Take a spin through Pinterest, and you’re bound to see no shortage of mom blogs, highlighting the ups and downs of parenthood, family recipes, and more. With Father’s Day 2022 upon us, Thrillist wanted to highlight a handful of “dad blogs” (like the one you’re reading right now) that have now started to get in on the fun – providing anything from usable tips and tricks for raising mindful eaters, to recipes for getting creative with lunch boxes, as well as a host of birthday party snacks.
First up is Derek Campanile’s Dad With a Pan. He initially started the project as a hobby, but what began as a hobby has now grown to a following of more than 50k on his social media channels.
“I have had a tremendous passion for food and cooking since I was young,” he said. “I remember my mother teaching me how to cook eggs at age 8 and, ever since, I’ve always loved learning new recipes and constantly tweaking favorites to see if I can make them better.”
His blog revolves around the recipes he makes along with his young son and daughter, Brayden and Makenzie, in their Southern California home. Dishes have included anything from brisket mac and cheese and steak and egg tostadas to friend peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and grilled s’more cookies.
Growing up, we always gathered at the dinner table every night, enjoying mom’s cooking or dad’s barbecue. Now that I’m a father, I see the importance of having the same routine and I want to instill that in my kids by not making it a chore, but something they look forward to.
This is a great point. I think cooking at home can certainly provide many benefits, both financially, but also as a way to create memories with others, and allows kids to get creative as well.
Nick Evans, based in Denver, had been documenting his recipes more so out of necessity when his then-girlfriend claimed to not be “very fond of cooking.” In 2008, Macheesmo was then born as a way of helping both men and women sharpen their chops and build confidence in cooking, and readers can now find more than 2k recipes on his page. Nick even has a book out called, Love Your Leftovers, pictured below:
Readers can find a multitude of ways to best reuse food – like taking a roast chicken and making delicious chicken tortilla soup or creamy chicken pesto pasta or even a flank steak becoming spicy beef wontons or Vietnamese noodle salad.
The best reward though for Evans? Being able to become even more present as a parent. “I get to coach the soccer team and never miss a dance performance,” said Evans. “It makes everything a little easier on the family calendar.”
Over at Lunch Box Dad, Beau Coffren has found cooking to be a bonding moment over the last 10 years, ever since his daughter began kindergarten. Fast forward, the Oklahoma City-based dad has three kids, and with that an equal amount of lunchbox making.
I wanted her to take a special lunch to school and when she would look at it, it would let her know that I was thinking about her. I started the blog soon after that to keep a record of our lunches and to encourage other parents to cook meals for their kids.
Some of Coffren’s creations include everything from designing a kiwi to looking like Baby Yoda or even decorating a Babybel cheese to closely resemble the Spiderman logo.
It hasn’t all been a bed of roses and meals though.
“Blogging isn’t just taking a few photos,” said Campanile. “There is SEO keyword research, crafting all your social posts, and exploring video content creation – there’s a whole beast to tame there.”
“Sometimes, the overall experience can also be an isolating one,” said Evans. “But I’m very connected to thousands of readers and cooks all over the world via social media. The world is a huge place, and I find new people to connect with every single day and it’s wonderful.”
“There is an online community out there that is happy to come together and support each other,” said Coffron. “The internet doesn’t have to always be a dark space but it can be a space filled with love, support, and positivity too.”
I absolutely love that, and it’s one of the reasons I wanted to create Mitten Dad. I wanted to highlight and aggregate some of the best news and stories out there, and it’s great to see other dads wanting to do the same, spreading positivity. Hear hear.