As a follow-up to my Father’s Day entry, I am posting two recipes that I learned from my dad, both of which have become Light family classics.  People get irrationally irritated if these aren’t present at our family gatherings, and when I say “people,” I obviously mean me.

My dad’s a real people pleaser at parties, and I mean this in more ways than one. For starters, he always brings something homemade.  You’ll never catch Marty Light at the market picking up chips and salsa for your party, as store-bought party fixings are a disgrace to him.  Instead, he will invariably whip up something both different and delectable, and like the rebel he is, he’ll rarely consult a recipe.  Furthermore, he’ll bring more than one dish because he’s a considerate guy.  Don’t you worry, he’ll bring that yummy concoction he brought last time that you all RAVED about.  But what’s that in his other hand?  Oh, no big deal, that’s just something new that he effortlessly invented to knock your socks off yet again.  Additionally (let’s see how many variations of “furthermore” I can conjure up), he’s not afraid to mix it up.  If you are anything like me in that you appreciate alternating salty and sweet, you should invite a little Marty into your life.  He’ll regularly bang out combos like chocolate-raspberry cheesecake or pecan pie and pepperoni or buffalo chicken dip.  This way, if no one else shows up to your gathering, you’ll still have both sweet and savory represented.  And let’s be honest, even if attendance is stellar at your shindig, the dishes your other guests bring will likely pale in comparison to my dad’s.  It should be no secret at this point that my dad takes snacks seriously.  We once got into an argument because he wanted to cancel a doctor’s appointment for a snack day at work.  That’s the kind of dedication you like to see in your party invitees!  To recap, if you ever see people hovering over something and shoveling it into their mouths with reckless abandon, chances are good that Marty made it.

Thank you dad for teaching me that you don’t need to travel all around the world for an adventure.  Oftentimes it’s right there in your kitchen.

While looking through my recipe book, it occurred to me that many of my dad’s recipes have not been written down.  Maybe he will read this and document what he considers to be his best recipes so I can post them (HINT, HINT).  In the meantime, I will leave you with the recipes for green goop (ignore the name, and don’t knock it until you’ve tried it folks) and icebox fruitcake which isn’t fruitcake at all, so no need to retch into your trashcan.  It is more like a chewy granola-bar type thingy (oh the eloquence) which I have been considering renaming for the last ten years because who eats fruitcake?  ICK.  Departing a bit from the complicated recipes I have been posting, both of these recipes are super simple, yet they are bound to be the first things on the table to disappear.  I should be making you pay for the latter recipe because A. It’s a bit of a family secret, and B. It just might be the best thing that ever happens to you.  In the spirit of benevolence, I suppose I will release the recipe free of charge, but don’t you go starting an icebox fruitcake empire, ya hear?

Green Goop

This recipe offers a light dessert alternative, and is perfect for summer barbecues.

  • 1 package lime Jello
  • 16 ounces of small curd cottage cheese
  • 1 6 ounce can of diced pineapple
  • 1 container of Cool Whip or whipped cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Mix ingredients together, refrigerate, and enjoy!  Told you it was easy!

Since I don’t have a picture of green goop, I will instead share an equally relevant image of a chef stuck in lime Jello.

what in the world is going on here?

Icebox Fruitcake

  • 1 10 ounce bag of big marshmallows
  • 1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 13.5 ounce box of graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup raisins or dates
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut

1. Mix graham cracker crumbs, raisins, walnuts and coconut.

2. Pour condensed milk over marshmallows and microwave until all marshmallows are melted.

3. Combine marshmallow and graham cracker mixtures.

4. Place wax paper in a rectangular Pyrex dish and pour mixture into dish.  Spread evenly, cover and store in cold place.

5. Cut into squares and eat ‘em up!  It may not look the prettiest, or be the healthiest, but it will definitely please those taste buds of yours.