Fathers Day

to-dad-on-fathers-day-with-dog-in-convertible-print-c10327714.jpg My late grandfather, Daddy Bill, was tall and skinny and uniquely dedicated to his habits and interests. He was a very snappy dresser – I vividly remember a purple wool sport coat that he once wore to Grandparents’ Day at my school, impressing my female teachers enormously – and he loved cars and taking painting classes and going swimming at the beach, even (or especially) when the water was way too cold, even for polar bears. But what he really loved was food.

Daddy Bill’s birthday was March 25th, and he liked to celebrate at breakfast. My brother and I were frequently on spring vacation during the latter half of March, and we usually spent the break in Florida with our grandparents. Therefore, we often had the privilege of celebrating Daddy Bill’s birthday with him, which is how I acquired some rather expensive tastes at a very tender age.

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"This intense flavorful rub is great for any type of steak, but I prefer rib eye for barbecuing. This recipe is for indoor cooking, but you can also cook them on a charcoal or gas grill over high heat. Be sure and let the steaks rest before carving – I usually throw some olive coated vegetables (such as zucchini or asparagus coated with olive oil, sea salt and pepper) on the grill after I remove the steaks."

perfect steak Coffee Rubbed Grilled Rib Eye Steaks

3 tablespoons finely ground espresso
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon Spanish sweet paprika
1½ tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 bone-in or boneless rib-eye steaks, 2-inches thick, approximately 1 1/2 pounds each
Canola or olive oil
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F and adjust oven rack to center position. Combine all spices in a bowl and set aside.

Preheat a cast iron grill pan over high heat.

Brush each side of the steak with oil and then season each side liberally with salt and pepper. Rub 2 tablespoons of the coffee rub onto 1 side of each steak. Cook the steak, rub side down until nicely browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the steak over, cook for 2 minutes and then transfer to a baking sheet and cook in the oven to medium-rare doneness, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

– Recipe courtesy of Cook Like James

Here is this year's list of Things We Love for Dad...

APPLE TV - $99


Stream MLB games, Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, and all your iTunes purchases. Plus they can turn their Mac or iPad screen into a big screen TV wirelessly.

Man Made Meals: The Essential Cookbook for Guys


Steve Raichlen's new cookbook. We just can't get enough.

4G USB Cufflinks - $100


Stylish, yet useful. A little Bond tech for the nerd in your life. You never know when a data-retrieval emergency will hit.

Waterproof Ipod Shuffle - $140


Great for swimmers, beach-goers, and dudes who sweat a lot. Add a pair of the best goggles to complete the gift.

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robin_sm.jpgAt six years old, I sat down after Sunday morning cartoons and wrote my very first story.  The illustrations were nothing to speak of, but the premise went something like this:

Bugs Bunny becomes a priest and takes over my parish church, Good Shepherd. 

Unexpectedly, he looks very sharp in a vestment.  He delivers a sermon that lasts only one minute long, and then Mass is over.  From the pulpit, a carrot is loudly, unabashedly chewed.  Before we all genuflect and skedaddle, one young lady is called forth from the congregation (myself, of course.)  And in an exercise of Divine intervention, Bugs makes an exception for me, little two-more-years-till-communion me, and lets me taste the sacramental wafer.  The end.

I gave the story to my father, a British Catholic in the tradition of Evelyn Waugh, and he loved it.  At a time when he mainly intimidated me (his accent, his suits and cigars, his bowls of spicy radishes) I found in his appreciation of this story a common thread for the two of us to hang onto. 

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sunshining.jpglaraine_newman_cameo.jpgYou want to know just how wonderful my husband is? Well, in 2004 my dad died and my grief was crushing. I gained 40 lbs. and cried at the drop of a hat for about 2 years.  Chad got a .mac account in my dad's name and starting emailing me as my dad during certain milestones like my birthday.  Not only did Chad completely capture my dad's way of speaking, but he kept up the derisive insinuations my dad would make about him just to make me laugh. Notice how he refers to Chad as 'what's his name' and 'Chaz'.

My dad's nickname for me was Pie. I don't know why. I still miss my dad terribly, but the pain isn't as bad anymore. These emails my husband writes are so vivid and represent my dad's sensibility so accurately, that for a brief moment, he is with me again.  How lucky can ya get?

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