Father’s Day

This year we celebrated Father’s Day with two barbeques: Saturday was spent with GC’s parents and Ninni in our backyard¬† and Sunday was spent with my family.

Saturday’s menu featured my classic burgers, potato salad and of course, a strawberry rhubarb pie. My burger recipe is simple but delicious. I use ground beef (lean), breadcrumbs, garlic powder, dried onion, oregano, and parsley. My latest change to my recipe is barbeque sauce. The barbeque sauce keeps the burgers moist without making them puff up like an egg will do but still binds the meat together so that they do not fall apart on the grill.

Prior to Father’s Day weekend, I didn’t have a go to potato salad recipe, but now I do. I tried this Yogurt and Dill Potato Salad from The Yummy Life and it is ah-mazing. The combination of mayo and yogurt is light and sweet, making you feel slightly less terrible for eating potato salad. The combination of dill, parsley (fresh from our back garden!), green onion and celery is fresh, summery and light. Make it the night before a big barbeque and enjoy!

GC’s dad’s favourite pie is rhubarb. I am lucky enough that his birthday falls in May and Father’s Day falls in June, prime rhubarb season. Every year I try a new rhubarb recipe and every year his dad loves it. This year, I tried Martha Stewart’s Rhubarb Crumble Pie. IMG_0706 IMG_0716

My crust turned out wonderfully! It was light, flaky and super buttery. The rhubarb was sweet and tart, tender and oozy. The crumble topping was delicious and could have been eaten on its own. Does it get much better then brown sugar, butter and flour? Obviously not. There was a piece left for my mom the next day and it passed her pie taste test so I think my skills as a pie maker are improving!

Sunday we had my sisters and my parents over for Barbeque Part II in the backyard to celebrate JDL. There was bocce, croquet and of course, food. I made Carolina Pulled Pork sandwiches, Yogurt and Dill Potato Salad, Southwestern Black Bean Salad, Pineapple Pink Lemonade Punch and Chocolate Cream Pie.

The Carolina Pulled Pork is one of the easiest things you will ever make! You quickly sear the pork roast on the stove and then pop it in the slow cooker for hours and then impress everyone with your Southern barbeque abilities. It is topped with a creamy, tart coleslaw that is also easy to make. You could be insane and shred all your cabbage yourself or you could just buy your bag of coleslaw mix. The cabbage is topped with a simple dressing. It is not too drenched in mayo, just the right amount. Theresa liked this sandwich so much that she said this sandwich has ruined restaurant pulled pork for her. Sorry!

The Southwestern Black Bean salad is great! It is easy because it is essentially chopping, can opening and stirring. There are so many great textures, colours and flavours to this salad. The avocado is the best part and because of the citrus dressing it doesn’t turn brown and rotten looking. This bean salad was a hit at my barbeque.

Having a large group of people over is a great opportunity to try out a new cocktail or punch. For Father’s Day I made Pineapple Pink Lemonade Party Punch. Literally pour all the ingredients into the pitcher, stir and serve over ice. Oh, and maybe add some rum. I will be keeping my fridge stocked off all these ingredients all summer long.

For dessert we had my favourite s’mores cookie bars and Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Cream Pie. I wasn’t thrilled with how the pie turned out. I omitted the gelatin because it should have firmed up on its own but it didn’t. The slices didn’t come out of the pie dish nicely and it was very messy. It was delicious because it was chocolate custard topped with whipped cream but the presentation wasn’t the greatest. I would not make this recipe again.

Overall, our Father’s Days were a hit! All the above recipes are perfect for any barbeque so you have all summer to try them out! Happy munching!

 

Father’s Day

Here are my thoughts on Dad-worthy food and drink for this year’s Father’s Day.

1. Beer.

BeerWhat Dad doesn’t love beer? We all have a memory from early childhood of taking a sip of Dad’s beer and making a sour face, wondering how he could drink something so rank and bitter. As we grow up, sharing a beer with Dad is almost a right of passage. For Father’s Day why not treat Dad to some craft beer? Venture beyond the original craft beers of Steamwhistle, and Mill St. Organic and give him a taste of Junction Craft Brewing, Indie Ale House or Bellwoods Brewery. Better yet, why not take Dad out for an afternoon of tasting and do a brewery tour? In Toronto there are tons of tours available (Steamwhistle, Mill St. Organic, Amsterdam, Junction Brewery, The Granite Brewery, Great Lakes Brewery, to name a few) or if a roadtrip is in order, drive up to Creemore.

And every beer should be placed on a coaster. Learn about beer while drinking about beer with these coasters from Pop Chart Lab.

2.  Booze.

BoozeIf Dad likes a stiff drink, try a Canadian distilled liquor. If gin is his booze of choice, try a bottle of Dillon’s. Dillon’s is a relatively new distillery in Niagara, established in 2012, and is currently blowing up on the cocktail scene in Toronto. Pour Dad a G&T and impress him with the local flavours of the Niagara region.

If Dad enjoys flavours from south of the border (or south of two borders) try Tromba. Another liquor that is popular on the Toronto-cocktail scene. It is not like your typical tequila – it is smooth and sweet, with hints of earthy, nuttiness. It tastes great alone or mixed in a margarita.

And of course, there is always whisky. Instead of getting an expensive bottle of whisky you can’t afford, get Dad whisky rocks instead. They will keep his drink chilled without watering it down. They come in soapstone and steel. If your dad is more outdoorsy and in touch with nature, soapstone will emobdy this. Choose steel for the more modern, sleek father.

3. The Grill.

Barbecues and dads have been associated with each other since the 1950s. The outdoors, fire and the smell of charred meat conjur stereotypical images of masculinity and cave men. This year, get Dad something different to top his burgers and steaks.

American on White

Kozlik’s Mustards makes over 30 varieties of mustard which should be more than enough selection to satisfy all your burger, sausage, pretzel and peameal needs.

Davids-Ultimate-GrillDavid’s Condiments creates a ton of different spices, rubs and marinades that are all low sodium, no salt and no preservatives! You can give Dad great seasonings and help him be a little healthier. David’s Condiments are available online but are also available at your local Metro.

And of course, every grillmaster needs a ridiculous apron. My choice for this year’s Father’s Day is from Think Geek.

11cd_tactical_bbq_apron_callouts_flat Keep it simple for Father’s Day. Take an interest of your dad’s and put a new spin on it. Introduce him to a new beer (or booze or wine!), a new flavour or a new place. This year, my dad is getting an afternoon in my backyard with pulled pork sandwiches, beer and bocce.

Happy Father’s Day!