Food

National Caramel Day. Yum! Celebrate with Theo + Jacobsen.


Did you know that Saturday April 5th is National Caramel Day?

Neither did I, until I received an email regarding – what else – Caramel, from the fine folks at Theo + Jacobsen Salt Co.

Theo Chocolate has salty, sweet and full-bodied caramel treats to snack on and they ship throughout the US and their treats are available here in Canada at fine retailers such as Whole Foods.

As the first Organic, IMO Fair Trade Fair for Life and NON-GMO certified bean-to-bar chocolate maker in North America, Theo Chocolate make great chocolate and make our world a better place.

Based in Seattle, with a whole lot of social responsibility, these chocolates are delicious and responsible and I know that because I’ve eaten them before (nothing has been provided to me in compensation for writing this post) and I am just learning of the different way they make their chocolates – not at the expense of anyone else.

In their words; “From the cacao farmer in the Congo, to the truck driver in Seattle, to the chocolate lover in Philadelphia—there is a thread that runs through us all. Theo believes in celebrating those connections, in strengthening them and in finding inspiration within them—inspiration to change the world. We know that every action has a result. That the choices we make here in Seattle, Washington touch lives across the planet in real and lasting ways. That knowledge, and that responsibility, is what drives us to do things differently, to help make the world a better place. We think about every choice we make, every action we take and how it will impact our interconnected world.”

Next time I am in Seattle, I am taking The Urban Daddy family on a Factory Tour!

In the meantime, to celebrate National Caramel Day, here are some treats to order / run out and buy;

· Theo + Jacobsen Salt Co. Sea Salt 4 Piece Caramel Collection

o This truly unique combination of buttery Theo Caramel, rich Chocolate, and crisp Jacobsen Salt Co. sea salts – harvested from the Oregon Coast – lets you wet your feet with four revitalizing fillings: Citrus, Verjus, Lemongrass Curry, Mesquite. ($12)

· Café Vita Caramel Collection

o Café Vita Coffee + Theo Dark and Milk Chocolate + Luscious Carmel = Happiness. Enough said. ($8.80)

· Artisan Sampler Caramel Collection

o Still not taking any sides? This SOFI Gold Winning sampler contains four of our most popular Caramel-infused flavors: Ghost Chili, Grey Salted Vanilla, The Café Vita Caramel and Pink Salted Caramel. ($8.80)

In addition, at the dinner table it[‘s time to have this conversation with the children: Is it Car-mel or Car-a-mel?

I say Car-a-mel. What do you say?

http://www.theochocolate.com Find them also on Facebook and on Twitter.

I Love it when Children Blog! Introducing the Kids Food Fanatic.


My 9-year-old son’s friend told me today that he is a “food blogger”.  The mastermind behind Kids Food Fanatic, a blog aimed at giving a kids view of restaurants to other kids.  The blog takes into account the food, décor and some other interesting factors.

“Really? Awesome!” was my reply.

So while him and my son were hanging out at our place on a play-date, I decided to check out his blog.  I was immediately impressed, so I decided to interview him for The Urban Daddy (TUD), to help him get more readers and more comments and so he will be hooked on blogging like so many of us have become.  His blog is called Fun Food Fanatic, and he is the Kid Food Fanatic (KFF).

Here is the interview:

TUD: “Why do you blog?  What got your started?”

KFF: “I love rating food, and I want kids to have the feeling they can make good choices about restaurants they want to go to and they know the food there is a great, and kid-friendly”.

TUD: “What was the best restaurant experience you have had so far?”

KFF: “The Works! Then Boston Pizza“.

TUD: “What did you like about them?”

KFF: “The atmosphere. It was very funny. The food was also rock solid delicious. Did you get that?  Rock Solid Delicious.  It was burger galore at the Works.”

TUD: “How do you decide where you go next?”

KFF: “I don’t decide. I grab my notebook and write about where we go as a family.”

TUD: “Have you been to places you hated?”

KFF: “No, not yet”.

TUD: “What is your favourite type of restaurant / food?”

KFF: “I like restaurants with good burgers which have good, fast service. I also like restaurants with creative decorations I can look at while eating.”

TUD: “What if you went to a restaurant and the food was terrible. Would you post that?”

KFF: “I would tell them why I thought the food was terrible. I would say something like, “nice try” and “please do not make that mistake again” and then I would blog it because kids have to know this.”

Big thank you to the Kids Food Fanatic.

His blog can be found here;

or here if you prefer to paste and click on your own.

Please pay him a visit and welcome him to the blogosphere.

Could a Cure for Peanut Allergies Be Close? Peanut Protein to the Rescue!


Could a Cure for Peanut Allergies Be Close? Peanut Protein to the Rescue!

I heard yesterday morning that they was a study conducted in England whereby children were given a peanut protein over a period of time and in doing so, 81% of them were able to eat 5 peanuts without reaction.  That would be huge!

Fingers crossed it leads to something bigger and better.

When you don’t allow for comments on your blog, you get this instead.


I’m a very open-minded guy. I was not always this way, but as I have gotten older and wiser, I have certainly adopted the philosophy that people can, and will, do and say whatever they want, whenever they want and that is totally fine by me, so long as it doesn’t trample on my human rights.

I mean who are we to define items like marriage, or benefits, or set limits on what a person can and cannot do with their bodies… I find a lot of the laws and customs in practice today found their roots in a time when men were seen as better than woman, and heck, white men greater than everyone. We can now see clearly how wrong that has come to be, and if we step even further back, we can see that we are all just human beings trying to make the best lives for ourselves and our children on this planet we call earth.

So when I came across a blog / rant / all out melt-down around breastfeeding mothers and whether or not they should be allowed to breastfeed in restaurants – for attention – I decided to read along in hopes of finding another point of view or see that this post was just a joke.

However as I read it I became confused with the source of the ranting.  At first I thought the author was upset because woman breastfeed in restaurants and in some old-school way the author felt that woman’s breasts are sexualized and thus breastfeeding should be done discreetly.  Heck, from the tone of the post one would think that at this particular establishment there are boobs flying left and right, out there for everyone to see… A mother feeding her child.

Then as I read on and thought about the words, I thought that the author was upset because the restaurant in question asked a breastfeeding mother to feed her child in a discreet area of the restaurant away from, I dunno, people like this author who thing breastfeeding is gross, or ugly?!?  The mother declined, went to the press and from what I could gather all hell broke loose.  Either the restaurant was criticized for insensitivity, or there was a breastfeeding sit-in, who knows, but this author clearly felt that that mother needed to go somewhere else to breastfeed.

As a manager, this author would be the same type of employee who would have approached my wife – who breastfed our three children - and asked her to fed the baby in the bathroom.  UGH.  To that suggestion my wife would comment, very calmly; “Would you eat your lunch in the bathroom?”

Point taken.

But aside from the disgust with breastfeeding I was taking from the article, I felt an overwhelming hatred of mothers.  Mothers who want to feed their babies in public.  Mothers who ask for discounts because they are mothers.  Damn you mothers for carrying children and bringing life.

The author also hates nutrition because her solution is for breastfeeding mothers to bring a bottle to feed their kids, obviously oblivious to the fact that a baby sucking on a bottle even once can ruin the latch on the nipple causing pain and agony for the mother – or a premature end to breastfeeding at worst.

If a mother is unable to pump enough breast milk to fill a bottle, I guess the mother can just buy some over-the-counter product and feed the baby that, right?  Who cares what garbage is in that bottle, so long as there are no breasts exposed, right?

Or maybe the author’s “final solution” is best.  Since she offended pretty much all moms everywhere by tagging her post “people I hate” and referring to either women or feminists in her university / college as “feminazis”, she finally concluded that moms with young children do not belong in nice restaurants when there are quality family restaurants like “McDonalds or Burger King” around.

Wow.

I would have commented to the author about her incorrect facts relating to the bottle comment and restaurant solutions in an understanding manner.  How else could she feel this way unless she just did not know.  It’s easy for her to send moms to McD’s, as her post screams about her lack of understanding of what it takes to be a mother and responsible for children while still trying to have a life of their own.  Heck, she referred to children who are breastfeeding – probably under 4-years-old - as  “bratty hellspawn” to think that mothers are only feeding their kids for “attention” pretty much rounds out the absurdity.

I had always thought that mothers fed their children out of necessity so the won’t die.  Funny how that works…

The “breast” solution for this author is to only go to restaurants where families do not “hang out”.

But with nowhere on her blog to add a comment and me left feeling that I have to educate this woman so she won’t go through life thinking that all breastfeeding mothers are Satan’s spawn, I came to post it here.

The link to the original post is below.

http://xoellexo.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/breastfeeding-motherslactivist-nightmares/

Give the gift of giving! Teaching Our Kids the True Meaning of the Holiday Season – Plan Canada


Have you had that conversation with your children about the true meaning of the holiday season?  Not the one about keeping gift receipts, but that this time of year is really about giving to others – especially to those in the greatest need?

We have.

All year round, we set aside some unopened gifts to take to the fire station for delivery to the less fortunate and we always make sure extra clothing, blankets and jackets are put to good use in the community.

Plan Canada is a global movement for change, mobilizing millions of people around the world to support social justice for children in developing countries.Plan Canada logo

Founded in 1937, they are one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, they have only one agenda: to improve the lives of children.  They give children, families and communities the tools they need to break the cycle of poverty and build sustainable solutions for improving their own lives.

Plan is also the organization behind Because I am a Girl, a global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls – and everyone around them – out of poverty.

In 2012, there work impacted the lives of over 174 million people – including 83.9 million children – in over 90,100 communities around the world.

If you are putting together gift ideas this season for children, consider a gift from Plan Canada’s Gifts of Hope. A Gift of Hope from Plan Canada can be an excellent way to engage children at a young age. It presents a unique opportunity for them to learn, talk about and support important global issues.

With a number of new gifts available this year, including Typhoon Haiyan relief, Plan Canada’s Gifts of Hope provide access to food, education, safe pregnancies or a family income.

Below are a few of Plan Canada’s Gifts of Hope

New! Typhoon Haiyan relief: $95

Typhoon Haiyan, possibly the worst storm on record, destroyed entire communities and shattered millions of lives when it struck the Philippines. The storm swept away homes, schools, crops … and lives. But with this gift, you can help children and families recover and rebuild. Plan has worked in the Philippines for more than 50 years and has extensive experience responding to natural disasters and other crises, deploying teams of technical experts to support the immediate delivery of clean drinking water, food, medical supplies, shelter and educational resources.

New! The Quinoa Project: $35

This superfood is a super gift for almost 15,000 families in developing countries, where poor nutrition and health run rampant. This gift of a family garden includes everything necessary for growing that garden: quinoa seeds and other grain crops; training for growing and harvesting the crops; and the know-how to turn those crops into nutritious meals with cooking classes and recipe books. With this gift, you can help families become healthy and strong for life.

Gift-giving idea: If you have a gardening enthusiast in your life, this gift can be wrapped with packages of heirloom seeds for next year’s gardening season.

Mango Tree

New! Fruit Tree: $12 each or 10 for $120

When you give this gift, your efforts will bear fruit in many forms. Planted around homes, fruit trees provide shade from the unrelenting sun and give families nutritious food to eat, helping them stay strong and healthy. Help families in more developing countries reap the harvest of this gift.

Gift-giving idea: A perfect gift to give with jars of delicious homemade fruit preserves.

New! Girls’ take-home rations: $25

Give the gift of food and the gift of education! Many girls in developing countries are often kept at home and out of school because of existing gender roles and stereotypes. With this gift, each month that a young girl regularly attends school, she will receive essential food items such as cooking oil or grains to take home to her family. Feed families, feed young minds, and be part of changing communities, one educated girl at a time.

Gift-giving idea: For a daughter, niece or granddaughter, this gift given along with a contribution to an education fund (RESP) emphasizes the importance of an education.

New! Food Basket: $50

Filled with staples like sugar, peas, beans, and cooking oil, it’s a basic food basket with an impact that is anything but. This gift of food for thousands of pregnant women, mothers and young children under five who are malnourished is ultimately the gift of life, especially in countries like Sierra Leone, where maternal and child mortality rates are among the highest in the world. Along with the food, nutritional training is given as well to help them stay healthy and strong. Basket by basket, you’ll be saving lives.

Gift-giving idea: Perfect for home cooks and foodies, give this life-saving gift with a basket of gourmet food items.

New! School Essentials: $17 for one child, $250 for a class

Fill schools in developing countries with all the essentials to give students the best possible education and the best possible start to a better life. With this gift, you’ll not only be helping provide basics such as textbooks and pencils, you’ll be funding essential school lunch programs and teacher training. This gift will also help children receive education in emergency situations, support programs to reduce school violence and work on improving school hygiene. All of which will help make schools into productive, safe, inspiring spaces where children can get the education they need to make their own choices about the future.

Gift-giving idea: A perfect gift for teachers, can be given with a gift certificate from their favourite book store or coffee shop.

Goat: $75 or $775 for a herd of goats

It just might be the most unique gift you’ll give this year. Goats may make us chuckle with their antics, but the impact they have on a family’s health and income is profound. They provide milk and essential protein for growing children, and the sale of offspring means an income to pay for housing, health, food and schooling. We’re m-a-a-a-d about this gift!

Gift-giving idea: A great way to teach children about charity and the developing world, give this gift with a small stuffed goat. Or for an adult, goat’s milk bath products pair well with the spirit of this gift.

This year, give back with Plan Canada’s Gifts of Hope, which can easily be purchased over the phone at 1-800-387-1418 or online at plancanada.ca/gifts. Recipients will receive an electronic or hard copy greeting card letting them know about their personal gift and a tax receipt is issued to the giver.

Visit plancanada.ca/gifts for more gift ideas and to learn more, or their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PlanCanada.