The minute I started reading Jenny Rosenstrach's new cookbook Dinner: A Love Story, I was hooked. Not that this was surprising as I was already a devoted fan of her blog of the same name. But the book ties her story together in a way that the blog can't quite pull off. You get the whole family dinner perspective - from upbringing to early marriage to having babies (and dinner is never the same after that as we all know!) and learning to accept that customizing dinner for picky kids doesn't mean giving in.
Jenny's humorous and endearing commentary about the joys and pains of feeding the family makes me feel like I'm not so crazy after all for wanting to serve a sit-down family dinner every night. She's a busy mom just like the rest of us and she helps us see that it is possible to make good, real food work for the whole family. Just watch this video and you'll know what I mean:
The recipes in the book are not complicated and are mostly quick to make. The most time consuming part is that you will want to read every word in the chapter where you find the recipe. Her writing is that good! I was tickled pink when I came to the chapter titled Todd and Anne: Pasta Night - in which Jenny talks about eating dinner with my childhood friend Anne and her husband Todd. They are both devoted foodies who don't let kids get in the way of trying new recipes and making pasta from scratch! If you haven't tried Todd's Minty Pea Dip yet, you should.
Recipes I have already made:
- Todd's Minty Pea Dip (great for parties)
- Curried Chicken with Apples (Jenny calls it "starter curry" for kids)
- Pan-roasted Chicken Thighs with Braised Leaks (heavenly!)
- Great-Grandma Turano's Meatballs (just say yum!)
- Mexican Chocolate Ice Box Cookies (to die for)
Recipes on my must make list:
- Chicken Pot Pie with Sweet Potatoes
- Ricotta and Chard Omelet
- Fennel and Apple Slaw
- Pork Shoulder Ragu with Pappardelle
- Greek Style Shrimp with Feta
Do you make a family dinner every night? What are your strategies for making it work?
(Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion)