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As Lucasfilm's Solo: A Star Wars Story comes out of hyperspace to land in theaters, the marketing partnerships, collaborations and thematic tie-ins are hitting full swing. Over at AMC Theatres, their MacGuffins Bar & Lounge continues to roll out some creative cocktails inspired by some of the biggest theatrical releases of the year, and for Solo they've got a good one. Toplined by Dan Aykroyd's Crystal Head Vodka, "The Scoundrel" is a beverage that looks exactly like something that Lando Calrissian would be whipping up in his bar aboard the Millennium Falcon (yes, it has a bar!*). Between blasting bounty hunters, ducking gangsters and avoiding the law, being a scoundrel is thirsty work. Satisfy your thirst with a mix of Crystal Head Vodka, blue curacao, house-made lemonade and a splash of Chambord...

Movies and snacks go together like Han and Chewie, and with the release of Lucasfilm's Solo: A Star Wars Story, the folks at popchips have a snacking suggestion. A special package arrived in my mailbox here at Rock Father HQ this week - one that contained a bag of popchips Galaxy Puffs and pair of tickets to see Solo: A Star Wars Story at the local Regal Cinemas. It's said "Hey James! This is the box you're looking for!," and contained a note to emphasize that "great movies deserve great snacks," and that they've delivered "the best snack in the galaxy" to "take your taste buds to hyperspace." Now I'm sure that "best snack in the galaxy" is subjective, as Jabba the Hutt tends to prefer a jar of those little frog-like creatures, the Ewoks will forage for just about anything, and who knows what Wuher is serving-up at the Mos Eisley Cantina these days. But these aged cheddar puffs are pretty good - and it's said that they're "Popped with The Force."

I do consider myself somewhat of a "hamburger enthusiast." I make a good one here at home, but like pizza it's something to marvel at in how you can have a food product so simple, yet prepared and served so very differently based on regional preferences and tastes. Hardee's is one of those regional staples in some spots, and while it's been married to Carl's Jr. for awhile, I always think of it with the orange and blue logo. In fact, I built a Monogram model kit of the #18 Days of Thunder Chevy Lumina back around 1990 or so, prominently displaying that Hardee's goodness in my bedroom at the time. NASCAR + burgers... a very American thing, and that's back on my mind with this - a giant hamburger on the ground outside Nashville... the creation of Stan Herd, an "earthworks" crop artist. This massive "crop burger" was created for Hardee's as part of their new #TastesLikeAmerica campaign. See video of its creation below. Does it make you hungry?

I think most parents have probably tried their hand at making "Mickey Mouse Pancakes" at some point, and if you're like me - the results have varied greatly. Overall, it's not really the end result that's important, but how you get there - and that's what caught my eye about the new Disney Eats collection. Available now from my affiliates at ShopDisney.com and coming 4/23 to Disney Store, Disney Eats encourages kids and grownups to get cooking together. It's an entire collection of new kitchen items including whisks, mixing bowls and spoons featuring classic Mickey and Minnie - and they come in "big" and "little" sets depending on the size of the cook.

"It's classic American barbecue with the volume turned to high..."

When it comes to cooking, one thing I'm a big fan of is meat. Here at Rock Father HQ, my wife and daughters eat poultry, but when it comes to pork, fish or my favorite - red meat, I'm the only genuine, 100% carnivorous meat-eater in the bunch. That said, when a copy of Chef Michael Symon's new book arrived... let's just say the cover alone was mouthwatering. Now, publisher Clarkson Potter has teamed-up with The Rock Father™ to give YOU a shot at winning Michael Symon's Playing with Fire: BBQ and More from the Grill, Smoker, and Fireplace plus a Masterbuilt Charcoal Bullet Smoker! It's the perfect way to celebrate the arrival of spring and the coming days with more time spent grilling outside and crafting great meals to share with your family.

I feel like Denny's just played a Jedi Mind Trick on me. It's 2:25pm and I feel the urgent need for breakfast, and the fact that they've got a new menu inspired by the upcoming release of Lucasfilm's Solo: A Star Wars Story is a pretty compelling draw. You could say it's pulling me in like the Death Star's tractor beam.  While the menu alone is presenting tastes inspired by a galaxy far, far away, they're also serving-up some collectibles, and that includes exclusive Solo: A Star Wars Story trading cards from The Topps Company. And those cards are part of a mission to do some good as net proceeds from the sale of all trading card packs will benefit Denny's longtime partner, No Kid Hungry, to help kick childhood hunger into the farthest reaches of The Outer Rim. Check out a new commercial below that shows what a Star Wars cantina might be like if it were a Denny's and all the patrons were throwing down for a "Hand of Sabbac!"

Unlike most of what I consider to be the "B-list" holidays, St. Patrick's Day is one I don't mind, and one that doesn't get it's due. It's likely because of its unfortunate scheduling, falling between two of the bigger names on the B-list: Valentine's and Easter. It wasn't until a few years ago that I learned that St. Patrick's Day is even stripped of its name in some schools, with "Shamrock Day" of "Clover Day" taking over. All that said, for me this day means corned beef and mint, and when I'm an a hurry, that means The Fast-Food St. Patrick's Day™ is in full-effect. I get a Reuben sandwich from Arby's (they have the meats!) along with a Shamrock Shake from McDonald's. It's extra convenient locally, as the two typically-warring fast-food icons are located next to each other. The video below documents my 2018 pilgrimage, right down to the inexplicable 7-minute wait for my Shamrock Shake. Enjoy!

This article has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CheckYourPetFood #CollectiveBias

The Rock Father with his dog Harry

Before they opened a new store that's conveniently less than five minutes from Rock Father™ HQ, one thing that I really admired about Meijer was their pet department. In a lot of ways, it always felt more like a pet store than a pet department. Visiting Meijer at least once a week (and sometimes more), we're always in there purchasing food to feed our family, and that includes food for our dog as well. If it's been awhile since you've taken a good look at what you're feeding your pets, now is the perfect time to do it - and that means taking a real look at the total package from ingredients to price. Does your pet food contain real meat? Are you overpaying for what you're getting, or settling for lower-quality food to save on price? With Meijer (check out mPerks savings!) and Purina®, you can feed your dogs like family! 

The Super Bowl or "Big Game" (for companies not paying the license fee) is happening this Sunday, and while I won't be watching the game (being "anti-football"), I do love the commercials. As it's been for the past several years, many companies are getting out in front of the Sunday push, releasing their spots early for the YouTube crowd, and today comes an early entry from M&M's candy. The question: What if one of their spokescandies came to life in human form? Well, we have the answer, and that answer is Batman Returns' Danny DeVito. Take a look...

Thursday, January 11 2018 12:02

Mountain Dew Adds MTN DEW ICE to the Lineup...

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Those who know me well know that my favorite beverage is Diet Mountain Dew. In fact, I distinctly remember the first time I was asked to provide a "rider" for a creative job I was doing back in 2006, and they said it was the simplest thing they'd ever seen. I asked for a flight, a hotel room, and a case of Diet Mountain Dew. While it's Diet that I prefer, I also make a point of trying every new flavor and variety that Dew rolls out, and this week comes news that Mountain Dew is introducing MTN DEW ICE, what they're calling "a crisp, clear, carbonated soft drink made with a splash of real juice that will keep Dew Nation charged and refreshed." 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in theaters now, and if you happen to have an AMC Theatre nearby, then there's a good chance that there's a MacGuffins Bar & Lounge inside. For those of legal drinking age (21+, of course), The Force is strong with MacGuffins as they serve up a pair of new cocktails inspired by the film - like the new collaboration with Dan Aykroyd's Crystal Head Vodka (which I've enjoyed on occasion).  Does Revenge or Hope best suit you?

It's been a long-running controversy... why Kinder Surprise Eggs are available just about anywhere but the U.S. Officially, it's been a safety issue, one even referenced in a recent gun control ad that points out the candy is banned, while certain assault rifles are not. These chocolate eggs, each packed with a toy surprise inside, have been confiscated by customs for years, but now the Kinder brand is finally coming to the U.S. in a legal manner. Ferrero U.S.A, Inc., the company known for famous brands such as Ferrero Rocher®, Nutella® and Tic Tac®, is now launching Kinder Joy® – touted as "a unique treat made especially for kids with parents in mind." Differing from their overseas counterparts, Kinder Joy is a plastic egg-shaped package that is comprised of two separately sealed halves. One half contains candy, the other a toy.

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ROCK FATHER™ TV: New Videos from YouTube