Table Talk – Food, Family, Love

Recently, I was asked what I was passionate about. What subject really got my engines revving? At the time, I mentioned that I had strong feelings about certain subjects, but could not think of any that I was extremely passionate about. Then, I knew just the thing… family meal time.

I am passionate about family meal time. I grew up in a house where mealtime was a priority, and we almost always had at least one meal together as a family each day. Sitting around the table as kids was where our most important conversations happened. We had the best laughs (mom and kathy… remember “speaking of peas?”), the best debates (aka fights when you and your sister had major sibling rivalry), and where we recapped the events of our day…both the good and the bad. I cannot even imagine all that my parents would have missed out on in our lives had it not have been a priority that we sit down to dinner each and every night as a family.

Any time I have the opportunity to support and acknowledge someone who shares those same important mealtime values, I jump at the chance. Enter the new cookbook by Carol McManus, Table Talk – food, family, love. Carol resides on Martha’s Vineyard, owns her own Cafe, and still encourages people to eat at home and enjoy dinner together as a family. She is as passionate about sharing quick to the table, delicious meals in her cookbook as she is about keeping family dinner time a staple in households everywhere.

When Table Talk arrived in my mailbox on Saturday, I was immediately sucked in the second I opened the cookbook and read Carol’s forward. Then I continued to flip through the book and you know what… I sat there and read through the entire thing, front to back. The recipes are very appealing, simple and special… the majority have ingredients I already have on hand. The photography is stunning. Most importantly, the core values of Carol and her family shines through in each little snippet, quote and story behind life on Martha’s Vineyard and the recipes to accompany such a life.

I do not get anything by encouraging you to purchase Table Talk… there is nothing in it for me. I would not recommend a cookbook to you if I absolutely did not love it. I can tell you that this is one cookbook that you will turn to time and time again. If not for the enticing recipes , for the reminder of the significant importance that sitting down together as a family, whether a family of 2 or 22, can have on your life.

Every day of my menu this week has recipes gathered from Table Talk. Stay tuned during the week for an even deeper peak into the pages of Table Talk. To purchase Table Talk, visit or visit your local Barnes and Noble.

Presidential Muffins from the Table Talk cookbook

3 Cups All-Purpose Flour

¾ Cup Sugar

1 Tbsp. Baking Powder

½ Cup Butter, Melted

8 ounces Cream Cheese, Softened

1 Cup Milk

1 Tsp Vanilla

2 Eggs

¾ Cup Blueberries

½ cup Strawberries, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins or use paper baking cups.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor, combine melted butter, cream cheese, milk, vanilla, and eggs. Process until smooth. Pour liquid into dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Fold in fruit.
  4. Scoop batter into muffin cups. Lightly sprinkle tops with sugar. Bake for 30 minutes or until muffins spring back when lightly pressed.

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  1. says

    This looks like a book I’d like to read…I’m a stickler for family meal time – it’s the one time of day we have set aside to connect as a family

  2. says

    Sounds like a great cookbook! I like your attitude toward family meals. Personally, I have mixed feeling about meals as they seemed to be more fighting than conversing, but I hope to change that “tradition” when I have my own family.

  3. says

    I totally agree with you about the potential of family meal time. I have very fond memories of family meals and dinner conversations when I was young. This book sounds like a really good read!

  4. says

    Oh no! More yummy muffins from Dine and Dish! I’m already addicted to those brown sugar ones (put them on my blog too, with links back of course :-)).

    That book sounds great. One of the things I like in France in their attitude toward mealtime. It’s much more a sit-down-and-share-a-moment-together kind of thing, which I love!

  5. Kathy says

    Kris, I do remember the peas one! How funny, we did laugh our heads off. This looks like a neat cookbook.

  6. says

    I’m so glad I still have blueberries in my freezer! :)

    Kristen, I grew up in a sort of fallen apart family (that sucks), so now that I am married my husband and I create these traditions for ourselves. He’s my family now and we cherish that very much. We sit together to have dinner/lunch on the weekends and talk, laugh. It really feels amazing.

  7. says

    Hi Kristen,

    Thank you so much for reviewing my cookbook. And you made the Presidential muffins! They are delicious, and we still make them every day at my restaurant.
    It makes me so happy to have you love the cookbook. It was 10 years in the making, and I hope people will cook more and enjoy eating with their families.

    Carol McManus

  8. says

    i’ve been looking at cookbooks for a while – trying to find something i can use in the dorm next year. maybe i’ll look into this. thanks for the recommendation!

  9. says

    First look and i just love this site… specially the way Dine & Dish is written… Have bookmarked this site and will keep dropping by just to check what you are up to… well!! The book seems interesting… let me see if i can get some more reviews to read… Thanks for sharing :)

  10. says

    I think any meal that we have as a family is important, be it a picnic or a formal dinner, so I’m sure I would enjoy that book very much too. I remember so many things that my mom would cook or bake for us, and all the fun times we had as a family, I hope my kids will have those memories as well. :)

  11. Laura says

    We grew up with family mealtime, I loved it and plan to have it with our kids too. I love that you’re using this book all week- cant wait to see what else you come up with.

    I’m going to try to make these muffins soon, but I’m also going to bookmark for next years 4th of july! Thanks!!

  12. says

    We had family mealtime growing up as well, and it’s something I plan on doing in my own family. My husband and I have a bad habit of sitting in front of the tv, but that’s definitely going to change with kids!

  13. says

    Sounds like a good book! I need to do mealtimes better myself. Since my husband is rarely ever ever home for a meal, I tend to stand up because by the time I sit down, one of the kids is clamoring for something. Maybe I can plan better and sit. I will check out the book.

  14. Lisa :) says

    MMM, berries!
    We had family mealtime, too, but the mealtimes I remember most are the Sunday dinners up at my Gran’s. Big table, YUMMY food, and a sweet grandma! Best mealtimes ever!!! :)


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