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Archive for Father’s Day

TIP OF THE DAY: Beer Glasses ~ Stout Glasses


Stout has never tasted better. Photo courtesy Spielgau.


For decades, connoisseurs of fine wines and spirits have been able to enjoy them in glasses engineered by Riedel, to bring out every last nuance of flavor and aroma. If you’ve ever compared drinking a wine from the correct varietal-specific Riedel glass (Bordeaux, Brandy, Chardonnay, Tequila, etc.) and a generic wine glass, you know the results are amazing.

Last year right before Father’s Day, we featured the first variety-specific beer glass, an IPA glass from Spielgau, specially contoured to enhance the flavors and aromas of IPA beer.

This year, Spielgau—a 500 year-old company that was purchased by Riedel in 2004—adds the world’s first stout-specific glass. The company hopes to do for beer what its parent company has done for wine.

Stout is a heavier style of beer characterized dark color, malty flavor, and thick, foamy head. The wide mouth of the 21-ounce Spiegelau Stout glass is conducive to pouring a strong head, while the flared base helps focus the beer’s aromas, which can then emanate from the glass’s wide opening. (See the different types of beers.)


The stout glass was developed and tested with two American craft brewers of stout: Left Hand Brewing Company of Colorado and Rogue Ales of Oregon. A set of two glasses is $25 at Branded versions of the glass with brewery logos are available through and, respectively.



Hundreds of glasses pulled from Spiegelau’s glassware archive were tested against a variety of the brewers’ own stouts to find the glass shape that had the most profound effect on the aromas and flavor profiles of each stout beer. After narrowing the options to a handful of shapes, Spiegelau’s German factory created six final prototypes for testing all stouts, varying by several millimeters in height, bowl width, angle and capacity.

After many deliberations, Left Hand Brewing Company and Rogue Ales separately and unanimously determined that the Prototype “C” stout glass delivered the optimal taste, aroma and mouth feel to enhance stout beers. The winning shape has:

  • A voluminous, open bottom glass base that drives beer and aromatic foam upward into the main bowl.
  • A wider, conical bowl that significantly amplifies aromas and also provides superior flow to mid palate, improving the taste, mouth feel and finish of complex stout beers.
  • A stark, angular shape and open base that create dramatic visual cascading effect into the glass as the beer is poured.
  • Ultra-pure quartz material, that makes for unsurpassed clarity and flawless, true color presentation of stout beer.
    So the next great gift for a beer lover: Spielgau stout glasses with a selection of artisan stouts.



    The two “developer” breweries offer branded versions of the stout glass. Photo courtesy Proof Brewing Co.



    The darkest and heartiest of beers, a stout is top fermented and differentiated from a regular ale by its brown-black color, chocolate-coffee flavors and fuller body. This is achieved by brewing with barley that has been dark-roasted to the point of charring (think of espresso beans, compared to a medium-roast coffee). Stout is thus both darker and maltier than porter, has a more pronounced hop aroma, and may reach an alcoholic content of 6% to 7%.

    Stout originated in Ireland, where most traditional stouts are very rich, yet sharp and slightly bitter. Stout is well-paired with strong cheese and a spicy sausage such as andouille. There are different types of stout:

  • Chocolate stout is a sub-category that uses different malts for an even more pronounced chocolate flavor. These days, some brewers add actual chocolate into the brew, or brew over cacao beans, or both.
  • Coffee stout uses dark roasted malts to add a bitter coffee flavor. With the tandem growth of interest in microbrews and fine coffee, craft brewers have added specific ground beans to create, for example, “Breakfast Coffee Stout,” “Espresso Stout” and “Guatemalan Coffee Stout.”
  • Cream stout or milk stout is a style made sweeter with unfermentable lactose (milk sugar).
  • Dry stout or Irish stout is very dark and toasty or coffee-note style, exemplified by the world-famous Guinness.
  • Imperial stout, Russian stout or Russian imperial stout has more of a rich, roasted quality and a higher level of alcohol. These are potent beers that can be almost as thickly textured as liqueur. Examples include Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout at 7% alcohol and Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Chocolate Stout, at 8.7% alcohol. The alcohol content of imperial stouts can go to 9% and 10%.
  • Oatmeal stout adds oatmeal to the mash, which gives a smoothness and creaminess to the stout. It has more restrained flavors and less alcohol than Imperial stout. Samuel Smith makes a benchmark oatmeal stout, with notes of fruit, licorice, chocolate and toffee.


    BOOK: Kitchen Survival Guide For Men


    Save the males: Teach them to cook for
    themselves. Photo courtesy Save The Males


    Chef Gordon Smith has cooked for royalty, celebrities, executives, and Olympic athletes. Now, in his mission to “save the males,” he tells men what they need to know to survive on their own—by cooking good food at home instead of resorting to less-good-for-you fast food and take-out.

    His book, Save the Males: A Kitchen Survival Cookbook, is a fun gift for single men as well as husbands, significant others and other men who have to fend for themselves in the kitchen, whether full-time or on occasion. It’s a practical culinary foundation for the novice and a great refresher course for any home cook.

    (If you’re buying the book on, note that there’s another book named Save The Males, about relationships. Don’t let it confuse you. The one you want is co-authored by Reparata Mazzola and Gordon Smith.)

    The underlying goal of “Save the Males” is fun, as Chef Gordon teaches readers how to switch from prepared foods to foods they prepare. An empty kitchen goes from foreboding to a place fragrant with delicious meals they cook meals for themselves, family and friends.


    Chef Gordon Smith is a regular guy who knows from experience that cooking improves one’s health and appearance (eat better!) as well as one’s sex life (a home cooked dinner is romantic!).

    Cooking for oneself is not only empowering; it could lead to a new hobby—or at least, it could get the man in your life to prepare dinner more often.

    And that’s the reason to give copies to dads, grads, brothers, sons and friends.



    MOTHER’S DAY: Chocolate Crowns From Maggie Louise


    Chocolate for a queen. Photo courtesy
    Maggie Louise Confections.


    To show Mom that she’s your queen, treat her to these white chocolate crowns from chocolatier Maggie Louise, filled with chocolate sea salt caramel.

    Called “The Sophronia,” it was inspired by Maggie’s memories of the royal pomp and circumstance of London.

    The intricate crowns are made with El Rey’s famed Icoa white chocolate, then filled with hand-crafted chocolate caramel and dotted with Maldon sea salt.

    A six-piece box, beautifully packaged, is $15.00. Get yours at




    TIP OF THE DAY: Your Signature Steak & Eggs For Father’s Day

    Treat dad to homemade steak and eggs for Father’s Day. While most often a breakfast choice, the combination is equally appealing at lunch and dinner.

    Get creative with your preparation. Although a conventional recipe combines sirloin steak with fried eggs, select from the variety of steak cuts and egg styles to create a signature dish—and name it after Dad.

    Add a green vegetable to set off the plate (and the cholesterol), and pick a “signature condiment”: anything from chimichurri sauce or chutney to curried ketchup or homemade wild mushroom and red wine sauce.


    Sirloin is a popular cut; a petite sirloin makes individual portions easy. But if your budget allows, go for a New York strip or rib eye. You can employ other favorite cuts as well.


    A Father’s Day favorite. Swith the homemade potato chips for something green. Photo courtesy Peach Valley Cafe.



    A fancy turn: poached eggs atop filet mignon
    and mushroom gravy, topped with a frisée
    salad and fresh chives. Photo courtesy Epic
    Roadhouse | San Francisco.



    Fried eggs are popular, and the yolk provides a “sauce” for the steak—as do poached egg yolks. But you can serve any style of eggs that Dad prefers: scrambled, boiled, hard-cooked and sliced, a mushroom omelet, a frittata.

    Our signature steak and eggs recipe was inspired by the clever renderings of Chef Thomas Keller (his Oysters and Pearls is a sabayon of pearl tapioca with oysters and sturgeon caviar [caviar eggs are called pearls}):

    We designed our steak and eggs as a filet mignon served with boiled potatoes. The top of the potatoes is scooped out (with a small melon baller), filled with crème fraîche and topped with caviar (i.e., the eggs) and garnished with a hard-cooked quail egg, halved and garnished with chive mayonnaise.


    Most restaurants serve steak and eggs with a side of hash browns or other potatoes. But the dish needs more of a balance than that provided by a pile of fried beige simple carbs.

    So go for something green. We like:

  • Arugula, frisée or mesclun salad lightly dressed with vinaigrette
  • Asparagus, steamed and lightly tossed with butter and lemon zest
  • Snap peas, snow peas or zucchini, sautéed with garlic

    Nothing picks up a dish better than fresh herbs. Sprinkle your creation with a favorite herb or two: a basil chiffonade, chopped chives, cilantro, parsley or rosemary.



    FATHER’S DAY GIFT: Chocolate Golf Balls

    Fore! Well actually, each package contains
    three. Photo courtesy Edward Marc


    Looking for a special party favor for all the dads at your Father’s Day celebration?

    Check out these solid chocolate golf balls from artisan chocolatier Edward Marc.

    Clear packaging displays three golf balls atop faux grass, in your choice of dark, milk or white chocolate.

    Order at

    Some people we know have given the white chocolate golf balls as wedding favors!

    Not into golf?

    Give Dad a box of seven chocolate neckties: different designs in Dark Honey Coconut, Milk Peanut Butter Mousse Truffle, Milk Salted Caramel and White Mocha Truffle.



    Edward Marc has been an artisan chocolate shop since 1914. That year, a young Greek couple arrived in New York City to pursue the American dream. They settled in Pittsburgh, and set up shop making the same delicious handcrafted chocolates they made in Greece.

    This young couple—Charlie and Orania—became the great grandparents of today’s owners, as the business was handed down from generation to generation.

    The great grandchildren proudly continue the family tradition. We look forward to sampling the specialties of the company’s 100th anniversary next year.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Waffle Bar

    Hold the maple syrup: This Mexican Sunrise
    Waffle is topped with a fried egg and salsa.
    Photo courtesy Peach Valley Cafe.


    Father’s Day excitement: Turn brunch into a design-your-own waffle bar.

    We adapted this idea from Peach Valley Cafe, which has a variety of tasty waffles on the menu.

    Make your favorite waffles (we go for whole grain) and decide on your toppings, sweet or savory:


  • Chopped fresh herbs (basil, chives, dill, parsley)
  • Chopped green onions (scallions)
  • Grilled vegetable strips
  • Hot sauce
  • Salsa
  • Sautéed cherry tomatoes
  • Sour cream, Greek yogurt or crème fraîche


  • Bacon
  • Cheese: crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese, shredded Cheddar or mozzarella
  • Chicken/turkey
  • Chili
  • Eggs: fried, hard cooked/sliced, poached, scrambled
  • Grilled shrimp
  • Ham


  • Candies: chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, toffee bits
  • Cottage cheese flavored with cinnamon sugar
  • Crème fraîche, mascarpone, whipped cream
  • Crumbled Oreos or chocolate wafer cookies
  • Cooked fruit: cinnamon apple slices, peaches, chopped oranges
  • Dried fruit: blueberries, cherries, cranberries
  • Fresh fruit: berries
  • Ice cream
  • Marinated fruit: fresh or dried fruit marinated in Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
  • Nuts: almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts

    OMG: an Oreo waffle. Dad may pass on it, but kids will love it. Photo courtesy Peach Valley Cafe.


  • Brown sugar
  • Caramel and/or chocolate sauce
  • Chutney
  • Maple syrup and/or fruit syrup
  • Preserves
    Of course, you need to make a selection from all of these options. But if you have more to add to the list, let us know!



    FATHER’S DAY: Fun Dessert For Dad

    These cuties were created by pastry chef Dominique Ansel, proprietor of the Dominique Ansel Bakery in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City.

    The chef fills éclairs with a bourbon-chocolate creme, tops them with caramel glaze and decorates with a mini chocolate moustache and bow tie.

    You can melt chocolate and hand-pipe moustaches and bow ties onto wax paper; then use your chocolate art to decorate store-bought eclairs.

    Make extra chocolate decorations so you can decorate Father’s Day cupcakes, too.


    Decorate éclairs for a memorable Father’s Day dessert. Photo courtesy Dominique Ansel Bakery.


    The éclair is a finger-shaped pastry made of pâte à choux, filled with custard or whipped cream and topped with a glacé icing. It is known to have originated in France around the turn of the 19th century. Many food historians speculate that éclairs were first made by the great Marie-Antoine Carême (1874-1833), the first “celebrity chef,” considered the founder and architect of French haute cuisine. He is credited with the inventions of croquantes, hot soufflés and numerous other creations.

    “Éclair” is the French word for lightning. It is suggested that the pastry received its name because it glistens when coated with confectioner’s glaze. (We would suggest that it is because they are so popular, they disappear as quickly as lightning.)

    The Oxford English Dictionary traces the term “éclair” in the English language to 1861. The first known printed recipe for éclairs appears in the 1884 edition of the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book edited by Mrs. D.A. Lincoln.



    FATHER’S DAY RECIPE: Potato Chip & Beer Pancakes

    “Mancakes” are made with beer and potato
    chips. Photo courtesy


    This Father’s Day, treat Dad to a breakfast featuring some not-so-traditional pancakes, made with BBQ potato chips and beer.

    Created by Chef David Burke (one of our favorite creative culinary artists) for Samuel Adams Boston Lager, these easy-to-make “mancakes” may become an annual tradition in your family.



  • 4 ounces crushed BBQ potato chips
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 cup of Samuel Adams Boston Lager
  • 2 eggs

    1. MIX flour, baking soda, Boston Lager and eggs in a large mixing bowl

    2. HEAT a skillet on medium and pour batter into large circles. Let bubble.

    3. SPRINKLE potato chips on top of pancakes and flip. Cook until lightly browned

    5. SERVE with bacon or sausage and maple syrup.





    FATHER’S DAY: Dad-Themed Cupcakes

    Dad may have a favorite pie, cake or cookie that he really wants to enjoy on Father’s Day. If not, let Father’s Day cupcakes be the hit of the party.

    At Crumbs Bakery, Father’s Day cupcakes are garnished with chocolate moustaches. If you want to do the same at home, anchor the chocolate with a toothpick.

    Seeking additional inspiration, we looked at different themes for Father’s Day cupcakes and found cupcakes:

  • Covered with neckties of candy, icing or marzipan
  • Shaped like hamburgers
  • With “Gone Fishing” themes (you can decorate cupcakes with Swedish Fish)
  • With chocolate golf balls or entire golf greens

    Father’s Day cupcake. Photo courtesy

  • Sports cupcakes with tops decorated to look like the baseballs, billiard balls, footballs, soccer balls, etc. (Crumbs has a selection of these as well).
  • With stars—icing, marzipan, candy, etc.—and “DAD” lettering
    You can bake from scratch or buy cupcakes and decorate them. A stroll through a candy store will give you more ideas; or head to your browser and type in “Father’s Day Cupcakes.”



    TIP OF THE DAY: Reinvent Eggs Benedict With These Variations

    Since it was invented in the 1860s, Eggs Benedict has been a posh addition to the breakfast-lunch-brunch menu. It was created by the chef at a tony New York restaurant, Delmonico’s, for a wealthy customer, Mrs. LeGrand Benedict (here’s the history of Eggs Benedict).

    The original recipe topped two toasted English muffin halves with round-cut slices of ham, poached eggs; and Hollandaise sauce. Over the years, the more conveniently-shaped Canadian bacon replaced the trimmed ham.

    The ham substitutions continued, gaining momentum among creative chefs in modern times. Why not create your own reinvention of Eggs Benedict for Mother’s Day or other special occasion? Select your options from these categories of ingredients:

    English Muffin Substitute

  • Buttermilk biscuits
  • Corn cakes
  • Croissants
  • Crumpets
  • Portabello mushrooms (recipe)
  • Potato pancakes
  • Rustic country bread
  • Whole wheat English muffins

    Classic Eggs Benedict. Photo courtesy American Egg Board.


    Note: You need a type of bread that will soak up the egg yolk. Pita, for example, doesn’t work here. Steer clear of regular pancakes and waffles. They take what should be an elegant dish to McGriddles territory.

    Ham/Bacon Substitute

  • Artichoke hearts, asparagus, avocado, broccoli rabe, grilled portabella mushrooms (recipe), grilled tomato slice, creamed or wilted spinach
  • Corned beef hash (recipe)
  • Crab cakes
  • Lobster tail, shrimp, scallops (alone or in combination)
  • Pâté de foie gras
  • Poached chicken
  • Poached salmon
  • Prosciutto or serrano ham
  • Smoked salmon or gravlax
  • Steak tartare
    What about everyday bacon strips? Eggs Benedict should be a special dish. By all means serve poached eggs with bacon—just not on an English muffin with Hollandaise sauce.

    Similarly, fried eggs, sausage and gravy should remain their fine casual selves, and not be adapted into a Benedict-style variation.


    Portabella Eggs Benedict, a vegetarian
    option. Photo courtesy Mushroom Council.


    Hollandaise Sauce Substitute

  • Béchamel Sauce, a white sauce that can be flavored with just about anything (recipe)
  • Dill Sauce (béchamel with dill or other herb/herb mix)
  • Mornay Sauce (béchamel with cheese)
  • Mushroom Sauce
  • Sriracha-Accented Hollandaise Sauce (spicy)
  • Truffled Hollandaise Sauce
    Consider how you can flavor a basic béchamel to match the ham substitute. For example, add dill to the sauce for lobster, horseradish and lemon zest for crab cakes.

  • Baby arugula
  • Basil, chiffonade
  • Caviar
  • Chives, snipped
  • Microgreens


    The term, a combination of breakfast and lunch, was coined in the U.K. in 1895 to describe “a Sunday meal for Saturday-night carousers.” This first reference in print was an article in Hunter’s Weekly (source).

    Brunch eliminated the need to rise early for breakfast. Instead of the conventional post-church early Sunday dinner, the new meal, served around noon, started with a course of toast, marmalade, tea. coffee and other breakfast foods before moving on to some heartier fare.

    And the rest is delicious history.



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