Friday, June 15, 2018

Froggy Went a Hoppin': 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: heart ~ greens ~ along ~ silver ~ tree ~ remote
                        They were submitted by Minette of Southern Belle Charm.

                          
The words I was assigned today took me on a light journey into fiction today.

Operator: 911, what is your emergency?
Caller: She's missing.
Operator: You have a missing person? Is it a family member?
Caller: Yes.

Operator: Is this person in jeopardy? Do you think they could be harmed?
Caller: Yes.
Operator: I can send a few officers to your home. Let me just get a little information. Where was she seen last?
Caller: In the back yard by the trees going into the woods.
Operator: Walking into the woods?
Caller: Hopping along.
Operator: Hopping?
Caller: Yes.
Operator: OK, can I have a brief description? How old is she? What does she look like?
Caller: She's little. She has big legs and green skin
Operator (interrupting): How old are you?
Caller: I'm six.
Operator: Is your mommy there?
Caller: She's in the kitchen making lunch.
Operator: Can I speak with her please?



Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad have all the flavors of Hot Wings. Served cold, you can make it ahead of time and refrigerate for a spicy lunch or dinner on a hot summer day. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #pasta
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

Later on, lunch served and little Alyssa put down for a nap, another phone call was made. This time it was the mom using her cell phone, which she'd vowed never to let out of her sight again.

Mom: There's more than a remote chance we may be in a bit of trouble with the police.
Husband (sighing): Do I even want to know?
Mom: Alyssa took her pet frog out of the terrarium and into the back yard to play.
Husband: Doesn't sound too serious.
Mom: The frog took off into the woods. 
Husband: Oh, no!
Mom: She was very upset. Distraught.
Husband: Doesn't sound like anything illegal, though.
Mom: So she called 911 to report Froggy missing.
Husband (sarcastically): Of course she did.
Mom: Yeah, I had a really fun discussion with the 911 operator about keeping my cell phone in a secure place.
Husband: I bet you had an interesting conversation with our daughter too.
Me. Oh hell yeah. But silver lining? I do love that little girl's heart

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




Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad
                                               ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Ingredients:
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp chili powder 
1/8 tsp cumin
1/2 garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 large chicken breasts
13 Angel Hair pasta
1/2 red pepper, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
1 stick celery, sliced
2 TBSP butter, melted
1 cup Frank's Hot Sauce
4 TBSP Ranch salad dressing 

2 TBSP toasted sesame seeds

Directions:
*Mix together the paprika, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Sprinkle liberally on both sides of the chicken breast. Bake or grill them until completely cooked. Refrigerate to cool. Chop.
*Cook the pasta until al dente. Rinse with cold water and drain 2 - 3 times to stop the cooking process. Drain well. Place in a large bowl and refrigerate until cool.
*Add the chopped chicken, red pepper, green onion and celery to the cooled pasta.
*Whisk together the melted butter, Frank's Hot Sauce, and Ranch dressing. Pour into the bowl. Mix well, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. To serve, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Barefoot Days: May Poetry

This month our poetry group chose the theme Barefoot Days. I love this theme not only because I love the comfort and ease of being barefoot but because it seemed that Spring this year was just took so long in showing up. I start thinking about, longing for really, barefoot days on March 1st. Yes, that's pushing it, but the first day of Spring is officially in the third week of March, so not that far off.

As we head towards the first day of summer, the Monthly Poetry Group celebrates Barefoot Days | www.BakingInATornado.com | #poetry #poem


I got a little taste of the joys of being barefoot as I was on vacation at the beach on the first day of Spring. But, sadly, I returned home to winter weather, which continued (in temperature anyway) pretty much until May 1st. 

Here we are now just days from the first day of summer and I am joyfully in full barefoot mode. The perfect time to pay homage to Barefoot Days through poetry.

Barefoot Days

Boots and clogs and thick wool socks,
winter fashion woes.
How I long to walk around,
nothing on my toes.

Even indoors, toddler years
really are no joke.
We all know the leggos curse, 
holes in feet they poke.

But summer, how you bring me joy,
outside, I barefoot go,
Not a thought is given now,
to ice or sleet or snow.

Barefoot are the days for me.
Beach . . . lawn I care not.
Going shoeless is a dream
even when pavement's hot.

Maybe I should move down south,
live there all year long,
Throw those boots all in the trash,
right where they belong.

Spend all day outside the house,
naked as can be,
Mind out of the gutter, friends,
meant only to the knee.

Leggo minefields are long gone,
winter weather too.
Barefoot. How could that be wrong?
Squish. Neighbor's doggy's poo.
Ewwwwww!

Wishing you all, be it on the beach or on your lawn, a lovely barefoot season. And a home with considerate neighbors.

Nothing says summer like berries, and they’re bursting with fresh flavor on Cinnamon Cheesecake with Mixed Berries. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake

Cinnamon Cheesecake with Mixed Berries
Nothing says summer like berries, and they’re bursting with fresh flavor on Cinnamon Cheesecake with Mixed Berries. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake


Before you go, click on these links to more poetry from some of my friends: 
Jules of The Bergham Chronicles shares Barefoot with You
Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares Barefoot Summer
Diane of On the Border shares Peace
Dawn of Cognitive Script shares My Barefoot Days.


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





Cinnamon Cheesecake with Mixed Berries
                                                                          ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Ingredients:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 TBSP sugar
6 TBSP butter, melted

2 packaged (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla 
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup cinnamon baking chips, finely chopped (I used a clean coffee bean grinder)

1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup chopped raspberries
1 cup chopped strawberries
1/2 cup sugar

Directions:
*Greas a 9 inch springform pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
*Mix together graham cracker crumbs, 2 TBSP sugar and butter. Press into and up the sides of a springform pan.
*Beat the cream cheese, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. Beat in the sour cream and heavy cream, then the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the chopped cinnamon baking chips.
*Pour into prepared crust and bake for 60 - 75 minutes, until the center is just set.
*Remove from oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
*Once the cheesecake is refrigerated, mix the blueberries, raspberries and strawberries with 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl. Place on the counter and stir now and then.
*Gently run a knife around the cheesecake before removing the side of the springform pan. Spoon the berries over the cheesecake and serve.
*Store leftovers, covered, in refrigerator.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Onion Poppy Bagels: Truth or Dare Blog With Friends

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


Blog With Friends, a monthly project based blogging collaboration | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


This month's theme is Truth or Dare.

There will be individual project pictures and links to what everyone else has to offer at the end of my post, but here’s a peek at what we all came up with:

Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Truth or Dare | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #DIY



I made Onion Poppy Bagels.


Onion Poppy Bagels: Crunchy crust, chewy flavorful center. Just 7 ingredients, quick and easy to make. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast

Onion Poppy Bagels
Onion Poppy Bagels: Crunchy crust, chewy flavorful center. Just 7 ingredients, quick and easy to make. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast


"I dare you". Those are pretty scary words, especially coming from your kid. 

I talk to the boys often about this blog, whether to continue writing or if it's time to just let it go. The last time we spoke, I was met with a dare. "Try something outside your comfort zone, Mom, make it more of a challenge".

It's a funny statement coming from my sons. The recipes I develop changed quite a bit once they came along. Before kids, I was more adventurous with ingredients, but once I started cooking for a family, I had to make foods I ultimately thought I had a chance of them eating. So my recipes here have been less avant garde and more pedestrian. They are now grown adults, but they are here for dinner now and then and although their tastes have progressed, they are still rarely adventurous in the foods they are willing to try. And face it, who wants to put their heart and soul into a dish just to throw it out?

One thing I have tried, over and over again, and I have to admit, this is hardly an exotic ingredient, more something most people use fairly regularly, is making breads. The truth is, yeast hates me. We have a history, a longstanding war. I have won a battle or two, but the white flag clearly keeps ending up in my hand.

When the boys had the nerve to dare me to make a bread . . . well, what choice did I have. So for my truth or dare post, I made bagels. Did I cheat? Yes. But I still fulfilled the challenge of this group post.

There is a recipe going around the interwebs, a very popular one for 2 ingredient bagels. I started there, but made some adjustments in ingredients and in the baking. My recipe has just 7 ingredients, all of which I had in the house.


Onion Poppy Bagels: Crunchy crust, chewy flavorful center. Just 7 ingredients, quick and easy to make. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast

I mixed up the dough and unlike the recipes I'd seen, flavored it. I then kneaded and formed the bagels. Many recipes called for an egg wash, but I used melted butter. And although I used poppy seeds for our topping, since that is a favorite around here, next time I'll try a few different toppings including sesame seeds and dried minced onions.


Onion Poppy Bagels: Crunchy crust, chewy flavorful center. Just 7 ingredients, quick and easy to make. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast


I baked them in a hotter oven than the recipes I'd seen and this worked out perfectly for me.
Onion Poppy Bagels: Crunchy crust, chewy flavorful center. Just 7 ingredients, quick and easy to make. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast






Even though they smell delish baking, I let them cool completely before slicing.
 
Onion Poppy Bagels: Crunchy crust, chewy flavorful center. Just 7 ingredients, quick and easy to make. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast


They came out great, crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside. Perfect.

We toasted ours, smeared with cream cheese and topped with some green onions.


Onion Poppy Bagels: Crunchy crust, chewy flavorful center. Just 7 ingredients, quick and easy to make. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast


Yes, I cheated. I didn't live up to the spirit of the dare. I did make a bread product, but I avoided using my nemesis ingredient. So for the purposes of this post I chose truth, admitting my ongoing, embarrassing defeat to a fungus. And, I made a delicious breakfast we all loved. Take that, yeast!

As always, any time you make one of my recipes, feel free to post a picture of it to my Baking In A Tornado Facebook Page. I'd love to see it!


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

Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares Surviving the Beach with Kids.
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Truth or Dare | Surviving the Beach with Kids by Lydia of Cluttered Genius | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Truth or Dare | Chocolate Chip Pound Cake with Fresh Strawberry Sauce and Homemade Chocolate Whipped Cream by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

Tamara of Part-Time Working Hockey Mom shares Truth or Dare, a handful of truths and dares:
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Truth or Dare | Truth or Dare by Tamara of Part-Time Working Hockey Mom | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com


Rabia of The Lieber Family Blog shares Dare to Wear:
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Truth or Dare | Dare to Wear by Rabia of The Lieber Family Blog | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com



Be sure to stop by again next month for more theme based projects.

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Onion Poppy Bagels
                                                                          ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Ingredients:
1 1/8 cups flour, divided
2 1/4 tsp baking powder, divided
3/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
2 TBSP dried minced onions
1 cup unflavored Greek yogurt
1 TBSP butter
4 tsp poppy seeds

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt butter and set aside.
*Mix together 1/8 cup flour, 1/4 tsp baking powder and 1/8 tsp salt and spread over your kneading surface. 
*In a bowl, mix the remaining 1 cup flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 3/4 tsp salt with the 2 TBSP minced onions.
*Mix in the yogurt until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated. Transfer to the prepared surface. Knead for 5 minutes. The dough will come together but still be sticky. Divide into quarters.
*Roll each dough quarter into about a 9 inch log. Form a circle and pinch the ends together. You will have to pinch one side, turn it over and pinch the other side a few times.
*Brush the tops with the melted butter and sprinkle with the poppy seeds.
*Place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven. Cool completely before serving.