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Chill, Mom. I Got Dinner

June 12th, 2014 · 57 Comments

Yes, that beautiful sight is exactly what you think it is: My twelve-year-old is making dinner. For the family. A stack of pan-fried gray sole with a green salad and ginger-miso dressing to be exact. What you don’t see, out of frame, are her parents, having some chips and salsa at the kitchen table, catching up on the day’s events, and doing their best not to tell their twelve-year-old to
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Tags: Dinner · Quick · Seafood

On the Plus Side of Winter

February 24th, 2014 · 24 Comments

Two Thursdays ago, my friend Sonya emailed me: Hey! You guys around this weekend? We have the urge to make a big pot of stew and drink wine with someone.  Please say yes!!! I could not have replied fast enough. Yes! Yes! Yes! Is tomorrow too soon? Or how about now? Can I come over right now? It was another single-digit temperature week up here in New York and most
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Tags: Entertaining · Uncategorized

Top 10 Deconstructed Dinners

February 4th, 2014 · 25 Comments

So I got this nice note from a reader the other day: I have to tell you I did my first real deconstructed meal the other night where I was not catering to the kids. It was so easy, such an epiphany! My husband and I made Chicken Tikka Masala with browned cauliflower and frozen peas in it. Before adding the (jarred) sauce, I loaded up plates with juicy sauteed
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Tags: Deconstructing Dinner · Dinner

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

From the Dinner Files: Case Study #231

December 2nd, 2013 · 22 Comments

Who: Frank T. Age: 44 Lives in: New York, NY Kids: Daughter Julia, Age 7 Marital Status: Divorced Custody Situation: Joint; Weekends + 1 Weeknight Dinner Dilemma: In Frank’s words: “My daughter is finally starting to expand her repertoire — it’s not only Mac ‘n Cheese and nuggets anymore. On the nights she’s with me, I want to stop relying on takeout and learn how to make a few really basic
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Tags: Organizing, Strategizing, Planning

How to Shortcut a Recipe

September 23rd, 2013 · 21 Comments

When I was first learning how to cook — which is another way of saying “When I was first plowing my way through The Silver Palate Cookbook in 1994″ — I remember coming across a recipe for an Avocado Dip that called for a cup of homemade mayonnaise. Homemade mayonnaise? Did such a thing even exist? Apparently it did — the ingredient list bumped me to page 339 where I
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Tags: Vegetarian

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

Vacation Dinner Highlight Reel

August 21st, 2013 · 12 Comments

I can’t promise you this will be a very usable guide to exciting eating. As you know, on vacation, you can toast a pop tart for dinner and it will make you as happy as a four-course meal at Cafe Boulud. (In fact, maybe we’ll try that tonight.) But, as you can imagine, we are getting seriously into our South Carolina vacation dining, doing our best to adhere to the
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Tags: Dinner · Grilling · Organizing, Strategizing, Planning · Rituals · Sides, Salads, Soup · Travel

I Could Eat Like This Every Night

July 29th, 2013 · 7 Comments

When you live with someone like Andy, it can be hard to know when he likes something and when he really likes something at the table. This is because his policy is to express how good dinner is if someone else has made it for him — I mean really express it — even if it’s maybe just mediocre. He’ll drop his fork. He’ll “Oh-My-God” a few times. He’ll mmmm
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Tags: Uncategorized · Vegetarian

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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Tags: Uncategorized

Five Summer Salads

June 25th, 2013 · 16 Comments

I think once a week since the Atkins craze seized us in the 90s, I’ve told myself that I’m going to try to limit the carbs — and at dinner have two vegetable sides instead of one vegetable and one bready-ricey-potatoey thing. Problem is, I like those bready-ricey-potatoey things a lot. And so do the kids. So I barely make it through one meal before I’ve fallen off the strach
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Tags: Sides, Salads, Soup · Vegetarian

RE: What’s for Dinner?

June 19th, 2013 · 24 Comments

Every year, right around this time, Jenny and I have the same conversation. We will have just finished dinner, and the kids will have disappeared upstairs to take baths or be mad because we are forcing them to take baths even though just they took baths last night, and Jenny will turn to me and say, “I think I could be a vegetarian.” And I am right there with her.
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Tags: Posts by Andy · Quick · Seafood · Sides, Salads, Soup · Uncategorized · Vegetarian

What Do You See?

June 3rd, 2013 · 31 Comments

Sometimes I fantasize about grocery shopping with my food heroes. I don’t mean Jamie Oliver and Marcella Hazan — though certainly I wouldn’t turn them down. I mean healthy, wholesome-minded moms like Alana and Jeanne. I have never even met these women, but based on their books and blogs, I feel certain that they’d make me see Trader Joe’s in a totally new and fresh way. (And that I wouldn’t end
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Tags: Quick · Sides, Salads, Soup · Vegetarian

Tofu Multiple Choice

May 8th, 2013 · 56 Comments

It’s too embarrassing to admit how many times I’ve picked up a block of extra firm tofu at The Trader Joe’s Sunday Shop, only to have it end up, four weeks later, in the garbage can of good intentions. Nonetheless, this past weekend, I tossed one into the cart, avoiding eye contact with my husband who would no doubt be happy to point out my current 0-and-5 bean curd record.
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Tags: Dinner · Favorites · Quick · Vegetarian

100 Rules of Dinner

March 26th, 2013 · 100 Comments

Want to learn how to cook but don’t know where to start? Miss the last 600 posts on Dinner: A Love Story and don’t know how to catch up? Looking for something to read while anxiously awaiting dispatches from the Supreme Court? Look no further. Herewith, a list of one hundred definitively DALSian (which is to say totally unofficial, ridiculously subjective) rules of dinner. 1. “Acid” is usually the answer when you
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Tags: Domestic Affairs · Favorites · Kitchenlightenment

This Week in Deconstructing Dinners

February 13th, 2013 · 33 Comments

Probably when most people spy a book like Jeanne Kelley’s Salad for Dinner at the bookstore or in their library they pick it up and think Mmmm, this looks nice and healthy. Or: I could afford to shake up the Romaine routine. My first thought? A veritable treasure trove of potentially deconstructable dinners. True, I can look at almost any meal and envision how it can break down into child-friendly, nothing-touching, no-green-speck meals
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Tags: Chicken and Turkey · Deconstructing Dinner · Dinner · Favorites · Sides, Salads, Soup

Snow Day Dinner

February 11th, 2013 · 18 Comments

It’s been so long since it snowed in our neck of the woods — and by “snowed” I don’t mean the one-inch dusting that disappears as soon as the sun rises, or the icy kind of snow that lands in October on trees with autumn leaves still clinging to them. (What was that?) The snow I’ve missed so much these past few weird winters is snowman snow, snowball fight snow, sledding
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Tags: Pork and Beef

Soup on the Brain

January 28th, 2013 · 60 Comments

This post is for those of you in the Northeast who haven’t felt their toes since last week. And for those of you who keep tweeting and emailing requests for soups right now please, Jenny! And for my mom who called me last night and said Why haven’t you done some kind of soup yet? For those of you in warmer climes, sorry, this post is not for you. In fact,
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Tags: Sides, Salads, Soup