Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tailgate With Us

The Game Plan:
For me, there’s nothing more fun about tailgating than the friends. Yes, I’ve already admitted that I mostly participate in wimpgating (ie: tailgating from my couch) but I still enjoy the friends and the food and the fun . . . and yes, even the game. Today I’ve come up with a whole new way to tailgate from home, virtual tailgating. I’m a genius, I know.

Blog With Friends, a monthly multiblogger project based post | www.BakingInATornado.com

The Team:
For this virtual tailgating party, nine bloggers have gotten together to help you make your tailgating experience more yummy, more fun, more interesting and more comfortable. We’ve each got something a little different to bring to the game, and I hope you’ll click on the links at the end of this post and see what all of us are sharing. Here’s a sneak peak:

Tailgate With Us | www.BakingInATornado.com | #tailgating

Throw to the End Zone:
With the ball in my court (oops, wrong sport, I know), you knew I was going to score with a recipe, right?

Glazed Kielbasa Sandwich | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe

Glazed Kielbasa Sandwich

For this sandwich, I make a quick and simple marinade for the glaze:

Glazed Kielbasa Sandwich | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe
Glazed Kielbasa Sandwich Ingredients

I slice the Kielbasa along with onions and peppers and, once the marinade has cooled, place it into a re-sealable bag with the meat and veggies. This is a great way to transport it if you’re tailgating away from home.

Glazed Kielbasa Sandwich | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe
Kielbasa and veggies marinating

Once I’m ready to cook, I skewer the Kielbasa and veggies. You can see from the picture of the sandwich up above that when I’m home I use metal skewers. If you’re grilling away from home, the easiest way is to use wooden skewers, then throw them out when you’re done. Wooden skewers need to soak in water before using so they don’t burn on the grill. Put them in water in another re-sealable bag and just put them into your cooler until you’re ready to cook. Then just toast the rolls, grill the meat and veggies, remove from the skewers and serve.

Passing the Ball:
My teammates (I’m done with the game analogies now) have published some fun and interesting tailgate related posts as well. To keep the party going . . . and you KNOW I’m a fan of keeping the party going . . . click on these links. Every one of them kicks it through the uprights (sorry, couldn’t help myself):

Diane of Canning and Cooking at Home will show you how to make Spicy Mustard Relish, a perfect accompaniment to my sandwich.

Robin of Someone Else’s Genius gives us an inside look at college football in her review of the book The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football.

Stacy of Stacy Sews and Schools teaches us how to make Team Color Headband and Earmuffs.

Shellybean of Follow me home shares a step by step tutorial on making Reversible Busy Bags for kids.
Eileen of Eileen’s Perpetually Busy shows us how to make a Team Color Seat Cushion with a built-in handle for carrying ease.

Lydia of Cluttered Genius’s Easy DIY Upcycled Team Garland shows how to make a garland for your tailgating party out of products you already have in your house.

Melissa of Home on Deranged brings Technology to Tailgating, showing us how to use technology and cool gadgets to make us the masters of tailgating time! 

Shawn from Literary Litter provides a tutorial on how to make a Snapcap, a crocheted hat to keep you warm and let everyone know what's on your mind!

Go Pats!
Boiler Up!
Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
Glazed Kielbasa Sandwiches
Printable Recipe
1# Kielbasa, I use a packaged cooked beef kielbasa
½ onion
1 green pepper
1 cup Apricot jam
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic
1 TBSP sweet red chili sauce
½ tsp sriracha hot chili sauce
6 Hoagie rolls
*Slice the kielbasa, onion and pepper into bite sized pieces. Place into a gallon sized re-sealable bag.
*Place the jam, balsamic, garlic and both chili sauces in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for one minute, then whisk together. Allow to cool.
*Pour the sauce into the bag with the meat and vegetables and manipulate to be sure all ingredients are in the marinade. Place in fridge for a few hours up to a day. Turn the bag every now and then.
*If you’re using wood skewers, soak them in cold water for 2 hours. For tailgating you can place them into a re-sealable bag with water and place them in your cooler.
*Grease your grill grate with non-stick spray while the grill is still cold and turned off.
*Heat your grill to medium heat.
*Thread the meat and vegetables onto the skewers.
* Grill the skewers for about 5 minutes, turn and grill another 5 minutes. Don’t touch the skewer, carefully remove meat and vegetables with a utensil. You can also grill the hoagie rolls, if desired.

Friday, September 26, 2014

September Funny Friday

Today’s post is September’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 | www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #graphic

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

Funny Friday | picture by Stacy Sews and Schools | www.BakingInATornado.com

1) Little girl in front: “I could have had a V8.”

2) Little girl in front: “Oh no, how did I end up here with these clowns? I’m gonna end up a victim of friendly fire, I just know it.”

3) Boy in the front: “Damn, I can’t read the directions, how do you set this thing to stun?”

4) Girl in the back: “This thing is an air horn, right?”

5) Boy in the back: “I’ve been waiting for this my whole life, bring on the Zombies.”

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

And now for something yummy:

Pralined Snap Peas and Carrots | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #vegetables
Pralined Snap Peas and Carrots

Enjoy your weekend!
 Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Pralined Snap Peas and Carrots
Printable Recipe
8 oz snap peas,
8 oz baby carrots
1 oz chopped pecans
3 TBSP butter
1 TBSP brown sugar
1 TBSP honey
1 TBSP orange juice
Dash of salt and pepper
*Place snap peas and carrots in a microwave safe dish with a cover or cover with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in the top.
*Microwave until barely cooked but still crisp, approximately 1 ½ minutes.
*Place the butter, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, orange juice, salt and pepper into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave 2 minutes. Mix and add in the pecans.
*Pour the sauce over the vegetables. Mix until all the vegetables are coated. Microwave one more minute. Mix again. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Research and Development

It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Yes, recipe research and development in general, but cocktail recipes specifically. Because you can cook or bake something as many times as you want to (or need to) and, really, the only jeopardy you’re in is of ending up in a food coma. Not much of a down side, really.

But cocktail recipes? Those are a little more dangerous. There are rules you need to adhere to, like “by the third try you need to be sitting down, Yes, on the floor is fine, even preferable.” Little lessons you learn along the way that help you progress in your endeavors. Well, and help you to stay out of the hospital too.

Tailgater Cocktails
Tailgater Cocktails | www.Bakinginatornado.com | #cocktail #recipe

Tailgater Cocktails | www.Bakinginatornado.com | #cocktail #recipe

My youngest son is a Purdue Boilermaker this year, resulting in my taking up watching some college football games. Truth be told I’m more sitting as close to the TV as I can, mostly ignoring the game while scanning the crowd for a glimpse of my boy, but lets keep that between us, OK?

Anyway, I set out to develop a cocktail inspired by the Boilermaker. For those who don’t know, a Boilermaker is a beer with a shot of whiskey. You can pour or mix the whiskey into the beer but the way I learned was that you actually drop the shot glass of whiskey into the beer. Oh, and don’t tip that beer glass back too far, you’ll chip a tooth.

Confession time: I don’t like beer. I cook with it, I even use it in some mixed drinks, but I never really developed a taste for it. Hope this doesn’t make you think less of me. There were a few reasons, one I won’t mention because . . . well . . . TMI.  The other is that I’m very small. All beer really did was make me feel full. Fast. No dinner, no more drinks, and I swear I’d slosh when I walked.

Research and Development Department | www.Bakinginatornado.com | #humor #graphic

As long as I’m confessing, I did mention in my previous post WimpGating that I’m not a big fan of eating and drinking in parking lots in cold weather. I prefer to watch the games on my couch by the fireplace. 

But if you're one of the many people braving the cold to see a game, before you go, stop by my friend Stacy's blog for her tutorial on how to make a warm lap rug. You'll be glad you did.

Lap Rug | Stacy Sews and Schools

Another great way to warm up takes us back to the cocktails. Covering all of the options, these cocktails can be made either at home using a glass and a shot glass, or outdoors with plastic cups of two different sizes.

Since this drink wasn’t going to start with beer, the options for product development were endless. I’m proud to admit that I’m nothing if not a tenacious cocktail developer. From that spot on the floor I came up with a few choices, depending on your taste.

And, of course, an integral part of product development is the rigorous schedule of taste tests.
I have to admit that I really enjoyed them all.
Sheesh, the sacrifices I make.
You’re welcome.
Nap time.


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

Tailgater Cocktails 
Printable Recipe
Ingredients (four options):
Lemon Tailgater Cocktail:   
                    8 ounces of Hard Lemonade
                    1 shot of Limoncello
                    Lemon starbursts for garnish
Raspberry Tailgater Cocktail:  
                    8 ounces of Raspberry flavored malt beverage 
                    1 shot of Chambord
                    Swedish Fish for Garnish
Lime Tailgater Cocktail:
                    8 ounces of Margarita flavored malt beverage 
                    1 shot of Patron Tequilla
                    Lime sourpatch kids candy for garnish
Apple Tailgater Cocktail:
                    8 ounces of Apple Ale malt beverage
                    1 shot of Cinnamon Bun Vodka
                    Apple skittles for garnish
*Fill a glass or cup 2/3 of the way full with the first ingredient of the option of your choice. Make sure there’s room in the glass for the addition of the second ingredient.
*Pour the corresponding second ingredient into a shot glass.
*If there’s room, drop the whole shot glass or cup (drop bottom first, not upside down) into the larger glass. If there isn’t room, just pour the shot into the glass.
*Add garnish to the glass or cup.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fly on the Wall, September 2014

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 13 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 | www.BakingInATornado.com

It’s dinner time and I hand Hubs a Warm Chicken Pocket I want him to try.
Me: How is it?
Hubs: It’s good.
Me: The flavors work well together?
Hubs: Yes, it’s really good. I like it and I’d eat it again. Didn’t you like it?
Me: I didn’t try it yet.
Hubs: You didn’t try it?
Me: Well, I wanted to be sure it was  . . . you know . . . edible first.
Hubs: It is. What are these, cherry tomatoes?
Me: No . . . strawberries.
Hubs: And lettuce?
Me: No . . . spinach.
Hubs: What else?
Me: Sunflower seeds.
Hubs: There are nuts in my tortilla?
Me: It’s not a tortilla, it’s a pita pocket. You know what, I don’t know what you’re eating but I think I’d better just try it myself.

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

I was looking through some old pictures. There’s a beautiful family picture from one of our trips to Boston. My Mom and Step Father, my boys and their cousins are all in this picture and it’s a treasure. Until I look a littler closer at my younger son. Wish he were here so I could ask him what kind of a face he was making here.
Practicing to be a zombie maybe?

Funny Zombie Face | Picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

I’m sure this is TMI but just so you know that it isn’t just my family that drives me nuts, sometime I can do it all by myself. Like the day that a guy was coming out to look at the house at 2:00 pm and I got “the runs” at 1:30 pm. And FYI, the anxiety of knowing someone’s due to ring the doorbell does not make the runs better. Quite the opposite.

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

College Boy was home over the Labor Day weekend and came down to the living room on Sunday night. Here was the conversation:
College Boy: Mom, can I borrow your car?
Me: Ummm, have you looked outside lately?
College Boy: Yeah, it's raining.
Me: It's not just raining, it's pouring and the trees in the woods are bent almost in half.
College Boy: I can drive in the rain.
Me: See those flashing words at the bottom of the tv screen? What do they say?
College Boy: I'm not going far, just over to a friend's house.
Me: You DO know what the words "tornado warning" mean, right?
College Boy: You're not going to let me borrow the car, are you?
Me: I'm pretty sure that would be a "no", but thanks for playing.

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


I talk a lot about needing my coffee but take my word for it, I NEED my coffee. One day last week I got up, put the laundry in the washing machine and went to grab my coffee.
When the washing machine was done I put the clothes in the dryer and sat back down on the couch.
Then I spent the next half hour trying to figure out whether I ever put laundry detergent in the washing machine with the clothes.

Coffee Bread

Coffee Bread | www.BakingInATornado.com | #bake

Coffee Bread | www.BakingInATornado.com | #bake

Speaking of needing my coffee, I set my coffee maker before I go to bed so when Hubs comes downstairs before work at about 7:15 am, the coffee has just finished dripping into the pot.

It was a tough summer for me. College Boy worked on a farm and left for work at 4:30 am as many as 6 days a week. I’m the lightest sleeper so I’d hear him from the time he got up until the time he left. Now that College Boy’s in school it seems that my body or my subconscious or something must have gotten used to being awake at 4:00 am.

I realized this the other day when I woke up and went downstairs for coffee. I turned on the lights and sat on a counter stool in a bit of a daze waiting for the coffee maker to turn itself on. I don’t know how long I was sitting there before I looked at the clock and saw that it was 4:00 am.

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

PurDude is away at college and his car is sitting in the garage, he can’t have one at school for freshman year. I told him I’d start it up and drive it once a week. I took it out for the first time and it was bittersweet. I love that little red BMW, I did when it was mine before he got his license and took it from me. But now it’s all his and I smiled as I looked around and saw a few of his belongings: sunglasses, movie stubs. And then I caught a glimpse of the big roll of black duct tape in the side door pocket. Yes, I’m afraid to ask.

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

I wanted to be able to see PurDude every now and then when I talked to him. The day before he left for college he downloaded something called ooVoo onto my computer and showed me how to use it. I was thrilled.
Oh, I can see him and hear him well enough. But I’m upside down. To both of us. And I DO NOT like talking to him while he talks to the under side of my chin.
I wonder if I can still do a head stand.
Better make sure my insurance is paid up.

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

How to give your mother heart failure in one easy lesson.
PurDude had been at school for two weeks when, over Labor Day weekend I was in the shower and had missed a text from him. The text conversation went like this:
PurDude: Are you guys home right now?
Me (later): I was in the shower. So sorry I missed your text. We're here.
PurDude: I wanted to video chat with you earlier today but now I'm busy.
Me: Call when you can.
PurDude: Will you be home tonight?
Me: Yes, bad storms coming through so we'll be home. Everything OK?
PurDude: Need to talk to you guys, I might call tonight. Please don't comment on how I look.
Me: When I get out of the cardiac unit I'm going to need more information on that last comment.

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

From the “I should know better than to ask” files:
I made a new cookie and asked College Boy to try it. He poured a cup of milk and drowned my poor cookie.
Me: I just asked you to taste that cookie for me, why are you dunking it in milk.
College Boy: I always dunk cookies in milk.
Me: I need to know how the flavor of this cookie stacks up against others without being drenched in milk.
College Boy: This is how I taste all cookies, I’m just leveling the playing field.
Me: Can you try one for me without the milk?
College Boy: Now Mom, are you asking for special treatment? That would just be unfair. Where are your morals? Your cookie will be judged exactly as all the others are. Can you pass the milk?

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

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

Coffee Bread
Printable Recipe
4 TBSP sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp instant coffee powder
3/4 cup coffee, cooled
1/4 cup French vanilla coffee creamer (can substitute milk)
½ cup oil
1 egg
1 TBSP prepared, cooled coffee
2 tsp water
½ cup powdered sugar
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan. Mix together the 4 TBSP sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Set half aside and “flour” the loaf pan with the other half of the mixture.
*Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and instant coffee powder.
*In a separate bowl, whisk together the cooled coffee, coffee creamer, oil and egg. Add the flour mixture to this bowl and mix until just incorporated.
*Pour about 2/3 of the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the remaining sugar and cinnamon mixture on top and swirl into the batter. Pour the rest of the batter into the pan.
* Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch.
*Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Gently run a knife along the sides of the pan and turn upside down to remove the loaf.
*Allow loaf to cool.  Mix the coffee, water and powdered sugar together. Drizzle over the top of the loaf.