Friday, April 21, 2017

Voluntary Research Assistant: Fly on the Wall

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, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

Hubs had been making a contribution to his IRA and wanted to do it before tax day. Fidelity called to tell him that they were sending his check back to him, and this was on April 13th. Hubs called them to see what the issue was.

Hubs: So, it turns out I didn't sign the check. They sent it back.
Me: Wow, that's not like you.
Hubs: Yeah, guess I just wasn't thinking.
Me: What are you going to do?
Hubs: I'm just going to just send them another check.
Me: This will be your last chance, do you want me to look at it before you send it?
Hubs: No, I won't do the same stupid thing again.
Me: Yeah, but you could do a different stupid thing.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

Me: You cannot eat all of the mint bark for breakfast. And you're too old for me to have to tell you this. 
College Boy: I didn't eat it all, I ate 2 pieces.
Me (angrily): You didn't have 2 pieces. It was half full, now it's half empty.
College Boy: {{blink, blink}}. So we're good?
Me (laughing angrily . . . yes, that's a thing): I mean it was mostly full and now it's half empty. Jeez, I'm a mom failure, I can't even yell at you right.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

Everything is just so much more difficult from far away. PurDude is hundreds of miles away so when, for instance, he broke his leg, I had to help him deal with it all from afar.

A week ago I texted him on a Friday afternoon to tell him to have a nice weekend, try to get some rest and have some fun. He texted back that he'd been sick in bed for 2 days. Apparently he had the flu. Great. I gave him some advice but couldn't do any more. 

Sunday he was apparently feeling better and was going out to do some errands. I get a text from him telling me that he had a flat tire that he needed to change but now doesn't have a working spare.

This is a problem as he's coming home in 3 weeks which means an hour and a half drive to the airport to come home, again when he leaves, then he has to drive 5 hours to his summer internship. Crap. 

Told him to take the flat tire to a tire store on Thursday when he doesn't have classes and see if it can be patched. If so, put it back on the car. If not, call us and we'll figure out a way to buy him a tire out there. 

On Thursday I hear the ping of an incoming text and in the way of Pavlov's Dog, I start to shake. And with good reason.

PurDude: So, I've got a flat tire.

Double crap.

Whose idea was it for him to go to school so far away?

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

It's 10:00 am and Hubs comes into the kitchen. I've got 3 bottles of alcohol out on the kitchen counter and I'm drinking from a shot glass.

Hubs: Rough night?
Me: Ha, ha, no.
Hubs: What exactly are you doing?
Me: I'm baking.
Hubs: That's baking?
Me: I'm doing research.

And you know what? He didn't even question it. Just nodded his head and walked away.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

Guess he'd been thinking about it because 5 minutes later Hubs comes back into the kitchen.

Hubs: You know, if you ever need any help, I'd be happy to assist.
Me: With baking?
Hubs: With the research.

Chocolate Raspberry Martini Cake, mini chocolate chips, fresh raspberries and a hint of alcohol baked into a bundt cake. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cake #chocolate #raspberry

Chocolate Raspberry Martini Cake
Chocolate Raspberry Martini Cake, mini chocolate chips, fresh raspberries and a hint of alcohol baked into a bundt cake. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cake #chocolate #raspberry

It's been a miserable spring. Pretty much from the time I got back from vacation in March it had been dark, dingy, cold and rainy. Our front lawn looked like we'd never get a mower through it and we had puddles on our back lawn.

And then one day a few weeks ago the sun came out. I checked and was actually able to get a Red Sox game, a fairly rare occurrence here in the midwest. I pulled out some steaks to throw on the grill later on and even put some popcorn into the microwave.

Smiling, I settled in onto the couch that afternoon with my warm popcorn and started watching the Red Sox game. Although alone, I spoke out loud "ahhhh, finally. Welcome, Spring."

And that's when it started to thunder.

Well, that was fun while it lasted. 

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

 It was Passover a few weeks ago. You'll be happy to hear we survived another year. While most of my friends were eating ham dinners and collecting baskets of chocolate, I was eating matzo cardboard for a week. Not just eating it, cooking with it, baking with it, dreaming I was running away from it.

And while I spent the week backed up like someone stuck a cork in me, I had plenty of time to think about why they call this a holiday, why they say we're celebrating Passover. Because when you say the word "celebrate" this is not what I had in mind.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

As I said, I hate Passover. It's so much work. I'd get up at 6:30 am to make Hubs breakfast. Once I was up I couldn't go back to sleep so I'd start doing whatever chores needed to be done for the day. By noon I was exhausted, ready for the day to be over.

I had a load of laundry going and College Boy came in. 

College Boy: Is the laundry done?
Me: No, I just put it in the shower?
College Boy: Shower?
Me: I'm tired. Very, very tired. Either I meant the dryer or I actually put it in the shower. Not sure which, you better go check.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

PurDude is admittedly having a difficult semester with a heavy work load. Many of his classes are project based, so he always seems to be in the middle of multiple tasks at once. 

He doesn't call me as often as I wish he would, but every time he gets a chance to talk he says he's exhausted. And he sounds it. I'm sure this is because of school work, not being out all night now that he can drink legally.

But it now seems he may have an ulterior motive to not being in touch as often as he should. Exhibit A, this conversation that happened this past week:

Me: How did you do with Passover?
PurDude: When's Passover?
Me: Never mind.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

College Boy: I liked your Berry Key Lime Pie. The crust wasn't my favorite but the pie was delicious.
Me: The crust is just walnuts and sugar. It was that or a matzo meal crust.
College Boy: Anything's better than matzo crust.
Me: Glad you liked the pie.
College Boy: Interesting how the Jews didn't have time to let their bread rise, but they had time to make a Key Lime Pie.
Me: You want me to keep making desserts or you want to be a smart ass?
College Boy: Desserts, please.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Chocolate Raspberry Martini Cake
Printable Recipe
6 oz fresh raspberries, cut in half (cut larger ones in quarters)
2 TBSP chocolate cake vodka
1 TBSP raspberry jam
1 stick butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, room temperatuer
1 1/4 cup sour cream
2 TBSP raspberry liqueur
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

2/3 cup chocolate chips
3 TBSP heavy cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 TBSP whipped cream vodka

*Gently mix the raspberries in a bowl with the chocolate cake vodka and raspberry jam. Set aside.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan.
*Cream the butter with the 2 cups sugar. Beat in the eggs, then the sour cream and raspberry liqueur. Mix in the flour, salt and baking powder.
*Mix in the mini chocolate chips, then gently fold in the raspberries and their liquid.
*Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch.
*Allow the cake to sit for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and remove to a serving plate. Cool completely.
*Melt the chocolate chips and heavy cream in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Keep melting at 15 second intervals until smooth. Stir in the powdered sugar, then the whipped cream vodka. Drizzle over the top of the cooled cake.


  1. I like matzo but a whole week? What kind of 'celebration' is that? You often mention how far away Par-Dude is -- I envy you because he is so close! I had NO idea there was such a thing as chocolate cake vodka!

  2. Funny convo between you and your husband when he spotted you in the kitchen with all the alcohol. If that cake tastes as good as it looks, the "research" was worth it!

  3. The whole point of Passover is suffering, I suspect (my heartburn still hasn't abated). But, if I could add, I think the whole gluten free movement has greatly improved some Passover products - maybe due to similar technology. I actually like Passover pasta now (yes!!! there's such a thing) and there are even decent Passover cake mixes now. And if in doubt cook salmon. Alana

    1. I've never heard of Passover pasta, I'm going to have to look into that. And yes, salmon, delish.

  4. I am not familiar with these spirits at all and the results look great. I love learning from recipes!!

    1. Ha ha, you just never know what I'm going to put in a cake.

  5. I'm guessing the "research" and the baking happened on different days? Once I'm finished "researching" all I want to do is take a nap, baking is the last thing on my mind. And now I wished I drank vodka so I could know what chocolate cake vodka tastes like...

    1. Honestly, you're not missing much. The Chocolate Cake Vodka is much better for baking with than drinking.

  6. I'm doing research - that shall now be my comeback to everything!


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