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Holiday Gift Guide

December 8th, 2014 · 14 Comments

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — at least it would be if you could check a few things off that massive list of yours. DALS is here to help! Need a holiday ham? Check. A classic Christmas cookie recipe? Here you go. And because we love you so much, herewith, our annual collection of gift ideas for friends and family, lovers and fighters, readers and eaters. Enjoy.
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Archive Dive

December 2nd, 2014 · 5 Comments

Sometimes I worry about my recipes the way I worry about my kids. As in, is this one getting enough attention? Does that one need a little extra love this week? I think it’s safe to say that Andy’s Pork Ragu is the Marcia Brady of dinners here on DALS (Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!) followed closely by Salmon Salad, Braised Short Ribs, and maybe those shrimp rolls from Playbook. In my defense,
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Mini Shepherd’s Pie

November 20th, 2014 · 19 Comments

Of all the things that taste better the next day — Grandma Jody’s chicken, pasta with Bolognese — I think maybe Shepherd’s Pie is right up there on my list. At least part of the reason for this is because some of my fondest childhood memories involve standing in front of my best friend’s fridge, eating forkfuls of the pie’s spice-spiked meat straight from the dish. But most of the reason?
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Tags: Birthdays, Holidays, Celebrations · Thanksgiving · Uncategorized

Scalloped Potatoes

November 18th, 2014 · 27 Comments

One night last week, Jenny and I were in the kitchen, cleaning up after dinner, and Phoebe was sitting at the table, finishing her homework, surrounded by the contents of her scoliosis-inducing backpack. As Jenny checked Instagram and I scrubbed a pan of rice, talk turned to Thanksgiving — and our total lack of planning for it thus far. The way it usually works around here, Thanksgiving-wise, is that Jenny’s
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Tags: Posts by Andy · Sides, Salads, Soup · Thanksgiving · Uncategorized

The Confidence Question

November 10th, 2014 · 143 Comments

I always hear people say “If you can read, you can cook” or “As long as you are organized, you can get dinner together.” I believe both of these maxims to a certain point, but the older I get and the more I hear from parents struggling to get dinner on the table every night, the more I feel like we’re ignoring a bigger obstacle in the kitchen. And no,
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Tags: Kitchenlightenment · Rituals

A Chat with Prune’s Gabrielle Hamilton

November 6th, 2014 · 14 Comments

Gabrielle Hamilton’s new cookbook, Prune, a collection of recipes from her celebrated East Village restaurant of the same name, doesn’t have any introduction. There are no recipe headnotes (you know, those little wind-ups from the author explaining the genesis of the dish you are about to make, or some kind of hold-your-hand cheffy trick that might help as you make it?) There is no flap copy, and no index where
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Tags: Cameos · Chicken and Turkey · Dinner

Friday Round-up

October 31st, 2014 · 15 Comments

What I’m reading and eating this week: I finally watched Chef last night. A lot of solid food-nerd moments in there, but my favorite was when the Jon Favreau character showed me exactly how chefs (and food stylists) make pasta look so pretty. (Like what you’re looking at above.) You wind the noodles around one of those long two-tine forks while it’s still in the pan, then tip it perpendicularly on to
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What’s Brewing in that Witches Pot?

October 27th, 2014 · 68 Comments

So do you guys know about these things called slow-cookers? Get this: you throw a bunch of s#*t into a pot, press a button, and ten hours later, dinner is ready. It’s like magic! I’m kidding of course. I think at least half of the nice people who read my blog have emailed me at some point in the past few years to ask  WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? WHY DON’T
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Tags: Dinner

Friday Round-up: Halloween Edition

October 24th, 2014 · 7 Comments

Best Halloween Party Goody Bag: Candy-Stuffed Disposable Gloves. (Buzzfeed)  Best Creepy Kids Movie: Coraline (I’d recommend 8 and up; And don’t forget the book and the graphic novel) Best Trying-to-Be-Scary-But-Actually-Adorable Halloween Treat: Little Cupcake Monster from alllielewisclapp‘s instagram feed. Best Vintage Halloween Picture Book: Halloween with Morris and Borris, by Bernard Wiseman

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Tags: Birthdays, Holidays, Celebrations

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

Today’s Lunch, Tomorrow’s Dinner

October 14th, 2014 · 24 Comments

“Wait you just made that now?” That’s what Abby said about this soup when she came in from the backyard, and it was exactly what I was thinking as I ladled the noodley broth into a bowl for her lunch. Wow, that was fast. This was yesterday — a holiday — and we had been on the road at various soccer tournaments throughout the DC area for three straight days.
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Tags: Chicken and Turkey · Dinner · Quick · Sides, Salads, Soup · Uncategorized

Friday Round-up

October 10th, 2014 · 136 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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Boo Cake

October 8th, 2014 · 10 Comments

Do you guys remember when Martha Stewart published the spin-off, Kids? It launched just as I became a mother, and was the magazine I would pick up during breastfeeding, and think “Some day Phoebe and I will fashion water bottles into adorable little piggy banks!” and “Someday I will have a ‘Backwards Party’ for Abby and serve a ‘Spaghetti and Meatballs’ Cake with ice cream that had been shredded through a
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Tags: Birthdays, Holidays, Celebrations

“Chicken-Again?” Wraps

October 6th, 2014 · 12 Comments

Growing up, true to the cliche, you’d find my sister, my twin brother, and me whining “chicken again?” as soon as my mom walked in the door after work and unpacked her two pounds of shrink-wrapped breasts from the Grand Union bag. Dinner: A Love Story readers know all about Grandma Jody’s classic breaded cutlets, but my mother’s poultry repertoire ran deeper than that. There were her roasted game hens;
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Tags: Chicken and Turkey

Dinner: The Playbook

October 3rd, 2014 · No Comments

Dinner:The Playbook 2014 Available at: Amazon: Barnes and Noble: Indiebound When my kids were little, my dinner rotation looked like this: Pasta, Pizza, Pasta, Burgers, Pasta, Pasta. It made me crazy—not only because of the relentless repetition, but because I loved to cook and missed my old, pre-kid dinners, the ones that didn’t come with a side of ketchup. So instead of waiting out the toddler years, I decided to
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Easy Vanilla Pudding

October 2nd, 2014 · 17 Comments

A guest post by 10-year-old Abby: Unlike most people, lunch and breakfast is not when I really feel a need to eat desperately. The part of the day when I am ready to feast is after school. I know that sounds weird, but it is 100% true. (You can ask my mom). After school is when I like to have a big bowl of pasta, leftover chicken pot pie, or
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Top 10 Fall Favorites

September 23rd, 2014 · 14 Comments

All right, guys, the open-toed shoes are getting packed away, the leaves are going all gold on us, and soccer season is starting to actually feel like soccer season. In other words, fall is here, which means we can justify a dive back into the archive to find some of my heartier favorites. 1. Pomegranate-Braised Pork Loin with Cabbage (pictured) Good for: Entertaining (as long as it’s not Rosh Hashana
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Tags: Chicken and Turkey · Dinner · Pasta · Pork and Beef · Seafood · Vegetarian

Soy and Mirin Glazed Roast Chicken

September 18th, 2014 · 23 Comments

It took me a little while to find my go-to roast chicken, but once I did, there was no going back. Those of you who have happened upon the recipe (page 287, Dinner: A Love Story) know why: It’s low on ingredients, forgiving if you miss a few of those ingredients, and doesn’t require changing oven temps or flipping the bird over and back again. It’s about as straightforward as
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Tags: Chicken and Turkey · Dinner · Dinner: The Playbook