I wanted to share a great Father’s Day dinner with you, in time to inspire you for your celebrations this weekend. I started out by coming up with a list of names for dad, with my girls. We used Dad, Father, Pa, Dada, and Pop -Dadasaurus Rex was also in the running, but too many letters for this project.
I cut out the letters from some white card stock index cards, and some natural coloured stock. Once I had all the letters cut out, I hung up some strings of thread, and used clear tape to attach the letters. I love the simplicity of it.
On the wall, I hung up my chalkboard and added a little Father’s day message.
On the table, I used brown paper as a table cloth -it’s become a real favourite. This one was a roll of wrapping paper with simple white polka dots, but if you wanted to create the same look you could use white paint and a potato stamp on simple brown kraft paper.
I made napkin tags, in keeping with the names over the table. I started with “Father”, which led to “Mother”, “Daughter No. 1″ and finally “Daughter No. 2″. The tags were made from craft paper, a tag punch and written on with a white paint pen.
One of my very favourite elements of this Father’s Day table was the centre piece of a rustic succulent planter.
I always love to add flowers to a table, but wanted something more masculine. You might remember how I used this planter to create a spring garden here. For this arrangement, I used the cement planter, lined with plastic to protect the table, and a bunch of succulents from the garden centre.
I also found one in my garden that I added in. I love how it all turned out, and since I already had the container, it cost only around $10 for the plants, which is what I might have spent on cut flowers for a dinner, but this way I’ll have them all summer long. You know how I’m not the best waterer, but this planter requires so little that I could put it anywhere. I really love how it turned out, with all the different textures and plants together.
On the menu for our special Father’s dinner, were veal and eggplant sandwiches.
These are a real favourite of my husband and I. They’re sold at the St. Lawrence Market, downtown, and when ever we get a chance to pick one up, we do. As I was thinking about some of my husband’s favourites, I thought of the sandwich and decided to give a homemade version a try. You start out with making the breaded veal cutlets, and breaded eggplant, by dredging the veal, and eggplant slices in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. Fry in a frying pan until crispy and golden. Also, sautee some onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms. To make the sandwich, start with a Kaiser bun, add your fried veal, and eggplant, and top with tomato sauce, and sautéed vegetables, add a few hot peppers if you like it hot.
Serve the sandwiches with a salad for a delicious dinner. The sandwiches turned out to be so, so yummy. And, my husband loved them.
For dessert I wanted to do some homemade donuts -another real fav. of my guy, see the ones we made him for Father’s Day two years ago here . This time I decided to try jelly donuts, with a dough made in the bread maker.
They were really delicious, and felt like a really special treat. I did have a little trouble getting the jam into the middle. I started out using a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off, but it didn’t work very well, since it was so flimsy and the donut was quite crisp on the outside. I switched to a icing bag, with an icing tip attached. This worked better, since the tip was stiff, but I think there was still lots of room for improvement. A friend suggested some kind of food syringe, which I think would work really well. The kids really loved helping out by rolling the finished donuts in sugar, and made it a fun family activity.
Jelly Donuts in a Bread Machine (adapted from Dine and Dash)
- 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 pkg.) active dry yeast
- oil for frying
- sugar for dusting
- jam for filling
1. When making dough in a bread maker, the order the ingredients are added in is important. Add ingredients layer by layer, and do not mix. For the first layer in the bread maker, add milk, water, and beaten egg. Next add the shortening, sugar and salt. Finally add the flour, and the yeast as the last ingredient. Set bread maker to dough setting and start the machine.
2. When the dough is finished, roll out on a floured surface to about a 1/4 inch thick. Use a circle to cut out donuts. I made ours into mini size, which helps to ensure the centre is fully cooked. Lay donuts on a greased cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise around 30 min.
3. Fry donuts in a deep fryer at 350 degrees until golden brown, then flip over and cook over side. (You may have trouble frying these in a pot of oil, as the temperature is hard to regulate. If the outside is too brown and the middle isn’t cooked, your oil is too hot.) Drain fried donuts on paper towel. After slightly cooled, but while still warm, coat in sugar. We used three different sugars for ours: regular sugar, icing sugar, and vanilla sugar . The final step is to cut a small slit in the side and pipe in a small amount of jam, we used raspberry but you can use any kind of jam you like. Best eaten the same day -which frankly isn’t really a problem.
Really want to impress your husband or dad for Father’s day? Make him a dinner that consists of mostly fried foods. Unfortunately my Dad doesn’t live nearby, but if he did he’d be all over these donuts too. He’ll have to make do with the pictures this year. To my own Dad and amazing Husband, love you guys so, so much. May you and yours have a wonderful Father’s day celebration too, because life is what we make it, so we may as well make it a party!