Friday, November 30, 2018

X Marks the Spot 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,  | | #MyGraphics

Here's today's picture. It was submitted by Dawn of Cognitive Script.

Funny Friday, a multi blogger picture captioning challenge | Picture submitted by Dawn of Cognitive Script | Featured on | #funny #laugh

1.Wife: Get into the next lane, where the "X" is.
Husband: You're not supposed to go there.
Wife: Of course you are, don't you know, "X" marks the spot.

2. Cop: License and registration, please.
New driver (almost in tears): What did I do?
Cop: Didn't you see the "X"? You can't drive in this lane.
New driver: But this lane is for me, look at my license, my name is Xander.

3. Little second grader (after a tough day at school): Mom, no one's in the next line, go in that one.
Mom: No honey, see the "X"? It's against the rules to go there when there's a red "X".
The little girl thinks about that for a few minutes.
Little girl: Mom, can we stop at the paint store?
Mom: Why?
Little girl: I need some red paint for school tomorrow.
Mom: You have a project you didn't tell me about?
Little girl: No. I'm gonna paint a red "X" on the school.
Mom: What?
Little girl: So it's against the rules to go there.

4. Woman to her boyfriend: Go in the lane with the "X" you said, be a little daring you said, no one's going to catch you, you said. 
Woman to her boyfriend (now screaming): You pay the ticket, that's what I say.

5. Little boy to his mom: Why is there an "X" there?
Mom: Because you can't drive in that lane.
Little boy: Why?
Mom: Because it's unsafe.
Little boy: Why?
Mom: They need that lane for something else.
Little boy: Why?
Mom: Ummm, ahhh, in case a plane needs to land.

Later on, husband to wife: You didn't tell Junior that planes land on the highway, did you?
Wife: Maybe.
Husband: What? Why?
Wife: That. That's the reason.
Husband: What?
Wife: Not "what", "why". All the "why"s. I'm only human and sometimes it's just too much pressure, the never ending "why"s.  

 And now for something yummy: 

Apple Cider Cream Chicken, a flavorful, easy, hearty dinner. Sliced chicken cooked in a creamy sauce made with apple cider, then tossed in tricolor rotini. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Apple Cider Cream Chicken

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

The Bergham Chronicles
Cognitive Script 

Baking In A Tornado signature/logo | | #MyGraphics

Apple Cider Cream Chicken        

Printable Recipe

2 TBSP olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, chopped
6 oz mushrooms, sliced
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced
3/4 cup apple cider
1/4 tsp allspice
salt and pepper
2 TBSP apple bourbon
1/3 cup heavy cream
10 oz tricolor rotini pasta
1/2 cup shaved parmesan 

*Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, green onions and mushrooms. Cook and stir until soft.
*Add the chicken to the skillet. Cook and stir until cooked.
*While the chicken is cooking, in a large pot, prepare the rotini to al dente. Drain, return to the pot and set aside.
*Add the apple cider, allspice, salt and pepper to taste, and apple bourbon to the skillet with the chicken. Bring to a boil. Add the heavy cream, return to a boil, then reduce heat and boil gently for 15 minutes, stirring now and then.
*Add the ingredients of the skillet to the pot with the pasta. Toss and stir until the rotini is coated. Serve with the parmesan.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies: 30 Recipes for the Holidays

It's that time of year. You know what I mean, cookie time. What I love about cookies is that they are perfect for almost any need this time of year. Whether it's a grab and go snack, a cookie exchange, something just to have around the house to serve friends and family who are often visiting this time of year, to take to work and stick in the break room, hand out to neighbors in this season of good will, put on your holiday dessert table, and I always bake 9 to 12 dozen for the workers at a local charity . . . yes, cookies can do it all.

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies, 30 Recipes for the Holidays! | Recipes developed by and graphic property of | #recipe #cookies #Christmas

We have our favorites, ones we make every year, but I develop new recipes through the year and in December those we loved make a comeback too. 

So here's the thing, I know many of you, my sane friends, don't necessarily come up with new cookie recipes through the year, but don't worry. I've done all the work for you. And, on top of that, I'm sharing 30 (yes, THIRTY) favorites today. Pick a few that look good to you and click on the link to find the recipe (in case you're new here, recipes are at the bottom of the page, just below my signature). Or make them all, if you're feeling adventurous.

And, if I haven't given you enough reasons to bake some of these little treats, let me just remind you that everyone knows that Santa saves the best presents for those who serve him home baked cookies.

I grouped them, 10 to a group, to make it easier for you to actually see each picture and the correlating number where I've listed it's recipe link.

The first 10:

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies, 30 Recipes for the Holidays! | Recipes developed by and graphic property of | #recipe #cookies #Christmas

1 ~ Toffee Pecan Sandwich Cookies

2 ~ Mint and Raspberry Pinwheels

3 ~ Chocolate Raspberry Rugelach

4 ~ White Chocolate Pistachio Pudding Cookies

5 ~ Cherry Cola Cookies 

6 ~ Candy Cane Shortbreads

7 ~ Giant Banana Toffee Cookies

8 ~ Orange Sesame Thumbprint Cookies

9 ~ Strawberry White Chocolate Chip Meringues

10 ~ Cinnamon Pecan Cookies with Caramel Apple Drizzle

Ten more delicious treats:

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies, 30 Recipes for the Holidays! | Recipes developed by and graphic property of | #recipe #cookies #Christmas

11 ~ Eggnog Brickle Cookies

12 ~ Giant Fudgy Flourless Cookies

13 ~ Peppermint Creme Sandwich Cookies

14 ~ Crunchy Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

15 ~ Cinnamon Ginger Cookies

16 ~ Lemon Filled Poppy Shortbread Cookies

17 ~ Cherry Lime Shortbreads

18 ~ Peanut Butter Lover's Sandwich Cookies

19 ~ Pistachio Toffee Lace Cookies

20 ~ Limoncello Cookies

Last but certainly not least, the final group:
Cookies, Cookies, Cookies, 30 Recipes for the Holidays! | Recipes developed by and graphic property of | #recipe #cookies #Christmas

21 ~ Chocolate Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies 

22 ~ Blue Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

23 ~ Peppermint Chocolate Holiday Cookies

24 ~ Crunch Cookies

25 ~ Cinnamon Toffee Carrot Cookies

26 ~ Biscoff Apple Bourbon Balls

27 ~ PB Cup and Oreo Cookies

28 ~ Mint Lovers' Cookies

29 ~ Nutella Cashew Snowballs 

30 ~ Butterscotch Rum Frosted Cookies

Which ones will you try?

As always, any time you make my recipes, feel free to post a picture to my Baking In A Tornado Facebook Page. I love seeing them!

Wishing you all the happiest of holiday seasons.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Friday, November 23, 2018

I Made You Ten Turkeys: Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 5 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 | | #MyGraphics

It was Halloween night and I had the candy in the office, which is right by the front door.

I was in the den when I hear a rustling in the candy dish. I walk around the corner and see Hubs with his hand in the dish.

Me: What are you doing?

Hubs: Looking through the dish to see what you have. Oh, there's Crunch bars, I love those, don't give those away.
Me: There's Milky Way too.
Hubs: Oh, I love those too. Don't give those away either.
Me: I'm not sure you understand how this Trick or Treat thing works. You don't buy candy, ignore the kids and save it all for your husband.
Hubs: Well that's how it should be.

You see what I'm dealing with here?

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

Hubs works late a few nights a week and I leave a plate on the counter for him to heat up for dinner when he gets home.

He came in the door, stuck his plate in the microwave and spoke to me for about a minute. He then opened the microwave, touched the food, stepped back, looked at the plate, looked at the microwave, touched the food again.

Me: The food rarely heats up if you don't turn the microwave on.
Hubs looks at me.
Me: Press a few of those numbers and then press the start button, see if that helps. 

I thought it was funny but apparently he either lost his sense of humor or was just too tired because if looks could kill I'd be pushing up daisies, my friends. 

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

It gets really confusing when sports seasons overlap, yo.

Whenever they kick the ball at a Purdue football game, as the ball soars through the air the fans yell "IU sucks". IU, Indiana University, is their arch rivals. Now let me explain that this "IU sucks" thing happens all season long, no matter who they're playing. 

The few times we went to games with PurDude we'd yell it too (OK, Hubs is too polite, but I'm not) and often I'd find myself chanting it even when watching Purdue's football games on TV.

But it was a little embarrassing last month when, during the World Series, the Dodgers pitcher threw a pitch to Mookie Betts and as the ball left the pitcher's hand College Boy caught me standing up and yelling "IU sucks". 

I'm pretty sure he's conspiring to have me committed. You'll come visit me, won't you?

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

College Boy was about to get a glass of water using the refrigerator door dispenser. It's on the freezer side of the fridge, but if I open the refrigerator side, it doesn't work.

It was just before Thanksgiving and the fridge was stuffed. I needed to put something else in, so I opened the fridge and was standing there looking at the inside of the packed refrigerator.

Me: Damn, there's no room. Where am I going to put this?
College Boy: Trying to get a drink here, Mom.
Me (holding the bowl and still looking): I'm trying to fit this in.
College Boy (exasperated): Well do it with the door closed. 
Me: I'm pretty sure it doesn't work that way . . .
College Boy: And I'm pretty sure the dispenser doesn't work this way.


Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

Last month in my Fly on the Wall post I joked about hoping my husband was cheating. I had found a lot of long brown hairs on his work shirt, either he's cheating or I'm losing my hair. And I certainly don't want to be going bald.

Be careful what you wish for. One month later and it actually looked like my joke was taken seriously.

Me: Do you want to explain yourself?
Hubs: What?
Me: This $80 payment on our debit card to Quality Inn on a day when you should have been at work.
Hubs: I have no idea what you're talking about.
Me: Yeah, that's what they all say.

Turns out, as I looked into it a little further (OK, put on my glasses), it was not a debit from Quality Inn, but Quality Irr. Quality Irrigation had come over to shut down our sprinkler system for the winter. 

And can you guess who made that payment? Yup, it was me.

Hot Cocoa Cake is a dense chocolate winter dessert made with hot cocoa and garnished with mini marshmallows. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cake
Hot Cocoa Cake
Hot Cocoa Cake is a dense chocolate winter dessert made with hot cocoa and garnished with mini marshmallows. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cake

Do you ever have a problem finding the word you need? Sadly, the older I get the more often it happens. 

This time, though, made for an . . . ahem . . . particularly unfortunate conversation.

Me (talking about the temple shooting last month): Apparently Shabbat services were going on, but there was also a bris taking place.
Friend: What's a bris?
Me: It's a . . . you know . . . what do you call it? . . . a ceremony for newborn baby boys . . . damn . . . a umm . . . castration.
Hubs: Circumcision. The word she's looking for is circumcision.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

Do you follow my Baking In A Tornado facebook page? You should. And if you do you saw this:

Drop the remote meme | property of | #funny #humor

That pretty much sums up the month I've had.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

Here's an example:

Me (pouring a big pot of pasta into the trash): Dinner's going to be late.
Hubs: Could that be because you're pouring it into the trash?
Me: Yup.
Hubs: Should I ask?
Me: Do you want to know?
Hubs: Sure:
Me: Well, the sauce in the saute pan is fine, but I have to cook up more pasta.
Hubs: Okay . . .
Me: I spilled some of the sauce.
Hubs: Okay . . .
Me: And I cleaned it up with the sponge.
Hubs: Okay . . .
Me: And then I dropped the dirty sponge into the pasta.
Hubs: Only you . . .

 Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

It was a few weeks before Thanksgiving and I was with College Boy. I love the time I spend with the boys and always try to extend it. I was trying to get College Boy to come home with me for dinner.

Me: Come to dinner.
College Boy: Not tonight.
Me (trying hard to think of a strategy): I made you 10 turkeys.
College Boy: What? You made me 10 turkeys?
Me: Yes, come home for dinner.
College Boy: I'm going to come home for dinner and see 10 turkeys?
Me: Yes.
College Boy: Ready to eat?
Me: Yup.

And he did. He came home for dinner. And there on the counter were 10 turkeys. Ready to eat:

Gobble Gobble Turkey Treats, a fun no-bake snack perfect for any Thanksgiving dessert table. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #chocolate #Thanksgiving

 Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

I've mentioned before that PurDude is a world class napper. Every time I call or text him he doesn't answer and then later tells me he was sleeping. Last night we'd finished our Thanksgiving turkey and went into the living room for a while before dessert. PurDude laid down on the couch, turned on the TV and before I looked up he was fast asleep.

Me: He's sleeping. I never see him and he comes home and sleeps.
Hubs: Well, turkey does seem to make you tired.
Me: Yeah, and breathing seems to make him tired.

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

Menopausal Mother 
Never Ever Give Up Hope 
Spatulas on Parade
Go Mama O.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Hot Cocoa Cake

1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup baking cocoa

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 TBSP chocolate syrup
2/3 cup oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup mini marshmallows, divided

1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 TBSP heavy cream
3 TBSP powdered sugar
1 TBSP baking cocoa
1 TBSP milk

*In a small pan, mix together 1 cup of milk and 1/2 cup sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar melts (it no longer feels grainy on the bottom of the pan when stirring). Don't let the milk boil. Add 3/4 cup of the baking cocoa. Heat and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and "flour" (with additional baking cocoa) a bundt pan. 
*Stir together the remaining sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
*Beat the eggs, chocolate syrup, oil and vanilla just until mixed. Add the dry ingredients, beat until just blended. Beat in the prepared hot cocoa and continue to beat for 2 minutes. Mix in 34 cup mini marshmallows.
*Pour into the bundt pan and bake 45 to 55 minutes until the center springs back to the touch. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then remove to cool completely.
*Microwave the chocolate chips with the heavy cream at 20 second intervals until smooth when stirred. Whisk in the powdered sugar ad 1 TBSP baking cocoa, then the milk. Drizzle over the cooled cake. Dot with the remaining mini marshmallows.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Red Light, Green Light for the Holidays

This time of year should have rules, don't you think? You know, "do"s and "don't"s, for the sake of sanity. And humanity. I actually wrote out some guidelines years ago specifically for shoppers. Those times when you're out of the house and among other desperate shoppers. And my The Rules of Holiday Shopping still hold true, you should check them out whether for the first time or as a reminder.

But the holiday season, this whole time of year in general, requires some degree of regulation. Boundaries, if you will (and even if you won't). And if no one else will say it, you know I will. Ever play "red light, green light" when you were a child? Here's an adult version, red light green light for the holidays.

Holiday Do and Holiday Don’t. This time of year should have rules, don't you think? | Graphic property of | #holiday #humor

*Red light: if we barely know each other, ask when it's convenient to exchange gifts, forcing me to drop everything, race out and find something for you. Rule #1, if we never exchanged gifts before, we never will. No exceptions.
     Green light: if we barely know each other and you enjoy giving, don't let me ruin your fun. Just be sure you do it anonymously. Gently place a bottle of booze (any kind, your choice) in my front door, ring the bell and run like the wind. 
*Red light: talk to me in the grocery store. This time of year if I'm there I'm on a mission, get in, grab stuff, get out. No dilly dallying, no small talk, no diversions.
     Green light: smile and wave as you pass me in the aisle. I'm busy, not barbaric. 

*Red light: ask me to host a cookie exchange at this point. My answer will be "sure, what year?".
     Green light: host one yourself if you have the time. I'll bake, and I'll attend (yours and about 6 others). Well, I'll probably be late but I'll be there. I can even bring a dish to share (Creamy Noodles with Bacon OK?) and help you with clean-up. But hosting? No can do at this point, my calendar overflowith. We can book now for next year, though.

Creamy Noodles with Bacon is a side dish easy to make but packed with big creamy flavor. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #pasta

Creamy Noodles with Bacon

*Red light: have a birthday this time of year (says the woman whose son's birthday is this week). Just don't. Sorry, but this is not the time. If you have a birthday between Nov 1st and Jan 15th, we just can't be friends.
      Green light: save our friendship, tell me your birthday's in July. It's really a bonus for you, another time of year for receiving gifts.

*Red light: ask me what "my true love gave to me" on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th 11th or 12th day of Christmas, I don't know. Not just because I'm Jewish either, no one knows all the words to that song. A partridge in a pear tree is all I know, and something about drummers drumming (what else would they be doing?). Why does someone ask me about the words to that song at least once every single holiday season?
     Green light: explain what the partridge is doing in a pear tree. Really. I want to know.

*Red light: carol if you can't sing.
     Green light: there is no green light, don't carol if you can't sing. If you can't hold a tune, get out of the kitchen. Or let me get back to mine.

*Red light: invite me to a mystery gift swap. Let me just tell you now that there is not a single item anywhere that you can purchase for the price limit that anyone would want. 
     Green light: you want to have a party, I'm there, I'll eat your food and I'll drink your booze and I'll talk to your friends. But for all that is holy, don't make me sit in a group as an adult trying to pretend I actually wanted a slinky.

Red light: don't forget to make time for whatever relieves stress for you. Green light: do have a happy holiday season.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Creamy Noodles with Bacon        

Printable Recipe

8 oz wide noodles cooked al dente
4 slices bacon
1 green onion, chopped 
2 TBSP flour
1 TBSP tomato paste
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup shaved parmesan 

*In a large saute pan over medium heat, cook the bacon. Remove, drain and set aside. 
*Add the green onion and flour to the pan. Cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened and the flour has cooked a little.
*Lower the heat to medium low and whisk the tomato paste, heavy cream, salt and pepper into the pan.
*Once smooth, chop the bacon and return to the pan with the cooked noodles. Stir gently and cook for 2 minutes, until the noodles are completely heated.
*Serve with shaved parmesan.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Regaining Civility: 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 | | #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: gracious ~ unfounded ~ relax ~ comfortable ~ necessary
They were submitted by Jenn of Sparkly Poetic Weirdo.

Leave it to Jenn, in this time of national anger and division, to gift me with words like gracious, relax, and comfortable. I can always count on Jenn, via her blog and her FB page, to remind me to release my fingernails from digging into my palms, climb down off the ledge and return to a place where my blood pressure is at a level consistent with maintaining life. I hope I can do these words justice.

Just 10 days ago I published a post called World Kindness Election Day, in which I started this conversation. I'll continue it here today in a different context, relating it to sports, not to repeat myself but because this is something that cannot be said enough times or in enough ways.

World Kindness Election Day, a discussion about kindness on the day of midterm elections | Graphic property of | #kindness #politics

Manners are dead. A thing of the past. It's a big piece of what is wrong with us as Americans. We are not polite to each other. Bullying, bigotry, we see that taking center stage in our daily lives. On a local level, I have recently been the target of road rage, forced to feel in jeopardy, as though I could not go home because I did not want to lead someone honking her brains out and giving me the finger and calling me "f***ng c**t" at the top of her lungs out the window of her car for miles and miles to my house. What did I do to her? I have absolutely no idea. Nor does College Boy who was in the car with me. 

We have rejected the idea of being polite to each other and many of us are completely out of control, not just those who send bombs through the mail and shoot up grocery stores and temples, but some who, when we perceive ourselves to have been wronged, founded or unfounded, act out with anger, vitriol and violence.

I think lessons can be learned from sports, both juvenile and professional. I love when I watch football and a member of the opposing team helps up a player who's been tackled. Or in baseball when the player who's made it to a base smiles and speaks briefly with the player guarding that base. In both situations it is clear that although opponents on the field, they are not enemies. I cannot stress enough that it is possible to be opponents but not enemies. In all sectors of life.

But for me the biggest lesson comes at the end of a game when we often see the teams line up and acknowledge each other. Be it high fives or handshakes or just saying "good game", it doesn't matter how, but they look each other in the face and interact in some way. They "leave it on the field". What we learn in these moments are the yin and yang of being gracious. Not just how to lose with grace, a difficult lesson especially for children, but how to win with humility as well.

This is why it matters: Regaining our civility will not be a sweeping reform at this point, it will be a matter of small steps. It is important for those of us dismayed at the current climate in our society to stop waiting for this to happen from the top down. It is a time to be proactive, to make an individual effort, set a better tone in our homes, our neighborhoods, our communities. If we want to be comfortable in our lives, be able to relax in an environment in which we are free to express who we are as individuals, it is necessary, it is incumbent upon us all, to regain some basic level of decorum. Celebrate each others' triumphs, lament each others' setbacks. If we go back to being gracious, in both our victories and our defeats, we've taken that first step.

Live inclusion, not exclusion. 

Orange Cake with Apple Cider Frosting, a moist orange and apple cider cake topped with an apple cider butter cream frosting. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #bake #cake

Orange Cake with Apple Cider Frosting

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

Orange Cake with Apple Cider Frosting

1 box orange deluxe cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup apple cider
1/2 tsp orange zest

1 stick butter, softened
OPT: 1 TBSP orange liqueur
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
up to 1/2 cup apple cider

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 X 13 cake pan.
*Mix together the cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, 1 cup apple cider and the orange zest. Beat for 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 25 - 28 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch. Cool completely.
*Beat the butter with the orange liqueur (if using) until smooth. Slowly at first, beat in the powdered sugar and nutmeg. Two tablespoons at a time, beat in the apple cider until the frosting is of spreadable consistency, then spread onto the cooled cake.