Wednesday, December 13, 2017

From the End to the Beginning: December Poetry

It's poetry time and as I hope you know by now, this is a monthly treat feature here on the blog. A few friends and I get together each month and choose a theme, then we all go off in our own corners and write.

There are some talented poets in this small group. I'm not one of them. I tend to write funny poems, and there's a method to my madness. I'm not one of those talented poets, yet I enjoy this challenge. What's a girl to do? Get you to laugh with me. Better than laughing at me. So I use humor and silly rhymes and hopefully I amuse. 

Here's today's offering. The theme is Endings.


Monthly Poetry Group, poems based on the theme Endings | www.BakingInATornado.com | #poetry #MyGraphics




From the End to the Beginning


One year closes out,
new one will begin,
survived the last one,
hope the next is a win.

Time to take stock,
look both back and ahead.
It's a time for reflection,
and hope, not dread.

What didn't kill me,
made me stronger, they say,
Please, I'm strong enough, 
no more tests, I pray.

Yet with each circumstance,
under our belt,
our love for family,
became more heartfelt.

Children no more,
dinner table, empty seat.
A meal as a family,
is now a rare treat.

Chili Beef Pot Pie, a potato crusted pot pie full of beef, beans and corn cooked chili style. A hearty winter dish | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #dinner #beef

Chili Beef Pot Pie
Chili Beef Pot Pie, a potato crusted pot pie full of beef, beans and corn cooked chili style. A hearty winter dish | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #dinner #beef


Yet I wouldn't change it,
this year just gone by.
I may miss the past,
But my pride hits the sky.

So . . . 

A new year's beginning,
close out the last one.
Here's my wish to you:
much love, health and fun.


Thanks for stopping by. See you again next month. And if you're a blogger and you want to join this challenge, leave me a comment here or hit me up on FB or twitter. I'll hook you up. 


Before you go, click on over to more Endings poetry: 

Dawn of Cognitive Script shares The Meaning of the End.

Jules of The Bergham Chronicles shares La Fin

Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares The End is Here

Jenn of Sparkly Poetic Weirdo shares Endings, the New Beginnings

Diane of On the Border shares An Ending?


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





Chili Beef Pot Pie
                                                                          ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (makes about 3, depending on the size):
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1# lean stew beef
1 TBSP plus 1 tsp chili powder
3/4 cup beef broth

3 TBSP tomato paste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn niblets

2 large potatoes
2 TBSP butter
1 TBSP sour cream
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar
salt and pepper to taste
paprika

Directions:
NOTE: You can make the beef the day ahead, refrigerate in the pot and heat the next day to make the pot pies.
*Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion, cook and stir until it softens. 
*Add the beef and sprinkle with 1 TBSP of the chili powder. Cook and stir until browned. Mix in the beef broth, tomato paste, remaining 1 tsp chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, 1/4 tsp salt and chili flakes. 
*Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring now and then. Add the black beans and corn and continue simmering for another 45 minutes.
*While the beef is cooking, mashed cooked potatoes (I cook the potatoes in the microwave for this recipe) with the butter, sour cream, cheddar, salt and pepper.
*Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
*Spoon the chili into oven proof bowls or ramekins. Top with the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika.
*Place a baking sheet into the oven and put the bowls or ramekins onto the baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes start to brown.


Monday, December 11, 2017

Brunch Scramble Rolls: Celebrate Blog With Friends

Today’s post is the next in our series of Blog With Friends theme collaborations. Each month a group  of bloggers get together and each publish a project based on a theme. What I love about this partnership is that it’s not bloggers with similar interests or strengths but a diverse group coming up with a variety of posts. In any given month we may have a recipe, sewing tutorial, crafts projects, book review and/or a technology post all related to the theme of the month.


Blog With Friends, a monthly project based blogging collaboration | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


This month's theme is Celebrate. Appropriate for December, don't you think?

There will be individual project pictures and links to what everyone else has to offer at the end of my post, but here’s a peek at what we all came up with:


Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme. December 2017 theme is Celebrate | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com


I made Brunch Scramble Rolls. The reason I chose this dish is because, for me, brunch is a big part of celebrating during the holiday season. This is especially true of New Year's Day. I wrote a post once before about the New Year's Brunch I used to host when my kids were little. It was a casual, festive open house, I had as many as 40 guests in any given year.

Brunch Scramble Rolls, brushed and toasted dinner rolls stuffed with scrambled eggs for a lovely brunch dish | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast #brunch

 Brunch Scramble Rolls


So much of the holiday season revolves around food, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I always make a full turkey dinner for Thanksgiving, and I do the same on Christmas day. The start of Chanukah is celebrated not just with the lighting of the menorah, but with a dinner featuring Prime Rib. The day after those holidays, and New Year's too, I serve brunch. It's a late morning meal served and eaten in pajamas. It's a family tradition I treasure. So when I think of "celebrate" and I think of food, it's brunch that often comes to mind for me. 

Brunch Scramble Rolls, brushed and toasted dinner rolls stuffed with scrambled eggs for a lovely brunch dish | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast #brunch


These Brunch Scramble Rolls are a new addition to our brunch table and they're a hit. They're quick and easy to make, which always works for me. I want delicious and impressive brunch options, but it's the day after a holiday, I want ease when it comes to preparation.

I start with dinner rolls and no, I don't make them I buy them. This year I used wheat rolls. I hollow them, butter them and pop them in the oven.


Brunch Scramble Rolls, brushed and toasted dinner rolls stuffed with scrambled eggs for a lovely brunch dish | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast #brunch


I gather the other ingredients. Did you notice most of them are in baggies? I do the chopping the day before. 


Brunch Scramble Rolls, brushed and toasted dinner rolls stuffed with scrambled eggs for a lovely brunch dish | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast #brunch


That makes the scrambled egg portion as easy as . . . well . . . scrambling eggs! 


Brunch Scramble Rolls, brushed and toasted dinner rolls stuffed with scrambled eggs for a lovely brunch dish | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast #brunch


Fill the rolls with the eggs, pop on the tops and serve. Delish. And they're festive looking, don't you think?


Brunch Scramble Rolls, brushed and toasted dinner rolls stuffed with scrambled eggs for a lovely brunch dish | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast #brunch

Shhh, don't tell, but when Hubs isn't home for dinner, the boys and I will sometimes have breakfast for dinner. Lately, College Boy's been requesting these Brunch Scramble Rolls.

As always, any time you make one of my recipes, feel free to post a picture of it to my Baking In A Tornado Facebook Page. I'd love to see it!


Be sure to visit all of this month's other Blog With Friends projects:

Dawn of Spatulas on Parade shares Bottle on a Shelf, a beautiful mantelpiece craft. 
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme. December 2017 theme is Celebrate | Bottle on a Shelf by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com


Tamara of Part-Time Working Hockey Mom shares Fun with Elf on the Shelf

Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme. December 2017 theme is Celebrate | Fun with Elf on a Shelf by Tamara of Part-Time Working Hockey Mom | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com


 Jules of The Bergham Chronicles shares Celebrate Good Times, five fun ways to celebrate a birthday.
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme. December 2017 theme is Celebrate | Five Fun Ways to Celebrate a Birthday by Jules of The Bergham Chronicles | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com


Kia of Think in English shares What to Honor in an ESL/EFL Classroom and How to do it.
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme. December 2017 theme is Celebrate | What to Honor in an ESL/EFL Classroom and How to do it by Kia of Think in English | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com


Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares Repurposed Christmas Painted Bricks.

Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme. December 2017 theme is Celebrate | Repurposed Christmas painted bricks by Lydia of Cluttered Genius | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

Rabia of The Lieber Family Blog shares Snowman Trio, a cute holiday decoration for your home.
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme. December 2017 theme is Celebrate | Snowman Trio by Rabia of The Lieber Family Blog | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com


Melissa of My Heartfelt Sentiments shares Celebrate Relationships, low cost items for the holiday season. 
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme. December 2017 theme is Celebrate | Celebrate Relationships by Melissa of My Heartfelt Sentiments | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com
  

Be sure to stop by again next month for more theme based projects.

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





Brunch Scramble Rolls
                                                                          ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Ingredients:
6 dinner rolls
3 TBSP butter, melted
2 tsp grated parmesan
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup fresh spinach
1/2 cup cooked chopped bacon
4 eggs
1/3 cup milk

salt and pepper
1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet. 
*Cut just the tops off of the rolls and set onto the baking sheet, cut side up. Carefully remove most of the bread from the inside of the roll to create a bowl. Place onto the baking sheet.
*Using a pastry brush, dab the melted butter into the bread bowls and onto the bread tops. Sprinkle with the parmesan.
*Bake for about 10 minutes, just until they start to brown. Remove from oven.
*Heat a greased skillet to medium. Add the green onion and the red pepper. Cook and stir until it starts to soften. Add the spinach and stir for 1 minute. Add the bacon.
*Whisk the eggs and milk together, pour into the skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cook and stir until the eggs are scrambled. Lower the heat, add the cheddar and stir until it melts. 
*Scoop the scrambled eggs into the prepared bread bowls. Gently place a toasted bread top over each bread bowl.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Lame, Lamer, Lamest: Secret Subject Swap

Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 10 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.

Secret Subject Swap, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


My subject is: Make a list of the best/lamest excuses you've encountered (or used yourself).
It was submitted by: Tamara of Part-Time Working Hockey Mom.


Oh, puhhhlease. Lamest excuses? I'm a mom. Fielding lame excuses from kids is pretty much part of the job description. Although all kids use them, and all moms have heard them, I have to admit that sometimes they push the limits. A mom's dilemma, when met with yet another level of absurdity when it comes to excuses is the age old "do I laugh or do I cry?"

I don't remember all the lame excuses I've heard (or used, for that matter). I'm sure that's out of mental self-preservation. But there are a few that have stuck in my mind. Sadly, these are a few I just can't seem to forget.

Top three lamest excuses I've heard:

* "The poop was already on the floor when I got here". No dilemma here, this one's a "cry". In fact, my eyes still water at the memory.

* The kids were not allowed to eat or drink in the living room when they were little. One day I came downstairs and the carpet in the living room was soaking wet. I found my youngest, who was around 4 or 5 at the time. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Were you drinking in the living room?
Son: No.
Me: Why is the carpet wet?
Son: It's raining.
Me: Raining?
Son (looking away): Yes, Mom.
Me: In the house?
Son: {{silence}}
Me: You want to change your story?
Son (pointing out the window, where it is, in fact, raining): No, Mom, see, it's raining.

* "I know you said not to touch the cookies, Mama, but I was hungry and the shelf with the candy is up too high". I have to admit that a 3 year old saying this while looking at me with those innocent saucer eyes made me laugh. Well, I laughed after I cleaned up all the crumbs from the floor of the pantry.


Eggnog Brickle Cookies, holiday cookies with the flavors of eggnog and the crunch of toffee. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cookies #Christmas

Eggnog Brickle Cookies
Eggnog Brickle Cookies, holiday cookies with the flavors of eggnog and the crunch of toffee. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cookies #Christmas


Let me just say that if I'm faced with a situation where I feel like I'm on the spot and have to come up with something quickly, I freeze. Well, my brain does anyway. And what comes out of my mouth is invariably idiotic. I totally suck at lying.

Top three lamest excuses I've used:


* There were Curling trials going on in our town. I actually like the sport, I've watched it in the Olympics and I think it's interesting. I don't think I'd want to watch an entire match in person, though. I'd imagine it's cold in the rink, and I don't think a match would keep me interested from beginning to end. It was a freezing cold night and I was curled up in a ball on the couch. Hubs came upstairs with his phone to his ear, told me that his friends had 2 extra tickets to the Curling trials, and wanted to know if we wanted to go with them.
"I can't, I have to stay home" I started, searching for words "I really need to sweep the floor."




* When I was in my late 20s, I had to renew my license so I left work a little early and stopped by the registry. I wasn't feeling well so I'd planned on going home and going to bed. At the registry, I actually failed the eye test. I was told that I had 2 weeks to come back with glasses or contacts and retake the exam.
I came back 2 weeks later without glasses or contacts to try again. The examiner didn't want to re-test me. I explained to her that the last time I failed because "I was sick. I had the mumps and it affected my eyesight". 
"Yeah, right, can't you do any better than that?" she argued, "not only do adults not get the mumps, but no one does any more, ever heard of the MMR vaccine?"
Yes, it was a lame excuse. Yes, I'd had the MMR. And yes, I'd actually just had the mumps. 
PS: Once I finally got her to give me the exam, I passed it.

* I was once asked by an acquaintance if I could drive her kids to school. Which day? Every day. Although I don't mind helping people out now and then, or working out a carpool arrangement, I wasn't going to drive her kids every day with no reciprocation. So what did I say? The first stupid thing that came to my head. "I'd be happy to, but my seat belts are broken."



BTW, if anyone wants play Cyrano de Bergerac for me when I need excuses, I could use the help.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:



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





Eggnog Brickle Cookies
                                                              ©www.BakingInATornado.com


Printable Recipe


Ingredients (makes about 3 dz):
1 stick butter, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
3/4  cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 TBSP spiced rum
3 TBSP eggnog
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup toffee bits
about 2 TBSP colored sugar

Directions: 
*Cream the butter, margarine and sugars until smooth. Beat in the egg, eggnog and rum.
*Carefully beat in the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg starting at the lowest speed until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Mix in the toffee bits.
*Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to a day.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover three baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the colored sugar onto a plate.
*Roll the dough into approximately 1/2 inch balls. Dip the top of each ball into the colored sugar and place onto baking sheets.
*Bake for 11 - 13 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes before removing to cool completely.