Dinner, A Love Story

I think I’ve told y’all before, but one of the best gifts I have ever received was a copy of Jenny Rosenstrach’s book, Dinner, A Love Story. More of an autobiography than a cookbook, Jenny chronicles her journey from fiance to newlywed, expectant mother to new mom, married with toddlers to married with tweens. The book is chock full of love letters to her husband, children, family– I can’t tell you how much this has reaffirmed my belief in the family meal and the family table. Jenny is a completely judgement free, tell-it-like-it-really-is kinda gal. She’s our people.


In the book, Jenny talks about being “Brilliant Jenny”: the moments where you feel your career, family, and marriage have aligned in such a way that gives you momentary brilliance that you can pocket with you and call upon when you have a tough day. I was so compelled by her writing, this book, and her experiences that I wrote to her. This was her response to my creepy stalker 4 a.m. “You have inspired me to be a better person” e-mail:


July 31, 2012

From: Jenny Rosenstrach

To: Me (for real, this was like being contacted by a CELEBRITY)


I think that is the first time I have ever been called the Bees Knees! Thank you so much — delighted that you like the book. You are the person I wrote this book for so it makes sense that you found it and it’s resonating! (Of course, I also wrote it for the new mom, new dad…frustrated mom, frustrated dad, grandparents, etc!) Good luck being brilliant Danielle!!! Keep telling yourself that and you will be!

Are you kidding me? We all need to convert to the church of Jenny. Starting today.

Here’s one of my favorite recipes from her blog to get you started. She featured this yesterday after people were basically banging down her door for the specifics. Chris and I made it last night (see picture below) and we can attest- it is BANANA SANDWICH. You have to make it. I would bathe in the sauce if I could.

Chicken with Soy Lime Sauce

olive oil
1 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 pounds chicken (breasts or thighs) pounded thin, salted and peppered
1 garlic clove, minced
3 to 4 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
juice of one lime
cilantro, chopped for garnish

Heat oil in a large skillet on high heat. Get your chicken really cornmealed up. Throw them in the oil. It’s important for them to be super crispy and delicious, so keep on flippin them as much as you need to. When you finish a piece, throw those girls on a platter and cover with foil. Jenny says add more oil with each new batch, because she’s smart.

When you are finished with the chicken, throw on your garlic and scallions with some more oil. Brown those. Then add chicken broth, soy sauce, and lime juice. Let all of that reduce for about 30 seconds. Drizzle it over the pan and garnish with cilantro. Eat while watching the second season of Breaking Bad. Lick the plate while your fiance is not looking. Enjoy.

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