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Food Ventures

Unique Recipes and Book Gifts for Father’s Day

By Ann Hattes
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The Total Inventor’s Manual combines practical business advice with hands-on instructional activities, inspirational interviews, anecdotes, plus profiles on winning inventors of items like the space suit glove, heart stent, and digital camera.

For Father’s Day give dad and granddad some varied reading for their leisure time, and serve unique recipes in their honor. If either enjoys wine, Rosé All Day (Abrams Books) offers a history of this trendy beverage, exploring pink wine by region and highlighting those that stand apart.

For the innovator, publisher Weldon Owen offers The Total Inventor’s Manual which combines practical business advice with hands-on instructional activities, inspirational interviews, anecdotes, plus profiles on winning inventors of items like the space suit glove, heart stent, and digital camera.

For the traveler and outdoor adventurer there’s Mountain Man: John Colter, the Lewis & Clark Expedition, and the Call of the American West (Countryman Press). The book is one of a new series, American Grit, bringing true tales of endurance, survival, and ingenuity from the annals of American history. Legendary Colter explored the wilderness of the Yellowstone and Grand Teton region and author David W. Marshall brings his extraordinary story to life by retracing his footsteps.

For a behind-the-scenes look at a legendary eatery celebrating its 20th anniversary there’s At Balthazar The New York Brasserie at the Center of the World (Gallery Books). Author Reggie Nadelson explores the history of French brasseries and downtown Manhattan, including favorite recipes from Balthazar’s kitchen like Soft Shell Crab BLT, Grilled Cheese a la Truffle and Short Rib Daube. Why not try Carmelized Banana Peanut Tartine for a sweet start to Father’s Day?

Best of Bridge (B of B) is an iconic Canadian brand with the motto of offering “simple recipes with gourmet results.” Best of Bridge The Family Slow Cooker (Robert Rose Inc.) focuses on slow cooking for busy people with convenient recipes from snacks and comfort food to veggie sides and desserts for family or entertaining.

In A Mouthful of Stars: A Constellation of Favorite Recipes from My World Travels (Andrews McMeel Publishing), Kim Sunée shares recipes full of flavor and tradition from places like South Korea, North Africa, Paris, Norway, and the southern United States.


Caramelized Banana Peanut Tartine

(Courtesy of At Balthazar, Gallery Books).

Serves 1.


1 slice of country-style bread

3 tablespoons Nutella

1 whole banana, sliced into thin, coin-like pieces

Regular granulated sugar

2 tablespoons peanuts, chopped and toasted

2 mint leaves, finely chopped into a chiffonade (stack the mint leaves, roll them, and slice into long thin strips)


Toast the bread. Once the bread slice is toasted, spread it with an even layer of Nutella. Arrange the banana slices so they overlap like fish scales on top of the Nutella layer.

Dust the banana with granulated sugar and caramelize very carefully with a hand-held brulée torch. If you don’t own a torch, you may use the broiler of your oven set on low, watching carefully to ensure that it does not over-caramelize or burn.

Garnish with the chopped peanuts and finish with the mint chiffonade.


Sweet-And-Spicy Wings

(Courtesy of Best of Bridge The Family Slow Cooker, 

Serves 8 or more.


2 garlic cloves, minced

¾ cup sugar

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons sriracha

3 pounds chicken wings, split

½ teaspoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons water

Chopped fresh basil, cilantro or mint (optional)


Combine garlic, sugar, fish sauce and sriracha in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add wings and toss to coat. Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or until wings are cooked through but not actually falling off the bone.

In a small saucepan, combine cornstarch and water. Ladle 1 cup liquid out of the slow cooker and into the pan. Whisk, then bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 minute or until thickened (watch carefully, as it boils up quickly).

Preheat the broiler and set a rack 8 inches below it. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer wings to the foil and arrange in a single layer. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, turning once, until crisped to your liking. Pour the thickened sauce over the wings and toss to coat. Broil for another 1 to 2 minutes, watching carefully, until wings and sauce are sizzling.

Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with basil (if using).

Variation-Honey Garlic Wings:

Increase the garlic to 5 or 6 cloves, replace the sugar with an equal amount of liquid honey. Replace the fish sauce with 1 & ½ tablespoons soy sauce. Omit the sriracha and add ¼ teaspoon salt to the sauce. Serve sprinkled with chopped green onions and sesame seeds in place of the fresh herbs.


Avocado-Almond Ice Cream

(Courtesy of Mouthful of Stars, Andrews McMeel Publishing).

Makes 1 quart.


3 ripe avocados (about 12 ounces), halved, pitted, and peeled

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice or orange juice

1 & ½ cups whole milk

½ cup sugar

1 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons almond extract (optional)


Purée the avocados, lemon juice, milk, sugar, and cream in a blender or food processor until smooth. Stir in the almond extract, if using. Chill, covered, for 1 hour. Process in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This is best served soft; if freezing for later, let soften before serving. The ice cream will keep stored in an airtight container in the freezer for 1 week.


Ann Hattes has over 25 years experience writing about both travel and food for publications both in the US and internationally. A senior living in Wisconsin, she’s a member of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association and the Midwest Travel Writers Association.

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