A picnic with dad

Dads are a funny breed.

Tough on the outside, always encouraging you to do your best, but there for you when you fell short; fathers are there for it all. This sunny June weekend, it’s all about the number one man in your life. Even if you have no plans yet, it’s not too late to do something special. It just takes a little creativity.

It’s been said the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Coordinate a picnic in the park. Put together sandwiches, snacks and drinks along with a football and soccer ball. Head with a blanket to your favorite park or to the beach. Remember to bring the sunscreen and maybe fill your iPod with tunes from his era for the drive. A barbecue at home could be just as much fun. Remember, he gets control of the tunes regardless of your negative thoughts about Bon Jovi.

Want to make something special for the outing? First, all lunches are made better with a note for the special guest, dad. Also, here are a few quick ideas to add a personal touch to the outing.

BLT wraps
1 pound thick sliced bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 (12 inch) flour tortillas (you can also use spinach, wheat, whatever you prefer)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 tomato, diced

Cooking Instructions
1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain and set aside.
2. Place 1 tortilla on a microwave-safe plate. Sprinkle tortilla with 1/4 cup cheese. Cook in microwave 1 to 2 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Immediately top with 1/4 of the bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Fold sides of tortilla over, then roll up. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut each wrap in half before serving.

Greek Chicken Pasta
(which can be served cold as well)
1 pound uncooked pasta
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast meat – cut into bite-size pieces
1 (14 ounce) can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 lemons, wedged, for garnish

Cooking Instructions
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion, and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear, about 5 to 6 minutes.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add the artichoke hearts, tomato, feta cheese, parsley, lemon juice, oregano and cooked pasta. Stir until heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with lemon wedges.

Potato wedges
(to go with your wraps, of course)
2 tsp. olive oil
5 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Cooking Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with the olive oil.
2. Brush potato wedges with butter, and roll in bread crumbs. Place wedges on prepared baking sheet.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and turn wedges; cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender.


Published by Chef Gigi Gaggero, Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

Professional Chef, Two Time Award-Winning Book Author, Former Academic Director from Le Cordon Bleu, and Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

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