Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Ten Random Thoughts in Eighteen Words: Word Counters

It started like this, about 3 weeks ago I was planning a blog post when it showed up in my twitter feed that the day of the post was National Just Because Day. Clearly I had to think of something to post in conjunction with the celebration of such a day. And, of course, whatever I came up with, you know I was going to drag a few other bloggers along with me. 

What I settled on was a challenge. Each of my participating friends and I would pick a number between 10 and 50 to be assigned to another blogger. We would then use our assigned number and write a piece using that exact number of words.

The result was a post I called Counting Words, Just Because. I got the number 43 and ended up writing three different blurbs, each 43 words long. Well, and rewriting and rewriting to work within the word count constraints. But guess what? It was a fun challenge. So some of those same bloggers, and a few more we've picked up along the way, are going to do this once a month, see how it goes.


Word Counters, a multiblogger writing challenge | Developed, run by and graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Once again everyone picked a number, this time between 10 and 35 and sent it to me. I gave the numbers out as assignments and today we all share what we came up with. 

I got the number 18. It was submitted by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade. Since it's a low number, I'll use it ten times.


Ten random thoughts in eighteen words:

~ I think I'll have a cookie while I think about what I want to say using eighteen words.

Butterfingers Banana Cookies are a soft cookie with a surprise crunch inside. Banana and crunchy peanut butter batter is studded with butterfingers pieces for a delicious flavor pairing. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cookies

Butterfingers Banana Cookies
Butterfingers Banana Cookies are a soft cookie with a surprise crunch inside. Banana and crunchy peanut butter batter is studded with butterfingers pieces for a delicious flavor pairing. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cookies


~ It's almost Fall, I'm lamenting the loss of longer days. Also celebrating the loss of allergies . . . and bees.

~ Although, until our exterminator arrives, I'll be sleeping with one eye open. Spiders scare the bejesus outa me.

~ Next comes the dreaded winter. Maybe I should just retire to Florida. Think Hubs will notice my absence?

~ I may need another cookie. You know, to power my brain for the next five eighteen word thoughts.

~ Football season! Hoping it gives me amnesia about the season my beloved Red Sox are subjecting me to.

~ Decorating long distance is tough. Bought him the furniture, been laying out my son's new apartment via pictures.

~ When your kid moves far away, he should call, text or message his mama daily. Who's with me?

~ Love these cookies but I'm hereby off bananas. Want to know why? Read Gone Bananas for Labor Day.

~ Until next month, Word
Counters is done.
Then which number will get? 
Sure hope it's more than one!

So there you have it. Ten thoughts whittled down to eighteen words. And worked in the recipe too! 

↑  Oh, make that eleven thoughts!


Here are links to the other Word Counters posts:

Spatulas on Parade
On the Border 

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





Butterfingers Banana Cookies        
                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (makes about 40 - 45 cookies):
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 over ripe bananas
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup Butteringers baking chips

Directions:
*Cream together the butter an sugars until smooth. Beat in the peanut butter, bananas, egg and vanilla.
*Mix in the flour, baking soda and salt. Once completely incorporated, mix in the Butterfingers baking chips.
*Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to a day. 
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper.
*Using wet hands as the dough will be sticky, roll the cookies into about 3/4 inch balls. Place on the baking sheets ad press down gently with the (wet) heel of your hand.
*Bake for about 12 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Remove from the oven but keep on the baking sheets for 2 minutes to set before removing to cool completely.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Which Truths Do We Hold?: 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 | developed and run by 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: envision ~ stray ~ protect ~ ground ~ sentence ~ infringe
They were submitted by Tamara of Part-time Working Hockey Mom.

                          
This is going to be a serious one today. That's partly because of where these words naturally take me, and in part because the thoughts, no longer stray considerations but permanent nagging, brooding ruminations that have become pervasive, depressing, even terrifying. Fears that have, in a very real way, infringed on my peace of mind, even wavering my innate ability to maintain something as visceral as hope.


I've spoken before about the difference between my world view and College Boy's. A conspiracy theorist, he thinks I'm unrealistic, I think I try to be optimistic. I think he's a pessimist, he believes he's just a realist. But what do we have in common? We both envision a world, and certainly a country, where people matter, where freedom is for all, where it is possible for anyone to succeed if they have the will, where humanity and compassion, are standards met with ease. Where safety, equality, basic human needs and dignity are a given.

I know that hope is improbable on a global level, in the near future anyway. There are just too many moving parts. But it can be, it needs to be, a goal. 

On a more local level, in this country, there's no question that there is a long way to go. I honestly don't have a problem with that. As long as we remain on the road, put one foot in front of the other, no matter how quickly or slowly we stay the course, build the groundwork to a more compassionate society. But we're not. We were, but we're not on that road any more. Quite the opposite, we're in reverse. And gaining speed.

I cannot put into a sentence, I cannot adequately put into all the sentences in the world how dismayed I am to know how far we've fallen. I sit in my warm comfortable home, where I am safe and healthy, where there is clothing in the closet, clean water coming out of the tap, an abundance of food on the table.

Chicken and Vegetables Skillet Dinner cooks quickly in one pan. Sliced chicken and fresh vegetables are cooked in a flavorful broth. Serve over pasta or rice for an easy dinner option. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Chicken and Vegetables Skillet Dinner
Chicken and Vegetables Skillet Dinner cooks quickly in one pan. Sliced chicken and fresh vegetables are cooked in a flavorful broth. Serve over pasta or rice for an easy dinner option. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner



I sit here in my home and I'm assaulted, ASSAULTED, by the knowledge that there are terrified children separated from their mamas and put in cages, and it's my country put them there. That the destruction of our planet is being deliberately and maliciously executed in the name of capitalism. That there are lies, constant and continuous, many times completely nonsensical lies coming out of the White House. That we have lost our place as a leader on the global stage, are in fact a laughing stock, barely tolerated, held in contempt as human rights violators, seen as inconsequential, falling behind in trade, in relationships, in innovation. That we have no rational policies, foreign or domestic, based in fact or even rational thought, and that are applied with consistency. That assault rifles are trained on innocent people with an increasing regularity and they are NOT being used by the mentally ill (STOP blaming mental illness. Just STOP), but by the angry, by the misled, by the hopeless. That we put people to death for walking while wearing a hoodie or selling cigarettes on the street. That our access to information, the press, is under constant attack. That we abuse, intentionally target, minorities, all of them: the needy, the ill including the mentally ill, those who pray or love or speak or look a way we're now condoning demonizing, both within and at our borders.

That we are doing nothing about it. Any of it. And so, as it will do, the malignancy metastasizes, unchecked.


Because so many of, in fact the majority of, the not-so-duly elected (gerrymandering, voter suppression, party super delegate systems and the electoral college negating the popular vote) people who are charged with representing us are so blinded by greed and personal power as to have brought our system of government to a jarring and complete halt. Those still possessing a moral compass have either left or are leaving, exacerbating the decline. This is the thing that nightmares are made of. Our form of government is not working. Checks and balances have fallen off the scale.

Will we protect this American experiment in freedom and democracy? We, as a society, need to start by considering one basic question. Have we devolved past or are we actually still collectively capable of holding the same truths?

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed, by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." 

That's the part that we always remember of Thomas Jefferson's quote, but there's more:

"That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government laying its foundation on such principals and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."



I don't believe it serves us to throw the baby out with the bath water, to do away with the form of government with its inherent checks and balances laid out in the constitution. I'm not saying anything quite that drastic. But without a doubt it is time, past time, not to abolish, but to alter. 

On the road to humanity, to justice, to freedom, we have taken a wrong turn. But the majority of us still possess a moral compass. 

Recalculating . . .

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





Chicken and Vegetables Skillet Dinner
                                               ©www.BakingInATornado.com


Printable Recipe


Ingredients:
1 1/4 # boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
2 TBSP olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried basil
4 oz mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, sliced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1/2 small zucchini, ends removed, halved and sliced
1/4 cup grated parmesan

OPT: cooked pasta or rice

Directions:
*Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
*Heat the olive oil in a large skillet at medium to medium high heat. Add the chicken and minced garlic, cook and stir until the chicken is cooked through.
*Add the chicken broth, wine, salt, pepper, basil, mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli and zucchini to the skillet. Cook and stir, bringing the broth to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil, stirring now and then, until the vegetables are crisp/tender, about 5 minutes. 
*Sprinkle with the grated parmesan. OPT: serve over cooked pasta or rice.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Banana Cream Cake: Wishful Thinking Blog With Friends

Today’s post is the next in our series of Blog With Friends themed collaborations. Each month a group of bloggers get together and each publish a project based on a theme. What I love about his 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 a recipe, sewing tutorial, crocheting, crafts project, book review, and/or technology post all related to the theme of the month.

Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme| Featured on and graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com



This month's theme is Wishful Thinking.

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, Wishful Thinking. | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

I made Banana Cream Cake


Banana Cream Cake is inspired by the classic pie. Banana, cinnamon and whipped cream adds the flavor, macadamias add the crunch | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

Banana Cream Cake

Wishful Thinking, in the context of this blog post has its meaning in baking. But wishful thinking in life, means something very different. A little over a week ago these two aspects converged. 

As many of you who follow this blog know, I've got 2 boys. My older son went to college about 45 minutes from home and is still local. My younger son PurDude, however, went to school 10 hours away. It was incredibly difficult for me. Not only was he far away, but I realized how sheltered a life he'd led. While at school he had his first broken bone, a leg, and dealt with some incredibly difficult circumstances including the death of his frat's chef, who they'd recently made a brother. I could only support from far away.

When he graduated, he came home and, miraculously, the best job offer he got was from a Fortune 500 company just about 1/2 hour from here. He chose an amazing apartment downtown and I happily put together all of his wants and needs, decorated it and moved him in. If you haven't seen it, you should check it out, I wrote about it in a piece called Home with an H. I was thrilled to have him so close again. 

BUT. He went through the in-house training program and was assigned to a project mostly based in Louisville, CO but with a small subgroup here in town. Within months they flew him out to Colorado and were talking about moving him there. They'd let him finish out his lease here. Which happened at the end of last month.

Long story short, PurDude was packed up and moved out of his downtown loft about 10 days ago and he moved in with us. Not knowing how long he'd be without a car he chose not to have the company ship it. In anticipation of the moving company moving him into his new apartment in Boulder next week, he climbed into his new car and set out on the 8 hour drive. Yesterday.

Wishful thinking? Well, that's a tough one today. I wish my son could still stop by for dinner on a whim. But I am so excited for him, so currently my wishful thinking is for my son to build a life filled with fun, comfort, adventures, success, friendship, contentment and happiness.

I worked on another wish while he was home though. I made all of his favorite foods, and tried out some new recipes. For me, wishful thinking, when it comes to baking, is that the inspiration bring a smile to my face, that the recipe is easy to execute and share, that it's pretty, that it's flavorful, that it comes out on the first try. Most of all, wishful thinking is that the smile that comes to my face as the recipe comes together in my mind, is reflected on the face of my family when they taste it. Today I'm sharing a new dessert, inspired by Banana Cream Pie, that PurDude loved. 

I like easy recipes, so this one started with some simple ingredients, including a cake mix and pudding mix.


Banana Cream Cake is inspired by the classic pie. Banana, cinnamon and whipped cream adds the flavor, macadamias add the crunch | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake


I didn't follow the ingredient instructions on the cake box, coming up with my own including some chopped macadamia nuts for a little crunch.

Banana Cream Cake is inspired by the classic pie. Banana, cinnamon and whipped cream adds the flavor, macadamias add the crunch | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake


I must have been channeling bananas foster when I made the filling, although I did skip the alcohol (you're shocked, I know).

Banana Cream Cake is inspired by the classic pie. Banana, cinnamon and whipped cream adds the flavor, macadamias add the crunch | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake


I layered the sauteed bananas over the cake.


Banana Cream Cake is inspired by the classic pie. Banana, cinnamon and whipped cream adds the flavor, macadamias add the crunch | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake


Finished with flavored whipped cream, then repeated the layers.

Banana Cream Cake is inspired by the classic pie. Banana, cinnamon and whipped cream adds the flavor, macadamias add the crunch | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

It looks just as I'd envisioned, and believe me that doesn't always happen.

Banana Cream Cake is inspired by the classic pie. Banana, cinnamon and whipped cream adds the flavor, macadamias add the crunch | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake


And it is delicious. I wonder if another slice might be worth an 8 hour drive . . .


Banana Cream Cake is inspired by the classic pie. Banana, cinnamon and whipped cream adds the flavor, macadamias add the crunch | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake


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:


Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Wishful Thinking. | Happy Sweater Weather by Melissa of My Heartfelt Sentiments | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com 

Melissa of My Heartfelt Sentiments shares Happy Sweater Weather


Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Wishful Thinking. | Calorie Free Cake - Wishful Thinking by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com






Dawn of Spatulas on Parade shares Calorie Free Cake - Wishful Thinking
 

Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Wishful Thinking. | Wishful Thinking: How a Map Made Me Want to Consume the World by Kia of The Ground Beneath My Feet | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com






Kia of The Ground Beneath My Feet shares Wishful Thinking: How a Map Made Me Want to Consume the World.


Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Wishful Thinking. | Spoonfuls of Wishes by Jules of The Bergham Chronicles| Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com 





Jules of The Bergham Chronicles shares Spoonfuls of Wishes


Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Wishful Thinking. | Tips for Returning to Work After Working From Home by Lydia of Cluttered Genius | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com 





Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares Tips for Returning to Work after Working From Home

Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Wishful Thinking. | Wishful Thinking? Make it Happen! by Tamara of Part-time Working Hockey Mom | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com 






 Tamara of Part-time Working Hockey Mom shares Wishful Thinking? Make it Happen!




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

Banana Cream Cake
                                                                          ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 box instant banana pudding mix
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
3 eggs
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts

4 TBSP butter
3 TBSP brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 bananas, sliced

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon


Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9-inch round cake pans.
*Beat together the cake mix, pudding mix, buttermilk, water, vegetable oil and eggs for 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the macadamia nuts and spread evenly into the prepared pans. 
*Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely. 
*Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Mix in the brown sugar and cinnamon and stir until smooth. Add in the bananas and, stirring gently, cook for 1 minute, making sure all of the banana slices are well coated. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
*Once the cake layers are cool, place on onto a serving plate.
*Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and cinnamon and continue to beat until stiff peaks hold. 

*Spoon half of the banana mixture onto the bottom cake layer. Rearrange the banana pieces into a single layer over the cake.
*Gently spread half of the whipped cream over the top of the bananas.
*Carefully place the second cake layer over the whipped cream and gently press down. Repeat the steps with the remaining banana mixture, then the remaining whipped cream. 
*Store, covered, in the refrigerator.  

Friday, September 6, 2019

Sad, Scary, Heatwarming and Fond: Secret Subject Swap

Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 6 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 | developed and run by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics



My subject is: What is your fondest childhood memory?
It was submitted by: Rena of Wandering Web Designer.

Memory? What memory? 

Fondest, that's a difficult concept. Not only because my memory fails me, but because of the ones I do retain, it's hard to pick one over the other. 

Now if you asked me what my saddest memory from childhood is, I can answer that. I went to a private preschool and I just hated it. We carpooled, I can't even remember with who, but I do remember sitting in the back of someone's car, crying the whole way there. I'd try to think of some reason to get that poor woman to take me back home. In my childish way, the most important thing I could think of was wailing through my tears, "I forgot to tell my mommy something." Didn't work. And I wouldn't be surprised if that poor lady hit the cooking sherry on carpool day. Sorry lady, my bad.

The scariest memory comes from the summers. We belonged to a private pool club and I was probably 7 years old. I wanted to dive from the high diving  board but it was terrifying. Hell, even climbing up to the board was terrifying. When I did get the nerve, I'd dive from a sitting position, not standing up. And if I didn't dive far enough out to enter the water at an angle, it really hurt the top of my head. 

Conquering that fear was intense, and I wanted my mom to see it. I remember her sitting in the sun with a bunch of friends, me coming over and telling her she had to watch me, I was going to dive from the high board. She would talk to her friends as I walked over, glancing at me now and then, same thing as I climbed to the board. Then I got to the top, looked over to be sure Mom was paying attention. And then, as I always did, scared to death, I sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. 5 minutes trying to talk myself into going, peek at Mom (still watching). 10 minutes, trying to talk myself into going, peek at Mom (watching intermittently). When finally, sometime in the next century, I got my hands above my head and scushed my butt over the edge I took one last peek, sailed through the air, broke through into the water, swam to the edge, got out, stomped over to mom and scolded her profusely for not seeing my feat of bravery.

A proud moment was winning a race at that same pool club. All the kids were older and we were to swim freestyle from one side of the pool to the other. These kids knew how to race. I didn't. The whistle blew and they skimmed the water in their sleek racing dives. I only knew one way to dive, straight down. They were all 1/4 of the way across the pool before I came back up. But I swam my little heart out and at the other end found myself lifted from the pool by the ref as the winner. I got a cool trophy. I think I still have it. I know that for a week after that I stood in my driveway daily in a bathing suit holding that trophy. 

There are heartwarming memories too. Rarely, but every once in a while, Mom and my sister and I would go to a local diner. We'd order a giant banana spit with 3 spoons and that would be our dinner.

And there were the family business's box seats to the Red Sox, right by the dugout along the first base line. They were given out to clients mostly, but we got our turn too. My grandfather (alav ha- shalom) instilled my love of the Red Sox that lives as a tribute to him to this day.

Mom was and still is a great cook. But she is the family baker. She wanted us to remember coming home on Friday afternoons to the smell of something baking in the oven. Didn't happen all the time, but I can tell you that whenever there was a function of any kind, Mom was assigned dessert. And everyone would just about tackle her on the way in the door to ooh and aah at whatever she'd brought.


Lemon Cake with Strawberry Whipped Cream Frosting starts with a lemon cake mix with strawberry swirl and topped with fresh strawberry whipped cream. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

Lemon Cake with Strawberry Whipped Cream Frosting
Lemon Cake with Strawberry Whipped Cream Frosting starts with a lemon cake mix with strawberry swirl and topped with fresh strawberry whipped cream. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake


I would have to say though that some of my fondest memories were those visiting my (great)aunt (alav ha-shalom) and uncle (alav ha-shalom) in West Palm Beach. My aunt was my grandmother's (alav ha-shalom) identical twin sister and they were as close as could be. The family all vacationed at their home and it was always a whirlwind of activity. The house itself was huge, a mansion. With exquisite grounds. I remember my great grandmother, who lived there at the time, would putt around in the kitchen with the pet parrot on her shoulder getting in the cook's way. Bobbe (alav ha-shalom) was constantly going outside forgetting about the parrot who someone would inevitably have to coax out of the tree. On a regular basis.

The older cousins would live, dorm style, in the maid's quarters upstairs off the kitchen. I'm not sure where I slept, it probably depended on how many people were there at any given time. But I do remember getting lost in that house but never being worried about it, someone would find me eventually. And there was so much to explore, a favorite being the room with the little toy piano, and any of the warm sunny decks. 

The yard featured a lake where I was allowed to swim as long as someone was with me, and the grounds featured bush mazes which treated you to a serene bench area in the center. There were large palm trees and I remember the gardeners shimmying up to grab me a fresh coconut. They'd tap it so I could drink the milk, then slit it open so I could gnaw at the fresh fruit.


West Palm beach | Picture property of and featured on www.BakingInATornado.com | #family

I don't know why the only pictures I have are these two, old black and whites from before my time.
Back of the house

West Palm beach | Picture property of and featured on www.BakingInATornado.com | #family

My great aunt holding my cousin in front of the house.

In the front, there was a long, long rock driveway that eventually ended at the road. Getting the mail was going for a walk. And I remember one day when the driveway was the edge of a sun shower (something new to me), standing in the rain, taking a step to the right where it wasn't raining and moving back to the left where it was.

That was also the house where I got the Chicken Pox, and gave them to my sister, the day before Mom was supposed to fly out to the Bahamas for a mini vacation. But I suppose that's a story for another day.

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






Lemon Cake with Strawberry Whipped Cream Frosting
                                                         ©www.BakingInATornado.com


Ingredients:
3/4 cup fresh strawberries
1/4 cup seedless strawberry jam
1/2 tsp strawberry extract

1 box lemon cake mix
3 eggs 
1/2 cup lemon yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp lemon extract
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup seedless strawberry jam
1 tsp water

2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar

OPT: Sliced strawberries for garnish

Directions: 
*Clean, hull and finely chop strawberries. Mix them with 1/4 cup strawberry jam and the strawberry extract. Mash together until the jam is smooth and coating the strawberries. Set aside on the counter.
*Grease and flour a 9 X 13 baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Beat the cake mix, eggs, yogurt, sour cream, 1/4 cup water and vegetable oil for 3 minutes. Pour into prepared pan.
*Whisk 1/4 cup strawberry jelly with 1 tsp water. Dot over the cake batter and, using a toothpick swirl into just the top of the batter. Bake cake for about 25 minutes, just until the center springs back to the touch. Cool completely.
*Using a fork, food processor or blender, mash the strawberries.
*Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and strawberry mixture and beat until stiff peaks hold. 
*OPT: Remove about 3/4 cup of the strawberry whipped cream and store in a sealed sandwich bag in the fridge if you want to pipe it onto the individual pieces for serving. 
*Spread the remaining strawberry whipped cream over the cooled cake. 
*To serve, garnish with the reserved strawberry whipped cream and/or sliced strawberries if desired. 
*Store, covered, in refrigerator.