Dinners with Dad – Pat Riley

My parents both worked in restaurants when I was little. My dad worked days at a bar in Mashpee (while he was going back to school at Bridgewater State), and my mom waited tables at a seasonal fine dining restaurant in Hyannis at night. My Mom would drop me off at the bar at Bobby Byrnes in Mashpee Commons, and I would chill with the day drinkers while snacking on plain chicken wings (English style, Bobby Byrnes still makes them and they’re awesome) and steak fries until my dad’s shift was over. We’d close out his register and head home. During the summer when our evenings were outside basketball, inside football, and other things my mom probably wouldn’t have approved of, our meals would largely be this:

Really Good Burgers

80/20 Ground Beef
Bread Crumbs
Worcestershire Sauce
BBQ Sauce (my more recent addition)

Combine all ingredients and form into patties. Grill and top w/American Cheese

Fantastic Pasta Salad

1 pound rotini pasta
One or two eggs
Brown Mustard
Paprika (if you’re feeling adventurous)
Dill Pickles (very important)
Cherry Tomatoes (if you want)
Chopped carrots (if you want)
Spoonful (or 2) of mayonnaise

Cook pasta to taste, hard-boiling the egg(s) in the water with the pasta. Drain the pasta. Chop the hard-boiled egg(s). In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Chill and serve, unless you’re really hungry, and then just eat it right away.

Beating the Clock – Libby Kozak

Two of my biggest memories of my dad when I was growing up are watching sports together and making his mother’s banana bread recipe. Many was the time that we’d hop up at halftime, run upstairs to the kitchen, mix up the batter, and throw it in the oven. By the end of the next half we’d have warm banana bread. Seeing how fast we could get it in the oven was half the fun. Unfortunately, that also meant that we often had results that were as disappointing as whatever game we were watching. But we always had a lot of laughs along the way.

Nanna’s Banana Bread

1-3/4 cup flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1-1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 very ripe bananas, mashed (approx. 1 cup)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Cream shortening. With mixer still running, add sugar and continue to cream well. Add eggs and beat well. Adding about 1/3 of each at a time, alternate adding the sifted ingredients and the mashed banana, beating well each time. Pour into a buttered loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes or until done. Do not overcook.

Dad’s Specialty – Andrew Bauer

This is pretty much the only thing my dad cooks. If Mom isn’t making breakfast on the weekends, or if we need dinner during the week, it’s always Dad’s omelets. But it always comes out really good.

Sure-to-Satisfy Omelet

3 eggs
Milk (just enough but not too much)
American cheese (take the plastic off)
Ham (rip it into small pieces)

Mix eggs and milk in a bowl. Put some butter in the pan. Pour the eggs into the pan. Keep mixing while it cooks. Ham and cheese go on at the end.

Mom’s-Away Meals – Bill Greider

Luckily, my Mom didn’t go out of town often, as she was the main cook in our household. However, when she did go out of town, there was always something my siblings and I could count on: Greider Goop, my dad’s famous remix of PB & Jelly. This was usually followed by Ring Dings or some Hostess treat for dessert. My dad’s cooking has since stepped up as he’s now cooking two to three times a week. But the three of us will always remember the days when we relied on a helping of Greider Goop to satisfy our hunger.

Greider Goop

1 cup of peanut butter
2 tablespoons of jelly
1 sleeve of saltines

In a large mixing bowl, combine peanut butter and jelly and mix until they are well blended.

Using a butter knife, spread some of the mixture across a saltine cracker. Top that with another saltine. You now have a Greider Goop snack. Repeat until you are full.

Recipe should feed an adult and 3 kids.

It Was Good Then – Michelle McKay

I have many memories of my dad eating and asking us kids to make him a liverwurst sandwich. It was on white bread with mayo, lettuce and tomato. As a kid, I actually used to eat those and liked them, too…yuck now!!

Three Ingredients But Tons of Taste – Frankie Smith

This is so easy, and so incredibly good. My dad’s tip: triple the recipe because you can get a 3-pound package of kielbasa from BJs.

Beer Can Kielbasa

1 pound of kielbasa
1 can of beer (lager or ale)
1 cup of brown sugar

Cut the kielbasa into bite-sized round pieces. Boil the beer. Stir in the brown sugar. Add the kielbasa. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until the beer is evaporated and a thick syrup appears.

Let cool and serve! Perfect toothpick snack

Left For Me But Not Leftover – Danielle Romano

We don’t cook much in my house, and this is my dad’s go-to recipe. He’ll often make it and leave it for me for when I get home from work or the gym.

Turkey Tacos

1 pound ground turkey
Peppers and onions, chopped
1 can of black beans
Trader Joe’s taco mix
Trader Joe’s can of corn
½ bottle Stop & Shop hot salsa

In a frying pan, cook the ground turkey until done. Drain the liquid. Add all of the other ingredients and enjoy!