The King of Soup Lives in Idaho

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Here in Idaho, to quote George Harrison, it’s been a long cold lonely winter. An above average amount of snow and ice has my family feeling the cabin fever. We want to get out of the house, and yet it’s not always so easy, so we tend to want to stay in. It’s a very real winter paradox.

One thing we miss about being snowed in for so many months is a fun family night out at one of our favorite local steakhouses. That cozy comfort food always tastes great on these dark winter days. I’ve always struggled to recreate that atmosphere at home, to serve up a juicy steak, loaded baked potato, grilled vegetables, and fresh tasty soup laid out on a table decorated with fancy cloth napkins, flickering candles, and the good silverware.

I’m not alone in this. A recent survey showed that an overwhelming 92% of parents wish it were easier for them to recreate the steakhouse experience in the comfort of their own home, and at a dramatically reduced cost. So, you can imagine how happy I was to be contacted by my very own state’s premier provider of potato products, Idahoan® Foods, to talk about their brand new line of Premium Steakhouse® Potato Soups.

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These restaurant-quality soups are made with real Idaho® red potatoes and red potato skins. Believe me, we here in Idaho take our potatoes quite seriously, so I checked. We won’t stand for any of those puny tubers from Washington or Wisconsin. Our Famous Idaho Potatoes are considered royalty, so you can consider any soup made from them as the #KingofSoup.

After a successful steakhouse dinner with these premium soups from Idahoan® Foods, I can rightfully declare that they are, in fact, the #KingofSoup. My kids have even started calling me the #KingofSoup. But only because I told them they had to, or they wouldn’t get more soup.

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There are four flavors: Creamy Potato, Loaded Potato, Cheddar Broccoli, and Three Cheese Chipotle. My kids love them all. These soups are so easy to make. You simply add water to the package, heat it up on the stove, and within five minutes you’re serving a delicious, nutritious soup to your grateful family. Add steak, veggies, bread, and those fancy napkins, and you’ve transformed your dining room into an expensive steakhouse.

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So, let the snow pile up while we sit safely inside sipping our potato soup. I can be the #KingofSoup until spring at least. After that, I’ll still serve my kids Idahoan® Foods Premium Steakhouse® Potato Soups, but they’ll probably be back to calling me “Dad” by then.

Check out all of the premium product offerings from Idahoan® Foods’ premium products at Idahoan.com and follow @IdahoanFoods on social media.

Idaho Dad has been compensated for this review/post, and all opinions are entirely mine. It’s really good soup, so go get some!

Family Vacation to the Moon

craters of the moon

Inspired by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, one of my dreams of childhood was to walk on the moon. I didn’t want to be an astronaut. Rather, I wanted to romp around in low gravity as a tourist.

It wasn’t an unreasonable fantasy. I mean, not if you were a regular viewer of “The Jetsons.” We all thought there would be flying cars and robot maids in our future.

Vacations on the moon aren’t about to happen anytime soon, so I’ll just have to settle for a little imagination, and a road trip to Craters of the Moon National Monument, in southern Idaho.

====> Continue reading my article at TripAdvisor’s Family Vacation Critic blog

10 Cool Things For Kids In North Idaho

It’s that time of year to start thinking about road trips and family travels for the coming spring and summer. There are few better places to find fun with your kids than North Idaho.

The northern panhandle of Idaho is my family’s stomping ground. Over the years, we’ve discovered a great number of cool and exciting places to take the kids. So, when people ask what there is to do around here, I always have a ready list of sights and activities that will make any family vacation a memorable one.

Ten Cool Things For Kids In North Idaho

1. World’s Longest Gondola Ride

Silver Mountain Gondola

In the town of Kellogg, you can board the longest gondola in the world for a 20 minute ride to the Mountain Haus terminal at the top of Silver Mountain, a climb of 3400 vertical feet. In the winter, you’ll find some of the best ski runs around, but in the summer you can hike the nature trails, go mountain biking, or ride the chair lifts for more scenic beauty even higher up the mountain. Continue reading

Snowy Protest

My son learned a good lesson about free speech this past weekend. He and about 70 of his fellow Idaho Boy Scouts traveled into the big city to march on the council BSA office. They wanted to voice their concerns over the proposed sale of a beloved local Scout camp.

It could not have been a worse day, weather-wise. An intense winter storm hit the area just as the rally was kicking off. That didn’t stop the boys’ enthusiasm, as they paraded along the street, waving signs and shouting out protest chants. The blizzard-like conditions only steeled their resolve to be heard.

After about an hour of waving at honking cars and brushing layers of snow off of hats and coats, we climbed back into our cars and carefully made our way home.

My son wasn’t sure if a small protest march of a few Boy Scouts will make a difference to the decision makers. But I think it just might. Those boys cared enough about their camp to march around in the middle of a snowstorm. That kind of passion can’t go unnoticed.

Huckleberries!

We interrupt our regular Idaho Dad Walking program to bring you huckleberries!

From the bush to the bucket to the pie.

Yes, it tasted as good as it looked.

Huckleberries straight out of the Idaho forest.

And right into a huckleberry pie. All credit goes to my wife. The kids and I did a fine job eating it, though.

Campus Walk

On a recent warm Spring day, I strolled through my old college campus, the University of Idaho, in Moscow.

And took some pictures.

Walking among the architecture and grounds of the school was always one of my favorite things to do during my time there as a student.

Going to college is more than just sitting in a classroom, and the rural residential campus of the UI is a special place to get the most out of the whole college experience.

Anyway, enjoy…

University of Idaho Administration Building

Admin building peeks through the century-old trees


Admin Building Doorway


Teddy Roosevelt visited campus in 1911 and planted a tree


Carol Ryrie Brink Hall, named after the famous author who grew up in Moscow


The gargoyles of Memorial Gym


The new-look Kibbie Dome


Golf course, arboretum, and rolling hills of the Palouse


The yellow rose of Idaho

The Warmth of the Sun

Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

We’re in the busiest time of our entire homeschool year. Rather than wind down to the last day, we are speeding up instead.

There’s just one week of school left, but nearly two weeks of lessons to complete.

As busy as we are, the warmth of the sun was irresistible yesterday, so we headed out to the lake for a walk along the shore.

The kids found a spot to dig. For what, I don’t know. They just wanted to dig in the dirt.

I wanted to walk more, but was content to sit and soak up the sun on such a beautiful spring day while the kids exercised their imagination.

It was nice to have a short break. One more week of hard work in the classroom, and then we’ll have a long break for summer.