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I got the nicest email from a reader this week. His name is Marc and he just discovered DALS. This is what he wrote:

So much happens at the Dinner Table. I came out to my parents at the dinner table, my brother and his girlfriend told our family they were engaged at our dinner table. Normally I eat in front of the TV, but last night I decided to have a proper dinner at the table with my boyfriend, which I am going to try to do at least twice a week, because your blog inspired me. So thank you for that.

My favorite thing about this note…well I have a lot of favorite things about this note. I love that he capitalized Dinner Table. Like it’s a proper noun, a destination, an official movement. And obviously, I love how he remembers the Dinner Table as the place where the big moments happen. But mostly, I love that he got inspired, figured out a realistic game plan (twice a week!) and then got started on that game plan immediately. I don’t have any idea what he cooked that night, but since it was a Monday, my guess is that it wasn’t Osso Bucco or ricotta gnocchi with a quail egg cooked sous vide. It doesn’t have to be gourmet to be special. And it doesn’t have to be every night to be family dinner.

Want to launch the ritual tonight? This is a good recipe to start with.

Roast Chicken with Baby Brussels Sprouts

Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss baby brussels sprouts in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add to a baking dish. Coat drumsticks with mustard and then coat them in breadcrumbs. Add chicken to another lightly oiled baking dish. Bake both dishes for 25 minutes, turning chicken once and tossing brussels once halfway.

We served it with a salad made from butter lettuce, grape tomatoes, snipped chives, and the buttermilk dressing from our favorite soybean and cherry tomato salad.

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I love this post (and brussel sprouts!). I’m a new reader, as well, and relatively new to eating all meals at the dinner table. My now-husband and I would always eat in front of the TV, but my counselor recommended we eat at the table. Now we talk, and we look forward to the two questions we ask each other each meal: 1) What was your low today? 2) What was your high? When we have guests, they get asked, too. And as an added bonus, we’ve both lost weight without all the mindless eating! I’m glad we’re getting into the habit BEFORE children, because I think it will be healthier for them, too.


Well said, Marc! We are big Dinner Table proponents in my family, but it is nice to hear someone else so eloquently articulate just what it is that makes eating dinner together so important. Thanks, Jenny, for making this site a place for us to share our love of dinners together.


Your blog is just the best. You always have a wonderful take on this quotidien topic. I love it. Thank you for brightening many a day!


I love dinner table time. I have not yet mastered timing during my cooking or how to keep the crazy toddler entertained while I cook, but I aspire to create a relaxing dinner each night.

I have never tried brussel sprouts, but I love anything roasted. Maybe they will end up as my new favorite veggie!


Brussel sprouts have become a regular on our table thanks to your “figure it out yourself” chicken/brussel sprout/bacon recipe. I made it again this week and my son was still happy to eat those brussel sprouts. You’ve revolutionized the Dinner Table at our house.

ann steinbach

My three children all reaped the benefits of the family dinner table. We loved those moments of hearing all about their days. Now, they visit us and we still all sit around the dinner table catching up.


Yum, yum. Made this and we loved it. For some reason recipes like this that are a description instead of the traditional format seem so much less daunting. Thank you!