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Dad is cooking!

Simple cooking ideas and a survival kit for single parents with little time
Luca Avellini
874 students enrolled
English [Auto-generated]
You will save time and energy
You will be less stressed out about cooking a meal
You will save money by planning in advance
You will avoid being criticized by your ex for not feeding the kids well
You will learn a system that will make your cooking life a lot easier
You will learn step by step how to cook many simple, good dishes

This is a course created by a single dad, for single dads. It quickly became the point of reference for not only single dads, but also single moms and students that need to cook for themselves or their kids. It’s a compilation of simple, clear, and good recipees.

The idea is to provide a survival kit for all those that have to cook but don’t have much time, or don’t particularly like it. The purpose is not to turn you into a 5 star chef, but rather to give you a turn-key solution that guides you from coming up with ideas for your meals (full weeks already designed for you), to planning the trip to the grocery store, to actually making the dishes.

I will regularly add new videos, ideas and tips, so stay tuned!

If I were interested in making Savory souffles accompanied by a choice of Coq au vin, Chicken with truffles Joannes Nandron, and Sausage and Tomato Paella, I’m pretty sure I could find at least ten YouTube videos telling me exactly what to do. All I’d need is a kitchen the size of a football field, an assistant, and a few extras hours per day in prep time. But what if I don’t have that? What if I’m just a single, working parent that needs to make a decent meal for my kids after work?

So, here’s what’s great about this course. No dishes with names we can’t pronounce, requiring time we don’t have. Just simple stuff and most of all, good ideas. After a long day at work, or school, coming up with ideas is a daunting task. The question: “what can I make?” is sometimes harder than: “how do I make it?”

My goal is to keep developing groups of recipes covering a full week at a time. You’ll learn both the “what” and the “how”, so you can rest assured you’ll always have a plan.

Course introduction

About this course: who, what, when, how...
Simple kitchen tools that make your life a lot easier

These are the tools I recommend you keep handy:

Sharp knife


Oven mitt

Non-sticky pan

Some plastic container, like the ones that you often get when buying salad. We'll use them both for storage and to assist with cooking

Trivets (hot pads)

Since men like statistics: foods kids really like

Top 10 foods according to kids:

1 - Pasta

2 - Pizza

3 - Cupcakes

4 - Ice-cream

5 - Chicken

6 - Fruit Loops

7 - Rice

8 - French fries

9 - Burgers

10 - Hot Dogs

Planning = less stress. Planning the trip to the store
Have you ever felt like this?

The basics

Watch out for foods that go bad quickly

#1 Fish

#2 Bread

#3 Poultry

#4 Pork

#5 Ground beef

#6 Fruit (pears in particular)

#7 Milk

Eggs, on the other hand, last a long time

Emergency food: what you need to always have at home

It's like when e go away for the weekend: do I have my toothbrush, my pj or when we leave the house: do I have my keys, wallet and phone. The kitchen equivalent is offered in this lesson. There are foods I always keep at home because I can make a last minute, decent meal in no time.

What are they:



Shredded cheese


Ground beef

and....... Polenta

Section review

Zero time cooking

Less than 15 minutes idea: Ravioli butter & sage (9 minutes to make)

Ravioli butter & sage

Preparation: 3 minutes

Cooking time: 7 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes


You need:

1.Pot and water

2.Butter (1/3 stick = 0.25 Oz or 35 gm)

3.Ravioli (or other kind of soft pasta, like gnocchi or tortellini)

4.Fresh sage (alternatively dry sage in a bottle)


How to make it:

Bring the water to a boil

Put butter in a non-stick pan and melt on the stove at low temperature

When the butter is melted, add a few laves of sage


Take off the stove

When ready, remove the ravioli

Mix ravioli with butter and sage

Add some parmesan on top

Eat and enjoy!

Less than 15 minutes idea: Beef tartare (5 minutes to make)

Beef Tartare

Preparation: 5 minutes (although you should ideally let it sit in the fridge for one or two hours)

Cooking time: 0 minutes

Total time: 5 minutes


You need:

1.Ground beef, possibly organic, definitely from a butcher you trust

2.2 lemons

3.Olive oil


5.Black Pepper

6.Parmesan cheese

How to make it:

Cut and squeeze the lemons

Put the ground beef on a plate and then pour the lemon juice. At this point you should let it sit in the fridge for one or two hours hour. Then add black pepper, olive oil, salt, and cheese.

Then take it out of the fridge, let it reach room temperature (don't put it in the microwave!!!) and serve.

Eat and enjoy!

Every day a new idea

Monday: Pasta with bacon & cream sauce (25 minutes to make)

Pasta with bacon and cream sauce

Preparation: 10 minutes

Cooking time 15 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes


You need:

1.Pasta (any kind)

2.Grated cheese (Parmesan is good)

3.Vegetable oil

4.Cutting board

5.Sharp knife

6.Wooden spoon or a spoon that doesn't scratch the pan

7.One onion

8.Non stick pan

9.Heavy cream



12.Pot + water



How to make it:

Chop the onion (for 2 people 1/3 is enough)

Cut the bacon in small pieces (for 2 people 1/2 cup should be ok)

Put pan on the stove, oil in the pan, and heat it up (couple of minutes)

Add onions - stir occasionally (2 minutes)

Add bacon. Cook until bacon is getting some golden color

Add heavy cream and turn heat way down so you don't fry the cream

Add grated cheese

If you want you can add some black pepper

Cook for 90 seconds

Make pasta of your choice

Add sauce

Eat and enjoy!

Tuesday: Chicken cutlets in lemon sauce (20 minutes to make)

Chicken in lemon sauce

Preparation: 5 minutes

Cooking time 15 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes


You need:

    1.One or two lemons (one for 2 pieces of chicken)


    3.Lemon squeezer (if you have it)


    5.Vegetable oil

    6.Thin sliced chicken breasts

    7.Non-stick pan

    8.Plastic container with a top (if you have it)

    9.A Glass of water


How to make it:

Cut and squeeze the lemons

Put three table spoons (more or less) of flour in the plastic container.

Put the chicken in the container

Close the lid

Shake to make sure the cutlets are fully coated in flour

If you don't have the plastic container just put the flour on a plate and lay the chicken in it on both sides

Put the pan on the stove, add one table spoon of oil, heat up but keep stove temperature low to avoid burning the outside of the chicken

After 2 minutes add the chicken

Add salt

If the chicken starts to look too dry, add a bit of water

Turn the chicken over from time to time

When the chicken looks kind of gold (10 minutes), add half of the lemon juice while still on the stove

Let chicken cook in the lemon juice for 5 minutes

Make a little cut in the chicken piece to make sure it's cooked

Remove from the stove

Put chicken on a plate

Add the rest of the lemon juice

Eat and enjoy!

Wednesday: Oven baked salmon with brown sugar crust (17 minutes to make)

Oven baked salmon with brown sugar (and almond) crust

Preparation: 4 minutes

Cooking time 13 minutes

Total time: 17 minutes


You need:

1.Salmon fillet

2.Cutting board



5.Lemon squeezer

6.Brown sugar (if you don't have it, use honey) - 2 table spoons

7.Almond meal or crushed almonds (if you have it). If not, bread crumbs

8.Olive oil

9.Small ball

10.Hot sauce or red pepper flakes (if you like it)

11.Oven pan


How to make it:

Cut and squeeze the lemons

Put 2 table spoons of olive oil in the small ball

Add the lemon juice

Add brown sugar (if using honey, wait)


Couple of drops of hot sauce

Add almond meal (or bread crumbs)

Lay salmon in the pan, cover with lemon/oil mix

If using honey, pour a little bit of honey on top

Put in the oven at 385 F (195 C)

Without pre-heating cook for 10 minutes

Turn to broil and cook for additional 3/5 minutes

Make sure it's cooked - if fork or knife goes through smoothly, it's cooked

Eat and enjoy!

Thursday: Crepes ham and cheese (45 minutes to make)

Crepes ham and cheese

Preparation: 10 minutes for the mix plus

Cooking time: 20 minutes to make crepes (active cooking) plus 15 minutes in the oven (passive cooking)

Total time: 45 minutes


You need: (makes 5/6 crepes)

1.Non-stick pan

2.Oven pan

3.Spatula to flip the crepes over


5.Measuring Cup

6.Small bowl

7.Larger bowl

8.Milk (2/3 cups, or 150 ml)

9.Salt ( a pinch)

10.Eggs (2)

11.Non-stick spray (like Pam)

12.Butter (2 table spoons)

13.Flour (1 cup, or 120 gr.)

14.Shredded mozzarella

15.Parmesan cheese (optional)


How to make it:

Melt the butter (small bowl in the microwave) and let it cool down

In bigger the bowl mix flour with 1 full egg and 1 egg yolk

Use the mixer to mix it

Add milk (slowly)

Keep mixing for another 45 seconds until nice and creamy

Add butter

Add a pinch of salt

If you can, let it rest for 1 hour

Spray the pan with Pam

Heat up on the stove

With a ladle, put some mix in the pan covering the bottom and about 1/8 inch in thickness (3 mm)

When you see little bubbles on the surface of the crepe, wait 1 minute and then flip over

When crepe has golden color remove and put on a plate

Repeat until out of mix

Put a crepe flat on a plate

Lay ham on it

Lay cheese on top of the ham

Roll it up

Place it in the oven pan

Repeat with all other crepes

When done, cover all with mozzarella cheese

If you want, add parmesan cheese on top

Cook for 15 minutes

If it looks dry, add a bit of milk on top

Remove from oven

Eat and enjoy!

Friday: Oven baked pasta (50 minutes to make)

Oven baked pasta

Preparation: 10 minutes to make besciamella sauce plus 15 minutes to make pasta

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes


You need:

1.Pasta (short kind)

2.Butter (1.5 oz, 40 gr.)

3.Milk (2 cups, 400 ml.)

4.Shredded mozzarella

5.Flour (1/2 cup, 40 gr.)


7.Oven pan

8.Pot (for the pasta)

9.Small pot and wooden spoon


How to make it:

Melt the butter over low heat

When butter is melted, slowly add the flour

When butter and flour form a nice mix, slowly add the milk

Keep stirring!!

After 5-6 minutes, the mix will feel a little more dense, somewhat in between the consistency of heavy cream and yogurt. Remember to always stir!

Remove the mix from the stove

Make pasta

When pasta is ready, place a layer on the bottom of the oven pan

Cover the pasta layer with besciamella sauce (the butter, milk, flour mix you made)

Add pieces of ham

Cover with shredded mozzarella

Add a new layer of pasta and repeat

Finish by covering the last layer with mozzarella

When done (3 or 4 layers in general) put in the over at 385 F (195 C) for 25 minutes

When top layers of pasta is assuming a golden color, remove from the oven

Eat and enjoy!

Saturday: Breaded chicken and cheese (25 minutes to make)

Breaded chicken and cheese

Preparation: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes


You need:

1.Slices of cheese that melts, like Swiss, American, provolone, etc


3.Non-stick pan


5.Bread crumbs

6.Sharp knife

7.Cutting board

8.Three plates

9.Thin sliced chicken cutlets


11.Vegetable oil


How to make it:

Chop the garlic

Put three plates in front of you

Put bread crumbs and a bit of salt in the middle plate

Put a full egg in the first plate: to your left if you're lefty, to the right if you're righty

Take the chicken pieces, dip in the egg, roll in the bread crumbs (once, twice, whatever number of times feels good)

Put chicken on the third plate


Put vegetable oil in the pan, heat up keeping temperature quite low

After 2 minutes, add the garlic

After 2 more minutes, add the chicken

Always keep the temperature low!

When one side picks a nice, golden color, flip it over

When both sides of the chicken look nice and cutlets are cooked, cover the pieces with the cheese and let it melt


Eat and enjoy!

Sunday: Minestrone (1 hour and 10 minutes to make)


Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 55 minutes

Total time: 1 hour and 10 minutes


You need:

1.Shredded mozzarella cheese

2.Parmesan cheese

3.Pasta (dry, short kind like penne, rigatoni or shells)

4.Canned tomatoes

5.Sharp knife

6.Cutting board



9.Pot and water

10.Olive oil

11.Chicken stock (if you can, if not bouillon is fine)

12.Red pepper flakes

13.Any fresh vegetables you have in the fridge


15.Plastic container or large bowl (to wash and mix things)


How to make it:

Clean the veggies that need to be pealed and washed, like carrots, potatoes, fennel, turnip, etc

Chop the onion

Mix all veggies

Fill 1/3 pot with water and bring to a boil

Put olive oil in a pan and heat up

After a couple of minutes add onion, then bacon

After three minutes add all veggies to the pan with the onion and the bacon

Let it cook for 5 minutes or so

Add chicken stock (o bouillon) to the boiling water

Add some salt to the water

Add the canned tomatoes

Add veggies to the water

Add red pepper flakes

Let it simmer for 45 minutes or so, or until it feels right

Go by your own business: have a glass of wine, take a shower, watch TV, read, whatever...

After 45 minutes add the pasta

Cook the pasta for as long as it says on the box

Add shredded cheese

Use a ladle to transfer to a bowl

Eat and enjoy!

Monday: Pasta salad (19 min max)

You need:

Pasta (farfalle, if possible)

Cherry tomatoes


Grated cheese (optional)



Canned tuna


Olive oil


Jumbo weiner

For dads only!

Please kid shut up and eat! (Gnocchi gorgonzola) - 17 minutes to make

Gnocchi gorgonzola (or blue) cheese

Preparation: 2 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Total time: 17 minutes


You need:


2.Salt (for the water)

3.Fresh (or dry) sage

4.Olive oil

5.Milk or cream

6.Parmesan or other grated cheese

7.Crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese


9.Small pan

10.Wooden spoon

11.Ground nutmeg if you have it


How to make it:

Put water in the pot and bring to a boil

Put small pan on the stove

Add a couple of table spoons of olive oil and turn heat

After two minutes add a little bit of milk

Immediately after, add a handful of crumbled cheese (gorgonzola or blue)

Add a couple of leaves of sage

Let it sit at low temperature for two minutes. If too liquid, add some more cheese

Add a pinch of nutmeg

As the water is boiling, add the salt and the gnocchi

Cook the gnocchi for as long as it says on the box

When ready (don't overcook!) scoop the gnocchi out and put them in the pot with the sauce

Mix well and transfer to the bowls

Eat and enjoy!

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