Monday, September 3, 2012

Read This

I love to read.  Escape seems to be a recurring theme in my chosen activities.  I can read two books a week.  Mysteries are a favorite not just for books but also movies and TV shows.  I grew up with Perry Mason, knew all the episodes by heart.  My close friend, Mark, actually called me with condolences when Raymond Burr died. 

picture posted with permission:

Reading allows us to fully focus on a story someone has taken the time to tell us,get lost in that story and stay as long as we like.  It requires us to be present, not like TV where you can be doing something else while watching.  I read to be entertained but I‘ll step out of my comfort zone if someone recommends a different genre.  Frequently I’ll be glad that I did, but I always return to my first love, mysteries.  Evanovich, Grafton, Coben, Brown, Kellerman, love them all.

The thing about this genre is that it’s engaging on another level.  The reader gets to take the information given, in the order it’s offered, and try to figure out who-done-it.  The author cunningly leads us down the wrong path, but that’s OK, we can change our minds as often as we want.  There’s nothing to lose, we’re engrossed in a story and trying to solve a puzzle.

I think my love for mysteries is why I’ve taken to baking.  A new recipe is not just any story, it’s a mystery.  I take the information given, in the order it’s offered and try to figure out who-done-it (or if-I-can-do-it).  I’m engaged and involved.  It can take a lot of twists and turns and sometimes I’ll go down a wrong path.  In the end, whether I’m satisfied with the results or I throw the recipe in the trash, the trip has served his purpose. 

There are all kinds of mysteries playing out in my home every day as well.  Who ate all the Oreos?  Mystery.  Why did I have to get the boys cell ph0nes, yet they never answer when I call?  Mystery.  Who left the garage door up all night long (resulting in the GPS being missing from Husband’s car)?  Mystery.  Why does the main floor bathroom never have any toilet paper?  Mystery.  Who changed the channel when I got up to get a drink?  Mystery.  With all this real life mystery it’s surprising I have time to read.

But the biggest mystery is this: one of my kids is in his last year of High School and the other is a Junior.  Like it or not, ready or not, this pivotal chapter is nearing its end.  When raising young adults, you can guess at where they’re going, but they can completely change direction without so much as signaling their turn.  With all the twists and turns, information and misinformation, open road and wrong paths, these authors have got the best of me.  I really haven’t a clue who-done-it.  I'm just hoping I don't get killed off in the last chapter. 

Cut Out Cookies | | #recipe

"Jr." and "Sr." Star cut-out Cookies

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Cut-out Cookies

Printable Recipe

Ingredients, Cookie:                                                          
1 stick butter, softened                            
1 stick margarine, softened                      
1 cup sugar                                                 
1 egg                                                       
1 tsp vanilla                                                
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder

Ingredients, Icing: 
3 cups powdered sugar 
3 Tbsp milk (may need more)
3 Tbsp corn syrup  
1 tsp of flavoring (almond, vanilla, or lemon)
food coloring  
Directions, Cookie:
*Cream the butter, margarine and sugar.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Mix in the flour and baking powder until it forms a dough.  Pour onto counter and knead a few times.
*Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour and a half (I have left overnight).
*When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cover baking sheet with parchment paper.
* Roll out the dough, half at a time, to desired thickness and cut with cookie cutters.
*Bake approx. 10 minutes.  Cool for 2 minutes on pan before removing to cool completely.

Directions, Icing:
*Mix all ingredients.  Add more milk, 1 tsp at a time until the icing reaches the consistency you need.
*Separate out and add food coloring.
*Dip, brush on, or pipe the icing onto your cookie.  Icing should be thinner for flooding the cookie, thicker for writing or doing more intricate decorating. 
*If decorating with one color on top of  another, let the first set before applying the next, or they’ll blend together.

Adapted from Rolled Sugar Cookies by


  1. From one reading fool to another- Happy Monday! I look forward to reading about your adventures with your two high-schoolers. Don't die off in the last chapter! I would miss tweeting with ya :) Sugar cookies..'sounds like a plan.

    1. Trying really hard not to let them kill me off. I've learned that if I keep moving I'm a more difficult target.

  2. I read the sign....I guess I got busted! I LOVE to read.....books are an escape for me.

    I nominated you for an award!

    1. Wow, thank you so much for the Laine Blogger Award. I've added it my Awards post!

  3. Love your site! Mysteries and baking are two of my very favorite pastimes-- we're going to get along nicely!

    1. Reading, baking and blogging and my day is complete. Seems the same recipe works for you, we have a lot in common!

  4. On a reading note, I absolutely LOVE to read.
    I'll read just about anything. Currently, I'm reading "The Hunger Games" (my husband surprised me with it because we watched the movie and I fell in love). So far, I'm loving it.
    Some of my favorite books come in a series. First first is the Shifter series by Rachel Vincent. If you like supernatural type books, you'll dig that one. The first in the series is Stray and there are 6 books total.
    My second favorite book series is the Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom series by Julie Kenner. Again, supernatural, but with a kick (picture Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a stay at home mom). The first book in that series is Carpe Demon. Seriously, both series are great reads.
    I'm trying to pass along my love of reading to my children. My 8 year old daughter currently reads on a 5th grade level....she's in 3rd. My 8 year old son (her twin) doesn't test well, so where his reading level is isn't accurate. We've recently begun to swap our all of their Dr. Seuss books for chapter books and are handing them down to my 3 year old daughter. I was so happy to spend $5 on 9 books at Goodwill today...4 chapter books for the boy and the girl each and a book for my 3 year old.
    Wow, I've rambled and I'm sorry! lol.....
    I've written a post about reading before, if you'd like to check it out!

    1. Wow, love to connect with another reader. I have been so happy since I've had my kindle because now books are at my fingertips. When the kids were little we used to go to lots of book readings at the library and local book stores. I loved those years, watching them exposed to books I wouldn't have found myself.

  5. I love reading but with two little ones I haven't had time lately! Hopefully I am raising strong readers though, I usually find my two year old with a book in his lap at least once a day!
    Stopping by and following you from tea on Tuesday.

    1. I've always loved to read, raised my kids with books and reading together and storytime at the library and book stores. Now they are in High School and hate to read. Should have told them I hate reading.

  6. I love this sign! But I read it - please don't turn me in!
    I *LOVE* to read. When I was a kid and Mom wouldn't let me bring a book to the breakfast table i would read the backs of everyone's cereal boxes! :)
    Loving mysteries - you need to check out Jeffrey Deaver and Lisa Gardner!
    Please do learn to be quick and agile - I don't want you killed off in the end!

    1. Yup, I read Deaver and Gardner too. Good choices, Kat! And BTW, I'd love my kids to bring a book to breakfast. Much better than them texting through the meal.

  7. I love to read too but I think having the internet has ruined my reading. Something about the bright screen has lured me away from reading. Or it could just be a phase. :)

    1. Oh, I hear you. Reading has changed completely. Everything I read is on my Kindle or blogs on the internet!

  8. I love a good mystery too. Your cookies look so yummy. This is another thing I like, a delicious cut out cookie.

    1. Cut-out cookies are fun because you can decorate them for any occasion (well, if you're a better cookie decorator than I am, but I try)!

  9. Hi Karen! I just love your blog! I wanted to let you know that I was FINALLY able to add new blogs to my blog roll, and I added your blog to my list if that is OK with you!! now hit will be much easier for me to find you and current post updates! Yay!

    1. Yay for me. So glad to hear it. I'll see it myself as I'm on your blog often!

  10. love reading too!! You certainly have a lot of mysteries in your house!! lol!!

    1. Unfortunately I have a feeling there are more to come!


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