cover image Dinner: A Love Story: It All Begins at the Family Table

Dinner: A Love Story: It All Begins at the Family Table

Jenny Rosenstrach. Ecco, $27.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-208090-5

This refreshing, nonpreachy memoir/family cookbook is based on the author’s Dinner: A Love Story blog and the meal diary she started keeping in 1998. All recipes, which are organized like a journal in chronological order, are for dishes she’s actually made in the various phases of her adult life (from just married through having school-age children). A former editor for Real Simple and Cookie magazines, Rosenstrach doesn’t claim to spend hours each day preparing meals for her family (she doesn’t have time for that), but she does cook for and eat with her family often, and says that “has done more to foster togetherness and impart meaning and joy into my family’s life on a daily basis than just about anything I can think of.” She’s realistic about it, though—she refers to new parenthood as “the years it felt like a bomb exploded any semblance of routine and normalcy in the kitchen”—and she approaches food with a sense of humor (a section entitled “Kale: Why the Hell Not?” is a winner). And there are plenty of quick and kid-approved recipes that don’t involve chicken nuggets or mac-and-cheese. Starter Curry: curried chicken with apples; spicy shrimp with yogurt; peanut butter noodles; and baked chicken in creamy tomato sauce are easy to prepare. There are also recipes for dinner parties, like pork shoulder ragu with pappardelle, and tips for “pulling off a dinner party with children underfoot.” And mostly there’s plenty of inspiration and entertainment, making this a worthwhile read for any home cook—and any parent. Agent: Elyse Cheney. (June)