Friday, June 27, 2014

June Funny Friday

Today’s post is June’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 others 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  - Baking In A Tornado

Here’s today’s picture. It’s the picture that inspired this whole project and was submitted by Black Sheep Mom.

Funny Friday - Black Sheep Mom, Baking In A Tornado

Red Statue of Liberty to the green Statue of Liberty:

1. “You need to get to New York Harbor. I’ll write down the directions but you better hurry before someone figures out you’re gone.”

2. “If I give you my number will you stop following me around?”

3.  “What did the Chief of Police mean we’re not dressed right for undercover work?”

4. “I could have sworn I read on Facebook that today was “dress like the Statue of Liberty” day.”

5. “How many strangers do you think took our picture today?”

And a bonus:
6. “I don’t care whether we look alike or not, I’m not your mother, stop following me around.”

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

And now for something yummy:

Berry Bar Sundae - Baking In A Tornado
Berry Bar Sundae

Enjoy your weekend!
Baking In A Tornado

Berry Bar Sundae
Printable Recipe
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup mixed berries of your choice, rinsed and dried off, larger ones chopped
½ cup cinnamon baking chips
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
¾ cup chocolate chips
Scoop of ice cream
Dollop of whipped cream NOTE: I make my own, recipe is here: Strawberry Shortcake, Nacho Style
½ cup chocolate chips, melted (for serving)
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 X 8 baking dish.
*Beat the butter, margarine and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Slowly and carefully beat in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
*Mix in the cinnamon baking chips, then carefully mix in the berries.
*Pat evenly into the prepared dish. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and very carefully and gently spread the raspberry jam over the top. Sprinkle with ¾ cup of the chocolate chips. Return to the oven for 2 minutes.
*Using the chocolate chips that are already on the bars and have now become soft in the oven, use a knife to gently spread over the entire top of the bars.
*Cool on the counter for ½ hour, then in the refrigerator until completely cool. Cut into 4 squares.
*Top each square with a scoop of ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream and drizzle top with the remaining ½ cup of (melted) chocolate chips.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

All Aboard

There’s a Virtual Blog Tour (ie: game of tag) that’s been going around for a while now. I’ve been hiding behind the smart kid in front of me who raises his hand before the teacher can even get the question out, hoping that I won’t be called on. ‘Cause this tour is about sharing your writing process and honestly, I haven’t done my homework, I don’t know any of the answers and, yikes, there really isn’t much rhyme nor reason to what goes on in MY head.

A week ago my name got called. And let me tell you I was so stunned and honored by who called it that I sat down to write this right away. You see, not only are you asked to answer a few questions about your writing process, but then you name some of your favorite bloggers to jump on board this Virtual Blog Tour train too. The person who named me? She’s an author. Yes, a real author, one who’s published many books and is currently writing one in my favorite genre: mystery. Thank you Diane of On the Alberta/Montana Border for picking me as one of your favorite bloggers. Just call me Casey Jones because now I am SO riding this train!

 All Aboard - Baking In A Tornado

Here are the questions I need to answer and remember, I did warn you about this part:

1. What are you working on?
Staying alive. Literally. I started baking to relieve stress and when that wasn’t enough, I started blogging to vent. But now as my kids transition into the next chapter of their lives, I’ll be transitioning into the next chapter of writing. I’m not sure yet where that will take me but I’ve started a book. A number of friends strongly encouraged me, after reading my post Fairy Tale, to write a book of them. I have to admit that it’s not going well. I wrote a few then edit, edit, edit, edit and now they’re all down to about 2 words each. I think this Fall when the boys start school I’ll go back to taking the book seriously.

2. How does your work differ from others in its genre?
I don’t really have a genre. When I started this blog I said that I wouldn’t spend money on it nor make money from it. So far I’ve stuck to that. It’s incredibly freeing. I don’t owe anyone anything so I write what I want. I’ve done heart-wrenchingly honest and downright silly. I’ve written factual accounts of my struggles and pure fiction. I make my own graphics for my posts and add recipes. I don’t fit in with the humor writers nor the foodies. I’m a genre of my own.

3. Why do you write/create what you do?
I’m just trying to amuse myself. That’s the honest truth. If others find me funny or sometimes thought provoking, that’s a bonus; the cherry on the sundae so to speak.

4. How does your writing/creative process work?
Move along, folks, nothing to see here. Perhaps a Neuropsychologist could help sort it out. . . I’ll put it on the calendar.
A thought comes to me, usually in the shower. I always open a document (after drying off, of course) and throw the thought in there. Sometimes it grows to a full post, sometimes it goes out with the bathwater.

Hazelnut Coffee Pancakes with Berry Syrup - Baking In A Tornado
Hazelnut Coffee Pancakes with Berry Syrup
Hazelnut Coffee  Pancakes in Berry Syrup - Baking In A Tornado

And here is what I dread about being tagged. I’m supposed to name some of my favorite bloggers and I have about 4786 of them (not that I counted). So here’s what I did: I talked to my boys and they came up with a brilliant plan; put all of the names into a sorting hat (think Hogwarts) and the boys would each pick two. Here’s who they picked:

Michele was my very first blog friend. She’s intelligent and funny and her posts never disappoint. When she writes I can’t get there fast enough, it’s that simple. She left blogging for a while and it left me with a bad case of withdrawal, but she’s coming back and I couldn’t be happier.

Sarah is real and it shows in her writing. She’s all about personal growth and she’s been generous enough to share her experiences and honest enough not to sugar-coat them.

Stacy taught me a valuable life lesson; you can have little in common with someone but if you’re open to getting to know them anyway, your life can be vastly enriched. Stacy’s the kind of friend everyone should have.

Tamara is the embodiment of why the interwebs and the blogosphere have so much value. She lives in another country and yet we’re friends. Last December, Tamara gave me a gift unlike any other. She gathered 25 of my blogging friends and scheduled a post a day to honor me. I still can’t believe it and remain unable to put what this means to me into words.

As always, when I tag you it’s a compliment not an obligation.

To the other 4782 of my blogging friends, and I hope you know who you are: I value our friendship, I respect your voice and if I had all the time in the world, I’d have listed every one of you. Forgive me, it was the luck of the sorting-hat draw.

Baking In A Tornado

Hazelnut Coffee Pancakes with Berry Syrup
Printable Recipe
Ingredients, Berry Syrup:
1 # mixed berries of your choice, larger ones chopped
2 TBSP sugar
2 tsp corn starch
2 tsp water
1 cup maple Maple syrup, room temperature
Ingerdients, Pancakes:
1 cup flour
2 TBSP sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
OPT: ½ cup mini chocolate chips
¾ cup brewed Hazelnut flavored Coffee
¼ cup Hazelnut flavored creamer
1 egg
3 TBSP oil
Butter for cooking pancakes
*Put the berries and sugar into a pan and allow to sit for an hour so juice starts to form. Turn stove on to medium. Stirring often, heat the berries. Many of them will beak up as you stir.
*In a small bowl, whisk the corn starch and water together. Once the berries get hot, add this mixture to the berries. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Allow to boil for one minute, then add the maple syrup.
*Continue heating and stirring until the whole mixture is hot. Remove to another burner and just keep warm.
*In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, other 2 TBSP sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and mini chocolate chips.
*In a small bowl, whisk together the coffee, creamer, egg and oil. Mix into the dry ingredients just until incorporated.
*For each batch, heat one TBSP butter in a large frying pan or on a griddle over medium heat. When hot, pour batter into the pan, allowing space between pancakes. How much batter you use per pancake will depend on the size pancakes you make. Allow to cook until bubbles form. Flip and cook until the bottom starts to brown. You may need to turn the heat down a bit as they brown.
*Serve with the Berry Syrup. NOTE: Store leftover syrup, covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days. Watch for another upcoming recipe using this syrup.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Fly on the Wall, June 2014

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, buzz around my house.

Fly on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

Me: Sorry your pancakes are a little burnt, I had to leave them in the pan longer than I would have liked, I needed to get a good picture.
PurDude (formerly called High School Senior on this blog): If “a picture’s worth a thousand words”, why doesn’t that picture show burnt pancakes?
Me: Well, that’s pretty ungrateful. I may never make you pancakes again.
PurDude: What are you going to do then, burn my bowl of cereal?

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

PurDude: What’s for dinner?
Me: Chicken.
PurDude: I don’t think so.
So  I may be a little slow on the uptake, but I’m not sure what to say to that.

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

College Boy comes home from school, empties out his storage trunk and I’m about to take it down to the storage room when he asks me not to. Against my better judgment I leave it there. A week later:
Me: You need to pick up the miss in your room so it can get cleaned.
College Boy: It’s picked up.
Me: No, I mean put all of your clothes away and get rid of the mess on your desk and dresser.
He opens the trunk and in two seconds has thrown all his clothes and the mess from both his desk and dresser into the trunk and shut it again.
Aaaaah, now I get it.

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

I’m sitting on the couch reading a blog and leaving a comment. Some people, in order to keep spam off of their blog, use captcha. Sometimes it’s in the form of random letters and numbers that you have to type in correctly and sometimes it’s a simple math equation you have to answer.
So I typed in my comment and this blog had a simple math equation: 8 – 4 = _. I typed in my answer, hit “enter” and got an error message “your captcha response was incorrect. If you choose to leave a comment, click “back” and answer correctly”. Yikes. I covertly checked around the room to be sure no one saw that I got 8 – 4 wrong and tried another answer.
Phew, glad no one’s gonna know that happened.

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

All moms know that when trying to put the cookies into the cookie jar, if one doesn’t fit it’s their parental responsibility to just eat the cookie and fit the rest in.
And if it happens that . . . say . . . 5 or 6 cookies don’t fit?
Lets just say that it seems that I’m up to the challenge.

 Patriotic Pavlova - Baking In A Tornado
Patriotic Pavlova

Patriotic Pavlova going into oven - Baking In A Tornado
Meringues going into the oven

Patriotic Pavlova - BakingInATornado
Patriotic Pavlova, assembled

This is the kind of conversation that makes me crazy:
PurDude had his final grades posted into his online grade book. I checked his transcript, curious as to what his class rank was. He had been in the top ten, and in the top 5% but last semester of senior year he didn’t take a full schedule and I wanted to see where he ended. I jumped onto the calculator and figured it out.
Me to Hubs: I checked PurDude’s final class ranking and he ended in the top 6 percent.
Hubs: What was his rank?
Me: 32 out of 563.
Hubs: That’s great, it puts him in the top 3 or 4 percent.
Me: Ummmmm, actually it puts him in the top 6 percent. Like I just said.
Helllllooooo? Anybody there?

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

Here’s another one that makes me crazy:
Hubs car was leaking. I noticed it when he pulled out of the garage. When I spoke to him he said that he had it checked out, knew what was leaking and it wouldn’t be any problem. I’m pretty sure that’s not true and suggested a second opinion.
A few times I asked him about it again but he insisted that there was no rush in getting the car fixed, he’d take it down when he got a chance.
One day he comes home from work:
Hubs: Something’s wrong with the car. I think it’s the battery or alternator. A big red light went on in the car and I smelled smoke.
Me: I’m not surprised, the car has been leaking. I’m pretty sure it’s not a good idea to ignore that for any length of time.
Hubs: It’s not that, it’s not even leaking any more. I think it’s the battery or alternator.
Me: Or maybe it’s not leaking because it’s all out of whatever was leaking and that’s why you smell smoke.
Helllllooooo? Anybody there?

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

I posted this pic on the Baking In A Tornado Facebook page. PurDude went out with friends on a Saturday night. I have no idea where this came from but he decided to leave it in the den for me to find Sunday morning. Yes it’s cute, but when I came down the stairs half asleep, it did scare the cr@p out of me.

Snake in the Den - Baking In A Tornado

It was suggested on said FB page that I get my son back.
The next morning he may have had a surprise when, half asleep, he pulled back the shower curtain.
But I cannot confirm or deny.

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

I had been bugging PurDude to mow the lawn. He usually waits until it’s dark, but on this day we were expecting storms and our yard was already looking like a jungle. I finally got him to go mow. While he was out there, the tornado sirens went off. I went out to talk to him but he actually hadn’t heard them with the mower going and his earbuds in. He stopped the mower and started to come in the house.
Me (looking around): No, keep mowing.
PurDude: You don’t think I should come in?
Me: Nah, I’ll stay out here with you and watch the sky to make sure you’re OK.
Meanwhile the phone rings. Hubs isn’t expected home for hours but he’s calling to say he’s on his way.
Hubs: I’m almost home, get the cars in the garage and everyone get ready to hit the basement.
Me: I’ve got PurDude outside mowing.
Hubs: MOWING?????
Me: Yeah, the sky’s not really all that black and there’s no lightening or hail or anything. I’m out here with him, any tornado would have to go through me to get to him.
Hubs: Are you crazy?
Me: Probably, but on the plus side, the lawn is looking good.
Hubs drives up, gets out of the car, rolls his eyes and goes in the house.
I just don’t understand why EVERYONE in this house is always rolling their eyes at me.

Be sure to click on the links below for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado

Patriotic Pavlova
Printable Recipe
Ingredients, meringues:
1 TBSP cornstarch + ½ tsp, divided
6 large egg whites, divided
½ tsp cream of tarter, divided
1 ½ cups sugar, divided
¼ cup strawberry nesquick (25% less sugar) powder
¼ tsp strawberry extract
3 drops red food coloring
½ tsp vanilla
4 drops blue food coloring
Ingredients, berries:
6 ounces of fresh blueberries, cleaned
1/2 lb fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled and sliced
Ingredients, whipped cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 TBSP sugar
½ tsp vanilla
*Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
*Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit your baking sheet. On one corner of the parchment draw a 7 inch square using a pencil and ruler. In another corner, make a 7 inch circle (I traced a 7 inch bowl). Turn the parchment upside down onto your baking sheet so the food will not end up on the pencil marks. Spread the cornstarch over the square and circle to help your pavlova release once done. Remove any excess, be sure you can still see your shape outlines.
*Beat 3 egg whites with ¼ tsp cream of tartar until soft peaks form. While continuing to beat, a little at a time, add the nesquick, sugar and salt, then the red food coloring and strawberry extract. Continue beating until stiff peaks start to hold. Sprinkle ¼ tsp cornstarch over the meringue and continue to beat until the peaks will hold their shape. Place into pastry bag or use a resealable gallon bag.
*In a clean dry bowl, make the meringue again using vanilla instead of strawberry extract and nesquick and using blue food coloring instead of red. Put the blue meringue into a separate piping bag.
* Snip the corners of the bags. Pipe the red meringue in a square on your parchment paper using one you drew as a guide. Go over the edges with more of the meringue so the edges are higher than the center. You can use a knife to move the meringue around as well. Pipe the blue meringue into a circle on your parchment paper using the circle template you used as a guide. Build up the side on the circle like you did on the square.
*Bake for about 45 minutes. The outside should be firm if you touch it gently and it should just barely start to brown.
*Shut off the oven and allow the meringues to sit inside for another ½ hour. Remove and allow to cool completely.
*Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Beat in the sugar, then the vanilla and continue beating until stiff peaks hold.
*Assemble only when ready to serve.
*Carefully run a spatula under the meringues. They will crack in places. Place the square meringue on a serving platter, Fill with half of the whipped cream and top with blueberries. Gently top with the round meringue, the rest of the whipped cream and the strawberries.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Turning Two

I never thought this day would come. I have been blogging for two years. Two to three times a week I’ve been sharing true stories, humor pieces, opinions, memories, hopes and recipes through this blog. For two years! This is my 227th post.

Readers are a gift - Baking In A Tornado

I’ve never been accused of being at a loss for words. I suck at Twitter because I tend to be words, 140 characters is merely an appetizer for me. But did I think that I could write 227 pieces? With personally designed graphics, a recipe and food picture in almost all of them? Even I didn’t think I’d be able to sustain that kind of a pace for 2 years.

What shocks me most of all is how many people read this blog on a regular basis. I don’t have the most popular or successful blog. I chose to grow slowly, organically and honestly. I don’t regret it for a minute. There isn’t a thing I’ve written about that I consider to be at the expense of someone I love. Or anyone at all for that matter. Yes, one post was a complete failure, no one got it, but it didn’t hurt anyone (well, maybe MY feelings). But silly or serious or sarcastic, there’s not a piece that I’ve published that I’ve regretted. In so many ways this blog IS me.

And in so many ways this blog has saved me.

Iced Coffee Cocktail |
Iced Coffee Cocktail

I don’t make a secret of the fact that I’ve been going through some incredibly difficult times for the past few years. I’ve said many times that I find baking soothing, and that it does take my mind off of my problems. Blogging has enhanced that for me, allowed me to escape for a while, concentrate on writing a piece, designing a graphic, having discussions on social media in support of my posts.

I don’t know how long I’ll continue. The boys, who are undoubtedly my muses, will soon be gone. Along with them go the reason I bake. But I’m so proud to share this; I will forever know that I built a blog from scratch, I built communities through the blog challenges and groups I developed and administer, I’ve not only done it but have maintained it for 2 years. If I were to never write a word again I’ll be grateful for having gone down this road.

I’ve seen blogs come and go. I’ve watched bloggers give up and walk away. I’ve seen many take roads that I just can’t understand. But I’ve made connections, both fellow bloggers and blog readers who have made a difference to me; some even kept me going on many (many, many) occasions when I really thought I was done.

I’m not going to get all syrupy and sappy and ooey and gooey. All that stuff is for desserts (well, you knew I was gonna get baked goods in here somewhere, right)? But two years is a really long time so I want to mark this milestone with just the right words:

Thank you.

Baking In A Tornado

Iced Coffee Cocktail
Printable Recipe
Ingredients (makes approximately 2):
1 ½ cups cold coffee
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup Dulce de Leche liquid creamer 
½ cup vanilla ice cream
2 ounces Whipped Cream Vodka
3 ounces Amaretto
2 ounces of white chocolate liqueur
1 ounce Kahlua
Opt: whipped cream for topping
*Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
*Serving options: Put in a glass with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
                        Serve over ice with a dollop of whipped cream.
                        Put into freezer until it starts to thicken and serve slushy.

Friday, June 13, 2014

June 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 a 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 - Baking In A Tornado

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 incoherent ~ bologna ~ hysterical ~ hole in one ~ coffee ~ coexist
They were submitted by The Bergham's Life Chronicles.

Coffee. Every day starts with coffee. I’d be incoherent without it. Some say I’m incoherent with it, but that’s another post for another day. Truth is, my sanity, what little of it remains after raising two boys, is tied to the level of coffee running through my veins on any particular morning.

Anyone play golf? I never have. I always said that if I really wanted to go for a walk, I don’t have to hit a little ball every once in a while to do it, I’d just walk. But if you are a golfer, you’ll get this; my first sip of coffee in the morning? It’s my hole in one.

But once, ONCE, I ran out of coffee. In a raging snowstorm. I don’t know how it happened than and I can assure you that it hasn’t happened since. Not only did that day epitomize the word ‘panic”, but I literally could not function. Rational thought and I were completely unable to coexist.

If you’re here you know, of course, that I blog. No, I was not stupid enough to try to write on a day without coffee. I knew not to even attempt that, although in retrospect the result may very well have been hysterical. Epic? Perhaps. But a lesson in futility as I’m sure it wouldn’t have ended up on the blog.

I did, however, have to make dinner. I thought bout telling the family that we wouldn’t be eating that night because of the whole coffee debacle, but even I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I didn’t have to write but I would have to cook.

Roasted-style Grilled Chicken - Baking In A Tornado
Roasted-style Grilled Chicken

As I frequently do, I decided to try something new. I do this as often as possible because new recipes often take time and a few different attempts before they develop into something I want to put on the blog. So when something comes to mind as a starting point, I need to go with it.

But on this particular day, due to my caffeine handicap (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it), dinner was not exactly a success. In fact, I was banned from tweaking it and threatened with losing my kitchen privileges altogether.

Family (yes, all of them): Yuck, Mom, this might be the worst dinner you ever made. What in the world did you wrap this chicken breast in?
Me: Ummmm, bologna?

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time . . .

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Baking In A Tornado

Roasted-style Grilled Chicken
Printable Recipe
3 # boneless skinless chicken breasts
¼ cup oil
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP dijon mustard
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp thyme
¼ tsp cayenne
1 tsp paprika
*Cut each piece of chicken in half. Place into re-sealable gallon sized plastic bag.
*Mix all of the rest of the ingredients together and pour into bag with the chicken. Close bag and manipulate the chicken and marinade around so all of the chicken is covered with marinade.
*Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to a day, turning the bag over in the fridge at least a few times.
*Grease your grill grates before starting the grill. Heat the grill to medium heat and take chicken pieces from the marinade and grill, turning once, until fully cooked and juices run clear. This should take approximately 15 minutes per side.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Love to Laugh

A few weeks ago Cluttered Genius interviewed me for a post she was writing in support of one of the collaborative books I contributed to, The Mother of All Meltdowns. In the interview she asked what makes me laugh. What a great question.

My answer to her was that I find my children’s laughter contagious. Hearing my boys laugh makes me laugh. But laughter comes so much easier when they’re little. AS they get older, sometimes you have to dig deeper to bring it out.

When my boys became teenagers I started watching the news and scanning the papers for absurd news stories. You know, the kind that make you laugh out loud and think “yup, truth is stranger than fiction.” I wanted the family dinners we had left to always end on a happy note. On nights when the conversations were more serious or stressful, I’d bring up some of those stories before we left the table. Or I’d quote some funny “bot” comments I’d gotten on the blog, or search terms people had typed into Google that somehow, inexplicably, landed them on my blog. Every meal ended with laughs all around. Perfect.

I’d done a post about funny true news stories a year ago and was asked at the time to do another. I’m pretty sure they didn’t mean a year and a half later, but I’m finally getting around to it. So from the “you can’t make this stuff up” files, here are some true news stories, some funny computer-generated bot comments and some search terms that landed people on my blog (and probably had them scratching their heads as to why they ended up here). And, of course, I’ve added some of my own comments.

Some of what we’ve been laughing about at our dinner table:

All the News - Baking In A Tornado

News stories:
*Someone has come up with an alcoholic drink in powdered packets (looks like a Kool-Aid packet).
     ~This is either genius or the most dangerous invention since TNT.

*Haagen Dazs is testing vegetable flavored ice creams, one with tomato and another with carrots.
     ~When reporting about it on the national news, Brian Williams said it best; “this is a purpose-defeating product if ever there was one.”

*A local man was arrested for driving his lawnmower down the street.
     ~The story gets better, when pulled over, it was evident that he had been drinking. He told the arresting officer that he was driving to a store down the street from his house. Evidently he had run out of beer.

Baked Hot Wings - Baking In A Tornado
Baked Hot Wings

Search terms that lead people to this blog:
*baking soda for hot flashes
     ~Wait, what? Don’t leave me hanging, am I supposed to eat it? Wear it? Bathe in it?

*alcohol free
     ~I’m so sorry but you have been horribly lead astray by Google. You are SO in the wrong place.

*name cakes happy birthday linda
     ~I’m stumped by this one too. I name my cakes but I’ve never named one “happy birthday Linda”. I don’t even know a Linda.

*domination interior
     ~What does this even mean? Who Googles this? Really, I want to know.

Bot generated blog comments:
* “Can I simply  just say what a relief to discover somebody who genuinely knows what they are discussing.” The comment goes on to say “I can’t believe you aren’t more popular.”
     ~Ummmmm, gee thanks.

* “At Trader Joe’s, the popcorn arrives packaged pre-popped and also is actually as effortless to ingest as potato chips.”
     ~OK, good to know.

* “We are a group opening a new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with valuable information.”
     ~Does this make me an accessory?

* “I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing. I’ve had trouble cleaning my mind.”
     ~Sorry buddy, your dirty mind is not my problem.

* “Permit this review and we’ll protect a fictional dog!”

     ~Wow, really? If I post your review on my blog you’ll protect a fictional dog?What do I have to do to get you to protect a real dog? Wait. Don’t answer that.

Baking In A Tornado 

Baked Hot Wings
Printable Recipe
3 – 4 #chicken wings or wingettes
4 tsp cayenne
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 ½ cups Frank’s Hot Sauce
*Mix together the cayenne, paprika, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
*Rinse wings and pat dry. Sprinkle liberally with the seasoning mix, pat in, turn wings over and repeat.
*Place wings in a gallon bag and refrigerate for 24 hours.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray.
*Arrange the wings, not overlapping onto the cookie sheet. Sprinkle with more of the seasoning mix.
*Bake for 30 minutes, turn the wings over, sprinkle with more of the seasoning mix and bake another 30 minutes.
*Pour the Hot Sauce into a large bowl. Take the wings from the oven and immediately put into the bowl with the sauce. Stir to coat.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Secret Subject Swap, June 2014

Welcome to another Secret Subject Swap. This week 16 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 - Baking In A Tornado

My subject is: people tell you you look like a certain celebrity. One day, somebody asks for your autograph and a picture. They’re really excited about it. Do you let them think you’re the real deal, or do you fess up?
It was submitted by elleroy was here.

I know people think I cheat and pick my own prompt each month, but I really don’t. It’s a long and complicated process, assigning prompts, and the longer the Swap goes on the more work it is to assign them. I try to be sure that no one gets the prompt of the person who got theirs, that they don’t get the prompt of the same person theirs came from last month, that they don’t get one to similar to one they’ve recently written about. At this point, my 34th Swap, assigning prompts takes hours.

So it really is a coincidence that not only have I been told that I look like someone famous many times, but I actually was talking about this on my Baking In A Tornado Facebook page about a month ago. I posted an old picture from high school and in the comments there it was, someone had made the connection. Again.

It actually started in high school and the first person to say it was a teacher. I don’t remember how the subject came up, he just came out with it one day in class. “You know you look just like . . . “.  It was embarrassing, as pretty much everything in high school is, to have everyone turn and look at me. But at the time there were lots of “well, now that you mention it”.

I didn’t get it. I really didn’t. I went home and told my mom. Like anyone who knows you really well, has seen you grow and change, knows every nuance of your appearance, who sees not just your looks but your personality in your looks, she saw only the passing resemblance. Like me, it just wasn’t clear.

And I also have to admit that I wasn’t exactly flattered. I mean she is a thing of beauty in her own way, but not really what a teenager would call pretty. At one point in my youth I even wondered if my teacher was insulting me. I mean there were models and movie stars and rock stars and all kinds of people I would love for people to tell me I look like. If I were to be told that I look like someone famous, this was not who I’d like people to think of first. Or second, or third, or fourth . . .

But through the years it did happen. Actually pretty often. Whatever it was, lots of people seemed to see it. Like most people though, I’ve changed my hairstyle, my makeup regime, all kinds of changes come as you mature and it’s been years since I’ve heard the comparison.

Now, of course, as I’ve aged and matured, I can see her classic beauty. I feel the allure of her smile, acknowledge the mesmerizing quality of her look.

If someone were to ask for my autograph and picture would I fess up? No flippin’ way!  Listen, if they’re delusional enough to think that she’s living in the Midwest, baking cookies, writing a blog and stressing about teenagers, I’m certainly not going to chance whacking someone like that over the head with reality. They can have a picture. My pleasure.

In fact, I’ve made up a bunch of them, autograph and all. The picture is from back in high school, when the likeness was most evident. And if you really think I look like her and you want to stick around and chat, I may just tell you what that smile is all about.

Mona Lisa smile - Baking In A Tornado

Bet you thought I forgot to add something yummy to this post. Nope, it’s here. A side dish I served with dinner:

Sweet Potato Cups with Maple Butter |

Sweet Potato Cups with Maple Butter

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

PS: A longtime Swap participant didn't think she could join in this month because she was moving. Just 2 days ago she asked for a prompt. So although she didn't sign up in time for the exchange, she IS writing a Subject Swap post today too.  Please check hers out as well:

Baking In A Tornado

Sweet Potato Cups with Maple Butter

Printable Recipe

Ingredients, Butter:
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 TBSP maple syrup
1 TBSP brown sugar
Ingredients, Sweet Potato Cups:
2 large sweet potatoes
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 TBSP maple syrup
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp salt

*Mix together butter ingredients. Roll into 6 balls, wrap individually in plastic wrap, put into sandwich bag and refrigerate for at least an hour (can freeze).
*Grease 9 muffin tins very well. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Peel and shred sweet potatoes (I shredded in the food processor). Run your hands through the shreds to be sure there are no big pieces.
*Mix in the rest of the ingredients and, using your hands, form into 9 balls. Place each into a greased muffin tin and pat down.
*Bake for 70 to 75 minutes (don't let the sides burn). Once out of the oven, let sit for 15 minutes. If you try to remove them at this point they'll fall apart.
*Take the butter from the fridge and cut each ball in half.
*Gently remove the sweet potato cups from the muffin tin and place on serving plate. Put a butter half on top of each to serve.