Melissa Clark: She’s Cooking Up Dinner

August 17 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: What's for Dinner?

Hey foodies, have you ever checked out any vintage recipes? Compared with our modern-day epicurean ventures, some quintessential classics are truly 100 percent horrifying. For example, here are some less-than-tasty vintage concoctions: Tuna and Jell-O pie (Yikes!), Lime Cheese Salad and the oh-so-delicious Ham and Bananas Hollandaise. Sorry to ruin your appetite for the rest of the day. In the meantime, let’s give a shout-out to anyone who’s actually created and consumed those recipes of times past, and let’s praise 2017 for not forcing us to choke it all down. Bon appétit!


Given that last morsel, needless to say, I’m super thankful for restaurants. It relieves so much stress to know that when I just don’t have the ingenuity or drive to make dinner, I can go somewhere and they’ll make it for me. Apparently, most Americans agree. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2015 to 2016, Americans spent crazy amounts of money at bars and restaurants, to the tune of more than $54 billion. It was the first time Americans spent more dining out than at the grocery store, with the average family spending more than $3,000 at restaurants.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Melissa Clark, Cookbook Author and Food Writer at The New York Times

OK, so now you’re wondering what on earth you’re going to cook for dinner, right? It’s a daily struggle for most of us. But one woman who totally excels at cookin’ up good eats and can definitely solve your dinnertime woes—whether you espouse or despise her favorite ingredients: anchovies and chicken feet—is food maven Melissa Clark. Having authored an amazing 38 cookbooks, Melissa knows how to make a scrumptious meal out of just about any kind of cuisine.

And if you’ve happened to open up The New York Times any time in the past decade, you’ve likely been witness to Melissa’s exquisite pithiness in her weekly column, “The Good Appetite.” Melissa’s recipes and crumbs of wisdom have become a staple in the American household. From kimchee to pork chops, Melissa employs her robust culinary knowledge to spill the beans, offering a breadth of edible delights for you to execute in your home kitchen.

In Melissa’s most recent cookbook, the newly released Dinner: Changing the Game, she invites home cooks to spice up our nightly routines by adding a new ingredient to meals we already make. She knows Americans well enough to know we all make the same half a dozen or so recipes on the regular and aren’t likely to add too many new ones, but we could probably handle adding a couple zesty accompaniments.

You may have seen this epicurean expert on one of her many appearances on the Today show or the Rachel Ray Show, and you’ve definitely heard her on NPR’s culinary program, The Splendid Table. Having spent her career cooking up a storm, Melissa has earned some seriously prestigious awards from the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals, so yeah, she’s clearly the cream of the crop when it comes to food authorities.

And it’s easy as pie to see why Melissa has been a mainstay in the culinary biz. It’s her expertise, her way with words, her imaginative ideas. But the thing, I think, that leaves us gobbling up every word is her amicable nature. I can’t help but imagine that if a stranger showed up on her Brooklyn stoop around mealtime, she’d open the door with a big smile and say, “We have plenty!”


Melissa Clark would surely agree with Food Network personality and Italian food guru Giada De Laurentiis, who said:

“Food brings people together on many different levels. It’s nourishment of the soul and body. It’s truly love.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

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