Tuesday, May 8, 2012


To gather around the family table is one of life's most simple pleasures, yet without some forethought it can become furiously elusive. In this day in age of activity-packed afternoons and longer workdays, planning, prioritizing and effort are paramount.

As of right now, the most powerful tool in my kitchen for preparing healthy and delicious dishes (fact: last night's announcement of Chicken and Dumplings elicited gasps of delight from my six year old, along with a request for thirds) is my copy of My Father's Daughter by the queen of multi-tasking herself Gwyneth Paltrow.

Our house, like so many these days, is chock-full of allergies and aversions. I have yet to make a recipe from this book that does not adapt beautifully to our needs: Pancakes, Turkey Sausage Patties, Picco de Gallo, Lime Crema, Roasted Cauliflower, and Balsamic & Lime Vinaigrette just to name a few faves.

And while I have been a longtime fan of the Barefoot Contessa (her Butternut Squash Soup is out of this world), the emphasis on incorporating children into the cooking process and the subtlety of cooking for a child's palette as well as adults is addressed so well in My Father's Daughter.

A great tip of hers is to carve out an hour or so on a Sunday to cook up some staples and stock up the fridge to ease the weeknight madness. Get some good tunes going, grab the best apron ever and have some fun in the kitchen. Best of all? Enjoy it all week with those you love most.

PS: Don't forget to check in with foodie friends for some of their great ideas and inspiration (check out this gem of a blog by one of mine).

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