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

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 | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast

Hazelnut Coffee Pancakes with Berry Syrup
Hazelnut Coffee Pancakes with Berry Syrup | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast

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 signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics



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.


  1. I write my blog the same way - I spend no money, but it make none either. You're right - it's so freeing!! Will be checking out all your recommended blogs. If you've got over 4000 favourites, I guess I've got some reading to do to catch up!

    1. I'm so glad that you're going to check out my friends' blogs. You won't be disappointed.

  2. Hahahaha, I am the same as far as no.4 goes. The shower is actually a good place to be hit by an idea.
    Love that you think of the virtual blog tour as a train ride - Thomas and friends are still in the back of your head, right?

    I want to thank you so much for nominating me! It is a huge honor, I appreciate it! I'm also thrilled to be in the lovely ladies' company, Michèle, Sarah and Stacy!

    And that advent calendar was long overdue, you know! Everyone's gotta have one at some point :-)

    1. Can't wait to hear all about your process. Guess I won't be surprised if it has a shower scene too!

    2. Actually I just went ahead and deleted the shower scene! Didn't want to steal yours ;-)
      Will publish in a couple of hours. For now I've got to run and pick up C, make dinner, the usual.

  3. Oh Karen. Thank you so much for the nomination; you KNOW I love you.What a beautiful group to be included in!
    My post may just be a picture of popcorn or Circus peanuts, though. Writing process = food!
    You are a dear friend whom I adore. Thanks for waiting on the blog.
    Cheers to many more posts, smiles and tweets. I mean treats. Hahaha!

    1. So excited to see you posting again. Bring on the Circus Peanuts.

  4. I loved this! I feel I know you even better (and isn't that the whole point?!) Thank you for being such a good sport! I love to read everything you write. You have such a unique slant: humour, snarkiness, serious-ity. Each gets its due. With food. I love it here!

    1. Thank you for choosing me, Diane. I wasn't expecting to enjoy doing this post as much as I did.

  5. Karen I love your blog and always have, LOVE the graphics they always make me laugh and of course the recipes are great. A book? Go for it girl!!
    Spatulas On Parade

    1. Thanks, Dawn. When I actually start taking the book seriously I may need a shoulder to cry on. . . just putting it out there!

  6. Dying to know if you eat everything you bake...how do you manage? I love to bake but....

    1. I have a house full of teens most of the time. I'm very lucky if I can even get a taste of whatever I bake, just to know if it's something I want to post or not.

  7. Karen, congratulations! I love your blog too and have to say that you are one of my favorite bloggers too. Keep up the great work!

  8. Karen congrats! I was also picked by Diane and was completely awestruck! Isn't she amazing! Love your blog though!

    1. Congratulations to you too, Rena. Quite an honor to have been picked by such a talented writer.

  9. I love that your writing process is so much like mine... it falls to the wind and whims of my heart!
    That berry syrup sounds like something I want to throw my face into a bowl full of! :)

    1. So I actually do have a process, it just involves wind and whims AND I'm not the only one. Yay.

  10. My writing process goes like this: nothing, nothing, nothing,a sentence! write it down quick!, nothing, nothing, more nothing, here's a photo i can use, ooh, that's a good word, nothing, nothing and so on until it gels.


Warning: Comment at your own risk. I have Comment Moderation, meaning I approve all comments before they show up here. So go ahead, I'm not scared!