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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.


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.