Friday, August 29, 2014

August Funny Friday

Today’s post is August’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 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 was submitted by Sanity Waiting to Happen.

Funny Friday - sanity waiting to happen

1. Ad in a local paper: “Freezer for sale. Contents included.”

2. Hubs to Wife: “I have good news and bad news. Good news, there’s plenty of berries in the freezer. Bad news: you may not ever want to use them.”

3. Child to Mom (who can’t hear him because she’s screaming her head off): “Can I keep him, Mom? Huh? Huh? Can I keep him? Plllleeeeeaaaaaassssseee, Mom?”

4. Snake to screaming woman: “Shut the door, you’re letting all the air conditioning out.”

5. Hubs to wife: “I have a surprise for you, a DIY project for your blog, make your own snake-skin purse.”

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

And now for something yummy:

 Seafood Angel Hair Florentine - Baking In A Tornado
Seafood Angel Hair Florentine

Enjoy your weekend!
Baking In A Tornado

Seafood Angel Hair Florentine
Printable Recipe
12 oz Angel Hair Pasta
1 1/2 cups uncooked spinach, cleaned and dry
3 TBSP butter
1 TBSP olive oil
3 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp dried red pepper flakes
1 # uncooked bay scallops
12 oz uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup white wine OPT: may substitute chicken broth
2 TBSP lemon juice
Grated parmesan
*Cook the pasta al dente. Drain, return to pot and cover to keep warm.
*In a large saucepan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook and stir about 3 minutes. Don’t allow the garlic to get brown.
*Add the scallops and shrimp to the pan. Turn the heat up a notch and cook for about 5 - 6 minutes until the scallops are white and the shrimp is pink.
*Add the wine to the pan. Cook for one minute until the wine is hot, then add the lemon juice.
*Add the uncooked spinach to the warm pasta and mix. Add the seafood and sauce and mix again. Top with grated parmesan.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What to Expect

Here it comes; emptynestdom (yes, I made that word up, feel free to use it) in all of its glory.

I was prepared with some pretty great books for What to Expect When You’re Expecting, What to Expect the First Year, What to Expect the Second Year and even What to Expect Before You’re Expecting.

But what do you expect after you’ve expected, survived the first year and the second year, not to mention the toddler years, the pre-teens, the teenaged years, the build up to college and more?

What do you expect when the school year starts and your kids are off at college? What do you expect when you’re expecting . . . well  . . . nothing.

I’ll tell you what I'm expecting:

* Silence. And it’s not golden. I’m rethinking that whole “don’t talk back to me, young man” thing. I think I’ll take the back-talk. I’ll start to talk to myself. Out loud. It'll become a habit and people will steer clear of me in department stores.

What to Expect - Baking In A Tornado

* Chores will take less time. There’ll be no picking up to do. There will be so much less laundry, not only because there are less people, but because no one throws clean clothes down the laundry chute because they’re too lazy to put them away.

* Dinner will be peaceful. No one complaining about what I'm serving. Even if it’s fish. Even if it’s fish twice a week. And no one is running off in the middle of the meal. Not to mention that every dinner will have leftovers so now I can cook once and eat twice.

* I may get to eat my own meal. I’ve suddenly realized that I’ve never been able to eat a whole burger before. Someone (well, two someones) always finished theirs and grabbed a quarter of mine.

* There’s no one to blame when the toilet paper roll runs out. There’s also no one there when I yell for someone to bring me another one. This one could be a bit of a problem.

* There’s a car in the garage when I want to leave. In fact, there’s two. And they have just as much gas in them as they did the last time I parked them in the garage.

* I plan to sleep through the night. The garage door won't be go up at 1:00 am, no one’s forgetting their key at 2:00 am, the toilet doesn’t flush at 3:00 am (well, unless it’s me), and no one remembers at 4:00 am whatever it is they need for the next day.

* I will actually get to taste me own baking. There’s no longer a group of teens standing by the oven waiting to grab the goodies between there and the counter. And oh, how I'll wish there was.

Dark Chocolate Chip Berry Bread Pudding - Baking In A Tornado
Dark Chocolate Chip Berry Bread Pudding
Dark Chocolate Chip Berry Bread Pudding - Baking In A Tornado

* I can no longer ignore my cell when it dings. It may ding every 2 seconds with social media updates and conversations but I'll now check it every single time. Just in case there’s a text.
* The in-house techie has left the building. And this is a very, very big problem for this blogger.
* The grocery store is already a difficult place to be. I have to keep taking out of the cart all of my kids’ favorite foods that I no longer need to buy.
* I'll need to find a new route home. For three years I’ve driven by the high school and smiled when I spot my child’s car. Now I already can’t bear to drive home that way.
* And the countdown, it's changed completely. I used to count down the days until they went off to school. Now I'm already counting the days until I see them again. 46 days as of today, in case you’re interested.

Hope I make it.

Baking In A Tornado 

Dark Chocolate Chip Berry Bread Pudding
Printable Recipe
1 (16 oz) loaf of Italian bread, coarsely chopped into cubes
4 ounces whipped cream cheese
8 eggs
3/4 cup hazelnut creamer
3/4 cup milk
¼ cup brown sugar
2 TBSP white sugar
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1 # berries, cleaned and larger ones sliced
5 oz dark chocolate chips
OPT: powdered sugar, vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for topping
*Grease a 9 X 13 glass baking dish.
*In a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese, eggs, creamer, milk, sugars, salt and cinnamon.
*Add the bread and mix until all of the bread is wet.
*Gently mix in the berries and dark chocolate chips.
*Spread into the prepared dish and cover with tin foil. Refrigerate for 4 hours or up to a day.
*One hour before cooking, remove dish from refrigerator and place on counter.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Remove tin foil and cook for one hour.
*Remove from oven. Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fly on the Wall, August 2014

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 11 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 - Baking In A Tornado

Last month College Boy stopped working for the Congressman. The primary was over and won and there wasn’t any work until the campaign was ready to gear up for the general election. College boy went looking for a job for the rest of the summer.
Here are some words I never thought I’d hear:
College Boy: Mom, I got a new job. There’s a guy working the job right now so they’re going to give me some temporary duties in a different department. Then when that guy goes to jail they’ll move me into the job.

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

College Boy: Mom, I almost ran over a chicken on the way home from work last night. It jumped out of nowhere in front of the car.
Me: Do you know why you almost hit that chicken?
College Boy: No, why?
Me: It was trying to cross the road.
(College Boy treats me to a major eye roll)
Me: Do you know why it was trying to cross the road?
College Boy, while walking away and rolling his eyes: Lame, Mom. Lame.
Ba ~ dum ~ bump . . . ching. I’ll be here all week folks. Please tip your bartender and waitress.

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

I had a dilemma a few weeks ago. I’d made a new recipe and we all loved it. It was for Bacon Cheddar Beef Rolls that I cooked on the grill. We all agreed that I should post the recipe to my blog, but every picture I took looked like poop on a roll. I kept envisioning them showing up on late night TV and the whole world laughing at the woman who posted poo on a bun. I tried decorating it, adding side dishes, whatever I could think of, but I’d ask my family and every one got the same response. Dinner was delicious but the picture looks like I’d gone fishing in the potty.

Bacon Cheddar Beef Rolls - Baking In A Tornado

I took one final picture from a different angle and showed the boys.
Me: Well?
College boy: That looks less like poo.
PurDude: Yes, this one’s less poop-like.
So it’s come to this; “less poop-like” is officially a success. But I swear, if I see that picture on late night TV, I’m going into hiding.

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

Me: I just did the laundry yesterday, how can 3 of your outfits possibly be in today’s wash?
College Boy: Mom, don’t ask questions you know you don’t want the answer to.
Point taken.

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

PurDude: What’s for dinner?
Me: I’m trying something new. It’s actually a breakfast. I’m calling it a Crab Benedict Roll Up.
PurDude: That sounds interesting. But I don’t like asparagus, I want ham instead of Prosciutto and I don’t want the sauce.
Me: Sorry, you must have missed the part of the menu where it says “no substitutions.”
PurDude: Mostly I’m just asking you to leave off a few things.
Me: OK, you win.
PurDude: I have to work from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Then I’ll come home and change and go to the gym from 8:30 pm till about 9:45 pm, so if you could make it for about 10:00 pm, that would be great.
Me: You better check that menu again. It also has our hours. The kitchen closes long before 10:00 pm. Sorry.
PurDude: No problem, I can still get dinner. I’m related to the owner . . .

 Crab Benedict Breakfast Roll Up - Baking In A Tornado
Crab Benedict Breakfast Roll Up

PurDude goes to the grocery store with me, a rare occasion. While there he sees frozen Arby’s Curly Fries and asks me to buy them. I do.
The next week I decide to make Leftover Night Steak Sandwiches for dinner and serve the curly fries with them. PurDude ends up working and, although he doesn’t know it, he missed having the fries.
Later that night he called as he left work to say that he was stopping to get a sub and wanted to know if anyone wanted anything. We’d already eaten so we were good.
He walks in the house with a bag and proceeds to tell me that the sub shop was closed. Although he knows that I already ate, he brought me something anyway. He stopped at Arby’s to get himself some chicken fingers and decided to surprise me with Curly Fries.

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

Have you ever played “Red Light, Green Light”? Everyone moves on “green light” and has to freeze on “red light”.  A fly on the wall may have thought I was playing that game all alone this past month. This is how it went:
I suddenly realized that I will never, ever have to cover a school book again. No ripping up paper bags and measuring and cutting and folding and taping and labeling. This precipitated a spastic happy dance all over the kitchen and into the den.
I just as suddenly realized that in place of covering school books, I’m now PAYING for school books.

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

This is the exact conversation I had every day all summer long when PurDude got home from his Lifeguarding job.
Me: Hi, honey.
PurDude (putting his shoes into his locker): Tired.
Me: How was your day?
PurDude (walking through the kitchen): Tired.
Me: How’s the job?
PurDude (passing through the den): Tired.
Me: Do you have any plans tonight?
PurDude (heading up the stairs): Tired.
Me: Nice talking to ya.
Amazing that I can miss a non-conversation like this. But I do.

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

This summer had me learning a lesson in perspective. All winter long, with College Boy away, we were a household of 3 drivers and 3 cars. We all had different schedules and no one’s suffered because we all had transportation.

College Boy moved back in for the summer and we were 4 drivers with 3 cars. Hubs needed his car for work. PurDude needed his car for word and he wasn’t on a set schedule, nor on the same schedule as any of the other lifeguards so he had to drive himself. College Boy got a job that paid better than anything locally and offered unlimited hours. But his job was a half hour from here and his hours were given to him the day before based on their need, so he had to take my car. I had to work anything I needed a car for around the boys’ ever-changing schedules. I was not happy about having 3 cars.

Then Hubs’ car needed an expensive repair. The week after, it needed another expensive repair. We decided not to put any more money into it. So then we were a family of 4 drivers with 2 cars. Hubs had to take my car to work and I was going to have to chauffeur everyone else with the other car.

It was only a few days later, on a Saturday, that I sent Hubs and PurDude out to find a car for Hubs. That day we were once again a family of 4 drivers with 3 cars. 
A week earlier I wasn’t at all happy to have 3 cars. 
One week later I was VERY happy to have 3 cars. Perspective.

Flies on the Wall - Baking In A Tornado

Any of you who know me or follow me on Facebook know (all too well) that I just got back from dropping my baby off at college 700 miles away.
I try to deal with stress through humor, so I'm trying to remember some of the little funny moments about dropping him off.
Before he left, PurDude and I went out to buy him a trunk. Not only is a wheeled trunk a great way to get his belongings into the dorm, but it works just as well these days as a table in the dorm room as it had in my day.
In the week before we left, we were talking about packing up to leave and decided that we couldn't buy a mini-fridge here. With his trunk, all his electronics, bedding and whatever else, I was concerned about fitting everything into my car.
Hubs: Well, it would take up less space if we put all of his clothes into the trunk.
Me: Of course we'll put his clothes into the trunk. What did you think I was putting in the trunk?
Hubs: Nothing. You said it was to be used as a table.
Me: And take it up there empty? In what universe does that make any sense at all?

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

Baking In A Tornado

Crab Benedict Breakfast Roll-Up
Printable Recipe
Ingredients (for 2):
2 tortillas
approx. 10 spinach leaves, clean but not cooked
4 slices prosciutto
2 TBSP butter
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
4 oz cooked Lump crab meat
4 asparagus spears
4 tsp olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
*Warm the tortillas in the microwave for about 10 seconds.
*Put spinach leaves, in a single layer, into the center of the tortillas.
*Top the spinach with 2 slices of prosciutto each.
*Melt butter in a small fry pan. Crack an egg into the pan and break the yolk if you want. Swirl around in the pan. You want the egg to be thin, it can be as large as the tortilla. Sprinkle with salt and/or pepper to taste.
*Fry eggs to desired doneness, flipping if you prefer fried to sunny-side-up. Repeat with the second egg for the second tortilla.
*While egg is cooking, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and Dijon together.
*When done, place eggs on the prosciutto.
*Put 2 asparagus spears in the center of each egg and a few pieces of crab on either side.
*Roll from one side to the other. The ingredients should be encased inside.
*Drizzle the sauce over the top. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


I did it. Packed my baby and took him to another time zone for his freshman year in college. Older son is closer to home, a sophomore. Now all of the excitement is over and the really bad news has arrived. Yup, the bills are coming in. The plan was to hide from those bills but it turns out if you don’t pay they send your kids back. Damn, shoulda seen that coming.

Let me just say that I like Ramen Soup. Unfortunately it looks like I can no longer afford it. So we’re on to Plan B. Moms have to make sacrifices for their children, we all know that. So after much thought I’ve decided to sell certain of my beloved belongings, some of the more unique items.

There’s something here on K-Bay for everyone, but you’ll have to bid fast. These treasures will be gone before you know it. Bid strong, the futures of two boys might depend on it. No pressure, though.

Here you go, a true mother’s sacrifice. Up on the auction block:

#1 ~ Autumn lovers’ tree
Do you love nature but hate raking? This leafless tree is not only low maintenance but it’s got the added bonus of not blocking the sun. And, in case of emergency, you can just snap off a limb and use it for firewood. It’s already seasoned and ready to go.
Opening bid: $2,000
Dead Birch - Baking In A Tornado

#2 ~ No Jump Hoop
Are your young ones not yet 6 feet tall? Trip over their own feet when jumping for the net? Or just not able to master that jump shot? Have I got the hoop for you . . .
Opening bid: $500
hoop down - Baking In A Tornado

#3 ~ All Weather Picnic Table
Ignore that license plate. It only needs an $800 part if you want to drive it. But imagine the fun the whole family can have with this driveway picnic table. Raining? No problem. This picnic spot is completely enclosed and permanently placed right in your driveway. Grab your burger and come on inside.
Opening bid: $11,000
Mercedes - Baking In A Tornado

#4 ~ Lawn Mower
Concerned about rising gas prices? Not with this lawn mower. No gas, oil or maintenance required.
Opening bid: $999
Possum - Baking In A Tornado

We’re not done shopping. I have a few more items to offer.
Let’s have a snack and keep going.

Pistachio Toffee Dessert Pizza - Baking In A Tornado
Pistachio Toffee Dessert Pizza
Pistachio Toffee Dessert Pizza - Baking In A Tornado

#5 ~ Invitation Decline
Invited to an event you don’t want to attend? Asked to help with a Kindergarten field trip? I have the perfect solution; you’re unavailable because you have a house guest. Bonus: he doesn’t eat much. In fact, if you get really hungry and haven’t made it to the grocery store, there’ll always be a banana in the house.
Opening bid: $1,500
Stuffed Banana - Baking In A Tornado

#6 ~ Exotic Dinner Ingredients
Do you have guests coming over who always try to outdo everyone? You know the type, serve over-the-top dinners with ingredients you’ve never heard of. Now you can put them in their place. I’m offering you the chance to serve this one-of-a-kind mushroom guaranteed to have been grown pesticide free. And there’s the added bonus of being able to tell your dinner guests about having harvested this beautiful specimen yourself.
Opening bid: $3,000
Mushroom - Baking In A Tornado     Mushroom - Baking In A Tornado                  

#7 ~ Personality Candles
When it comes to decor, we all want unique items, those interesting things that speak to us and show who we are. So if you’re . . . well . . . a little bent . . . these are just the one-of-a-kind candles that are perfect for you. Note: for those of you just dying to make a certain comment (and you know who you are and you know what comment), do not. This is a PG-13 blog.
Opening bid: $200

 Personality Candles - Baking In A Tornado

#8 ~ Mighty Triceps Builder
Looking for a way to build those triceps? Look no further. This simple machine will do the trick. Fill the drawer circled in red with laundry detergent. Push the broken detached piece circled in blue into place over the drawer. Turn on the machine and, using both hands, hold that piece on until the machine turns itself off. The Mighty Triceps Builder will let you know if you’re doing the exercise correctly. If you end up with detergent on your shoes, try again.
This item is a two-fer. Once you’re able to master the Mighty Triceps Builder, you can actually end up with clean clothes when you’ve finished exercising.
Opening bid: $2,500
Mighty Ticeps Builder - Baking In A Tornado

#9 ~ Hair Extensions
Have you ever had a haircut that didn’t go as planned? Style not right? Or a little shorter than you’d expected? Hair extensions are the way to go. One size fits all. Guaranteed not to grow.
Opening bid: $50
Hair - Baking In A Tornado

#10 ~ Perfect Pet
Are you looking for companionship? You won’t find a more loyal pet than this Jelly Friend. Does not require feeding, grooming or bathing. Added bonus: Jelly Friend actually made some connections in his prior home under the sea. It’s possible he may, with time, choose to introduce you to his well known former neighbor. I don’t want to name drop, but I can tell you that he lives in a pineapple and his name rhymes with BlongeBlob.
Opening bid: $750
Jellyfish - Baking In A Tornado

#11 ~ Organic Ice
Forget those inconvenient ice trays. You don’t need those in-the-door ice cube dispensers that throw ice all over your kitchen. This ice is ready made and there for the picking (up). Perfect for cookouts, it literally delivers itself.
Opening bid: $650
Hail  - Baking In A Tornado

The fine print:
All items are available for pick up. If you want your item to be here when you come for it, however, there’ll be a small added fee.

Delivery is also available for a more substantial fee. Delivery dates will depend on how fast my kids can drive to your house.

To bid: include the number of the item you’re bidding on and state the amount you’re willing to pay. Winners wishing to be notified will be subject to a notification fee of not less than the purchase price.

Let the bidding begin . . .

Baking In A Tornado

Pistachio Toffee Dessert Pizza
Printable Recipe
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 sticks margarine, softened
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 2/3 cups flour
6 ounces of pistachios, shelled and as much as possible remove skin
1/2 cup corn syrup (any)
4 TBSP  stick butter, softened
4 TBSP brown sugar
4 TBSP liquid hazelnut creamer
8 oz unsalted pistachios, shelled and coarsely chopped
½ cup white chocolate chips, melted
*Place the 6 ounces of pistachios in a food processor and process until fine.
*Beat the butter, margarine and cream cheese until smooth. Mix in the flour and pistachios to form a dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator for an hour.
*Line the lower shelf of your oven with tin foil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a pizza pan (not one with holes in the bottom).
*With your hands, spread the dough evenly all over and up the sides of the pizza pan.
*Bake for about 30 minutes. It should be browning but don’t let it get too brown. Remove from oven and let sit on the counter.
*Microwave corn syrup, butter, brown sugar, and creamer for 1 1/2 minutes, stir, then another 2 minutes.
*Gently pour over the center of the crust. Don’t pour all the way out to the edges. Return to oven and bake for 20 minutes.
*Remove from oven. Sprinkle the remaining pistachios over the top and gently press into the toffee.
*Run a knife around and barely under the edges of the crust to loosen from pan.
*Cool on counter for an hour, drizzle the melted white chocolate over the top. Refrigerate to set.

Friday, August 15, 2014

August 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 - 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: stage lights ~ tacos ~ teeth ~ magic ~ “I told you so!” They were submitted by Follow me home . . .

I wrote last month’s Use Your Words post with some riddles I’d made up including, of course, an obligatory “why did the chicken cross the road” one.

My friend Tamara left me a comment saying “Love me some chicken crossing the road jokes! Did you know they exist featuring other animals too?”

You know how someone can say something and it just gets into your head? Well I didn’t really want to write the same kind of post twice but once the thought of the chicken jokes with other animals got into my head I knew I was gonna have to at least start there.

So hold onto your teeth folks, here we go again:

On stage - Baking In A Tornado

Hey, open the curtains, turn down the music, cue the stage lights. It’s show time.

Hello and welcome. I’m Karen and I’ll be your entertainment this evening. Let me just say that you are in for a whole lot of fun. My teenager, who was treated to my practicing of this routine, thinks you’re in for a whole lot of eye rolling, but what does he know? Grab a cocktail and see who you think is right, me or the dreaded teenager (it’s me).

Why did the horse cross the road?
          He thought he heard someone yell “hey”.

Why did the hyena cross the road?
          Just for a laugh.

Why did the bat cross the road?
          Hard to say, he was flying blind.

Why did the cow cross the road?
          His wife told him to moooooove.

Why did the little boy cross the road?
          His mom told him not to.

Why did the clock cross the road?
          It had a little extra time.

Why did the rock cross the road?
          It wasn’t trying to but it was on a roll.

Why did the teenager cross the road?
         Who knows, it’s not like he’ll ever tell.

What did the chef say to the chicken?
          Get out of my coat. Those aren’t the pockets I’m putting you in:

Warm Chicken Pockets - Baking In A Tornado
Warm Chicken Pockets
Warm Chicken Pockets - Baking In A Tornado

What did the assistant say to the magician?
          Magic my a$$, how about I cut YOU in half?

What did the tutu say to the ballerina?
          Lay off the tacos or I’m gonna split.

What did the jester say to the king?
          If you’re taking me to court I demand an attorney.

What did the angry knife say to the spoon?
          Who the fork invited you?

What did the blender say to the ice?
          Come on honey, let me take you for a spin. What could it hurt?

Why wouldn’t the pretty baguette go out with the handsome cake?
          He didn’t have any dough.

What did the tornado say to the baker?
          Do you know how to make Funnel Cakes?

Curtain Call - Baking In A Tornado

That’s the show, friends. Fun wasn’t it?

I told you so!

{{damn teenagers}}

Links to the other Use Your Words posts:

PS: My friend Stacy Sews and Schools has been a member of all 4 of the blog challenge communities I run since the beginning. She was supposed to participate in this challenge today but she lost her father this week. My goes out to her.
Baking In A Tornado

Warm Chicken Pockets
Printable Recipe
NOTE: I often marinate and cook the chicken and serve it for dinner. I’ll warm up the leftover chicken cubes another night to make these Warm Chicken Pockets
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 cup Karen’s Poppy Dressing (recipe is here: Karen's Poppy Dressing)
2 cups spinach leaves
¾ cup fruit of your choice (preferably fresh but drained canned mandarin orange slices work too)
2 scallions, sliced
½ red pepper, chopped
¼ cup shelled, unsalted sunflower seeds
1/3 cup mayonnaise
6 - 8 Pita pocket halves
*Marinate the chicken cubes in the dressing in the fridge for 2 hours (or up to a day).
*Thread the chicken onto metal skewers (or wood skewers that have been soaked in water so they don’t burn) and cook on your grill (or in your broiler), turning a few times, until chicken is cooked through.
*Remove the chicken from the skewers into a bowl.
*Slice or chop fruit if needed and add, along with the scallions, red pepper, sunflower seeds and mayonnaise to the bowl with the chicken. Mix gently.
*Wrap each Pita pocket half in a paper towel and microwave for 15 seconds or until just warm.
*Gently open the pockets and place a handful of spinach inside. Fill the rest of the pocket with the chicken mixture. Drizzle with more Karen’s Poppy Dressing, if desired.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Say What?

It happened on a dark stormy afternoon. Hubs was at work and the boys and I were stuck in the house. There was the possibility of severe weather, including hail. My younger sons’ beloved BMW had already been pummeled in the last storm. Lesson learned, all the cars currently at home were staying in the garage.

In retrospect I should have known. Honestly, when the boys have all the freedom in the world, PurDude will often spend hours on his gigantic computer with the 3 (not a typo, he has 3) screens. Yes, the kid who always walked into walls and fell down stairs is quite a multi-tasker when it comes to computers. College Boy has a turntable, old records, a laptop and all kinds of recording and mixing thing-a-ma-jiggies and he will play with music for hours.

But all that is when they CAN leave, when they’re able to make a choice. But if boxed in, unable to leave and left to their own devices, the boys were bound to amuse themselves by doing what they do best; thinking up devious ways to torture me.

I know I tend to be wordy. I’m the one who always makes a short story long. I got to wondering if the challenge was just their way of saying “shut up” without actually saying the words. Either way, challenge issued, challenge grudgingly (very grudgingly) accepted: could I last the day without saying a word?

 Say What? - Baking In A Tornado

Sure I could.
I know some sign language.
I can write notes.
I can work on my blog and my recipes and my graphics.
Easy Peasy.

White Chocolate Pistachio Brownies |
 White Chocolate Pistachio Brownies

Not so much.

There were times during the day when they deliberately bated me. I swear I don’t know how I raised such sadistic devious kids. They’d ask me questions and then stand there and smile evilly as I opened my mouth, closed my mouth and stood there blinking rapidly.

They’d play music so loud my ears were almost bleeding and smile evilly as I opened my mouth, closed my mouth and stood there blinking rapidly.

I couldn’t answer any phones. Of course, as usual, neither did anyone else. When their dad called and I held up the phone gesturing manically at the called ID, they smiled evilly as I opened my mouth, closed my mouth and stood there blinking rapidly.

There may have been a little gesturing of another kind going on as well. And some foot stomping and door banging.

No, I’m not talking about the boys. That was me.

But don’t worry about me. I always get even.

True story: The young boys next door once pulled a prank on us. We had mowed our lawn and put the grass clippings into the woods. The neighbors took the grass clippings out of the woods and spread them back over our lawn. Their mom actually found out and brought them over to apologize and clean it up. No harm done but, as you can tell from the whole silence thing, I can’t pass up a challenge. And that grass prank seemed like a challenge to me.

Somehow that night, in the middle of the night, their house ended up on the market. “For Sale” sign with their phone number on it right there in the middle of their front yard. The attached acrylic box even held little professional looking (if I do say so myself) pamphlets with a picture of their house, a description of their property, an absurdly low asking price, agreement by the sellers to continue paying taxes on the property for the next ten years and a special request that all inquiries be made to the home by phone after 2:00 am only.

So I may not have done much (any) talking that stormy afternoon. I have to admit that I didn’t get any baking or blogging or graphics done either. But I sure did have a lot of time to plot my revenge . . .

Baking In A Tornado

White Chocolate Pistachio Brownies
Printable Recipe

1 1/2 sticks margarine
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
2/3 cup unsalted pistachios: shelled, skins removed as much as possible, processed to a fairly fine consistency. 

*Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a glass 9 X 13 pan.
*Melt the margarine in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Stir to be sure it's completely melted.
*Add the white chocolate chips. Stir until completely smooth. If the white chocolate chips don't melt completely you may need to return the bowl to the microwave for 20 seconds.
*Whisk in the sugar. Once incorporated, whisk in the eggs and vanilla and finally the flour. Mix in the pistachios.
*Pour into prepared pan. Bake for approximately 35 minutes. Cool before cutting.
*Note: I like my brownies thin and chewy, which is what this one is. It's not a thick cake-like brownie.