Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Facets of Fear: Word Counters

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

Counting my words again. 

Today my fellow Word Counters and I are sharing our monthly group post. Each month one group member picks a number between 12 and 74. All participating bloggers are then challenged to write something (or a few somethings, as the case may be) using that exact number of words. Today we all share what we came up with.




 The October number is 68. 
It was chosen by Mimi of Messymimi's Meanderings.

As I've been doing in these Word Counters posts, I've chosen a theme and am using my word count multiple times in keeping with the theme. This month I've chosen the theme Facets of Fear.

~ I'm writing about fear today, it is October after all. This month is associated with fear, thanks in part to Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, and Chucky (to name a few). Not to mention the fact that I'll never hear a chainsaw without the hair on the back of my neck standing up. But fear isn't just for October, there are many facets of fear in our everyday life.

~ Loss: this is probably one of the most painful fears we have. We all fear loss of many different types, from small and annoying to huge and devastating. I just bought my son renter's insurance, which is actually fear of loss of our belongings, a smaller loss in the scheme of things. The most powerful fear is the death of a loved one. Cancer sucks, by the way.

~ Change: also known as fear of the unknown. There is reassurance in the status quo. Many people are actively fearful of almost any change, find comfort in what we know, the routines that keep us organized, the way things work for us. Change can bring on anxiety, extreme anxiety for some. Anxiety is not fear, but is often a byproduct of it, making this fear a real threat.

~ Stagnation: just as change brings about anxiety, there are also many circumstances in which we fear being stuck in a rut. Same old, same old only takes us so far. We need to grow, to open ourselves to new experiences. Stagnation in a relationship can bring it to an end. 

And who wants to eat the same things every night? Variety is the spice of life, after all.


Shrimp and Scallop Bake, shellfish and broccoli bake together in this dish that assembles and bakes in ½ hour. Perfect for either a weeknight dinner or a special occasion. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Shrimp and Scallop Bake
Shrimp and Scallop Bake, shellfish and broccoli bake together in this dish that assembles and bakes in ½ hour. Perfect for either a weeknight dinner or a special occasion. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner


~ Scary movies: I'm convinced that scary movies are fear's version of fun. This is the kind of fear I started this post referring to. It's terror, but not real terror, not for more than a few minutes, anyway. We may very well jump out of our seats, scream out loud, so it's real fear, but it's immediately followed by a laugh, realization that it's all just make believe.

~ Real life creepy crawlies: lions and tigers and bears, nope (brave statement since I've never come face to face with them outside cage at the zoo). Spiders, now that'll do it for me. Not only will we scream, but we'll run (and if you're anything like me you run till you drop), and unlike the Hollywood version of fear, and we'll never follow it up with a laugh. 

~ Others: This fear makes me the saddest, and the angriest, because it's the basis for bigotry. We designate people to groups based on nothing but our own ignorance, on what makes them different from us: their religion or looks, or politics or sexual identity . . . We should only assign value (in terms of whether or not we want them in our lives) by their actions and their character. Period.

~ Ourselves: This is a destructive fear. It's self doubt, insecurity. Truth is, the vast majority of mothers I know have suffered from the paralyzing fear of doing the wrong thing, saying the wrong thing to our children, often resulting in overthinking the situation. It's the fear of being the cause of harm to those we love. If only we could all go back and reassure our past selves. 


Here are links to the other Word Counters posts:

Messymimi’s Meanderings 
On the Border 



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






Shrimp and Scallop Bake
                                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Ingredients:
1 1/2# large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1# sea scallops
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1/4 cup olive oil
3 TBSP cooking sherry
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp dried parsley
3 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste 

1/4 cup melted garlic and herb butter spread
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs 
2/3 cup crushed Ritz crackers
 
sliced lemon for serving 

Directions:
*Pat the shrimp and scallops as dry as you can. Place in a large bowl with the broccoli.
*Whisk together the olive oil, sherry, lemon juice, parsley, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Add to the bowl with the seafood and broccoli and stir to coat all of the ingredients.
*Grease a 9 X 13 baking dish. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
*Mix the seafood again, then distribute evenly into the prepared casserole dish.
*In the same large bowl, mix together the melted butter spread, parmesan, breadcrumbs, and cracker crumbs. Sprinkle on top of the fish and broccoli.
*Bake for 25 minutes or until the shrimp and scallops are cooked through. The shrimp will be pink and the scallops will be opague.
*Serve with slices of lemon.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Teeth of a Shark: Use Your Words

Use Your Words, a multiblogger writing challenge | developed and run by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


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.




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: bowl ~ polecat ~ mixed vegetables ~ dune ~ frost ~ weeds
They were submitted by Jenniy of Climaxed.
                      

Sometimes the words I'm assigned just speak to me, send me in a direction in which I feel almost compelled to go. Other times . . . not so much. This was a not so much group of words. Nothing wrong with that, it's just more of a challenge. What I had a hard time with was making the words gel together. Mixed vegetables and bowl, yup, easy peasy, but how to add polecat to that? No idea. Even dune, frost and weeds I could make work, but with mixed vegetables?
 
So I was going to have to think outside the box, not a real stretch as far as how my brain works. Or, I'd have to divulge something a bit . . . ahem . . . abnormal. Again, not a real stretch as far as how my brain works. 
 
So let me ask you this, have you ever thought of what it might be like to have the arsenal of another creature at your disposal?
 
Not benign, like "float like a butterfly," more aggressive, like "sting like a bee." 
 
Now I'm gonna have to admit here that I had to do a little research into the polecat. I'd heard the saying "angry as a polecat," but never really knew what it meant. Turns out they're similar to skunks, they eject a foul liquid when they feel threatened. I can work with that. So, for instance, when the boys would whine and complain when I'd steamed mixed vegetables for dinner, saying they smelled disgusting (especially when cauliflower was involved), I could say "you think that smells disgusting? How about this (insert noxious odor here)? 

Of course, given how their rooms sometimes smelled, I'm not sure they weren't immune to noxious odors. {{sigh}}.

Or how about when Hubs would steal candy from the Halloween bowl (yeah, I saw you) or the kids would sneak snacks for breakfast? Ah, to be a giant spider jumping out. Spiders don't even have to do anything really, just be their silent creepy selves. Stealth mode, quite the fear evoking superpower they have there.

Apple Pumpkin S’more Bars, favorite fall flavors mixed with marshmallows, baked onto a shortbread crust. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #Halloween

Apple Pumpkin S'more Bars
Apple Pumpkin S’more Bars, favorite fall flavors mixed with marshmallows, baked onto a shortbread crust. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #Halloween
 
 
How many prickly situations do you think you might avoid if everyone knew you had the quills of a porcupine? 
 
Or how often do you think you'd hear "bite me" if you had the teeth of a shark? Bite you? I'll bite you. Hiding up there on the dunes? No problem, I'll be living in this ocean for a good long time and I have quite the memory, as well as a damn good appetite. (Btw, I googled it, some species of sharks can remember for up to a year, so hope you're going swimming sometime soon).
 
But most of all, you know what really frosts my ass cookies? All of those snake in the grass politicians, promising one thing and doing the opposite. How I would love to slither out of the weeds, eyes locked on them, fangs out and tail rattling. Tell me that wouldn't be eminently gratifying.
 
So have you? Ever thought of what it might be like to have the arsenal of another creature at your disposal?
 
Yeah, me neither. 
 

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

Wandering Web Designer
On the Border 


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






Apple Pumpkin S'more Bars
                                               ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Ingredients:
  7TBSP canola oil
3 TBSP Apple Bourbon or apple juice
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/4 cups flour
1 apple, cored, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup pepitas
1/2 cup toffee baking bits
1 bag (8 oz) Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows (can use regular marshmallows and add 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice to the apple mixture)

Directions:
*Grease an 8 X 11 baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Whisk together the oil, vodka or apple juice and pumpkin pie spice, then mix in the powdered sugar and flour to form a dough. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.
*Cut the marshmallows into quarters.
*Mix together the chopped apple, pepitas, toffee bits, and marshmallow quarters. Spread evenly onto the crust in the pan.
*Bake for 35 minutes. Gently run a knife around the edges and cool completely. Slice with a wet or greased knife to serve.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Luddite Lesson: Luddites Poetry




Luddites, a monthly poetry challenge based on a theme. | Graphic designed by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #poetry
 
 
Luddites poetry? I must admit,
don't know who picked the theme.
Wasn't sure I could commit,
just spelling it makes me scream. 

But quitter's not a name for me,
I'll try, no guarantee.
I mean, how hard can it really be?
Guess we're about to see.



Luddite Lesson 
 
Luddites are a dinosaur,
living in the past.
but progress makes things easier,
possibilities are vast.

How I love my TV shows,
keep me well amused.
Understanding of investigations grows,
love guessing who'll be accused.

Kindle lets me borrow books,
and never leave my home.
Choose from bedroom's cozy nook,
have my choice of any tome.

The information highway is,
right there at our fingertips.
Any subject, you can be a whiz,
even take virtual trips.

These days we get to see,
how childhood friends are now.
Social media is the key,
never again lose touch we vow.

Cell phones are the saving grace,
of every single mother.
Any time and any place, 
our kids we get to smother.

YouTube channels, they are shows!
Learn to fix, craft and cook.
Everyone shares what he knows,
all you have to do is look.


Peanut Butter Pepita Muffins, peanut butter flavored muffins with a hint of honey and the crunch of pepitas. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake

Peanut Butter Pepita Muffins
Peanut Butter Pepita Muffins, peanut butter flavored muffins with a hint of honey and the crunch of pepitas. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake

But:

Comprehension seems to have slumped,
in my golden years, Luddite.
Newfangled stuff has got me stumped,
second thought, you may be right.



Before you go, click on these links to more poetry from one of my friends:
Diane of On the Border shares Ludd and Me.




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







 Peanut Butter Pepita Muffins     
                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com 


Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 TBSP honey
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup roasted, shelled, lightly salted pepitas, divided

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place muffin cups in 12 cup tin or spray with non-stick spray.
*In a large bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, honey, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, and milk.
*In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
*Add the dry ingredients to the large bowl and stir, just until incorporated. Mix in 1/2 cup of the pepitas.
*Divide the dough into the 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle with the remaining pepitas.
*Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch. Cool in muffin tin for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely.


Monday, October 12, 2020

Caramel Apple Custard Bars: The Apple Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree Blog With Friends


 
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree | Graphic designed by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com


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.



This month's theme is The Apple Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree.


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



I made Caramel Apple Custard Bars.


Caramel Apple Custard Bars feature and oat crust and a custard center with apples and caramel. The flavors of Fall in a dessert bar. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake


Caramel Apple Custard Bars
 
Caramel Apple Custard Bars feature and oat crust and a custard center with apples and caramel. The flavors of Fall in a dessert bar. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake
 

Although the saying "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" doesn't really have anything to do with apples per se, I made an apple recipe. I mean, what was I going to do, use pears?

Besides, an apple a day . . . 

As far as the meaning of the saying goes, my little (OK, not so little any more) apples actually do fall pretty far from the tree, especially when it comes to cooking. Neither of the boys do any at all, even a grilled cheese sandwich is more work than they'll take on in the kitchen. When it comes to ordering take-out, though? Apples, meet tree.

But when it comes to eating, that's another story. We all have our individual tastes, of course, but we agree on many favorite foods. This time of year, a lot of them include apples. When the boys were little, I'd invite a bunch of families, we'd all go out to the farm and pick apples, come back to my house where we'd all make apple pies and applesauce, and then have a hearty dinner together before everyone headed home. 

These days the apples come from the store (Braeburn and Honey Crisp are our favorites), and besides the apple pies and applesauce, I make Caramel Topped Apple Spice Bread, Apple Pie Cheesecake, Apple Cinnamon Ring, and so much more.

Today, in honor of my boys and as a nod to those days at the apple orchard, I'm sharing a new apple recipe. If I'm lucky, really really lucky, maybe it'll entice those apples to come visit this old tree?

As always, grab those ingredients together to start:
 
Caramel Apple Custard Bars feature and oat crust and a custard center with apples and caramel. The flavors of Fall in a dessert bar. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake
 
Prepare the crust and press into the pan:
 
Caramel Apple Custard Bars feature and oat crust and a custard center with apples and caramel. The flavors of Fall in a dessert bar. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake
 
Layer on the apples and sprinkle with the caramel baking bits: 

Caramel Apple Custard Bars feature and oat crust and a custard center with apples and caramel. The flavors of Fall in a dessert bar. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake



Beat together the custard ingredients, pour over the apples and sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon.
 
Caramel Apple Custard Bars feature and oat crust and a custard center with apples and caramel. The flavors of Fall in a dessert bar. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake

Bake, cool to room temperature:
 
Caramel Apple Custard Bars feature and oat crust and a custard center with apples and caramel. The flavors of Fall in a dessert bar. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake
 
And slice:
 
Caramel Apple Custard Bars feature and oat crust and a custard center with apples and caramel. The flavors of Fall in a dessert bar. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bake

 

As always, any time you make one of my recipes, feel free to post a picture of it to my Baking In A Tornado Facebook Page. I'd love to see it!

Be sure to visit all of this month's other Blog With Friends projects:
 
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree | Apples, Apples, Everywhere by P.J. of A ‘lil HooHaa | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

P. J. of A 'lil HooHaa shares Apples, apples, everywhere!
 
 
 
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree | The Apple Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree by Tamara of Part-time Working Hockey Mom | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com
 
 
Tamara of Part-time Working Hockey Mom shares The 🍏 Apple 🍎 Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree 🌳.





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Caramel Apple Custard Bars
                                                                          ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
 2 cups quick oats
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp apple pie spice
6 TBSP butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
 
2 apples, cored, peeled, sliced
2/3 cup caramel baking bits
 
3 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk (I used fat free)
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 TBSP flour
1/2 tsp apple pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
 
Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 X 11 baking pan. 
*Mix together the oats, powdered sugar, salt, 3/4 tsp apple pie spice and vanilla. Mix in the melted butter. Press into the bottom and partially up the sides of the prepared pan.
*Arrange the apples so they cover the crust. Sprinkle with the caramel baking bits.
*Beat the eggs, brown sugar, evaporated milk, lemon zest, flour and 1/2 tsp apple pie spice. Carefully pour over the apples, then sprinkle with the cinnamon.
*Bake for about 50 minutes, until the edges brown and the center is set. Run a knife gently around the edges. Allow to cool at room temperature for at least 1/2 hour before slicing.
*Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Scary is in the Eye of the Beholder: Secret Subject Swap


Secret Subject Swap, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 6 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.

 



My subject is: What is the scariest costume you can think of?

It was submitted by: Sarah of The Crazy Mama Llama.   
 
Ironic how words come back to haunt (pun sort of intended) you. When Sarah sent this prompt in, I laughed and told her it was an easy one, I had a one word (well, name) answer. 

Then this prompt ended up being mine and, it turns out, it's not easy, far from it. Because, as they say, one name does not a whole blog post make. Or as I say, anyway.
 
Truth is, this Halloween has me so torn. I love seeing the kids, their fun and funny and scary costumes, I smile all night (no, that smile isn't just from the candy I sneak from our goodie bowl). I really don't want to turn off our outdoor light and keep our door shut, yet I really feel like I should. In a state that never locked down and a city that had no mask mandate until September (then did nothing to ensure compliance), schools that opened normally in August (and now have multiple covid cases associated with them), it's still not safe. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do.
 
What I'll do right now though, is answer Sarah's question, but I'll expand on it a little. It may turn out that I'll only be seeing costumes in my mind this year, so I'm listing some costumes, both real and imagined. Since costumes aren't only scary, some of the best being sweet or inspirational or or funny just plain innovative, I'll start with some costumes I'd like to see (or wish I were wearing to a party) that aren't scary:

10) Ina Garten. Bearing gifts, of course.

Ginger, Pear and Pumpkin Cake has a hint of ginger and is studded with chunks of fresh pear. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake

Ginger, Pear and Pumpkin Cake
Ginger, Pear and Pumpkin Cake has a hint of ginger and is studded with chunks of fresh pear. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #cake
   
 
9) Bobby Flay, no need to bring me anything.

8) A time machine, set to infinity and beyond, or at the very least, set to 2021.
OR  
A transporter, "beam me up, Scotty" (and start up the impulse drive, warp 9).

7) Barack Obama's birth certificate.

6) Mrs. Peacock with a knife in the kitchen.

5) Bill DisBarr.

4) Jimmy Hoffa (with a goal post) OR Don Lewis (sans tiger).

3) The Prize Patrol.

2) The "baby Huey" orange diapered trump balloon. 

1) Ruth Bader Ginsberg, עליה השלום (A"H), someone we should all strive to resemble more.
 
And now, to (finally) answer Sarah's question, whether I end up seeing them or not, here is a list of what I'd imagine the scariest costumes would be. In descending order. But be forewarned, scary is in the eye of the beholder:

Scary is in the Eye of the Beholder | graphic designed by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #MyGraphics


 
10) "The Real Housewives." Of pretty much anywhere.
 
9) Dr. Phil.
 
8) Billy the Puppet. Although I did once make him into a pretty cool looking cake.

Billy the Puppet Cake | Recipe developed by https://www.bakinginatornado.com/2015/10/blog-with-friends-scary-stuff.html | #recipe #Halloween
 
7) Mark Zuckerberg.
 
6) President Ivanka.
 
5) Bare chested Putin on a horse.
 
4) Pennywise.
 
3) A coronavirus molecule.
 
2) Moscow Mitch.
 
1) trump. Without a mask (either kind).

The scariest thing of all, always, but this Halloween and in the next few months to come, is the threat of the loss of that which we hold most dear: equal rights, democracy, humanity, integrity, compassion. Our only weapon is a free and fair election and I'm afraid, very afraid, that may no longer be possible.
 
"Fight for the things you care about." 
"Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time."
~~ RBG ~~


 Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:


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Ginger, Pear and Pumpkin Cake
                                                              ©www.BakingInATornado.com



Printable Recipe


Ingredients:
2 ripe Bartlett pears
1 box yellow cake mix
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1/2 cup ginger ale, flat
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 TBSP ginger ale, flat

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan.

*Core, remove the skin, and chop the pears, set aside.
*Beat cake mix, pumpkin puree, eggs, 1/2 cup ginger ale, oil, cinnamon and 1/2 tsp ginger for 2 minutes. Mix in the chopped pears.
*Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
*Bake for about 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 the powdered sugar, remaining ginger and remaining ginger ale. Drizzle over the cooled cake.