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 gotten older and wiser (though somehow no less clumsy in the small-parts dropping department) it’s a different story. I find it’s not nearly as fun to blow out the candles without the two of them inserting their “cha-cha-chas” in the birthday serenade, and begging for the slice with the flower.
My birthday is still a few weeks off, but I’m proud to announce that DALS turned one this week. (Can you believe??) And in the spirit of including the whole family in the celebration, I’m offering gifts to you guys, my faithful DALS readers, who on a daily basis make this space so much more rich and so much more fun. Anyone who leaves a comment below is eligible for his or her choice of various goodies I’ve been collecting from generous vendors, including Laurie David’s cookbook The Family Dinner and a pile of food-related notepads from the always entertaining Knock, Knock. (I’m just going to assume you all have the DALS signature “Make Dinner Not War” bumper sticker already, but if you don’t, you can select that for your prize as well.) As usual, the selection process will be highly scientific — Phoebe and Abby will be picking three winners at random. So keep the comments clean. (That means you 654!)
I’ve also included some fun year-in-review stats, gleaned from the all-powerful Google Analytics and then a few personal faves from Andy and me. Thought they might help as you head into the weekend.
Ten Most Clicked Posts of the Year (in order): Letter of Agreement, The Recipe Door, Instant Dinner Party, Salad Pizza, Lemon-Pepper Chicken, Picky Eater Taxonomy, Dinner: A Love Story, The Book, Time for Dinner The Cookbook, Green French Fries, Vegetable Hater Special.
Most Popular Category (no surprise): Chicken
Most Popular Pep Talk: My Real Food Movement
Most Popular Chicken Recipe: Baked Chicken with Tomatoes and Mascarpone
Most Popular Pasta Recipe: Rigatoni with Back-pocket Bolognese
Most Popular Beef Recipe: Belgian Beef Stew
Most Popular Seafood: Thai-spiced Salmon in Coconut Milk
Most Popular Vegetarian Recipe: Pappardelle with Butternut Squash
Most Popular Soup: White Bean and Tomato
Most Popular Baking Recipe: Rosa’s Mud Cake (below)
Jenny’s Most Favorite Posts by Andy: Pick a Country, Any Country, Have a Baby Win Some Books, Tony’s Steak, Jake, Great Grandma Turano’s Meatballs, The Family Part of Family Dinner, Pork in Milk
Andy’s Most Favorite Posts by Jenny: Absolute Value, Special (pictured below) On Anniversaries, Sorry, I Have to Catch My Train, Table Manners for Grown-Ups, Sunday Minestrone, You Can’t Mess This Up I’ve Tried.
Thanks for a great year — Here’s to many more!