Three years ago, Jenny Rosenstrach's Dinner: A Love Story, a delightful combination of cookbook and memoir, became a page-turning staple in my kitchen. I knew this book was a keeper when I read that breaded chicken cutlets, a dish that her own parents regularly pulled together as a team, was one of the most meaningful dinners included in the book. In fact, the chicken cutlet is my all time favorite lunch sandwich. As a high school kid, I skipped school (more than once) to make chicken cutlets in the back kitchen of my favorite deli. But that's a story for another day.
Jenny's stories about convening her family to the dinner table are juicy with detail and grounded with real life perspective. Her book is full of strategies to make that happen and the recipes are approachable and delicious. Apricot-Mustard Chicken is one of my "back pocket" recipes now, as is Lazy Bolognese and Greek-Style Shrimp with Feta (which I now make with scallops and added mint). Here's my favorite part: Jenny has a second book, (Dinner: The Play Book), also a winner in my house, and is coming out with a third!
So when Jenny took over the LaLa Lunchbox Instagram feed for the week, I was beyond thrilled, and also completely curious about what her kids ate for lunch. The lunches looked beautiful and tasty, as I'd expected, but Friday's post was by far my favorite. We can pack beautiful, nutritious lunches for our kids, but isn't the goal to teach them to be self sufficient to do it themselves at some point? And healthfully? I certainly think so.
Here's some good news: Nature’s Bakery got in touch with Jenny after seeing one of their fig bars in the feed and now wants to give away five six-pack boxes to one lucky DALS reader. All you have to do to be eligible is follow them on instagram (@naturesbakery) and comment on a photo with the tag #dinneralovestory. Deadline is Monday, October 5 at 5:00pm ET and (sorry!) US and Canada residents only. Thanks Nature’s Bakery!
Huge thanks to Jenny for giving us a sneak peak into the lunchboxes of her kiddos! Here's the roundup of DALS Lunches:
Here’s what you’re looking at above (clockwise from left): Trader Joe’s organic baked beans in a small Thermos, salt & vinegar potato chips in a KidsKonserve container (one from a pack of three), and a just-picked apple from the weekend’s orchard visit; Chopped up mozzarella and tomatoes with baguette slices in a LunchBot (sandwiches are “not my thing,” says Abby. But bruschetta…);Cucumber slices with ginger-miso dressing, a Nature’s Bakery Fig Bar, and leftover buttery noodles, all packed in a BuiltNY bag (here’s a similar one); Phoebe’s famous turkey, cheddar, and whole-grain mustard on a ciabatta roll, inside a Lunchskin; and Snapea Crisps, another apple, and a quartered cheddar quesadilla, which Abby will use to scoop up leftover dinner salsa.