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.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Joke's on You: April Poetry

Time for our Monthly
Poetry Group.
When friends all write poems,
And I write . . . well, poop.

Ha! The Joke's on You,
is April's fitting theme.
A time for funny tricks,
and one not so nice scheme.

Read on for the story,
poetry again did I slaughter?
Or perhaps achieved more,
than mere litter box fodder?

Ha! The Joke's on You, a monthly poetry challenge based on a theme. | Graphic property of The Bergham Chronicles | Presented on www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #poetry

The Joke's on You

There was a young man,
we'll just call him Jay.
Always joking around, 
nothing got in his way.

A favorite of his targets,
younger brother Drew,
the butt of funny jokes,
but sometimes mean too. 

April Fools Day was
Jay's time to shine,
fake barf, whoopie cushions, 
This day's just sublime.

On and on this went,
all through their young life.
Wasn't till college
removed Drew from Jay's strife.

Maturity brought friendship,
between the two boys.
Regular dinners together, 
with wives, kids and toys.

First of the month
every month without fail.
They all got together
compared their lives' tales.

First in March Jay hosted,
next time Ann and Drew,
It was the first of April,
Drew had . . . something to do.

Ann cooked a lovely dinner
using fresh chicken legs.
With horror saw Drew
mirroring hers but with dregs. 

Orange Maple Chicken Legs, a favorite for both adults and kids. Orange Maple sauce is added to roasted chicken legs at the end of the baking process for a quick flavorful dinner option. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInaTornado.com | #recipe #dinner
Orange Maple Chicken Legs

The ingredients, it was clear
were different as could be,
Drew's had eye of newt,
and was that bark from a tree?

Meal time came and 
it sure was a winner.
Except Jay who got a
different plate of that dinner.

"Delicious" all complimented
Jay grimaced with a gag,
"Eat up" Drew to brother,
Of Ann's cooking, please brag.

A few more bites 
and Drew took pity
replaced Jay's meal,
with one less . . . gritty.

"Owed you one" said young brother,
"truth be told, quite a few.
April Fools, older brother,
Ha! The joke is on you!"

Before you go, click on these links to more poetry from some of my friends: 
Dawn of Cognitive Script shares Jokers Wild
Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares Stuck on You
Diane of On the Border shares Brother of a Joke.

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

Orange Maple Chicken Legs

5 - 6 chicken legs
salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika
1 TBSP corn starch
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup maple syrup

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking pan with tin foil. 
*Sprinkle the chicken legs with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Bake for 30 minutes.
*While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce. Mix the cornstarch with 1 TBSP cold water and set aside. Whisk together the orange juice, red wine vinegar and maple syrup in a small pot over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, then whisk in the cornstarch and water mixture. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat.
*After 30 minutes, turn the chicken legs over and pour about 3/4 of the sauce over the chicken. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Make sure the chicken is fully cooked and the juices run clear.
*Drizzle some of the remaining sauce over the chicken and serve with the rest on the side. 

Monday, April 8, 2019

Pina Colada Cake: Spring Cleaning 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 Spring Cleaning.

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, Spring Cleaning. | Graphic by Jules of The Bergham Chronicles | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

I made a Pina Colada Cake.

Pina Colada Cake, this quick and easy bunt cake has flavors that take you to the beach on a summer day. Mix, bake, glaze and you’re done. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

Pina Colada Cake 
Pina Colada Cake, this quick and easy bunt cake has flavors that take you to the beach on a summer day. Mix, bake, glaze and you’re done. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

I do not like spring cleaning. There, I said it. In fact, I don't like cleaning at all. Yeah, it gets done (although not necessarily by me) so don't be afraid to ring my doorbell. But once a year there's some cleaning that only I can do. Each spring, like it or not, Passover arrives. I cannot tell you how much I suffer through this holiday. Among the other dietary laws, no foods with leavening can be eaten. No breads, rolls, cakes, cookies . . . no cereal, rice, pasta, nothing fun. For eight days. Everything has to be made from scratch with alternate ingredients. It is the biggest pain in the butt, especially when the boys were young and I needed to make not just meals but snacks for after school as well. 

The spring cleaning comes in preparation for the holiday. You are supposed to clean out your fridge and your pantry and throw away or donate any foods not allowed for the holiday. Let me just say right now that I'm not a good rule follower. Especially this one. I do the clean out part but I don't throw away or donate any forbidden foods that will keep, I just store them in the very back of the pantry. What I do is take the opportunity to discard or use anything that shouldn't sit around any longer, and I always make something I can't have over the holiday.

It's actually a fun challenge, placing the items I want to use or throw away on the counter and see what I can make with them. This year? Well, this year was easy. The ingredients just spoke to me. I had a box of yellow cake mix, a half empty jar of maraschino cherries, a can of crushed pineapple (must have missed this one last year because I think it's been in the pantry quite a while) and some leftover toasted coconut that, again, I'm not sure when I'd made in the first place. These particular ingredients screamed (well, not literally), Pina Colada Cake. Just add rum, which I don't drink on Passover either {{sob}}.

Using a mix, the cake comes together pretty quickly and easily. Gather the ingredients:

Pina Colada Cake, this quick and easy bunt cake has flavors that take you to the beach on a summer day. Mix, bake, glaze and you’re done. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

Beat the batter, then mix in the cherries.
Pina Colada Cake, this quick and easy bunt cake has flavors that take you to the beach on a summer day. Mix, bake, glaze and you’re done. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

Spread into the prepared bundt pan and it's ready for the oven.

Pina Colada Cake, this quick and easy bunt cake has flavors that take you to the beach on a summer day. Mix, bake, glaze and you’re done. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

Allow to set for 10 minutes in the pan.

Pina Colada Cake, this quick and easy bunt cake has flavors that take you to the beach on a summer day. Mix, bake, glaze and you’re done. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

Remove and cool completely.

Pina Colada Cake, this quick and easy bunt cake has flavors that take you to the beach on a summer day. Mix, bake, glaze and you’re done. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

Last step, whisk the topping and drizzle over the cake. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and serve!
Pina Colada Cake, this quick and easy bunt cake has flavors that take you to the beach on a summer day. Mix, bake, glaze and you’re done. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

Spring cleaning may not be fun. And Passover is definitely not fun. But Pina Colada Cake? Now that's a party!

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:

Dawn of Spatulas on Parade shares Spring Clean Up Eating, changing favorite recipes into healthier versions.
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Spring Cleaning.  | Spring Clean Up Eating by Dawn of Spatuas on Parade | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

Melissa of My Heartfelt Sentiments shares Spring Fun, a spring card made from scraps. 
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Spring Cleaning.  | Spring Card by Melissa of My Heartfelt Sentiments | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

Stacy of Stacy Sews and Schools shares The Unpaper Towel, reusable kitchen towels. 
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Spring Cleaning.  | The Unpaper Towel by Stacy of Stacy Sews and Schools | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares Kids' Easter Cross Painting, simple and easy for little kids.
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Spring Cleaning.  | Kids' Easter Cross Painting by Lydia of Cluttered Genius | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

Jules of The Bergham Chronicles shares Cleaning Out My Closet.
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Spring Cleaning.  | Cleaning out my Closet by Jules of The Bergham Chronicles | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

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

Pina Colada Cake

Printable Recipe

1 box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup coconut rum
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple
15 maraschino cherries

1 cup powdered sugar
3 TBSP maraschino cherry juice (from the jar)
2 - 3 TBSP coconut rum (can substitute grenadine for less alcohol flavor)
1/4 cup toasted coconut

*Grease and flour a bundt pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Remove the cherries from the jar to a paper towel to drain. Reserve the juice in the jar for use in the topping. Discard the stems from the cherries and cut the cherries into quarters.
*Beat cake mix, eggs, oil. water, rum and crushed pineapples (with juice) for 2 minutes. Mix in the quartered cherries.
*Pour evenly into bundt pan. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the center of the top springs back to the touch.
*Cool for 10 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely.
*Mix together the powdered sugar and 3 TBSP juice from the cherry jar. One TBSP at a time, add your choice of coconut rum or grenadine until the mixture reaches thick drizzling consistency. Drizzle over the cooled cake. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.