Tuesday, December 27, 2016


It's not all about winning. Ask Charlie Sheen. OK, maybe not.

My son met Bernie Sanders. They only said a couple of sentences, face to face, but it was important. You might know that Bernie didn't win the election. He didn't even win the primary. What he did do is bring perspective to the term "winning."

I'm grateful to Bernie. He brought out a level of maturity in College Boy that, although lurking beneath the surface, was masked by idealism and the sharp "right vs wrong" lines often drawn by youth.

At the point at which College Boy went to hear Bernie speak, the primaries were long over. In fact, it was a week until the election. College Boy was furious with the DNC for their manipulation, distrustful of Hillary and of Trump. He wasn't sure he could vote at all and I understood. 

Bernie, despite his loss, is a man of principles, morals and values. It is about his message, his vision. Still. He is not only able to relate to young adults who are generations younger than him, but to get them to look past their frustration with the system and see the bigger picture. And he does it himself. Undeterred by being undermined by the DNC, on that day he was speaking for their candidate. He engaged our youth and brought them into the process. More than that, he got them to understand that participation matters, even when you don't like the options. Especially when you don't like the options.

Bernie Sanders talking with people at a rally | www.BakingInATornado.com | #politics #FeelTheBern

Many, many years before, College Boy was in my belly and I was in a hospital bed. His twin was about to burst my Fallopian Tube and I had been rushed into emergency surgery. Yes, the bleeding and pain started in the middle of the night while my husband was out of state on business and the tornado sirens were going off. Yes, I was lucky to have lived, waiting till morning to drive myself to the hospital and yes, I had every right to feel sorry for myself. I had suffered a loss.

This was actually my third IVF attempt and third pregnancy with only losses to show for it. Maud, my Reproductive Endocrinologist is an amazing woman. Not just doctor, but human being. 

I woke up in that hospital bed with tears streaming down my face. I'd only carried this fetus for about 8 weeks but I was alone in the hospital having lost a baby in a difficult surgery.

It was Sunday, my husband was heading back from the East Coast so I'd expected to be alone. Not so. In walked Maud carrying her daughter. She saw my tears and gently put her daughter into my arms. "I came to remind you not of what you lost, but what you still have."

You see, it's not all about winning, not according to the dictionary definition anyway. It's about what you perceive as a win, even despite a crushing loss.

Provolone Chicken with Mushrooms and Asparagus, a delicious dinner any night of the week. Easily prepared in one saucepan then baked in the oven. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner #chicken

Provolone Chicken with Mushrooms and Asparagus
Provolone Chicken with Mushrooms and Asparagus, a delicious dinner any night of the week. Easily prepared in one saucepan then baked in the oven. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner #chicken

Which brings us to today. No lobster for us for dinner, we're having chicken. Because here I sit with some mighty huge college tuition bills in my hands. And you know what I'm thinking?

Yup . . . winning!

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

Provolone Chicken with Mushrooms and Asparagus
Printable Recipe
3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, each cut into thirds
1 egg
1 1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
3 TBSP butter, separated
1/4 cup TBSP olive oil
9 slices provolone cheese
8 oz mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 small bunch asparagus, rinsed and 1 - 1 1/2 inches cut off bottoms

*Grease a 9 X 13 glass baking dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Beat the egg with 2 TBSP water. Place the bread crumbs on a dish.
*Heat the olive oil and 1 TBSP of the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat.
*Dip each piece of chicken in the egg wash, then coat all sides with bread crumbs. 
*Place about half of the chicken pieces into saucepan. Cook on both sides until the chicken is well browned. Remove to paper towels.
*Add another TBSP butter to the pan and repeat with the rest of the chicken.
*Place all of the chicken into the prepared baking dish. Cover each piece with a slice of provolone.
*In the same saucepan, melt the last TBSP butter. Add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring until the mushrooms are soft. 
*Add the white wine to the pan. Bring to a boil and add the asparagus. Cook just until the asparagus barely starts to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice.
*Pour the vegetables and sauce over the chicken. Cover tightly with tin foil. Bake for about 1/2 hour until bubbly hot and the chicken is cooked all the way through.


  1. Wonderful post, Karen! It IS all about winning. In attitude!

  2. Well since I rarely win stuff but have won in the life lottery with great siblings and awesome parents I am ahead of the race just saying

  3. What a story, what a post, what a recipe! Win-win-win. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

  4. Another winning post! Your words are so true.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Hope you and yours had a wonderful day!

    1. Thank you, Phil. Wishing you a happy and healthy new year.

  5. Yes! Beautiful post. I liked how you drew parallels from your son's story of meeting Bernie Sanders to your own story when you were pregnant. Wow, that must have been difficult to say the least. Cheers to celebrating life and those we love!

  6. Great post Karen! I really like Bernie Sanders as well and I can only imagine the path this country could have taken had he been in the driver's seat. Now, we have to prepare the ride from hell!

    1. Yes, the march towards discrimination really has me on edge. I'm so grateful my son got a chance to meet a politician for whom he has such great respect.

  7. Brought tears to my eyes your lovely post! It is all about perspective. Yummy recipe too.

    1. I agree, when we get caught up in something like the political cycle we just went through, we really need to try to get a handle on some perspective.


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