Friday, February 27, 2015

Funny Friday: Cat Got Your Tongue?

Today’s post is February’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  graphic | | #MyGraphics

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Sanity Waiting to Happen.

Funny Friday Cat Picture | Sanity Waiting to happen

1. Cat to mouse: “ready or not, here I come . . .”

2. Cat to herself: “I don’t know, do I really want to go up here? Because I’m pretty sure that this is how most of those scary movies start . . .”

3. Cat to her owner: “fine, I’ll go to my room. It’s worth it for all the fun I had unraveling your sweater.”

4. Cat to herself: “now where did I put that mouse . . .”

5. Cat to herself: “that family can call me back all they want. If they want to pet me they’re going to have to shut off movies like “Cat in the Hat”. Seriously. No cat would be caught dead in a hat like that.”

And, like with birthday candles, one more for good luck:

6. Cat to herself: “cat got your tongue? Did that mom just ask her daughter if I had her tongue? Disgusting. That’s it. I’m going upstairs, packing mu bags and moving on. . .”

And now for something yummy:

Chocolate Berry Cream Cheese Hamentashen | | #recipe #cookies

Chocolate Berry Cream Cheese Hamentashen

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

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

  Chocolate Berry Cream Cheese Hamentashen
Printable Recipe
Ingredients (makes about 12 cookies):
1 stick butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup flour

1 cup mixed fresh berries
    OPT: for frozen berries, defrost and drain them, then increase the cornstarch by 1 - 2 tsp
1/4 cup sugar
1 TBSP cornstarch
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1/4 cup powdered sugar, divided
14 tsp cinnamon
2 TBSP brown sugar 

*Beat cream cheese and butter. Stir in flour. Form a ball with the dough, cut in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap, flatten and refrigerate for at least an hour.
*Clean and dry all the berries. Chop the larger ones. Mix together the berries, 1/4 cup sugar, cornstarch and mini chocolate chips.
*Mix the cinnamon and brown sugar together.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. NOTE: you may want to cover the bottom of your oven with tin foil as the filling in these cookies will run. 
*Sprinkle your rolling surface with powdered sugar. Place each half of the dough, separately, in the powdered sugar, cover each with the plastic wrap it had been refrigerated in and roll them out to 8 or 9 inch circles.
*Remove plastic wrap and cut out approximately 3 1/2 iinch circles using a round cookie cutter or floured rim of a glass. Wrap the excess dough in plastic wrap, refrigerate while making this batch, then use to make more cookies.
*Roll the sides in and pinch together to form  a triangle. Sprinkle a pinch of the cinnamon/sugar into the center of each cookie. Gently tamp down with your finger.
*Place some of the fruit filling into the center of each cookie. Don't mound high, it spills over the sides while cooking. Sprinkle tops with the rest of the cinnamon/brown sugar mixture.
*Bake the cookies for about 35 - 40 minutes, until they're brown and the sides start to crisp.
*Cool on the parchment paper on the cookie sheet. After they've been out of the oven for a minute, gently run a spatula under them.
*Store in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature for serving.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

You’ve Been Served

Last month I wrote a serious post about a little boy in England who came home from school with a bill in his backpack from the family of a birthday boy whose party he agreed to but didn’t attend. What happened next is just as astounding as the attempt to bill. Now I’m the first to say that this situation is not funny, I think parents can either defuse a situation or escalate it. Every parent in that situation escalated. This is where bullying comes from. Figure it out.

But I also have to admit that the idea is intriguing, isn’t it? I mean, I could SO get into billing people for their rude behavior, couldn’t you?

You've Been Served | | #MyGraphics

*To the guy who sneaks up the turn lane then cuts over in heavy traffic: check your mail.

*To the doctor who’s an hour late for our appointment, then barely takes the time to hear me out: you’ve been served.

*To the lady in the 10 items or less check-out land at the grocery store with 487 items: you can pay this cashier after you’ve paid that cashier.

*While we’re on the subject of the grocery store, to the lady at the deli counter who doesn’t take a number and just jumps right in: I see you! Get out your wallet.

*To whoever bought that last bottle of Citronge I’d gone all the way to the only liquor store around that carries it to purchase. Grrrrr. Check your mail. And guard your liquor cabinet.

*To anyone who tries to tell me that I can’t serve Carrot and Pear bread as a fruit and vegetable with dinner: I reject your 2 cents worth, but I’ll take your 2 cents.

Carrot and Pear Bread | | #recipe #bread
Carrot and Pear Bread
Carrot and Pear Bread | | #recipe #bread

*To everyone within a 2 mile radius of my house who does not cover your garbage can on the windiest of days, pay up.

*To the pharmacy that insists on taking all of my personal information, including all of my phone numbers, then waits until I’ve driven up there and am standing at the counter to tell me that my prescription won’t be ready until tomorrow: I’ve got a bill for you. And I don’t take insurance.

*To the weather people on every local television station who convinced me, convinced us all, that there was a 100% chance of a substantial snow fall: you owe me. Not just money, but an afternoon of my life back.

*To the newspaper delivery person who, every time it pours, can’t get our paper past the very end of our driveway: check your mail.

*To the people who live on the other side of the woods behind our house who leave their dog outside to bark all day long throughout the entire summer: check your backpack. Or check your briefcase. Oh, and watch your back.

Ok, so I may never be able to implement my plan. But let me tell you that although I may not be any richer, but I sure do feel better.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Carrot and Pear Bread
Printable Recipe
1/2 cup pecans
2 tsp white vinegar
A little less than 3/4 cup milk
¾ # carrots (I used ¾ of a 1 # package of baby carrots)
2 pears
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
¼ cup maple syrup, room temperature
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp cinnamon
*Toast your pecans in a 350 degree oven for approximately 5 – 6 minutes. When you remove the pecans, leave the oven on.
*Put the vinegar into a ¾ cup measuring cup. Fill the cup the rest of the way with milk. Set aside.
*Peel the carrots if not already peeled. Add to a food processor and grate.
*Core and peel the pear.
*Cream the butter and brown sugar. Beat in the eggs, milk mixture and maple syrup. Mix in the carrots.
*Add the pear and pecans to the food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Mix into the butter mixture.
*In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, salt, pumpkin spice and cinnamon.
*Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Don’t over mix.
*Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray. Pour the dough into the prepared pan. Bake for 60 – 70 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch.
*Cool for 10 minutes. Run knife around the edge and gently use it to lift bread from the bottom to loosen the bread. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely.

Friday, February 20, 2015

One of a Thousand, #1000Speak

#1000Speak, or “1000 voices speak for compassion” is a social initiative with the goal of getting 1000 bloggers to commit to publishing a piece about compassion, kindness, support, caring for others, the environment or being non-judgmental all on one day, today, February 20th. The objective is that amidst all that we see going on around us, all that we shake our heads at and denounce, the best course of action, the most positive thing we can do as a diverse multinational group of writers is to advance the discourse. We’ve chosen to stand together in expressing positivity.

Why February 20th? In November of 2007 the United Nations unanimously adopted a resolution that starting in 2009 (don’t ask me what they had against 2008, I haven’t a clue) February 20th would be observed as World Day of Social Justice. Making a stance of this size on this particular day makes sense.

#1000Speak | | #MyGraphics

 As I read through the UN declaration, one of the things that struck me was the distinction between upholding the principles of social justice and advancing social justice. I see the value in both. It doesn’t matter so much WHAT you do but THAT you do. Whether my words here are viewed as upholding or advancing doesn’t matter to me. The fact that I, that 1000 of us, put our words together in this way and on this day and as this group does. A lot.

When I was very little the school day would start with us all standing, placing our hands over our hearts and pledging allegiance to the flag, a symbol of our great nation. The message I want to express today is a very basic one using some of those same words. The core of global compassion can be found in these final words of the Pledge of Allegiance:

“with liberty and justice for all”

I’ve written two posts that express my feelings about he issue of compassion. One I wrote after a school shooting. It’s called Every Day. When there are atrocities such as school shootings, a marathon bombing, actions that make us feel incapable of comprehension, we’re often left feeling at a loss for adequate words. Every Day is about how, at times where there are no words, who we are can speak for us. What we choose to do in our own homes, in our neighborhoods and in our communities not just in times of crisis but every day can bridge the gap and express compassion.

The other post is called I Apologize and I wrote it in my very first month of blogging. In it I talk about bullying: where I think it comes from, why I believe it continues and one simple step we can all take to impact it. I end with this quote by Eminem. I love the straightforward simplicity of this message:

Do Unto Others quote | | #MyGraphics

The challenge, though, is to take it just one step further. I acknowledge that this is an admirable example of UPHOLDING social justice, but what would it take to ADVANCE it? One minor change in the thought process:

Compassion quote | | #MyGraphics #1000Speak

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics 

PS: I include a recipe in my posts. Here’s today’s:

Recipe for Compassion


*Put a filter in a sieve and place the sieve over a bowl.
*Add thoughts, words, actions and mix well.
*Allow time for the impurities to collect in the sieve and the positivity to trickle down into the bowl.
*Remove and discard the filter of pollutants.
*Keep what's left in the bowl in a safe environment and allow compassion to rise until it’s doubled in size.
*Like a starter dough, keep a piece for yourself and pass the rest down to future generations.