Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Candy and Costumes: Word Counters

Counting my words again. 

Today my fellow Word Counters and I are sharing our monthly group post. The bloggers who are joining me this time all picked a number between 12 and 74 and sent it to me. I gave the numbers out as assignments to other bloggers who 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.

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

I got the number 31. It was submitted by my friend the writer Sarah Nolan of the blog by the same name.

As I tend to do in these posts, I've chosen a general theme and am using my word count multiple times in keeping with my theme. Today's theme is Halloween (you're shocked, I know).

Candy and Costumes in 31 Words

~ Have you ever noticed that once it's October and you start buying Halloween candy, it being in your home is constantly taking over your conscious thoughts? No? Just me? Okay then.

~ We're halfway through October and I've already bought all of the Halloween candy. Like on the entire planet. Check your local store, I bet they're out. Sorry (not sorry), my bad.

~ A bit of advice, if you don't live alone and are sneaking a piece (or two) of the Halloween candy stash, push the wrapper(s) down below the rest of the trash.

~ My kids paid a Halloween candy tax. You know, a sweet price they had to pay to get back in the house at the end of a night of treat gathering. 

~ Don't worry, the sharing was done happily. The boys knew that it was always reciprocated. You share some of your candy, and mom will share her Orange and Pumpkin Carrot Cake. 

Orange and Pumpkin Carrot Cake is a classic moist fall cake with added orange and pumpkin flavors. | Recipe developed by www. BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

Orange and Pumpkin Carrot Cake
Orange and Pumpkin Carrot Cake is a classic moist fall cake with added orange and pumpkin flavors. | Recipe developed by www. BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

~ I know they say it's bad luck for a black cat to cross your path, but it doesn't count if it's you crossing theirs, right? Asking for a (fairly unlucky) friend.

~ The best way not to be afraid of a witch is to be one yourself. Or so I've heard. As I tried to climb onto my kitchen broom. Which didn't cooperate.

~ Don't ever go out with a ghost, not only because of the logistical challenges, but also 'cause when it's over, ghosting a ghost doesn't work. They walk through walls, you know.

~ Vampires, ghosts and witches too,
  come on that night by the slew.
  All are welcome to say "boo",
  but if candy's wanted by you 
  best say "trick or treat" . . . or shoo.

~ I will not trip any trick or treater wearing a trump mask, I will not trip any trick or treater wearing a trump mask. I will not trip any trick or . . .

There they are, ten Halloween thoughts each using 31 words (that's 310 words this month, if you're counting). Till next time, my spooky friends.

Here are links to the other Word Counters posts:

Spatulas on Parade

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

Orange and Pumpkin Carrot Cake         

Printable Recipe

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups shredded carrots
1 (15 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained

8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 TBSP orange juice
1/2 cup chopped pecans, divided

*Grease and flour 2 9 inch round cake pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and brown sugar.
*Separately, whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs and vanilla. Mix into the dry ingredients, just until incorporated. Fold in the carrots and mandarin oranges.
*Pour into prepared pans and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the center springs back to the touch. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely.
*Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and orange juice. Remove about 1/3 of the frosting and add 1/4 cup of chopped pecans. 
*Place the bottom cake layer on a serving plate. Pour the frosting that has the pecans in it over the top and let drizzle down the sides. Top with the next cake layer and pour the remaining frosting over this layer, allowing it to drizzle down the sides as well. Quickly sprinkle the top with the remaining pecans and refrigerate immediately to set.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Date Night Dilemma: 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 | developed and run by 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: phone ~ neighbourhood ~ falling ~ official ~ beetle
They were submitted by Diane of On the Border.

"I love you", she looked him straight in the eye, "and I will leave him if that's the only way to keep you".

It was a difficult thing to say but the truth is, she was finally addressing out loud what she'd known in her head for weeks. It was such an emotional step to take, but she had to take it, it was time. Or she would lose him.

"We cannot have an entire relationship within the walls of this house", he continued to make his case despite the fact that she had already capitulated. "We need to be able to go out, be together somewhere else, and around other people, in public. Drink, laugh, talk, even if it's just to a neighbourhood (no, I didn't spell this wrong, Diane, who gave me these words, is Canadian and I defer to her spelling in this post) restaurant or that little dessert bar down the street".

Mint Chocolate Cheesecake features a favorite flavor pairing in a delicious creamy cheesecake baked in a crunchy mint chocolate cookie crust. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Mint Chocolate Cheesecake
Mint Chocolate Cheesecake features a favorite flavor pairing in a delicious creamy cheesecake baked in a crunchy mint chocolate cookie crust. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

She could have maintained the status quo, would have preferred it really, maybe not forever but at least for now. It wasn't fair to him, though, and she knew it. He was putting his foot down, and she really couldn't blame him, he was not just doing it for himself, she had to admit that it was for them both.

There was, of course, something she had to do first. One of the hardest things she'd had to do in a very long time. Tomorrow. She'd do it tomorrow.

That night in bed, both emotionally drained and deeply exhausted, despite being as snug as a beetle in a rug (yes, I know the saying is "bug in a rug" but I gotta work with what I've been given here), sleep evaded her. The task ahead of her weighed heavily. Really, this should not be so difficult to do, she should actually be excited, looking forward to it.

But so much was running through her mind: she remembered the day she had met her husband, how much she enjoyed dating him, just being with him. She recalled the slow realization that she was falling for him, relived the day he proposed. Her wedding day was the most perfect day of her life, or so she had thought until just a month ago, when she met the person on whom she was now fully focused.

The next day, she set out to do what she needed to do. She turned to a few trusted friends for advice. Besides giving her valuable direction, they all assured her she would be OK. Better than OK, they all agreed, she'd be happier than she realizes in this moment. Words she later came to acknowledge were, of course, true.

And then, taking a deep breath, she picked up her phone. And put it down again. In the end, though, she did it. She said the words she needed to say, made the required arrangements.

You'd think she'd be relieved, once it was set in stone, but not so much. She questioned herself non-stop, all day long. "Is it too late? Can I undo this? What if I'm not ready?". The thoughts were relentless, even all the way into that evening as she dressed and prepared to leave her home.

An hour later she sat in his car. "I love you", she looked him straight in the eye, "I told you I would leave him and I did".

She actually did it. Left her one month old son with a babysitter and went out with her husband on her official first "date night" as a new mom.

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

Mint Chocolate Cheesecake

11.5 oz package Keebler Fudge Stripe Mint cookies
4 TBSP butter, melted

2 1/2 packages (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup Andes baking chips
1/4 cup chocolate syrup

*Wrap a sheet of tin foil around the bottom and partially up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Lightly grease the inside of the pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
*In a food processor, crush the cookies to fine crumbs, it should make about 2 3/4 cups of crumbs. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumbs and mix the other 2 1/4 cups with the melted butter. Press into and partially up the sides of the prepared pan.
*Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the sour cream and heavy cream, then the eggs, one at a time. Gently fold in the baking chips and the remaining cookie crumbs.
*Pour 1/2 of the batter into the prepared crust. Seal the chocolate into a sandwich bag. Snip a corner of the bag and drizzle half of the syrup over the batter and swirl into the batter, using a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining batter and chocolate syrup.
*Bake for 60 to 75 minutes, until the center is just set.
*Remove from oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
*Gently run a knife around the cheesecake before removing the side of the pan.
*Store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Lost and Found: Corn Mazes and Bonfire Poetry

My poetry's scary, that is true,
But I'm not here to terrify you.
No ghosts flew nor witches brew,
corn mazes and bonfires get their due. 

Ghouls and goblins take a back seat,
through mazes of corn we beat feet.
Put food on sticks, so fun to eat.
No scary topics . . . unless I cheat . . .

Corn Mazes and Bonfires, a monthly poetry challenge based on a theme. | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #poetry

Lost and Found

"It'll be fun", they said
"famous last words" to me.
Through peer pressure though,
I did agree.

A fun fall night,
at the pumpkin farm.
Eat, play, camp out,
what could be the harm?

Not a "roughing it" girl,
for many years now.
Like riding a bike,
can't have forgotten how.

Bogged down with supplies,
we chose our spot.
"an enjoyable night with friends,
could be fun", I thought. 

Got all set up,
by a big fire pit,
then right off to the mazes,
no time to sit.

At first I enjoyed
finding my way through corn, 
but as it got latter,
I became forlorn.

Complete silence replaced
giggles, laughs and glee.
Seems only one left in there,
was I, myself and me.

"Hey, remember me"
I called out in vain.
And now, lucky me,
daylight starts to wane.

Back at the camp
unbeknown to me,
friends were burning
bout half of a tree.

Dinner over a fire
adds to fun,
roasting hot dogs on sticks,
s'mores for everyone.

Maple Pumpkin Snack Crackers are a great fall treat. Share them by the campfire, tailgating or serve them in a fall vegetable soup. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #snack

Maple Pumpkin Snack Crackers
a great snack to share by the campfire
Maple Pumpkin Snack Crackers are a great fall treat. Share them by the campfire, tailgating or serve them in a fall vegetable soup. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #snack

It's then I fortuitously
glanced up to the sky.
What? Are those smoke 
signals that I do spy? 

Despair to hopeful
in seconds flat.
Followed nose and stomach,
got back just like that!

Before you go, click on these links to more poetry from some of my friends:
Dawn of Spatulas on Parade shares A Fiery Twist
Sarah of Sarah Nolan shares Autumn Joy
Diane of On the Border shares Mazed.

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

Maple Pumpkin Snack Crackers

Printable Recipe

3 TBSP vegetable oil
2 TBSP maple syrup
9 oz bag of oyster crackers
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika 

*Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
*In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, cumin and paprika. Add the oyster crackers and mix gently so all of the crackers are coated.
*Spread the seasoned crackers onto the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Stir gently, then bake for another 7 - 10 minutes. Cool completely. 
*Store in a sealed container.