I Resolve

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 the nightmare of that, which is usually neither dreadful nor nightmarish; see Monsters University (“I love college”); get a Vitmax blender (see above re: healthy breakfast); deploy the phrase “the information superhighway” in conversation; sleep.

What I resolve to do less of: Edit in bed; be unfun, i.e., get all grumpy with the kids when they a) leave the house dressed like Tanner from Bad News Bears b) roll their new clothes into balls before inserting them into their drawers c) respond when challenged on something that is demonstrably false by saying “you can’t judge my opinion, Dad;” eat five Trader Joe’s fruit jellies every night after eating five handfuls of Trader Joe’s dark-chocolate-with-sea-salt almonds every night; resent things, to no good end; stare catatonically into my phone when the kids are around.

What I resolve not to say to my spouse: “Three-quarters of a pound of chicken for four of us?” And: “Wow, you looked so young back then!”

What I resolve not to say to my children: “Did you brush your teeth yet did you tie your shoes did you put your lunch in your backpack did you put your clothes away did you walk the dog did you put your green jersey in your soccer bag do you remember where you put your gloves the ones we just bought you?” And: “What do you want for your lunch tomorrow?” (Because 2013 is the year I’M GOING TO TEACH THEM TO MAKE THEIR OWN LUNCHES, SO HELP ME.)

What I resolve to eat less of: Raw spinach; the leftover frozen pizza on the kids’ plates; coconut M&Ms, which I really enjoy despite the fact that they taste an awful lot like Hawaiian tropic deep tanning oil; gratuitous pork (i.e. the “just a little bit of bacon” we seem to put in everything).

What I resolve to eat more of: Barley salads; cold, crunchy slaws (Asian red cabbage slaw, apple and fennel slaw with sunflower seeds, etc.); the four giant packages of Benton’s country ham that Jenny bought me for Christmas; gin.

What I resolve to learn how to cook: The seared bluefin tuna with grated radish and ponzu sauce that I ordered recently at Sushi Zen on 44th Street; a real Carbonara sauce that doesn’t taste like a Salmonella Special; a chutney, because I like a chutney, damn it.

What non-required reading I resolve to attend to: Dead Souls, by Gogol; Wild, by Cheryl Strayed; The Signal and the Noise, by Nate Silver; Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson, which is not out yet but which I hear is awesome; Jenny’s new book proposal.

What I resolve to convince my spouse to read: Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson.

Restaurant I want to tryMission Chinese.

Restaurant I want to return toWoody’s All-Natural in Cornwall, NY, for the cheddar burger and the hand-cut fries with malt vinegar and the Mr. Pibb; Husk in Charleston, SC, for the ribs with mustard glaze and peanuts; ABC Kitchen in New York City, for literally everything on the menu; Jane in San Francisco, for the coffee and granola; Waffle House in Lumberton, NC, for the egg and cheese biscuit.

I resolve to finally try: To figure out a way – possibly even using some of those power tools that are in our basement, still in their box — to cover the wall behind Abby’s bed with corkboard. For real this time, I swear; to brine a bird; to run a marathon.

I resolve to teach my kids: That the Jets play football and the Yankees play baseball, and that backseats of cars, unlike ovens, are not self-cleaning; to body-surf; that it’s not okay to ask for “a glass of water on the rocks.”

I resolve to spend less money on: Data plans for devices I’m not even sure we have anymore; bourbon; the enrichment of Jeff Bezos.

I resolve to get Zen about: The hoodie and leggings situation. By which I mean, the fact that both daughters now refuse to leave the house in anything other than hoodies and leggings with holes in the knee. Makes me long for the Princess days. [Deeeeep breath.]

What I resolve to accomplish professionally: Have George Saunders recognized as one of America’s Greatest Living Writers. (Oh wait, that just happened!); stay employed; get home in time for dinner.


By Jenny

What I resolve to do in 2013: Have more confidence when using miso; Learn to cook vegetarian entrees that can be described as “enticing”; Make more green juices (related: somehow acquire Huron juicer that I didn’t get for Christmas in spite of heavy hint-dropping); Be a better friend, not get annoyed so easily, start mother-daughter book club, sign up for yoga, master fondant, teach self how to knit or make jam or some hobby that requires patience, sitting still, taking in the moment.

What I resolve to do less of in 2013: Sitting still and not being so lazy — must finish d@#m book proposal already!; think of retweeting Andy as a “romantic gesture;” mindless, time-sucking twitter and facebook trolling; repeating myself; texting instead of calling friends for check-in; shoveling handfuls of Abby’s cinnamon crunch cereal into mouth and justifying action by saying to self “at least it’s organic.”

What I resolve to not say to my spouse: “Are you running in the morning?” (Passive-aggressive married person code for: Are you going to wake me up and rob me of 45 minutes of weekday sleep-in time again?); “Huh. Couldn’t break the 7-minute mile this time?”

What I resolve not to say to my children: “Are you done with those fries?”

What I resolve to eat less of: French fries

What I resolve to eat more of: Water

What I resolve to learn how to cook: Bright, colorful blender sauces; large hunks of meat to perfect doneness; firm yet fluffy barley; a proper lasagna with homemade noodles and béchamel; that crazy-ass Nigella roast chicken with brandy and bacon; authentic Pad Thai; a new go-to showstopper for entertaining (suggestions welcome); brandade.

What non-required reading I resolve to tackle: IQ84, Wild, Wonder, Tenth of December, and The Hobbit, which is currently Phoebe’s favorite book and which I’d earn major Fun Mom points for discussing with her.

Restaurant I want to try: At least one of the following I’ve yet to check off the Life List: Masa, Lantern, Blackberry Farm, Lucques, Alinea, Noma, Chez Panisse, In-n-Out

Restaurant I want to return to: That seafood shack with the lobster rolls in Block Island right off the Ferry to the left; Prune, if only for the peas with horseradish and honey; Woody’s All-Natural in Cornwall, NY; Husk in Charleston; The plastic picnic table on Maenam Beach in Koh Samui, Thailand where we ate Pad Thai the way it’s supposed to be eaten (I can’t be too precise about the preparation, but I will say that having your toes in the sand ups the authenticity factor tremendously); Joe’s Café in Northampton, Mass with my girls; Oyster Bar counter in Grand Central with my Dad.

I resolve to finally try: Carrying a purse, moisturizing, administering eye make-up and “everyday” lipstick, scheduling regular haircuts instead of waiting until situation has reached dire status, and generally trying to do things that most grown women have been doing since they were 16; pay attention to poundage of meat at the butcher so we don’t end up with one silver dollar-size chicken thigh per diner.

I resolve to teach my kids: To cook one full dinner from start to finish all by themselves; topspin backhands

I resolve to spend less money on: Fancy BPA-free water bottles that I am convinced every time will get me to drink more water. (Ditto the ginger extract and Echinacea that I spent a week eye-dropping into the fancy bottle.)

I resolve to get Zen about: The hoodie and leggings situation.

What I resolve to accomplish professionally: Write another book; create a DALS App; Fill out the rest of that post that has been sitting in my queue for two years titled “One-Sentence Recipes;” Learn how to use more than the “food” setting on my camera (or at least figure out how to make the background of my food shots all blurry and cool looking); Get home in time for dinner.

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Wild is a great book AND an easy read. One of the three books I managed to read this year with a toddler. DALS is wonderful and enjoying every recipe!


We’ll host you in Oakland and you can hit Mission Chinese Food, Jane, and In and Out in one foul swoop. Love this list!


Guys, I am SUPER psyched about all your resolutions. Andy, this year for the marathon? Jenny, lemme know if/when you decide to go to Blackberry Farm. I know someone who can hook you up. 🙂

Happy 2013 you crazy kids!


Love the resolutions. Way better than the recycled crap I desperately churn out each Jan. 1. Oh, and I will teach you to knit! Keep up the great work in 2013.

Amanda @ DinnersintheFourOneFive

I stopped reading Andy’s list at “Jenny’s new book proposal” and thought “Did I just read that right? Is it true? SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!”

Congratulations and thank you, because a girl can never think about 2013 Christmas presents too early.


Re: the showstopping entertaining dish and the vegetarian entree, all in one, try Martha Stewart’s butternut squash and sage lasagna (on her website somewhere, should be easy to search it). It takes some time but it’s mostly roasting in the oven time, not hands-on time – and if you buy the pre-cut squash from Stew Leonard’s then it’s really pretty easy. The best part is that it tastes even better the next day as reheated leftovers after all the flavors have had time to meld together!


There’s a new Kate Atkinson novel???? Sweet!

Good resolutions. My biggie is to resolve not to make unrealistic resolutions. So, instead of resolving to “get up earlier everyday, goddamnit!” like I have for the last zillion years, I’m resolving to start getting up just a little earlier each week, letting myself adjust along the way. Hopefully then I’ll be ready for the totally unrealistic hour at which my son will have to catch the middle school bus next fall.

Happy New Year to all!


i love your lists! i just gasped out loud when i saw joe’s pizza on the list! i live in northampton and it’s the best/weirdest/coolest/old-schoolish place around! we go there quite often as it’s the easiest place to bring our 2 year old, she loves it and there’s no worries about having a kiddo in there AT ALL. i hope you make it back!
i also want to tell you (this is long overdue)
that your book has totally inspired our family and changed our everyday eating! it’s a REAL life manual, it’s given us new delicious recipes that are EASY and real. as i type your chicken stock recipe is simmering on the stove and your lazy Bolognese is on the dinner list for friday. i thank you for truly improving and enriching our everyday in our little family. we’ve made the lemon ricotta pizza and the chicken cutlet/fingers too many times to count already. it’s on the nightstand again to re-read too. thank you & congratulations on all of your success with the book! can’t wait for the next one!
happy 2013~ *sarah


YES to Blackberry Farm! And we also have a very unfortunate legging and hoody situation. I recently threw out all stained and holey leggings and bought new at Target. But, the situation quickly repeated itself. Note to self: invent disposable leggings.


Sarah: Thank you so much!! (No such thing as long overdue when it comes to compliments.) And yes, Joe’s Cafe RULES. Andy and I met in The Pioneer Valley and we make a point to take the kids back to the area at least once a year. And Joe’s! Only Italian place I know whose mascot wears a sombrero. The best.
Beth: Sounds like a plan!


My big discovery of 2012: making jam doesn’t actually require patience! Even if you are water bath canning, the whole process takes under 2 hours. It is like magic and also my new favorite hobby! I will totally teach you how to do this.


Whoa… So far I have only read Andy’s resolutions. I’m seriously impressed. Do they really make coconut M&M’s? And my oven belongs in the back seat of my car because it hasn’t cleaned itself in 10 years. I’m not proud of this. I’ll read Jenny’s list on my next tea break.


Don’t bother with 1Q84. I am a total Murakami fan and I never finished it–just not worth it.
Wild is fantastic!! Run, don’t walk, to your local independent book store (not Jeff Bezos) and get a copy. You won’t be able to put it down.


i know, the sombrero and nicotine stained walls just add to the glamor!

you’ve been to the bookmill / lady killagrew cafe, yes?!

there’s lots of new stuff happening here food-wise in the “happy valley”, so if you ever want more ideas for your trip, give a holler! thanks for writing back *s


Hi & Happy New Year,
With regard to dishes to entertain a crowd, I have been giving Chicken Marbella a twirl lately. It suffers an image problem at this point, but it never disapoints. It’s worth blowing off the dust ( cough, cough) and really – all it needs is a name change and half the amount of brown sugar stated in the original recipe. Throw in a a few slivers of preserved lemon – or not. And presto, instant delish! To make it even more user friendly, serve with TJ’s frozen rice.


I’m hoping that the blender mentioned in Andy’s healthy breakfast resolution is actually supposed to say “Vitamix.” We have had one for a year and adore it. We make fruit + veggie smoothies often, using copious amounts of spinach and kale, etc., and the kids join us in slurping them happily down. You NEED one! (Hint: it will also take care of Jenny’s green juice resolution.) We’ve created a killer Vitamix salsa recipe, too, which I’d be happy to share.


i so feel you on the leggings issue. my 8 year old will only wear (are you ready for this?) – capri leggings – not only leggings, but SHORT ones! it’s killing me, but it’s a battle i don’t want to fight.


Anna, this is awesome. Thank you for the recipe. I will make these and report back. I even have some habaneros.


Inspiring lists!
Andy: If you figure out how to make a jalapeno pickled egg, would you mind sharing?
Jenny: If I may- making jam doesn’t require a lot of sitting down, at least until the finished jam is in the water bath. It’s also not as hard as it looks; you can absolutely handle it, but it’s not really suited for multitasking.
Another book sounds fantastic. Clearly, your audience awaits!


hilarious and perfect, although i am a little concerned that andy can identify the taste of hawaiian tropic deep tanning oil.


Jenny, I volunteer to teach you to knit! My Grandma taught me 20 years ago (I’m 27) and you’re right, it’s such a zen thing to do… great for pausing to appreciate the moment. I love the handmade knits too.

I appreciated Andy’s resolutions too – particularly the one to drink more gin. As a nursing mom, I’m also resolved to start drinking heavily as soon as the baby is weaned. 😉

Btw – best DALS moment in our house? I was making Grandma Turano’s meatballs when I went into labor last summer… So they were our first – delicious – post-baby meal.


Andy – corkboard comes in a sheet or squares. Adhesive and a razor cutter with straight-edge. No power tools necessary (although they are fun!)


I loved all the resolutions… except Jenny’s about mastering fondant. It’s such a horrible alternative to real frosting that actually tastes good.
I’ll take a delicious, badly spread frosting over pretty, freakishly-colored fondant any day!


Awesome – I like the format of your respective resolve(s.)

Andy, re: Carbonara. Real Carbonara with no cream used to be my impress new friends/seduction dish. This is roughly how it works. It’s good.

For 4 people – 6 eggs (fraid you’ll have to adjust for the pasta hater yourself. Sorry!)
Crack them into a bowl. Beat them with a fork. Add two handfuls of finely-grated parmesan (grate it yourself or else.) Add a decent amount of cracked black pepper. Beat again. Set aside.

Put on whatever amount of pasta you use for 4 people.

At the same time in a non-stick pan on medium-high heat, roughly chopped bacon (8 rashers? 6-10? whatever you like, no diff) and three crushed cloves of garlic (I put them in whole so they don’t burn, and sometimes take one out, chop, and return.) No oil necessary. Cook till crispy and caramelised, turn off hotplate, leave pan on it – try to time so it’s about when pasta is al dente. Make sure egg mixture is combined/beat briefly again.

Have bowls ready to serve, and diners as ready as possible.

Remove and strain pasta – quickly, so steam and heat is still involved. Quickly return to bacon pan, still on turned-off hotplate. Mix with bacon fat etc. Add egg mixture and stir/scrape rapidly so that all pasta is egg-coated. Keep mixing til egg is creamy and saucy rather than runny. If necessary, flick hotplate back on briefly to get the right consistency but keep Carbonara moving so that it doesn’t cook too much and go gluggy.

Serve, garnish and eat immediately. Rich and delicious; no adulterating cream, just classic Carbonara.

Jenny re: showstopper. I’m not sure that this is fancy or impressive enough to stop shows, but it’s good, interesting, a braise, and involves little effort for extremely tasty results: http://thefoodblog.com.au/2012/08/easy-braised-pork-ribs-recipe.html

Happy New Year 🙂


I understand the sentiment, but “the Jets play football”is arguable. Maybe next year…


I don’t know if rachael ray’s Carbonara from “classic rachael ray 30 minute meals” qualifies as “classic, but it is my go to, and my whole family loves it!


I am so sad to say that Woody’s closed a few days ago. 🙁 It was one of our most favorite local places to eat. We are hoping they make a comeback.



I also have been searching for tasty and satisfying vegetarian entrees. Here are some of my favorites that we’ve tried and loved….

baked sweet potatoes with chili beans: http://www.sproutedkitchen.com/home/2011/9/23/baked-sweet-potatoes-with-chili-beans.html

acorn squash quesadillas with tomatillo salsa: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/10/acorn-squash-quesadillas-tomatillo-salsa/

spicy squash salad with lentils and goat cheese: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2010/10/spicy-squash-salad-with-lentils-and-goat-cheese/

and, lastly, huevos rancheros. I like the recipe from the Sprouted Kitchen cookbook.


Jamie: WHAT??? Woody’s closed? In Cornwall? For real?
Jennifer: That made me laugh re Jets. Ouch.


Yes…found out through Edgwick Farm in Cornwall They supply a lot of local goat cheese. Rumors are circulating that the owners of Cosimo’s might take it over since they are big supporters of local food. Not sure where you live, but check out Blooming Hill Farm in Washingtonville if you haven’t already…Guy Jones, the owner, is awesome. I believe they reopen on January 19th. Organic fruit/veggies and delicious brunch food on the weekends.


Okay, Andy, this is MY carbonara recipe, and we love it so much that my husband and i eat the entire recipe in one meal. I’m not proud


In a big ol’ skillet/fry pan,

Fry either 6 oz of pancetta, sliced maybe 1/8 inch thick and then diced up
Fry 4-6 strips of bacon till crispy and fabulous. Remove from heat.

Put a pound of spaghetti into boiling water to cook.

While the spag is cooking, whisk together four eggs, a couple teaspoons or so of salt, black pepper to taste (we use quite a bit because my husband loves pepper), and about 3/4 cup of freshly grated parmigiano. If you use a lot of pepper like us, this mixture will look quite disgusting and grayish. Don’t be afraid.

When spag is done, drain quickly and dump noodles into the bacon pan. Turn the burner on very very low.

Toss pasta with bacon and delicious bacon fat.

Add egg n cheese mixture and toss quickly to mix. If you’ve got your burner right, the egg mixture will form a creamy sauce and everyone will love you. If your burner is too high, the eggs will curdle (i.e., turn into scrambled eggs), but everyone will still love you because… pasta with bacon and eggs.

There’s really no losing here!

Jude McIntyre

DALS app! I’m in! I would prefer hoodie and leggins to random pieces of fabric used as weirdly tied sashes.