Friday, June 1, 2012

Favorite Recipes from My Dad

That's my Dad and my Step-Mom. Today's a very special day. It's my Dad's birthday. I love you Dad!

You may not be aware, but my Dad is a huge inspiration behind most of my creativity in cooking. He's the foodie in our family. He's the one who first made chocolate chip cookies, omelets on Sundays, beef stews in the winter, and rare steaks with Caesar salad all summer long.

When I was little he made most of our breakfasts: usually grits, bagels, or oatmeal. On the weekends it was his famous omelets, fried liver mush (that's some good eating!), country ham cooked in cola, or fried eggs & bacon. One of my favorite cookbooks is his old copy of "The Joy of Cooking" by Irma Rombauer. That's the cookbook that taught me dozens of different ways to make cookies and cakes.

I remember old copies of Gourmet magazine always lying around the living room. I think that's where I get my love of actually reading cookbooks. While I may not try many of the recipes in a cookbook -- I think simply by reading how others make food will broaden your palate. It will give you ideas of new spices to try. Which foods work best together and will help you learn new cooking and baking techniques.

My Dad's also a writer. And while he doesn't always realize it, he's a very, very GOOD writer. He's spent nearly his entire adult career as a journalist and columnist and I know one day I'll see his name on a book. And trust me, no matter the subject... you'll want to read it. You'll be better for it. 

Today for his birthday I thought I'd share five recipes from the blog that have been most inspired by my Dad. Many are actually recipes that he used to make quite often that I converted to be gluten-free. You have to cook what you know best. Don't let being gluten-free stop that for you. Because family recipes are important. They carry on traditions, bring back beautiful memories, and make you feel like you're feeding people well. Food with a story is the very best kind of food

Well of course, The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies!!! 
They have to come from somewhere right? While this recipe isn't actually based on my Dad's recipe, it's special to me because my Dad made a LOT of chocolate chip cookies growing up. You knew it would be a good day if Dad decided to make cookies! And this recipes happens to be one of HIS favorites on my blog... which is a very cool thing!

My Dad made a lot of pancakes on Saturday mornings too. We loved his pancakes. Again... a recipe with a story! Read how my Dad learned to make them.

Caesar Salad. 
The ultimate "family" recipe in our clan! This one isn't just made in my immediate family it's shared by my aunt & uncle and their children... every kid in our family loves homemade Caesar salad from a very early age. It's good stuff and there's a good reason why!

Grits Bowls. 
Because I can't tell you how many school day's began with grits at our house. My dad loved to make us grits!

Okay, so my Dad didn't make gluten-free pizza when I was growing up... but HE LOVED making us pizza with Chef Boy-R-Dee's Cheese Pizza Kits. By the time he was finished with them, they were full-blown supreme pizzas with green peppers, onions, pepperoni, ground beef, mushrooms, and tons of cheese. It's honestly why I love pizza so much. My Dad loved making those pizzas and the best part was we got to make them with him. He let us add the toppings, shred the cheese, watch the oven, taste the first bite. My Dad knows a thing or two about pizza and while this is a homemade recipe, it's JUST as easy as the Chef Boy-R-Dee version!! Want to buy a gluten free pizza kit that's way healthier than Chef Boy-R Dee? Check out Gallo Lea Organics GF Pizza Kits of Asheville, NC ! 

And Dad, when I see you later this month, I'm making you this... my favorite chocolate cake (or maybe a vanilla version since Chris doesn't like chocolate!) I also hope you know how great a Dad you are! Never forget that! I'm blessed outa my socks to have you for a Dad and I love for you for way more than all the amazing food you made for us growing up!

Happy Birthday Dad!! 

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