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Greenville & Hockessin Life

Dinner is on!

Jun 18, 2018 09:35AM ● By J. Chambless

Co-authors Kathy Brennan, a Hockessin resident, and Caroline Campion, have written a new recipe book, 'The Dinner Plan,' that introduces five practical meal strategies.

By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

In 2013, Hockessin resident Kathy Brennan worked with co-author Caroline Campion to create KEEPERS: Two Home Cooks Share Their Tried-and-True Weeknight Recipes and the Secrets to Happiness in the Kitchen.

The book was a treasure trove of deliciousness, variety and ease. Designed with beautiful color photography, the book listed 137 easy-to-make recipes for fish, poultry, beef and pork, as well as soups and pastas and salads. On each page, the message to parents – especially mothers – reads like an anthem of confidence and assurance. You Can Do This, the book said. You Can Prepare Evening Meals for Your Family Without Going Crazy.

The response to the book was glowing and nearly immediate. The Boston Globe called possibly “the best-value weeknight cookbook around,” was chosen by NPR as one of its Good Reads that year and won the International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Award for General Excellence.

The idea for the book did not just rise into life like a souffle, but marinated for years from the experiences of being in kitchens and writing about food.

A former senior editor at Saveur and a food/cookbook editor and writer, Brennan was a winner of the Bert Greene Food Writing Award and James Beard Foundation Award, and graduated from New York’s International Culinary Center. Campion, a former senior editor at Saveur, GQ and Glamour, is the creator of the award-winning food blog “Devil & Egg,” and has contributed to the New York Times, Martha Stewart, Redbook and Cherry Bombe.

In response to feedback from their award-winning first cookbook, Brennan and Campion have created a follow-up book where their first one left off. The Dinner Plan, published by Abrams last September, is a 256-page answer to the question, “What's For Dinner?” It introduces five practical meal strategies – Make-Ahead, Staggered, One-Dish, Extra-Fast and Pantry – that will help get weeknight dinner on the table, through work, family activities, mismatched schedules, and bare cupboards and refrigerators.

The book's 135 recipes provides page after page of practical options, all of which are based on the time available for the family cook – or not available.

When there is spare time in the morning or night before, The Dinner Plan offers several Make-Ahead recipes that are ideal for nights when people will be eating at different times. Staggered meals can be left on the back of the stove and served reheated, at room temperature, or cold, and one-dish recipes can not only make an easy dinner with minimal clean-up, they generally reheat well and can often be prepared ahead of time.

When there is little time to get to the grocery store, pantry recipes, detailed in the book, are the perfect remedy, as they require only long shelf-life ingredients from the cupboard, fridge or freezer. Lastly, everyone needs a stable of these Extra-Fast recipes for those especially rushed nights when stomachs are rumbling.

Most importantly, all of the recipes in The Dinner Plan are brag-worthy, reliable, crowd-pleasing preparations that may soon become family favorites, like Shrimp Scampi, Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas, Foolproof Carbonara and Mexican Skillet Lasagna.

The Dinner Plan, by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion, was published in Sept. 2017 by Abrams, and is available for $29.99 on

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected]

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