Author: Mike Vrobel

New York City | DadCooksDinner.com

The Big Apple (Road Trip Week 3)

New York City was hot, noisy, dirty…and full of energy, people, and fun things to do. We went to the top of the Empire State Building at night, and the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on a gray and overcast day. We toured the Whitney museum and MOMA, piloted remote control sailboats in Central Park, and visited the somber memorial for 9/11. We enjoyed street cart kabobs and chili dogs, modern Sichuan at Café China, flat whites at Birch Coffee, the fried yard bird at Red Rooster Harlem, prosecco and rosé at Eataly, pop up food trucks on Broadway, table side guacamole at Rosa Mexicano, and a last day in the city breakfast at Balthazar. Now, after weeks on the road, we are relaxing on the shores of Lake Erie. I love traveling – but sometimes I need a vacation from my vacation.

Thank You for the Maine Suggestions (Road Trip Week 2)

Thank you to everyone who gave me suggestions for Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor, and Acadia national park. We had a fantastic time, even if the hike up the north ridge of Cadillac Mountain almost finished me. Favorites from the trip Lobsters, lobsters everywhere! Lobster rolls were on the menu no matter where we went. My favorite meal was the whole steamed lobster and mussels at Thurston’s Lobster Pound…but it was hard to go wrong with any of the seafood choices on Mount Desert Island The Island Cruise with Bass Harbor Cruises was the highlight of the trip. I learned a ton about lobster fishing, the islands of Downeast Maine, and got some fantastic photos of the seals lounging on the rocks. Highly recommended. Popovers at Jordan Pond restaurant in the park. Unfortunately, it was raining when we visited, so the view from the terrace was gray with low cloud cover. The popovers made up for the dreary view – they were massive and airy. Thanks again to everyone for the food suggestions. Once again, …

Amazon Prime Day 2017 – Instant Pot Deals?

Looking to buy an Instant Pot? Heads up! Amazon has had great deals on the Instant Pot Duo the last two years on Prime Day, their annual “Christmas in July” sale. [Update 8:46AM EST: It’s the Instant Pot 8 Quart Duo on sale – if you want one, hurry on over to Amazon!] Why am I telling you this? Because, today is Amazon Prime Day for 2017. I’m in Downeast Maine with only a hint of cell phone coverage, so I don’t know any details, but… I have a feeling there will be deals on the Instant Pot today. (And, if we’re lucky, on the new Instant Pot Plus). Check out the current prices below – I’ve got the list prices, so you can check if a good deal is available: Instant Pot 6 quart Duo (Regularly $99) Instant Pot 6 quart Duo Plus (Regularly $119) Instant Pot 8 quart Duo (Regularly $129 – NOW $89!!) Also, I am an Amazon affiliate – any purchases made through my Amazon links support DadCooksDinner at no extra cost …

Selections from Marche Jean-Talon - collage of asparagus, rotisserie chicken, and mixed berries | DadCooksDinner.com

Thank You for the Montreal Suggestions (Road Trip Week 1)

Thank you to everyone for the road trip suggestions! Montreal Smoked Meat was every bit as good as advertised, Poutine got mixed reviews (I loved it, the kids…not so much), and my French is every bit as bad as ever. Favorites from the trip (So Far): Everyone recommended a visit to Schwartz’s Deli for the smoked meat, and I’m sure it is fantastic, because there was a line out the door, down the street, and around the corner. We needed lunch, not a 2 hour wait, so we had to switch plans. We went to Snowdon Deli instead, and were able to walk right in and start eating our Montreal Smoked meat sandwiches. (Picture at the top of the page) It was worth the trip – very similar to corned beef or pastrami, but the smoke gives it a little something extra. I’m a sucker for farmers markets, and Marche Jean-Talon is a good one. The central vegetable market is surrounded by a sea of specialist food places. I loved wandering around, seeing what was …

Montreal and Maine Suggestions? (East Coast Road Trip 2017)

DadCooksDinner is on the road again! My day job gives me a month long sabbatical every five years. It’s that time again, so I’m using it to take a trip out East. I have two teenagers and a pre-teen. (How did that happen so fast?) So I think this is our last chance for a while to take a big family road trip. I’ve never been to Maine, so we are heading there to spend a week at Acadia national park. We’re going by way of Montreal for a few days (my wife’s request), to Maine, and then driving down the east coast to New York City (the kids request.) After that, we’re heading to my family’s cottage on Lake Erie, to hang out by the beach until the end of the month. Why am I telling you all this? Two reasons: Posting will be spotty for the month of July. I have some posts ready to go, but not enough for the whole month, and posting three times a week is probably not going …

Fagor Lux and Instant Pot Duo | DadCooksDinner.com

Throwback Tuesday: Revisiting Favorite Instant Pots

What’s that? It’s supposed to be #ThrowbackThursday? Whoops… Last week was crazier than usual – planning for an extended vacation, a couple of big birthdays (Happy Birthday, Dear!) and a health scare in my family. (Get well, Matt!) I didn’t have the time – or, more importantly, the focus – to work on a new recipe post, so I spent the time cleaning up a few things that have been bothering me. Some of the work is behind the scenes – there’s a blog redesign coming! – but some of it is updates to my Which Pressure Cooker Should I Buy and Instant Pot Frequently Asked Questions posts. If you are a newer reader, and haven’t seen those posts, head on over and check them out. They are two of my most popular posts, and they answer a lot of the questions I get. If you already read them, here’s a summary of the two big changes: My favorite pressure cooker is now the Instant Pot Duo 60 Plus. It pushed my long-time favorite, the …

Instant Pot Ceramic Nonstick Pot Liner | DadCooksDinner.com

Instant Pot Ceramic Nonstick Inner Pot

Instant Pot has released a ceramic nonstick inner pot! (Yes, I know they’ve had one on their website for years, but it was always out of stock. This new pot liner is available now on Amazon, a sign that Instant Pot has caught up with demand. That said, if you want one, grab it soon, just in case it sells out.) Now, I prefer durable stainless steel pots. I don’t have much luck with nonstick – I always scratch it, and have to replace it after a few years. So, I’m reluctant to use a nonstick pot in my main, workhorse pressure cooker. The stainless steel inner pot is one of Instant Pot’s big advantages. But as a backup, especially for sticky recipes like Mac and Cheese? I’m happy that Instant Pot now has an official nonstick inner pot. Backup inner pots are also useful to have around. I have a few extra, for when I’m slow on dishes, or when I need a second pot to strain chicken broth. I’m glad to add a …