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Friday Eating & Reading

What I’m eating and reading this week: On the dinner line-up: Grilled Tuna Sandwiches with Salsa Fresca, one of my most favorite summer meals. (How to Celebrate Everything owners, page 158; for everyone else, here’s a version that’s close.) A new science podcast for kids (ages 5-10) from NPR: Wow in the World How to raise a reader. Dragonfruit Vodka… Read more »

33 Things I Learned From This Season’s Cookbooks

I’m pleased to announce that, as of Monday, my annual cookbook round-up for the Times Book Review is live and ready for your reading pleasure. As you know, I always love this assignment, not only because I get to pore over beautiful books all spring, but because it really forces me to cook outside my comfort zone, to seek out new… Read more »

Maybe The Best Pie Ever

That’s what Andy said when he tried a bite of the inaugural Chocolate Chess Pie we baked on Friday: Maybe the best pie ever. Before I get into the details, let me just remind the readership at large here that Andy loves nothing more than a superlative. (<- Which is itself, of course, a superlative.) About the tomato sandwich he eats during… Read more »

My Favorite Vacations

I would say up at the top of the list of Reader FAQs, maybe after “What can I make with chicken breasts?” but before “Can you recommend a good book for my kid?” is this:  ”Where should I vacation with my family?” It’s an excellent question, and one we’ve tried to answer over the past seven years in travel posts here… Read more »

Mix-and-Match Easter Brunch

My father’s mother, Grandma Tillie, didn’t attend my parents’ wedding. She was Jewish, raised in an Orthodox household by parents who had been born in a Romanian shtetl—and her oldest son marrying a Presbyterian from western Pennsylvania had not exactly been her idea of kosher. Naturally, her wedding-day protest weighed heavily on my father, but once my parents tied the… Read more »

72 Hours in Jackson, Wyoming

I would say the second* most popular conversation at our dinner table lately has been: If you could have another house anywhere on earth where would it be? (The assumption being that our little hamlet in Westchester County, is everybody’s first choice. Yesss 914!) Typical answers tend to lean toward the absurdly exotic and end in “i:” Bali, Fiji, Kauai…but… Read more »

Bipartisan Meatloaf

Last week, when Susan Collins, Republican Senator of Maine, broke with her party to vote against Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, I know what you were all thinking: Yeah, it’s good to know where she stands on vouchers and charter schools, but what I really want to know is: Where does she stand on meatloaf? I hear you! As any… Read more »

Thirty Dollars, Five Dinners

Back in the fall, Christina Chaey, an editor at Bon Appetit presented me with a challenge: How would you stretch $30 at Whole Foods into five family dinners? My first reaction: HAHAHAHAHAHA! Can’t be done. (Whole Paycheck anyone?) My second: You know…this kind of use-it-or-lose-it exercise is always useful, no matter where I’m shopping. Plus, I had just returned from… Read more »

Molly Yeh’s Almond Cake

I am so thrilled to welcome Molly Yeh to the DALS Family Rituals Series. In case you have been living in an alternate universe for the past few years, Molly is something of a Beyonce among Bloggers — she is the author of Molly on the Range, and the brain behind My Name is Yeh (pronounced “yay”) where she chronicles… Read more »

A Reset Plan (for January and Beyond)

How ya doing on those New Year’s resolutions? I’m pleased to report that it’s only Day Five of 2017 and yet I’ve already checked off THREE of my big ones: Edit and organize passwords on important accounts, book mammogram, and start every single day with a Starbucks Grande Pike or its caffeine equivalent. (I take it to heart to set… Read more »

Your Doorway into Christmas

Jeanette Winterson, the British author perhaps most well-known for her coming-of-age autobiographical novel Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, has a sacred Christmas ritual. Every Christmas Eve, at 3pm, she listens to a service on BBC radio, broadcast live from Kings College in Cambridge. There are Bible readings from the Old and New Testament and in between, the choir sings carols… Read more »

Tree-Trimming, Memory-Making Cinnamon Buns

Last night was our annual trim-the-Christmas-tree-and-eat-latkes ritual. (Yours too, right?) I know we’re still over two weeks away from Hanukkah, but we’ve been merging the two holidays for so long (see: How to Celebrate Everything) that it now feels officially weird to hang angels and macaroni ornaments on the tree without snacking on latkes and their attendant fixins. Not only because… Read more »

Luisa Weiss’s “Humble” Birthday Cake

My Family Rituals Series continues with author Luisa Weiss, who some of you probably know as The Wednesday Chef, or, if you’re a blogger like me, as “one of the originals.” Luisa grew up shuttling back and forth between Boston and Berlin, and it’s Berlin where she’s made a home with her husband and young son, Hugo. Not content merely to write… Read more »

In Praise of Pavlova

I’ve worked with a lot of creative people in my life, but right up there at the top of the list is Vanessa Holden, who I met when she was creative director of Real Simple, and who went on to become editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart and creative director at West Elm. Her most impressive credential, though, might be Soul Safari, the conference-slash-revolution… Read more »

Where I Eat, Drink, and Shop in Westchester

Forgive me broader readership, I’m going super local today. Many of you probably know that I live in Westchester County, which borders New York City to the north and is flanked by the sailboat-dotted Long Island Sound to the East and the mighty Hudson River to the West. With the exception of college in Western Mass and a decade in… Read more »

When Ice Cream is More Than Ice Cream

For the next few weeks, leading up to the publication of my book How to Celebrate Everything, I’ll be running a series on family rituals, all about the ways we build memories and infuse meaning into our day-to-day life with kids…usually through food. I can’t think of a better way to kick off the series than with Jackie Cuscuna, one half… Read more »

Friday Reading & Eating

What we’re reading and eating this week: Imagine living in this house? Cooking in that kitchen! (Yes, that’s Jens Risom and yes this is an old link that says he’s 97, so he must be near 100 now.) I agree with Dana Goodyear: I think the backlash against Mast Brothers is not really about being suckered into paying nine bucks for sub-par chocolate…. Read more »

The Chicken Cutlet Sandwich

I know we’re all in end-of-summer mode, but for a minute I need to take you back to an early June day, specifically Father’s Day, which up here in the Northeast was a stunner of a Sunday. Clear skies, low 70s, light breeze. Andy was out running errands when the girls and I took stock of the gift loot —… Read more »

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