Teaching Dad to Cook

I’ve spent the last week in small town Ontario with my family, celebrating Christmas, getting a little spoiled, and enjoying the fresh snowfall. But a definite highlight this past week has been cooking with my dad. Before I left Vancouver last week, my friends gifted me with Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and suddenly I knew what I had to do: teach Dad to cook with recipes from this most anticipated cookbook.

dutch babyOur adventure began with Gingerbread Dutch Babies. This photo does not begin to do justice to its tastiness. Jess was actually the one to introduce me to the deliciousness of Dutch Babies, back in our early days of friendship. The delicious mix of spices took this breakfast classic to a whole new level.

 

 

galetteThe next day we put our skills to use with a Roasted Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette for our extended family Christmas dinner. Even though there was no fontina cheese to be found in this little town and I had to improvise with a rather questionable mix of Monterey Jack and parmesan, it was a hit, with cousins scraping the crumbs off the serving dish.

 

 

blintzMy dad has a deep love for sweet potatoes, so our next recipe to tackle was Sweet Potato Blintzes. Neither of us had ever had blintzes before, but our family is no stranger to thin Dutch pancakes, and this was basically stuffing those with a sweet mix of yams and cottage cheese and topping it with fresh cranberry sauce and sour cream. Yum!

 

 

onion toastsOur final recipe to try was French Onion Toasts. Deb describes them as “portable soup” and I’d say this is an apt description. They were a tasty addition to the Christmas smorgasbord that accompanied our family viewing of Home Alone on VHS.

 

 

 

 

All in all, I’d say it was a delicious week of new recipes. And I’m only getting started with this fantastic cookbook. Plus, I’m pretty sure this is only the beginning of Dad’s kitchen domination.

 

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Apple Cider Caramels

I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but I don’t think I’ve ever made anything more crowd-pleasing. Actually, I’m going to toot Deb’s horn over at Smitten Kitchen for providing the recipe and my dear friend Lauren’s for insisting that we make them. But if you are looking for a special treat to bring to one of your many Christmas functions or a little gift for friends or colleagues, Apple Cider Caramels are the way to go!