Before I had my son I loved to write down weekly menu plans for my soon-to-be family. It was a fun little activity and I’d write down breakfast, lunch, dinner, and sometimes even snacks (I know, it’s a little geeky). I had this idea that once little B was able to eat solids beyond rice cereal and oatmeal, that his palate would expand exponentially and I’d have the next Jeffrey Steingarten on my hands. Uh, no. I learned what many parents before me discovered: It’s not easy getting dinner on the table. Somehow, along with being constantly sleep deprived, working, trying to clear a path through the destruction that is your house, caring and playing with your child, and trying to drink your tea while it’s still
hot lukewarm, you’re supposed to prepare a healthy and delicious meal, which may or may not be rejected by your picky eater. Enter Dinner: A Love Story, not just a mealtime lifesaver but a funny and reflective narrative on family life written by wife and husband team, Jenny and Andy Rosenstrach. They know what it’s like, and their goal is to provide you with the tools so you can enjoy dinner as a family with as little stress as possible.
The majority of recipes on DALS are written unconventionally, in a chronological paragraph format instead of the traditional list of ingredients followed by step-by-step instructions. I was wary at first, but I quickly grew to appreciate how much easier it was to follow since the recipes are written like they’re meant to be cooked. I had no problem with this Baked Sausages with Apples & Potatoes dish. I’ve never paired roasted apples with a protein before but now I’m a convert. I’m looking forward to serving the vegetable portion of this dish again alongside roast beef or chicken. The cider vinegar added during the last 5 minutes of cooking is what makes it exceptional.
Jenny and Andy speak honestly and it’s easy to relate to them. Under the category “What To Cook Tonight” you’ll see questions asking what kind of night you’re having. One night I needed something fast and found this lovely Salmon with Brussels Sprouts and Ginger-Scallion Sauce. The recipe calls for a large bunch of scallions but to avoid using too much (which is what I did) I’d recommend 4-5 scallions to be on the safe side. It was a great meal in an otherwise very busy day, and my husband couldn’t stop raving about the sauce.
In one post, Jenny claims that this Baked Chicken in Creamy Tomato Sauce is a kid-pleaser, but I have to admit that my toddler didn’t get a chance to eat it. I know, bad mom. However, in my defense, he’s currently going through a cheese craze in which he wants nothing but, so poor mom and dad had to eat this alone. The sauce was nice and smooth from the mascarpone; you can serve this over buttered angel hair pasta or with a side salad and garlic bread. When your kids are fed and happy I suggest you check out the site’s “Favourite Kid’s Books” section for some reading ideas (Jenny & Andy have backgrounds in publishing). Also, don’t forget to check out the trailer for their upcoming book, due out June 5th, 2012.
All pics courtesy Dinner: A Love Story (except where otherwise indicated)