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August 10th, 2014 · No Comments

Sides and Starters Curried Carrots with Butter Rosa’s Lentil Salad Bibb Lettuce with Summer Peas Romano Bean and Tomato Salad with Preserved Lemon Potatoes with Mayo, Chives, and Preserved Lemon Guacamole Steamed Little Necks Cheater’s Naan Fennel and Apple Slaw Sauteed Chard with Horseradish Fava Bean Crostini Twice Baked Potatoes (pictured, center) Grilled Vegetables with Haloumi Roasted Spring Ramps Asparagus with Chopped Egg and Onion Quinoa Salad with Roast Tomatoes
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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

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

Family-Friendly Apres-Ski Meals

January 21st, 2014 · 19 Comments

For a lot of people, the phrase “Apres Ski” conjures a certain image — a group of  ruddy-faced J. Crew models wearing Uggs and sipping red wine around a rough-hewn coffee table; a cold beer soothing burning muscles in front of a roaring fire; and (for Phoebe) reading a comic book under a blanket in her pajamas. For me, it means one thing: Skiing is over. I survived another day and
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Tags: Vegetarian

America’s Next Top Family Dinner

January 6th, 2014 · 66 Comments

I just did a run-down of last year’s New Year’s Resolutions and — shocker — I barely batted 200. Still don’t drink enough water, still eat too many “incidental” French Fries off the girls’ plates, haven’t gotten any better at forcing myself to call friends instead of text them, never read The Hobbit, which was going to earn me big fun Mom points with Phoebe, which at the time was her
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Tags: Dinner · Organizing, Strategizing, Planning

Where to Eat in NYC: A Family Guide

December 23rd, 2013 · 15 Comments

. It occurred to me a few weeks ago that every time we go on a trip — whether it’s Santa Fe, Austin, San Francisco, Paris — we tell you what we’ve done, where we’ve eaten, what our kids loved the most. And yet, in the four years we’ve been writing this blog, we’ve given you hints and peeks into Our New York, but have yet to deliver a family
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Tags: Birthdays, Holidays, Celebrations · Travel

Thanksgiving Eve 2013

November 15th, 2013 · 21 Comments

By the time Thanksgiving week rolls around, the game plan, for the most part will be fully mapped out. The menu will have been tweaked and retweaked to reflect just the right amount of tradition (Grandma Jody’s herb-roasted turkey, mashed potatoes) and adventure (maple buttermilk custard pie!); the duties will have been divvied up among aunts and uncles. Anything that can be done in advance—grocery shopping, pie crust making, bourbon
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Tags: Rituals · Seafood · Thanksgiving

A Back-to-School Meal Plan for You

August 29th, 2013 · 38 Comments

All right people, I’m back. Since last we spoke I have been cranking on work — that vacation I was so wistful for? Those handstands on the beach and dinners on the screened-in porch?  They became distant memories as soon as the iphone photos were auto-flowed into their own Apple album. Closed the book on summer vacation! Gone! To quote one of Pixar’s more brilliant characters, “I never look back,
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Tags: Uncategorized

Summer Short Ribs? Yup.

July 17th, 2013 · 14 Comments

If we were playing word association (since we just got back from vacay, there has been a lot of this game going on in our house) and we started with say, short ribs…Where would you go from there? “Winter?” “Braise?” “Dutch Oven?” “Anna?” I’ll tell you where I wouldn’t have gone: “Grilling.” Call me naive, but it never would’ve occurred to me to associate short ribs with backyard barbecuing — until a week
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Tags: Grilling · Pork and Beef

Post-Vacation Guilt Eraser

June 24th, 2013 · 20 Comments

In our family, few things say vacation like a box of Pop-Tarts. We like the frosted kind with the vaguely cinnamony filling, the ones that make that whispery sound when you break them in half. Within an hour of dumping our luggage, we’re at the supermarket, stocking up on all the staples that sustain a family–milk, pasta, fruit–as well as a few that definitely don’t: ice cream bars, Frosted Flakes,
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Tags: Rituals

When in Doubt: Dumplings

June 13th, 2013 · 30 Comments

I have a confession to make. My heart sank a little when I saw escarole in my CSA box for the second week in a row. I know I’m supposed to be so game for the challenge, so excited to explore what kind of gold I can spin from these Vegetables I’d Never Pick Out Myself. But last week, week #1 — and I’m sorry to be all blasphemous about this
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Tags: Sides, Salads, Soup · 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 · Rules

Bro-Down

March 11th, 2013 · 23 Comments

Two weeks ago, I flew down to Fort Myers, Florida to spend a couple of days with five college friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in a decade, maybe more. It hurts my heart to type this, but it’d been nineteen years since we’d graduated. Nineteen years since we’d borrowed each other’s toothpaste on the way to the bathroom before class, nineteen years since we ate almost every meal
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Tags: Dinner · Posts by Andy · Rituals · Sides, Salads, Soup · Uncategorized

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

Stromboli!

January 17th, 2013 · 68 Comments

Our friends Kendra and Mike are what Abby would call “good cookers.” Mike’s a legit restaurant guy, and Kendra is an all-around enthusiast, with excellent taste, who happens to know her way around a kitchen. In other words, they can be trusted. A couple of weeks ago, Kendra poked her head into my office and said, “You know what you gotta make for the girls?” “Laser-cut paper doll dioramas of
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Tags: Dinner · Favorites · Posts by Andy · Quick · Uncategorized

I Resolve

January 2nd, 2013 · 42 Comments

By Andy What I resolve to do more of in 2013: Read fiction; pickle new stuff (jalapeno eggs, here I come); eat a proper breakfast – or least one that does not consist what is left of Phoebe’s everything bagel with cream cheese; generally make more of an effort to take a moment and appreciate what I have and not be so quick to complain about the dread of this or
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Tags: Uncategorized

The Family Recipe Contract

December 10th, 2012 · 8 Comments

Once I was half way through Alex Witchel’s All Gone: A Memoir of My Mother’s Dementia. With Refreshments I stopped underlining passages and moments that I wanted to remember. There were just too many. Witchel’s mother, a college professor and one of the few working moms in their 1960s suburban New Jersey neighborhood, cooked more out of obligation than joy (“Del Montes was her farmer’s market. Everything was in season, and
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Tags: Birthdays, Holidays, Celebrations · Cameos · Chicken and Turkey · Rituals

50 Products You Can’t Live Without

November 26th, 2012 · 19 Comments

Imagine your average everyday office cubicle space. But instead of an inbox, you have a 4-burner gas range and a 2-compartment sink. And instead of a cup of ballpoints, you have a crock filled with wooden spoons. And instead of bearing down on P&L statements from 9 to 5, it is your job to make sure the Rib-Eye Roast recipe that landed on your desk this morning (plus up to
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Tags: Uncategorized