Friday, November 27, 2015

Funny Friday: Get In There

Today’s post is November’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 | | #MyGraphics

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Confessions of a part-time working mom
Funny Friday: A monthly collaboration. One picture, five captions | picture contributed by Confessions of a part-time working mom |
1. Wife to husband: Where did you go to buy this spaghetti, up the beanstalk? 
2. Spaghetti to the cook: Hey, you promised me a nice hot bath. I'm gonna need a bigger tub. And where's the shampoo?

3. Hubs mumbling to himself: Make spaghetti, she said. It's simple, she said. Just drop it in the boiling water, she said . . .

4. Hubs still mumbling to himself: Oh, I get it. First I cook this side, then I turn it around and cook the other side. But wait, how do I get the middle?

5. Hubs, scratching his head and still mumbling to himself: I know, I bet it just sinks into pot as it softens. Yeah, that's it! And it's done when it's all in there. Perfect. I'll just stand here and wait.
Speaking of spaghetti:

Hearty Meat Sauce for a hot and filling spaghetti dinner. Developed to have a bit of a kick to it, but the heat can easily be toned down. This chunky meat sauce can be made stove-top or in a slow cooker. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Hearty Meat Sauce
Stove-top or Slow Cooker
Hearty Meat Sauce for a hot and filling spaghetti dinner. Developed to have a bit of a kick to it, but the heat can easily be toned down. This chunky meat sauce can be made stove-top or in a slow cooker. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner
Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:

Baking In A Tornado | | #MyGraphics

Hearty Meat Sauce 
(Stove-top or Slow Cooker)
Printable Recipe
1 can chopped tomatoes (28 oz)
1 can stewed tomatoes (14 oz)
2 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
2 cans tomato paste (12 oz)
1/2 cup white wine
2 bay leaves
1 TBSP salt
3 TBSP sugar
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped onions

1 TBSP butter or margarine
1/2 lb mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 green pepper, cleaned and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced

2# hamburg
1# hot sausage
*Place the first 15 ingredients into a large pot on medium or a large slow cooker on high.
*In a skillet, melt the butter or margarine. Add the mushrooms, green pepper and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are soft. Add to the sauce in the pot.
*In the same skillet, cook the hamburg and hot sausage until completely cooked through. Drain well and add to the sauce in the pot. Stir well.
*Slow Cooker: Cook on high for one hour, reduce to low and cook for 3 to 4 hours, stirring about once an hour.
*Stove-top: Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours, stirring every half hour.
*Remove the bay leaves and serve sauce over pasta of your choice. Leftovers freeze well. I use this sauce for my lasagna also.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Survival of the Fittest

 Two weeks ago some friends and I published a monthly Blog With Friends post based on the theme of Family. My friend Melissa's contribution was a very funny guide called How to Survive the Family Holiday Season Without Going Nuts. With her permission, today I'm posting a follow up to her post, but in the form of a challenge.

I asked a number of blogging friends for their advice, hints or tips on how to survive the holidays. It could be serious, it could be humorous, but there was a catch. It had to be said in just one sentence.  

What we ended up with is a great mix. Some thoughtful insight, some comic relief. We have general seasonal advice and some holiday specific tips. Hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed collecting them.

Survival of the Fittest: many bloggers share tips, suggestions, hints and advice on how to survive the holiday season . . . all in one sentence | | #humor #blogging #holiday

Carol of Never Ever Give Up Hope
Hire a housekeeper the day before.

Alexandra from Fun and Fit:
Take a 20 minute nap or go for a walk around the block when you get overwhelmed, whether from chores or people.

Minette of Southern Belle Charm
Book a cruise on the 23rd of December and be gone until the 2nd of January.

Ali from Ali Davies:
Set strong boundaries for yourself and others that protect what is most important and how you want things to be. 

Bernadette of Rants From My Crazy Kitchen:
Drink, regularly, and in copious amount.

Tamara of Fitknit Chick:
Congratulate yourself for what you manage to accomplish rather than chastise yourself for the things you didn't.

Valerie of Midlife-A-Go-Go:
Eating is not an Olympic sport; take the time to chew your food thoroughly because it aids in digestion and you won't be swallowing giant lumps of food that will sit in your stomach like lead balls.

Carol of Carol Cassara:
Pick ONE event to spend with family, either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day; on the other day, do exactly what you want, whether it's hanging with hubby at home, going out to dinner or just having Christmas snacks all day. 

Erin of Searching for Sanity
When in doubt, ask yourself "What would Martha Stewart do?" then do the exact opposite.

Mary of Deep South Dish (and author of the cookbook by the same name):
Do as much of the prep work as you can in advance: chop and tightly store veggies in the fridge, toast and crumb breads for stuffing, prep macaroni and shred cheese. 

Spiced Pie With Pecans, a Pecan Pie with some new flavors and kicked up a notch | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

Spiced Pie With Pecans

Spiced Pie With Pecans, a take-off on pecan pie highlighted with new flavors and kicked up a notch | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

Dawn of Spatulas on Parade
Delegate: for example if everyone is to bring a dish and you can't stand Aunt A's potato salad but she insists on bringing that, ask her to make a specific dish you do like and if there is none, tell her you "NEED" her to bring . . . soda, tea, cups, whatever.

Rena of Rena's World
If you don't like what's on the menu, Waffle House is open!

Michelle of Neverland Without a GPS
Three gifts per person because that's what Jesus got and it's his birthday.

Kelli G (a Facebook friend):
Drink up.

Lisa of Tweenior Moments
Online shopping!

Diane of On The Alberta/Montana Border
It may not be easy, but fill it with family and visiting, games and food. 

Robin of Someone Else's Genius
Avoid eye contact; staring makes people uncomfortable.

 Mary of Deep South Dish (and author of the cookbook by the same name):
Take the pressure off the host: we all share in the cooking and bring our favorite dish to my son's house.

And here's mine:
When the going gets tough, the tough pack a bag and get going.

I hope you were able to find something in this post to relate to, whether it was inspiration or amusement. This time of year we can all benefit from both. If you have a tip of your own to add, leave it for me in the comments.

I'm grateful for all of my readers, I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. If you need me over the next few days I'll be at home cooking and baking and putting every one of these golden nuggets of advice to good use.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Spiced Pie With Pecans
Printable Recipe
1 (9 inch) pie shell
1/2 cup butterscotch baking chips
4 TBSP butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup spiced rum
1 TBSP vanilla rum
1 TBSP orange liqueur
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup pecan halves

OPT: Whipped cream for serving

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Melt butterscotch baking chips. It's best to microwave them in 20 second intervals at 50% power, stirring well in between microwaving so they don't seize.
*Whisk together melted baking chips, butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, both rums, orange liqueur, and salt. Once incorporated, whisk in the beaten eggs.
*Mix in the chopped pecans. Pour mixture into the pie shell.
*Decorate the top of the pie with the pecan halves.
*Bake for 30 minutes, tent with tin foil and bake another 20 to 30 minutes or until the center is just set. Allow to cool.
*Serve with whipped cream. Store leftovers in the fridge.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Fly on the Wall: Grocery Store Woes

Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 11 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 | | #MyGraphics

I'm sorry to admit that a fly on the wall would have seen me yelling at my grocery list this week. I keep my list online, then print it out when I go to the store. I know people keep them on their cells, but I'm a dinosaur and this is what works for me.

I had tobasco (as in sauce) on the list this week. But the document kept auto correcting me so every time I went in to review the list or add something to it through the week, I'd see that I had tobacco on the list. I'd correct it, but without fail my correction was overridden.

I printed the list, and as I was heading out the door my family saw me looking at the list and screaming "tobasco, damn you, tobasco. I do not want tobacco, I want tobasco."

Since they're all {{ahem}} pretty used to me. They seemed to take my little outburst in stride.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

And, since we're questioning my sanity, in the grocery store last week I may have been standing in the aisle looking at my list and laughing. Why? My list told me to. 

I'm really not sure what I was thinking when I typed up my list, but I was making my way through the store grabbing items, putting it into my cart and then checking what's next. I had just put the orange juice in the cart and was checking the next item, when this is what I saw on the list:

heavy cream
orange juice
paper towels

Sometimes you just gotta stand in the grocery aisle and laugh, I guess.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

Let me start this story by saying that I am not and never claimed to be a food expert.

I had an idea for a recipe earlier in the month and went to the store for the ingredients so I could try it out.

I could not find one of the ingredients, Pumpkin Seeds. I circled the store once; the baking section, the nuts section, the healthy foods section. Nothing. In one of the sections I found pepitas. They look similar to pumpkin seeds so if I had to, I'd take them home and see what they taste like before trying another store.

A store worker saw me and offered to check the back room. He found pumpkin seeds but they were in the shell. No way.

Circled the store one more time and nope, didn't miss them the first time around, I couldn't find them. I decided to go with Plan B and buy the pepitas and see what they taste like before looking further.

I came home and Googled "pepitas". Imagine my surprise when I found out that pepitas is spanish for Pumpkin Seeds. And how stupid I felt when I realized that if I had the brains to google them in the store I could have saved myself two laps around that place.

 Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

I mention often, in these Fly posts, the fun or funny or interesting or even famous follows I get on social media. This one really took me by surprise. I mean, who knew that Leonardo DiCaprio was even aware of who I am, let alone be following me on twitter.

Lenardo-di-CRAPio twitter follow. Some people have way too much time on their hands | | #humor #funny

Oh, wait. Does that say lenardo-di-crapio? Yeah, that explains it. I'm far less impressed now. 

 Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

I know things change, many for the better. And they affect not only our lives but how we talk to each other too.

But I have to admit that neither growing up, nor after I was married or even after we had kids, when thinking about family, sitting around the dinner table laughing, talking, discussing, this is a conversation I never expected to have:

Me: Is Purdue playing a home game or an away game tomorrow?
Hubs: I don't know, let me ask my phone . . .

Raspberry Star Cookies: Holiday baking made easy. Rich raspberry flavored cookies rolled and cut out into star shapes, drizzled and then decorated with your choice of embellishments | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cookies #holiday

Raspberry Star Cookies

Many of you probably know that it was Halloween a few weeks ago. What you don't know is that Halloween seems to be a prime pick on Mom day. College Boy was having way too much fun with this concept and by mid afternoon, I knew I had to shut him up down.

College Boy: So I see you're dressed as a witch again today.
Me: I hear on Halloween witch spit in your dinner is good luck.

I win.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

Speaking of dinner conversation, were talking at dinner about the Marshmallow only Lucky Charms cereal that was being released.

College Boy: Did you know they were only making 10 boxes?
Me: No, how does that make sense?
College Boy: You have to win a box.
Me: That's pretty disappointing to all the people who want them.
College Boy: I know. Imagine how many people got their hopes up. I mean the marshmallows are the only part worth eating. The regular Lucky Charms is really a few marshmallows in a bunch of cat food.
Me to Hubs: I used to get so mad at College Boy I finally stopped buying them. He'd eat all the marshmallows and throw the cereal away.
Hubs: In the grocery store?
Me: {{blink, blink}}.
College Boy: {{massive eye roll}}.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

My boys have accused me of threatening them. I have no idea what they're talking about. I asked them to pick up their rooms (for like the 50th time) when they didn't, neither one of them, I did not threaten them. I just showed them two pictures:

This is the tree that did not grow according to my expectations:

Fly on the Wall: Grocery Store Woes | Tree threatening the house |

And here it is now:

Fly on the Wall: Grocery Store Woes | Wood pile picture |

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

College Boy and I fight all the time about him being late. I tend to be prompt and he . . . not so much. In fact, not even close.
Me: You're late. You're always late.
College Boy: I'm not late. It's 1:55, I don't have to be there until 2:00.
Me: First of all, if it's 1:55, you won't be there by 2:00. Second, it's 2:00.
College Boy: It's 1:55. Look at the clock in my room.
The clock in his room stopped working a year ago. I'm not putting a battery in it because he's a big boy. He's not putting a battery in because he's a lazy big boy. 
So whenever he wants to prove a point, he moves the hands to wherever he wants.
So in his opinion, that clock works better for him than it did when it told time.
See what I'm dealing with here?

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

College Boy and I have gotten into the habit of discussing absurd news stories we read, always trying to outdo each other in the ridiculousness of the stories we find. Last week I knew I'd found one he wouldn't even believe.

Me: OK, here's the story I found today: a woman in Massachusetts was allowed to have her drivers license picture taken with a colander on her head. She said it was for religious reasons, says she's a Pastafarian.

College Boy (interrupting me): Oh, yeah, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Me (eyes wide, totally in shock): Yes. That's what she said. How do you know?
College Boy: I know about the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

That damn kid wins. Every time.

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

Baking In A Tornado | | #MyGraphics

Raspberry Star Cookies
Printable Recipe
1 stick butter, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp raspberry extract
3 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
red food coloring

  8 oz vanilla bark, white candy melts or dark chocolate chips
green colored sugar, multicolored nonpareils or mini M&Ms

*Cream the butter, margarine and sugar. Beat in egg, raspberry extract and red food coloring. Mix in the flour and baking powder until it forms a dough.
*Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper.
*Roll out the dough, either between pieces of wax paper or on a floured surface, half at a time, to about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut with star shaped cookie cutter.
*Bake approximately 10 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes on pan before removing to cool completely.
*Melt the vanilla bark, white candy melts or dark chocolate chips in microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and then in 10 second increments until completely smooth. Place in a plastic sandwich bag, snip a small piece off the corner of the bag and pipe the chocolate back and forth across the cookies.
*Immediately sprinkle with colored sugar, nonpariels or add a few mini M&Ms for decoration. Allow to set completely before storing.