Cook's Exchange: Roasted veggies, ice cream dessert add to special day

June 11, 2014 

Sons, even if they are dads or grandpas, never get too old for their fathers to worry about them.

My father-in-law, who is not demonstrative at all, kept daily checks on my husband, Allen, after his surgery last week. He was worried and needed reassurance that all was well. A dad is a dad all his life, and Sunday is a day for us to recognize what these men mean to us.

Southern families, to the detriment of waistlines, always seem to celebrate Father's Day with food and fellowship, preparing Dad's favorite foods. Ours is no exception.

Allen likes fresh vegetables that are turned up a notch or two with fresh-from-the-garden herbs. A favorite is roasted new potatoes with garlic, olive oil and dill, which is so easy the potatoes almost cook themselves.

He really likes green beans, asparagus and Brussels sprouts cooked similarly. Not only is this cooking method healthy, the veggies remain tender crisp and flavorful.

Most of us can remember when folks cooked vegetables to mush. No wonder some never liked vegetables.

Here are two roasted dishes that are cooked at 400 degrees in the oven, for about 40 minutes for potatoes and 30 minutes for Brussels sprouts. These also could be done on the grill and so you don't have to heat the kitchen with a hot oven.

ROASTED NEW POTATOES

2 tablespoons olive oil

10 to 12 new potatoes cut into halves or quarters; make sure potatoes are of similar size

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons fresh dill

On a baking sheet, place cut up potatoes. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with

minced garlic, salt, pepper and minced dill. Cook 40 minutes at 400 degrees. Can stir halfway through. Potatoes will be crispy on the outside and soft inside. Note: Rosemary can be used in place of dill, if you prefer.

ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH BALSAMIC VINEGAR

16 ounces or so of Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 to 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste, or could use Mrs. Dash

Place trimmed Brussels sprouts on baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and minced garlic. Drizzle with Balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Bake at 375 to 400 degrees, depending on oven, for 15 minutes. Turn sprouts and continue cooking for another 15.

The above two are my husband's favorites. The next one is for my father-in-law, who loves ice cream and sweets. It is not healthy, but it is yummy. A reader shared this recipe years ago.

This is a great summertime dessert and takes only a few minutes to put together. It requires no prep work or dishes to clean up.

DELICIOUS ICE CREAM CAKE

1 box (10 to 12) ice cream sandwiches (you can change it by using different flavors such as Mississippi mud, Neopolitan, etc.)

1 can German chocolate cake icing (the coconut, caramel and pecan icing)

1 (8-ounce) tub of Cool Whip

Arrange ice cream sandwiches in the bottom of 13-by-9-inch pan. Spread icing over the top of sandwiches. Top with Cool Whip. You can serve immediately or freeze overnight.

Microwaved pralines

Readers found answer for a member of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College's Lifelong Learning Institute. One man wanted a recipe for microwave pralines. "I dug this one out of my old files," Pat Kersteter of Gautier, Miss., said.

TOUT DE SUITE PRALINES (MICROWAVE)

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 cups sugar

2 cups pecan halves

1/8 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon baking soda

Stir together buttermilk, sugar, pecans, salt and butter in a 4- or 5-quart dish. Cook on high 12 minutes, stirring at 4-minute intervals. Stir in baking soda until foamy. Cook on high for 1 minute. (This last step gives the pralines a caramel color.) Beat mixture until tacky, about 1 minute. Drop by teaspoonfuls on a sheet of foil. Makes 5- 1/2 dozen.

Tip: Instead of foil, use a layer of newspaper covered with a sheet of wax paper.

-- Submitted by | Pat Kersteter

Valerie Mabry writes that since June is the month of brides, she'd like to share a tasty recipe she obtained at a bridal shower.

HOT ARTICHOKE DIP

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup minced red onion

1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sour cream,

Parmesan cheese and onion. When these ingredients are combined, mix in artichoke hearts, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Transfer mixture to a shallow baking dish.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until light brown on top.

-- Submitted by Valerie Mabry

Andrea Yeager, who can be reached at ayeager51@cableone.net, takes contributions or requests at Cook's Exchange, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi, MS 39535-4567.

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