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Our Founders Amanda & Merrill Are Writing a Book!

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The question—really a statement more than a question—we get most often is, "You must cook all the time, right?"

"Well, no, not really," we say in one form or another."We actually do most of our cooking on the weekend, when we have a little more time."

This dinner we're about to serve? We prepped for it over the weekend!
This dinner we're about to serve? We prepped for it over the weekend! Photo by James Ransom

As parents and people running a growing business, we have very little time to cook during the week. If we want to eat well, we need to get organized, plan our shopping and cooking for the weekends, and come up with ways to do it so family dinners don’t become monotonous. 

For years, we’d each been going about this in our own way—Merrill with loose notes scattered here and there and menus that produced mix-and-match leftovers for work lunches that Amanda secretly pined for; Amanda with meticulously handwritten weekly menus and Sunday cooking plans (she's a Virgo), which gave birth to beautiful composed dishes that had Merrill yearning to up her game.

Amanda's meticulous menu planning (with her daughter's drawings).
Amanda's meticulous menu planning (with her daughter's drawings). Photo by James Ransom

We'd talk about what we were cooking, and trade tips and recipes. Not once during these casual chats did it occur to us that this was the book we should write. Why would we ever want to write something that could be useful to many other people in the world who struggle with the same challenge?

We've talked about writing a book together for years now, and although we had many ideas, nothing stuck. None of them felt true to us—until now. It took us a while, but eventually we clued in. So if you've wondered why we've been so quiet on the site these past few months, it's because we've been holed up putting the strategies that have been tucked away in our heads all these years onto paper—into a book, A New Way to Dinner.

Photo by James Ransom

We wanted this book to be inspirational, but more importantly to get down to the brass tacks of how to pull off five great weeknight dinners, with just a few hours in the kitchen on the weekend. For instance, spend about 2 1/2 hours in the kitchen over the weekend and you get to eat this through the week:

  • Polenta, bolognese, and biscotti
  • Porchetta, mashed potatoes, blood orange salad, and chocolate rosemary pudding
  • Crisped potatoes, bolognese, and more pudding
  • Blood orange salad, porchetta on bread, and ice cream
  • Polenta with garlicky spinach and fried egg, plus fruit and cheese
  • Porchetta sandwiches with pickled onions and garlicky spinach
  • Spinach salad with pancetta, croutons, and egg
Photos by James Ransom, James Ransom

The book will be on shelves—and in the Food52 Shop—this October. Stay tuned for more updates, and reserve a signed copy now to get it hot off the presses!

—Amanda and Merrill

Be one of the first to get your hands on A New Way to Dinner by pre-ordering it in the Food52 Shop!

Tags: Amanda & Merrill, Food52 Life, Food52 Works, Books