Fall meals hitting the table this week! 🍂
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Dinners Perfect for Autumn

I’ve spent much of the past months working outside, mostly on the roof of my building where there are some tables and chairs and quite a terrific four-way view of Manhattan. First I was bundled in a sweater and scarf; then over the summer it was tank tops and shorts and flip flops, and chasing the shade. As I write this I’m back in a sweater and leggings, and seeking out the sunny spots. Soon there will be a sturdy winter jacket, and at some point I guess I’ll have to call it a day for a while. I'm not looking forward to that.
But I’m still counting blessings and looking for the silver linings. They aren’t always so easy to find, as I’m sure you are well aware. Watching my son hunched over his Zoom classes, looking for a clean mask to go to the store, swallowing small doses of the news—it wears on a person. And I’ve also been paying attention to lots of articles talking about cooking fatigue, dinner burnout, folks who are looking at the 6 o’clock (or 7 o’clock or 8 o’clock) hour with dread. 
But press on we must—and while believe you me (BELIEVE YOU ME!) I have a stash of take-out menus that have been put to use these past weeks, I’m not going to give in. And neither should you. Why? Because cooking is one of the few things we have control over. One of the few things we can do for our families and ourselves. One of the few things that affords us immediate gratification in the form of enticing smells, comforting results, and nourishment on many levels. Please feel free to email me and tell me what you’re looking  for—slow cooker meals, cheap meals, fast meals, all of the above? I may be a professional food writer, but I’m also a person who is right there in the trenches, with a kid at home (and another coming home Thanksgiving or before for who knows how long), a husband, and neighbors going through rough times, and we all need to eat three times a day. Or, um, maybe more than that, but I’m not counting the many, many snacks that seem highly warranted at this time.
On a lighter note, my friend told me she just went for her physical and was stressed that she had put on a few pounds, and the nurse said to her, “Oh, I’m not going to weigh you! I’m not weighing anyone right now unless there is a serious reason to. No one needs that right now.” I love this nurse, and I hope someone is making her banana bread at this very moment.
Anyway, please keep cooking. Punctuate your cooking with pizza and take out Pad Thai, but also keep cooking. You’ll be happier for it.

Chunks of tender chicken, copious amounts of vegetables, all bound together with a savory sauce. Another solid entry into the comfort food lexicon.

Click here for the recipe.

The addition of dried fruit is a pretty and flavorful way to make a green salad much more special.

Click here for the recipe.

A truly simple fish dish, but with nice personality thanks to a drizzle or dollop of lemon yogurt. You want fast and easy and healthy? You got it.

Click here for the recipe.

One of those great fast-and-easy pastas that make weeknight dinners happen.

Click here for the recipe.

A handful of supporting ingredients turn a couple of handfuls of arugula into an amazing pan sauce.

Click here for the recipe.

My allergen-friendly version of Old Bay Seasoning. Sweet potato fries make any meal better. Hell, they make any day better. And if you shop at a well-stocked grocery store, you can often find sweet potatoes already cut into french-fry shaped sticks, making this super easy.

Click here for the recipe.

A cake for any time of day, that uses up those ripe bananas, that also has chocolate? That's a cake we can all get behind.

Click here for the recipe.

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If you have meal-planning gripes, questions, or things you want to suggest, come hang out with me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!

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