Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Tag Archives: Father’s Day

fathersdaycover It’s great that Father’s Day falls during the month of June – that’s grilling season. Most dads love it when dinner comes off the grill. What is even better for the person cooking the meal is that most of the dinner can be made on the grill. Easy clean-up. Give Dad the day off and let someone else tend the BBQ. Even though it is a special day that calls for special foods, I like to keep things somewhat on the healthy side and prepare foods with Mediterranean flavors. Don’t forget the wine. A Riesling or a fruity Sauvignon Blanc would be perfect for the appetizer. For the main course, a light red, such as Zinfandel or Syrah would be ideal for the BBQ chicken.

Appetizer

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Herbed Shrimp Kabobs

6 servings Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon white champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus extra for the grill
  • 24 peeled and deveined medium shrimp (about 1 pound)
  • 24 cherry tomatoes
  • 24 small wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

Directions Preheat the grill to medium high. Combine basil, parsley, vinegar, salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and 2 tablespoons of the oil in a blender and puree. In a bowl, toss the shrimp with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Thread one tomato and one shrimp on each skewer. Place skewers on a grill rack coated with oil and grill 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until the shrimp turn pink. Place the skewers on a large serving platter and brush the grilled shrimp on both sides with the herb sauce. Serve immediately.

Main Course

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Spicy Grilled Chicken Thighs

6 servings Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried crumbled sage
  • 1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon powdered garlic
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs

Directions Coat the grill rack or grill pan with oil; heat for direct, medium-high cooking. Combine sage, paprika, salt, pepper and garlic in a bowl; dredge chicken on all sides in the mixture. Grill until browned and well marked on the undersides, about 10 minutes. Turn and cook until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the center reads 165 degrees. Move to a serving platter, cover with foil and let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Red Cabbage Slaw

Serves 6-8 Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 medium red cabbage (about 1 1⁄2 pounds), cored and shredded
  • 2 large carrots grated
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Directions In a large bowl, whisk together the orange and lime juices, oil, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Add the cabbage, carrots and chives. Toss to combine. Let sit, tossing occasionally, for at least 45 minutes before serving. fathersday4

Grilled Corn with Herb Butter

6 servings Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ears corn, husked

Directions Prepare grill for direct-heat grilling. Thoroughly combine the softened butter, basil, parsley, lime juice, zest and salt in a small bowl. Place each corn ear on a sheet of foil large enough to enclose the corn. Brush each ear with the herb butter on all sides. Roll the corn in the foil and secure the ends tightly. Grill over direct heat, turning occasionally, for about 12 minutes, or until corn kernels are just tender when pierced with a fork. fathersday1

Grilled Zucchini Salad

This dish can be cooked first and set aside while the remaining foods are grilled. Ingredients Serves 6 Ingredients

  • 2 pounds medium zucchini (about 6), halved lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 6 scallions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

Directions Heat grill to medium-high. Brush the zucchini with 1 tablespoon of the oil and grill until tender, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Cut the zucchini into 1-inch pieces and toss in a large bowl with the scallions, lemon juice, crushed red pepper, oregano, the remaining tablespoon of oil and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Serve at room temperature.

Dessert

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Grilled Peaches with Cherry Wine Sauce

6 servings Ingredients For the sauce:

  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh cherries, pitted
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons. Kirsch (cherry liqueur)

For the peaches:

  • 6 medium peaches
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons. brown sugar
  • Vanilla frozen yogurt
  • Mint garnish, optional

Directions To make the cherry sauce: In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, combine the pitted cherries, sugar, red wine and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and purée until completely smooth. Return the mixture to the sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the Kirsch. Simmer until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. To make the grilled peaches Cut the peaches in half and remove and discard the pits. Place the halves in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter and brown sugar together. Coat the peaches with the butter mixture. Grill the peaches over direct medium heat on an oiled grill until grill marks are clearly visible and the peaches are soft, 10 to 12 minutes, turning once halfway through the grilling time. To serve: While the peaches are still warm, layer each serving dish with 2 peach halves, 1 scoop of frozen yogurt and 2 tablespoons of cherry sauce. Garnish with mint, if desired and serve immediately.


father's day
Brunch is special. It’s almost always more of an occasion than a simple meal. Even if it’s just a midday meal with you and your partner, by its very nature, it’s a statement that we’re taking our time during this meal! What better way to celebrate Father’s Day, than to host a special brunch at home?

I think the main reason we don’t do this more often is because, in the midst of our busy lives, the planning can seem a little daunting. But after tending to a few things, a brunch get-together can actually be quite simple and seamless. Here are a few tips and recipes to help get you hosting this special meal:

Food is obviously something you want to think about for this get together. You can prepare a number of dishes, many with advance preparation, to suit a variety of tastes or you can choose one big dish along with a few little bites and nibbles that people can snack on while chatting. I always prepare a few different dishes, so I can please those family members with special diets, such as gluten-free or vegetarian. Mostly, I try to keep it healthy without losing all the great taste that many brunch recipes are known for. Fresh baked muffins and coffee cake are always a big hit. Don’t forget plenty of fresh fruit.

Not everyone drinks coffee, so it’s nice to have a few alternatives as well. A good herbal tea, fresh juice, like orange or grapefruit, or a fruity punch with a touch of champagne.

Father’s Day Brunch Menu

Father's day 1

Glazed Fruit Medley

Ingredients

  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 cups cubed cantaloupe or honeydew melon
  • 3 medium firm bananas, sliced
  • 2 cups green grapes
  • 2 cups halved fresh strawberries

Directions

In a small saucepan, mix the orange juice, sugar and cornstarch until smooth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Transfer to a small bowl; cool slightly. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours.

Just before serving, combine the fruit in a large, attractive serving bowl. Drizzle with orange juice sauce; toss gently to coat. Yield: 10 servings.

Father's day 2

Lemon Ricotta Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 3/4 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Combine flour and cornmeal and the next 3 ingredients (through salt); make a well in the center. Combine ricotta and next 5 ingredients (through egg). Add ricotta mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Place 12 muffin-cup liners in a muffin baking pan; coat with cooking spray. Divide batter among the muffin cups. Bake at 375°F for 16 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the muffin pan. Remove muffins to a wire cooling rack.

Father's day 3

Meat and Potato Hash

Roasting the potatoes separately gives them a crisp texture without the addition of extra fat. This recipe can be doubled.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Yukon gold potatoes, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb cooked chicken breast, beef pot roast, corned beef or pork roast, cubed
  • 8 oz button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • Poached eggs, for serving over the hash

Directions

Heat the oven to 400°F. Place potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons oil, salt and pepper; bake until tender, browned and slightly crisp, about 35-40 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, until soft, about 6 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until cooked, about 4 minutes. Add thyme, chili flakes and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more.

Add the cooked meat or poultry of choice and the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the ingredients are warmed through, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with parsley. Serve a poached egg on top of each serving, if you like.

Perfect Poached Eggs

To make perfect poached eggs, crack a chilled egg into a small bowl. Bring a deep pot of water to a simmer. Swirl the water in a circle with a wooden spoon, then tip the egg out of the bowl into the center of the swirling water. Cover, turn off the heat, and remove the egg with a large slotted spoon after 2 minutes for soft poached eggs.

father's day 6

 

Baked Vegetarian Zucchini Frittata

Ingredients

  • 4 cups shredded zucchini (1 pound)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon snipped fresh basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (2 ounces)
  • 1 medium zucchini, very thinly sliced (1-1/4 cups)
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • Sliced pitted ripe olives

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 10 inch round baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.

Spread shredded zucchini on a large platter or shallow baking pan; sprinkle evenly with salt. Let stand for 15 minutes. Using paper towels, gently press excess moisture from the zucchini.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook until the onion is tender. Remove from the heat.

In large bowl, combine eggs, Parmesan cheese, basil and pepper. Stir in shredded zucchini, cooked onion and mozzarella cheese. Pour into the prepared baking pan, spreading evenly.
Bake about 20-25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the eggs are set. Arrange whole zucchini slices on top of the baked mixture and place the tomato slices on top of the zucchini.

Sprinkle with olives and additional Parmesan cheese. Bake for 10 minutes more. Cut into small wedges.

Father's day 4

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Lightly spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt, stirring with a whisk in a medium bowl.

Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 2 minutes). Add vanilla, egg and egg white; beat well.

Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture; mix after each addition.

Gently fold in the blueberries.

Spoon the batter into a 9-inch round baking pan coated with cooking spray. Level the batter with a spatula and sprinkle the top evenly with the sliced almonds and then the coarse sugar.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in the pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove the cake from the pan, if desired. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Father's day 5

Pear Hazelnut Coffee Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 medium pear
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9 inch round baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Core and slice the pear; set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar and the oil. Add milk, eggs and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute.

In a small bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, the whole wheat flour, baking powder, lemon peel and nutmeg.

Add to the mixture in the mixer; beat until combined. Stir in oats.

Spoon into prepared pan. Arrange sliced pears over the batter. Sprinkle with hazelnuts.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Serve warm.

If made ahead, you can rewarm the cake in a 350 degree F before serving.

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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.




When Father’s Day Is Celebrated Throughout The World:

JANUARY:  Serbia
FEBRUARY:  Russia
MARCH:  Andorra, Bolivia, Honduras, Italy, Liechtenstein, Portugal, Spain, Antwerp
MAY:  Romania, South Korea, Tonga, Germany
June, third Sunday:  Antigua, Argentina, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Greece, Guyana, Hungary, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Myanmar, Netherlands, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, Zimbabwe
JUNE, other dates:  Denmark, Austria, Belgium, El Salvador, Guatemala, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Uganda, Nicaragua, Poland, Haiti, Iran, Pakistan
JULY:  Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Samoa,
AUGUST:  Taiwan, Nepal
SEPTEMBER, first Sunday:  Australia, Figi, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea
OCTOBER:  Luxembourg
NOVEMBER, second Sunday:  Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden
DECEMBER:  Thailand, Bulgaria

Father’s Day In Italy

Festa del Papa, the Italian name for Father’s Day,  is celebrated on March 19.  St. Joseph’s Feast Day in Italy is a day that commemorates San Giuseppe- a fatherly symbol of love, compassion, kindness, generosity and acceptance.  Households prepare traditional spreads of special Italian breads and cookies. 

  • Italians just love to celebrate. And St. Joseph’s Day or Father’s Day is no exception. This day is extremely popular in the northern part of Italy. In Florence and Rome, this festivity is marked with several days of live music and dancing, and of course, food and drink.

  • In some areas people wear green attire to commemorate this day and contemporary celebrations include people going out on street parades.

  • Family get-togethers include traditional San Giuseppe desserts that vary from region to region. In the south, zeppole (deep-fried dough balls) and bigné (cream puffs) are prepared and, in the north, frittelle (fritters) are eaten to mark the occasion.

  • In some regions, people set up bonfires or pageants to celebrate this day and a traditional donkey race is still held in some parts of Italy.

  • There is a tradition of sharing gifts. Children usually buy gifts for their fathers as a sign of honor and reverence.  After people go to church on Father’s Day, they go out on the streets and greet their fathers as a symbol of love, compassion and respect.


Father’s Day in the United States

There are many different stories as to the origins of Father’s Day in the United States. Some of the possible scenarios telling the story of the first Father’s Day are:

1. It started in 1908 during a church service in West Virginia.
2. Vancouver, Washington was where the first Father’s Day celebration occurred.
3. Harry Meek, president of the Lions’ Club branch in Chicago, created the first Father’s Day with his organization. It was celebrated in 1915 on the third Sunday of June, since that was a date very close to his birthday.

Even though we don’t know exactly when the first Father’s Day was celebrated, we do know who promoted this holiday with a great passion. Mrs. John B. Dodd, who resided in Spokane Washington, felt that her father was outstanding and deserved to be honored. He had fought in the Civil War and had raised six children on his own after his wife had died.
Mrs. Dodd spoke to her minister and other ministers around Spokane to see if they would have a church service that was solely dedicated to fathers. She wished this service to be held on June 5th, her father’s birthday. It was actually scheduled on June 19th., however, since the minister needed more time to prepare such a service.

After that, the whole state of Washington began celebrating “Father’s Day” on the third Sunday of June. Children prepared special meals and desserts as a treat for their dads. If they happened to live apart, children would make an effort to visit.

Other states and organizations wanted an annual Father’s Day for the whole country. They began lobbying Congress to declare such a holiday. The idea of a “Father’s Day” was approved by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, but it was not official until President Calvin Coolidge made it a national celebration in 1924.

In 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers.  In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.

Grilled Steak Florentine Pinwheels              

Ingredients:
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 1/2 pounds  Flank Steak, trimmed and cut into 6 pieces
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 pound baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
  • 1/2 cup Progresso Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg

Directions:

 1. In medium skillet heat oil, cook onion and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Place flank steak between 2 pieces plastic wrap and pound each piece until thin (to about 1/4 inch — you may have to butterfly it to get it really flat). 

3. Mix bread crumbs, oregano, basil, Parmesan, mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper together. Add cooked onion and garlic and 1 egg.  Spread the stuffing mixture over each piece of flank steak, leaving a small border at the edges.  Spread each piece with a layer of spinach leaves.

4. Roll each piece of flank steak and skewer each piece with a toothpick or small metal skewer.

5. Heat grill to high; lightly oil grill rack. Place pinwheels on grill, and cook, turning often, until a thermometer inserted into center of roll reads 140 degrees F, about 10 minutes.

  • If you like, you can also pound, fill, and roll the entire flank steak; allow extra cooking time.
    To cook inside (if grill is not available), sear rolls in a large heavy skillet, then finish cooking in 425 degree oven, about 7 to 10 minutes.
    Makes 6 servings.

Grilled New Potatoes with a Red Pepper Crust                                                                             

You can choose among tiny red potatoes such as Red Bliss, tiny fingerling or banana potatoes, Yukon Golds, purple or blue varieties and a host of others. All are low in starch and have thin skins and a firm, moist texture. Larger potatoes may be cut into halves. Starchy russets are not a good choice for this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil for coating
  • 24 small new potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Directions:

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat and oil the grill rack. If the potatoes are very small, have ready a grill basket to keep them from falling through the grill rack into the fire, or use skewers.

Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and cook them just until they can be pierced with a knife but are not completely tender, 5 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain and pat dry.

Put the potatoes in a large bowl and coat with oil. In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, cayenne, garlic powder and salt. Toss the potatoes with the spice mixture until well coated.

Grill the potatoes directly over medium-high heat, turning often, until nicely browned and tender, 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Serve immediately. 

Preparation Tip: If you are also grilling over indirect heat, you can cook these potatoes over the heated part of the grill toward the end of cooking. If grilling over direct heat, small potatoes may be grilled while the meat rests.

Summer Squash                                                                                                                                             

Makes 8 servings.

Ingredients:
  • 4 medium zucchini, about 6 inches long
  • 4 medium yellow squash, about 6 inches long
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
Marinade:
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped scallions, white portion only, reserve the greens for garnish (see below)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano
Directions
1. Trim the ends of the zucchini and the squash, cut each one in half lengthwise, and place in an extra-large resealable plastic bag (or divide between two large bags).
2. In the blender, or a medium-to-large bowl with an immersion blender, combine all of the marinade ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour over the zucchini and squash. Squeeze out any excess air from the bag and close. Roll the bag to evenly coat in the marinade. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Preheat a well-oiled charcoal or gas grill to medium.
4. Remove the zucchini and squash from the bag, letting all excess run into the bag. Lightly pat dry with paper towels and place in a large bowl. Toss with the olive oil and a sprinkling of salt.
5. Place cut side down on the grate, close the lid, and grill until well-marked, 5 minutes. Flip, close the lid, and grill on the second side until well-marked, 5 minutes.

Ricotta Pie

You can serve this pie with sliced fresh fruit.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 1/2  cups crushed almond or hazelnut biscotti
  • 2  tablespoons unsalted butter or Smart Balance Spread, melted

Filling:

  • 4  eggs
  • 16  ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2  cup sugar
  • 1  tablespoon honey
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1  teaspoon finely grated lemon rind

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Coat bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine biscotti crumbs and butter. Pour into the bottom of prepared pan and press down firmly. Bake 10 minutes. Let cool.
  3. To prepare filling, whisk eggs in large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, and whisk until well combined.
  4. Pour filling into crust and bake 50 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean.


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