on takeout bags and cups and didn’t include any Latino voices in there…well, that was not the best thing
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Tags: Uncategorized

A Vegetarian at the Table

May 5th, 2014 · 61 Comments

Dear Jenny, . Last winter, my 10-year-old, who is a voracious and wonderfully appreciative eater, started making noises about becoming a vegetarian. We engaged the conversation, of course, which then piqued the interest of my 8-year-old. They both decided that, because of their feelings about animals, they wanted to become vegetarians.  My husband and I totally supported this, but told her that we wouldn’t have the family go full vegetarian
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Tags: Vegetarian

He’s Sweet, She’s Savory

April 30th, 2014 · 18 Comments

There are many reasons why I love going to Naria’s and Peter’s house for dinner. For starters, they live in my town, and I don’t think I’m the only one who feels that one of the great pleasures in life is having neighbors cook for you. This is especially true when those neighbors really know how to bring it in the dinner party department. Unlike in our house where having
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Tags: Baking and Sweets · Entertaining · Seafood

Orecchiette with Sweet Sausage Bolognese

April 10th, 2014 · 18 Comments

I’m a little obsessed with this dinner — even though I haven’t really eaten a legitimate bowl of it yet. It started at the farmer’s market on Saturday — right now is slim pickins there in terms of greens and produce (see: Winter, Brutal) but I was still able to pick up a few old friends that I had been missing these past few months: Some good eggs (as you
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Tags: Pork and Beef

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

I’ll Let You Handle That

February 13th, 2014 · 37 Comments

Jenny called me at work a couple of weeks ago, on one of those gray afternoons when the temperature never rises much above 10 degrees and the dog refuses to go outside. “I’m freezing,” she said. “How do I turn up the heat?” “In the house, you mean?” We’d lived in this house for ten years. This was not our first winter there. “Yeah,” she said. “Okay, do you see
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Tags: Domestic Affairs · Vegetarian

That Chicken

February 10th, 2014 · 36 Comments

My sister called me the other morning. We were both in our cars — bluetoothing and dropping off our various charges — and figuring out a possible cousin sleepover when she said, with some urgency, “Oh! Did you get my message?” “No, what message.” “I left you a voice-mail with a lot of questions, but I really want to tell you about the chicken.” “What chicken?” “My friend Trish had a
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Tags: Chicken and Turkey · Dinner · Grilling

Holiday Gift Guide 2013

December 9th, 2013 · 83 Comments

Welcome to our annual guide for everything we want, covet, crave, and, yes need this holiday. (I don’t know about you, but in my world, coffee qualifies as an essential.)  As always, the round-up was compiled with cooks, kids, and parents in mind (again, coffee), as well as for those of you who have already bought Dinner: A Love Story for everyone on your list. For those of you who have not:
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Tags: Birthdays, Holidays, Celebrations · Children's Books, Gifts, Culture

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

15 Recipes Every Parent Should Know

October 15th, 2013 · 27 Comments

This is probably not the smartest business move for a cookbook author who writes books with 100+ recipes…or for a food blogger who wants readers to, you know, come back tomorrow — but I am going to say it anyway:  In spite of everything you’ve read (on this blog and elsewhere), you really only need a handful of culinary moves in your back pocket to survive as a parent. Here’s the
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Tags: Favorites · Uncategorized

Top 10 Ways to Use a Rotisserie Chicken

September 25th, 2013 · 18 Comments

Time for another round of crowd-sourced inspiration! Here’s the question I posed to you all via facebook the other day:  ”I have at least half a rotisserie chicken in the fridge at home that I have to use tonight or forever regret tossing it. How would you stretch it into dinner?” A few hours later I was faced with an embarrassment of riches — There were almost 150 directions I
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Tags: Chicken and Turkey · Dinner · Quick