Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Bring it all Home to Me

We've gotten lazy, and that's not a complaint. I remember how crazy hectic, and that's an understatement, life was once Hubs and I added kids to the mix. Maybe I'm aging myself, but that was in the days when you started the day with a list of errands, actually had to pack up the car and the kids and the diaper bags and the stroller, go out to each and every store, and pat your exhausted self at the end of the day if you got halfway through it. AND did laundry and made dinner.

It's not that way any more. And although I've heard people say that we are becoming a secluded, sedentary society sitting in the house ordering this and that, let me tell you, this convenience does not preclude going out. We can always go for walks, meet friends for lunch, go to a game, join a club .  . . The less time we spend out doing chores, the more time we can be out doing things that make us smile. Works for me.

Ahh, the chores that can be accomplished over a cup of coffee these days. Food can now be delivered right to your door in pretty much any form: groceries, or ingredients with a recipe, or even fully pre-made meals. PurDude does this one (despite the fact that I fully outfitted his kitchen). He won't let me package meals for him but orders them through a service. I'm not insulted. OK, I am). No more trips to the drug store, those too can be ordered online for delivery. Pet food and toys, yeah, these days I wouldn't be fighting a 20# bag of dog food into the car while balancing kids on my hips. I can get books from the local library sent right to my kindle, and they even disappear when my borrow time is up. I order a ballot through the election commission and vote by mail, no longer waiting in 2 hour lines. And don't think small either, you can actually order a car shipped right to, you guessed it, your front door (well, I assume your driveway, but you get the idea).

Bring it all Home to Me | Graphic designed by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #humor

As far as we've come in home delivery though, there's still (always) further to go. Here are my top five wishes for the continued evolution of the home delivery craze:

~ Gas. The car kind, we've got plenty of the other colorless (but sadly not odorless) flammable vapor around, thank you very much. But when it comes to pumping gas I just hate it in the winter. Or in the rain. If someone could just work out bringing it to the house, that would be great. I'll open the garage door, even pull the car out to make it easier to fill the tank. Oh, and while you're here, want to check the oil? And the coolant? You'll wash the windshield too, right?

~ Jury duty. There are people who don't mind doing it and people who do. There are those who never get called and those, like me, who get called on a regular basis. The main reason I moan, groan, put it off and try to get out of it is the time and place. The courthouse, at which I have to arrive by 8:30 am, is 35 to 40 minutes away downtown, which is about an hour and a half in traffic at that time of the day. And there's no parking. I have to find a local parking garage and walk. Now if you'd like to bring the whole thing to my house, no problem. I'll hear you out, cast my deliberation vote, hell, I'll even serve treats. Then you can all pack up and move out to the next juror's house.

Apple Nutella Pockets start with refrigerator cinnamon roll dough, are stuffed with Nutella and an apple and walnut mixture, then baked in the oven like individual apple pies. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake

Apple Nutella Pockets
Apple Nutella Pockets start with refrigerator cinnamon roll dough, are stuffed with Nutella and an apple and walnut mixture, then baked in the oven like individual apple pies. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake

~ The winning lottery ticket. Don't waste your time bringing me any of those losers, and I'm not even paying you to bring me one of the low dollar winners either, I want a yacht, a Maserati and a French Chateau.

~ Cash. I can deposit checks from home, pay bills from home, but for those few times when I actually need cash? Show me the money. And do it at my front door.

~ Grown kids. Yeah, PurDude lives downtown, works there too (although not for long {{sob}}), has a car that I gave him and gas that I pay form yet I just don't see him enough. Once a week initially, now we're at about once every other week. Coincidentally the change occurred at about the time he took the kegerator from his frat, that had been stored at our house, and moved it to his apartment, but I digress. If only there were a service to bring him to me whenever I want. Just pick him up, throw him in the back of a truck or something (I'll leave the details to the experts) and deliver him to his mama.

What about you? Anything you want to add to the convenience of home delivery list? 

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

Apple Nutella Pockets         

Printable Recipe

2 apples of your choice, cored, peeled and finely chopped
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tubes refrigerated cinnamon roll dough
8 tsp Nutella
*Chop the apples and mix with the walnuts, brown sugar and 3/4 tsp cinnamon. NOTE: You can do this part a day ahead of time, cover and refrigerate.
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan. 
*Set aside the glaze and individually roll out the cinnamon rolls (works best if you place a piece of wax paper over each before rolling) to about 4 1/2 inch circles. Place about 1/2 tsp Nutella into the center of each. Divide the apple mixture evenly among all 16 of the rolls. Pull the sides up to the top and twist, then pinch to close.
*Space evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes. 
*Allow to cool slightly, then drizzle with the glaze if desired.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Money for Nothin' and Your Gas for Free: 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 Dawn of Cognitive Script.

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

1. Woman to herself: Wow, I must have gotten a lucky pump, it's not charging me. Gotta love free gas, and not the kind Hubs "shares" at home either.

2. Woman (to her husband in the car): I can't see the numbers move, I think I may need new glasses.

3. Husband (sitting in the car, speaking to himself under his breath): You don't need to come with me to get gas, she said. You showed me how to pump my own, it's not that hard, she said. And people wonder why I'm the one who cooks dinner.

4. Woman to her husband in the car: This one's broken.
Husband: Duhhhhh!

5) Kid (in the car): Mom!
Woman pumping gas: Just a minute honey, I'm pumping gas.
Kid: But Mom!
Woman pumping gas: You're going to have to wait a minute.
Kid: But Moooooommmmm!
Woman pumping gas: I've told you three times to wait a minute, one more word and you're going to be punished.
Kid (texting his dad): Help. If you ever want to see me again, come to the gas station.

 And now for something yummy: 

Sweet Hot Blackberry Chicken Roll Ups add plump fresh blackberries to chicken and vegetables in a sweet hot sauce for a beautiful and flavorful sandwich. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #sandwich

Sweet Hot Blackberry Chicken Roll Ups

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

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

Sweet Hot Blackberry Chicken Roll Ups

4 (8 inch) tortillas
4 pieces of lettuce
1 1/4 cups cooked chicken
1/3 cup fresh blackberries, quartered
1/2 carrot, shredded
4 slices red pepper, chopped 
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 TBSP sweet hot mustard

*Lay the tortillas out on the counter. Place a piece of lettuce on each.
*Slice the chicken. Turn each slice on its side and slice into "matchsticks". Place in a bowl. 
*Add the quartered blackberries, shredded carrot and chopped red pepper to the bowl.
*Whisk together the mayonnaise and the sweet hot mustard. Add to the bowl and mix.
*Divide the chicken mixture evenly onto the centers of the tortillas. Fold the sides in slightly, then roll up. Slice and serve.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Email Sucker's Tale

I recently, along with my blogging friend Dawn, published a post in which we supported marketing professionals by buying, using or downloading whatever they were promoting through TV commercials. We took the first 10 commercials we saw and bought in for a blog post called Customer of the Year. If you haven't yet, be sure to give it a read. It's pretty funny, if I do say so myself.

Today, I'm going there again. This time I'm supporting senders of unsolicited emails. After all, these people gotta eat too. At my expense of course, but still. And then there's always the possibility that whatever they're offering could benefit me, right? Never know unless you try. And that's exactly what I did. The first 10 unsolicited emails that came in, whatever they were promoting, count me in.

Email Sucker's Tale | Graphic created by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

So here's how it went, an email sucker's tale:

Although I've been putting it off, I'm going to give in and finally inherit millions from a heretofore unknown Nigerian family member. Note to self: once I've sent the attorney my bank information and paid the fee, check out Ancestry(dot)com to find out just how many rich Nigerian family members I have out there.

I will be enlarging my dick. Well, this could get interesting.

Word must have already gotten out about that dick thing (that was fast) because I am now about to allow Tiffany to send me naked pictures of herself. Maybe I should warn her that the dick enlarging thing hasn't actually been worked out yet?

Currently filling out my registration to meet Silver Singles in my area. Bet they'll be impressed with the new size of my nonexistent dick.

I've been chosen to participate in a study where I will lose 8 lbs in 8 days. OK, I'm happy to try but personally, I think they got the wrong study. Or the wrong person. 'Cause I'm actually already aware of the fact that I'm really good at gaining 8 lbs in 8 days. Better break out those fruits and vegetables.

Only 4 ingredients go into these Simple Grilled Squash Packets. Chop, mix and grill for a simple flavorful side dish. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #vegetables

Simple Grilled Squash Packets

I am immediately clicking on this handy dandy link provided so I can straighten out the issues with my Navy Federal Credit Union back account. I don't even remember opening the account. Hope it has lots of money in it. Oh, I should give that account info to the Nigerian attorney for my fortune deposit. 

Now this is a beneficial email, apparently less stress and debt are only 30 minutes away. I can resolve my debt in 24 to 48 months. Wait, what happened to 30 minutes?

I'm going to be driving for Lyft. I'm guessing that will provide more debt relief than the last offer, but probably not in 30 minutes. Unless I'm a really, really fast driver.

This next one is a really difficult one for me. I'll be listing my home for sale via an online real estate company. Thing is, I wasn't done living in it yet. 

And finally, I'm making a donation to the National Diabedes Association. Honestly, as unsolicited emails go, I'm happy to make a donation to a good cause. Just two questions: first, how did they end up spelling the name of the disease that way in their official association name, and second, when did they move their world headquarters to Kazakhstan?

Oh, and by the way, that whole thing I said about "There's always the possibility that whatever they're offering could benefit me, right?". Turns out, not so much. But you already knew that, didn't you?

Dawn (of Spatulas on Parade and Cognitive Script) has joined me today as well. Check out what emails she's responding to in her post.

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

Simple Grilled Squash Packets        

Printable Recipe

1 large summer squash
10 cherry tomatoes
1/4 red pepper
3 TBSP balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing

*Rinse and dry the squash. Trim the ends, then chop into bite sized pieces. Place in a bowl.
*Rinse, dry and slice the cherry tomatoes in half. Add to the bowl with the squash.
*Rinse, dry, seed and chop the red pepper. Add to the bowl with the other vegetables.
*Add the balsamic vinaigrette to the bowl and toss well. Heat your grill to medium heat.
*Lay out a large piece of heavy foil. Pour the vegetables and dressing into the center of the foil. Fold the ends of the foil in, then pull the other 2 ends together over the vegetables. Roll them together, down to the vegetables to form a sealed packet. 
*Place the packet on the grill and allow to cook for 30 minutes. Open the packet very carefully as the vegetables will be hot.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Cancel Everything: 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 boys are older and mostly on their own. We don't argue as much as when they were younger, mostly because they don't tell me anything, but then that's another story. 

College Boy and I were, however, having a minor argument the other day. I decided to just let it go and went to make a sandwich.

College Boy (walking into the kitchen): Isn't that cannibalism?
Me: What?
College Boy: A witch. Eating a sand-wich.

And yes, he was kidding. I think.

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

I had canceled my newspaper. As papers go, it's not a good one. I was only getting the Sunday edition but they had raised the price quite a bit. I called them, they lowered the price, then 6 months later raised it even higher. When I called again, they told me that they were raising all subscribers' rates to the same amount. So basically my Sunday subscription was going up to the price of a daily subscription? Cancel!

A few weeks later a rep came to my house. We talked for quite a while about what I think of the reporting in the paper and why I canceled. He asked me to come back and offered a price lower than I would have even asked for. He said it would be good for a year, I would not be charged an activation fee, and it included a free subscription to their daily online paper. The day I got my first Sunday paper I could go in online and sign up. I gave him a check and was signed up for 3 months.

On day one I went to their website to sign up for my free online subscription. After I went through all sign up crap, I got in and was immediately met with a message that I owe $1.23 on my account that I need to pay immediately. 

It's not the $1.23, of course, but that already on DAY ONE they're pulling this crap again. Cancel!

Well, that was good while it lasted. NOT!

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

Speaking of canceling, and of sandwiches:

Me: It's here. Tonight is the first night of Passover.
Hubs: This holiday is the worst.
Me: I know, this and Yom Kippur when we fast for the day.
Hubs: There's really never anything I can get for lunch during the week.
Me: And my hands end up raw from all the dishes as I have to special prepare breakfast, lunch on the weekends when you're around, dinner, snacks and desserts. I like to cook and bake but this is exhausting. 
College Boy: I actually prefer Yom Kippur. I'd rather fast than eat matzo. Why don't we just fast for Passover?
Me: Sold!

Cancel again!

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

I'm a good friend. Even to people I've never met, like my blogging friends. I'm always one of the offer my assistance when they're in need. For instance, this exchange that happened a few weeks ago via FB private message with a friend whose websites were hacked and had just gotten them back AND just had her car die.

Me: How's it going now that you have the sites back. I bet you're busy.

Rena: I'm at the car lot finishing up. Just gotta sign my name in blood and give them my first born.
Me: If you don't want to give them your first born, you can give them mine.

See? Always willing to help.

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

Me (to Hubs): Tomorrow's our anniversary and it sucks. With Passover we can't go out to eat, you can't buy a cake, what a crappy anniversary.
Hubs: We'll have to go out when Passover is over. 
Me: Still sucks.
College Boy: You think you've got it bad, tomorrow is also 4/20 day imagine that.
Me: Imagine what?
College Boy: Getting the munchies and not being able to buy gas station nachos in an emergency. 
Me: They'll just have to put off their munchies until Passover is over. . .

Dark Cherry Cheesecake in a Pecan Crust starts with a pecan crust as a great compliment to this classic cheesecake swirled with syrup, then topped with dark sweet cherries. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Dark Cherry Cheesecake in a Pecan Crust

It was a Saturday morning and Hubs had gone out to run a few errands. It was still really cold out but I wanted to open a window on the main floor just to let some air in the house.

I opened the window and the latch (that fits into the mechanism to close the window) broke. The top screw came out. I wouldn't be able to close the window. Crap.

I could see the screw outside so I grabbed my coat (it was cold), a screwdriver, threw on my flip flops (they were in the laundry room) and went outside. Got the screw but couldn't reach to put it in. Damn.

Came inside and grabbed a kitchen chair, dragged it out the front door, around the side and to the back, and got the thing fixed and was just coming in the house.

Of course, there's Hubs. I'm walking in the door with sopping wet hair, wearing a winter coat and flip flops, carrying a chair and a screwdriver.

Hubs: Oh, I can't wait to hear this one.

And I thought I had finally taught him not to ask.

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

Our car insurance renewal came due and I left the bill and coverage info for Hubs to look at. He brought the bill to me later.

Hubs: How long have you been paying this amount?
Me: About 6 months.
Hubs: The amount didn't change two months ago? I made some changes to our coverage.
Me: No.
Hubs: It looks like they never made my changes.
Me: Cancel!
Hubs: No, I don't think canceling our car insurance is going to turn out to be a good idea.
Me: Damn! I was on a roll!

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

Hubs was downstairs (or so I thought) and I was in the master bathroom with the door closed so I was comfortable saying what I was thinking out loud.

Me: You better stop lying or I'll have you canceled too.
Hubs (who, I guess had come upstairs and was in the master bathroom: Who are you talking to in there?
Me: Ummmm. The scale?

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

My cell phone rings on a Sunday afternoon, I look and see that it's PurDude and I start to shake.

Me (answering quickly): What's wrong?
PurDude: That's how you answer the phone? You don't say "hello" and "how are you"?
Me: Is something wrong?
PurDude: Well, yeah . . . 

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I rest my case. 

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

It's fun (not!) having a very literal son. 

I often name my cars, maybe it's a girl thing. 

Anyway, what PurDude was calling for was to tell me that his car died. It's not the battery or starter, it was running really rough yesterday and today it starts up, then shuts itself off. I've told you before that he absolutely loves that car, that he took it from me the day he got his license and it's been his for the past 8 years. But it's 15 years old and has 96,000 miles. The header leaks oil, it's prone to flat tires, the driver's window doesn't go down (well, it'll go down but not back up again) and the remote keys are shot. I figured OK, this is it, RIP, we loved you well.

Hubs got the car going. I asked him to check the oil and replace the air filter and coolant. We have used a guy in the past to work on that car who is a BMW expert and his shop is only a few blocks from where PurDude lives. He called the guy, took the car down and texted me on Tuesday that one of the cylinders wasn't firing, it was worth fixing, the mechanic is going to fix the cylinder and replace the spark plugs. 

Me: You lucked out. That little red beauty will live to see another day. BTW, I always used to name my cars, is that car male or female?
PurDude: Neither, it's a car.

OK then, Mr. Literal.

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

Never Ever Give Up Hope  

Spatulas on Parade
Follow Me Home 
The Crazy Mama Llama
Bookworm in the Kitchen 

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

Dark Cherry Cheesecake in a Pecan Crust

1 can (15 oz) dark sweet pitted cherries in heavy syrup
1 TBSP grenadine

8 oz package of shelled pecans
1/4 cup sugar
2 TBSP butter, melted

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

*Grease a 9 inch springform pan. On the outside of the pan, wrap a sheet of tin foil around the bottom and partially up the sides of the pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
*Place the pecans in a food processor. While processing slowly add the sugar through the chute and then the melted butter, continuing to process until the mixture starts to stick together. Press into the bottom and partially up the sides of the springform pan. Refrigerate.
*Drain 1/4 cup of the syrup out of the can of cherries. Add the grenadine and set aside.
*Beat the cream cheese, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla just until smooth. Beat in the sour cream and heavy cream, then the eggs, one at a time.
*Pour about a third of the cheesecake batter into prepared crust. Drizzle about a third of the syrup/grenadine mixture into the center and swirl lightly into the batter. Repeat two more times until you've using up all of the batter and the syrup/grenadine mixture remaining batter and syrup.
*Bake for 60 - 75 minutes until the center is just set.
*Remove from oven and allow to cool on the counter, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
*Gently run a knife around the cheesecake before removing the side of the springform pan. Spoon the cherries and remaining syrup over the cheesecake to serve.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Alexa, Big Brother's Little Sister

Orwellianism (is that a word?) is alive and well. Like a terrifying sequel, 70 years after George Orwell unleashed Big Brother on the literary world (and my nightmares) via his novel Nineteen Eighty Four, Big Brother has a new little sister. And she's real. No, not alive, but apparently every bit as real. Just this past week it came out that Amazon has had Alexa record some people's conversations. Deja vu, anyone?

George Orwell (in case you've been living under a rock) was a democratic socialist (sound familiar?) who wrote a dystopian novel about a futuristic authoritarian society were citizens were kept under constant surveillance. Big Brother is watching you! But this aint your mama's (or Orwell's) 1984. These days Big Brother actually is watching you in public (CCTV sound familiar?) and, in the sequel, little sister Alexa is not only listening to you but recording you. For their review. Right inside your own home. Welcome back, nightmares.

I may not be an emperor, but I sure am starting to feel like I have no clothes.

Alexa, Big Brother's auditory little sister | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #politics #humor

Creepy, yes, but also mortifying. What have I been saying? What has Alexa been hearing and {{gasp}} recording? Well, in my house . . .

~ After hearing "what have we got to eat?" for the hundredth time: "Alexa, where is the bewst place int he house to hide from Hubs?"

~ After a marathon day of shopping: "Alexa, what day does the master card bill come?"
Followed by: "Alexa, can you book Hubs a tee time on master card bill day?"

~ In the winter: "Alexa, can you tell Mother Nature to stop the snow?"

~ In the spring: "Alexa, why do the Red Sox suck this year?"

~ In the heat of the summer: "Alexa, how do you build an ocean?"

~ "Alexa, can you tell I'm not wearing a bra?"

~ "Alexa, why does that moron next door have to mow his lawn at 8 am?"

~ "Alexa, why is there a soggy bowl of cereal on top of my book shelf?"

~ After hearing the size of the honey-do list: "Alexa, where is the best place in the house to hide from the wife?"

~ After "the wife" finds him and hands him the list: "Alexa, what's a good excuse for having been found sitting in the crawl space?"

~ "Alexa, can you tell my wife that you finished off the Blackberry Pie Cake she made this morning?"
Then, under his breath: "And if you don't want to spend the night on the couch, tell her it was delicious."

Blackberry Pie Cake, full of blackberry flavor this cake comes together in minutes. Mix, bake, cool, frost and serve. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

Blackberry Pie Cake
Blackberry Pie Cake, full of blackberry flavor this cake comes together in minutes. Mix, bake, cool, frost and serve. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

~ "Alexa, where did I leave that bowl of cereal I was eating?"

The Boys:
~ After hearing me say that the lawn needs mowing: "Alexa, where is the best place in the house to hide from mom? And don't say the crawl space, I hear that didn't go well for dad."

~ (whispering): "Alexa, where did mom hide her stash of pistachios."

~ College Boy when job hunting: "Alexa, what states have legalized marijuana?"

~ "Alexa, who ate all the cereal?"

~ "Alexa, how much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?"

~ "Alexa, who's smarter, you or Siri?"

Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon, had his private selfies (coincidentally, private selfies of his privates) that he had sent to his girlfriend released publicly. And I just have to say that when the owner of a company that has deliberately compromised people's privacy gets divorced because HIS privacy has been compromised, well that has to be some kind of epic karma.

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

Blackerry Pie Cake

1 box white cake mix
1 large can (21 oz) blackberry pie filling
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup seedless blackberry jam
1/4 cup blackberry brandy
3 cups powdered sugar
6 oz fresh blackberries, rinse and pat dry

*Grease and flour a 9 X 13 pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Beat the cake mix, pie filling, oil and eggs for 2 minutes. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
*Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch. Cool completely.
*Beat the butter, jam and brandy. Slowly, 1/2 cup at a time, beat in the powdered sugar until the frosting reaches spreading consistency. 
*Set aside 1/2 cup of frosting for garnish, if desired. Spread the remaining frosting over the cooled cake. Cut into 24 pieces, decorate with the remaining frosting and the fresh blackberries.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Wedding Bells for All: 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: magic ~ hallway ~ boots ~ vase ~ wedding
They were submitted by Rena of Wandering Web Designer.

Weddings are magic. She'd always thought so. Not just the love it represents, but all of it. From the initial planning to the consideration of each choice, specific not just to a wedding but to this specific wedding. Weddings are about vows and unity and devotion, but they are also about reflecting who the two people are as a couple. She'd married her husband 8 years ago in a very formal wedding. They'd renewed their vows 3 years ago in a fun, more casual event, and he knew she'd plan another wedding for them every year if he let her {{sigh}} but every five years was as far as he'd go. That was the deal they made and for now she'd honor it.

He didn't say anything about hosting for others though, right? So this was perfect. She got to plan and put on a small wedding right here in their home. Well, it was their beautiful little girl getting married, so who better to host, right? Her husband Michael couldn't complain, all she's asking him to do is pick up their beautiful bride at the day spa, come home and play host. He's off the hook. Well, this year anyway. But 2 more years from now . . .

That's why she not only wanted to do this, but to do it at her home. The couple was clearly in love, had basically known each other since birth. She and Michael were best friends with his parents. The bride and groom, Tiffy and Benny, had even first set eyes on each other here, right here in her kitchen as a matter of fact, when they were tiny little babies. The romantic in her believed that they remembered that day. Yeah, it's not possible, but the connection, that connection between them surely was born that day.

As she put the flowers into a large vase she'd be using as the centerpiece for the buffet table on the back veranda, she looked around and smiled. She was proud of herself. The food was ready, selections for the adults, alternatives for the young ones, and a special treat for the happy couple.

White Chocolate Nonpareil Cookies are perfect for any occasion. White chocolate infused cookie dough, dipped in multicolored nonpareils for a pretty, crunchy topping. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cookies

White Chocolate Nonpareil Cookies

Glancing out the window into the back yard, she was pleased. She'd done the best job she could to set the scene. Truth be told, she had loved every minute of it. Wondered in her own mind if maybe she could make a business out of this. No, she knew without a doubt that this was not for everyone. Probably not for most people, but she knew many who possibly would consider it, a wedding of this sort. Small, yes. Intimate, yes. But she was putting on, if she did say so herself, a beautiful event. Even, not that she had anything to do with it, the weather had cooperated. It was a beautiful, clear sunny day for an outdoor wedding. The pictures would be magnificent.

She really wished her husband would hurry home. He was cutting it close (as was the groom, now that she thought about it). Michael had gone to pick the bride up after a day of pampering and, of course, a cut and blow dry. But guests were actually beginning to let themselves through the gate and into the back yard. No big deal, there was plenty to drink out there and everyone would mingle. After all, you can't start without the bride.

Then she heard it, the easily distinguished sound of her husband's boots, clumping as he entered the back hallway. They're here! Just in time. Out front she could see the groom's parents' car pulling up as they got out with him. He looks great, Benny. Handsome as ever. And wearing a sequined bowtie, too. Perfect. 

Time to go give her beautiful Tiffy a quick kiss, snap on her crystal collar, attach her white lace covered leash and get this lady married.

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

White Chocolate Nonpareil Cookies        

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (makes about 40 cookies:
1 stick butter
1/2 stick margarine
3/4 cups white chocolate chips
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup multicolored nonpareils

*In microwave, melt butter, margarine and white chocolate chips at 15 second intervals until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
*Whisk together eggs with sugars and vanilla, then whisk in the white chocolate mixture. Stir in the flour and salt. Refrigerate for 45 minutes.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper.
*Place the nonpareils in a bowl. Roll the cookie dough into about 1 inch balls, dip the tops into the nonpareils and place, nonpareil side up, onto cookie sheets.
*Bake for 12 minutes. Allow to sit on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to cool completely.