Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Thirty Thanksgiving Recipes from Start to Leftovers

Happy Thanksgiving. Or should I say "April Fools" because yes, I know it's Halloween. The irony of posting a Thanksgiving recipe round up on Halloween is that this spooky holiday season has always been my favorite for being in the kitchen, it raises "playing with your food" to a whole new level. I'm going to have to admit {{gasp}} that no longer having young kids around takes some of the fun out of it. The looks on their faces when I come up with a spooky edible is sorely missed.

30 Thanksgiving Recipes, a roundup to help you plan your day from starters through leftovers | Recipes developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #Thanksgiving
I always keep Halloween going until the last second so it's been my practice to post those recipes right up until the bitter end, including today. But the truth is that it's highly doubtful that anyone who'd try any of my seasonal treats are out there looking for a recipe today anyway. So I'm breaking with tradition today and moving forward. Goodbye 2017 Halloween, it's been fun. See you again next year.

And in a last gasp effort to tie this Halloween day to today's post, let me just say that nothing's as scary as having a house full of family at Thanksgiving and not being prepared.

Thanksgiving takes a lot of forethought and planning. I fly my son home from college and we're all here together. Because my time with him is precious, I do as much as I can in advance, plan the meal, make out shopping lists, prep whatever can be done in advance, all well worth it. This is a favorite meal of the year.
Today I'm sharing 30 favorite Baking in A Tornado recipes, from cocktails and appetizers to fun uses of leftovers. I hope it makes planning a little easier for you. I've broken them down into groups, click on the link I've provided for each and it will take you to the post where that recipe is listed. 

30 Thanksgiving Recipes, a roundup to help you plan your day from starters through leftovers | Recipes developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #Thanksgiving

I always welcome my guests with a cocktail and a nosh. There's beer and wine, but I also make a few specialty drinks. For the appetizers, I always try to keep them down to just a few to enjoy with your cocktail, I've got a whole meal coming, no filling up before it's served. Here are a few "Welcome" options:

1) Pomegranate Martini - This martini is a favorite for the fruit flavors, and martinis are so simple to make, perfect for a busy holiday.

2) Thanksgiving Cheese Ball Appetizer - Cheese and crackers go with any occasion and are a great compliment to cocktails. This cheese ball is whimsically decorated in honor of the holiday.

3) Gouda En Croute Appetizer - Simple to put together and the creamy smoked gouda is just delicious baked with the fruits and nuts.

4) Tornado Cocktail - Another fruit flavored cocktail, not as strong as a martini and this one can be made ahead in a carafe and refrigerated until serving time.

30 Thanksgiving Recipes, a roundup to help you plan your day from starters through leftovers | Recipes developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #Thanksgiving

I like to start the meal with soup a soup and salad course. There is always a bread basket on the table, each year I change up the quick breads and muffins included. Most breads can be made a day or two ahead and leftovers are great the next morning for breakfast. They also freeze well. 

1) Harvest Soup - This soup marries so many fall flavors, I serve this before dinner for the holiday and sometimes for dinner on a cold fall night.

2) Caesar Salad with Eggless Dressing - Caesar salad is a favorite in our house. I make the dressing in advance so it's effortless to throw together at dinner time.

3) Apricot Almond Quick Bread - I tend to use dried apricots a lot in the fall as the fresh summer fruits are no longer available. The leftovers of this bread are delicious toasted with a little butter for breakfast later in the week.

4) Cranberry Swirl Corn Muffins - A muffin utilizing cranberry sauce, cranraisins and fresh corn is an ideal Thanksgiving dinner accompaniment. These are also yummy toasted and spread with a little butter.

5) Cinnamon Cranraisin Pumpkin Bread - This bread uses cranraisins also but is a completely different flavor from the muffins. This moist quick bread is versatile too, I use it in my Holiday Trifle (see "Dessert" below) and the leftovers are amazing used in my Cinnamon Pumpkin French Toast with Cranberry Sauce (see "Love Leftovers" below) for breakfast or brunch.

30 Thanksgiving Recipes, a roundup to help you plan your day from starters through leftovers | Recipes developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #Thanksgiving

Turkey, of course. The bigger the better. I've made a 22# turkey when there were just the four of us. We love leftovers, both as a repeat of this dinner, but used in other recipes as well. And turkey must be accompanied by cranberry sauce. When we have larger groups, I've got as many as four cranberry sauce options on the table.

1) Cranberry Holiday Jello - Some might consider this a dessert, but we've always served this beautiful fruit flavored jello as an accompaniment to our turkey. Make this one a day in advance.

2) Oven Roasted Whole Chicken - Yes, this is a roasted chicken recipe but I make my turkey the exact same way. Brine or not, up to you, my secret to a moist and delicious turkey is in the flavored butter under the skin.

3) Festive Cranberry Sauce - This one is my favorite, probably because there's liqueur in the recipe but you can substitute orange juice if you must. I make this one a few days in advance to allow the flavors to marry. Leftovers are used in my Cinnamon Pumpkin French Toast with Cranberry Sauce (see "Love Leftovers" below) for breakfast or lunch later in the week.

30 Thanksgiving Recipes, a roundup to help you plan your day from starters through leftovers | Recipes developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #Thanksgiving

I end up making a ton of side dishes. Everyone has their favorites and this is one time of year I love seeing everyone get their favorites. Today I'm sharing two "must"s, stuffing and mashed potato, and three vegetables. Most of these can be made ahead, the Brussels Sprouts and Snap Peas cannot.

1) Baked Cauliflower Carrot Casserole - Hubs loves cauliflower but who knew it could be so flavorful? I did, and you can too.

2) Fall Harvest Stuffing - It's all about the stuffing. Mine has a cornbread and crackers base with all the flavors of fall added in. You can bake this in a casserole dish but it's so much more flavorful cooked in the turkey.

3) Mashed Potato Casserole - Similar to twice baked potatoes but casserole style this is a favorite side dish year round. And I love that it also can be made ahead.

4) Brussels Sprouts with Pignolis and Prosciutto - Pan seared with pignolis and prosciutto adding to the flavor profile is a delicious way to serve Brussels Sprouts. 

5) Festive Pea Casserole - Yes, I often make a version of green bean casserole, but for a change this creamy pea version topped with crunchy french fried onions is every bit as good. It too can be thrown together quickly in advance.

6) Pralined Snap Peas and Carrots - The orange maple flavor of this side dish makes it a Fall favorite. Although you cannot make it in advance, it comes together in minutes using a microwave oven.

30 Thanksgiving Recipes, a roundup to help you plan your day from starters through leftovers | Recipes developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #Thanksgiving

Desserts. It's probably not a surprise to you that I could go on forever in this category. It took me quite some time, but here are seven seasonal favorites. 

1) Butterfingers Rum Cake - This cake is part recipe, part labor of love. The recipe was developed by Menopausal Mother and her sister who, I'm sorry to say, died years ago. I'm so glad they had to time together to work on this delicious masterpiece, and so grateful that Marcia chose to share it with us.

2) Holiday Trifle - This dessert is as beautiful as it is delicious, made with layers of gingersnaps, my Cinnamon Cranraisin Pumpkin Bread (see "Starters" above) and eggnog, we serve this both at Thanksgiving and at Christmas.

3) Sweet Potato Pecan Cake with Maple Glaze - Start with a boxed cake mix and add a whole lot of Fall flavor, this bundt cake with a simple maple flavored glaze is easy to make ahead. 

4) White Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Squares - Pumpkin, Cinnamon and Cloves flavor this cake studded with white chocolate chips and topped with a cream cheese frosting. I love cake made in a baking pan as the single serving squares are easy to serve with a large group.

5) THE Best Pumpkin Pie - Yes, with a gingerbread crust and eggnog mixed in with the pumpkin, this truly is the best Pumpkin Pie. If I do say so myself.

6) Thanksgiving Gobble Cookies - Don't let the fun look of these cookies fool you, the chocolate and vanilla swirled cookies are flavorful too.

7) Spiced Pie with Pecans - This is not your mama's Pecan Pie. Spiced, spiked and with a few surprise ingredients this version is a decadent surprise. 

30 Thanksgiving Recipes, a roundup to help you plan your day from starters through leftovers | Recipes developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #Thanksgiving

As I said, we love leftovers, I always buy an extra large turkey with them in mind. And although repeating Thanksgiving dinner is a treat, I also love repurposing them into different meal options. Here are a breakfast, a sandwich, two dinners and a fun wonton that could be appetizer, lunch or dinner.

1) Cinnamon Pumpkin French Toast with Cranberry Sauce - This recipe uses my Cinnamon Cranraisin Pumpkin Bread (see "Starters" above) and my Festive Cranberry Sauce (see "The Main Event" above) to make a delicious breakfast, lunch or brunch.

2) Holiday Leftovers Wontons - Thanksgiving in a wonton, these flavor pockets can be served as an appetizer, lunch or dinner. They use your leftover turkey, Fall Harvest Stuffing (see "The Sides" above) and Mashed Potato Casserole (see "The Sides" above). To add even more holiday flavor, top with Festive Cranberry Sauce (see "The Main Event" above). 

3) Turkey Dinner Casserole - I freeze some of my leftover turkey to make this casserole of turkey, rice, asparagus and cranraisins later on in the winter.

4) Turkey Tetrazzini Casserole - Another casserole I make during the winter using leftover turkey. This time I bake it with spaghetti, peas and pimentos in a chicken broth sauce.

5) Grilled Holiday Sandwich - For this sandwich I use not only turkey, but it's flavored with leftovers of my Thanksgiving Cheese Ball Appetizer (see "Welcome" above), then pan grilled for a delicious buttery crust.

I hope I've been able to entice you, get you excited for Thanksgiving, and helped you to plan a fun and flavorful holiday.

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!


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Friday, October 27, 2017

Lost and Found: 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,  | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

 Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Minette of Southern Belle Charm.

Funny Friday, a multi-blogger picture captioning challenge. Picture by Minette of Southern Belle Charm | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com | #funny #laugh

1. Mom (in another room) to her husband: I cannot seem to hold onto a pair of sunglasses. I buy a pair, can't find them, buy another pair, can't find them, buy another pair . . . where the hell are all these sunglasses going? 

2. Little Girl to herself: This is hard, how does a spider keep all his sunglasses on?

3. Little Girl to her grandma: What do you mean I have to pick one pair because I can only wear one, I can wear them all. I want them all.

4. Little Girl to her sister: Yes, I can keep them, it says "lost and found", that's the same as "finders keepers, losers weepers", don't you know anything?

5. Little Girl to her friend: I'm a fashion statement maker. You wait, everyone will be doing it.

 And now for something yummy, My Taco Roll Casserole: 

Taco Roll Casserole, taco seasoned ground beef encased in rolls and baked for an impressive dinner treat. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #dinner #recipe

Taco Roll Casserole 
Taco Roll Casserole, taco seasoned ground beef encased in rolls and baked for an impressive dinner treat. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #dinner #recipe

coming out of the oven, big and puffy
Taco Roll Casserole, taco seasoned ground beef encased in rolls and baked for an impressive dinner treat. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #dinner #recipe

turned out onto the plate and ready to serve

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 

Taco Roll Casserole

1/2 package of 24 Rhodes frozen Texas Rolls
1# ground beef
2 TBSP taco seasoning 
1/2 cup salsa
3/4 stick butter
3/4 tsp taco seasoning
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar
3/4 cup French's crispy jalapenos, crushed

salsa for serving

*NOTE: place the rolls in the fridge the night before so they defrost but stay cold. 
*NOTE: Prepare the beef the day before as well and refrigerate, it's easier to work with cold.
*NOTE: The day of serving, prepare early as the rolls need 5 hours to rise before baking.
*Place the ground beef in a saute pan over medium heat. Sprinkle with 2 TBSP taco seasoning. Cook and stir until the beef is fully cooked. Drain the fat, return to stove, add the salsa and cook for 2 more minutes. Cool, cover and refrigerate.
*Grease a large 4 quart oven safe bowl. 
*Melt the butter. Mix in the remaining 3/4 tsp taco seasoning.
*Remove the beef and dough from the refrigerator. 
*One at a time, roll each piece of dough between 2 pieces wax paper, place about 1/4 cup of beef in the center of each and roll the dough around the beef so the meat is completely encased. Place into the greased dish, seam side down,
*Once half of the dough balls are in the dish, drizzle with half of the butter mixture, then sprinkle with 1/2 of the shredded cheddar cheese and 1/2 of the crispy jalapenos. 
*Prepare the remaining rolls and place in the dish. Drizzle with the remaining butter mixture, cheese and jalapenos.
*Run a towel under hot water and wring well. Place over the top of the baking dish. Allow rolls to rise for 5 hours.
*Remove towel. Place a piece of heavy foil in the oven. Preheat oven on to 350 degrees. 
*Place the bowl in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Cover loosely with tin foil and bake another 35 minutes.
*Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife, then remove by turning over onto a serving plate.

*Serve with salsa for dipping.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

No Dark Web Required

What happens when you spend hours begging with two major companies to stop sending you someone else's personal information?

You waste a few hours of your life that you'll never get back.

Is this some kind of not-s0-funny riddle? 'Fraid not.

It's Halloween time and yet I'm writing a serious post today. Know why? Because sometimes there's nothing quite as scary as real life. And I'm not even talking about Trump this time.

It started with an email from Sears about my credit card. Except I don't have one. As I looked at the email I saw that the card belonged to someone else. It's an error, or maybe spam. I deleted the email.

Over the next few days more emails came in about my account. I realized that it's not spam, someone's account has been associated with my email address, and I was getting her personal financial information. Not only that, but the email invites me to manage her account by registering online using my email address. Whoa. In this day of rampant identity theft, I knew that Sears would want to rectify this issue so I responded to the email explaining the error and asking that they delete my email from association with this woman's account. 

A major retailer and a major credit card company won't stop sending someone's personal information to someone else | www.BakingInATornado | #fraud #finance

I expected accolades, quite honestly, a "thank you for your honesty and time in bringing this to our attention". 

Just call me delusional.

The emails kept coming. There was a phone number for Sears and, in an abundance of caution, looked the number up myself and called. Once I finally got a person on the line, I explained the situation to her. And the next person, and the person after that and the person after that. I was put through to department after department, all saying the email was not generated by them. 

I requested the assistance of a manager. I shouldn't have to, but I explained how dangerous it is to be sending someone's full name and credit card information to someone else. I want someone to go in to this person's account and delete my email address. Or call her and confirm that my email address is not hers. Over and over I was told that they do not have access to her account. 


The most I could get from them is that I can "unsubscribe" from the emails, which should stop most of them.

But there's another issue here as well. As much as this person would not want me getting her personal information, I also do not want my email associated with her credit card accounts. I want the connection between her and my email address severed. I got nowhere.

Light bulb moment. Social media. I sent a private message to Sears' facebook page. Again I explained that they are putting their customer in jeopardy. I even sent them a page capture of my email with her personal information. They answered right away. Unfortunately they put it right back on me, telling me to call Citibank. 

To continue banging my head against a brick wall or to just give up, that is the question . . . 

Yeah, I called Citibank and all I can say is "second verse, same as the first". I explained the situation to person after person, department after department. Ever heard of credit card fraud? Identity theft? Any of these words mean anything to a multinational financial services company?

Trying to think of any angle, I asked them to look at my account, as I have one with Citibank, and see that the same email address is associated with both accounts, asked them to call her. They claim that they do not have access to this woman's account information, nor mine. I held while they contacted their IT people to see if they could access company email lists but they claim that isn't possible either. 

I can guarantee you that if this woman did not pay her bills they'd find a way to contact her. Probably through my email, won't that be fun?

I asked about their fraud department. For some reason I couldn't talk to them but was given a Citibank Fraud email address. I sent an email forwarding one of the emails I'd received with this message:

A major retailer and a major credit card company won't stop sending someone's personal information to someone else | www.BakingInATornado | #fraud #finance

This is the gist of the automated response (really? fraud gets an automated response?). Citibank thanked me for reporting the fraud (yay), said that they look into every issue reported to them (yay), but do not respond to people individually (why not, don't you think after their efforts they deserve resolution?). Oh and btw, this email address is only for, and we only investigate reports of, people sending out phishing emails fraudulently claiming to be Citibank (so screw us, it's all about you . . . got it!).

A major retailer and a major credit card company won't stop sending someone's personal information to someone else | www.BakingInATornado | #fraud #finance

In extreme frustration I did unsubscribe. Yes, it smacks of "if I don't see it, it's not happening" and no, I don't believe that. Didn't stop the emails either, btw. 

And in extreme frustration I have been forced to accept that my email address remains linked to someone else's account. There could be future ramifications but neither Sears nor Citibank seems to care about the fact that they are actively complicit in enabling the possibility of fraud.

Is your personal information going from a major retailer or a major credit card company to a stranger? Could be. 

Will the recipient use it? Conceivable.

Will they try to rectify the error to no avail? Possibly. 

Happy Halloween. Are you scared now? You should be.

One final note to the person whose personal information I have erroneously received, continue to be sent and will apparently have to deal with in perpetuity, let me say this: sit back, have a cupcake, relax, you're lucky it's me, your information safe.

Daddy Long Legs Halloween Cupcakes, a fun Halloween treat. Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting decorated with candy for that spider look. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #Halloween

Daddy Long Legs Halloween Cupcakes

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

 Daddy Long Legs Halloween Cupcakes

Printable Recipe

1 box (15.25 oz) of yellow cake mix and the ingredients called for on the box
1 tsp vanilla

1 can of whipped white frosting
1 tsp vanilla
2 drops red food coloring
4 drops yellow food coloring

18 - 24 small round caramel filled chocolate candies 
36 - 48 candy eyes, mini nonpareils or mini M&Ms
1 package pull 'n peel twizzlers, strands separated

*Fill 18 (for larger cupcakes) or 24 (for smaller cupcakes) cupcake tins with paper liners. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Make the yellow cake according to box directions, adding a tsp of vanilla.
*Bake the cupcakes (about 15 - 19 minutes, until the center springs back to the touch. Cool completely.
*Mix the frosting with the food coloring and remaining tsp of vanilla.
*Place about 2 TBSP of the frosting into a small (snack size) sealable bag. Make a very small snip in the corner. Set aside.
*Place the rest of the frosting in a larger (sandwich size) sealable bag and snip the corner. Pipe frosting onto the cupcakes.
*Place the center of 4 twizzler strands onto the center of each cupcake so the "legs" drape down the sides.
*Using the frosting in the snack size bag, place a small dollop of frosting onto the center of the twizzler "legs" and top each with a chocolate caramel candy.
*Last, pipe a dot of frosting onto the back of each "eye" and attach 2 to the side of each chocolate caramel candy.

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Sand and the Witch: 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 | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Sometimes I just wanted to be appreciated for who I am, not what I can do for others.

College Boy: What's for dinner?
Me: I'm not telling you.
College Boy: You won't tell me?
Me: Are you staying for dinner?
College Boy: That depends, what's for dinner?
Me: Exactly.
College Boy: Is that made with chicken?

Smart ass.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Hubs knows how much I love sitting in the living room and looking out on the woods. The other day he came home and was surprised at what he saw.
Fly on the Wall, humorous snippets of day to day life | www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #funny #family

Hubs: Why do you have one of the windows blocked?
Me: There's a giant spider who had built his web on that window. I can't stand looking out and seeing it, gives me the creeps.
Hubs: You know that if you close the shade he's still there.
Me: No he's not.
Hubs: Yes he . . .
Me (interrupting): NO. HE'S. NOT.
Hubs: Of course not. But just in case, do you want me to go get him down?
Me: You can't reach.
Hubs: I can with a broom on a ladder.
Me: OK. But throw the broom in the woods, burn the ladder and don't ever come in my house again. No telling where he'd land and I'm not taking any chances.
Hubs: On second thought, you're right, he's not there any more.  

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

College Boy: Are you watching another crime show?
Me: Yup. A woman was killed. The son found her and called the police. He did it.

College Boy: The show just started, you're pretty quick to make a judgement.
Me: He did it.
College Boy: Wow, if I see a crime I'm not calling it in, I don't want to be accused.
Me: Well if I'm the one who's dead it doesn't matter who calls it in, I've left notes all over the place saying you did it.
College Boy (laughing): You did? Really.
Me: Yes, you haven't found any?

That should keep him busy for a while. 

And me alive for a while.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

I was in the kitchen last Sunday evening prepping dinner when the doorbell rang. I answered the door to see a bicycle in my driveway and a boy standing at my door. Young, but not little, maybe 10 years old or so. He was holding a small rock, maybe 2 inches by one inch. Exactly the kind of river rock I have all around my house.

He holds up the rock and asks me if I'd like to buy "this paperweight slash rock." I thanked him and told him that I wasn't interested.

He got on his bike and rode away. I expected it would be just to my neighbor's house figuring he was trying us all.

But no, I watched him ride past my neighbor's house, and the next one and the next one. Watched him, in fact, till I couldn't see him any more.

I guess I'm the only one on this street who looks like I need a rock?

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

It was lunch time when I was working at the kitchen counter when College Boy came in with a foot long sandwich, sat down at the table and started to eat. 

College Boy: Mom, do you want a piece of my sandwich?
Me: It's up to you, if you're really hungry, eat it. If not you can break me off just a bite.
College Boy (walking over with a corner of his lunch): Here you go, Mom, a piece of my sand. . .
Me: Sand?
College Boy: I brought the sand, you bring the witch.

And let me tell you, from the big smile on his face it was clear that he was very impressed with himself.

Brownie Brittle Monster Pops, fun Halloween treats made with caramel candies and brownie brittle | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #Halloween #recipe

Brownie Brittle Monster Pops
Brownie Brittle Monster Pops, fun Halloween treats made with caramel candies and brownie brittle | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #Halloween #recipe

I had thought I was alone in the house when I came down the stairs, but when I got to the kitchen, College Boy was there. He let out a scream, then started to laugh.

College Boy: Nice Halloween costume, Mom, you caught me off guard.
Me: This isn't a Halloween costume, it's a facial mask, it makes my skin beautiful.
College Boy: Ummm, Mom? You may want to get your money back.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

I come down later, after having removed the mask and College Boy is standing at the counter eating a sandwich.

Me: See, doesn't my skin look great?
College Boy doesn't answer, just stands there chewing his sandwich.
Me: No answer?
College Boy points to his mouth and exaggerates his chewing.

College Boy swallows and I ask again.
Me: See, doesn't my skin just glow?
College Boy quickly shoves another giant bite of sandwich into his mouth, then points to his mouth and exaggerates his chewing.
Me: Fine, I'll go ask your dad. He'll say "yes". If he knows what's good for him.
College Boy (quickly swallows and yells): Dad! Run! Hide!

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Still later that day I was sitting on the couch when College Boy was leaving the house. 

Me (holding up my fingers and wiggling my toes): Now look how beautiful I am, all of my nails are painted green.
College Boy (laughing): Well that changes everything.

 Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

College Boy comes in another day and asks what's for dinner (he does that a lot, doesn't he?).

Me: We're having Shrimp Pot Pie.
College Boy: Oh, I like that.
Me: You know, you could cook dinner sometime.
College Boy (laughing): No, you're the woman.
Me: Did you really just say that?
College Boy: It's not me, Mom, it's genetic. You got the cooking gene.
Me: Then why do you complain about so many of my meals?
College Boy: It's not you, Mom, your gene is partly defective.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

I was talking through a Halloween recipe with my muse who, unfortunately, is College Boy.

Me: I want to make a ghost. I don't think I've done any ghost recipes before.
College Boy: OK, let me think about it.
Me: I have the body part worked out. I just need something white to cover it with. I don't want to just do fondant and I also don't want to just dunk the whole thing in white chocolate.
College Boy: A paper towel.
Me: A paper towel isn't edible.
College Boy: Neither is most of your cooking.
        {{ba um dum}}

In all fairness I do not blame College boy for this one at all. He set it up perfectly and I walked right into it. Well played, son, well played.

For more Baking In A Tornado, check out my piece on the Huffington Post: Breast Cancer Awareness Month: A Shmata by any Other Name.

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

Menopausal Mother 
Searching for Sanity
Spatulas on Parade
Never Ever Give Up Hope 
Bookworm in the Kitchen 
The Blogging 911

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Brownie Brittle Monster Pops

Printable Recipe

NOTE: I used craft sticks in this recipe. You can easily make them without the sticks.

1 package (5 - 6 oz) Brownie Brittle Squares (you'll need 24 of them)
12 mini chocolate caramel cups candies
1/2 cup colored sugar 
8 oz colored candy melts (I used half light blue and half green) 
24 candy "eyes" (you can use mini nonpareils or mini M&Ms)
black or red edible writing gel

*Cover a small metal baking pan with tin foil. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Put a piece of parchment paper on your counter.
*Place 12 brownie brittle squares onto the baking pan. Place a mini chocolate caramel cup candy onto the center of each.
*Place the colored sugar in a small bowl. Place the candy melts on a plate and melt in the microwave for about 1 minute or until smooth when stirred.
*Using a knife, spread the flat side of a remaining brownie brittle square with the melted candy melts. Dip the top in the colored sugar and place onto parchment paper. Continue with the remaining brittle squares. 
*Dip the backs of the candy "eyes" into the melted candy melts and attach to each brittle on the parchment paper. Allow to set.
*Place the baking pan into the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Gently move them to the parchment paper. Push a craft stick up into the melted chocolate caramel candy. Top each with one of the prepared monster faces. Press down very gently.
*Using the writing gel, draw a mouth on each of the monsters. Allow to set until the chocolate caramel candy has hardened.