If it's true that the way to a man's heart is through is stomach, then a food-filled Father's Day celebration is the perfect way to honor Dad this year. Even kids can get in on the fun of cooking a special treat or meal for Dad. He'll be so thankful for a gift that you and the kids made yourselves.
Granola Trail Mix
Dad can start out the day with a few handfuls of this mix, then take it to work to munch on all week long. Granola is an easy, flexible recipe that can easily be modified to suit your family's tastes.
Stir together three cups of oats, one cup of flour and a pinch of salt. In a separate bowl, combine 1/3 cup of a sweetener, such as honey or corn syrup, with a teaspoon of vanilla and 1/3 cup of cooking oil. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and blend thoroughly. Kids can use clean hands to really mix the ingredients together. Other good choices to include are dried fruits, nuts, sunflower seeds, chocolate chips, candy-coated chocolate pieces or O-shaped cereal pieces.
Spread the oats on a baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees for about one hour, stirring occasionally. Once the granola cools, add in any of Dad's favorite snacky items.
Ranch Salad Wedges
Keep the dinner menu simple and classic with some of Dad's favorites. Start out with a salad the kids can help put together by topping iceberg lettuce wedges with a homemade ranch dressing. Cut a head of iceberg lettuce into six wedges and rinse them under cold water. Set aside on a clean towel to drain any excess water.
Meanwhile, mix half of a cup of mayonnaise with a splash of milk. Kids can use a whisk to blend it until smooth. Stir in ¼ teaspoon each of dried parsley, dried dill weed, garlic powder and onion powder, plus a pinch of salt and black pepper.
Spoon the dressing onto each lettuce wedge. Top the salads with a sprinkle of chopped chives, bacon bits and other veggies Dad loves.
Rinse about two pounds of thin-skinned, bite-sized potatoes. The fresher, the better, so consider taking your kids shopping at your local farmers' market to pick out the potatoes for this recipe.
Place the potatoes in a pot and cover them with water. Boil the potatoes until they are fork tender. Drain and transfer to a serving bowl.
Children can top the potatoes with several pats of butter--approximately two tablespoons--and sprinkle salt over them. After the butter melts, stir the potatoes gently, so all sides are coated.
Barbecue and Swiss Chicken
Spread chicken breasts out in a foil-lined baking dish. Brush the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes until an internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached.
When the chicken is fully cooked, help your children carefully brush on a few tablespoons of bottled barbecue sauce. Top each breast with a thin slice of Swiss cheese. Return the dish to the oven until the cheese melts.
This is a sweet and salty snack for after dinner that you can personalize with fun add-ons.
Melt half of a package of white or chocolate almond bark in a microwave safe dish. Start by zapping it for one minute, then stirring. Continue in 30-second increments until the bark is smoothly melted.
Dip pretzel rods most of the way into the coating and lay them on a sheet of waxed paper. Before the almond bark hardens, kids can shake sprinkles or mini candies over them. Allow the chocolate to cool completely before moving the pretzels.
Meghan Ross is a freelance writer covering all things home and living. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.
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