Father’s Day has been celebrated for over 100 years. It’s also an event celebrated in many countries around the world, although at different times of the year. Father’s Day is by nature a family event. Use this opportunity to get everyone in the family together for a fun day. Think about including all the dads in your family, not just your own father. Could your celebration include husbands, would-be future dads, your uncles and brothers? If so, do it—the more the merrier! And don’t forget step-fathers—they’re just as important.

You don’t have to remain at home; you could go to the beach, a local park or a favorite spot of Dad’s! In my family that would mean playing golf.

When it comes to making gifts for Father’s Day, perhaps it’s best to steer clear of the traditional store-bought gifts of tie and socks. He probably still has last year’s socks stuffed at the back of the drawer. Expensive or typical gifts are not necessary, but the time and effort you put in to create a personalized tribute, will be deeply appreciated. Instead, let your own creative abilities shine and make him something special.

Look at old photos of you and your dad doing fun things together. Take a walk down memory lane by creating either a photo album or a photo slideshow. You may be surprised at how many things you both have forgotten about and how much they meant to you.

A thoughtful card, a letter or toast that expresses your love will benefit both you and your dad. The most important aspect of the day is that you are present and attentive. It does not take material presents to make a dad happy—it takes showing your love and reassuring your dad that you’re proud of him and all he’s done for you. For many fathers, the most rewarding part of being a father is feeling that your children love you and the knowledge that each child is on a path to a successful future, no matter what their age.

Being a good father is not an easy job. While your relationship with your dad may not always have been perfect, it shaped some elements of your life today. There will be inevitable conflicts, as a father tries to guide his children to adulthood. Fathers guide in many ways, some we understand clearly at the time, others we may not appreciate until much later in life.

In celebrating the day, cook your Dad’s favorite foods or try some new recipes for a special Father’s Day dinner. To get you started, there are some recipes below that especially appeal to men. 

Corn and Tomato Bisque

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound fresh corn kernels
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups low-sodium broth (vegetable or chicken)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro (or any herb you like) finely chopped, plus more for garnish

Directions:

Melt butter in a large, heavy pot. Add onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, for about 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in corn and garlic, cooking until the corn is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Add broth and simmer until corn is tender, about 15 minutes. Lightly season with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Transfer half of the soup into a blender or food processor and purée until almost smooth. You can also remove half the soup to a large bowl and process with an immersion blender. (I use a bowl that I will use to store the soup-less clean up.)

Add the blended soup back into the unblended soup and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes, scallion and 1 tablespoon of cilantro to the soup and bring soup to a boil. Serve hot and garnish with additional cilantro. 


Cucumber and Sweet Pepper Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 bell peppers (or 12 mini sweet peppers), seeds removed and sliced thin (a variety of colored peppers is recommended)
  • 2 cucumbers, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 red onion, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herbs (basil, thyme, oregano or mint)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • sea salt to taste
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions:

In a serving bowl, whisk the vinegar, oil and herbs together.

Add the remaining ingredients except the salt and pepper and lightly toss to coat.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Keep refrigerated and serve cold.

 

Scalloped Potatoes

Do not use starchy potatoes, such as baking potatoes, for this dish. Use low starch red-skinned potatoes that hold their shape after cooking.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 pounds red skinned potatoes, pared and sliced very thin
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached flour
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth, plus 2 tablespoons for sauteeing
  • 2 1/2 cups grated Swiss or Gruyere cheese (about 8 ounces)
  • Paprika
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a 2-quart baking dish by spraying lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large skillet, cook onion over medium heat in the 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth until onion turns translucent. Whisk flour, spices, milk and the 1 cup vegetable broth together. 

Layer the potatoes, onions, cheese and liquid mixture in alternating layers. Sprinkle each layer with salt and pepper. Sprinle the top layer with paprika.

Bake uncovered for 60 to 75 minutes or until tender and brown on top.

Barbecued Beef Ribs

Beef Back Ribs

Short Ribs

Beef Ribs may not get the kind of respect that pork ribs do, but these giant sticks of meat do produce fantastic barbecue. Beef ribs used to be a very cheap cut of meat, and in fact, many butchers would give the bones away to customers with dogs. Today, however, buying beef ribs can be costly, as more people have discovered that these ribs can be a delicious alternative to pork ribs. Unlike pork ribs, the meat on beef ribs is full of tough and sinewy connective tissue that makes them difficult to chew unless properly prepared. Beef ribs come in 2 different forms. There are beef back ribs and beef short ribs.

The back ribs are cut from the top section of the rib and contain some of the flavorful and fatty rib roast meat. There are 13 ribs to each side of the steer and they can be cut from the rib roast or loin portion. The ribs cut from closer to the rib roast are often trimmed very close to the bone with little meat on them except for what is between the bones. Ribs cut from the loin section are slightly less flavorful.

Beef back ribs can be cut to any length, from dino ribs which are about 18 inches (46 cm) long to a more manageable length of 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm). They can be packaged in groups of 13 bones to packages of single bones. Due to the varying cuts of rib bone length, it is difficult to say how much each person might eat in rib bone weight. Consider instead that each person might eat 2 to 3 bones, perhaps an additional if the bones are cut shorter than 6 inches (15 cm) long.

Ingredients:

BBQ Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 ancho chiles—stemmed, seeded and cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

Braising Liquid:

  • 2 cups coarsely chopped celery
  • 1 onion, halved lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped carrots
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon salt

4-5 lbs. beef back ribs, at room temperature

Directions:

BBQ Sauce:

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the celery, carrot and onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the anchos and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the stock, ketchup, vinegar, molasses, sugar and dry mustard and simmer over moderate heat until the barbecue sauce is reduced to about 3 cups, about 30-40 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. (If you use an immersion blender, you do not need to remove the sauce from the pot.) Return the sauce to the saucepan and simmer about 5 minutes longer. Season with salt. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; refrigerate.)

Braise:

Place ribs in heavy large pot. Add celery, onion, carrots, bay leaves, peppercorns and 1 tablespoon salt. Add enough water to cover ribs and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until meat is tender, about 1 hour. Using tongs, remove rib racks from pot. Cool slightly. Cut between bones into individual ribs. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; refrigerate.)

Grilling the Ribs:

Light a grill and cook the ribs over moderate heat, turning, until crusty and sizzling, about 10 minutes. Do not let them burn. Brush generously with the barbecue sauce and grill, turning, until deeply glazed, about 5 minutes longer. Serve the ribs, passing the extra sauce on the side.

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Peach Raspberry Pie

A family favorite!

10 servings

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour 
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons ice water

Filling

  • 1/3 cup cornstarch or quick-cooking (Minute) tapioca (2 ounces)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar (depending on how sweet you like fruit pies)
  • 6 cups total (about 21 ounces) fruit: a combination of raspberries and diced peeled peaches
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

To prepare crust:

Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut butter into small pieces and, with your fingers, quickly rub them into the dry ingredients until the pieces are smaller but still visible. Add sour cream and oil; toss with a fork to combine with the dry ingredients. Sprinkle ice water over the mixture. Toss with a fork until evenly moist.

Knead the dough with your hands in the bowl a few times—the mixture will still be a little crumbly. Turn out onto a clean lightly floured surface and knead a few more times, until the dough just holds together. Divide the dough in half and shape into 5-inch-wide disks. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Prepare filling:

Stir together the sugar and thickener in a large bowl. Add the fruit, vanilla and cinnamon, stirring to combine.

To assemble & bake pie:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the over to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator; let stand for 5 minutes to warm slightly. Roll one portion between sheets of parchment or wax paper into a 12-inch circle. Peel off the top sheet and invert the dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Peel off the remaining paper.

Spoon the filling into the crust.

Roll the remaining portion of dough between sheets of parchment or wax paper into another 12-inch circle. Peel off the top sheet of paper and invert the dough onto the fruit. Peel off the remaining paper.

Trim the top crust so it overhangs evenly. Tuck the top crust under the bottom crust, sealing the two together and making a plump edge. Flute the edge with your fingers.

Place the pie on a foil lined baking sheet to catch the drips. Make a few slits inthe top crust with a knife.

Bake the pie on the center rack until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling through the slits in the crust, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 1 1/2 hours.

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