Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Perspective, Perjury and the Purvis Burger

It's a saying that's been discussed and debated ad nauseum: the perjury trap. There are those who say that, since perjury is simply lying (under oath), it's impossible to be trapped, just tell the truth. There are those who say that there are facts and then there are alternative facts. I call bull-terds on that one. There are facts and there are lies, and if you look at lies through the subjective lens of what's in your personal best interest, that's delusion. News flash: they are still lies to everyone else.

But (you knew there was a "but" coming, right?). There is such a thing as interpretation. It is possible to have done something that, especially without the entire background, can seem to be one thing yet really be another. When asked about it, unless you can clarify, your answer can be misinterpreted. It's not a lie, but it's not the whole truth either. Context matters. 

You could go to a Purdue favorite, Triple XXX Drive-In and order their famous Purvis Burger. There are those who say they are delicious. Others (those like me who've actually never tasted one) might turn their nose and describe them as "unappetizing". No one is lying. The context is, simply, whether or not you like peanut butter on your burger. 

Try their root beer, btw. Well, if you like root beer, that is.

Perspective, Perjury and the Purvis Burger | Picture property of www.BakingInATornado.com



In a more complex example, let me say that I always tried to be fair with the boys, made sure everything was even. I had thought that it was difficult to do when they were little, when one got a little more or the bigger piece or to go first, the other would feel dejected. That it would be their turn next time would often not be received well. That they had the last turn would not be remembered. It was exhausting. 

But the older they got, the harder it was. They got past the pettiness, but the stakes were much higher. At this point "even" and "fair" diverged. I stayed fair, but that often precluded being even. If you were to ask me, at that point, about specific circumstance, I would answer that I had been fair. If you asked one of the boys about the same situation, he might have said uncategorically that I'd been patently unfair. And yet, neither one of us would have been lying, he could say I was unfair because he did not get what his brother got. I could say I was being fair because he refused to earn what his brother earned. 

So yes, without context a truth can be subjective.

Of course, there are those undisputed truths. Somehow, coincidentally, they all tend to involve chocolate.

Me: Are these Nutella Nutter Butter Bars delicious or what?
Family (all of them, with their mouths full): Absolutely! 

See, I know where peanut butter does and doesn't belong.
Nutella Nutter Butter Bars are for all of the chocolate and peanut butter lovers in our lives. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Nutella Nutter Butter Bars


Life in general but marriage specifically requires honesty. Honesty is a foundation to trust. And yet, even in marriage, without context, there can be perjury traps. In that light, there are certain questions that I will no longer be answering:

* Is that purse new?

* Do you know what happened to that old t-shirt I wear for all of the football games?

* Are there mushrooms in this casserole?

* I wanted your help with the (insert chore here). Didn't you hear me calling from the (insert location here)?

* Where did that bottle of wine that was in the fridge go?

* The game isn't over yet. You just changed the channel while I was in the bathroom, didn't you?

* Where's the rest of those Nutella Nutter Butter Bars? You didn't sent them home with PurDude did you?

* I'm craving a Purvis Burger, do we have any peanut butter?

I know a trap when I see one so nope, not answering any of those. Unless, of course, I'm guaranteed a pardon. 



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Nutella Nutter Butter Bars        
                                    ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Ingredients:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 stick butter or margarine, melted
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup Nutella, divided
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup chocolate chips
15 Nutter Butter (or similar) cookies
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup toffee bits

Directions:
*Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Chop the cookies. You want small chunks, not crumbs. Set aside.
*Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and 1/4 cup of the Nutella. Set aside.
*Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the butter or margarine and press into the bottom of the baking pan.
*Whisk together the remaining 1/3 cup of Nutella and the peanut butter. Heat in the microwave for 10 seconds. Whisk again and drizzle over the graham cracker crust.
*Next, sprinkle evenly with the chocolate chips followed by the cookie chunks. Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk mixture over the top, followed by the toffee bits.
*Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is bubbling. *Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Gently run a knife around the edges, then cool completely before cutting.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Super Supper: 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: friend ~ super ~ supper ~ sweet ~ savoury
They were submitted by Diane of On the Border.
                         
Imagine the friend I'd be to moms everywhere if I came up with a super supper recipe that was both sweet and savoury.


~ The end ~

Thank you, thank you very much (read that in an Elvis voice, OK?)  Not only nailed those words, but in one sentence. And in order. Am I good or what? Don't answer that.

Truth is, as most of you know, I no longer have little ones. My boys are grown and aren't even here for dinner a majority of the time. I was under the impression that at this stage in my life I'd mostly be cooking just for two. Surprisingly, not so much.

My boys don't cook. At all. When it comes to sweets, baking, I would have loved it if the boys had some interest. When they were little they would help me mix ingredients. Yeah, I know, it wasn't about the baking it was about the results. Well, it was about licking the beaters and then enjoying the results. Anyway, I guess I'm not terribly surprised that they don't have an interest, and as hopes and dreams for my boys go, enjoying baking is pretty far down the list.

When it comes to savoury, however, it's less about what you want and more about what you need. 


Barbecue Thick Cut Chops, rubbed, marinated and grilled these thick pork chops have big bold flavor. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #cook #dinner

Barbecue Thick Cut Chops
Barbecue Thick Cut Chops, rubbed, marinated and grilled these thick pork chops have big bold flavor. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #cook #dinner


PurDude lived in a house with a couple of friends last year and he ate fast food pretty much every day for dinner. I was shocked, really, because he spends so much time in the gym I would have thought that eating right would be a priority. Not so much. Convenience apparently supersedes all.

With College Boy living within 45 minutes of home, cooking was more a skill I wanted him to have but less a need. He would frequently pop in to join us at the supper table. Or raid the fridge for leftovers. Either way I knew he wasn't eating a ton of crap. Not every day, anyway.

But for PurDude, learning to cook a few things was more of a need. Well, in my mind anyway. He was living far away so he couldn't stop by for meals. He needed to be as healthy as possible since missing classes his senior year could cause all kinds of problems and he obviously wanted to graduate on time. Ultimately once he did graduated and started his career, he could end up living pretty much anywhere and I'm pretty sure would still be needing to eat on a regular basis.

So every time he came home from school (that's pretty much 4 times a year for 4 years, in case you're keeping track), I'd talk to him about coming into the kitchen and just learning a simple recipe or two. But this kid had his priorities. And sleep was it.

Now he's off working his first job and living in his own apartment. Against his protests I outfitted his kitchen with a set of dishes, glasses, pots, pans, utensils . . . not a lot, mind you, just a few basics. All of which I know will remain exactly where I put them. Seems while we were shopping for apartment essentials, he bought out all of the paper plates and plastic utensils. It's all he used in college so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. And what will he eat on those paper plates? I'm guessing most nights it'll be takeout, sprinkled in a few nights a week with leftovers from Mom's house {{sigh}}.

Although it's clear that I've failed to teach the boys to cook, or even to make them understand that they need to learn how, I'm going to end this post on a positive note. I'm happy to report that I've actually seen an iota of progress on this front. Yesterday I walked into the kitchen and actually witnessed College Boy preparing food. He had a knife in his hand and was miraculously even using the cutting board too, chopping and mixing like he'd done it before. 

And a mighty nice looking salad it turned out to be, too.


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




Barbecue Thick Cut Chops
                                               ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Ingredients:
4 thick cut boneless pork loin chops
1 TBSP garlic powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp apple pie spice
1 cup barbecue sauce, divided

Directions:
*Mix together the garlic powder, cumin and apple pie spice. Rinse the chops and pat dry. Place them each on a piece of plastic wrap, sprinkle both sides with the spice mixture, wrap securely and place in the fridge for 4 hours. 

*Unwrap the pork chops and place in a sealable plastic bag. Add 3/4 cup barbecue sauce, be sure all sides of all the chops are covered. Seal and refrigerate for 24 hours.
*Heat your grill to medium high. Place the chops onto the grill and reduce the heat to medium low. 
*Cook 5 minutes, turn each chop 180 degrees. Cook for 5 more minutes. Flip the chops over and, using a pastry brush, sauce them with the remaining barbecue sauce. 
*Cook for 5 minutes, turn each chop 180 degrees and cook 5 more minutes. Be sure they are cooked through (not pink) before removing. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

September Twelfth: Anniversaries Poetry

For September, the monthly poetry group chose the theme Anniversaries. 

I had intended, as I so often do, to write a poem that would be a humorous look at anniversaries. You know, the marriage kind. I bet all of us can tell a few jokes about that. No? Just me? 

But anniversaries are about a lot of things, not all of them happy, many of them not a celebration. In the end I decided to write about one of those, a day I will always remember but never celebrate. This anniversary is an acknowledgement. A painful one, but one we can never escape, never forget. One that changed our reality forever.


Anniversaries, this month's Monthly Poetry Group theme | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #poetry #poem


September Twelfth

Seventeen years ago today, 
reality changed in every way.
The day before, evil went astray,
our whole world was held at bay.

September eleventh will always be,
a date that lives on in infamy.
For this I'm actually glad, you see.
Not to repeat, remembrance is key. 

But . . .

September twelfth it all sunk in.
Planned to give blood. No need, a sin.
It's the day we knew evil'd gained a win.
And healing could not yet begin.

Anniversaries we often celebrate,
but this one carries a heavy weight.
The eleventh was a day of hate.
And the twelfth saw horror penetrate.

Witnessed our country and hate collide,
the day our collective naivete died,
Soon we'd act on our outrage and pride,
But on the 12th it registered, and we cried. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   
 
I deliberately didn't tie today's recipe into this piece, it just wasn't the time or the place given my topic. But I'm sharing one, as I always do, here at the end of my post.

Chocolate Strawberry Krispie Treats are today’s recipe. The old childhood favorite with the added flavors of chocolate and strawberry. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #snack

Chocolate Strawberry Krispie Treats



Before you go, click on these links to more poetry from some of my friends: 
Dawn of Cognitive Script shares Another Year has Passed
Diane of On the Border shares Times Twenty
Sarah of My Brand of Crazy shares Ten Years of a Lifetime.
Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares Unwanted Anniversary.


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



 

Chocolate Strawberry Krispie Treats
                                                                          ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
about 14 chocolate cookies of your choice
2 TBSP butter
1 package (8 oz) Strawberry marshmallows
1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam
6 cups crisped rice cereal
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:
*Spray an 8 X 11 pan and a spatula with non-stick spray. Line the bottom with cookies. You will not cover the entire bottom, there will be spaces between cookies, this is fine.
*Whisk the strawberry jam.
*In a large bowl, melt the butter an marshmallows for 2 minutes. Mix, and if not all melted, microwave at 10 second intervals until they are.
*Immediately mix in the jam, then quickly add and mix in the cereal. Pour into prepared pan. Pat down to equalize the thickness. Set aside.
*In a small bowl, melt the chocolate chips until completely smooth. Drizzle over the top of the cereal mixture.
*Allow to set completely before slicing.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Giant Brownie Bowl Party Sundae: Rock It Blog With Frends

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 Rock It.

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, Rock It | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com


This time of year my thoughts go to school. We had back-to-school traditions in our house. When it came to food, I made all of the boys' dinner favorites in the week leading up to the first day. Then, on the first day I always made treats for the hordes of kids who invariably ended up at our house. Over the years, there were many hits, I mean we are talking treats, but one overwhelming favorite. When it comes to being a rock star mom, this recipe truly Rocks It! 


Giant Brownie Bowl Party Sundae is a sweet sharable treat for any group. Make the brownie bowl ahead, then fill, serve, and watch the fun. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Giant Brownie Bowl Party Sundae
Giant Brownie Bowl Party Sundae is a sweet sharable treat for any group. Make the brownie bowl ahead, then fill, serve, and watch the fun. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert



Make the brownie bowl ahead of time, it takes a while to make so I often made it the day before, refrigerated it overnight then brought it to room temperature the next day. The bowl is not difficult, it just takes time. 

Let me tell you that whenever the boys saw (or smelled) the brownie bowl being made I'd always see their eyes widen. They knew what was coming the next afternoon. And they loved it.

First I made a half batch of brownies:

Brownies for a Giant Brownie Bowl Party Sundae is a sweet sharable treat for any group. Make the brownie bowl ahead, then fill, serve, and watch the fun. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert


While the brownies are cooling slightly, line a round 2 quart bowl with plastic wrap. Be sure it hangs over the edges, this will help remove the brownie bowl from the glass bowl for serving.


Preparing the bowl to mold the brownies for a Giant Brownie Bowl Party Sundae is a sweet sharable treat for any group. Make the brownie bowl ahead, then fill, serve, and watch the fun. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert


Then you get to play with the brownies. Yes, you'll get your hands dirty. While still warm, they are formed into a bowl, then put in the freezer to set for one hour up to overnight. 

Preparing the brownie bowl for a Giant Brownie Bowl Party Sundae is a sweet sharable treat for any group. Make the brownie bowl ahead, then fill, serve, and watch the fun. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert



Use the plastic wrap to remove the brownie bowl from the glass bowl then gently peel off the plastic wrap.


Brownie bowl for the Giant Brownie Bowl Party Sundae is a sweet sharable treat for any group. Make the brownie bowl ahead, then fill, serve, and watch the fun. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert


I used some of our favorite toppings, but you can change this up any way you want. Use different ice cream flavors, add nuts or chocolate sprinkles, whatever works for your family.

Assemble in two layers, first the bottom:

Giant Brownie Bowl Party Sundae is a sweet sharable treat for any group. Make the brownie bowl ahead, then fill, serve, and watch the fun. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert


Top it off and serve it on a platter and hand out spoons, or let the kids break it up and put it into individual bowls. Whatever you do, with this recipe, you will rock it!

Giant Brownie Bowl Party Sundae is a sweet sharable treat for any group. Make the brownie bowl ahead, then fill, serve, and watch the fun. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert


Don't be surprised when in the first minute it looks something like this:


Giant Brownie Bowl Party Sundae is a sweet sharable treat for any group. Make the brownie bowl ahead, then fill, serve, and watch the fun. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert


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 Tropical Sangria.
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Rock It | Tropical Sangria recipe by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

Tamara shares How to Rock Life as a Part-Time Working Hockey Mom

Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Rock It | How to Rock Life as a Part-Time Working Hockey Mom by Tamara of Part-Time Working Hockey Mom | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares Conquering the Cricut Explore Air 2.
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Rock It | Conquering the Cricut Explore Air 2 by Lydia of Cluttered Genius | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

Rabia of The Lieber Family shares How to make a Chrome Book Sleeve.
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Rock It | How to make a Chrome Book Sleeve by Rabia of The Lieber Family | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

Jules of The Bergham Chronicles shares Kindness Rocks!
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Rock It | Kindness Rocks by Jules of The Bergham Chronicles| Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

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Giant Brownie Bowl Party Sundae
                                                                          ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Ingredients:
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
3/4 stick margarine
1/4 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup flour

1 banana
6 ripe strawberries, hulled and striped
4 scoops vanilla ice cream
4 scoops chocolate ice cream
4 scoops strawberry ice cream
1/4 cup fudge sauce or chocolate syrup
1/4 cup strawberry syrup
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
whipped cream
colored sprinkles
cherry

Directions:
NOTE: The brownie bowl takes a while to prepare, you can make it a day in advance.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 X 8 baking pan.
*Melt together the unsweetened chocolate and margarine in the microwave. Stir until completely smooth. 
*Stir in the vanilla. Once incorporated, stir in the sugar, then the egg and last the flour.
*Spread into the prepared baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes until still warm but not hot.
*Line a 2 quart bowl with plastic wrap large enough to hang over the sides. Using a spoon, mix the brownies to make them crumbs then, using your hands, spread into the bottom and up the side of the glass bowl to form a brownie bowl. Allow to cool completely at room temperature for 20 minutes, the freeze for at least one hour.
*Remove the brownie bowl from the freezer and use the plastic wrap to help you remove it from the glass bowl. Carefully peel off the plastic wrap and place the brownie bowl on a serving platter.
*Cut the banana in half (width), then in half lengthwise.
*Place 2 scoops of each ice cream flavor into the brownie bowl. Sprinkle with half of the strawberry slices. Gently press the banana slices into the ice cream along the edges to stick up over the bowl or just lay along the sides.
*Fill the bowl with the rest of the ice cream and strawberry slices. Drizzle with the chocolate, strawberry and caramel toppings, then the sprinkles. Top with whipped cream and a cherry.




Friday, September 7, 2018

Two-fer: Secret Subject Swap

Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 8 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: You've unexpectedly inherited $10,000 from a great uncle you never knew you had. There's a catch, though. You either have to spend the money on frivolous items for yourself only or the money will go into a trust for your great uncle's 3 cats. Do you spend the money? On what?
It was submitted by: Jenniy of Climaxed.

Frequently before starting their posts, my friends who participate in these writing challenges thank the person who thought up their prompt. 

For the record, thanks Jenniy. Although my first thought was that I'd be so much more grateful had you sent in not just the prompt but the money. You know, so I'd get the chance to put my money where my mouth is . . . so to speak.

Is this really a question for some people? I know you're an animal lover, Jenniy, but would you give up an inheritance to a few? Because hell -to-the-yeah I'm spending that money. In a heartbeat. The only thing that would be difficult about it would be stopping at $10,000. Is there someone somewhere, like companies that match donations for their employees, who matches inheritances? 'Cause sign me up.

I know, the cats. I may be missing the compassion gene, but in this dog-eat-dog world if it's me or a cat (or 3), I'm voting for me.

Where to start? I think, quite honestly, the shopping would be just as much fun as the buying. A car? No, actually not enough money. Travel? I've traveled extensively but I still have a bucket list. I'd love to cruise the Greek Isles, but if I could only spend the money on myself, I'd have to go alone and I wouldn't like that. Anyone got a spare $10,000 and want to join me?

The kitchen. If I were to redo my kitchen, designed by me to my exact specifications, would that count as spending the money on something frivolous and for myself? I need to know because I certainly don't want to default and end up with nothing while 3 cats eat lobster for the rest of their days.


Strawberry and Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Cheesecake is a simple chocolate chip cheesecake swirled with layers of strawberry and caramel, then baked in a chocolate graham cracker crust. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake #dessert

Strawberry and Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
Strawberry and Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Cheesecake is a simple chocolate chip cheesecake swirled with layers of strawberry and caramel, then baked in a chocolate graham cracker crust. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake #dessert


It would be important to me that I spend the money on something I can enjoy for a long time, like an in-ground pool, not a consumable that would be here today and gone tomorrow. If only my yard would accommodate a pool (and if only you could buy one for $10,000). So I guess my whole idea of taking a week at a spa and working on my zen would be out. Damn!

So here is what I'd do: I would buy replacements. Maybe clothes, luggage, furniture, items I already own that I can replace with the new and donate the gently used. Win/win. Like a two-fer.

BTW, I know that I'm obliged to spend the totality of the inheritance on myself and as I've said, I will. But once I have, I just want to mention, I fully intend, out of my own pocket, to purchase 3 lobsters (or tuna if they prefer) for 3 lovely losers felines. I mean, I may be selfish but I'm not heartless, after all.

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





Strawberry and Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
                                                              ©www.BakingInATornado.com


Printable Recipe


Ingredients:
2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs (12 - 14 rectangles)
2 TBSP sugar
6 TBSP butter, melted

2 packages (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

6 TBSP seedless strawberry jam, divided
6 TBSP caramel sauce, divided

OPT: sliced strawberries for serving

Directions:
*Grease a 9 inch springform pan. On the outside of the pan, wrap a sheet of tin foil around the bottom and partially up the sides of the pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
*Mix together the chocolate graham cracker crumbs, 2 TBSP sugar and butter. Press into and partially up the sides of the springform pan.
*Beat the cream cheese, remaining 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 mini chocolate chips.
*Pour half of the filling into the prepared crust. Drizzle with half of the jam, then half of the caramel sauce. Swirl around with a knife or large toothpick. Repeat with the remaining filling, jam and caramel sauce.
*Bake for 60 - 75 minutes, until the center is just set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
*To serve: gently run a knife around the cheesecake before removing the side of the springform pan. Slice and serve topped with fresh strawberries, if desired.
*Store leftovers, covered, in refrigerator.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Home with an H

It started as a mission of sorts, and ended as a joke. One we never forgot, one we talk about to this day.

When College Boy was going into 3rd grade and PurDude into 2nd grade, we moved to a bigger house. It was an exciting time, but a bit frantic as well. Our former house sold while we were on vacation on Cape Cod and the buyer wanted most of my furniture as well. Not only would I be furnishing and decorating a bigger house, but without most of what I currently owned. Part of me panicked, but part of me was thrilled, everything I pick out would fit this new home. How much fun would that be?

For the next 2 months I could be seen all over town, in every furniture store, department store, discount store, rug store, decorations boutiques, craft fairs, everywhere and anywhere. This house would represent me (us), piece by piece. And it did.

My favorite haunts were stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall's. Not just because I worked for one of their chains long ago, but because I loved sifting through items for one-of-a -kinds to put together myself as opposed to pre-packaged pairings. At the time, large wooden or metal decorative letters seemed to be everywhere in those stores. I decided to use them up on the wall by the ceiling between the kitchen and living room. I'd spell out "home" with the "h" in the corner of the kitchen wall and the "o m e" beside the "h" over the opening to the living room. In this store and that I picked up the "o", the "m" and the "e". They sat on the kitchen desk as I scoured town looking for an "h".

The kids and I would laugh at the "ome". In fact, the more I searched the more they'd laugh. "Just put it up, mom, it'll be like the yoga mantra". Every time they walked by that desk they'd close their eyes, hold up their hands with their fingertips together and chant "ome, ome, ome". Never having found the elusive "h", I eventually returned the other 3 letters. It's just not "home" without the "h".

Fast forward to now. I wrote a few weeks ago about PurDude accepting his first job. Considering he could have ended up anywhere, I was thrilled that the one he accepted was here, downtown. I figured he'd live with us for a while. Not so much. PurDude is a master sleeper. The only person I've ever known to sleep this much was my grandfather (alav ha shalom). Apparently the 45 minute commute both ways on Interstate 80 in rush hour traffic was infringing on his sleeping time, so he targeted an area within walking distance to work and went apartment hunting. He found just what he wanted, falling in love with a former warehouse built around 1900 on a cobblestone street in the heart of the Old Market. He applied and if accepted, he planned to move on September 1st, the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.

Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
 The outside of the building.
Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
There's a coffee shop next door and even a restaurant he can enter from the lobby.
Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
The atrium has seating areas, a water feature, coffee bar, entrance to a restaurant and straight ahead between those white columns are 2 glass elevators.

Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
The roof has a pool, a hot tub, multiple seating areas and grills with a view of the river, the city, and the building where he works. A woman we met there says you can hear concerts from the casinos across the river on summer nights. There's also a weight room and a social room on that level.
 
He didn't hear anything until the Monday before the first. The agent who had been working with him was on vacation the previous week when PurDude's approval came through and no one else picked up the ball so she didn't inform him until she returned. OK, he's moving in 5 days and has nothing. Nothing. Nothing is also what bothers this kid but his mom, she was in a panic.

Let me step back a minute and tell you that we never got PurDude a graduation gift. We wanted it to be memorable, but just didn't know what.

Hubs and I talked and we just knew that this was it. We would fully furnish and outfit his first apartment including renter's insurance for his first year, leasing a U-Haul for moving and dinner for any friends who helped with the move. 

To start, PurDude walked through my house and picked out some things he wanted: a bedroom set from one of the guest bedrooms, a lounge chair, coffee table, demi table, couch (which he didn't take as I ended up buying him one), my Crate and Barrel dishes, glasses, mugs and silverware. OK, that was a start. But I had so much more to design and buy and a few days to do it. 

What I did in 2 months for the family move, I compressed into 3 shop-til-you drop (almost literally) days this time. For the most part, he was happy to let me make choices, but for anything I wanted his opinion on, I'd take pics in the stores and he'd text back his choices. In what I can only characterize as a miracle, I put the whole place together. Saturday family and friends would move him in. Sunday we'd do a final shop together for food and supplies and would do the unpacking and decorating (I decorated the entryway, he will buy wall art as he sees things he likes). The kitchen would be outfitted including a Kureg, probably the only thing he'll use. Chances are no food would be prepared there, he'd mostly eat out, bring food in or, now and then, have it delivered by mom.

Spicy Taco Chicken Sandwiches are a lunch with a kick. Grilled Taco Chicken, melted pepper jack slathered with chipotle dressing and topped with crunchy jalapenos. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #sandwich
Spicy Taco Chicken Sandwich

Before I wrote this post, I asked on my Facebook page if you'd like to see what we'd done this weekend. There were so many lovely comments like" Of course! We have seen him through college, he is part ours too. #FBFamily 😊❤️" So with PurDude's permission (well, maybe I didn't ask his permission per se, but I did inform him), here's what was accomplished in just 5 days:

Welcome

Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting 
 Looking down his hallway from the living room towards the front door. There are 4 little sunk-in nooks in the brick wall which I had fun decorating.


Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
This demi table he took from my house and is now in the first nook, closest to the front door.


Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting

In the second nook I put this metal art piece with 3 trunks below. Still needs something else . . .


Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
This lantern tree is from our house too and is in the third smaller nook right across from the kitchen. There's a fourth nook that's in the living room and will perfectly hold his kegerator. Oy.

Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting

I did the bathroom in blacks, greys and browns. There are 2 doors, this pic was taken from the hallway, the door you see on the right near the shower leads to the laundry room which came equipped with a washer and dryer. His bedroom is on the other side so you can get to the bathroom from the bedroom or from the hall.


Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
He took the bedroom furniture from one of my guest rooms and chose the bedding from 2 I sent pictures of in a text from the store. There are 3 closets in total. Where the desk chair is in this pic there is now a desk to go with it.

Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
The bedroom from the other side. The door by the wooden post leads to the laundry room, then to the bathroom.

Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
The living room. The coffee table and rocker/recliner came from my house. The doors lead out to a small deck. The TV will go into his bedroom, he now has a larger one for the living room.

Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting

The deck is small but he absolutely wanted an outdoor space no matter how small. It fits 2 chairs and the garden table that came from my house. He may eventually put an electric grill out there.


Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
He chose not to have a dining table as he doesn't feel he'd use it. It can always be added later, for now I found him 3 bar stools where he and friends can eat.

Just before leaving I placed one last gift for him on his kitchen counter. A small thing really, but one I hope brings a smile to his face every day.
 
Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
Home. With an "H".
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Spicy Taco Chicken Sandwiches        
                                                               ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

NOTE: This recipe calls for my Grilled Taco Chicken. When I make this for dinner I make extra and refrigerate for use in these sandwiches.

Ingredients (per sandwich):
1  to 1 1/2 pieces of Grilled Taco Chicken (depending on the size of your roll)
1 Italian sub roll
1 1/2 slices Pepper Jack cheese
2 TBSP Chipotle Ranch dressing (more for dipping)
lettuce
1/4 cup crispy jalapenos 

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Wrap the leftover Grilled Taco Chicken in tin foil and place in oven for about 20 minutes or until warm.
*Toast the roll, place the cheese inside, wrap in tin foil and place in the oven with the chicken for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
*Remove the roll from the oven. Carefully separate the top from the bottom. Spread half of the Chipotle Ranch dressing on each side of the roll. 
*Remove the chicken from the oven. Put the lettuce on the bottom of the roll. Top with the chicken, then the crispy jalapenos.
*OPT: Serve with additional Chipotle Ranch dressing for serving.