From Sweet Sundaes to Festive Fondue!
by Kirsten Harrington
Instead of taking Dad out for brunch or dinner for Father’s Day this year, give him the tasty gift of time spent together around the table at home. Slow down and take a break from grab-and-go meals with these simple ideas that the whole family will love:
Fun With Fondue
Dust off that fondue pot or wrap one up for Dad. Heat a pot of oil or broth, set out dishes of cubed steak, shrimp, veggies and sauces for dipping, and gather the family to linger over a special meal. Also opt for a classic cheese fondue with veggies and bread for dipping, or treat dad to a decadent chocolate fondue with fruit, angel food cake, marshmallows and graham crackers.
Take time to relax and chill with a cool drink and Dad’s favorite snacks. Make some loaded nachos and homemade guacamole, pop some popcorn, pick up a container of chicken wings, and pass the chips. Miniature roast beef sliders, assorted cheeses with fruit, roasted veggies and hummus — get creative, and spoil Dad with snacks.
DIY Ice Cream Sandwiches
Spend some sweet time creating sundaes together by laying out an extravagant spread of tempting toppings. Buy a half gallon of premium vanilla bean ice cream, assemble the toppings in a muffin tray or mini-mason jars, create your own masterpiece, and dig in. Think beyond whipped cream and chocolate sauce with crushed mint cookies, fresh raspberries, chopped nuts, grated coconut, sprinkles, candy pieces, mini-marshmallows and a splash of coffee- or chocolate-flavored liqueur for Dad!
Cinnamon Roll Pizza
Surprise Dad with this unusual treat for dessert or even breakfast.
Buy prepared pizza dough for one crust. Roll out dough and place on lightly greased pizza pan. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the cinnamon sugar spread:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
3 teaspoons cinnamon
Spread over pizza dough and bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven. Let it cool for 10 minutes.
Prepare the cream cheese glaze:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat together butter and cream cheese, and then mix in powdered sugar and vanilla. If mixture is too thick, soften briefly (5-7 seconds) in microwave. Drizzle over cooked pizza.
Even little hands can help with this one. Buy ready-made pizza dough and layer on the sauce and toppings for Dad’s favorite pie. Think outside the box with barbecue sauce and rotisserie chicken, or go Mexican-style with refried beans, enchilada sauce and taco meat. You can even make pizza together for breakfast or dessert!
Start with classic beef or veggie, turkey or salmon patties, and add some savory condiments to make these burgers sizzle. Try cranberry sauce and brie on a turkey burger or pineapple slices and curry mayo on a salmon burger. Stuff a beef patty with Gorgonzola and top with grilled apples, or serve lamb patties stuffed in pita bread with mango chutney and fresh mint. Get creative. Who knows — you and Dad might just discover a new
Crunchy Cheese Tortellini
These crunchy, cheesy appetizers are so easy to make, even the little ones can help.
1 pound fresh or defrosted cheese tortellini
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup Italian-seasoned panko or breadcrumbs
Olive oil spray
Marinara or pizza sauce for dipping
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Beat egg and milk in medium bowl. Place breadcrumbs in gallon-sized zip-close bag and crush lightly. Place tortellini into egg mixture to coat well, and then drain in a colander. Place into bag with breadcrumbs, close the bag and shake to coat tortellini. Pour onto prepared pan, and spray lightly with olive oil spray. Bake for 20 minutes or until crumbs are crisp. For browner tortellini, turn on broiler for 1 minute, watching closely so they don’t burn. Serve with marinara or pizza sauce.
Gourmet Grilled Cheese
Even big kids love grilled cheese. Spend time with Dad assembling a melted masterpiece with Gouda, pepper jack, goat cheese or havarti and gourmet fillings like cooked bacon, apple slices, fresh herbs, ham and turkey slices, fresh tomatoes, jalapeños, olives and pickles. Spread on some spicy mustard, sweet fig jam or basil pesto, and grill to perfection. Experiment with marble rye, sourdough and Italian herb breads, and don’t forget the butter for the perfect golden crust. ♥