Friday, January 29, 2016

Funny Friday: Mixed Messages

Today’s post is January’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 | | #MyGraphics

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
Funny Friday caption this. Picture submitted by Karen of Dinosaur Superhero Mommy | | #humor #blogging

1. Son to Dad: I know you told me to go inside but you can't punish me for not obeying, the sign says "no trespassing". Mixed messages, Dad, how's a kid supposed to know what to do?

2. Son to Dad: And really, Dad, the sign says "no trespassing" and the doormat says "welcome", how's anyone supposed to know what to do.

3. Dad to Son: I know that smile, you're up to something, whatever it is, you better hope I finish my coffee before I figure it out.

4. Dad to Son: I'm guessing the reason you have the energy of the energizer bunny this early in the morning has something to do with the chocolate on your face . . .

5. Son to Mom: Take the picture already, Mom. I can't sit here looking this cute forever.

And now for something yummy:

Glazed Salmon, a quick and easy flavorful dinner. Can be made in the broiler or on the grill. | | #dinner #fish
Glazed Salmon

Glazed Salmon, a quick and easy flavorful dinner. Can be made in the broiler or on the grill. | | #dinner #fish
going in the oven 

Glazed Salmon, a quick and easy flavorful dinner. Can be made in the broiler or on the grill. | | #dinner #fish
ready to serve

Glazed Salmon, a quick and easy flavorful dinner. Can be made in the broiler or on the grill. | | #dinner #fish

Baking In A Tornado | | #MyGraphics

Glazed Salmon
Printable Recipe
Ingredients (serves 2):
3/4# salmon fillet
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
2 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 tsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 green onion, sliced
sliced lemon

*Whisk together the chili sauce, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, ginger, garlic and green onion.
*Place tin foil onto a broiler safe pan with a lip. Pour in the sauce.
*Rinse the salmon and pat dry. Place into the sauce, skin side down, then flip over. Close the foil over the salmon and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to a day.
*One hour before cooking, remove the dish from the refrigerator and place on counter. 
*To cook, turn on your broiler. Unwrap the fish, leaving the foil in the pan. Turn the fillet over so the skin is on the foil. Spoon sauce over the top and broil for approximately 10 minutes or until the fish can separate into flakes when tested with a fork.
*Serve with sliced lemon.

Note: In the summer I cook this on the grill. Grease the grill well, heat to medium. Place fish, flesh side down on the grill. Cook 1 to 2 minutes. Using a large spatula, flip the fish over and cook until it flakes when tested with a fork.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Be My Guest: Desserts Required

I'm continuing the Be My Guest series of guest posts today with a treat. Of the delicious type. It's my pleasure to introduce a woman who's not only a very talented baker and who has mad photography skills (of which I'm exceedingly jealous), but a really supportive friend.

I first got to know Betsy's blog Desserts Required through The Culinary Content Network, a group that had recruited us both. Where she gets her boundless energy I'll never know (or maybe I do, desserts must be the key) but she's since added vlogger and now business owner of Happylicious by Betsy to her resume. Lucky for me, she found time to write this:

Be My Guest: A series of Guest Posts on | #blogging #bloggers #MyGraphics

Mom's Special Hot Chocolate

Hello Baking In A Tornado peeps! I cannot tell you how excited I am to be guest blogging while Karen spends some much needed, well deserved time with her family. I have loved Karen's blog from the first moment I read it; her warmth, love and humor shine through with every post.

Desserts Required is all about the sweeter side of life. I wanted to share a recipe that is perfect for our cold winter days, even though my idea of cold here in sunny South Florida may be a tad different from yours.

Mom's Special Hot Chocolate: A delicious, rich hot chocolate that can be made with liqueur or alcohol free | recipe by Betsy of | guest post for Baking In A Tornado

Mom's Special Hot Chocolate is for all folks who want something rich, decadent and "leaded" not with coffee but with creamy chocolate liqueur. When I drink a cup of hot chocolate I want it to be a consistency telling me that here is actually chocolate heated in it and not just a runny liquid with some kind of powder mixture.

For this reason I included both chocolate chips and cocoa powder to bring a depth of flavor otherwise not found. Chocolate liqueur is added at the end.

I debated topping Mom's Special Hot Chocolate with either marshmallows or an Irish Cream laced whipped cream but realized that this drink is heavenly enough to stand on its own.

Simply eliminate the liqueur when fixing Mom's Special Hot Chocolate, if it's not your thing or you are fixing it for the kids. Believe me, it's still incredibly special.

About the author:
Betsy of Desserts Required and Happylicious by Betsy | guest post on
Betsy has loved desserts for as long as she can remember. She grew up with the smells of freshly baked challah in her maternal great-grandmother's kitchen, the incredible butter cookies from her paternal grandmother and the perfect pies her mother used to bake when company came over. Today Betsy shares her passion of baking as well as amazing finds of other treats on Desserts Required because, as Betsy always say, "Without desserts, life would not be as sweet!"

Betsy just launched Happylicious by Betsy where she sells eggless~bakeless~ready to eat chocolate chip, peanut butter and gluten free oatmeal raisin cookie dough balls and brownie batter balls. The website is and online orders are available.

Please follow Desserts Required on social media: Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, YouTube, and Twitter.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Mom's Special Hot Chocolate
                                                                          ©Desserts Required
Printable Recipe
Ingredients (per serving):
The recipe may easily be multiplied to accommodate the number of people being served.

1/2 tablespoon (.20 ounces) sugar
1 tablespoon (.20 ounces) cocoa powder
1 cup (8.75 ounces) milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.75 ounces chocolate chips
2 tablespoons (.90 ounces) chocolate liqueur such as Godiva

Stir the cocoa and sugar together in a small saucepan. Add 1/3 of the milk and stir until blended.
Add the remaining milk followed by the vanilla and chocolate chips.
Cook over medium high heat until the chocolate has melted and the drink is piping hot.
Remove from the stove and stir in the chocolate liqueur.
Sit back and enjoy a cup of Mom's Special Hot Chocolate.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Fly on the Wall: Dinner Wars

Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 12 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. At the end of my post you’ll find links to this month’s other participants’ posts.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

A friend's kitchen was being remodeled so she was coming to my house for dinner. There's a dish she makes that we both were in the mood for. She gave me the ingredients and directions over the phone and I made it.

When she came for dinner the meal was good, but definitely different from how she makes it. Quite different.

So we went over the ingredients together.

Her: . . . and Bay Leaves . . .
Me: Oh, wait, you said Bay Leaves? I'd heard Bailey's . . .

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

So after dinner we were sitting and having a cup of coffee. Spiked, of course.We were chatting, playing cards, drinking our coffee when suddenly she made a face and pulled something out of her mug.
Her: What the heck is this?
Me: I figured since I put Bailey's in your dinner, I'd put Bay leaves in your coffee. You know, balance . . .

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

Here's a backwards role-reversal conversation I never expected to have:

Me: Oh, my, ouch.
College Boy: What's the matter?
Me: My stomach is killing me.
College Boy: I'm sorry, how long has it been hurting?
Me: Off and on for a couple of days.
College Boy: Do you gotta poop?
Me: Ummm, no, but thanks for asking . . .

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

I want to know what exactly the thought process was here . . .

Fly on the Wall: a month in snippets | | #humor #funny

I don't want this TV any more. I think I'll drag it out of the house and leave it on this street corner?

 Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

College Boy, on the one day a week that he's here for dinner, always asks for certain favorite meals. In the few weeks before PurDude was coming home for winter break, I was stocking up on PurDude's favorites, some of which are College Boy's too.

I brought home some Rib Eyes and was putting them in the freezer when College Boy asked if I'd make them that night. I told him I'd bought four and we'd have them when PurDude got home the following week. I didn't realize it but I must have said that about a lot of meals because this was the conversation the day before PurDude came home:

Me: Can't wait till tomorrow.
College Boy: Me too.
Me: That's great that you're happy to have your brother home.
College Boy: Yeah, that too.
Me: That too?
College  Boy: Well, I was thinking I'm happy you're going to start cooking the good stuff.

Butterscotch Rum Frosted Cookies: Both alcohol and alcohol free options for this delicious flavorful cookie | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cookies

Butterscotch Rum Frosted Cookies
Butterscotch Rum Frosted Cookies: Both alcohol and alcohol free options for this delicious flavorful cookie | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cookies

And . . .  he was home! For an entire 20 days. Which went by in about a minute.

Me (hugging and not wanting to let go): Do you like going to school so far away, or would you rather be closer to home?
PurDude: I would like to be a little closer.
Me: Just a little? I'd love to have you a lot closer. Like maybe half the distance to Purdue.
PurDude: I'll be closer next year.
Me: You will? Are you considering something I don't know about?
PurDude: Yeah, I'm considering moving to a room on the west side of the house.

Now that's just mean.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

When the boys were growing up, I never really thought to talk to them about fashion. They wore whatever I put out for them or, when they got old enough to prefer certain looks, it was easy enough to accommodate them.

I was very surprised when PurDude started buying his own clothes. I sent him to school with a department store credit card linked to my account so he could get what he needed when he needed it.  I was in for quite a shock. He'd been wearing jeans, cargo shorts, skate t-shirts. Suddenly he'd become preppy. When did that happen? Polo pants, cotton dress shirts, polo v-neck sweaters, sperry shoes. Huh?

Although I really enjoy watching him come into his own in his sense of style, I also see where I missed out in explaining what matches and what doesn't.

An outfit he wore while home: dark brown corduroy pants, a neon orange collared shirt, a royal blue v-neck sweater with a red polo emblem and navy socks. 

I never did talk to him about what matches because, the truth is, I couldn't help but smile.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

PurDude put his phone on the side table, grabbed a throw, laid down on the couch and did what he does best whenever he's home, took a nap. I was on the other couch working on my blog posts and FB interactions.

When he woke up, PurDude grabbed his phone and was looking at it when I hear:
PurDude: What the . . .
Me: {{silence}}
PurDude: You didn't . . . 
Me: {{silence}}

Not really sure how it happened, but somehow while he was asleep, PurDude apparently had scrolled down the Baking In A Tornado FB page and "liked" all of the statuses.

And he was not amused.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

Manipulative? Me? Why would you say such a thing?

The day after PurDude traveled back to school I sent him a loving text from his mama.

Me: I miss you. You've been gone long enough. I think you should come back home now.
And if you do and I win the billion dollar powerball, I'll share . . .

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

I was working on my January Blog With Friends post. It's a really fun one to do because as a group we pick a monthly theme and everyone who wants to join in comes up with an informational, DIY, recipe, or craft project based on the theme and we all publish them together. Since we share each others' posts in our own, I put everyone's picture and a short description in my post. I reread it and scheduled it to publish on the assigned day.

My friend Rabia of The Lieber Family Blog did a DIY project. I don't know why I decided to look at the post one more time once I'd scheduled it but luckily I did. It seems that instead of sharing that Rabia had a DIY, I was about to publish that Rabia had a DUI.

Wonder if our friendship would have survived that little typo . . .

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

Baking In A Tornado | | #MyGraphics

Butterscotch Rum Frosted Cookies
Printable Recipe
1stick butter, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 TBSP spiced rum or 1 tsp rum extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips

1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
2 tsp spiced rum or 1/2 tsp rum extract
3 cups powdered sugar
3 - 4 TBSP milk

Directions, Cookies:
*Place the butterscotch chips into a food processor and pulse until they look like crumbs. Set aside 1/3 cup for decorating the tops of the cookies.
*Cream the butter, margarine and sugars. Beat in the egg and rum or rum extract. Mix in the flour and baking soda. Last, add all but the reserved 1/3 cup of the crushed butterscotch chips.
*Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets.
*Remove dough from the fridge and roll into about 3/4 inch balls.
*Place on cookie sheets and flatten, just slightly, with the heel of your hand.
*Bake for about 10 - 12 minutes. Allow to sit on the cookie sheets for two minutes before you remove them. Cool completely.

Directions, Frosting:
*Cream butter with rum or rum extract. Carefully blend in the powdered sugar.
*1 TBSP at a time, add in as much of the milk as you need to bring the frosting to an easily spreadable consistency.
*Frost the tops of the cookies. Sprinkle with the rest of the crushed butterscotch chips. Gently press them into the frosting.
*Refrigerate cookies until the frosting is set, then remove and store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Be My Guest: Anne Bardsley

Welcome to my ongoing series, Be My Guest. As I've continued to take some time to myself, some very talented writers have taken over my blog. Today it's my pleasure to introduce you to a woman who not only blogs, but has published a book. She's generously agreed to entertain us all today with a funny blog post and her favorite dinner recipe. How lucky are we?

Anne Bardsley of the blog Anz World and the book How I Earned My Wrinkles: Musings on Marriage, Motherhood and Menopause is in the process of publishing a second book, Angel Bumps, on a subject I find fascinating. Anne is taking contributions for her new book. To learn more about the book and how to submit, go to Angel Bumps Story Requests.

Be My Guest: A series of Guest Posts on | #blogging #bloggers #MyGraphics

And now a funny post from Anne:
Dear Ms. Steinem:

I want to personally thank you for spear heading the movement and for your dedication to improving women's lives.

The day I ripped my bra off in solidarity of the women's liberation movement and the chance for more equal opportunities for women, I got caught up in the excitement of the moment. It all made so much sense.

I'm writing you today to tell you than I am puttinh my bra back on -- not only because I have to because after nursing five kids my boobs are screaming for support, but also as a statement.

Liberation isn't working for me.

That's right. I no longer wish to be liberated. In fact, at this point I would prefer to be caged! I simply cannot work forty hours, take the kids to do the grocery shopping, take out the garbage, pick the kids up from school, run to soccer, football and tennis and make it to PTA and my mother-in-law's birthday party. I can no longer wash the same load of laundry three times because I left it in the washer again. I don't remember June Cleaver doing any of these things while watching Leave It To Beaver.

I'll admit there are many aspects of that time period I find very appealing. For instance, June wore an apron. It appeared to be ironed, and there was never a single stain on it. Clearly she had time to do the wash, smiled while folding it, and even put it all away. The woman was a goddess! Her laundry room was spotless, and her kitchen counters sparkled. Perhaps she was heavily medicated? Who can be sure.

The woman hummed while putting pot roast in the oven. Her potatoes were hand mashed! I don't remember one episode without Beaver, Wally, and even Ward complimenting her cooking.

Did you ever see her with a vacuum cleaner? It was like watching an episode of Dancing With the Stars; so fluid in her movement and again with the smiling. She would glide across the carpet with such poise and grace. Seriously, who does that? I keep my vacuum by the door with a bottle of water. If someone comes to the door, I spritz my face so I look like I've been sweating from vacuuming.

Her hair was always done, and her make-up immaculately applied. June obviously had time to focus on June, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn she took beauty naps daily. I'm sure you can catch my drift.

Gloria, can I call you Gloria? If there's an apron in my house, it's in the garage under a pile of dry dog food. My laundry room has a shabby-not-so-chic feel, and smells like old feet. Instead of smiling while doing laundry, I prefer to grunt and curse.

Our family dinners could easily be confused with a busy train station, with all the people coming and going, and I'm more likely to hear, "Oh, no! Not chicken again?" than any compliments from my lovely children.

My house is a mess, and I'm tired.

I think my life could have been richer without all the equality seeking. I would prefer a slower kind of life with fewer things. I just want to waltz with my vacuum, and I'd like to have the opportunity to concentrate on just one thing.

I want to be a June Cleaver, Gloria.

I want to meet up with my lady neighbors for coffee to discuss how wonderful our husbands are. I want a freshly ironed dress with matching heels, and I want to appear composed and serene. It would be a pleasure to wear a stain free apron and smile while making dinner. I want a simple and uncomplicated life. Equality is over rated. I want my husband to bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and I'll never let him forget he's the man. June would sing this, but I strained my vocal chords screaming at kids. Hey, I'm not perfect.

Now I'm going to go buy new aprons. Let's have coffee real soon.

Anne Bardsley

About the author:
Anne Bardsley is author of How I Earned My Wrinkles . . . Musings On Marriage, Motherhod and Menopause. You can find her on Scary Mommy, Betterafter50.c0m, Very Funny Women, Housewives Plus, Erma Bombeck, Everything Menopause, and so many others. She lives in St. Pete, FL with her husband. She is currently working on her second book, Angel Bumps. This book is filled with stories from people who've gotten a sign from a loved one who passed. This book will heal hearts and open minds.
Visit her site at

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Swiss Cheese Chicken, my best and easiest dinner
                                             by Anne Bardsley                                            
*Lay chicken cutlets in 13 X 9 sprayed pan.
*Cover with slices of Swiss cheese
*Add 1 can of milk to Cream of Mushroom soup and pour over chicken.
*Melt 4 TBSP of butter and mix in bread crumbs. Top casserole.
*Bake 325 degrees 1 hour.
*So easy! Sip wine while it bakes.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Use Your Words: Sick of Sick

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. All of 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 recipient will take them. Until now.

Use Your Words | | #MyGraphics

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: cold ~ happy ~ juice ~ resolution ~ life ~ ice

They were submitted by: Southern Belle Charm.

I've been suffering from a cold. Yeah, yeah, everyone gets them, grow up, get over it. But I can't. Maybe it's because I've been emotionally run down, maybe because I'm not taking care of myself. Possibly it's because PurDude was home and I wanted to have all of his favorite things in the house, cook all his favorite foods, buy him what he needs to take back with him, make his life easier, make sure that my boy is happy. It could be all of the work of the holiday season or the let down now that it's over. Whatever it is, I call uncle, throw in the towel, wave the white flag, this cold has me beat.

Part of what I hate about a cold is that I'm so frikken . . . well . . . cold. There's ice on the ground, there's ice in my veins, my toes are blocks of ice, my nose is frozen. I'm dripping from places that should not drip. I'm sleeping with balled up tissues in my nostrils then waking up because I can't breathe. You'd think the fire in my throat would at least thaw my nose but . . . nope.

My head is stabbing, my sinuses are throbbing, my eyes are leaking. My nose is chapped, my lips are cracked. My stomach . . . well, maybe we just shouldn't go there. My ears are pulsing, my contacts are permanently stuck to my eyeballs. My back hurts, my ribs hurt, my legs are cramping, my hair is all stuck to one side of my head. If I dared to look in the mirror (and really, who would?) it would crack. And who could blame it?

I'm drinking juice, tea (yuck), ginger ale, taking aspirin, cold pills, nasal spray, cough spray, cough drops. You name it, I'm trying it. There's an entire pharmacy on my bedside table. I'm starving my cold and feeding my fever and when that doesn't do anything I'm feeding my cold and starving my fever. And when that doesn't work? Chocolate cures everything, right?

Chocolate Cheesecake Squares with Mocha Cookie Crust: a quick and easy chocolate cheesecake center baked in a chocolate coffee cookie crust and topped with dollops of the mocha cookie dough | | #recipe #dessert

Chocolate Cheesecake Squares with Mocha Cookie Crust

I'm not into New Year's resolutions. But here's one I'm making today, a little late but it counts. This will be my last cold of 2016. I've paid my dues, I've had my turn, I'm done. I'd like to end this year with a lung (or two) intact, thank you very much. Someone else can take a turn coughing and dripping and leaking and hacking. 

Oh, and when it's your turn? Be a mensch and stay the hell out of those breeding grounds we all call a grocery store.

Links to the other Use Your Words posts:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Crusted Chocolate Cheesecake Squares with Mocha Cookie Crust
Printable Recipe
1 stick butter, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs 
2 1/2 cups flour
2 TBSP baking cocoa
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

2 (8 oz) packages  cream cheese, softened
1/2  cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup chocolate chips

*Grease a 9 X 13 glass baking dish. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
*Cream the butter, margarine, sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar until smooth. Beat in 1 tsp of the vanilla and 2 of the eggs. Mix in the flour, baking cocoa, coffee granules and mini chocolate chips. 
*Set aside about 1/3 of the dough. Press the other 2/3 of the dough into the bottom and about 1/2 inch up the baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
*Melt the chocolate chips until smooth. Set aside.
*Beat the cream cheese and the other 1/2 cup brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the other 2 eggs, egg yolk and other tsp of vanilla. Last, beat in the melted chocolate chips. Pour the cheesecake mixture over the partially baked crust.
*With your hands, crumble the remaining cup of cookie dough gently on top of the cheesecake layer.
*Bake for approximately 40 minutes, just until the center has started to set.
*Cool completely. Cut into squares. Store in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature to serve.