Yes. You read that right. Not dinners FOR dad. But dinners BY dad.

With Father’s Day around the corner let this blog be a gift to all you dads, a gift to make you look like a Bobby Flay to your kids. Well, that might be overstated, but at least you’ll look better than Chef Boyardee. Over the years I’ve actually come to really enjoy cooking for my family. It’s a fun task that I get to see immediate results from. In the job I’m in, results can sometimes take a long time to see. And cooking is something that everyone can participate in. So here are a few ideas that I’ve found that work, and maybe you will too.

1) You pick

I learned this one in a pinch. We had been running from one event to the other, Lorrie was gone, the kids were young, and I needed to go to the store for several things, dinner being one of them. So I had this brilliant idea – cereal. I called it “prep for college”. We walked down the cereal aisle and I looked at my kids and said, “You pick.” Now, you need to know we NEVER do cereal, let alone the good stuff so this was a special treat! Now I know this wasn’t healthy in the least, but the bowl of milk not only had protein and some nutritional value, it also helped them sleep well. (After the sugar rush was done!)

2) Pantry surprise

I have discovered that your kids will enjoy the meal regardless of the food, if the experience is fun. So several times I’ve turned spaghetti and meatballs into Italian Night! Put on the music, breadsticks, and speak a little Italian, and it makes it so much more fun. But the one event I created that the kids always enjoyed was “Courses.” I’d look in the fridge or the pantry and realize we have a lot of little items, several leftovers, but no real three-item meal. So I’d make very small portions and serve it in small dishes in several courses. Course one: an olive on a toothpick. Course two: cheese and cracker. Course three: a strawberry. Course four: sliced apple with peanut butter. You get the point. It turned snaking around for a meal into a fun event the girls asked for again.

3) Slowcooker Pork

This is a recipe I got from Food Network and made a few tweaks to, but it’s really easy. Get a pork shoulder (or butt), onion, and a Dr. Pepper. Put salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder on the pork. Quarter the onion and put in a crockpot (slowcooker). Put the pork on top of it. Pour the Dr. Pepper in. Turn on low for about eight hours. Just turn on before you leave for work, when you get home, it’s ready. Serve on buns and with chips. You will definitely look like Bobby Flay after this one.

I’m sure you’ve got even better ideas … so what are they? Bon appetit!

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