It has been a busy few weeks with college graduations, Mother’s Day, and Shavuout. Next up is Father’s Day. Again, the adage, that a dad is a dad, 365 days a year still works.. but somehow, it will be nice to remember the day and celebrate on June 17. You can be sure the grill will be fired up for dinner, with dad in charge (do not attempt to take over for the grilling).. I don’t want to be chauvinistic, but it is definitely something in the genes for men to grill. Personally, my wonderful husband/great dad has always volunteered to grill. It also secretly keeps him away from entertaining and making small talk. He has gotten better with the grilling, but still has this annoying habit of flipping the burgers too often.. but all in all, I will keep him around.

To start the day, here is a great recipe for muffins. If he insists on going to the gym, for a run, or just home reading the newspaper, these will work fine. You can substitute fresh blueberries for the cranberries.

For lunch, I have included a delicious recipe for pizza. Everyone will enjoy making and then devouring these. And.. to serve with the barbecue, there is a quick recipe for noodle spinach kugel. Tell dad.. think spinach.. Popeye… (hey.. do whatever you need to get the family eating vegetables.

Banana cranberry muffins

3 mashed bananas
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup orange juice
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, mix bananas, oil, eggs, and juice with a mixer.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Quickly add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients, alternating. Mix well. Add cranberries, nuts, and raisins, if desired. Add batter to muffin cups that have liners. Bake for 15 to 20  minutes. Serve warm.

Greek pizza

1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated thin
6 sun-dried tomatoes chopped
1/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
6 ounces cooked spinach, drained well of all the water
fresh basil
black and green olives, sliced (optional)

Roll out pizza dough (you can buy ready made in the supermarket) or even use pita bread or fresh flat bread. Spray a pan with Pam and put the dough on it evenly. Brush dough with a tablespoon of olive oil.

Spread tomato sauce evenly over dough and then sprinkle with the feta and mozzarella cheeses, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, basil, and then the olives, if you choose. Bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.

Spinach/noodle kugel

1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, and well drained
1 package medium noodles (can use the yolk-free)
1 package (envelope) onion soup mix
3 eggs
2 tablespoons margarine
1/2 cup liquid non-dairy creamer

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Make the noodles according to package directions, drain, and set aside. Spray a square baking dish with Pam. Mix together in a bowl the spinach, soup mix, eggs, margarine, and creamer. Gently fold in these ingredients with the noodles and put in the baking dish. Bake 25 to 30 minutes covered, then uncover for an additional 15 to make the top crispy. Serve warm.