1000 x 90

Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Make It Special for Dad!

By Sherrie Norris

It was just Christmas, it seems, then New Year’s Day. Valentine’s Day followed soon afterward. And that’s about all I remember being fun and festive.

My 60th birthday fell on a historic day. March 15 was always special to me, but this year, it took a drastic turn with a downward spiral that quickly spun out of control.

Seven people dear to my heart treated with gifts and a nice home-made lunch with my favorite meal of grilled cheese and tomato soup. But, still, a somber atmosphere prevailed, as news headlines of a deadly virus dictated every moment of my already short attention.

I think Easter was next, and was thankful for its meaning that brought us a little extra hope. But, still, observed quietly, minus the crowd.

Mother’s Day was the next special holiday on the calendar, but that, too, had its own challenges and lacked the opportunity for lunch out at a favorite restaurant.

It’s been a tough half-year for all of us, but we have another special day coming up that deserves some positive reinforcements.

Hopefully, on Sunday, the sun will shine, families can “safely” gather and we can all enjoy a nice picnic, cookout, or a great meal at one of the restaurants now open.

Unbelievable as it may seem, Dad’s day is here.

The special celebration originated in Spokane, Wash., when a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd apparently came up with the idea in the early 1900s, while listening to a sermon honoring mothers.

Having been raised by her father, following her mother’s death, she desired to honor him in a special way.

It had been her father who made all the parental sacrifices and was, in her eyes, a courageous, selfless and loving man. His birthday was in June, so she chose to hold the first Father’s Day celebration on June 19, 1910.

In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. President Richard Nixon, in 1972, established a permanent national observance of Father’s Day to be held on that same day.

So, Father’s Day was born as a token of love and gratitude that a daughter cherishes for her beloved father.

Here’s wishing all dads the day they deserve and hoping they will enjoy a special time with those they love.


Cowboy Kabobs

8 (10-inch) skewers

1/3 cup steak sauce

1/3 cup barbecue sauce

2 tsp. prepared horseradish

About 2 lbs. lean beef steak, cut into chunks

Onion and pepper chunks

If using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix steak sauce, barbecue sauce and horseradish until well blended; set aside.

Thread steak onto skewers; place an onion and pepper chunks on the end of each skewer. Place kabobs in shallow glass dish. Pour steak sauce mixture evenly over kabobs; cover.

Refrigerate 1 hour, turning occasionally. Preheat grill to medium heat. Remove kabobs from marinade; discard marinade.

Grill kabobs 4 to 6 minutes or until steak is cooked through, turning occasionally.

Mushrooms, squash, other vegetables can be added to kabobs. It’s better to place softer items near the ends of the skewers if grilling meat well-done.


Easy Twice Baked Potatoes

6 baking potatoes

½ cup milk

1/3 cup sour cream

½ tsp. garlic powder

¼ cup butter

1 Tbs. chopped chives or green onions

6 pieces crisp bacon or 3 Tbs. bacon bits

1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash potatoes and poke with a fork. Bake potatoes in oven 1 hour or microwave until soft. Allow to cool slightly.

Slice each potato in ½, lengthwise. Scoop out potato pulp, leaving a 1/8″ shell.

In a bowl, mash potatoes, sour cream, butter, garlic powder, salt and pepper until smooth. Add milk as needed to create a creamy texture. Stir in chives, bacon and 3/4 cup cheddar cheese.

Fill each skin with the mashed potato filling and top with remaining cheese.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.


Grilled Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob, silked and washed

Butter, softened

Grated Parmesan cheese

Chopped, fresh parsley

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Wrap corn individually in foil.

Grill 15 to 20 min. or until corn is tender, turning occasionally. Remove from grill; unwrap.

Meanwhile, mix butter, Parmesan cheese and parsley. Spread butter mixture onto corn.


Glazed Carrots

6-7 medium carrots

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

¼ tsp. ground ginger

¼ – ½ cup orange juice

2 Tbsp. butter

¼ tsp. salt

Nutmeg, optional Glazed Carrots

Slice carrots about ½-inch thick. Cook in salted boiling water for 15 minutes. Combine sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Add orange juice, stirring continuously, until thick. Boil about 1 minute. Remove from heat; add butter and stir. Pour mixture over cooked carrots; top with nutmeg.


Chocolate Lush

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup margarine

¾ cup chopped nuts

8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Large container whipped topping, thawed

2 small pkg. instant chocolate pudding and pie filling

3 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350. In small bowl, combine flour, margarine or butter and nuts; blend well. Pat mixture into large baking dish or pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool.

In medium bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, and 1 cup whipped topping; blend well. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over cooled crust in pan.

In large bowl, combine instant pudding and pie filling and milk, stirring until mixture is smooth. Spread evenly over cream cheese layer. Spread with remaining whipped topping. Chill thoroughly before serving.