Friday, March 27, 2015

Funny Friday, Roughing it the Easy Way

Today’s post is March’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 group post | | #MyGraphics

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Confessions of a part-time working mom.

Funny Friday group post - Confessions of a part-time working mom March 2015

1. Husband to wife: Anything else you want to take along, plenty of room.

2. Wife to husband: NOOOOO. I said we have to take the other car!

3. Husband to wife: This is not what I had in mind when I said I wanted a vacation out in nature.
Wife to husband: But you have to admit that the bathroom facilities are much better here . . .

4. Wife to husband: What do you mean this isn’t a rustic vacation, look over there to the left, I think I see a cougar.

5. Wife to husband: Lesson learned. That’s the last time I say that you can buy whatever you want as long as you can get it home with us.

And now for something yummy:

 French Vanilla Cake with Raspberry Whipped Cream | | #recipe #cake

French Vanilla Cake with Raspberry Whipped Cream

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

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

French Vanilla Cake with Raspberry Whipped Cream
Printable Recipe
1 1/2 stick butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
¼ cup powdered French Vanilla Creamer
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
Ingredients, frosting:
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 ounces of fresh raspberries (about 6 good sized berries)
¼ cup seedless red raspberry jam
½ tsp raspberry extract
*Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, milk and vanilla.
*Starting at your lowest speed beat in the flour, creamer, salt and baking powder just until incorporated, then increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes.
*Pour evenly into prepared pan.
*Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until the edges start to brown and the center springs back to the touch.
*Cool completely.
*Mash the fresh raspberries, raspberry jam and raspberry extract together. Push through a fine sieve and discard seeds.
*Beat the heavy cream until it starts to thicken. Add the powdered sugar and raspberry mixture and beat until stiff peaks hold. Spread over the cooled cake. Store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

When You’re not There, Again

I recently wrote about my younger son, who I call PurDude, and the heartbreaking situation that he's caught up in. That is all still playing out. The boys have been through a trial, been sanctioned by the school and are trying to get through the fallout. These are good kids, focused on school and on community service. The national office of their fraternity is supporting them, but locally the focus is on punishment. There's not a lot of compassion for what these guys are suffering. And they ARE suffering.

One of the things that brings me comfort, as a mom, is that there is an adult who works in the fraternity house where PurDude lives, who feeds these boys and who has a relationship with them all. Chef Mark has been with the house for 10 years. He is so much a member of the family that the boys, just this past semester, made him a brother. That’s the kind of boys they are. And that’s how much they think of Chef Mark.

Crockpot BBQ Beef Grilled Cheese | | #recipe #dinner
Crockpot BBQ Beef Grilled Cheese

I have to admit that at first I was jealous of Chef Mark. PurDude has always been a very picky eater, yet I kept hearing that he loves Chef Mark’s food. Even his wings. Now those are fighting words. MY Baked Hot Wings are PurDude’s favorite dinner. Hearing that Chef Mark went out of his way to also make desserts? And that those desserts were epic? Very very jealous.

But ultimately the friendship he offers, the adult presence in their lives, the fact that food is purchased for them and meals are on the table, all made me feel that my son was being cared for. And when he’s hundreds of miles away, that is priceless.

When the boys got back to school after winter break they heard some sad news. Chef Mark had just lost his father. I asked PurDude if the house did anything in memory of Chef's father. Of course they did. They also told Chef Mark to go wherever he needed to be, do whatever he needed to do, take whatever time he needed off.

Chef came to the frat to cook. He told the boys that this is where he needed to be. This is what he needed to do.

That was in January. It was in February, just one month after my son started dealing with the emotional upheaval and the loss of a friend from that first situation, that I received a call from PurDude. He told me that Chef’s wife had called. Chef had a heart attack and was in the hospital.

The boys couldn’t get much information. The hospital, of course, wasn’t releasing it and they were not yet allowed to visit. They anxiously waited for word that they had permission to see Chef Mark.

The next morning the boys heard that Chef would be out for about 2 weeks. Knowing that there is often rehab and endurance restrictions following a cardiac event I wasn't sure, but for now this was good news.

Beside all of my concerns with what these boys had already been dealing with, beside my genuine concern for a man who means so much to these kids, I now was worried about my son eating. He lives in this house. He's going through a traumatic time. He is in extremely difficult classes. Now they all have to worry about providing their own meals?

Tribute to Chef Mark | | #MyGraphics

The endurance of friendship despite physical distance is an amazing thing. So is coincidence.

When I moved to the Midwest I developed a number of friendships with people who were also not from here. We served as each others' support system, we were each others' family in so many senses. Susan was one of those friends, a really good friend. She has 2 daughters the same ages as my two sons. I was sad, many years ago, when she moved away. Coincidentally she's now an hour and a half from Purdue where one of her daughters happens to go to school.

Susan is a force to be reckoned with. She insisted on going to the store, stocking up on pre-made dinners and driving a carload of food an hour and a half to the frat. She was already at the store when I caught her to tell her that the boys were able to arrange for a temporary chef.

And I had at least one less thing to worry about. The boys would have food on the table as Chef recovered. 

Tribute to Chef Mark | | #MyGraphics

The next day I heard the ding of an incoming text from my son:

Chef has passed away.

I called immediately. The emotional enormity of the situation was almost incomprehensible. I was now calling my young son to express my condolences.

I know I’m the mom and I thought I had myself under control but the minute I heard his voice I lost it.

My son who was already going through so much just took another kick to the gut.

And I am still not there.

I didn’t hold back this time. I asked him if he wanted me to fly up there. I asked him if he wanted to come home.

No. Spring Break is in 3 weeks, I’m already flying him home then. He’s not leaving now, he’s going to pay his respects to Chef Mark.

We talked a little, not much. We were both a bit stunned.




Before we hung up I asked if he has his suit at school. He does but he’s concerned because his is navy, he doesn’t have a black suit.

I told him that he doesn’t need a black suit, just his dark suit and a conservative shirt. Black is for family.

“He IS family, Mom. He’s a brother.”

Tribute to Chef Mark | | #MyGraphics

With all of my heart I hope that Chef Mark knew that a group of boys off on their own and reveling in their freedom from adult supervision considered him a friend. That these boys chose him to be their brother. That they loved and respected him. That they wanted him in their lives. That they are better young men for having known him. That he helped make their house a home. That his presence and his work mattered. That his food nourished them in so many more ways than one. That he will not be forgotten.

And that the plaque hanging in the frat kitchen, and the duplicate presented to his wife at the memorial dinner put on at the house by the boys, is a tribute to all that he meant to so many young men. 

My deepest condolences to Chef Mark’s wife and mother. 

My heartfelt sympathies go out as well to my son and to every one of those remarkable young men who were, and will always be, Chef Mark's brothers.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Crockpot BBQ Beef Grilled Cheese
Printable Recipe
2 TBSP brown sugar
1 TBSP paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 – 3 # round roast
1 onion, sliced
3 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
½ cup seedless raspberry jam
32 ounce bottle of Barbecue Sauce
1 cup water

2 slices bread per sandwich
1 TBSP butter, divided, per sandwich
2 slices provolone per sandwich
Directions (Crockpot BBQ Beef):
*Mix together the brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Rub all over the rinsed and dried roast.
*In slow cooker, mix the onion, bacon, jam, barbecue sauce and water. Add the roast and spoon the sauce over the roast.
*Cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce to low and cook for 4 hours. Turn the meat over at the half way point.
*Remove meat from slow cooker, slice and return to the cooker for another hour.

Directions (BBQ Beef Grilled Cheese):
* Melt ½ TBSP butter into a pan on medium heat. Place one slice of bread in the pan, swirl it around so it’s coated with butter and remove. Melt the second ½ TBSP of butter into the pan. Put the second slice of bread in the pan. Swirl it around so it’s coated in butter. Place the slice of provolone onto the bread, followed by some of the onions that cooked with the roast, then a slice of the roast followed by another slice of provolone. Top with the first slice of bread, butter side up.
*Turn the heat down a notch and cook until the lower slice of bread has browned.
*Using a spatula, carefully flip the sandwich over and cook until the bottom slice of bread is also browned. Serve the sauce on the side.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Fly on the Wall: The Typo Edition

Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 15 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. Feel free to go laugh at goes on in their lives too!

Fly on the Wall  | | #MyGraphics

Sadly, here’s something I did not want to be known for (and lesson learned). When leaving a comment on a friend’s blog, I didn’t proofread before submitting it to be permanently on her blog and associated with my name. So in the middle of a thoughtful sentence, instead of “it’s not”, it says “it snot”.

Flies on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

Here’s another typo and the reason I’m glad my kids don’t read my Facebook page or I’d never live this one down. I mentioned in a FB post that I was sort of bored with my winter meals and looking for something else to make. I asked what everyone’s favorite dinner was and my friend Sarah of The Momisodes mentioned Pot Roast. That’s a favorite of mine too so I answered her that I love Pot Roast too. Except somehow I hit “enter” in the middle of typing so my answer was “Ooooh, I love pot”.
Good thing you can edit those answers or I’d have to leave town.

Flies on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

And one more this month because clearly typo bad luck comes in threes:
I was on Facebook private messaging with a friend. She asked about a conversation we had been having with a third friend, Susie (name has been changed to protect the innocent). Susie had been talking about an ex who this friend didn’t know. I told her the ex wasn’t very nice but was very, very nice looking. She asked if I had a picture and I told her I’d email her one.
When I sent the email the friend answered: You’re sending me porn? I’m not opening that attachment.
Huh? What the hell was she talking about?
I looked again at the email I sent her.
What I meant to say was: Attachment is Susie’s ex picture.
What I typed was: Attachment is Susie sex picture.

Flies on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

Me: College Boy and I were thinking of bringing in Chinese food for dinner if that’s OK with you.
Hubs: That’s fine.
Me: You don’t sound too excited, if you’d rather I cook something I will.
Hubs: No, I certainly don’t want you to cook anything.
Me: Why don’t you rethink how you worded that while I move your blanket and pillow to the couch in the basement.

Flies on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

Right around 1:00 pm on a Saturday, College Boy finally made his way out of bed. I’d already been to the grocery store, had dinner simmering in the crockpot, done a load of laundry, done the dishes, made a cake and was about to make the frosting for the cake.
Me: You’re up. Hope you didn’t have anything you had to do today, the day’s half over.
College Boy: It’s the weekend. Everyone knows there’s nothing you absolutely have to do on the weekends.
Me (looking around the kitchen): Really? Is that true? What is this magical weekend thing of which you speak? Where do I sign up?

Fruity Krispie Treats | | #recipe #dessert
Fruity Krispie Treats

Fruity Krispie Treats | | #recipe #dessert

I was watching TV on a Sunday afternoon during a snowstorm.
Me (yelling): Oh, they just canceled school tomorrow!
Hubs comes up the stairs from the man cave: You do realize that there’s no one here who cares about school cancellations anymore, right?
Sheesh, having no one in the house who goes to the local schools sure takes the fun out of seeing those cancellations at the bottom of the screen.

Flies on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

I tried a new recipe for dinner. None of us were thrilled. One of us needs lessons in tact, however:
Me: This is not going to be my new favorite meal.
College Boy: No, I don’t love it either.
Hubs: Be sure you don’t accidentally post this on your blog, your friends will think you’ve gone nuts.

Flies on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

The next night Hubs went out and brought in Italian food for dinner. I told him what I wanted and he ordered and left.
When he got home I was pulling the food out of the bag and asked what he’d ordered. He’d gotten spaghetti.
We sat down and while we were eating I asked how his dinner was.
Hubs: Good. I’ve never had these chicken meatballs before. I don’t know what they’re made of but they’re good.
Me: I think they’re made of ground up pigs’ ears and tails.
Hubs (looking slightly green): Pigs’ ears? And tails? Disgusting. I’m not eating that.
Me: well, either that or. . . you know. . . they’re made of chicken.

Flies on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

You all have these kinds of nonsensical conversations too, right? It’s not just me, is it?
Me: I’m freezing.
College Boy: It’s not that cold in the house.
Me: It’s really cold outside, I can feel it in the house. And it’s going to get worse, they’re saying tomorrow we’ll have a little snow in the morning and in the afternoon it’ll be really windy and freezing cold.
College Boy: Outside?
Me: No, in the house.

Flies on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

I'm not sure but I may have cheated on my husband. If I did, it was totally not my fault.

I've never told anyone, I'm keeping my dirty little secret.

I know this guy through blogging, I have for over a year. He seems to be a nice guy and caring father. His blog posts are thoughtful and kind. He asks others to join in on some group posts that he does on a regular basis and I always have fun with them.

And then one day, out of the blue, he poked me on Facebook.

It's true. I've been poked by another man. And I haven't told a soul, but I think the guilt is starting to get to me.

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

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Fruity Krispie Treats
Printable Recipe
3 TBSP butter
1 package (10 oz) fruit flavored mini marshmallows
7 cups crisped rice cereal
2 TBSP multicolored sprinkles
1 package (12 oz) colored candy melts
1 TBSP colored sugar
decorations of your choice for the top

*Remove 3/4 cup mini marshmallows and set aside.
*Spray a 9 X 13 dish and a spatula with non-stick spray.
*In a large microwave safe bowl, place all but 3/4 cup of the mini marshmallows and the butter. Microwave 2 minutes, mix and if not all melted, microwave at 10 second intervals until they are. Stir.
*Immediately add the cereal, sprinkles and 3/4 cup marshmallow's you'd set aside. Mix and pour into prepared dish. Pat down to equalize the thickness. Set aside.
*In a microwave safe bowl, met the candy melts according to the package directions. Once completely smooth, pour over the krispie treats and spread evenly over the top. Sprinkle with colored sugar.
*Decide how large you want your squares and place whatever fruit or candy you're using for decoration onto the melted topping so that when you cut around them, one will be in the center of each treat.
*Allow to set completely. If in a hurry, place in refrigerator just until set. Remove and slice.