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Tips for Happier Weeknight Dinners

I am so pleased to hand over the mic to Katie Workman today. You might say the two of us are sisters in dinner — we met in 2013 at The Family Dinner Conference (yes, it exists), she’s blogged for years, and has two books out on the subject, the latest of which might be my favorite. It’s called Dinner:… Read more »

Quick Vacay Dinner: Shrimp & Haricots Verts

Scrolling through our vacation photos was like the visual equivalent of watching Bubba’s famous Forrest Gump monologue: Barbecue Shrimp. Creole Shrimp. Popcorn Shrimp. Pineapple Shrimp. Coconut Shrimp. Lemon Shrimp. Pepper Shrimp. Wow, we ate a lot of shrimp! This, of course, made perfect sense in South Carolina — where we spent the last leg of our trip, and where we usually feel like… Read more »

Anatomy of a Lazybones Summer Dinner

Who: The Usual Suspects, Andy, Jenny, Phoebe, Abby What: Family Dinner When: A Saturday night in early summer Where: DALS headquarters, Suburban New York Temp: High 80s, high humidity Obstacles/Activities/Extracurriculars: N/A, see: SUMMER 10:00 AM Walk to Farmer’s Market, procure Tuscan kale, baby cabbage, and a pound of Mahi Mahi from the fish guy. (And a dozen cider doughnuts, half of… Read more »

The Snack to End All Snacks

Let me apologize right off the bat for this post reading like an ad or sponsored content, or a 19th century Keatsian love letter, because there is no way I’m going to get through the next two hundred words without going seriously heavy on the superlatives. OMG! I THINK I FOUND THE SNACK TO END ALL SNACKS. It all started near… Read more »

Vegetarian Boot Camp

Over pork shoulder tacos one night, we told our daughters that we had an announcement to make. “Jeez, that sounds scary,” said Phoebe, as she held a massively overstuffed tortilla in front of her face. Little did she know. “Next week, we are going vegetarian,” we informed them. “Now: you guys are either with us or against us, and since… Read more »

Thank You, Teachers

As our kids head into their last week of school, teacher thank-you notes in tow, it got us thinking: What about our teachers in the kitchen? What about all the little voices that instruct us as we whip our cream, brown our chops… and overcook our dry-aged ribeyes? I’m not only talking about the Marcellas and the Julias and the Bittmans,… Read more »

Sadness and Good Food are Incompatible

“Sadness and good food are incompatible. The old sages knew that wine lets the tongue loose, but one can grow melancholy with even the best bottle, especially as one grows older. The appearance of food, however, brings instant happiness. A paella, a choucroute garnie, a pot of tripes a la mode de Caen, and so many other dishes of peasant… Read more »

Same Fridge, Different Day

I had nothing but time last Thursday night to dream up something for dinner. Andy was traveling, the girls were out at their various sporting pursuits until after 7:30, and both were getting rides home from friends, so it was me, an end-of-the-week fridge, and a luxurious sixty minutes to work with. I opened the refrigerator door. Cobwebs. How, I… Read more »

I’ve Got a Secret

There are secrets in every marriage, and ours is no different. Jenny has a leather-bound, blue diary she keeps by the bed, and its contents, after almost 20 years of knowing her, remain a total mystery to me. The other day, when I logged into my iTunes account, I discovered that someone — i.e. my wife — had purchased six… Read more »

A Nice Surprise

Since I write about food, it should probably come as no surprise to you that publishers send me cookbooks from time to time (ok, all the time) in case I find them interesting enough to write about. In addition to receiving emails with subjects like “Celebrate National Beef Jerky Day!,” I find this to be one of the more glamorous… Read more »

Being 12

Anyone who has ever volunteered at school will appreciate the scene in my kitchen all day yesterday: Dozens of 28-ounce cans of diced tomatoes and cannellini beans, enough chopped onions to kill a small animal, large, misshapen bags of frozen homemade chicken stock thawing in the sink, two 6-quart Dutch Ovens on the stovetop, and one lobster pot on the… Read more »

Five Dinners to Make From Pantry Staples

As you’ve probably gathered by now, most nights our family dinners rely on a philosophy followed by chefs the world over: Use fresh ingredients and mess with them as little as possible. This is easy to live by early in the week, when our fridge runneth over from our big Sunday shop. By Wednesday or Thursday, however, the hyenas (read:… Read more »

I’m Over Comfort Food

When you think of Sunday Dinners in the winter, what do you think of? A big pot of your grandmother’s meatballs? A hunk of meat braising all day in a Dutch Oven? Buttery mashed potatoes? Creamy polentas? Paellas? Lasagnas? And all things warm and comfort-y? Me, too. It’s most of the reason I can get through single-digit-degree February. But now… Read more »

Slow Cooker Beans

Happy New Year Everyone. Hope you’re still at your resolutions. (By my clock, we all have another few hours before we abandon them completely.) Me? I grabbed 2015 by the horns – I think by noon on January 1, the tree had been disrobed and curbed; the basement, organized; the contents of Phoebe’s Fibber-McGee-and-Molly closet sorted into three boxes –… Read more »

O Holy Chili

We know what we’re having for Christmas dinner: The same exact thing we have every Christmas dinner, right down to the salad dressing and the sides. The trouble comes on the nights before and after, when we’ve got family over, friends stopping by, or a bunch of hungry kids sitting around the condo after a day of skiing. On these… Read more »

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