The Year in Review

Another year, another 200 posts! As we head into 2013, we thought we’d leave you with a round-up of some of our favorites from 2012. Some of these we picked for the recipes, some for the stories — but most we picked for both. Good luck, eat well, and happy holidays.

Jenny’s Most Favorite Post by Andy: Chicken and Barley Soup
Andy’s Most Favorite Post by Jenny: Bringing Home the Bread
Most DALSian recipe that didn’t come from DALS: Korean Short Ribs
Most Viral DALS recipe on Pinterest: Chicken Parm Meatballs
Best Salad That’s Not Another Boring Salad
Easiest Pasta: Spaghetti with Pecorino and Vegetables
Best Starter Kit Recipe, which I’m guessing would work just as well with apples as berries: Emily’s Cobbler
Most Shameless Piece of Self-Promotion that I didn’t write Myself: What Jenny Won’t Tell You About Her Book
My Most Favorite Book Chapter: Andy: My Drill Sergeant of Leisure
Best Dinner Pep Talk Post: Eating Chicken, Solving Problems

The Most Perfect Starter Plate
Best Skillet Dinner: Chicken with Artichokes and Tomatoes
Nearest and Dearest to My Heart: Summer of Self-Sufficiency
Funniest: Figuring It Out As We Go Along
Best Childrens’ Book Post: William Steig Round-up
Dish Most Likely to Show Up on Your New Year’s Resolution Table: Redemption Salad
Most Popular Weeknight Dinner: Salmon with Brussels Sprouts

Most Popular Recipe for First-Time Entertainers: Marcella’s Bolognese
Most Practical: How to Shop for the Week
Best Guest Post that Had Nothing to Do with Food: How to Nurture Talent
I Just Really Like this One: Not My Thing
Biggest Tearjerker: Sense Memories

The winner of the free copy of Dinner: A Love Story is Jamie. Thanks for playing and see you in 2013!

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“Bringing Home the Bread” was my favorite — although I’d nominate it for Biggest Tearjerker!


Merry Christmas! I just started reading your blog this year and I love it. I follow many food blogs, but this is the only one I really *read* regularly. Thanks for writing such a lovely blog about food and family life!


I just found your blog in the past few months so I am so happy to see this list! The story about the bread made me feel a lot of feels.


Thanks for an inspired year, DALS! One of my favorite posts was the perfect little plate as tapas is my all-time,go-to dinner (and snack!) Minus the pig parts of course…for the vegetarian family. 🙂


Please, please, please, please let it be me! I am OBSESSED with this book AND your blog. I am so faithful. I have requested your book as a gift from EVERYONE I know for my birthday (August) AND Christmas. It’s like I’m speaking Martian. I AM DYING FOR THIS BOOK!!! PUHLEASE!!!


Congrats on another year of great posts! I love love this blog, the Time for dinner book and dinner a love story! Happy New Year!

Wendy Blue

I bought a copy of your cookbook for my sister-in-law, and would love to win a copy for myself. Thanks for the chance, and happy holidays!


I just found your website a few months ago and am planning on buying your book soon. I made the Chicken Parm Meatballs and they were so good!!


I’ve given this book to a few people already – this would be one more for me to give away! (Of course I already own a copy for myself!!) 🙂


Remember how Nora Ephron said something like a good cookbook is one that has just a couple of recipes you like and make again and again? If that is good, then your book is beyond great! I’d love another copy!

Jenn Seiff

I have been reading your blog for some time now, and absolutely love every single post. Thank you. And happy holidays!


Love your blog & recipes. Looking forward to trying trying your short ribs over break. Had them at a friend’s and loved them!!!! Happy Holidays!!


Happy Holidays to you and your family! Thank you for your wonderful blog. Emily’s Cobbler and your minestrone soup are my favorites! Yum!


My two favorite DALS’s this year (ones that we keep coming back to) — the salmon salad from the book/the Today show or whatever show that was (adding a little shredded kale), and beets with goat cheese fluff (so magical!). Thanks so much for your blog! Happy belated Hannukah & Merry Christmas!

Laura M.

We are having an end of the world Mayan Potluck at work. Cheers to food! 😀 Happy holidays! L:)


Happy Holidays and thanks for giving me hope that someday my husband and I can get our dinner-making shtick together!


Happy holidays to you and your family! Your blog is inspiring, as was the cook book! Keep it up in 2013, please!


Happy Holidays!
Thanks for the chance to win – I had to return my copy to the library it was so popular and I had already waited a month plus to read it!!

Julie M

Charlie Brown Christmas……I think I look forward to it every year even more than my 7 year old son! Perfect picture to include in this post. Here’s to letting you know you have fans/admirers out in California.


I love your book & have taken it out of the library three times now. I know I should just buy it!! Happy holidays!!


So many good posts to read through (some over again, some new to me). I love Sense Memories and agree about it being a tearjerker! That photo, oh my. And it is just so beautifully written. Thanks for sharing.


Just found out about this blog, looking forward to enjoying it in the new year – & now I have a great instant recap to catch me up on what’s been happening!

Kathleen Strickland

Wish I could sit here all afternoon and read all the posts that I’ve missed. Alas, my children (and figuring out what I’m going to make for their dinner) call from the other room. Cheers!


Now that that the world hasn’t ended over night I am waiting with (fingers’ crossed) anticipation that your book may find its way to my tree. If not I’m ordering it on Xmas Day!!!!! As for a door slamming – it too has slammed here on quinoa and couscous – over both of them at the moment – maybe that door’ll open a squidgen sometime soon? We’ll see!!! Happy holidays and congrats on a fab year and cookbook!!!!!


I think I’ve made the Chicken Parm Meatballs once a week since you originally posted the recipe. Great kid food…especially for a 15 month old who is generally anti-meat. He gobbles them up!


As a new mom and an amateur cook, I truly appreciate your approach to dinner. First, organization is the key and, while my son is still young, I truly look forward to the years where we can eat together and have a conversation over a meal.

In the past year, my meal planning skills have become a little slack so I’m making this my New Year’s resolution to get back in the habit. I’m also resolving to write letters more (so I’m considering this post the start) and thank people for everything they do. So, thank you, for your blog, your ideas, your perspectives and, most importantly, your recipes!

All the best for a happy new year!


I love your blog – it has inspired me to be more organized, which allows me to worry less in the frantic hour between arriving home and having dinner for 4 on the table.


i love this list. Some of the links just go back to the Lobster roll recipe and not the recipe you intended. Unless, you intended for them to go to the lobster roll recipe- which is making me really hungry. merry christmas and happy holidays!


I have also just found your blog recently and am loving it. I will enjoy all new posts in 2013 and I hope to win a copy of your book.


both book & blog have been a great help when I need to get my cooking mojo back! Would love to pass a copy along to my sister. Happy holidays!


stumbling across your site and book. Feeling very inspired by your writing and starting my own family!


It was fun to go back and read the comments on these posts. Figuring It Out As We Go Along…funny, and soooo true. I have had my share.


I’d love a copy to share with my dear friend, Betsy, who values family rituals as much as I do!


I recently discovered your blog and have loved reading through old posts. Thanks for the year end wrap-up!


2013 is the year I change the way my family gets together at the end of the day. And I realized I forgot to specify to my mother exactly which cookbook was on my list this year – so I fear I’m getting Jamie Oliver again, – this giveaway would make it up.


I love, love, love your book … and since I love my sister, too, I gave it to her (after I read it). I was just contemplating a ‘take-back’ when I saw that you’re doing a random give away. For my sister’s sake, I hope I win. 🙂


I love year end round-ups! New to the blog, but I’m excited to go through these 2012 favorites.

Tracy @

Love, love, love your book!! Your cousin, Melissa, recommended it to me this summer and I’ve been cooking from it ever since. Tonight is case in point… I’ve been in a major cooking rut, so I opened up your book. An hour later, Swedish Meatballs were in the house and everyone was happy!!!! Thanks, Jenny!!!!


I was just introduced to your blog two days ago and already I’m hooked! Would love to have a copy of your book!!


Just found DALS a couple months ago–so glad I happened upon your blog. I will enjoy going back through all your favorites of 2012. Merry Christmas!


THIS post might be the best one of all. And my favorite book chapter might also be Andy the Drill Sergeant of Leisure. I laughed out loud reading it. After reading the book, I resolved to, and promptly failed to, keep a dinner journal. Tonight I had tamales. Maybe I’ll make a New Year’s resolution . . . hmmm.


I found your book a few months ago and now love your blog, am in the babies stage so identified with that section and look forward to the later ones! Happy holidays!


Pick me! I’d love to give it to my sister and impart my love for DALS onto her. Especially as she’s a newlywed and a bit hooked on frozen meals 🙂


Thank you for the list! I am a relatively new reader (found the blog after borrowing the book from my friend) and while I have been clicking randomly around, I love a nice selection of posts to drool through 🙂


Salmon with brussel sprouts has become a staple around this household, finally something everyone can agree upon. I love the simplicity with which you cook magnificent meals. Happy New Year DALS!


I just found your blog last night and spent a good hour on it! I am very intrigued and inspired!


I love your book and Baked Chicken in Creamy Tomato Sauce is so, so good. Not to mention easy. I will be trying more from both the book and the blog. Well done.


I have just stumbled across your blog and love it! And this is the perfect post to introduce me to more of it’s delights!



I love your cookbook (my new bible) and blog! Happy Holidays to you and your family! I look forward to reading more next year!

Amanda Butler

Thanks for the inspiring recipes! I’d love to have a copy of the book. I really loved 121 books- that was fabulous. Happy New Year!

Stearns 205

My favorite post is Andy’s “What Jenny Won’t Tell You About Her Book.” I like that both of your personalities come shining through that post. Happy holidays to you and your family.

Susan B.

I wanted to tell you about cooking the Korean Short Ribs recipe. My son came home from college yesterday with a fellow student who will stay with us until she flies home to China. She has been missing her mom’s cooking and last night she and my son cooked us some Chinese food for dinner, which was delicious. Today, I decided to make your recipe for Korean Short Ribs in my slow cooker and when she and my son came home from the movies, she said “Oh, smells like my mom’s cooking!” She loved them, telling me they made her think of home. She was also touched to see I set her place with a fork and knife but also chop sticks (which she used!). Thank you for the recipe!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Carlinne @Cook with 2 Chicks

What a great post. I discovered your blog this year. The early 2012 posts are new to me, so that is a real treat. Loved the chicken salad story. I agree, Jenny, the chapter in the book about Andy being a the Drill Sergeant of Leisure is the best. I purchased two copies of your book, one for me and one for a gift. I would love another copy to share. Enjoy all that happens around your dinner table during the holidays.


Great job for 2012! I gave our 10 books for Christmas plus one I kept for myself. All love them, but if they don’t – I don’t care! I think it is a fabulous book and fills a huge gap for families now. Way to go!


Drill Sergeant of Leisure still makes me laugh! My husband and I also love and return to the lunch contract, which I realize is not this year but like Charlie Brown – classic. We have relied heavily on your book recommendations for holiday shopping, adopted the motto “Sunday shopping is the new date night!” for 2013, and we can’t wait to see what you guys have in store. (If you’re taking suggestions: more denial, a la whole wheat spaghetti with caramelized onions and spinach, would be really helpful around here 😉 ) Happy holidays!