Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sue all Gays? Yeah, That's the Ticket

I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank a moron.

Thank you, Sylvia, for putting yourself on the front lines of the fight for the rights of intolerant bigots everywhere.

I know I’ve written a lot about gay rights lately. I bet you’re thinking “we get it, enough already.” You could even be wondering when I’m going to climb off that high horse or soap box or whatever it is that has me standing higher than my normal five feet.

Well, today’s post isn’t about gay rights.

It’s about idiocy.

You see, College Boy and I have very similar beliefs and champion many of the same causes. It’s not just because he’s my son. I can assure you that from the time he could talk, this particular son would fight me to the death over whether the sky is blue or the grass is green. If I say it, he says the opposite.

Add to that the fact that he’s college age. These are the years when it’s a rite of passage to develop your own beliefs, reject many of those of your parents. And he does. But when it comes to politics and rights, suddenly and miraculously we’re mostly on the same page.

So when I was in the kitchen the other day making dinner and College Boy read a story about a woman in Nebraska suing all gays, he grabbed a counter stool and sat down to tell me about it.

White Chocolate Berry Tart | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

White Chocolate Berry Tart | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

White Chocolate Berry Tart

And I have to tell you, there is nothing like the arguments of an imbecile to bring this mom and her son closer, laughing till tears ran down our faces. Giggling together like we hadn’t since he was a little boy.

Sue All Gays | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

A woman named Sylvia has decided that she is the spokesperson for G-d and for Jesus. And in their name she is suing all homosexuals.

I’m not sure where she got the roster. I certainly hope it’s a comprehensive list, I’d hate for her to go through all this effort and then have to do it all over again if she hears of one or two stragglers.

She intends to prove, using the bible, that living as a gay person is a sin. I’m not sure who told her that a court of law is where you determine what is or is not a sin, but I’m thinking she may have gotten some shady legal advice along the way.

And as proof that it is not just a sin but a premeditated sin, she argues that if the homosexuals didn’t know that their lifestyle was a sin, they wouldn’t have been hiding in the closet.

Clearly a sound legal argument.

She further contends that we, as a society, have become compliant to and complicit in lewd behavior. Kinda makes me wonder in whose windows she’s been peeking.

Now I have to admit that this part has me a little scared myself. Will she next go after anyone not adhering strictly to the missionary position? Are we all going to have to publicly declare our preferences? Will we be pointing at our neighbors identifying them as pro-doggy or anti-doggy?

And finally, because everyone knows that the best way to win a legal argument is to issue a dare to the court, in her seven page petition Sylvia challenges the judge saying that to rule against her is tantamount to calling G-d a liar.

Sylvia then contradicts herself by claiming that she’ll be representing herself in the court case. Wait, didn’t she just say she was representing G-d and Jesus?

And if she is, then isn’t she impersonating a lawyer?

I can’t tell you how many times College Boy and I broke out into hysterics while reading this short article. I can’t tell you how much fun I had looking into his eyes, knowing what he was thinking and guffawing all over again.

So let me thank you, Sylvia, from the bottom of my heart, for being such a total and complete ass.
Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

White Chocolate Berry Tart
                                                                            ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (makes 24):
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon

powdered sugar for dusting

1 box (3.3 oz) white chocolate pudding and pie filling
1 1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup raspberry liqueur
OPT: for alcohol free, substitute more milk for raspberry liqueur
1 TBSP seedless raspberry jam

1 cup blueberries
1/2 lb strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced

Directions:
*Beat cream cheese butter and vanilla. Stir in flour and cinnamon. Form into a ball and divide into 4 segments. Wrap separately in plastic wrap, press down to flatten and chill 1 hour.
*Grease 24 muffin tins. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
*Remove one ball of dough from the fridge. Place a piece of parchment paper on your counter and dust with powdered sugar. Place the dough on the sugar, cover with the plastic wrap and roll out to an approximately 9 or 10 inch circle.
*Using a round cookie cutter or the mouth of a 3 1/2 inch (opening) cup, cut circles out of the dough. Gently tap each dough circle, sugar side up, into a muffin tin. Repeat with the other dough ball until you've made 24.
*Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely in the muffin tin.
*While the cups are cooling, place pudding mix, raspberry jam and milk in a bowl. Whisk until well mixed. Add the liqueur and whisk until it starts to thicken.
*Set aside 24 strawberry slices and chop the rest of the strawberries.
*Add 1/2 of the blueberries and the chopped strawberries to the pudding mixture.
*Carefully remove the cookie cups from the muffin tins abd place on serving platter.
*Divide the fruit mixture amongst the cookie cups.
*Garnish with the reserved fruit. Place in refrigerator to set.
*Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Funny Friday: We’re not in Kansas

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 | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by The Momisodes.
 
Funny Friday, The Momisodes | www.BakingInATornado.com
 
 
1. Little Sister: Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more.
 
2. Big Sister: No problem, we can get home, I’ll just call Mom. There’s a cell tower nearby, right?
 
3. Big Sister to Little Sister: What are you looking at?
Little Sister: I’m watching out for Flying Monkeys.
 
4. Big Sister: What you need to be watching for is hot air balloons. That’s how you get home from the moon, right?
 
5. Big Brother to Little Sister: I sure hope you’re wearing your ruby slippers . . .
 
 
And now for something yummy:
 
 
Best Meatball Subs | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner
 BEST Meatball Subs
 
Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:
 
 
Baking In A Tornado | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

BEST Meatball Subs
                                                                          ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients:
8 French rolls or chunks of French bread
8 slices smoky provolone
 
2 # ground beef
2 eggs
½ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
¼ cup grated parmesan
1 ½ tsp minced fresh garlic
2 TBSP minced dried onion
¾ tsp seasoned salt
1 TBSP parsley
 
Homemade marinara Sauce, my recipe here: MY RECIPE HERE
 
Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Gently mix together the beef, eggs, bread crumbs, parmesan, garlic, onion, seasoned salt and parsley. Form into 24 balls and place onto a baking sheet with a lip.
*Bake for 45 minutes.
*While the meatballs are baking, heat the marinara sauce and keep warm.
*Just before the meatballs are ready, slice and toast the rolls. Place a slice of provolone in each roll and wrap in tin foil to keep warm and melt the cheese.
*Remove the meatballs from the oven. With tongs, move the meatballs onto paper towels to dry the bottoms.
*Unwrap and open the rolls. Spread about 2 – 3 TBSP marinara over the bottom of each roll. Top with 2 to 3 meatballs, then another 2 – 3 TBSP marinara. Serve with more marinara for dipping.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

No Sale

After careful consideration, I have an announcement to make:

I will not be buying a $20,000 watch.

Because really, unless that thing can lead me to the fountain of youth, pick the winning lottery numbers, bring home the bacon, fry it up AND wash that pan, I’m out. All you people standing in line, you don’t need to worry about me being ahead of you.

Yeah, yeah, it’s a cool toy. I’ll give it that. And I love being in touch. I’m a social media junkie, my email is always open to I don’t miss a thing, but do I need to WEAR it? I love you and all but I do not need you strapped to my back wrist. I will be going to the bathroom and you will not be going with me. I’m sorry. You’re disappointed, I know.

What would the ramifications of making a purchase like this be anyway? What kinds of things will those around you be able to see right there on your wrist?

*A steady stream of pictures of the snacks they want being sent to you by your kids while you’re walking through the grocery store.

*Pictorial evidence of that newly backed up toilet the kids think you need to see while you’re out to dinner.



Creamsicle Bars | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert #bake

Creamsicle Bars

*Your check with the words “insufficient funds” written across it while you’re checking out at the shoe store.

*Notice of a failing grade from your kid’s teacher while you’re at lunch with your friend whose kid just got into Harvard.

*A picture of grandpa’s goiter from grandma who hasn’t quite gotten the concept of over-sharing. I bet the next door neighbor will love seeing a picture of that flash onto your wrist while sharing a cup of coffee.

And although I can see a few positives:

*If you’re stuck in a waiting room you can always read a book right there on your wrist. One word at a time probably but when your kindle’s at home, it’s either that or a magazine from 10 years ago. And I think we already know that Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt broke up.

*A shot of the dog’s raw backside could be a great way to get out of having to continue a boring conversation with someone whose name you can’t remember that you ran into in the grocery store. “Hey, I’d love to keep chatting but I’ve got to run, looks like I’ve got to get the dog to the vet. Look at this backside . . .”

*While that pompous school principal is explaining what your kid did this time, a picture of your kids’ poop with the message “should this be green, mom” will probably get you on your way in no time.

I have to ask, is it really worth the price to be able to see all of this on a tiny screen on our wrists? And why? Are cell phones just not small enough? Are we that lazy that we can’t bear the inconvenience of having to hold our phones any more.

And what about people like me? I won’t even be able to see the damn thing. Unless it comes with a magnifying glass. Should I tape that to my eyeball? Or just wear a monocle everywhere I go?

You know, instead of spending $20,000 on a watch, for a couple of bucks I can just wear a wrist band and velcro my cell phone to my wrist.

OR . . . I have a great idea . . . why bother having to waste all that time and energy looking down at your wrist? This is genius: a halo.  Dangle that screen like a carrot right in front of your face.

Don’t try to copy my idea. Patent Pending.

No Sale | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphi

And in case my kids are reading this (well, that’ll be a first), I know at least one of you is going to put a $20,000 watch on your birthday list.

And you know I’m going to ignore it.

But I may have a little something way better for you to test out for me.

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


Creamsicle Bars
                                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients:
1 sugar cookie dough: you can use a packet mix, your own recipe, or use THIS RECIPE.
Opt:1 TBSP powdered orange drink mix
 
12 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, defrosted
1/4 cup powdered sugar
 
1 ½ cups heavy cream
¼ cup powdered sugar
15 oz can mandarin oranges, well drained
 
½ cup heavy cream
1 TBSP powdered sugar
 
Directions:
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 pan.
*Bring the orange juice concentrate to room temperature.
*Make the sugar cookie dough, adding the powdered drink mix when you add your flour.
*Press the dough into the bottom and most of the way up the sides of your greased pan.
*Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until it’s just starting to brown. Once out of the oven, you can use the back of a spoon to gently reshape the crust.
*Cool on the counter for ½ hour, then move to fridge and cool completely.
*Beat cream cheese with orange juice concentrate and 1/4 cup of powdered sugar.
*In another bowl, beat 1½ cups heavy cream and ¼ cup powdered sugar until soft peaks form.  Beat in cream cheese mixture. Gently mix mandarin oranges and pour into the crust.
*Beat ½ cup heavy cream with 1 TBSP powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread onto the cream cheese layer. 
*Refrigerate at least an hour before slicing and serving.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Fly on the Wall: On the Road

Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 18 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 | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


I have an online friend and we’d fallen into the habit of chatting back and forth via email for a few hours on Saturday afternoons. One Saturday afternoon Hubs was heading out.
Hubs: I’m going to do a few errands, want to come along for the ride?
Me: I can’t I have a date.
Hubs: Date?
Me: Yes, with Violet.
Hubs: A flower?
Me: No, a woman?
Hubs: A woman?
Me: You do know you’re repeating everything I say, right?
And Hubs walks out the door mumbling and shaking his head.


Fly on the Wall | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


It’s possible my husband is a little spoiled. I realized it the other night when, for the first time in a long time, there were no freshly baked goods.
Hubs (looking around the kitchen): Didn’t you bake anything today?
Me: No.
Hubs (still looking around): No?
Me: No, not today.
Hubs (still looking around): Really no . . . or you’re kidding no?
Me: Really no.
Hubs hangs his head and walks away.
And I felt really bad. Not.


Fly on the Wall | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

I’m that crazy lady who sits in her car by herself laughing out loud and taking pictures out the window.
Like just the other day. I was stopped at a red light and right there on the corner was an ad for a garage sale. And another one for . . . lice?

Got Lice Sign | www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #funny


Another thing I do when stopped at a red light is to look at other peoples’ license plates. Where I live they all start with 3 letters. I’ve seen some funny ones and I’ve seen some I’m sure glad I don’t have like SAP or BAT.
But later that same day at another intersection I saw one that was the worst. And of course it made me laugh.
I was stopped and ahead of me to the right was a mom in an SUV. You could see 3 little heads above 3 car seats and you could hear the chorus of crying. Granted I’ve been there before so I felt bad for her. Apparently so did her license plate, which started with RIP.


Fly on the Wall | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

I also saw a driver who clearly does not understand the whole “right on red” concept.
I was stopped at a red light and traffic heading towards me was stopped too so the traffic on the side streets could go.
There’s a driver facing me in his left turn lane. Next thing I know he starts moving. He doesn’t even go left, he turns right, crosses 3 lanes of traffic and heads down the side street.
That wasn’t exactly what I thought “right on red” was supposed to be about.


Sauteed Seafood Wraps | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #lunch

Sauteed Seafood Wraps


I was standing in the kitchen with a pained look on my face when College Boy walked in.
College Boy: Mom, what’s the matter?
Me: I’m trying to decide between a quick death and a slow painful death.
College Boy: What the hell are you talking about?
Me: I’m stuffed, but I’m dying of thirst. So I have to decide between dying slowly of thirst or taking a drink and exploding.
College Boy: Just so you know, if you go for the exploding thing, I’m not cleaning the kitchen.


Fly on the Wall | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Neither of my boys have any interest in cooking or baking. They get themselves a bowl of cereal for breakfast and grab something for lunch, that’s about it.
College Boy comes up with some . . . interesting . . . concoctions. Lately he’s been eating a ketchup, shredded lettuce and frito sandwich on a toasted bun.
That kid sure knows how to do a mama proud.



Fly on the Wall | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

I had my very first post featured on The TODAY show Parenting site.  Posts rise in visibility as it gets votes, so I was looking for votes on my post.
College Boy: I voted for you, Mom.
Me: You did? Really?
College Boy: Why do you sound so surprised?
Me: Because you never read my posts.
College Boy: I didn’t read it. I just voted for it.
Me: {{blink, blink}}.


Fly on the Wall | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

The semester ended and PurDude finally came home last month. I hadn’t seen him in 2 months. Well, he tried to come home. Catastrophes ensued and what should have been a one day trip was a two day trip.
When he finally did get home I thought I’d never let go of him. Within a half hour of being home I’d fed him 4 of my new blog recipes, just sitting there smiling at him as he ate.
And then his cell dinged, he checked a text and got up.
Me: Where are you going?
PurDude: Out with friends, they’re in the driveway waiting for me.
And that is how my son came to be heading towards the front door dragging me, holding onto his shirt, behind him.
Very dignified, I know.


Fly on the Wall | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Our house backs up to woods. I love all the wildlife we get to see. Hawks, turkeys, deer, rabbits, and all kinds of beautiful birds make themselves at home around our house.
But this is NOT what I meant by "make yourself at home."


Fly on the Wall | www.BakingInATornado.com | Birds in the house



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



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

Sauteed Seafood Wraps
                                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients:
1 can (4.25 oz) lump crab meat, drained
1 can (4.25 oz) baby shrimp, drained
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 green onion, chopped
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
¼ tsp dill
¼ tsp celery salt
lettuce
6 (8 inch) tortillas
 
2 TBSP butter, divided
2 tsp olive oil, divided
 
Directions:
*Mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, green onion, salt, pepper, dill and celery salt. Once well mixed, gently add in the crab and shrimp.
* Lay out the tortillas. Spread the seafood mixture over the tortillas to within ½ inch of the edges. Cover with a single layer of lettuce.
*Fold the 2 sides of the tortillas in, just about ¾ of an inch. Roll the tortillas as tightly as you can without losing the filling, from the bottom all the way to the top while making sure the sides stay tucked in.
*Wrap each tortilla roll individually in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for an hour to help it hold its shape.
*Heat 1 TBSP butter and 1 tsp in a saucepan until hot.
*Place 3 tortillas, end side down into the pan. Cook until the bottoms brown. Carefully turn over and continue cooking until the tops are browned. Remove from pan and repeat with the other 3 tortilla rolls.
*Slice and serve.
 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Blog With Friends: On The Go

Today’s post is the next in our series of Blog With Friends theme collaborations. Every 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, crocheting, crafts projects, book review and/or a technology post all related to the theme of the month.

Blog With Friends  | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

There will be individual project pictures and links to what everyone else has to offer at the end of my post.

This month our theme is Travel. Here’s a peek at what we all came up with:


Blog With Friends | www.BakingInATornado.com | Someone Else's Genius | #travel #recipe #diy


My friend Eileen chose the theme this month. I remember when she picked it thinking “yikes, how the hell am I going to cook or bake travel?” It really was a challenge, but that’s part of why I do these group posts. I don’t want to get stale (get it . . . stale . . . food . . . lame?) and having someone else pick a theme for me is a way to accomplish that.

So I thought about travel. I’ve done quite a lot of it having been to many states, quite a few islands and multiple countries (if you’re interested in seeing 45 pictures representing where I’ve been, check out my Pinterest board: Places I've Been). I traveled for work, I traveled for fun, but travel really got interesting when I had 2 little boys and was living 1500 miles from all of my friends and family. And with Hubs working, I’d very often be traveling alone with 2 babies.

Yes, travel is a whole new challenge when you’re doing it with kids and strollers and diaper bags. Through the years I’d developed a couple of strategies for travel and both involved diverting the boys’ attention with something new. I’d go to the dollar store and buy a bunch of new little toys and hide them until we were on the plane. The other thing I’d do is pack tons of snacks, again, preferably something new. Now you could make a case for calling this bad parenting, but I considered it survival, plain and simple.

So for my travel project I came up with a simple recipe for a new treat. Travel treats had to meet certain criterion. They had to have some sweet element or my kids wouldn’t have wanted them. They’d have to be something I could put into sandwich bags for travel. They can’t be too salty or the kids would’ve kept drinking and I’d have had to either be constantly changing diapers or spend the day standing in line for the plane cesspool potty. And they can’t be too messy, melted chocolate can look like other less pleasant things when you get off of a plane with it all over your clothes.

Inspired by fruit flavored mini marshmallows and gummy bears, I’ve come up with Fruity Lemonade snack mix.  


Fruity Lemonade Snack Mix | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #snack

Fruity Lemonade Snack Mix

It’s really quite simple to make. I gathered all of the ingredients. I then mixed up and baked the goldfish crackers. Once the crackers had cooled, mixed everything together in an airtight container.


Fruity Lemonade Snack Mix | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #snack
 Fruity Lemonade Snack Mix

My boys aren’t little any more. In fact, my younger son, PurDude now flies back and forth between home and school on his own. But they did try this snack mix and both agreed that they like it now and would have when they were little. I may just sneak a bag or two into some backpacks this fall.
 

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


Robin of Someone Else’s Genius has a tutorial for her Frodo's Journey Bezel Bracelet:



Stacy of Stacy Sews and Schools shares a tutorial for making Special Vacation Pajamas, Mandarin Style.



Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares her tips and tricks for traveling with a newborn.


Eileen of Eileen’s Perpetually Busy shares her tutorial for a DIY toiletry bag.



Melissa of Home on Deranged shares Road Trippin' Technology: Tips for Summer Travel



Do you have a post you’d like to share? Add your link to our blog hop. Please be sure to visit and leave comments on some of the other posts too.


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

Fruity Lemonade Snack Mix
                                                                            ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients:
1 package (6.6 oz) original flavor goldfish
1 cup gummy bears
1 cup fruit flavored mini marshmallows
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried blueberries
½ cup unsalted cashews or macadamia nuts
 
2 tsp strawberry lemonade powder
1 tsp colored sugar
1/3 cup oil
 
Directions:
*Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Cover a baking pan with parchment paper.
*Mix together the oil, colored sugar and the powdered drink mix in a large bowl. Add the goldfish and very gently mix until all of the crackers are coated.
*Spread the crackers onto the pan and bake for 7 minutes, stir gently and bake about 7 more minutes. Watch them to be sure they don’t get too dark. Remove from oven and cool.
*Mix the crackers with the gummy bears, marshmallows, nuts and dried fruit.
*Store in an airtight container.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Use Your Words: I'll Take That To Go

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. All of 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 direction the recipient will take them. Until now.

Use Your Words | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


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: omen ~ two ~ pickles and onions ~ on the rise

They were submitted by: The Bergham's Life Chronicles.

 It’s the strangest thing. The minute I saw the words I’m using I got immediately hungry. Starving even. I don’t even like those giant McDonalds things, but all I could think of is how much I wanted two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions, on a sesame seed bun. It’s an omen. Subliminal messaging is on the rise!

Well, that may not have been my whole post, but I think I will talk about fast food since we’re on the subject. Because getting my kids to eat fast food burgers was a win for this mom.

So many moms these days are so careful about what their kids eat. Non-GMO, organic, grass-fed, vegan, vegetarian . . . you name it, there’s a movement. And this is not a bad thing. I mean, have you seen the size of chicken breasts at the grocery stores? If there were chicken breasts this size back in the day there never would have been a nursery rhyme about that old woman who lived in a shoe. I mean seriously, chickens these days must have to wear bras. Double Ds at least. I don’t even want to know what they’re being fed. If these supersized breasts are an omen of the direction the food industry is taking, I can see why people are looking for other options.

But I didn’t have many options with my kids. I really did try to get them to eat healthy meals. I always gave them fresh fruits, vegetables, a variety of grains and proteins.

I was a complete failure.

My friend who writes at Searching for Sanity wrote a Use Your Words post about her finicky 4 year old last month. I think I got her beat:

My kids were such picky eaters. They ate chicken nuggets, pizza and lobster. That’s it. Well, that’s it for meals. Those boys never met a snack or dessert they didn’t like. I think they got that from me. In utero. My bad.

All good intentions went down the drain. College Boy, when offered healthier choices just stopped eating. We had to get him to a nutritionist who put him onto instant breakfasts and carrot cake just to get calories into him.

PurDude had a hyperactive gag reflex. Meaning if you forced him to try new foods you ended up wearing them. And I do not look good in carrot.

So fruit snacks started counting as fruits and cheetos were a side dish. Go ahead and judge, I can take it.

But of course I did keep working with them and little by little their lists of approved foods were on the rise.

My very first measure of success? When I could finally get them to eat a burger. Yes, a burger. In my world that was a success. And of course only a plain burger. Anything besides burger and bun was a disaster of epic proportions.

Which is how I became that mom at the fast food restaurant, yelling into the little box “I need 2 burgers. No special sauce, no lettuce, no cheese, no pickles and onions and while you’re at it, can you do a mom a favor and scrape the sesame seeds off the bun?”

You know what I got? Two crying kids. Every time. And a bag full of burgers with special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a, you guessed it, sesame seed bun. Every time.

But don’t worry, they stopped crying the minute they saw dessert:
Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Bars | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

 
Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Bars | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert



Yeah, I was a really great mom. Where’s my crown?

Oh yeah, I hear they’re holding onto it for me up at Burger King.

Links to the other Use Your Words posts:


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

Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
                                                 ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients:
1 stick butter, melted
1 ¾ cups flour
1 cup sugar
¼ cup baking cocoa
 
2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 egg yolk, room temperature
3/4 tsp mint extract
3/4 cup chopped Andes mints
 
Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan.
*Mix butter, flour, sugar cocoa until well blended. Your mixture will be dry and crumbly.
*Measure and set aside ½ cup of the crust mixture. Press the remaining crust mixture firmly into the bottom of your prepared baking pan.
*Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
*Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
*Beat cream cheese and brown sugar. Beat in eggs, egg yolk and mint extract. Mix in chopped candy.
*Carefully evenly distribute over the cooled crust.
*Sprinkle with the other ½ cup of the crust mixture.
*Bake for approximately 40 minutes, just until the center has started to set.
*Cool completely. Store in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Raising Future Dads: It’s A Boy

Stunned silence. It filled the room as only silence can. I lay there on that comfortable-as-burning-coals table, goop on my belly, ultrasound wand moving quickly away, everyone in that room taking a step away from me, as if it were choreographed.

I was pregnant again. It’s hard to say how many times I’d been pregnant before. IVF, cycle after vicious cycle, and pregnant every time. The first baby stopped developing. Second, a chemical pregnancy, not viable was all that mattered. Then twins and, after emergency surgery in the middle of the night with tornado sirens sounding and my husband out of town, a tube removal and two became one. But I had that one, my beautiful first child, a son.

Now, lying on this table in the first trimester of another pregnancy, I caught my first glimpse of my daughter. Followed by the aforementioned silence and stepping away routine.
“Go back” I demanded, breaking the silence.
“It’s not going to go away” the doctor calmly answered.
“But it looked like my daughter had a penis.”
“Congratulations, you’re having another boy.”

I never would have imagined it. I come from a family of girls. The first chapter played out in a house full of women: my mom, my sister and I. I was equipped to raise daughters.

And then I had a son.

This one was supposed to be my daughter, everyone knew that. Visions of dresses and pink bows being shot down by cargo-pants-wearing, water-gun-toting boys. Sexist, I know, but I’m a product of my generation and that’s how my mind processed the information. So the next chapter of my life would be inhabited by men. Karma. Of epic proportions.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore my boys. Always have (after the shock wore off). But raising boys? In this day and age? I really wasn’t sure I was up to the challenge.

Love them: I could handle that.
Nurture them:  got it covered.
Teach them right from wrong: no different from what I’d teach girls.
Morals and values: same.
How to be good MEN, future husbands and fathers: Ummm.

We all want our children to be strong and independent, to be productive, contributing members of society. But that means different things when raising boys as opposed to raising girls. It has to. The history of expectations associated with being one sex or the other dictates it. The ever-changing roles in current society require it.

I wouldn’t be doing this alone. But my husband worked long hours, traveled a week every month and we live 1500 miles away from ALL of our family. Those boys would spend the preponderance of their waking hours with me. Fact.

Raising Future Dads | www.BakingInATornado.com

From the time the boys came home from the hospital I got them up in the morning and into the kitchen for breakfast with Dad. They’d be asleep when he got home from work so family breakfast it would be. I still picture them, during the school years, sitting in a row at the kitchen counter eating breakfast together every morning.


Chocolate Ice Cream Cake | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

 Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

Chocolate Ice Cream Cake | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

Chocolate Ice Cream Cake | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake



 
When the boys got a little older, I started mowing the lawn. I wanted the boys to see that no jobs should be strictly “boy jobs” or “girl jobs”. But this was also about Dad time. I was cognizant of the fact that he was not just their dad but their primary male role model. In the warmer months my husband would come home from work, eat dinner and have to mow the lawn. If I mowed he could do bath time, splashes and soaked floor and giggles and all.

I’d love to tell you that there’s a magic bullet. It would be great to say that it was easy. But same sex or not, my boys are as different as two people get. What gets through to one escapes the other. They have temperaments and challenges and . . . well . . . personalities. I can tell you that I tried. Not just to teach them right from wrong, impart morals and values, but to show them what sympathy and empathy looks like; about serving their community, their family. But, as with most kids, a lot of that was accomplished because it was required and consequences were being avoided. Will those lessons stand?

My boys are teenagers now, both in college. Did I do my job? You’d think I could answer that but no such luck. You did read that word “teenagers”, right?

I look back and see all of my mistakes. I look at the present and see . . . well . . . teenagers. What will the future hold? All I can tell you is this: the potential is there. If they want to be good men, supportive spouses, present as fathers, they’re equipped.

So here I sit holding my breath. With my fingers crossed . . . and possibly my toes.

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraohics
This post previously published as a Guest Post on Dads Round Table.

Chocolate Ice Cream Cake
                                             ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients, Crust:
3/4 stick butter, melted
½ cup + 1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 TBSP baking cocoa
1 10 oz package chocolate shortbread cookies, crushed in a Food Processor
 
Cake:
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
 
Ice Cream Layers:
1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) chocolate ice cream
½ cup of Toffee bits
Reserved 3/4 cup cookie crumbs
 
Whipped Cream:
½ cup heavy cream
2TBSP powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla
 
Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch springform pan.
*Set aside 3/4 cup of the crushed cookie crumbs.
*Mix melted butter, flour, sugar cocoa and the rest of the cookie crumbs until well blended. Your mixture will be dry and crumbly.
*Press this crust mixture firmly into the bottom and half way up the sides of your prepared springform pan.
*Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
*Grease and flour an 8 inch round cake pan.
*Beat softened butter, sugar eggs and vanilla until smooth.
*Mix in 1/2 cup of flour, then half of the chocolate syrup.
*Mix in the rest of the flour and the baking soda, then the rest of the chocolate syrup.
*Spread batter evenly into cake pan and bake for approximately 30 - 35 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch.
*Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove to cool completely.
*Divide the ice cream into 2 bowls. Allow to start to come to room temperature, just enough to mix in ingredients but do not melt completely.
*Mix the toffee bits into one bowl of ice cream. Place in freezer.
*Mix the reserved cookie crumbs into the other bowl of ice cream. Carefully spread over the cooled crust. Top with the cooled cake layer, press down very gently and freeze for about one hour or until firm.
*After about 45 minutes, remove the second bowl of ice cream from the freezer and allow to come just to spreading consistency.
*Carefully spread this ice cream layer over the cake layer and return to the freezer until hard.
*Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Cover the top of the cake with the whipped cream. Decorate as desired. Return to freezer.
*Store cake in freezer. When ready to serve, allow to come to room temperature for a bit (or the crust will be too hard), remove sides of springform pan and slice.