Gear-up for BBQ Season: Win Chef Michael Symon's PLAYING WITH FIRE and a Masterbuilt Charcoal Smoker!Written by James Zahn
"It's classic American barbecue with the volume turned to high..."
When it comes to cooking, one thing I'm a big fan of is meat. Here at Rock Father HQ, my wife and daughters eat poultry, but when it comes to pork, fish or my favorite - red meat, I'm the only genuine, 100% carnivorous meat-eater in the bunch. That said, when a copy of Chef Michael Symon's new book arrived... let's just say the cover alone was mouthwatering. Now, publisher Clarkson Potter has teamed-up with The Rock Father™ to give YOU a shot at winning Michael Symon's Playing with Fire: BBQ and More from the Grill, Smoker, and Fireplace plus a Masterbuilt Charcoal Bullet Smoker! It's the perfect way to celebrate the arrival of spring and the coming days with more time spent grilling outside and crafting great meals to share with your family.
I feel like Denny's just played a Jedi Mind Trick on me. It's 2:25pm and I feel the urgent need for breakfast, and the fact that they've got a new menu inspired by the upcoming release of Lucasfilm's Solo: A Star Wars Story is a pretty compelling draw. You could say it's pulling me in like the Death Star's tractor beam. While the menu alone is presenting tastes inspired by a galaxy far, far away, they're also serving-up some collectibles, and that includes exclusive Solo: A Star Wars Story trading cards from The Topps Company. And those cards are part of a mission to do some good as net proceeds from the sale of all trading card packs will benefit Denny's longtime partner, No Kid Hungry, to help kick childhood hunger into the farthest reaches of The Outer Rim. Check out a new commercial below that shows what a Star Wars cantina might be like if it were a Denny's and all the patrons were throwing down for a "Hand of Sabbac!"
Unlike most of what I consider to be the "B-list" holidays, St. Patrick's Day is one I don't mind, and one that doesn't get it's due. It's likely because of its unfortunate scheduling, falling between two of the bigger names on the B-list: Valentine's and Easter. It wasn't until a few years ago that I learned that St. Patrick's Day is even stripped of its name in some schools, with "Shamrock Day" of "Clover Day" taking over. All that said, for me this day means corned beef and mint, and when I'm an a hurry, that means The Fast-Food St. Patrick's Day™ is in full-effect. I get a Reuben sandwich from Arby's (they have the meats!) along with a Shamrock Shake from McDonald's. It's extra convenient locally, as the two typically-warring fast-food icons are located next to each other. The video below documents my 2018 pilgrimage, right down to the inexplicable 7-minute wait for my Shamrock Shake. Enjoy!
This article has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CheckYourPetFood #CollectiveBias
Before they opened a new store that's conveniently less than five minutes from Rock Father™ HQ, one thing that I really admired about Meijer was their pet department. In a lot of ways, it always felt more like a pet store than a pet department. Visiting Meijer at least once a week (and sometimes more), we're always in there purchasing food to feed our family, and that includes food for our dog as well. If it's been awhile since you've taken a good look at what you're feeding your pets, now is the perfect time to do it - and that means taking a real look at the total package from ingredients to price. Does your pet food contain real meat? Are you overpaying for what you're getting, or settling for lower-quality food to save on price? With Meijer (check out mPerks savings!) and Purina®, you can feed your dogs like family!
The Super Bowl or "Big Game" (for companies not paying the license fee) is happening this Sunday, and while I won't be watching the game (being "anti-football"), I do love the commercials. As it's been for the past several years, many companies are getting out in front of the Sunday push, releasing their spots early for the YouTube crowd, and today comes an early entry from M&M's candy. The question: What if one of their spokescandies came to life in human form? Well, we have the answer, and that answer is Batman Returns' Danny DeVito. Take a look...
Those who know me well know that my favorite beverage is Diet Mountain Dew. In fact, I distinctly remember the first time I was asked to provide a "rider" for a creative job I was doing back in 2006, and they said it was the simplest thing they'd ever seen. I asked for a flight, a hotel room, and a case of Diet Mountain Dew. While it's Diet that I prefer, I also make a point of trying every new flavor and variety that Dew rolls out, and this week comes news that Mountain Dew is introducing MTN DEW ICE, what they're calling "a crisp, clear, carbonated soft drink made with a splash of real juice that will keep Dew Nation charged and refreshed."
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in theaters now, and if you happen to have an AMC Theatre nearby, then there's a good chance that there's a MacGuffins Bar & Lounge inside. For those of legal drinking age (21+, of course), The Force is strong with MacGuffins as they serve up a pair of new cocktails inspired by the film - like the new collaboration with Dan Aykroyd's Crystal Head Vodka (which I've enjoyed on occasion). Does Revenge or Hope best suit you?
It's been a long-running controversy... why Kinder Surprise Eggs are available just about anywhere but the U.S. Officially, it's been a safety issue, one even referenced in a recent gun control ad that points out the candy is banned, while certain assault rifles are not. These chocolate eggs, each packed with a toy surprise inside, have been confiscated by customs for years, but now the Kinder brand is finally coming to the U.S. in a legal manner. Ferrero U.S.A, Inc., the company known for famous brands such as Ferrero Rocher®, Nutella® and Tic Tac®, is now launching Kinder Joy® – touted as "a unique treat made especially for kids with parents in mind." Differing from their overseas counterparts, Kinder Joy is a plastic egg-shaped package that is comprised of two separately sealed halves. One half contains candy, the other a toy.
As many of you are no doubt aware, I have a serious pumpkin obsession. An October child raised in Northern Illinois (#1 grower of pumpkins), for me "Fall" begins on August 15 (part of The Rock Father™ Seasonal Calendar). With that comes a real affection for seasonal beers, and fall brings a host of flavors, but my favorites are always those that are pumpkin-infused. Today, I received some news out of Oregon - that a fresh batch of ROGUE Pumpkin Patch Ale has been produced. A perfect accompaniment to pumpkin spice cookies, pumpkin lattés, pumpkin bread, pumpkin butter and just about everything pumpkin, one big factor with ROGUE is that they grow their own pumpkins and release their beer a little later than some. Here's how they explain it...
Country music artist Chris Young has teamed up with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® to produce a five-part docu-series, "Chris Young Losing Sleep Cracker Barrel Series," which is the first of its kind for the brand. The five-part docu-series features weekly episodes taking fans on a behind-the-scenes journey as Chris writes, records and performs his songs, and touches on how Cracker Barrel has continued to be his home-away-from-home along the journey. Fans can watch the series, which debuts Sept. 28 and runs weekly through Nov. 2, on Cracker Barrel's YouTube channel.
After selling more than 15 million pints of TROOPER since its launch in 2013, IRON MAIDEN and ROBINSONS BREWERY kept things moving with the limited edition TROOPER 666 and RED 'N' BLACK beers (all of which I still have in my office fridge here at Rock Father HQ!). Now comes word that their fourth brew is on the way this fall, and it's a Belgian style beer: HALLOWED.
Presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and Folgers® Perfect MeasuresTM
While there's certain other cities that might be associated with coffee on a more immediate basis thanks to crafty marketing and perception, Chicago is definitively a coffee town, and now there's some stats to prove that. Having lived in the Chicagoland area for most of my life, but also having visited much of our country, I really don't need data to back up what I already know - but still, it's cool to have it. Coffee is in my blood, and that's something I've mentioned many times here on this very site, and I famously trace that back to my great grandfather, who worked as a coffee taster in Chicago nearly a century ago. Just like him, people here are always on a quest for the perfect cup, and when you drink a lot of coffee that also means a perfect pot.