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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Father's Day Gift -- Give Food

Father's Day is June 19. Some dads may be patiently awaiting a new tie, but most do not want another pretty neck noose. Take it from me, the gift doesn't have to be expensive, fancy, or even fashionable. I know what fathers really want. For Father's Day, guys don't desire sentimental cards or flashy clothes or new tools.

Fathers want food -- down home, tasty grub and plenty of it. It's up to you to provide the feast.

Don't take Dad to a restaurant - do it yourself. Don't worry about presentation and garnish. Don't worry about caloric intake or healthy content. Just find a great recipe or two, go to the market, buy the ingredients, and cook the living heck out of the stuff.

Believe me, the Old Man will love it. Just consider these words spoken by the late Italian operatic tenor and big daddy Luciano Pavarotti: "One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating." Dads love to eat.

To help those who want to give Dad the ultimate gift, a home-cooked meal, let me offer some online help.Use these sites to choose recipes, to get cooking tips, and, of course, to facilitate the perfect Father's Day meal, be it breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.

1. Taste of Home

Taste of Home is billed as a friendly exchange of family-favorite recipes handed down and shared over generations. The recipes you find here are from home chefs and are all tested by the Taste of Home Test Kitchen. Recipes feature familiar, everyday ingredients; beautiful photos; and easy-to-follow instructions. Main dish and dinner recipes, slow cooker recipes, and beef recipes represent just a few of the popular searches.

“I never had any interest in cooking chef food,” said Penny Fersko of Staten Island, a subscriber to Taste of Home. “If I want fancy, I’ll go to a restaurant,” Ms. Fersko said. “I am interested in American supper food that I can make from the ingredients in my cabinets.” ("Food for the People, Whipped Up by the People," The New York Times, December 27 2006)

Taste of Home reports the site "fosters a fun and active community who share food preparation secrets and tips, humorous and heartwarming anecdotes, and glimpses into their kitchens, their homes and their lives."

Taste publishes 3 magazines, over 40 special interest recipe collections for sale at retail and grocery stores, dozens of cookbooks, and hosts over 300 local cooking schools around the country.

Taste of Home:

2. Famous Recipes

How about a Famous Banana Split Cheesecake for Pops? Julia Moskin reports, "And one of the Web’s most popular independent food blogs, according to data collected by Alexa, a Web information company, was an undiscriminating one titled Famous Recipes. Bill Austin of Scottsdale, Ariz., collects recipes and recipe links... presenting them unedited and without comment. The site’s motto: 'Famous and not so famous recipes — who are you to decide? Who am I to decide?'" ("Food for the People, Whipped Up by the People," The New York Times, December 27 2006)

The blog does date its last entries from 2009 (which makes one wonder what has happened with upkeep), but you can also get from here to Chicken Recipes, Christmas Recipes, the mailing list for World Famous Recipes, and blog sites titled Recipes and Famous Recipes.

Famous Recipes:

3. Grilling Central

What father doesn't love barbecue and grilled food? Food Network has a site called Grilling Central that even features special Father's Day recipes.The site sends this cordial invitation your way: "Celebrate Father's Day with friends, family and great food from Food Network fathers Guy Fieri and Aaron McCargo, Jr. Start the day with perfect French Toast, then fire up the grill or barbecue for burgers, pulled pork or steak."

On site instruction even includes video with grilling tips and covers appetizers, drinks, mains, sides, and desserts. Here you can learn how to make beer can chicken or grilled pizza. Chef Bobby Flay will even lead you through his Best Burger Recipes.

Grilling Central:

4. Recipe Trove

With over 2000 recipe-loving visitors a day, Recipe Trove is full of food ideas. This site is a recipe sharing site with over thirty categories and sub-categories. Here you'll find the perfect casserole for family functions. It's a friendly and comfortable place to visit.

Recipe Trove encourages all cooks and food lovers to browse their collection of recipes.  If you have a recipe you would like to submit to their collection to share with others, you can log in and add it to the appropriate category or even recommend a new food category.

Mexican, Chinese and Mediterranean recipes are here.Some copycat recipes include Outback Steakhouse Coconut Shrimp, KFC Original Fried Chicken, and Olive Garden Fettuccine Alfredo.

Recipe Trove:

5. Obama Foodorama

And, finally, if you want to prepare a pie fit for the leader of the free world, you can visit the blog Obama Foodorama. Here you can get recipes, menus, policy analysis, events and speeches from Eddie Gehman Kohan. The site even has information on the The Kitchen Cabinet Library.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have been praising Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses' pies since they moved into the White House. Mrs. Obama refers to Yosses' pies as "dangerously good," while the President has nicknamed Yosses "The Crustmaster."

Yosses shares his tips and secrets here for the famous White House Apple Pie. Surely this dish is fit for the best father.

Obama Foodorama:

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