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Top 11 Father’s Day Events in Denver!

This week at Mile High Mamas, we’re honoring the dads in our lives so be sure to tune in all week long for humorous and touching blog posts. Also learn about a Denver dad who has taken fun to a new level: he has written a book about Denver’s top playgrounds (and yes, he’ll be sharing his favorites). Here are five events Dad will love for Father’s Day:

falconFather’s Day Falconfest. June 21, 9-11 a.m. Treat your dad, pop, father, or papa to a one-of-a-kind experience the whole family will enjoy. Enjoy a savory breakfast burrito provided by Mi Cocina Mexican Restaurant and delicious bagels by Einstein Bros. Bagels. Get up close and personal with live raptors presented by Hawkquest at our outdoor Audubon Nature Center amphitheater. Enter to win prizes from Lone Tree Brewing Company and Cabela’s, as well as unique raptor merchandise. Raptor hikes will leave from the amphitheater at the conclusion of the raptor program or event attendees will be able to view the “Colorado Wild” art show happening in the Audubon Nature Center. Registration Required by calling the Audubon Society of Greater Denver at 303-973-9530 or emailing [email protected] 

Father’s Day Toy Takeover. June 21, 11:30 a.m.-noon. Join the History Colorado Center for a special Father’s Day Toys Take Over. They’ll set up wooden train sets on the map of Colorado in the atrium and cover the state in their creations. Then, give Dad a blast from his past with the museum’s new exhibit: Toys of the ’50s, ’60’s and ’70s.  Gumby. Barbie. Slinky. Mr. Potato Head. Wham-O. Spirograph. Hot Wheels. The names of these popular toys capture the craziness, the joy, the sheer fun of being a kid. But beneath those nutty names are rich veins of nostalgia, memory and history. The stories of the kids who played with these toys, the adults who bought them, the child-rearing experts who judged them and the people who invented them reflect the rhythms of American life.

greekGreek Festival. June 19-21. OPA! Eat, drink and dance like a Greek at the 2015 Greek festival on the grounds of the Assumption Greek Orthodox Cathedral (the big gold dome). Whether you are nine or 99, there is something fun to do at the Greek festival. For the younger kids, there are fair rides, games and toys. In the past festivals, younger children have also enjoyed dancing on the stage with the live musicians. For the adults, there is shopping to be done, food to be sampled and traditional music and dancing to enjoy. 

Dinosaur Train. June 19-21. All Aboard! Families and children are sure to enjoy an adventure-filled trolley ride, music, games, stories, and the Nature Trackers Club activities area at Dinosaur Ridge. Plus, an opportunity to meet their favorite T. rex, Buddy. Tickets are $26/person 2 and older. Discounts available for members.

Colorado BBQ Challenge. June 18-20. Does Dad love BBQ? Then Frisco, Colo. is the place to be! The event kicks off on Thursday, June 18, with an evening of live music.  Approximately 70 BBQers will compete for a variety of awards in a wide variety of categories including pork, ribs, chicken, brisket, anything goes, barbecue sauce, side dish, salsa and dessert. Guaranteed, you won’t go away hungry and there’s plenty of family-friendly entertainment including pig races, live music and more!

Father’s Day 5K and Car Show. June 21, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Arvada’s Apex Center hosts this family event that includes music, family activities and refreshments. Register for the 5K at 3wraces.com and for the car show at foundation.apexprd.org. 

Outhouse Races. Celebrate Breckenridge’s Kingdom Days (June 19-21) in the most original way possible:  Outhouse Races celebrate Breckenridge’s mining history during Kingdom Days. With names such as Potty Mouth and Jamaican Me Poop, costumed teams of five (one person must ride in the outhouse) pull decorated outhouses through the streets of historic. It’s a nod to the community’s mining past and part of Kingdom Days, the annual heritage celebration. Also that weekend, modern-day miners show their skills for cash and bragging rights during the Colorado Gold Panning Championships. 

Juneteeth Music Festival.  June 19-20. Commemorated in cities across the nation and around the world, Juneteenth is a cultural event celebrated by diverse people of all colors, backgrounds, and nationalities…joining hands to mark the ending of slavery and the beginning of African American independence in the United States. Denver’s Juneteenth Music Festival is one of the nation’s largest celebrations, drawing in record numbers of festival-goers and participation. The two-day event features live performances, art and cultural exhibitions, and food and commercial vendors; with partners and sponsors ranging from community support networks and organizations, to local and international companies.

Bear Grylls Survival Academy

Bear Grylls Survival Academy

Colorado Rockies Game to Benefit the United Way. Make a double play this Father’s Day! Watch the Colorado Rockies take on the Milwaukee Brewers on Father’s Day weekend – and help support United Way. This annual event brings together family, friends and supporters of the entire Colorado United Way network to sit together in the LIVE UNITED section while cheering on the home team. Everyone is welcome, so put on a baseball hat and bring Dad, the family and friends down to enjoy some fun entertainment and a beautiful day at the ballpark.

Bear Grylls Survival Academy. June 17-18. Is Dad a survivor? Find out at Snow Mountain Ranch’s Bear Grylls Survival Academy and offer 24 hour survival courses for adults and families. With ‘The Island’ TV show currently airing, Bear Grylls sets the trends for the ultimate in outdoor survival.  Snow Mountain Ranch is the only Colorado location hosting courses this summer and fall.  The 24 hour family courses are for kids 10-17.

VegFest Colorado.  June 20-21. Is Dad a health nut? This family-friendly event offers two days of activities including speakers, cooking demonstrations by nationally acclaimed chefs and cookbook authors, food sampling, exhibitors, food trucks, movies, activities for children and more. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foodie Friday: “Man Made Meal” recipes for Dad

What with the long-standing — and often loudly lamented — domination of professional kitchens by men, you might doubt the need for Steven Raichlen’s “Man Made Meals: The Essential Cookbook for Guys.”

But as many will be quick to point out — and truthful guys able to admit — demographics in restaurants and catering outfits do not reflect what goes on in the privacy of the home.

Which is where Raichlen’s new book comes in, all 631 recipe-packed, advice-giving and go-get-’em-boy pages of it. Yours for $24.95.

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Chivito

On Raichlen’s first trip to Uruguay, a chivito was his introduction to that country’s cuisine. This is a classic kitchen-sink sandwich, one that Raichlen says “makes a Philly cheeseteak look downright anorexic.” That’s a bold statement. Then again, a chivito is a bold sandwich. Makes 2 sandwiches.

Ingredients

2 kaiser rolls

2 tablespoons mayonnaise, preferably Best or Hellmann’s

2 Boston lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels

4 slices bacon, cut in half crosswise

2 beef steaks, 3-4 ounces each, cut or pounded ¼ inch thick

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 slices jack or mild cheddar cheese

2 large eggs

1 ripe tomato, thinly sliced

2 large strips roasted red pepper (optional)

Directions

Cut rolls almost in half through the side. Spread the cut sides with the mayonnaise. Place a lettuce leaf on the bottom of each roll. Set aside.

Arrange the bacon in a single layer in a large cold skillet and heat over medium. Cook bacon until it is crisped and browned, 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Leave bacon fat in skillet.

Season steaks with salt and pepper to taste. Heat skillet over high. Add steaks to skillet and cook to taste (2 minutes per side for medium).

Place steaks on rolls and top with bacon and cheese. Leave fat in skillet. Heat the skillet again over medium-high heat. Crack eggs into the skillet and cook until the whites are crisp and brown on the bottom, carefully turning with a spatula. Slide eggs onto sandwich atop the cheese.

Top each egg with tomato slices and a strip of red pepper, if using. Adjust seasonings. Slice sandwiches in half and serve.


Farm Stand Salad

This is a lovely, colorful salad with farmers markets now in season. Serves 2-4.

Ingredients

2 ears sweet corn, husked and de-silked

1 pint local cherry tomatoes, cut in half, or 1 large heirloom tomato, cut in chunks

6 ounces haricot verts or slender green beans, rinsed and stemmed

1 bunch arugula, rinsed and patted dry

2 tablespoons coarse-chopped fresh dill, basil, tarragon, chervil or other summer herbs, or a combo of them

2 tablespoons hazelnut or walnut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil (or to taste)

1 tablespoon rice or wine vinegar

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

Cut the corn kernels off the cobs. Place kernels in large bowl. Add the tomatoes, green beans, arugula and herbs. Pour oil, vinegar and maple syrup over the salad, but don’t toss it. (The salad can be made and refrigerated a couple of hours before serving.)

Just before serving, toss the salad and adjust seasoning.


A New Shrimp Cocktail

Raichlen greatly prefers this salad over traditional boiled versions. “The sauce gets a double blast of heat from grated horseradish and chipotle peppers,” he says. “Now that’s a shrimp cocktail.” Serves 4.

Ingredients

FOR THE SHRIMP

1½ pounds peeled, deveined raw jumbo shrimp

2-3 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or butter, plus 2 tablespoons olive oil if pan frying.

4 cilantro sprigs (optional)

FOR THE CHIPOTLE COCKTAIL SAUCE

¾ cup ketchup

¼ cup drained, prepared horseradish

1 teaspoon grated fresh orange zest

3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon Worcestshire sauce

1-2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced, with 1-2 teaspoons of the juices

Directions

Place shrimp in bowl and sprinkle with the Old Bay. Toss well to coat, then add 1 tablespoon of oil and toss again.

Preheat broiler to high. Place shrimp on broiler pan a couple of inches from the broiler and cook until browned outside and cooked through, 2-3 minutes per side.

Transfer the cooked shrimp to a platter and let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. The shrimp can be prepared up to 24 hours ahead to this stage.

Make the cocktail sauce: Place ketchup, horseradish, orange zest and juice, Worcestershire sauce and chipotles with their juices in a bowl and whisk to mix. Refrigerate the cocktail sauce, covered, until ready to serve.

To serve, divide the cocktail sauce among 4 small bowls, one for each diner. Serve shrimp on the platter with the cilantro sprigs (optional) on top.


Finger-burner Lamb Chops

Scottadito is Italian for “finger burner,” and these lamb chops are served smoking hot. Ask the butcher to “French” the bones, scraping them clean for the last 2-3 inches to create easier handling. Serves 4.

Ingredients

2½ pounds small lamb rib chops, cut ½ inch thick

Coarse salt and freshly cracked or ground black peppercorns

1 tablespoon hot red pepper flakes, or to taste

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

1-4 tablespoons good olive oil

Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions

Arrange lamb chops in a single layer on a baking sheet. Generously season on one side with salt and pepper and half of the hot pepper flakes, minced garlic and rosemary. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the chops and pat the ingredients into the meat with your fingertips. Let marinate for about 20 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large cast-iron plan over high heat until shimmering. Add chops in a single layer, working in batches as needed. Cook until well-browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip chops and cook another 3 minutes, or to taste.

Place chops on a platter and encourage guests to eat them straight from the bone. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing and plenty of napkins.

Dad-isms: Funny things dads say

Does anyone have a Dad who says the same things over and over?

I do. So about 20 years ago for my Dad’s birthday, my sisters and I put together an ENTIRE BOOK of his repeatisms. I will spare you the insider ones such as “I always carry a garlic shaker” and leave you with some of the true gems, the ones that turned out to be helpful in life rather than just annoying in the moment.

And ones that will possibly show up in Tessa’s and Reed’s book of Mom-isms one day.

  • Sometimes you COUNT the votes and sometimes you WEIGH them.
  • Everyone is NOT doing it because YOU are not!
  • What kind of sissy word is “fair”?
  • Treat people when you don’t need them the way you wish you’d treated them when you do need them (sit with it a moment ’til it makes sense — it actually got me a job once).
  • Leave things better than you find them.
  • Come in when the streetlights are on!
  • Elbow your way in.
  • Draw a wider circle. (meaning: don’t find reasons to exclude yourself)
  • I’m glad I had daughters because they are so genteel (usually said after a burping contest — or worse).
  • 90% of the world’s work is done by people who don’t feel very good (we were not allowed to slack much).
  • Drive like everyone is out to get you.
  • Just because G*d picked your nose doesn’t mean YOU can (said to one of my sisters, I’m sure).
  • Starting is half done.
  • Everything in moderation, including moderation.
  • Put the short things on the short shelf and the tall things on the tall shelf (he actually said this to me last week when looking in my fridge for tonic).

Up there is a photo I found online of my Dad, the consummate teacher (although not by profession) teaching citizens about his main passion, freedom.

We kid him a lot, but my sisters and I hold immense respect and love for our Dad. It’s amazing to us that this man who grew up without a father had it in him to become a great one anyhow.

So thanks, Dad, for saying such wise and loving things. Over and over and over and over…

Now I’m going to obsess and compulse over the height of things in my refrigerator.

What -isms do you attribute to your dad?

Image:Morguefile

DAD 2.014: A funny dad’s honest reflections on fatherhood

As Father’s Day approaches, I’€™m forced to reflect on my own father and how different his experience as a father was than mine is now.

When my father fed a bottle to my first daughter, his first grandchild, he looked up and said, “€œYou know, this is the first time I’ve ever fed a baby?”

None of us were caught off guard by the revelation. This was not news to us. Nor was the fact that he, though a father of three, had never changed a diaper and most likely never will.

This leads me to the revelation that despite today’s abundance of technological, health, sociological and educational advancements, compared to previous generations we are light-years behind. Instead of rushing to pick up kids at daycare, I should be stopping off for a cocktail on the way home from work and then entering my domain to an awaiting hot dinner, hot wife and quiet kids–all teeming with glee upon my grand entrance.

The problem is that somewhere in the last three or four decades we as a society have wrecked a perfectly functional lifestyle business model. We used to live predominantly in single-income households way back in the “€œgood old days.” Now, oh so many of us are forced to ditch that set-up in favor of the more common duel income gig. And pardon my language, but that blows.

Because Dad can’t be Mom, he can’t sleep like a baby either

I don’t have a newborn baby in my house — if I did, I think I’d know. But my friend Tom is expecting a baby — or rather, he’s expecting his wife to give him a baby.

“What’s it like?” Tom asked. “Having a new baby.”

I think back to the sleeplessness surrounding the initial few weeks in the life of my first child. (I’ve always said that having a baby presents a great chance to catch up on your awake.) “Picture enemy artillery,” I advise.

My basic position on newborns is that they are like car alarms going off in the middle of the night, and only the mother knows the code to reset them. Look, I’ve spent most of my life observing women’s chests, and they are completely different from mine — I’m simply not equipped to get up in the wee hours of the morning to feed a baby! As far as I can see, my presence is utterly useless.

This very reasonable philosophy is rejected by people I’ll call “women.” If you stand on the corner and proclaim, “It makes no sense for me to get up with the crying baby in the middle of the night; at least one of us should get some sleep,” women you’ve never met before will come up and hit you over the head with their umbrellas. Some women carry umbrellas expressly for this purpose. Their husbands, who secretly agree with you, won’t even look you in the eye.

When the baby cries for the fourth time since 10 o’clock, the parents are supposed to drag themselves out of bed and have the following conversation:

Mother: You can go back to bed, if you want. Translation: If you go back to bed, I will not speak to you for three weeks.Father: That’s OK. I’m so tired I could sleep through a shark bite, but we’ve been through this before, and I know you are lying to me.Mother: No, really. Have you noticed that you and the dog are both just sitting there? That’s because you both think it’s my job to do everything. So quit looking like this is such a sacrifice — at least you get to leave during the day while I’m stuck at home.Father: Really? It’s OK if I go back to bed? Maybe this time you really do mean it!Mother: Of course. Of course not.

The baby believes Dad is worthless as well, having noticed the old man comes without a food supply. Whatever the parents are talking about, the baby’s on Mom’s side.

Clever men will play coma when the newborn starts wailing, and the next morning innocently insist they never heard a thing. This works once. After that, he’ll find his mother-in-law has bought him a “present”: an infant monitor, which is nothing more than a police scanner with the frequency set to “hungry baby.”

The mother will lean over to crank up the volume on the thing, saying she wants to “hear the baby breathe.” What she really wants is for the father to hear the baby shriek — it’s like trying to sleep with every fingernail in the world being dragged across a blackboard. He can try to ignore it, but his brain won’t let him.

Brain: Hey, can you hear that? You’d better get up.

Father: Ignore it. Play coma.

Brain: No way, there’s something really wrong here. I’m declaring a full alert. Open your eyes.

Father: Five minutes.

Brain: Now! And don’t expect to go right back to sleep, either. When you get back in bed, I want to do a financial review of how in the world we’re going to pay for college. I’ll get the sweat glands ready.

I explained to Tom that, some nights, everyone has to get up so often even the baby will look sleepy. Fatigue will feel like sand in your joints, and you’d be tossed out of a zombie movie for acting too lethargic. But then you’ll be sitting there holding your child at 4 a.m., you and your baby gazing into each other eyes.

And at that point, it will all seem worth it.

-Bruce Cameron, Photo: Morgue File

A dad’s touching retrospective: By any other name, she’s still my little girl

The door to the preschool classroom swung open and the kids stampeded out, my 3-year-old daughter Maggie leading the way under the warm spring California sun.

She spotted me — a dad trying to be cool, surrounded by a group of moms — and skittered across the playground, stood with her feet on mine and hugged my knees, then tilted her head back, looked straight up at me and bellowed these words:

“Whoa, Dad! You have hair in your nose!”

You don’t forget a day like that.

We recently held each other again in Baltimore, where she lives, and we swayed to a Lee Ann Womack song called “I Hope You Dance,” and a few lines into the song she looked up at me again and she said this: “Thanks, Dad. For everything.”

And she squeezed my hand and a tear ran from her eye and I cried too, and the music played on. It was Maggie’s wedding. And if the marriage of your daughter doesn’t make your heart sing to the heavens and ache at the same time, well, you should get it checked.

Twenty-eight years went by, a blur really, with memories sprinkled through the fog like distant stars. She was always the brightest of all the stars, taking my soul on the day she was born. Changing it forever.

She laughed at my silliness and my bad jokes when I walked her to preschool and back home again, five days a week for a year. When it was time for kindergarten I surveyed the Los Angeles public schools and, with all due respect, beat a path to a nearby private Catholic school.

I was told there was a long waiting list. Then the nun who ran the school said they were looking for a volunteer boys’ gym teacher. I told her she had the right guy — if that little princess over there with the wild blonde hair could somehow get to the top of the waiting list. The nun smiled. A month later, the new St. Bernardine of Siena boys’ gym teacher and its newest kindergarten student reported for duty.

I thought I did it to give Maggie the best education. Now I look back and think I probably did it just to stay close to her. To watch her run across another playground. To see her smile. To hear her laugh.

Later, in Colorado, we walked along rivers and lakes, fly fishing and talking. And then one day, I dropped her off at Arizona State University, got back into my truck, and cried for 200 miles.

She ended up graduating from the University of Colorado in Boulder and in 2007 took a job at the zoo in Baltimore. A few years later, while playing on a softball team, she met a really nice guy named Morgan Lowman.

Last Saturday, with a soft snow falling in the quiet Maryland woods, she stood with Morgan and exchanged rings and later we danced and I was happy and oh so terribly sad because I knew that, for the most part, my walks with Maggie had come to an end.

They left two days later for a honeymoon, and from the plane my little girl sent a text message to me and my wife and a circle of friends.

“We’re off to Thailand! Eeee! I had such an amazing time this weekend!” it read, and just when I thought my heart might survive, she closed with this:

Love you all,

Maggie Lowman

I hope she knows that by any name, she will take my love wherever she wanders.

-Rich Tosches

 

My Dad on Religion, Politics, Boyfriends, Spain, and Tarot

From a very early age, I knew that my dad was different from all the other dads of this world. He encouraged me to read The Exorcist when I was eight. He recited a Max Ehrmann poem to me when I asked advice about boys (Yeah, I know. Who the hell asks their dad for boyfriend advice?!) “Go placidly amid the noise and haste,” he said. “And remember what peace there may be in silence.”

My dad thought it was the height of entertainment to knock on his childrens’ bedroom windows in the middle of the night and tell them all about the ball of fire in the night sky. My dad has given away THOUSANDS of books in his lifetime, read HUNDREDS of issues of National Geographic while sitting in the bathroom, and probably hasn’t missed a SINGLE episode of Jeopardy since, like, 1984.

But it took me several decades to truly appreciate him for all his… noncomformity.

Trouble followed my dad like the smell of cigarettes and stale beer did at one time. He made mistakes. Big ones.

7 Great Father’s Day Tradition Ideas and How Horton Had It Right

My son Bode is thoughtful, kind and beloved by everyone. I can count on one hand how many tantrums he’s ever thrown, and he prides himself on being responsible.

How many 5-year-olds do you know like that?

He is also analogous to an 8-ton pachyderm.

Case in point: We recently encountered another boy at the park whose constant barrage of insults quickly wore on me, but Bode continued playing with him. At one point, the kid demanded, “You need to watch my shark!” and without waiting for consent, he flitted off.

Bode simply placed the shark on a ledge and carefully cupped his hands over it.

When it appeared the kid wasn’t coming back from playing anytime soon, I told Bode, “You don’t need to do that, you know.”

Bode didn’t READ ON