Posts Categorized: Dinner

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 »

Weaning Them Off the Nugget

In some ways I feel like I could tell my life’s story through the breaded chicken cutlet. It started with my mother: Mom could make a chicken cutlet. Crispy, golden, never overcooked. When I was growing up, she’d serve them with sautéed garlicky zucchini wedges. I’d slap the cold leftovers on a baguette with a slather of mayo. No one… Read more »

Roast Chicken with Vegetables

. People ask me all the time if I’m interested in having a third kid. The answer (for now, at least) is: Why would I when a cake mixer has two beaters to lick and a chicken has two drumsticks to serve? (Shouldn’t I take it as some sort of sign that the girls are both crazy about the legs… Read more »

“Pork in Milk”

My aunt Patty was the first great home cook I ever knew. She would get up at 5am, run a few miles, come home, make a big pot of coffee, and start making the gooiest, butteriest challah french toast you’ve ever seen. (At holiday time, she made it with egg nog. And she always added a dash of vanilla, a… Read more »

Perfect Pizza Crust

Homemade Pizza Crust This recipe comes from Sullivan Street Bakery guru Jim Lahey, author of My Pizza and My Bread, the cookbook that I credit for a) upgrading my pizza life and b) upgrading my life in general. It’s that great. This recipe makes two balls of dough — enough for two separate thin crust pizzas. If you want a Whole… Read more »

Tricky Tricky

I thought this was pretty clever. My 3-year-old nephew is a fan of pasta but not so much of anything healthy that may accompany that pasta. So my brother gets him to eat chicken and other proteins by stuffing it inside his rigatoni, out of sight.

How to Have Family Dinner: Six Rules

(illustration by Laurie Sandell) Rule 1: If you have a kid under 3, don’t bother. Tending to a toddler at the table — his milk spilling, his food dropping, his inability to articulate how multidimensional your marinara is — it all takes its toll on the rest of the diners’s satisfaction, especially the cook’s. You won’t be able to concentrate… Read more »

When The Spouse is Away…

…the other spouse will throw all dinner rules out the window. At least, that’s the experience in my house. For whatever reason, when my husband is on the road, our sacred mealtime routine doesn’t seem so sacred anymore. While my kids get take-out or a Trader Joe’s pizza from the freezer, I will get all Prousty with a mammoth bowl… Read more »

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