This past weekend, Valentine's Day got an early start with a very special PEANUTS-themed party featuring SNOOPY and his sister BELLE. Co-hosted by "the Little Red-Haired Girl" herself—aka Francesca Capaldi (DOG WITH A BLOG), the 10-year-old actress who plays the character in this Fall's THE PEANUTS MOVIE - the party took place at the Park Hyatt in Carlsbad, California, where Capaldi and friends tried on the latest Snoopy and his Sister Belle fashions from Target, danced to DJ-provided tunes, and decorated cupcakes with decorations from Cakes.com. Of course, they also enjoyed watching the classic Peanuts special, BE MY VALENTINE, CHARLIE BROWN, set to air on ABC alongside A CHARLIE BROWN VALENTINE on February 13th at 8pmEST/7pmCT. While my girls and I weren't able to make the party in-person (2,000 miles would've been a long drive), Pastry Chef Franck Riffaud of the Park Hyatt Aviara was kind enough to share his recipe for chocolate cake (or cupcakes) so that we could play along at home... and so YOU can as well! As a PEANUTS BRAND Ambassador, I'm helping to spread some Valentine's Day love with The Ultimate Snoopy & Belle Valentine's Prize Pack. One (1) lucky winner will score a fantastic "party in a box," while everyone can enjoy some delicious cake as we did here today!
Two of my favorite companies have just teamed-up to share some cute recipes based on some kid-favorite franchises. Disney and The J.M. Smucker Company have just launched a new "Sidekick" section of Disney Family loaded with Crafts, Activities, and Recipes... and a chance to win a Disney Parks Vacation Package. Recipes include food art (made with Smucker's Uncrustables) based on Tow Mater from Disney•Pixar CARS•Pixar CARS, Olaf from FROZEN, Simba from THE LION KING, and of course, Mickey Mouse himself. Ready to try your hand at some Pinterest-worthy edible goodness for the kids?
One of the highlights of our Great American Road Trip last summer was a stop at Hershey's Chocolate World in Hershey, PA. A unique place where families can "Explore the Many Wonders of Chocolate," the folks at Hershey's are launching some winter wellness activities this month, featuring Zumba classes, food demonstrations from Highmark Blue Shield and other family fun activities. Check out the full details below, and be sure to visit their official site to plan your visit.
I am an unapologetic burger aficionado. Yes, I will eat a turkey burger, but what I really need is beef - a real burger, cooked properly with a little pink in the middle. You could say that when I approach a good burger that I'm "all-in" (just like how I raise the girls) and that's exactly what my friends at Applebee's have tapped into with their new collection of All-In Burgers - four varieties of proper burgers with flavors hand-smashed and seared-in, much like you'd do at home. They're hand-made with fresh ground beef - none of that pre-packed, frozen nonsense. The other night, I took the family out for dinner and dug into the Triple Bacon All-In Burger, served-up with some BBQ-spiced fries and a Diet Pepsi. Wanna see my #BurgerSelfie? How would you like to talk burgers for a chance at prizes and glory?
Ready for something interesting? We've all forgotten our shopping lists (I'm especially guilty of leaving the paper on the counter), and sometimes we even forget to add items to it. Now comes the hiku - a new scanning device that makes creating a shopping list a breeze. It's magnetic and attaches right to your fridge so it's always handy and ready when you are. Simply scan an item or speak the name of a product that you need into the hiku and it's automatically added to the hiku app shopping list. Each item is separated by the product type so you don't have to deal with the frustration of returning to a previous aisle because you forgot an item. How would you like to WIN a hiku of your own, and get a $50 Visa Gift Card to give your shopping trip a jump start? My friends at Thrifty Nifty Mommy & Viva Veltoro have teamed up with hiku to help make that happen for one lucky reader!
THE ROCK FATHER has partnered with Folgers for the #RemixYourCoffee promotion.
It was just over a year ago that I first paid a visit to Orrville, Ohio to spend some time at the Corporate Headquarters of The J.M. Smucker Company. There I had a chance to visit and explore the Folgers coffee lab, an experience that led to an entry about some uncanny connections to my family history, specifically my Great Grandfather, who spent much of his life as a coffee taster. I love coffee - many different kinds of coffee (a habit I've spoken of frequently here on the site), and one of my favorites is the Folgers Black Silk - a bold, but super-smooth variety. While I often drink it black, the Folgers crew recently launched their first-ever collection of "coffee enhancers" with the release of Folgers Flavors. These small, squirtable bottles let you add a splash of flavor to your favorite brew, as little or as much as you'd like, in Mocha, Caramel, Vanilla or Hazelnut flavors.
I've covered a lot of ground here on THE ROCK FATHER over the years, but I don't think I've ever brought you a review of bread before. It takes something a little bit different to hook me, and DAVE'S KILLER BREAD had the story to pique my interest even before the girls and I tried the product, which is not just very, very good, but excellent. In fact, Dave's Killer Bread (Non-GMO, Organic, Project-Verified Whole Grain) actually accomplished an incredible feat - it's the only "grainy" bread that my girls have ever eaten, and thus far the only one they will eat. But there's a story to go along with this bread - one that will no doubt have a movie hidden within one day...
This #Treats4All Adventure is brought to you by #CollectiveBias Inc. and it's advertiser. All opinions are that of James Zahn, aka The Rock Father.
"Which house will have the best #Treats4All this year?" Well, Rock Father HQ is looking pretty good right about now. In fact, it's become sort of a tradition here to break out the treats just for our family for a little pre-Halloween cheer, and that was the case this weekend as we got our Fall and Halloween decor going up in full-effect. I'm always playing with new ideas, and as much as I'd love to do "scary," we tend to end up leaning "cute" to welcome Trick or Treaters to our home each October. Come that glorious day (which is actually taking place on October 26 in our party-pooping town), all the little ghosts and ghouls will get a chance to score some good candy like Butterfinger, Nestle Crunch and Baby Ruth.
Oh, the late-1990s were such a strange place, indeed. In 1997, the same year I met the girl who would eventually become my wife and the mother of my children, the Coca-Cola Company unleashed their citrus-tinged SURGE as a competitor to reigning "extreme" beverage, PepsiCo's Mountain Dew. The commercials were the epitome of late 90s culture - embracing a mix of the "Nu-Metal" look and extreme sports lifestyle (including cross-promo with WCW Nitro) while bearing a soundtrack featuring artists like Fatboy Slim. I drank more than a few cans and bottles of SURGE in that time, but by 2003, SURGE was done. Now, thanks to a grassroots effort known as the SURGE Movement, the beverage is back - available in a first-of-its-kind deal, exclusively through Amazon.
Last week, I shared some thoughts on the redesigned Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop Travel Mugs and how the #1 selling line of spill-proof travel mugs was able to improve upon what I already thought was perfection. Well, the #BestGotBetter, and after deeming the new mugs "Rock Father-Approved," Contigo and I have teamed-up to get one lucky reader hooked-up with a four pack of 16oz mugs (ARV $85!). With Fall pretty much here and the season for Pumpkin Spice upon us, it's a great time to refresh your mug selection with the best of the best!
For over a year, I've been singing the praises of Contigo and their crazy-good line of travel mugs and water bottles. As an on-the-go Dad with two little girls, there's a pretty good chance that we're rockin' some Contigo products whenever we're out and about. I'm a big coffee guy (I tend to mention that), and one of my personal favorites has been the AUTOSEAL West Loop (yes, named after a geographic region of Chicago) Stainless Travel Mug. It's always been the best spill-proof mug out there, but how can you improve on perfection? Well, the best got better, and Contigo just proved that. The secret is in the lid.
Regular readers of THE ROCK FATHER know that I'm a big fan of The J.M Smucker Company. Smucker's is an American tradition, so when I had a chance to visit their headquarters in Orrville, Ohio last Fall for their Holiday Traditions gathering, I jumped at it. While I had a great time and learned a lot (want a killer Brussels Sprouts recipe?), I couldn't help thinking that my family would like to visit there as well, so on our first-ever Great American Road Trip series, I took my wife and daughters to The J.M. Smucker Company Store and Cafe for a late lunch and a little bit of shopping as we made our way back to Illinois last month.