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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column:Take Care of Dad On His Special Day

By Sherrie Norris

Since 1972, Father’s Day has been observed officially on the third Sunday of each June, declared as a holiday with a declaration signed by President Richard M. Nixon. I don’t ever remember not having a day set aside to honor fathers — as we should do every day — but credit is given to a Spokane, Washington woman, Sonora Smart Dodd.

In 1909, we’re told, Dodd felt that it was only fair to have this special day for fathers, since Mother’s Day had become a recognized holiday a short time earlier. 

This coming Sunday, June 18, is the big day for 2023. We’re giving you plenty of time to make plans for a great time together. Make him feel special  — and remember, most dads would much prefer your time over anything you could wrap up in a box and deliver to him. Of course, both would be nice, especially if combined with good food and sweet treats.

Hope we can help make it a day to remember.

Easy Meatloaf Cups

2 lbs. lean ground beef 

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

¼  cup milk

¼  cup ketchup

½  cup crushed cornflakes

4 Tbsp. dried minced onion

1 tsp. prepared mustard

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

Additional ketchup, optional

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, except for additional ketchup. 

Mix gently. Press even amounts into 12 foil-lined or greased muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until done. Drain before serving. Drizzle with extra ketchup if desired, or a combined topping of ketchup and brown sugar.

Mixed Vegetable Grill

3 medium red or green bell peppers, halved

Jumbo mushrooms

6 squash (any kind), sliced

1 large onion, chunked

1 (8-oz.) bottle Italian salad dressing

Place vegetables and dressing in large re-sealable plastic bag, turning to coat all sides. Marinate at least one hour, turning frequently. Heat grill. Drain vegetables, reserving marinade. Place vegetables on grill over medium heat and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until crisp tender, turning occasionally and brushing frequently with marinade.

Cheesy Potato Bake

4 cups mashed potatoes

½ cup Parmesan cheese

2 eggs, slightly beaten

½ cup grated Cheddar cheese

Desired seasonings

Combine potatoes, Parmesan cheese and eggs. Season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic, chives, etc. Place in lightly greased baking dish. Top with Cheddar cheese and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Simple Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup sugar

1 cup peanut butter

1 egg

Preheat oven to 350. Stir ingredients together until smooth. Roll or scoop dough into small balls. Press down with the back of a fork and then press again from the opposite direction to form criss-cross pattern on top. (Sprinkle a little extra sugar on top of each if you desire, either now or immediately upon removing from oven.)

These cookies will not spread, so you can bake the full recipe on a single tray. Bake for 12 minutes and then let cool on the tray for 1-2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container. 

Coca-Cola Cake

    1 box Devil’s Food cake mix (or any other dark chocolate mix)

    1 small box (3-4 oz.) instant chocolate pudding

    4 eggs

    ½  cup vegetable oil

    10 oz. Coca-Cola (not Diet Coke)

Combine cake mix and pudding mix. Blend in the eggs, oil and cola. Pour cake batter into a greased 9×13 inch cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 350°. The cake is done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  

Coca Cola Frosting

    ½  cup butter, softened

    2 cups powdered sugar

    2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

    1 ½  tsp. vanilla

    2 oz. Coca-Cola

    ¼ tsp. salt

Beat butter on low speed with a hand mixer. Gradually add powdered sugar. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. 

Note: This cake is best if kept in fridge.