Posts Categorized: Rituals

Oh This? Just Something I Threw Together…

You know when you go to someone’s house for dinner and they seem to have it all together? One of the hosts is mixing you a drink and asking your children about camp while the other is sipping a glass of Prosecco, tossing some sort of delicious summery salad, listening intently to what you are saying, and showing no outward… Read more »

Summer Book Club

In some ways, I feel like my mother’s philosophy of raising children can be distilled into two of her favorite expressions. The first one is this: Only boring people get bored. This was not so much an expression as it was a response to the “I’m booorrred” cries from my brother, sister, or me when we’d be driving somewhere or… Read more »

Holy Smokes

Beautiful, ain’t he? I mean, if you can get past the dreary little jacket of rust, and the melted plastic handle, and the whipped-dog, eyes-averted, kind of sad posture of a guy that has been forced to spend his life outside, alone, on a patio. In the fall, he catches dying leaves and plays home to a colony of spiders…. Read more »

Something New

Here’s a question: how do you get your kids to try something new? We’ve deployed various methods over the years, including but not limited to: bribery (eat this, get that), blackmail (you don’t eat this, you don’t get that), begging (dear god, I am begging you, just one bite), guilt (but poor mommy spent twenty minutes making these fava beans for you!),… Read more »

Market Planning

There was a time in my life when Sunday meant sitting down with my Dinner Diary and mapping out a meal plan for the week. Like this line-up from June 14-18, 2004: Monday: Fried Sole with Green Beans Tuesday: Ravioli with Green Salad Wednesday: Fajitas with Black Beans and Cheddar Thursday: Curried Chicken with Apples Friday: OUT (always in caps, always!) I remember… Read more »

I Have a Question

Which is more exciting? a) Eating dinner at Per Se, at a table overlooking Central Park, on a warm spring night, holding a tasting menu that looks like this (only five of about thirteen courses shown): OR b) returning home from that Per Se dinner and finding this note stuck to your front door… Here’s a hint.

Breakfast of Champions: French Toast Sticks

In the very early days of DALS, I wrote a short post about my Aunt Patty, who introduced us to the life-altering pleasures of (a) Marcella Hazan, and (b) Marcella Hazan’s milk-braised pork loin. Patty did a lot of things well in the kitchen, that rare person whose talents matched her ambitions. Porchettas; marinated, butterflied, grilled legs of lamb; real tiramisu… Read more »

Road Tripping

Now that the girls are getting older and relatively self-sufficient (minus the shoe-tying! Kills me!) it’s easy for me to romanticize the early years. I got a little teary the other day when Andy erased all 3,000 Backyardigans episodes on the DVR to make room for iCarly and American Idol. And carrying Phoebe’s little art table and chairs to the… Read more »

Breakfast Burritos: In it to Win it

Ever since we started tuning in to American Idol with the girls, I have caught myself saying something I don’t think I’ve ever said before: TGIF. Sometimes in the elevator out loud to a coworker, sometimes in my own head as I’m pulling into my driveway dreaming up quick dinner options. Cause even though the show is on Wednesdays and… Read more »

Date Night Pizza

I’m not quite sure how this happened, but last Friday night, Andy and I managed to have a nice quiet dinner at home — just the two of us — even though there were six girls under nine years old in our house as we did so. It was Dinner-and-a-Movie night — P and A were allowed to invite a… Read more »

If You Cook it, They Will Come

I’d like to interrupt the relentless roll-out of pizzas and stews for an important — maybe even obvious — message. A few nights ago I was reading yet another article regurgitating what we probably all know by now about family dinner. This just in: All kinds of great things will happen if you just sit down with your kids to… Read more »

Happy Birthday DALS!

When the girls were little, my idea of celebrating a birthday was an 8:00 dinner reservation and a babysitter booked by Andy. It didn’t matter what restaurant we were headed to, so long as I didn’t spend half the meal kneeling under the table looking for a Polly Pockets shoe. But in the past few years, as the girls have… Read more »

The First Annual Dolly Awards

In case you haven’t noticed — it’s awards season! I’d like to thank the Academy for reminding me how remiss I’ve been at following my #1 Get-Fired Resolution. (“See more matinees.”) And to the folks who handed out Michelin stars in France earlier this week — thank you! I can now afford to dream about all the cafes in the… 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 »

For You

Don’t you think that if you presented this heart toast to your kids on Monday morning then you could check off the how-to-make-this-day-special box on your Good Parent List and be done with it? Anyway, I think we have the girls covered, but what about you guys? I’m loving the comment boards these days (thank you to anyone and everyone… Read more »

School’s Closed? Pass the Butter.

There are some nice things about waking up to the automated phone message: Schools Closed Due to Inclement Weather. Sleeping in, for starters. (Though the novelty of this wears off at 8:01, which is usually about the time I first hear “Mom, I’m borrrrrred.”) Another nice thing: The realization that I was fired last year, so I am no longer required… Read more »

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