Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Personal and Confidential, My Gluteus Maximus

It started with a letter. 

It was marked "personal and confidential". Not addressed to me, but that's just a detail, right? Everyone knows if you send a letter to a man marked that way it's like waving a red cape in front of a bull, you can bet your ass that wife is gonna open it. Especially since, initially, I was terrified. What official letter could possibly come to Hubs? Has he been drafted? Into the Space Force? He can't go, you know. He's got bone spurs.

Personal and Confidential, a letter from the "president". | www.BakingInATornado.com

Now I just want to commend you, seeking out my husband to write to personally at 5:43 am. And although your letter hits on all of your dog whistles, lies, delusional interesting world views, I have to admit that it doesn't really sound like you. There aren't any made up words, way fewer random use of capital letters (well, other than "Fake News Media" and "Liberals"), or glaring spelling errors. Did you turn on your spell check? You can admit it, I won't tell.

I actually posted the above picture on my FB page, and in the ensuing discussion, a fellow blogger, Tamara, suggested a blog post response. Good idea Tamara, I actually have, in fact, responded. Not with money, of course, but with something way more valuable. 

June 18th
3:30 am

I want to thank you for your recent letter to my husband. He never saw it, but I'm sure he'd be appreciative of the time an effort you took to explain to him personally (and confidentially) how you feel about those evil liberals who want things like health care, human rights and affordable education.

Anyway, I'm awake and answering you at 3:30 in the morning as I just have such a hard time sleeping these days. Because of, you know, things like the electoral college, kids in cages, pedophiles running for office, White House staff breaking the law, increasing anti-semitism, cronyism, trampling of women's rights, Mitch McConnell . . .

I know you ask, in your letter, for $2020, but since you got the tax break and I . . . well . . . didn't. And since you don't grocery shop and I've suffered frequently increasing food prices and now gas prices due to tariff and trade agreement whims, I thought I'd offer you some sage advice instead.  

*If you say something on tape, you can deny it later if you want, but chances are pretty good that people are going to know you said it.

*Every day is not "take your kids to work" day.

*Methinks thou doth protest too much. Truth is, people who are stable and who are geniuses don't need to talk about it. Over and over and over again.

*Sometimes bad things happen that Hillary is not responsible for. Like wild fires. Even if she didn't sweep the forest floor.
*When hosting guests, especially in the people's house, Mickey D's is just . . . well . . . gauche. You know there's a chef who will cook for guests, right? And you don't have to do the dishes either, there's a staff for that too. So maybe try to show a little class. A nice grilled steak, that's a dinner worth serving.

Grilled Asian Flank Steak is bursting with flavor. Marinate up to 48 hours, grill, slice and serve a new warm weather dinner favorite. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Grilled Asian Flank Steak

*Mexico is not paying for any wall. And neither am I.

*Reading is good. In fact, most people find that information is often helpful.

*Allies are our friends. Really. Look it up.

*We have a 4th of July celebration in the capital every year. Independence Day was already sort of a big deal before you came along.

*I know you talk a lot about fake news, I thought maybe you'd understand the concept better if I gave you clear examples.
Legit: global warming.
Fake: no obstruction, no collusion. 

That's all I have for you for now. If you need any further assistance (meaning non-financial), feel free to send my husband another personal and confidential letter. I'll be watching for it.

A patriotic snowflake

PS: Have you ever actually seen a snowflake? They're beautiful.

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

Grilled Asian Flank Steak

1 3/4 # flank steak
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 TBSP pineapple juice
1 tsp sesame oil
1 TBSP brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp minced ginger

*Place the steak in a resealable gallon sized bag.
*Whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin, pineapple juice, sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic and ginger. Pour into the bag to cover the steak and seal. Refrigerate for at least 6 and up to 48 hours.
*Preheat grill to medium high heat. Remove the steak from the marinade and place on the grill, immediately lowering the heat to medium.
*Grill from 5 to 7 minutes per side, until almost done to your preference.
*Remove from grill and allow steak to rest for 5 minutes before slicing, against the grain.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Can I Blog? Take Two: 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. 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, a multiblogger writing challenge | 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: sticky ~ stencils  ~ water tank ~ phone ~ airplane
They were submitted by Karen of Bookworm in the Kitchen.
I don't exactly know how to fit these words into it, but I wanted you to know that today is a celebration. It's not just the 66th month in a row that I've run and participated in our Use Your Words monthly writing challenge, although that seems quite the feat in and of itself. Sometimes the words form the post almost on their own and sometimes they're a bit . . .  well . . .  sticky, but for 66 continuous months I've joined my blogging friends in meeting the challenge.

This post today is also the 800th Baking In A Tornado blog post. 800. Who knew I had that many words? Well, everyone I suppose since it seems I'm known for making a short story long, but still . . . 800 (semi)composed written pieces, including graphics I make myself, recipes I develop and pictures I take, edit and, despite varying degrees of success, publish. That's a lot of work just to amuse myself, now that I think of it.

And I'm not done there. Today, this exact day in history (well, my history anyway), is the anniversary of that water tank shed moment (does it count as using my word prompt if I cross half of it out? Oh wait, I forgot, I made the rules . . . so yes, it does). The day I chose a name (well, technically my son chose from my second choices since my first choice was taken) and wrote a post called Can I Blog?. It was scary back then, setting up a theme, picking a tag line, making a graphic, all the things I didn't know how to do. There are no stencils out there that worked as is for me, that I could just put up in the interwebs, and be happy with. I needed to feel that it represented me, not just the words but the look. So after doing and redoing and redoing and redoing every little detail, and after much trepidation, on June 14th, 2012, I finally pressed that "publish" button. It was done. I was out there. 

What started out as a 6 months at most venture, has suddenly turned into 7 years. Somehow I'm still here, still going. Thanks in part to all the stress in my life, and some very loyal blogging friends (I think you know who you are), I'm still here, still pressing that publish button. Over and over again. Fortunately with little trepidation at this point.

So how to celebrate? With baked goods, of course. I was going to post a recipe for a grilled dinner today but nope. Thought about a cake but decided against that too. Ended up choosing French Vanilla Glazed Baked Coffee Donuts. Not only did I recently write an entire blog post about my love of (well, need for) coffee but, well, donuts.

Nothing says “morning” like coffee and donuts. They’re married together in these French Vanilla Glazed Baked Coffee Donuts. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #donuts

French Vanilla Glazed Baked Coffee Donuts

So can I blog? Turns out you don't have to be a brain surgeon, it's not even (as I may have envisioned all those years ago) as hard as landing an airplane (not that I'd know, but I had to use the word). Hell, these days you can even do it from your phone. Whatever blogging is, or isn't, it seems that I am, in fact, doing it. Whether or not I'm doing it successfully? Well, that's up to you.

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

French Vanilla Glazed Baked Coffee Donuts       

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (makes 15):
1 tsp instant coffee granules
1/4 cup brewed coffee
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 TBSP butter, melted and cooled slightly
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, room temperature

1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 - 5 TBSP French Vanilla creamer

*Mix the instant coffee granules into the brewed coffee, stir to dissolve and set aside to cool.
*Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease 15 donut pan cups.
*Whisk together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
*Separately, whisk together the milk, coffee and eggs, then the melted butter. Add to the flour mixture, just until incorporated.
*Spoon or pipe evenly into the prepared donut pan(s). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the center springs back to the touch. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes before removing.
*Whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla and as much French Vanilla creamer as is needed to get the mixture to a glaze consistency. Drizzle evenly over the warm donuts. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Longer Days: June Poetry

June, as a month is truly sublime,
weather is now deliciously fine,
Floral scents replace the pine,
and stars all just seem to align.

Monthly Poetry Group, in wisdom divine,
took June's best asset as a sign,
so about Longer Days we'll all opine.
Just scroll down and you'll find mine . . .

Longer Days, a monthly group poetry challenge based on a theme | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

 Longer Days

June is here and daylight grows.
Longer days, I can disclose,
happily replace toes that froze
with days in flip flops (and less clothes). 

Longer days and shorter nights,
sun kissed skin and blond highlights,
grilled food thrills our appetities,
we drive not blinded by headlights.

But oh, the cottonwood, it flies,
up my nose and in my eyes.
Worth it, more time with the prize,
big yellow ball up in the skies. 

Outdoor time is just the best,
On the back deck you can't be stressed.
With early evening, I'm obsessed.
even with an occasional winged pest,

like bitey bugs and things that sting.
But later fireflies take wing,
then a happiness sure thing.
grilling on the deck with my offspring.

Grilled Orange Marmalade Chicken is a quick family staple for a busy night. A simple marinade you can make in advance flavors the chicken, then grill and serve. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Grilled Orange Marmalade Chicken

Soon the days will shorten still,
completely, you know, against my will, 
For yearlong spring, I think I'd kill.
For now . . . this weather fits the bill.

Before you go, click on these links to more poetry from some of my friends: 
Dawn of Cognitive Script shares Longer Days.
Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares The Days are Long.
Diane of On the Border shares Love 'em or Hate 'em.

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

Grilled Orange Marmalade Chicken

Printable Recipe

3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

*Trim and cut each of the chicken breasts in half. Place into a resealable gallon sized bag.
*Whisk together the orange marmalade, pineapple juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. 
*Add the marinade to the bag with the chicken. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours up to overnight, turning now and then.
*Preheat your grill to medium high. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and place on the grill. Lower the heat to about medium. 
*Grill chicken, turning once, for about 7 - 10 minutes per side. How long it takes will depend on the thickness of your chicken and some pieces will be done a minute or two before others. Be sure to cook your chicken through completely until there is no red and the juices run clear.