After enjoying the blog Dinner: A Love Story for a while, I broke down and bought her cookbook of the same name. Dinner: A Love Story: It all begins at the family table (affiliate link from Amazon) is part memoir and part recipes. I made her black bean and avocado salad, a nice side dish.
The book is divided into three main sections, based on the different modes of cooking she’s done: before children, new parenthood and older children. The stories brought back many memories of family dinners when my kids were younger and that hectic time of trying to cook with very young children in the house. She’s got some good strategies for those crazy times but most mothers of very young children probably don’t have the time to read a book! There are some laugh out loud stories and heartwarming tales. She’s got a picky eater and has some ideas for how to deal with that without catering (too much) or being hardcore. Many are similar to strategies I used, dividing up dishes and the like. I remember my sister’s advice for those young years was to always have a serving dish of something the kids could fill up on if they hated everything (or were unwilling to taste). For my oldest, that could be bowl of peas, funnily enough. She loved green peas! For the youngest, it might have been pasta or a fruit salad. But I got lucky and neither of mine were horribly picky. Anyway, it’s a cute book and fun to read and now I’m playing with a few of the recipes. So far, some are a bit milder than I like but it’s often easier to spice up a dish to our tastes than calm down an overly spicy one so that’s okay.
Last night, I breaded and fried tilapia filets (she used flounder) which is very similar to mine here. My kids liked these a lot when they were younger and still do. I’m not a big fish fan, but tilapia is mild enough for me to enjoy. I made a simple tartar sauce to go with the fish (mayonnaise, ketchup, lemon juice and pickle relish) and tried her recipe for black bean and avocado salad, which we both liked. I purposefully made sure we ate all the avocado from it last night so the leftover avocado wouldn’t turn brown and ate the leftovers with fresh avocado added for lunch. I left out the grape tomatoes she called for and halved her recipes basically.
Black Bean and Avocado Salad from Dinner: A Love Story
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 3 green onions, minced
- 1/2 a small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 2 Tbs lime juice
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- a handful of fresh chopped cilantro
- a few dashes of hot sauce
- 1 avocado, cut into cubes
- Mix everything in a bowl and serve.
- If you want to mix it up ahead of time, reserve the avocado and add it just before serving.