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Food and snack recipes you can be sure the kids will love

It’s important to make sure you have food recipe’s under your belt that you know the kids will eat.
Cooking snacks and dinners are not meant to be difficult, it’s can be very rewarding when you see your children eating nutritious meals – that you cooked. If your a separated dad, getting the children, breakfast, lunch and dinner (and snacks) is fundamental in part of the caring and nurturing of your children. There are a few other recipes you can find by clicking here on the dads online site. Here are just a few other easy meals that will get you going…

  1. Grilled Cheese Toastie:

    • Ingredients:
      • Bread slices
      • Butter
      • Cheese slices
    • Instructions:
      1. Butter one side of each bread slice.
      2. Place a cheese slice between two slices of bread (buttered side out).
      3. Heat a skillet (frypan) over medium heat and cook the sandwich until both sides are golden brown and the cheese is melted.
  1. Homemade Chicken Nuggets:

    • Ingredients:
      • Chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
      • Flour
      • Eggs, beaten
      • Breadcrumbs
      • Salt and pepper
    • Instructions:
      1. Dredge chicken pieces in flour, dip in beaten eggs, then coat with breadcrumbs.
      2. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for about 15-20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
  1. Pasta with Tomato Sauce:

    • Ingredients:
      • Pasta (e.g., spaghetti, penne)
      • Tomato Bolognese sauce
      • Grated Parmesan cheese
    • Instructions:
      1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
      2. Heat tomato sauce, and serve it over the cooked pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
      3. I myself enjoys a good Spaghetti Bplognese so add 500g of mince meat cooked up and grate some zucchini and carrot into the mince meat.
  1. Mini Pizzas:

    • Ingredients:
      • English muffins or small pizza crusts
      • Pizza sauce
      • Shredded mozzarella cheese
      • Toppings like pepperoni, bell peppers, and mushrooms
    • Instructions:
      1. Spread pizza sauce on the muffins or crusts.
      2. Sprinkle with cheese and add your favorite toppings.
      3. Bake in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) until cheese is bubbly and golden.
  1. Fruit Kabobs:

    • Ingredients:
      • Assorted fruits (e.g., strawberries, grapes, melon, pineapple)
      • Wooden skewers
    • Instructions:
      1. Wash and cut fruits into bite-sized pieces.
      2. Thread the fruit pieces onto wooden skewers to make colorful fruit kabobs.
Slice of toast bread with peanut butter and banana isolated on white, top view, copy space. Sweet sandwich, unhealthy food.
  1. Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich:

    • Ingredients:
      • Bread slices
      • Peanut butter
      • Sliced bananas
    • Instructions:
      1. Spread peanut butter on one slice of bread.
      2. Top with banana slices and cover with another slice of bread. Cut into fun shapes with cookie cutters if desired.

These recipes are simple to prepare and are sure to be a hit with kids!

Dads Favourite Shepherds Pie Recipe

Dads, if you’re after a dinner recipe that will please the family, and the kids will ask for more, then this is it.
Im cooking it again because “Odette” loved it and licked the plate clean. Surely that in itself is an awesome review for Dads Cooking.

OK, here is the recipe

  • Serves about 8
  • Prep time approx 20 min
  • Cook time approx 50 min
  • Total time required approx 1.10 min

Meat Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of Olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 1.5kg of lean mince meat
  • 3 teaspoons of finely chopped parsley
  • 3 teaspoons of finely chopped rosemary
  • 3 teaspoons of finely chopped thyme leaves
  • half teaspoon of salt
  • half teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 2 table spoons of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of beef stock
  • 1.1/2 mixed frozen peas, carrots and corn kernels

Potato Ingredients

  • 10 medium size washed potato’s peeled
  • 8 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
  • smash of milk
  • 250g mozzarella cheese

Cooking the meat mixture

  1. add the olive oil to a large frypan over a medium heat for a couple of minutes then add the diced onion and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.
  2. add the mince meat to the frypan and break apart whilst browning the meat.
  3. add the parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir in well and cook for approx 8 minutes until meat is brown.
  4. add the Worcestershire sauce and garlic, stir in and combine for a couple of minutes continuing to break apart the mince.
  5. add the flour and tomato past and stir into the mince meat.
  6. add the stock, frozen peas, carrots and corn. Stir in and bring the liquid to a boil and then turn down to a simmer for 5 minutes, stir occasionally.
  7. turn off the stove and let meat mixture rest.
  8. Preheat oven to 180c

Cooking the potato mixture

  1. place potato in a large pot and cover the potato in water.
    1. bring water to the boil. reduce to a simmer, cook until potato are tender to touch with a fork – approx. 10-15 min
  2. drain the water out of the pot, let them sit in the pot for 1 min so the remaining water evaporates.
  3. add butter, salt, parmesan, milk and mash together until mixture is mashed together with no lumps.

Putting Dads Sheperds pie together

  1. pour the meat mixture into a large casserole dish and spread evenly to all edges of the dish
  2. spoon the mash evenly over the top of the meat and to all edges of the dish.
  3. sprinkle the mozzarella over the top of the mash evenly .

Cook time

  • bake uncovered in oven for 25-30 minutes.
  • If casserole dish looks full to the top, it might be a good idea to place on a baking tray so the liquid doesn’t bubble over into the oven whilst cooking.
  • the mozzarella will brown up and create a nice tasty top to your shepherd pie
  • remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving
  • If your not ready to eat, cover with glad wrap and rest in the fridge until your ready to put it in the oven. Take off the glad wrap and follow the above steps to heat it up for dinner.

We would love to read your comments below on how it went?

Enjoy Dads 🙂


Rest in the fridge

Cauliflower and Zucchini Soup

cauliflower and zucchini soup

I got onto this recipe when I stayed at the Golden Door retreat, every time I make it, the kids practically lick the bowl clean. It’s really awesome! For the soup lovers that like it a little hot, drop a small dollop of chilli mixture in the center and stir it through.

saute onions and leekgrill the zucchiniboil and simmer for 30 minIngredients – serves approx 15

  • 2 large onions – chopped
  • 1 leek – chopped, white part only
  • 3 Zucchini’s – cut in half and grilled for 20 minutes
  • 1 large (or 2 small) Cauliflower – chopped
  • 1/4 cup of cashew nuts – chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves – roasted (place on try with zucchini’s)
  • 3 litres of Vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine onion, leek and salt in large saucepan with some water to saute for 5 minutes.
  • Add everything in and bring to boil and then let simmer for 30 minutes
  • Remove soup from heat and allow to cool
  • Blend soup in food processor or blender until smooth
  • Reheat gently and serve

soup for a cold winters nightThere is nothing better than a great soup on a winters night, it will make a great meal for the kids and you. I would love your feedback on how you all enjoyed this cauliflower and zucchini soup?

Don’t forget the crusty bread to go with it.


Osso Bucco with a Dads twist

Dads Osso Bucco Slow Cooked Beef 1Tonight was the first week night of the year that gave us a hint of winter- 11 celsius. A perfect night for a slow cooked style casserole with mash potato. I searched the net for a yummy recipe that would satisfy my toughest critics, yes the kids! I found a recipe that was DELICIOUS 🙂
No wonder Julie Goodwin won Master Chef and is known for family cooking, Julie’s website helped me out today (I came home at lunchtime and put it on so that it was ready tonight, although I prepared it yesterday). You might need to cook this on a weekend if you don’t have the time?

You will need a slow cooker, I recommend investing in one as the dishes they produce are easy and so tasty.

This dish is a winner:

Osso Bucco with a Dads twist…
Serves: 4

  • ½ cup plain flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground white pepper
  • 4 Oyster blade steaks (around 1.2 kg)
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 celery sticks, diced
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cups white wine
  • 1 ½ cups veal or beef stock
  • 1 x 400g tin of  diced tomatoes


Cut Oyster blade steaks into bite size cubes, Put flour, salt and pepper into plastic bag (I use freezer bags). Hold the top of the bag and shake it up to mix all the contents together.

Put diced steaks into bag and again hold the top of the bag and shake to coat the steaks with the mixture.

Put Olive oil into frypan and sear the steaks so that they are slightly browned. Make sure that you shake off the excess flour back into the bag so that you don’t have too much flour in the pan.

Once brown put them into slow cooker to rest.

Dice, onion, carrot, celery and garlic and soften in frypan ( do not brown) This should take about 3-4 minutes whilst continually stirring. Add the tomato past, beef stock, wine, and the remainder of the flour mixture to vegetables and mix through.

Dads Osso Bucco Slow Cooked Beef 3Once mixed through pour all contents into slow cooker, mix and turn slow cooker on and close lid.


Dads Osso Bucco Slow Cooked Beef 2I cooked this dish for 4  hours, prior to serving I warmed the plates  and made mash potato with some parmesan cheese added.

There is enough over to have it again tomorrow night or it has been suggested I make a pie with it Mmmmm.

Seriously everyone thought it was delicious, I hope you enjoy 🙂

Jackeroo Pie, a meal sure to get eaten

jackeroo pieOK here is a meal that everyone will looove. So much so that I wanted to share the recipe with you 🙂  It’s out of one of my favorite cook books “Matt Prestons 100 Best Recipe’s”  called Jackeroo Pie. It’s made with Lamb mince. If you use beef mince it turns into cottage pie. It was eaten up pretty quick tonight, here is the recipe…


  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 large onion
  • 6 spring onions, finely sliced – white and greens separated
  • 150g (1 cup) frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Whorcesterhire Sauce
  • 2 teaspoon Vegemite
  • 500ml (2 cups) chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked mashed potato
  • 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • Butter as much as you think it needs

Preheat oven to 180c

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy-based pot over a medium heat. Turn up the heat and add the lamb mince and cook, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon, until brown. Stir in vegemite. Remove mince from pot and set aside in a separate bowl.

Lower the heat a little, add the remaining olive oil to the same pot and add the onion and spring onion whites. Cook for 3-4 minutes until softened. Mix in the peas, tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and thoroughly stir through.

Return the lamb mince to the pot and mix through onion and peas, add stock, season with salt and pepper.

Mix the green chopped spring onions through the warm mashed potatos.

Place the lamb mince into a pie dish. There will be more juice from the pot than is needed. Scoop out the bulk of the pie contents and use as much juice as you feel is necessary for the dish. The rest of the stock can be discarded.

Spread the mash potato over the top of the pie and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top of the mash.

Place into oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and enjoy 🙂


The secret to getting around a fussy eater

Matt Prestons chicken schnitzel and coleslawIf your kids are anything like mine and i think most are, they are fussy eaters.

Until recently i threw out a lot of everything I cooked for my daughter, mostly, when I was trying to introduce her to different foods.  She was stubborn when it came to trying something new, which I find strange because I am not a fussy eater nor is her mother?  AND then I got Matt Preston’s “100 BEST RECIPES” for Christmas.

I cooked Jackeroo pie and Chicken Schnitzel and Coleslaw and she asked for more on both occasions.  I believe the secret to getting around a fussy eater is to involve the kids in the cooking process. I was so impressed with the change in her eating habits that I contacted Matt and told him about it.

Matt sent the following message to all our dads online friends:

Few things give me more joy than cooking with kids. Few things also take longer to clean up but there’s no doubt that this is one way round the fussy eater in the family. What they’ve cooked, they tend to eat!

Matt Preston




Here is the recipe she likes the best so far…




Chicken Schnitzel and Coleslaw

  • 2 large chicken fillets (cut in half length ways)
  • 160g or 2 cups of fresh breadcrumbs
  • 40g 1/3 cup of finely grated parmesan
  • zest of a lemon
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped parsley
  • freshly grounded black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 125ml 1/2 cup of milk
  • plain flour for dusting
  • olive oil for frying pan
  • 2 lemons cut into wedges to serve


  • 1/4 of a savoy cabbage
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 235g 1 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 1/2 bunch parsley leaves, washed and dried
  • 40g 1/4 cup currents

To prepare the schnitzels, beat the chicken until flat between two pieces of plastic wrap. Mix the breadcrumbs with the parmesan, lemon zest, parsley and pepper. In another bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Dust the chicken with flour, dip it in the egg wash and coat with the breadcrumb mix. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to set.

Meanwhile, to make the coleslaw, mix the cabbage, carrot and red onion in a medium bowl with enough mayonnaise to bind. Set aside for 20-30 minutes to soften.

Heat the oil in a shallow pan and cook schnitzels for 4-5 minutes on each side to golden. Drain well on paper towel. Keep your schnitzels warm while you cook all the fillets.

Toss the the coleslaw with the parsley and currants, pile onto plates with the schnitzels and serve.

Let us know how you go, You, your kids and guests will love them! We even play the “Masterchef” game and score the dish on – taste and plating up appearance 🙂 On this dish I got a 10 for taste and a 7.5 for appearance! I obviously have some work to do?

Dads Cafe Breakfast Menu

This is what breakfast looked like at our house this morning. Every now and then using an A4 piece of paper I draw up a menu similar to the ones we get in a cafe and we all get to order what we would like to eat. It’s a bit of fun as kids love to role play games and you can pretend you are a waiter. I just include on the menu what is available in the fridge and pantry at the time.

dads cafe menu

A Chicken Risotto the kids will love

You wont get any arguments from the kids with this chicken risotto, great tasting meal for everyone.  Best of all it can saved for a few days in the fridge so you have ready made meals at your disposal to heat up when needed.


Serves 6

  • 2 teaspoons of butter or margarine
  • 1 onion chopped and diced
  • 1 garlic clove crushed and diced
  • 2 cups of raw arborio rice
  • 3 cups of salt reduced chicken stock (Campbells)
  • 2 cubes of chicken stock powder
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 chicken fillet breasts trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/3 cup pf white wine
  • 3 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
  • 310g of corn kernels
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • Pepper for taste

Cook in a non-stick saucepan.
Melt butter in pan, cook onion and garlic for approx 2 minutes.
Add Rice and stir onion and garlic through for about 3 minutes.
Add 2 cups of the Campbells chicken stock and the 2 chicken stock powder cubes.
Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, stir frequently.
Once liquid has been absorbed, Add in diced chicken pieces.
Add 1 cup of  Campbells chicken stock, ! cup of water and 1/3 cup of white wine.
Stir continuously on simmer
Once liquid has been adsorbed add in final 2 cups of water.
Add in Corn kernels and frozen peas.
Add in 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan
Stirring continuously once liquid is adsorbed rice should be cooked.

NOTE: Risotto when cooked should have a moist consistency.


Chicken and Leek Casserole

Dads Online VideoA great meal to cook for you and the kids.  I always get asked for seconds,  so I hope you experience the same.


  • 1/4 cup of plain flour
  • 8 chicken thighs, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 Leek, washed and halved
  • 4 rashes of bacon chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 100g of green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 100g of mushrooms

Preheat oven to 180C. Place flour in a large plastic bag (freezer type), add some salt and pepper to season.  Add chicken and shake to coat with flour. Remove the chicken from bag and shake off any excess flour back into bag.  Continue until all chicken is coated.

Heat butter and oil in a fry pan over a medium heat. Cook chicken in batches for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove and keep on a plate.

Add leek, garlic and bacon to the pan and cook until Leek is tender – stirring occasionally.

Transfer to a oven proof casserole dish and add chicken and 2 cups of chicken stock – cover and bring to the boil and then remove from heat.

Place into oven for 35 minutes on 180C.

Remove from oven, add mushrooms, beans and 1/5 cup pf white wine – cook for a further 15 minutes.

Prepare your rice and plate up.

Once cooled, this dish can be kept in the fridge, then separate your meal servings, heat up and eaten over the next 2- 3 days.




Tuna Pasta

Tuna Pasta dishes are generally loved by all for dinner or lunch. Once when my daughter was younger she didn’t want to eat it because it was fish so I told her it was chicken and she nearly licked the bowl clean 🙂

Ingredients (serves 4)
400g, 4 handfulls of shell or spiral pasta
olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
300ml cream
1/3 cup fresh herbs eg. parsley, chives, basil and thyme
2 x 190g can tuna in oil
1 cup (120g) grated tasty cheese

Preheat oven to 190°C.

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water following packet instructions or until al dente – soft. Drain and return to pan.

Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a deep non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 4 minutes or until softened. Add the tomato paste and cream and stir until combined. Stir through the pasta, chopped herbs and tuna and season with salt and cracked black pepper.

Transfer the mixture to a large ovenproof dish or 4 individual ovenproof dishes and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden on top. Let it rest for 5 minutes, then serve with a simple salad.


Spaghetti Bolognaise

Ingredients (serves 6 or great of a couple of nights)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
800g-1kg of diet mince
700g Leggo’s Sugo di pomodoro, premium cooking sauce
1 140g tub of Leggo’s tomato paste
1 400g can of diced tomatos
2 medium size carrots diced
1 onion diced
1 clove of garlic, crushed and diced finely
1 red pepper finely diced (optional)
2 Carrots grated
1 zucchini grated
6 button mushrooms, sliced (optional)
5 basil leaves finely chopped
250g green beans, topped, cut into 4cm lengths

Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the mince and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps, for 5 minutes or until mince changes colour.

Drain fat from meat and transfer to a holding bowl.

Add onion and garlic to fry pan and cook until soft for 3 minutes

Add the mince, premium cooking sauce, tomato paste, tomatoes, basil, beans, carrot, red pepper and cook, stirring for 10 minutes or until vegetables soften. Cover and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Uncover and cook for a further 10 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Note: If bolognaise sauce is too thick add water as required.

Remove from heat and serve with spaghetti, penne or spaghetti shells.

Once cooled you can put a quantity in an air tight container and freeze for up to 3 months.


Steamed Rice

I always wondered how the Chinese make their rice so good, light, not to dry, not to moist and without a rice cooker? Be low is how to make steamed rice.

Prep time
5 minutes

Cooking Time
20 minutes

Ingredients (serves 3)
1.5 cups long-grain white rice
2 cups water

Place rice in a medium saucepan and then add the water. Cover with a tight fitting lid or foil and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, without lifting the lid, for 10-12 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes without lifting the lid. Stir the rice with a fork to separate the grains. Alternatively invest in a rice cooker! They are not expensive and produce the best rice in minutes, seriously the best way to cook rice.