Tuesday, May 24, 2016

In Other News

Good morning. I'm Karen BakingInATornado sitting in for your regular anchor at the news desk today. There's a lot going on, so let's get to the news.

In Other News, a humorous look at the news | www.BakingInATornado.com | #funny #MyGraphics


In the National News, the Presidential campaign season continues with name calling, temper tantrums, and allegations of no-fairsies. The latest polls show that 90% of the voting public agree that time-outs are in order.

Also of note nationally, the newly formed think tank Moms Inc has announced a research breakthrough. They are now able to definitively prove that the leading cause of toddlerhood is birth.

And in a related story, a renowned Denver based medical team, after lengthy studies into the effects of screaming babies, toddlers, preteens and teenagers on the health of parents, have concluded that medical marijuana can actually increase a parent's life span. And their sleep time. And their waist line.

Locally, a national large retailer has announced that our area will be a test market for their newest cost saving measures. Grocery shoppers in their stores will not only be asked to use the self check out stands after shopping, but will now need to self stock the shelves before shopping.

And in our neighborhoods, a large contingent of local citizens are going door to door soliciting signatures for a unique bond issue proposal. The bond would stipulate that funds be set aside for sirens, similar to tornado sirens, that would serve as a life saving warning when a new driver is on the road.


In sports there is a proposal gaining momentum in the Boston area. The Red Sox not only swept the Yankees in their first series of the season but continue to do well. In a novel move, Red Sox fans traumatized by the last few seasons have petitioned the MLB to suspend the season now and just move on to the playoffs. 

And in the most recent of the never ending chapters of deflate-gate, the US Appeals Court reinstated the 4 game suspension of Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady. Proving, once and for all, that Roger Goodell cannot bring himself to let go of Brady's balls.



Chicken Hash Brown Croquettes with Honey Mustard Sauce: A chicken and hash brown patty bread and fried to a crispy brown served with a simple Honey Mustard Sauce | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Chicken Hash Brown Croquettes with Honey Mustard Sauce

In human interest breaking news, dinner has been named the leading cause of dirty dishes, resulting in the recommendation that families eat out at least 7 times a week.

It was only a matter of time, but law enforcement has officially come out strongly against an app that will blur your driver's license photo.

Proponents of early education have sighted the proficiency of toddlers in mastering the art of the selfie as proof that children as young as two can be taught valuable life skills.

And in the weather, it seems that April showers were so aggressive through the center of the country this year that all residents have been warned not to step onto their lawn without wearing a life vest.

Finally, although the National Weather Service is reporting that the sun will come out tomorrow, this station is not recommending that you bet your bottom dollar.

This is Karen BakingInATornado thanking you for joining me today on this, my virgin broadcast. If you enjoyed today's show, please contact your local news station. And Dancing With The Stars. I was born for Dancing With The Stars.


Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics




Chicken Hash Brown Croquettes with Honey Mustard Sauce
                                                                        ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
 
Ingredients:
1 package Simply Potatoes Hash Browns
1 1/2 cups cooked shredded or finely chopped chicken
1/2 large carrot, shredded
1/4 cup shredded cheddar
1/4 cup shredded pepper jack
1/2 cup frozen chopped onion, defrosted and remove excess water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
3/4 cup flour
2 eggs
1/2 stick butter, melted


1 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs  
vegetable oil

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
2 TBSP honey
1/4 tsp cumin
dash of salt

Directions:
*Sauce: Whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, honey, cumin and salt. Cover and refrigerate.

*Mix the potatoes, chicken, carrot, cheeses, onion, salt, pepper and cayenne. Mix in the flour, then the eggs and butter.
*Using your hands, roll into about 15 equal sized balls and place in fridge for an hour.
*Place the croquettes, 1 at a time, in the bread crumbs. Gently flatten into a patty, flip over and cover the other side with bread crumbs. Refrigerate one hour.
*Heat about 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in a saute pan until hot. Cook the croquettes, about 4 or 5 at a time. Cook until the bottom is completely browned.
*Gently flip over and cook the other side. Remove to paper towels to drain. Keep warm while cooking the other batches.
*You may need to add more vegetable oil between batches.
*Serve with sauce.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Fly on the Wall: Flirting 101

Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 8 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house. At the end of my post you’ll find links to this month’s other participants’ posts.

Fly on the Wall | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics



It was a beautiful Saturday morning, but the sky looked a little iffy. Hubs got dressed and headed to the garage.

Hubs: I think I better get the lawn mowed in case it does rain.
Me: If you want to split it with me, let me know and I'll come out and do half.
Hubs: If it starts to rain, come on out and I'll let you finish.

It's so wonderful to be loved and cherished.



 Fly on the Wall | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

It gets so windy in the Spring in the Midwest.
SO windy.
How windy does it get?
Well, I saw this on the way home:


Fly on the Wall, how windy does it get? | www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #funny

And I spent the rest of the drive hoping I wasn't going to find the contents on my lawn. 

'Cause that's happened before.


Fly on the Wall | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

I was at the grocery store and as I headed towards the blackberries I needed for a recipe, I noticed a very nice looking man standing there looking at the strawberries.

As I walked up, he smiled and said "hi". I did too. I chose my berries and went on my way.

That night at dinner, I thought I'd play it up a bit.

Me: A gorgeous guy flirted with me in the grocery store today.
Hubs: What did he do?
Me: He smiled.
Hubs: What did he say?
Me: Well, he said "hi".
Hubs: Really? Smiled and said "hi"? Well, then I guess my boss, coworkers and all of my clients were flirting with me today too.

Guess he's not the jealous sort.


Fly on the Wall | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Undeterred, I tried again the next night.

Me: Some guy was really flirting with me today at the drug store.
Hubs (rolling his eyes): Someone else smile and say "hello"? You really need to get out more.
Me: Jeez, can you at least pretend that you care. 
Hubs: OK, tell me about how impressed some guy was by your nasal spray and bandaids. I hear they're going to replace oysters as aphrodisiacs.
 
I'm thinking we've been together too long. 


 Fly on the Wall | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Hubs comes home from work the next day with these:

Fly on the Wall: Flirting 101 | www.BakingInATornado.com


Me: It's not my birthday.
Hubs: No.
Me: I didn't miss our anniversary.
Hubs: No.
Me: What are the flowers for?
Hubs: I'm flirting with you.

OK, fine, so maybe he's a keeper after all.



Berry Key Lime Pie in a Nut Crust, the classic Key Lime pie kicked up a notch with the addition of a berry swirl and served in a walnut crust | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #pie
Berry Key Lime Pie in a Nut Crust 
Berry Key Lime Pie in a Nut Crust, the classic Key Lime pie kicked up a notch with the addition of a berry swirl and served in a walnut crust | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #pie


It had been a rainy day, but it was clearing up a bit at dinner time and I really wanted to cook the wings on the grill. I lit it, heated the wings, and when I went out to bring them in, it started to rain. No, not rain, pour.

Next thing I know, I'm at the grill on the deck getting soaked. Totally soaked. The food too. And Hubs is standing in the house, completely dry, lecturing me on cooking on the grill on a rainy day. I was not happy.

During dinner it stopped raining, but when Hubs went out to clean the grill it started again. Somehow he accidentally got locked out there for a bit. I have no idea how that happened . . .

Fly on the Wall | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

It was the last week of school and I was texting with PurDude about some information I needed from him. He responded but for some reason the exact same text kept coming. I received it 4 times in rapid succession. Later I was texting with him again and again his text came through, then a second time. 

Me: You don't have to send me the same text multiple times, I'm not that old, I get it the first time.
PurDude: No idea what you're talking about. Love you, Mom.
Me: Now that you can say multiple times!
{{silence}}

Fly on the Wall | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


Me: They say everyone has a doppleganger.
College Boy: A what?
Me: A doppleganger. You know, someone who looks just like you.
College Boy: Yeah, I can see that.
Me: So who do you think my doppleganger is?
College Boy: Donald Trump.

You'd think I'd know better by now, right?


Fly on the Wall | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

It had gotten really nice out and we decided to shut the heat off in the house. So, of course, a few days later it gets cold out again. I really didn't want to put the heat back on, but I was finally ready to give in.

Hubs was downstairs in the man-cave and I was up in the den. I called down to him:
Me: Do you think we should turn the heat back on?
Hubs: No, it's not that cold.
Me: Really, I'm freezing.
Hubs: I just put a sweatshirt on and I'm fine. 

I walk downstairs and he's got the fireplace going. 
Me: Yeah, I'll go upstairs and put the heat on now . . .

Fly on the Wall | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

We were in the countdown to PurDude coming home from school. His last  few weeks had been incredibly trying and I was worried about him as he headed into finals, but excited to be getting him home.

The last day of classes was room picking day and wills day. PurDude really likes the room he's had this year and was concerned that someone picking ahead of him would take it. Wills is when the graduating seniors in his frat leave tokens to brothers.

He called me to tell me that he had been able to keep his room. I wanted to talk to him but he rushed off the phone saying "sorry Mom, can't talk now, they're starting wills and I want to get in there."

He sounded great. Relieved about his room and happier in general. Considering the conversations I'd been having with him over the last few weeks I have to admit that never have I been so happy to have my child tell me that he didn't have time for me.

Now click on the links below for a peek into some other homes:





Baking In A Tornado | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics





Berry Key Lime Pie in a Nut Crust
                                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients:
2 cups chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sugar
4 oz raspberries
2 oz blackberries
1 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
4 egg yolks
3 oz key lime juice

Directions:
*Grease a 9 inch pie plate. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
*Place the rinsed berries in a pan on the stove with 1 TBSP sugar and 1 TBSP water. Use a whisk to stir and to break down the berries while heating on medium high. Bring to a boil. Allow to boil for one minute, then lower the heat to low.
*Mix the cornstarch with 1 TBSP cold water. Whisk into the berry mixture and continue whisking for one minute. Remove from heat. Push through a strainer, discarding the seeds.
*Place the walnuts in a food processor. While processing, slowly add the sugar through the chute and continue processing until the mixture starts to stick together.
*Pat the mixture into and up the sides of the pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes and remove the crust from the oven. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
*Whisk the sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks and key lime juice. 
*Pour half of the key lime mixture into the pie crust. Drizzle with about 1/3 of the berry mixture and gently, using a knife, swirl. Pour the rest of the key lime mixture, then another 1/3 of the berry mixture and swirl again.
*Cover the remaining berry mixture and refrigerate for drizzling on slices of pie when serving.
*Place the pie in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, until set. Allow to cool. Store in the fridge.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Thank You Note. Or Not.

Thank You Notes. The bane of every child's existence. In my day, anyway. I was raised to write them and, pretty much like all other kids, hated it. It's not that I wasn't appreciative of gifts, I just didn't see why I had to take the time to sit down and construct an actual letter. Especially if it was after a birthday party where the gift was handed to me and I said "thank you". That's enough, right? Wrong.

Then I grew up. And guess what? My kids were raised to write them. When they were little, I'd have to do the writing. The irony was not lost on me that I was now writing my own and someone else's (two someone else's) as well. In stages, the boys took over part of their own responsibility. They'd sign their name or draw a picture to the notes I'd written on their behalf. Later, they'd dictate a thank you for me to send. Eventually the time came when they'd write their own notes and stuff them into the envelope I'd addressed and stamped. And they'd "forget", put it off, complain, all the things I did at their age. I'd constantly be telling them that they spent longer avoiding and complaining than they would just writing them.

Thank You Note. Or Not. Do we still write them? Do we need to? | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics




The art of the "proper thank you" has gone the way of hieroglyphics. That's not all bad. Even though I'd hit both ends of the pendulum, from thinking they are the most evil thing you could make poor young me do to understanding how important thanking people is and asking (OK, insisting) my kids write them, I'm now heading in the direction of my original thought. For the most part (maybe other than wedding gifts), I don't see the point. To me, most people these days, formality does not a proper thank you make . . .

Thank You Notes have been replaced many times over, by cards you can just sign to pre-printed generic fill in the blanks to phone calls, to emails, and now texts. And other than the fill in the blank ones, I'm fine with all of the above. Because to me, it's more the message and less the medium. Saying thank you is more about reaching out to express gratitude. 

Words, in whatever form, are enough. Although it's very different from receiving a gift, I've done it all from sending emails to teachers, texting a friend who dropped off dinner, verbally thanked the waitress for delivering our meals.


Grilled Cedar Planked Salmon, a healthy and flavorful dinner. Lightly marinated, then grilled on a cedar plank. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner #fish
Grilled Cedar Planked Salmon

Grilled Cedar Planked Salmon, a healthy and flavorful dinner. Lightly marinated, then grilled on a cedar plank. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner #fish

on the grill

Grilled Cedar Planked Salmon, a healthy and flavorful dinner. Lightly marinated, then grilled on a cedar plank. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner #fish
on the plate



We have relatives who send very minimal checks as gifts. I know it sounds disrespectful, but through the years the boys and I have joked about it as they wrote out their obligatory notes. We'd say things like "the gift doesn't even pay for the stamp on the thank you note." And the one time my son just somehow forgot? The relative actually went to his grandmother (my mom), who was flying out here for his high school graduation, that while she was here she should admonish him for not sending a "thank you". Truth is, no matter what the gift is or isn't, even at it's least grateful the note is about acknowledging receipt. At it's core, a gift is about the thought, the time and the effort. Some level of reciprocating effort is expected, and it should be.
 
In the spirit of gratitude, I have a few acknowledgements to make myself, and now seems like as good a time as any.

*Thank you to my family, near and far, blood and step and chosen. No explanation necessary, just thank you.

*Thank you to Purdue, for helping my boy achieve his goals. Through loss and emotional trauma and even his first broken bone, he is growing and changing and becoming everything I knew he could be.

*Thank you to this political season. College Boy and I haven't talked and laughed this much since he was little. Through discussing all the shenanigans we read about every day, I learn just how intelligent and thoughtful my oldest is.


*Thank you to Intersession and to Spring Break and to Summer Break.

*Thank you to the readers who raise my spirits with their page views and comments. Sometimes, when I'm really down, that's all it takes to eek out a smile.

*Thank you to my recipe muse. Collaboration is way more fun than alone.

*Thank you to those who written for me, to all who collaborate with me, the people who challenge and encourage me. 

*Thank you to Spring. I sit on the deck with my face towards the sky, listen to recess at the school through the woods and I know I've made it through another winter.

And although a call, an email or a text is just fine by me, like Mom taught me, I did actually just put that in writing.


Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Grilled Cedar Planked Salmon
                                                                          ©www.BakingInATornado.com


Printable Recipe

NOTE: For this recipe you will need a cedar plank meant for grilling food. They're available in many places, including on Amazon. 
 
Ingredients:
1# fresh salmon filet
3 cups apple cider
1/3 cup olive oil
1 TBSP dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp minced garlic

Directions:
*At least 2 hours before cooking, submerge the plank in the apple cider and place in the refrigerator.
*At the same time, rinse and pat the fish dry. Whisk the olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, dill and garlic, and place in a pan. Add the fish and flip over a few times to be sure it's all covered in the marinade. Refrigerate until 1 hour before cooking.
*When ready to cook, heat the grill to medium high. Lower the temperature to medium. Remove the plank from the cider and place on the grill. 
*Remove the fish from the marinade and place, skin side down on the plank. Brush the top of the fish with marinade from the pan and immediately close the grill.
*Allow to cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or just until the fish flakes with a fork. Remove to serving plate. Discard the plank.