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Earlier today, Chicago Firefighter John Joyce (a friend of mine, and this site) made an appearance on Chicago's Very Own WGN TV as their "Firehouse Chef of the Week." John isn't just a Firefighter and fine cook - he's also the frontman of POOCHAMUNGAS, a kindie rock band that hopefully you've heard me talk about... and if not, go grab their new album, BLOCK PARTY, right now! Check out John's appearance below, along with his recipe for some tasty turkey chili... which oddly enough, isn't far off from what we make here at Rock Father HQ. Chicago style!

I honestly don't know where to file this one. Toys? TV for kids? Food? Yes, I'll take the latter since it was KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese that finally brought about one of the most anticipated reunions in pop culture... Nickelodeon's TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES have reunited with VANILLA ICE after 23 years. I'll fully admit owning the soundtracks to the first two TMNT movies on cassette back in the day, and I had V-Ice's TO THE EXTREME in regular rotation (I've even been known to revisit his 1998 nu-metal record, HARD TO SWALLOW on occasion). So back with the Turtles? Cool, but totally weird at the same time...

Wednesday, February 05 2014 23:21

Giveaway: Win WILD OPHELIA Valentine's Day Chocolates!

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The Rock Father is a Wild Ophelia Blogger Posse MemberWhen I first came across Chicago-based Wild Ophelia's all-natural chocolates last summer, I was intrigued by the vast array of unique flavors that had been crafted by artisans across the country. Now, as a member of their "Blogger Posse," I occasionally get to try out some new flavors and assortments, most recently their new Valentine's Day varieties: Tart Cherry Caramel Milk Chocolate Bites and New England Style Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Bites. These little hedgehog-shaped chocolates are so good, I couldn't keep that to myself (and I didn't, my daughter gobbled some up)... so YOU are getting a chance to win a box.

If you've been following me for a bit, you might already know that I like to do some cooking and baking with the girls from time-to-time. This past holiday season was massive for both, fueled by my trip to Smucker's HQ in Ohio as part of a group of rockin' bloggers from across the country. But now we're in a lull, and wouldn't ya know? A care package from The J.M. Smucker Company arrived here at Rock Father HQ - a selection of new products from their family of brands including JIF, Pillsbury Baking, and Smucker's. First up? Some cupcakes made with the new Pillsbury Baking Funfetti Aqua Blue cake mix, topped with new All-Star Orange Funfetti Frosting and sprinkles.

Do you love Dunkin' Donuts Coffee?February. The month of love. Valentine's Day... boxed chocolates... fanciful bouquets... and for some, coffee. It's widely known that I love my coffee, and for the past five months, I've been checking-in along with my friends at the J.M. Smucker Company, makers of Dunkin' Donuts Packaged Coffee (available where you buy groceries) with a reminder that YOU can win some rockin' prizes as part of their #DunkinMugUp contest. This month, it's all about love.

Jelly BellyAnd who says that jelly beans are just for kids and Easter baskets? One of my earliest jelly bean memories was hearing about how much Ronald Reagan dug 'em back in the early 80s. So, you could say that they're a certified "grownup" snack, and one worthy of Presidential consumption. Knowing that, the folks at Jelly Belly have long made some unique, more "grownup" flavors, and this week they've rolled out another. Introducing, the Draft Beer Jelly Bean...

This is a sponsored post on behalf of the J.M. Smucker Company, makers of Dunkin' Donuts® packaged coffee. All opinions are that of James Zahn. Virtual Metal Fingers! \m/ \m/

If you've been following my adventures as The Rock Father for a bit, there's a solid chance that you already know how much I love my coffee. You also might've caught the news that to kick 2014 off right, I'm taking part in a Fitness Challenge with my friend, Tom. Well, today my love of coffee and my quest for fitness come together as my friends at the J.M. Smucker Company, makers of Dunkin' Donuts Packaged Coffee (available where you buy groceries) continue their ongoing #DunkinMugUp contest to give YOU a chance to win some rockin' prizes!

It's December 10, and already, I'm exhausted. Regardless of the fact that I love the Holiday season, what I don't love is the amount of running around and what feels like a mad scramble, despite all the preparation. With it getting dark at 4pm, my wife working long hours (sometimes not home until 8), and the cold temperatures (it's 13 degrees as I write this), the days just feel shorter as it is, and I'm always looking for ways to ease the stress, expedite the process of certain things, and keep those warm feelings going... sometimes while multi-tasking. It's not always easy when I'm doing the balancing act between working at home and taking care of my two little girls, but it can be done. If there's one month where I could use some help making family size meals a little quicker, it's December.

After being inspired by my recent trip to The J.M. Smucker Company in Orrville, Ohio, I decided to try my hand at baking not only some of the tasty treats we sampled in their Culinary College, but also some of the recipes that they include with their products - you know, the ones you always see on packages and think "I should try that," but usually don't. This week, the little ones and I made a batch (3 dozen) of the Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies that are featured on the new Jif Whips Whipped Peanut Butter and Chocolate Mint Flavored Spread. They turned out pretty well...

A long time ago at a breakfast table far, far away...

I was a kid who enjoyed the days of cereal with cool "prizes," many of which were fueled by my interests of the time. One such interest? STAR WARS. As a parent, I'm doing my best to make sure that The Force is strong with my daughters, and when General Mills started putting STAR WARS pens in boxes of cereal last year, we scored a couple - and R2-D2 was a big hit. Now, they're doing it again, with STAR WARS pens included in specially-marked boxes of Big G Cereals through the end of the year, complimented online by CEREAL WARS: THE EDIBLE EPISODES. Since we've got a couple of years to wait until Disney releases J.J. Abrams' STAR WARS: EPISODE VII for big screen, how about some small screen action? I even made an Edible Episode of my own...

Chef Rock FatherWith Thanksgiving just two weeks away, it's time to drop the curtain on a variety of rockin' recipes courtesy of my friends at The J.M Smucker Company - several of which I've personally made. Now, I'm not saying anyone should start calling me "Chef" just yet, but I'm learning, and I'm sharing some potentially tasty creations. First up, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Maple Bacon Dressing. Yes, yes, I know - "brussels sprouts" - and I can't say that I was a fan, either - but this recipe makes brussels sprouts good. And not only have I made it, I've eaten it, too - and on more than one occasion. Here we go...

Smucker's Holiday TraditionsLast month, my friends from The J.M Smucker Company flew me to their headquarters in Orrville, Ohio for their Holiday Traditions Blogger Event. In the weeks ahead, I will be sharing with you some Holiday Tips that I learned while I was there - a collection of helpful information, recipes, and more that will help you Rock Your Holidays, while creating some memorable meals...

With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, the Holiday Baking Season is in full-swing, and for those of you that wind up in a pie predicament - the Crisco Pie Hotline is back for it's eighth year of helping you become a pie rockstar.

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