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September 25, 2016


Dinner The PlaybookLove it or hate it. Depending on whether one is living single or with a family, meal preparation time could either be the high or low point of your day. DINNER THE PLAYBOOK, by Jenny Rosenstrach, is the result of the author challenging herself and her husband to cook 30 NEW dishes in a single month. With full time jobs and two (picky) kids below five, was it possible to get out of the Great Dinner Rut (and we’ve all been there)?

While I can happily eat the same thing for dinner five days in a row (I do the same for breakfast, by the way), I realized not everyone can operate the same way. This book is heaven-sent to singles, couples, and everyone in between who want a break from the usual suspects―may these be pasta, afritada, sinigang, fried anything, or adobo. The author set out to reclaim dinner when it was the bright spot in their day and not a source of stress. She also wanted her kids to discover, flex, and build their culinary adventure muscles (a somewhat herculean task, as anyone with or without kids can attest).

Recipes are simple (vegetable-loaded fried rice) and easy to follow (penne with roasted tomatoes and spinach). Most importantly, meals are healthy, wholesome, enjoyable, and sane. The reader/eater is introduced to new ingredients, colors, textures and techniques, which hopefully make the cooking/eating process an adventure rather than a pain. DINNER THE PLAYBOOK is more than just a cookbook. The author shares The Rules (e.g. a few things to keep in mind before you begin, for those intrepid enough to undertake the whole 30 recipes in 30 days), shopping, unpacking and prepping tips, and a lot more. My favorite tip so far? Dump wilting vegetables into a pot and make your own vegetable stock. I now save past-their-prime veggies and scraps from the cutting board in a ziplock bag and keep it in the freezer. I used veggie stock instead of water when I made chicken arroz caldo this week and the soup came out richer in flavor.

DINNER THE PLAYBOOK is available in bookstores.

PRHPenguin Random House is the world’s first truly global trade book publisher. It was formed on July 1, 2013, upon the completion of an agreement between Bertelsmann and Pearson. Penguin Random House employs more than 10,000 people globally across almost 250 editorially and creatively independent imprints and publishing houses that collectively publish more than 15,000 new titles annually. Its publishing lists include more than 70 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors.

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