"I'd much rather have something you made than a tie," my Dad always used to say when I'd ask him what he wanted for Father's Day. My handmade cards aren't much better today than when I was, oh...3, but I'm still making things for Dad. And now, I've found some things he actually loves, uses and looks forward to.
No, I'm not referring to my watercolors or popsicle-stick sculptures.
This weekend I am making him healthy gifts from the kitchen, such as granola mixes, spice rubs and marinades. I'm going to pack them in pretty glass jars or containers, print out the gift/recipe tags that come with the recipes on EatingWell.com and voila! I will also give him a gift he can use all year: a cookbook and a share in a local CSA. So, here's my shopping list. Feel free to steal, share and copy! (Just don't tell my dad.)
I'm mixing him up a batch of Maple-Nut Granola and Blueberry-Pecan Pancake Mix and packing it in a ball jar with a pretty ribbon. Then I'll download one of the EatingWell "Happy Father's Day" gift tags with the recipe right on the tag. (Get the recipes and print the gift tags here.)
Farmers' markets make food shopping fun and, in fact, much healthier. EatingWell in Season: The Farmers' Market Cookbook will inspire Dad to use the freshest ingredients of the season with guides to shopping, prepping and preserving 20 or more fresh ingredients. If you want to splurge, buy him a share in a CSA (community supported agriculture).
Of course, the thing I think dads love the most is if you make them dinner (well, my dad says he likes my cooking...but then again he also said he liked those little pipe-cleaner figurines I made). Try one of the recipes from our Father's Day Collection, such as easy Chile & Beer-Braised Brisket (which you can make ahead) or Barbecued Raspberry-Hoisin Chicken with corn on the cob and a salad.