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Dad’s Recipe Review Of “Simple Raw Vegan Brownies With Icing”

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

As I recently learned in The Top 10 Dadabase Posts Of All Time: 4 Years And Counting, non-vegans out there are depending on us plant-based familes to be the Guinea pigs to test out new recipes to share with them.

So now that I know the most popular Dadabase post I’ve ever written in the past 4 years was No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls… Jealous Much?which was only written just two months ago, I figured I need to be clever enough to do a sequel.

So here it is…  my review of “Simple Raw Vegan Brownies with Icing” by Solveig Berg Vollan; which is featured in her blog, Gluten-Free-Vegan-Girl.

Like her other recipe, the prep time is quick (about 15 minutes or so) and the ingredients are few. Here are the ingredients for “Simple Raw Vegan Brownies with Icing“:

  • 2 cups raw walnuts
  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 6 tbsp raw almond butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt

I just told Mommy, after discovering Gluten-Free-Vegan-Girl‘s no bake recipes, I don’t even miss baked goods- and definitely not ones that contain dairy and eggs.

Needless to say, you and your chocolate mouth agree, as you can see from these pictures. You even got the first taste, as you stuck your finger in like Little Jack Horner.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about this awesome and delicious recipe is that in addition to containing no animal products or gluten, nor does it require any baking… the recipe also contains no added sugar!

But you would never know it.

In fact, I didn’t realize that until just now. I actually had to ask Mommy to make sure I wasn’t reading that wrong.

I’m serious. Between this and the No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls, I’m all set when it comes to sweet treats.

As a plant-based kid getting to enjoy wonderful recipes like these, I really don’t think anyone can feel sorry for you.

When it comes to desserts, you are in vegan Guinea pig heaven!

 

Love,

Daddy

 

 

 

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The Top 10 Dadabase Posts Of All Time: 4 Years And Counting

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

As of today, I have been doing this for exactly 4 years. That’s right- I’ve been writing to you, or at least about you, since April 13, 2010; which was 7 months before you were even born.

Here’s an explanation as featured in the About Me section:

“Back in April 2010, I decided I wanted to set a world record for the longest-running daddy blog in the world, beginning with the day the parents-to-be went public with the news they were expecting a baby. Nearly a thousand blog posts later, I write a new one nearly every day.”

Sure, it takes discipline and creativity to write a fatherly post 25 times each month (this is my 955th over all), but it’s one of the things in this life I do best.

Even then, my best isn’t always great. In the past 4 years, I have definitely written things I would later, and still do, regret. At the same time, those “regretful” moments also have served as important milestones in my maturity as your daddy, as well as a writer.

On the other extreme, I think it’s interesting to see what the most interesting things I’ve written to you are about. While my Top 10 Dadabase posts are definitely not my personal Top 10 favorites, the free market has decided otherwise, and I absolutely appreciate their opinion and input.

Just for the record, I have still yet to officially “break the 4th wall” and admit to you that these letters are seen by anyone other than you and me; today is as close as it gets for now. (It’s sort of like how on the TV show, The Office, they never really acknowledged the camera crew or the fact there were making a documentary until the final season.)

So to celebrate 4 years and running, 3 of them being on Parents.com, I now take a look at how my fatherly perspective most resonates with the general public:

#1: No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls… Jealous Much? (February 7, 2014/16 Facebook “likes”)

#2: The Half-Abortion: Only Keeping One Twin (August 14, 2011/2,900 Facebook “likes”)

#3: 5 Token Signs Of Millennial (Or Generation Y) Parents (December 2, 2012/44 Facebook “likes”)

#4: A Slap In The Face: Child Abuse Or Child Discipline (June 10, 2012/329 Facebook “likes”)

#5: Is “Natural” Vanilla Flavoring Really From Beavers…? (February 12, 2012/2,700 Facebook “likes”)

#6: 5 Pointers To Help Avoid Food With Fillers (December 20, 2012/13 Facebook “likes”)

#7: 5 Impractical Ways To Save Your Family Money in 2013 (January 2, 2013/13 Facebook “likes”)

#8: Kama Sutra For Parents Of Young Children (February 14, 2012/1,000 Facebook “likes”)

#9: 7 Tips For Planning A 1 Year-Old’s Birthday Party (December 2, 2011/10 Facebook “likes”)

#10: The Amazing Photo Of Alicia Atkins’ Baby Reaching From The Womb (January 3, 2013/106 Facebook “likes”)

To my surprise, my review of the recipe for “No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls” is by far the most popular thing I’ve ever written. I only wrote it 2 months ago, yet it has now nearly doubled the number of views of the #2 most popular most, which was published nearly 3 years ago.

So I guess I need to review more vegan recipes?

Over all, just glancing at which ones made the Top 10 list, it appears I am most interesting and relevant when I am talking about our vegan (“plant-based”) lifestyle, morality issues, identifying as Generation Y parents, questioning the traditional norms of child discipline, being “cheap” parents, poking fun at the realities of trying to sleep as a parent, planning a child’s birthday party, and spotlighting cool news stories about parenting.

(Plus, putting numbers in the title, like “The Top 10 Dadabase Posts Of All Time: 4 Years And Counting”, seems to help too.)

I’ll try to keep these things in mind as I continue writing my thoughts as a dad in these “private” daily letters to you.

Four years down… the rest of our lives to go!

 

Love,

Daddy 

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The Relevant Rise Of Bronies: Neo-Masculinity

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

I felt it was my duty to try to understand the “bronies” movement.

All I knew is that there are apparently young men (typically ages 18 to 35) who are legitimate fans of the kids’ TV show, “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.”

“Bro’s” and “ponies” equals “bronies.”

The thing that makes bronies so interesting is that… (I’m trying to think of an appropriate, inoffensive, non-judgmental, politically correct, social media friendly way to say it)…

They’re not of any particular demographic; especially not the one that most people might assume. In fact, according to this brony survey (page 7), 70% of bronies… (How can I again safely and appropriately say this?) … 70% of bronies like girls.

Most bronies, other than liking a TV show that was intended for little girls, are not necessarily otherwise into “countercultural” things. I learned this when I saw the documentary “Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans Of My Little Pony” on Netflix.

As I watched the documentary, seeing the bronies made me think of Star Wars fans, or Star Trek fans, or comic book fans.

From what I can see, bronies are pretty much just regular dudes who happen to really appreciate the acceptance of all people, as well as love and good morals… lessons I remember from the 1980s animated version of The Smurfs.

(Though most male fans of the show are older, there are younger male fans as well. Just recently, the story of 9 year-old Grayson Bruce went viral, when his mom claimed that school officials banned his brony backpack because it was a trigger for bullying.)

Again, I felt it was my duty, as the dad of a son who for all I know may be interested in being a brony one day, to check out “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” for myself.

So I watched the first episode.

And it wasn’t really my thing. However, I think I can personally relate to where bronies are coming from…

I remember in high school thinking how it would be cool in a nostalgic way to put a rainbow sticker on the back window of my Bronco II.

Simply because rainbows are happy and make me think of the 1980s… like the famous PBS painter Bob Ross and his “happy little clouds.”

But then I realized that’s not how it would be perceived by most people. I didn’t want to have to keep explaining myself over and over what the rainbow simply meant to me personally, so I decided to the leave the rainbow alone.

Instead, when I graduated 15 years ago in 1999, I walked the stage in my yellow Saucony Jazz running shoes, which I happen to still own and even wore today to the Vanderbilt scrimmage football game. Those shoes are, in a way, my version of a rainbow sticker.

They were my way of personally “disidentifying” with the extremes of American masculinity, as a man.

Still today, if I were forced to choose between identifying as a butch or a femme to decribe myself, which I feel is the way the mainstream media portrays men in the polarized society I believe we live in, I would choose neither:

I would chose brony. I would choose to be the male protagonist of the Nicholas Sparks book. I would choose to be Jim Halpert from The Office. Or Peeta from The Hunger Games.

In other words, I embrace neo-masculinity. It’s a natural and relevant combination of being both sensitive and masculine, which is what I know I have to be, as an active and involved father to you and husband to Mommy.

I like the way Lauren Faust, the developer of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, stated this concept in the documentary Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans Of My Little Pony:

“We need to allow men to be sensitive and to care about one another and not call them weak for caring.”

Okay then. I’ve done the homework. I don’t fear you becoming a brony one day. I understand and appreciate what they represent. 

Until then, I’ll continue teaching you why Captain America is actually the coolest.

Love, Daddy

What career is your child destined for? Click to find out.

Lords of the Playground: Babble
Lords of the Playground: Babble
Lords of the Playground: Babble

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Taking My Kid To Downtown Nashville For The 1st Time

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

I don’t want the general public to know this, but Nashville truly is one of the coolest places to live in America. Our town keeps showing up in articles as an “it place” to live.

The economy here is great, the people are diverse and friendly, there’s plenty of awesome entertainment, and the weather is…

Well, the weather is decent, yet a bit all over the place. Just two weeks ago I encountered 4 different seasons in the same hour. Literally, it snowed, then it was mild, then it was hot and sunny, then it cold fairly cold again.

Despite the fact we actually live in the Nashville city limits, only 12.2 miles from downtown, until this past Saturday, we’ve never actually taken you to Broadway, where all the “Nashvegas” action happens.

Mommy had found out about a free puppet show going on at the downtown library. She had me at “free.”

Two of your friends from school, and their parents, met us there for the excitement.

You got to witness your very first puppet show; it was a Native American tale called Sky Bear.

That actually was the first time I myself had seen a marionette-style puppet show.

Next, you and your friends made your way to the big window and saw “the Batman building” in the background.

Lucky for you, one of your friends’ parents suggested we check out the candy store on Broadway, called Savannah’s Candy Kitchen.

As you and your friends walked hand in hand, you were able to see many Nashvegas wonders… like a pink school bus, a convertible limo, and some kind of weird man-powered trolley in which over a dozen people peddled sideways to make the thing go… called Sprocket Rocket.

Yeah, because that’s apparently what’s normally going on during a typical Saturday morning at 11:23 on Broadway in Nashville.

Amidst all the exotic sights and sounds, we eventually reached our destination. I’m very familiar with the saying, “like a kid in the candy store.” Well, that was you and your friends.

You ended up with a bag full fully of jelly beans. Your friend Madison chose a giant lollipop… and it only cost $3.50.

It was quite an eventful morning. Of course, by noon, it was time for all three 3 year-olds to head home for lunch and nap.

You’re a lucky boy. You got to experience the splendor of downtown Nashville, accompanied by two of the cutest brunettes you know.

 

Love,

Daddy

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My Son Is Becoming Friends With Boys

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

Since your first and best friend, Sophie, moved away in February, you have by default been put in situation where you are becoming friends with other boys.

Up until now, the way it’s worked out is that the kids in your class at school who are closest to you in age are girls- so that’s why you have been more prone to hang out with girls, instead of boys, outside of school.

But now that Sophie is no longer attending your school with you, I’m pleasantly surprised to see you talking to and playing alongside boys when I pick you up from school each day.

There’s even a picture at your school of you and a boy named Alex. The two of you posed arm in arm on Western day for your teacher.

That’s not a side of you I’ve seen much of.

I am very excited by the thought of you having a regular “outside of school” friend that is a boy.

This is because I recognize the importance of having friends of the same gender, not just the opposite.

I remember one of my 1st friends like that in preschool- his name is Russell McElhaney. I still remember that he was my first friend that was a boy. I remember “outside of school” activities with him, like going to each other’s houses to play with He-Man action figures.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve never really written a letter to you that tells a story about you and one of your friends who is a boy.

I predict within the next year you’ll have a friend here in Nashville who you are close enough to that they do indeed end up in a story.

As for now, my next letter is about you going to downtown Nashville, arm in arm between two girls from school.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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