Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Beautiful Accent Wall in a Teen Room Makeover

I started writing Renaissance Dad in 2014. My kids were one, three, and five at the time. Now, 9 years later, they are 10, 12, and 14 (see how quickly I did that math!). My girls were little girls, and now they are young women. My son couldn't walk, and now he's jumping off of the trampoline and breaking bones. And my beard. Not a single gray hair back then... 

How we all feel at Ikea...
So when my girls recently said that they wanted to change their room, painting over the little-girl yellow and green walls and replacing the butterfly ceiling fan, my inner Renaissance Dad shed a tear. And then I shed a few

Monday, April 17, 2023

Gazpacho: An Authentic Spanish Soup

The idea of cold tomato soup never quite appealed to me. I pictured in my mind a frosty can of condensed, gelatinous sludge. Gross.

But when I studied in Spain, my host family made gazpacho. Being the courteous young man that I was, I went to Spain planning on trying everything at least once (this only backfired one time when I ate a slice of pickled pigs cheek, which was as disgusting as it sounds. No offense to anybody who likes pickled pigs cheek). So as I took the first bite of gazpacho, I had low expectations. But boy was it delicious. I was sold, and upon returning to the States, I started making gazpacho for anybody I could convince to try it.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

DIY Window Seat Built-In Bookcase

 I like built-in furniture. There is just something about a built-in that makes a home feel less cookie-cutter—whether it's a built-in china cabinet, some built-in bookshelves, or some ledges that give a homeowner some extra space. And sometimes I look at a nook, or an odd wall, or some other space, and I think, "Boy, that would be a great space for a (fill in the built-in)."

For years I've been eyeballing the window ledge in my girls' room. My wife and I have had several ideas that we've talked about, from a reading nook to a fort of some sort to a bookshelf. As the years have gone by, and other house projects have taken precedent, I have continued to ruminate on that space. Then, in a brief window of time when I needed a quick weekend project, I seized the opportunity.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Sour Cream Lemon Pound Cake

One of the first things I learned to bake was pound cake. Then, when we moved into a house with a massive lemon tree, I started looking for ways to use up our lemons. It was natural that I would combine my love of pound cake with a plethora of lemons. This is another recipe that has become a favorite because we're constantly looking for ways to use our lemons, and this also makes a great treat to share with coworkers.

Prep time - 30 minutes

Bake time - 1 hour

Yield - 1 loaf (one serving. Just kidding. Not really)


- 1 stick of butter, room temperature* (set out the night before)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature*
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup grated lemon zest (3 large lemons)
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
A grater for zesting lemons
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 Tablespoons sour cream, room temperature*
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Monday, January 30, 2023

Golden Milk: A Spicy, Healthy Beverage

I'm going to state something that is extremely obvious. The past three years have been extremely difficult. There have been numerous times when I have felt like Will Ferrell in Zoolander, shouting "I feel like I'm taking crazy pills." 

Anybody with me on this one? 

So recently when I went to the doctor, I was told that my system was shutting down from the stress of the past three years. 

Anybody with me on this one? 

I am working my way back to health. One of the things I was told to add to my diet was something called Golden Milk. My doctor gave me a look like she knew I was going to hate it. When I asked what was in it, I was told that it has ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric. I was told that I needed to drink Golden Milk regularly for at least one month, to which I responded, "Since I like all of those things, if I like it can I drink it regularly?" And the answer was yes! I was told that I would be superhuman if I consumed this daily. 

I was given a recipe, I tweaked it, I adjusted it, and I came up with something that is absolutely delicious! I have Golden Milk about five nights per week. I don't yet have the power of flight, but I think it's coming. Golden Milk is my evening beverage before going to bed, and I am a fan. It is known to boost your immunity, boost your antioxidants, reduce joint pain and inflammation, and turn you into a superhero (I'm not a doctor, and I may have made that last one up, but if you look up the health benefits of the three main ingredients you will not be lacking information). 

So here is the recipe that I came up with. It keeps it in powder form until you are ready to use it. Feel free to adjust the recipe to add more of the things you really like. 

- 4 T. turmeric
- 2+ T. powdered ginger
- 1+ T. cinnamon
- 1/4 t. ground black pepper

Mix all the ingredients together. Add one Tablespoon of the combined powder to 1+ cup of warm milk or milk substitute (I really like coconut milk). For a little bit of sweetness, add a dribble of honey. If you have a milk frother, froth it up! 

Then just sit back and wait for the super powers to take root!