Wednesday, November 11, 2015

You Asked

As I sit here counting down the days to having my family all around the dinner table again, I can't help but reflect on all I'm thankful for.

I've said this before and I'll say it again, I'm so grateful for the social media support I've enjoyed on behalf of this blog. By far, the most personal and interactive is the community on my Baking In A Tornado Facebook page. It's personal there, we talk, we laugh and we share. 

Every now and then people ask me questions about myself, usually in a private message. I'm well aware that your life doesn't revolve around me and a post about myself, honestly, feels a little (lot) narcissistic. Ultimately I decided to play a game. Twenty Questions. I asked for questions to be sent to me privately. If 20 people were interested, I'd answer in a post. 

A game of 20 questions, can I plead the 5th? Readers asked, I answered. Sort of | | #MyGraphics #humor

In the actual Twenty Questions game, the point of the questions is to figure out the subject. Same here. After these 20 questions will you know more about this subject? Guess that depends on how I answer them. And I never said I'd answer them seriously . . . 

1. From Cathy: Who is your favorite author?
     A: Janet Evanovich. She is the epitome of why I read, which is to be entertained. I do read serious books, but I'm a mystery lover and if you add humor in, I'm sold. There are many authors who write series but can't seem to keep up the momentum and I lose interest. But as long as Janet writes Stephanie Plum books, I'll be in line for them.

2. From Jennay: Where are you from?
     A: I grew up in a town about 40 minutes west of Boston. I went to the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. After college I lived and worked in Massachusetts and in Connecticut.

3. From Jody: Would you rather win a lot of money or have a wish come true?
      A: Yes.

4. From Ann: Neat or messy?
      A: Neat. To a fault. At the end of the day everything is in its place. Actually, it's my magic trick. People see how neat my house is and comment on how clean it is. Tricked ya! Not always clean, but really really neat.

5. From Teri: What is your biggest regret?
      A: That time really does fly.

6. From Barb: Boxers or briefs?
      A: Shouldn't that be hi-cut or thongs?

7. From Shannon: What's your favorite meal?
      A: Dessert.

8. From Jen: Do you have a vice?
      A: Now that the kids are older I'm totally addicted to sleep.

9. From Jennifer: What's your favorite season?
      A: When it comes to seasons I'm out of sync with the rest of my family. My mom loves Fall, College Boy loves Fall, Hubs prefers Fall but I'm totally a summer girl.
10. From Dina: Who is your favorite celebrity chef?
      A: The first celebrity chef I identified with was Sandra Lee. She had a whole philosophy of making everything semi-homemade. She'd start with store bought ingredients and transform them. With young kids I was all about all about making meals and treats that are easy, flavorful, and use as few pots and pans as possible. That's still my philosophy.
        My all time favorite in terms of personality, talent and relatability is Ina Garten. She is the epitome of expressing yourself and enhancing your friendships through food.

Grilled Holiday Sandwich: Italian Loaf slices topped with a delicious holiday spread, turkey and spinach in the center then pan grilled to a golden brown | Recipe developed by | #recipe #Thanksgiving #sandwich

Grilled Holiday Sandwich
Grilled Holiday Sandwich: Italian Loaf slices topped with a delicious holiday spread, turkey and spinach in the center then pan grilled to a golden brown | Recipe developed by | #recipe #Thanksgiving #sandwich

11. From Donna: You don't talk about your husband much. How does he deal with all the drama with the boys?
      A: I don't talk about my husband much, true. A lot of that is because he works in a field that's highly regulated. I wouldn't ever want to say the wrong thing. I also do not get involved in anything online having to do with money or soliciting funds. Most may be legit but you never know. I wouldn't want to jeopardize his career so I just steer clear.
        As far as the drama with the boys goes, he and I are opposites, a balance. I like to talk things out, he quietly thinks things through. I'm more emotional and proactive, he's less engaged. I usually deal with what needs to be done and for the most part we discuss it either later or when there's something I'm unsure of. We took on these roles based on his working and me being at home but also based on our personalities. This continues to work for us. Mostly . . .
12. From Gen: Are you a shoe collector?
      A: On advice of counsel I invoke my 5th amendment right and decline to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me.

13. From Jo: From what you post you seem to be very liberal. Is the rest of your family?
      A: I am more liberal and, although we butt heads all the time, College Boy's politics are similar to mine. Hubs and PurDude are way more conservative. So half of us are right and the other half better get on board.

  14. From Sharleen: What's your favorite baked good?
      A: It would be so unfair to pick just one. I love them all equally.

15. From Rabia: What's the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
      A: One occasion that sticks out is the time I was flying alone with my older son. He was under a year old and I was trying to juggle him, my purse and my diaper bag. I took him down the runway to the plane in his collapsible stroller since it would be easiest for me and could be stored on board.
        I finally settled into my seat and was nervously trying to keep my son calm and amused when it was announced that instead of taking off, we had to change planes. There would be no runway to the airport, stairs were being attached to the plane and we had to walk down the steep flight of stairs in freezing weather to the terminal and up another flight of stairs to the new gate. I could not do it. The entire flight crew watched as I struggled, not one of them doing a thing to help. There were 2 passengers behind me. One took the stroller from me. The other grabbed my son's coat, put it on him while I held him, then took the diaper bag from me. The man carried my stroller along with his carry-on down the stairs, into the terminal, up the stairs, then set it up, stayed while I got my son strapped in and walked me the whole way to the gate. The woman would not let me take back my diaper bag, insisting on carrying it to the gate too.
        I don't know if this is the nicest thing ever, but it still brings tears to my eyes. I was a nervous jittery new mom traveling alone with a baby. The paid airline employees didn't give a damn but some very kind people did.

16. From Carol: Do you have any pets and if so do you bake them any treats?
      A: We don't have pets. College Boy had asthma when he was little and triggered easily. We were told it would be in his best interest if we didn't. If I had pets would I bake them treats? Not sure I would have wanted to have seen the look on the boys' faces when I took something out of the oven that wasn't for them.

 17. From Lauren:Where did you get your sense of humor?
      A: I'm not really sure. I know I got my appreciation of humor from my grandfather who often told jokes. But his sense of humor was not dry and sarcastic like mine. I know I got my love of laughter from his daughter, my mother, but she is not snarky or sarcastic either. Guess that part's all me.

18. From Stephanie: What's your favorite show?
      A: It's funny because I like most music except country. I like a song here and there but just
am not into the genre. But right now a show I never miss is Nashville.

19. From Barb: What is your favorite holiday memory?
      A: I have so many it's hard to pick just one. Many of them are Thanksgiving memories. One in particular has special meaning. It's not what you'd expect, not a big feast with lots of friends and family.
        Hubs and I moved 1500 miles away from family just days after getting married. We went through the hell of infertility without the daily support we'd have had back home. I went through surgeries, shots, IVF, pregnancies, loss of pregnancies, loss of a twin, so much heartache trying to have a family. Often it looked hopeless.
        More IVF and I did get pregnant and carried one of the twins to term. It was Thanksgiving time and I was being induced. I took the turkey out of the freezer, put it in the fridge and went to the hospital. A few days later we came home successful. It was the day before Thanksgiving and we were a family.
        Our neighbors invited us to their house. We declined. My mom was coming in a few days, she'd make the meal when she got here. Dismissed that idea too. I spent the entire day in the kitchen cooking all of the Thanksgiving foods I'd normally make. The next day we had Thanksgiving, a brand new family of three.
        I spent the following 2 days unable to stand, the edema in my feet was so bad from the day I spent cooking. It was totally worth it.

20. From Justine: What's your favorite animal?
      A: Well, at the moment I'd have to go with turkey. 

Phew, 20 questions asked and answered. 
Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics
 Grilled Holiday Sandwich
Printable Recipe
Ingredients (per sandwich):
2 slices cut from an Italian Loaf
3 - 4 TBSP Thanksgiving Cheese Ball Appetizer
handful of fresh, clean uncooked spinach
1 slice cooked turkey breast 
2 TBSP butter

NOTE: This recipe is made with leftover cooked turkey but can be made with chicken or with deli turkey or chicken. If using deli meat, use more than one slice.

*Cut 2 slices of an Italian Loaf on the bias, about 1/2 inch thick.
*Spread 1/2 of the Cheese Ball Appetizer onto one side of each of the slices of bread.
*Top one side with the spinach, then the turkey. Close the other slice of bread over the turkey to form a sandwich. The appetizer spread should be on the inside of both sides of bread.
*Melt 1 TBSP butter in a pan set to medium. Place your sandwich in the pan and allow the bottom to completely brown. If it's browning too fast, lower the heat a little, you want the inside of the sandwich to warm as the outside browns.
*Remove the sandwich from pan and melt the other 1 TBSP butter in the pan. Flip the sandwich over and return to pan until the other side is browned and the center is warm.


  1. Sandwich looks yummy and sorry I didn't get a chance to ask my questions. ;) Maybe next time.

    1. Thanks, Minette, I think we ended up with plenty of questions. Twenty exactly.

  2. Can I just say: All of this just make me like you more! :)

  3. I loved this Karen! So nice to learn more about you. WE have so much in common. I LOVE Nashville it is my favorite show and I NEVER miss an episode. Imagine my surprise when I was at the BAM conference I saw them at the Gaylord Resort filming an episode! It was so exciting. I've fallen in love with that new show Blood & Oil too!

    1. Wow, that must have been so cool to see them filming the show. I like Blood and Oil too, pretty good so far. My other favorite show is Elementary.

  4. Um, new mom Karen was a crazy lady. Love ya!

  5. Your Thanksgiving story is so amazing! For that, I would endure edema again.

    And that sandwich! I never thought to use my grandma's cheese ball recipe as spread on a sandwich! Not that there is ever any left...

    1. You may have to make my cheese ball just to try this sandwich!


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!