Father’s Day is upon us, a day to celebrate dads who do so much for their kids. Dads today are a new breed. They populate pediatrician’s offices with sick kids, attend PTA meetings and have been known to braid hair now and then. I am less and less surprised to see fathers wearing babies in contraptions on their chests or wheeling infants in strollers or negotiating balking toddlers into shopping cart seats. We are a more balanced society in many ways, and our kids are better for it.
Father’s Day was created to honor William Jackson Smart, a Civil War hero who raised six kids alone after his wife died. His daughter, Sonora Smart Dodd, realized that he had done a wonderful job and wanted to show the world that her dad, and others out there, was worthy of honor and gratitude. The first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington.
In the 1920s and 1930s, people wanted to combine Mother’s Day and Father’s Day into one holiday and celebrate Parents’ Day. That did not fly with advertisers, who began to argue that Father’s Day could be a way to honor all those who came home from war. (My guess is they also saw an additional day for gift buying.) The advertisers won, and the two holiday remained separate. It was not until 1972 that Richard M. Nixon signed a proclamation declaring Father’s Day a federal holiday. Today it is estimated that people spend over 1 billion dollars on Father’s Day. That’s a lot of golf clubs and Hallmark cards!
Celebrate your dad this year with a special day and his favorite foods. Make a great breakfast or a terrific barbecue — whatever he likes. We always celebrated with a big breakfast after my dad had gone golfing. His time on the golf course allowed us to make a cake for after dinner to continue the celebration. Celebrate your dad this year with some homemade brunch foods, and have a wonderful day.
Oat Bran Berry Muffins (Dairy or Pareve)
2 cups oat bran
1 cup unbleached flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 extra-large eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1-1/4 cups milk or almond milk
1 cup (generous) blueberries or sliced strawberries or blackberries
Oatmeal and brown sugar for sprinkling on top
Place 15 paper muffin cups in 2 12-cup muffin tins. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk the oat bran, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In another bowl, mix the sugars, eggs, oil and milk. Whisk until smooth. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix with a fork until just blended. Add the berries and gently mix.
Divide into the 15 muffin cups. Top with a bit of oatmeal and brown sugar. Press very gently into the batter.
Bake until the tops are golden and a tester comes out clean, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and then take the muffins out and transfer to a wire rack to cool more. Makes 15 muffins. Serve warm with a drizzle of maple syrup or softened butter.
Lox, Mushrooms, Onions and Eggs with Herbs in a Bread Basket (Dairy)
1 small onion (red or yellow)
4 Tbsp. fresh-snipped chives
1 tsp. fresh tarragon, minced
4 oz. white mushrooms, chopped
4 to 6 oz. smoked salmon (unsalted lox) cut into small pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
4 Tbsp. regular, low-fat or fat-free sour cream
1/4 to 1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
4 large French, brioche, sourdough or other rolls
Butter for sautéing
Additional grated cheese for the top
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut a hole in the top of each roll and scoop out the center almost to the bottom. Make sure the hole is wide and deep enough. (Save the scooped-out part for fresh breadcrumbs.) Place the rolls on a foil lined cookie sheet, or, if they won’t stand up, make a crumpled foil “nest” for each roll. Set aside.
Beat the eggs in a medium bowl and set aside.
Place the butter in a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Chop the onions and shallots and add to the skillet. Sauté until softened and translucent. Add the chives and the mushrooms and cook until most of the mushroom liquid is reabsorbed. Add the smoked salmon. Cook until heated through and the lox turns opaque.
Add the tarragon and sour cream to the eggs and mix well. Add the grated cheese and mix. Pour over the veggies and let sit for about 20 to 30 seconds until the bottom begins to set. Use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula and mix the eggs gently. Cook until just done; do not let the eggs get too dry. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Spoon the eggs into the rolls and top with the grated cheese. Bake for 4 to 7 minutes at until the cheese melts.
Fabulous French Toast (Dairy)
6 extra-large eggs
1 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 to 2 cups milk
6 to 10 one-inch thick slices of fresh challah
Butter and vegetable oil for frying
Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Whisk until they are well blended. Add the yogurt, milk, vanilla and sugar and whisk thoroughly.
Place one slice of bread in the batter. Let it soak for about 30 seconds, turning it once.
Place a large frying pan over a medium high heat. Add a tsp. of vegetable oil and a pat of butter to the pan. Carefully place the bread into the frying pan and immediately place another piece of bread into the batter. Continue until all the slices are coated and cooking. Add more oil and butter to the pan as needed. Cook each slice of bread about 4 to 5 minutes per side, until golden brown. Adjust the heat if the French toast is browning too quickly, or else it will be brown on the outside and uncooked inside.
Serve with warmed pure maple syrup, cinnamon and sugar, and/or fresh strawberries and blueberries.
Banana Nut Stuffed French Toast (Pareve or Dairy)
French toast recipe (above)
3 ripe bananas, sliced into 1/3-inch thick rounds
1/3 to 1/2 stick pareve, trans-fat free margarine or butter
1/4 cup brown sugar (dark or light)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Make the mixture for the French toast as above. Set aside. Slice the bananas and set aside.
Heat a skillet and add the butter or margarine. When melted, add the sugar and mix until liquid and smooth. Add the bananas and mix to coat. Cook until bubbly, about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the nuts and mix well. Remove from heat to cool a bit.
Soak the French toast as above, then follow the directions below.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place two pieces of French toast next to each other on the griddle. When one side of each piece is golden, place a heaping spoonful of the bananas in the center of one piece of bread on the uncooked side. Flip the other piece, so the golden side is up and the uncooked side faces the bananas. Gently press the edges together and then place on a greased, foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the bread.
Place the 6 pieces in the oven and bake for about 15 to 25 minutes until cooked through. Serve with pure maple syrup, fresh sliced bananas or berries. Makes 6 servings.