Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday five: Dad's favorite recipes

Hello, Friday!  And farewell, Pittsburgh!  The car is gassed up, the oil changed, and our bags packed.  This afternoon, Matt and I are making the trip across the state to Reading to visit his family and celebrate his cousin's wedding on Saturday.  (The bride is incredibly crafty, and I hear she's been super busy with wedding-related projects.  I can't wait to see what surprises she has in store for guests!)  Plus, we'll get to spend Father's Day with Matt's dad.  While women love flowers and chocolates, the former doesn't really do it for guys.  Thankfully, my father-in-law is a serious chocolate fanatic, so it was an easy decision to make a batch of double chocolate cookies for him.

I'll be missing my own dad on Sunday, but thankfully we had a great visit with my parents last weekend.  In honor of my papa, I thought it'd be fun to highlight his  favorite recipes from my blog.  When I called and first explained what I was doing, his response was funny and sweet: "Katy, do you honestly expect me to remember everything you've ever made?  I love almost everything you cook, and I have a terrible memory."  Sweet and true, I should say.  We spent a good 20 minutes on the phone rehashing recipes and brutally cutting the number down to size.  In no particular order, here is this week's edition of Friday Five: my dad's favorite recipes!

1. Herbed chicken in puff pastry - This is a recipe my dad originally got from a coworker over a decade ago.  We've made it together many times at home before I began making it on my own with a few tweaks.  I made this for Matt the first time I cooked him dinner.  Decadent but easy-to-find ingredients like herb cheese and puff pastry will wow even the pickiest critic!

2. Tuscan vegetable soup - Two years ago, my parents embarked on a mission to eat healthier.  This new lifestyle was doing wonders for their energy and figures but became a little routine and stale.  One can only have steamed vegetables for so many days in a row, you know?  When I was home one weekend, I made this for everyone for dinner, and they were totally blow away, especially when I encouraged them to go back for seconds and leave the guilt behind :)

3. Cranberry and walnut chicken salad sandwiches - Though I made this with my mother in mind for our recent Mother's Day luncheon, it was my dad who insisted this recipe be included in his top five favorites.  I sent home leftovers with them that Sunday, but I later learned my dad wasn't very keen on sharing.  Go figure!

4. Kale salad - "Katy, dearest, what's this green stuff?"  "It's kale, Dad.  And it's delicious.  Just eat it."  And that is how my dear father was introduced to my MVG (most valuable green).  I made a few changes from the original and, as luck would have it, they were to my his liking: chewy dried cranberries and his MVN (most valuable nut) salted cashews.  Since that first bite, Dad has said he looks for kale on menus and asks for it wherever he goes.  He's become an addict just like me.  So proud!

5. Mom's banana muffins - Last but certainly not least.  Not only is this one of my dad's favorite recipes, but it's made my mom pretty famous among our family and friends.  My mom and I have tinkered with the recipe over the years, adding ingredients like chopped pecans, shredded coconut, and chocolate chips.  Most recently, I even tossed some chopped Reese's cups into the batter, yielding faaaaaaaantastic results.  But, my dad is a purest and likes his banana muffins classic and "untainted" (his word).  He may not always get his way, but for Father's Day, I think we'll indulge him.

Wishing you a great weekend and, to all of the father figures out there, thank you for making us who we are today! :)  Love you, Dad!

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