Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It’s a Wrap

I don’t know why it’s such a surprise to me. After all, it happens every year at right about this time. The calendar runs out of days and the year comes to a close.

Before we put a fork in another year (get it? fork? food? lame? OK, I tried) I’d like to take one last look at the current year on the blog; what worked and what . . . well . . . didn’t.

It's A Wrap | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Here are the top ten posts of 2014 (according to page views), the bottom one (my first real stink bomb), a few of my favorites and some other memorable moments as they relate to the blog. If you’re a regular reader, I’d love to hear whether any of my posts stood out to you as memorable in the past year. And if you’re not a regular reader? You better go get your glasses, there are 284 posts you need to catch up on. Let me know when you’re done.

Top Ten Posts of 2014 ~ working up to #1
10) To My Boy
I’m so glad this one made the list. A little over a year previous to this post, I wrote a heartfelt post to my older son in the month of a milestone birthday. This one was to my younger son as he hit the same milestone. 

Peanut Butter Cup Squares | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

It included a recipe I developed with his favorite flavor combination, chocolate and peanut butter: Peanut Butter Cup Squares.

Every month some friends and I publish Fly on the Wall posts. They’re snippets of what goes on in our homes and people tell me all the time how much they look forward to laughing at me that glimpse into my home every month.

January Fly on the Wall | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
The recipe included was a winter favorite, Crockpot Beef Chili.

I spent so much time anxiously preparing myself for my anticipated empty nest and when the time came . . . it didn’t happen!

Not So Empty Nest | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
The recipe for this post was Caramel Angel Cake and it was a hit.

I wrote this post just last month based on the hilarious, gotta see it to believe it, actual products I found on Amazon.

Holiday Gift Guide | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
The post included the recipe for my Lemon Raspberry Mini Pies.

The prompt I received for this Secret Subject Swap (a monthly group writing challenge) sent me in a serious direction. I spoke about introducing my children to funerals.

Secret Subject Swap: A Choice | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
This serious post got a cocktail for a recipe, my Chocolate Raspberry Pie-Tini.

This post came about after I had been interviewed for one of the books I’ve contributed to, The Mother of All Meltdowns by Lydia of Cluttered Genius. She asked me what makes me laugh. I gave her an answer, then later sat down and wrote this longer response.

Love to Laugh | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
The post includes the recipe for PurDude’s favorite dinner, Baked Hot Wings.

Another Secret Subject Swap post made the list. My prompt this time was about the famous person I’ve always been told that I look like.

It's A Wrap | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
 The recipe I included with this post was for Sweet Potato Cups with Maple Butter.

Every home has a bang checker. Guess who ours is . . . the only person who doesn’t ignore them, of course.

The Family Bang Checker | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
This post includes the recipe for my Caramel Peanut Butter Kisses.

The second most popular post of the year was another Secret Subject Swap, this one a humorous one about who I think needs an arrow in the butt. 
Secret Subject Swap: Cupid | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Recipe included was this Pineapple Coconut Cake with Butterscotch Drizzle.

The NUMBER ONE post of 2014 was Be My Valentine. You can’t do this blogging thing alone, at least I can’t. This post from almost a year ago, was written to thank some fellow bloggers who’ve supported me. 
Be My Valentine | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

The post includes a recipe that was very popular, Chocolate Strawberry Brownie Cake.

And now that I’ve mentioned some of my successes, 2014 was also the year I had a post that was a total and complete failure. This post was supposed to be a humorous take-off on the kids’ game where you’re presented with a grouping of items and a category and you need to guess which one doesn’t belong. 

 Category: What does YOUR kid eat?
One of These Things | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

This thing did a complete belly-flop. I mean no one got it. People were polite but I could FEEL them making the “cookoo” sign behind my back.

Most Anticipated
The most anticipated post was the result of my vague-posting this one night on Facebook:
Tomorrow, when I’ve (hopefully) calmed down a bit, remind me to tell you about how my son and his friends lit my car on fire tonight . . .

Every day until I was ready to write about it, people would stop by my Facebook page and ask if I’d told the story yet. When I finally did post it, as a Use Your Words writing challenge, people couldn’t get over to read it fast enough.

Use Your Words, The One Where College Boy Lights My Car On Fire | www.BakingInATornado.com | #fiction
And you know everyone had something to say about this one!

My Favorite Humerous Post
In the beginning of 2014, my mother’s cousin told me about a talented children’s books author and illustrator in the family. That little bit of information resulted in my writing Fairy Tale, a story that was so much fun to write and illustrated. I later had the balls guts chutzpah to send the link to this woman and she was so magnanimous.
The feedback from this post was huge. Many people suggested and a few even insisted that I needed to write a book of these Fairy Tales. I did start one, but then I edited and edited and edited and now it’s about 3 words long. It’s tough being your own worst critic. I hope to get back to it, though.

A Fairy Tale | www.BakingInATornado.com | #fiction
This post remains my favorite of the year.

My Favorite Serious Post
I had the idea to write a fictitious holiday story, but I wanted it to be unique. I know so many talented writers, I wondered if some might be willing to collaborate by adding a paragraph to an ongoing story.
Some? Nope.
Lots? Oh, yeah.
I was shocked by the response. What started as my hope for a blog post ended up being 3 posts, an amazing story somehow seamlessly crafted by 16 very diverse writers.

A Holiday Story | www.BakingInATornado.com | #fiction
 This series of posts was a gift. One I couldn’t be more proud of.

Favorite Recipe
I developed this recipe for a Strawberry Shortcake recipe competition I was invited to enter. I’m not someone who often has her recipes come out as well as I’d envisioned them, but this one came out even better. My family loved how it looked and tasted and PurDude was mortified when it didn’t win. It did earn me enough coupons for free berries to get me through the whole summer. It also got a lot of attention, having been featured in a slide show on the website The Daily Meal, was featured in the online magazine ArtisanLife, Daily, and even had the honor of being chosen as a feature post on BlogHer.
Strawberry Shortcake, Nacho Style | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert
Strawberry Shortcake, Nacho Style

Baking In A Tornado Milestones in 2014
Previous group blogging challenges I had developed and continue to run:

Baking In A Tornado’s Facebook page topped 12,500 “likes”,
Twitter account went over 2000 followers,
Pinterest boards hit 800 followers,
Google + account exceeded 750 followers,
and I joined Instagram. No idea what I’m doing over there but I’m there.

As always, I want to thank everyone who takes the time to read this blog, to leave comments and encourages me to continue writing. I take a lot of time with my posts, not only writing them but I make all of the graphics myself, as well as developing, executing, photographing and editing the pictures. Your engagement makes it all worthwhile.

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy New Year.

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

Friday, December 26, 2014

December Funny Friday

Today’s post is December’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 wee what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.

Funny Friday  | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Stacy Sews and Schools.

Funny Friday picture | Stacy Sews and Schools

1. Boy to his Mom: “Hey, it’s a look . . . all the Heisman nominees wear their hair like this.”
2. Boy to his Mom: “The Patriots won by HOW much?”
3. Boy to his Mom: “Alright, I’m up, but this better be important.”
4. Boy to his Mom: “I thought I said to hold all of my calls . . .”
5. Boy singing to himself: “I’m sexy and I know it . . .”

And now for something delicious, perfect for New Year’s Day breakfast:

Cinnamon Pumpkin French Toast With Cranberry Sauce | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast
Cinnamon Pumpkin French Toast with Cranberry Sauce

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

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

Cinnamon Pumpkin French Toast with Cranberry Sauce
Printable Recipe
3 slices Cinnamon Cranraisin Pumpkin Bread, click HERE for recipe.
1 egg
¼ cup milk
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla
1 TBSP butter
2 TBSP Maple Syrup
1/3 cup Festive Cranberry Sauce, click HERE for recipe.
***NOTE: This recipe works best if you refrigerate the slices of bread before using.
*Whisk together the egg, milk, cinnamon and vanilla.
*Slice the pumpkin bread into approximately ¾ inch thick slices. Cut each slice in half.
*Melt the butter in a skillet and allow to get hot.
*Individually, dip the pumpkin bread into the egg mixture, turn over to coat the other side and move to the hot pan.
*Fry until the bottom browns and starts to crisp. Turn and fry the other side.
*While the bread is frying, mix the maple syrup and cranberry sauce in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave just until warm. Start with 20 seconds, test and continue at 10 second intervals until warm.
*Remove bread from skillet, top with the cranberry sauce/maple syrup mixture and serve immediately.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Holiday Story, The Finale

If all good things must come to an end, then I guess this day was inevitable. Today I’m presenting the third and final installment of a project I’ve gotten very attached to. It’s a collaborative holiday story. I started the story, then some very talented writers each gifted me with a continuing segment. The idea was that we’d all impact the story but no one would control it. As sad as I am to see this effort end, I’m honored to have had so many bloggers come together to make this idea a reality and I’m immensely proud of what we’ve accomplished together.

If you haven’t read the story so far or need a reminder as to how it all started, click here before reading on:
A Holiday Story
A Holiday Story, Part Deux

Once again I’ve provided a link to the blogs of all who’ve participated. Every one of these blogs are well worth following.

On to The Finale:

 A Holiday Story | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

 Damon looked down at the key in his hands, turning it over as if the answers to all of his questions lay upon the other side of it. Memories flooded through his young mind at a rate that made it impossible for him to hold on to one thought for even a second before it flitted away to be replaced by an onslaught of others. His small hands trembled involuntarily as he held the precious key and let his eyes wander the outline of the shape of his passport to this magical, life altering adventure. The edges of Damon’s vision began to blur a fuzzy shade of blackness and a high pitched ringing in his ears distorted his thoughts even more. He shook his head as if the action would right his vision once more but it only served to disorient him further. “Damon!”  His Grammy shook the boy’s arm, causing him to drop the key and take a large startled breath.

He was so wrapped up in his thoughts that he had been holding his breath. He was so overwhelmed it felt like even taking a breath could dash away the hope that this key held.

The key tumbled to the soft red oriental rug beneath his feet but as it hit, a sprinkle of its magic was released in the jostle. The room instantly smelled of baking Sugar Cookies and warm Gingerbread fresh from the oven.

The ripple of energy was clearly felt by all in the room. It filled their hearts with a peaceful kind of joy and optimism with every breath that they took of the sugary air.

Crunch Cookies | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cookies
Crunch Cookies

Damon looked down at the key and asked, “What do you think will happen when I put the key there?”

His mother bent down and picked it up and handed it back to her son. “I believe. Your Grammy believed and it changed her life. She will have to tell you that story” his mother told him and winked at her mother. Grammy put her arm around her daughter’s waist and leaned into her for a hug. “Just believe, Damon”, Grammy urged.

The boy stood in front of the special letter and lifted the key above it, hesitating for a moment. His mother put a reassuring hand upon his back and Damon placed the key on the paper. A blinding light splayed out from where the key appeared to fall through the paper, enveloping the room and forcing them to close their eyes in response to the overpowering brightness. The boy reached for the hand of his mother and she grabbed for her mother’s hand instinctively as well. A warm wind that smelled strongly of peppermint grew in intensity around them and soon they could not tell if they were floating and the world was swirling around them or if they were actually traveling in a mint tornado to destinations unknown.

Karen of Baking In A Tornado

“Message received.”

Grammy’s simple statement snapped them all back into the reality of the moment. They were standing in the dim light of the fireplace, holding hands. Bethryn and her mother turned to Damon, who had a stunned look on his face.

“What . . .” Overwhelmed, Damon couldn’t finish his thought.

“Santa knows. He has your letter” Grammy began, but Bethryn cut her off “It’s very late, we’ve all had a long day, lets get some sleep. Tomorrow there will be stories to tell.”

“But how does Santa know the letter is mine?” Damon asked.

“Grammy’s quill and your key told Santa everything he needed to know” she answered simply. 

Hours later, Damon fast asleep and her mother in the guest room, Bethryn lay awake staring at the ceiling.

“I believe”, she thought. “Did I really say that? How long has it been since I believed?” Not since she lost her husband. Certainly not since it became clear that she was going to lose this house.

She hadn’t told her mother, who would jump in to help. She hadn’t told her son, couldn’t bear to tell him they had to leave. She and Wywren bought this big house expecting to have a large family. That was not going to happen. She kept this house for Damon, to give him the stability he needed, but she couldn’t any longer. And she wouldn’t let her mother bail her out either. She needed to stand on her own two feet. Finally. It was time. And though he didn’t know it, Damon had given her a precious gift tonight, a sign that he was ready to move on.

The next morning, as Grammy and Damon sat in the living room having the first of many discussions they’d be having for years to come about what had transpired the night before, and Bethryn was walking into the house with the paper, the phone rang.

“Good morning” said a voice Bethryn didn’t recognize, “this is Kamryn of the WorkForce Placement Agency. I know it’s holiday time but I was wondering, is this a good time to talk?”

“Yes, Kamryn, it’s fine.”

“I have the resume you sent in, it’s been assigned to me. I’ve been going over it and our client list to see if we might have an opportunity for you. I have a possibility, I’d like to see what you think.”


“This position is a bit of a risk, I’ll tell you right upfront. It’s a start-up company, doing well but still very young and finding its way. I’ve met the owner, he’s committed to the business. I’ve placed a few people there and they’re genuinely happy with the work environment. You have no current work history but a solid background. I think this could be worth a conversation, but I won’t go ahead without your approval.”

Kamryn’s pause was met with silence, so she continued: “There’s something else you need to know. The company is nowhere near where you currently live. It would require relocation . . . but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. If you think this is a situation you would consider, the first step would be to set up a video chat for you with the owner. If that goes well, he’d fly you out for further discussion.” Kamryn hesitated, then finished with “is this something you’d like to pursue, something you need to think about, or is it just out of the question for you?”

Bethryn looked towards her son and her mother. Her son was lifting his cherished key and studying it in awe as it started, once more, to glow.

As Bethryn considered her response, she again felt a gentle warmth and detected the slightest hint of peppermint. 

“I believe” she started.

“You believe?” Kamryn asked.

“I believe I’d like you to set up that video chat” she answered.

“Good, I’ll get that done. Sometime in the next few days you can expect to hear from a Leon Atnas.”

12/1/15 UPDATE: One year later, this story continues. Read more here: A Holiday Story: Set In Motion.

It’s an honor for me to again thank all of the writers who crafted this Holiday Story:

Jenniy of Climaxed
Melissa of Home on Deranged
Anna-May of Silence of the Mom
Jennifer of Outsmarted Mommy
Shellybean of Follow me home
Michelle of Juicebox Confession
Sarah of The Momisodes
Tamara of Confessions of a part-time working mom
and me!
Robin of Someone Else's Genius, who wrote a complimentary post and made the key: A Key to Good Memories, A Letter From Santa

Wishing all of your personal stories have magical endings this holiday season.

Baking In A Tornado | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
 Note: I previously published this recipe as a Guest Post called Sweets with a Side Dish of Humor on 12/27/12.

Crunch Cookies
 Printable Recipe
1 stick butter, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups Cocoa Krispie cereal
1 cup mini chocolate chips
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets.
*Beat butter, margarine, sugar, egg and vanilla for one minute.
*Mix in flour, baking soda and salt.
*Gently mix in the cereal and mini chocolate chips. Try not to break up the cereal.
*Gently roll into balls and put about 20 on a baking sheet. Press down slightly with the heel of your hand.
*Bake for 12 minutes.
*Let cool for one to two minutes on cookie sheet before removing.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Fly on the Wall, December 2014

Welcome to a monthly 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. At the end of my post you’ll find links to this month’s other participants’ posts.

Fly on the Wall  | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

The “r” key on my laptop sticks. It’s very frustrating to by typing away, to to proofread and see every word with an “r” in it has that letter missing.
So I was sitting in the den trying to insert “r”s into words, banging down on the key over and over angrily saying the sound the letter makes: “rrrr. . . rrrr . . . rrrr”
When suddenly behind me I hear a voice say “aye, me matey”.

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

We had a problem with the gas fireplace in the basement. It seems that the pilot light went out, which has never happened before. Hubs got out the directions that came with the fireplace and was reading through it.
Hubs: I’m reading through these directions and they don’t answer one of my questions about relighting the pilot light. I tried to email them but there’s either something wrong with my email or theirs, it won’t go through.
Me (grabbing the pamphlet from him): That’s because their url is not an email address.

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

Hubs is rummaging through my junk drawer.
Me: What are you looking for?
Hubs: Batteries.
Me: They aren’t in there, I keep them on the shelves above the desk.
Hubs: You may not keep them here but it doesn’t mean there aren’t some here.
Me: I’m pretty sure that DOES mean there aren’t any there. But hey, when you’re done, be sure to look in the toilet. I don’t keep batteries there either.

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

Either winter has crept in and frozen my brain or I’m just plain showing my age. I was trying to type “everytime”. When spell check kept telling me I spelled it wrong, I looked at it, retyped, looked, retyped, looked, took off my glasses, held the laptop up to my face, looked, retyped, looked. A good ten minutes later, frustrated, I looked at the sentence again.
Ummmm, yeah, everytime? It’s not a word. I knew that . . .

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

Hubs asked it we could have dinner at 5:30 pm on Wednesday. He had a meeting that evening at 6:00 pm and usually I just leave a plate for him to heat up after his meeting, but this one happened to be near home so he could come home, change, have dinner early and go to his meeting. Fine with me and I put it on the calendar.
Wednesday comes and late that afternoon College Boy said that he had to do an assignment for school online that needed to be done right at 6:00 pm. He asked if we could have dinner at 6:30 pm. I told him that was fine with me.
So at 6:15 pm as I’m finishing up making dinner, I look at the calendar and realize I was supposed to have made dinner early.
So . . . I forgot to make dinner early and Hubs forgot to come home before his meeting. Worked out, right?
Oh, hell no. I played it for all it was worth. Told him I had rearranged my whole day, rushed home early, had the table set and dinner on it right at 5:30 pm, then sat while it got cold waiting for him to show up.
He felt so bad . . . and now he owes me. Big.
Wonder what it’s gonna cost me, though, to get College Boy to keep my secret . . .

Orange Cinnamon Coffee Cake | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake

Orange Cinnamon Coffee Cake

College Boy asked me to put peanut butter on my shopping list.
Me: Do you want smooth or crunch peanut butter?
College Boy: Smooth, I don’t like crunchy.
The next day at lunch time I walk into the kitchen to see College Boy making a peanut butter sandwich. He spreads the peanut butter on both pieces of bread, throws a handful of cocktail peanuts in the middle, closes his sandwich and sits down to eat.
OK then, got it. He doesn’t like crunchy peanut butter . . .

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

College Boy: I’ve been trying to decide whether to tell you that the frozen pizza you bought m actually had 2 pizzas in the box.
Me: Why wouldn’t you tell me?
College Boy: Knowing you, you’d go back to the store and give them more money.
Me: I’m glad that you think I’m so honest.
College Boy: Honest . . . dumb . . . potato/potaaaato . . .

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

Lately I’ve been having this recurring problem. When I change my clothes at night I notice that I’ve been wearing my underwear inside out. All day long. I get dressed, I go to the bathroom, I’m oblivious. Then I go to change at night and realize it. All I can say is that it’s a good thing I don’t get into a car accident. My mother would be mortified at what they’d think at the hospital . . .

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

We had a problem with our heat last month. Not only did the heat stop working, but it was pumping cold air on us all night long.
Hubs: I didn’t sleep at all last night it was so cold. I’m exhausted.
Me: Now that we’ve got the heat on, go take a nap.
Hubs: I can’t. I really need to go shopping. I desperately need a few dress shirts and shoes for work.
Me: Oh, I have a $5 off coupon and a 30% off coupon, take those with you.
Hubs: Can I use both?
Me: Yes, it says so on the coupon. They’ll take the $5 off then give you 30% off of your purchases.
Hubs: So, will they take $5 off one item or my whole purchase.
Me: Ummm . . . it doesn’t matter.
Hubs: But I need to know if the $5 will come off a single item or the total.
Me (picture an incredulous look): No you don’t.
Hubs: How do I know what to have them take the $5 off of?
Me: You are banned from operating heavy equipment. Go take a nap and don’t leave this house until you can make sense of all of this high finance.

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

I flew PurDude in for Thanksgiving. I was nervous about him coming in because he had to take a bus to Chicago, get through security and then take a plane home. He thought that a friend wanted to pick him up at the airport. He knew we certainly would and were waiting to hear what his final plans were.
A few days before I texted him to print out his bus pass. Nothing.
The day before I texted him to print out or download his boarding pass. Nothing.
I get so frustrated when he doesn’t answer me so at 1:00am the night before he was coming home I texted him again telling him that I hope he’s ready to go, has an alarm set and if he’d let us know if we’re picking him up at the airport that would be great.
A few minutes later he finally responded: “Can you do laundry when I get home tomorrow”.
Well, OK then. As long as we all have our priorities straight.

Now click on the links below for a peek into some other homes:

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


Orange Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Printable Recipe
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp orange zest
1/3 cup mandarin orange juice, squeezed from approx. 2 – 3 oranges
2 eggs
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¾ cup sour cream
¼ cup orange marmalade
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 TBSP mandarin orange juice
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bunt pan.
*Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, orange zest and orange juice.
*Mix in 1 cup of the flour, the salt, baking powder and baking soda. Beat in the sour cream, then mix in the rest of the flour. Put half of the batter into the bunt pan. NOTE: Batter will be thick. Dollop it into the pan and then carefully spread it around until even.
*In a microwave safe bowl, melt the orange marmalade for 30 seconds. Mix in the brown sugar and cinnamon. Dollop this mixture over the batter in the pan. You can swirl it around slightly but don’t press into the batter. Cover with the rest of the batter. Manipulate gently until it’s even.
*Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely.
*Stir together the powdered sugar and the final 3 TBSP mandarin orange juice. Drizzle over the cooled coffee cake.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Menorah on the Door-ah

Elf on the Shelf.

If you’re on the interwebs at all; facebook, blogs, anywhere or everywhere, those words most likely bring up your dinner make you shudder.

Being Jewish, I’ve never had an Elf on the Shelf (or anyplace else for that matter). Never woke up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, jumped out of bed searching for a doll that I forgot to move. Works for me.

But, I’m told, those elves also have an enormously useful purpose. Each night they go off to Santa to report who’s been naughty or nice, then return to stalk spy on keep those little buggers in line for yet another day. This goes on all the way from Thanksgiving until Christmas.

Now wait a minute. A doll that makes your kids behave? For a month? Genius. We may just need in on this scam scheme lovely tradition.

So lets see what I’ve got to work with. Crap, not much. I’ve got a menorah, a dreidel and gelt . . . oy vey.

Menorah, Dreidel and Gelt | www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #chanukah

But hey, I’m resourceful. I am, after all, a descendant of the people who not only crossed the dessert to freedom, but invented inedible crackers along the way.

So screw the Elf on the Shelf, you’re not gonna find any shiksa outdoing me in the manipulating-your-kids category. Just watch me make this work:

Sleep well, little darlings. Don’t even think of bothering your parents in the middle of the night. Look up, there’s a menorah on the door-ah, just waiting to report back to Santa the household money manager:

Menorah on the door-ah blog post | www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #chanukah

And remember to eat a good breakfast. Just to be sure, there’s a dreidel on the table, planning to save a little money for the family gift buyer.
Menorah on the door-ah blog post | www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #chanukah

Need a little reminder while getting dressed? There’s gelt on the belt, soon to tattle tale tell all to the resident baker.

Menorah on the door-ah blog post | www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #chanukah

Have a fun day. Go play with your friends. But play fair, you’re being watched, now the menorah’s on the score-ah.

Menorah on the door-ah blog post | www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #chanukah

Make sure you remember to stay out of Mom’s belongings. You never know what you’ll find. See, there’s the dreidel on the jade-el.

Menorah on the door-ah blog post | www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #chanukah

And stay out of Dad’s toys too. Right there, the gelt’s on the dealt.

Menorah on the door-ah blog post | www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #chanukah

It’s dinner time, be sure to eat without complaints.

Latke for Two | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #chanukah
Latke for Two

And just to be sure-ah, there’s a menorah on the floor- ah.

Menorah on the door-ah blog post | www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #chanukah

And what’s that hiding in the drawer? It’s gelt on the felt.

Menorah on the door-ah blog post | www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #chanukah

Tonight before you go back to bed, don’t forget to put your laundry away. And do it neatly, there’s that dreidel, on the label. . .

Menorah on the door-ah blog post | www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #chanukah

I could SO keep this up for a month. Now who’s going to come up with something for January? And February. And March . . .

Whatever you celebrate, I hope it’s happy

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
Latke for Two
Printable Recipe
1 medium potato
¼ cup chopped onion
1 egg
2 TBSP flour
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
¼ cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 scallion, sliced
¼ cup of sour cream
Snipped chives
*Skin potato and grate onto paper towels or grate in food processor and place on paper towels. Pat dry.
*Place potato, onion, egg, flour, salt and pepper into a bowl and mix well.
*Spray a small skillet with no-stick spray. Just cover bottom with vegetable oil and heat on medium high until hot.
*Carefully add the potato mixture to the oil and spread it into the pan. Manipulate it with your spatula so it's thicker around the edges, which brown faster.
*Cook until the bottom is well browned. While cooking, gently press the center down with your spatula to help the center cook.
*Place a large spatula under the latke and use a second spatula to hold the top together. Manipulating the latke with both spatulas, gently flip it over. Blot the top with a paper towel.
*Sprinkle cheddar over the center of the latke, top with scallion. Cook until the bottom is brown, then slide onto a plate.
*Mix together the sour cream and chives and serve on top of the latke.