Ask Your Dad Blog

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Ultimate Mushroom Burger Cook Off!

My good buddies over at Life of Dad have been teaming up all month with The Mushroom Council to celebrate #Shroomtember. Throughout the month a bunch of different dad bloggers have been posting their mushroom recipes to their blogs and on Instagram. Well, they saved the best for last, because I invited some family members over for a Mushroom Burger Cook off and we have not just one recipe for you, but three! 

I love mushrooms. I always have. Stevie, on the other hand, took some convincing. And by convincing I mean that I had to hide the mushrooms in any food I wanted to have mushrooms in. I started slow and small, and gradually increased the size and consistency of the mushrooms in our meals. Now we have mushrooms with pretty much everything.

If these three fantastic mushroom burger recipes make you want more, be sure to check out all of the awesome recipes at the Mushroom Info Website.  

And! If you happen to post your own mushroom recipe to Instagram with the hashtag #Shroomtember you could win $500. 

On with the burgers!

Spicy Italian Portobello Mushroom Burgers on Garlic Bread Ciabatta Buns

by John Kinnear

Ingredients (Makes 2 Large Burgers)

3/4 lb Ground Top Sirloin
1/4 lb Ground Spicy Italian Sausage
1/4 lb Crimini Mushrooms
2 Portobello Mushrooms
Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
Oregano, Italian Seasoning, (Garlic Power, Salt not pictured)
Marina Sauce (not pictured)

Stevie made this great picture. She also mispelled Portobello and Mozzerella.She was really tired and had a cold. Be nice.

Step 1
  • Make a silly face with the Portobello Mushrooms. 
Step 2
  • Dice Crimini Mushrooms and mix them in a bowl with the ground Italian Sausage and ground sirloin. 
  • Season meat with Oregano, Italian Seasoning, and Garlic Powder. 
Step 3
  • Gently remove stems from Portobello Mushrooms and lightly brush with olive oil. 
  • OH YEAH, Olive Oil is an ingredient you need. Sorry. 

Step 5
  • Put burgers on grill. 5-6 minutes per side. 
  • After first flip, put Portobellos on the grill too. 
Step 6
  • Cut and butter ciabatta bread. Lightly dust with salt and garlic powder.
  • Assemble cooked burgers. Burger/Portobello Mushroom/Marinara Sauce/Mozzarella Cheese
  • Place in oven set to broil until cheese melts and bread browns. 

Jalapeno Mushroom Gravy Burger

by James Garcia

Ingredients (Makes four burgers)

2 lbs hamburger

1 diced onion
1 can diced jalapenos
1 small carton of fresh diced mushrooms
6 tablespoons of butter
1 egg
3 tablespoons of flour
1 pint half & half
Garlic Powder


Step 1

  • Saute onion, mushrooms and jalapenos with 3 tablespoons of butter.
  • Add salt pepper and garlic powder to taste
  • Remove half of this mixture and set aside

Step 2

  • With remaining mixture in pan, add additional three tablespoons of butter, three tablespoons of flour, and half & half.
  • Allow to thicken over heat on low. Stir occasionally. 

Step 3

  • Mix remaining grilled onion/mushroom/jalapenos with one egg in bowl with ground hamburger
  • Build into equal sized patties
  • Grill until done to desired temperature
  • Top with gravy mixture and serve on your choice of bun
  • Enjoy the yummy heat

Stuffed Mushroom Stuffed Burgers

by Melanie Hess


Stuffed Mushroom Filling:
1 package of breakfast sausage
2 8oz packages of cream cheese
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 large mushrooms, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
Minced Garlic, to taste
Minced green onion, to taste
Salt & pepper, to taste
Garlic salt, to taste
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese


1 cup ground beef per burger
Salt, Pepper & Garlic salt, to taste
Special Shit seasoning, to taste

Step 1
  • Brown the breakfast sausage in a large skillet. 
  • Season to taste. 
  • Add remaining filling ingredients, except the cheddar cheese. Simmer on medium until cream cheese has melted.  
  • Reduce temperature to low. 
  • Stir in cheddar cheese.

Step 2
  • Using 2/3rds cup of ground beef, shape beef patty to have a hollow center. 
  • Stuff the center with the stuffed mushroom filling. Use remaining 1/3rd cup of beef to cover the top of the burger.
  • Or, use a StufZ Burger Pressto create a hallow burger to be filled.

Step 3
  • Cook to preferred temperature! 
  • We served these ones without buns because they were so huge!

Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad, LLC for the #ShroomTember promotion. Sponsored by The Mushroom Council, the #ShroomTember promotion gives anybody the chance to win a $500 Visa gift card.

Friday, September 26, 2014

What to Expect When You're Done Expecting

Hi gang! Stevie here. 

A few days ago I had what I considered to be a very mild conversation with my currently-pregnant-with-her-first-kid sister. Apparently what I consider mild and not shocking, she considers not mild and incredibly shocking. Which, now that I think about it. It is. When I was pregnant with Duchess, I was so excited for her come out of my body so I could meet her face to face that I completely neglected to consider what would happen to my body once she was out!  Had the information I presented to my sister been presented to me before my first child was born, I suppose I would have been shocked too. Still, I wish I would have known it then, and I am glad she knows it now. I mentioned our conversation to John and in a very John-like fashion he said "You should write it down for the blog! I bet other moms will be able to relate!"

And then I said "I don't know John. Some of it is kind of icky."

And he said "Some of it is kind of icky should be the motto for the whole of parenting."

So here you go: a few tidbits of information about labor and post-partum life that you won’t find on your cutesy little iPhone app that tells you what size fruit your baby currently is:

Disclaimer: I am obviously not a medical professional. This is all based off my experiences. Your results may vary. 

You’ll probably poop on the delivery table.

Funny story: when I went into labor with Duchess, it dawned on me that I had no idea how to push. Even with all the birthing classes we took, somehow that was left out. I was clueless. How do you contract your muscles to push a baby out of your vagina? Not exactly something I'd practiced. Well it turns out, I had. Because it's a lot like pooping. And in fact, you'll do just that while trying to push the baby out. The nurses will tell you that you didn't. But you'll see them swoop in, and change the out the pad. And you'll ask “did I just poop?” and they'll say “No! Of course not!” And then your loving husband will assure you that you did, in fact, just poop on a table in front of strangers.

Who has two thumbs and is about to poop on the table?

It is going to swell.

And by "it" I mean your vagina. I just didn't think that looked right in a header. Yep, it’s going to get big and puffy. After delivery (even after a C-Section), you’ll finally sit down on the toilet to *try* to poop (unsuccessfully, of course) and you’ll look down. And between your legs, you have a comical, depressing, cartoon-like vagina staring back at you. And it will be discolored. And you will freak out. And you will call for the nurse. And the nurse will tell you that it's normal. But you won’t believe her because it might be the same nurse that lied to you about pooping on the table. But trust me, it will go back to normal. Eventually.

You won’t be able to poop for a few days.

Sorry, we’re going back to poop again. You’ll feel like you have to poop. And you'll try. And you'll fail miserably. You are going to get the ab workout of your life when you go into labor. And if your labor goes anything like mine (and I really REALLY hope it doesn't), the C-section will have added complications. Like the fact that your abdominal muscles are forcefully retracted for you. Oh so pleasant. So count sit-ups out for a while. And don’t be concerned when you finally rejoice and celebrate your first bowel movement a few days later. Your partner might not understand your joy, but hopefully they'll rejoice with you anyway.

You are going to get milk everywhere.

Whether or not you decide to breastfeed, your body is going to produce milk. And it will produce a lot of it. And it will come out at the most inconvenient of times. Sitting at a restaurant? There goes your milk. On the bus? Hope you brought a change of shirt. Breast pads are your new best friend. Take them EVERYWHERE. Don't worry, eventually your body will adjust and will only release milk when you're feeding the baby. Or when the baby cries. Or when you’re in the shower. Or when something randomly grazes your boob. Or you know, when it wants to. But less frequently.

You're going to have feelings that scare you.

Your body has gone through some big physiological and hormonal changes in the last 10 months. In the days and months after childbirth those changes keep happening. Taking all of those changes and combining them with the stress, sleep deprivation, and countless other unforeseen events around childbirth has a tendency to jumble the feels a bit. Or a lot. Or a lot a lot. It is OK to feel sad or angry or scared or overwhelmed, but it is also important to reach out if these feelings begin to take over. Don't wait until it's knocking on your door. Before or shortly having you baby, read over the warning signs. Know your resources. But most of all, know that needing help is not you failing. It's you thriving. It's that first step in doing everything you can for your baby; by being the best mom you can be. The best YOU you can be. There are some wonderful resources out there if you need help. Start with your doctor or OB but you can also find wonderful resources through other women at Postpartum Progess.

I experienced PPD with both of our kids. With help from the resources I listed above we were able to address it early and effectively and eventually everything turned out much better than OK! Which leads me to my last point. 

I know that you’re going to figure everything out.

You might not know it, but I do, and now that you can see I am not afraid of telling you about the bad and the ugly, you’ll believe the good I can tell you too. One of my biggest fears through pregnancy wasn't that I was going to have a bad labor. It was what I was going to do afterwards. What was I going to do when the hospital sent me home with this tiny little human that we were now in charge of keeping alive. More than I was afraid of milk stains on my shirt and my grotesque-looking vagina, I was afraid of being a mom. But I’m here to tell you now, you will figure it out. You will discover what her cries mean. What times of day she likes to play and when she wants to sleep. You’ll find out how she likes to be held, how she likes to be talked to. And best of all, you’ll find out how much you mean to her. You will suddenly become the most important person in someone else’s world, and that is all at once humbling, empowering, and incredibly cool. 

Good luck, mom.

Love, Stevie

OK current moms and moms to be! What did I miss? What did I get wrong? What would you add? Let us know in the comments, and don't forget to come over to the Ask Your Dad Facebook Page to join the conversation their too!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

No, Adrian Peterson. It is Not OK to Beat a Child With a Stick

Last week Adrian Peterson, Running Back for the Minnesota Vikings, was indicted by a Grand Jury in Texas for Child Abuse. While discussing it with various people, I have been absolutely stunned by those putting up a defense. Not just defending Peterson, but actually defending the practice of beating a child with a stick.

“You don’t understand because you don’t live in the South.”

“I don’t understand why it is OK to hit a 4-year-old child with a stick?”

“Yes. It is a cultural thing.”

“A cultural thing? What does that even mean?”

“This is how we were brought up.”

This is an actual conversation I had this weekend. In 2014. Now, I fully admit to not being from the South and lacking a regional and cultural context in which these things happen. And by “these things” I mean a child – a 4-year-old child – being beaten with a stick until his legs are bloody. And from what I have heard, this practice isn't exclusive to the South. But maybe, just maybe, my “lack of perspective” in this case is a good thing. Because instead of seeing context. Instead of seeing tradition. I see this:

And I am angry. I am disgusted. Not just at Adrian Peterson, but at any context in which this becomes acceptable and defendable. It is not. No child should endure this. If we did this to a prisoner it would be considered cruel and unusual punishment. And yet, because it is “tradition” it is OK. In some families it is OK to beat a child with stick.

No. It isn't. It is dehumanizing. It is cruel.  And if you think it is OK, you are wrong. If your parents did this to you, they were wrong. I’m not saying you don’t love your kids, or your parents didn't love you. We are all fallible. Good intentions do not guarantee good actions.

I understand that a lot of parenting is done in the margins. There isn't some set prescription of how to raise a good human being, and the soul can survive and thrive in spite of many things. So maybe some of you were whipped when you were a child when you stepped out of line. And maybe some of you turned out just fine. But that doesn't mean you deserved it. You did not deserved a “whooping”. I know you think you did, and that is a part of the damage that has been done. When a wife goes back to her husband with two swollen eyes because she thinks “I shouldn't have provoked him” do we nod and laugh and say, “Oh yeah you had that whoopin’ coming!” No. We don’t. We shouldn't. And yet, we hear stories of our parents taking their belts off or sending us into the back yard to pick a switch and look at it with a grin and nostalgia.

“But what about spanking? Is spanking OK?”

I don’t know. We don’t spank our kids. I know plenty of folks who do. I imagine it is easier to scale back an open handed smack to the rear end than it is to adjust how hard you hit a kid with a stick, but just typing that sentence feels ridiculous. I know where the line is for our family. We don’t hit. Other families set that line other places. But we, as a society, set lines too. They are called laws. It is time for beating a child with a stick to be set on the other side of that line, whether it results in bloody lacerations of not.

“But Adrian Peterson said he took it too far. He admitted that.”

Do you even realize how ridiculous that sounds? He was hitting his child with a stick and just got carried away? Oops?

No. He got carried away by picking up a stick in the first place, and no argument is going to convince me otherwise.

“But his mom did it to him.”

This child was beat with a stick until his legs were bloody.

“But children aren't disciplined enough these days.”

This 4-year-old child was beat with a stick until his legs were bloody.

“But that is just a part of the culture.”

No. That is not an excuse. Culture can change. I can think of plenty of horrible, dehumanizing "cultural" things we've done in this country that were deemed unacceptable and eventually outlawed. This one’s time has come.


EDIT: A reader on the Ask Your Dad Facebook Page shared this comment:

First things first - I agree that hitting with objects is never okay. I also think this article does a good job of providing some of the context that you are trying to write off as unacceptable and/or wrong. - Eric

This is the article he shared. It is worth reading.

The racial parenting divide: What Adrian Peterson reveals about black vs. white child-rearing

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dad, You’re Beautiful

There wasn't anything that prompted it. She had been running between the living room and her bedroom, leaping every few feet and attempting to fly. She was a fairy again. When she left the ground I could hear her take a breath that, milliseconds later, shot out in an audible “UH!” as she came back to the carpeted earth. Then she’d smile, start running and try again. The plastic fairy wings a friend of Stevie’s had bought her were adorable, but not very good at actually making her fly. On her eleventieth try she came running over to me on the couch, hugged my lap and told me that I was beautiful. 

“Dad, you’re beautiful.”

Handsome. Somewhere in the back of my head a voice said handsome. Boys are handsome and girls are beautiful. I opened my mouth to correct her, and stopped the words before they fell irretrievably into the space between us.

“Thank you! Why am I beautiful?”

She put on her thinking eyes. Now they are beautiful. When she puts them on her eyebrows raise and her cheeks widen just enough to give her tiny toddler forehead creases. 

“Weeeell…” She stretches words out when she is stalling. She gets that from me. “You’re beautiful … because… you’re beautiful.”

Handsome. Men are handsome, women are beautiful. There’s that voice again. I wonder how many times I have been told that. I wonder how many times the people who told me that men are handsome and girls are pretty were told that by someone else. Does it really matter? They’re just adjectives. They’re just words, right?

I've had the “words matter” fight many times. I've been on both sides. Lately, in the constantly changing and evolving world of toddler language I've fallen down on the side of communication. Communication matters. Did I want to teach her the “difference” between beautiful and handsome? Is that what this moment was about for me -- or more importantly, for her? 

I decided that I wasn't necessarily looking to evaluate the sociological repercussions of reinforcing gender-specific adjectives for beauty in my four-year-old. I decided that my concern wasn't what the difference between handsome and beautiful meant to me within a larger context. I just wanted to know what beautiful meant to her. 

“But honey, what does beautiful mean?” I asked. 

“Uggg!” She was getting frustrated. I knew I couldn't push it too much further. I definitely didn't want to make this a battle, but there is just this part of me that is totally and completely addicted to watching her work her way through these things. I don’t mind where she ends up. I just like to watch her flex.

She widened her eyes again. It was beautiful again.

“Dad, it means you are nice. And you play with me. And we have fun. And I love you. And can I go be Tinkerbell now?”

I suddenly felt one of those teary dad moments coming on. Sure, what she said wasn't the literal definition of beautiful. But in that moment, in that snap shot of her life, it was her definition. It was her moment. Communication achieved. 

“Yes. Of course. I love you too. Thank you so much.”

“You’re welcome.”

And off she went to jump and land and jump and land and jump and land. 

EDIT: As pointed out by a reader: the exact definition of beautiful: 



having beautypossessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind:
a beautiful dress; a beautiful speech.
excellent of its kind:
a beautiful putt on the seventh hole; The chef served us a beautiful roast of beef.
wonderful; very pleasing or satisfying.

So she was right. I'm glad I kept my mouth shut! Thanks, Lindsay Bandscombe!

P.S. If you're just finding this blog, or you just signed up for Facebook (ha!) be sure to like the Ask Your Dad Facebook Page. I post a bunch of fun, funny, parenting related stuff over there. It's not just a bunch of me writing about how beautiful I am, I promise. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Stevie and the BOB - BOB Stroller Giveaway!

John here. After much begging and pleading from Stevie, I contacted the folks at BOBgear and asked if they would consider sending us a stroller to review. My surprise when they said yes was only outweighed by Stevie's excitement. As you'll read below, she wasn't just excited for a new stroller -- she was also excited to spend more time with me. (Weird, huh?) Anyway, aside from the stroller we received no compensation for this piece. All opinions belong to Stevie and I.

As most of you know, John and I became runners earlier this year. And by "we became runners" I mean we managed to run several miles at a time without dying or complaining too much. Ok fine I complained a lot. But we did it. We ran lots of miles. See? Here we are all sweaty smiley. Me with my sister/trainer and John with his...pillow.

John raised money for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and I "won the lottery" as all the cool runners say and ran the half marathon. It took months of training and attempting to eat well. But in all that work, the hardest part wasn't the trudging up hills and trying not to have beer the night before a run. It was the scheduling. 

After lots of frustration and failed training weekends, we finally figured out a schedule. John would run on Saturday mornings and then continue to recover from that Saturday the rest of the day while I watched the kids. Then I woke up on Sunday and complain-ran for a few hours and did my respective recovery while John watched the kids. Works, right? Sure. Logistically, it worked. We were getting our run in, the kids were being cared for. But there was something we were losing in our weekends. Us time. John and Stevie time. You see, we actually like each other. Like, we like-like each other. And we like spending time together. He's the Robin to my Batman. The Tennille to my Captain. So I started to miss my husband. 

We struggled through our training and did our races. And they were amazing. And we were happy we did it. But the whole time we couldn't help thinking that we would continue to not hate the idea of being "runners" if we could actually enjoy it together

I give you: BOB. The end-all-be-all of running strollers. And this is a double, to boot. 

No need to adjust your screen. This stroller and I are just that sexy.