Dad in the kitchen? Here’s 3 recipes even you can’t botch

photo credit: ....Tim via photopin cc
photo credit: ….Tim via photopin cc

I love food.

I know, Captain Obvious. Thing is, I also like to *make* food. The results are usually good. I have had two failures that come to mind: A Sprite cake that somehow galvanized into a bundt-shaped anvil, and awful salsa burgers that didn’t impress my three little part-Mexican jumping beans.

Otherwise, the kidlets tend to celebrate my creations.

Never mind that I always forget to put on a pot of vegetables when I cook, or that the kitchen looks like Badgdad when I’m finished.

Grace and I even put on a pretend cooking show.

I know it’d be a hit – a dad and baby in their pajamas, mucking up a kitchen until a pile of waffles or mountain of wings commences.

Grace one year even asked Santa for a chef’s hat.

Here’s a list of some of our greatest hits, as decided upon by the little three:


Not So Awful Waffles

breakfasts,food,waffles,butter,snacksWhat you’ll need:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons white sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups warm milk

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

What you’ll do:

Heat waffle iron. Beat eggs with whisk in medium bowl, just until they’re fluffy (I tried really hard to word this another way). Beat in the rest of the ingredients, but just until smooth. Spoon batter into waffle iron (did you remember to heat it?), and bake about 5 minutes, or until you see steam billowing out of the sides. Careful pulling them out – burned fingers aren’t a side dish.

photo credit: Food Thinkers via photopin cc
photo credit: Food Thinkers via photopin cc


Baked Chicken Wings (Extra messy for Elise)

What you’ll need:

1/3 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, pressed (don’t let the kids see you do this part)

1 tablespoon chili powder (optional)

2 teaspoons garlic powder

salt and ground pepper to taste

25 chicken wings

What you’ll do:

Preheat oven to 375. Mix olive oil, garlic, chili powder, garlic salt, salt, and pepper in large resealable bag. Seal and shake (the kids will fight over this job, unless the Wii is on, in which case it’s all yours). Add wings. Reseal, and shake it like your paycheck depends on it. Place wings on cookie sheet. Cook for 1 hour, or until they look crispy and sufficiently cooked.

Serve with “blue ranch,” as my kids call bleu cheese, and celery and carrots. Put three wings on their plate, and refuse to serve a fourth until the celery and carrots are also eaten. I’m not above using these tactics.


photo credit: 3liz4 via photopin cc
photo credit: 3liz4 via photopin cc

Crepes, for Creeps

What you’ll need:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

2 eggs

2 pinches of salt (give or take)

Delicious fillers: chocolate chips, creme cheese, jelly. Nutritional value optional.

More delicious toppers: syrup, powdered sugar, strawberries, blueberries, and did we mention chocolate chips?

What you’ll do:

Whisk up the flour, milk, eggs and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl. Heat up a frying pan, and slide a bit of butter around it by tilting it around. (If you’re a child of the 80s, and you have a wok cluttering up your cabinets, I bet it would work really well for this. Not that I own a wok.)

Slap down about a hockey puck’s-worth of batter on the pan, and swish this around, too, to make it cover as much of the pan as possible. Use a circular motion, lest your crepes become the shape of Newfoundland and not the shape of a flattened-out hockey puck. It will take about 2 minutes for it to get about nearly as brown as your favorite blogger – then, it’s time to flip it, and get the white side right.

Keep it up until the batter’s gone. The French say you can freeze crepes by placing wax paper between them.

I don’t know about you, but there’s one term less likely to be uttered than “more broccoli, please” among my kids:

“What should we do with the leftover crepes, dad?”

This is America. Destroy your breakfast.

So, what recipes get rave reviews from your kidlets?


  1. Ashley T. says:

    You had me at recipe….now where is that salsa recipe? Kidding….not really. As much as I like to cook I have never made any of these from scratch…will have to try them.

    1. Not so fast, Ash. That salsa recipe is tucked away in the Ark of the Covenant, for all intents and purposes. Although, when my dad shared it, people would add stuff to it and ruin it anyway. Can you believe this one woman added corn to it? Blasphemy.

      Anyway, my salsa in the form you came to know and love is in peril. There is one key ingredient I can’t get a hold of any more. I realize that because of the shroud of secrecy, I can’t even ask for help in finding the key ingredient, either.

      I believe this is how history becomes history.

  2. kenyagjohnson says:

    Ooooh can I help – let me try it (to pressing garlic) all three of the recipes look delish. So not that I own a crepe pan or a wok – nice to know I can hockey puck crepe batter into a frying pan. Cool!

    1. Pressing garlic and using the mixer and stuff like that are the most popular things the kids fight over doing. A plain skillet works just fine for crepes – I’m not that fancy to have a crepe pan. And if I did, I’d never tell the fellas.

      Hockey puck: I was thinking, how big is that mess of batter? What better measuring tool than something from sports? Works for me! (I’m the guy who also compares sizes of things outside the kitchen to things *in* the kitchen. It all comes back to food and sports).

  3. Rosey says:

    These are great, and the post above me made me laugh…maybe it’s just time to let the salsa secret out (he he he). 🙂

    My two youngest like to help in the kitchen too. It’s fun-fun! My daughter is the pancake expert (no one gets to make pancakes if she’s not involved, trust me!), and my little one likes anything he gets to measure and mix. Pizza’s a big hit too because they like to ‘decorate’ their food.

    Our play kitchen gets a LOT of play time too…one of the few toys well worth the $. 🙂

    1. Salsa secrets are tough to divulge! It’s kind of a hot topic, apparently.

      “Decorating” food … love it. I find myself explaining defensive tactics in soccer practice by telling stories about pizza dough. Food’s like the greatest, isn’t it?

      I never had a play kitchen as a kid. My sister did, and I might have messed with it a bit. Unless my Star Wars figures were out. Or someone had a football. (OK, so maybe even if those things were around. I’m not ashamed to admit it. Much.)

      1. Rosey says:

        You’re punny. 🙂

        My husband, even though he is a FABULOUS cook and enjoys doing it (when he *cough rarely* does it), totally makes fun of me for encouraging my son’ s obsession with the play kitchen. LUCKILY two of his manly man friends have wives who encourage their son’s play cooking too. Hail to the chefs…big and small. 🙂

      2. We men can’t cook every day. One, the mess would be overwhelming. And B, it might come to be expected of us.

        (Dad should know that chicks really dig guys who can cook. Rather than put his son in dance class, he should encourage his inner chef. He won’t get beat up nearly as much.)

        Hail to the chefs, indeed. I could have been a chef, but my “one for me, one for everyone else” approach might not jive in most workplaces.

  4. rsrote says:

    breakfast for dinner is always a HUGE hit–and taco =0)

    1. I can’t imagine what you’d think of a breakfast burrito, then (yes, we have those).

  5. Coretta Owen says:

    I always add some vanilla to my waffles too! Love all these recipes and love even more that you include your kiddos in the cooking process!

    1. We ran out of vanilla for a while, and it was like eating prison food. Well, not that bad, but I definitely made the good move to replace it.

      Thanks Coretta! The kids are the best ingredient.

  6. queenofchaosmom says:

    I LOVE crepes and am definitely going to try that one. I’m dying to know what a Sprite cake is…do tell.

    1. The more junk you put in a crepe, the better.

      Here’s the Sprite cake recipe. I might try it again. Someday. (I don’t know what I did wrong.)

  7. kraftykat76 says:

    These sound delicious! Pinning for later!

    1. I’m not sure I’ve ever been pinned before – it’s kind of intimidating. I always thought Pinterest was for ridiculous brownie recipes and extreme high heels.

      Let me know how they turn out!

  8. Kristen says:

    My “soda cakes” are usually a box of chocolate cake mix and one can of pepsi. mix and bake as directed on back of box. OR one can white soda to one box of white cake, mix and bake as directed on back of box. don’t taste the soda at all. it is a “healthy” version and no one’s unless you tell them. My son loves to help me cook and it always makes for good bonding… 🙂

    1. Wow, and they don’t turn out like bricks? I think I’d better add a can of Coke Zero – you know, for me to drink while I cook. My dad used to time things on the grill by beers. “Leave this on for two beers,” stuff like that. I think that’s how the ancient Romans did it.

      Glad your son goes for the kitchen time, too.

  9. Oh, that is an “old” post – the link turned up on FB today. I was ready for a snack, so here I am…
    I definitely like the hockey puck measurement – so much easier for me as a European than some crazy inches, ounces or cups!
    Is there such a thing as a ridiculous brownie? I just made some yesterday. Replaced butter by apple sauce and added cinnamon to complement the chilly, rainy day.
    Other than that I think you’ve overheard me mentioning that C likes my lasagna – as long as no broccoli is involved. Or glass for that matter, haha!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Love the sounds of the brownie! Perfectly ridiculous. We parents would have a tough time to recover if we tried to sneak veggies into an otherwise innocent dish.

      Sorry for the deception – Michelle Nahom had an awesome linkup, and I had exactly one recipe post. Oh wait, I do have another! I’ll use it next time.

      I hope you checked out some other posts on that #TastyTuesday linkup. Incredible.

  10. Molly Kumar says:

    The Chicken Wings looks yummm!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Perfect for lunch OR dinner (not breakfast so much). Can’t wait to check out your blog! That first image …

  11. dishofdailylife says:

    They all look good, but especially the wings. I’m addicted to wings! Glad to have you join us at Foodie Fridays, Eli! Hope you found some good recipes to try!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’ve found lots of good stuff, Michelle!

  12. A Kitchen Hoor says:

    Those wings looks sticky ooey gooey good!! Next on my list of nibbles to make. Thanks for linking up this week with #FoodieFridays! Stop by this week to see if you’re featured and link up new vittles for us to try!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      They are a glorious mess, Christie. The girls would be mad I’m pimping this out, because I’m pretty sure the last time I made them, there were still two Germanys. (Maybe not THAT long ago, but still.)

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