Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Mea Culpa

Mea Culpa. I'm sorry. I take full responsibility. Snowmageddon, snowpocalypse, snowzilla. Whatever you want to call it, I'm sorry. It was me.

I published a blog post, one week ago today, called Wiinter Mishigas. In it, I complained about the weather, the constant barrage of snow storms. Nothing major, about 3 inches of snow each time, but one after another after another. 

Apparently Mother Nature reads my blog. Who knew? And clearly I hit a nerve. What was she thinking? Something like: "What gall. What insolence. What sheer audacity."

Perhaps you're unaware. Certainly I need a refresher course, but there are certain truths about Mother Nature that we all need to be aware of. Ignore at your own peril. Like do not, whatever you do, refrain from bemoaning the results of her handiwork. She does not take criticism well (constructive or otherwise), and (take note, this one's the biggie) she will get you back. She does not forgive, she does not forget and she does not suffer fools gladly (that would be me, btw).

Mea Culpa. I’m sorry. I take full responsibility. It was me. | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #MyGraphics

Mother Nature's answer? "Oh honey, you're complaining about nuisance snow? You want to whine, I'll give you something to whine about." And BOOM, 4 days later she unleashes it all, her entire repertoire and all in one day. Yes, she was that mad.

"Rain? . Sleet? . Ice? . Snow? . That whole nuisance thing? Annoyance this. Inconvenience this. Nuisance these 9 inches of snow. Oh, and just for shits and giggles, lets add some whipping winds so it all piles up against your garage door. You didn't want to drive again this month anyway, right {{insert diabolical laugh here}}?"

Crushed pineapple and orange juice flavor this Orange Pineapple Cake. Full of flavor, easy to make starting with boxed ingredients, beautiful to serve. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake
Orange Pineapple Cake
Crushed pineapple and orange juice flavor this Orange Pineapple Cake. Full of flavor, easy to make starting with boxed ingredients, beautiful to serve. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

Dear Mother Nature:

I give up, Uncle, I raise the white flag, surrender. In fact, as a show of good faith, I've baked you a cake. Using warm weather flavors and a floral backdrop. You know, for inspiration. 

I'm sorry. I'm honestly and truly and fully humbled. Mea Culpa. Forgive me. Excuse my impertinence. Color me contrite. I am regretful, remorseful, apologetic. I repent.

I bow to your omnipotence, oh goddess of the atmosphere and respectfully ask for another chance. March is in just 5 days. What say we start over? A clean slate? I won't open my big fat mouth kvetch about the weather. In return I ask for just one teeny tiny itty bitty favor. Take a break. Rest, relax, pamper yourself, maybe go to a spa. But please, please, in the name of all that is holy, allow us to be reunited with that big yellow orb that, if my memory serves me, used to show up now and then in the sky.

Karen Baking In A (well, maybe I shouldn't specify where, wouldn't want to give you any ideas).

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

Orange Pineapple Cake         

Printable Recipe

1 can crushed pineapple in juice
1 box Orange Supreme cake mix 
1 box (3 oz) pineapple jello mix
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 TBSP orange juice
a few drops of orange food coloring
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup dried pineapple, chopped

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9-inch round cake pans.
*Drain the crushed pineapple well, reserving the juice.
*Beat the cake mix, jello mix, pineapple juice from the can, 1/2 cup of orange juice, oil and eggs for 2 minutes. Fold in the reserved crushed pineapple and pour into prepared pans.
*Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely.
*Beat the cream cheese, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, 2 TBSP orange juice and the food coloring. 
*In a separate bowl, beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks hold. Remove 3/4 cup of the whipped cream to use for decoration, then fold the remaining whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Remove about 1 1/4 cups of this mixture to a separate bowl and fold the chopped dried pineapple into this third for the filling.
*Place one cake layer onto your serving plate. Spread the frosting mix that has the chopped dried pineapple in it over the top. Cover with the second cake layer and frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting.
*Use reserved whipped cream for decoration.
*Store, covered, in the refrigerator.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Spiderman Meets Electro: 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 Jules of The Bergham Chronicles.

Funny Friday, a multi blogger picture captioning challenge | Picture submitted by Jules of The Bergham Chronicles| Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com | #funny #laugh

1. Mom (to herself): "Fix my hair," she said. "I know it takes a long time but I want it to be pretty," she said. That's an hour of my life I'll never get back.

2. Gigi: Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? 

3. Gigi: Mom, I love this. Put it on my Christmas list.
Mom: Oh honey, this is a Van de Graaff static electricity generator, not a toy you can get for Christmas. 
Gigi: Don't worry, Santa will figure out a way to bring it to me.
Mom (under her breath): Great. Just great.

4.Gigi: Mom, I need to go home right now and change my clothes.
Mom: Why, honey, did something happen?
Gigi: Yes, something happened. I wore my Spiderman outfit and I need to wear Electro.
Mom: I think it's OK for you to be wearing the Spiderman outfit, honey. You can be Electro next time.
Gigi: NO Mom, we need to go home now, I'm afraid I'll confuse all of the little kids.
Mom (through gritted teeth to her husband): Great idea you had for a fun day, taking her to the museum . . . letting her wear whatever she wants . . . now we're doing wardrobe changes?

5.Gigi: Wow, I look exactly like mom does when she comes in the house on a cold winter day and takes her hat off.

{{mom turns red as everyone in the museum laughs}}

 And now for something yummy: 

Shrimp and crabmeat take this creamy Seafood Macaroni and Cheese to another level. A few surprise ingredients add to the flavor and texture. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Seafood Macaroni and Cheese
Shrimp and crabmeat take this creamy Seafood Macaroni and Cheese to another level. A few surprise ingredients add to the flavor and texture. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:
Southern Belle Charm 
The Bergham Chronicles
Cognitive Script 

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

Seafood Macaroni and Cheese

1# package Elbow macaroni
4.5 oz can of Lump Crab meat, drain and pat dry
12 oz small cooked shrimp, peeled, deveinved, tail off
1 cup half and half
2 oz jar pimentos, well drained
1/2 cup creamy dill dip
2 cups Colby jack cheese, shredded
1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1 1/4 cups garlic and butter seasoned croutons, crushed, divided
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork

*Grease a 9 X 13 baking dish. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
*Cook macaroni to al dente. Rinse 2 or 3 times with cold water to stop the cooking process and cool it down. Drain well. Mix in the crab and the shrimp.
*Mix the half and half, pimentos, dip, Colby jack, parmesan, 3/4 cup of the crushed croutons, salt, pepper, cayenne and eggs into the macaroni.
*Put into the prepared dish. Sprinkle with the remaining crushed croutons.
*Bake for 35 minutes. It should be bubbling around the edges.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Winter Mishigas

I hate this winter. It's been one thing after another. There were constant snow storms. Nothing major, just 3 to 5 inches each time, but they kept coming, time after time after time. I had infections in both of my ears and a broken toe, making it just as difficult to leave the house in the smaller snow events (since I could only wear a flip flop on one foot) as it would have been in larger snow storms. 

To make things worse, we had whipping winds. More than once we joined our neighbors chasing trash cans up the street (yes, with me in flip flops) and of course on one of the coldest days PurDude had his first flat tire of the year (and yes, multiple flat tires in a year is a thing, for his car anyway). 

So, needless to say, I spent a lot of time in the house. And although I love to read, scream and swear at the national news and play a little sudoku, winter is (take my word for it) a long, long, long season. Out of desperation, I came up with a few diversions around the house to keep me occupied. And, big bonus, a fun game to play with the family at the end of the day. I thought I'd share some of my new pastimes. If you ever find yourself with 2 ear infections and a broken toe in the winter time, perhaps you'll need to amuse yourself too. 

Winter Mishigas, or how to amuse yourself while stuck indoors. | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #winter

~ Count all of your toothpicks. 
     *Remember this number but don't tell anyone, it's on a need to know basis (trust me on this).

~ Do the laundry, not just the underwear because you don't have a clean pair, all of the laundry.
     *Keep track of how many loads you've done. 

~ Go through the fridge and throw out any item with a "use by" date before the year 2000. 
     *Be sure to make note of how many items you discard.

~ Use every item in your make-up drawer. Color is cheerful on a dismal day.
     *You may want to refrain from posting a pic on social media. Unless, of course, you're so desperate to leave the house you don't mind doing it in a straight jacket.

~ Open a bag of candy. You know, the one hiding in your underwear drawer or in the back of your baking ingredients shelf (don't even try to tell me you don't hide candy, no way I'll believe you) and count how many pieces are inside. Compare it to the number specified on the package. Hint: If you get the same number as the company, count again. Use your fingers and toes if you have to. I won't tell.
     *Yes, note both numbers.

~ Bake. Duh. 
     *Write up a blog post and share the recipe. They'll be so impressed.

 Tastes Like a Candy Bar Cookies are versatile cookies inspired by some favorite candy bars. Many ingredient options, use the ones that work best for your tastes. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #chocolate
Tastes Like a Candy Bar Cookies

~ Rearrange all of your seasonings and spices in alphabetical order.
     *Take a picture and post on Instagram. They'll be so impressed.

~ Do a dinner challenge. Make dinner with whatever you have on hand. Anything with a "use by" date of 2000 till present is fair game.
     *Snapchat a pic of your concoction creation. They'll be so impressed.

~ Now that you've cooked dinner, re-rearrange all of your seasonings and spices back in alphabetical order. 
     *Note: no need to post the re-arrangement on Instagram. However, if it doesn't look exactly like it did last time, go through them singing your ABCs to see where you went wrong.

~ When the family gathers for dinner, offer to play a new game of trivia to see who cleans the kitchen and takes out the trash. 
     *Sample trivia questions:
      How many toothpicks do we have in the house?
      How many loads of laundry does it take to clean all of our clothes?
       How many items did we have sitting in the fridge that had a "use by" date before the year 2000?
     How many different colors are represented on my face? 
      Tell them how many candies the bag says are in the package. How many are there actually? This can be a trick question, of course as you may have eaten a few when counting. But that's for you to know and them to never find out.
      What are the ingredients in this dinner?

~ Take a picture of whoever is doing the after dinner chores and send it to everyone in your "contacts" list. They'll be so impressed.

Is it Spring yet? Please tell me it's almost Spring . . .

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Tastes Like a Candy Bar Cookies        

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (makes about 50 cookies):
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 stick margarine, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 box (about 3.5 oz) Almond Joy, Mounds or Hershey's Chocolate instant pudding mix
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda 
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips, semi sweet, dark or a combination of both
1/2 cup of toasted coconut, brickle baking chips or a combination of both

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper
*Cream together the butter, margarine, brown sugar, sugar, and pudding mix of your choice. Beat in the eggs.
*Slowly at first until incorporated, beat in the flour and baking soda. Add the mix-ins of your choice.
*Roll into 1 inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to sit on the baking sheets for 2 minutes before removing to cool completely.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Lock Him Out: Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 6 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

My poor husband, you can always tell when he's really tired.

A few times a week he works late and I leave a plate for him to stick in the microwave when he gets home. If the dishwasher is fairly full, I put the detergent in the dishwasher so he eats, sticks his plate in the dishwasher and turns it on. 

A few days ago the dishwasher was really full in the afternoon so I ran and emptied it.

The next morning I realized that when Hubs came home, he ate his dinner, put his plate in the empty dishwasher and, with no detergent, turned it on and ran it.

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

I have infections in both of my ears. College Boy was talking to me about it.

College Boy: You know how PurDude has tubes in his ears?
Me: No, he doesn't now.
College Boy: I thought he still did.
Me: They're not permanent. He had them 3 or 4 times but hasn't had them in like 25 years.
College Boy: Not sure how that works since he's only 22 . . .

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

I was trying a new cookie recipe, Butterscotch White Chocolate Chip Crinkles and, of course, just as they were coming out of the oven, College Boy walked in.

College Boy: Can I try one?
Me: They're just coming out of the oven, I'm not sure they'd be good hot.
College Boy: I'll let you know.

Give the boy credit, he knows to let me pick which cookies I'll want for pictures so he lets me choose one for him.

College Boy: They're really good hot.
Me: Good, they came out, they'll be even better once they cool.
College Boy: I don't know if I'll like them cool, I should have another hot one.

Smiling, I choose him another one, and then at his urging, another.

College Boy: One more?
Me: Enough, you've had four.
College Boy: Three.
Me: Whatever, you've had enough.
College Boy (surreptitiously grabs a cookie and shoves the whole thing in his mouth) mumbles: You're right. Four.

BTW: He's only still alive because the one he swiped wasn't one I'd chosen for pictures.

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

It was a freezing cold day and the wind made it worse. I looked out on the deck and saw my table covered in snow. For some reason I decided it would be a good idea to take pictures of the plate of cookies out on the snow covered table.

While I was out there, Hubs came upstairs and, when I came in, was in the kitchen making a sandwich. I have no idea if he knew I was even out on the deck, let alone what I was doing out there.

Me (walking in the door): It's SO cold out there.
Hubs: It's cold with that door open for just a minute.
Me: I think my cookies are frozen.
Hubs: . . . and "cookies" are a euphemism for . . .
Me (grabbing the plate of cookies from outside and placing them on the counter): Actually, I think my literal cookies are frozen.

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

It was a rare weekend night when both boys were going to be here for dinner. I had made Baby Backs, a favorite of PurDude's. 

College Boy: What's for dinner?
Me: Baby Backs. 
College Boy: Oh.
Me: Oh?
College Boy: I've decided to be a vegetarian.
Me: What do you mean?
College Boy: It's nothing philosophical, really, I just don't like meat any more.
Me: Any meat?
College Boy: Pretty much, so I've stopped eating it.
Me: I made a new side dish to go with the barbecued ribs, a sweet and spicy cauliflower and butternut squash. It has apples and onions in it. I can make some rice and you can eat it over rice.
College Boy: I don't like cauliflower. 
Me: You basically don't like any vegetables. Or fruits for that matter. But you're going to be a vegetarian?
College Boy: Well, I haven't worked out the logistics yet.

Sweet and Spicy Cauliflower and Squash marries vegetables with onion and apple studded barbecue sauce. Serve as a side dish or add leftover pork and rice for a full dinner. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #vegetables

Sweet and Spicy Cauliflower and Squash

Since I had pre-made the ribs but was heating them up on the grill, and since it had snowed that morning, Hubs was kind enough to go out and shovel off the back porch for me.

I opened the slider while he was out there and asked him to just take the cover off of the grill before he came in. He agreed and I went upstairs to put the laundry away.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I thought I was hearing banging, but I ignored it. When I came back downstairs, there was Hubs, out on the deck, banging on the door. 

Yup, I locked him out.

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

PurDude and his friends had come to the house to finally get the Kegerator he'd brought home from college and move it to PurDude's apartment.

It had been a while since some of his friends had been here. They walked in the door and I heard:

BB: It's been a while since I've been here. It almost feels like being back in high school and hanging out on a Saturday night.

He walks into the kitchen, sees a plate of cookies sitting on the counter, and grabs one.

BB: Now it feels exactly like being back in high school and hanging out on a Saturday night.

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

PurDude and BB had to borrow one of our cars to get the Kegerator downtown. We've always had only one SUV, but right now Hubs and I both have one. PurDude wanted to know which one to take.

Me: You should take mine.
Hubs: No, you should take mine, it's got more room in the back.
Me: Mine has those WeatherTech car mats that will protect the back. And mine has a great sound system. And it drives more smoothly. And . . .
Hubs: Is everything a competition?
Me: You mean it's not? 

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

I woke up on Sunday a few weeks ago excited for the day. Purdue was playing basketball in the morning and if they won would tie for first place in the Big 10. Then that night was the Superbowl, and my Patriots were playing. 

I could smell the coffee brewing in the kitchen, got up and headed for the bedroom door when I caught my baby toe on the bedpost. I heard it crack. 

I sat on the couch in a lot of pain.

Me: Can you defrost the burgers for later? I can't get up, I broke my toe.
Hubs: Sure.

Later . . .

Me: Can you bring me some water and aspirin? I can't get up, I broke my toe.
Hubs: Sure.

Later, Hubs had been downstairs and, of course, comes up just as I'm standing at the fridge pouring a glass of wine.

Hubs: I thought you couldn't get up because you broke your toe.
Me: I broke my toe, not my mind . . . 

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

Hubs was out doing errands on a Saturday afternoon and called to ask if I needed anything. I didn't but I was making soup for dinner and thought I'd like to serve it with a loaf of crusty Sourdough bread so I asked him to stop by Panera and grab a loaf.

Twenty minutes later Hubs comes back with a box of chocolate croissants from Panera. No bread, just the croissants.

Ask me if I'm surprised.

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

Never Ever Give Up Hope  
Menopausal Mother 
Spatulas on Parade
Follow me home 
The Bergham Chronicles 

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

Sweet and Spicy Cauliflower and Squash

1 head cauliflower
1# butternut squash (can use a package of pre-chopped squash)
1/2 onion, sliced thin
1/2 apple, chopped
1 cup BBQ sauce
2 TBSP apricot jam
2 tsp hot sauce

*Rinse the cauliflower, cut into florets and pat dry. Place in a large microwave safe bowl.
*Peel, remove seeds and chop the squash into small pieces. Place in the bowl with the cauliflower. Cover and set aside.
*Coat a saucepan with non-stick spray. Heat to medium and add the onion and apple. Cook and stir until soft. 
*Add the BBQ sauce, jam and hot sauce to the pan with the onion and apple. Lower the heat and cook, stirring now and then for 15 minutes.
*Microwave the cauliflower and butternut squash for 3 1/2 minutes. Drizzle with the sauce.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Broken Toe (Black and) Blues

I broke my baby toe. Again. 

I'd like to say that doing it once is enough to instill caution but, sadly, after that initial trauma, and even after the second, I reverted right back to walking around with abandon.

The first time I broke my baby toe was when my kids were really young, like around 3 and 4 maybe. Let me tell you that it's best to do these things when your loving family is around to support you. Or not. I had been about to get the kids some juice when it happened. I fell to the kitchen floor holding my foot, writhing around with tears in my eyes saying "ouch, ouch, ouch" over and over. My younger son, oblivious as usual, just went about his business. My older son stood over me demanding his juice {{sigh}}.

This time, just to add a little more drama (read: trauma) to the whole experience, when I caught that baby toe on the bed post trying a little too enthusiastically to get to the coffee pot that particular morning, I heard it crack. Let me tell you, it's been weeks and I still sometimes hear that crack in my sleep. I may need therapy. But then I digress . . .

The first few times I broke a toe (always the baby one for some reason), I ended up in the emergency room. My toe was crooked, and my foot was swollen and red, then black and blue so I thought it should be looked at. Amateur move. Once you've sat in the waiting room for about 100 hours, they take you back, treat you to doctors and x-rays and all things expensive, hand you a "boot" (which is the moon-boot cousin of the flip flop but with itchy velcro to strap you in for take-off) which requires the utilization of a fork lift to raise your foot to walk, btw. Then they tell you there is nothing that can be done for a broken toe, it'll heal itself. OH, and as a parting gift, a bill that will require you to take out a second mortgage on your house. And yes, that's just the co-pay.

The Broken Toe (Black and) Blues | Graphic designed by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #funny

With all this experience, it's clear that I'm the broken baby toe aficionado, expert, pundit, guru, authority. So here are a few of the "do"s and "don't"s of the broken toe circuit:

First of all, just say "no". Don't do it. For the smallest of appendages that thing sure does know how to get your attention if you anger it. Make friends with your little digit and protect it with all you've got. That means (for those of us who are a little slow on the uptake - meaning me - walk around not into furniture).

If, for reasons beyond your control (go with me here) you do break it, do it in the summer. The logistics of a winter toe break is bleak. Don't think you can go into a store wearing one shoe and one flip flop without people giving you the "she's nuts" look (well, on my son's advice I did take to shopping at Walmart where my, ahem, unique footwear attire didn't even get me an honorable mention). 

One thing I did learn having broken my toe in February this particular time turned out to be a true time saver. If you have to leave the house you can skip the whole step of having to ice it to reduce the swelling. Believe me, just walking outdoors wearing a flip flop ices it plenty.

Speaking of winter, as much as I hate to impart this little nugget of advice, you're going to have to go commando. I know, I know, not what you want to hear, but let me tell you (possibly from experience although I'm not in a position to confirm or deny at this point) if you catch that toe on your panties when getting dressed (no? just me?), they're gonna have to peel you off the ceiling.

Keeping up your strength is important so eat lots of sweets. Yeah, I know, it's my answer to everything but it helps. Pinky (not baby toe) swear.

Butterscotch White Chocolate Chip Crinkles, boxed ingredients come together in minutes to make these butterscotch cookies studded with sweet white chocolate chips. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cookies

Butterscotch White Chocolate Chip Crinkles

Whatever you do, carpe the diem out of that thing. So far, in the first few days I was unable to do the laundry ("I can't put weight on it while transferring clothes from the washer to the dryer"), do the dishes ("but it swells when I stand that long"), change the toilet paper roll ("you want me to walk all the way to the hall closet?"), go downstairs to put the leftovers in the freezer ("do you really want to take the chance that I'll fall and break the rest of my toes?"), and bought a new pair of shoes online ("to make me feel better and give me something to look forward to").

Last piece of advice: make up a good story. "I caught my toe on a piece of furniture" is just so overdone. Well, in my house anyway.

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

Butterscotch White Chocolate Crinkles        

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (makes about 40):
1box yellow cake mix
1 box instant butterscotch pudding mix
1 egg
8 oz cool whip, defrosted
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup powdered sugar

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper.
*Mix together cake mix, pudding mix, egg and cool whip. Mix in the white chocolate chips.
*Place the powdered sugar on a plate.
*Drop a heaping teaspoon of the mix at a time into the powdered sugar and roll around to cover completely. 
*Place on the prepared baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes.
*Allow to set on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to cool completely.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Red Hot on the Inside: 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: red ~ hardwood ~ dog ~ heel ~ destroyed
They were submitted by Minette of Southern Belle Charm.

It's been cold. How cold was it? So cold the news felt less like information and more like dire warnings and climbing mortality numbers. Whipping winds that had me out front at 5am chasing my trash cans down the street in the frigid cold. My recycle bin, which had been full when I put it at the curb the night before was now flying through the air, empty. It was so windy I wouldn't have been surprised if it had fallen on a wicked witch wearing ruby slippers. I could use a bejeweled pair of red heels (who couldn't?) But I digress). No, no new shoes for me, that sucker bounced off the house and nearly took me out.
Each day I thought it would get better and each day it got worse. Zero degrees, ten below, 20 below and more.

I was actually worried because they were saying not to be outside more than a few minutes at a time. I mean, if I had a dog, I swear I'd let him pee in the house. Some things, man or beast, should just not be frozen off. And PurDude had a 15 minute walk to work from where he lives. Poor kid, I texted him daily. First telling him to wear a scarf over his mouth to breathe into because they were reporting that it was so cold that breathing too much of the frigid air can actually freeze your lungs. Then I wanted him to wear his ski goggles because the next day they were reporting that your eyeballs could be frozen, destroyed. Your eyeballs? Really? Maybe not. Apparently the consensus on Google is that it actually cannot happen. I must have been watching fake news.

I refused to leave the house (yeah, I can do that, groceries are overrated) and spent a lot of time curled up on the couch wrapped in a throw. Like a mummy. I had the fireplace going 24/7 and knew if I ran out of wood there was a chance I'd be ripping up our hardwood floors. Even with the heat on and the fireplace going and the warm throw, I swear I could still feel the whipping winds. 

A hot meal made it to the table each night, not only because I took pity on Hubs, who had to venture out to work each day, but because warming us up on the inside seemed like as good a plan as staying warm on the outside. On the coldest night, I pulled out some red hot sausages and put together my Hot Sausage Mostacchioli Casserole.  

The conversation after dinner went something like this:

Hubs: My stomach's on fire.
Me: You're welcome.

Hot Sausage Mostaccioli Casserole is comfort food, Italian style, with a bit of a kick Pasta, sausage and vegetables are baked in a creamy marinara sauce and topped with melted cheese. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Hot Sausage Mostaccioli Casserole

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Hot Sausage Mostaccioli Casserole

12 oz mostaccioli pasta
1 small onion, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups marinara (my homemade recipe is HERE)
1 # hot italian sausages (about 4 sausages)
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

*Heat the marinara in a pot over medium heat until hot. Turn the heat down so it doesn't boil.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan. Spread 1/2 cup marinara into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. 
*Cook the mostaccioli to al dente. Drain and set aside.
*Spray a large skillet with non-stick spray. Cook and stir the onion, pepper, mushrooms and garlic over medium heat until soft. Remove from the skillet and place in the pot with the marinara.
*Pierce the sausages and cook in the same skillet over medium heat, turning now and then, until the sausages are cooked. Remove to a plate and slice. 
*In a large bowl, gently mix the mostaccioli, marinara, sausages, mascarpone and parmesan. Pour into the baking pan and sprinkle with the mozzarella. Cover.
*Bake for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the cover and bake for another 10 minutes.