March is here, and with the first day of Spring less than two weeks away, we're FINALLY starting to see some signs of it here in the frosty region north of Chicago. With a new season comes some new flavors, and my friends at The J.M. Smucker Company are rolling out a trio of their Dunkin Donuts Packaged Coffee (available in grocery stores), with Peach Cobbler, Coconut and Toasted Almond, all available for a limited time. Coffee is good, but you know what else is? Prizes - and you could win some, just for showing us your Hipster Side.
Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? It sure is, and to celebrate, the National Restaurant Association hit THE ROCK FATHER with news that its first-of-its-kind Kids LiveWell initiative has grown to 42,000 restaurant locations nationwide. The voluntary program, which provides a growing selection of healthful children’s menu choices in every state, now counts more than 145 restaurant brands as participants, including new national companies Cosi, Jamba Juice and Rainforest Café, as well as Ovation Brands’ Country Buffet, HomeTown Buffet and Old Country Buffet, among other regional chains and independent restaurants.
March is a month where there's a lot of interesting things going on. Mardi Gras and Saint Patrick's Day, Girl Scouts Day, I am in Control Day (yes, it's real), Be Nasty Day (also real), and even Middle Name Pride Day (that one, too) all stake a claim here in March. There's also several month-long celebrations like Music in Our Schools Month... and a little bit of mayhem that closes out the calendar with a heavy dose of basketball and brackets. In that spirit, another celebration - March FROZEN FOOD Month - is bringing you #FrozenChefMadness, in partnership with Life of Dad and their Sweet Sixteen Brand Ambassadors (THE ROCK FATHER being one of them). Together, we're gonna hit the hardwood (well, technically, it's laminate here) to share with you some Easy Home Meals that you can make quick and easy. And, if YOU think you have a winning recipe, you'll have a chance to win an $800 Visa Gift Card or other great prizes!
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...
When 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.
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.
And 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...