You know when you fall in love and suddenly everything in the world looks new and fresh? Possibility hangs in the air and hope seems to cascade around you? Sometimes, you need this kind of feeling...in the kitchen.
When you're making turkey lasagna for the 4th time in a month.
When staring at your pantry sends you scurrying to the phone, take-out number in hand.
When your kids start saying, "Breakfast for dinner...again?"
It's time for some inspiration. It's time to fall back in love. It's time for Dinner: A Love Story.
How'd this love story begin? Jenny Rosenstrach, a food and features editor at the likes of Bon Appetit, Real Simple and the now defunct Cookie magazine, and her husband Andy Ward sensed this need in the people around them. "People were struggling to find a way to connect with their kids and for me, dinner seemed to be the way to do it. So I figured what I've learned as a food editor and a parenting magazine editor might be helpful to other parents."
And it is. In homage to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, let me count some of the ways you'll fall in love with DALS:
1) They are a husband-wife team. The give-and-take of marriage, the division of labor, the varying culinary needs of the sexes? THEY GET IT.
2) They both work. Not enough time? THEY GET IT.
3) They have two young kids who despite their amazing love of kale would probably eat mac n cheese every day if they let them so, once again, THEY GET IT.
4) Their recipes are do-able, delicious, adaptable, modern without requiring a nightly culinary feat to occur in your kitchen and kid-friendly without succumbing to covering everything in ketchup. (Unless it's asparagus ketchup.)
5) Their post are hilarious and have already scored them a monthly column in Bon Appetit (look for The Providers) and could easily provide enough material for a Tivo-worthy reality show.
Their philosophy? Make Dinner, Not War (available in bumper sticker form!) "If you want to make family dinner happen," says Jenny, "you have to just decide to do it and commit to it. [Make it] your 'default status.' If nothing is going on and your family is home...then just assume it has to happen. Get home to make it happen. Before long it's going to be such a satisfying, fulfilling part of your day (gastronomically, emotionally) that you'll want to make it happen. Your kids will expect it to happen. You'll love making it happen."
First you should meet the duo - Jenny (author/editor/mom) and Andy (editor/dad). The best way to get a taste of the website is by taking a gander at some of these posts.
'?¢ The Blame Game - he got her hooked on 6 o'clock gin and tonics; she got him hooked on nightly dessert. Let the finger-pointing begin.
'?¢ I Love you, _______ - a MadLibs Valentine you'll want to copy.
'?¢ My Life As a Man - how a desire to bake snickerdoodles with his daughter almost costs Andy his man card.
'?¢ Clean Slate - culinary (and other) confessions to start the new year off right.
Did I mention their recipes are delicious too? Here are some of my recent favs:
'?¢ Grilled Chicken For People Who Hate Grilled Chicken - this recipe has changed. my. life. I beg of you to try it. (The secret? Yogurt.)
'?¢ Perfect Pizza Crust - make 'em, freeze 'em, eat 'em.
'?¢ Braised Pork Ragu = Instant Dinner Party
'?¢ How to Blow A Small Person's Mind - Grilled Cheese - no not that kind, actual cheese, on the grill.
As for Jenny's favortite recipes off the site? "Spaghetti and Clams, probably because I ate it last night. And our yogurt-marinated grilled chicken because it's so versatile. But the recipes that probably deserve the title 'favorite' are the ones that aren't necessarily the most surprising, but have been around for the duration of our marriage. Porcupine meatballs, curried chicken with apples, turkey chili."
For the sake of dinner, give Dinner: A Love Story a visit. I promise you that you won't be disappointed.
Momtrends was not paid for this post.
Top photo courtesy of Ambro; the rest courtesy of DALS.