Friday, October 28, 2016

Funny Friday: One Size Fits All?

Today’s post is this month’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: One picture, Five Captions | | #MyGraphics

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Candice of Measurements of Merriment

Funny Friday, a blogging challenge. One picture, five captions | picture submitted by Candice of Measurements of Merriment | Featured on | #humor #funny

1. Little girl to her mom: This bathing suit must be from last year, it doesn't fit. And maybe we need to put the shoes away for next year.

2. Little girl to herself: Halloween? Got it covered.

3. Little girl to herself: I guess this is what they mean by the "off the shoulder" look.

4. Little girl to her mom: One size fits all? I don't think so.

5. Little girl to herself: Damn. I think I was supposed to put these on first . . .

And now a treat for those of us stuck at home giving out the candy: 

Pomegranate Martini, a simple martini packed with flavor | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cocktail
Pomegranate Martini
Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:

 Spatulas on Parade 
The Bergham Chronicles  
Measurements of Merriment 
 Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
Not That Sarah Michelle

Baking In A Tornado signature/logo | www. Baking In A | #MyGraphics

Pomegranate Martini
Ingredients (per drink):
2 oz orange liqueur
2 oz raspberry liqueur
3 oz pomegranate juice
1 oz grenadine

*Fill a martini shaker about 1/2 way with ice.
*Add the rest of the ingredients. Cover and shake well.
*Strain into a martini glass.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Halloween: 35 Baking In A Tornado Recipes

Halloween is almost here. All the fun that kids have been waiting for, eagerly anticipating is about to culminate in one night-long candy hoarding feeding frenzy. As much as the kids look forward to that night, it's bittersweet for me. It means this whole season of spooky decorations, haunted houses, and scary movies is just about to end. As I do every October, I've had a great time playing with food. My boys, although older, are great muses this time of year and we've been enjoying not just the recipe development process, but the food too, of course.

I realized though, that I don't do a good job of reminding everyone of the fun Halloween foods I've shared on this blog in the past years. I tend to highlight just what's going on in my kitchen now. So today, I'm here to remind you that you have a week left. And I've got 35 fun and spooky delicious options for you to try:

I've grouped these foods together into categories: Creepy Cookies, Macabre Meals, Twisted Treats, Diabolical Desserts and Devilish Drinks. Click on the name of the recipe and you will be magically transported to the post featuring that recipe. Witchy, right? And don't worry about time, if you make just five of them a day, you'll get to try them all by Halloween!

~ Mummy Cookies
Fudgy chocolate cookies in a white chocolate shell.

Mocha Mummies
Mocha flavored cookies with a white drizzle.

~ Mint Franken Cookies
Mint cookies decorated like Frankenstein.

~ Black Cat Cookies
Candy decorations on a chocolate cookie.

~ Witch's Fingers
A simple cookie colored and decorated.

~ Meringue Bones
Meringue shaped into bones and baked.

~ Devil's Applesauce
Homemade applesauce with a kick.

~ Cinnamon Cranraisin Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin quick bread with cinnamon and cranraisins.

~ Spaghetti Brains
Spaghetti for dinner, decorated to look like brains.

~ Vegetable Rotini with Chicken in Pumpkin Cream Sauce
Vegetable rotini with chunks of chicken in a cream sauce lightly flavored with pumpkin.

~ Snake Sandwich
Party finger food, a giant sandwich made to look like a snake.

Black Widow Taco Cheese Ball
Taco flavored cheese ball decorated like a spider.

Chili Witches
Chili and tortillas make for a flavorful lunch or dinner witch.

Blood (Tomato) Soup
Homemade tomato soup.

Bloody Fingers
The ultimate ewww factor for a Halloween lunch.

~ Angry Owls
A fun and easy pretzel crisp snack.

~ Snack Cake Spiders
Decorate snack cakes and candy to look like spiders.

~ Fall Harvest Crack
Easy and delicious, fall fruits and nuts made into a bark.

~ Individual Mummy Pies
Hand held chocolate raspberry pies for Halloween.

~ Caramel Ginger Baked Apples 
Apples of the season filled with caramel and baked.

~ Witch's Hats
Fun party treats, candy filled witch's hats.

~ Orange Eyed Mice
Spooky mice made from cherries and chocolate.

~ Candy Pumpkins
Make your own mini pumpkin candies with just a few store bought ingredients.

~ Spooky Trifle
A fun trifle graveyard.

~ WitchOLanterns
Jack-O-Lantern witches, a quick and easy treat.

~ Bloody Bandaid Sandwiches
Sandwiches made to look like bloody bandaids for a fun Halloween lunch.

~ Witch's Caldron Giant Cookie
This giant cookie is decorated with frosting to look like a giant witch's caldron.

Raspberry Swirl Halloween Cake
No time like Halloween to serve a bloody knife cake.

~ Chocolate Pizza with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
A giant chocolate dessert pizza with cream cheese frosting. Let the kids decorate with candies of their choice.

~ Melting Wicked Witches Cupcakes
The Wicked Witch of the West is melting into these chocolate cupcakes.

~ Billy the Puppet Cake
Hello, readers, I want to play a game. Billy the Puppet in cake form. 

Ginger Pumpkin Cheesecake Log
Ginger snap cookies layered with pumpkin cheesecake filling for a pretty Halloween dessert.

~ Pumpkin Pie Hot Apple Cider
A hot drink, spiked or not, of pumpkin and apple cider.

~ Limoncello and Spiced Orange Pudding Cocktails
For adults only, spiked pudding cups decorated for the season.

Apple Pie Shotini
Apple Pie Shotini is a Fall cocktail treat.

As always, any time you make one of my recipes, feel free to post a picture of it to my Baking In A Tornado Facebook page. I'd love to see it!  

Happy Halloween!

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Friday, October 21, 2016

Fly on the Wall: Zombies and Spiders

Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 7 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

College Boy has figured out that, when I'm angry with him about something, he can gauge my level of forgiveness by what I do at the grocery store.

He starts with items he needs and has told me he's out of:
College Boy: Did you get me more deodorant?
If I say "no" he's in so much trouble I don't care if he stinks. Not a good sign.

If I say "yes", he moves on to what he needs but forgot to tell me we're out of. If I took the time to check, saw we were out and got it, that's the next level of forgiveness:
College Boy: I forgot to tell you I'm out of water bottles, did you happen to get some.
If I say "no", I didn't bother checking before going to the store, I've started forgiving him but am not going out of my way.

If I say "yes", we're on to the final test, foods he likes and I know he likes but he was smart enough not to ask me to get:
College Boy: So . . . Mom . . . did you get any Nutter Butters by any chance?
Me: Yes, I did.
College Boy: Phew.
Me: Phew?
College Boy: I mean thanks. Yeah, that's what I meant. Thanks for the cookies, Mom.

{{walks away smiling and saying "phew" under his breath}}.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

Apparently the Zombie Apocalypse has begun. How do I know? My TV is telling me. Whenever I watch a show, this is what's happening to everyone's faces. Not any other part of the show, not the scenery, not the buildings, just the faces. All of the faces.

Fly on the Wall, a humorous look at life. Zombie Apocalypse faces on TV. | | #funny #laugh

Quick. Run. Hide your brains now.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

We were weatherproofing the deck and Hubs was out there painting the spindles. I had chosen a brick color this time, preferring the reddish tinges to the brown ones we'd used in the past. I went out to see if I liked the color once it was actually being applied.

When I got back in the house, I noticed that I'd scraped my knuckle while outside. Before the blood started to drip, I ran and grabbed a bandaid.

Hubs: What are you doing?
Me: Putting a bandaid on my knuckle.
Hubs: You know that's paint, right?
Me (turning as red as the paint): Oh. Paint. Right. I was just trying to make this bandaid feel needed . . . 
Hubs: That the best you can do? 


Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

College Boy comes in and sees me throwing away the bandaid, a Donald Duck bandaid by the way.

College Boy: What are you doing?
Me: Throwing away this bandaid, I don't need it.
College Boy: What's on the bandaind.
Me: Donald Duck.
College Boy: They should make Donald Trump bandaids.
Me: Yeah? What would the marketing slogan be?
College Boy: Trump bandaids. No one heals wounds better than I. 
Me: I don't need the bandaid but now I could use some anti-nausea medicine. 

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

Shower (well, bathe) with a friend has taken on a whole new meaning in my house. And I refuse. 

I almost had a heart attack the other day when I looked outside my bathroom window and saw this:

Fly on the Wall, a humorous look at life. I'll never shower again. | | #funny #laugh

That spider is no friend and there's no chance I'm showering with him in my vicinity. In fact, I cannot survive that monster staring me down every time I go into my bathroom to do anything. Someone better get rid of it or I'm never showering, bathing, or brushing my teeth again. 

And nobody wants that . . .

Snack Cake Spiders, a fun no bake project for Halloween. Spiders made from snack cakes and candies | Recipe developed by | #recipe #Halloween

Snack Cake Spiders
Snack Cake Spiders, a fun no bake project for Halloween. Spiders made from snack cakes and candies | Recipe developed by | #recipe #Halloween

I'm sitting in the living room by myself when I excitedly yell out "Coco Krispie"!

I didn't realize it, but College Boy had just walked in the house.

College Boy: I'm so sorry, Mom.
Me: What?
College Boy: Tourettes. It's a serious illness. Apparently you have it.
Me: I was just watching the Red Sox play the Indians. One of our former players is on the team, Coco Crisp.
College Boy: It's OK, Mom, we'll get you help.
Me (under my breath): Rotten kid.
College Boy (walking away): Calling the doctor now . . .

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

Watching the same game when my cell phone rings. It's Hubs. As I'm answering the Indians get a run.

Me: Oh SHIT!
Hubs: Are you OK? Are you hurt? What happened? Do you need me to come home? Call an ambulance?
Me: The Indians just got a run.
Me: Sorry, it happened just as I was answering.
Me: Are you OK? Did you have a heart attack? Should I call an ambulance?

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

It's no secret I ask my boys constantly to write a guest post for me. College Boy is passionate about certain subjects like the legalization of marijuana and our current political system. PurDude has had some interesting experiences living so far from home for the first time. And it's no secret they both turn me down regularly.

Me: I have a post scheduled for November 1st. That would be a perfect time for you to write a guest post about our political system or about legalizing marijuana.
College Boy: I started to write one, and it was epic. It was going to be my magnum opus. But it's gone.
Me: Yeah. Right. Gone. What exactly do you think happened?
College Boy: I think Wikileaks hacked it.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

Hubs: I made reservations for dinner for your birthday.
Me: Ok, where?
Hubs: It's a surprise.
Me: Let me guess, your favorite restaurant?
Hubs (picking up the phone): Yes, I'd like to cancel a reservation.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

College Boy and Hubs did take me out to dinner for my birthday. College Boy gave me a card explaining my age in dog years and suggesting I take advantage of AARP discounts.

I ordered a large cocktail, took a giant sip and sat back.

Me to College Boy: I like you better when I'm drinking.

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

Baking In A Tornado | | #MyGraphics

Snack Cake Spiders
Printable Recipe
Ingredients (makes 4):
1 oz candy melts or chocolate chips
2 Little Debbie Fudge Rounds
2 Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies
1 (2 pack) Little Debbie Zebra Cakes 
32 Candy Sticks
4 Tootsie Pops
12 decorative candy eyes (can substitute mini M&Ms)

*Unwrap all candy and pastries. 
*Divide the cosmic brownies into 2 halves.
*Melt the candy melts or chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth when stirred.
*Gently push the candy sticks into the side of each zebra cake and fudge round to form legs.
*Place a small amount of melted chocolate into the center of each zebra cake and fudge round. Stick a cosmic brownie onto the top of each.
*Cut most of the stick off of each tootsie pop.
*Dip just the bottom of each decorative eye (or mini M&M) into the melted chocolate and attach 3 to one side of each tootsie pop.
*Gently push the remaining piece of the tootsie pop stick into the top of the cosmic brownie.
*Allow to set until the melted chocolate hardens.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Knives, For When You Don't Retire

What do you get someone who's not retiring?

Knives. Right?

Raspberry Swirl Halloween Cake, a moist white raspberry swirled cake with fluffy vanilla frosting, decorated for Halloween | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cake #Halloween

Raspberry Swirl Halloween Cake
Raspberry Swirl Halloween Cake, a moist white raspberry swirled cake with fluffy vanilla frosting, decorated for Halloween | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cake #Halloween

Raspberry Swirl Halloween Cake, a moist white raspberry swirled cake with fluffy vanilla frosting, decorated for Halloween | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cake #Halloween

Let me backtrack a bit.

My husband was minding his own business, going to work, doing his thing as usual when suddenly one day he finds out that his company has sold the division he works for to another company. Usually that's a stressful piece of information, a time of uncertainty, and it did have it's share of tense moments. 

There would be new procedures to learn, online courses to take, out of state meetings to attend, computer programs and corporate policy, even a new pay schedule to get used to. Time spent desperately trying not to look confused. 

But the new company gave the entire division contracts, for the first year anyway. They would be staying in their office and working with the same coworkers for the foreseeable future.

Copasetic, right?

Wait, it gets better.

A short time before the transition, a large envelope arrived in the mail for Hubs. Inside was a letter from his soon-to-be former employer congratulating him on his retirement. Included was a catalog. In honor of his retirement he could choose his own gift.

Hubs' reaction was insult. "How old do they think I am?"

My reaction was a bit different. "Hand over the catalog and no one will get hurt."

Bottom line, Hubs is not retiring. So, obviously, the choice should be mine. His decision, of course. Dinner would be cooked again, laundry would be done again, in whatever time frame it took for him to decide. I can wait . . .

I didn't just look through that book, I studied it. Google and I did our research and comparisons. In the end, it was not a difficult decision.

It's Halloween. So knives. Right? 

Hello Henckles. Come to mama.

Knives, for when you don't retire. | | #humor #funny #Halloween

Boo hoo hoo ha ha {{insert evil laugh here}}.
Raspberry Swirl Halloween Cake, a moist white raspberry swirled cake with fluffy vanilla frosting, decorated for Halloween | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cake #Halloween

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Raspberry Swirl Halloween Cake

Printable Recipe

1 box white cake mix
small box instant white chocolate pudding mix
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup raspberry jelly
1 TBSP water

1 can white or vanilla frosting
1 cup heavy whipped cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP sugar

decorations: white and black food coloring or black and silver colored sugar, red food coloring or more raspberry jelly, grey decorative baking pearls

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 X 13 baking pan.
*Beat cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, water and vegetable oil for 3 minutes until well mixed and a little fluffy.
*Pour into prepared pan.
*Whisk 3/4 cup raspberry jelly with 1 TBSP water. Drizzle over the cake batter an with a knife, carefully swirl the jelly through the batter.
*Bake according to package directions until center springs back to the touch.
*Cool completely.
*Using parchment paper, trace a large knife. Cut out making sure there is no lead or ink on the parchment knife.
*Beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. Beat in vanilla and 2 TBSP sugar until stiff peaks form.
*Gently fold whipped cream into the frosting. If using food coloring for the knife, remove 1/2 cup of frosting and place in a bowl, then frost the cake with the rest of the frosting.
*Using either red food coloring or more jelly, splotch onto the sides of the cake to look like blood.
*Place the parchment knife onto the cake, gently trace it with a knife and remove.
*If you're using colored sugar, sprinkle the black to form the handle of the knife and the silver to form the blade. Decorate the handle with baking pearls.
*If you're using food coloring, take some of the frosting out of where the knife will go and put it into the bowl with the reserved frosting. Using black food coloring, color half of the reserved frosting and spread onto the cake to represent the handle of the knife. Decorate with black pearls. Use both white and black food coloring to make the rest of the reserved frosting grey and spread to represent the blade.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Use Your Words: Idi-OMG

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: stitch in time ~ one for the road ~ no holds barred ~ add insult to injury ~ penny for your thoughts
They were submitted by Carol of Never Ever Give Up Hope.
Ive been challenged by these Use Your Words prompts before. I mean, duh, the point of a writing challenge is to . . . well . . . challenge, right? But idioms? Five of them? I mean . . . yikes.
Carol, I adore you. And I love the way you think. But seriously, right now I don't know whether to laugh or cry. "Penny for your thoughts?" Not something I think you want to say to me right now.

Stitch in time saves nine? Don't put off 'til tomorrow what you can do today? Hell, I tried to write this post, I really did. Turns out that what a stitch in time saves is nine panic attacks the night before it's due.

And to add insult to injury I want to fit in a Halloween recipe somewhere. You know, in case this isn't challenging enough on its own.

But you've thrown down the gauntlet (oooh, Carol, how did you miss that one?), challenge accepted . . .

Cooking and baking for Halloween is a completely different experience from the other 11 months of the year. For me, anyway. I wait all year for the opportunity to make food "icky" again. Don't confuse that with making icky food . . . completely different thing. But I'm a kid again, only this time "play with your food" is not only allowed, but necessary. And I have to tell you it's a contact sport. No holds barred, balls to the wall fun.

What I'm sharing today is part recipe, part art project. I suck at art but guess what? This time of year it doesn't even matter. It's all about imagination. Words like "gory" "spooky" "scary" and "gross", all associated with food, and all in a good way. 

So today I present you with a Black Widow. And it's definitely food. You can eat it, if you dare . . .

Black Widow Taco Cheese Ball: A spicy cheese ball appetizer in the shape of a Black Widow Spider, perfect for the Halloween season | Recipe developed by | #recipe #appetizer #Halloween

Black Widow Taco Cheese Ball

Phew. I did it. One for the road? I think I earned two!

Here are links to all the other Use Your Words posts:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Black Widow Taco Cheese Ball

8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
2 tsp taco seasoning
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 TBSP fresh cilantro leaves

1/2 - 3/4 cup poppy seeds
12 Flaming Hot Cheetos
2 slices black olive
12 Red Hot candies

*Process cream cheese, cheddar cheese and taco seasoning in a food processor until smooth. Add the salsa, jalapeno and cilantro. Pulse 4 to 5 times to mix in. Place about a tsp into a plastic bag and refrigerate.
*Shape the rest into an oval and place onto a serving dish. Using wet hands, gently pinch in towards the top to form a head and manipulate the body into a circular shape. 
*Place poppy seeds, a little at a time, into your hands and sprinkle onto the cheese ball.
*Stick the bottom of the black olives into the top to form eyes.
*Use the Red Hots to form an hourglass shape on the center of the cheese ball. Use a wet paper towel to carefully clean the serving dish around your spider.
*Gently cover with plastic wrap (don't press down) and refrigerate for 1 hour up to a day.
*To serve, gently remove plastic wrap. Press 4 cheetos carefully into each side of the spider so they're sitting on the serving plate. Place a dab of the reserved cheese ball mixture onto the ends of the remaining 4 cheetos and attach to the 2 top and 2 bottom cheeto legs to lengthen them.
*Store leftovers in fridge.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fall Poetry

It's poetry time!

Anniversary time too.

A year ago in this month, I wrote a funny Halloween poem called Stubble, Rubble, Boil and Bubble. Before posting it I checked with some talented blogger friends and asked them if they wanted to post Halloween poems with me. Ten of them did and the monthly poetry group was born.

Some months we have quite a few participants, some months we have only a few, but a year later I can tell you that I'm still working on it. I'm still pushing my boundries, trying different types of poems and collaborating with some talented friends.

Each month we get together and pick a theme. This month's theme is Fall. 

Monthly Poetry group. This month's theme is Fall | | #poetry #poem #MyGraphics

I hope you enjoy my poem, and that you follow the links at the bottom of this post to the Fall poems of my friends. We all have our own style, which is what makes it so interesting. Enjoy!


Fall has brought its
Autumn cool.
Layered sweaters,
Lacy leaves. 

Fall Poetry | | #poem #poetry

a leaf from the back yard

A roaring fire while
Under a quilt.
Teams to root for
Until throats are sore.
Monsters and witches

Chili Witches, a fun way to serve chili for Halloween | Recipe created by | #recipe #Halloween

Chili Witches
Chili Witches, a fun way to serve chili for Halloween | Recipe created by | #recipe #Halloween

Far from summer's heat
Autumn retreat.
Lazy days as 
Light fades.

Before you go, click on these links to more poetry by some of my friends: 

Diane from On the Border shares Falling Again

Dawn of Spatulas on Parade shares Fall or Autumn, Which one do we call ya?

 Jules of The Bergham Chronicles shares Falling Into You.
Candice of Measurements of Merriment shares Witchy Women.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Chili Witches
Printable Recipe
Ingredients (per serving):
2 small pita breads
1 TBSP butter
1 spinach tortilla
1 cup cooked hot chili
1 slice of apple
1 small red pepper slice
2 black olive slices

*Place one pita bread on your serving plate. Cut a triangle out of the second bread.
*Roll the spinach tortilla then cut to create long slices.
*Cut 2 lightening bolt shapes out of the apple slice.
*Cut the red pepper slice into 2 pieces to form a top and bottom of the mouth.
*Melt the butter in a pain on medium heat. Place the pita triangle into the pan and cook on both sides until brown.
*Spread the chili over the pita bread on the plate. Place the black olive slices to form eyes and red pepper slices to form a mouth. Layer the spinach tortilla slices along the sides to resemble hair. 
*Remove the pita triangle from the pan and place above the black pepper so it looks like a hat. Place the apple lightening bolts on the "hat".