The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 33

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 33 features all kinds of goodness from the more pleasant moments of raising our toddler to horror movies and a store I like to frequent.

My full review of The Shining is over on Its author, Stephen King earned the Pop Poppa Of The Week for his talent.

The Pop Poppa Seal Of Approval went to Marshalls, not because I’m hoping for some advertisers, but because I do dig that store. (I am also looking for advertisers).

For more of me check out,, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.


The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 32

pop poppa nap cast logo

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 32 covers a recent parental visit, new yard sale-purchased toys and some of the more difficult aspects of parenting I’m experiencing these days.

little people farm

According to This Old Toy, the Little People Farm we got was the one that came out in the late 90s. The Farm and Little People also earned the Pop Poppa Seal Of Approval. the shining

The Shining is still freaking me out! When I’m done, I’ll write up a review over on

special agent oso


Please, don’t let this dumb-dumb bear be your kid’s main teacher.

The Dad and Buried post I talked about is called “Phasing Out Phases” and can be found here. I’m becoming a huge fan of Mike Julianelle’s writing which earned him the Pop Poppa Of The Week.

For more of me check out,, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 31

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There’s a whole lotta New York Comic Con talk on this episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast, which happens to be the 31st episode if you’re counting.

The article I mentioned about moms taking it easier on themselves and each other is called “Moms When Are You Going To Learn?” and was posted on So Wonderful, So Marvelous.

My review for The Frighteners can be read over on UnitedMonkee.

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the exact Cinderella crown on Amazon, so I can’t link to it right now, but I’ll keep looking and let you know when/if I do track it down.

For more of me check out,, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

Cooking Nigella Lawson’s Beer-Braised Beef Casserole

A month or two back I sat down with my usual stack of cookbooks and wound up walking away with several recipes from Nigella Kitchen. I had about an equal number of hits as misses, but this one, more fully titled Carbonnade a la Flamand (a.k.a. Beer-Braised Beef Casserole, page 330) was a home run. This recipe is super easy to make, but you do need several hours for it to cook. Since I work from home, this wasn’t such a big deal, but if you’re working full time and like to cook, I’d recommend giving in a whirl on a nice fall or winter weekend.

You might be wondering about that first photo above. That’s molasses in some sugar because I realized just as I was about to make this dish that we didn’t have any brown sugar. I’ve since remedied this, but after looking up what brown sugar actually is (sugar mixed with molasses), I figured this would be a good workaround. I think it worked out pretty well.

Anyway, I wasn’t familiar with this recipe by name, but it’s pretty similar to others I’ve made. You start off by cooking bacon in your Dutch oven. When it’s done to the crispness of your liking — we like ours nice and crunchy — you then cook onions in the bacon fat. This infuses not only the pungent veggies, but the whole dish with a rich fatiness that plays well with the right ingredients. The beef and spices go into the pot after that followed by flour and then the beer and beef broth. I happened to have a Brooklyn Brewery sampler pack on hand, but I can’t tell exactly which kind I used because that pic is so blurry.

And then you just let it cook for three hours. The recipe suggests putting it in the oven, but I just let it simmer on the stove top and thought the results were delightful. The beef takes on a sweet, tangy quality that made this dish a delight both fresh and as leftover. Unfortunately, I didn’t read the entire opening story before this recipe because if I had, I would have noticed the part about serving this meal over egg noodles which would have really soaked everything up. I’m definitely keeping that in mind for a nice winter meal.

Cooking Smitten Kitchen’s Garlic Butter Mushrooms & Steak Plus A Leftover Sandwich

Like anyone who tries a lot of different recipes, I’ve had a good deal of hits and misses lately. But, one of the absolute best hits I’ve come across in recent memory is actually a side dish: Smitten Kitchen’s Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms. As it happens, this is also one of the easiest things to put together. The only change I made was cutting out the capers because I forgot to buy them at the store. I also used some garlic butter because I had it around, if you do too, give that  shot. You basically get all the ingredients together in a baking dish and throw them into a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes.

I figured that man can not live on mushrooms alone, so I also grilled up some steaks that happened to be on sale that week and steamed some asparagus. The dinner itself was pretty rad. I mean, you can’t really go wrong with a well cooked steak (I just spread some extra virgin olive oil on and sprinkle with salt and pepper before cooking on the cast iron grill pan). The real star, though, were the mushrooms. They’re just so perfectly earthy, rich and buttery with just a bit of acid from the lemon to tone the whole dish of goodness down just a bit.

Better than the dinner was the sandwich I made the next day. I had a red bell pepper in the fridge, so first off I sliced that and cooked it in some olive oil. After that, I sliced some of the steak and warmed that up in a pan with some of the mushrooms and the juice. When that was all warmed up, I placed it on some bread (that I spread some of the mushroom juice on too) with some rasped cheese and put all that on a foil covered pan under the broiler to melt the cheese. Once that was all done — I took it out when I saw the cheese getting melty — and then put some arugula on there and had myself a lunch I could eat four times a week given the resources. Man, I’m actually getting hungry thinking about this. Maybe it’s time to cut to the chase and make these sandwiches for dinner next week.

Cooking A-1 Beef & Broccoli

For years and years I just didn’t care about cooking. It wasn’t something that was even remotely interesting to me and then at some point in college, I did. I don’t remember how or why, but it just happened. At that point I did some looking around and discovered a recipe I simply titled Beef and Broccoli when I typed it out all those years ago. I can’t remember where it came from, but it’s pretty simple and I did tweak it a bit, so I’ll post the whole thing here.

2/3 cup A-1 steak sauce
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic
1 pound London Broil
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Head of broccoli
One bell pepper (I used red)
Small package of mushrooms
Cooked rice

First off, get your rice going. After that, cube your steak and marinate in the soy and A-1 sauce for an hour. During that time, chop up the garlic, pepper and mushrooms and steam the broccoli until tender. After the hour marinade time, cook the beef in olive oil for five minutes on medium-high heat. When that’s done, remove to a plate and cook the vegetables, bringing everything to a boil. Reduce heat to low, reincorporate the beef and stir in cooked rice.

The original recipe I have written down is pretty close to this, but I replaced the original 16 ounce bag of frozen vegetables (broccoli, peppers, mushrooms and bamboo shoots) with fresh aside from the shoots, which I would definitely throw back in when making this again.

I made this a few weeks back at this point (sorry for the lack of posts lately, this have been all over the place lately) and while I still enjoyed it, it doesn’t quite blow my mind like it did the firs time around. Back then, I was all over the mix of A-1 and soy sauce — two of my favorite condiments at that time — but it’s a bit strong and overpowering now. I could probably dig deep into this recipe and figure out a way to temper it (maybe cut down on the A-1), but now that I make so many legit wok-based dishes, I’m not sure if I’ll come back to it.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 30

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 30 features talk of business, a fun wedding excursion packed with friends and some praise for a DVD player holder and film. The last 10 minutes or so of the episode sound static- y, but it’s actually the rain. Sorry about that!

terry crews expendables

If you’re not familiar, this is Terry Crews from The Expendables. You can check out my full interview with him over on CBR. My interview with Ultimate Spider-Man producer Cort Lane is up there as well. I also mentioned Danny Trejo who I interviewed way back in 2009.

Bob_Evans_white_logoWe’re big fans of Bob Evans. Check out their site  to see if there’s one near you!

The McDonald’s toys I mentioned were called McRobots and you can see them in the above ad.

Super Why is no  , but it’s still pretty neat and Lu likes it.

The portable DVD player holder that earned the Pop Poppa Seal Of Approval is called Case Logic PDVD-9 7-9-Inch Dual Screen DVD Player Case, Black. The player itself is an Insignia model that’s probably five or six years old at this point but still works well.meet_the_robinsons

Turns out I never did actually get around to reviewing Disney’s Meet The Robinsons. I should probably remedy that.

For more of me check out,, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 29

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The 29th episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast talks about being sick, dealing with a growing amount of work and how Once Upon A Time can be wildly confusing to a toddler.

dst spider-man bust

Okay, so maybe the Diamond Select Toys Spider-Man statue IS a little scary.

A more detailed account of my Ambitious Halloween Reading List can be found over on UnitedMonkee.comJ.-August-Richards-in-Marvels-Agents-of-SHIELD-TV-Series-2-650x432 J. August Richards’ Mike from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. scored the Pop Poppa Of The Week this time around. Check the show out tonight at 8:00OPM on ABC. lulu ladybug

Much to my wife’s chagrin Sam Washaw’s Lulu Ladybug earned the Pop Poppa Seal Of Approval this week!

For more of me check out,, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.