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Father’s Day Dinner – 5 Grill Favorites

Father’s Day, falling as it does on a temperate mid-June Sunday, is the perfect time to get out the grill. No matter who is handling the chimney starter, these five recipes for a grill-centric meal will make for a delicious and special Father’s Day celebration.

Five Grill Favorites for Father’s Day

Dad will absolutely love these delicious yet healthy Grilled Turkey Burgers from Bon Appetit. Made with cheddar and smoky aioli (a kind of homemade garlicky mayonnaise), these burgers don’t skimp on flavor, seasoned with cumin, coriander and smoked paprika (I recommend the incredibly flavorful Spanish paprika from Penzeys).

Photo by Nigel Cox for Bon Appetit

Photo by Nigel Cox for Bon Appetit

Is your dad more of a rib guy?  Father’s Day is a special occasion, after all. Recently I picked up some country-style ribs to try as an alternative to our bone-in barbecue favorites slathered with sauce.

In its recipe for Barbecued Country-Style Ribs, Cook’s Country has some excellent tips on how to keep the cooking even between the white and dark meat.

From Cook's Country

From Cook’s Country

“We brined the ribs so that the white meat would stay juicy and pounded the ribs to an even ¾-inch thickness to “break down” the fattier dark meat,” writes the Cook’s Country test kitchen. “As for flavor, a double layer of barbecue spice and sauce and a quick smoke on the grill turned these ribs into something to sing about.”

Whatever meat you put over the coals, combine it with Charros, or smoky Tex-Mex beans. Steve Raichlen has a recipe for these “soulful, spicy pinto beans” seasoned with onion, bay and cloves, finished with bacon, jalapenos and fresh cilantro.

Charros from Primal Grill

“Don’t be surprised by the soupy consistency of the beans,” Raichlen writes. “Charros are always served with lots of flavorful broth.”

Spring has been slow to come to our part of the country, so we’re still in asparagus mode. Luckily, it’s a one of my favorite things to grill and an early summer favorite.

For Father’s Day I might dress them up with this Gourmet recipe for Grilled Pancetta-Wrapped Asparagus by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez.

photo by Ditte Isager

Photo by Ditte Isager

For a decadent and special finish to your Father’s Day celebration, try grilling peaches.

The first time I ever attempted the recipe below to make caramel, I meant to drizzle it over ripe, juicy grilled peaches, a finishing touch to a dinner party with friends.

I followed the New York Times recipe for Grilled-Peach Sundaes With Salted Bourbon-Caramel Sauce almost to the letter, though in my nervousness about the temperature, I pulled the caramel before it got really brown.

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

I didn’t make that mistake the second time. When it got really, well, caramelized, this syrup was easily the best “candy topping” I’ve ever made. Heck, for a simpler dessert, ditch the grilled peaches and just make this caramel. Spoon it on store bought ice cream and it’ll be the best dessert dad’s had all year.

One final note: If dad loves to grill, one of my favorite cookbooks for cooking on the fire is Weber’s excellent “Way to Grill” (Sunset Books, 2009). It’s full of big color photographs, step-by-step illustrated demonstrations and practical advice. At about $17 on Amazon, it’s a Father’s Day gift that begs to be paired with some grilling tools and/or a homemade meal from you.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads and Dad stand-ins who make all the difference in our lives!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

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One Ham Bone, Three Great Soup Recipes

Just like I’ll fight (nicely, of course) the other cooks at the Thanksgiving table for possession of that flavorful turkey carcass — such a great way to make stock — I do the same at Easter for the ham bone.

These rainy April days are the perfect time to take that ham bone out of the freezer and put it to good use for some great tasting and heart warming comfort food.

Bean soups especially benefit from a long simmer with a ham bone, whether or not there’s much meat left on it. If there is, that’s just a bonus; slice it off at the end and add it to the soup.

Allow at least two hours for each of these soups, and know that they’re just as good reheated for lunch.

SPLIT PEA SOUP

One of my favorite spring soups is split pea, that hearty staple, even better when it’s studded with bits of ham. Ina Garten’s recipe for split pea soup, taken from the original Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, is a simple and delicious way to start.

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To use your ham bone in this recipe, submerge it in the soup during the last 40 minutes of cooking. Depending how much meat comes off  the bone, you may be able to reuse it if you refrigerate it between uses.

NEW ORLEANS RED BEANS AND RICE

Red Beans & Rice

John Besh’s beautiful, coffee table-worthy cookbook, “My New Orleans,” is 384 engaging pages of stories, recipes and Southern inspiration.

I first made this fragrant pot of red beans and rice on Super Bowl Sunday, with the justification that the game was being played in New Orleans, and so red beans and rice were perfectly appropriate.

This simple recipe starts with the trinity (green pepper, celery, onion) and gets flavor not only from smoked ham hocks, but also from bacon fat, cayenne pepper and, of course, Louisiana-made Tabasco sauce. The red beans freeze well, too.

HAM BONE SOUP

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Everything is better with bacon, and that includes Melissa Clark’s simple ham bone soup, adapted from an old Junior League cookbook. According to Clark’s piece in The New York Times, “The soup was simple: boil a bone with beans and a bay leaf, and dinner was done.”

Add a green salad and some crusty bread and you have a wonderful meal to share and savor!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Five Fresh Ideas

The turkey has been cooked and carved. The mashed potatoes are packed away, the pie decimated, the football games concluded. The relatives have either decamped for home or are napping, sedated by carbohydrates.

Now comes the best part: Leftovers!

Leftover roast turkey is a marvelous thing. This year, go beyond even the perfect turkey sandwich with these five simple recipes.

1. Jambalaya from Food52

Jambalaya on Food52

Jambalaya is the ultimate one-pot rice meal, accommodating everything from spicy sausage to shrimp, crab meat and scallops. This version on Food52 incorporates “the trinity” (onion, green pepper and celery) with andouille and cooked turkey; you can substitute any beer, long-grain rice and Cajun seasoning you like.

2. Turkey and Ham Pie on The Splendid Table

This, according to “Plenty” author Diana Henry, is the perfect dish for the day after Thanksgiving when you have leftover turkey and ham. Seasoned with nutmeg and made using premade puff pastry, it’s as comforting as it is filling.

3. Cheesy turkey quesadillas with spinach and mushrooms from “Bay Area Bites”

With creamy Monterey Jack cheese pulling together cooked mushrooms, spinach and leftover turkey in small corn tortillas, these quesadillas from Kim Laidlaw are simple, delicious and weeknight-dinner-fast.

4. Turkey and Rice Biryani from “City Kitchen” in The New York Times

For David Tanis, author of “A Platter of Figs” and author of the New York Times’ City Kitchen column, leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving. “With broth made from the turkey carcass and a pile of meaty leg meat (use the white meat for sandwiches), all that is necessary is a handful of spices and some good basmati rice,” he writes.

Asian Turkey-Noodle Soup photo by Scott Peterson

5. Asian Turkey Noodle Soup with Ginger and Chiles from Bon Appétit

Ginger, fish sauce (which provides umami, a savory flavor) and fresh toppings like bean sprouts, mint leaves, serrano chiles and fresh lime make this a kind of faux-pho, with preparation cut to mere minutes with premade turkey stock and already-cooked turkey.

If this doesn’t leave you thoroughly inspired, The New York Times’ Mark Bittman has a whole range of ideas for clearing out the turkey (and stuffing, and your fridge. The best-looking among them: Turkey Salad with Scallions and Spicy Mayonnaise, Pan-Fried Stuffing Cakes and Garlic-Rosemary Potato Fritters.

Enjoy your leftovers!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Hot Topic: Happiness at Work

In case you’re wondering about the power of Thank You and appreciation in the workplace, consider the loads of information being shared on creating workplace happiness and the importance of this concept in achieving productivity.

Peter Warr and Guy Capperto’s new bookThe Joy of Work?” is among the work being presented on this hot topic. We spend one quarter of our lives at work, so it’s important to make the best of it, says Warr, emeritus professor a the UK-based Institute of Work Psychology. It’s important, Warr explains in a New York Times article, to focus on job satisfaction or finding meaning in your work, describing nine necessary elements of happiness in work and life. These include: having some sense of empowerment, using and expanding your skills.

There’s more:

  • Consultant and author Alexander Kjerulf (self-dubbed Chief Happiness Officer) offers 10 reasons happiness at work is the top productivity booster. Among the benefits of workplace happiness Kjerulf cites: less complaining, more energy, higher optimism, increased motivation and fewer sick days.
  • Performance Coach Arvind Devalia chimes in with his 12 steps to workplace happiness. He cites a  UK survey that found that two out of three people are dissatisfied with thier jobs and encourages workers to “See your work as a game. Life is meant to be fun and if you are going to spend a third of it at work, you might as well enjoy the game.”

This offers more proof that employees, and companies, gain from thankfulness and appreciation.

Rick Kiley is President of gThankYou, LLC, based in Madison, WI.  gThankYou® Certificates of Gratitude™ are one way  savvy companies demonstrate commitment to valued employees. The company is best known for its Turkey Gift Certificates, Ham Gift Certificates, and Grocery Gift Cards.

American Artisan Ham

Our Ham Gift Certificates are a customer favorite here at gThankYou.  Office Depot is just completing a nationwide promotion, giving our Ham Certificates to tens of thousands of customers.  gThankYou! to Office Depot.

As you might imagine, the gThankYou Team always has its eyes open for interesting articles about ham.  Of course, like everyone else, we buy more ham from Oscar Mayer and Hormel than anywhere else.  But we love, wonderful artisan hams like those found in Italy and Spain.

Yesterday’s New York Times had an excellent article about American artisan ham makers, “Bringing Flavor Back to the Ham“, that ham-lovers everywhere will find interesting.

Enjoy!

gThankYou Certificates of Gratitude, when given as employee gifts is a way  savvy Human Resource Executives help their company’s say “Thank You” to colleagues.  gThankYou, LLC is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  The company is best known for its Ham Gift Certificates, Turkey Gift Certificates and Grocery Gift Cards.
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