dinner the playbookThree signs you need Dinner, the Playbook: 1) Chicken fingers qualify as adventurous. (Hey, they’re not nuggets.) 2) You live in fear of the white stuff touching the green stuff. 3) Family dinner? What’s family dinner?

When Jenny Rosenstrach’s kids were little, her dinner rotation looked like this: Pasta, Pizza, Pasta, Burgers, Pasta. It made her crazy – not only because of the mind-numbing repetition, but because she loved to cook and missed her pre-kid, ketchup-free dinners. Her solution? A family adventure: She and her husband, Andy, would cook thirty new dishes in a single month–and her kids would try them all. Was it nuts for two working parents to take on this challenge? Yes. But did it transform family dinner from stressful grind to happy ritual? Completely.

Here, Rosenstrach – creator of the beloved blog and book Dinner: A Love Story  – shares her story, offering weekly meal plans, tons of organizing tips, and eighty-plus super-simple, kid-vetted recipes. Stuck in a rut? Ready to reboot dinner? Whether you’ve never turned on a stove or you’re just starved for inspiration, this book is your secret weapon. (description from publisher)

Inspired by her beloved blog, dinneralovestory.com, Jenny Rosenstrach’s story is many wonderful things: a memoir, a love story, a practical how-to guide for strengthening family bonds by making the most of dinnertime, and a compendium of palate-pleasing recipes.

Claiming that a committed family dinner every night helps strengthen the bonds of a family, Dinner: A Love Story provides recipes for easy-to-prepare family dinners including roast vegetables with polenta, spicy shrimp with yogurt, and homemade pizza. With simple strategies and common sense, Jenny figured out how to break down dinner—the food, the timing, the anxiety, from prep to cleanup—so that her family could enjoy good food, time to unwind, and simply be together.

Every meal is a real meal, one that has been cooked and eaten and enjoyed at least a half dozen times by someone in Jenny’s house. With inspiration and game plans for any home cook at any level, Dinner: A Love Story is as much for the novice who doesn’t know where to start as it is for the gourmand who doesn’t know how to start over when she finds herself feeding an intractable toddler or for the person who never thought about home-cooked meals until he or she became a parent. This book is, in fact, for anyone interested in learning how to make a meal to be shared with someone they love, and about how so many good, happy things happen when we do. (description from publisher)