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Dinner: The Playbook: A 30-Day Plan for Mastering the Art of the Family Meal Paperback – August 26, 2014
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“The master of simple, low-stress cooking. You might know her from her blog, Dinner, A Love Story; her new book, Dinner: The Playbook, is full of the same secret strategies for busy women.”—Glamour
“Families and novice cooks who accept Rosenstrach’s challenge will definitely find a few ‘keepers’ here.”—Library Journal
“Jenny Rosenstrach has truly mastered the art of the happy family dinner. This is the most sensible advice on cooking for kids I’ve ever seen: no gimmicks, no tricks, just practical advice for working parents. I wish this book had been around when my son was small.”—Ruth Reichl
“This book is for anyone who loves the promise of a home-cooked dinner but gets bogged down by the day-to-day reality of it: picky kids, picky spouses, the extinction of the nine-to-five workday, and the pressure—oh, the pressure—to get it on the table before everyone collapses into a hangry (hungry + angry) meltdown. Which is to say that this book is for me, me, me. And I bet it’s for you too.”—Deb Perelman, author of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
“Well, Jenny Rosenstrach, on the behalf of my whole family, thanks for the most practical—and yet still inspired—cookbook on our shelf. You are singularly responsible for my return to the kitchen.”—Kelly Corrigan, author of Glitter and Glue
“Jenny Rosenstrach is warm, wise and a genius when it comes to dinners. . . . As a mother of two young children, I was always racked with guilt when serving hummus and crackers for dinner or suggesting yet another night of scrambled eggs. But this brilliant guide is—no exaggeration—changing my life. I was more than happy to let Jenny be my boss for thirty days and whip me—and my family’s dinner—into shape. Think of this book as the world’s most delicious boot camp.”—Joanna Goddard, blogger, A Cup of Jo
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Top Customer Reviews
Family dinners are essential. It's time to come together, to laugh, to talk, to just be together. There are so many studies out there that prove that family dinners are beneficial for children.
The meals in the book do not require a super skill level in cooking. They're easy and seem to be kid friendly. There is a lot of seafood, chicken and even several meatless meals. The majority of the recipes have notes at the end with suggested sides, how to prep parts of the meal ahead of time, how to store it, how to freeze and use later (useful for doubling a batch sometimes), and what to do in the morning to get a leap on dinner time.
What I really like about the recipes is that they don't rely on pouch, box, frozen or canned ingredients (you do use some canned tomato and beans). This is all fresh, real food. The pan-fried pizza in particular has been a favorite. Some recipes have quite a few ingredients, while others are very simple. There's a good range in there.
There are sections for the 21 quick suggested sides as well as 15 "fancier" recipes. The book also includes a planning sheet for the week where you put in the meal, grade the meal and decide if you want to keep it in your rotation.
The first thing you do is pick a start date (she suggests the following Sunday, whenever that may be), and then get your family to help pick recipes. This was the part that almost made me quit before we started!! My husband picked REALLY elaborate and/or expensive dishes. I vetoed the Middle Eastern delicacy that called for $35 worth of fresh herbs (and that's not even counting the lamb!), but I did make the cabbage rolls that had four sub-recipes and took three hours to complete. My daughter picked out nothing but Chinese dishes. My son picked out quiche lorraine, ham & cheddar frittata, bacon & monterey jack scrambled eggs, ham & swiss hash with poached eggs - seeing a theme here? :-)
But we are halfway through, and it IS working. The kids are really enjoying rating their picks, and I'm having more fun cooking now.Read more ›
However, I still struggle with a picky-eater who makes being creative at dinnertime an impossibility. Enter, Dinner: The Playbook. Jenny's newest book is not just a cookbook, it is a PLAN with a capital P on how to make family dinners a fun family affair. I love how the book not only lays out the rules of the game, but also provides a number of tips to make implementation easier. For example, Jenny offers TEN done for you meal plans, ideas on what to do with the odds and ends left in your fridge each week, even how to grocery shop effectively.
I haven't even gotten to the actual recipes yet. I love that she breaks them down into do-able weekday dinners and other, more adult-friendly, romantic recipes. The black bean and goat cheese quesadillas are a staple of our Meatless Mondays. I am excited to try the Braised Adobo Pork with Polenta. Jenny's recipes have always been easy to follow, honest with regards to time and effort, and delicious. This Playbook is definitely going to be my number one new reference as I continue to navigate the waters of my new family, and the ritual of family dinner. Jenny, my husband, kids, and I thank you. We need all the help we can get!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this book! Recipes are easy to follow and easy to prepare. Best part is that the kids LOVE to be involved in giving each meal a 'grade' after we eat it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kira
This is the first cookbook that I've found that has legitimately decent healthy home cooked meals that can can truley be prepared quickly in a house with small kids.Published 2 months ago by Cmj
I LOVE this cookbook. I have made probably half of the recipes in this book and my family likes all of them. They are simple and easy to make with mostly fresh ingredients. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Nattymom
Not useful. Her other book, "Dinner: A Love Story" is awesome. This newer book is a waste of money.Published 4 months ago by Gloria
Jenny's recipes are delicious and fast, but it's really her tone and confidence that made me love this book. Read morePublished 6 months ago by David E. Allgeier
I am an experienced cook with a tendency to make overcomplicated meals. Consequently, dinner was always late and my kids were eating other junk because they were starving. Read morePublished 13 months ago by M. Ponder
This is a super sensible and practical book on how to come to terms with your former pre-baby/kids life and your present. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Nancy C
Great book, similar ideas to first book but less about her and more clear on purpose. I bought it mostly for the additional simple recipes. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Jonathan
The book 100% expanded the palates of my 6- and 9- year old boys. I did "the plan" last fall. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Carol Evans