Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Back in 2001, we were lucky enough to view a city-wide art gallery called the J. Doe project. Over 100 six-foot tall fiberglass body forms were decorated by local artists then displayed throughout the community. It was fun and interesting and interactive. My sons and I totally embraced it. Maps were available, so many mornings that summer we would look at a map together, pick out locations and set out on our “Doe-hopping” adventure.  Along the way we were treated to an explanation of the process of making the forms when one that we were looking at happened to be inside the lobby of the business that had produced them. More than once we met artists on-site, who spoke to us about the inspiration for their particular design. We spent all summer interpreting others we had seen and picking out our favorites. We saw over 50 of them.

The most interesting aspect of that whole experience was in seeing the differences in all of our interpretations, our individuality in terms of perspectives.

J. Doe & the Magic Carpet Mary Zicafoose, Artist | picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

J. Doe & the Magic Carpet
Mary Zicafoose, Artist

At the end of the summer I found out that I could buy 12 inch tall undecorated plaster J. Doe forms. I purchased 2 and we celebrated the end of the “Summer of the Doe” by letting the kids decorate their own. They are still on display in my home:

J Doe | picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Colorful Doe & Skateboarder Doe
decorated by my boys

Parents become masters of interpreting what our babies are trying to tell us non-verbally. In later years we try to interpret what they are telling us verbally. Who but me knew that “addle” was water?

As someone who cooks and bakes a lot, interpretation plays a big role in how I make meals and treats that my family will enjoy. I take a recipe and add, subtract and switch out ingredients according to what my family likes. My Turkey Dinner Casserole is actually an interpretation of Chicken Divan that I put together one April years ago with leftover turkey I had frozen in December.

Turkey Dinner Casserole | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Turkey Dinner Casserole
Turkey Dinner Casserole | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner


I have been challenged with explaining interpretation to one son who could not do it instinctively. Having a sarcastic Mom can be misleading for him, and frustrating for me. Conversations would frequently go something like this:

Older son: “Mom, can I have a pop?”
Me: “No, dinner’s in a half an hour, no soda right now.”
Younger Son: “Mom, can I have one?”
Me: “Sure, I think you should have two.”
Younger son: “Oh, good” as he runs off with a can of soda in each hand . . . and I go chasing after him.

And then there’s the teenage years. In these years interpretation has a whole new  . . . well . . . interpretation. Whatever I say is construed to mean whatever they want  to hear. Whatever they say could mean anything at all. Like this recent conversation while I was watching the Red Sox and trying to talk one of the boys into watching with me.

Me: “Come watch the Red Sox with me.”
Son: “No”.
Me: “I need you to spend some time with me, come watch.”
Son: “No.”
Me: “What if I said I would cry if you don’t spend some time with me.”
Son: “I’m fine with that.”

I could use some help, but I’m still hoping there’s another way to interpret that . . .

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

PS: Interpretations was originally published as a Guest Post at Being Me and Other Things on 8-8-12

Turkey Dinner Casserole
Printable Recipe
2 cups rice of your choice; white, brown, long grain
½ cup cranraisins
Approximately ¾ pound cooked asparagus
Approximately 1 pound cooked turkey, chopped
3 TBSP butter
3 TBSP flour
Salt, pepper, paprika to taste
1 cup milk
½ cup sour cream
¾ cup cheese of your choice, I use parmesan
¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs
*Lightly grease a 9 X 13 baking dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Cook the rice as you normally would, adding the cranraisins at the end.
*Spread the rice into the bottom of your baking dish. Cover with a layer of cooked asparagus, then layer on the chopped cooked turkey.
*Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, salt, pepper and paprika and continue whisking until it turns brown.
*While continuing to whisk, slowly drizzle in the milk. Heat and mix until it starts to thicken. Whisk in the sour cream or cheese. Shut off heat but leave pan on the burner and mix until the cheese melts.
*Pour the sauce over the turkey layer of your casserole. Sprinkle with bread crumbs, then paprika.
*Cover with foil and bake for a half an hour. Uncover and cook for 15 minutes more or until it bubbles and is hot throughout.

Friday, April 25, 2014

First Funny Friday

Today’s post is the first of what will be a monthly feature here. It’s called Funny Friday and is a collaborative project that I’ll post on the last Friday of every month. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.

Funny Friday | graphic designed by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Confessions of a part-time working mom.

Funny Friday picture by Confessions of a part-time Working Mom | featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

1. Floor to the jar: "Ouch. What the hell did I ever do to you?"

2. Wife to hubs: “Does this fall under the five second rule?”

3. Cook to the jar: “Well, the Wright brothers didn’t necessarily do so well on their first try either.”

4. Cook to the jar: “You may have escaped the pan but I’m not sure you’re going to like the garbage can any better.”

5. Jar to the cook: “I’ve fallen . . . and I can’t get up.”

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

Oh, and in case you need a yummy recipe for your weekend:

Karen's Poppy Dressing | www.BakingInATorando.com

Karen's Poppy Dressing

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

Karen's Poppy Dressing
Printable Recipe
NOTE: I most often use this dressing on a Spinach Salad, and my Spinach Salad generally consists of whatever I have in my fridge and pantry that looks appealing. The salad pictured above includes fresh spinach, chopped scallions, sliced strawberries, blueberries, mandarin orange, hard boiled egg, croutons and sunflower seeds.
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup sugar
3 TBSP honey
1 TBSP sweet hot mustard (can substitute dijon or stone ground mustard if you prefer)
¼ tsp salt
1 – 2 TBSP poppy seeds
½ cup olive oil
*Whisk together all of the ingredients except the olive oil.
*While vigorously whisking, slowly add the olive oil. Continue to whisk another 30 seconds.
*Store unused dressing in the refrigerator

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Show Me The Money

March Madness is over. To me this means that the men-folk have emerged from the man-cave in the basement, squinted at the spring daylight and finally stopped eating every snack that wasn’t nailed down (who nails down snacks, anyways?).

And although the bracket bust is over for them, it’s just starting for me. You see, word trickled down the mountain that The Oracle is a betting man and was putting his money where his mouth is. Warren Buffett apparently had been willing to give a bajillion bucks to whoever could put together a perfect bracket. That’s a challenge many people took . . . and failed.

Now I’ve got a challenge for Warren. I’m not a college basketball fan, but I want a fair try at that bajillion bucks. So, Oracle, how about a bracket for us moms? Because I don’t know if you heard, but social media is a powerful thing and that whole discrimination thing I’m about to start a twitter campaign about is surely going to hurt your reputation.

Show Me The Money | graphic designed by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Rest assured, just like the basketball bracket, you probably have nothing to worry about. Personal history shows that brackets are definitely not my thing. I’m not exactly known for my construction skills. In fact, when the kids were little and we bought something that had to be put together, it would take the hubs and I locked in a room full of strange looking parts and directions written in hieroglyphics at least 3 days to put together a wobbly whatever. There would be at least 2 pieces permanently glued on backwards and at least 12 leftover parts that we’d chock up to having been put into the box by mistake.

So although not really equipped for putting together brackets, if that’s what it takes to win a bajillion bucks for my family, that’s what I’ll do. Call me a team player.

Show Me the Money | graphic designed by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


Jolt of Java Cake | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Jolt of Java Chocolate Cake

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

Jolt of Java Chocolate Cake                     
Printable Recipe
Ingredients, Cake:
1 stick butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa plus more for flouring pans
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup coffee, cooled to room temperature
Ingredients, Filling:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 TBSP coffee, cooled
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp instant coffee powder
¼ cup heavy cream
Ingredients, Frosting:
1 1/2 stick butter, softened
1 1/2 cup semi sweet or dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
½ -3/4 cup heavy cream
Directions, Cake:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 9-inch round cake pans, then “flour” them with baking cocoa.
*Beat the softened butter with the sugar until smooth.
*Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
*Mix in the flour, baking cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt just until incorporated.
*Beat in the coffee.
*Put 1/3 of the mix into each of the baking pans.
*Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely.
Directions, Filling:
*Beat cream cheese and prepared coffee until smooth. Carefully beat in the powdered sugar and instant coffee.
*In a separate bowl, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
*Fold heavy cream into the cream cheese mixture.
*Spread half of this mixture evenly over the top of the bottom layer and the top of the middle layer of the cooled cake.
Directions, Frosting:
*Melt butter and chocolate chips in microwave until smooth, mix in the vanilla.
*Carefully mix in the powdered sugar. You don’t need it to be completely incorporated, just enough so it won’t fly out when you beat the mixture.
*Beat in the heavy cream. You can adjust the consistency with more cream if too thick or more powdered sugar if too thin.
*Spread over the top and sides of the cake.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fly on the Wall, April 2014

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 12 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 www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

I like candy, I admit it, but I don't eat a whole ton of it. But this month I bought Skittle eggs, unique flavors, and I really liked them.
Me: I really like those Skittle eggs, I swear between yesterday and today I'm going to finish them off. Then I'm totally going to blame you.
High School Senior: {{ blink . . . blink . . . blank surprised stare . . . blink }}
Wow, and I thought there couldn't be anything left that I could say that would surprise him.

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

Talking with customer service at most companies is a lesson in futility lately, or so I find. Our coupon circular arrived ripped with one side gone, so I had to call the newspaper office and ask them to bring another.
Me: My paper arrived today and the coupon insert was ripped with half of it gone. Can someone bring me another one?
Representative: Which side is ripped?
Me: Ummm, is there a correct answer here? It’s the left side, which side does it have to be to get another one?
Representative: What’s the insert called?
Me: It’s the coupon insert.
Representative: What’s the name, though?
Me: I hadn’t really thought to name it, I’m not going to keep it.
Representative: Is it Kmart or Walgreens?
Me: It’s the coupons.
Representative: What’s the name on the front?
Me: Mr. Coupon Insert? If it’s that confusing I can email you a picture of what it is so you’re sure to send me the right thing.
Representative: No that’s not necessary, we just drop off another entire paper.
Me: Well then why don’t we just do that?
Representative: Yes, we’ll have one sent over.

My Coupons | picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Mr. Coupon Insert 

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

It’s becoming very real that High School Senior is going to college in about 4 months. I told him I’d like to take a few pictures of him before he goes. So far this is how I’ll be remembering him:

Don't Take my Picture  | picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

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

We have a window in our master bath and I keep the blinds open in there, even when I shower. It’s on the top floor and the windows of no other house face it so really, someone would need to be driving a hovercraft to see in.

Last week I came out of the shower, dried off, got dressed and started brushing my hair. I turned to look out the window and I could see a ladder up to the roof of the house next door.

I don’t know and I don’t want to know.

Lesson learned: driving a hovercraft OR working on the roof next door.  

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

I’m a trend setter, I know, but I’ve come up with a new 5 second rule for old ladies like me who don’t see as well as we used to. It’s called the “take as long as you need to find the damn thing on the floor, THEN you have five seconds to pick it up” rule.

Spicy Cajun Grilled Chicken | www.BakingInATornado.com
Spicy Cajun Grilled Chicken

April Fools Fail:
On April Fools Day I decide I'm going to punk High School Senior. No such luck.
Me {{trying not to laugh, playing it cool, getting him caught in the trap before giving it away}}: You know what, you've only got a few months of school left and you know how sad I am about you probably going far away to college next year. If you want to spend the day together, just you and me, I'll call the school and say you're sick.

High School Senior:  I'd love to, Mom, but I have a test in Zoology and  I don't want to miss Physics either, there's a test coming up on Friday.
Damn kid and his sense of responsibility.

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

The word “competition” has a whole different meaning in our house. Here’s a conversation that took place during March Madness at our house:
Hubs (to High School Senior): There’s a really great basketball match-up on at 6:45pm if you want to watch it with me.
Me: He can’t, the Red Sox are on at 7:00pm.
Hubs: This is March Madness, the Red Sox are just playing a pre-season game.
Me: He’ll watch the Red Sox with me.
Hubs: How do you know what he’ll want to watch?
Me: I made cupcakes. What did you make?
Hubs: Wow, you fight dirty.

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

College Freshman was home for Spring Break. This kid now has in his dorm room an oven, a microwave, a fridge (came with the room), a mini oven and one of those Panini type indoor grills. This is a kid who won’t make a grilled cheese or an egg for himself in my home.

I do have sympathy for him though, after the horrendous week-long bout with food poisoning that resulted in my bringing him home to keep him out of the hospital, it’s hard to blame him for eating in the cafeteria as infrequently as he can.

While he was here I asked him if there was anything special he’d like to take back to school with him. He tells me he’d like me to make up a batch of his favorite cookie dough. Just the dough. Apparently the kid who doesn’t know where I keep my pots and pans is entertaining his friends in his dorm room and would like to make them hot cookies.

As I’m making the dough I find myself wondering: am I standing here doing a lot of extra work making this cookie dough, or am I getting off easy since I don’t have to bake them?

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

High School Senior is in his last semester and after much cajoling and discussion we finally let him drop one class, sleep in and go in to school late. We were reticent because college acceptances are provisional and we don’t want them to see him slacking off in his last semester. It will also result in his class ranking taking a hit.

They only take 4 classes a semester and I’m not sure it was the best idea that the class he dropped was a computer class since that’s his expected field of study in college, but he’s still in AP Physics and Zoology so he’s still got some challenging classes. He dropped the class and started the semester.

And then I looked at the last class he’s taking. It’s a “learn to swim” class. He’s a trained Life Guard, has worked year round at an indoor pool for almost a year now. This is on his college applications, of course. So a Life Guard who wants to major in computer science dropped a computer class and is taking a beginning swim class. Nope, no slacking off here.

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

Lately I’ve started to tear up as I drive by the high school. It’s just a half mile up the road from my house and on my way back from doing errands for the past 2 years I’ve watched for my son’s little red BMW as I drive home. It’s starting to dawn on me that next year when he’s away at college I’ll drive by that school, look for that car and not find it. sad face - BakingInATornado.com

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

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

Spicy Cajun Grilled Chicken
Printable Recipe

1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1 1/4 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts halves cut in thirds
*Place chicken pieces into a gallon sized resealable bag.
*Mix together the seasonings and the oil. Pour into the bag with the chicken and massage to be sure that all of the pieces of chicken are completely coated. Refrigerate from 4 hours to all day.
*Prepare the grill by spraying the grates with nonstick cooking spray. NOTE: only spray the grill when it is cold and not turned on.
*Heat the grill to medium and place the chicken pieces on. Cook, turning once, until the chicken is fully cooked and the juices run clear.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Treasure Box

When I was growing up, whenever I went into my grandmother’s (Alava Shalom) kitchen, there on the window sill was a pushke. It was just a tin box with a picture on the front and a slot in the top.

A pushke is a collection box. Coins were put in and when full the money would be donated to a worthy cause and the collection would start again.

Although I think pushkes were a Jewish thing, giving in some form or another is part of most peoples’ lives and certainly not specific to any religion. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t try to teach their kids about compassion and charity. I think, though, that the times that we give are sometimes specific to us and the way we were raised. Sometimes adding coins to the tin box felt like a superstitious ritual. In times of good luck, Nana would be sure to drop a coin into the pushke. In retrospect I think this served a moral purpose as well; to ground us and add perspective to good times. A “there but for the grace of G-d” type thing.

Although not through a tin box, giving was always tied to memorable occasions as well. When there’s a bar mitzvah, wedding, birth, even funeral, it’s traditional to give to a favorite charity in the name of the person you’re honoring.

I don’t know when the pushke became extinct but as far as I know it is. I haven’t seen one in many years. The value of giving, of course, lives on, but mostly in check form these days. And we also give our time and energy, even our blood and platelets. Tzedakah, the act of giving is seen as an obligation in Judaism and in many other faiths as well. And now, in place of the pushke, I do sometimes see tzedakah boxes.

I believe that the values we want our children to incorporate into their lives; honesty, sharing, healthy eating, giving, they all have the capacity to become a habit if introduced early enough. But how do you explain some of these concepts to young ones?

Fudgy Pie | www.BakingInaTornado.com

Fudgy Pie | www.BakingInaTornado.com

Fudgy Pie

When the boys were almost 3 and 4, I took them to one of those pottery places where you purchase the pottery, paint it there (ha, genius, leave your mess for someone else) and they glaze and fire it for you. We bought tzedakah boxes, lots of them. There would be one for each of the boys, one for my husband and I, and holiday gifts for all the grandparents and even for my Nana, their great-grandmother.

The boys sat down with a line of pottery and paints and paint brushes and went at it. I made sure each “box” was worked on by both of the boys. I then painted the word Tzedakah on the front and put their names and the date on the bottom. They came out exactly as you’d expect them to, having been painted by two toddlers I don’t need to tell you that I loved them.

Holiday time came and the boys got to give a gift representative of the philosophy of giving.

Treasure Box | picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com
our tzedakah boxes

If you know my boys at all, it won’t surprise you to learn that one of them has his box full to the brim and will most likely get around to emptying it when I tell him to. The other’s box is somewhere in his room under all the debris, I’m sure.

And mine, I know exactly where mine is. Because this box is not just a means to giving and it’s not just a reminder that tzedakah should start early, but it is a valued piece of art; a true treasure box in every sense of the word.

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

Fudgy Pie
Printable Recipe
Ingredients, Crust (can be replaced with any graham cracker or chocolate pie crust:
1 stick butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup pecan pieces
1/4 cup matzo meal
2 TBSP matzo cake meal
1 tsp instant coffee granules
Ingredients, Pie:
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar 
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup matzo cake meal (can be replaced with 3/4 cup flour)

*In a food processor, pulse all crust ingredients until it starts to form a ball. Place into a 10 inch pie plate and evenly pat into the bottom and up the sides. Refrigerate while making pie.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Melt the chocolate chips and stir until completely smooth.
*Beat the butter, sugar and eggs until smooth. Beat in the melted chocolate chips. Mix in the matzo cake meal (or flour if using).
*Pour into the pie crust and even the filling out. Bake for 45 minutes. Top will crack and inside will be fudgy.
*Cool completely. Store in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature for serving. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

April Use Your Words

Today’s post is a monthly writing challenge. If you’re new here, this is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s the fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

Use Your Words, a monthly group writing challenge | developed by and graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #bloggingchallenge #MyGraphics

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them. I’m using: Pixie Stix ~ Lucky Charms ~ Jagerbomb ~ dustpan ~ burlap sack ~ ball gag. They were submitted by: The Momisodes.

I try to provide my family with healthy foods. I know it may not seem that way since I mostly feature chocolate and cocktails on this blog. It’s difficult to do because even though they’re grown men, my boys are still pretty picky eaters. My younger son has a hyperactive gag reflex so it’s always been impossible to get him accustomed to new foods. TMI, I know.

Honestly, you can make great, healthy dinners but if no one eats them you aren’t really accomplishing anything.

I recently came up with a recipe for Taco Stuffed Potato Skins that went over well with the family. I made them with lean ground beef but they could be made with chicken or turkey as well. They’re chock full of (cleverly disguised) vegetables. Score.

Taco Stuffed Potato Skins | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Taco Stuffed Potato Skins 

Taco Stuffed Potato Skins | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner


 And yet, sometimes I try something new and even I have to admit that it just didn’t work. These are our “bowl of cereal” nights. Unfortunately on those nights my brilliant experiment feeds the trash compactor and everyone happily grabs a bowl of their favorite cereal. 

OR “bowl of cereal night” could be necessitated by a scenario similar to this:

My family likes meatballs. I had this great idea that I’d make us each an individual giant meatball, kind of a cross between a meatball and meatloaf. Brilliant dinner idea.

But an innocent misstep the night before put the kibosh on that idea.

Jagerbombs are deceiving. If you’re not familiar with Jagermeister, yes it’s alcohol but it’s made with 56 herbs, fruits and spices. Seriously, check their web site. Can you think of anything healthier than ingesting something made with 56 herbs fruits and spices? Jagerbombs are a shot of Jagermeister in a glass of Red Bull. Red Bull, pfffft, just glorified soda, right?

OK, I may have added some Pixie Stix, you know, just to sweeten it a bit but that has not been confirmed (or denied).

Truth is, Jagerbombs will put you right over the edge, or hanging off a ledge, as the case may be. Anyway, innocent misstep. Lesson learned.

Well needless to say the next day I felt like I was going to be removed from my home feet first on a gurney and wrapped in a burlap sack. Or a hazmat bag. The house was a disaster; bottles and cans all over the counter, pixie stix dust all over the floor.

As my family made their plans for the day, and I tried to figure out who was the most likely person to cooperate when I handed them the dustpan, they asked about dinner and the new recipe I had been talking about trying. It was all I could do to squeak out an answer: “don’t even talk to me about that meat ball, gag me. It’s “bowl of cereal night”, grab the Lucky Charms.”

PS: Before you go off planning my intervention, let me just say that this piece is a work of fiction. Well, mostly. I could still make that giant meatball some day. Stranger things have happened.

Links to the other Use Your Words posts:

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

Taco Stuffed Potato Skins
Printable Recipe
NOTE: After I scoop out the potatoes I mash them and use them to either pipe onto the top of the Taco Stuffed Potato Skins
OR to make Potato Crusted Meatloaf
OR Individual Taco Pies
1 lb lean ground beef, boneless skinless chicken strips or ground turkey 
Taco seasoning mix (one packet or 2 ½ TBSP if you make your own)
2 cups cooked, cooled, chopped mixed vegetables of your choice
3/4 cup salsa
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
Large baking potatoes (approximately 4)
Vegetable oil
*Scrub your potatoes to remove any dirt from the skin, wipe them dry. Pierce the potatoes with a knife in the middle of the side (where you’ll later cut them in half). Lightly grease them with vegetable oil and bake until cooked through (depending on the size of the potato this should take about 50 minutes at 400 degrees).
*Cool at room temperature until you can handle them (about 20 minutes), slice in half lengthwise and scoop out most of the potato, leaving some potato in, you don’t want just skin.
*Cook the meat with the Taco seasoning until cooked through. Drain any fat, then add the vegetables and salsa until everything is just heated through.
*Using a pastry brush, lightly oil the skin of the potato halves. Place them on a baking pan. Scoop the meat and vegetable mixture into the potatoes, top with a half of a slice of sharp cheddar cheese.
*Bake for approximately 20 minutes until the potato and filling are hot.
*Serve with Homemade Pico de Gallo

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Double Chocolate Cheesecake Pie

Today’s post is April’s submission to our monthly theme posts.
Celebrating Chocolate | www.BakingInATornado.com

If you aren't a regular visitor here, this is how it works; we are a group of bloggers participating in a monthly project. Every month one of us picks a theme and each of us post a recipe based on that month’s theme. All the recipes will be featured on my Facebook wall.

December was The 12 Cakes of December
January was Dippin' Through January
February was Love and Food
March was Celebrating Green and Welcoming Spring
April is Chocolate.
Today it’s my turn. I made a Double Chocolate Cheesecake Pie. If it sounds like a dessert that’s having an identity crisis, it probably is.

Double Chocolate Cheesecake Pie | www.BakingInATornado.com

The bottom features a dark chocolate crust and dark chocolate cheesecake. I used dark chocolate because it’s a little less sweet than the other options.

Double Chocolate Cheesecake Pie | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #reicpe #dessert

The topping is sweeter, it’s a whipped cookies-and-cream layer more reminiscent of a pie.

Double Chocolate Cheesecake Pie | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #reicpe #dessert

I then decorated, chilled completely, and served. My chocolate lovers were pleased.

Double Chocolate Cheesecake Pie | www.BakingInATornado.com

As always, if you make one of my recipes, please feel free to take a picture of it and post it on my Facebook wall or my Google + page. And watch for my posts featuring the rest of the chocolate recipes on the dates below:

4/7 The Rowdy Baker's Chocolaty Croissant Puffs
4/8 my Double Chocolate Cheesecake Pie 
4/10  Tampa Cake Girl's Iced Mocha Latte Chocolate Cake
4/11  Cooking with a SAHM's Raspberry Candied Bacon Dark Chocolate Brownies
4/12 Hun. . . What's for Dinner? 's Chocolate Covered Strawberry Ladybugs
4/13  Crumbs in My Mustachio

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Double Chocolate Cheesecake Pie 

Printable Recipe
24 Keebler Fudge Stripes Dark Chocolate cookies, finely crushed
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
¾ cup dark chocolate chips, melted and cooled for a couple of minutes
2 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
4 Hershey’s Cookies ‘n Cream candy bars, melted and cooled for a couple of minutes
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 TBSP Powdered sugar
*Preheat oven to 325ºF.
*Mix together the cookie crumbs and butter.  Press onto bottom and about a half inch up the sides of 9-inch springform pan.
*Beat the cream cheese with the sour cream and sugar until smooth. Beat in the vanilla and eggs, then the melted dark chocolate.
*Spread this filling onto the crust and bake until the center is almost completely set, approximately 35 minutes.
*Remove from oven, allow to cool on the counter for 45 minutes. Put into refrigerator until cold, approximately 1 1/2 hours.
*Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
*Remove 3/4 cup of the cream and reserve to use for decorating.
*Fold the slightly cooled melted candy into the remaining heavy cream. Spread evenly over the cooled pie.
*Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, approximately 2 hours.
*Remove the springform pan sides and decorate when ready to serve.