Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Pardon Me

It started with a burp. Not many things do, but this did. And not just any burp either, a public one.

It wasn't me, it wasn't even a family member. In general, they're not really a problem, I'm a firm believer that our home is our safe zone, if you gotta burp, this is the place to do it. I'd prefer you leave the room before releasing gas of any sort, but no such luck on this one either. Yeah, the joys of living with all men.

The burp in question here was actually delivered by a stranger. I was walking past him in a parking lot (at a safe distance, no less) at the time. "Pardon me," he said. Shocking me really, because we were moving in opposite directions, had already passed each other. He didn't have to say anything. But he asked and I did. Pardon him. Because I could. I had the power.

Pardon Me | Graphic designed by and property of www.BakingInATorando.com | #Humor #MyGraphics

And there it was. Realization. I have the power. Of the pardon. And while I'm feeling generous, I intend to use it. 

  By the power vested in me, by no one in particular, it is my honor to pardon you:

~ Scanner. I'm not sure what the argument was about, but my scanner is currently not speaking to my laptop. I'm not one to interject myself in a fight that isn't mine, but how the hell did I end up being the one to suffer the consequences of this one? I'm innocent. Collateral damage. And damn, I need that scanner more when it doesn't work than when it does.

~ Snow, for not taking a hint. It settles on our driveway, gets shooed away, comes back, is thrown aside and just comes back again. Of course in the name of full disclosure I have to admit that it's pretty easy for me to do the pardoning, I'm not the one who runs the snowblower around here.

~ Grocery store, for being out of Chambord. Not just toilet paper and past, but Chambord. Don't get me wrong, I love Chambord, and nothing's going to stop me from replacing my bottle, I will hunt that stuff down near or far. But not finding it the first time resulted in my impulse buy of Bailey Strawberry and Cream, and aint nothing wrong with that.

~ Guy Fieri. Yes, I said it. That man is personally responsible for a good 10 pounds. Of mine. Every time I try to watch a show he hosts, I end up with a snack in my hand, and we're not talking celery here. Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives has made me weak, weighty and waddling.

Crispy Cod Fingers, for lunch or for dinner, fresh cod pieces are coated and fried in a skillet. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Crispy Cod Fingers
Crispy Cod Fingers, for lunch or for dinner, fresh cod pieces are coated and fried in a skillet. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

~ Onions, the ultimate love/hate relationship. They make me cry, every time, are responsible for that meticulously applied mascara running all the way down my face. And although I pardon you, don't get your hopes up, you're still getting chopped.

~ Frizzy hair. We've been together for many years, joined at the head as we are. I pardon not of free will but out of sheer necessity. Because ripping it out or shaving it off being my only other options kinda leaves me no other choice.

~ Morning. Don't get me wrong, at my age I'm grateful every morning I wake up and get out of bed without breaking a hip. Thing is, I just don't see why morning has to come so . . . you know . . . early. But as long as I can keep getting up, morning will be pardoned.

~ People who sing off-key. This pardon was kinda mandatory since it includes me. But I have learned, through the years, that no matter what you sound like, when you gotta sing, you gotta sing. Especially now.

Under consideration but didn't make the list:
self check-outs
Mark Zuckerberg 
daylight savings time
last call 
parking lots

Not even considered:
viruses, any and all

Anything I missed?

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Crispy Cod Fingers      

1# skinless Cod fillets
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp dried dill
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp paprika

about 1 cup vegetable oil

additional salt
OPT: Thousand Island dressing, tartar sauce and/or fresh lemon

*Rinse the cod, pat it dry, and slice it into strips about 1 inch thick.
*Mix the flour with the salt and pepper on a dish.
*Whisk the egg with 2 TBSP water in a bowl.
*Mix together the cornstarch, dill, cayenne, and paprika on another dish.
*Dredge the fish, one piece at a time in the flour, then dip in the egg, then coat completely with the cornstarch. 
*Pour about 1/2 inch of oil into a large skillet. Heat over medium high until hot. If you gently drop a little cornstarch in the skillet and it sizzles, it's hot enough.
*Very carefully add the fish fingers to the skillet, try not to let them touch each other. Allow to cook, about 2 minutes, until they start to brown. If the oil sputters, turn the heat down just a little.
*Gently roll the fish fingers over and cook on the other side, about 2 minutes. Remove to paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and allow to drain.
*OPT: serve with Thousand Island dressing or tartar sauce for dipping, and/or fresh lemon wedges to squeeze over the top of the fish.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Soak Up the Sun: Funny Friday

Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.

Funny Friday:a multi-blogger challenge: one picture, five captions,  | developed and run by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Here's today's picture. It was submitted by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade.

Funny Friday, a multi blogger picture captioning challenge | Picture submitted by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com | #funny #laugh

1. Cat to family: I see a perfect spot for you to move my food bowl. Now would be good.

2. Cat to family: Anyone else in the mood for some Sheryl Crow? Sing with me now, I'm gonna soak up the sun, gonna tell everyone to lighten up.

3. Cat to family: Someone contact Katrina and the Waves, they need to change their song. It's not about Walking on Sunshine, it's about laying in it.

4. Cat to family: Hey, can I borrow someone's shades?

5. Cat to family: I know you just mopped the floor so I hate to tell you this, but you missed a spot.

 And now for something yummy: 

Tutti Frutti Party Cake, a fun colorful cake with hints of lemon, strawberry, orange and key lime, perfect for any occasion. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Tutti Frutti Party Cake
Tutti Frutti Party Cake, a fun colorful cake with hints of lemon, strawberry, orange and key lime, perfect for any occasion. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile: 

Spatulas on Parade 

Follow me Home 

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Tutti Frutti Party Cake

1 box white cake mix
1 cup milk 
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
2 TBSP Limoncello (can substitute 1 1/2 tsp lemon extract)
3 drops yellow food coloring
2 TBSP Chambord (can substitute 1 tsp strawberry extract)
2 drops red food coloring
2 TBSP Grand Marnier (can substitute 1 tsp orange extract)
2 drops orange food coloring (or use 2 drops yellow and 1 drop red)
2 TBSP multicolored sprinkles

NOTE: to frost the cake, you can use the full recipe, but to pipe, you can cut it in half:

2 sticks butter, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 TBSP Key Lime juice
2 drops green food coloring
1 cup powdered sugar

2 TBSP multicolored sprinkles

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 X 13 pan.
*Beat the cake mix, milk, oil, eggs and sour cream for 2 minutes. Remove one cup of the batter to a bowl and another cup of the batter to another bowl. 
*To the batter still in the mixing bowl, mix in the Limoncello or lemon extract and 3 drops of yellow food coloring. Pour evenly into the prepared pan.
*To one of the bowls of batter, mix in the Chambord or strawberry extract and 2 drops of red food coloring. Set aside.
*To the last bowl of batter, mix in the Grand Marnier or orange extract and orange food coloring.
*Drizzle the red and the orange batter over the yellow batter, then sprinkle 2 TBSP multicolored sprinkles over the top. Using a toothpick, swirl them together. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch. Cool completely.
*Cream the butter until smooth. Beat in the sweetened condensed milk, Key Lime juice, green food coloring and powdered sugar.
*TO SPREAD: Pour the frosting over the cake and spread evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining multicolored sprinkles and refrigerate 1/2 hour to set.
*TO PIPE: Place the frosting into a piping bag. Refrigerate the frosting and the cake for 1/2 hour. Pipe the frosting onto the cake, sprinkle with the remaining multicolored sprinkles and refrigerate to set.
*Bring cake to room temperature to serve.


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Be My Guest: Opposites Really Do Attract

Today I've decided to give you all, my beloved readers, a bit of a break. You can thank me later (OR you can thank me by stopping by again on Friday when I'll be publishing another post. Yeah, do that second one).

It's been a while since I bribed, persuaded, cajoled, wheedled, coaxed (you get the idea) someone to write a guest post for my blog. 

Seems I'd been doing it all wrong. Instead of twisting someone's arm (College Boy, I'm looking at you), I should have been taking another approach. Entice, that's the ticket. With a little quid pro quo (a term I can now use since everyone in this country knows what that means). 

My friend Rena McDaniel was looking for a guest post for one of her three (yes, three) blogs, The Diary of an Alzheimer's Caregiver. I'd written a piece, not about Alzheimer's specifically, but a personal account of my feelings when I lost my dad to the disease. I was happy to let her share it with her readers . . . for a price . . .

Today she's paying up. So lucky you (and lucky me for having such a great friend), I have the honor of sharing what Rena took time out from her busy day week month life to write for Baking In A Tornado.

Be My Guest, guest post blogging series. | Graphic created by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #blogging #MyGraphics

First I want to thank Rena for taking the time to share her post today. But most of all I want to thank her for her kind words, her unconditional support and her friendship. Be sure to visit her blogs, she offers something for everyone:

And I'm going to let Rena introduce herself:

I'm Rena and I'm a 50 year old child in an old woman's body. I love to take long road trips, build websites and write stories about my adventures or even the latest trip to the grocery store. I'm a wife of 29 years, a mom and a grandma and I run my own web design/maintain/troubleshooting business. When I'm not creating CSS, or piled up in the passenger seat of our car, you will find me happily playing with my grand kids, reading a book, or wrapped around a cheeseburger!

Opposites Really Do Attract

Karen and I have been friends for a few years now and even though we've never met IRL, she has seen me through some of the most painful lows and celebrated my highest highs. I love her dearly and consider her one of my very best friends BUT we are total opposites!

I absolutely love to cook, which we definitely have in common, but loving to cook and being good at it aren't always the same thing. Love definitely doesn't equal skill.

Karen can open her refrigerator, look at its contents and come up with a 10 course meal that is not only delicious but picture perfect. I can take a well written recipe and mangle it so badly it doesn't even resemble what I was trying to achieve. 

It will either be burned or undercooked. I will have injuries such as burns or cuts. The kitchen usually ends up in disaster just like whatever it is I'm attempting. I actually used to be what I'd consider a good cook, back when I had a gas stove and half a brain.

I threw dinner parties on Sundays and have served upwards of 20 people. Hell, I even cooked all of the food for my very own wedding! That was almost 30 years ago and since then my body and brain have been beaten senselessly. 

Today things like adding and subtracting doesn't come easily for me. Things like ingredients can become so overwhelming that I often just throw in what I think goes . . . mostly it doesn't. My poor sweet husband has suffered through so many bad meals that I'm surprised he doesn't have stomach issues, or asked for a divorce.

I once served my family a bloody turkey on Thanksgiving because I couldn't figure out time vs weight. I also don't understand spices. I love them, buy them all. I'm a sucker for a pretty jar but I often use too much or forget to add them altogether.

I come to Karen's site for guidance, inspiration and even to whine when things go wrong. I have made some of Karen's recipes and they were actually successful. She taught me how to make a cheese sauce that my husband begs for and would eat every single day! I also made her Marinara sauce that was well received, but these days take-out is king at my house!

Got you covered, Rena. Here's a recipe anyone can follow:

Mocha Butterfingers Milkshake, vanilla and mocha flavored ice cream is infused with butterfingers candy bits for a unique sweet treat. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #sweet

Mocha Butterfingers Milkshake 
Mocha Butterfingers Milkshake, vanilla and mocha flavored ice cream is infused with butterfingers candy bits for a unique sweet treat. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #sweet

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

Mocha Butterfingers Milkshake        

Ingredients (per milkshake):
1/3 cup brewed coffee
2 TBSP French vanilla creamer
1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream
1 TBSP chocolate syrup
1/2 cup finely chopped Butterfingers candies

*Mix the creamer into the coffee. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Place the ice cream, coffee and chocolate syrup in a blender and blend until smooth. 
*Add the chopped Butterfingers and blend again until fully incorporated.
*For a thinner milkshake: blend in up to 1/4 cup of milk, a little at a time.
*For a thicker milkshake: freeze for an hour.