Monday, April 12, 2021

Take the Cake

 

Raspberry Devil’s Food Cake, a moist, fluffy chocolate raspberry cake with a thick chocolate raspberry frosting. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #chocolate 
 
 
 
Poetry Monday's once a week.
You may have guessed, it's each Monday.
I don't participate every time,
But today I've come out to play. 

My friends assign each week a theme,
Favorite Invention's what they chose.
Now it's up to all of us,
to put our thoughts into prose. 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Take the Cake
 
Poetry Monday | Graphic designed by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #poem #poetry
 
"Best thing since" is often said,
about the napkin and the wheel.
Referencing sliced bread as well,
and yes, they all appeal.

But napkins and sliced bread are not
what I really treasure most.
The wheel itself does not excite,
unless driving to the coast.

Many inventions I can rule right out,
once popular, now antiquated.
Cassette tapes, Walkman, camcorder,
smart phones make them outdated.

But favorite invention truly is
a matter of current need.
Working in the dark requires
a light bulb to succeed.

Any question I ever have,
whatever I need to know,
information overload is what,
the internet has to show.

Thanks to Michael Hart I can,
borrow books right from my home.
E-reader miraculously provides
simple access to any tome.

BUT if I had to choose right now,
my oven'd take the cake.
Its magic powers elicit smiles,
when I turn it on and bake.


Raspberry Devil’s Food Cake, a moist, fluffy chocolate raspberry cake with a thick chocolate raspberry frosting. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #chocolate

Raspberry Devil's Food Cake
 
 
Wait!
Read more poetry, 
you're not through.
Some talented writers
are in this crew:
 

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



Raspberry Devil's Food Cake         
                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 TBSP baking cocoa
1 box (15.5 oz) Devil's Food cake mix
1 box (3 oz) raspberry jello mix
1 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1/2 cup raspberry jam
2 TBSP raspberry liqueur (can substitute water)
 
1 can (1#) chocolate frosting
1 box (3 oz) chocolate pudding mix
1/4 cup raspberry liqueur (can substitute 3 TBSP water and 1 tsp raspberry extract)

multicolored sprinkles

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan and dust it with the baking cocoa.
*Whisk together the raspberry jam and 2 TBSP raspberry liqueur (or water). Set aside.
*Beat the cake mix, jello mix, milk, oil, and eggs for 2 minutes. Pour about 3/4 of the batter into the prepared pan. Dollop with the jam mixture, gently swirl into the batter, then top with the remaining cake batter.
*Bake for about 28 - 32 minutes, until the center springs back to the touch. Cool completely.
*Beat the frosting, pudding mix, and the remaining liqueur (or water and extract) for 1 minute, then spread onto the cooled cake. Decorate with sprinkles.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Multifaceted: Secret Subject Swap

 

Lemon Filled Strawberry Cupcakes, features spring flavors. Fluffy strawberry cupcakes, filled and topped with lemon frosting. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

 

Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 5 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. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.

My subject is: What if April flowers brought May Showers?

It was submitted by: Sarah of the ever-changing identities, whose current incarnation is What TF Sarah. 
Secret Subject Swap, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
 
You can change your name all you like, Sarah, I'll always find you. In a non-threatening, non-creepy way, of course (please don't get an order of protection against me, I'm harmless, I swear).

What isn't harmless, though, is the rain. As spring settles in, water from melting snow adds to the rain and for the last couple of years, this has been a problem for us. The side of the house where my lilac shrubs await the warm sunshine is also where the sump pump from our basement drains. And drains and drains and drains. It's gotten to the point where it's dug a gully resulting in mud puddles in our and our neighbor's back yards. Not pretty. Not good for the lawn either. 
 
Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

We've had to extend the drainage tube all the way into the middle of our back yard, at least stopping the mud from pooling in the neighbor's yard, but not a solution. So if April flowers bring May showers, meaning a deeper canyon in the side yard and a second round of mud puddles, my first thought is "crap!"

Despite crap being my first thought, it's not my final answer. Because, flowers.
 
Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

 
I've spoken before about the flowers I have in my yard and those I plant in pots both on my front porch and my back deck. They've always brought me joy, not just in their symbolizing the end of another long cold winter, but in the gift of the colors of their blooms. In the one year plus of my Covid isolation (I'm still not fully vaccinated) the beauty of spring has become even more meaningful. I've mentioned that the only way I could safely buy plants for my pots last year was to go to an outdoor nursery in the early morning of a pouring rainstorm.

So if the price of having these in my life (and my surroundings) . . . 
 
Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com
 
. . . is dark and wet and dreary days, even if it's a repeat of the mud slide and all of the required clean up, I'll pay it.
 
It's also because of the rain that I can sit on my back deck between showers, looking out over the green lawn and the woods behind the house . . .
 
Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com
 
. . . contemplating the marriage of cupcake flavors . . .
 
Lemon Filled Strawberry Cupcakes, features spring flavors. Fluffy strawberry cupcakes, filled and topped with lemon frosting. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

Lemon Filled Strawberry Cupcakes
Happy Birthday, Mom
Lemon Filled Strawberry Cupcakes, features spring flavors. Fluffy strawberry cupcakes, filled and topped with lemon frosting. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake


. . . and being treated to sightings of all of the wildlife that emerges after a storm.

Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com
 
And as if all of that isn't enough, there's the aftermath of the storms, painted on the skies.
 
Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com


And out front, the colors of the night sky serve as a reminder that even if tomorrow brings rain, it will also bring so much more, as long as you remember to look for it.
 
Multifaceted | Picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

In this time of absolutes in terms of our opinions about each other, I hope that we can all temper our judgement with the lessons taught to us by Mother Nature. Rain has the ability to cause destruction, it also has the capacity to be nurturing, to bring life and beauty. We, like rain, are multifaceted.


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:

Wandering Web Designer 

Climaxed 

Part-time Working Hockey Mom 

What TF Sarah



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





Lemon Filled Strawberry Cupcakes
                                                              ©www.BakingInATornado.com



Printable Recipe


Ingredients: 
1 box (15.25 oz) strawberry cake mix
1 box (3 oz) strawberry jello mix
1 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1 can (1#) vanilla frosting
1 box (3 oz) lemon pudding mix
2 TBSP Strawberries and Cream liqueur (can substitute milk)
1 TBSP lemon juice
 
OPT: decorating sprinkles and/or sugar pearls

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake papers into 18 (for extra large) to 24 (for regular sized) cupcake pan wells.
*Beat the cake mix, jello mix, milk, oil and eggs for 2 minutes. Divide the batter into the cupcake pan. 
*Bake for about 15 minutes for regular sized cupcakes or about 18 minutes for extra large cupcakes, until the centers spring back to the touch. Cool completely.
*Using an apple corer, press down from the center of the top to about 3/4 of the way down into the cupcakes. Twist and gently remove, leaving a hole in each.
*Beat the frosting with the pudding mix, liqueur or milk, and lemon juice for 1 minute. Place into a piping bag. Pipe the frosting into the hole in the cupcakes made by the apple corer. Swirl the remaining frosting onto the tops of the cupcakes. Decorate with sprinkles and/or sugar pearls if desired.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Saved by the Tomato

  

Saved by the Tomato | Graphic designed by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #MyGraphics

 

Today we hit the trifecta of made-up silly, fun, random, weird and wacky holidays and celebrations. Ding, ding, ding, bells and whistles going off on the "match the holidays" slot machine. 

There are silly holidays specifically (most likely arbitrarily) assigned to today, April 6th, but as an added bonus, there are also celebrations that require more than a single day to do them justice, hence the weekly holidays.

Now there are categories that I completely understand would, could, and should require an entire week, maybe even a month or all year, like this week's National Bake Week. I could make that work. 

Then there are those "celebrations" (and I use that term loosely) that I just don't get. At all. Those I can't imagine someone would even consider celebrating, like this week's Be Kind to Spiders Week and Bat Appreciation Week. Conversely, I can certainly follow the line of logic as to why International Pooper Scooper Week would fall at the same time (given, of course, you think it should fall at any time at all). Because even thinking of being kind to spiders ("hello, creepy crawly scary guy, how are you today? Care to keep me company while I eat my curds and whey?") or how I might show my appreciation to bats (wearing a neck exposed shirt and my hair up, I suppose) does make my intestines roil and my sphincter clench (not to get too graphic).
 
I can also see why, for those who are even more faint of heart (but in better control of their bowels), today would be also be Plan Your Epitaph Day.
 
Here lies Ms. Tornado 
Beloved daughter, mother, sister, friend
Successful celebrator of National Baking Week
Met her untimely death attempting to appreciate bats and be kind to spiders 

But, if you think about it, why would the first week of April be the time chosen for those celebrations anyway? I mean bats? Spiders? Tombstones? Seriously? If you have to celebrate them, everyone knows the last week of October is for that. Duh.

Don't worry though, April, the tomato's here to save the day.
 
Besides this week being Be Kind to Spiders Week, Bat Appreciation Week, International Pooper Scooper Week, and National Bake Week AND today being Plan Your Epitaph Day, there is yet another celebration today, it's Fresh Tomato Day.
 
And for this particular celebration, this week is perfect timing. You may have seen that this new Tomato Feta Pasta craze that started, I think, on Tik Tok, and has taken off like a rocket and landed in many, many, many kitchens. This includes mine. Sort of. I've worked out my own version, added a few things, changed a few things, and this was the recipe I'd chosen to share today. 
 
On Fresh Tomato Day. It's kismet. 


Chicken and Asparagus Tomato Feta Pasta, a version of tomato feta pasta with all of the flavors of the original, and the addition of vegetables, protein, and a little kick. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Chicken & Asparagus Tomato Feta Pasta
 
Chicken and Asparagus Tomato Feta Pasta, a version of tomato feta pasta with all of the flavors of the original, and the addition of vegetables, protein, and a little kick. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner
 
 
The original version of the recipe calls for more tomatoes, more oil, less pasta, a block of feta, no protein or vegetables. 
 
My version mixes chopped grape tomatoes with crumbled feta, way less oil, minced garlic and red pepper flakes for added flavor. I chose to add cooked chicken for protein (wrapped in foil and heated up in the same pan), fresh asparagus drizzled with Greek salad dressing roasts to al dente, also in the same pan, for quicker and easier clean up.
 
And I increased the pasta because . . . pasta.
 
No, I wasn't consulted on any of those other wackadoodle (that's a technical term) holidays, but it's possible that as a consolation prize of sorts, today may have been designated Fresh Tomato Day just for me.


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



Chicken and Asparagus Tomato Feta Pasta
                                               ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
1 small bunch asparagus, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 TBSP Greek salad dressing (can substitute Italian)
1 pint grape tomatoes
6 oz crumbled feta cheese
2 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 - 1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes (according to your preferred heat level)
1# penne pasta

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly grease an 10 X 15 baking pan.
*Wrap the chicken in tin foil, place up against one side of the pan and place the asparagus up against the tin foil beside the chicken. Drizzle the asparagus with the Greek salad dressing.
*Cut the tomatoes in half (larger ones in thirds) and place in a bowl with the feta crumbles. Toss with olive oil, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Pour evenly into the prepared dish beside the asparagus.
*Bake for 30 minutes. While cooking, boil the penne in a large pot to al dente. Drain.
*Remove the baking pan from the oven. Unwrap the chicken and discard the foil.
*Using a fork, lightly mash the tomatoes and feta together. Add the pasta to the baking pan, gently mix all ingredients together.