Cookbook Giveaway – Food52 A New Way to Dinner

Food52: A New Way to Dinner: A Playbook of Recipes and Strategies for the Week Ahead by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs is a playbook of recipes and strategies for planning menus for the week ahead.

The book is organized by season with beautiful photographs throughout. You can read more about this book and try two recipes on our review and recipe post.

We are pleased to offer three copies of this title to our EYB Members in the U.S. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post:

How do you get ahead of the game when planning dinner?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends December 5th, 2016. 


Post a comment


  • kayanelson  on  November 3, 2016

    I have the luxury of not working so I prep for dinner earlier in the day and make sure the kitchen is clean when I start making dinner.

  • Marcia1206  on  November 3, 2016

    I don't usually get ahead lol. When I do it's because I measure out and line up all the ingredients.

  • lebarron2001  on  November 3, 2016

    I shop for fresh ingredients to have on hand for the first few meals of the week.

  • Karow  on  November 3, 2016

    Anything that can be done ahead of time, I do it earlier in the day.

  • alirov  on  November 3, 2016

    I plan out my meals for the week on Sunday and do the majority of my shopping. Make a big meal on Sunday for some leftovers and plan to make quick meals (possibly with a pressure cooker or sous vide some frozen seasoned meat) on weeknights.

  • ccav  on  November 3, 2016

    I usually try to prep and roast veggies and cook something like soup on the weekend to use for lunches/dinners in the week ahead. I also rely on my rice cooker and slow cooker to help during the week.

  • allthatsleftarethecrumbs  on  November 3, 2016

    Planning is key, and trying to prep as much as I can ahead of time. It also doesn't hurt to keep some canned tomatoes and pasta on hand for those nights where everything does not go to plan so you can whip up a delicious home made pasta sauce in no time.

  • lauriesk  on  November 3, 2016

    I have a few fast meals that are my go to meals on busy nights.

  • camtncook  on  November 3, 2016

    I try to figure out what I'm going to make early in the day so that I can have ingredients thawed or prepped and ready to go when it's time to cook dinner.

  • HerBoudoir  on  November 3, 2016

    I always prep my meats and freeze in 2-serving portions (there's 2 of us), and keep plenty of "quick thaw" options around – chicken cutlets, pork cutlets, small packs of ground beef. I always have homemade marinara and meat sauce in the freezer, and the makings of stir fry in the fridge (fresh veg, sauces, etc).

  • sarahawker  on  November 3, 2016

    I have a magnetic menu pad on the refrigerator and every Sunday I sit in bed with my cup of coffee and plan the week out along with a shopping list. I actually relax that way!

  • rchesser  on  November 3, 2016

    I try to do as much pre chopping as I can for the week.

  • MollyB  on  November 3, 2016

    I plan menus for the week on the weekend and shop for all the ingredients before I start the week. I make sure that the meals get progressively easier as the week goes on, since I rarely have the energy to do much cooking by Thursday.

  • mcrimmins  on  November 3, 2016

    On Sunday I always make a big roast so I can serve repeats during the week. I also prepare and big salad and store it in a Ziploc bag with a paper towel.

  • traculart  on  November 3, 2016

    I try to ensure my pantry items get replaced when used so that I have choices to match up with the protein of choice. Will have a recipe or idea in mind and when I arrive in the kitchen I'll change my mind and go with something that is easier or quicker!

  • tcjanes  on  November 3, 2016

    Big dinner, lots of leftovers.

  • Soccermom  on  November 3, 2016

    Sunday cooking! Usually a veggie-heavy soup that I can have for lunch or dinner during the week. And often roasted veggies which are infinitely versatile.

  • FJT  on  November 3, 2016

    Even though there are just two of us, I cook recipes intended for bigger families and freeze portions for future meals. Plus I often do a roast at the weekend and plan various meals using the leftover meat … just like my mother used to do!

  • jr0717  on  November 3, 2016

    I never turn down an opportunity to pre-chop veggies or set up a mise en place before getting started with the dinner debacle. Preparing batch ingredients over the weekend is also a weekday savior!

  • gjelizabeth  on  November 3, 2016

    I'm always ahead of the game because I live alone and have only myself to feed, so whatever I end up eating isn't going to elicit any complaints from anyone. When I was feeding my family as they were growing up I found that taking "requests" reduced complaints and upped the positive energy around dinner. By only adding one dish that someone wanted (say mashed potatoes, or apple pie) I found I had a happier set of diners, no matter what the rest of the meal was.

  • sgump  on  November 3, 2016

    I always know what fresh ingredients I have on hand. I walk to work, so on my return from the office I create the dinner menu, strategically taking advantage of the perishables so I never have to throw away anything–and scaffolding leftovers so I can incorporate them into later meals (often in a re-envisioned form). The challenge of using up the last scraps of something in order to create or add to something unexpected is remarkably fun!

  • matag  on  November 3, 2016

    I make double or triple matches of a recipe and freeze them.

  • tennyogirl  on  November 3, 2016

    cook large batches of ingredients that can be thrown together in different ways

  • lcomer  on  November 4, 2016

    I make the menu for the week every Saturday then grocery shop and prep what I can on Sundays

  • vickster  on  November 4, 2016

    Doing any tasks early that can be done.

  • MmeFleiss  on  November 4, 2016

    I do a lot of my prep for the week on Sundays.

  • SilverSage  on  November 4, 2016

    Unfortunately, I don't plan ahead well. Often at 5:00 I open the fridge and stare. What's for dinner? Reservations!

  • cpasek  on  November 4, 2016

    I meal plan on Sundays. If I'm lucky, I do some prep earlier in the day, like chopping veggies, getting the big pots and pans out, so they are ready to go come cooking time. Having the plan definitely is half the battle.

  • elysek  on  November 4, 2016

    Make a shopping list and prep ahead.

  • cocecitycook  on  November 5, 2016

    I have a well stocked pantry.

  • lhudson  on  November 5, 2016

    I try to do as much as as possible early in the day so at dinner time its not quite as much work.

  • CC22003  on  November 5, 2016

    I do a weekly meal plan and try to prep any ingredients that I can on Sunday for the week ahead. 🙃

  • tangaloor  on  November 5, 2016

    Prepping basics ahead of time on the weekend that I can throw together into meals during the week.

  • Lafauvette  on  November 5, 2016

    Over the weekend, I sit down with whatever I've gotten from the farmer's market and figure out my meals for the week.

  • PennyG  on  November 5, 2016

    I do all planning/prep work for MON-THU the weekend prior.

  • eliza  on  November 5, 2016

    I prepare meals in stages so it isn't overwhelming.

  • percussion03  on  November 5, 2016

    We ❤️ leftovers! And a big key there is checking schedules to help guesstimate the amount of food needed for the foreseeable future.

  • annieski  on  November 6, 2016

    I'm a planner: plan menu, check what's in house, add what's needed to the shopping list. I create a timeline doing ahead what I can and planning the rest.

  • amylou61  on  November 6, 2016

    I'm not good at getting ahead of the game, but I do sometimes cook an extra-big batch of chili, soup, casserole, etc. and freeze enough for another dinner.

  • jennyams  on  November 6, 2016

    I am not too good with early prep for regular meals. But for dinner parties, I try and do as much early prep as possible, so nearer meal time I am only finishing things up.

  • mpdeb98  on  November 6, 2016

    I plan my lists, shop, and then prep as much as possible so it is easy to cook during the week.

  • edyenicole  on  November 6, 2016

    Prepping the day before the big meal.

  • infotrop  on  November 6, 2016

    I try to plan meals and my shopping list for the following week by Friday evening, then go to the local Farmers' Market and supermarket on Saturday morning.

  • bfg67  on  November 7, 2016

    plan based on fruit and veg delivery that we receive for the whole week and make a shopping list

  • meggan  on  November 7, 2016

    lists. lists, lists!

  • sabrina7  on  November 8, 2016

    sometimes I freeze, or I make large pots of soup and plan a leftover night

  • Teruska  on  November 8, 2016

    For big family meals, we use a time line, place a scrap of paper with the name of the dish in the dish and add the serving utensils, and pre-prep anything we can.

  • Mariarosa  on  November 8, 2016

    I cook as much as possible on the weekends and freeze. For nights when I don't have that, I throw together a quick salad or omelette (I live alone, so i have it easier than someone who has to feed a family every night).

  • TheSpicedLife  on  November 8, 2016

    Ha! I am rarely ahead of the game. I do try to think about my pantry or what I have that needs to be used up….

  • milgwimper  on  November 9, 2016

    Well when I can plan, prepping everything for the week.

  • ballen  on  November 9, 2016

    Keep a well stocked pantry and freezer.

  • gallucci  on  November 9, 2016

    I keep a (loose) list of what I have in pantry and freezer, so that when I head out to shop, I can plan to use what's on-hand.

  • rivergait  on  November 9, 2016

    I plan on Wednesdays (sale day) and make a 2-week plan. Instead of writing it as a paper list (or even on a small white board), I make 3×5 cards to slip into small pencil holder pages for binders. That way, if I pass by 1 night for any reason (late, tired, craving something else)n I can move that menu and it's pre-bought ingredients further down the week.

  • Siegal  on  November 11, 2016

    I clean while I cook!

  • DFed  on  November 11, 2016

    I'm learning more and more I've got to prep on weekends for the week ahead!

  • pandapotamus  on  November 11, 2016

    planning and meal prep.

  • lgroom  on  November 11, 2016

    Cleaning up as you cook really does help.

  • ampsmom  on  November 12, 2016

    I've started doing weekly menus and shopping once a week.

  • cheftina888  on  November 12, 2016

    I try to clean as I go so that I don't have to do so much afterwards. Definitely planning ahead and prepping the veggies help speed things up

  • nadiam1000  on  November 13, 2016

    I work long hours all week so my strategy is to plan ahead and prepare meals on the weekend that can be cooked (or reheated) easily during the week. Bonus, is leftovers for lunch at work!

  • juazella  on  November 13, 2016

    Plan next week's meals by Friday night, shop on Saturday for the following week. That way I don't have to run to the store more than once a week.

  • cookingforthefam  on  November 14, 2016

    I love to re-purpose leftovers.

  • ljskop  on  November 14, 2016

    I roast a lot of vegetables (onions, peppers, eggplant, fennel, radicchio,carrots) and then use them during the week on pizza, in farro, as a side dish.

  • kimtrev  on  November 15, 2016

    menu planning and then shopping for the plan on Sundays.

  • Lyndaherman  on  November 17, 2016

    Meal planning for the week and shopping to be sure I have everything I need

  •  on  November 21, 2016

    I find that meal planning on Sunday helps big time.

  • dbielick  on  November 21, 2016

    Cooking a large batch and freezing some for future meals

  • Wooby  on  November 21, 2016

    Freezer food is such a time saver….so metimes better than money she n the bank!

  • Dmartin997  on  November 21, 2016

    I use a slow cooker. Also helps to have ingredients prepared in advance.

  • Katiefayhutson  on  November 21, 2016

    Plan meals ahead as part of preparation of the weekly grocery list

  • Angela.Saver  on  November 24, 2016

    I get ahead by planning ahead & having all the ingredients I need, then I prep as much as I can in advance.

  • rosyannposy  on  November 24, 2016

    I try to fit in prep ahead of time. It's hard with a toddler at home. I love leftovers!

  • t.t  on  November 26, 2016

    i love my crockpot–with some planning ahead, dinner can be ready when i come home

  • FireRunner2379  on  November 27, 2016

    I get ahead of the game by meal planning at the beginning of the week and making out a grocery list. Most weeks we stop into the store twice in order to get fresh ingredients that will last a few days.

  • djoh437938  on  November 27, 2016

    go to the store and plan by seasonal ingredients

  • petunia59  on  November 27, 2016

    I plan weekly menus, shopping lists, and cook as much as possible ahead of time!

  • culley412  on  November 28, 2016

    Meal planning for the week!

  • MCDForm  on  November 28, 2016

    I try to plan my menu so that there is at least one slow cooker meal per week. This helps with lunch and another dinner as it's usually way more meat than our family can eat.

  • thecharlah  on  November 28, 2016

    I mostly cook on the weekend and freeze leftovers…

  • SilverSage  on  November 29, 2016

    I use the sous vide as much as possible. All I have to do is finish in the minutes before supper.

  • FieenaZ  on  November 29, 2016

    Instant Pot…

  • KLeverett  on  November 30, 2016

    I plan and prep my dinner early in AM. The InstantPot is a valuable kitchen partner, especially for vegetable and grain side.

  • Emily Hope  on  November 30, 2016

    Making beans and grains ahead, and keeping them in the freezer.

  • jillsharaf  on  November 30, 2016

    In our family we have a gluten free father, a diabetic mother, a son who is allergic to eggs and a daughter who will not eat fruit. Needless to say this narrows our choices. Basically I start with a salad, then add a protein (cook enough for two days, or enough to make school lunch), the children need carbohydrates so we might have potatoes or rice. I do a lot of stir frys as well.

  • ltsuk  on  December 1, 2016

    Sunday menu planning and the slow cooker.

  • JanScholl  on  December 3, 2016

    I always have legumes, rice and peppers from my summer garden on the wait in the freezer.

  • mbhunt  on  December 3, 2016

    I now have an empty nest and time to play in my kitchen. I like to have staples on hand and make enough for leftovers. My freezer is my friend 🙂

  • Nancith  on  December 3, 2016

    I make a menu for the entire week, bookmarking the recipes & creating my grocery list from that. I try to plan for leftovers to be used in other meals as well.

  • priyamaine  on  December 3, 2016

    I plan ahead and use ingredients multiple times.

  • soopsoop  on  December 3, 2016

    I try to keep a well-stocked pantry. Plenty of beans, broths, and grains.

  • ravensfan  on  December 3, 2016

    I wash prep bowls and clean up while I cook.

  • bktravels  on  December 4, 2016

    I scan the grocery circulars to see what's on sale and review our calendar for the week. Then I put together a menu based on what's in season, on sale, or ripe in our small garden. EYB helps me find new and interesting or favorite recipes by ingredient. Often, something comes up during the week that throws our plans under the bus, but more often than not it works great.

  • Carolone  on  December 4, 2016

    Create a plan on Sunday and plan for leftovers or "repurposing" a meal into later lunches or dinners.

  • tarae1204  on  December 5, 2016

    I never really feel ahead of the game! I try to cook in big batches and frequently turn to recipes that are good for using up leftovers.

  • Sfgordon  on  December 5, 2016

    I buy groceries in categories based on when I should use them so if I only have time to go to the grocery store once a week or even every other week, I'll still have some fresh(ish) produce to last several days. Then I can plan which days I make dinner and which days I reheat leftovers according to how busy I am at the time…something I never seem to know in advance.

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!