Tag Archives: Father’s Day

Father’s Day 2015

Father’s Day 2015

Father’s Day 2015

Due to the craziness of having the house in a state of chaos and clutter post-flood we scaled back our Father’s Day 2015 celebration. Of course, we couldn’t let the day go by without celebrating The Hubs and his awesomeness as a Dad.

The girls had a list of things they wanted to buy for him: grape soda, Lemon Drops, PayDay Candy Bar, Malibu Sunshine Rum. I wanted to do something for him that would be meaningful and that the girls would be a part of creating. Oh, and then there was the food!

The Hubs is happy with simple foods, so I asked him if grilled hamburgers would be good for him. He said yes. I asked if he would want to grill…and he said yes.

As delicious as grilled hamburgers are (for red meat eaters) I wanted to give it a little something special. There were four cheese choices – sliced sharp cheddar, pepper jack, Swiss, and blue cheese crumbles. I made caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms to top the burgers. I had sliced fresh tomatoes and avocados. I fried up thick cut bacon. I even butter toasted the buns! It was a solid menu for Father’s Day 2015.

In addition to the grilled burgers I made French fries and homemade coleslaw. For dessert I made a no bake dessert that I found on Pinterest; 5 Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars. The meal was a success from start to finish.

The gift that the girls made, with my assistance, turned out beautifully. The Hubs truly enjoyed all of the little things the girls bought him, too.

Here is the recipe for the dessert. It was easy and awesome.

5 Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars


  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup peanut butter (smooth)


  • 1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter (smooth)

Butter and line an 8” X 8” pan with parchment or waxed paper. Place the base ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined. Press into the prepared pan. Melt the topping ingredients (I used the microwave at 30 second increments). Pour and spread over the base. Refrigerate until set, about 1 ½ hours. Cut into squares when set. Remove from fridge to bring to room temperature to serve.

This recipe will definitely make it into the rotation for about half a dozen reasons. It was chocolatey, and peanut buttery, and sweet, and delicious, and easy, and no bake! Yes, definitely making it into the dessert rotation.

The gift that the girls (the 3 who still live at home) made their Daddy was a tribute to his love of the Navy and a scripture about hope. The timing seemed perfect, given the especially long month we had!

hope anchor hebrews

Although the day was more low-key than we usually make our celebrations it was perfect for where we are. I also hope that Father’s Day 2015 was special for The Hubs.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. ~ Hebrews 6:19


Posted by on July 5, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Espresso Cream Cheese Cake (Tiramisu Cake)

Espresso Cream Cheese Cake (Tiramisu Cake)

Friday or Saturday of last week I asked The Hubs what he wanted me to make him to eat for Father’s Day. His reply was short and sweet “Tiramisu”.

That sounds simple enough. In theory, it is simple. In reality – I live in a rural Kansas town of 1100 people and one little local grocery store which carries neither Lady Fingers nor Mascarpone.  I drove into the nearest ‘big town’ to look for the ingredients. This is not the first time I have hunted for the ingredients. I could not find them on this journey. Now what? Punt.

I decided that I would make a cake that would mimic the flavors of Tiramisu. After spending hours searching recipes I found several recipes that I thought would work. I decided to make an Espresso flavored chiffon cake, cream cheese filling, and Espresso Buttercream Frosting. The end result was nothing short of rich and delicious. Wowza!

This was a fun cake to make and the whole family loved it! This is a great cake and filling recipe if you have never baked layer cakes or used filling (as opposed to frosting) between layers.

Below are the recipes that I used to create this decadent dessert for my dear husband for Father’s Day 2014.

To assemble, lay one layer of the cake on cake plate. Spread one half of the cream cheese filling evenly over the cake, almost to the edges. If your cakes are slightly uneven the filling can be spread more thickly or thinly to even out the appearance of the cakes. Lay the second cake on the filling, and spread the remaining cream cheese filling over the cake. Lay the third cake on top of the filling and frost the top and sides of the cake with the Espresso Buttercream.

This recipe made extra frosting, so we were able to frost an entire batch of cupcakes, too!

Espresso Chiffon Cake

  • 1/4 cup canola oil 6 eggs (separated)
  • 6 tablespoons freshly brewed espresso (room temperature (or instant, reconstituted))
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 round cake pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the oil, egg yolks, espresso and vanilla; whisk lightly to blend. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, 1 cup of the sugar, the baking powder, and salt. Set the dry ingredients aside.
  3. In a large mixer bowl with an electric mixture, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium-low speed until frothy. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and gradually add the remaining half cup of sugar. Continue to beat until soft peaks form; do not whip until stiff or the cake will shirk excessively upon cooling.
  4. Add the espresso-egg yolk mixture to the dry ingredients and fold together just enough to combine. Add one-fourth of the beaten egg whites and fold them in to lighten the batter. Fold in the remainder of the whites just until no streaks remain. Divide the batter among the three prepared pans. To ensure that my cakes were even, I poured the batter into a large measuring cup and poured into the pans.
  5. Bake the cakes for about 18 minutes each, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the pans. When cooled, run a blunt knife or rubber spatula around the edge of the pans to release the cakes. Invert onto wire racks.


Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add sugar until incorporated and smooth. Add vanilla and mix thoroughly.


Espresso Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoon instant Espresso powder
  1. Mix the Espresso powder into the vanilla until dissolved. Set aside. 

  2. Using an electric mixer cream the butter on medium high for about 5 minutes, until creamy. Reduce the speed of the mixer and add in the sugar, gradually, mixing well between additions. Once the powdered sugar has been added and thoroughly incorporated into the butter increase the speed to medium high and beat for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla – espresso mixture and continue beating at medium high until blended. Scrape the bowl as necessary.





Posted by on June 17, 2014 in Baking Recipes


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Father’s Day 2013


In honor of Father’s Day, I am sharing what I believe to be the first “Orts of Sorts” column written by my father, Merle Bird, in March 1985.


This being a food column, the occasion might arise when it would be appropriate to mince words. Or, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. But by way of explaining the name, orts are bits of food. Leftovers, as it were. It’s all grist to my mill.

Microwave ovens are handy, but they need to be used with care. The dairy folks recently circulated a piece that discouraged processing of milk in a microwave.

A microwave treatment for milk has been developed by Dr. Gertrude Armbruster of Cornell University. But, the dairy folks warn, consumers who attempt to process their own milk for added shelf life will need to meet the strict standards of cleanliness and temperature control outlined at Cornell if they are to avoid potential health problems.

The National Live Stock and Meat Board has several suggestion for promoting even heating of meat products:

Shape ground meat patties and loaves like a doughnut, with a hole in the center of the formed meat.

Overlap or “shingle” meat slices from “fully-cooked” ham and pre-cooked roasts.

Arrange uniform meat shapes such as meat patties, meatballs or sausage links in a circle. When microwaving bone-in steaks and chops, place the bone and tail section toward the center, the meatier portion toward the outside of the dish.

Use sauces and seasonings on top of chops and steaks to add color and to keep the meat moist.

Pierce skinless sausage products to allow steam to escape and prevent bursting.

Shield edges of roasts, or projections that may overcook, with small pieces of foil.

Collect meat drippings in microwave-safe utensils. Use a trivet or rack for roasts or bacon, or a colander for ground beef, over a glass container.

Cover meat or enclose in cooking bags when it is necessary to use the steam for tenderizing, to prevent evaporative cooing, to keep the food moist, to shorten the cooking time or to help prevent spattering.

Rotate meat a quarter or half turn during cooking.

Sebastiani Vineyards contributed a recipe for making vinegar from wine. According to Vicki Sebastiani, wine cookery writer and wife of winemaker Sam J. Sebastiani, all that is needed is table wine, a vinegar “starter” and a clean crock or wine bottle that will hold at least half a gallon.

Starter can be purchased from beer and winemaking supply stores or can be ordered from Beer and Winemaking Supplies Inc., 154 King Street Northampton, Mass. 01060 or Wine and the People, Inc., 907 University Ave., Berkley, Calif. 94710.

The container should be two-thirds full of a mixture that is two parts wine, one part water and one part starter. The container should be covered with gauze, cheesecloth or clean nylon hosiery and held tightly in place with a rubber band or wire.

The vinegar in the making should be kept near a stove or water heater so the temperature hovers somewhere between 68 degrees and 90 degrees.

If vinegar is periodically removed and the batch replenished with wine the vinegar will continue to make.

Red wines under five years old, because of their fruitiness, make more interesting vinegars than older wines.

Vicki Sebastiani steeps such herbs as dill, tarragon, rosemary, basil, thyme, garlic and oregano in her vinegars.

Homemade vinegars are useable in cooking, but may have insufficient acidity to be used as a preservative in canning.

La Difference, a publication of Food and Wines from France, contained much of interest about mushrooms in a recent issue.

The Japanese have cultivated shiitake for at least 2,000 years, according to La Difference, but the ants have been mushroom cultivators far longer than that.

Times have changed just a bit since 1985. The microwave cooking information is very enlightening, although I do not believe I will be cooking meat in the microwave anytime soon. I did enjoy the information about making vinegar. I might have to try that myself someday. Oh, and I will leave the mushroom growing to the ants.


I hope you enjoyed this walk down memory lane, to read the beginnings of the original “Orts of Sorts” and to celebrate Father’s Day with me.


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Posted by on June 16, 2013 in Uncategorized


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