Friday, June 29, 2012

For Sale

It’s June, and June (at least in this part of the country) is yard sale time.  Yard sales are serious business.  They are planned for and neighborhood coordinated and strategized.  It’s a time of year when everyone puts all their crap out in their front yard in the hopes that someone else will take out the trash.
I’m not much of a yard sale kinda girl, so I’ve only had 2 yard sales in my life.  At the time of the first one, I had a ton of large baby toys, slides, tricycles, teeter totters, and playhouses.  The afternoon before the sale, I had Husband help me get the bigger items out front to be put into the garage for the morning.  What happened next shocked me.  Cars started screeching to a halt in front of my house.  We made about $500 the night BEFORE the sale started.  It was time to reconsider what kinda girl I was.
When Younger Son was really little we noticed that whenever anything was put out front (flags on the 4th of July, pumpkins at Halloween) Younger Son would put his pinecone and his seashell on the front porch.  He was only 3 when he started doing this and wasn’t able to articulate his thought process.  To this day I don’t know what this was all about, but I remember thinking during my yard sale that maybe Younger Son had just been a yard-saler before his time.  Younger Son is exceedingly smart and although he couldn’t tell me then, I think he was waiting for cars to come screeching to the curb for his pinecone and seashell.
Now for the yard sale the kids asked if they could have a lemonade stand.  Any parent knows that a lemonade stand means you buy the paper goods and lemonade.  You make the lemonade, set up the stand, make more lemonade, give them money for change, make more lemonade and then clean up the trash.  All so your kids can make a few pennies. It would be easier just to hand them each a couple of bucks, but it’s a rite of passage so you have to just go with it. You don’t have to make home-made goodies for them to sell too, but you know I did.
Chocolate Mint Bars | | #recipe
Chocolate Mint Bars
Older Son has always been a bit of a hoarder.  I don’t honestly know if he doesn’t want to throw stuff away or just couldn’t be bothered.  My guess is it’s 50/50, but either way this kid keeps some ridiculous stuff.  He keeps a year’s worth of papers in his backpack.  If I force him to clean it out and get himself organized, he apparently just puts it all in his room.
Years later, in our second and current home, I had my second ever yard sale.  This time I told the kids that I would put out a table for them.  They could put anything on it they wanted and set their own price.  We talked about being flexible in price and being willing to negotiate, but any money they made was theirs.  Older Son went into the house, came out with a huge pile of papers, plunked them down on the table with a sign that said:

For Sale | | #MyGraphics

Here was my sign:

For Sale | | #MyGraphics

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Chocolate Mint Bars

Printable Recipe

½ cups plus 2½ cup chocolate chips
3 sticks butter, softened
1 pkg Keebler Chocolate fudge stripe cookies, finely crushed
¾ tsp plus 1 1/8 tsp mint extract
¾ tsp vanilla                             
1/3 cup milk
Green food coloring, opt
3 ¾ cups powdered sugar
*Grease 9 X 11 pan.
*Microwave ½ cup chocolate chips and 1 stick of butter for 40 seconds.  Stir and keep microwaving and stirring  at 10 second intervals until smooth.  Stir in the cookie crumbs and press into bottom of pan.  Refrigerate 15 minutes or till cool.
*Beat 1 stick butter, ¾ tsp mint extract, vanilla, milk and food coloring.  Carefully beat in powdered sugar.  Spread over cookie crust.  Refrigerate 10 minutes.
*Microwave 1 stick of butter, the rest of the chocolate chips, and the rest of the mint extract for 30 seconds.  Stir and microwave at 10 second intervals until smooth.  Let cool while previous layer sets in fridge.
*Spread last chocolate layer over the powdered sugar layer and refrigerate one hour before cutting.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I Apologize

To everyone who takes the time to read my blog and has come here again looking for a funny graphic or a picture of my latest baking attempt, I’m sorry.  Today I have something to say and it’s not funny.
I try to keep this blog light.  I’m trying to cry less and laugh more and I’m hoping that by venting in this way I’m helping you to laugh too.  I try to stay away from controversial topics like religion or politics.  I have my opinions, of course, but I’ve decided not to express them here.
Here is my exception:
Every single person I know falls into the category of “minority” in one way or another.  That means that at any given time, on someone else's whim, any one of us could fall prey to verbal or physical abuse.  What I’m addressing is bullying and don’t fool yourself, we are all at risk.  Each and every one us, our kids, our parents, siblings, spouses, we all potentially have a target on our backs.   Bullying is the current politically correct hot topic and well it should be.  I want to come at it from a different angle, though, and I hope you’ll find my perspective worth considering.
I curse.  I wish I didn’t but I do.  If I drop a carton of eggs on the floor, chances are an “f-bomb” is following it down to the floor.  I’ve raised my kids not to swear, even trying the absurd “just ‘cause I do it doesn’t make it right” argument.  My boys are young adults and I get angry when I hear them curse, but who am I kidding.  I shouldn’t be surprised when they do what I do instead of what I say.  It’s my own fault and I need to own it.
Kim Kardashian was flour-bombed at a public function.  Supposedly the flour was publicly thrown at her to object to Kim’s willingness to wear fur.  Peta claimed no responsibility but issued a statement applauding the woman who did it.  Whatever your opinion is of any individual or their actions, assault is not the answer.  Anyone who thinks that the best way to object to cruelty towards animals is to perpetrate or even applaud cruelty towards people really needs to do a little more thinking.  This is bullying, folks.  This is adults bullying other adults.  Or applauding it.   And guess who’s watching.  Our kids.
The absolute worst example we can set is when we allow adults to bully kids.  High School is an awkward time between childhood and adulthood when kids are trying to get comfortable in their own skin.  Amid bouts of insecurity they are trying to grow and change and mature.  It’s not an easy transition.
About a year ago there was a commotion going on outside the High School up the street.   There are gay students at the school of course, and members of a group known for this sort of thing were carrying derogatory signs aimed at gay students.  I know we have freedom of speech in this country and I know that the protesters had to stay a certain number of feet away, but they were right there on the sidewalk.  Ultimately they were directly in front of the place where young adults are REQUIRED to go and where we as their parents assure them they will be safe.  What were the protesters doing there?  Bullying kids, plain and simple.  Understand, this isn't about whatever you or I believe concerning gay rights.  It's about whether you believe that adults should be bully High School students.  As a parent I can do nothing about it.  I’m left with trying to explain to my kids why these people, many not even members of this community, can come here and harass students at their school.
If children are more apt to follow our example than our words, what are we as grown adults doing?  If we seriously want to make an impact on bullying, then adults need to stop publicly bullying other adults and most importantly stop bullying children.  Do we want to discuss this issue, or do we want to make a difference?  The simplest way to effect change is to take a good hard look through the eyes of the most impressionable.  If WE change what they SEE, maybe THEY’LL change what they DO.

Eminiem Quote | | #MyGraphics

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Monday, June 25, 2012

I Used to Mow the Lawn

I used to mow the lawn.  It relieved stress.  “Smart guy”, you’re thinking. “How did her husband convince her that taking over mowing the lawn would relieve stress?”  “Don’t let her talk to MY husband” you’re thinking.  Well, it’s not like that.
From the time my kids were born I got them up in the morning, dressed them and brought them down for breakfast with Dad.  I realized early on that it’s difficult for working fathers and babies to be home and awake at the same time. So whatever else the day held, at least Rick and the kids (even as babies) had breakfast together.
I later realized that on the occasions that Husband was home from work and the kids happened to be awake, Husband was frequently mowing the lawn.  If I mowed the lawn during the day, Husband could be with (and bathe, my evil hidden agenda) the kids.  That was how it started.  I realized pretty quickly that mowing relieved stress.  It allowed me 45 minutes of aerobic exercise, blocked out the world, and let me reflect (or zone out) and unwind.  It was my yoga.  I did not hear the phone ring, did not hear the doorbell and as the kids got older, did not hear the fighting for 45 glorious minutes a few times a week . . .AND the lawn got mowed.  Win, win.
When my kids hit Middle School, a few things happened.  First, we were looking for a substantial contribution for our oldest son to make to family responsibilities.  In the spring, summer and early fall, mowing seemed like the best choice.  Second, more and more kids (both from the neighborhood and from school) seemed to be hanging out here.  By then we had progressed to family dinners and all the (mostly skateboarders) knew that we had family dinner at 6pm and at 5:45 anyone still here got a ride home.  In those days my pantry got stocked and was emptied all in one day.
Truth be told, it’s kind of a chicken/egg kind of thing.  Did I start baking more because kids were hanging out or were kids hanging out because I baked more?  Everyone does the snack thing differently.  One neighborhood family provided snacks for their own kids and their kids’ guests only.  I thought it was strange that those kids and their guests would come ring my doorbell to play outside my house with my kids and drop their trash on my lawn but not share.  I do get it, you can’t feed everyone all the time but it was weird.  Eat your snacks, throw out your trash and THEN come over.  I do remember sending my kids out front with ice cream cones after an early dinner and having them take orders for cone flavors from all the neighborhood kids who were out at the time and thinking “if they haven’t had dinner yet, those kids’ Moms are gonna kill me”.  We always share here, with everyone.
Anyway, chicken/egg or egg/chicken, no matter where you stand on the issue, I started baking.  Initially it CAUSED stress.  After all, my creations never looked like the beautiful pictures on those recipes.  They still don’t.  But something else happened too.  The kids didn’t care.  They hadn’t seen the pictures and didn’t know what I was going for.  Score.  The rewards, much like those from mowing, sort of took me by surprise.  I was back in the zone.  I could block out whatever was bothering me to concentrate on the recipe.  I could be creative, allowing my right brain a little exercise (not quite the same as the physical exercise I got from mowing, but you take what you get).  It really clicked, though, the last day of school one year when I made a Cheeseburger Cake.  All these years later and I still have the picture (see below).  I got complements.  All the kids were impressed.  Not so impressed that they didn’t eat it, but that cake was a real breakthrough.
The mowing responsibilities have moved on from my older son to my younger son, but I still bake…

Cheeseburger Cake | | #recipe

Cake made to look like a cheeseburger.  I’M impressed.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

"Cheeseburger" Cake

18 oz pkgs of white and chocolate cake mixes and ingredients specified on box
Containers of chocolate and of vanilla frosting
Brown food coloring
Red food coloring
24 orange starburst
Green fruit rollups
White sprinkles
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a 8 inch round , a 9 inch round, and a 2 quart ovenproof (8 inch diameter) bowl.
*Prepare cake mixes as per box.  Pour 1 ¾ cups of yellow mix into 8 inch round pan, and the rest into the bowl.
*Pour ¾ cups chocolate cake mix into the 9inch round pan.
*Bake 8 inch pan 25 minutes, bake 9 inch pan 20 minutes and bake bowl 1 hour (or until they spring back to touch).
*Cool in pans for 10 minutes, remove and cool completely.
*Remove a little vanilla frosting and tint red (for ketchup).  Tint the rest light brown.
*Frost the 8 inch cake sides light brown.  Place some green roll ups over the sides to look like lettuce.  Top with 9 inch chocolate cake and carefully frost with chocolate frosting.
*Put orange starburst in single layer on a plate and into microwave 10 -15 seconds.  Form into 9 inch square (with hands) to look like cheese.  Put on the chocolate cake.
*Drizzle the red frosting to look like ketchup.
*Trim the cake from the bowl so it’ll fit flat on the “burger”.  Frost with rest of light brown frosting and put on top of cake.  Can sprinkle with white sprinkles to look like sesame seeds.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Quiche and Monkey Bribe . . .I mean bread!

Which is worse, quiche for dinner or stitches between the eyes?
I always thought I was a decent cook.  Not “food network is knocking at your door” material, but I could hold my own.  As it turns out, I’m worse than a hole in the face.
My first hint came when the kids were little. We were sitting at the table listening to them whine about dinner and in exasperation my husband says “Listen, I eat plenty of things I don’t like around here and you don’t hear me complaining”.  Sheesh, thanks for the help.
But I went along my merry way, until one night, 6 years ago, when I made quiche for dinner.  I remember that it was winter.  My husband was still at work, older son was in the garage skateboarding (as usual), and younger son was watching TV.  Without screaming or crying or fanfare of any kind my older son comes into the kitchen from the garage and says “Mom, mom, look, I hurt myself”.  That was an understatement. There was a hole in his face that I was trying not to throw up in and I could see cartilage.
Turns out in an emergency I panic.  OK, truth be told first I turn off the oven, then I panic.  I convinced younger son, who was unwilling to leave his TV show, that he had to come NOW and we went off in the car.  I’d like to say that we went right to Children’s hospital, but my brain was not functioning.  First we went to where an Urgent Care used to be but it wasn’t there any more, now there was a hospital in its place.  So I left (no, I do not know what the heck I was thinking) and went to a Children’s Urgent Care.  That wasn’t open yet so I went to a third Urgent Care.  We didn’t wait our turn, they took one look at my son and brought him in back.  The doctor said what I actually somewhere in my brain knew, “this is a child’s face, take him to Children’s Hospital”.
At Children’s Hospital they stitched up my son’s face.  Brave Mom that I am, I held his hand (while both facing away and shutting my eyes, just in case).  A few times the Doctor had to move my younger son’s face out of the way as he watched each stitch intently, but eventually cartilage was covered.  Compassionate Mom that I am, the whole way home my kids got to listen to me say over and over “don’t ever do that to Mommy again.  Please, please don’t ever do that to Mommy again”.

Stitches between the eyes, Quiche and Monkey Bribe |

When we got home, I wasn’t thinking about dinner.  I let the kids fix themselves a sandwich whenever they got hungry.  It had been a traumatic evening.  What I didn’t realize is that the boys deemed the episode well worth it to get out of having quiche.  Years later, once I got over the correlation in my head between quiche and stitches and tried again to make quiche, the boys threatened to do something to require stitches to again get out of that particular dinner. 
And that brings us to the Monkey Bread.   I made it once and they loved it.  So now if I want quiche, I just make a Monkey Bread to go with it as a bribe…I mean consolation prize. .. I mean palatable (get it?) option to stitches.  But just for the record, real men DO . . .

Monkey Bread, an ooey gooey, cinnamon treat | recipe developed by | #recipe #breakfast

Monkey Bribe

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Monkey Bread

Printable Recipe

16 Rhodes Texas Rolls, semi defrosted enough to cut into quarters
½ small pkg vanilla pudding mix
Melt together:  1 stick butter, 1 cup brown sugar, and 2 tsp cinnamon
*Grease bundt pan.  Roll quarters of texas rolls in pudding mix.  Place into bundt pan.
*Pour melted butter mix over top.  Lay damp towel over top and put into cold oven.  (You may want to put tin foil under pan).
*Leave for 5 hours (or overnight).
*Remove towel and leaving pan in, turn oven on to 350 degrees.  Cook for 30 minutes loosely covering top with foil for last 15 minutes.
*Remove from oven and cook 15 minutes before inverting out of pan.

Cross posted on 8-27-12 on BlogHer

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Father's Day Math

Father’s Day  –  the kids   =   ?
Last Sunday was Father’s Day.  After all these years, I’d gotten used to celebrating Father’s day without my Father (who lives halfway across the country).  For the past 17 years I’ve been planning Father’s Day as a celebration for my kids and THEIR father. What this means is that I do all the planning, shopping, cooking and baking and my kids hand their Dad the card I bought for him from them (but in the spirit of participation, that they DID sign).
This year though, both kids were working.
But that’s no reason why I couldn’t make this equation balance, it’s just more of a challenge, build-up required.  It started on Wednesday when I made some Homemade Hot Fudge for the ice cream cake I’d be making for Father’s Day.  I decided to surprise the boys with a mint chocolate chip hot fudge sundae for lunch (note to those who are health conscious: no bacon in mine so mine’s way healthier than BK’s).  Doesn’t make me a good Mom, but it sure made me a popular one!

Homemade Hot Fudge |

See, no bacon!
Thursday morning when the kids left for summer school, I was in the kitchen whipping the cream for the ice cream cake.  Didn’t say anything, didn’t plan any special lunch, just standing there in my nightgown with my eyes half shut and my pony-tail off kilter whipping the cream.  Not pretty, but a good subtle point was made:  This cake is going to have whipped cream too!
Next came the Ice Cream Cake itself.  Friday morning was for assembly, and setting the hook.  If by some miracle any men out there are reading this, yes, I’m making an analogy between baking (well, really parenting) and fishing.  We are talking about Father’s Day after all.
Now all that was left was to reel them in.  I scheduled dessert for a time when I knew both kids would be home from work on Sunday night.  I knew I had ‘em.  Now the equation is looking something like this:
Ice cream cake  +  whipped cream  +  hot fudge  =  Father’s Day  +  the kids

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake |

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

I think I deserve an “A”.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

NOTE: Click here for Homemade Hot Fudge recipe: Ode to a Reader

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 TBSP confectioner's sugar
12 ice cream sandwiches
Hot fudge sauce, warm to just spreadable (I make my own, but you can buy it)
chopped butterfingers candies
*Line a 8 X 11 inch pan with plastic wrap, allowing the wrap to hang over the sides.
*Beat heavy cream with confectioner's sugar until stiff peaks form.
*Put 6 ice cream sandwiches into bottom of pan, touching each other any way they will fit. You may need to cut some and put them along the sides of the whole sandwiches depending on the size and shape of your pan.
*Spread a thin layer of fudge over the sandwiches, then sprinkle with some of the butterfingers.
*Spread about 1/3 of the whipped cream  over the top.
*Repeat all layers ending with whipped cream/
*Use remainder of whipped cream to frost front, back and sides.
*Drizzle remainder of fudge sauce over the top.
*Freeze until hardened, then gently cover with plastic wrap.
*Keep frozen until serving.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Eye of the Storm

In case you were wondering or (gasp) losing interest, this will be my final blog about my blog and about naming my blog.  Stick with me, better yet follow me (sorry, this will probably NOT be my final shameless plug).  More fun stuff ahead, I promise.
“Baking in a Tornado” started life as “Eye of the Storm”.  Of course that name was taken so I had to move on to plan B.  This happened with my other kids (of the human variety).  I had chosen my favorite name and it was nixed.  My husband didn't like it, my family didn't like it, my grandmother didn't even like it (but she was campaigning on some type of platform about people who let their grandparents name their child).  I tried again a year later, same name different son, but never did win that particular battle.  The thing is I also love the names we ended up choosing and now I can't picture my kids with any other name.
I thought I’d share the thoughts that led to my choice of the name “Eye of the Storm”.  It holds true for “Baking in a Tornado” also, and I’ve come to especially appreciate this new name.  It represents what I was trying to express in a name every bit as well as my choice, AND it was chosen by someone I love.
Another reason why I like this new name is something brought to my attention by my friend, Kathy.  She posted the kindest compliments recommending my blog to her FB friends (especially nice since I stole a trip to Hawaii from her all those years ago).  She mentions that I am a friend of hers from Boston and says “she now lives in the Midwest so that explains the tornado reference, not the state of her kitchen when she's done”.   Don’t tell Kathy, but she lied to all her friends.  I hadn’t thought of this interpretation of the name but that IS the state of my kitchen when I bake…and the state of my clothes…and my hair…
You know what’s so bad about being in the eye of the storm?  Yes, you’ve survived part of that storm, but you’re in the middle.  You know there’s more and it’s heading your way.   Will it get stronger, meaning the worst is yet to come?  Will it weaken, meaning the worst is over?  You don’t really know.  But you have a window.  While you can, breathe…and bake…
I love this little ditty I found and posted on a friend’s FB wall.  It said something like this:

Eye of the Storn | | #MyGraphics

I posted this on Laurie’s wall because Laurie is a friend from my high school days who is an eternal optimist.  No matter what I’ve ever seen happen to her, she doesn’t let it get her down, she looks up with a smile.  But according to this interpretation of the glass half empty/half full debate, we’re sort of on even ground…I like that…a lot!  Because right now I’m in the eye of the storm.  I am decidedly beaten and battered and bruised and I have a feeling the second half is gonna be a killer.  So for now, I’ll breathe…and bake . . .and drink . . .

"Watermelon" Jello Shots |

“Watermelon” jello shots

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

"Watermelon" Jello Shots
4 - 6 limes, cut in half and carefully scoop out pulp
Chocolate jimmies (sprinkles)
1 (3 oz) box strawberry jello
1 cup boiling water
1 cup fresh strawberries
1/2 cup vodka

*Dissolve jello in boiling water.
*In food processor, liquefy the strawberries.
*Mix the strawberries and the vodka into the jello.
*Refrigerate until it starts to thicken (about an hour) then skim off foam.
*Carefully spoon into the lime "cups".
*Refrigerate another 2 1/2 hours or until firm.
*Carefully cut the lime pieces in half and sprinkle sides with chocolate jimmies.

Adapted from

Saturday, June 16, 2012

What's in a Name?

When I was trying to decide whether to blog or not to blog, I did ask my family about picking a name.  I knew this could turn out to be a mistake, but ultimately I was blind-sided by the direction that mistake came from.  Let’s just say it was from someone who hasn’t seen his “teens” in quite a while.
First, my younger son was at work, so it was my older son and my husband who got to brainstorm (more like brain drought) in the initial round.  My son fired the first salvo and it was much as expected.  Something about me being a woman and being in the kitchen.  A salvo is defined as the firing of guns either to hit a target or to perform a salute.  Let’s just say this kid was NOT saluting me.
But it was my husband whose thoughts got away from him.  “How about Karen’s Kreative Kitchen, you can use KKK.  Oh, oops, DEFINITLY not”.  This was the point at which Jason banned his father from the rest of the discussion.  I said “what about Baking 4 J&J” (for my kids' names) “Clever”, I thought.  “Forget it Mom, that’s just bad”.  Older son's next suggestion: “ OK, this is going well.
When my younger son arrives home from work at 11pm, I ask him what he’d suggest for a name.  “How about MeanBeanMomsCooking”.  Clearly 7 hours at McDonald’s affects the brain.  If I fail at blogging and decide to become a neuro-scientist maybe I’ll look into that.  Until then, I guess I’m playing the name game alone.
I think that part of the issue with choosing a name is that I’m suffering from Blog Identity Crisis (when I become a neuro-scientist I’ll let you know if that’s a real identified medical condition).  The truth of the matter is I have no idea what I’m going to be doing here.  I know I need an outlet for posting my poorly taken pictures of my baked catastrophes…I mean attempts…I mean snacks.  Therein lies the yin and the yang of my baking habit.  My baked goods NEVER come out looking as pretty as I envisioned (and on the rare occasion that they do, my crappy picture ruins the aesthetics anyway), but those boys just scarf them down regardless.  Pretty, ugly, as intended or not, they don’t care!  I think I started taking pictures of what I bake because the kids (and I don’t just mean my two) eat them so fast that I sometimes wonder if I ever really made them.

What's In A Name |

There are millions of blogs written by amazingly creative people who design their own recipes and actually know the science and rules of how to bake.  That’s not me.  I mostly search for others’ recipes to start with and adapt them to my taste or skill level.  I DO sometimes create my own recipes but they are frequently based on a little of this from one recipe and a little of that from another.   I don’t plan to include recipes in this blog, but I’m not opposed to giving out recipes.  If people actually end up reading this and leave feedback wanting recipes, I’ll revisit that.
Although I do bake to relieve stress, there are other strategies I’ve been trying as well. Face it, I have WAY more stress than I have flour and sugar.  Life is exceedingly difficult right now on a number of levels. Sometimes I just need to vent and my sarcastic sense of humor serves me well in that particular arena.  It’s an attempt to cry less and laugh more.  Sometimes something I see or read, having nothing to do with baking, may hit me as prophetic or funny and that’s what I’ll want to share on that day.  That’s why I say that this blog may suffer from an identity crisis.  I’m just going to have to see how it goes.  I hope you’ll choose to go with me…

White Chocolate Blondies  | recipe developed by

White Chocolate Blondies

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

P.S.  Two of my new blog followers (yes, you boys know who you are) were bribed with White Chocolate Blondies.  I make no apologies.
P.P.S. 7-16-12 My above comment “I don’t plan to include recipes in this blog” lasted for one month.  I’ve been asked for recipes, so where I can I’ve gone back and added them.  In instances where I’ve used others’ recipes with little change, I’ve just added a note as to where you can find them.
White Chocolate Blondies 

1 stick butter
1 stick margarine
3/4 cup plus 1 cup white chocolate chips
4 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
*In microwave, melt butter, margarine and 3/4 cup white chocolate chips at approx. 70% for about 1 minute. Stir and continue at 10 second intervals until smooth. Cool slightly.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 baking dish.
*Beat eggs with sugar and vanilla. Add white chocolate/butter/margarine mixture.
*Stir in the flour, salt and the other 1 cup of white chocolate chips.
*Bake 30 minutes, or until it springs back to the touch. Cool and cut like brownies.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Can I blog?

If you ever want to know what your kids think of you, ask them to help you name your blog.  As if their propensity to do the opposite of everything y0u ask isn’t already a hint, just wait to see what they come up with for Mom’s blog name.
Gee, as if I wasn’t already insecure and unsure of whether I even  CAN blog.  Do I really have something to say …let me rephrase that, I’m never at a loss for something to say (a therapist once told me I could talk my way out of a paper bag)…but will I have enough to say on a regular basis to keep anyone but me interested?  It certainly seems, on a daily basis, as though I have absolutely nothing to say that keeps my kids’ interest.
Anyone who has friended me on FB, who rolls their eyes and/or groans aloud when I post yet another picture of something I’ve baked…or yet another story of how my kids are treating me to a slow and painful death…this may  NOT be the blog for you.  Before you go, you may rejoice in the fact that I now have another place for those pictures and stories so you can stop plotting how to secretly Unfriend me without my knowing.  You’re welcome.
But the truth of the matter is I bake to relieve stress. I also bake to save money on all the store bought snacks I was buying,  AND I use baking as a creative outlet.  My Mom was always asked to bring baked goods to family functions and I remember watching everyone “ooh” and “aah” over her creations.  That memory brings a smile to my face and maybe I could use a few “ooh”s and  “aah”s myself at this juncture.  I like thinking that I got the love of baking from my Mom.  It truly is rewarding when my kids’ friends walk in the house, head straight for the laundry room to drop their shoes, and then literally  STOP in the kitchen on their way to the basement to grab whatever I’ve baked to take down with them.  My greatest hope is that one of the things my kids will remember from their childhood is the effort I made in order to give them (and to welcome their friends with) home-made snacks.  But mostly, I bake to relieve stress, to relieve stress and oh yeah, to relieve stress.
I’m a blog newbie so you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t know the blog rules or blog laws or in general anything I’m supposed to be doing.  I’ll probably post a lot of pictures of kitchen creations.  My camera sucks so that should turn out interesting.  I’ll probably talk about my kids and what I’m doing to try to maintain my sanity with a son going into his Junior year in High school and another going into his Senior year.  I’ll let you know if and when I decide that losing my sanity would be preferable to fighting to maintain it. I may just post things that make me laugh (thank you in advance, Pinterest).  I’m trying to cry less and laugh more.  I’ll let you know how that works out.
Oh well, I guess I’m giving this blog thing a shot.  Believe me when I tell you that I know what therapy costs, so if nothing else maybe this’ll be cheap therapy.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

A few shout-outs: First to my older son, who answered “Do you think I can do this blog thing?” with “I think you can do anything you set your heart to.”  Not what I expected from my biggest critic.
To my younger son for overcoming my biggest hurdle for me, naming this blog.  Thanks.
To my Mom’s cousin Reisa, who I’ve actually never met.  She ordered me to blog and suggested I ask my kids to help me name my blog (more on that to come).  SHEESH, remind me to never take advice from you again! 
To Julie (if you don’t read another thing, read this woman’s blog), Kathy and Melinda, all of whom gave me that final push off of this particular cliff.  It’s yet to be seen whether I thank you or curse you on the way down!
Cross-posted on BlogHer