Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Do Not Retreat

OK, the pressure's on. I really had been trying to improve my prose and with my Haiku post from November and December's 'Tis the Season post I thought I'd been making some progress. Not ready to be nominated Poet Laureate mind you, but moving that bar up an inch or so.

And then came January's poem Here to Stay. In recovery speak I guess you'd say I had a bit of a slip. In other words, that bar came crashing down. Poetry suckery had returned.

So today I'm here to redeem myself. February's theme is . And I'm getting back in the saddle and doing all I can to do it justice. Because really, if you can't do "love" justice in a poem . . .

Monthly poetry challenge. February's theme: Love www.BakingInATornado | Graphic by Candice of Measurements of Merriment |#poetry #love

Silently, stealthily
unaware of your approach 
as if I'd been day dreaming, sleeping.
You seep into my brain, saturate all rational thought.


Forcefully, violently
aware of your approach
despite all attempts to maneuver, divert.
You crash into my heart, dominate all emotions.

No matter the route, 
silently or forcefully.
No matter the entrance, 
head or heart.
No matter the duration,
long lived or fleeting.
No matter the outcome
bitter or sweet.
Do not retreat.

Because within you, love,
lies humanity.

Monthly poetry challenge. February's theme: Love | | |#poetry #love

I did my best, gave it my all. I lifted that bar back off the ground a bit. Right?

I'll leave you with a delicious Valentine's Day recipe to share with those you love:

Crockpot Red Hot Ginger Snap Apple Cobbler: An apple cobbler kicked up a notch with ther addition of a ginger snap crust and a special ingredient. Easy to cook, right in your slow cooker. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert #crockpot

Crockpot Red Hot Ginger Snap Apple Cobbler

Before you go, click on these links to more poetry by some of my friends:

Deepest Desires by Robin of Someone Else's Genius.
Love Poems by Candice of Measurements of Merriment. 
Groundhogs Need Love Too by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade.
A Lover's Valentine by Steena of The Angrivated Mom.
Love, Lovely Love by Jules of The Bergham Chronicles.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Crockpot Red Hot Ginger Snap Apple Cobbler
Printable Recipe
1 stick plus 1 TBSP butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 TBSP white sugar
3 TBSP molasses
2 eggs, room temp
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ginger
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp salt
3 TBSP Red Hot candies

 8 to 10 tart apples (I like Braeburn) peeled, cored and sliced
1 TBSP lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt

OPT: ice cream for serving

NOTE: You can make the topping a day ahead of time.
*Crush the Red Hot candies.
*Beat the butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar, white sugar, molasses and eggs until creamy.
*Mix in flour, 2 tsp cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, cloves and 1/4 tsp salt.
*Mix in the crushed Red Hots last. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or up to a day.
*Spray your crockpot with non-stick spray.
*In a bowl, mix together the apples, lemon juice, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and dash of salt. Place into the bottom of the crockpot.
*Remove the dough from the refrigerator and, using your hands, break off chunks of dough, flatten between your palms and place over the apples in the crockpot. Try to cover the apples with the dough as well as possible.
*Put a paper towel over the crockpot so that the cover holds the towel up under the cover. The towel should not touch the food. This is to keep the condensation from the top from falling into the food. Check now and then and replace the paper towel if it gets too wet.
*Cook on low for about 4 hours or until the apples are fork tender and the topping is cooked. Turn off and allow to sit for a half hour to an hour before serving. Serve warm, top with a scoop of ice cream if desired.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Romantic Dinner: Crusted Prime Rib

Today’s post is the next in our series of Blog With Friends theme collaborations. Each month a group of bloggers get together and each publish a project based on a theme. What I love about this partnership is that it’s not bloggers with similar interests or strengths but a diverse group coming up with a variety of posts. In any given month we may have a recipe, sewing tutorial, crafts projects, book review and/or a technology post all related to the theme of the month.

Blog With Friends | | #MyGraphics

This month's theme is Romance. There will be individual project pictures and links to what everyone else has to offer at the end of my post, but here’s a peek at what we all came up with:

Blog With Friends, a monthly project based collaborative group post. February's theme: Romance | | #MyGraphics

For my Romance project I'm sharing my recipe for Crusted Prime Rib. Now I'm not going to say something like "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach" because that's just plain sexist, even though there's some truth there. Luckily I live in a time when women are not the only ones cooking in a household. And when they do, it's not to snag a man. But there is nothing wrong with making the effort to put together a romantic dinner on a special occasion.

Crusted Prime Rib

There are many foods that I can prepare once or twice and pretty much know that the recipe is a keeper. Not so with Prime Rib. My quest for the perfect preparation took years. I think part of the reason is that I don't make it more than 2 or 3 times a year, Chanukah, Valentine's Day and maybe in April for our anniversary, that's it. It's a special occasion dish in our house.

But as many times as I tried, adjusted, even worked with others' recipes I could not come up with that perfect one. Oh, it was good, always a special meal, but not quite right. Until now.

I based this recipe on one I had found, the starting place was not my own, but once I'd added my own touches I finally had a winner. This is the only way I make Prime Rib now.

I start in the morning by making a marinade paste. I rinse, pat, score and season the meat, then add the rub. I cover it gently with plastic wrap refrigerate, and let it sit all day.

Prime Rib marinating

When I cook the Prime Rib, the rub forms the most delicious crust on the beef. And the flavor it adds is exactly what I was looking for.

Slice after it rests so you don't lose the juices

Just a couple of notes: first, there is so much flavor in the drippings that you can easily make an Au Jus by pouring the drippings into a saucepan while the meat rests and whisking in about a cup of beef broth while heating. I also wanted to mention that although not pictured here, I always serve Prime Rib with my Popovers. My family wouldn't have it any other way!

I wish you all a lovely (and delicious) Valentine's Day. And, as always, any time you make one of my recipes, feel free to post a picture of it to my Baking In A Tornado Facebook Page. I'd love to see it!

Be sure to visit all of this month's other Blog With Friends projects:

Robin of Someone Else's Genius shares %@*! Romance: Anti-Romantic in an Enlightened Age.
Blog With Friends: February's theme is Romance | Romance: Anti Romantic in an Enlightened Age by Robin of Someone Else's Genius |

Shannon of My Brain on Kids shares No Chocolate? No Candy? No Problem: Non Food Gift Ideas.

Blog With Friends: February's theme is Romance | No Chocolate? No Candy? No Problem: Non-Food Gift Ideas by Shannon of My Brain on Kids |

Dawn of Spatulas on Parade shares Sweets for my Sweet, a no bake pie when you're short on time but long on love.
Blog With Friends: February's theme is Romance | Sweets for my Sweet, a recipe for a no-bake pie by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade |

Rabia of The Lieber Family Blog shares how to say "I love you" so your mate will understand, Using Love Languages to Romance Your Mate.

Blog With Friends: February's theme is Romance | Using Love Languages to Romance Your Mate by Rabia of The Lieber Family Blog |

Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares the Best Love Songs EVER.
Blog With Friends: February's theme is Romance | Best Love Songs EVER by Lydia of Cluttered Genius |

Melissa of Home on Deranged shares Romance on the Cheap, simple DIY projects to show your love. 
Blog With Friends: February's theme is Romance | Romance on the Cheap by Melissa of Home on Deranged |

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Crusted Prime Rib

Printable Recipe

1 4-7# bone-in standing rib roast
pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
2 packages of dry onion soup mix
1 tsp beef bouillon granules
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 tsp minced garlic
1 TBSP dried onion flakes
5 - 6 TBSP oil

*The morning of the day you'll be cooking your roast, cover a baking pan with heavy foil.
*Rinse and pat the roast dry. Place it so the bones are facing up and sprinkle the bones with pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
*Flip the roast over into the prepared pan so it's sitting on the bones. Score the top of the roast in a diamond pattern.
*Mix together the  onion soup mix, beef bouillon granules, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, minced garlic and dried onion flakes. Add the oil, one TBSP at a time until it forms a thick paste.
*Pat the paste into the top and sides of the meat. Gently cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
*Remove the roast from the fridge one hour before cooking, place on the counter and remove with plastic wrap.
*Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place the roast into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking for 20 minutes per pound. 
*Check through the oven door now and then to be sure the crust isn't burning. If it gets too dark, tent some foil over the top.
*Check with a meat thermometer about 20 minutes before the last 20 minutes. I cook mine to about 130 degrees, knowing the temp will come up a bit while the meat is resting.
*Place the pan on the counter with tin foil tented over the meat and allow to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Secret Subject Swap: Love It

Welcome to the February Secret Subject Swap. This month 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.

Secret Subject Swap | | #MyGraphics

My subject is: I love it when . . .
It was submitted by: Rabia of The Lieber Family Blog.

I love it when it snows on a day my family has no where to go. When we can enjoy the beauty of the falling snow knowing we are all home safe and warm.

I love it when on that first semi-warm day after a long cold winter I can sit on the deck, tilt my head up and feel the sun on my face.

 I love it when, looking out over the Gulf at sunset, the sun looks like it's dropping right into the water.

I love it when I find a perfectly formed sand dollar.

I love it when I wake up to the sounds of the waves.

 I love it when the cleaners leave and my house looks and smells so clean.

I love it when, first thing in the morning, the smell of the percolating coffee makes its way upstairs into my room.

I love it when the smell of warm chocolate baking in the oven brings everyone running to the kitchen.

I love it when everyone is at the dinner table. How I miss the days when that was all the time.

I love it when I have a partial recipe idea and one of the boys comes up with a suggestion for me.

I love it when I see that certain look on the boys' faces when I try out a new recipe and know it's a winner.  

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake: Although this cake uses a bit of a cheat, it's a delicious cake bursting with peppermint flavor with a bit of chocolate in the background | Recipe developed by |#recipe #cake.

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
Peppermint Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake: Although this cake uses a bit of a cheat, it's a delicious cake bursting with peppermint flavor with a bit of chocolate in the background | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cake

I love it when there's a parking spot near the door or no line at the cash register. Because sometimes it's just the little things that can turn your day around.

I love it when people who believe different things are able to discuss their beliefs without anger but with respect.  

 I love it when my laptop doesn't shut down when in the middle of writing something.

I love it when I finish writing a piece based on a challenge and like how it's turned out.

I love it when I get to spend a morning drinking coffee and reading blogs.

I love it when the countdown to see PurDude again hits the single digits.

I love it when I'm standing at the airport, the plane has arrived and I see my youngest walking towards me. Especially if he's not wearing a cast.

I love it when I see my boys really excited about a subject, whether it's educational and intellectual or simply music or a television show.

I love it when the boys come to me to start a conversation. Now that they are older, they have many choices as to who they talk to. I love it when it's me.

I love it when my boys make a decision that is one I know I would have made for them. But . . .

I love it when my boys make a decision that is not one I would have made but take the time to explain the thought process, what they considered, what they rejected and why they have chosen this path.

I love it when, at the end of the day, the last thought that goes through my head before falling asleep is "today was a pretty damn good day."

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup and check them all out. See you there:

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Peppermint Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
Printable Recipe
1 box white cake mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup water
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp peppermint extract
red food coloring
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup crushed peppermint hard candies, about 15 to 20 candies

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
up to 3 TBSP milk

red colored sugar
chocolate syrup
candy pearls

*Grease and flour a bundt pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Beat cake mix, eggs, water, sour cream, oil, peppermint extract and food coloring for 3 minutes.
*Mix in the crushed peppermint candies and mini chocolate chips.
*Place into prepared pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the center springs back to the touch.
*Cool for 15 minutes in the pan before removing to serving plate. Cool completely.
*Beat the cream cheese, butter and peppermint extract unil smooth. Slowly and carefully beat in the powdered sugar. Add the milk, one TBSP at a time, until the frosting is still thick but can be drizzled in thick ribbons.
*Place the frosting into a piping bag or a plastic ziploc bag (snip the corner). Pipe the frosting up and down the sides of the cake. Sprinkle with red colored sugar. Drizzle with a little chocolate syrup and decorate with candy pearls.