Click to find out more

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.


Toasted ham sandwich – in the frypan

If you’re like me, I’m always trying to impress the kids with some Dads Cooking. This might not sound like a biggy but the difference you get in taste between a toaster and a fry-plan is huge, when you cook your toasties in non-stick pan – you will never go back 🙂

Ingredients Serves 1 or 2
50g butter, 2 teaspoons
4 thick slices white bread
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (optional)
100g thinly sliced leg ham
80g Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced
Pineapple pieces (optional)
dressed salad leaves, to serve

Set 1 teaspoon of butter aside. Place 2 slices bread on a board. Combine mustard and remaining butter in a small bowl. Mix well. Spread over bread. Top with ham and cheese and pineapple if required. Season with salt and pepper. Spread remaining bread with mustard butter and sandwich together.  Press down firmly.

Heat half the reserved butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Place 1 sandwich in pan (see note). Cook for 2 minutes each side or until golden. Repeat with remaining butter and sandwich. Serve with salad.


A lunchbox to satisfy Dad and the kids

Uncle Toby Fruit BoxIts not the first time I have posted on putting together a healthy School lunch box but this is also my lunch box. When I make the school lunch I also make a duplicate for me 🙂

Fresh fruit is always a winner and I love this time of year. The better fruits are now coming into season and appearing in the shops and markets not to mention half the price. I do a big fruit shop on a Sunday,   rock melon and pears (a house favorite) are normally a little hard and it takes a day or two to loosen up and be juicy and firm (not hard).

I purchase in bulk the plastic containers (they get damaged) to use as the fruit box and then I enjoy cutting the fruit each morning to see how good I make it look. I must say today was visually amazing and also the fruit was so juicy, I could have eaten 2 boxes! Its sometimes a challenge where to go after the fruit box is put together when trying to keep in the theme of healthy. I add a fresh sandwich or sometimes a scroll from a bakery the day prior.

If I left it up to my child she would have only biscuits for lunch. At the moment she is off bread and scrolls and seems to just like fruit and a Uncle Tobys muesli bar, Uncle Tobys have reformulated their bars and they are good. My daughter said that they were good and her favorite is the choc chip. I tried the yoghurt & honeycomb today and it was a nice surprise that the whole bar wasn’t covered in yoghourt. Instead it was a drizzle so I could taste the grains and it wasn’t as dense as before, it felt lighter and healthier.

This hasn’t been a paid advertisement just a shout out to a company with a good lunchbox item.

Banana and peanut butter sandwich

peanut butter and banana sandwichIngredients (serves 1)
2 slices of your favourite bread
1 tbs peanut butter
1 banana, sliced
2 tsp honey

This snack is universal, breakfast or lunch 🙂 Came across it in a cafe in St Kilda Melbourne the other day, so simple and delish!

Spread 1 slice of bread with 1 tbs peanut butter. Top with 1 banana, sliced, and drizzle over 2 tsp honey. Top with another slice of bread.  Toast it if you prefer?  …Enjoy.

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 🙂

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

Party Sausage Rolls

Grab the kids to help you in the kitchen and make these yummy sausage rolls.
There is nothing better than cooking with kids, its so much fun 🙂

Makes 24

500g sausage mince
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons mustard powder
1 small brown onion, grated
1 medium carrot, peeled, grated
3 sheets frozen puff pastry, partially thawed
Tomato sauce, to serve

Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.

Combine mince, tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, breadcrumbs, mustard powder, onion and carrot in a bowl.

Cut each pastry sheet in half. Shape 1/2 cup mince mixture into a sausage shape. Place along 1 long side of 1 pastry half.
Roll up pastry to enclose filling.
Using fingertips, pinch pastry to seal.
Cut into quarters. Place, seam side down, on 1 prepared tray, 5mm apart. Repeat with remaining mince mixture and pastry.

Bake for 35 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Serve with tomato sauce.


Banana Smoothie

Banana smoothies are a great tasting drink and can help provide the necessary energy to kick start the day. This is a Dad 101 recipe that you need to be good at 🙂 Awesome for a snack anytime or breakfast…

Ingredients (serves 2)
2 ripe chopped bananas
2 cup skim milk
3-4 scoops vanilla ice-cream
2 teaspoons honey (optional)
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 decorative or long glass
1 long wooden skewer

Place bananas, milk, vanilla ice-cream, honey and cinnamon in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Cut a few pieces of the banana and slide along the skewer and place in glass for decoration.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy,  Kids love this breakfast drink.

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.


Crispy Potato Skins with Dip

You wont get any complaints serving these up.
Serves 4

4 large (about 1kg) sebago potatoes, scrubbed.
Olive oil spray,
1/2 cup (50g) grated cheddar
Mild tomato salsa, or a dip of your choice

Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the potatoes on the shelf in the oven and bake for 1-1 1/2 hours or until tender.

Cut the potatoes in half lengthways. Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the soft potato flesh, leaving some flesh close to the skin. Cut each piece into 2 or 3 pieces length ways.

Line a baking tray with nonstick baking paper. Place the potato skins on the baking tray and spray generously with olive oil. Sprinkle with cheddar. Bake for about 20 minutes or until skins are golden and crispy.

Set aside to cool slightly before handling

Serve with the salsa or dip.


Chicken Stir fry

Ok Dads, this is a bit of a favorite, everyone needs a good chicken stir fry in the recipe book. The kids will love this meal, as its a simple kids meal that gets eaten.

Ingredients (serves 4)
1 tbs olive oil
500g chicken breast fillets, cut into strips
1 white onion, diced
6 celery stalks, trimmed, thinly sliced on the diagonal
250g green beans, topped, cut into 4cm lengths
1/4 cup of mushrooms (optional)
1/4 cup (40g) raw almonds
3 cups steamed rice, to serve

Heat half the oil in a wok or large frypan over high heat. Stir-fry the chicken, in batches, for 1-2 minutes, until golden.

Add onion and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add celery and beans, and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, until just tender.

Return chicken and nuts to wok . Coat with a sesame and ginger sauce (kids love the taste) Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and coated in the sauce.

Serve with rice.