Friday, May 30, 2014

Funny Friday

Today’s post is May’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is  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.

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by me:

Riding the Train - Baking In A Tornado

“Engineer” to the guy laying on the tracks:

1. “You may be bigger but guess who’s smarter.”
2. “This’ll teach you to steal my cheerios.”
3. “Has this thing got turbo?”
4. “You should have known this day was coming when Mom bought me the train and you the tracks.”
5. “Let’s play Survivor Living Room.”

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



And now for something yummy:


Greek Pasta Salad - Baking In A Tornado
Greek Pasta Salad


Enjoy your weekend!
Baking In A Tornado
PS: My Greek Pasta Salad was featured on MSN Food and Drink: 11 Tasty BBQ Side Dishes on 5-22-15.


Greek Pasta Salad
                                                                          ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients, pasta salad:
1 # tricolor rotini, cooked al dente and cooled in refrigerator
5 ounces grape tomatoes
½ cucumber, peeled, quartered and sliced
2 green onions, chopped
6 oz olives (black or kalamata), drained
4 oz crumbled feta
 
Ingredients, dressing:
¾ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 ½ tsp oregano
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
 
Directions:
*Once the pasta is completely cooled, mix it in a large bowl with the other salad ingredients.
*Wisk the dressing ingredients for at least a minute, pour over salad ingredients and mix.
*Keep refrigerated overnight, stirring every now and then.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Art Gallery

We have an art gallery in our home. And every single piece is priceless.

It’s in a wing of our house (OK, a stairway to the basement) and covers both sides of the wall. There are sculptures and wooden pieces too, lined up along the window sill.

Art Gallery Stairway - Baking In A Tornado


At the time that I made the gallery the boys were so proud. Their art through the years were valued, displayed.


Art Gallery wall and ledge - Baking In A Tornado

As the boys became teenagers, the gallery took on a whole new purpose. More and more my basement became a hang-out for the kids and their friends and suddenly their juvenile art work was more of an embarrassment. Often they would ask me to take it down but I held steadfast.


Art Gallery wall - Baking In A Tornado

The older the boys got, the more I loved that gallery. The days of art projects were over, increasing the value of the treasures from their younger days. But besides that I have to admit that every time those teenagers rolled their eyes at something I said, ignored a request,  “forgot” a chore, I’d think of their friends jabbing them about those juvenile art projects and suddenly, miraculously, a smirk would appear on this mom’s face.

I’m evil, I know.

Good thing I can bake.


 Love of Mint Cake - Baking In A Tornado
Love of Mint Cake

Baking In A Tornado

Love of Mint Cake
                                                                               ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients, cake:
1 ½ stick butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cups milk
1 teaspoon mint extract
Green food coloring
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 ounces of Andes Mint chips, melted
 
Ingredients, frosting:
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup Andes Mint chips, melted
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
Approximately ¼  cup milk
 
Directions:
*Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, milk, extract and food coloring.
*Mix in the flour, salt and baking powder just until incorporated, then beat for 2 minutes.
*Pour evenly into prepared pan.
*Drizzle the melted mint chips over the top and gently swirl into the top of the batter with a knife.
*Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until the edges start to brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
*Cool completely.
*Beat the butter and second cup of melted mint chips. Mix in the powdered sugar, then beat in the milk, a little at a time until the frosting is of spreading consistency. Spread over the cooled cake.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Fly on the Wall, May 2014

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 12 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.

Fly on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado


As we were going through discussions as to where High School Senior should go to  college, I had to admit that my first choice was 1000 miles away.
Me (to Hubs): You know if he goes that far away I will cry and cry and cry.
Hubs: You know what a lot of Moms do when their kids go far away?
Me: I’m going to move there with him and get an apartment.
Hubs: Ummm, no, that’s really not what I was getting at.

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

I hate to iron and I’m really, really bad at it. Many of my husband’s work shirts are passable without my ironing them if I look at them very quickly and without my contacts in.

He has a few shirts that are just beyond wrinkled and even my crappy ironing job would be an improvement.

I keep putting off ironing them because once I do he’s going to wear them and I’ll just go right back to ignoring them needing to iron them again.

I’ve been thinking of throwing them out. I mean, it’s just too much pressure, the whole wear, wash, ignore, iron, wear, wash, ignore, iron thing. I think the best thing would be to just throw them out and put me out of my misery. That’s a good plan, right?

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

The irony is not lost on me that when our refrigerator was leaking we went out to the store and bought a brand new stainless steel refrigerator . . . that leaks.

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

I have to give you the back story to this one. My son likes to come home from school and take a snack up to his room. Often he likes to take pistachios, cashews and almonds along with some cranraisins and dried blueberries. Sometimes I buy the nuts all in one can but sometimes I buy them individually.
Me: I bought cashews, almonds and pistachios separately, do you want me to mix them together and put them in a big jar?
High School Senior: Yes, please.
So I go into the kitchen and pour the nuts out all over the counter. I get them all mixed up and put into a jar. On the counter are the really tiny bits from the bottom of the cans. I sweep them into my hand from the counter and am about to eat them when my son comes into the kitchen.
Him: Watcha doin’, Mom?
Me (without thinking):  Eating nut dust.
Him, looking at me: {{blink, blink}}
Me, looking at him: {{blink, blink}}
Him, looking at me: {{blink, blink}}
Me, looking at him: {{blink, blink}}
Both of us at the same time: BAAAAAAHAHAHAHA

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

I’m in the living room watching TV when High School Senior comes in and changes the channel. At this point I’m willing to watch what he wants to watch just to get him to sit and talk to me.
He lays down on the couch and covers his head with a pillow.
Me: What are you doing?
High School Senior: Taking a nap.
Me: You changed the channel and you’re not even going to watch the TV?
High School Senior: That’s the plan.
Smart a$$.


 Chocolate Raspberry Cake Squares - Baking In A Tornado
Chocolate Raspberry Cake Squares


High School Senior comes home from school.
Me: You have a black eye.
High School Senior: No I don’t.
Me: Yes, you do, your left eye.
High School Senior: No I don’t.
Me: Did you hit it at the gym last night?
High School Senior: No.
Me: Did you bump into something at school?
High School Senior: No.
Me: Does it hurt?
High School Senior: No.
Me: Well something happened you have a black eye.
High School Senior: No I don’t.
Me: Go look in the mirror.
High School Senior takes out his cell (of course), does something (I don’t know what) and says: Hey, I’ve got a black eye.

 Black Eye - Baking In A Tornado


Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

You know when kids are little and one does something wrong and the other threatens “I’m telling”. Well, we’ve got that going on in my house.

The boys don’t love that I write about them all the time. Honestly, I mostly leave their pictures and their names out of this blog but there’s no question that I talk about them more often than not. In fairness to them there is much more that I don’t and wouldn’t say here, and anything that I’m on the fence about I ask them and offer to allow them to read the piece to see if they approve.

But the little stuff, now that I see as fair game. So whenever they do something that only makes sense to a teenager but would aggravate any adult, I say “I’m telling” and they know they’re in trouble now. The next sound they’re gonna hear is the tap, tap, tap of laptop keys and another Fly on the Wall snippet is born.

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

High School Senior: You need to sign this permission sheet for me to go on a field trip tomorrow.
Me: What class?
High School Senior: AP Calculus.
Me: You’re not in AP Calculus.
High School Senior: I know, but I did take it.
Me: So you’re going on a field trip for a class you’re not in?
High School Senior: Yes.
Me: Do they know you’re going?
High School Senior: Just sign your name, Mom.
So apparently he decided to go on a field trip with a class he isn’t taking. I'm sure this makes sense to someone. Me, not so much. But I figured what the hell, if it’s a problem the school will call me. I’ll deal with it then.

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

College Boy is home for the summer and I keep encouraging (that’s a kind way of putting it) him to get a job. His education, room, board, books and the majority of his essentials are paid for but he’s responsible for most of his own spending money. He had 2 to 3 years worth saved up but he spent it all in his first year of college.
Me: You need to find a job, any job, you’ll need spending money next year.
College Boy: I’m not taking just any job, it has to be something I want to do.
Me: What do you want to do?
College Boy: Nothing.
Me: Looks like you found it.

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

High School Senior’s graduation is in two days.
Nothing funny about it.
I’ll have to think of something else to call him on this blog.
And I’ll have to figure out a way to stop crying.

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




Baking In A Tornado


Chocolate Raspberry Cake Squares
                                                                                    ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients, cake:
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 ½ cup flour
1 ¾ tsp baking powder
½ cup milk
Ingredients, fillings:
1 (3 oz) package raspberry jello mix
1 cup boiling water
½ cup cold water
1 (3 – 4 oz) package chocolate pudding mix
1½ cups milk
NOTE: Although you’ll be making a package of pudding, only half will be used in this recipe.
Ingredients, frosting:
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp raspberry extract
3 TBSP powdered sugar
OPT: Red food coloring
 
Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 X 13 pan.
*Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
*Mix in the flour and baking powder, then the beat in the milk.
*Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
*Bake 25 -30 minutes, until the top spring back to the touch.
*Remove from oven. Cool 20 minutes on the counter.
*Using bottom of a wooden spoon, make approximately 20 holes in the cake. Make the holes of different depths but not all the way to the bottom of the pan.
*Stir jello and 1 cup boiling water until the jello dissolves. Stir in the cold water. Slowly pour the jello over the cake allowing the holes in the cake to fill with the jello.
*Refrigerate a half an hour.
*Whisk the chocolate pudding mix with the milk until it starts to thicken.
*Make about 15 more holes in the cake in different spots. Slowly pour half of the pudding over the cake and distribute evenly with a spatula. Return to refrigerator while you make the frosting.
*Beat cream until soft peaks form. Beat in the raspberry extract and powdered sugar and continue beating until firm peaks hold.
*Frost cake. Cover and store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Not Your Average Baseball Mom

I want to start this story by telling you that none of the participants were driving on the day of this incident. We all have husbands, they were equipped with car keys and on that fateful July day they ended up using them.

This story took place the year that I signed my husband up to coach my son’s (6 year olds) baseball team. It wasn’t the best decision I ever made, but I was young(er) and naive.

In my defense, I really thought it would be fun for my husband to coach my son’s team. Turns out it was as much fun as having the flu. On an airplane. With the seatbelt sign illuminated. My husband was lugging around equipment, coaxing kids to wear their gloves on their hands instead of their heads and recommending that one or two actually swing the bat at the baseball instead of flies.

Not Your Average Baseball Mom - Baking In A Tornado


And being the wife of the coach was equally torturous. I experienced the joy of trying to get a group of parents to agree on a practice time and location. I was fielding phone calls, printing schedules, planning for snacks, giving out shirts, arranging for pictures, providing rides, buying trophies, planning the season-end party. . .

It was during this general time period that I had started a moms dinner group at my house. I sent my husband and kids out, usually with the husband and kids of one of the moms heading my way, and my friends and I had dinner at my house. Eventually we started taking turns hosting and when the group got large enough we moved to restaurants. It was a fun night and we all looked forward to it.

One Saturday night I had 15 friends over for one of these dinners. And, of course, there were cocktails as well. This night I had made a pitcher of my famous Raspberry Orange Margaritas. When the cocktails ran out before the evening was over, I happily made a second batch.

Since many of my friends had put their sons onto my husband’s baseball team, there was a large overlap of people in the dinner group who were also at the games. So the night couldn’t go too late since about half of us knew that we had to be on the baseball field the next day.

Raspberry Orange Margaritas should never go to waste. Let me just tell you that as an absolute fact, it’s not up for discussion.

So the next morning when I saw the pitcher in the fridge still 3/4 full, I knew exactly what my hostess duties were. I had a large insulated pitcher in my pantry just calling my name. Add some plastic cups and I had some game equipment of my own.

 Raspberry Orange Margaritas - BakingInATornado.com
Raspberry Orange Margaritas

I got to the game and gave each of my friends from the previous evening my version of a Mommy sippy cup, and we sat in the sun talking about the dinner the night before, what might be on the menu for the next Mom dinner and drinking our way through the pitcher.

It was going pretty well until we looked over to see a policeman standing by Julie’s car. In retrospect, that day may not have been the best day to park in an iffy spot. Her husband was out on the field helping with the kids and it looked like she was going to get a ticket.

I really have to pat myself on the back for my quick reflexes. As Julie jumped up from the bleachers and started to run towards the street to talk herself out of a ticket, I had the presence of mind (or the reflexes . . . whatever) to jump up as well and grab the drink out of her hand. Got your back, Julie.

Cause I’m fairly certain that it’s not a good idea to talk to a policeman on a Sunday afternoon on a public street where your parked car is in a questionable spot with a drink in your hand. Especially in front of your 6 year old.

Not Your Average Baseball Mom - Baking In A Tornado

I admit that I held MY breath as I hoped that cop couldn’t smell what was on . . . well . . . HER breath. I may have secretly been praying that he had left his handcuffs at home. I don’t know what Julie said, or even if her confidence was boosted by her liquid lunch, but the officer got in his car and drove away. He may have been shaking his head, but I can’t swear to it.

If there were any heart stopping plays on the baseball field that day, I missed them But when all was said and done, I have to admit that was the best kids’ baseball game I  .  . . ummmm . . . never saw.

Baking In A Tornado


Raspberry Orange Margaritas
                                                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients (makes a pitcher):
8 ounces tequila
3 ounces Patron Citronge
6 ounces Chambord
2 ounces sweetened lime juice
1 bottle (1 liter) Margarita Mix
OPT: lime juice and kosher salt for glass
 
Directions:
*Mix all ingredients together in a large pitcher. Refrigerate until cold.
*OPT: place kosher salt on a plate, dip the rim of the Margarita glass in lime juice, then salt.
*Mix the cocktail again before serving.

Friday, May 16, 2014

May Use Your Words

Today’s post is a monthly writing challenge. If you’re new here, this is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what directions the writer will take them. Until now.

Use Your Words - Baking In A Tornado

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.
I’m using: envy ~ hilarious ~ multitude ~ monstrosity ~ snack ~ romaine
They were submitted by: FBX Adventures (In Parenting)

I’ve been baking for a long time and when my kids were in elementary and middle school I know that many other kids would envy mine. Part of how I knew was by how many of them would show up at our house after school, coincidentally right at snack time.

I always tried to make different recipes. This kept it interesting for me. Both my boys and their friends got used to the multitude of unique treats that would be waiting after a hard day at school.

Shhh, don’t tell (sad but true, my boys don’t read my blog, could it be becasue I’m always talking about them?) but sometimes I’d try to disguise a little something extra in those baked treats. NO, not that, that’s illegal in this state and I wouldn’t do that to kids anyway. I’m talking about da . . . da . . . dum . . . (insert dramatic music here) the dreaded vegetable. Yes, I went there. I was desperate and desperate times call for desperate measures. These were the days of my boys insisting that fruit snacks are fruit and carrot cake is a vegetable.


 Peanut Butter and Jelly Dessert Pizza - Baking In A Tornado
Peanut Butter and Jelly Dessert Pizza


Those experiments ended in one of three different scenarios:

*Sometimes I’d get away with it. I’d privately pat myself on the back and try to keep from smirking at the hilarious (well, to me) sight of my vegetable-averse boys gobbling up a treat that had something healthy (gasp) baked into it.

*Unfortunately it’s also true that sometimes the boys would throw the snack in the trash. I think they just assumed it was something they didn’t like, not that I had tried to sneak in some random ingredient that had turned a coveted snack into a monstrosity. This did not go over well and in those times they would be very unhappy with me. They’d look at me with an expression that said “You screwed up chocolate? Who does that?”

*Other times I’d just plain get caught. Nabbed. Nothing to do but ‘fess up and move on:
Son (making a sandwich for lunch): “Mom, where’s the lettuce? I thought you bought some romaine.”
Me: “See that cupcake? Just put it in your sandwich and we’ll call it good.”

Links to other Use Your Words posts:



Baking In A Tornado

Peanut Butter and Jelly Dessert Pizza
                                                                        ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients, Cookie:
1 stick butter, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp strawberry extract
2 cups flour
2/3 cup Strawberry Nesquick (lower sugar version)
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
 
Ingredients, topping:
1 cup peanut butter
¾ cups Marshmallow Fluff
8 to 10 strawberries, sliced
½ cup seedless strawberry jelly
 
Directions:
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a solid pizza pan (not one with holes in the bottom).
*Cream butter, margarine and sugars.  Beat in eggs and strawberry extract.
*Mix in flour, baking soda, Nesquick and salt.
*Put onto the pizza pan and, with slightly wet hands, spread evenly into the pan. Spread only into the bottom of the pan and not up the edges as it will puff in the oven.
*Bake for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes.
*While cookie is cooling, mix peanut butter and fluff together and microwave for approx. 30 to 45 seconds until you can mix it and it’s fairly smooth.
*Put this mixture onto the cookie and gently spread evenly almost all the way out to the edges.
*Arrange strawberries on top of the peanut butter mixture.
*Melt the strawberry jelly in the microwave for 45 to 60 seconds or until you can mix it and it’s smooth. Drizzle over the top of your cookie pizza.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Do As I Say

“Do as I say, not as I do”.  Yeah, that’s one I tried on my kids many times. Doesn’t work.

But this post is a cautionary tale, and it’s not to kids but to parents. Do as I say, not as I do.

Any of you who follow my Facebook Page know some of this story. Before I tell it I have to admit that it’s my fault. I blew it. Initially. But this whole debacle going from bad to worse? Well, that’s not totally on me.

I posted, a little over a week ago, about the college decision my son made. Here’s the story of how that decision came right down to the wire, how he almost wasn’t here to make it and how this whole situation started as a Mom Fail.

Do as I Say - Baking In A Tornado

Of course I’m going to start by defending myself. I did not understand the situation at all. High School Senior is pretty sure he wants to go into Computer Science and Technology. He applied to a few universities in our state, a few “reach” schools and one he thought he could get into that’s ranked #5 in his field in the country. When the application deadline came, there was one he’d decided not to send. He felt that he’d have enough choices. Since the application was completed, I told him to just send it, he had nothing to lose. He did and this was my one parental success in this story.

Many times I asked him to rank his choices based on getting into all and again based on getting in just where he really thought he would. I thought I had a clear handle on where he stood. We talked about campus visits but because he didn’t get all his acceptances until he no longer had any school vacation left and he got into his first choice, I didn’t see the point in missing at least 4 days of school, spending thousands and traveling for hours in 2 different directions.

Three weeks before decision time he had read comments on-line that made him want more info on his first choice. There was a meeting being held about 4 hours from here for alumni and prospective students. He went.

Almost 2 weeks to decision time and somehow I get out of him that he can’t decide between what I thought he’d said many times was his first choice and the school he sent the application to after I told him he had nothing to lose.

Huh?

He needed to visit the schools. Is that even possible at this point?

I spent two entire days on-line and on the phone and finally worked it out. He and his dad would drive 11 hours on Sunday to one of the schools. I set up a tour on Monday of the school in general and of the Engineering school. They’d drive home on Tuesday. Sounds like fun. NOT.

I booked a flight and hotel the following Sunday with tours of the other school on Monday and flight home on Tuesday. Wednesday was the acceptance deadline. We’d have to discuss Tuesday afternoon into evening until the decision was made. We were completely out of time.

Once you bring air travel into the mix you KNOW you better double up on your blood pressure medication.

The only flight out on Sunday was at 6:00 am. We’d have to leave for the airport at 4:30 am and I couldn’t book seats. The airline was saying that all the free seats were taken or being “held back” until flight day. After spending close to $1000 for airfare for two, we could pay hundreds more for seats or we needed to be at the airport at 4:00 am, wait in line for them to open and try to get some of the free seats that are available but being held back until then. Absurd.

Social media. I admit it, I started a twitter shame-campaign. Tweeted about the airline refusing us the free seats and telling us to pay up or wait in line at 4 am. They’re willing to do the deed but they don’t want you talking about it publicly. By the end of the day a hundred dollars’ worth of seats were assigned and payment was waved. I was able to print the boarding passes.

Sunday went as well as it could considering no sleep was had. College Boy had been to a concert out of state and woke me up coming in at 3:20 am. I drove Hubs and High School Senior to the airport at 4:30 am. While they were flying I had to take an unexpected 2 hour round trip drive to drop College Boy off at school when his ride fell through. Exhausted doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Monday went well. The bad weather hitting the area mostly held off until they got their tours in. High School Senior was impressed and ended up back “on the fence” between the two schools.

Tuesday started off well. They got to the airport and took their first flight. Layover was an hour. And then? Well you know exactly what it was that hit the fan then. And pretty, it was not.

I was held up at home aka command central. I watched their flight progress online and was concerned when their next flight was postponed by 15 minutes. And then 15 minutes more and then 15 more and then 15 more. . . I spoke with them on the phone and told them to get wait-listed on the next flight out. They did. But then this situation reached “debacle” level. Their flight kept being postponed in 15 minute increments but meanwhile all the flights before theirs AND the one they were wait-listed on were canceled. There was one last flight out at 7:00 pm but once again the airline chose to be an obstacle. They would not give Hubs and College Boy a seat on the last flight until their current flight was canceled. So everyone whose flights were previously canceled filled up both the flight and the wait list while this one flight continued to be pushed off in 15 minute increments for 5 hours. FIVE HOURS! By the time it was canceled there were no more viable options.

Hubs both called the re-booking phone line and stood in the physical line. What the airline did next raised the entire situation to defcon 1. Sirens were sounding in my ears. Code red. They stated that there was no other flight available for 2 days. The airline suggested that they fly hours out of their way to North Carolina, then out of there on Wednesday night. N to the O. How could they even suggest that? There had just been devastating tornadoes in North Carolina that day and more expected. They’re recommending my family fly into danger? So they booked Hubs and High School Senior out on Thursday and told them to stay in town for 2 days, insisting that nothing else was available.

Not only were they not sitting around there for 2 days, but we had to make a college decision. We were just plain out of time.

Do you believe in luck? Fate? Kismit? Destiny?

The woman standing next to Hubs, who was trying to get here too, asked about another city an hour’s flight past where we live. Hubs heard her. There was a flight there that night and another airline had seats on a flight the next morning that would have them home at noon. This airline never mentioned it as an option because they don’t have a reciprocal agreement with the other airline, meaning they’d have to buy the seats. Haggling, arguments, discussions and a supervisor later and Hubs and High School Senior were on their way to yet another time zone, met by a shuttle, put up for the night and booked home the next morning.

I picked up the worse-for-wear weary travelers at noon on Tuesday. I gave them an hour to relax and then we all converged on the kitchen for serious discussions, celebration, and, of course cake and cocktails.

And that, my friends, is how you do NOT do college visits.


Strawberries and Cream Cocktail - Baking In A Tornado
Strawberries and Cream Cocktail

Oh, and BTW, this is how you know your poor kid has just been in too many time zones in too short a time. That night at almost 1:00 am, I heard the shower start. I went into the bathroom to find my son taking his shirt off.
Me: What are you doing, honey?
High School Senior: Good question. I just woke up, what time is it?
Me: It’s 1:00 in the morning. Why don’t you shut the shower off and go back to bed?
High School Senior: OK, good night, Mom.
Me: Love you, my new favorite Boilermaker.


Baking In A Tornado

Strawberries and Cream Cocktail
                                                                     ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients:
1 # fresh strawberries; cleaned and hulled
¼ cup sugar
1 cup mixed berry juice
1 cup whipped cream flavored vodka
1 cup ice cubes
1 cup vanilla ice cream
Strawberries for garnish
 
Directions:
*Put the strawberries, sugar, juice, vodka and ice cubes into a blender. Blend until smooth.
*Freeze for a couple of hours until it starts to get slushy.
*Scoop or pour into serving glasses. Scoop a dollop of vanilla ice cream onto the top. Garnish with a fresh strawberry.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Secret Subject Swap, May 2014

Welcome to another Secret Subject Swap. This week 15 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.

Secret Subject Swap - Baking In A Tornado

My subject is: You wake up one morning with super powers. What are they and why do you want them? Will you keep it a secret or share? It was submitted by  Spatulas on Parade. Here goes:

What? Just one? I can’t have all of them? ‘Cause I’ve got teenagers and the resulting blood pressure through the roof. I may need more than one.

But if I only get one, I better choose wisely so I better consider all the choices:

That’s not a superpower:
While checking out every possible superpower option (thanks, google) I found a few that don’t seem like superpowers to me. They’re not even worth considering but I just have to mention them because they made me laugh:
~Explosive Farting: No comment.
~Gold Balls: Ditto.
~Organ Rearranging: Yuck.
~Self detonation: I’m thinking you only get to use this once, right.

No, I’ll pass:
~Wall crawling: I can just see it now, me climbing the walls and my kids using me for target practice.
~Xray vision: Really not necessary. I’m a mom, I’ve already got eyes on the back of my head.
~Morphing: My luck I’d turn myself into a slug and not be able to morph back.
~Hyper breath: Because morning breath isn’t bad enough?
~Teleportation: You know I’d accidentally teleport back into childbirth. The first one, where the epidural didn’t work.
~Superhuman strength: Although this might come in handy when trying to open pickle jars, this isn’t really my dream power.
~Water breathing: Well, on the off chance that I might get ambushed by water-gun wielding kids I might need this one but I’ve evaded that scenario so far, I’m gonna just hope my luck keeps up.
~Sonic scream: I have teenagers. I can already scream like a banshee.
~Firebreathing: Nope, I can burn dinner just fine without any superpowers. If I only get to choose one, it won’t be this one.


Grilled Strawberry Glazed Chicken | www.BakingInATornado.com

Grilled Strawberry Glazed Chicken

Maybe:
~Poison immunity: I thought about this one but I don’t think I’m really in jeopardy. To tell you the truth, with a house full of kids I rarely get a chance to even taste my own cooking.
~Spidey sense: Although I think it would be useful to sense impending danger, truth is with kids around there’s a good chance that thing will be pinging non-stop.
~Understand all languages: Imagine being able to say anything to anyone at any time. I could speak to people no matter what language they spoke. And even better, I could say so many things that no one in this house would understand. How much fun would that be? But then once I said “gai kakhen afen yam” to my kids and they went around and repeated it to everyone. Not a good thing to have to explain.
~Paralysis shock: Although I could certainly imagine having all kinds of fun with this one, I also think I could pick a different superpower and just buy a taser.

Good possibility:
~Cloak of invisibility: But then I realized that most teenagers pretty much consider adults invisible anyway.
~Death Ray: if looks could kill, watch out eye-rolling teens, drivers who cut you off, people who don’t clean up after their dogs . . .
~Weather manipulation: I thought about this one long and hard. I mean, clearly someone needs to set Mother Nature straight this year. But ultimately if I can only have one superpower this just won’t cut it.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner:
Mind control: Oh, lordy, yes. That’s the one; mind control. I am gonna control the living hell out of everyone’s mind. You’ll all be doing the chicken dance in the streets.

And will I share the fact that I have this new ability? Bwwwaaaaaahahahha. No way, that would take all the fun out of it.

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


Grilled Strawberry Glazed Chicken
                                                                                     ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients:
3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
garlic powder
1/4 cup seedless strawberry jam
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
 
Directions:
*Cut each chicken breast half into two to three pieces, depending on size.
*Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with garlic powder and place into a gallon bag or bowl for marinating. 
* Mash the strawberry jam. Whisk in the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and orange juice. Pour over the chicken, cover the bowl or seal the bag and put into the refrigerator overnight. Turn or mix now and then.
*Safely grease the grill and heat to medium. Cook chicken, approximately 10 minutes per side, just until it is cooked through.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Chocolate Raspberry Rugelach

Today’s post is May’s submission to our monthly theme posts.

Mother's Day recipes | www.BakingInATornado.com



This is how it words; we are a group of bloggers participating in a monthly project. Every month one of us picks a theme and each of us post a recipe based on that month’s theme. All the recipes will be featured on my Facebook page so be sure to check there daily.

December was The 12 Cakes of December
January was Dippin' Through January
February was Love and Food
March was Celebrating Green and Welcoming Spring
April was Chocolate
May, in honor of Mother’s Day, is Mother’s Favorite Dish. Today it’s my turn.

Chocolate Raspberry Rugelach - Baking In A Tornado
Chocolate Raspberry Rugelach

I’m not sure I know what my mom’s favorite dish is. I know she doesn’t like scallops or mint, loves licorice, spicy foods and chocolate paired with raspberry. Her favorite meals to cook for larger groups was always Italian food and a variation of her spaghetti sauce is College Boy’s favorite meal. Whenever there are special occasions, Mom is always asked to bake. Her desserts are impressive and loved by all.

When I was little my mom baked cookies on Fridays. I once asked her why and she told me that when I was older she wanted me to remember coming home from school on Fridays and being greeted at the door by the smells of cookies baking. I’m convinced she planted the seeds of my habit of baking in times of stress way back then. One of the things she made regularly was Rugelach. It can be made as a log and sliced or rolled up like a crescent roll. The variations of ingredients could be endless. Because it was important to her that I have this childhood memory, and I do, I’m breaking the rules just a bit and instead of making Mom’s favorite dish, I’ve made my own variation of Rugelach: Chocolate Raspberry, for Mom.


Chocolate Raspberry Rugelach - Baking In A Tornado
preparing the dough

Chocolate Raspberrry Rugelach - Baking In A Tornado 
ready to go in the oven


As always, if you make one of my recipes, please feel free to take a picture of it and post it on my Facebook wall or my Google + page. And watch for my posts featuring the rest of the Mother’s Favorite Recipes on the dates below:

5/7  Tampa Cake Girl's Peggy's Hummingbird Cake
5/8 Crumbs in my Mustachio's Mom's Favorite Berry Tart
5/9 The Rowdy Baker's Crab Bake Royale



5/13 Hun. . . What's for Dinner?'s Caramelized Onion, Tomato and Goat Cheese Focaccia
5/14 An Affair from the Heart's Banana Cream Jelly Roll
5/15 Cooking from a SAHM's White Wine and Fontina French Onion Soup
5/16 Aunt Bee's Recipes' Southwestern Chicken Linguini Alfredo


Baking In A Tornado

Chocolate Raspberry Rugelach
                                                                              ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients:
1 stick butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup flour
¼ cup powdered sugar, divided
2 TBSP seedless raspberry jam
1/3 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
 
Directions:
*Beat cream cheese and butter. Stir in flour. Form a ball with the dough (I use my hands), cut in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap, flatten and refrigerate for at least an hour.
*Melt 1/3 cup chocolate chips and the raspberry jam in microwave. Stir until smooth.
*Mix the cinnamon and brown sugar together.
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
*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 into 8 to 9 inch circles (doesn’t have to be perfect).
*Remove plastic wrap and paint each dough circle, using a pastry brush, with the chocolate raspberry mixture, leaving a ¼ inch border around the outer edge. Sprinkle with the cinnamon mixture and, using your hands, press into the chocolate mixture.
*Cut both prepared doughs, like a pizza, into 12 slices. I use a pizza cutter for this.
*Loosening each slice gently from the surface with a spatula, starting with the thick end, roll them up like a crescent. Place, point side down, on baking sheet.
* Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes or until they just barely start to brown. Some of the filling will ooze out while baking.
*Cool one minute on the cookie sheet, then gently remove to a cooling rack or clean piece of parchment.
*Once cookies are cool, melt the remaining ¼ cup of chocolate chips and drizzle over the cookies.