Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Every Day is Halloween

What's so great about Halloween?

Well, besides everything, that is.

Playing with food takes on a whole new meaning this time of year. I've made cakes with bloody hatchets and with spiders and one that even looks like Billy the Puppet. I still love carving pumpkins and roasting the seeds. Haunted houses make me think that mine's not so bad after all and adult parties with adult beverages are oh, so fun. Mummies are all over the place reminding me that I'm not really THAT old. There's tons of candy around. Yeah, that one's not the biggest plus for me. After all, I often make my own.

A sweet holiday treat, Crunch Squares are a no-bake treat that incorporate white and dark chocolate with rice cereal and sandwich cookies. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #holiday #dessert

Crunch Squares

Truth is, although Halloween was, is and will always be fun, if you think about it, in many ways every day is Halloween. 

I mean on any given day:

*Masks are worn. Granted, mine is just a facial, but when I open the front door I never get tired of seeing that UPS man, lawn guy or sales person jump a mile. Bonus points if they run.

*There is the non-stop ringing of bells. Although at the moment it's the phones not the door and on the other end are not kids in costumes but politicians pretending to be something they're not. Sort of the same. Either way, please . . . make it stop . . .

*Witches, witches everywhere. Now without naming names let me just say I've got a few in my life and I bet you've got a few in yours.

*Screaming may possibly be heard. I'm not confirming or denying, more like pleading the fifth (but in my defense it's always preceded by my being relentlessly provoked).

Every Day is Halloween, a humorous look at the corrolation between Halloween and everyday life | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #Halloween

*Candy disappears. Not only the kind I make but anything I may buy to use in a recipe needs to be well hidden. 
Bad news: I don't always remember where I hide it. 
Good news: It's a fun surprise when I find a bag somewhere unexpected.

*An iconic Halloween costume is the devil. Let me tell you, he doesn't just live in hell and visit via Halloween costumes, when you have teenagers he lives in one of the bedrooms in your very own house. And after the teenagers grow up? The devil may be gone but the fires of hell continue to hound you (thanks, hot flashes).

*The maze of crap beloved belongings that snakes through my house may not be made of hay bales and corn stalks but it is a maze nonetheless. 

*A full moon brings out the werewolf in us all  every month (no? just me?).

See? Perpetual Halloween. Pretty much every day in my house. Yours?

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Crunch Squares        

Printable Recipe

1 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup Cocoa Krispies or Cocoa Pebbles cereal
5 chocolate sandwich cookies
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup Rice Krispies cereal
5 white sandwich cookies

*Crush the sandwich cookies separately. Set aside.
*Using a large piece of plastic wrap, completely cover the interior of an 8 X 8 pan allowing some of the wrap to hang over the edge for easy removal.
*Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave at 20 second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth. Mix in the cocoa cereal and crushed chocolate cookies. Spread into the prepared pan and refrigerate for 5 minutes.
*Melt the dark chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth. Mix in the rice cereal and the crushed white sandwich cookies. Carefully spread over the top of the white layer. Refrigerate for one hour.
*Use the plastic wrap to remove the candy from the pan. Cut into squares.

Friday, October 26, 2018

The Case for Staycations: Funny Friday

Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.

Funny Friday:a multi-blogger challenge, one picture, five Captions,  | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Me!
Funny Friday, a multi blogger picture captioning challenge | Picture property of Karen of Baking In A Tornado | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com | #funny #laugh

1. Child to himself: Go on vacation, they said. It'll be fun, they said.

2. Child to his mom: I know you don't want me to get sunburned, but doesn't this defeat the whole purpose of going to the beach?

3. Mom (in an eerie voice): You are the ghost of vacations past . . . Boo!
  Child to mom: This is what I get for going on vacation with you in October.

4. Child to mom: When I said I'd carry the towel down for you this wasn't exactly what I had in mind.

5. Child to mom: Really, mother, aren't we both a bit too old for peek-a-boo?

 And now for something yummy: 

Cinnamon Pecan Cookies with Caramel Apple Drizzle, a crispy lace cookie with a gooey caramel apple drizzle. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cookies

Cinnamon Pecan Cookies with Caramel Apple Drizzle

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

The Bergham Chronicles
Cognitive Script 

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

Cinnamon Pecan Cookies with Caramel Apple Drizzle

Ingredients (makes about 2 dozen giant cookies):
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup cinnamon baking chips
1 cup quick oats
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup pecans, chopped into small pieces

36 Werther's apple filled caramels, unwrapped
3 TBSP apple cider or apple juice

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper.
*Place the cinnamon baking chips into a food processor or coffee grinder and crush them to crumbs.
*Cream the butter and brown sugar. Beat in the egg and crushed cinnamon baking chips. Mix in the quick oats, flour, salt and pecans.
*Drop batter by rounded teaspoon onto baking sheets, leaving plenty of room between the cookies.
*Bake 8 - 10 minutes, until they are thin and browned.
*Remove from the oven but keep on the parchment paper. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
*While the cookies are cooling, place the candies and apple cider into a bowl and microwave at 20 second intervals stirring well in between, until smooth. This will take about 2 minutes. Drizzle over the cookies. Refrigerate to harden.
*Store in an airtight container with parchment paper between cookies.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Poetry Wars, The Sequel

I don't know if you read my post Poetry Wars, I posted it last week. If you didn't read it {{gasp}}  then I hope you will now. It explains the genesis of this back and forth challenge in rhyme and it's pretty funny too (if I do say so myself). 

So that's how it began, with a picture posted on Facebook, a poem by my friend Dawn's husband Darrell (an author, btw, you can buy his book HERE) and my silly response. Next thing you know, a whole lazy Sunday was spent rhyming and laughing.

Poetry Wars, a war of words | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #funny

What I posted then was part one. The beginning. But it didn't end there. The fun continued. Poems started appearing and, since I was tagged, I had to respond, right?

Like this:
I wanted a sandwich
but the bread had mold.
I knew right then
the bread was old.
I wanted a sandwich
and I'll be damned.
I ate that mold
with a slice of ham.

Game on. I answered:

Wanted a sandwich 
for lunch, thought she.
Started to make it,
then went to pee.

"You wanted a sandwich"
said she to he,
"get your own bread,
don't steal from me.

and put on your glasses, 
for you're getting old.
That was my jelly
and not your mold."


Went to the toilet,
I couldn't wait til later.
Things went south,
my finger went through the paper.
Had no choice but to keep on wipin'.
I'm here to tell ya, 
fingers aint made for swipin'.

Yuck. But of course I had a little something to say about that one, too:

Ladies, before you marry your prince,
look for certain subtle hints.
You'll thank me if you heed my warning,
like how is his breath in the morning?

Ascertain basic life skills,
like can the man afford his bills?
And, listen, this one's a deal breaker,
can he properly use the toilet paper?


l called my woman up the other day,
told her to get ready I was on my way.
She got excited told me to hurry home.
I got excited and hung up the phone.
I got home, she met me at the door.
She hugged me so hard almost hit the floor.
Let me tell you right now
so you don't think I'm crude,
this aint about sex
I brought home food.

Take-Out Style Brown Rice, a quick flavorful side dish. Don’t go pick it up, make it at home.  | Recipe Developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Take-Out Style Brown Rice

Good one. And phew, we've moved away from "yuck". Maybe I can amend that marriage advice:

Part two of
my marriage advice:
Is he honest?
Is he nice?

Does he call ahead?
Bring you dinner?
If so, my friend,
you've got a winner!

New day, same war. It continued on Monday:

l saw her there
with all her hair,
a wonder did I see.
Inside the tent,
is where I went,
where the bearded lady
winked at me.

Got this one too:
I saw him there,
with too little hair,
as bald as he could be.

But partners are rare, 
when you work at a fair,
I'll take him . . . if he doesn't flee.

Oh, he's in the tent,
Time to show my intent.
I'll try a wink and we'll see.

And this episode of Poetry Wars concludes with these:

I drank a toast to laughter,
I drank a toast to fun.
I drank and I drank and I toasted,
to everything under the sun.

Then I stumbled to the bathroom, 
where I prayed at the porcelain throne. 
I left it all on the alter there,
And on my shirt
And in my hair
And on the floor
And . . .

I see we're back to yuck.

He drank a toast to laughter. 
He drank a toast to fun.
He drank and drank and toasted. 
I knew I had to run.

He stumbled to the bathroom,
prayed at the porcelain throne,
I left him in the bar that night,
changed the locks when I got home.

Last round:

There once was a man named McGrue. 
He tried to cook his wife in a stew.
She jumped from the pot,
and beat him a lot
til she knocked him out of his shoes.
She cooked him instead, 
including his head,
but he ended up too tough to chew.

 And me:

There once was a woman named Sadie.
Her mother said "dear, be a lady". 
She married McGrue,
ended up in the stew,
long story short, 
she's less lady, more shady.

Turned the tables, did our lovely Sadie.
"he's too tough", cried to mom like a baby.
"No worries, my dear,
just add some dark beer,
lots of tenderizer
into the gravy."

This may be the end of McGrue, but more importantly is this the end of the poetry wars? I guess we'll all have to wait and see . . .

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

Take-Out Style Brown Rice         

2 cups instant brown rice
1/2 red pepper, seeded and chopped 
1/4 onion, chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
3 TBSP vegetable oil
2 eggs, whisked
*Place the rice, red pepper and onion into a large microwave safe bowl with 1 3/4 cups water. Cover and cook about 9 minutes or until rice is cooked. 
*Uncover carefully. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil, stir and refrigerate for an hour or up to overnight.
*Just before serving, remove the rice from the refrigerator and mix in the peas.
*In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium to medium high heat until hot. Add the eggs. Stir until they are cooked, then add the rice mixture. Cook and stir until the entire mixture is hot.   

Friday, October 19, 2018

I Hope You're Cheating: Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 4 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house. At the end of my post you’ll find links to this month’s other participants’ posts.

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

I was laying down on the couch and wanted to check something on my laptop. I brought my knees up and balanced the laptop on my stomach, up against my knees. 

And, of course it fell. Forward. On top of my head.

And, of course, Hubs walks downstairs into the room while passing through to the basement and there I lay with a laptop over my face.

He doesn't say a word.

Me (removing the laptop from my face: Nothing?
Hubs: Nothing.

How sweet of him not to embarrass me any more than I already am. 

Three seconds later, from the basement I can hear him laughing his ass off.

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

My husband thinks I'm nuts when he catches me yelling at inanimate objects (and he may just be right), but some things just drive me nuts.

We've been having trouble with our internet cutting out lately. One morning we didn't have internet and it didn't seem to be coming back on. I called the company, but that always involves long waits, which just serves to further frustrate me.

I was on hold when one of their incessant recorded messages came on telling me that the wait would be longer than usual (funny how it always is) but I could get immediate assistance on their web site, www. . . To which I began yelling "I. DON'T. HAVE. INTERNET."

Sometimes I may be acting crazy, but sometimes I do have a point.

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

Sometimes I think my husband is finally catching up, he did finally actually learn how to text, and then sometimes I think he's still in the dark ages.

I was on my laptop talking about some spam I got recently. It claimed to be from my bank but I was saying that the dead give-away is that the email address it came from was a whole chain of letters and numbers. Definitely not the email address on legitimate emails from my bank.

Hubs: There's a way to know for sure if the email is legitimate.
Me: Like the nonsensical email address it came from?
Hubs: No, wave your mouse over it and see if it's an https or not.
Me: That's for a website, I'm talking about an email address.
Hubs: But if it says https it's secure.
Me: You really don't know how this email thing works, do you.
Hubs: Well it works for me.

Okey Dokey.

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

College Boy was home for dinner. I've mentioned it before, his absolute favorite meal is spaghetti with my Hearty Meat Sauce. He saw that I was working on Halloween meals and treats:

College Boy: I have an idea, make spaghetti and have it coming out of a head like brains.
Me: Good try but I did that already a few years ago, my Spaghetti Brains. See:

Spaghetti Brains for Halloween | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #Halloween

College Boy: Not the best picture mom, I think you should do it again.

Well, he's certainly persistent (and consistent).

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

Does this happen in your house too? Whenever someone wants something, anything, in the pantry or the refrigerator, "looking" seems to mean just opening the door and then immediately yelling out to me:

Where is the (insert item here)?

I can't find the (insert item here).
Do we have any (insert item here)?
What happened to the (insert item here)?
Are we all out of (insert item here)?

But the one and only thing they're not going to do is actually look.   

Jack-O-Lantern Treat Bowls are easy to make and so much fun to fill and share. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #Halloween
Jack-O-Lantern Treat Bowls

Me: I hope you're cheating on me.
Hubs: Huh?
Me: I said I hope you're cheating.
Hubs: I'm sure this makes sense to you somehow . . .
Me: I just did the laundry and there were about 20 long hairs stuck to your work shirt. Either I'm going bald or you're cheating. I certainly hope you're cheating.
Hubs: Is there a "fifth amendment" option here, or just those two?

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

Hubs gets out of the shower on a Saturday morning and, apparently thinking I'm a weatherman, calls to me.

Hubs: Can I wear shorts this morning?
Me: Sure.

Hubs dresses, goes downstairs, walks out front, comes back in and puts on jeans.

Hubs: It's freezing out there. You said I could wear shorts.
Me: Like so many things in life, just because you can doesn't mean you should.

He was not amused.

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

I generally have a pretty decent vocabulary but one Saturday afternoon I found myself at a loss.

Me: Be careful if you're going out back, the next door neighbor is arching.
Hubs: Arching?
Me: Archering?
Hubs: Archering?
Me: Shooting pointy sticks out of a bow towards the big target he has back there.
Hubs: Oh, gotcha.

Does anyone know, is there a word for that?

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

A couple of nights a week Hubs has late meetings. On those nights I don't cook, but I do leave his a plate of leftovers from earlier in the week on the counter that he microwaves when he gets home. One night the leftovers were something I felt would not reheat well in the microwave so I stuck the food in the oven and just set a plate on the counter for him, not the norm. He came home and I was sitting on the couch with my back to him. At some point I realized that there was silence in the kitchen. I got up and walked in. Hubs was looking back and forth between his empty plate and the microwave, his empty plate and the microwave. 

Hubs: Ummm. I know I must have done something . . .
Me: Dinner's in the oven. 
Hubs: Phew. So I didn't do anything?
Me: Did you?
Hubs: Can I think about it while I eat?
Me: Just for the record, "no" would have been a less concerning answer.

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

The problem with cold rainy Fall weekends is that couples tend to be stuck indoors. Together. All weekend.

Me: Want to go for a walk?
Hubs (puts on his shoes and a jacket, then sees me still working in the kitchen): You coming with me?
Me: No, I'll watch from the window . . .

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

Menopausal Mother 
Never Ever Give Up Hope 
Spatulas on Parade

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

Jack-O-Lantern Treat Bowls

Printable Recipe

NOTE: 6 small balloons are needed for this recipe
1 package candy melts, your choice of color
1 fruit roll up snack
treats of your choice
1 large package gummy worms

*Rinse the balloons and pat dry. Blow them up to about the width (on the bottom) of the bowls you want to make. I vary sizes. Knot the tops.
*Unroll the fruit snacks. Using a sharp knife, cut 12 small triangles for eyes and 6 ovals or strips for mouths. Set aside.
*Melt the candy melts as per package directions until smooth when stirred.
*Place a piece of parchment paper onto a baking sheet.
*Individually, holding each balloon by the knot, dip each one into the candy melts. Twirl around to coat all sides of approximately the bottom half of each balloon. It does not have to be even, they look better when they're not. 
*Allow the excess to drip off and back into the bowl. Place the balloons on the parchment paper and hold for a few seconds until they stick. Allow to sit for 2 - 3 minutes. Before they set completely, gently decorate with the fruit snack "eyes" and "mouths" then refrigerate until fully set.
*Using a pin, carefully poke a small hole into the balloons and once they deflate, remove them from the bowls. Fill the bowls with treats of your choice and top with the gummy worms.