Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Do You Boo?

I was sitting in front of the TV the other day watching the Red Sox. As always, I was spending a lot of time screaming at the screen. I'm convinced that when I'm gone one of the things my kids will remember is this picture burned in their brains of me in the summer sitting on the couch screaming at the Red Sox.

Do You Boo? Lessons in sportsmanship | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


It's one of my favorite things to do, btw. In fact, my just a month after I started blogging I published a post called I ❤ the Red Sox. I got my love of the Sox from my grandfather. He was a fan. He was also owned his own business and had box seats to the Red Sox. He'd give the tickets out to clients of his business, but I sometimes got to go too. Such great seats, right behind first base.

Not only have I been to many games, but on our summer vacations back home my boys have too. They've met Wally, the mascot, and they've tried on a World Series ring. They've stood in a private box and looked up at the Jumbo-tron and read the message that the Red Sox welcomed them and their cousins to the game (by name). 

I live in the Midwest now {{sigh}}. Among the reasons I just can't adjust to life here (no ocean in the summer, no ski mountains in the winter) is the fact that I don't get all the Sox games on TV. No NESN here, I'm at the mercy of ESPN and the MLB network, both of which show me a game now and then, but not nearly enough for me. Whenever they do show a game though, I'm there on the couch, snack and drink by my side. 


Crunchy Peanut Butter Nutella Cups, crunchy mini peanut butter flavored cups filled with creamy nutella | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake #peanutbutter
Crunchy Peanut Butter Nutella Cups
Crunchy Peanut Butter Nutella Cups, crunchy mini peanut butter flavored cups filled with creamy nutella | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake #peanutbutter


So that's the love of Red Sox part of what I was doing on the couch that day. The yelling at the TV part? Well, I did say I'm a Bostonian, didn't I

There I was, sitting on the couch, wearing my Red Sox cap, watching a game, booing the Yankees, when College Boy walks by. "Mom!" I could literally hear the disapproval in his voice. Wow, but he learned that tone from me. "What?" I asked innocently. Not believably, mind you, but I was feigning innocence with everything I had. "We do not boo!" He was right. My rules. And he sounded exactly like me when he admonished me too.

I've never liked the idea of booing. When the boys were young we spent a lot of time watching the Red Sox and Patriots on TV, but most of the sports we watched were ones they participated in. They played on baseball teams, soccer teams and basketball teams. Although showing support for their teammates was encouraged, part of the sport really, booing the other team happened too. Not by my kids though, they weren't allowed. Not even if we were watching TV.

Because booing, of course, is a negative. There's so much positive in participating in local juvenile sports and in watching a favorite professional team with pride. But there were lessons learned too, about being a good sport. And wow, have I seen the opposite. There are bullies, both parents and kids, and poor sports, kids who taunt other kids, even coaches who cheat, don't let certain kids play. I was always careful picking my boys' teams, made sure the coaches' vision of sports at that level met with mine, that they had rules for their players that included good sportsmanship. But, of course, I could not pick the teams they played against.

As is a parent's right, and responsibility, there were discussions I had with my boys over and above those they had with their coaches. How they behaved on the field and on the bench, it all matters. And booing is, to me, the quintessential example of poor sportsmanship. You can root for your team, show support in any way you choose, without tearing down the other team. Positive, yes. Negative, no.

Easy, right?

Fast forward about 10 years and there I sat on my couch booing a Yankees home run. And being scolded by my kid. Who was right, dammit.

And you? Do you boo? 

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Cruchy Peanut Butter Nutella Cups
                                                              ©www.BakingInATornado.com


Printable Recipe


Ingredients:
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 cup flour 
1/4 cup quick oats
1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup nutella

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 24 mini muffin tins.
*Cream the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, vanilla and egg. Mix in the flour, oats and salt.
*Roll the dough into 24 balls and place in the muffin tins. Press in the center with the bottom of a wooden spoon to form a cup. Bake for 15 minutes.
*While the cups are baking, place the nutella into a plastic sandwich bag.
*Remove cups from the muffin tin, snip the corner of your plastic bag and fill each cup with nutella. Allow to cool completely.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Always in Your Mamories: Fly on the Wall

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

Let me tell you a little story about how important proofreading is.

A friend had written a heartbreaking and heartfelt post about the recent death of her husband. She talked about feeling him close and about her memories of their many years together. I was leaving her a comment about how he is still with her in her memories. Just before I hit "publish", I noticed that I was actually telling her that he is still with her in her mamories.

As typos go, that one would have been particularly unfortunate.



Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


I was sitting in the den when College Boy came in, grabbed some paper out of the office and turned to me:

College Boy: Mom, I just want to warn you,
Me (interrupting him): Go back outside and fart.

Made him laugh!


Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Hubs has a giant big screen TV in his man cave in the basement. I really didn't want to hang it on the wall so we had it on an old buffet table temporarily, until I could find just the right stand. I'm all about aesthetics so I hated the old table it sat on and I really didn't feel it was safe there either. I made it my mission to find just the right stand.

I finally found exactly what I wanted and bought it. That night, Hubs was setting the TV up on the stand and I went upstairs to empty the dishwasher. I came downstairs and saw he had the TV stand pulled far away from the wall. It looked ridiculous. 

Me: Why is that so far out from the wall, we need to push it back.
Hubs: The TV is supposed to be 25 feet from the couch for optimal viewing. That's 25 feet from the couch.
Me: It looks stupid.
Hubs: It's set up for optimal viewing. 
Me: But it looks stupid.

Hubs: But it's set up for optimal viewing. 
Me: I don't like it, it looks stupid.

Hubs: I like it, it's set up for optimal viewing. 
Me: I don't want it to look stupid.

Hubs: I want it set up for optimal viewing. 
Me: It looks stupid.

Hubs: It's set up for optimal viewing . . .


Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


Me (yelling down to Hubs): I think there's something wrong with the washing machine.
Hubs (yelling up from the man cave): OK.
Me: Do you want to come up and look at it?
Hubs: Not really. I'm exhausted.
Me: It's leaking.
Hubs: I'll look at it later.
Me: You know it's directly above that big screen TV down there.

. . . and Hubs comes flying up the stairs.


Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

I swear my kids and their friends have a sixth sense when it comes to chocolate. They can be out anywhere, but when I'm pulling something chocolate out of the oven, boom, there they are.

I was trying a new recipe the other day, Whipped Peppermint Poke Brownies. I was making the brownies but then I had to cool them completely before I could add the frosting inside or the frosting would just melt. 

Silly me. In the door walks College Boy and some friends. They grab forks and start digging in to the hot (I mean really hot) brownies. By the time I stopped them . . . well, see the 4 brownies pictured below? Yeah, that's about all I ended up with.

Later, after finishing making the brownies I had the 4 of them on a dish. The boys came back and finished them off.

College Boy: Mom, there's only 4 of these squares here. That's not nearly enough. You should have made more. 
Me (sarcastically): Yeah, what was I thinking just making four?
College Boy (shaking his head): Really. I mean that's just a tease. Mean, really.
Me: Get out of my kitchen!!

{{I may have said that chasing after him with a rolling pin in my hand, but if so, I wouldn't admit it, of course.}}



Whipped Peppermint Poke Brownies, thick chewy brownies infused with whipped peppermint frosting and topped with crunchy cookie crumbs | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert #chocolate

Whipped Peppermint Poke Brownies


Me: Would you like to stay for dinner?
College Boy: Sure.
Me: Great, happy to have you.
College Boy: What's for dinner?
Me: Turkey Cutlets with Raspberry Sauce.
College Boy: I do like those, but I notice you have some of my favorite Baked Hot Wings left over in the fridge. Can I have those?
Me: I guess.
College Boy: What else are you serving?
Me: I made Festive Pea Casserole.
College Boy: Would you mind if I just had a salad?
Me (getting exasperated): If you make it yourself.
College Boy: What's for dessert?
Me: OUT! Love you so much but I rescind my invitation. B'bye.


Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Hubs was going out to do some errands and I had a check that needed to be deposited at the bank.

Me: Want to take this check to the bank for me?
Hubs: Yeah, I actually have to go in there anyway.
Me: Oh, and you signed that check, btw, just so you know.
Hubs (looking at the check): I did?
Me: Yes you did. Don't turn me in. I don't want to go to jail.
Hubs just looks at me with a weird expression.
Me: What are you doing?
Hubs: Practicing my poker face, I'll try not to give you away.
Me: That's your poker face? We need to play poker. How much money you got?
Hubs: Depends on how much of this check that I . . .  ahem . . . signed you're giving me.
Me: Is that a threat?
Hubs: Would it work?

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

PurDude spent the summer doing an internship for Honeywell in Cleveland this summer (I may have mentioned that once or twice or two hundred times). He does all kinds of fun things but never takes pictures. Not only would I like to see them, but in the future I'm sure he'll want to have them too. 

Before he left I spoke to him once again. Told him that he'd never been to a Great Lake, he should go to Eerie. That whatever fun things he does, he should take pictures.

He went to a concert. Did he take a picture? No. He went to Quicken Loans arena when the Cavaliers were playing in the championships and did not take a picture. He went to some fireworks at his apartment complex on the 4th of July and didn't take a picture. 

I actually do have some pictures of some of his experiences. In order to have any idea of what he's doing, I check snapchat daily. If he posts something he's doing, and he often does, I try to take a picture with my camera of the snapchat on my cell.

Yes, it's come to that. I'm cyber-stalking my own child.


 Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

PurDude called one Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago. He happened to mention that he went to Lake Eerie the day before.

Me: Oh, did you take pictures? I'd love to see it.
PurDude: No.
Me: Why? I asked you to take pictures. I'd love to be able to see some of your new experiences.
PurDude: I just didn't think of it. 
Me: You know some day you're going to want to have these memories yourself.
PurDude: That's OK, I'll remember them.
Me: They're still with you in your mamories?
PurDude: Huh?
Me: Nothing.


Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


I've talked before about Hubs and how he cannot go to a store without calling me at least once.

Last Saturday he went out to get a battery for his car remote. Of course he called. And then again. I figured we were safe so I got into the shower. I took my cell with me to the bathroom so my actual out of reach time was just the 10 minutes or so I was washing. I got out of the shower and yup, a missed call.

On Sunday he went out again. This time I jumped in the shower as soon as he left figuring this would be my best chance. I got out of the shower and nope, no missed calls.

Panicked, I called him immediately.

Me: Where are you? Are you OK? Having car trouble? Do I need to come get you.
Hubs: No, I'm fine, but as long as I have you on the phone . . .

Ah, reverse psychology. Well played, Hubs, well played.

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

Menopausal Mother 
Searching for Sanity
Spatulas on Parade
Never Ever Give Up Hope 
Bookworm in the Kitchen 
TaylorLife 
Cynful Thoughts 
Evil Joy Speaks  

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Whipped Peppermint Poke Brownies
                                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
 
Ingredients:
1 box brownie mix (or your own mix)

2 cups powdered sugar
2 - 4 TBSP milk
4 TBSP butter, softened
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
2 - 4 drops red food coloring

5 Oreos

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8 X 8 baking dish.

*Mix your brownies as you normally would, or prepare the boxed mix according to the directions. Spread evenly into the pan and bake as directed.
*Remove from oven and cool completely. Place in the fridge.
*Crush the cookies. Set aside.
*Beat the powdered sugar, 3 TBSP milk, softened butter, peppermint extract and 2 drops red food coloring until fluffy and smooth. If needed, add the additional TBSP of milk and/or drop of red food coloring.
*Place the whipped frosting into a sandwich bag and seal.
*Remove the cooled brownies from the oven. Using the bottom of a thick wooden spoon, make about 25 holes in the brownies, don't break through to the bottom of the pan.
*Snip the corner of the sandwich bag and pipe the frosting down into each hole. Spread the remainder of the frosting over the top of the brownies. Top with the crushed cookies.
*Store, covered, in the fridge and bring to room temperature for serving.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

If You Cook It, They Will Come

Five years ago, to the day as a matter of fact, when I had been blogging for just 2 months, I posted a piece about my favorite holiday, B-T-S (back to school). At the time I was a young(er) stay-at-home mom frazzled by having just (barely) survived another school-less summer of amusing my two sons. They were both in high school, too old for summer camp, dammit. One had his driver's license just for a year and the other just barely had his learner's permit. Curfews were broken, the house was always full of kids coming and going through the front door and sneaking in and out of the basement slider. You see where I'm going here? Yes, back to school was a holiday in my book. In fact, it was a favorite.

School Starts picture used with the permission of FunnySigns.net | Presented on www.BakingInATornado.com |
 I found this picture used in my B-T-S post on FunnySigns.net. I contacted them and was given permission to use it with attribution.

During those years back to school was a whole big production. New wardrobes were bought, backpacks chosen, lunches paid for, supplies purchased. Through it all, anything I picked out was summarily rejected, as far as I could tell just because I'd picked it. And, of course, cars were fought over. It was pretty clear I was about to stop sharing mine and just plain lose it. I'd have to go shopping for me, if there were ever a spare minute. You and I both know there wouldn't be until school started again.

Just before school started as the level of excitement (me) and dread (them) grew, we also continued a long standing family tradition, something we've been doing since the boys started school. The entire week leading up to their first day, I'd cook all their favorite dinners and bake all their favorite treats. The last night would be saved for their number one favorite meal.

From the time they were little there was always a bit of an argument about what that last supper (so to speak) would be. They were kids so their favorites were pretty basic. College Boy always loved spaghetti with homemade sauce. PurDude generally just wanted a grilled sirloin burger. We'd have to take turns, burger one year and spaghetti another.

I need to mention here that College Boy is my favorite recipe muse. He gives me lots of ideas and even, when I only have a partial recipe in my head, comes up with what it's missing. Which is actually pretty amazing since the only thing he knows how to cook is frozen pizza. And he doesn't even do that right. Don't ask.

Anyway, my muse has been stuck lately. Every time I ask him for an idea for a new recipe, his answer is "spaghetti burgers". Spaghetti burgers? What is that? A burger with spaghetti in the middle? He says a burger with spaghetti as the bun. That wouldn't work, it would fall apart. But the details are my problem, he's stuck asking for a spaghetti burger. I'm stuck on who the hell would eat that (well, my kid would, but besides him)?

Yesterday was the first day of school. And although my boys are older and one of them isn't even here {{sob}}, old habits die hard, I decided to make their favorite dinner. But which one? Spaghetti? Or burger?


College Boy: "Spaghetti Burger!"

And that's when it hit me. A bit (OK quite a bit) of a crazy idea, but I was actually going to make a spaghetti burger. Well, spaghetti and meatball sliders, but I called them spaghetti burgers when I served them so shhhh don't tell. Challenge met, I did my part, I figured it out, the question is whether the family would actually eat them.

Spaghetti and Meatball Sliders, for an appetizer or a meal, these little hand held sandwiches have all the flavors of a spaghetti and meatball dinner | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #appetizer #sliders

Spaghetti and Meatball Sliders
Spaghetti and Meatball Sliders, for an appetizer or a meal, these little hand held sandwiches have all the flavors of a spaghetti and meatball dinner | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #appetizer #sliders


Turns out, when it comes to spaghetti and burgers, if you cook it, they will come.

And when dinner was over there was nary a leftover crumb.

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






Spaghetti and Meatball Sliders         
                                    ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients:
1 package slider rolls
1#lean ground beef
1/2# sausage (I use hot sausage)
1 egg
2 TBSP seasoned bread crumbs
3 TBSP grated parmesan, divided
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 TBSP minced dried onion
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
6 oz spaghetti
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup Homemade Marinara, divided
1 cup shredded mozzarella
2 TBSP melted butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried parsley

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 X 13 glass baking dish.
*Add together the ground beef, sausage, egg, bread crumbs, 2 TBSP parmesan, minced garlic, dried onion and seasoned salt and mix just until incorporated. Place into prepared dish and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven but leave oven on.
*While the meat is cooking, break the spaghetti into about 2 inch pieces. Cook al dente. Mix with 1/2 cup of the marinara and the remaining parmesan. Set aside.
*Using a large spatula, lift one corner of the meat, slide a long platter or a long thin cutting board underneath and remove. Try to keep it in one piece. Carefully, using paper towels, remove the grease from the baking pan and grease with non-stick spray. Blot the meat well.
*Slice the rolls, keeping them attached. Place the bottoms into the baking dish. Keep attached where you can but detach to cover the bottom of the dish. Top with the meat, the remaining marinara and the spaghetti. Sprinkle with the mozzarella, press the tops of the buns onto the cheese.
*Mix together the melted butter, garlic powder and parsley. Brush onto the tops of the rolls. 
*Bake for about 25 minutes until hot and the cheese has melted. Cut into individual sandwiches and serve.