Dinner: The Playbook: A 30-Day Plan for Mastering the Art of the Family Meal by Jenny Rosenstrach
(Ballantine Books, 2014, 240 pages)
My last cookbook-focused review was earlier in April and I talked about how much I enjoyed Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners. Well, this book shows how serious I am about wanting to get back in the kitchen. Rosenstrach got into the food world thanks to her popular blog, Dinner: A Love Story. This little cookbook is meant to be a motivator for parents who value the idea of family dinner but feel overwhelmed at the idea of trying to pull one together every night. I’m lucky enough to have a husband that enjoys cooking, but I miss my time in the kitchen. As it stands, when I want to make dinner I often feel like there’s not enough time to do it and that I don’t have anything in the kitchen anyway. This book helped change my kitchen outlook.
Rosenstrach presents a “challenge” wherein you have family dinners for 30 days. She outlines how to approach everything from shopping and food prep to convincing picky eaters to eat what you serve. A lot of the recipes seem so simple, and that’s kind of the key. Sometimes you just need someone to lay everything out for you. I pulled a number of recipes from this book that I can easily implement for my family. Plus I’m using the tips she offered on how to effectively stock my pantry/fridge/freezer and making the most use of my time by getting some food prep tasks out of the way on the weekends or in the morning.
I definitely plan on picking up her memoir in the near future because I really appreciated her approach to cooking and family. If you’re in something of a cooking rut and want to reinvigorate your family meals, this is a great book to pick up.