Friday, June 30, 2017

Mi Casa: Funny Friday

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:a multi-blogger challenge, one picture, five Captions,  | | #MyGraphics

 Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Me!

Funny Friday picture challenge, one picture 5 captions. | Picture by Karen of Baking In A Tornado | | #humor #funny

1. Me: Hey, turkey. Yeah, you. Mi casa es su casa.

2. Turkey to himself: I'm totally gonna win this game of hide and go seek.

3. Turkey to his realtor: Well, I see you took my desire for an open floor plan to a whole new level.

4. Turkey to his realtor: Looks like the roof is in good shape.

5. Turkey to his realtor: And it backs up to the woods too. Are you sure it's in my price range?

 And now for something yummy: 

Peanut Butter Caramel Swirl Sundae for Two, a decadent dessert for sharing. Peanut Butter Cookie Blondies layered with Caramel Swirl Ice Cream, Butterfingers and Homemade Hot Fudge. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

Peanut Butter Caramel Swirl Sundae for Two

Peanut Butter Caramel Swirl Sundae for Two, a decadent dessert for sharing. Peanut Butter Cookie Blondies layered with Caramel Swirl Ice Cream, Butterfingers and Homemade Hot Fudge. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:

The Bergham Chronicles
Southern Belle Charm
Bookworm in the Kitchen
   Cognitive Script 

Baking In A Tornado signature/logo | | #MyGraphics

Peanut Butter Caramel Swirl Sundae for Two

3 Peanut Butter Cookie Blondies
1 1/2 cup Caramel Swirl ice cream
1/2 cup Homemade Hot Fudge
1/4 cup crushed Butterfingers
dollop of whipped cream

*Chop the Peanut Butter Cookie Blondies. Place half of them in the bottom of a bowl. Top with about 3/4 cup of Caramel Swirl ice cream. Press down gently.
*Drizzle 1/4 cup Homemade Hot Fudge over the ice cream, sprinkle with 2 TBSP of crushed Butterfingers. Repeat all layers, top with a dollop of whipped cream and cherry.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Everybody Should Get Stoned

Channeling a little Dylan there I must admit. 

But if you've come here expecting a post about legalizing marijuana, I'm afraid that's not what I'm talking about today. Marijuana does need to be legalized, just so you know where I stand, but that's a post for another day. I hope. I've been begging College Boy to write it for years but so far no luck.

Nor am I referring to the kind of stones that you cast metaphorically, or even the type you actually throw physically, like in the story The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. Although thought provoking, I have to admit that I am still traumatized by that story and I read it about 100 years ago. Feels like yesterday any time I think about it. Gives me the heeby jeebies.

Stone, rock, bigger than a pebble, smaller than a boulder. That kind. Only with a message.

Everybody Should Get Stoned, the Kindness Rock Project kind. | | #inspiration #family

You have probably heard of the Kindness Rocks Project. It started on Cape Cod in my home state of Massachusetts and caught on literally worldwide. It's about inspiration. Rocks are collected, painted pretty colors and designs and a motivating or uplifting message is added. The stones are then left in public places for people to find. College Boy had been out walking and found one with the most simple of messages. He brought it home and left it on my desk in the kitchen. And let me tell you, it works. Because that rock absolutely made me smile.

The next day I was baking,

Lemon Lime Ricotta Cake, a refreshing light citrus flavored cake with a lemon ricotta layer | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cake #dessert
Lemon Lime Ricotta Cake
Lemon Lime Ricotta Cake, a refreshing light citrus flavored cake with a lemon ricotta layer | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cake #dessert

when I looked over at the desk and the rock wasn't there. I was a little sad, but figured maybe it had been given to someone else to make their day and remind them to smile. After all, that's the whole point of the project, sharing the love, passing it on. But I have to admit that I was sad to see it go.

Later that day I headed out front to water my plants and guess what I found in the planter? Can you see it there? It wasn't gone, just strategically placed to give me another smile.

Everybody Should Get Stoned, the Kindness Rock Project kind. | | #inspiration #family

The next day I walked out the front door and there on the little decorative display I have out there was the rock. Someone could have taken it, sitting there by my front door, but I know I would have felt as though they needed that "smile" more than I did.

Everybody Should Get Stoned, the Kindness Rock Project kind. | | #inspiration #family

It sat on my desk in the kitchen for a few days and then, when I thought maybe it was done being moved around, there it was out on the back deck.

Everybody Should Get Stoned, the Kindness Rock Project kind. | | #inspiration #family

I have to admit that every time I see that stone, especially when it's not where I expect it to be, it makes me smile. Each time I stumble on it is like seeing it for the first time. It continues to amaze me how a single word painted on a rock can be so effective.

Everybody Should Get Stoned, the Kindness Rock Project kind. | | #inspiration #family

I was trying to decide whether, one of these days, I would pass this rock on or paint one of my own to leave somewhere. It may sound selfish, but I've decided to keep mine. After all, it was a gift. From two people, only one of whom I know. 

PS: We all need a little more Baking In A Tornado, right? The BA50 website is featuring one of my recipes today. Stop by and check out July 4th Signature Cocktail: Frozen Berries and Cream!

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Lemon Lime Ricotta Cake         
Printable Recipe
1 box lemon cake mix
1 cup lemon lime soda
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp lime zest

15 oz ricotta
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp lime zest

 1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lime juice
1 TBSP lemon lime soda
3/4 cup powdered sugar

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan. 
*Beat the cake mix, 1 cup of lemon lime soda, eggs, oil and 1/2 tsp lime zest. Pour into prepared bundt pan.
*In a separate bowl, whisk together the ricotta, sugar, yogurt and remaining 1/2 tsp lime zest. Carefully pour onto the top of the batter.
*Bake for about 45 minutes or until the center of the top springs back to the touch.
*Cool for about 10 minutes. Remove to serving plate and allow to cool completely.
*Whisk together the lemon juice, lime juice, remaining 1 TBSP of the lemon lime soda and powdered sugar. Drizzle over the cooled cake.
*Store, covered, in the refrigerator.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Napkin Says So: 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

I was developing a new frozen cocktail recipe one Sunday afternoon and was just finishing blending it when Hubs came in the kitchen.

Hubs: What's that in the blender.
Me: A new cocktail.
Hubs: Looks great, I'll try it.
Me: I have to put it in the freezer for an hour but I need to take pics before we drink it.
Hubs: I'll be back in an hour.
Me: Not today. I need to take a picture outside and it's raining so it'll be in the freezer until tomorrow.
Hubs: Pour us both a glass and put the rest in the freezer for your picture.
Me: No, I want more than one glass of the cocktail for the picture.
Hubs: Then put what you need into glasses in the freezer and we'll drink what's left.
Me: Points for trying!
Hubs (mumbling while walking away and shaking his head): Damn rain. Damn pictures. Damn blog. All I want is a Sunday afternoon cocktail. Is that too much to ask?

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

An hour later came down and caught me with the freezer door open, the blender container on the counter and a spoon half way to my mouth.

Hubs: Really? I can't have a glass but you're going to drink it right from the container.
Me: I have to taste it to see if I need to add anything.
Hubs gives me the stink eye without saying a word.

Apparently I'm an easy target for peer pressure. Screw it, I can always make another batch tomorrow.

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

Back in my October Fly on the Wall I talked about how the Zombie Apocalypse had started. People on my TV were being taken over. I even showed a picture.

I was joking, of course. I know that it's not the people on it by my TV itself that's dying. I'm not happy about it, but I suppose and actual Zombie Apocalypse would be worse. 

PurDude was home last month. He sat down in front of the TV, grabbed the remote, pressed a few buttons and abracadabra, the Zombie Apocalypse has been canceled.

No, I don't feel stupid, why do you ask?

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

PurDude was only home for 10 days. Then he flew back to Indianapolis, went to a concert with a friend, then drove 1 1/2 hours back to his frat, had a day to pack and then drive 5 hours to Ohio where he's doing a summer internship.

It poured for his whole drive that Saturday and I was relieved when he texted to say he arrived. I asked him to call us either that night or the next day so we could hear about the apartment the company was renting for him and just talk to him before he starts work.

All that night I took my cell with me everywhere I went so I wouldn't miss his call, even if I was just going upstairs for a minute. Nothing.

The next day I did the same, if I went outside for a second to water the plants, I took it with me. Bathroom? Yup. Cooking dinner it was next to me on the counter. Nothing.

Served dinner and was pulling out my chair to sit down and guess what? Bet you know.

Chipotle Cordon Bleu Egg Rolls, a cordon bleu flavors married with a spicy slaw in a pan fried egg roll. Serve for lunch, dinner or an appetizer | Recipe developed by | #recipe #lunch #appetizer

Chipotle Cordon Bleu Egg Rolls
Chipotle Cordon Bleu Egg Rolls, a cordon bleu flavors married with a spicy slaw in a pan fried egg roll. Serve for lunch, dinner or an appetizer | Recipe developed by | #recipe #lunch #appetizer

I shut down my laptop before going up to bed and I always wait for it to shut down completely because . . . well . . . I break laptops with stunning regularity. Sometimes there are one or two updates and I have to wait, on the rare occasion there may even be 7 or 8. Unless it's a day when I'm completely exhausted, I don't mind. It's worth it to see that screen close down and click off and know I'm safe for another day.

It was one of those days. Actually, it had been a tough week and I was exhausted, couldn't get to bed fast enough. I powered down the laptop but wasn't paying attention to it. Seemed like it was taking forever and I started to panic, was it not shutting down? Had I gone through another one just weeks after PurDude had to remove the hard drive to retrieve my unsaved files from the last one?

I worked up my courage and looked over:

Fly on the Wall, a humorous look at family life | Presented by | #funny #laugh

What? 47? Really? Is that even possible? You're punking me, right? Getting me back for all those poor laptops I've dispatched to the netherworld?

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

Life has sunk to a new low. I now have napkins telling me what to do: 

Fly on the Wall, a humorous look at family life | Presented by | #funny #laugh

Because having smart-ass people in my life telling me what to do isn't enough, I now take orders from inanimate objects? And what would that sound like anyway?

Hey, yo, yuck
This day suck
Who gives a . . .

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

Wait. Hold everything. New day, new napkin and I could get on board with this.

Fly on the Wall, a humorous look at family life | Presented by | #funny #laugh

On second thought, naaaa. I already make the rules in this house and no one listens to me.

Or. Maybe I'm just not thinking big enough. That must be what the napkin's telling me. I can make the rules for everyone. Sign executive orders that make them so. I better let everyone know.

Fly on the Wall, a humorous look at family life | Presented by | #funny #laugh

Step aside, Donald Trump, there's a new sheriff in town!

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

I always make a Mixed Berry Pie either for Memorial Day or for Independence Day. This year I made it for Memorial Day.

College Boy: I'll try out your pie for you.
Me: No need for a guinea pig this time, it's nothing new, same pie I often make.
College Boy: You never know how it'll come out.
Me: I'm sure it's the same as always.
College Boy: OK, thought I'd do you a favor.
Me: Would you like a piece of pie?
College Boy: If you insist.

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

Hubs had wanted some vanilla ice cream with his Mixed Berry Pie but I didn't have any. The next day he went out to do an errand and I forgot to tell him to pick up the ice cream while he was out.

Me: I forgot to tell you to stop and get some ice cream while you were out this morning if you wanted it with the pie.
Hubs: I think I'll go back out now. That pie is better with ice cream.
Me: Excuse me? My pie is delicious just as it is. 
Hubs: Oh, ummm, how do I get out of this one? I need a lifeline. Do I get to call a friend?

Hubs slinks out of the house with his wallet. He comes back with ice cream and flowers. Smart friend.

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

We just celebrated Father's Day this past weekend. It was a nice day, but bittersweet. This is the second one since we lost my dad, and PurDude is far away so it was just the 3 of us.

College Boy gave his dad a card and I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Ah, the joys of having kids over the drinking age:

Fly on the Wall, a funny look at family life. The Father's Day card College Boy gave to his dad. | Presented on | #funny #family

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

Menopausal Mother 
Searching for Sanity
Spatulas on Parade 
A Little Piece of Peace 
Never Ever Give Up Hope 
Bookworm in the Kitchen 

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Chipotle Cordon Bleu Egg Rolls
Ingredients (makes 6):
1/2 cup broccoli slaw
3 TBSP chipotle ranch dressing
3 - 4 dashes of fresh lime juice
12 slices deli chipotle seasoned chicken breast
6 slices deli black forest ham
3 slices swiss cheese
6 egg roll wrappers

3/4 cup oil

Additional Chipotle Ranch Dressing for dipping 

*Mix the broccoli slaw with 3 TBSP chipotle ranch dressing and lime juice. Set aside.
*Line up 6 egg roll wrappers on your counter. 
*On each egg roll, place 2 slices of deli chipotle chicken, a slice of deli ham, about 1 TBSP of the broccoli slaw mixture and, in the center, 1/2 slice of swiss cheese.
*Fold the deli meat over the cheese from the sides to form a packet with the cheese in the center. Turn upside down so the fold is on the egg roll wrapper. Place on the wrapper at an angle.
*To fold the egg roll wrappers over the meat. Start with the bottom point and fold in. Next, dip your finger in water and wet the edges of the wrapper. Fold the short ends in, then roll towards the top point.
*Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium high heat until hot. Carefully place the egg rolls, 3 at a time, into the hot oil, top point side down. Cook until the bottom is browned, about 1 - 2 minutes. If it is cooking too fast, turn the heat down to medium. Gently flip over and brown the other side. 
*Remove to paper toweling to drain the excess oil. Repeat with the other 3 egg rolls. Serve with additional Chipotle Ranch Dressing for dipping.  

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Befuddled in the Check Out Line

I chose a checkout line and pulled my cart up. I was at the head of my cart so I could start unloading it, but I stayed back a bit from the one in front of mine. It may be early (too early) in the morning, but that's no excuse for ignoring supermarket etiquette. Besides, there was a little girl sitting in the seat and I didn't want to get too close to her. I can be mighty scary looking first thing in the morning.

"Who you?" she asked. 

I looked up at her not really sure what to say. As it turned out, I didn't have to worry too much about it, yet anyway.

"I four", she held up 4 fingers.
"Mommy", she looked over at her mom. Reassured, yup, still there. Attention back to me.
"I got puppy."
"ooh, mine", she had grabbed a packet of gum off the shelf. I wasn't answering that one, not my problem, prying that prize out of her tiny fist.
"I Screffostevra". I clearly didn't quite catch her name, but she was on a roll so I let it go.

"Who you?"

Beffuddled in the Check Out Line, conversations with a four year old | | #funny #laugh

And just like that I was stumped by a 4 year old.  Instead of beginning an deep existential consideration (I did say it was morning, right?), I'd just follow her lead. Good plan. Well, no way was I telling her my age. I don't have that many fingers anyway. Can't point out my mommy, not today anyway. Got no puppy and not really interested in grabbing a pack of gum. Jeez, who the hell am I these days . . .

Big brown eyes zeroed in on mine. I better come up with something.

A mom? Well, of course I am, but I don't even have enough fingers to tell her my kids' ages. Ouch.

A Blogger? Yeah, I'm sure she's dying to hear about that.

A baker? A cook? Not hardly, though I do try. But I have nothing to offer her.

Fiesta Quick Bread, a quick and flavorful bread with a bit of a kick. For breakfast or with lunch or dinner, perfect any time of day | Recipe developed by | #recipe #bread

Fiesta Quick Bread
Fiesta Quick Bread, a quick and flavorful bread with a bit of a kick. For breakfast or with lunch or dinner, perfect any time of day | Recipe developed by | #recipe #bread

I looked pleadingly at her mom, who was singularly engaged in paying and didn't even know I was talking to her daughter. Or maybe (been there, done that) she was pretending not to notice and internally thanking the stars above that someone was amusing her precocious daughter for a while.

I started putting my groceries up, she's four and she has a fistful of gum. She's not going to make me figure out who the hell I am in the amount of time it takes her mom to pay.

I felt a finger poke my shoulder. "Who you?"

"Screffostevra" I mumbled. Maybe she'd figure she didn't quite get my name and let it go. After all, I did, and fair is fair. Or maybe she'd think we have the same name. 

Her mom grabbed the handle of her cart and started pushing towards the door. Just as they were about to leave, the little girl screeched out at the top of her lungs something that sounded a lot like "SCREFFOSTEVRAAAAAAA".

Adopting the most innocent expression I could, I looked around trying my best to deflect, to silently express "no idea who that little girl is screaming to. Certainly not me."

That morning in the grocery store there were no life altering epiphanies as to who, exactly, I am. I was, nonetheless, most definitely successful in figuring out who I am not. Screffostevra.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Fiesta Quick Bread          

2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded or chopped

1 green onion, chopped
2 TBSP jalapeno peppers (if fresh, seeded and chopped, if canned, I use "hot")
3/4 cup cooked corn kernels

1/2 TBSP butter

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a loaf pan.
*In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, sugar salt and cumin. Mix in the milk and egg, just until barely incorporated. Add the green onion, corn, jalapenos and cheese, mixing as little as possible.
*Spread into the greased pan. Bake approximately 40 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch. 
*With a knife, move the butter over the top of the loaf, letting it melt into the loaf. Allow to sit 10 minutes before removing from loaf pan.

Friday, June 16, 2017

I Got Gyped: Use Your Words

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, a multiblogger writing challenge | | #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: family ~ stretch ~ fun ~ warmth ~ break ~ school
They were submitted by Diane of On the Border.

I got gyped this summer. School break did not go as it should. I had this all worked out, planned the time and counted down the days like I always do. And this one was going to be epic, almost 15 weeks off from school. I'd have my youngest home for so long I'd get sick of having him here.

Three years ago for a Secret Subject Swap, I published a piece called Holding On While Letting Go. It was written when my oldest, College Boy was a freshman in college and my youngest, PurDude was a senior in high school. It was an emotional time for me, filled with pride but also with melancholy. My entire family dynamic was about to change forever. Our time of living together was about to become a school-holidays-only occurrence.

Somehow we survived it. Over the past 3 years we settled into an existence of counting down the days until the next school break. Spring break we met up at the beach for a week of fun in the sun. Intersession, between semesters, became one of my favorite times as he was off not just for a week but for 3 weeks. But I lived for summer break. A good long stretch of family time, somewhere around 12 weeks of watching him sleep, baking all of his peanut butter and chocolate favorites, and hearing the garage door go up at 2am. Ahhh, pure joy.

Peanut Butter Cookie Blondies, white chocolate cake-like blondies with a peanut butter cookie center and Butterfingers topping | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert
Peanut Butter Cookie Blondies

This year, as I looked forward to the warmth of this summer, I knew that I would tap into those same feelings I'd written about years ago. Holding on while letting go is moving on to a whole new level. You see, this is it, the summer before his senior year, my last of having him home for this long lovely stretch. More than likely next summer he will be moving to wherever his first job takes him. This summer he actually will be off for 14 weeks and I will enjoy every minute of them. Even if I do spend a preponderance of the time waving as he goes off to work or a concert or just a night out with his friends. 

Gyped. Shafted, cheated, tricked, double crossed, screwed. Behind my back (well, we discussed it but still) he had gone to an on-campus job fair and applied for an internship with Honeywell. And he got it, dammit. I'm proud, honestly I am. But school is 10 hours away and Ohio is 5 hours even further. He would be home for 10 days. Period. My last summer with him has been reduced to Ten. Stinking. Days. 

They went by in a second.

And during that fleeting second that I had him here, we worked on his resume.

Holding on, while letting go. 


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

Peanut Butter Cookie Blondies

Printable Recipe

1 stick butter
1 stick margarine
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
6 fudge covered peanut butter filled cookies
4 eggs, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
2 cups flour

1/3 cup Butterfingers baking chips

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 baking dish.
*Place butter, margarine and white chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl. Heat at 70% for one minute. Stir. Continue to heat and stir at 20 second intervals until white chocolate chips are completely melted.
*Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla for one minute. Whisk in the salt and flour.
*Cut cookies into quarters. Set aside.
*Slowly, while whisking, add the white chocolate mixture to the egg mixture. 
*Spread half of the batter into the prepared baking dish. Evenly space the cookie pieces onto the batter in the dish. Press down slightly. Spread evenly with the rest of the batter. Sprinkle top with Butterfingers baking chips.
*Bake for about 30 minutes or until completely set and starting to brown around the edges.

*Cool, then slice.