Fathers’ Day Dinner in Miami

Daddy & Me, before dinner at Michael's

Ryan and I took a red-eye to Miami on Friday night, which was an interesting experience in and of itself.  I have yet to determine which position is the most comfortable for “sleeping” on such a plane ride, but I am pretty sure it is not the one where you slouch over and dump your face on the little tray table as if it were a pillow.  Ouch.  Anyway, we got to Miami around six in the morning eastern time, and we were pretty out of it.  After a few hours spent passed out, we woke up and had a nice day with my big sister at her pretty new apartment.  We went to a little restaurant in Wynwood called Lost & Found for lunch and then messed around for a while.  Obviously, we went to Whip n’ Dip, where the frozen yogurt flavors disappointed me once again.  I mean, honestly, if you are going to always have chocolate and vanilla, and then rotate two other flavors, do not make the special flavors chocolate pudding and vanilla custard or chocolate cake and “graham cracker” that tastes like coconut/vanilla/definitely not graham cracker.  And I love this place, and I go every time I am home, and I am sure I will continue to do so, but this uninspired flavor redundancy has got to stop!  But enough froyo-related complaints… let’s get serious!  About other silly stuff.

New dress! New shoes! And soon, a porterhouse!

Saturday night, all five of us (which means Ryan and me, plus Mommy and Daddy and Lisa) went out for an awesome dinner at Michael’s Genuine in the Design District.  I was going to order some weird fish or something and Ryan was going to order the steak au poivre when my Dad was like “do you guys want the porterhouse?  get the porterhouse!” and we were sitting there with our mouths agape, because we knew we were about to go to town on an enormous piece of beef.  You do not say “no” to a porterhouse steak for which somebody else is paying—that would be very, very rude.  It came with an herbed butter on top, which I attempted to order on the side.  Ryan almost killed me and ultimately, it was Butter 1, Lauren 0.  Apparently, once you are ordering a 24 ounce steak, you just eat it how the chef wants you to, or something like that.  Like, if you are watching what you eat, perhaps whatever is on top of your pound-and-a-half steak is not really the problem?  I ate a few ounces, it was marvelous.  You can ask Ryan about the other 20 ounces.  Also excellent: spicy honey chicken wings, homemade potato chips with pan-fried onion dip, and this amazing pizza: ridiculous caramelized onion, pork shoulder, fig, fontina and arugula, made irresistable by a blazing wood oven.  Then there was the dessert I was too full to eat, which I ate anyway, with much pleasure.  Yum!  And, most importantly, I got to wear new clothes!

Daddy & Ryan outside manning the grill, literally. I don't know what they talked about, but I'm sure it was very interesting and not about shoes. It was probably about corruption within the police department decades ago somewhere, or something.

Sunday was Fathers’ Day.  It was so good to be home for a day like that.  The truth is, I love living in Los Angeles, but sometimes it breaks my heart, living so far away from my family.  Especially now, what with Lisa done with law school and such and living in Miami again.  Sometimes I just want to be home for dinner, you know?  So Daddy took me and Ryan to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and we took the tram tour.  It’s been forever since I’d actually been to the garden, and I was amazed.  It is a sight to see, and it’s so nice to see my dad beaming with pride when he takes somebody there for the first time.

I am "bulking" up the bread basket. Riveting.

For Fathers’ Day, my Mom planned a casual BBQ for about a dozen family members at our house.  My gift to my mother this weekend was keeping my mouth shut.  This means, she planned the menu, and I only told her what to do a little bit, and ultimately, things stayed the way she wanted them, which is the way it ought to be!  Anyway, I’ve included pictures, and the menu, and a couple of recipes here, so enjoy them!  And remember, everything tastes a billion times better surrounded by the people you love!


Fathers’ Day BBQ Dinner Menu

Mommy’s Big Menu, from her Amazing and Enormous Kitchen!


  • Pita Chips with Creamy Smoked Salmon Dip
  • Cucumbers and Celery with Roasted Eggplant Hummus


  • Sirloin Hamburgers
  • Italian Turkey Sausages
  • Baked Beans
  • Creamy & Sweet Corn Casserole
  • Health Salad
  • Ciabatta Rolls, Demi French Baguettes, Onion Buns
  • Heirloom Tomatoes, Baby Mixed Greens, Avocado, Grilled Onion
  • Cape Cod Potato Chips & Gourmet Baby Pickles


  • Fruit Platter: Papaya, Pineapple, Blackberries, Blueberries, Apples
  • Aunt Marcia’s Flan
  • Freshly Whipped Cream
  • Aunt Marcia’s Coconut Macaroons
  • Key Lime Bars

Recipes: Health Salad & Corn Casserole

I really enjoyed the health salad, which is basically a bulked-up, overnight slaw that feeds a zillion normal people, or three people like me, who like to kill their stomachs with copious amounts of raw produce.  The corn casserole is really not my thing: I prefer grilled corn on the cob, simple and sweet and buttery, or even a slice of corn bread.  But this is one of those dishes that my mom has been making over and over again lately for big parties because, seriously, some people absolutely love, love, love it.  I mean, I’ve never seen anything like it.  So I’m including the recipe for the casserole, too, because chances are, half the people at the party will swoon over it.  I understand that most people do not break out into song over light cabbage slaws, so I’m the freak here, not the people who like baked corn side dishes.

Health Salad
Adapted from a recipe used by my late Uncle Ron’s mother, Grandma Bea.

In a large Tupperware with a tight-fitting lid, combine:

  • 1 head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large sweet onion sliced into very thin rings
  • 2 european cucumbers sliced very thin
  • 4 carrots, shredded
  • 3 bell peppers, any color combination, sliced very thin

Prepare the marinade by whisking together:

  • 1 cup white vinegar (plus a few drops balsamic vinegar)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Pour whisked-together marinade over the raw vegetables and marinade overnight.  Mix the salad around a few times throughout this process, like when you are looking for a snack a few hours later, and you find yourself standing in front of the fridge, door wide open, yes, that would be a good time to mix.
30 minutes prior to serving, add:

  • 3 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into quarters or sixths

Place salad into a nice ceramic bowl.  Enjoy!

Corn Casserole
Recipe given to my mother from her sister, my Aunt Jane.

Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease an oval casserole dish or a 9×9 ceramic dish.
Combine in a bowl until mixed:

  • 1 can (15 oz.) corn, half the liquid drained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) creamed corn
  • 1 box Jiffy corn muffin/bread mix
  • 8 oz. sour cream (any fat content is fine)
  • 1/2 stick melted butter

Bake for 1 hour.  Check the casserole at around 50 minutes.  The top of the casserole should be nicely browned.

Awesomeness!  Well, we are back in Los Angeles, so I’m sure I’ll have something to blab about real soon.  I also have a funny story from the plane, but I forgot to upload the picture, so look for that little anecdote later today or tomorrow.  Now, I need to clean my apartment, go to the gym, look for a job, and make dinner, amongst a billion other things.  Bye!

9 Responses to “Fathers’ Day Dinner in Miami”
  1. Mom says:

    Today the new bride Lizzie was making this for company. She noticed the two eggs are missing from the ingredient list! Oh my, I hope we did not mess up someone’s dinner!

  2. Mom says:

    Happy Fourth of July! The holiday came upon us so fast….almost as fast as it took me to whip up another corn casserole to take to the party tonight. We will be celebrating at our friends’ apartment on the 20th floor of a highrise overlooking the bay. The fireworks appear to be at eye level. The oohing and ahing will be for the fireworks display and possible the corn casserole. Summer berry crisp will tag along with also…………..when you reveal that secret, I may close down my kitchen. Enjoy the day!

    • Lauren says:

      Nope, the secret is safe with you for now! We are probably going to celebrate the holiday with kale and salmon. I think we’re a little interesting-food-ed-out…

  3. magicofspice says:

    What a wonderful fathers day! Everything looks great:)

  4. What a great father’s day spread!

  5. Nicole says:

    Hi! I don’t know you, just happen to be a fan of your blog. I’m not sure where I came across it, I think a foodie website. Anyway, I was at Michaels Genuine that same night!!! Channeling my inner Anthony Bourdain, I went with the bone marrow for an appitizer and the pork shoulder for dinner. The chips with onion dip was outstanding as was the ricotta and peach jam crostinis. We passed up desert, I could barely breath. So, we probably passed each other and I will keep on reading!

  6. Monet says:

    Tell your sweet mom that her spread looks fabulous! What a lovely way to celebrate father’s day. I wish I could meet you and your family in person. And I hate red eyes…I took one to Boston last month, and it was hellish. The ONLY two people that decided to talk the whole way to the East Coast sat right behind us. And then when they finally shut up, a baby started screaming. No sleep for me! Much love sweet girl!

  7. Mom says:

    Nice entry! The pictures are great. Whose the guy on the motorcycle and why is that parked in my front yard? It was a super weekend. Come home again soon 🙂

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