Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Down One Check Mark in the Virtue Column

If patience is a virtue, I'm down one check mark in that virtue column. I may be down quite a few, but that's a story for another day. Whatever, I know I've got integrity and ethics so I'm not completely without redeeming qualities. Or at least that's what I tell myself. 

But patience, well, I've always been lacking. I know it's me and not to put it off on those of you blessed with this virtue, but there are strategies that I might be able to offer if you have people like me in your life.

Down one check mark in the virtue column, how to deal with the chronically impatient. | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #MyGrapphics

To husbands everywhere:
If I ask you to show me where the broken piece on the sprinkler system is so I know what to point out to the repairman when he arrives, I do not want a dissertation on the history of sprinkler systems and how they work.

To the checker in the supermarket:
I don't want to be rude, if you want to tell me all the cute things your dog or cat or kid did this week, I'll listen and smile. If you have to stop checking my groceries to act out each circumstance, I'm not going to listen. Or smile. You might even hear a "grrrr". 

To the person driving 15 miles per hour below the speed limit:
That right lane isn't there just to look pretty. And straddling both lanes is an equally aggravating strategy. If you do not take your place in the proper lane, it may force the driver behind you to show you that the first two and the last two fingers of one hand have clench shut leaving that other finger pointing to the sky.

To little kids sitting at the dinner table:
Listen, if your mama says you have to eat one bite of your vegetable to have dessert, time is not your friend, sitting there looking at it will not make it disappear. Be smart, hide it under the lettuce in your salad like I used to do or throw it onto the floor under your sister's chair like my sister used to do but for the love of all that is holy, make your move.

Baked Crispy Chicken Parmesan is full of classic Italian flavors, baked to a crispy crunch, topped with gooey melted cheese and served with marinara sauce. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #chicken #dinner

Baked Crispy Chicken Parmesan
Baked Crispy Chicken Parmesan is full of classic Italian flavors, baked to a crispy crunch, topped with gooey melted cheese and served with marinara sauce. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #chicken #dinner

To the car repairman:
Listen, I get it, you can't always judge time accurately. Maybe the car ahead of mine needs more repairs than you'd initially thought. That's fine. But do not tell me my car will be ready in an hour and wait for me to get a ride to pick it up to tell me you haven't got to it yet. Call me, email me, text me, send up smoke signals, the options are endless. But if you wait until I'm standing there, chances are pretty good that what you see from me will not be patience.  

To the nurse at the gynecologist's office:
Don't tell me to take off all of my clothes, cover myself with a piece of material the size of a bandana and lay down on the torture table because the doctor will be right in if the doctor's a good half hour out. You know the longer I lay there the better the chance I'm gonna have to pee. And if I end up heading to the bathroom with my butt hanging out? Well, that's on you.

To my son:
If I ask you, and you agree, to mow the lawn before the storms come through, I don't mean for wait to head out there until the thunder's so loud you fall off the couch. Chances are I'll have something to say at that point. And it won't be "thank you".

To restaurant waiters and waitresses:
I have been a waitress so I know that sometimes when there's a rush things get absolutely crazy, you may need to say "I'll be right with you" and not get back for a while. So, being on the customer side of the situation, let me give you a hint as to how to assure your customer's patience. You can take as long as you need to fill my water, take my order, to bring my salad, to even bring my meal and I'll be fine with it as long as you do this one little thing. Get that cocktail order taken and delivered. Fast.

In fact, now that I think of it, that cocktail strategy might just work for the husbands, supermarket checkers, slow drivers, kids, car repairmen and nurses . . .

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

Baked Crispy Chicken Parmesan        

Printable Recipe

3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 egg
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 stick butter
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup shredded provolone
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup marinara sauce, my recipe for Homemade Marinara HERE
2 TBSP dried parsley flakes

*Grease a 9 X 13 baking dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Cut each chicken breasts into 3 pieces of fairly equal thickness.
*Whisk the egg in a bowl with 2 TBSP water. Mix the seasoned bread crumbs and parmesan cheese on a plate.
*Dip the chicken pieces into the egg, then coat completely with the bread crumb mixture and place into the prepared baking dish.
*Melt the butter with the garlic powder. Drizzle over the chicken pieces.
*Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle the provolone and mozzarella cheeses over the chicken. Sprinkle with the parsley and return to the oven for 10 - 15 minutes. Chicken must be completely cooked through
*While the cheese is melting, heat the marinara sauce and serve the chicken with the marinara drizzled over the top and/or on the side. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Froggy Went a Hoppin': 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: heart ~ greens ~ along ~ silver ~ tree ~ remote
                        They were submitted by Minette of Southern Belle Charm.

The words I was assigned today took me on a light journey into fiction today.

Operator: 911, what is your emergency?
Caller: She's missing.
Operator: You have a missing person? Is it a family member?
Caller: Yes.

Operator: Is this person in jeopardy? Do you think they could be harmed?
Caller: Yes.
Operator: I can send a few officers to your home. Let me just get a little information. Where was she seen last?
Caller: In the back yard by the trees going into the woods.
Operator: Walking into the woods?
Caller: Hopping along.
Operator: Hopping?
Caller: Yes.
Operator: OK, can I have a brief description? How old is she? What does she look like?
Caller: She's little. She has big legs and green skin
Operator (interrupting): How old are you?
Caller: I'm six.
Operator: Is your mommy there?
Caller: She's in the kitchen making lunch.
Operator: Can I speak with her please?

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad have all the flavors of Hot Wings. Served cold, you can make it ahead of time and refrigerate for a spicy lunch or dinner on a hot summer day. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #pasta
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

Later on, lunch served and little Alyssa put down for a nap, another phone call was made. This time it was the mom using her cell phone, which she'd vowed never to let out of her sight again.

Mom: There's more than a remote chance we may be in a bit of trouble with the police.
Husband (sighing): Do I even want to know?
Mom: Alyssa took her pet frog out of the terrarium and into the back yard to play.
Husband: Doesn't sound too serious.
Mom: The frog took off into the woods. 
Husband: Oh, no!
Mom: She was very upset. Distraught.
Husband: Doesn't sound like anything illegal, though.
Mom: So she called 911 to report Froggy missing.
Husband (sarcastically): Of course she did.
Mom: Yeah, I had a really fun discussion with the 911 operator about keeping my cell phone in a secure place.
Husband: I bet you had an interesting conversation with our daughter too.
Me. Oh hell yeah. But silver lining? I do love that little girl's heart

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

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp chili powder 
1/8 tsp cumin
1/2 garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 large chicken breasts
13 Angel Hair pasta
1/2 red pepper, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
1 stick celery, sliced
2 TBSP butter, melted
1 cup Frank's Hot Sauce
4 TBSP Ranch salad dressing 

2 TBSP toasted sesame seeds

*Mix together the paprika, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Sprinkle liberally on both sides of the chicken breast. Bake or grill them until completely cooked. Refrigerate to cool. Chop.
*Cook the pasta until al dente. Rinse with cold water and drain 2 - 3 times to stop the cooking process. Drain well. Place in a large bowl and refrigerate until cool.
*Add the chopped chicken, red pepper, green onion and celery to the cooled pasta.
*Whisk together the melted butter, Frank's Hot Sauce, and Ranch dressing. Pour into the bowl. Mix well, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. To serve, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Barefoot Days: May Poetry

This month our poetry group chose the theme Barefoot Days. I love this theme not only because I love the comfort and ease of being barefoot but because it seemed that Spring this year was just took so long in showing up. I start thinking about, longing for really, barefoot days on March 1st. Yes, that's pushing it, but the first day of Spring is officially in the third week of March, so not that far off.

As we head towards the first day of summer, the Monthly Poetry Group celebrates Barefoot Days | www.BakingInATornado.com | #poetry #poem

I got a little taste of the joys of being barefoot as I was on vacation at the beach on the first day of Spring. But, sadly, I returned home to winter weather, which continued (in temperature anyway) pretty much until May 1st. 

Here we are now just days from the first day of summer and I am joyfully in full barefoot mode. The perfect time to pay homage to Barefoot Days through poetry.

Barefoot Days

Boots and clogs and thick wool socks,
winter fashion woes.
How I long to walk around,
nothing on my toes.

Even indoors, toddler years
really are no joke.
We all know the leggos curse, 
holes in feet they poke.

But summer, how you bring me joy,
outside, I barefoot go,
Not a thought is given now,
to ice or sleet or snow.

Barefoot are the days for me.
Beach . . . lawn I care not.
Going shoeless is a dream
even when pavement's hot.

Maybe I should move down south,
live there all year long,
Throw those boots all in the trash,
right where they belong.

Spend all day outside the house,
naked as can be,
Mind out of the gutter, friends,
meant only to the knee.

Leggo minefields are long gone,
winter weather too.
Barefoot. How could that be wrong?
Squish. Neighbor's doggy's poo.

Wishing you all, be it on the beach or on your lawn, a lovely barefoot season. And a home with considerate neighbors.

Nothing says summer like berries, and they’re bursting with fresh flavor on Cinnamon Cheesecake with Mixed Berries. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake

Cinnamon Cheesecake with Mixed Berries
Nothing says summer like berries, and they’re bursting with fresh flavor on Cinnamon Cheesecake with Mixed Berries. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake

Before you go, click on these links to more poetry from some of my friends: 
Jules of The Bergham Chronicles shares Barefoot with You
Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares Barefoot Summer
Diane of On the Border shares Peace
Dawn of Cognitive Script shares My Barefoot Days.

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

Cinnamon Cheesecake with Mixed Berries

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 TBSP sugar
6 TBSP butter, melted

2 packaged (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla 
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup cinnamon baking chips, finely chopped (I used a clean coffee bean grinder)

1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup chopped raspberries
1 cup chopped strawberries
1/2 cup sugar

*Greas a 9 inch springform pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
*Mix together graham cracker crumbs, 2 TBSP sugar and butter. Press into and up the sides of a springform pan.
*Beat the cream cheese, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. Beat in the sour cream and heavy cream, then the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the chopped cinnamon baking chips.
*Pour into prepared crust and bake for 60 - 75 minutes, until the center is just set.
*Remove from oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
*Once the cheesecake is refrigerated, mix the blueberries, raspberries and strawberries with 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl. Place on the counter and stir now and then.
*Gently run a knife around the cheesecake before removing the side of the springform pan. Spoon the berries over the cheesecake and serve.
*Store leftovers, covered, in refrigerator.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Onion Poppy Bagels: Truth or Dare 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 Truth or Dare.

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, Truth or Dare | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #DIY

I made Onion Poppy Bagels.

Onion Poppy Bagels: Crunchy crust, chewy flavorful center. Just 7 ingredients, quick and easy to make. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast

Onion Poppy Bagels
Onion Poppy Bagels: Crunchy crust, chewy flavorful center. Just 7 ingredients, quick and easy to make. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast

"I dare you". Those are pretty scary words, especially coming from your kid. 

I talk to the boys often about this blog, whether to continue writing or if it's time to just let it go. The last time we spoke, I was met with a dare. "Try something outside your comfort zone, Mom, make it more of a challenge".

It's a funny statement coming from my sons. The recipes I develop changed quite a bit once they came along. Before kids, I was more adventurous with ingredients, but once I started cooking for a family, I had to make foods I ultimately thought I had a chance of them eating. So my recipes here have been less avant garde and more pedestrian. They are now grown adults, but they are here for dinner now and then and although their tastes have progressed, they are still rarely adventurous in the foods they are willing to try. And face it, who wants to put their heart and soul into a dish just to throw it out?

One thing I have tried, over and over again, and I have to admit, this is hardly an exotic ingredient, more something most people use fairly regularly, is making breads. The truth is, yeast hates me. We have a history, a longstanding war. I have won a battle or two, but the white flag clearly keeps ending up in my hand.

When the boys had the nerve to dare me to make a bread . . . well, what choice did I have. So for my truth or dare post, I made bagels. Did I cheat? Yes. But I still fulfilled the challenge of this group post.

There is a recipe going around the interwebs, a very popular one for 2 ingredient bagels. I started there, but made some adjustments in ingredients and in the baking. My recipe has just 7 ingredients, all of which I had in the house.

Onion Poppy Bagels: Crunchy crust, chewy flavorful center. Just 7 ingredients, quick and easy to make. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast

I mixed up the dough and unlike the recipes I'd seen, flavored it. I then kneaded and formed the bagels. Many recipes called for an egg wash, but I used melted butter. And although I used poppy seeds for our topping, since that is a favorite around here, next time I'll try a few different toppings including sesame seeds and dried minced onions.

Onion Poppy Bagels: Crunchy crust, chewy flavorful center. Just 7 ingredients, quick and easy to make. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast

I baked them in a hotter oven than the recipes I'd seen and this worked out perfectly for me.
Onion Poppy Bagels: Crunchy crust, chewy flavorful center. Just 7 ingredients, quick and easy to make. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast

Even though they smell delish baking, I let them cool completely before slicing.
Onion Poppy Bagels: Crunchy crust, chewy flavorful center. Just 7 ingredients, quick and easy to make. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast

They came out great, crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside. Perfect.

We toasted ours, smeared with cream cheese and topped with some green onions.

Onion Poppy Bagels: Crunchy crust, chewy flavorful center. Just 7 ingredients, quick and easy to make. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast

Yes, I cheated. I didn't live up to the spirit of the dare. I did make a bread product, but I avoided using my nemesis ingredient. So for the purposes of this post I chose truth, admitting my ongoing, embarrassing defeat to a fungus. And, I made a delicious breakfast we all loved. Take that, yeast!

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:

Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares Surviving the Beach with Kids.
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Truth or Dare | Surviving the Beach with Kids by Lydia of Cluttered Genius | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Truth or Dare | Chocolate Chip Pound Cake with Fresh Strawberry Sauce and Homemade Chocolate Whipped Cream by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

Tamara of Part-Time Working Hockey Mom shares Truth or Dare, a handful of truths and dares:
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Truth or Dare | Truth or Dare by Tamara of Part-Time Working Hockey Mom | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

Rabia of The Lieber Family Blog shares Dare to Wear:
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Truth or Dare | Dare to Wear by Rabia of The Lieber Family Blog | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

Be sure to stop by again next month for more theme based projects.

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Onion Poppy Bagels

1 1/8 cups flour, divided
2 1/4 tsp baking powder, divided
3/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
2 TBSP dried minced onions
1 cup unflavored Greek yogurt
1 TBSP butter
4 tsp poppy seeds

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt butter and set aside.
*Mix together 1/8 cup flour, 1/4 tsp baking powder and 1/8 tsp salt and spread over your kneading surface. 
*In a bowl, mix the remaining 1 cup flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 3/4 tsp salt with the 2 TBSP minced onions.
*Mix in the yogurt until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated. Transfer to the prepared surface. Knead for 5 minutes. The dough will come together but still be sticky. Divide into quarters.
*Roll each dough quarter into about a 9 inch log. Form a circle and pinch the ends together. You will have to pinch one side, turn it over and pinch the other side a few times.
*Brush the tops with the melted butter and sprinkle with the poppy seeds.
*Place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven. Cool completely before serving.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Practice Makes Improved: Secret Subject Swap

Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 10 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: Tell us about a first time.
It was submitted by Jules of The Bergham Chronicles.

It's hard to talk about, even now, but then these things tend to be. I suppose that's because it ended up being an unmitigated disaster, but I guess that's par for the course too. I'll tell you about it, since Jules asked, but for the record, I do so under duress. Sometimes it sucks being a rule follower.

I think it goes without saying that first times are most always memorable. Often wonderful, but frequently painful as well. If you're brave and you try again over time it changes from what it was that first time. At least we certainly hope so.

I can't say, in retrospect, what specifically lead up to it. I guess these things build up over time. One day you're not ready and then, little by little without even realizing it you inch forward to the place where you find that you are.

I'd like to say that the less than enjoyable first experience is because I was young, but not so much, that would be a lie. Inexperienced but not young. Sometimes it takes time and maturity to really put yourself out there, be vulnerable, expose yourself. Even then, there's no guarantee as to how you'll be judged, how your vulnerability will be handled. Not everyone is kind, friends.

The first time, most first times, should really be well thought out. Maybe I wasn't as mature as I'd thought because, really, I feel like I just sort of did it, pulled the trigger without careful consideration of repercussions. A "do it, do it, don't be such a baby, do it" mantra running through my head along with a little "you know you want to" and a "bet you love it". After all, there was protection in place, so only be those I was closest to would ever be aware it had even occurred. 

Looking back now I realize just how awful it was. Seeing it from my current perspective, my enhanced abilities (if you will), I'm incredibly embarrassed. But the thing about first times is this: you can regret them, but you can never take them back.

However, as humiliating as it is to admit here, I also have to say that some good came of it. After all, that first experience, as they all tend to be, was an initial step towards where I am today. Turns out embarrassment is a great motivator. I've worked at it from all positions and although I'm still no expert, I'd like to say that I've made strides. In all aspects.

But back to that first time. As I said, I just did it, made it public. Posted my very first picture on FB of cookies I'd tried to decorate for the kids. I still cringe when I look at that picture, yet (thanks, Jules) here I am posting it today on my very own blog.

First (unsuccessful but funny) attempt at deccorating cookies | www.BakingInATornado.com | #BakingFail

I had made a lot of cookies in my day, but had never before tried to decorate them with icing. What a disaster. Just as a side note here, lesson learned, if you're going to try something new, read up on it first. Turns out there's a whole art to icing, different consistencies needed for the outline (which, duh, goes on first, not after the icing has run over the sides) as well as the flooding. And there are ways that photography can enhance (or detract) from the looks of whatever you're photographing. 

All these years later, here I am with a blog where I share recipes I develop myself, photograph and post for all to see. Here's hoping practice has made, well, not perfect, but maybe improved?

Cashew Nutella Snowballs: a buttery Nutella base, filled with chopped cashews, rolled in powdered sugar and dusted with cocoa, these cookies are so quick and easy to make. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cookies
Cashew Nutella Snowballs

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

Cashew Nutella Snowballs

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (makes 32 cookies):
1 stick butter, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
1/3 cup Nutella
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cups chopped unsalted cashews

approximately 3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 TBSP baking cocoa

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper.
*Cream the butter, margarine, Nutella and vanilla.
*Starting on low until it's incorporated, beat in 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar, flour and salt. Mix in the cashews.
*Roll the dough into approximately 1 inch balls. Place on cookie sheets and bake 10 - 12 minutes or until set.
*Cool completely. Roll in the remaining powdered sugar. Dust with cocoa.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Days of Wine and Sneezes

I am a spring lover. I think I'm the only one in my family who is. My mom and my oldest son are firmly in the fall camp. I get it, cool but comfortable days after a long hot summer, beautiful foliage, the smell of a wood burning fire, great walking weather. I understand the appeal, but it's still spring and summer for me.

I grew up a summer person. I'm sure school being out was a big part of the appeal, but we lived within driving distance of Cape Cod and Plum Island as well as local lakes so summer was about days at the beach, then fresh clams or lobster for dinner. 

Then I moved to the Midwest, really ruining summer for me. No ocean, no lakes. Well, there are lakes but you can't swim in them, only look at them longingly {{sigh}}. 

Even when I was a summer lover, spring was a close second for me. It is the season of shedding winter coats, boots and hats. It is heralded by the reawakening of my beloved Lilacs and Irises and Forsythia and Rhododendrons. A season of longer days and time spent outdoors, dinners on the deck, cooking on the grill and cold salad leftovers.

A cool meal for a hot day, Parmesan Balsamic Salmon Salad marries balsamic and parmesan flavors with rice, peas and grilled salmon. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #lunch

Parmesan Balsamic Salmon Salad
A cool meal for a hot day, Parmesan Balsamic Salmon Salad marries balsamic and parmesan flavors with rice, peas and grilled salmon. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #lunch

So spring it is. My Midwest favorite season.

Not so fast . . .

Nothing (well, other than some of the crap my kids pull, but that's another story) evokes terror in the heart of an East Coaster than hearing tornado sirens for the first time. And pretty much any and every time after that. You guessed it, I moved to Tornado Alley. In my defense, it certainly wasn't my choice, but that's a whole other story too.

And then there's the allergies. They have robbed me of my enjoyment of so many things spring. I'm not going to tell you I didn't have seasonal allergies back home, I did. But nothing like this. This is seasonal allergies on steroids (which, ironically, often ends up putting you on steroids).

Days if Wine and Sneezes, what's a spring lover to do? | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #Spring #MyGraphics

When I moved here I tried to plant my favorite spring flowering bushes to remind me of home. The Forsythia did not survive. Rhododendrons don't seem to exist here. I do have some beautiful lilac shrubs along the side of my house. I used to bring cuttings in and loved having a vase of lilacs on my counter for a few weeks, but even that I can no longer do. Our allergies have gotten so bad that my family finally put their foot down this year. {{Ah-choo}}. Selfish of them, if you ask me, not being willing to suffer a bit for beauty, but that's men for ya. 

If you really press me, I'll admit that the sinus headaches, the runny nose, the make-up streaks down my face from watery eyes, the constant sneezing has started to take the joy out of vases of lilacs for me too. {{Ah-choo}}.

Truth is, though, if you don't welcome those allergens in the house, they're gonna sneak in anyway.

It is literally snowing cottonwood here along the woods line. It covers the lawn, clogs the a/c unit and coats the outdoor furniture. {{Ah-choo}}. It gets in your hair, on your clothes, up your nose and even in your mouth if you dare to speak outside. And if you dare to even leave the house at all, it floats in the door, an uninvited guest you then have to chase through the house like an idiot looking like you're trying to catch a butterfly without a net. While sneezing. 
  Good thing there's still wine. 

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

Parmesan Balsamic Salmon Salad      

NOTE: I make the salmon for dinner the night before, make one extra salmon steak and refrigerate it to use in this recipe the next day.
8 oz salmon steak
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette salad dressing 

1 1/2 cups white rice
1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1/4 cup Parmesan salad dressing
1 TBSP Balsamic Vinaigrette salad dressing
1/2 tsp dried parsley
dash cayenne pepper
1 green onion, chopped
1 tsp dried chives 

*Marinate the salmon steak in 1/4 cup of the Balsamic Vinaigrette in the refrigerator for 2 - 4 hours. Grill until the fish is flaky but still moist. Refrigerate.
*Cook the rice according to package directions. Move to a bowl and add the peas. 
*Whisk together the Parmesan salad dressing the remaining Balsamic Vinaigrette, the parsley and the cayenne. Mix the dressing and the green onions into the rice and refrigerate until cool.
*To serve: Flake the fish, discarding the skin. Mix it gently into the rice and top with chives.