Archive | June, 2013

Force For Fun: Episode 5 – Jim vs. Vader

10 Jun

Today marks the 5th and final week of the Pringles Force For Fun, free Star Wars stuff giveaway. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and patience with these little diversions away from the usual material. I have the best readers in the blogosphere, and I am grateful for every single one of you.

Pringles The Force For Fun Logo

The recipe for success:

1) Treat yourself to this awesome video below.


2) Click on the plushie Jawa and enter for a chance to win it.


3) Tell all your friends.

May The Force be with you.

-Dork Dad

Supes or Bats — Who’s The Better Father?

7 Jun

letter yYesterday the boys over at HowToBeADad crossed a line. They worked up a clever little post they titled “5 Reasons Batman Would Be A Better Dad Than Superman.” You can imagine the fallout. Commenters on their blog and dadbloggers in our dadblogging Facebook group split right down party lines, and the debate continues.



But from the ashes emerged a group of Super-Dadblogger-Heroes to bring order to the chaos. Defenders of Truth, Justice and the Fatherhood-way rose up to challenge the grave crimes perpetrated against fatherhood by the unholy alliance of Charlie Capen and Andy Herald. Those three champions, Alan Kercinik (the brain behind “Always Jacked” and contributor to this blog as a Guest Dorkdad), Ron Mattocks (chief power behind the blog “Clark Kent’s Lunchbox“) and DorkDaddy himself have come forward because in times like these, when evil is on the rise and everything seems in doubt, the world needs true heroes.

it's on


Your champions have orchestrated a three-pronged response to HowToBeADad’s evil master plan. This morning team captain Ron Mattocks’s “A Letter To Batman From His Son” is the first response of three to come from Team ClarkKent’sLunchbox.


Dear Father Bruce,

I am writing this letter to you as part of my anger management treatment which, of course, you know the court mandated. Dr. Friskin, my therapist, thought this would be a good way to constructively work through my feelings. Honestly, though, I don’t even know where to begin. I guess my biggest question are all why. Why did you want me? Why did you fight my mother for full custody in the divorce? And why did you think you could ever be a father to me given your dual identity?

I want to believe that as a baby our family was happy one, but over the years I’ve realized that it couldn’t have been if Mother left you so soon after I was born. Did you even love one another? I guess it all didn’t matter after one of those freaks–what’s his name, Penguin–killed her. Listen to myself; a bird man murdered my mom with a stupid trick umbrella, and that’s not even the most bizarre part! That would be that my dad dresses up as a bat to fight other such loonies around Gotham City, in alternate dimensions, and God only knows where else! << click here to read the full letter >>


Fear not, true believers. Truth and justice will prevail. Stay tuned.

In the meanwhile, please share your thoughts below in the comments about who you think would make a better father, Superman or Batman, and why.



-Dork Dad

Butterbeer… YUM!!

6 Jun


letter Those poor, poor kids when they’re sick.

Nothing is more pathetic or heart-wrenching than a kid who just doesn’t have the energy to eat, or smile, or get up off the couch. That was us this weekend. Over the course of three days our three kids passed around a nasty bug that took each of them sequentially out of commission. The first one went down, and the other two fell shortly thereafter. Three different days, three different sick kids.

You can only sit around the house watching Harry Potter movies for so long – especially when you’ve only unlocked the first three so far (Have I mentioned that Episode IV’s passion for the “Harry Potter” series has only intensified? She’s written at least two more books since I blogged about it last.) When Sunday rolled around and it was clear we weren’t getting out of the house any time soon, I had to do something to get them out from in front of the television.


Since “Harry Potter” was the only thing Episode IV had the energy to be interested in, I wracked my brain for SOMETHING “Harry Potter” related to get them off the sofa, out of the house and into the daylight and fresh air – if only for a little while. In a moment of inspired genius I remembered a picture that flashed across my Facebook feed many months ago and did a quick google image search to find it again.


For those of you who know the “Harry Potter” franchise well, butterbeer and pumpkin juice feature regularly in the stories as beverages of choice for school-age children. There’s actually an entry for both on the Harry Potter Wiki page (butterbeer here and pumpkin juice here). JK Rowling never specified what was in the drinks, only that they were warm, sweet and delicious.

“Hey kids, I’ve got an idea,” I said with as much enthusiasm as I could muster. “How about, for this weekend’s project, we make BUTTERBEER… just like in ‘Harry Potter’?”

That got their attention.

Still in their pajamas, but wearing shoes (a major victory) I got the two big kids in the minivan and, recipe in hand, off we went to Safeway (please pick up a grande’, extra hot, upside down, caramel macciado from Starbucks for UnDorkMommy while you’re out thankyouverymuch).

I put both kids in the shopping cart and whisked them through the aisles while we looked for the necessary ingredients.

When we made it back, Episode IV went straight back to the couch and crashed – too tired from being sick to muster the energy for one of DorkDaddy’s weekend projects. But Episode V was up to the challenge.


We had a good time learning the difference between a “tsp” and a “tbs”, how to follow a recipe (“Daddy, this is just like doing legos”) and how to be safe around the stove and knives. Ultimately the recipe turned out pretty well, and Episode IV had a nice treat waiting for her when she woke up.

Don't make fun of my 70's kitchen.

Don’t make fun of my 70’s kitchen.

Do a search for “Butterbeer recipe” or “Harry Potter pumpkin juice” and naturally you’ll find all sorts of different recipes. Given the energy level in the house this weekend I chose the easiest one. But if you’re particularly crafty around the kitchen and you’re looking for something fun to do with your little witch or wizard this weekend, here are the best recipes I came across. Have fun conjuring.

drink and enjoy

drink and enjoy



Recipe 1)
2 liter cream soda
2 tablespoons Butter extract
2 teaspoons rum extract
*drop the extracts into the 2 liter bottle, put on cap and slowly rotate until combined.

Cream topping
1 7oz container of marshmallow creme
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon rum extract
*add all items together in an electric mixer and combine until smooth.

Pour the butterbeer into a glass,  drizzle with the cream topping, and enjoy!

Recipe 2)

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp powdered sugar
24 oz of your favorite cream soda
2 tsp vanilla butter nut flavoring

Measure the heavy whipping cream into a bowl, then add powdered sugar. Whisk briskly until whipped.

Once your cream topping is ready, add your vanilla butter nut flavoring to your cream soda and stir gently so you don’t get rid of all the carbonation in the soda.

Pour the butterbeer into a glass,  drizzle with the cream topping, and enjoy!

Recipe 3)

1 cup light or dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
6 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
Four 12-ounce bottles cream soda

In a small saucepan over medium, combine the brown sugar and water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook, stirring often, until the mixture reads 240 F on a candy thermometer.

Stir in the butter, salt, vinegar and 1/4 heavy cream. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the rum extract.

In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar mixture and the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Use an electric mixer to beat until just thickened, but not completely whipped, about 2 to 3 minutes.

To serve, divide the brown sugar mixture between 4 tall glasses (about 1/4 cup for each glass). Add 1/4 cup of cream soda to each glass, then stir to combine. Fill each glass nearly to the top with additional cream soda, then spoon the whipped topping over each.


Recipe 1)

This is probably the simplest recipe for pumpkin juice around.

5 cups apple juice
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1) Combine all in a large pitcher and stir well
2) Let it sit for an hour in the refrigerator
3) Strain it (if too thick)
4) Chill or serve iced

Recipe 2)

A pretty good version of pumpkin juice!

2 cups diced pumpkin
2 cups apple juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup pineapple juice

1) Juice the pumpkin
2) Combine the pumpkin juice to the pineapple and apple juice
3) Add honey and blend in a blender
4) Serve iced

Recipe 3)

A variation on Recipe #2 with an added spicy kick to it.

2 cups of pumpkin, chopped into chunks
2 cups of apple juice
1/2 cup of pineapple juice
1 teaspoon of honey
Ground cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg or allspice

1) Juice the pumpkin pieces
2) Pour the pumpkin juice, apple juice, and pineapple juice into a blender
3) Add the honey to the juices and blend
4) Add your spices (to taste)
5) Chill or serve iced

Recipe 4)

This is a healthy version of pumpkin juice with all natural juices, no sweeteners.

24 ounce Pumpkin (deseeded and skinned)
3 Oranges
1 inch Root Ginger

1) Remove sections of pumpkin and scrape off seeds
2) Remove the pumpkins skin
3) Feed the pumpkin flesh through juicer
4) Peel the orange and ginger skins off
5) Juice the ginger followed by the oranges
6) Blend the pumpkin, orange, and ginger juices
7) Chill or serve iced

Recipe 5)

This is an instant variation that is a blend of four different dry ingredients. There is no pumpkin in this recipe, so it is not for Happy Potter purists!

1/2 cup regular instant iced tea mix
1 cup orange drink mix
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1) Mix 2-3 Heaping tsp mix in 1 mug of Hot water.
2) Stir well
3) Serve hot or chilled (serve with ice)

-Dork Dad

I Forgot My Phone

4 Jun

letter So I had every intention of putting together a new blogpost today. Like normal I had it all laid out in my head, including text, links and pictures. But both the big kids were sick yesterday, so the usual routine around the house is in total upheaval. That and Episode VI decided about a week ago that he likes waking up between 4:30 and 5:00 in the morning. Don’t want to get him out of the crib at that hour? No problem. He’ll motivate you.

“I’m just gonna keep turning up the volume on this screaming here until you break down and get me out of my crib,” he says.

“I know most babies would give up after 45 minutes. Nope, not me. Watch me crank it up again.”

Long story short, I’m lucky I got out of the house with matching socks this morning. I got to work, settled in, and got all revved up to write a post about the cutesy, dorky little thing we did this weekend when all of a sudden I realize…

…I left my phone at home this morning; along with all the photos that I needed for the blogpost.

What do you do when you’re all revved up to work on the blog but you don’t have any pictures to work with? Why, make up your own pictures of course.

So today, between patients, I noodled around with a few new thematic ideas for the blog. Ultimately I like the “look” as it is, so I don’t plan on changing things up any time soon. But it’s still fun to get the creative juices going. Here they are. Tell me what you think, and which one is your favorite:

Candidate 1: Adventure



Candidate 2: Oddly Multicultural Street In New York:


Candidate 3: Irondork (special thanks to faithful Facebook participant Jeff Reisdorfer for working this up on his own initiative)


Candidate 4: The Grid


Candidate 5: Because Some People Demanded It



-Dork Dad

Force For Fun: Episode 4 – Sounds Like A Party

3 Jun

Week 4 of the Pringles Force For Fun, free Star Wars stuff giveaway starts now.

Pringles The Force For Fun Logo

The recipe for success:

1) Treat yourself to the video below (for the record, it’s my favorite of the bunch).

2) Click on the R2D2 folding chair and enter for a chance to win it.

3) Tell all your friends.

May The Force be with you.

-Dork Dad

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