A few notes on Time for Dinner — besides the fact that it was selected as a favorite cookbook of the year by Bon Appetit, and besides the fact that you are all scooping up multiple copies to give as gifts for all your parent friends. I want to talk about the New York Times including TFD in their special Holiday Books Round-up yesterday, specifically this part of the review (by Christine Muhlke) that, I think, totally nailed it. (more…)
December 6th, 2010 · 8 Comments · Picky Eating, Time for Dinner: The Cookbook
August 13th, 2010 · 14 Comments · Time for Dinner: The Cookbook
Reason #172: Sweet & Sour Chicken with Plums (page 103)
Reason #63: Because DALS readers have already sent me early reviews proclaiming it “awesome” and “amazing” and “wow, wow, wow”-ish. One wrote “I almost cried when I saw the dedication.” (Intrigued?)
Reason #33: Because if you buy one, then send me an email about how much you adore a particular recipe, I will have no choice but to express my gratitude with a free “Make Dinner Not War” bumper sticker to the first dozen who do so.
June 10th, 2010 · 16 Comments · Chicken and Turkey, Dinner, Pasta, Pork and Beef, Seafood, Time for Dinner: The Cookbook, Vegetarian
Now, granted this might be hard because it involves some knowledge of my cookbook shelves pre-June 10, 2010. But the game is this: Can anyone guess what new cookbook has been added to my kitchen library? I’ll give you a hint. It’s wedged in between Ruth Reichl and Marcella Hazan, a few doors down from Martha Stewart and Bugialli and Bittman, underneath Julia Child and Mario Batali and Jim Lahey…? Give up?
It’s Time for Dinner, the cookbook I co-authored with Pilar Guzman and Alanna Stang while we were all still at Cookie. Although the book doesn’t officially publish until September, I received a real-life, I-can-hold-it-in-my-hands advance copy by FedEx this morning and it’s hard not to be Abby-ish and imagine myself (and my cowriters) on the same shelf as my food heroes. But the thing is — there I am. There we are. Next to Marcella Hazan!
I would love nothing more than to show you every single page in the 272-page playbook, but I’m going to restrain myself and just deliver some good news to all those former Cookie readers who have written to me telling me how much they miss the “So You Have A…” column. There is an entire chapter of SYHAs in the cookbook — 20 ingredients, 3 meal options for each, which means 60 total recipes. (Sixty recipes in just one chapter, btw.) For those of you new to SYHA, the column was one of Cookie‘s most popular pages. It charted recipes visually and the choose-your-own-adventure strategy (“head this way if you have pork; that way if you have pasta”) is tailor-made for parents who come in the door at 6:30, see a big bunch of swiss chard (or sausage or frozen peas or miso paste) in the fridge and need quick inspiration for how they can turn it into dinner. As addicted as I am to my digital recipe generating these days, seeing the flowcharted recipes spread across two pages reminded me how impossible it is to replicate the feeling of opening a book (see? It lies flat!) and getting inspired by lush photographs (thank you, Marcus Nilsson) and clean design (thank you, Number 17). Ok, I’m done now with the shameless self-promotion. Thanks for listening.
May 12th, 2010 · 18 Comments · Chicken and Turkey, Dinner, Pasta, Picky Eating, Pork and Beef, Rituals, Seafood, Sides, Salads, Soup, Time for Dinner: The Cookbook
…And, perhaps even more exciting, we also finally have an amazon link where you can pre-order our Time for Dinner cookbook. OK…how cool is that cover? I can call my own number here because I had absolutely nothing to do with it. Lia Ronnen at Melcher Media and Bonnie Siegler at Number 17 are the creative forces behind the design — as well as the 75 other cover tries that I am convinced, if decoupaged into shelf-liner, could make someone somewhere a million bucks. (Thanks, guys.)
In honor of this milestone, I’m giving you a recipe (tweaked a bit) that comes from one of my favorite chapters of the book. The chapter is a “starter kit” on feeding the baby called “What’s in it for me?” where we show how to prepare basic fresh baby purees (avocado, sweet potato, bananas, etc.), then give instructions for how to take those purees and use them as the base for grown-up dishes. (So an avocado mash turns into taco topping, a peach puree is stirred into a Harry’s-style Bellini, you get the idea.) When we batted around ideas for grown-up-izing baby’s pureed sweet potato, Alanna, who wrote the section, suggested mixing in a miso butter with scallions. Apparently people knew about this combination? I did not, but let me just tell you, it’s a revelation — a revelation that my kids have come to like more than a plain sweet potato.
Sweet Potatoes with Miso Butter and Scallions (adapted from Time For Dinner)
2 whole sweet potatoes or yams
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons miso (white)
2 tablespoons chives or chopped scallions
Roast whole sweet potatoes at 450°F for 40 minutes. While they are roasting, mix together remaining ingredients. When potatoes are ready, slit them in half lengthwise, scoop out some flesh for the baby and mash with a fork. Top the rest with miso butter. (For Abby, I scooped the flesh out of the skin and tossed it for her in a special bowl. Seemed to do the trick.)
March 21st, 2010 · 6 Comments · Dinner, Time for Dinner: The Cookbook, Uncategorized
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, editor-in-chief Pilar and executive editor Alanna, above, were astonishing cooks who loved nothing more than talking about food — particularly the kinds of food that their kids loved to wolf down. We spent our last year at Cookie compiling all our notes into a book and the result is something we promise is going to change the way you feel about cooking for your kids. It’s called Time For Dinner: Strategies, recipes, and inspiration for every night of the week (Chronicle) and will be out in September 2010. If you happen to be press and you’re interested in getting on the review copy list, you can email David_Hawk@chroniclebooks.com.
Time for Dinner is filled with more than 200 recipes–everything from customizable lasagnas to sushi hand rolls that look like ice cream cones–that will inspire your family dinner. (Victoria Granof developed the recipes and Marcus Nilsson shot the gorgeous photos.) You’ll also learn how to:
- Make one meal that everyone in the family wants to eat
- Break out of your rut
- Keep the kids distracted while you cook
- Plan and prep so you’re not scrambling for ideas every night
- Master a few basic techniques you can fall back on
- Reclaim dinner so you can start enjoying meals again!