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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.


Dads Pancake Recipe

Nothing better than making your own pancake mix, its easy, you can make them for yourself, your partner or surprise the kids with a yummy food treat – get the kids to help you, they’ll love too!
During these times that we must “Stay Home”, we have to be creative and find different things to do and that includes cooking up different recipes.

My favorite is making them for breakfast, I smother them with butter, peanut butter and sliced banana with a drizzle of honey over them. Pretty much anything can go on top of a pancake? I’d be very interested to know your favorite topping?

Here’s the recipe that serves approximately 8 pancakes :

  • 1 cup of self raising flour into a large bowl
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Milk – Just enough to make the mixture not to runny
  • Lots of butter and favorite toppings

Add all dry ingredients to a bowl.
Get a whisk and add the milk slowly to the bowl while your “whisking”.
Continue to whisk until all mixture is mixed through well and it just wet enough to be the right runny consistency.

Heat up fry-pan to 3/4 heat with a teaspoon of butter smeared across the pan. The first pancake is usually always a test and often can not turn out.
Pour in some mixture, wait for bubbles to appear on top. When bubbles appear its time to flip the pancake over.

Wait for the bubbles to appear then flip over

I know you’ll enjoy this pancake recipe and it will be a good one for your Dads Cooking book. Let us all know how your pancakes turned out.

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.

Golden Door Muffins

The Golden Door Retreat on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

The Golden Door Retreat in Queensland.

I now know what indiscriminate exercise means 🙂
When I visited the Golden Door in the Brisbane hinterlands for a Dads 5 day health and wellbeing stay.

I was allocated cabin 16 which was wonderful but it was located close to the top of the highest hill, each day after lunch or dinner I would venture back up this hill which in itself was a work out. It was all part of the adventure. The meals were amazing, all vegetarian (I’m not) but I must admit they were good.

The whole idea of the 5 days was to eat healthily, workout and get back onto a healthy road. It worked, there was around 20 in the group, we were locked in behind gates, a nurse was on duty for the first 3 days incase anyone had bad widthdrawl? There was no smoking, drinking or treats of any kind. I am still not a Vege, but I do enjoy the occasional meal. One treat I did like and often cook are there Golden Door Muffins. The kids always ask for more…


Ingredients (makes 12)
2 Apples peeled and finely chopped
3 ripe bananas, chopped
85g (1/2 cup) pitted dates, chopped
55g (1/2 cup) sultanas
125ml (1/2 cup) maple syrup
3 tables spoons of finely chopped pecan nuts
310g (2 1/2 cups) wholemeal self raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 180c (350F)
Mix all ingredients together by hand and ensure all is combined well.
Add 13fl (1 and 1/2 cups) of water and fold together.
The mixture should not be two wet, if it is add a little more flour.

Lightly spray a 12 hole muffin tray with oil and spoon mixture into try holes.

Bake for approx 25 minutes


Pancakes with banana and maple syrup


On those mornings that your wondering what to cook for the kids? or just want something different to make. Try this easy pancake recipe (better than the packet mix) kids can even help. The first time i tried I ruined a couple but then found out that its normal until the pan gets an even heat through it.  Have fun and Enjoy!

1 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 Banana’s (or any fruit you and your children like.
Maple Syrup

Sift flour and sugar into mixing bowl
Add egg and approx 1/4 cup of milk and stir
Continue to add milk until mixture is smooth (no lumps) and desired consistency is achieved.
Texture should be thick, smooth but pour easily

Heat frying pan, add a little butter (so mixture does not stick)
Cook until holes appear on top of the pancake, flip and cook on other side until golden brown.

Slice up banana and place over the top and between the layers of pancakes, dribble maple syrup over the top.

TIP: sometimes the first couple of pancakes don’t work out but once the pan has an even distribution of heat they will brown up nicely.

One of our facebook dads “Roger Blackwell” suggested to simply remove the sugar and make a thin mix.  Don’t mix hard just blend with whisk. Throw in a banana, brown sugar syrup, crushed nuts and yoghurt. Winner! Or sliced ham, melted cheese and relish over the top. kids love them

3 recipes to make with the kids

ben and jerrys icecreamThey say that watching your parents cook is one of the strongest memories a child can have and cooking as a family is one of the few ways everyone can come together. If food was a big part of your household growing up, you would always remember arriving home from school to the rich aroma of stew simmering quietly on the stove – one of your parents tasting the consistency of the sauce every few minutes. As kids, we loved being a part of the kitchen and we were always excited to help out in any way we could. Whether it was stirring the pasta in the pot or helping to ice the cake whilst covering ourselves in the leftover icing. We simply treasured it! Now it’s time to re-create those memories with our own little ones. But what to make? If they are just learning, it needs to be simple enough where they feel as though they have reign in the kitchen. Here are just a few ideas of meals you can make with your kids.

Frozen Fruit Skewers with a honey yogurt dipping sauce

The Aussie  summer has just hit us and we are scrambling for ways to keep cool, especially if some of us aren’t blessed with a pool. Unlike those sugary popsicles, these frozen fruit skewers are not only refreshing but are full of delicious nutrients. All you need is skewers and fresh berries, grapes and pineapple. Have the kids place (or stab) the fruit with the wooden sticks and place them in the freezer until frozen solid. When they are ready to serve, mix together some plain yoghurt and honey for dipping.

Veggie Packed Homemade Sausage Rolls

Fussy kids and vegetables never go down well. We can cover the veggies in sauce all we like, but they always know. Before my eldest realised that vegetables are the bee’s knees, the only way I could get him his daily serve was by grating it into these homemade sausage rolls – what kid doesn’t love sausage rolls? In a bowl of mince, grate every vegetable in your arsenal along with some breadcrumbs and get your children to line the filling in the pastry. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and serve with a big dollop of tomato sauce.

Mega Chocolate Sundae

Ok, so we all need the odd treat every now and again, so why not go all out with a mega chocolate sundae that you can share. This recipe is super simple and adaptable to your kids’ tastebuds. Just pick yourself up a tub of  Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, marshmallows, wafer biscuits, whipped cream and if you feel the desire to add a touch of fruit, nothing compliments a sundae better than a banana. Once you’ve scooped the ice cream into a bowl, get your children to add their favourite toppings and voila – you’ve got yourself one scrumptious sundae.

What do your kids love cooking? Tell us in the comments below.

A Banana Smoothie Idea

A banana smoothie ideaA smoothie that the kids will love, you can be creative by purchasing some decorative glasses and making it look like a smoothie you would get from a resort. Kids always appreciate the effort.
A deliciously healthy way to start the day, this smoothie is full of bananas, honey, with just a hint of cinnamon that makes it more-ish. It’s breakfast in a glass and a great way to have a meal on the run or an after school snack.








Serves 2

  • 1 Banana – best if they are ripe
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 scoops of ice-cream
  • 2 ice cubes
  • 2 decorative glasses
  • straws

Go crazy and blend it all together and enjoy!


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.


Fruit and Honey Yoghurt

This is a winner for both adults and children, Summer or winter favorite. There are so many different styles of yoghurt on the shelf, just choose the one you and your kids like and enjoy.


strawberries, hulled and quartered
bananas, peeled, sliced
watermelon, chopped
apple, chopped
light plain Greek-style yoghurt
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons of toasted muesli

Combine strawberries, banana, orange and apple in a bowl.
Combine yoghurt and honey in a separate bowl.
Spoon fruit salad into bowls. Top with yoghurt mixture and toasted muesli.
Bowl up and watch it disappear.

Enjoy! The kids will love it.

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.