Friday, September 27, 2013

Acts of Kindness the Third

Today it’s my pleasure to post the third installment in the Acts of Kindness series.

In July I received a phone call from a woman who had found my son’s wallet and wanted to be sure we got it back intact. After posting about it on FB, people started telling me their own stories of acts of kindness they’ve experienced. I knew these stories needed to be told. So I asked for submissions and got so many I had to break them out into three separate posts. This is the third one. If you missed the first one, it’s here: Acts of Kindness Series. If you missed the second one, it’s here: Acts of Kindness Too.

Acts of Kindness | graphic designed by and property of | #MyGraphics

Here are more of the stories submitted to me. Again, in their own words:

~While traveling into the “city” with my husband to do some shopping, I had to stop to get gas. When we were pulling out of the gas station onto a busy 4 lane highway, my hubby noticed something in the middle of the road.
“Pull over, pull over” he says. “That was someone’s wallet”.
I finally got pulled over and turned around. Hubby runs out into the highway to retrieve the wallet and as much of the contents as possible. It was a very full wallet with many credit cards, over $300 cash, business cards and such. We decided not to take the wallet back to the gas station as you just never know and tried to get it to the local police station. Now we live in a very rural area right by the state line and police stations are not open “after hours” in the winter. We drove around this very small, wooded community tucked along the shores of Lake Michigan for 20 minutes trying to find the police station only to find it closed with no emergency number. We decided to continue onto our shopping trip and try to find the owner when we returned home as the address for the owner was a town that is more than 40 miles away.
Upon returning home I looked up the owner in the phone book and tried every number possible with no luck. The number that was for the wallet’s owner had been disconnected. After doing more research and making more calls we finally found a number that “could” have been the owner. After more than an hour trying to get an answer I finally got “Jane” on the phone and told her that I had found something that might belong to her.
“You found my dog? Where is my dog?”
“No I don’t have your dog but I have something else that might belong to you.”
“Can I call you back later? I really need to find my dog.”
Now this was a bizarre conversation but I understand the love of a pet so I gave her my number and left it in her hands. The next day she finally called back. When I told her that I had her wallet she didn’t believe me and didn’t even know she had lost it. I gave her my address and arranged a time to meet. The meeting day and time was 2 days away! i felt uncomfortable with that but she told me that anyone who had gone through what we went through to find her had to be honest people and she felt comfortable leaving her wallet in our care. When she finally showed up to get her wallet she told us that she found her dog and that she had just moved out of state so she didn’t know how we had found her. Lucky for her she had written her cell number down and placed it inside her wallet. She insisted on giving hubby a $40 reward which he tried hard not to take but she was adamant. “Jane” had only been gone about 2 minutes when she pulled back in the driveway and gave hubby another $40 as she said she didn’t think that the first amount that she gave him was enough!
Boy that $80 sure did make a nice donation to our local food pantry!
Carey James, Michigan

Choco-Berry Layer Bars | recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

going into the oven
Choco-Berry Layer Bars
out of the oven, still warm

Choco-Berry Layer Bars | recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

~Many years ago, when my son was just under a year old, I was traveling with him to visit my parents. My husband stayed behind to work.
We were on a plane waiting to take off and we were delayed. Eventually we were told that we had to change planes and because we had pulled away from the gate we’d have to go down stairs from the plane, walk into the terminal and up more stairs to a new gate. I had the baby, a diaper bag, a backpack and a small stroller that fit into the overhead compartment. There was no way I could get it all off of the plane. The pilot, copilot and stewardesses all watched me struggle and never did a thing to help. One passenger came over and took the stroller. Another took my backpack and a third took my diaper bag. I walked down the stairs carrying the baby. The passenger with the stroller had it set up at the bottom of the stairs. All those passengers walked with me to the terminal, collapsed the stroller and took it up the stairs, set it up again and walked me to the gate. I didn’t know what to say to them all. “Thank you” didn’t seem like enough but it was all I had.
Bethryn, Massachusetts

~When my son was little he loved the show Blue’s Clues. At one point, Subway was giving out Blue’s Clues toys with a kids’ sandwich. We went almost every day trying to get one of each of the toys. There was one toy he hadn’t gotten, the notebook, and the day we went in hoping to get it the promotion had ended. My little boy was heartbroken.
A young girl who worked there said that she had one at home and if we came back the next day she’d let us have it. I offered to pay her but she refused. I went out to a store and put together a gift bag and went back the next day. She had remembered and handed my son the notebook. You should have seen the smile on his face. I had him hand her the gift bag. She rewarded him with a big smile as well.
Camryn Jas

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Choco-Berry Layer Bars

Prinable Recipe
3/4 stick (6 TBSP) butter or margarine, melted
½ of a 11.5 oz pkg Keebler Fudge Stripes Dark Chocolate cookies
1 cup chocolate chips
¾ cup white chocolate chips
8 Strawberry Marshmallows, each cut or broken into 8 pieces
1 cup of Raspberry baking chips or of coarsely chopped Wilton  Dark Cocoa Raspberry Candy Melts
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Grease a 9 X 13 baking dish.
*Process the cookies in a food processor until they are fine crumbs.    
*Mix the cookies crumbs and the butter or margarine and pat firmly into the bottom of your baking dish.
*Sprinkle with the chocolate chips, then the white chocolate chips, then the Marshmallow pieces, and finally the raspberry baking chips or candy melts.
*Cover with Sweetened Condensed Milk.
*Bake for 25 minutes.
*Remove from oven. Cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges. Allow to cool completely at room temperature before cutting into squares. Remove from pan. Store in the fridge. Bring to room temperature for serving.        

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Janet Knows

I was flipping through the channels the other day when I came across a woman explaining that she’s a Medium and speaks to the dead. I watched for a little while trying to decide how I felt about what she’s claiming to do.

My brain tends to be very analytical. It’s probably a by-product of being related to so many CPAs. Whatever the reason, I have a hard time believing what I can’t prove. But there’s another side too, I can’t really dismiss what I can’t disprove either. So I’m on the fence. Not about the particular Medium I was watching, I have all kinds of questions specific to her claims, but about the possibility as a whole. And yet, I’ve had an experience of my own:

Janet Knows | graphic designed by and property of | #MyGraphics

When I first moved here I was looking for someone to clean my house. A new friend recommended Janet. I met her and hired her and never looked back. When I moved from that rental home to my first home and then to this current home, Janet stayed on. She was a staple in our lives.

And Janet had a front row seat to all the stages of my life. From the surgeries, In Vitro, lost pregnancies and the birth of my boys, Janet was here. And I got to know her family as well.

When my first son was born, Janet’s husband made a wooden pegged wall hanging for my nursery. It was decorated with a piece of the wall paper I had chosen, she had snuck it out to keep the gift a surprise. Over the years it’s been painted but we have it still.

When my boys were in elementary school and started to develop their own taste in music, Janet had us stop by her house one day to find that her son had burned my boys a CD of their favorite songs.

And one year, 5 days before my New Year’s brunch, where I typically hosted up to 40 guests, Janet and I fought all day as she cleaned my house. She had the flu and I wanted her to go home but she insisted on doing the basics to get my house ready. Five days later she and her husband were amongst my guests.

Cheddar Mac Squares |

Cheddar Mac Squares

When Janet told me that she was forced to stop working because she had just been diagnosed with Leukemia, I was stunned. My boys drew her cards for her room during the times she was undergoing treatment. I brought her family dinner during the spans when she was home. And I joined her in rejoicing in the outpouring of love from so many of her clients who had grown to love her.

  Janet Knows | graphic designed by and property of | #MyGraphics

My boys were young, but they wanted to attend Janet’s funeral and I granted them that. But it was a full year before I felt able to visit her grave. One warm summer day the boys and I bought one flower each and went to find her tombstone. We sat for a while and didn’t talk to her but about her. I’m glad we went but I won’t be back.

I had many people clean my house over the next few years. For the longest time I just couldn’t find someone who met my standards. Finally about 3 years ago a neighbor recommended Susan. I have to admit that I don’t like Susan. She’s gruff and difficult and can be defensive and angry. She actually intimidates me in my own home. But she did a great job cleaning my house and I hired her.

Janet Knows | graphic designed by and property of | #MyGraphics

The day after I hired Susan, I was in the laundry room. The sun was coming through the window and hit an area up on the wall. It drew my attention and high up, stuck on a piece of the wood that holds my rod to the wall, was a feather from Janet’s duster. I didn’t think but actually knew: Janet knows I’ve hired someone.

Later that same day I was in the kitchen when a beam of light from the kitchen window shone onto the upper oven door. It highlighted some fingerprints. Again, a knowledge hit me: Janet wants me to know that no one can care for my home as well as Janet did. And that was SO Janet that it made me smile.

It isn’t as thought I thought these instances through. I really didn’t. If I were to, I’d acknowledge that there’s really nothing mysterious about light shining in windows. Or a piece of feather stuck to a sliver of wood. Or Susan missing a fingerprint on an oven. I don’t know how to explain how a skeptical, left brained woman “knew” that this was Janet, but I believed it then and I still do.

All these years later Susan still works here. I’m very protective of that feather, still stuck to the sliver of wood in the laundry room. And I still miss Janet.
Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Cheddar Mac Squares

Printable Recipe

1 # package Elbow Macaroni
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half
3 cups Sharp Cheddar, shredded
1/4 cup cooked bacon bits
2 TBSP seasoned bread crumbs, plus more for top
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp paprika, plus more for top

*Grease a 9 X 13 baking dish. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
*Cook macaroni to al dents. Rinse 2 or 3 times with cold water to stop the cooking process and cool it down. Drain well.
*Mix all the rest of the ingredients into the macaroni. Be sure it's mixed well.
*Put into the prepared dish. Make sure it's evenly distributed in the dish.Sprinkle lightly with more bread crumbs and paprika.
*Bake for 30 minutes. It should be bubbling around the edges.
*Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Cut and serve.

Friday, September 20, 2013

September Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 14 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics


When you’re done click on the links below for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado
Just a Little Nutty
Follow me home . . .
Stacy Sews and Schools
The Sadder But Wiser Girl
Menopausal Mother
Moore Organized Mayhem
The Insomniac's Dream
The Momisodes
Spatulas on Parade
Searching for Sanity
The Rowdy Baker 
Writer B is Me 
Sorry kid, Your Mom Doesn't Play Well With Others 

Every night at dinner time, my son goes to the fridge and grabs the Hot Sauce.
Me: Don’t you at least want to know what’s for dinner first?
Son: No, not necessary. Whatever it is, this’ll drown out the taste.
Love you too, son.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

I get so frustrated when I need the kids and I yell for them and they don’t come. I’m constantly going up the stairs, opening their door, waving my hands till I can catch their attention as they sit in front of their computers with their head phones on and in my snarkiest voice thank them for making me walk up the stairs yet again.

So last week I called and called my older son. Exasperated, I stomped up the stairs practicing my snarky voice, walked into his room and realized that he probably legitimately couldn’t hear me calling to him considering he’s an hour away in his dorm room.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

Husband: I tried those chocolate ice cream tacos you bought for the kids, they’re pretty good. That taco shell part reminded me of . . . what are those called, you know those cones you put ice cream in?
Me: Ummm . . . Ice Cream Cones?

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

Me to younger son: Go text your brother at college.
Son: Why?
Me: I haven’t heard from him in a few days and I want to know how he’s doing. You can be my spy.
Son: OK.
Then he leaves the room . . . and he doesn’t come back . . . and the sad part is, he probably did text his brother and he’ll never come back and tell me about it.

Baby Backs | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Baby Backs

Me: Can you look at my laptop, it went black.
Son: Plug it in.
Me: You know, it really makes me angry when I ask you to come over and look and you just randomly tell me to do something. It’s plugged in. If you’d come and look like I asked you’d see the cord coming out of the side.
Son: Now plug the other end of the cord into the socket in the wall.
Me: Oh, OK. {{smarta$$}}

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

After dinner one night I was in the living room and my husband was in the kitchen when I realized that the oven was still on. I called to my husband and told him that I had accidentally left the oven on, but he just kept doing what he was doing.
Me: I said I left the oven on. This is the part where you go turn it off.
Him: I don’t know how to turn it off.
Me (incredulously): You don’t know how to turn the oven off? Really?
Him: If it helps any, I don’t know how to turn it on either.
Clearly this guy better hope I stay healthy or he’ll starve to death.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

One night last week I was waiting for my son to come home from his friend’s house and dinner was getting cold. I tried to be patient but I was getting angry. I finally texted him:
You need to come to dinner NOW”.
Immediately followed by the sound of him walking down the stairs.
Apparently he had come home earlier while I was down in the basement and had been up in his room all along.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

It’s been a struggle working out cars and drivers but we finally now have 3 cars and 3 drivers living here. That means I can finally go where I want and when I want.

Sunday night my husband had to move my car and then his. Since my son and I have the only 2 keys to my car, my husband took my set of keys and moved both cars. Somehow he ended up leaving my set of keys in his car. Monday morning he took his set of keys and went off to work.

So good news: I now have a car.
Bad news: the most I could do Monday morning was look at it.
Semi-good news: My son has my spare key and comes home from school for lunch.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

We’re having our roof re-shingled and I was pretty upset when the roofers delivered the shingles onto the roof but left some of the smaller items in the driveway. They wouldn’t actually be installing the roof for a week and I didn’t want to be responsible for the incidentals left in the driveway, anyone could walk off with them. We really didn’t have room in the garage but I had my husband fit them in there for safe keeping. And then I backed out and ran over them.

  Baking In A Tornado Graphic | | #MyGraphics



Baby Backs
Printable Recipe
Approximately 4 # Baby Back Ribs
2 TBSP salt
2 TBSP pepper
2 TBSP brown sugar
1 TBSP paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 ½ tsp cumin
1 ½ tsp chili powder
Approximately 18 ozs Barbecue Sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray’s)
*Clean the racks of ribs and peel the membrane off (the lower side)
*Mix salt, pepper, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and chili powder. *Liberally sprinkle over the meat and pat in. Do both sides.
*Wrap each rack of ribs individually and let sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
*Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
*Remove the ribs from the foil and place in a large pan (I use a large disposable tin foil pan). Cover pan tightly with foil.
*Bake for one hour, turn ribs over and bake for another hour.
*Spread barbecue sauce on the side of the meat facing up. Spread sauce over the sides of the meat as well. Cover again and cook for another hour.
*Turn ribs over. Sauce the other side. Cover and cook for an hour.
*Uncover and cook for another 20 minutes.
*Slice and serve with more Barbecue Sauce.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Peachy Chicken

By now, if you’re anything like me, you’ve started the switch from your summer dishes to your winter recipes. You know what I mean, the lighter summer fare using ingredients found more easily in the warm weather months have gone into hibernation and the heavier, more substantial meals are moving to the front of the recipe file. I know this is true at my house.

But I also have those nights when I do want something a little lighter and, quite honestly, something that reminds me of summer. I guess I’m not willing to totally give up those summer meals because I crave something fruity and flavorful but substantial enough for a cool weather evening meal.

When I was asked if I’d like to develop a recipe for submission to Plated, this is the exact kind of recipe I wanted to create. Plated provides a service where you pick your meals from their current offerings, they bring responsibly sourced, nutritious ingredients to your home, and you put dinner on the table.

There were parameters for the recipe and I did find that challenging, especially the time constraint:
*Recipe must include chicken breasts or thighs.
*Recipe can only have 10 – 12 ingredients.
*Recipe can only require use of basic cooking equipment.
*Recipe can be made in 30 minutes, including prep time.

I love the flavor of foods cooked on the grill and I’ve been known to send my husband out to the deck to shovel a path to my grill for me in the winter. But what’s great about this recipe is that it’s just as easily done in the warmth of the house using your broiler.

For this recipe I’m using boneless skinless chicken breasts. I cut them into cubes and put them into a freezer bag or bowl. I cut peaches (I have done this with pears as well, if that’s your preference) and red pepper and put them in a separate bag. Wisk the marinade ingredients together, set some aside for basting and divide the rest amongst the bags. I like the flavor of a little rosemary so I put a sprig in while the chicken is marinating.

Peachy Chicken | recipe developed by | #recipe # dinner

Soak your wooden skewers, if that’s what you’re using, and heat your grill or broiler. Skewer the meat, fruit and vegetable and discard the marinade they were in.

Peachy Chicken | recipe developed by | #recipe # dinner

Put the skewers onto the grill or under the broiler, baste with some of the reserved marinade and cook for about 8 -10 minutes. Turn the skewers and baste again.

Once you’ve turned your skewers, bring 1 cup of chicken broth to a boil and add a cup of instant rice and the pignolis. Stir, cover and remove from heat.

Peachy Chicken | recipe developed by | #recipe # dinner

Once your chicken is thoroughly cooked, serve the skewers over the rice.

Peachy Chicken | recipe developed by | #recipe # dinner

This quick and easy dish tastes as good as it looks. Even my picky son agrees.

Baking In A Tornado Graphic | | #MyGraphics

Recipe also published as a guest post to Cooking from a SAHM on 5-13-15

Submitted to: You could be the next featured chef on Plated

Peachy Chicken

Printable Recipe
Ingredients (serves two):
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized cubes
1 red pepper, cut into cubes
2 peaches, each one cut into 6 slices
1/3 cup apricot jam
1/3 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
3 TBSP Sweet Red Pepper Chili Sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup poppy seed salad dressing (check out my homemade Karen's Poppy Dressing
1 sprig of rosemary
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup instant white rice
2 TBSP pignolis (pine nuts)
*Whisk apricot jam, 1/3 cup of white wine or chicken broth, chili sauce, minced garlic and poppy seed dressing. Set aside about 1/3 of this mixture for basting.
*Put the chicken pieces into a freezer bag (or bowl) with the sprig of rosemary. Put the peaches and pepper into another bag or bowl. Add the remaining sauce to the bags and manipulate gently so that everything gets coated.
*If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water. Grease and heat your grill (or heat your broiler).
*Thread the chicken, fruit and vegetables onto skewers. I prefer to keep the raw chicken on skewers separate from the fruit and vegetables.
*Put skewers onto grill or broiler pan and baste the chicken skewers with half of the reserved sauce. Cook about 8 -10 minutes, turn, baste the other side of the chicken with the rest of the reserved sauce. Cook approximately another 8 - 10 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked.
*Once you’ve turned the skewers, cook the rice according to package directions substituting chicken broth for the water and adding the pignolis with the rice. Serve chicken, peaches and red pepper over the rice.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Take 2 – September Secret Subject Swap

Welcome to another Secret Subject Swap. This week 11 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Secret Subject Swap | graphic designed by and property of | #MyGraphics

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado
The Insomniac's Dream
Anni's Bubble
My Personal Accent
Outsmarted Mommy
Black Sheep Mom
Home on Deranged
Evil Joy Speaks
Dates 2 Diapers
Rocks, No Salt Mommy
The Momisodes

My subject is Tell us your worst back to school horror story. It was submitted by The Insomniac's Dream. Here goes:

I bet you think I’m going to tell you about a time I myself went back to school. If you’ve read this blog before you know that I really try to take these prompts in an unexpected direction. So I’m not going to tell you about a time when my butt got dragged back to school kicking and screaming. I’m going to tell you the horror story of my youngest son’s first day of Kindergarten.

I wrote a post a year ago about my favorite holiday B-T-S. You can read it here: B-T-S. I told a part of this story in that post. Thanks to The Insomniac's Dream, here’s the whole story:

My two boys are a year apart in age so they’re a year apart in grade as well. Consequently it was just one year after my first son started Kindergarten that I found myself sending my second son. He’d have the same teacher my older son had the year before and I already knew that some of his friends would be in his class. We were ready to go.

A week before school starts there’s a “back to school night”. The school was about 3/4 of a mile from my house so we walked. We went into both of the boys’ rooms, talked to the teachers, set up supplies and talked about the first day. The Principal was there and, since I was very active in the classroom my older son had been in the year before, the Principal knew me. He took me aside to tell me that I shouldn’t worry about getting emotional the first time I sent my youngest off to school. He’s seen many Moms cry over the years.

I know he was trying to be supportive. And in retrospect it may have been a little off-putting when I answered “Cry? Are you kidding? I’ll be dancing in the streets”. The look on the poor guy’s face was priceless, by the way.

At the time, I had a whole group of friends with kids the same age as mine. So there were a lot of us who were sending our youngest to school for the first time. We all met up at the school that fateful morning, took copious amounts of pictures and dropped our kids off in their classrooms.

Then we all drove back to my house for a Champagne brunch. We talked and we laughed and we drank. No one hit anyone, pushed anyone, ripped anything out of anyone’s hands, needed help in the potty, screamed or cried. We ate and we talked and we laughed and we drank some more.

Breakfast Puffs | recipe developed by | #recipe #breakfast

Breakfast Puffs

“You’ve gone off on a tangent, Karen” you’re probably thinking. “This is supposed to be a worst back to school horror story” is most likely going through your head.

No, I haven’t forgotten my prompt. Here’s the end of the story: we ate and we talked and we laughed and we drank. But did we watch the clock? Were we there to pick up our babies after their first day of school?

Ummmm, no?

And once we realized it we were not exactly feeling like we should drive.

So if you happened to have been in my neighborhood all those years ago, and you witnessed the herd of Moms jogging towards the school in their high heels wearing panicked expressions, you no longer have to wonder what the heck that was all about. Now you know.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Breakfast Puffs
Printable Recipe
1 package (20 oz) Simply Potatoes, shreds
1/3 cup frozen chopped onion, thawed and drained
10 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
1 TBSP pimentos, chopped
7 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins. Makes 18 puffs.
*Mix all the puff ingredients together well.
*Distribute evenly into all 18 cups.
*Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen. Let sit for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Making a Run For It

To those of you who usually read me, I hope you’ll bear with me today. Sometimes I get in these moods and you just don’t know where my mind will go. Today it seems to have taken a sharp left turn. So you’re going to get a little peek inside my head and I just want to warn you, this could get interesting.

I’m publishing a Guest Post. Well, of sorts. You see, some strange stuff has been going on around here. And I am not amused. So to get to the bottom of it all, I had to go right to the source.

Readers, I’d like to introduce you to my son’s wallet:

Making A Run For It |

Hey, how ya doin’?

My name is Wallet. Yeah, original, I know. Make fun all you want, I didn’t name me. Anyway, I got called over here to explain myself. Apparently Ms. Tornado disapproves of my behavior lately. Truth be told with the things I’ve seen her kids do, I think she’s got other things to worry about besides me. But here I am explaining myself anyway.

So let me just start by asking Ms. Tornado this. You ever been a wallet? Didn’t think so. Maybe you shouldn’t be judging me if you don’t know what it’s like to be me.

Where is it that you think I live? I spend my day, pretty much all day EVERY day, stuck under someone’s A$$. Yes, I live in a back pocket. I am filled way past my capacity and then shoved into a too-small pocket. And as if that’s not enough fun, the kid sits on me. Every now and then he goes to the bathroom and does he carefully remove me and place me in a safe spot? NO. He just drops trou and smacks my head against the floor.

So one day a few weeks ago he’s getting into the car at a fast food restaurant. Do you really want me to talk about how much MORE fun spending the day where I do is after a visit to a fast food restaurant? Thought not. So he’s getting into his car, fumbling for his keys and there it is: opportunity.  You bet I took it. Slid right down to the ground and played dead. And it worked, he drove off.

Fluffernutter Chipos | Recipe developed by

 Fluffernutter Chipos

Just when I thought I was free, a lady picked me up. And honestly, as sad as I was, it wasn’t a total loss. I mean, my new home could be a nice comfy purse. I might even get to snuggle up to a make-up case {wink, wink}. But she took me inside and handed me over to the manager. And did I get to live out my life under the counter of a fast food restaurant? No such luck. In walked my owner and guess where he put me? Yup, right back into that pocket.

But I had a little taste of freedom and I wanted more. I knew I’d try again. I waited a week, though. You know, just to give everyone a sense of security. But then that second opportunity presented itself and I went for it. Nearly drowned too. Apparently that big thing is a washing machine. I actually snuck into it easily, in the pocket of a pair of jeans. Went for the ride of my life too, in the wave pool to beat all wave pools. But I nearly drowned and when the ride was over Ms. Tornado found me in there flopped over on my belly like a dead fish. And she was not amused.

My most recent effort was in the car. He put me in the cup holder and there was this space between the seats right there. Calling my name, I swear. Just one sharp turn of a corner and I was on my way. Or so I thought. Turns out I have a mean case of motion sickness. Puked out all the change in me all over that car floor. Sorry about that Ms. Tornado, but the situation didn’t exactly turn out the way I planned either. ‘Cause I am right back where I started.

And you can be as angry as you want, Ms. Tornado, but this is fair warning: tomorrow’s another day . . . 

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Fluffernutter Chipos
Printable Recipe
2 cups Potato Chips, thicker chips work better
¾ cup chocolate chips
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
¾ cup Marshmallow fluff (crème)
3 small Butterfingers candy bars, crushed
*Place the potato chips on your serving dish
* Place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and continue in 10 second intervals until the chocolate is smooth. Put into a sandwich bag.
*Place the peanut butter into another microwave safe bowl and microwave for 10 to 15 seconds. Put into another sandwich bag.
*Place the fluff into another microwave safe bowl and microwave for 10 seconds. Place into a third sandwich bag.
*Snip just the corner of the sandwich bags and use that hole to drizzle the chocolate, then peanut butter, then fluff, then chocolate again over the chips.
*Garnish the center with the crushed Butterfingers. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Take 1 – September Secret Subject Swap

Welcome to Take One of September’s Secret Subject Swaps. This week, 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Secret Subject Swap | graphic designed by and property of | #MyGraphics

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado
The Momisodes
Just A Little Nutty
Follow me home . . .
Moore Organized Mayhem
Stacy Sews and Schools
The Sadder But Wiser Girl
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
Searching For Sanity
Crazy As Normal
Menopausal Mother
Moms Don't Say That

My subject is What did you want to be when you grew up? And did you do it? It was submitted by Moore Organized Mayhem. Here goes:

Oh, the dreams of young girls. Here’s what I wanted to be, and how I did:

1. A famous ballerina: Not that I know of.
2. Whisked away by a Knight in shining armor: No knight. No armor. No horse, even.
3. The Mom to kids who adore me: Not at this moment.
4. That Mom who french braids her daughter’s hair: No, a boy. And then a boy again.
5. A person who lives in a castle with a moat: No castle, no moat, no kingdom.
6. The employer of a butler, nanny, maid and chef: Not unless they’re hiding under the bed.
7. A princess: Nope.
8. Happy: Helloooo, can you say teenagers?
9. Forever young: Not even close.
10. Rich beyond my wildest dreams: Not even beyond my tamest dreams.

Wait a minute. I’m concentrating on the negative. I need to look at where I wanted to be and where I am with a more positive attitude. So thank you, Moore Organized Mayhem, I’m giving this whole thing a fresh look, a new perspective. So again, what I wanted to be and how I did:

1. A famous ballerina: Granted I’m not, but oh the joy I get from embarrassing my kids when I dance around the kitchen.
2. Whisked away by a Knight in shining armor: I mean really, who knows how to clean armor these days?
3. The Mom to kids who adore me: Well, I can always look at pictures of when the kids were little, right?
4. That Mom who french braids her daughter’s hair: When my boys went through the “long hair” stage, there may have been some french braiding going on while they slept. But you didn’t hear that from me.
5. A person who lives in a castle with a moat: OK, it isn’t a castle but I’ve got as many bathrooms as family members so I’m going to call this one good.
6. The employer of a butler, nanny, maid and chef in my home: Who wants a bunch of strangers around to hear me screaming at having rational discussions with my kids. And we all know that baking relieves stress, so it’s actually a good thing I don’t have any help in the home because without my baking I’d have jumped off the roof by now.

DoodleWays | recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert


7. A princess. My kids call me the Queen of Mean. And everyone knows queens are better than princesses.
8. Happy: I have a son in college and one heading there next year. All things considered I’m certainly on the verge of happy.
9. Forever young: Well, when I put in my contacts and hold items at arm’s length I can still read. That’s almost like still being young.
10. Rich beyond my wildest dreams: I got nothing for this one. But finding the positive side 9 times out of 10 isn’t bad, right?

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

PS: I want to thank my friend It's Yummilicious for talking me through my frustration after the first 3 attempts at this cookie failed. Fourth time’s a charm, Becca.


1 stick butter, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
1 ½ cups sugar plus 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla
2 ¾ cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup cinnamon chips
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 bag (7 oz) of Milky Way Bites
½ cup chocolate chips
1 TBSP butter
*Cream the butter, margarine, 1½ cups sugar, eggs and vanilla until creamy. Mix in the flour, cream of tartar and baking soda. Once all is incorporated, add the cinnamon chips.
*Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour.
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 3 cookie sheets.
*Mix together the 1/2 cup of sugar and the cinnamon.
*Remove dough from the fridge, roll into approximately 48 balls. Roll each one in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place onto cookie sheet (about 15 per sheet).
*Bake for 10 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet, then remove and cool completely.
*Put the butter and chocolate chips in a pan on low heat. Stir while it starts to melt. Add the Milky Ways and continue stirring until smooth. It will get thick and grainy first, continue to stir and melt on low heat until it’s thick and smooth.
*Line the cookies up in pairs, flat side up.
*Put a tsp of melted mixture onto the flat side of half of the cookies. Gently press the flat sides of the other half of the cookies on top to form sandwiches.
*Allow the center to set before moving.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

She Who Microwaves

Today’s piece is a Guest Post. Guest Posts are a rarity around here, in 14 months of blogging this is only the third one I’ve published. But like Menopausal Mother’s A Visit, A Cake and Rum and Outsmarted Mommy’s Escape from Sick Island, posts by The Sadder But Wiser Girl are always a sweet treat.

By way of introduction, let me say that Sarah is the hostess, waitress, chef, sous chef and busboy at The Sadder But Wiser Girl. Yes, she can do it all. Well, except the dishes. Sarah has ADD, Anxiety and an aversion to washing dishes by hand (BTW, I’m with her on that last one). She blogs with humor and honesty about her husband Evil Genius, her daughter the Princess, and her son The Professor. In her spare time you can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

So I’m going to put you into Sarah’s capable hands. Enjoy!

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Karen B has been there from the beginning. Early in my blogging career I kept seeing references to some tornado lady. Curiosity got the best of me and I finally went over and checked out her blog. I started following her because, what’s not to like – great stories with a recipe to go along with every one! Because I’m nosey, I started asking about all of these fun looking things she had created, the Secret Subject Swap and the Fly on the Wall, and now I participate in them every month! I’m excited to be guest posting for her today – I even included my own recipe to be more like Karen!

Sarah's microwave | featured on

Where the magic happens

A few years ago, back before Facebook and Twitter and all of that jazz, a friend of mine and I were emailing each other back and forth. She was delighted about the fact that she had recently had some success using her gas grill. She told me in detail about her accomplishment, and signed it “She Who Cooks With Fire”.

I shot back an email congratulating her on her grilling talent, and let her know that I had also had some culinary success that week when I cooked Easy Mac. I signed it “She Who Microwaves”.

I’ve just never been a great cook. I’d just as soon eat Lean Cuisine or have pasta with tomatoes and cheese on it every night. Early in our marriage we lived on frozen food. We were young and busy and didn’t have much time to care. My husband is a lover of all that is fast and frozen so it wasn’t really a stretch for him to eat all of that stuff.

Now I have children and we haven’t seen all that great of a time in the financial department so I’ve had to try to make things from scratch to help stretch the budget. But cooking from scratch requires skills like planning and time organization. As a person with ADD, those skills as a general rule, do not even come close to being in my vocabulary. It’s also a fact that one of my two kids would take a frozen breaded chicken patty over one of my homemade concoctions any day.

I’ve had a little success in the kitchen, but a lot of things that maybe we should just keep between the two of us, k?

Like my homemade pizza rolls – they were good in theory. They were simple: A recipe for whole wheat pizza dough combined with a different recipe for pizza filling. What could go wrong? They were just that – WRONG. Ironically, my son who lives on all things breaded ate the crap out of them. The rest of us were not really all that impressed.

Yet their dad can walk into a kitchen, take something out of the refrigerator, sprinkle (man) pixie dust on it and it’s GOOD. Often more like amazing. However one must keep in mind that my husband’s cooking is something that only occurs once in a while. It’s always special when he does it.

Just like Karen, I thought I’d include one of my very favorite recipes! It’s very tricky, I so hope that you are able to follow all of the complicated instructions.

El Bolsillo de Caliente 

You will need a microwave, a plate and a package of Hot Pockets.
1. Open the freezer.
2. Find the Hot Pocket.
3. If you can’t find the Hot Pocket, go to the store.
4. Open the box and take the wrappers off the Hot Pockets (THIS PART IS VERY IMPORTANT!)
5. Slide the Hot Pockets into their little sleeping bags.
6. Put the Hot Pockets in the microwave. Microwave for 3 minutes and 30 seconds, even though that seems like a weird period of time.
7. Eat with caution. Don’t eat the sleeve, even if you are very hungry.

I’ve also included a dessert made for me with “something”. I sure don’t think it was love, but it’s my husband’s recipe, you be the judge . . .

Sarah's Evil Peanut Butter Bars | featured on

Sarah Almond is a recovering vegetarian and reluctant homemaker who writes the highly unsuccessful blog The Sadder But Wiser Girl.

Sarah Almond | featured on

If it weren’t for her microwave, her family surely would have starved by now. You can read stories about her cooking calamities and other ADD adventures at: The Sadder But Wiser Girl.