Tuesday, September 16, 2014


What do you do when you love the food and the company and even some of the games but not so much the cold? Wimpgate, of course.

AKA: Tailgating for sissies (and proud of it).

I’m not a sports fan but I AM a team fan. Where my family will watch most any sport any time, I only watch if one of MY teams is playing.

Now I’m not going to tell you that I haven’t tailgated before. I have, just not often. I attended a college game or two but just between you and I? I slept through most of the games. I mean, Saturday morning? Bad timing, dude. Friday nights (which lasted until Saturday morning) were busy times. And Saturday morning (which lasted until Saturday afternoon, and sometimes even evening) were for sleeping.

I’ve been to a few Pro games too, but early in the season. There’s the whole “standing outside eating in the freezing cold” thing that I just don’t get. Once my nose goes numb, my ears burn and my eyes are tearing, I’m out. The only time I want to be outside in the cold is when I’m skiing down a mountain.

Wimp, I know.

WimpGating | www.Bakinginatornado.com | #humor #tailgatin

I do have a lot of really fun tailgating memories. There’s an outdoor amphitheater back home that had the best concerts throughout the summer. I went quite a bit. Now that’s a situation just screaming for tailgating, a warm summer evening being the key factor.

BUT, the other aspects of tailgating have me hooked: the food and the party. And now that I have boys in college, I have more teams to call “mine”.

Raspberry Glazed Steak Rollups with Lemon Yogurt Sauce

So bring on the weekends; the games, the food and the fun. I’ve developed some recipes that are perfect for both tailgating and wimpgating, starting with this one for my Raspberry Glazed Steak Rollups with Lemon Yogurt Sauce.

Raspberry Glazed Steak Rollups with Lemon Yogurt Sauce
finished sandwich

And if my guests want the real feel of tailgating? I’d be more than happy to send them out to the driveway to eat. I’ll be here on the couch, tv on and fire roaring in the fireplace, scanning the fans in the bleachers for a glimpse of my boys. Wonder what they’re eating . . .

And for those of you hearty people who are actually tailgating and enjoy a fun project, check out this Tote Bag Tutorial by my friend Stacy Sews and Schools. I may need to talk to her about her team choices, but I do love her work:

Go Pats!
Boiler Up!

Baking In A Tornado | www.Bakinginatornado.com | #blogging

Raspberry Glazed Steak Rollups with Lemon Yogurt Sauce
Printable Recipe
2# flank steak
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
1 TBSP raspberry flavored hard lemonade
1 tsp minced garlic
2 TBSP soy sauce

1 cup Lemon flavored Greek Yogurt
3 TBSP honey
1/2 tsp lemon zest

8 tortillas
OPT garnishes: I chose shaved carrots and roasted red pepper
*In a microwave safe bowl, heat the raspberry jam for 1 minute. Whisk in the hard lemonade, garlic and soy sauce. Set aside to cool.
*Slice the flank steak, against the grain, into thin slices. Place into a gallon sized re-sealable bag.
*Pour the sauce into the bag and manipulate to be sure all of the meat is coated. Place in fridge for a few hours up to a day. Turn the bag every now and then.
NOTE: An optional way to cook this without skewers is to place the flank steak into the gallon bag with the marinade without slicing it. Cook the steak (it'll take more than 2 - 5 minutes per side) on the grill, let rest, slice and place into tortilla shells.

*Whisk the yogurt, honey and lemon zest and put into a container.
NOTE: I wash out empty ketchup bottles and save them for this purpose. I put the sauce in them and put them into a fridge or cooler, making it easy to drizzle the sauce.
*If you're using wood skewers, soak them in cold water for 2 hours. For tailgating you can place them into a re-sealable bag with water and place them in your cooler.
*Grease your grill grate with non-stick spray while the grill is still cold and turned off.
*Heat your grill to medium heat.
*Thread the meat onto skewers, if you're using this method.
*Grill the skewers for about 2 - 5 minutes, turn and grill another 2 - 5 minutes. Don't touch the skewer, carefully remove meat with a utensil.
*Place onto tortilla shells with your favorite garnish. Drizzle with the lemon yogurt sauce, roll up and slice to serve.

Friday, September 12, 2014

September Use Your Words

Today’s post is a monthly writing challenge. If you’re new here, this is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist: no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

Use Your Words - Baking In A Tornado

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.
I’m using: confident ~ regained ~ imagination ~ future
They were submitted by: Sparkly Poetic Weirdo 
Whenever I do these posts I always try to start off getting the words into a sentence or two. It doesn’t qualify as a full post, of course, but it makes me feel a little more comfortable taking on the challenge, like I have a fall-back of sorts.                

So . . .

I am confident that if I’ve truly regained my imagination I can craft these words into a post sometime in the near future.   

Phew, now that the pressure’s off . . .

Imagination is an interesting thing. I often wonder if, in my grandmother’s day, she ever could have even guessed at the way we live now. Could she possibly believe that the things that are so much a part of our life that we take them for granted could  exist?

When I was growing up I used to watch a cartoon called The Jetsons. It was a humorous look into the future with flying cars and food dispensing machines in every home. At the time it all seemed absurd, but then I would never have expected in my adult life to have a phone that went places with me, an internet to look up. . . well, basically anything and everything and now even cars that park themselves.

So what does the future hold for my children? And for their children?

* No more washing, drying and folding laundry. Each bedroom will have a clothes box. Put clothes in at the end of the day and in the morning take them out clean and folded.

* Pet poop-bots come with all pooping pets. These robots will walk your pet, scoop the poop and dispose of it in chutes similar to the drains currently on our streets where it is immediately deodorized and recycled into . . . well, you don’t want to know.

* Snail mail is out. Email is out. Brain mail is in. Approved parties can send their thoughts directly into a file in our brains. Any attempt at spam is repelled, immediately bounced back to the sender where it quite literally bites them on the butt.

* Fatal diseases are all eradicated. Old age and accident are the only causes of death.

* Mode of travel is by Hover Chair. Picture an oversized chair enclosed in a bubble. You can attach others to the back or sides of yours for family members similar to how a trailer is attached to a car. They move through the air so you can go wherever you want AND there are no rude stewardesses.


Fiery Apple Cookie Bars

* We have regained control of education. School can be attended physically in groups, through video chat or via traveling teachers who come to your home. College is free, you meet the requirements to attend or you don’t. If you don’t and want to go, try the traveling teachers, they’ll help you get there.
* Money is no longer required. Everything is bartered. We all have a service that we can provide or products we can trade. Of course with no money there’s no need for politicains.
*Fermentation is now achievable in minutes. Oh come on, you knew I’d go there.
* We have found a way to maintain the natural order of the food chain without spiders.
* Kids are respectful. All of them. The disrespectful gene has been removed from the pool. Can I get an “amen”?
I’m confident that all of these will become a part of future lives, aren’t you?

Links to the other Use Your Words posts:

Baking In A Tornado

Fiery Apple Cookie Bars
Printable Recipe
1 stick butter, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp apple pie seasoning
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 small apple, finely chopped
5 oz Hot Tamale candies, chopped
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 11 pan.
*Cream together the butter, margarine, sugar and brown sugar. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
*Add in the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, apple pie seasoning and mix well to form a dough.
*Mix in the apple and candies last.
*Spread into the prepared pan.
*Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the edges start to brown.
*Remove from oven and cool before slicing.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hair by USPO

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury {{said in my very best Perry Mason voice – and if you don’t know who that is, your loss}}:

It is my assertion that the United States Post Office owes me a dye job.

And I intend to prove that to you today. Beyond any reasonable doubt.

I’ll lay out the facts of this case, but first let me present Plaintiff Exhibit A: formerly naturally auburn highlighted curly brown locks now the color of stainless steel.

And who is responsible? The US Post office.

Let’s go back to the beginning. It started where it ends, with the sound of a car in the driveway. When I got downstairs and opened the front door the car was gone but in my door was a birthday card mailed from my mom to my son. OK, sometimes mail goes to the wrong place, so glad those people were honest.

Then the magazines started arriving. Apparently all neighborhood magazines were to be delivered to my mailbox for distribution. I’m not sure why, I didn’t get the memo, but once a month neither rain nor snow nor heat nor gloom of night would stay me from the swift completion of my appointed rounds.

Then, ladies and gentlemen, came the onslaught of  registered letters. The first one was from the elementary school informing me of an IEP meeting for my son that I had missed. The second was cancelation of our homeowners’ policy for non-payment of our bill.

I never received the original letter from the school. Nor the homeowner’s bill. And getting that reinstated cost us. Quite a bit.

This went on and on and on. Grey hairs were arriving in chunks as I dealt with the late fees for unpaid bills that I never received and at one point we had to have a “stop payment” put on a birthday check sent by my family (that ultimately arrived 6 weeks later).

I contacted the USPO via their website, laid out the issues and requested assistance. This is proof that the plaintiff, in good faith, attempted to initiate a dialogue to remedy the situation outside the purview of the courts.

USPO contacted our local office who were as happy about addressing the situation as I was about not getting my mail. The called my home and berated me for contacting their site. Then, every time I was out front playing with the kids and the mailman would drive by, he’d slow down the truck, look at me and shake his head “no”. Harassment, plain and simple.

The next time I went to get my mail there was a piece of paper with nothing but a red “X” on it taped inside the mailbox. When I inquired I was told that this is the official solution to mail issues. It reminds the mailman to double check before putting it into the mailbox.


Last week my husband had to go to our auto insurance agent’s office to get a copy of the insurance card for our new car in order to get the car registered. The company had sent us the original but it never arrived.

And regularly I’d get random mail meant for people all over the neighborhood and even all over the city. It wasn’t just me, of course, neighbors would regularly bring pieces of my mail to me as well. It was like the mailmen threw the mail up in the air, grabbed a handful of whatever landed on the ground and stuck it in whatever mailbox they wanted. In fact, I’m fairly certain that the only mail I haven’t gotten is the White House’s. But there’s still time.

Guess that red “X” wasn’t doing it’s magic.
{{What? Argumentative? Sorry, withdrawn.}}

About 6 months ago we got a new mailman. I found out one day while in the kitchen, which is in the back of the house, happily making Karen's Quiche when I heard a screech out front.

Karen's Quiche

Concerned, I raced to the front of the house in time to see the mail truck stopped in the street. A mailman I didn’t recognize threw the truck into reverse and jetapulted up my driveway to within inches of my garage door. Apparently this is how they now deliver packages. When he left there was rubber from his tires on the driveway, on the street and he had run over my lawn. And I had gone completely grey.

Let me just interject here: I know the respondent will bring up and I do freely stipulate the fact that my boys have been giving me grey hair for years now. Pretty much since I made the mistake of teaching them how to talk. But as culpable as they may be, it’s always been just a grey here and there, easily dispatched with my tweezers. It’s possible I have a little bald spot but it’s nothing a little comb-over can’t handle. Right, Donald?

To this day the new mailman races up my street, one with a school around the corner by the way, like a race car driver. And each time we have a package he launches that truck up our driveway all the way to the garage door. Twice now I’ve met him at the door and asked him to stay off of our driveway (and our lawn) but unfortunately he doesn’t speak English.

Your Honor, I request immediate adjudication. I request, no I demand indemnification. I am owed restitution for any and all trips to the hairdresser. And if the jury, in its infinite wisdom, chooses to add punitive damages, I’m cool with a mani/pedi too.

Baking In A Tornado

How far would my boys go not to eat quiche? Read Quiche and Monkey Bribe . . . I mean bread.

Karen's Quiche
Printable Recipe
1/3 cup walnuts
1 cup flour
1 stick butter, softened
1 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 TBSP hazelnut creamer

1 TBSP flour
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup broccoli, cooked and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 cup shredded mozarella
5 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
*Place walnuts in food processor and process until fine.
*In a quiche dish, place the flour, walnuts, butter, sugar and salt. Start to work it together with your hands, mashing the other ingredients into the butter. Once it starts to come together, add the creamer and continue to work with your hands until it forms a dough ball. Press into and up the sides of your quiche pan making a crust.
*Cover with plastic wrap. Gently press the wrap so it's touching the crust both on the bottom and sides. Place crust into fridge for one hour.
*When ready to cook, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
*Whisk the eggs, milk, water, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
*Remove crust from fridge and sprinkle 1 TBSP flour over the crust. Sprinkle half of the bacon over the crust, followed by half of the onion, half of the broccoli, half of the cheddar, half of the mozzarella. Repeat layers with the other half of the ingredients.
*Gently pour in the egg mixture.
*Bake for 50 minutes. Remove from oven. Allow to stand for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting.