Friday, April 24, 2015

Funny Friday: The Squashed Squash Edition

Today’s post is April’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 The Bergham's Life Chronicles.

Funny Friday | The Bergham's Life Chronicles

1. Little pumpkins to the big guy: we’re going to have to ban you from participation in al sports pending the results of your steroid test.

2. Little pumpkins singing to the big one:  ♪ ♫ ♬ And in the name of the Lollipop Guild . . . we’d like to welcome you to Munchkin Land  ♪ ♫ ♬

3. Large pumpkin to his shrink: I’ve been so depressed since they ripped me from the vine. It’s sad, I just feel so . . . deflated.

4. One little pumpkin to the others: OK, who squashed the squash?

5. Big pumpkin on his cell phone to 911: Send an ambulance. And the police. And CSI too. Tell them to bring stun guns and a big net. Big Foot is real. AND HE STEPPED ON MY FACE.

And now for something yummy:

Caesar Salad with Eggless Dressing | | #recipe #dinner
Caesar Salad with Eggless Dressing
Caesar Salad Dinner | | #recipe #dinner
Caesar Salad with Steak

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

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Caesar Salad with Eggless Dressing
Printable Recipe
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1  stone ground mustard
3/4 tsp anchovy paste
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 TBSP olive oil
OPT: Sprinkle of salt

1 head romaine lettuce, cleaned and dried
1 1/2 cups croutons
4 oz block of parmesan cheese
ground black pepper

OPT: To make this a meal, top with cooked meat, chicken or fish
*In a small bowl, mix the balsamic, garlic, mustard, anchovy paste, lemon juice, black pepper, sugar and red pepper flakes. Slowly but vigorously whisk in the olive oil. Taste to see if it needs a sprinkle of salt.
*Using a vegetable peeler, peel about 1 cup of parmesan cheese shavings.
*Tear the romaine into pieces and place into a large bowl. Toss with the dressing,  adding a little at a time, just until salad is dressed but not soaked. Store any unused dressing in the fridge.
*Add the croutons and parmesan shavings and toss again. Sprinkle with black pepper to taste.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

By Any Other Name

Let me just start by saying that I did not see the recent prime time television interview of the 53 year old former teacher and her 31 year old former student. I have better things to do with my prime time viewing hours.

There are people who would legitimately say that I have no right commenting without being open to the perspective of those involved in the controversy. Luckily  for me they are neither the boss of me nor the editor of this blog.

I’ve seen the story off and on over the past 17 years, of course. A 34 year old married mother of four employed as a teacher is caught having an affair with her 12 year old student. I cringe even typing that. Twelve.

By the time the boy was 14 she had produced a child with him. She was charged with child rape, went to trial and in lieu of serving her entire sentence was allowed to serve just a short portion as long as she stayed away from the student for life.

Wow, what a gift.

By Any Other Name | | #MyGraphics

Two weeks after getting out of jail she was once again pregnant by the same young man and went back to prison for the rest of her term, 7 years. After her release and once the boy was of age they were married. They have now been married for 10 years and those two children are teenagers.

I did see a clip from the recent interview in which the teacher states that the media somehow misrepresented them and that what we’ve all seen of their relationship is not their story.

THEIR story? There is no THEIR story. That young boy, now a grown man, didn’t get a story. We’ll never know what his life could have been, would have been, had he not fallen prey to a pedophile at the age of twelve. He has no story, just an assigned roll in the story of a naive, narcissistic, delusional person trying to justify her behavior.

I have read that she wants to return to teaching and wants her name removed from the sex offender registry.


And I want to live in a world without pedophiles.

The premise of her argument, from all I have read, is that the marriage proves that this was not wrong after all. This was true love. The ten year marriage is proof.

In order for me to believe that this was true love not a predator and her victim, there are some very simple, dare I say logical, ways I think this should have played out.

It is possible, and not unheard of, no matter what the age and/or age difference, to build a relationship, a connection, a love, without taking it to a physical level. There are many couples who choose this option, strengthen their bond and save the physical intimacy for marriage. Sex can be a part of love but love does not have to include sex. She could have acted out of maturity and respect for all involved if she had chosen to show some restraint. If she had been able to exercise some basic impulse control. If this truly was love, sex could at the very least wait until he was of age, no longer a child.

In the meantime she could have spent time getting a divorce from the husband she did not love, setting him free, and building a relationship with those four children instead of embarrassing the crap out of them and ripping their world apart. Children can survive the divorce of parents far easier than coping with a parent being incarcerated for rape.

But then I don’t think she really gave any thought to those children. She had another child on her mind.

Nothing, no number of years of marriage, can serve as an excuse for, a vindication of, having raped a child.

You may fool you but you are not fooling me.

By Any Other Name | | #MyGraphics

OK, lets lighten the mood with something sweet and yummy and not at all controversial. Pie, of course.

No Bake Yogurt Pie | | #recipe #pie
No Bake Yogurt Pie

No Bake Yogurt Pie | | #recipe #pie

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

No Bake Yogurt Pie
Printable Recipe
2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 TBSP sugar
1 stick butter, melted
1 1/2 cup heavy cream, divided
6 TBSP powdered sugar, divided
5 – 6 oz lemon greek yogurt
¼ tsp lemon zest
OPT: yellow food coloring
5 – 6 oz vanilla greek yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 – 6 oz raspberry greek yogurt
6 oz clean fresh raspberries
OPT: red food coloring
*Mix together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Remove ¼ cup of this mixture and set aside. To the rest, add the melted butter and mix well. Pat into the bottom and up the sides of a 10 inch pie plate. Refrigerate.
*Beat ½ cup of heavy cream until soft peaks form. Beat in 2 TBSP powdered sugar, lemon zest and yellow food coloring until stiff peaks hold. Fold in the lemon yogurt.
*Spread the mixture into the pie shell and put in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
*Just before an hour is up, beat another ½ cup heavy cream until soft peaks form. Beat in 2 TBSP powdered sugar and the vanilla extract until stiff peaks hold. Fold in the vanilla yogurt and reserved graham cracker crumb mixture.
*Spread the mixture onto the lemon layer and put in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
*Chop 1/3 of the raspberries. Leave the rest whole for garnishing the pie.
*Just before an hour is up, beat another ½ cup heavy cream until soft peaks form. Beat in 2 TBSP powdered sugar and the red food coloring until stiff peaks hold. Fold in the raspberry yogurt and chopped fresh raspberries.
*Spread onto the vanilla layer, decorate with reserved raspberries and refrigerate.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fly on the Wall: Technologically Challenged

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.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

Hubs has finally decided to join the 21st century. Yes, he’s officially retired his razor phone that holds a charge for a whole 15 minutes.
The day he got his new phone activated, I showed him one or two things about how to use it. I'm not terribly successful with mine but at least I was able to get Hubs started.
He found his apps store and retired to the man cave. A while later he comes upstairs.
Hubs: Look what I got!
Me: What?
Suddenly I’m completely blinded.
Hubs: It’s a flashlight app.
Me, squinting: I can see that. In fact, that light you’re shining in my eyes is all I can see.
Hubs: It really works well, just like a flashlight you’d buy at the store.
Me, eyes tearing: Remember we taught the kids not to point flashlights in people’s eyes? That goes for flashlight apps too.
He removes the light from my eyeballs and starts to walk away.
Hubs, like a kid with a new toy: And it’s FREE!
I’m just hoping that tomorrow he doesn’t find an air-horn app.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

The next day Hubs told me that he was able to turn off cell phone notifications for his email without turning off other notifications, something I haven’t been able to do.
Me: How did you do it? I’ve wanted to do that for a year now.
Hubs: It was easy, the thing kept dinging and it started annoying a friend I work with.
Me: Aaaaand?
Hubs: So I told him it was my damn email but I don’t know how to shut off notifications just for the email.
Me: Aaaaand?
Hubs: He grabbed my phone, pressed a few buttons and now I don’t get email notifications any more.
Me: Thank you so much for all of your help.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

The following day I was at home and Hubs was at work. We were having our new dishwasher installed and when the installer went to open the box, the dishwasher was damaged. I called Hubs on his cell phone but there was no answer. Two seconds later my cell rang and it was Hubs.
Me: I just called you two seconds ago and you didn’t answer.
Hubs: Ummmm
Me: Ummmm?
Hubs: Well . .  .
Me: Well . . . ?
Hubs: The thing is . . .
Me: What? Just tell me already.
Hubs: I don’t seem to be able to answer my new phone.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

The next day Hubs was at work and I was doing laundry. I went down to the man cave to grab the towels out of the bathroom down there and I looked over at the table and there was Hubs' new phone, still plugged in from the night before. He'd gone to work and forgotten it.
Which, I guess, isn't all that bad since he can't answer it yet anyway.

On a similar note, Hubs found out that our phone company offers lessons on how to use smart phones. Now I can't stop giggling. I keep picturing him sitting at a little school desk with a bunch of 2nd graders learning how to use a phone. Better remind him, no cheating on the final.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

PurDude is someone who is not technically challenged. I do, however, sometimes question his common sense. He was home last month for Spring Break and with all that’s going on with him, it was great to have him home.
I was a little concerned about him because he had Mono for well over a year in High School and he’s often tired still. His first day home he complained about being tired and fell asleep on the couch in the afternoon. The second day, same thing.
That night he went out with his friends and came home at around midnight. At 3:00 am I went into his room to find him still fully dressed and on his laptop.
Me: Ummm, I think I may have solved the mystery of why you’re always tired during the day . . .

Frosted Mocha Cookie Bars | | #recipe #bake

Frosted Mocha Cookie Bars

Frosted Mocha Cookie Bars | | #recipe #bake

Last month I wrote about a number of funny typos I’d made. Here’s one I made this month:
PurDude had a long day when he returned to school. His first flight left at 7am so we had to get up really early to drive to the airport. He had two flights, then an hour and a half drive back to school. I was worried about the drive when I knew he’d be pretty tired by then. I had him text me when he got to his destination airport, then when he finally got back to his frat.
PurDude (text): Home
Me (text): I feel butter.
PurDude (text): You need help. See if there’s a support group for that.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

It was Passover this month and I just hate this holiday. There are so many dietary restrictions that instead of my family helping themselves to cereal for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch, I'm force to make them something allowable for breakfast and for lunch  and for dessert and all snacks on top of dinner and what I'd normally make.
We were discussing the start of the holiday, which would be a seder on Friday night. The first day of Passover is Saturday, but holidays always start at sundown the night before.
Me (sort of kidding): You know, with daylight savings time, we could actually eat a normal dinner early and be done before sundown. We'd still have to do the seder after sundown, after we've had dinner. But that would be so wrong.
Hubs (jumping on that): If you want, I'll come home for dinner early. Any time you want me here I'll be here.
Me (laughing): Aren't you accommodating . . . you know it's wrong, though.
Hubs (who's not Jewish): Well, I don't want to do it if we'll end up going to hell.
Me: We don't believe in hell.
Hubs, smiling: No hell?
Me: Sheesh, nothing like taking hell off the table, huh?
So . . . just on the slight chance that my mom or son are reading this . . . I'm not saying that we DID cheat or anything . . .

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

One of my wall ovens wasn't working and not worth fixing. We finally got new ones installed. The top oven has a convection option which I've heard people rave about but I've never used. I'm uncomfortable because you have to adjust cooking times on all your recipes and until I have it worked out, I'm worried that whatever I'm cooking in the oven will either be ready way before or way after the veggies and sides I'm making in the microwave or on the stove.
First night:
Hubs: Dinner's good, did you use convection?
Me: No, I was afraid I'd screw up the timing.
Second night:
Hubs: Dinner's good, did you use convection?
Me: No, I was afraid I'd screw up the timing.
Third night:
Hubs: Dinner's good, did you use convection?
Me: No, I was afraid I'd screw up the timing.
Hubs: So let me get this straight. We got these great new ovens with this feature everyone loves and you're afraid of it.
Me: Yup, pretty much.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

College Boy likes to toast bread in the oven, not in the toaster oven. Don't ask me why, maybe to boost my electric bill.
With the old ovens, the temperature can be set in increments of 5 degrees. This oven can be set to any number.
The first day that we have the ovens, College Boy takes out a roll and sets the oven to 372 degrees. OK.
The second day he sets the oven to 403 degrees. OK.
The third day he sets the oven to 358 degrees.
Me: Are you on some kind of a mission to figure out the exact temperature for optimal roll toasting or something?
College Boy: No.
Me: Then why are you setting the oven to all of these obscure temperatures?
College Boy: Because I can.
Me: Ah, should have known.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

College Boy: I've been thinking about how uncomfortable you are with the convection oven and I think I know how to help you.
Me: Really? That's great.
College Boy: You know how you always said that the best way to get over a fear of something is to just keep doing it?
Me: Yes.
College Boy: Here's what you do. Get out your cake and cookie recipes and just make them all. One after another. Just start baking and don't stop until you're comfortable.
Me: That sounds like a lot of work. And a lot of food.
College Boy: Oh, and btw, did I tell you my friends and I are hanging out here in the basement tonight?

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

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphic 

PS: I have been selected as one of the 100 nominees in Dedicated2Life's Passionate People of 2015 awards. If you'd like to vote for me, you can do that HERE.

Frosted Mocha Cookie Bars
Printable Recipe
1 stick butter, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 TBSP unsweetened baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 cups powdered sugar
4 TBSP butter, softened
2 – 4 TBSP brewed coffee
2 TBSP softened butter
1/3 cup chocolate chips
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9X13 baking dish.
*Cream the butter, margarine and sugars until smooth. Beat in the vanilla, chocolate syrup and eggs. Mix in the rest of the ingredients.
*Spread into prepared backing dish, making the corners and edges a little thicker than the center.
*Bake approximately 30 minutes or until the center is completely set and browned like the rest of the cookie. Allow to cool completely.
*Carefully at first, beat the powdered sugar with 4 TBSP butter. One TBSP at a time, add the brewed coffee just until the frosting is of spreading consistency. Spread over the cooled cookie bar and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
*In a microwave safe bowl, melt the softened butter and the chocolate chips approximately 30 seconds. Stir until completely smooth. Spread over the frosting. Return cookie bars to the fridge until the top is set, then cut into bars.