close up photo of fried chicken

5 Fun Instant Pot Appetizer Ideas for New Year’s Eve

It’s hard to believe it’s almost New Year’s Eve! One of our favorite kitchen tools has always been the Instant Pot when looking for a quick meal. During the holidays, we always like to look to assemble some appetizers for the Eve of that night, be it Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. Sometimes it can be difficult though to get the wheels turning for meal planning so here are some tasty appetizer ideas that you can easily make in your Instant Pot. From BBQ pulled pork sliders to spicy sausage and cheese dip, these appetizers are sure to be a hit with your guests.

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pile of cherry fruit

How To Store Cherries

As a native Michigander, when I think of cherries, one of the first things that come to mind is the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, MI. This iconic festival usually takes place in the first part of every July, with events of all kinds, for all ages. The region is renowned for cherry orchards, and retailers like Cherry Republic have since sprouted up in numerous locations! While the peak of cherry season can vary depending on where you live, typically, the best time to bring home cherries is mid-July. However, once you get some home, the clock starts ticking how long they’ll keep. What are some of the best ways to store them? Read on for more!

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daughter studying on dining table while father cooks on the kitchen

Father’s Day 2022: Highlighting Dad Food Blogs

Take a spin through Pinterest, and you’re bound to see no shortage of mom blogs, highlighting the ups and downs of parenthood, family recipes, and more. With Father’s Day 2022 upon us, Thrillist wanted to highlight a handful of “dad blogs” (like the one you’re reading right now) that have now started to get in on the fun – providing anything from usable tips and tricks for raising mindful eaters, to recipes for getting creative with lunch boxes, as well as a host of birthday party snacks.

First up is Derek Campanile’s Dad With a Pan. He initially started the project as a hobby, but what began as a hobby has now grown to a following of more than 50k on his social media channels.

“I have had a tremendous passion for food and cooking since I was young,” he said. “I remember my mother teaching me how to cook eggs at age 8 and, ever since, I’ve always loved learning new recipes and constantly tweaking favorites to see if I can make them better.”

His blog revolves around the recipes he makes along with his young son and daughter, Brayden and Makenzie, in their Southern California home. Dishes have included anything from brisket mac and cheese and steak and egg tostadas to friend peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and grilled s’more cookies.

Growing up, we always gathered at the dinner table every night, enjoying mom’s cooking or dad’s barbecue. Now that I’m a father, I see the importance of having the same routine and I want to instill that in my kids by not making it a chore, but something they look forward to.
Derek Campanile

This is a great point. I think cooking at home can certainly provide many benefits, both financially, but also as a way to create memories with others, and allows kids to get creative as well.

Nick Evans, based in Denver, had been documenting his recipes more so out of necessity when his then-girlfriend claimed to not be “very fond of cooking.” In 2008, Macheesmo was then born as a way of helping both men and women sharpen their chops and build confidence in cooking, and readers can now find more than 2k recipes on his page. Nick even has a book out called, Love Your Leftovers, pictured below:

Readers can find a multitude of ways to best reuse food – like taking a roast chicken and making delicious chicken tortilla soup or creamy chicken pesto pasta or even a flank steak becoming spicy beef wontons or Vietnamese noodle salad.

The best reward though for Evans? Being able to become even more present as a parent. “I get to coach the soccer team and never miss a dance performance,” said Evans. “It makes everything a little easier on the family calendar.”

Over at Lunch Box Dad, Beau Coffren has found cooking to be a bonding moment over the last 10 years, ever since his daughter began kindergarten. Fast forward, the Oklahoma City-based dad has three kids, and with that an equal amount of lunchbox making.

I wanted her to take a special lunch to school and when she would look at it, it would let her know that I was thinking about her. I started the blog soon after that to keep a record of our lunches and to encourage other parents to cook meals for their kids.
Beau Coffren

Some of Coffren’s creations include everything from designing a kiwi to looking like Baby Yoda or even decorating a Babybel cheese to closely resemble the Spiderman logo.

It hasn’t all been a bed of roses and meals though.

“Blogging isn’t just taking a few photos,” said Campanile. “There is SEO keyword research, crafting all your social posts, and exploring video content creation – there’s a whole beast to tame there.”

“Sometimes, the overall experience can also be an isolating one,” said Evans. “But I’m very connected to thousands of readers and cooks all over the world via social media. The world is a huge place, and I find new people to connect with every single day and it’s wonderful.”

“There is an online community out there that is happy to come together and support each other,” said Coffron. “The internet doesn’t have to always be a dark space but it can be a space filled with love, support, and positivity too.”

I absolutely love that, and it’s one of the reasons I wanted to create Mitten Dad. I wanted to highlight and aggregate some of the best news and stories out there, and it’s great to see other dads wanting to do the same, spreading positivity. Hear hear.

charcoal is on burning

Father’s Day 2022 Gift Guide: Serial Griller: Grillmaster Secrets for Flame-Cooked Perfection

Since this is Mitten Dad, one of the biggest days of the year is coming up quickly in Father’s Day. If the dad in your life is of the grilling type when it comes to meal prep, look no further than today’s BookBub deal of the day, Serial Griller: Grillmaster Secrets for Flame-Cooked Perfection, available for $1.99 in the Kindle format.

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assorted vegetables and spices on wood surface

Take Out or Cook at Home? Who Wins The Budget Battle?

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, many Americans still sought to get their takeout fix by frequently getting food to go or getting it delivered. There’s no doubt about it. We Americans spend a heck of a lot on food. According to the USDA, in 2020 U.S. consumers spent 8.6% of their income on food – with nearly half of it coming from outside of their homes.

Now as inflation continues, you might be wondering if takeout might be cheaper than some of your favorite ingredients from the grocery store? Read on for more.

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