Melissa’s Story: Harris’ Hot Chocolate

One year, when my husband & I were visiting The Dads for the holidays, Harris made me the most delicious Hot Chocolate! My husband & I were sitting outside near The Dads’ koi pond with our dog, Princess who was happily playing in the fresh fallen snow. Sure, it was cold outside, but I wanted to bask in the sun while I wrote my Christmas cards.

Now, I’m not the type of girl that just signs her name with a “Happy Holidays” on my cards. If I’m going to give you a card with a present, I always add a little bit of sappy, mushy reflections of my thoughts and feelings of you to go along with it. Sure, it makes some people cringe, but it comes from my honest heart, and I know The Dads eat it up and will probably save it forever. So needless to say, these take me a while to write!

Well apparently, Harris had spotted me writing my Christmas cards outside in the 30 degree weather. So, he wanted to do something special for me. He quickly whisked up his own version of Hot Chocolate and put it in a holiday cup! It was delicious and the perfect holiday treat to keep my sappy inspiration going!

Leah & I have convinced him to give up his special Hot Chocolate recipe, but you will have to wait patiently for him to post it later this week! All I know is, that he actually melts a couple of chocolate bars (probably Ghirardelli, since he’s boasted about their chocolate so much in his past recipes) and tops it off with whipped cream and love!

With all of your loved ones getting together this season, what are you doing or serving up to warm their hearts?  As a special food for thought from me to you (and trust me, I definitely get my sentimental side from my dad), don’t dismiss the opportunity that Holiday Cards give you. I’m sure your loved ones know how you feel, but the hand-written word is something that they can keep and read in the future. To me, that’s one of the greatest gifts of all!

Happy Holidays!

~Dave’s Daughter, Melissa

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(Yes, that’s me, wearing goofy reindeer “antlers”. I’m a kid at heart, what can I say?)

The Dads’ Shop to find a Perfect Birthday Gift!

Okay, so it’s our dear friend Robyn’s birthday and we were trying to figure out what her gift should be this year.  We pride ourselves on choosing real treats- basically stuff she would never think to buy herself, but could really use.

Since we know that she sometimes forgets to clean as she cooks, our first thought was . . . KITCHEN SUPPLIES! When we saw this spoon rest for $10 as Boscov’s, we were sold! We can’t count how many times we have spotted Robyn using a large plate on her counter to rest her cooking spoon! It drives us crazy! We loved this product so much in fact, that we picked one up for ourselves!

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The Dads’ Thanksgiving Reflection

We hope you all had a very happy Thanksgiving! It’s been a couple of days now, and we’re finally starting to recover from the holiday fun and exhaustion!

Here is a list that we put together last night, reflecting our Post-Thanksgiving thoughts:

1. Wow, we’re exhausted!

2. Having all the family together is so heartwarming and feels good right down to the bone.

3. Sheesh, you can never do enough advance planning and preparation. When everyone arrives, it’s difficult to get anything done! You want to stop and listen to every story and be in every room with everyone, but you can’t.

4. Everyone wants to be with you, which is great; your kitchen however isn’t large enough to work efficiently with everyone underfoot.

5. This was our first year trying to film while cooking and having guests; wow, was that difficult. You just have no idea how much time filming and editing eats up. Suddenly your perfectly timed schedule is blown out of the water!

6. How did our parents do it when they had so many to feed every day and not just holidays? It looked so simple!

7. In our dream-home, the kitchen would be the largest room in the house; We’d even have a large fireplace so everyone feels comfy and cozy.

8. What to do with all the leftovers?? Lots of ideas but no appetite as we’ve all cheated so much on our diets! The biggest challenge are the desserts as they are the most tempting!

Like many of you, we carry on the tradition of having all of our guests go around the table and say what we’re most thankful for this year. Did you and/or your family do the same? What are you most thankful for?

Have a great holiday weekend!
-The Dads: Harris & Dave

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1 Day Left!

1 more day!

After quite the adventure, Melissa, her husband and their 2 friends, finally arrived last night. The heavy rain and holiday traffic caused their bus to show up 2 hours late, leaving them to wait outside in the freezing rain with hundreds of people. We hope your holiday guests aren’t having similar issues!

We finally made the Pumpkin Cheesecake and Pumpkin Pie! Additionally we made 2 batches of our Pecan Tassies, but of course as soon as the kids came home, they ate about 10 of them!

Today we’ll be making the floral centerpiece. Since we made the crusts for the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie and a Lemon Meringue Pie, we will be baking them as well.

Dave’s sister Carol has been staying over the past couple of days and has been a big help. She’ll be making her traditional Sugar-Free Trifle today, for those with diabetes and the diet conscious. Perhaps, we’ll have to have her give up the recipe and share it with you!

Finally, we’ll be making our smoky salmon ball tonight.

Believe it or not, this year we will be having the least amount of guests for Thanksgiving in years. Typically we have around 20 guests. But this year we’ll only have 12. We had to downsize this year because we have been building an addition to our outside porch. So, with all of the construction, we just couldn’t have that many guests over this year.

Tomorrow’s main cooking event begins at 6:00 AM to start smoking the bird! What time will you be starting?

All the best,
-The Dads: Harris & Dave

The Dads Pecan Tassies

Our Pecan Tassies that we made last night!

2 Days to Go!

Here we are, 2 more days to go until Thanksgiving!

Yesterday consisted of house cleaning, fixing antique dining room chairs, dropping off clothes to the homeless shelter, setting up a bookcase for the guests to have a place for their toiletries, running errands, and more. Was any cooking or baking done as hoped? Did we get to the Pumpkin Cheesecake yet? Nope!

Yesterday, Harris was able to pick up our kosher turkey. He also purchased some smoked white fish, lox, herring and bagels for a special breakfast while our guests are here.

Then, we were off to the butcher’s to grab a Prime Rib Roast for our Wednesday night dinner. We were also able to find some Kishka to serve up with Wednesday’s dinner. It’s hard to resist the urge to eat it before!

After all of that, our boy, Jacques, even made it to his groomer, Carissa, so that he is ready to greet our guests properly when they arrive!

Whew!

We had such a full day that we didn’t get to do any of our Thanksgiving cooking, but we’re hot on the trail today! As we write, it’s about 11:00 AM and we already have 2 pie crusts done! Oh, and we made the cornbread for the stuffing. It needs to be baked a couple of days ahead so it dries out a bit, making for much better stuffing!

Below is a photo of the flowers Harris picked up. He will be making our holiday centerpiece with these beauties!

Hope you’re preparations are coming along well!

All the best,
-The Dads: Harris & Dave

Harris' Flowers

3 Days!

3 Days to go until the big festivities!

With Dave’s daughter Melissa, her husband and 2 friends coming to visit tomorrow, along with Dave’s sister Carol who just couldn’t imagine being left out, we have been busy multitasking cleaning and cooking. We have been organizing the bedrooms and clearing out the dresser drawers and closets to make sure there is plenty of room for our guests.

Additionally, we have begun to decorate the home with our holiday decor. We really love our turkey hand towels! Harris picked up some fresh flowers today while at the market. They are resting comfortably in water until the centerpiece can be created.

Last night we accomplished our Chocolate Chip Cookies and the Spiced Nuts. We still haven’t gotten to the Pumpkin Cheesecake as intended! But we hope to finally get that done tonight!

Our Rib Roast that we made in the crock-pot last night was amazing! Decadent, yes, but so delicious and worth it! We have been building an addition to our back porch, so Dave just sliced up some of the leftovers and gave some to our construction workers. They were delighted!

We forgot to mention that Harris made the Cranberry Confit last Friday. Hopefully in addition to the Pumpkin Cheesecake, we will also be able to make our first batch of our Pecan Tassies tonight!

Harris also was able to make a special stop at Goldberg’s Bagels. Definitely the best place for fresh bagels in the Baltimore area!

While cooking this week, Dave has been wearing his Mario Batali Crocs (yes, Crocs!) that Leah gave to him as a gift last year for the holiday. The great thing about these is that if the kitchen gets wet from cooking or cleaning, the grip on the shoes prevents you from slipping. They might not be the most fashionable, but they are really comfortable and easy to throw on quickly.

Hope your cooking adventures are going well! Let us know how its going for you!

Happy Cooking!
-The Dads: Harris & Dave

Rib Roast

Spiced Nuts

4 Days Until Thanksgiving!

4 days! Well, we ended up having a couple of friends come over last night, so unfortunately we were not able to get to making our Pumpkin Pie and Spiced Nuts.

Harris was still able to re-make his Jewish Apple Cake (since Sean insisted that we eat the first one Harris made!). So tonight, we will be making our Pumpkin Pie, a Cheesecake Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cranberry Sauce and Spiced Nuts.

One reader had inquired about good recipes using a crock pot since she works all day. Well, actually using the crock pot is also a great way to cook when you are busy preparing dishes for a future party. So, tonight we intended to make a Pot Roast in our crock pot. However, when Harris was at the grocery store, he found out that the Rib Roast was on sale. Since, Rib Roast is a better cut of the meat, he picked that up instead. We can’t wait to try the Rib Roast in our crock pot!

What meals do you like to prepare when you are busy multi-tasking other time consuming events? How are your preparations for Thanksgiving coming along? Let us know in the comments below!

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!
-The Dads: Harris & Dave