Friday, July 3, 2020

Six Degrees of Crayons

You can buy a crayon box with 120 colors. I know 'cause I googled it.

There are few people who don't look around, especially this time of year, and wonder at the display of color Mother Nature presents to us. Beautiful blue skies, deep green leaves, brown soil, white clouds, flowers in every hue. And, when we're really lucky, we may catch a glimpse of a multicolored rainbow above it all. 


Rainbow | Picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com


Before I go on, let me just talk for a second about something else, completely off topic at this point, but I'll come back to it in the end, promise. 

Six degrees of separation. It's a thing. I've got a few interesting ones. In fact, I mentioned in my Flower Power post a couple of days ago, a cousin who created the saying "war is not healthy for children and other living things." Here's another one, my Woody Guthrie six degrees: Woody's son Arlo wrote a song called "Alice's Restaurant", it was made into a TV show starring Linda Lavin, who is a cousin of my step father's. We're interconnected in many ways, we have to just look for them.

Back to the crayons. I wonder, off on some tangent as I frequently go these days, what would happen if we put this whole crayon thing in a different context. What if the skin color of all the people of the world were divided evenly among those 120 colors. That's about 7,500,000,000 (7.5 billion) human beings, 62,500,000 (62.5 million) of whom would have skin the color of each of those crayons. 

What would happen then?

Six Degrees of Crayons, a discussion about color | Graphic created by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


Would the blues only want to associate with other blues? Would they break down into tribes of specific hues within the blue family? What about aquas? Are they blues? Greens? Accepted by each? Outcasts to both?

Would yellows welcome their cousins the oranges? What about reds? Too much pigment for the yellows? But maybe accepted by their closer cousins the oranges? Would the oranges have to keep their relationship with the reds a secret from their yellow cousins? Or admit it right out there in the open?

How far would we take it? Will people be painting their houses? Trading in their cars? Buying a new wardrobe? Can a maroon play with a lime at recess? Would an indigo dare to marry a coral?

Oh, and food. Where do you stand on the whole tricolored rotini issue? A feast for the eyes? Or an inappropriate mix of colors? 

Grilled Scallops in Garlic Wine Sauce. Grilled (or pan seared) sea scallops are served over rotini tossed in a light sauce of wine and broth with garlic and green onions. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #grilling

Grilled Scallops in Garlic Wine Sauce
Grilled Scallops in Garlic Wine Sauce. Grilled (or pan seared) sea scallops are served over rotini tossed in a light sauce of wine and broth with garlic and green onions. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #grilling



If, just for one day, humanity were to be a living breathing embodiment of a box of crayons, how would you react?

Would you look around and see the world in terms of us and them?

Or would you look at the bigger picture and see the beauty in all of those spectacular colors?

And maybe, just maybe, in the spirit of six degrees of separation, would we all finally see just how closely related we are?


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




Grilled Scallops in Garlic Wine Sauce      
                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 TBSP butter
4 cloves minced garlic
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 tsp black pepper
2/3 cup vegetable broth
3/4 cup white wine
1# garden rotini
1 1/2 - 2# sea scallops
salt and pepper to taste
fresh lemon wedges
grated parmesan

Directions:
*Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and green onions. Cook and stir for 2 minutes, then add 1/4 tsp black pepper, vegetable broth and white wine. Bring to the boiling point, then allow to simmer until the rest of the meal is ready.

*Cook the pasta to al dente, drain and keep warm.
*Preheat your grill to medium high. 
*Pat the scallops dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and allow to cook for 3 - 5 minutes, until the bottom is well browned. Flip over and cook another 3 - 5 minutes until they are fully cooked (they'll be opaque and the sides will flake with a fork).
*OPT: you can do this in a large saute pan, just add about 1 TBSP oil and do not crowd the pan.
*Add the sauce to the pasta and mix well. Top with the cooked scallops. Serve with lemon wedges and grated parmesan.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Flower Power 2.0

The hippies were right. 

In many ways, both consequential and insignificant. 

In the 60s there was a movement started by women, mostly mothers of boys btw (go, team!), of non violent resistance at the time to the Vietnam War. Ultimately it evolved into so much more than that, it became about civil rights, and passive resistance in general. It was about empowerment through peace and love. And it caught on, in a really big way.

I could write a whole blog post (and maybe I will) about the correlation between what they marched for back then, and the cause that's taken people to the streets in the present. I could also write a whole blog post (and maybe I will) about the power of a certain flower partaken of back then and the movement to legalize it now. But those are subjects for another day. 

True story: a cousin of mine (I think 3 times removed, but I may be wrong about that) created an iconic graphic back in the 60s. It was simple, a sunflower, with the words "War is not healthy for children and other living things". Perhaps you've heard of it? She later donated the rights to her design to a pacifist group, Another Mother for Peace.  

Flower Power, the ability to make you smile | Picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com



In the era of Flower Power, the flower was meant to symbolize hope.

In the era of the pandemic, I've been celebrating the power of the flower, just by virtue of their soothing beauty, to elicit a smile. A sort of present day "Flower Power 2.0", if you will.

It's not that I didn't know that flowers could make me smile, it's just how amplified that simple need became while I was stuck at home. 

I first realized it on the first weekend of May. I have 4 pots that I fill with flowers every year when we're pretty much guaranteed the threat of overnight frost is gone. For as long as I can remember, I've done it, and I've done it then. For me, it's a symbol that we've made it through winter. I look at those flower pots, in the front of the house and on the back deck and yes, I smile.


Flower Power, the ability to make you smile | Picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com


This year that ritual was threatened, and it made me sadder than I'd thought it could. 

I live in a state where there never was a stay at home order, where stores had to take it on themselves to limit shoppers, post signs saying masks are required, and labeling aisles either up or down. I also live in a state where people did not wear masks, ignored the aisle labels and seemed to go out of their way to approach those of us attempting to social distance. It was every woman for herself. On the first Friday of May, when I went to a few stores that carry flowers, I could see they were packed, people weren't wearing masks or social distancing, I would not go in. I went home, dejected.

On Monday it was pouring. I knew that most local stores that sell flowers present them primarily outside and even those inside are not under a substantial roof, but leaky tarp. Would I? Could I? I drove down to Lowe's with my gloves and mask and saw almost no one flower shopping. I'd get completely soaked, but I could do it. Sloshing, sopping wet, with rain literally dripping into my eyes I made my choices and filled my cart and felt exceedingly lucky (don't ask me about what happened when I checked out, though).

I filled those pots and I smiled.

Flower Power, the ability to make you smile | Picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com


A few weeks later on Mother's day, I was treated to the power of flowers again. Twice.

Flower Power, the ability to make you smile | Picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Completely different looks. Same smile.

Flower Power, the ability to make you smile | Picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com
I have lilacs in my yard, but because of their location they bloom late. In the meantime, one of my neighbors always brings me some of hers.

Flower Power, the ability to make you smile | Picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com


Then mine bloom.

Flower Power, the ability to make you smile | Picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Followed by my Azalias.

Flower Power, the ability to make you smile | Picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Anticipation is building for the upcoming bloom of my Day Lillies.

Flower Power, the ability to make you smile | Picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com




I see, I smell, I smile.

Of course, I have to mention that in my world there's another kind of flower flour that has power too. That same power, coincidentally, to bring a smile to your face.
Orange Blueberry Bundt Cake, full of fruit flavor, this cake is studded with blueberries and mandarin oranges, and is drizzled with an orange topping. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #bake #cake

Orange Blueberry Bundt Cake
Orange Blueberry Bundt Cake, full of fruit flavor, this cake is studded with blueberries and mandarin oranges, and is drizzled with an orange topping. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #bake #cake


Wishing you peace and love. And hope and flowers. Oh, and cake.


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




Orange Blueberry Bundt Cake 
                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
3 TBSP blueberry jam or sugar free blueberry jam
3 TBSP orange marmalade
2 TBSP water, divided
1 box white cake mix
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup canola oil
3 eggs
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup canned mandarin orange segments, drained and cut in half

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 TBSP orange juice
1 TBSP orange marmalade

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan.

*Whisk together the blueberry jam, 3 TBSP orange marmalade and water. Set aside.
*Beat the cake mix, 1 cup of orange juice, canola oil and eggs for 2 minutes, then mix in the blueberries and mandarin orange segments.
*Spread about half of the batter into the prepared pan, drizzle with about 1/2 of the jam/marmalade and water mixture (staying away from the edges of the pan), swirl in with a toothpick and repeat with remaining batter and jam.
*Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch. Cool in bundt pan for 10 minutes, run a knife around the edges and remove to cool completely.
*Once the cake is completely cooled, mix together the remaining orange juice and the remaining orange marmalade. Whisk in the powdered sugar. Drizzle over the cooled cake.

Friday, June 26, 2020

It's Time: 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 Me!

Funny Friday, a multi blogger picture captioning challenge | Picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #funny #laugh



1. Sing that Chicago song along with me: Does anybody really know what time it is . . . does anybody really care?

2. Husband: The face of that clock is on wrong.
Wife: No it's not, tilt your head, you're just looking at it wrong.


3. Friend (looking at the clock): Ummm, nice clock?
Woman: I'm calling it a piece of contemporary art.
Friend: OK?
Woman: That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

4.Husband: It's time.
Wife: Time for what?
Husband: Time to get a new clock.

5. Child: Look mom, I made you a clock.
Mom: It's beautiful, thank you.
Child: Can you set it to the right time?
Mom: You know what, we should let dad do that.

And now for something yummy: 


Apple Bourbon Mini Muffins are juice and apple bourbon flavored pop in your mouth bites studded with fresh apple and chopped walnuts. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #bake #apple

Apple Bourbon Mini Muffins 
Apple Bourbon Mini Muffins are juice and apple bourbon flavored pop in your mouth bites studded with fresh apple and chopped walnuts. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #bake #apple



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

Southern Belle Charm 
Follow Me Home 


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


Apple Bourbon Mini Muffins       
                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (makes 36):
1/2 medium sized apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1 TBSP brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon 
2 cups flour 
3/4 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp apple pie seasoning
1 egg
1/2 cup canola oil 
1/2 cup Jim Beam Apple, divided
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place mini cupcake papers in 36 mini cupcake pan wells or grease the wells.
*In a small bowl, coat the chopped apples with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1 TBSP of the Jim Beam Apple. Set aside.
*In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and apple pie seasoning.
*In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, oil, remaining Jim Beam Apple, and the apple juice.
*Mix the wet ingredients into the dry just until incorporated, then fold in the coated apples and walnuts.
*Spoon about 1 TBSP batter into each prepared tin.
*Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the centers of the top spring back to the touch. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the cups.