Posts Categorized: Organizing, Strategizing, Planning

My Mom Was a Fast Food Cook

I’m so pleased to introduce you to today’s guest-poster, friend and beloved magazine veteran Mindy Berry Walker, who was, most recently, executive editor of Parents. (She’s now helping out on the content end at her sister Cheree’s company, Cheree Berry Paper.) I love this story about her mom, shown above on the left eating cake with Mindy’s aunt and father in the… Read more »

Five Things We’re Into Right Now

Thought it was about time for a little what-we’re-excited-about dispatch from DALS headquarters, starting with what you’re looking at above. Ever since we’ve decided to cut back on the meat in our house, I’ve made sure to stock up on ingredients that feel like they might be good things to build a meal around. That means tofu, eggs, and lots and… Read more »

Ingredients I Always Have on Hand

Back in the day, when I was teaching myself how to cook at home, I used to plan a trip to the grocery store like I was an NFL offensive coordinator — there were manic notes and strategies and maps of aisles and maybe even headsets, I can’t remember. But now? I’ve been cooking for my family of four for… Read more »

Five Bright Ideas

Quick one today. Just a few tips and tricks to up your game in the kitchen, beginning with number 1 (above), The Tomato Can Pizza Stand. Backstory: There were exactly two days this past summer when the kids’ sleepaway camps overlapped. And on those two nights, we ate well. One night we cooked at home and made Scallops with Corn and Bacon Hash… Read more »

Thirty Dollars, Five Dinners

Back in the fall, Christina Chaey, an editor at Bon Appetit presented me with a challenge: How would you stretch $30 at Whole Foods into five family dinners? My first reaction: HAHAHAHAHAHA! Can’t be done. (Whole Paycheck anyone?) My second: You know…this kind of use-it-or-lose-it exercise is always useful, no matter where I’m shopping. Plus, I had just returned from… Read more »

Freezer Care Package

What can I do? We’ve all heard ourselves asking this when friends are struggling with illness (their own or their aging parents’ or their kids’) and we’ve all probably come back around to a similar answer: Food. For better (normalcy) or for worse (one more thing to be exhausted by), people still need to eat. In my mind — this… Read more »

A Reset Plan (for January and Beyond)

How ya doing on those New Year’s resolutions? I’m pleased to report that it’s only Day Five of 2017 and yet I’ve already checked off THREE of my big ones: Edit and organize passwords on important accounts, book mammogram, and start every single day with a Starbucks Grande Pike or its caffeine equivalent. (I take it to heart to set… Read more »

Seven Thanksgiving Reminders

In honor of the Food Writer’s Super Bowl being only three days away, I wanted to weigh in with a few nuggets of advice on how to make it feel like you’ve done the holiday right. This is heavier on strategy and big-picture stuff than recipes (last week’s Round-up has lots of suggestions if that’s what you’re in the market for)… Read more »

For You!

In accordance with the Louis CK mantra of “It’s hard to be sad and useful at the same time,” I decided that instead of mourning summer’s end, I’d channel my woes* into something productive, namely, a Weekly Meal Plan that should help you get back into the lunch-making, shoe-tying, carpool-dreading, form-signing (form-forgetting?) crazy-making back-to-school routine. The line-up is below — as usual,… Read more »

Smarter To-Do Lists

How do you write a to-do list? If you’re like me, you’re doing it all wrong. There’s a story in Charles Duhigg’s new book on productivity, Smarter, Faster, Better about the first bullet train, the train invented in 1950s Japan that ran between Tokyo and Osaka, at a then unheard-of speed of 120 miles per hour. That train, and the others that… Read more »

Well-Loved Knives

A million years ago, when I showed up at the fancy department store with a clipboard to register for our wedding, I very religiously recorded SKU numbers for all the shiny cooking gear before me, dreaming of the day in the not-so-distant future that these items would replace our dusty old cooking gear. Nowadays, I put a premium on that… Read more »

Restaurants with Kids: The Rules

Having young kids doesn’t mean giving up on restaurants. Head over to Bon Appetit for advice on how to dine out with the family—and maybe even enjoy it. {This is our Providers column for the Restaurant Issue of BA. While you’re there, check out The Hot 10: The Best New Restaurants of 2015, and — what the heck — why not… Read more »

Pick a Chair, Any Chair

So I need your help: After seven years of garden variety family wear and tear, our red dining chairs are just about on their last legs. I get so many comments about them on this blog that I thought you might have some strong opinions about what the next ones should be. We’re not exactly sure what we want yet,… Read more »

Soccer Nights

Last Thursday night I called Andy from the parking lot of a school. It was 7:45 PM.  I was waiting for my 10-year-old to get out of soccer practice, held in the school’s gym. It was frigid. I was starving. “What’s for dinner?” I heard Keith Richards’ guitar in the background and some ice clinking in what I rightly guessed… Read more »

America’s Next Top Family Dinner

I just did a run-down of last year’s New Year’s Resolutions and — shocker — I barely batted 200. Still don’t drink enough water, still eat too many “incidental” French Fries off the girls’ plates, haven’t gotten any better at forcing myself to call friends instead of text them, never read The Hobbit, which was going to earn me big fun… Read more »

From the Dinner Files: Case Study #231

Who: Frank T. Age: 44 Lives in: New York, NY Kids: Daughter Julia, Age 7 Marital Status: Divorced Custody Situation: Joint; Weekends + 1 Weeknight Dinner Dilemma: In Frank’s words: “My daughter is finally starting to expand her repertoire — it’s not only Mac ‘n Cheese and nuggets anymore. On the nights she’s with me, I want to stop relying on… Read more »

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