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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Don’t Forget Dad

By Sherrie Norris

Some consumer survey results indicate that neckties still top the list of Father’s Day gifts.

We know that all dads — or even most dads these days — do not wear ties on a regular basis, so if yours doesn’t, offer a “subtle” hint or two by wrapping up a few helpful tools for him to use around the house — like hammers, wrenches and screwdrivers.

Or, if he is a self-professed handyman and already pretty punctual in his attempts to take care of those squeaky doors and drippy leaks, think about dropping by a sporting goods store for a new fishing rod or set of golf clubs — or a hammock.

Even if your funds are low and the best you can do is show up on Sunday with a few brownies or cookies on a colorful paper plate and tied up with a bow, it will mean the world to him just to know you care. See below for a few ideas.

If your father is alive, spend the day with him and make every moment count. Your time will prove to be the best gift you can give him.

Let us not forget those children who have lost a father this year, and those fathers who have lost a child.

I dedicate this column to my husband, Van Norris, who has been —and continues to be — the greatest father and grandfather that a child could possibly hope for.

Happy Day, Dads!


Breakfast Çups

2¼ cup Bisquick mix

2/3 cup milk

3 eggs (beaten)

1 cup diced ham

1 cup diced bacon

1 cup shredded cheese of choice

Spray 2 muffin pans with cooking spray. Pre-heat oven to 450.

Make Bisquick drop biscuits according to directions on box.

Drop about one tablespoon of biscuit mix in the bottom of each muffin holder.

Combine eggs, ham, bacon and half of the cheese in a bowl.

Pour egg mixture over each biscuit in muffin pans. Sprinkle each with leftover cheese.

Bake approximately 10 – 13 minutes or until cheese begins to lightly brown.


Yummy Ham Rolls

2 pkg. Hawaiian sweet dinner rolls

1 pkg. deli sandwich ham

12 slices Swiss cheese

½ cup butter, melted

1 Tbsp. poppy seeds

1½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1½ tsp. brown or Dijon mustard

1 tsp. onion powder

Slice top from rolls and place bottoms in baking pan. Layer ham and cheese on rolls. Replace tops. In small bowl, combine butter, poppy seeds, mustard, Worcestershire and onion powder; mix well. Drizzle over rolls. Refrigerate until butter is firm or overnight. Cover with foil and bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until cheese melts. Uncover and cook for 2 additional minutes. Serve warm or cold.


Barbecued Pork Chops

8 lean pork chops

½ cup ketchup

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. celery seed

½ tsp. ground nutmeg

1/3 cup white vinegar

1 cup water

1 bay leaf

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a skillet, heat a small amount of oil and brown both sides of the pork chops. In a bowl, combine ketchup, salt, celery seed, nutmeg, vinegar, water and bay leaf. Pour over chops. Bake in oven for about an hour or longer if needed, testing for doneness after about 45 minutes. Turn chops once during baking.


Red Potato Salad

3 pounds unpeeled red potatoes

4 eggs

1½ cups mayonnaise

2 Tbsp. milk

2 Tbs. white vinegar

½ cup sliced green onions

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

1 cup sliced celery


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and chop into 1-inch cubes. Place in a medium bowl.

Place eggs in a medium saucepan, and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil, and immediately remove from heat. Cover, let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and dice.

In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, milk, vinegar, onions, salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the potatoes, and mix together with the eggs and celery. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator approximately 2 hours before serving.


Pecan Pie Bars for Papa

1 can (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent rolls

¾ cup chopped pecans

½ cup sugar

½ cup corn syrup

2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

1 tsp. vanilla

1 egg, beaten

Heat oven to 350°F.

Unroll dough and press in bottom (and about ½-inch up sides) of a 9 x 13-inch pan. Firmly press perforations to seal. Bake 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Pour filling over partially baked crust.

Bake 18 to 22 minutes longer or until golden brown.

Cool completely, about 1 hour, and cut into bars.


Ding Dong Cake

1 box devil’s food cake mix

8 oz. cream cheese softened

3 cups powdered sugar

1 stick butter, softened

8 oz. whipped topping

1 tub milk chocolate icing

Prepare and bake cake as directed on box in 2 round cake pans.

Filling: Mix and cream the butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar and fold in whipped topping.

After cake is completely cooled, split layers (see helpful tip below) and spread thick layer of filling on each layer and stack; do not spread filling all the way to the edge of the cake —the weight of the cake will press it out to the edge once you are finished. (This keeps the filling from mixing with the icing.)

However, if you have any filling left over, you can mix it with the icing. Then ice entire cake with the chocolate icing.


* For a great even cut of the cake layers, place the uncut cakes on plates in freezer for about 30 minutes, then use unwaxed dental floss to pull through the layer.