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posted: 3/3/2010 12:01 AM

New cookbook aimed at bringing back the family meal

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  • These Chicken and Dumplings from Mikkel Vang's "Mad Hungry" will get the family to gather around the dinner table.

      These Chicken and Dumplings from Mikkel Vang's "Mad Hungry" will get the family to gather around the dinner table.
    Newspaper Enterprise Association

 

"They eat standing in front of the fridge."

"They want dinner five minutes ago."

These phrases are promos for a recent cookbook, but they may in fact describe your own family. The book is "Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys" by Lucinda Scala Quinn (2009 Artisan). If you have daughters, don't worry; they'll be "mad hungry" for the recipes here, too.

This book is really about bringing back the family meal, for all the right reasons: emotional, psychological, cultural, nutritional and economic. Quinn, executive food director for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and host of both a PBS cooking show ("Everyday Food") and a Sirius XM satellite radio show ("EatDrink"), is mad about her family, and about feeding them well - and together.

If you've been resolving to get back into the kitchen, this book offers encouragement and strategies. These are things you have heard before - tips about planning, sharing the work, and involving children in the cooking. It also has great recipes. You've read these before, too - recipes for lasagna, oven fries and breakfast burritos. But the combination of the author's enthusiasm, the luscious photos and the easy-to-follow recipes is a winner. Just looking at this book makes one "mad hungry."

• Marialisa Calta is the author of "Barbarians at the Plate: Taming and Feeding the American Family" (2005 Perigee). More at marialisacalta.com.

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