Friday, February 23, 2018

Reel me in: Funny Friday

Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.

Funny Friday:a multi-blogger challenge, one picture, five Captions,  | | #MyGraphics

 Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Dawn of Cognitive Script.

Funny Friday, a multi blogger picture captioning challenge | Picture submitted by Dawn of Cognitive Script | Featured on | #funny #laugh

1. Little girl to her mom: Did you say this was snow? Or really cold quicksand?

2. Little girl to her mom: I think I've had enough fun for one day. Can I come inside now?
Mom: But you haven't moved from that one spot.
Little girl: If I have to try to move I'm going to need goggles and a dive tank.

3. Mom to little girl: Come on inside honey, I made you hot chocolate.
Little girl: I've been trying to come in since I came out. Can you through me a life preserver and pull me in?
Mom: We don't have a life preserver, let me go get the fishing pole.

4. Mom (indignantly) to her husband: Really, I don't see why they had to cancel school. So there's a little snow, so what?

5. Little girl (yelling to her mom in the house): Mom, we need to get a new dog. I lost ours.

 And now for something yummy, a quick and easy dinner recipe: 

One Skillet Parmesan Chicken, a flavorful one skillet dinner you can make in about 30 minutes. A weeknight dinner favorite | Recipe developed by | #recipe #chicken #dinner

One Skillet Parmesan Chicken

Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:

The Bergham Chronicles
Cognitive Script 
Bookworm in the Kitchen
Southern Belle Charm

Baking In A Tornado signature/logo | | #MyGraphics

One Skillet Parmesan Chicken

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 TBSP dried Ranch dressing mix
1/4 cup plus 1 TBSP vegetable oil, divided
2 TBSP Parmesan cheese
1 green onion, chopped
1 TBSP butter
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup milk
2 packages Knorr Pasta Sides Parmesan 
3/4 cup broccoli florets
3/4 cup cauliflower florets

OPT: Additional parmesan cheese, shredded carrot and/or green onion for serving

*Place the chicken strips into a sealable plastic bag. Mix the dressing mix, 1/4 cup of the oil, the Parmesan cheese and chopped green onion together. Pour into the bag with the chicken and seal the bag. Manipulate the chicken so it is all coated and refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours.
*Place the remaining 1 TBSP vegetable oil and the butter into a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken. Cook and stir until the chicken is completely cooked. Remove to a plate and keep warm.
*To the same skillet, add the water, milk, broccoli and cauliflower. Raise heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Add the contents of the two pasta packets and lower heat to just below medium. 
*Boil, stirring now and then until the pasta is cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan. Cook and stir another 2 minutes. 
*OPT: Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese, shredded carrot and/or chopped green onion.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Democrats, Republicans and Athletes

It started with a post I put up on my Facebook page. I said:

"All of these athletes, the ones who clap for their teammates despite their own disappointments, the ones who've finished the race but stand at the finish line to welcome those who came in last, the ones who hug athletes from other countries when they win, and also when they lose, the ones who understand that the Olympic village is a microcosm of our planet, the ones who give positive interviews in their most disappointed moments. These athletes who, on the world stage and under extraordinary pressure remember their manners and their sportsmanship, show kindness and compassion and hope, my wish is that they all go back to their countries and run for office.

I'm sad to say that it seems this generation has set a course to destroy morals and values and even the planet. 

But these athletes, these athletes give me hope. "

A three party system, Democrats, Republicans and Athletes, lessons learned at the Olympics || #MyGraphics #Olympics #politics

From what I've witnessed over the years but has truly come to the forefront in this past year is that we need another political party in this country. Yes, I know there's the Independent party, the Green party, sadly all they have done is split one of the parties we already have, they're not a viable alternative. Bernie Sanders knew that, it's why he ran as a democrat.

I believe that both major parties in the United States are broken. Not just fractured, truly broken. Way more people hold their nose and vote for candidates from one of our two viable party options than truly support them.  

You know I believe that foods can provide comfort, leave us feeling satisfied. Exercising our right to vote should do the same, provide comfort, give us a sense of satisfaction. Not so. Not for most of us. Not with the party options currently on the table.

Crockpot French Onion Beef with Broccoli, a hearty dinner for a cold winter night. Made easily in the slow cooker, served over brown rice.

Crockpot French Onion Beef with Broccoli
Crockpot French Onion Beef with Broccoli, a hearty dinner for a cold winter night. Made easily in the slow cooker, served over brown rice.

In these recent days of watching the Olympics, both for the joy of a global representation in sports, but to take an emotional break from politics, I have come to a realization. What I want in a politician is what I see in these athletes. 

I know that any party, any candidate needs to (well, should) have a platform, a well thought out stance on a multitude of issues both domestically and internationally. And you know what, I'm not going to tell you that what specific positions these athletes might have is all that matters. There have been administrations, many in fact, whose politics did not gel with mine. And although I did not support their agenda, I trusted that it was one adopted after thought, research and discussion. It was one born of a vision for cementing our place in the world, nurturing our relationships with other countries and moving us all forward socially and economically. Not all athletes will have the same vision for our (or their) countries. and that's OK. It's not about wanting only candidates who reflect my views, it's about those who offer whatever their varied viewpoints may be with thought and compassion and respect.

  Because I've witnessed that what athletes do have is an ability to follow rules, to get along, to be respectful both to and in other countries, to lose with grace, to win with grace, to fight for their own dreams but live good sportsmanship by support others on their team or just in their sport, to not give up, to get along with others, to be mindful that they are representing and to do so with positivity and pride, to comport themselves on the world stage with dignity. 

I have learned, over this past difficult year, that character does matter. It matters in sports, it matters in life and it matters in politics. No matter what your politics may be.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Crockpot French Onion Beef with Broccoli        

1/2 cup frozen chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz mushrooms, slices
1 can condensed French Onion soup
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup water
2# stir fry beef, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 TBSP cornstarch

1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups brown rice
1/4 cup pignolis

*Place the chopped onion, garlic, mushrooms, soup, ketchup, white wine and water into the crockpot on low heat. Cook for one hour. Stir.
*Season the stir fry beef with salt and pepper. Place into a sealable bag. Sprinkle in the cornstarch, seal the bag and manipulate until all of the beef is coated. Stir into the crockpot. Cook on low for 4 hours.
*Add the broccoli florets and cook one more hour.
*Cook the rice according to package directions. Serve the beef over the rice, sprinkle with pignolis.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Bootleggers and Bootlickers: Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 5 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, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

College Boy is a grown man, and he's certainly not a picky eater like he was growing up. But he still really does not like fruits or vegetables and he's not a fan of soups or stews. He was home the other day at dinner time (coincidence? I think not) and wanted to know what I was serving.

College Boy: What ya making for dinner tonight Mom?
Me: I'm trying out a new recipe.
College Boy: Well aren't you lucky, your favorite taste tester is here. What are you making?
College Boy: Vegetable?
Me: Yes.
College Boy: Soup?
Me: Yes.
College Boy: You hate me.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

We were talking over dinner about alcohol (don't ask me why) and prohibition.

College Boy (to me): If you'd been around then you'd have been brewing your own moonshine.
Me: I'm sure I would have.
Hubs: Well, it runs in Mom's family.
College Boy: Oh yeah, your grandmother made moonshine.
Me: No, my Great Grandmother did.
Hubs: Yeah, she was a bootlicker.
Me: Excuse me?
Hubs: You know, she was a bootlicker. What do you call it?
Me: Bootlegger.
Hubs: Oh yeah, that. 

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

You've heard those jokes about how many (insert group of people here) does it take to change a light bulb, right?

Here's a new one: how many Blessings does it take to turn on a TV?

I was sitting on the couch with my laptop on my lap, typing. College Boy was standing at the kitchen counter in the room behind me.

College Boy: Can you turn on the TV?
Me (reaching towards but not touching the coffee table beside me): Can you get me the remote?
College Boy: You're closer.

Neither of us move. Just then Hubs comes up from the basement.

Me (to Hubs, just as he gets to the coffee table): Can you hand me the remote?

Hubs picks up the remote and holds it out towards me but just out of my reach.

Me (to College Boy): Can you get the remote from Dad?
College Boy: You're closer.

Hubs hands me the remote and I turn on the TV. So how many Blessings does it take to turn on a TV? Three. And it's a damn good thing the answer wasn't 4, because PurDude won't be here until May.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

Contrary to popular belief, I don't bake every day. When there were gaggles of hungry teenagers hanging out here every day, I could have. Now, though, I bake once or twice a week. I try to have something home baked in the house most days for dessert or for when we have company, expected or not. But it's not a law or anything, having to have fresh baked goods at all times.

College Boy walked in the other day in the middle of the afternoon.

College Boy (looking around): What did you bake today?
Me: Nothing.
College Boy: Should I call an ambulance?

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

Second verse, same as the first . . .

Same day, after dinner:

Hubs: What did you bake today?
Me: Nothing.
Hubs (laughing, checking the counter): No, really.
Me: Nothing.
Hubs (looking in the pantry): OK, I'll find it.
Me: {{blink, blink}}
Hubs (opening the fridge): Is this, like, a game or something?
Me (spoken only in my head}}: He'll figure it out.
Hubs: Nothing? Really? Are you OK? Should I call the doctor?

Toffee S’more Refrigerator Bars, chocolate, whipped marshmallow, caramel and toffee crunch blend together in the refrigerator to make these easy and delicious dessert bars. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert
Toffee S'more Refrigerator Bars

PurDude has always been a man of few words, but last month I couldn't blame him. He was sick. Really, really sick. I think he had the flu and I was terrified, that flu has killed many kids and he was too far away for me to really know what was going on with him. I told him what signs not to ignore, when to get immediately to a hospital. I did want to keep on top of what was happening but couldn't call him, not wanting to wake him and he really could not talk.

Each day I sent him a text "better, same or worse" and I would get a one word answer. At first, day after day it was "same". Finally, I started getting "better".

Once he was well enough to go to class, I texted him:

Me: How are you feeling today?
PurDude: Better.Me: Most of the issues with this flu were when people started to get better and then relapse. If you start feeling worse again, get help.
PurDude: Alright.
Me: If you're better, you can stop answering in just one word.
PurDude: OK.
Me: Seriously?
PurDude: Yup.
Me: I'm getting less worried and more pissed off.
PurDude: Sorry.
Me: Is there a "middle finger" emoji? Asking for a friend.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

When the boys are home they raid my pantry and food disappears. No problem, I expect it and there's plenty. Sometimes, though, they hit up some of my other supplies.

One morning I went to do a load of laundry but couldn't. Went to take a shower so I could go buy more detergent and couldn't do that either. Frustrated, I texted College Boy.

Me: Do you need any laundry detergent?
College Boy: No.
Me: Need any soap?
College Boy: No, are you going to the store?
Me: No. What I am going to do is change the locks and write you out of my will.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

Hubs: There's no beer in the basement fridge, I see you have a few up here, OK if I drink them.
Me: I need them, they go into the Crockpot Beef Chili I'm making for dinner.
Hubs: Well, I'll just drink the beer, then you don't have to put it in the chili, it'll mix up in my stomach.

I don't say a work, walk over to the liquor cabinet and pour a shot of Patron.

Hubs: What are you doing?
Me: I think the chili needs some tequila to mix with in my stomach.

 Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

Along those same lines, a few weekends ago there were some pretty big sports events going on. Not only was it Super Bowl Sunday, but the day before Purdue basketball was going for a record 19th win in a row.

Often, for sports weekends I make a batch of my Caramel Corn for snacking. I had made a big batch that Friday. Saturday, at around lunch time, Hubs came into the kitchen and I was eating it out of the container.

Hubs: Leave some for me.
Me: I can't. I can't stop. It's addicting.
Hubs: I'm going to have to hide it.
Me (handing him the tin): Yes, please hide it.

Hubs sits down at the counter with the tin and starts eating.

Me: What are you doing?
Hubs: Hiding it. In my stomach.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

We had to buy a new washing machine, ours was leaking. I had a load of laundry in the new machine and it was finishing just as College Boy walked into the house.

College Boy: Choco-Taco.
Me: Huh?
College Boy: What's that music?
Me: That's our new washing machine. It plays music when the laundry's done.
College Boy: Oh, I thought you'd bought an ice cream truck.

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

Menopausal Mother 
Never Ever Give Up Hope 
Bookworm in the Kitchen 
Spatulas on Parade 
Go Mama O

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Toffee S'more Refrigerator Bars

1 box chocolate graham crackers
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow creme
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup toffee baking chips

OPT: whipped cream for serving

*Beat the heavy cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Add the marshmallow creme and beat until stiff peaks hold. Mix in the mini chocolate chips.
*Heat the corn syrup, butter, brown sugar and vanilla in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir and microwave for another 2 minutes. Stir and set aside.
*Place a single layer of chocolate graham crackers into the bottom of a 9 X 13 baking dish. Break the cookies into whatever size pieces you need to cover the bottom of the dish.
*Spread 1/2 of the whipped cream mixture onto the graham crackers. Follow with another layer of chocolate graham crackers, the remaining whipped cream mixture, then a final layer of chocolate graham crackers.
*Pour the corn syrup mixture over the top. Sprinkle with the toffee chips. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
*OPT: top with whipped cream for serving.