Delicious Family-Friendly Recipes

Published on: November 06, 2020

These two comforting family recipes that are sure to fill everyone’s bellies and keep them coming back for more.  

By Andrea Anderson  

I’m a working mom of two beautiful girls and a part-time food blogger/baker.  My love for cooking stems from my family; Dad was an Italian chef and Mom was a Peranakan passionate about food. My kids often join me in the kitchen, and my firstborn has dubbed herself my ‘bester tester’.

I grew up with my parents getting me involved in the kitchen at a young age. There were lots of memories formed in and around the kitchen for me, be it with cooking or eating. The most enjoyable memories were ones where arts and crafts met cooking and baking. This is the best practice I have carried over to my children. When I can, I make cooking and eating fun for them in the simplest ways. Children tend to have flourishing imagination levels, so why not let the food world be one of wonder and fantasy. 

Two tips I can provide to put this to practice are:

  1. Use cookie cutters to cut vegetables or bread into animal shapes or use animal-shaped pasta in your cooking.

  2. Source ideas from your child, for example, “Do you want to bake some chocolate cupcakes, or what occasion should we make this for?” This sparked an idea in my daughter and she said she would plan a party for her friend, and gave instructions on what shapes she’d like to make and what she wanted to use for decorating the cupcakes. 

When you allow your children to take the lead and give ideas, it boosts their confidence. On occasion, my four and a half-year-old takes the initiative to prepare a little surprise menu for me too.

Here are two recipes that my children love to ask me to make for them. I hope you try out these recipes and perhaps get your children involved too for more family time in the kitchen.  

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Serves:  3-4  
Cooking Time:
 20 mins 

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk (for thicker pancakes, use 3/4 cup milk or 3/4 cup milk + 1/2 cup ricotta) 
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter (plus more for frying pan)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon zest (optional)

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and mix well. 

  2. Whisk in the lightly beaten egg, then add milk or the milk-ricotta combination and stir until combined. 

  3. Add in melted butter, lemon zest (optional), and vanilla extract and stir well.  

  4. If you want to add fillings like blueberries or mashed banana, now is the time. 

  5. Prepare a medium-sized non-stick pan on low-medium heat, and add in some butter. 

  6. When the pan is quite hot, scoop in the pancake batter. Wait until bubbles form consistently across each scoop, or about 1 minute, then flip to cook for about another minute. Repeat this until you use up the batter.

Serve immediately for the best experience, alongside butter, jam, or maple syrup. For savoury – it tastes great with fried eggs, bacon, and even baked beans.   

Chicken Cacciatore

Serves: 4-6
Cooking time: 90 mins

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bay leaf
5 chicken thighs 
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 bell pepper, sliced
¼ cup tomato paste
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock 
Sprinkle of Italian seasoning
Chopped parsley for garnish  

  1. In a large stew pot, add olive oil and bay leaf on medium-high heat. 

  2. Rub salt and pepper onto both sides of chicken thighs and lay them into the pot skin side down. 

  3. Sear until the outside is golden brown, then remove from the pot to rest. 

  4. Meanwhile, add chopped onions, carrots, and celery into the pot and cook for two minutes. 

  5. Add back the chicken, along with tomato paste. Stir until tomato paste is evenly distributed in the pot, then add canned chopped tomatoes. Make sure to stir well and let simmer. 

  6. Add in bell pepper slices along with chicken stock, then allow it to continue simmering.

  7. Sprinkle Italian seasoning or oregano and cook for at least another 45-60mins or until meat is tender. 

Optionally, you can also add other vegetables you and your children enjoy. This dish is versatile and can be enjoyed on its own, or with a side of bread, pasta, or rice.  

About the Author

Find me on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube: Sassyepicurean. More recipes at

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