Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Irk me Twice

I always say "Irk me once, shame on you. Irk me twice, shame on me". Well, I don't always say it but I'm saying it now. Sometimes you just gotta get a few things off your chest and, well, today's one of those days. So I've made a list of the top things that irk me. I wouldn't be surprised if you see something that hits close to home for you too.

Irk me once, shame on you. Irk me twice, shame on me. | Graphic designed by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #life

~ All drivers. Yes, all of them. And I give them all a piece of my mind, in the privacy of my own car. Like the ones doing 10 mph under the speed limit in the left lane to whom I advise "If you can't drive, stay home." Or the people (always the car in front of me) who don't move when the light turns green but give me the finger when I honk: "Yeah, give me the finger, then go back to kindergarten and learn your colors." 

~ I am the grammar police. I don't mind the newer, more relaxed and conversational way of writing, starting a sentence with "and" or "but", using colloquialisms, that kind of thing. But (see that?) I cannot read a story, post or meme (I even canceled my newspaper) if you can't spell, use an apostrophe, or if you put a comma after every third word just for the hell of it. It's just too distracting. You have something to say, now figure out how to say it. Please.

~ 7am lawn mowers. Why? Just . . . why? Were you not nurtured as a child?

~ People who think that rules not for them. At school pick up, there were 2 lanes between curbs. People waited in line for the right lane, which was where you picked up your kids once you reached the curb. You then you pulled out into the left lane to exit the school property. There were always people who decided that the line was not for them, drove up the left lane, then as someone was pulling out, shoved ahead of what should be the next car, always sticking partway out into the "drive away" lane. It always pissed me off. One day someone did that. I was at the head of the line and shot up the left lane and shoved in behind me, almost hitting my car. He was so close he couldn't pull out until I pulled forward. Well let me tell you, I let every single other car behind us get their kids, pull out and go by. Waved at them all while this guy honked at me, yelled at me, rolled his eyes. Nope, I wasn't moving. I think we were the last two to leave the school. And yes, I'm proud of myself.

Same thing with baking. Although I do believe in making small adjustments to a recipe to serve your tastes, if you have to change too much, chances are this recipe is not for you. A recipe, generally, is a rule. If you don't follow the rules, it may not come out. It's fine if you want to substitute lemon for lime, something like that, but it makes me crazy when someone says they tried my Blueberry Lime Bread but left out half the sugar (cutting back), only used the egg whites, skipped the baking powder cause they didn't have any and only baked it for 10 minutes because they had an appointment, then proceed to tell me that there must be something wrong with my recipe, it doesn't come out. Follow the rules, fool. Sheesh (rolling my eyes).

Light and refreshing, Blueberry Lime Bread features a subtle citrus flavor studded with the burst of fresh blueberries. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe

Blueberry Lime Bread
Light and refreshing, Blueberry Lime Bread features a subtle citrus flavor studded with the burst of fresh blueberries. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe

~ Waste. Even when I go to other people's houses I'll shut off lights in empty rooms. But my older son, he is the worst. He'll turn the TV and fan on in his room, turn the oven on in the kitchen, turn the light on in the basement, then go in the bathroom down there to take a 45 minute shower. Where were you raised anyway? Oh yeah.

~ Religion pushers. I am in the minority religiously and I feel that all the time. Religion serves a purpose in terms of behavior, setting moral parameters. But a lot of what we get from our religion is up to interpretation too. I have no problem with anyone living according to the tenets of their faith. I have every problem with the attitude that all must live according to their beliefs. If you want respect, be respectful.

~ Woodpeckers. Yes, this has become a big problem for me. They peck at the side of my house where the fireplace is, which reverberates through the house. Not only that, but they make holes in the damn siding. We just had to pay close to $1000 to have siding that looked like Swiss cheese pulled off the outside of our house and replaces. Apparently they make loud noises to attract mates, the louder ones get the cheerleaders or something, idk. Someone needs to teach these guys how to wolf whistle.

~ Strangers who call me Honey. It just comes off as so condescending. I always feel like I should tell them "Honey (get how I used that right back?), if you knew me, you'd know I aint nobody's (whoa, call the grammar police) Honey. Actually, I'm more like the bee".

What irks you?

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

Blueberry Lime Bread        

Printable Recipe

1 cup blueberries
1 TBSP flour
6 TBSP butter, softened 
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 TBSP lime juice
1 tsp lime zest
1 container (6 oz) lime yogurt
1/4 cup sour cream
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 TBSP lime juice
1/2 cup powdered sugar

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan.
*Rinse the blueberries and pat dry. Mix with the 1 TBSP flour.
*Cream the butter with the sugar. Beat in the eggs, 3 TBSP lime juice, lime zest, yogurt and sour cream.
*Mix in the flour, salt and baking powder, then finally gently fold in the blueberries.
*Spread into the loaf pan and bake for approximately 55 to 65 minutes, until the top springs back to the touch. Cool for 10 minutes in the loaf pan. Remove from the pan and cool completely.
*Wisk together the 2 TBSP lime juice with the powdered sugar. Drizzle over the bread.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Toilet Brush and Paperback Books: 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: robbersunshine ~ pretty ~ books ~ every
They were submitted by Diane of On the Border.

The first word on my list, robber, is what drove me to tell you this story. In fact, I hadn't thought about it for quite some time, but just seeing that word brought the memory to mind, and I had to smile.

I wasn't smiling at the time. In fact, I probably had to change my pants when all was said and done.

Before I tell you the story, let me just say that back in the day I did a pretty good job of constantly getting myself into sticky situations. Funny now, every one of them, but not at the time. In my very first Secret Subject Swap, all the way back in 2012, I tell one of these stories, about the time I locked myself out on the my third floor apartment deck in my pajamas. There are so many more stories. As I said I tended to get into it on a regular basis. Remind me to tell you about the time both of my boyfriends showed up at the apartment at the same time, or later when my then live-in boyfriend threw a pot plant off my balcony while I was in the process (I later found out from his father) of having an FBI file created on me . . .

Today's story is another one that happened at around the same time. Admittedly it never would have happened in the bright sunshine of daylight. I was living in the apartment and one day I looked out the window to see a furniture delivery truck and someone I recognized. My stepfather owned 2 furniture stores, one an Ethan Allen Gallery and the other nice furniture but not as high end and not as traditional. The person I had seen was my stepbrother delivering furniture to an apartment across the parking lot from mine. I went over there and walked in to see him. Two men about my age were moving in. I ended up becoming friends with them and later dated one of them off and on for many years.

When he and I would come home from work, we'd park our cars in the parking lot between our buildings and often if we saw the other's car or, when it was dark out, if we saw a light on in each other's windows, we'd stop by to say "hello" or to hang out. 

One night, he had gone out to dinner with friends and I was making myself a late dinner when I lost electricity.

Pistachio Crusted and pan sautéed, Cod is such an easy light dinner. The crunchy pistachio coating adds flavor and texture to this mild flavored fish. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Pistachio Crusted Cod

It was pitch black so I grabbed a flashlight and was finding my way to the door to open it to see if it was the whole building. Nope, of course not, it was just my apartment. Great. I left the door open for some minimal light and took the flashlight and went to find the phone number for the management company.

What I didn't know was that my friend had come home and looked up to see if I was around. He saw that no lights were on, but then realized that someone was walking around with a flashlight. Knowing that was just not right, you know what he did, don't you?

The police showed up, saw the moving flashlight in the dark apartment, somehow got in the main door and found my door open. That went well. 

Once I could breathe again, after I was able to prove I was not a robber and yes, once I changed my pants (guns are scary, friends), I went to talk to my friend. I was grateful he was looking out for me but really, I was a recent college graduate living in an apartment with barely a thing to my name. Some decent furniture, that's about it. "So what did you think?", I asked him, "someone was going to get away with my toilet brush and some well read paperback books?"

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

Pistachio Crusted Cod

Ingredients (serves 2):
2 Cod fillets (about 3/4# total)
1 cup roasted shelled pistachios
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp lemon zest
1 egg
1 tsp lemon juice
3 TBSP oil

OPT: fresh sliced lemon or tartar sauce for serving

*Place the pistachios in a food processor, chopping to coarsely fine crumbs. Place on a plate.

*Mix together the flour, salt, pepper, onion powder and lemon zest on a second plate.
*Whisk the egg with 1 tsp lemon juice in a bowl.
*Rinse and pat dry the Cod fillets. Dredge through the flour mixture, tapping off the excess, then dip in the egg mixture, allowing the excess to drip off. Last, coat all sides with the pistachios. Place in the refrigerator for an hour.
*Heat the oil in a saute pan to medium heat. Add the Cod fillets and cook for about 5 minutes, until the nuts have browned. Gently flip over and cook the other side for another 3 to 5 minutes, reducing the heat slightly if the pistachios look like they're getting too dark. 
*Remove fish to a paper towel and check to be sure it's done. NOTE: Fish is done when it is opaque and flakes easily.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

May Day Mayday: May Poetry

It's time to celebrate again,
through rhyming rhythmic prose.
Monthly Poetry Group considered,
and May Day's what we chose.

So we're here to share with you,
our poetry ruminations,
about a day that comes in spring,
that's all about celebrations!

MayDay, a monthly poetry challenge based on a theme. | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com |#poetry

May Day Mayday

May Day comes but once a year,
and we all celebrate.
Play outside, go for a walk,
get out that board and skate.

And it's a day for planting flowers,
sights and smells of spring. 
Of course you know that I'll end up,
with runny nose, cough, bee sting.
  At the may pole young 'uns dance,
round and round they pass.
My age, I think I'll sit it out,
Lest I land on my ass.

It's not a celebration without,
a delicious chocolate treat.
Freshly baked and always shared,
with everyone we meet.

Dark Chocolate Mocha Brownies are a rich, thick dark chocolate brownie infused with coffee flavor and sprinkled with coffee candies. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #chocolate
Dark Chocolate Mocha Brownies

Dark Chocolate Mocha Brownies are a rich, thick dark chocolate brownie infused with coffee flavor and sprinkled with coffee candies. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #chocolate
(going in the oven)

Voices raised we joyously,
together all do sing.
Joined together through song in our,
warm weather worshiping.

BUT . . .

 Like poem writing my crooning skills,
I bet that you can guess.
Are less May Day, let's celebrate,
More Mayday, S.O.S.

Before you go, click on these links to more poetry from some of my friends: 

Dawn of Cognitive Script shares May Day
Diane of On the Border shares My Mayday
Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares Mayday Mayhem.

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

Dark Chocolate Mocha Brownies

Printable Recipe

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 stick margarine
1/2 stick butter
1 TBSP instant coffee granules
1/4 cup French Vanilla flavored creamer
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup Coffee Nut M&Ms

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 TBSP chocolate syrup
1 TBSP French Vanilla creamer

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan
*Melt together the dark chocolate chips, margarine and butter in microwave. Once completely smooth, stir in the instant coffee granules and 1/4 cup of French Vanilla creamer.
*Whisk in the sugar, then the eggs and last the flour. Spread evenly into prepared baking pan. Dot the candies along the top.
*Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until the edges are hardened and the center has just set. Allow to cool to room temperature before topping. 
*Mix together the powdered sugar, chocolate syrup and remaining 1 TBSP French Vanilla creamer until smooth. Drizzle over the brownies, cut and serve.