Tuesday, September 27, 2016

An Elephant, Deodorant, and a Wedding Planner?

It's not just annoying, it's gotten scary, aggressive even. All those ads on pretty much anything we try to read these days. It started out subtle. You know, little boxes, subliminal messaging, a passive "click here" if you're interested. Everywhere. On social media, news articles, search engines . . .

Then it got frightening. Targeted ads. Check something out on a website and suddenly ads for that item show up everywhere. Visit an international web site to read an article and find ads for businesses in your home town. Yikes. I covered up my laptop camera with tape, closed the blinds, considered shopping under the covers but privacy? No such thing any more. Those marketers, they're everywhere. No way to run, nowhere to hide.

And now it's getting more and more aggressive too. From subtle messages on the sides of pages to eye popping, pop-ups to videos. Before you start reading is bad enough, but covering the page when you're in the middle of an article? What's next? I'm thinking someone's going to jump out of my laptop screen, grab me by the throat and shake my money out of me.

So, for the record, I'm paying attention. No need to jump through that screen. And really, you don't want to see me first thing in the morning sitting on the couch with my hair heading in all directions and makeup smeared over the bags under my eyes. For my sake, and yours, I'm willing to take a serious look. This is, apparently, what I need:

An Elephant, Deodorant and a Wedding Planner, a humorous look at what internet adds say we need | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #humor



~ to never have to shave again.
{{crossing band aids off of my shopping list}}

~ to adopt an elephant. 
{{adding peanuts to my shopping list}}

~ extra strength deodorant.
{{OK, now that's just mean}}

~ new dining room chairs.
{{wait. I like my dining room chairs. Picked out the fabric myself, as a matter or fact}}

~ a Red Robin burger.
{{I love burgers, but you should have hit me up earlier, I already made dinner}}


Slow Cooker Stuffed Turkey Tenderloins, turkey tenderloins stuffed and rolled, slow cooked in seasoned chicken broth for a flavorful dinner | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #slowcooker #dinner

Slow Cooker Stuffed Turkey Tenderloins


~ a wedding planner.
{{before or after I'll need a divorce lawyer?}}

~ a college degree.
{{another one?}}

~ invisalign. 
{{is that for your teeth or for your eyes? I can't remember. And I'm afraid to google it because that'll just encourage them. Sigh}}

~ a vacation.
{{duh}}

~ Nutter Butters.
{{adding Nutter Butters to the shopping list. Maybe I better add 2 'cause . . . you know . . . the elephant . . .}}

That's my list. What do you need?


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

Slow Cooker Stuffed Turkey Tenderloins
                                                                          ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients:
turkey tenderloins (approximately 1 3/4#)
salt and pepper
6 slices proscuitto
1 1/4 cup dry Pepperidge Farm cornbread stuffing mix
1 3/4 cup chicken broth, divided
1/4 cup cranraisins

1 tsp dried tarragon
1 green onion, cleaned and sliced

1 TBSP cornstarch

NOTE: You will need butcher's twine and/or toothpicks

Directions:
*Heat 3/4 cup chicken broth until hot. Place the stuffing mix in a large bowl with the hot chicken broth and cranraisins. Mix.
*Butterfly the tenderloins by slicing, lengthwise, into but not through about 1/2 of the way up from the cutting board. Leave the 2 halves attached. Roll open and lay flat. Cover with plastic wrap and press a rolling pin back and forth gently over the meat to flatten it as much as you can. Remove and discard the plastic wrap. Sprinkle the turkey with salt and pepper.
*Lay the slices of proscuitto onto the tenderloins. Place the stuffing into the center, lengthwise, then close and tie fairly tightly with butcher's twine. Tuck the ends in or pin them with toothpicks.
*Place the tenderloins into the slow cooker. Add the remaining 1 cup of chicken broth, tarragon and green onions. and cover.
*Cook on high for one hour. Carefully turn the meat, then lower the temperature and cook on low for four to five hours. Turkey must be completely cooked and reach 165 degrees.
*Remove tenderloins from the slow cooker. Tent with tin foil and allow to rest.
*Turn the slow cooker back up to high. Whisk the cornstarch with 1 TBSP cold water until smooth. Add to the slow cooker. Cook and stir until the sauce thickens. Strain, if desired.
*Carefully cut the twine off of the tenderloins. Slice and serve with sauce.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Fly on the Wall: You Don't Bring Me Flowers

Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 9 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



By now pretty much everyone knows that PurDude went back to school at the end of last month. And, as always, the week before he goes is pretty difficult for me.

Me: I want you to text me every day.
PurDude: Right.
Me: Really, just a quick "hi, mom, I'm doing fine."
PurDude: Right.
Me: Say it. Say you'll do a better job of staying in touch.
PurDude: Hear ya, Mom.

He left on a Saturday.
Saturday: {{silence}}
Sunday: {{silence}}
Monday: {{silence}}
Tuesday: {{silence}}

Wednesday (as desperation starts to set in): 
Me (to myself): Hmmm, I wonder what would happen if I transfer all the money from his checking account into mine . . . 


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

College Boy comes down for breakfast looking like he stuck his finger in a light socket. Hair everywhere.

Me: I'm going to take a picture.
College Boy: No you're not.
Me: You look cute, and your eyes are really blue today, I'm going to take a picture.
College Boy: No, I don't want a picture taken of me when I first wake up.
Me: Your hair's all over the place. I'm going to cut it.
College Boy: You need to stop drinking.

Funny thing is, it was noon on a Sunday, I'd had the rest of a batch of cocktails from the night before in the fridge and I actually was drinking. 

But I still might cut his hair while he's sleeping. That's not weird, right?


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


Hubs works late a few days a week. I leave a plate on the counter for him and he sticks it in the microwave when he gets home.

He'd finished eating and called out to me to see if I wanted him to start the dishwasher and take out the trash. I told him to start the dishwasher but leave the trash, I wasn't done with it.

A minute later:

Me: Did I just hear you take out the trash?
Hubs: Oh yeah, I did. You said not to.
Me: {{blink, blink}}
Hubs: Hey, I'm getting old you know. I just forgot.
Me: In the last 3 seconds? You really are getting old.
Hubs: Really? You couldn't say something nice like no I'm not? I'm hurt.
Me (under my breath): Lucky for me it's not like someone without a memory can hold a grudge . . .


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


Later that night:

Me: Can you please go get the mail, I forgot.
Hubs: I would but I think I was mad at you about something. Was I mad at you about something?
Me: No, you were upset with yourself for not bringing me flowers tonight.
Hubs: I may be forgetful but I'm not stupid . . . 



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


Hubs belongs to a local Business Association and he was working one of their fund raisers, a Rib Fest. I told him to just bring plates home for us all for dinner.

He calls me to tell me that they only take cash and he doesn't have much on him. I told him, since it takes place in a grocery store parking lot, to go in and buy a candy bar and get cash back.

He calls me back. 

Hubs: So here's what happened.
Me: Oy.
Hubs: I wanted $60. I haven't done cash back before so the first candy bar I bought it automatically gave me $20.
Me: OK.
Hubs: So I went and got another candy bar and did it again, but I accidentally pressed $20. 
Me: {{silence}}
Hubs: So I went and got another candy bar and got the other $20. There's 3 candy bars in my car and the people in the store think I'm nuts.
Me: There's someone in your house who thinks you're nuts too.


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


Hubs and I finish our conversation and I get a text. It's from him. It says "phone". 

I have no idea. And I'm not going to ask either.


Biscotti Tiramisu Trifle, coffee soaked biscotti, spiked filling and flavored whipped cream come together to create this decadent dessert | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Biscotti Tiramisu Trifle
Biscotti Tiramisu Trifle, coffee soaked biscotti, spiked filling and flavored whipped cream come together to create this decadent dessert | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert



I've mentioned many times before that I keep trying to get the boys to write me a guest post. They are intelligent and interesting and are passionate about certain subjects. I'd love to share their perspective but they absolutely refuse.

Me: You know I'm going to Boston for a few weeks. I'm trying to get as many posts written and scheduled before I go. Will you please just write me one guest post?
College Boy: You're taking your laptop with you, you'll be able to write.
Me: But you know I'll be busy, I just may not have the time.
College Boy: Do as much as you can now. I'm not writing you a paper on my school vacation.
Me: Your vacation may be extended. If you won't do this for me, why should I pay your tuition for you? In fact, I'm not paying it until you write me an article.
College Boy: You are pure evil.
Me: Are you just figuring that out now?
College Boy: I'm afraid to say "yes" and I'm afraid to say "no". 

Told you he was smart.


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


Hubs: I trimmed that shrub over by the garage that was getting so overgrown.


You say trim, I say butcher. | www.BakingInATornado.com | #funny #laugh


Me: {{blink, blink}}


Either he needs to look up the word "trimmed", or I need to look up the word "butchered".


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


College Boy: What's for dinner?
Me: Leftovers.
College Boy: What leftovers?
Me: Well, there's Hot Wings but I'm a little worried about them, they've been in the fridge for a while. There's also Ribs, Baked Beans, and Cranberry Swirl Corn Muffins.
College Boy: I do love those wings, I think I'll take a chance on those.
Me: Why don't you have some of each, then if you end up sick at least it'll come out multicolored.
College Boy: Speaking of sick, Mom . . .


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


Hubs was in the bathroom getting ready for work. I went downstairs, started the sheets in the laundry and went back to bed. Hubs goes down or breakfast and comes back upstairs.

Hubs: Are you awake?
Me: Yeah.
Hubs: Did you start the laundry?
Me: What's the alternative?
Hubs: Huh?
Me: What's the alternative?
Hubs: Alternative?
Me: Either I started it, or it started itself.
Hubs: Well it could have been College Boy.
Me: Has College Boy ever gotten up this early?
Hubs: Could have been a ghost.
Me: A ghost that does housework? Count me in.
Hubs: So . . . you're doing the laundry before you're even out of bed?
Me: No, it must have started itself.

Everyone has conversations like this at 6:30 in the morning, right?


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




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





Biscotti Tiramisu Trifle
                                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Printable Recipe
   
NOTE: Recipe can be made either in a large trifle bowl or as individual servings.

Ingredients:
approximately 21 biscotti cookies: purchased, make your own, or make my Chocolate Almond Biscotti
3/4 cup brewed coffee, hot 
1/4 cup Kahlua

1 (approximately 1.55 oz) chocolate candy bar

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
4 TBSP heavy cream
2 TBSP sour cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 TBSP baking cocoa
2 TBSP Amaretto
2  TBSP brewed coffee, cooled

2 cups heavy cream
4 TBSP powdered sugar
1 TBSP Amaretto
2 TBSP Kahlua

Directions:
*Break biscotti into chunks.
*Place 3/4 cup hot brewed coffee and 1/4 cup Kahlua in a bowl.
*"Shave" the chocolate bar into curls using a potato peeler along the side of the candy bar. Place the shaves in the fridge.
*Beat the cream cheese with 4 TBSP heavy cream, 2 TBSP sour cream, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 2 TBSP baking cocoa, 2 TBSP Amaretto and 2 TBSP brewed cold coffee until smooth. Set aside.
*In a separate bowl, beat the 2 cups heavy cream until soft peaks form. Beat in the 4 TBSP powdered sugar, 1 TBSAP Amaretto and 2 TBSP Kahlua until stiff peaks hold. Remove 1/2 cup and fold into the cream cheese mixture.
*Dip the biscotti into the bowl with the coffee/Kahlua mixture.
*To assemble: layer 1/3 of the biscotti, 1/2 of the cream cheese mixture, 1/3 of the chocolate curls, another 1/3 of the biscotti, 1/2 of the whipped cream mixture, another 1/3 of the chocolate curls, the remaining biscotti, the remaining cream cheese mixture, the remaining whipped cream mixture. Top with the rest of the chocolate curls.
*Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, overnight if possible.




Tuesday, September 20, 2016

On Protests and Sports and Time and Place

When I find myself about to buy an expensive item I hadn't considered purchasing, I often do the "walk away" test. If I'm still thinking about it days later I know I really want it.

Truth is, this post has been rolling around in my brain for weeks now. It's caused a bit of an internal conflict. To write or not to write, that is the question.

I gave this post the "walk away" test. And kept thinking about it. Gave it the test again, came back to it again. Walked away, kept thinking, walked away, kept thinking. Yup, looks like I've got something to say here. You don't have to agree with me, but I hope you'll hear me out. 

Need a bribe? I brought muffins . . .



Cinnamon Sugared Dark Chocolate Mini Muffins: two bite dark chocolate muffins coated with cinnamon and sugar almost tasting like a little donut. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #muffins

Cinnamon Sugared Dark Chocolate Mini Muffins


Unless you've been living under a rock (you haven't have you?), you know about the fact that Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers sat during the national anthem at a pre-season game. He's said that he did so because he cannot show respect for a flag representing a country that oppresses people of color.

And so it began.
 
He's right, of course, that there is an issue here. A serious one. A deadly one.


I have to say, as many have before me, that I completely agree that he has the right to express himself in this way. I even feel a level of respect for him, his protest was non-confrontational, not aggressive in any way. 

But is this the way to express it? Is this the time? The place? Just because you have the right to do something, is it necessarily right to do it?

For me, the answer is "no". When you are at work, wearing your uniform, it is not about you. It's about the job. Your behavior, your choices, they are representative of your employer, not of your personal feelings. 

I feel the same way about praying on the field. I respect religious conviction. Pray in the locker room before the game, stop at a church on the way home. Pray on the playing field? Not so much.

Not only are they at work, but their job is to represent the people of their city, their fans. And a component of their job is to increase ticket sales, food and beverage sales, the sale of team fan gear. Besides playing the game, part of their job is as ambassador for their city. They are supposed to entertain, bring out the fans' pride in their city, unite them in their pride in their team. Not some of the fans. All of them. The blacks, whites, Christians, Jews, Muslims, carpenters, teachers, cops, firefighters. Everyone. 

Despite the fact that I do not have a specific problem with sitting or kneeling during the national anthem, I knew, I think we all knew, this act was not going to be the end of it. There was going to be an escalation. And there has been. 


There has to be a line. And, when the act takes place on the job, it needs to be drawn by the employer. It's a precarious position to be in, choosing a spot to draw a line because our rights are precious. To come full circle, it's what the flag stands for. The irony of it is that the flag that is being disrespected actually stands for the right to  . . . disrespect the flag.

But in the workplace, especially a workplace that requires a symbiotic relationship with the public . . . all of the public . . . it has to be done, there has to be a line. 

On Protests and Sports and Time and Place | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #CurrentEvents 

They have a platform, sports figures. They have a level of notoriety that allows them the ability to reach people, more people than most of us could. And that hardly goes away when they're off the field. They can call the media and join a protest, engage in a march, start a petition, hold a press conference. They can use their notoriety to voice their personal opinion in another venue.

Protesting at a televised football game, without a doubt, is a calculated act. The time and the place ramps up the exposure. So, ultimately, has Colin accomplished what he set out to do? Are we really talking about the issue that he's so passionate about? 

Or is the conversation more about his right to protest publicly while on the job? 

Has he drawn attention to the issue? Or away from it?

I respected Colin for his pacifism in sitting silently.

And then it came out that he wore, to a practice that was open to the public, socks depicting cops as pigs. Passive had become aggressive. Much of my respect eroded.

What began as a quiet act of defiance is growing, escalating, changing tone. In response to a question as to why this isn't taking place on baseball fields as well, one American League player stated that it's because baseball is a "white man's game". He further explained that there aren't enough black baseball players to impact the game if you throw them out, but black football players are somehow safe in their numbers.

I don't question that this is his experience, but it isn't mine as a fan. I was watching the Red Sox play the Yankees the other night and at the end of the game I deliberately looked to see if I saw a number of people of color. And I did. On both teams. Well known and well respected players. I firmly believe that neither of these teams picked players based on color. I believe that both of these teams care only about building their franchise to be the best it can be. 

And I was sad. Because the game has never been about color for me. Yet there I was, searching, counting.

I ask again, as a result of all of this, are we talking about the issue at the core of Kaepernick's protest? Are we discussing the fact that black men need to be able to walk, to drive, to even make normal teenage mistakes without paying with their lives? 

Not that I can see. We're off on a tangent. Discussing respect for the flag and the national anthem. Discussing the right to protest. Discussing the racial make up of teams.


And then a little over a week ago, on opening day of the football season, at a game where loyal fans of all colors and professions and beliefs came to have some fun, two of my beloved New England Patriots' team members raised their fists to the cameras directly after the national anthem. On the same night at another game, a Kansas City Chiefs player raised his fist . . .

during the national anthem . . .

on September 11th. 

Not the time. Not the place.

Where is that line?


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




PS: I just wanted to add that all of the above is my opinion, of course. College Boy completely disagrees with me. I value discourse. As long as it's thoughtful and respectful, feel free to tell me why you disagree.

Cinnamon Sugared Dark Chocolate Mini Muffins
                                                                          ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients:
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
3 TBSP butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla 
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon

4 TBSP butter
6 TBSP sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease mini muffin tins. You'll need to make 24.
*In a microwave safe bowl, melt dark chocolate chips with 3 TBSP butter until completely smooth. Whisk in sugar and vanilla, then milk and egg.
*In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Add to the chocolate mixture, blending just until incorporated.
*Drop by scant tablespoon into the muffin tins.
*Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until they spring back to the touch.
*While the mini muffins are baking, melt 4 TBSP butter. In a separate bowl, mix 6 TBSP sugar with 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
*Remove from the muffin tins. Cool. Dip the tops in the melted butter, then the cinnamon/sugar mixture.