Posts Categorized: Dinner

Gap Clothes, Prada Accessories

My old boss Carrie had a formula for the way she approached fashion. It went like this: Gap Clothes, Prada Accessories. It’s still a favorite expression in our house — not because we are regularly buying Italian handbags, but because the philosophy is remarkably applicable to home design (Ikea cabinets, Waterworks hardware), summer plans (town camp, vacation rental with pool and… Read more »

Todd’s Minty Peas

When we have families over for dinner, we like to have the usual spread of above-average cheeses — La Tur, Humboldt Fog, Trader Joe’s twisted bi-color cheddar sticks. But the starter that inevitably manages to stop guests mid-bite is a relatively recent discovery: Todd’s Minty Pea Dip. It’s technically a Jamie Oliver recipe, but the first place we ever had… Read more »

Taco Soup

“Chips and salsa?” This is the way we are greeted by Abby as we walk in the door after a day at work. (To which a grown-up inevitably replies: “Thanks for asking! My day was great!”) In theory we will be sitting down to dinner in 30 minutes, and in theory the girls should not be filling up on chips… Read more »

Dinner and a Movie

Every night, just after cleaning up dinner and just before the bath-tooth brush-get dressed-hair brush-story time-back tickle-I’m not tired yet-a-palooza, we take a few minutes to let the girls watch a movie. Or, if we’re gonna get all technical about it, it’s not really a movie. We huddle around the computer, turn out the lights, and watch one youtube video… Read more »

Lettuce Hand Rolls

I find it almost impossible to think creatively about ground meat. When it’s in the fridge staring back at my weeknight-at-six-o-clock face (not a pretty sight I can imagine) my brain only goes in two directions: chili or hamburgers. Yaaawwwn. So when my former colleague Victoria Granof developed this recipe for Cookie (look for it in the Family Dinner Cookbook, too), it was huge. It makes good use of kid-friendly five-spice, which every family should have in the spice arsenal and is easily made in under 30 minutes. Click to the jump for the recipe.

Pasta with Yogurt, Spinach, and Sweet Onions

This recipe used to be our go-to for entertaining vegetarians — back when vegetarians were, you know, a rare breed. Now, thankfully, the dish has moved into our regular dinner rotation. The hardest part about it is securing the sheep’s milk yogurt — but not really, you can find it at Whole Foods or even a slightly-gourmet supermarket — then… Read more »

Buttermilk “Fried” Chicken

It’s freaking hard to work a full day, then put a family dinner on the table that you feel good about. But as I’ve mentioned before, sometimes the hardest part is just getting the ball rolling. I’m a big believer in my Dinner-in-the-Morning strategy, which basically just means that I take three or four minutes before I head off to… Read more »

Easter Egg Cobb Salad

I am ashamed to say that it has never been hard for me to throw away my childrens’ artwork. Not all of it, of course. My general rule is that it must be either a) truly technically astounding or b) depict a family member. Everything else: into the recycling bin. (Poor Abby is still recoveirng from seeing her rattlesnake watercolor… Read more »

Split-Personality Pizza

I called Jenny on the way home from work tonight: “I’m running for the 6:23 train, yeah, be home by seven, work was fine, need me to pick anything up? And oh, what do you feel like for dinner.” “I don’t know,” she said. “Let me look–hold on–Girls, turn DOWN the Michael Jackson!” I could hear her open the freezer,… Read more »

Monogrammed Pot Pies

The girls flipped when I made these mini chicken pot pies for them a few weeks ago. The lettering was purely by accident — I had leftover scraps of dough, so I rolled the trimmings into a little worm, then scripted initials and words out of it. It just so happened I was making chicken pot pies from leftover roast… Read more »

Money in the Bank

Yesterday, I spent about 10 minutes making this free-form cherry pie. The cherries are jarred Morellos from Trader Joe’s but the homemade crust is Martha Stewart’s pate brisee, which had been sitting in the freezer and which, in my opinion elevates just about anything it wraps itself around to levels of unparalleled pastry brilliance. For the past few weeks every… Read more »

Fish Presents

It didn’t take us long to figure out that, when it comes to rolling out a new product at the family table, so much depends upon the marketing campaign. I doubt our kids would have gone within a mile of cauliflower had we not first introduced it to them as “white broccoli.” They wouldn’t have sniffed brussels sprouts had we… Read more »

Spring Salads: Thinking in Threes

Last year during a routine physical check-up I told my doctor I was worried about my brain — I couldn’t remember anything anymore. I was telling the same stories to the same people. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t pull up the name of that Terence Stamp movie I talked about throughout the year 1999. I forgot it… Read more »

In-N-Out Burgers & Baked Potatoes

“Now this is the kind of dinner I can get into.” That’s what my husband said when he sat down to the table with four plates that looked exactly the same (a rarity). The menu: California-style turkey burgers and baked potatoes topped with sour cream and caramelized onions. I usually mix in a little barbecue sauce to the ground turkey (dark… Read more »

Halfway Homemade: Chicken Curry with Spinach

It’s a good week when there’s a Maya Kaimal simmer sauce in the refrigerator — it means that one family dinner in the next five nights is going to be a complete no-brainer. I’ve tried lots of these prepared sauces over the years (my kids have always liked, or in the case of my youngest, tolerated curry) but Kaimal’s taste fresher and… Read more »

Time for Dinner: The Cookbook

When I worked at Cookie, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by moms who (collectively) knew the answers to everything. Really everything! From Should I send my late-birthday kid to kindergarten or not? to What should I wear to a summer afternoon wedding? to Is Coraline too old for my six-year-old? But the real bonus was that two of them,… Read more »

Trader Joe’s Evangelism

TJoes, as it is known in my house, is not so much a grocery store as it is a fringe church with its own congregation of lunatic cult members. Everyone I know who patronizes it for their weekly shop has incredibly strong, incredibly diverse ideas of what to buy and what to skip. Last week, sitting in my friend Todd’s… Read more »

Spread the Word, Nicely

You know what drives me crazy? The way the conversation about Family Dinner can insidiously slip in the Family Values direction. The scaremongery tone of all those studies telling parents that our kids are headed down paths of drugs and destruction if we don’t eat together, does nothing to help the cause. (And sounds remarkably similar to Rick Santorum telling… Read more »

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