Dinnertime Survival Guide

I was over the moon when Cooking Light asked me to write a cookbook for busy parents. I’m pretty darn proud of the finished product, Dinnertime Survival Guidewhich officially launched this week. I set out to write a cookbook I’d want to read myself–one that was easy to scan, that had a line-up of recipes that sounded yummy to all of us, and that took into account the stress, time-crunch, and chaos that can be family dinner. A photo with every recipe was a must too.

Dinnertime Survival Guide

I spent many months cooking and trying out the recipes for my family. My boys rated each one with a thumbs-up, thumbs-down, or thumbs-in-the-middle.

We all had our favorites. I loved Salmon Cakes with Lemony Garlic Sauce. My husband still swoons over the Maple-Mustard Glazed Chicken every time I make it. Henry was a huge fan of the Easy Garlic Fries, crispy baked fries tossed in a garlicky butter sauce. And Sam, the toughest customer at my table, now happily eats fish thanks to the T-Riffic Tilapia Tacos. For more details on what’s inside, read “A Peek Inside My New Cookbook!

Dinnertime Survival Guide

As soon as the books were delivered to my doorstep, one immediately became my kitchen copy. It’s already got the requisite drips and spills on its pages, like any well-loved cookbook should have. Now I want to share it with YOU.

I’m giving away two copies of Dinnertime Survival GuideTo enter:

1. Leave a comment telling me your biggest challenge when it comes to getting dinner on the table every night.

2. For one additional entry, share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media and leave me a comment telling me that you did.

The giveaway ends Wednesday April 30th at noon Eastern Time. (Open to residents of U.S. and Canada only please.) 

To purchase a copy of Dinnertime Survival Guide, go here.


I love old things. Our house is filled with pieces from my grandparents’ house and items my dad has found at flea markets. Our china cupboard houses my grandmother’s collection of Depression glass, which I treasure. One day recently, the dessert dishes caught my eye, and I was struck by how incredibly tiny they were. I was curious: How did these 1930-era dishes stack up against the ones my family uses for dessert 80 years later?

So I lined them up:


 Then I measured how much each dish held:


Thinking about these dishes in terms of ice cream is where it really gets shocking. Because if we were all eating regular, full-fat ice cream (the kind my grandma would’ve eaten) from our respective dishes, here’s what each of us would get:

  • My grandma: 266 calories
  • Me: 693 calories 
  • My husband: 1064 calories

Did I mention my grandma lived to be 99 years old?


A Peek Inside My New Cookbook!

April 15, 2014

Complete the following statement: Cooking dinner every night… A. Is really important and allows me to express my love for my family and communicate our food values. B. Can sometimes feel like chore at the end of a very long day. C. Makes me want to run screaming out the back door, jump into my […]

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{Giveaway} A Freezer Meal Cooking Program to Help You Reclaim the Dinner Hour

April 10, 2014

Ever feel a 5pm wave of angst when you realize you have no idea what’s for dinner? I do. It’s a lousy feeling. Batch cooking and freezing is one of the best ways to replace that wave of angst with a wave of relief. Having a set of freezer-friendly recipes and expert instructions helps an […]

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{Book Giveaway + Recipe} Younger Next Week and a Refreshing Raspberry Salad

March 31, 2014

When my kids were younger, it was easy to make excuses for my lack of self-care, like regular exercise or some mysterious thing I’d read about called “me time”. But as the kids get older (and I get older too) my stubborn refusal to put myself somewhere on my to-do list isn’t cutting it anymore. […]

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The Trap of Clean-Eating Treats

March 27, 2014

I’m a little bit worried about the words “healthy” and “clean”. Because I’m seeing them everywhere on social media in relation to dessert: There are recipes for Healthy Peppermint Patties. Clean Cookie Dough Blizzards. Healthy Clean-Eating Double-Chocolate Brownies with Marshmallow and Bacon Hot Fudge Sauce. Okay, I made up that last one. You get the idea. […]

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Too Much Of A Good Thing: Why Calories Still Count.

March 26, 2014

When the FDA recently proposed changes to the food label–including calorie count in a larger, bolder font–there were people who said that if you’re eating a diet of mostly whole foods, you don’t even need to think (much less worry) about calories at all. That calories don’t really matter. Oh, they matter alright. I’ve learned that […]

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{Recipe} Homemade Barbecue Sauce

March 18, 2014

At our house, we love barbecue sauce for dipping and brushing on grilled meats. I used to buy the bottled kind but wasn’t pleased with some of the ingredients, like preservatives and high fructose corn syrup. So I went searching for a simple homemade version and found this one from Aviva Goldfarb of The Six O’Clock […]

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Soccer Mom On A Mission…Watch It!

March 13, 2014

Two years ago, I tromped around the soccer fields in my community, snapping photos of the snacks I was seeing. I set the photos to music and turned them into a video slideshow called “Soccer Mom On A Mission”, with the hopes of raising awareness and mobilizing a new wave of Snacktivists to create change. After […]

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My Favorite Packaged Foods

March 10, 2014

In the last few years, I’ve made a conscious decision to make more food from scratch. But I still buy packaged food (read “From-Scratch Cooking Confession: I Can’t Keep Up!“). Several readers asked me for more details on the kinds of packaged products I buy, so I wanted to share some of my favorites. When […]

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