Fun

Next Holiday Recipe From the "Preppy Kitchen" Dad: Pecan Shortbread Cookies

This recipe for pecan shortbread cookies comes together in a snap, says "Preppy Kitchen" dad John Kanell.

These spiced and spiked shortbread cookies are brimming over with toasted pecans and oh so delicious! There's a healthy pour of bourbon along with all the cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves in there that really adds a wonderful depth of flavor. I love making big batches of them around this time of year to give as gifts. The recipe comes together in a snap and they're beautiful without any decoration, which is always a plus when there just aren't enough hours in the day! Still trying to get my 19 month old twins to help whip up a batch. So far we've done some very fun but messy sifting together!


Courtesy of @PreppyKitchen Instagram, of John with his twins last Christmas


Crispy shortbread cookies chock full of toasted pecans. I love these cookies for a few reasons, they're nearly foolproof, you can make them in advance and there's no egg so eating the cookie dough is not a problem! I almost dipped these in chocolate and am sure that would be delicious but they were so good on their own I left them as is. If you don't have pecans on hand or care for them I would suggest substituting walnuts or macadamias.

I actually totally forgot about the second batch of these cookies while I was puttering away at another project leaving them in the oven for about triple the suggested bake time, they were a bit singed and not camera ready but I ate them nonetheless! Some people like my husband like soft chewy cookies, others enjoy CRISPY crunchy cookies. Well I prefer the later but I truly enjoy a burn cookie, anyone else??

If you've tried these cookies then don't forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Simple and satisfying shortbread cookies you'll quite likely find irresistible.

Cuisine British, Scottish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 16 cookies
Calories 150 kcal
Author John K.


INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup pecans coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/4 sticks 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch cloves

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Toast chopped pecans on a baking sheet until browned.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and confectioners' sugar, vanilla and salt at medium until fluffy.
  4. Whisk spices and flour together in a bowl.
  5. Add flour mixture in 3 different batches while beating on low. Add in toasted pecans.
  6. Roll dough into a 1 1/2 -inch log. Wrap in parchment paper.
  7. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Add parchment paper to baking sheets.
  8. Cut log into ½ inch thick rounds.
  9. Transfer to baking sheet. Space with 1 inch between.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes.
  11. Rotate baking sheets in the oven. Bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  12. Move to a wire sheet to cool.

This recipe was previously published on John's blog, Preppy Kitchen.

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Change the World

Enter the First EVER 'Gays With Kids' Family Halloween Costume Contest!

Share your terror-ific family costume photos with us and you could win $500!

This year, we're DEAD EXCITED to be hosting our very first Halloween Family Costume competition! Every year we see the amazing costumes that our gay, bi and trans families come up with, and this year we really wanted to celebrate y'all with a fun and friendly family competition. Our amazing panel of judges (which includes comedian and fellow gay dad Alec Mapa, gay dad influencer Devon Gibby, and our co-founders Brian and Ferd!) will select the prize winners based on the following criteria: creativity, uniqueness, nerve... and overall fabulousness.

The prizes are...*drum roll please*

For first place: $500 cash prize

Two runners-up families: $250 Amazon voucher*

Competition information

Submissions must be sent to halloween@gayswithkids.com by October 31 midnight PST, along with dads' first names, Instagram handle (if you're on Instagram), and the city / state or country where they live.

Competition to be judged on November 1st, and the winners will be announced on Saturday November 2nd via Instagram and Facebook. Winners will also be notified via email and must respond within 48 hours to claim their prize.

All submitted photos will be included in our Halloween Gay Dad Family 2019 roundup

One of the runner-up families will be selected via a voting page (featuring 21 families) that we will set up on the website. When it's live on November 1st, 9am EST, we'll encourage folks to vote for their favorite family costumes! You'll have till midnight Friday PST - we know this isn't long so you'll have to act fast! - and we'll be sharing plenty of reminders via our Instagram to encourage folks to vote!

Rules for entry

Gay, bi and trans dads: Send us your favorite family photo(s) of Halloween 2019 showing each and every member of the family in costume: Dad(s) and child(ren). All those featured in the photo must be in costume, and must include at least one dad.

One entry per family, although you may submit up to 5 different photos of your family in the same costumes.

*For our overseas families: if selected as a winner, your runner-up prizes will be an alternative to the American Amazon gift voucher, but also worth US$250.

Meet the fabulous judges...

Alec Mapa

Actor, writer, comedian, and dad, Alec Mapa is America's Gaysian Sweetheart. We know him from his roles on Half & Half, Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives. He's also husband to Jamie Hebert and proud dad to son Zion, whom they adopted through foster care when he was 5 years old. Watch Alec on his hilarious comedy special "Baby Daddy" on YouTube.

Devon Gibby

Dad of two through a previous straight relationship, and Instagram Influencer @dadndaddies joins our panel of judges. We've witnessed some amazing costumes from Devon in the past so we believe he'll be bringing his A-game to selecting the best, most creative, most faaaaabulous family costumes around!

Brian Rosenberg

Co-founder of Gays With Kids, Brian is dad of three kids through adoption and surrogacy. He lives in Boston with his husband Ferd, and together they started Gays With Kids almost six years at their kitchen table. Brian is proud of and humbled by the Gays With Kids community, and is excited to throw his hat into the judging pool.

A big thank you to our amazing sponsored and supporters!

All prizes were generously donated by some incredible dads in our community, for which we are super grateful!

Gold:

Thomas and Brandon are proud dads to their two sons through adoption. They're also the co-founders of Feinsod Consulting, a Medical IT Consulting firm, located in Orlando, Florida. Their firm offers a comprehensive range of services to ensure their client's medical and healthcare practices deliver technical excellence with every patient.

Silver:

Chad Henson is a doting dad to his daughter and husband to Ray. He's also a gay father who is grateful for this community.

Brian Martinez is the proud husband to Adriian, stepdad to their daughter, and also a food and lifestyle entrepreneur based in the Bronx. His five current businesses include Fresco's Cantina, The Coffee Break Company, The Bronx Barber Shop, La Parada Pit Stop, and Travesias, all located in the Bronx, NY.

Bronze:

Rick Clemons is a dad and husband, as well as a life coach, motivational speaker, author and podcaster. His superpower is guiding men out of the closets of their life - to break free of fear, make bold moves, and live life without apology. Check out his website: Gay Mans Life Coach,

Brandon Adkins and Jamie Wince are fiancés, set to marry in 2020, and also dads to their two kids whom they had through previous relationships. They are owners of Adkins Raceway, a karting experience for everyone at every age and every skill level based in Port Washington, Ohio. Even if you're new to the sport, they offer introductory karting classes, so if you're in Ohio, go check them out!

Matthew and Ian Leprino are new dads to a baby boy, and owners of The Ridgewood Company, a Denver-area Real Estate Brokerage.


Halloween

Five Dads Who Spook the Competition Each Year With DIY Halloween Looks!

These dads are kings of DIY Halloween costumes — and the results spook (I mean speak) for themselves!

Not only do gay dads win at Halloween, we also create WINNING outfits and creations with our own hands! Check out these dads who've slayed Halloween every year with their ghoulishly imaginative skills!

Keep reading... Show less
Fun

Gay Dad Penguins Strike Again! This Time in Berlin Zoo

The latest male penguins to care for an egg together are Skipper and Ping in the Berlin Zoo.

First, there was Roy and Silo — the two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo that served as inspiration for the famous children's book And Tango Makes Three. Then Magin Sphen got together in Sydney, where aquarium keepers gave the cocks (Calm down, that's what a male penguin is called!) a foster egg to care for.

And now, please welcome Skipper and Ping in Berlin to the latest list of gay dad penguins! As soon as the two emperor penguins arrived at the city's zoo, they set about trying to start a family, said Berlin Zoo spokesman Maximilian Jaege to DPA news.

"They kept trying to hatch fish and stones," Jaeger said.

So the zookeepers loaned the penguins an egg from a female penguin, who is apparently uninterested in hatching eggs on her own, according to the BBC.

Unsurprisingly, the gay penguins are killing it as parents. "The two male penguins are acting like exemplary parents, taking turns to warm the egg," Jaeger said,

Read the whole article on DPA here.

News

World's First Sperm Bank Opens for HIV Positive Donors

Sperm Positive, started by three non-profits in New Zealand, hopes to end stigma surrounding HIV and parenthood

"Our donors have so much to give," say the promotional materials of a new sperm bank. "But they can't give you HIV."

The new sperm bank, Sperm Positive, launched on World Aids Day this year by three non-profits as a way to fight stigma surrounding HIV and parenthood. For years, scientists have known that those living with an undetectable level of HIV in their blood thanks to antiretroviral treatments can't transmit the virus through sex or childbirth. Yet discrimination and stigma persists.

The sperm bank exists online only, but will connect donors and those seeking donations with fertility banks once a connection is made on their site. Sperm Positive was started by three New Zealand non-profits — Body Positive, the New Zealand Aids Foundation and Positive Women Inc. — who hope the project will help disseminate science-backed education and information about HIV and parenthood.

Already, three HIV positive men have signed up to serve as donors, including Damien Rule-Neal who spoke to the NZ Herald about his reasons for getting involved in the project. "I want people to know life doesn't stop after being diagnosed with HIV and that it is safe to have children if you're on treatment," he told the Herald. "I've experienced a lot of stigma living with HIV, both at work and in my personal life that has come from people being misinformed about the virus."

We applaud the effort all around! To read more about our own efforts to end the stigma surround HIV and parenthood, check out our recent round-up of family profiles, resources, and expert advice that celebrate the experience of gay dads living with HIV here.

Gay Dad Life

Top 10 Reasons You Should Date a Gay Dad

Jay Turner lays out the top 10 reasons you should consider dating a single gay dad

We're gay dads. Many of us were married to women, and for various reasons we eventually found ourselves single and looking for companionship from another man. Life is a little more complicated for us because we have kids. But that shouldn't deter you from seeking a relationship with a gay dad. In fact, there are many reasons why we make better partners than men without children. We are generally more mature, responsible, and emotionally available. We are also better communicators.

Here are the top ten reasons why you should date a gay dad:

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Change the World

'Homosexuality is Wrong' Utah Teacher Tells Boy Who Gave Thanks for His Two Adoptive Dads

The substitute teacher went on to say two men living together is "sinful." She was fired shortly after.

To anyone with a heart, the moment should have done nothing more than bring a tear to the eye. Last week, just before the Thanksgiving break, a substitute teacher in a fifth grade class in Cedar Hills, Utah — just south of Salt Lake City — asked her students to name something they were thankful for this holiday season.

"I'm thankful for finally being adopted by my two dads," said Daniel, one of the boys, when it was his turn.

Rather than grab a tissue to dab her eyes, or ask the classroom to join her in a hearty round of applause to celebrate Daniel finding his forever family, the teacher took it upon herself to impart her personal religious beliefs onto the young boy. "Homosexuality is wrong," the teacher said in front of the class, adding that it was "sinful" for two men to live together.

The teacher, fortunately, was fired from Kelly Services, the substitute staffing company that employed her, quickly after the incident, but the moment is nonetheless receiving widespread attention in the press — no doubt in part because one of the boy's dads, Louis van Amstel of "Dancing With the Stars," posted a video clip to his 76,000 Twitter followers with the title: "Our child was bullied."

"It shouldn't matter if you're gay, straight, bisexual, black and white," he said to the New York Times in a follow up interview. "If you're adopting a child and if that child goes to a public school, that teacher should not share her opinion about what she thinks we do in our private life."

Louis also revealed that the moment may not have come to light were it not for three of his son's classmates, who told the principal about the teacher's bigoted comments. His son, Daniel, didn't want to report the incident for fear of getting the teacher into trouble.

Louis expressed thanks that the staffing company responded as quickly as it did following the incident — and also stressed that his neighbors and community have rallied behind he and his family in the days afterward, offering support. He wanted to dispel stereotypes that Utah, because of its social conservatism and religiosity, was somehow inherently prejudiced.

"It doesn't mean that all of Utah is now bad," he told the Times. "This is one person."

It's also true that this type of prejudice is in no way limited to so-called red states, and incidents like these happen daily. LGBTQ parents and our children are subjected to homophobic and transphobic comments in schools, hospitals, stores, airlines and elsewhere as we simply go about living our lives. These moments so often fly under the radar — many classmates don't have the courage, as they fortunately did in this case, to report wrongdoing. Some administrators are far less responsive than they were here — and most of us don't have 76,000 Twitter followers to help make these moments of homophobia a national story.

All that aside, let's also get back to what should have been nothing more than a heartwarming moment — Daniel, a fifth grade boy, giving thanks to finally being legally adopted into a loving family.

Change the World

9 Stories That Celebrate the Experience of Gay Fathers Living with HIV

This World AIDS Day, we dug into our archives to find 9 stories that bring awareness to and celebrate the experience of gay dads living with HIV

December 1st is World AIDS Day — a day to unite in our collective fight to end the epidemic, remember those we've lost, and bring much needed attention and money to support those who continue to live with HIV and AIDS. For us at Gays With Kids, it's also a time to lift up and celebrate the experiences of fathers, so many of who never thought they'd see the day where they would be able to start families.

Towards that end, we've rounded up nine stories, family features and articles from our archives that celebrate the experience of gay fathers living with HIV — the struggles, triumphs and everything in between.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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