Category Archives: Life

Dad Turns His 6-Year-Old Son’s Drawings Into Reality – Dad Tech

I had to repost this article – check out how this dad uses technology to make his son’s imagination come to life!

Dom is six and he likes to draw. He even has his own Instagram account where he puts all his favorite pictures. But that’s not the end of the story, because once he’s finished with his mini masterpieces, his dad then recreates their real world counterparts with a dose of digital magic and a little bit of humor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best thing you’ll see today.

Source: Dad Turns His 6-Year-Old Son’s Drawings Into Reality

Faux Fillet – Sweet and Spicy Chipotle Beef

Not everyone can afford to eat steak every night, especially Fillet Mignon. And since a nice cut of Fillet averages $23 per pound, most people rarely eat it at all!

So, what if I told you that you can get about 6 pounds of an equally good cut of beef; and if cooked properly, no one would  be able to tell the difference?

All you really need is a Beef Tenderloin! They average about $2.75 – $3.75 per pound and are highly under rated!

For $13 I was able to cook 7 of these 7oz “Fillet Clones.” The whole tenderloin cost $26 (after coupon), So I cut it in half to save the remainder for a curry dish later! Still an awesome yield!

I made an amazing chipotle sauce to finish the “Faux Fillet.” A true Fillet is prepared by basting it in a pan with butter or animal fat (bacon). So, to simulate this I made a honey butter based chipotle sauce for basting on the grill. Lets get to it…

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The Chipotle Sauce

Chipotle oil or chipotle pepper powder
Honey
Butter
Sage
Thyme
Oregano
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Garlic
Chili Powder

Cut your beautiful Tenderloin into 1.5 – 1.75″ cuts or roughly 7oz steaks.

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Dust the Beef on one side with salt. Preheat the Grill to 435 degrees.

Once the grill is heated, sear the beef on both sides for 3 minutes each, and bring to the top shelf. Turn the burners on low and spoon some baste onto the top of the Faux Fillets (don’t make a mess). Close the lid for 4 minutes, flip and repeat. Do this process 2 more times with a baste time of 3 minutes for the last two steps.

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Raise the heat to high and immediately sear the beef for 2 minutes each side (again). Remove, and let rest for 5 minutes covered.

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Put on you ascot and enjoy with a cheap beer.

The Cerebral Dad Show – Just JoKing Around – Episode 3

What a great interview! This week I’m joined by Josiah James (jokesbyjo), the star of the latest animated series on YouTube, Just JoKing. Jo, is a comedian, father and fellow tech nerd like myself.

We talk about some of his inspiration for the series, father hood and his appearance on The Big Picture RT. He also shares his latest bits and teases upcoming Just JoKing episodes!

Josiah and I have been friends for quite a few years, so I hope you enjoy some of our witty banter.

The Big Picture RT interview

Just JoKing – STOP TEXTING

Just JoKing on Patreon

Treon.com

The Cerebral Dad Show is now on iTunes, Stitcher and anywhere podcasts are listed. Please give an honest review and rating for the show, to help me gain more exposure.

Sweet and Spicy Ribs

Cooking ribs takes some dedication and patience. The only things that makes a good rack of ribs are the sauce and a nice crunchy bark. (Notice I didn’t say marinade or rub? – “Aint, nobody got time for that!”) Sure there are some folks that do all of the above – wait, let’s break it down.

Marinade – if you marinade ribs, most of the marinade will be absorbed by the rib bone -when was the last time you ate a rib bone?

Rub  – (aka “burn”) There is almost no fat on ribs (where it counts) and none of that flavor will be able to “hitch a ride” into the meat  – like an Eye Round Roast; it will just burn like flash paper on the outside of the rib rack.

Sauce – effectively a marinade with a more intense flavor profile that is cut with broth or water to cover the meat during a long cooking process. Using a sauce on low heat over a longer period of time, better penetrates leaner cuts. Never boil a lean cut in a sauce – there is no point – Willy Wonka already tried to make a similar chewing gum.

We are going to make a sauce for the ribs that has intense flavor, similar to my Lake House Ribs, but this time – they are going to be sweeter and richer:

The Sauce:

Chili Powder
Paprika
Honey
Agave
Lime
Garlic
Salt
Papper
Sriracha
Mustard
Tomato Paste
Brown Sugar
Sesame Oil
Olive Oil
Vinegar
Beef Broth

Note: make enough sauce to cover the ribs 1/4 of the way up; you never want to completely submerge the bone! But poor some sauce in the center of the rack to help penetrate the flavor.

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Cook the rack(s) in the oven on 275 for 4-5 hours, top side down. (patience)

Next, preheat your grill to 450 degrees, and “slap those ribs” down (face down) for about 4 minutes to start the barking process. Reduce the heat to low and move the racks to the top shelf (face up). Maintain a temperature of about 415 degrees lid down. We are trying to caramelize all those sugars we added in the sauce.

Baste every 5-6 minutes with the pan “juice,” flipping the rack(s) every second baste. You should flip three times until the rack is face up again.

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First baste

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Third baste

After cooking the meat for the last 5-6 minutes, during the third baste, remove the meat and let it rest for 5 minutes under the cover of aluminum foil. Then cut with a serrated knife and serve warm.

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Enjoy with some good friends and beer!

Cheers!

 

The Cerebral Dad Show: SilvestreArt – Episode 2

This week I talk to Chris Silvestre, a talented animator and artist, father of 4, fellow blogger, friend and self admitted “tech nerd.”

We talk about some of the technology used to make modern day animations, and discuss the challenges of being a stay at home parent, the things that influence our children and technology we use as a modern parents.

Check out Chris’s work at SilvestreArt.com

Facebook:
SilvestreArt: https://www.facebook.com/SilvestreArt/
Cerebraldad: https://www.facebook.com/cerebraldad/

JustJoKingChris’s newest project premiered 9/10/16 – the newest comedy and animated series starring Josiah James (jokesbyjo) on Youtube!

Chris’s article:
How to Work from Home, Even with a House Full of Kids.

www.patreon.com/cerebraldad/

Cerebral Dad is on Patreon

Thank you all for all the support. I was able to meet my “propane goal” last month on Patreon! I was able to refill both propane tanks, and fire up the grill once more, Thank you. I’ve reset the goal, and added some new and interesting things. I know a “propane goal” isn’t very interesting, so if you want to see more interesting and interactive content:

Become a Patreon supporter, today!

The first supporter gets their 1st month’s pledge back in the form of an Amazon Gift Card

Patreon is like an online tip jar. It lets me know that you’re enjoying the content on Cerebral Dad.

This month, in the spirit of “Teaching”, I’m going to be teaching myself how to weld, feature some guest bloggers, start building “The Robot“, continue the Teaching kids series and working on a new drone.

I also have plans on making a CNC machine in the process of teaching myself how to weld – turns out everything is very affordable – its going to be fun putting together a few “How to” post on my process.

If any of this appeals to you, please make a pledge on Patreon, today!

Teaching Kids Computer Skills – Programming

I may have mis-spoke when I sad teaching kids to program is boring. Actually, there are several programs out there that make it fun for kids. I cant tell you how many kids I know that want to “make things” on the computer – things that they can interact with – but get overwhelmed when they’re told they need to know programming. Check these programs out – there is nothing easier!

1. Scratch

Scratch Screenshot

Aimed at students aged 8-16 years old, Scratch is one of the best ways to take the first leap into programming. Developed by the MIT Media Lab, Scratch is a visual programming language. It allows students to build interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art. This visual approach to programming is the perfect way to teach students the fundamental concepts behind programming and software development. Scratch is free to download and runs on Mac, Windows and Linux.

 

2. Alice

Alice Screenshot

Alice is a 3D programming environment that allows students create animations, interactive games, or videos to share on the web. The application will help students understand key principles such as object orientated programming and 3D modelling. Programs are created by drag and dropping graphic tiles. Each instruction corresponds to standard statements in a programming language, such as Java, C++, and C#. Alice is free todownload and runs on Mac and Windows.

 

3. Hackety Hack

Hackety Hack Screenshot

Taking programming for kids to the next level, Hackety Hack teaches the absolute basics of the Ruby programming language. Ruby is the foundation of many desktop and web applications such as Twitter, Shopify and Hulu and is a great starting point for command based programming. Students use an integrated text editor to begin building ruby apps and by the end will be comfortable with basic programming syntax. Hackety Hack is an open source application that runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

 

4. Codecademy

Codecademy gets you coding as soon as you open the page and is a fun, social introduction to programming for kids. Aimed at higher level students, courses focus on generic programming skills and JavaScript development. Codecademy is different to other courses in it’s very interactive approach to programming. Students work through an integrated terminal that gives feedback as they code. The social element is grown through earning badges and sharing progress with friends.

 

5. OpenClassroom

Openclassroom Screenshot

Run by Stanford University, Openclassroom gives students free access to Computer Science lectures. Lectures cover a wide variety of programming curriculum and generic computer skills. Videos are well structured and go from quite basic lessons to detailed science, syntax and structures. The lecture format is a great way for students to engage visually as well as introducing them to tertiary styles of teaching and learning.

 

6. Code School

Codeschool Screenshot

Code School offers a range of free and paid courses for students that are looking to broaden their knowledge in programming. With courses such as “Rails for Zombies” and “JQuery Air: Captain’s Log” you can see that Code School tries to keep the fun in learning. Finishing courses will give you badges to show your progress, completion videos, as well gifting you cash to purchase further courses.

 

7. Codea

Codea Screenshot

iPad apps would have to be some of the hottest programs being developed right now. Codea helps make the iPad development process and programming for kids a lot easier. It is a great starting point for students interested in making apps and lets students program directly on the device. Students can create games, simulations and just about any visual idea they have. Like all apps, Codea is available from iTunes and is only $7.99.

 

 

Source: 7 Sites That Make Programming For Kids Fun | Kid to Code

Teaching Kids Computer Skills – Introduction

Everything from your cell phone, to your car, to even your refrigerator has a computer in it. And they do everything from automatically track and adjust finances to reminding us to get milk and monitor expiration dates on the food we buy.

Refrigerators can interface with your phone in such a way to remind you to stop at the supermarket within a certain geo-locational range when traveling – to save you the dreaded “second trip.”

From an early age our kids show a serious interest in technology. At just under a year old my children were able to operate my smart phone to a certain extent. And now that my son is a bit older he’s expressed an interest in how these things work – which got me thinking how I can keep him interested in the “how” without him loosing interest.

Lets face it, programming is boring to most. But there quite a few computer skills that kids need as early as elementary school. Skills like typing (finding letters on the keyboard) and mouse skills have become a prerequisite to Grade School.

Kid Programming” can be fun, especially if your children like puzzles and games. There are several programming based learning systems that only use the prerequisites listed above that can lead your child to accomplishing complicated programming tasks that would otherwise seem impossible. As a father, I find enabling that sense of accomplishment in my children is important.

Whether your child is interested in rocket science or dirt, there is a relational game or program out there to teach them the proper computer skills needed to advance academically.

In this series we are going to be looking at ways we can meld the games and seemingly mindless activities that our kids enjoy and transform them into serious problem solving tools that stimulate and nurture their mental growth.

We will look at some books and products that we can get right off the shelf and also dive into a few video tutorials using MineCraft to teach STEM based problem solving and learn programming basics!

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To Marinate or Not to Marinate – It’s not really a question…

It’s a common misnomer that a marinade will automatically add flavor to meat, especially if left to sit long enough. There is a science to it and not all marinades improve flavor – in some configurations they will simply soften the meat. However, I don’t mean to misspeak. Putting any spice or ingredient on meat will change the flavor profile, but oftentimes not to the degree expected. There is a suggested structure to a marinade that will lay the foundation for a serious burst of flavor. Lets go over what the composition of a good marinade is:

First, there is an alternative to marinading meat – the dry rub. Let’s go over that too…

What is a Marinade?

a sauce, typically made of oil, vinegar, spices, and herbs, in which meat, fish, or other food is soaked before cooking in order to flavor or soften it.

What is a Dry Rub?

any mixture of ground spices that is made for the purpose of being rubbed on raw food before the food is cooked. The spice rub forms a coat on the food.

Whats the difference?

The difference between a Marinade and a Dry rub is the use of Acid. Marinades use some form of acidic liquid like vinegar, wine, or even yogurt to penetrate (get the flavor deeper, sooner) the outside of the meat. Whilst Dry Rubs are meant for a longer cooking process, using the natural juices and fats of the cooking process to self baste the meat.

Thats another good point – fat content! Super Important!

Marbled Meat

Beef-marbling-grades

The more “squiggly” your meat is, the higher the fat content. Its important that all the fat isn’t just around the edges – ideally, you want some running through the center. They, call this marbling, because it looks like marble stone.

Why is marbling important? Well, as I mentioned in London Broil and The Art of the Sear  – as these fatty reservoirs of goodness melt away during the cooking process it pulls flavor into otherwise un reachable locations within the meat. Check out the Delmonico below:

marbled_meat

How long do you marinade meat?

Ready for this? 1 hour at room temperature. That’s if you have a proper marinade with the proper acidity.

In the Spirit of the Olympics in Rio lets look at a simple Picanha marinade.

Rock Salt
Lemon Juice
Olive Oil

Thats it! You have your acidity and basic flavors:

picanha-fatsidedown

Something more complicated would be my Winged Lunch recipe:

Chili powder
Cayenne
Paprika
Sage
Salt
Pepper
Thyme
Garlic Powder
Sesame oil
Vinegar

Substitute the vinegar above for red wine to marinate steak. Remember, when using wine, if you wouldn’t drink a glass of it don’t marinate with it!

Notice the theme? The key to a good marinade is acidity balanced by strong aromatic flavors. But the key to a tasty meal is Marbling!

 

Enjoy!

 

A Day In The Life of Cerebral Dad – Swimming!

Our neighbors were kind enough to invite us over for a Barb-Q and a bit of swimming.

The kids are getting so much better at swimming – both are able to paddle around the pool with little help from me.

Logan was jumping off the deck and having a great time, whereas before he wouldn’t let go of the side rails.

And Madelyn, well, she always had no fear!