Posts Categorized: Organizing, Strategizing, Planning

Tumultuous Tuesdays

If you opened my refrigerator on a Tuesday afternoon, there’s a good chance you’d find my green Dansk pot sitting on the bottom shelf filled with dinner. I try to limit any scheduled work events that day because the way after-school activities have shaken down for the past year, is that from 2:45 until almost 7:30, the house is pulled… Read more »

School Year’s Resolution 1: More Freezer Dinners

You should see The List right now. In addition to the usual suspects (book doctor appointments, contact accountant, hire business partner!!!, “garage sale!!!!!”) there are all those tasks that have the distinct whiff of self-betterment, the kinds of things usually reserved for New Years. Does this happen to you? Do you get the Clean Slate feeling every September? Do you… Read more »

One Meal, Three Ways

If you asked 8-year-old Abby to list her favorite foods, I have a feeling the following would show up in the top ten: penne, fettucini, rigatoni, farfalle, gnocchi, orechiette, and (as of last week), cavatelli. I don’t know how much of this love affair is because she’s defining herself in opposition to her sister, a world class pasta hater,  but I… Read more »

Perfect Little Starter Plate

One of these days Andy will write his post calling bull$#@t on starters. (He could, in fact, fill a book dedicated to calling bull$#@t in general.) “Why,” he always asks “do we spend so much time putting together a delicious dinner if our guests are just going to fill up on cheese and crackers and approach the table stuffed before… Read more »

How to Plan Family Dinner

Last weekend I was in my friend Nina’s bright, airy kitchen, taking in the expansive view of the Hudson River out the back window, when she motioned me over to the kitchen table.  “Please sit down,” she said. In front of me, there was a small pile of cookbooks, some old Gourmet magazines, and a well-loved, yellowed recipe booklet that once… Read more »

Four Strategies for Nervous Nellies

I was at a dinner party with two other couples last year when the host approached me discreetly in the living room. “Can you come here?” she whispered, motioning towards the kitchen. She led me to the oven, pulled out a roasting pan filled with eight split chicken breasts whose skin were all a nice caramel-ly brown. “They’re ready, right?”… Read more »

The Table is Set

No matter how early I got out of bed when I was a kid, I would come down to a set breakfast table. Even during the school week. Even in the winter when my alarm (“You’re listening to 95.5, WP…..L….J”) would go off in the pitch black. Even when I was the first one up on Christmas morning, I could… Read more »

Controlling the Controllable

Do you know this phrase? Controlling the Controllable. Or should I say, have you heard of this condition? Symptoms include: -Adding tasks to your to-do list even after you’ve completed them, just so you can experience the satisfaction of crossing that task off the list. -Having a sudden irrepressible urge to rearrange your sock drawer or color-code your bookshelf or… Read more »

Top 10 Quick Dinners

If I didn’t know that September was here by the first-day-of-school butterflies, the sudden, almost primal urge to re-organize my bulletin board, or the to-do list spinning through my brain like a slot machine at 3am, I’d know it by looking at my DALS email inbox. Help! You all write. I need quick dinner ideas for the back-to-school scramble. I started replying one… Read more »

Two Bowls

I wish I could say that the inspiration for this meal came from a stroll through my farmer’s market — from those gorgeous bunches of lacinato kale and bushels of Romano beans; from the juicy blackberries and rosy, plump apricots and white nectarines; from the summer spinach that seems to coo: Come hither! Slather me in olive oil and toss… Read more »

The Quinoa Solution

We usually do our food shopping once a week, on Sunday afternoons, bolting to Trader Joe’s as soon as the final whistle on the final soccer event of the weekend finally blows. It’s our secular pilgrimage. We genuflect at the altar of dried fruits and granola bars, we load up the cart, we drive home, the kids go upstairs to… Read more »

One Meal Fits All (Or: Whatever You Gotta Tell Yourself)

I think the surest way to ring the death knell on family dinner is to cook something different for every party present. It’s hard enough to get one dinner on the table let alone four, each of which may be greeted with groans or, worse, no comment at all. But considering that children (green-fearing, sauce-o-phobic, generally annoying children) are often the… Read more »

Trader Joe’s to the Rescue

To be filed under Weird But True: At least once a week I have to field the question “Why do you like Trader Joe’s so much?” To which I answer: “Have you seen the dark chocolate covered raisins? Have you seen the miniscule shopping carts for the kids? Have you seen the price tags?” I love Whole Foods — man… Read more »

Cook Once, Eat Twice

Oh man, Pete Wells! I was so sad to read that this week’s “Cooking with Dexter” column (“Busy Signal”) is going to be his last for the New York Times Magazine. I’ve always appreciated how honestly he writes about the way food and family intersect — as you’ll read in his swan song, he never pretended cooking dinner for his kids… Read more »

Can You Start Dinner?

If you are in a commuting, two-working-parent relationship, the IM correspondence with your spouse between 4:00 and 5:00 PM probably reads something like this: d: train? m: 5:41 hopefully. u? d: 6:27. hopefully. m: dinner? d: dunno. what do u think? m: not sure. pasta? d: had pasta for lunch. chili? you there? hello? m: S#%T !!!!!! sue just called… Read more »

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