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Relentless

April 19th, 2014 · 15 Comments

Jenny begged me to write this post. She begged me to write it because we have spent most of the last week on spring break and she has spent much of that time feeling guilty about not having posted. She keeps circling the laptop, turning to me and saying, “Should I post? Just something quick? Is it bad that we haven’t done anything all week?” (This is what it’s like
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Tags: Dinner · Grilling · Posts by Andy · Quick · Seafood

Hurry Up and Fail Already: Lessons in Creativity

April 15th, 2014 · 8 Comments

Jenny and I have written a lot about books on this blog — and more specifically, about the role books have played in our kids’ lives, the highlight reel they will summon when they’re old like us and thinking back on the things, beyond family, that added meaning to their lives. What we’ve never really talked (much) about is another part of the kid experience that would also factor into
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Tags: Posts by Andy · Uncategorized

Spring Holiday Round-Up

April 11th, 2014 · 6 Comments

In season: Peas, Ramps, Asparagus and…Peeps! No shortage of ways to use ‘em up on the Interweb: Peep S’mores, Peep Sunflower Cake, Peep-Wreaths, Peep-infused Vodka. (Yes, it exists, but some things are just too weird to link to.) Easter Main Option 1: Andy’s super-easy Apricot-glazed Ham (and my super-easy day-after-ham split pea soup) Easter Main Option 2: Slow-cooked Lamb with Lemon and Oregano Francois Payard’s Chocolate-Walnut Flourless Cookies (Thanks Jodi!) Kosher for Passover:
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Tags: Birthdays, Holidays, Celebrations

Orecchiette with Sweet Sausage Bolognese

April 10th, 2014 · 16 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

Eggs: A Love Story

April 7th, 2014 · 28 Comments

There are four cartons of eggs in my refrigerator right now, which might sound strange considering my childrens’ well-chronicled antipathy towards all things orb-shaped and yolk-filled, but as far as I’m concerned, it might not be nearly enough. The first carton, our standard Trader Joe’s Large Brown Organic, is almost depleted so that hardly counts. The second is one I picked up at our farmer’s market this past Saturday (Hallelujah!
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Tags: Dinner · Entertaining · Sides, Salads, Soup · Vegetarian

How to Shop Responsibly

April 4th, 2014 · 13 Comments

As we are all well too aware of, having kids these days seems to be synonymous with having stuff. Especially when we are new, impressionable parents, easily bamboozled by marketing messages telling us we need everything — from wipe warmers to the developmental toy du jour — or our kids will be destined for failure. But let’s forget about our kids for a minute. How is our culture of overconsumption
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Tags: Children's Books, Gifts, Culture · Kitchenlightenment

Breakfasts of State Test Champions

April 1st, 2014 · 9 Comments

Not much we can do about Common Core at the moment, except make sure our State Test warriors are sent off this week with bellies full of healthy breakfasts. A few ideas for those of you in the same boat this spring: Yogurt Parfaits – Lately we’ve been switching out the granola for Kashi 7-Whole Grain Nuggets (Kashi’s answer to Grape Nuts). Abby appreciates a good crunch. Breakfast Cookies – Make a
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Tags: Uncategorized

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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Tags: Uncategorized

Dinner: The Playbook

March 28th, 2014 · No Comments

Three signs you need this book: 1) Chicken fingers now qualify as adventurous. (Hey, they’re not nuggets.) 2) You plan your meals around your child’s ingestus particulare, a condition more commonly known as picky eating. 3) Family dinner? What’s family dinner? 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
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This Week in Salmon

March 27th, 2014 · 15 Comments

I know this is likely to ruffle a few feathers, but I’m going to say it anyway. Ready for it?? Here we go: Weeknight Entertaining is the New Dinner Party. You heard it here first, don’t forget that. So, um, why? Why would any of us want to throw one more variable into the dinnertime scramble? One more variable who actually needs to be fed? Simple: Because the bar is so
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Tags: Quick · Seafood

Abby’s Famous Swiss Chard (with a Side of Steak)

March 24th, 2014 · 20 Comments

Guest-post from 10-year-old Abby: I am so sick of kale. Good thing I taught my family to like chard with this world famous dish. Well not world famous, but famous in my house. I love chard. The second I saw the rainbow-colored stems at farm camp growing in a garden with beautiful fluffy green leaves I knew that they would taste good. One morning I bought then at the farmers
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Tags: Dinner · Grilling · Pork and Beef · Quick · Sides, Salads, Soup · Uncategorized

Dinner: The Playbook

March 20th, 2014 · 101 Comments

Yes, that’s the cover of my new book, to be published soon, but before I go into more detail on it I want to know one thing: Are you with me? I need to know this because, while this book is going to be a lot of things — an adventure, a game-changer, a how-to manual for the family meal — it is first and foremost going to be a
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Tags: Dinner: The Playbook · Uncategorized

Never Fail Banana Bread

March 17th, 2014 · 24 Comments

Yesterday, Phoebe came home from school with her aspiring-baker friend Abby (different Abby) and declared “We want to make bread.” “How long is this playdate exactly?” I asked. “Abby’s mom is picking her up at 5:30.” “Hmmm.” I was a little concerned about their plan. “Aw c’mon…We can make that easy bread you always make?” She was, of course, referring to Jim Lahey’s world-famous No-Knead bread, the only bread I’ve
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Tags: Baking and Sweets

Friday Round-Up

March 14th, 2014 · 6 Comments

If I can’t get to Tulum anytime soon, at least I can make Hartwood‘s skirt steak with roasted plantains. (You can just tell from the photo that it’s going to be easy, right?) The Knork reminds me: it’s a fine line between ridiculous and genius. Rebecca Lee should be more famous than Pharrell. (No offense to Pharrell.) Last week, I heard her read the title story from her short story collection Bobcat (all about a
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Tags: Dinner · Pork and Beef · Uncategorized

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

Clear the Afternoon, Kids! We’re Making Mole

March 10th, 2014 · 18 Comments

In my next book — which you’ll be hearing about shortly — there’s a whole section on recipes I call “Keep the Spark Alive” dinners. These meals are the opposite of what we make on, say, a Tuesday night, when efficiency and convenience are the most important ingredients. In some ways, they are the opposite of the DALS mission in general. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t every bit as
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Tags: Chicken and Turkey · Entertaining · Rituals

What Kind of Entertainer Are You?

March 6th, 2014 · 21 Comments

Do you ever wonder what your dinner guests say about you when they walk out your door? Do they marvel at your hosting abilities and wonder when they’ll get invited back? Do they praise the food but slag the company? Do they praise the company but slag the food? Do they judge your glassware? Do they climb into their car, sit for a second in the darkness, and say, Never again? That
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Tags: Domestic Affairs · Entertaining · Uncategorized

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