The Culinary Journey of a Dad and his Son

Southwestern Corn Salad

Well…this past weekend was my son’s birthday party. It goes without saying that feeding hot dog loving kids along with their parents (who are already all hot dogged out from summer) can be a tricky task. But I think we managed to please everyone from the pickiest kid to the most refined adult and still managed to squeeze a little more summer out of September while adding in a little bit of fall.

This is a side dish that I made to accomplish just that…it’s a Southwestern Corn Salad! Something different from the norm with a tiny bit of kick and a lot of flavor. You’ll love this…and the best part is it only takes 15 minutes to make. You can adjust the amount of spice to suit your taste buds but the recipe below is for a mild version (mild to me anyway).


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Garlic Truffle Spinach

During the work week I’m constantly looking for ways to use up the fresh food in my refrigerator before it bites the dust while trying to make things that are fast, easy, tasty, and above all…something my son approves of! While this isn’t a whole lot right now I think we’re on the right track to putting a few more things on his repertoire.

This was made with a bunch of leftover spinach I had way, way in the back of the refrigerator so it got neglected for a few days. Time to make a simple side dish for dinner…Garlic Truffle Spinach. The key to this definitely is the truffle oil but remember it’s strong stuff so a little goes a long way. You can add more but can’t take it out. This took a total of 5 minutes and surprisingly wasn’t totally repulsive to my son. Garlic isn’t quite his thing yet so hold back if you have a little one that might be a little too picky!

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Asian Blueberry Balsamic Pork Chops

Well the weekend is over and the Giants lost to the Cowboys and I need a pick me up. It also was a weekend of kid food and now it’s time for the adults and maybe…just maybe my son will eat this too. You see, it seems that meat is his enemy unless there is some kind of sauce covering it. So I thought this might be a hit with adult and kid alike.

It’s an Asian blueberry balsamic sauce drizzled over pork chops that is a little bitter, a little tangy, and also sweet. That’s right…go figure my 3 year old loves sweet stuff. He wasn’t crazy about it due to flavor overload but he didn’t hate it either. By the end he was liking it and I finally got him to eat pork. The Giants didn’t win but I did and that’s good enough for me!

But what about you? Try this one out and tell me what you think.

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Maple Pancake Cupcakes

Sometimes you just have to make something for your kids that they like. I mean it can’t always be about us…so this morning I decided to do just that. My son used to love pancakes! I mean have them every day for breakfast kind of love. But recently he doesn’t want them. I think he just wore them out. So I decided to try something new and make him some maple pancake cupcakes. Yes it is as good as it sounds!

But I also wanted to make it quick. I mean it is breakfast and I do have a very hungry kid on my hands in the morning. So I used dry pancake mix rather than making them from scratch. Maple flavored pancakes baked like a cupcake and layered with your favorite jelly or jam and topped with whipped cream and drizzled in chocolate.

Even my son is in love with these…he already asked me to make them again for breakfast tomorrow!

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Mexican Quinoa Jambalaya

So it’s the day after Labor Day and its football season. After all the indulging you and I had yesterday I figured it was time for something somewhat healthy but still satisfying on game day! It’s light…but heavy…and very satisfying…it’s a Mexican Quinoa Jambalaya recipe!

It’s a shrimp and chorizo jambalaya layered with Mexican spices and black beans but without the gut busting rice. Instead I use quinoa to give you the perfect balance between light and savory and you won’t need a nap after you eat it.

So I’m sure by now you’ve realized that this recipe is not for my son. It’s for you…all the guys and girls who are trying to stay healthy (kind of) during football season while still trying to enjoy the game with great friends, great family, and great food!

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Sriracha Garlic Bean Dip

Well today is Labor Day and I decided to let my son decide what he wanted for lunch. We all know what a mistake that is. The first thing out of his mouth was chips. It’s a holiday and as long as I accompany the chips with something healthy it shouldn’t be too bad for him…right?

So I came up with this sriracha garlic bean dip recipe for the chips and maybe squeeze some vegetables in if the dip is good enough. I have to say this was really good. The hardest part was waiting for the garlic to roast in the oven (I love anything garlic). Once that was done the rest of the preparation takes only 5 minutes and you have a luscious, silky smooth dip or spread. He loved this spread across crispy bread.

He couldn’t stop eating it until I took it away and neither could I. Could you?

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Ancho Infused Maple Pork Chops

When I look back I can now see that this probably wasn’t a good idea if my goal was trying to get my son to eat a pork chop. But when I came up with the idea for maple ancho pork chops I couldn’t resist. We’re talking about maple syrup infused with ancho chile peppers and garlic and then caramelized onto some thick juicy pork chops. I was definitely in heaven but my son wasn’t as impressed.

As a breakfast food, my son loves pancakes and maple syrup…but what I wasn’t counting on was that pancakes would be the only food that he would be willing to eat maple syrup with. It didn’t help that it no longer looked like maple syrup when I got through with it. I know he missed out this time but I’ll definitely be making these again sometime soon. He’ll give in eventually! Right?

Tell me what you think!

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Gruyere and Fontina Grilled Cheese

I don’t know many people that have a love affair with grilled cheese the way my son does. So I decided to make a grilled cheese but kick it up a notch. Even my son couldn’t turn down the buttery bread and gooey cheesy onions. He did give it dirty looks at first…well because “Dad, it doesn’t look like a grilled cheese!” But once he took a bite he couldn’t stop and honestly neither could I. This thing was good…NO…GREAT!

Neither of us has had a grilled cheese like this before but I know he’ll be asking me to make it again sometime soon. That is if I can wait for that…I might have to go rogue and make it for myself when he’s sleeping.

Sometimes simple is better…and this is one of those times! Chalk one up for Dad!

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Blackened Steak Salad

After my Asian Beef and Quinoa Lettuce Wrap victory I decided to push it a little farther. In hindsight, I probably made this more for me than my son…kind of!

I honestly thought that I could get him to eat this! I mean…come on… a grilled to perfection filet mignon and cheese atop a fresh crisp salad. I know what you’re thinking, steak and cheese, GUY FOOD! I’m a guy he’s a guy, no problem right? WRONG!

It was all logical thinking except for the fact that I forgot for a minute that he’s only 3 yrs old! Well, I tried even if it didn’t go as planned and I got myself a great meal out of it too.

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Asian Beef and Quinoa Lettuce Wraps

I’m pretty determined to have my son eat some lettuce these days and this recipe follows suit! Beef, onions, quinoa all cooked and mixed up with tons of salty Asian sauces then wrapped in a crisp lettuce leaf. Sounds good right?

Well only part of it sounds good to my son and I’ll let you guess which half…

He was on board with the beef mixture and he even liked the quinoa which he didn’t even know was there. I had to break it to him when he was done and he said I tricked him but he liked it. As for wrapping it in lettuce…NO WAY!

I still claim this as a victory since he liked the quinoa!

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