You guys, I am absolutely head over heels for one of the library books I picked up a few days ago. I love it so much that I might go so far as to say it has changed my life…no joke.
Dinner: A Love Story won me over as soon as I started reading. It’s a personal account of how the author, Jenny Rosenstrach, got into the habit of making dinner every night with her husband, and along the way she shares their favorite tried-and-true recipes. Now, you all know I love to cook; it’s one of my absolute favorite things to do. However, I definitely don’t cook every night for Kirby and I (and I’m not expected to, either) but because I’m currently not working, I figure it’s a fun and enjoyable way of making Kirby happy as well as showing my love for him. When Kirby gets home and a meal is on the table, it’s like I just bought him a brand new car and I’m sitting there with a new golden retriever puppy and fish tacos in hand (his favorite things)… I mean seriously, it makes him THAT happy. But I don’t do it all the time because life gets in the way and I wasn’t prioritizing it. Sure, there are nights when I would cook us some awesome fancy meal because the creative bug struck me and I just felt like being in the kitchen. But consistently? That hasn’t been happening. One thing we’ve talked about is how we feel our happiest, most relaxed and in-tune with each other when we’re sitting down for a home cooked meal together; it just feels right. Jenny talks about how when they were getting dinner on the table each night (and of course there were exceptions) everything seemed to fall into place. When we’re eating home-cooked meals together consistently we feel the same way. We spend time talking about our days face-to-face, we have leftovers for lunch the next day, and we’re nourishing our bodies with good food. It’s all good stuff :)
So it’s one thing to like the sentiments an author writes, but my question was: Does she back it up with amazing recipes?
Oh yes, yes she does.
I made her Salmon Salad, and it instantaneously became a hit in our little family. It was so good, fresh, and bursting with flavor, that I keep thinking about when I can make it again. Seriously you guys, make this. You won’t regret it. It’ll be love at first bite.
- For the vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons mustard
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Squeeze of fresh lemon or lime
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- For the salmon:
- 1 salmon fillet (about 1 pound)
- Salt and pepper
- 4 potatoes (yukon gold, red or blue if you can find them), peeled and quartered
- 2 ears corn
- Handful of thin green beans, trimmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 5 to 6 scallions (white and light green parts), chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
To make the vinaigrette:In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, sugar, lemon juice and oil and set aside.
To make the salmon:Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper. Roast in a foil-lined baking dish for 15 minutes. (If you prefer to grill the fish, brush with a mixture of olive oil, salt, pepper and a dash of honey and cook over medium-hot coals, 4 to 5 minutes on each side.)
Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until a knife slices through them with no resistance, about 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes to a large serving bowl. Add the corn to the same pot of water. Boil for 4 minutes. Remove to a cutting board, allow to cool, slice off the kernels and add to the serving bowl. Add beans to the same pot of water and cook for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the serving bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, scallions and cilantro to the bowl. Toss with the vinaigrette and serve.
Serving Size: 4
Total time: 35 minutes.
What are your thoughts on sitting down for dinner each night with your loved one(s)? Is it a priority in your life or do you show your love and reconnect in other ways?
I hope you guys have an amazing weekend! We’re going to be taking advantage of this amazing weather we’re having in San Diego :)
And I’ll leave you with a quote from the book, Dinner: A Love Story:
I was starting to shape a theory about dinner. I found that if I was eating well, there was a good chance I was living well, too. I found that when I prioritized dinner, a lot of things seemed to fall into place: We worked more effectively to get out of [work] on time, we dedicated time and place to unload whatever was annoying us about work and everything else, and we spent less money by cooking our own food, which meant we never felt guilty about treating ourselves to dinner out on the weekend. And perhaps most important, the simple act of carving out the ritual- a delicious homemade ritual- gave everyday purpose and meaning, no matter what else was going on in our lives.”