Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Hour Long Minute

I've been feeling the ravages of time lately. No, not my age, although I could write (and have written) a post or two about that as well. This time-suck is the dreaded minute. You know the one I'm talking about, the 60 seconds that invariably manage to drag by in about an hour. Those times when you feel compelled to grab onto that second hand and physically drag it around the clock.

Dragging that second hand around the clock | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #funny #MyGraphics

Although it happens to us all now and then, this has been going on for me with frustrating regularity for over a month. It started, as far as I can remember, at PurDude's graduation. We were in line outside the hall, standing in 90 degree weather and I was, of course, wearing 3 inch wedges. Mine were black leather with gold accents, open toe, with a pretty woven wedge. You know, the kind that look great on so you have to wear them with that graduation outfit even though you'll still have remnants of the blisters 2 months later.

Minutes seem like hours in wedge shoes | Picture property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #funny #humor

That's OK, I can make it, gotta suffer for fashion, right? And they're going to open the door in one minute. 

One minute that although literally lasting right around 60 seconds, felt like a melting, excruciating hour. Or two. And I had the frizzy hair and blistered feet to prove it.

More time-bending "in a minute" fun torture:

PurDude was streaming the Red Sox game to the TV. Boston was winning 1 - 0 when it froze. PurDude said he'd be back in a minute and went upstairs to check the laptop we were streaming through. Apparently Windows decided to update at that moment. He switched the streaming to his other computer and the game came back up. It was only a minute, felt like an hour, and we were losing 2 - 1 when we got the game back. Wait. What? What happened? (As a funny aside, PurDude has a friend from college who works for Microsoft. He texted his friend and told Riley he better fix Windows 'cause it ruined our game).

I'm almost home, just a minute away. But if I don't get out of this bra now, I swear it's going to dig into my skin so deep I'll need to have it surgically removed. If you, dear reader, are a woman, I've said enough, you know exactly how long that minute can last. Forget hours, years.

When you bake anything chocolate the house smells divine. As the time winds down and it's almost ready, mouths water. On Saturday we were at that point. All inhabitants of this house converged on me in the kitchen wanting to know when the cookies would be done. I looked at the clock and informed them all it would be just a minute. And then I stood there being stared down by 3 men for what seemed like an hour. And PS: good thing you can eat cookies hot because if that had been a cake this would not have ended pretty.

Nothing in my house freaks me out as much as spiders. Not even my kids, though there were times they sure seemed to make a full time job of trying. I was walking up the stairs the other day and hanging there by the window was a spider. I screamed out "quick, quick, come here and bring a tissue" to which College Boy answered "be there in a minute". I swear that minute lasted long enough for that spider to have gotten married, bought a house (in my hallway) and had twins.

I've had enough of this minute lasting an hour thing. I SO need a Chata Iced Coffee. Can you make me one? And don't you dare say "It'll be ready in a minute . . ."

Coffee, Vanilla and Cinnamon flavors meet summer in this Chata Iced Coffee cocktail. Refreshing served over ice or with a scoop of ice cream. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cocktail
Chata Iced Coffee

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

Chata Iced Coffee         

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (per drink):
3 oz brewed coffee
1 oz french vanilla creamer
3 oz Rum Chata
1 oz cinnamon liqueur

OPT: scoop of french vanilla ice cream

*Mix the hot coffee and the creamer. Refrigerate until cold.
*Remove from the refrigerator and mix in the Rum Chata and cinnamon liqueur.
*Serve over ice or with a scoop of ice cream.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Aloe and Snowflakes: 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 | www.BakingInATornado.com | #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:  swim ~ towel ~ aloe ~ snowflake ~ hot dog ~ Kool-aid  They were submitted by Dawn of Cognitive Script.

We recently brought my younger son home from college. I'm still traumatized. Don't get me wrong, I love having him home. In my nice, neat, clean home. But what I saw up there, and especially when we unpacked back here, well, I can never un-see. I mentioned in an earlier post that I thought he was living in a house with a few friends. It wasn't until I got there that I realized he was living in a cave. A dark, disorganized, dilapidated cave. 

I know he's a boy, and I know boys will be boys, but I cannot believe the way he had been living. I am the most organized person on the planet. Apparently he is the least organized person on the planet. 

Somehow he had decided that he would only pack up what he needed or wanted at home for the next few months, then when his lease ran out in July he'd drive 10 hours back, pack up his 2nd floor room, and move it all down a thin staircase and out of the house by himself. So he was partially packed. Or so he said. 

In his bedroom upstairs were a half filled trunk, a half filled suitcase, and a body sized duffel bag I was too afraid to open. In his outer room were about 40 partially filled bags and 6 boxes completely covered in white dust and plaster (management had replaced his door at some point, who knows how long ago). It took me two days to convince him that he had to move his furniture out while we were there to help him, and that it made no sense to move partially out, then drive back for the rest of his belongings.

I did consolidate his trunk, suitcase, and bags before we left so we could fit everything into our cars. I didn't have a chance to go through anything, just noting that there was no rhyme or reason to what was where. Unfolded clothes were packed with toiletries, papers, whatever.

Once home (and after spending 2 days explaining that we would not be leaving everything in his unpacked until he moved out again), I worked with him to be sure he had everything organized. I still cannot believe what we'd transported home. 

I threw out about 10 pounds of trash. There were old receipts, plastic silverware, empty packaging. He had 3 bottles of aloe (which had apparently moved with him twice) from when he got a sunburn freshman year at a football game ("I'll skype with you, Mom, but don't freak out when you see me", just what every mom wants to hear). There were 14 sticks of deodorant, 10 bottles of hand lotion. Apparently the way toiletries work is that you use them once, misplace them in the morass and just buy another. Who knew?

There were about 50 batteries, a can of lighter fluid for the lighters he didn't have, and 3 packets of Kool-aid, which he does not drink. Had I found a half-eaten hot dog, I would not have been surprised. The body bag, I'm relieved (but bewildered) to say, was completely full of cords.

He had almost all of my missing beach towels, though I don't know why. And he had a new beach towel as well. Seems the one time he had an opportunity to swim, when he went with friends to Vegas for the weekend, he'd forgotten to pack a bathing suit and towel so bought new ones there. 

It wasn't until we got to the boxes that I realized he had packed them covered in dust, drove them home covered in dust and moved them into his room (yes, you guessed it) covered in dust. My turn to roll my eyes at one of my kids. I told him to take them outside and wipe the dust off of them so we could find what treasures lay inside. 

Later that morning College Boy and I were taking breakfast out to the deck. The outdoor dining table was covered in white. "What is all over the table?" College Boy asked. "Looks like snowflakes".

Loaded Egg in a Bagel Basket, an egg cooked in a bagel slice topped with salmon and green onion | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast
Loaded Egg in a Bagel Basket

Yes, it was plaster and dust. Guess I should have been specific, pretty much the only place I didn't want him to clean off those boxes in all of the outdoors would have been on my table. {{sigh}}.

If I ever, ever, am in the position to move this kid out of anywhere again (other than my house), the process will be simplified. Everything goes straight to the trash {{claps hands back and forth with finality}}. Done.

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

Loaded Egg in a Bagel Basket

1 bagel
2 TBSP butter
3 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup cooked salmon, chopped
1 green onion, sliced

*Slice the bagel lengthwise into thirds so you have 3 round slices with a hole in the center.
*Melt 1 TBSP butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bagel slices and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from pan.
*Melt the remaining butter in the skillet. Put the bagel slices back in the pan, cooked side up. Crack one egg into the center of each slice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. 
*Carefully flip the bagel slices over. Cook for 1 - 2 more minutes or until the egg is done to your liking. 
*Remove bagels from pan. Serve topped with salmon and green onion.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Just One Kiss: International Kissing Day Poetry

There's an app for that. What, you ask? Everything. Pretty much everything. Well long before apps there were holidays (or fake holidays) and celebrations and yes, it seems as though there's one for everything. Anything. 

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate it. The humor, anyway. Whenever I need a laugh I know I can just google what holiday there is this day or week or month and I'm in for a good chuckle. In fact, I don't even have to look them up any more, just remind myself that there's a World Garden Naked Day and as laughs go, I'm good.

Today the Monthly Poetry Group has chosen to celebrate International Kissing Day. It was actually a little over a week ago, on July 6th. Hope you took full advantage of the occasion. I know I did. So did Julie:

Monthly Poetry Group, poems based on a theme. This month's theme, International Kissing Day | Presented by www.BakingInATornado.com | #poem #poetry #MyGraphics

 Just One Kiss

"I love you more than words can say",
star struck Johnny looked her way.
Julie blushed and looked away,
ran off with the girls to play.

Never one to just give up,
approaches her each day: "wassup?".
Never touching his little buttercup,
'cause "no" means no, only "yes" means yup.

"Let me give you just one kiss,
on the cheek, I will not miss.
Then for life I'll be in bliss,
when on this day I reminisce".

On and on it went like that,
striking out with each at bat.
Buzzing around her like a gnat,
All through kindergarten turned down flat.

True love calls for monumental feats
Saved allowance, brought her treats,
"Just one kiss? For all these eats?"
Then took in stride all his defeats.

Rustic Butterscotch M&M bars, a cake like bar with a hint of banana, studded with mini M&Ms, topped with melted butterscotch. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Rustic Butterscotch M&M Bars

The day came as he knew it would,
summer vacation, no Julie, no good.
Then at the pool, right in his hood.
He looked up and there she stood.

"Do you know what day it is?"
"Friday" he answered, "is this a pop quiz?"
"International Kissing Day I hear 'tis",
she said as her eyes locked on his.
She puckered up and leaned his way.
His feet were mush, his eyes saw grey.
His breath got caught in his airway.
All saw him faint then, clear as day.

Before you go, click on these links to more poetry from some of my friends: 
Dawn of Cognitive Script shares Finding Her Prince
Kim of That Writer Junkie Writes shares 슬픈 사랑 or This Sad Love
Diane of On The Border shares Just Kiss Him!
Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares The Kiss That Shook Me

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

Rustic Butterscotch M&M Bars

2/3 cup butterscotch baking chips
1 stick butter or margarine, softened
2 over-ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup plus 2 TBSP mini M&Ms

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan.
*Microwave and stir the butterscotch chips until completely melted and smooth. Set aside.
*Beat the butter or margarine, bananas, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt and carefully beat in. Mix in 1/2 cup of the mini M&Ms.
*Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Drizzle the melted butterscotch chips over the top and swirl into the batter. Top with the remaining mini M&Ms.
*Bake for about 30 minutes or until the sides are brown and the center completely cooked. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Layered Thai Shrimp Salad: Anti-Boredom Month Blog With Friends

Today’s post is the next in our series of Blog With Friends theme collaborations. Each month a group  of bloggers get together and each publish a project based on a theme. What I love about this partnership is that it’s not bloggers with similar interests or strengths but a diverse group coming up with a variety of posts. In any given month we may have a recipe, sewing tutorial, crafts projects, book review and/or a technology post all related to the theme of the month.

Blog With Friends, a monthly project based blogging collaboration | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

This month's theme is Anti-Boredom Month.

There will be individual project pictures and links to what everyone else has to offer at the end of my post, but here’s a peek at what we all came up with:

Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Anti-Boredom Month | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

I made Layered Thai Shrimp Salad.

Layered Thai Shrimp Salad uses leftover Thai marinated shrimp, mixed with cool crisp vegetables topped with a parmesan dressing for a flavorful summer meal. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #shrimp #dinner

Let me tell you why. Anti-boredom to me means thinking up new recipes. It's my way of being creative and of keeping occupied. It's fun for me, especially when the meal is a success. When it's not, well, it ends up being a joke that just keeps on giving. "Remember that time . . ."

There's another reason I chose this recipe for my anti-boredom post. It's because in my world, in the summer, anti-boredom means a day at the beach or a pool. It means getting out there with a family and enjoying cooling off together on a hot day. And since, once at home, showered off and sitting down to relax we need to eat, this meal is both make ahead and served cold, the perfect ending to a hot day.

It's even pretty enough to serve to company, if you want to invite friends over.

As I often do, I used leftovers for the base of this recipe. I had made my Thai Shrimp Skewers earlier in the week and deliberately created the leftovers for this dish by doubling the recipe.

Thai Shrimp Skewers, a quick, light and flavorful summer meal | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

I made my dressing and popped it in the fridge until I was ready for assembly if serving right away or to pour over the salad if serving later.

Layered Thai Shrimp Salad uses leftover Thai marinated shrimp, mixed with cool crisp vegetables topped with a parmesan dressing for a flavorful summer meal. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #shrimp #dinner

Then I prepped the rest of my salad ingredients, washing and chopping the lettuce, shredding the carrots, slicing the green onions, stemming the spinach, halving the tomatoes, clipping the chives and shaving the parmesan.

Layered Thai Shrimp Salad uses leftover Thai marinated shrimp, mixed with cool crisp vegetables topped with a parmesan dressing for a flavorful summer meal. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #shrimp #dinner

Once that was done, it was a simple matter of layering the salad. If you're serving it right away, include the dressing in the layers. If, you're serving later, don't add the dressing to the layers or it will wilt the lettuce and spinach. Just layer the vegetables, cheese and shrimp, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until meal time.

Layered Thai Shrimp Salad uses leftover Thai marinated shrimp, mixed with cool crisp vegetables topped with a parmesan dressing for a flavorful summer meal. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #shrimp #dinner

I recommend rounding out the dinner (or lunch) with a homemade quick bread, a favorite is my Cinnamon Nectarine Quick Bread, also made in advance.

Cinnamon Nectarine Quick Bread, a moist quick cinnamon crusted bread filled with cinnamon flavor and chunks of nectarines. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bread #fruit

And as a special treat, end the evening with a slice of my Lemon Raspberry Ice Cream Cake

Lemon Raspberry Ice Cream Cake, a cool summer treat | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

You guessed it, made this ahead too. 

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!

Be sure to visit all of this month's other Blog With Friends projects:

Dawn of Spatulas on Parade shares her recipe for Buffalo Chicken Celery:

Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Anti-Boredom Month | Buffalo Chicken Celery by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

Jules of The Bergham Chronicles shares Boredom, Boredom, Go Away, a list of simple ways to beat boredom:
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Anti-Boredom Month | Boredom, Boredom, Go Away by Jules of The Bergham Chronicles | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

Kim of Georgia Vegan Peach shares 5 Fun Vegan Recipes to Cure Mid-Summer Boredom:

Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Anti-Boredom Month | Five Fun Vegan Recipes to Cure Mid-Summer Boredom by Kim of Georgia Vegan Peach | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

Tamara of Part-Time Working Hockey Mom shares The "Hockey Mom, I'm bored" Bottle:

Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Anti-Boredom Month | "Hockey Mom, I'm bored" Bottle by Tamara of Part-Time Working Hockey Mom | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares how to make the Easiest Scrapbook Ever:
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Anti-Boredom Month | Easiest Scrapbook Ever by Lydia of Cluttered Genius | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

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Layered Thai Shrimp Salad

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 tsp black pepper

1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cleaned and chopped
4 carrots, shredded
2 cups uncooked spinach, stems removed
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved 
1 1/2# cooked shrimp from Thai Shrimp Skewers
1 TBSP chopped fresh chives

*Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, sweet chili sauce, grated Parmesan and black pepper. You can make this ahead of time, cover and refrigerate.
*NOTE: If serving right away, layer with the dressing. If refrigerating the salad to serve later, layer without the dressing so the lettuce and spinach don't wilt, then serve when ready with the dressing on the side.
*In a large glass bowl, layer the lettuce, 1/3 of the dressing, then the carrots and spinach followed by another 1/3 of the dressing. Top with the green onions, Parmesan and tomatoes. End with the rest of the dressing, the shrimp and the chives.
*When serving, use long serving utensils to be sure each serving includes all of the ingredients.  

Friday, July 6, 2018

Still Pouring: Secret Subject Swap

Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 11 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.

Secret Subject Swap, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

My subject is: Be honest: are you a cup half full or cup half empty kind of person?
It was submitted by: Carol of Never Ever Give Up Hope.

The real answer is "both". 

Or "it's complicated". 

Truth is we all like to think we're "cup half full" kind of people, because we connote it with being positive, upbeat, and by association happy. For some of us it's easier than for others, be it nature or nurture or some combination of both. 

The whole concept serves a purpose, though, and that's as something to strive towards. There's a "glass half full" light at the end of all tunnels, it's just up to us to get there.

It's easier to achieve "glass half full" in some circumstances and I like to think that I succeed in those scenarios. There are other times when it's a struggle and honestly sometimes I get there and other times I just don't. Truth is, anxiety empties that glass faster than I can fill it. And it does so on a regular basis. You'd think that the longer you strive for that positivity the easier it would be, but that's just not so. Life gets harder, the cumulative burden gets heavier and the impetus of being a good example for little ones now grown is no longer a motivating factor.

So for some, like me, glass half full moments are not natural, they're a triumph. And glass half empty moments are expected.

I'm reading through what I've written so far and laughing. "Debbie Downer" comes to mind. But it's not like that, really. If I were truly she, I would never write try new recipes expecting that I could succeed. And yet I do, and I do it all the time.

Cinnamon Nectarine Quick Bread, a moist quick cinnamon crusted bread filled with cinnamon flavor and chunks of nectarines. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bread #fruit

Cinnamon Nectarine Quick Bread
Cinnamon Nectarine Quick Bread, a moist quick cinnamon crusted bread filled with cinnamon flavor and chunks of nectarines. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bread #fruit

It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there, both through writing and through recipe developing. And each time I do, my belief that my glass can and will be half full is validated. 

There are a few big piece of the equation that have to be considered. One is just circumstances. Not one event, but those times when crap comes at you like it's blowing through a fan. You know what I mean, when it seems that bad luck doesn't come in threes but in three hundreds. There are times when you just get warn down. You may start out being positive but with each blow it gets harder. Does this make you a negative person? I don't think so. Not as long as you maintain perspective, know that although you're down, you'll be up again. In my book, hope is the great equalizer, it keeps that glass half full even when current circumstances make you feel that there are just a few drops at the bottom.

The other piece is your circle. We all have circles of friends, those we're closer to and those we keep a little further out. There are people, not necessarily bad people, but those who don't help us raise ourselves when we feel like we're sinking. When we're at our most vulnerable, brutally honest friends, though still legitimately friends, aren't what we need in that moment. Unlike most people's feelings, I don't think that circle of friends is solid, I think it's fluid. Who in our lives are most equipped to help us get to seeing the glass half full is situational. It's up to us to make those adjustments, find the right support for the current situation.  

The flip side of that is that we all need to strive to be that person for those in our lives, to try to put our own feelings aside to be what our people need when they need it. Because, honestly, nothing makes us feel better than knowing we've helped someone we love find that their own glass is really half full. 

So . . . am I a "glass half full" or "glass half empty" kind of person? I'd have to say hold on, I'm still pouring. 

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

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

Cinnamon Nectarine Quick Bread

Printable Recipe

1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 TBSP sugar
3 nectarines
6 TBSP butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
3 TBSP orange juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup peach yogurt
1/4 cinnamon baking chips, finely chopped
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

*Grease loaf pan. Mix the 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 2 TBS sugar together and dust the greased pan with the cinnamon/sugar. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Discard the stone from the nectarines and chop the fruit.
*Cream the butter, brown sugar and remaining white sugar. Beat in the eggs, orange juice, vanilla, yogurt and cinnamon chips.
*Mix in the flour, salt and baking powder, just until incorporated. Mix in the chopped nectarines.
*Spread into the loaf pan and bake for approximately 55 to 65 minutes or until the center of the top springs back to the touch. Cool for 15 minutes in the loaf pan.
*Remove the bread from the pan and allow to cool completely before slicing.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Remember to Celebrate the 3rd of July

I come from Boston, a state steeped (get the tea reference?) in the history of these United States. The Tea Party (the original one, in Boston Harbor, with actual tea), The Old North Church ("one if by land, two if by sea"), Paul Revere's house, Plymouth Rock, Old Ironsides (The USS Constitution), the Revolutionary War battles of Concord and Lexington. I could go on and on. Suffice it to say that I grew up surrounded by our earliest history. 

Plymouth Rock, Plymouth MA | Picture property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #freedom #independence

Today I, like so many others in this country, am knee deep in Independence Day celebration preparations. I'm gathering up red, white and blue paper plates and plastic forks, lining the driveway with flags, checking on punks for lighting the fireworks, pulling out bug spray, forming burgers, and baking all things red, white and/or blue.

Blueberries and Cream Pie is a no-bake summer treat. A vanilla wafer crust is layered with cream cheese flavored with a hint of orange and a blueberry topping. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado | #recipe #dessert

Blueberries and Cream Pie
Blueberries and Cream Pie is a no-bake summer treat. A vanilla wafer crust is layered with cream cheese flavored with a hint of orange and a blueberry topping. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado | #recipe #dessert

I hear so much talk at different times of the year about how we often can't see the forest for the trees. People comment all over social media on days like tomorrow about their fear of, in our zeal to celebrate, our loss of the meaning of holidays like Independence Day (and Memorial Day and Christmas) in all the festivities. We are admonished for not remembering what exactly we are celebrating and why. Instead, social media posters lament, we've made it about eating burgers and lighting up the sky with pretty colors.
Freedom graphic | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #freedom #independence

I'm going to have to disagree. I think that despite the party atmosphere, the vast majority of us do celebrate the roots of what this holiday is about. We remember that we are observing the genesis our democracy and the price our ancestors paid for it. We are cognizant of the fact that it's not just about celebrating independence, but being proactive in preserving it. The time off, the food, the parties, cookouts, festivities and fireworks, they are all reminders.

Independence graphic | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #freedom #independence

It's on all of those other days, the 3rd of July, the 9th of October, the 8th of April, the 19th of March and the 20th of November that we need those reminders. Our sovereignty, our liberty, our constitutional rights, our democracy, we should never take these for granted. Not just on the 4th of July.

Celebrate our freedoms each and every day. 

Oh, and vote.

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Blueberries and Cream Pie         

Printable Recipe

1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
3/4 stick butter, melted

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp orange zest

1 pint blueberries
1 cup sugar
2 TBSP orange juice
1/2 tsp orange zest
2 TBSP cornstarch mixed with 2 TBSP cold water

Opt: whipped cream for garnish

*Spray a 9 inch pie plate with non-stick spray. Mix the vanilla wafer crumbs with the melted butter ans pat into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate.
*Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and 1/2 tsp orange zest until smooth. Carefully spread over crust. Refrigerate.
*Place the blueberries into a saucepan over medium heat with the sugar, orange juice and remaining orange zest. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and simmer 1 minute. 
*Add the cornstarch/water mixture to the saucepan. Turn heat down to low and stir until it starts to thicken.
*Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature (can refrigerate to cool), then pour over the cream cheese layer. Refrigerate.
*Opt: Garnish with whipped cream for serving.