Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Remembering How to Breathe: Word Counters

 

 

Word Counters, a multiblogger writing challenge | Developed, run by and graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
 

Counting my words again. 

Today my fellow Word Counters and I are sharing our monthly group post. Each month one group member picks a number between 12 and 50. All participating bloggers are then challenged to write something (or a few somethings, as the case may be) using that exact number of words. Today we all share what we came up with.






 This month's number is 17. 
It was chosen by Diane of On the Border.

As I've been doing in these Word Counters posts, I've chosen a theme and am using my word count multiple times in keeping with the theme. This month I've chosen the theme (remembering how to) breathe.

~ Four chaotic years, especially this past month, proves it's possible to hold your breath while still breathing.

~ It's psychological, emotional, the difference between automatic respiration and the cleansing, deliberate ability to really, freely, breathe.

~ Virus, mass death, disinformation, selfishness, herd immunity, all inhibit the ability to breathe, even while still breathing.

~ Alliances, relationships, reputation, diplomacy, democracy, safety, science, medicine, environment, elections, education, stability, security, all dangerously at risk. 

~ Blacks, browns, Jews, gays, liberals, Muslims, police . . . with targets on our backs. No wonder we can't breathe.

~ You can cook, write, binge watch Schitt'$ Creek, and torture your kids. Diversion's necessary but not cleansing.

Parmesan Garlic Loaf is an easy compliment to any meal. This crusty loaf is filled with swirls of garlic and herb butter and parmesan cheese. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bread

Parmesan Garlic Loaf
Parmesan Garlic Loaf is an easy compliment to any meal. This crusty loaf is filled with swirls of garlic and herb butter and parmesan cheese. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bread
 
~ No administration's perfect, either party. I'd been disappointed through the years, but at least I could breathe. 
 
~ History will judge us all. Harshly. Can we at least show that we've learned from these atrocities?
 
~ The people's house is welcoming new occupants. Finally. Goodbye Putin, narcissism, deceit. Welcome back norms, decency, decorum.

~ This ends not the damage done, but the spiraling, frenzied calculated chaos. And I intend to breathe.


Here are links to the other Word Counters posts:


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





Parmesan Garlic Loaf         
                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1# frozen bread loaf
3 TBSP + 1 tsp garlic and herb butter spread, divided
2 TBSP + 1/2 tsp grated parmesan cheese, divided
2 TBSP flour

Directions:
*Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and wrap around the frozen bread loaf. Refrigerate for 4 hours (or overnight) until defrosted.
*Spread the flour on your counter, remove the plastic wrap from the dough (keep the wrap) and place the dough in the flour. Allow to sit for 1 hour.
*Grease a loaf pan. 
*Press the air bubbles out of the dough and roll into a square about twice the length of your loaf pan. Carefully spread 3 TBSP of the butter spread onto the dough, leaving about 1/2 edge. Sprinkle with 2 TBSP grated parmesan.
*Fold the dough in half so it's about the same length as your loaf pan. Roll it up and place into the pan. Cover loosely with the plastic wrap and move to a warm dry place to rise for 4 hours.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove and discard the plastic wrap.
*Bake the loaf for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately, gently, spread the remaining butter spread over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese.
*Run a knife around the edges to release, then remove from the pan to serve.

Friday, January 15, 2021

The Apple Pie Conundrum: Use Your Words

 

 
Use Your Words, a multiblogger writing challenge | developed and run by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
 
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.





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:  Hallelujah ~ new ~ frozen ~ tender ~ spite
They were submitted by Diane of On the Border.

                          

We all have words we like (don't we?), and conversely words that make us cringe. A favorite word of mine is conundrum. I think it's because many years ago my husband and I did a long weekend in wine country in northern California. One of the vineyards there, Caymus, makes a wine called Conundrum and I loved it. Well, truth be told I loved lots and lots (and lots) of the wines we tasted, and the food was pretty exquisite too. But conundrum stuck with me. The wine and the word.

Each month, when I finalize sorting out all the word assignments for this challenge and know what mine will be, I always look hopefully to see if someone has assigned me "conundrum". Nope, not this month. No reason to feel bad, Diane, this is, after all, the 85th month in a row I didn't get it.

Truth is, these are some great words. I'll use them to tell you about my new apple pie recipe.

It all started with a conundrum (ha, used it anyway). Hubs wanted an apple pie. And with his diet restrictions, it's something he could actually have. But there were other constraints as well. The covid numbers were sky rocketing and I just couldn't go running off to the store, whatever I had in the house is what I'd have to go with.

I knew I didn't have enough apples. And I had 2 different kinds. I prefer a semi-tart, firm apple for a pie. I had some honey crisps (yum), but would have to supplement with some apples that would bake to a more tender consistency than I'd would choose. I also regretted having that apple for lunch yesterday, I could have used one more, I'd have to come up with something to add to the pie. I decided on cranraisins and walnuts. Truth be told, my pantry decided for me. Well, after I ruled out Doritos, Rice Krispies, and linguini. 
 
And I prefer a certain brand of refrigerator pie crusts (I can see my mom, the master of homemade pie crusts cringing here, but I don't make my own), but all I had in the house was one frozen pie crust I'd been saving for emergencies. Yes, there's such a thing as pie emergencies. Like now. There was only one crust, so I'd have to do a crumble topping. Without the butter though, because of Hubs' restrictions.

 
Cranapple Pie is an apple pie studded with little tart bursts of cranberry and the crunch of walnuts. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #pie
Cranapple Pie
Cranapple Pie is an apple pie studded with little tart bursts of cranberry and the crunch of walnuts. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #pie

Here's the thing about coming up with an updated version of such a classic dessert: the apple pie is iconic, a symbol of our country. You know, "as American as baseball, hot dogs, mom, and apple pie." But 2020 had been a tough year. Baseball basically didn't happen (although the short season did serve to decrease the time span of pain for this Red Sox fan), I don't like hot dogs (there, I said it), mom makes her own pie crust and will forgive me I'm sure (eventually). And apple pie? Turns out it originated in England (yeah, I googled it). 

So, in spite of its iconic reputation, it was on. I was gonna try it, emergency crust, mixed apples, added ingredients, low fat crumble topping, and all.

And you know what? He loved it! We all did. Hallelujah!

My only regret? As long as I was messing around with an iconic recipe anyway, I should have thought to add some Conundrum. 

Next time.
 
Here are links to all the other Use Your Words posts:


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






Cranapple Pie     

                                                                      ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

Ingredients: 
1 pie crust, homemade, refrigerated, or frozen
6 apples of your choice
1/4 cup cranraisins
2 TBSP cranberry apple juice 
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 TBSP flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp apple pie spice
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
 
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cold butter (can use a butter substitute for a lower fat option)

Directions:
*Place a large piece of heavy foil onto the middle rack and preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
*Prepare the crust as you normally would.
*Peel, core, and cut each apple into about 16 slices. Put into a large bowl with the cranraisins. Add the juice and mix well, coating all of the fruit. Set aside.
*Place 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup brown sugar in a separate bowl. Using a fork, mash the butter into the dry ingredients to create a crumble. Set aside.
*Mix the apples and cranraisins again, then add 3/4 cup brown sugar, 2 TBSP flour, salt, cinnamon and apple pie spice. Mix well, then add the chopped walnuts and mix again. Distribute evenly into the prepared pie crust.
*Using your hands, crumble the topping over the fruit.
*Put the pie onto the tin foil in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Loosely tent with foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing.

 

 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Chores Galore, Poetry Monday

 

Poetry Monday | Graphic designed by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #poem #poetry

Slight (OK, major) change to the Monday line-up around here. The second Monday of the month I usually publish a Blog With Friends group projects-based post in keeping with an agree upon theme. In fact, I've been doing that for 76 months. Yes, that's over 6 years!
 
Although some of us were willing to continue, the commitment was becoming more sporadic, so I've decided to shelve that group for now. Hmmm, that leaves a little hole in my posting schedule. What to do? What to do? I checked in with my friend Diane, she and Mimi (and some other of their friends) do a weekly poetry post that publishes on Mondays. Since I still administer and run 5 other monthly group writing challenges, and I don't have to do anything logistically for Poetry Monday, just sit back, wait to be told what the theme is and . . . well . . . write, I'm giving it a trial run in my monthly publishing rotation. I'll still do my Monthly Poetry Group post on the last Friday of the month, so if I continue to participate in Poetry Monday, I'll be gifting you all, my dear readers, with two poetry posts in a month. Yes, I can see you rolling your eyes and if I knew any better, I'd be highly insulted (but I read my own poetry so I'm not).

Now that I've made a short story long (as you know I always do) today marks the end of the Blog With Friends projects, but hopefully the beginning of my once a month collaboration (or more when I can work it in) with this new (to me) group. For me, these posts will have the addition of a recipe, which I will continue to share in all of my blog posts.

BTW: For information on the 5 monthly multi-blogger challenges that I run, you can PM me on my Baking In A Tornado Facebook page or email me.
For information on Poetry Monday, contact Diane of On the Border.

Diane tells me that today's topic is Least Favourite (forgive her for the spelling, she's Canadian) Chore.

Chores Galore
 
Sweep and vacuum, 
wash the floor.
Surely that's my
least favorite chore.
 
But dusting always
makes me sneeze.
Least favorite thing if
I have to wheeze.
 
Wait, the bathrooms,
I've got four.
With boys . . . way worse
than washing a floor. 

Liked food shopping,
Covid ruined my fun. 
Now I fill out a form,
and another chore's done.

Beef Vegetable Soup is a hearty dinner made either in a slow cooker or on the stove top. Lean stew beef is slow cooked, add beans, vegetables, and rice for a one bowl full meal. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Beef Vegetable Soup (Crockpot or Not)
 
Beef Vegetable Soup is a hearty dinner made either in a slow cooker or on the stove top. Lean stew beef is slow cooked, add beans, vegetables, and rice for a one bowl full meal. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner



Cooking dinner is the
never ending chore.
you cook, they eat, 
then you do it some more.

But if you're wondering,
here's the score,
if you like to do it,
it's not a chore.
 
Yet cooking brings
dirty dishes galore.
Definitely in the running
for my least favorite chore.
 
 
Wait!
Read more poetry, 
you're not through.
Some talented writers
are in this crew:
 


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




Beef Vegetable Soup (Crockpot or Not)

                                               ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Ingredients:
1 cup brown rice
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
2 cups beef broth
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cloves minced garlic, divided
1 1/4# lean stew beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen pearl onions
1 can (14 oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
4 oz mushrooms, quartered
1 zucchini, trimmed, cut lengthwise, sliced
1/2 cup fresh green beans, trimmed, cut into bite sized pieces

Directions:
*Cook the rice and refrigerate.
FOR SLOW COOKER:
*Spray  the slow cooker with cooking spray. Add the diced tomatoes, beef broth, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and 1 clove of minced garlic. Stir and turn on to low.
*Spray a saute pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the stew beef, onion, and remaining garlic. Sprinkle with the garlic powder, cook and stir until the meat is completely cooked. Drain well, add to the slow cooker, and cook for 5 hours on low (or 3 hours on high).
*Stir in the frozen peas, pearl onions, and garbanzo beans. Cook another 2 hours on low (or 1 hour on high).
*If cooking on high, reduce heat to low at this point. Add the mushrooms, zucchini,and green beans. Cook 1/2 hour. Stir in the rice and cook for another 1/2 hour.
FOR STOVE TOP
*Spray a large pot with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the stew beef, onion, and 2 cloves of the garlic. Sprinkle with the garlic powder, cook and stir until the meat is completely cooked. Drain well.
*Add the diced tomatoes, beef broth, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and remaining clove of garlic to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
*Stir in the frozen peas, pearl onions, and garbanzo beans, cover and simmer for another half hour.
*Stir in the mushrooms, zucchini, and green beans. Cover an simmer another half hour. Stir in the brow rice and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes.