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Hey there; it’s me, Brian. I am the one whose 2nd job is to eat the serving Mel just photographed for basically every single recipe posted on this blog. I like that role. Can you blame me? Mel asked me to do a quick guest post today on Father’s day gifts and grub. Something about her not exactly being qualified to give advice for Father’s Day or something like that.

I am going to go out on a limb here and make a prediction that most of you reading this right now are women. And that most of you have received a gift from the man in your life that was clearly more for him than it was for you.  Like the rifle my dad gifted my mom years ago…or the ATV that Mel’s dad gifted her mom…or the fishing vest I bought for Mel.  (Really Mel, I swear you said you needed one.)

So, in an effort to keep Father’s Day gift giving right on track but also keep it cooking focused (since this is a cooking blog and all), I am going to tip you off on a few food related gift ideas for the father/husband/man in your life that will please even the least cooking savvy of men and that you will secretly be thrilled about too.  Seriously, he will think that you bought it just for him!

camp chef stove
These Camp Chef Stoves really are awesome. They are made in northern Utah and are quite popular there, but I have found that not many people in my neck of the woods have seen them. Every time I pull mine out at a campsite, reunion, or large church function, the men gather around and drool over it. I was one of those men…until I got one of my own. Here’s the kicker though, Mel probably uses this more than I do. She has used it for canning, making applesauce, and making dutch oven meals without briquettes or making a fire. There are also a number of accessories for them (carrying cases, grill boxes, pizza ovens, griddles, etc) that make this a very versatile “manly” gift.

microwave popcorn bowl
Nothing beats homemade popcorn (microwave bagged kind doesn’t count), but I can’t stand the counter-top popper that shoots popcorn all over the kitchen and only pops half of the kernels. This little gem gives the best of both worlds…more popped kernels, faster, less mess, and more convenient. The one we have was actually a gift for Mel from the boys this past Mother’s Day, but I have to confess I would have loved it equally as much for Father’s Day!

food smoker
Ok…so the truth is that I don’t own one of these babies (hint, hint). I love a good brisket or rack of ribs. But did you realize (ahem… Mel…ahem) that you can use them to bake bread and pies outside in the summertime when it is too hot to fire up the oven? Think about it ladies. Get him a smoker and your man/dad will practically beg you to let him handle the food for the next decade of BBQ’s. PLUS…while the food is smoking, he’ll still have time to do the yard work before the company shows up. (Sorry I had to throw that in guys, but if you get a smoker, you’ll forgive me for throwing you under the bus about the yard work!)

chip zel pop
If none of the above strike your fancy or budget, how can you go wrong with this stuff? Potato chips, pretzels, caramel corn – all drizzled with caramel and chocolate. That’s like Father’s Day all wrapped up in a bucket right there.

Now before I sign off of my official first guest post ever, let me leave you with three Father’s Day  meal options that are my personal favorites and would be great to serve for the Father’s Day celebration at your house:

pork loinBrown Sugar Spiced Pork Loin: my mouth is watering just thinking about this.  Serve this up with some Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Mashed Potatoes and put the exclamation point on this meal with a light Coconut Tres Leches Cake.

fajitasThe Best Chicken Fajitas: these have been my birthday request for 2 years straight.  The flavor of the chicken is truly one of a kind.  Stuffed with peppers, onions and mushrooms…no need for a side, but the Cilantro Lime Rice is a nice compliment to this meal (and so would a simple fruit salad).  Then, top it all off with an incredible Choco-Flan.

tilapia
Honey Lime Tilapia with Orange Cashew Rice are two recipes that were meant to go together.  Killer combo…no other explanation.  This is a pretty light meal, so go big or go home for the dessert.  I recommend the one and only Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake.

This post has made me hungry.  I am off to the kitchen to make a chocolate turtle waffle cookie ice cream sundae that hasn’t been posted yet, but when you see the picture, think of me. I ate that one.

46 Responses to Father’s Day Guide: Gifts & Grub! {by Brian}

  1. Hi Brian! N.3 is the best one, for all of us, sort of like your fishing vest… And Mel, I like how you dodged this post girl!

  2. Tiffany says:

    Love this post – Thanks for some fathers day gift ideas, I am still struggling about what to get Kurt. The popcorn bowl might qualify as a yes!!! :D

  3. Teresa R. says:

    Thanks for the tips. Great post!

  4. Charlotte Moore says:

    Cute post!!! Smart man too!!!

  5. Daniela says:

    Loved this post! Made me chuckle :)

  6. amanda says:

    Wow, Quite the talented couple! I didn’t know Brian was such a writer :) great post, I’m loving the camp stove idea!

  7. Laurel says:

    That was a fantastic post!!
    P.s. chocolate turtle waffle cookie ice cream sundae? Get that up pronto!! Wow.

  8. tom says:

    As one of the few guys who read the blog I can give. your gift list a strong second. The meals sound good too, but I would have to cook them myself. My wife is a good cook but very utilitarian in her recipe choices.

  9. Allyson says:

    So fun to hear a post from you, Brian! Great ideas, thanks! Miss you guys!!

  10. Jamie says:

    What a great post! I think my husband would love every single thing on that list. In fact, I may have to return what I got him and start over. Can you please do this again next year? Thanks for the ideas!

  11. Jules says:

    Great job Brian!!! I agree with you with the camp stove, we have one too but I like yours better it has side tables!!! My husband is the same with the smokers grills…new one comes out has to have that one. We have an orion smoker and every time we pull it out at the campgrounds in kewaunee you can smell it halfway around the campground and all we here is wow..what is that…where did you get that!! Nothing like the smell of mesquite smokin away!!!

  12. Mariann says:

    Good job Brian. I would love to give my husband 3 of the 4 gifts above and since he leaves even the outside cooking to me, I’d be the one using them!! Love your meal suggestions too. You two sound like a great couple!

  13. Kim in MD says:

    I’ve been MIA for a few months, and found some “me” time today to catch up on my favorite food blogs. Of course, your blog is the first that I am visiting today, Mel! Oh, how I have missed your beautiful blog! :-) I love this guest post by Brian! I hope Brian will make this a yearly Father’s Day tradition and post his perspective about Christmas gifts, too. My husband is hard to shop for, and I personally love each one of these gift ideas. I also love Brian’s favorite meal suggestions. Great job, Brian!

  14. Katie says:

    The Camp Chef stove is a really good gift idea. We LOVE ours and it gets a ton of use!

  15. Jennifer Smith says:

    I LOVED THIS POST BRIAN!!! Well Done you!

  16. Brenda says:

    I think it is so fun and supportive when husbands’ post on their better halfs blogs (just kidding). I booked marked the camp stove and smoker.. great gifts and thanks for the heads up. Happy Fathers Day too.
    Thanks Mel for all the great recipes and words of wisdom. I have subscribed to your blog for quite awhile and I really appreciate every post (even if all I do is stare at the wonderful pics.) Thank You!

  17. Angela says:

    Cute post! Your husband writes as well as you do! Love the popcorn popper idea!

  18. Sarah D. says:

    This was a great post! Thanks Brian!

  19. wendy says:

    Thanks for sharing Brian! Great post!

  20. Tahnycooks says:

    I’ve needed this for ideas! Thanks, Brian this is so helpful! Great food too!

  21. Such a great list for the Dad’s in my life! Thanks, Brian!

  22. Thanks so much for the wonderful ideas! I never know what to get my husband and dad, but now I do!

  23. Renee says:

    I have never seen the popcorn popper. We have two electric ones but the microwave one would be awesome. Thanks!

  24. Heather says:

    Love the post! I wish I could get mine a camp chef! Although since I’ve been asking for one for about 6 years I am thinking he’ll see through it. The smoker however… and I didn’t know it baked! ;)

  25. Father’s and husbands are my two favorite kinds of men. Especially when the two are combined into one guy. What a cute post. Your husband seems every bit as nice and fun as you, Mel! Love the suggestions and I’m going to have to seriously consider one of those menus. Happy Father’s Day!

  26. Sarah S. says:

    Thanks, Brian! I enjoyed that so much!! What a wonderful couple you two are.

  27. Sheila in PA says:

    What a great blog! It just gets better and better. Love that you have officially made this blog “a family project”. This family team brings to us much insight, knowledge, humor (think “adventurous eaters” pictures), soooo yummy recipes, and great encouragement. Okay, Brian, you have convinced me that since I am married to the most wonderful man in the world . . .his life will not be complete without a food smoker. :-)

  28. Kathy says:

    Great post! The meal ideas are great! I often have a hard time knowing what to serve with a main dish.

  29. Rebecca Roe Hale says:

    Oh my gosh, Brian. I totally want your second job!

  30. bobbie anding says:

    Great job, Brian!! Thanks for your input. Both of you have a great sense of humor. Happy Father’s Day!

  31. Kristi says:

    I love posts like these where I can find new things I wouldn’t have known about other wise.

  32. Sure love the Camp Chef Stove and Smoke Vault. Showed your post to my husband and his response was, “OK – which one do you want?” HA! One question I have is do you have to clean out the Smoke Vault before you do baking, and how easy is cleaning? What a clever idea to use the chef stove for late summer canning.. It was fun to read a post from Brian. This was a perfect topic for his debut!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Linda – I think there must be some type of “cleaning” you’d have to do to get the smoke flavor out if you are going to bake, say, cookies or bread. But I’m not completely sure!

  33. debi says:

    What a great post! What fun and lightheartedness …. we need more of that these days! I’m sure whatever Mel and the kids give you Brian you will love b/c it’s from THEM. Happy Father’s Day to you!

  34. Emily says:

    Love that you got to post Brian! Great ideas. It’s nice to finally “meet” Mel’s other half :)

  35. Pam says:

    What a great post! Thanks Brian – such a fan of your family! :)

  36. Pam says:

    PS – I just ordered to of those microwave popcorn bowls…hopefully you are getting some sort of kickback on that! ;)

  37. Ursala says:

    Mel – what do you used to season the popcorn when you guys make it? Do you put anything in the microwave bowel or wait until it’s all popped? I’m thinking of getting this for my dad, but he likes buttery popcorn…thoughts?

    • Mel says:

      Ursala – I’m a butter and salt kind of girl (although we sprinkle nutritional yeast on it a lot too which sounds gross but it isn’t like baking yeast at all). I don’t put anything in the microwave bowl until it’s done popping but then we drizzle with butter and salt.

  38. Barbara says:

    Any gift that involves cooking in any way and my dear Hubs would know that I bought it for me. I did buy a used smoker once which he loves having meat from, but it is worn out and needs replacing. I have to save up. For a long time. (Social Security doesn’t stretch well.) Also we need a new grill for me to cook on, and I like your camp stove, Brian! The Hubster is the best at what he does, but that never involves cooking; he is a mean clean-up artist after the fact, though, no matter how messy I get, so I don’t mind a bit. We’ve enjoyed many of Mel’s meals here, and I’m looking forward to many more, as I’m sure you are. I do appreciate the input regarding Father’s Day gifts, and I hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day with your beautiful family! Mel, bring the boy around more often; it’s good to get advice from the brawny side! Dessert. I’m thinking dessert, but it has to be sugar-free……

  39. ladytick says:

    The popcorn popper was a success for Father’s Day. Thanks for the idea. Found Amish hull-free popcorn–really good.

  40. Cathy Williams says:

    Great post

  41. Mame says:

    “This post has made me hungry. I am off to the kitchen to make a chocolate turtle waffle cookie ice cream sundae that hasn’t been posted yet, but when you see the picture, think of me. I ate that one.” <- I just laughed out loud. I think I want the smoker …. for mother's day nest year!!

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