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The Family Dinner Book Review ~ Much More Than A Cookbook

Updated on October 21, 2014
The Family Dinner
The Family Dinner | Source

The Family Dinner Is Much MORE Than A Cookbook

Planning supper has gotten tougher and tougher as I have gotten busier and busier so I am always picking up new cookbooks to see if I can take away any great ideas. Recently, I picked up a copy of The Family Dinner (really called The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect With Your Kids, One Meal At A Time), which was written by Laurie David and which includes recipes by Kirstin Uhrenholdt. I was totally impressed.

For starters, I enjoyed reading it. The text flows and is easy to read. It is packed with interesting storires, tidbits and quotes. It is going to take a while to absorb it all, which makes it my favorite kind of cookbook -- one packed with extras -- and it is noteworthy that not all cookbooks that promise to help you plan the family dinner are so friendly.

Of course, this book is actually much more than a cookbook and includes chapters on everything from why family dinners matter (although I'm pretty sure if you are reading this that you know WHY family dinners are important) to chapters with fast recipes and discussions about how to make your table environmentally green and how to generate table talk.

So far, I have only had time to try two recipes and they were delicious so I clicked through to Amazon to see what other people thought of this book. The customer reviews I found there about this book feature a near perfect five-star score, which means I am REALLY looking forward to trying more recipes.

Click here to order your copy of The Family Dinner from Amazon.

What Is in the Family Dinner Book? - It Is Much More Than a Collection of Recipes...although It Has Those, Too

  • Plenty of food for thought, including sections on why family dinners matter, steps to successful family dinners and how to set the scene.
  • Lots of recipes including fast recipes, recipes to cook together, soup suppers (a favorite with my family), taking it slow recipes, meatless Monday ideas and recipes for your children to make and serve their family. Did I say dessert recipes? Well, of course it has those too. They are hiding at the back in the chapter called Play With Your Dessert.
  • Finally, there are chapters devoted to making your kitchen choices 'green' or environmentally friendly, table talk, reading around the table, why grandparents and extended family are important, how to manage family dinners after a divorce, ways to say thank you for what life has given you and finally, some great games for after dinner.

But Are the Family Dinner Recipes Good?


As I've said before, this book is much more than a cookbook but it does have recipes...approximately 100 pages of them. I had chicken in the fridge when I discovered this cookbook and it magically and easily and deliciously became ARROZ CON POLLO one night and I was totally impressed with the recipe. I used my largest pot, threw the ingredients in and voila turned out the yummiest chicken dish we have had in a long time, although we omitted the peas due to one family member's extreme aversion to them.

This is a recipe that we will be having again and again. However, the story is not done yet because the authors of this book then provide the steps to turn the leftovers very easily into the most delcious Indian recipe -- CHICKEN BIRYANI by adding a few simple Indian spices and reheating. This, in my mind, is a truly brilliant cookbook. I cannot wait to try more.

Meanwhile, Amazon customer Martha R. Ulfelder has tried and can vouch for the Butterfly Pasta with Kale and Nanna's Happy Chocolate Chip Cookies, LoraJ recommends the meatless lasagna, and finally, Mary Argimon calls the Oven Grains, Greens & Cheese Please recipe delicious and the recipes, perfect.

Next on my list is VIETNAMESE SOUP IN A TEAPOT. Even my young adult sons (19 and 17) will be impressed if I serve a delicious, homemade bowl of Pho...who knew you could make it at home...and what a great idea to serve it from a teapot. I'll report back.

Soy Good Maple-glazed Salmon Recipe

An easy, delicious and nutritious salmon recipe.

I just realized I should have taken a picture because a picture tells a thousand words! Since I did not you will just have to settle for my words:

The Soy Good Maple-Glazed Salmon recipe was delicious and simple. The marinade or sauce does need to simmer for 15 minutes and then sit on the salmon for at least 20 minutes but preferably for up to an hour, so keep that in mind.

We enjoyed our salmon cooked on the grill with rice, broccoli and a leftover piece of corn on the cob. This recipe is a KEEPER.

The Family Dinner Video - a Short Discussion of the Family Dinner Book By the Authors

This video features the authors, Laurie David and Kirstin Uhrenholdt, disscussing the book. Fair warning that if you watch this video and you love the idea of the family dinner, you will probably want to own this book when you are done. You will not even need to read the rest of this page (but I encourage you to do so so that you will know exactly what you are going to receive if you decide to buy it.)


See results

"If you can muster the energy for only one tool to raising a healthy family, make it having family dinner. This book will help you make those meals easy, fun and of lasting impact."

Tom Hanks

Table Topics Conversation Cards - Families Who Enjoy Dinner Together Also Enjoy These Cards

Table Topics Conversation Cards - Kids Topics To Go is just one way to get conversation going at your family dinner table. You and your family will enjoy the fun starting points for some pretty great conversations with questions like, "What would be a really good flavor for toothpaste?" No electronic gadgets involved, you and your children or even your grandchildren will LOVE these cards. Some of the questions are pretty basic like What's your favorite color and some are not quite so simple like If you were to develop a swimming pool, what would it look like? They are great jumping off points for great supper time conversation.

Of course, if your family is a bit old for this game (as mine is), there is a full range of Table Talk games including one for Teens, Dinner Parties, Couples,Gourmets, What Would You Do and a most intriguing one called Not Your Mom's Dinner Party...

Final Thoughts

Is The Family Dinner book only suitable for people with families? I am thinking not. The recipes are amazing and there are so many bits of information, ideas and interesting quotes that anyone who loves food and cooking should thoroughly enjoy this book. Heck, the two chicken dinners that we totally enjoyed are worth the price of this book.

Of course, it would make a natural gift choice for any family you know but I think anyone could put these ideas and recipes to good use. What do you think?

Who Would You Recommend the Family Dinner To? - Is the Family Dinner Book Only Suitable for People with Families?

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    • TransplantedSoul profile image


      5 years ago

      Family dinners are so important as a place to get together and share ideas. Good food that everyone enjoys is a vital component to these suppers.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My mom.

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 

      7 years ago

      When a cookbook comes highly recommended you bet I'll take a look. Thanks for the review and insight into The Family Dinner!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for introducing us to this book!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Sounds like The Family Dinner Book is a super Christmas or birthday or mother's day present! As you said earlier, any family can benefit from the ideas in this book.

    • Vikk Simmons profile image

      'Vikk Simmons 

      7 years ago from Houston

      I have a couple of friends who still have kids at home that this might be good for. Sounds interesting.

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 

      7 years ago

      I think this looks like a great book. Enjoyed reading your review!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      This sounds like a fabulous book! Even though it's usually just the two of us, the recipes you've mentioned sound wonderful - so I think I'd love this cookbook!

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 

      7 years ago

      This sounds like a really good book and cookbook!


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