Friday, January 31, 2020

Man Down: 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,  | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

Here's today's picture. It was submitted by Me!

Funny Friday, a multi blogger picture captioning challenge | Picture taken by and property of | #funny #laugh

1. Basketball hoop to self: I'm not getting any younger and those kids just wear me out. I'm just gonna lay down and take a quick rest.

2. Kid (walking into the house and calling out to his mom): OK, I went out to play and I beat that game, can I come back in now?

3. Therapist: So why are you here?
Basketball hoop: Well, I've been bullied my whole life . . . hit, grabbed and swung on, had things thrown at me . . . it's become like a game to them.

4. Kid: I like it, at least I'll finally be able to make a basket. 

5. Kid: Hey dad, man down!

 And now for something yummy: 

Raspberry Red Velvet Truffles are a no bake sweet treat made with just 6 ingredients in under a half hour. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

Raspberry Red Velvet Truffles
Raspberry Red Velvet Truffles are a no bake sweet treat made with just 6 ingredients in under a half hour. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile: 
Spatulas on Parade 
Southern Belle Charm 
Follow Me Home 
Medicated Musings 

Baking In A Tornado signature/logo | | #MyGraphics

Raspberry Red Velvet Truffles        

Printable Recipe

1 package (12.2 oz) Red Velvet Oreos
4 oz cream cheese
1 TBSP Chambord (can substitute 1 tsp raspberry extract)
2 TBSP seedless raspberry jam
8 oz red candy melts
*Crush the cookies in a food processor. Add the cream cheese, the liquor (or extract) and the jam. Pulse to incorporate. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
*Roll into approximately 25 3/4 inch balls. Place on a tray lined with parchment paper and stick a toothpick into each. Freeze for at least an hour.
*Melt the candy melts in the microwave until smooth when stirred. Holding them by the toothpicks, dip each truffle into the candy melt to coat. Let the excess run off, then stick the toothpick into styrofoam (you can place them onto parchment paper but the tops will be flat). 
*Once set, remove the toothpick. Store in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature to serve.
*Store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Bring Me to You

Today's post has a back story, but then don't they all?

I was followed on twitter by a blogger I hadn't heard of before. I love when that happens. I then got a comment from the same person on my Secret Subject Swap group writing challenge. He seemed interested in the challenges I run. One thing led to another and he signed up for next month's Secret Subject Swap. I double love when that happens. 

It looks like the way P.J. found me was through another blogging friend, Dawn of Spatulas on Parade. She sent me a message saying that I might hear from him about my challenges. Once I explained to her that I had and he'd already signed up and joined our private group, she mentioned something else, he runs a "20 Days of Chill" writing challenge in January, and that it's going on now. She sent me the link and I checked it out.
Apparently he posts a list of themes, one per day for most of the week days in January. Now if you read this blog regularly (you do, right?), you know that I follow a schedule and post about 10 times a month. Seven of those are the challenges I run and the other 3 are what I call "free style", meaning I babble on about this or that and you either follow along gleefully (OK, that may be wishful thinking) or roll your eyes (that's alright, I'm immune, my boys do that on a regular basis) and check out the day's recipe.

It was already mid January so I'd missed most of A 'lil Hoo Haa's prompts, but oh how I would have loved to have seen this list earlier. Because the theme he'd chosen for January 15th was "Dream On", and I just love telling the story of the couple of degrees of separation I have from Aerosmith. But {{sigh}}, too late. 

As I said, much of my blogging dance card was previously spoken for, but I did have today open. I'd already made the recipe but hadn't written the post. His theme is "Bring Me To You" and, given the recipe I'd made and the (bribery) ulterior motive, I could make this work.

Strawberry Cookies and Cream Cake is studded with crushed cookies and chopped strawberries, then topped with a strawberry cream frosting and sprinkled with more crushed cookies. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

Strawberry Cookies and Cream Cake
Strawberry Cookies and Cream Cake is studded with crushed cookies and chopped strawberries, then topped with a strawberry cream frosting and sprinkled with more crushed cookies. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

I think that most of you know by now that I began developing recipes and baking for a number of reasons, to keep my mind busy, to relax and relieve stress, and to lure kids to my basement. 

WAIT! That may not have come out right. For those of you who haven't followed me from the beginning (shame on you), put down your phone, don't dial 911 just yet, let me explain.

I'd noticed, when the boys were little, that the more I baked, the more they and their friends would play at our house. Fine by me, come on by our house after school, I'll sugar you up, give you a safe place to play and I'll even drive you home at dinner time. But when my boys got older, that's when it really mattered. When kids reach middle school and especially high school they can get themselves into a whole load of mischief. I've told a few of those stories here on the blog, like the time my oldest set my car on fire. Remember that one? It still makes me shudder. 

So those are the years that you want to know where they are and what they're doing. Those are also the years when their goal is the exact opposite. But I had a strategy. We have a finished basement with a pool table, a poker table, a 50 inch tv and gaming systems. It also has its own bathroom and a fridge that I kept stocked with water bottles, gatorade and soda. That along with my always having fresh baked goods turned our house into the hang out spot. See, luring kids to my basement, but in a good way. Kids would pour in our front door, drop their shoes in the laundry room, grab whatever I'd baked and head towards the basement. I knew who my boys' friends were and most importantly where they were. 

Fast forward to now, the boys are grown. College Boy is local so I get to see him often. He's my primary taste tester now. PurDude, as many of you know, went to college 10 hours from here. I missed him like crazy. Afterwards, though, I got lucky. The best of his job offers was right here in our city. He did move to his own apartment (furnished by yours truly, in just one weekend, no less) but he was only 1/2 hour away, I kept baking and he kept coming home to visit. Perfect.

Not so fast. I had him home for one year. One short year. Last August the company moved him to Boulder (lucky him, not so lucky me). What did I do? Bake, of course (that whole "relieve stress" thing.

Bring Me to You, exploring the power of baked goods. | Graphic designed by and property of | #blogging #MyGraphics

I so loved having him here over Thanksgiving, but haven't seen him since. Colorado (damn you, Colorado) has so much to offer. In December he had vacation days to use or lose so he took some time off. And went skiing. Next month he was going to go visit my mom on Marco Island and I could meet him there, but so many of his high school and college friends have planned trips out to see him that he's using vacation days to ski with his out of state visitors instead.

So I often find myself working on recipes that I know he'd love, pictures of which somehow, accidentally {{wink, wink}} end up in a PM to him. Luring people here with baked goods seems to be my M.O. His answer? "Go ahead and send that to me". Drat, outsmarted by my own flesh and blood.

But let me just say this. If this cake doesn't do its magic and bring you to me, PurDude, don't be surprised if one day soon you find that it brings me to you. 

I'll pack my skis.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Strawberry Cookies and Cream Cake         

Printable Recipe

1 box strawberry cake mix
1 cup water 
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 small (about 6 oz) container strawberry yogurt
1 cup crushed chocolate sandwich cookies
2/3 cup strawberries, hulled and chopped

2 sticks butter, softened
1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow creme 
1/3 cup seedless strawberry jam
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup crushed chocolate sandwich cookies
1 cup powdered sugar
5 - 6 chocolate sandwich cookies, halved
1 strawberry, sliced

*Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Beat the cake mix, water, oil, eggs and yogurt for 2 minutes. Gently mix in 1 cup crushed sandwich cookies and 2/3 cup chopped strawberries.
*Divide between the 2 prepared pans and bake for about 30 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edges and removing to cool completely.
*Beat the butter, marshmallow creme, strawberry jam and vanilla together. Carefully beat in the powdered sugar. If you need to, in order to get the frosting to a spreading consistency, you can add powdered sugar (to make it stiffer) or milk (to loosen it) 1 TBSP at a time. Set aside about 1/2 cup of the frosting for garnishing.
*Place one completely cooled cake round onto a serving plate. Spread about 1/4 of the remaining frosting onto this layer and top with the other cake layer. Frost the top and sides. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup of crushed sandwich cookies.
*Decorate the top of the cake by piping with the 1/2 cup of frosting that had been set aside, the sandwich cookie pieces and the sliced strawberry.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Poopovers are the New Crap Pockets: Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 5 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 | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

I talk a lot about the fact that I love Oxygen and ID shows, they feature true murder mysteries, and when I'm angry with my family, I tell them I'm doing research on how not to get caught if you murder someone.

I was watching the other day and noticed that when talking about victims, they almost always say that he or she was "horribly" murdered, and when the perpetrator is a drug user, they almost always say that he or she got "badly" into drugs. 

Is it necessary to categorize that way? I mean does any victim ever get magnificently murdered? Or does any addict ever get wonderfully into drugs?

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

Since PurDude is so far away and calls infrequently, mostly when something's wrong, I will send him a quick text or PM pretty often as a quick and easy way to stay in touch.

But, as I learned while he was in college, I'm a woman of many thoughts and he's a man of few words. So our conversations frequently go something like this:

Me: Is it still snowing? You were expecting up to 16 inches, did you get that much? Did you drive in to work and if so, how are the roads? Or are you working from home?
PurDude: Yeah.

Which question was he answering? Your guess is as good as mine. Truth is, the only way to get all the information I want out of him requires me to ask just one question, wait for his response, then ask just one more, wait for his response . . . I could die of old age before we finish one conversation.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

Me: I hate to say this, but there's a $300 discrepancy between what the checkbook says and what our online bank account shows. 
Hubs: In our favor?
Me (rolling my eyes): Would I hate to say it if it were in our favor? I'd be at the store spending it.

Hubs: Not in our favor? That's bad. That's a lot of money.
Me: I'm going to go through the checkbook but one of us made a mistake somewhere in there.
Hubs: It must have been you. I don't remember making a $300 mistake.
Me: Ummm, I'm gonna assume that if you knew you made it, you'd have corrected it. Right?
Hubs: Well, yeah.

This is the kind of thing I live with, folks.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

Seems in my old age I make a whole lot of typing mistakes. I talk about them in my Fly on the Wall posts pretty often. I swear I check my spelling before sending texts, PMs and emails, but lately I only seem to find them after the message is sent.

And this latest one is a doozie.

Let me just say that sometimes there's a bigger difference between an "L" and an "I" than you'd imagine.

My friend had sent me an email with some info for an upcoming blog post. She didn't send me the title, though, and I needed that.

What was the email I sent? 

"All set to go, just need your titie."


Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

To this day I still laugh at something that happened just a few months after I'd started blogging. I was sharing a recipe for my Crab Pockets when a friend pointed out that I probably didn't want to promote them as Crap Pockets. Yeah, I'd misspelled it in the worst way possible. 

This week I was trying to entice College Boy to come for dinner. He loves my Popovers so I told him I was making them, sure he'd be on his way. Imagine my surprise when he texted back:

College Boy: I'll pass.
Me: Really? Why?
College Boy: I don't like the sound of that.
Me: What?
College Boy: You said you were making Poopovers.

Yeah, I did it again. Turns out, if I swore to make Popovers instead of Poopovers he was willing to come to dinner after all. Although I did notice he waited for me to take the first bite.

Ratatouille Wraps feature a tortilla with melted cheese and stuffed with a bounty of sautéed vegetables. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #vegetables

Ratatouille Wraps

Ratatouille Wraps feature a tortilla with melted cheese and stuffed with a bounty of sautéed vegetables. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #vegetables

Hubs: I'm off on Martin Luther King day.
Me: Yeah, I figured.
Hubs: I figured you'd figure.
Me: Then why did you tell me?
Hubs: In case you didn't figure.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

It was about 5:00 pm and Hubs and College Boy had been out together looking at cars when I got a text.

Hubs: On our way home.
Me: Are you anywhere near a Popeye's?
Hubs: No.
Me: I'll have one of their chicken sandwiches.
Hubs: Guess I better find a Popeye's.
Me: Good idea.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

Me: I'm furious.
Hubs: What happened?
Me: I was buying some alcohol at Walmart and the guy carded me.
Hubs (laughing): I'd think you'd be happy about that.
Me: When I showed him my ID, he read my date of birth.
Hubs: So?

Hubs: Oh. Am I gonna end up needing bail money for you?
Me: Possibly.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

Me: I'm freezing.
Hubs: Put on a sweatshirt.
Me: Why should I have to wear a sweatshirt in my own home?
Hubs: Then turn up the heat.

Hubs walks away and comes back a short time later. I'm in the kitchen. I'm not wearing a sweatshirt and the heat is not turned up. But there's a bottle of Patron, shot glass, salt shaker, and slice of lime in front of me.

Hubs: What ya doing?
Me: Warming up from the inside.
Hubs: I guess that would be another way to go.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

I'm one of those people who turns off the light when I leave the room. It just drives me crazy to waste anything, water, electricity, whatever.

I came down from taking a shower and the TV in the den was on with no one watching. College Boy was in the shower in the basement. I confronted him immediately when he came upstairs.

Me: You left the TV on while you were in the shower.
College Boy: No I didn't.
Me: Well I came downstairs and it was on.
College Boy: I wasn't watching it.
Me: It didn't turn itself on.
College Boy: No, you turned it on. You were were watching it while drinking your coffee.
Me: Me?
College Boy: Yes, you.
Me: OK, sorry, forget it.
College Boy: Not a chance, Mom, not a chance.

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

Never Ever Give Up Hope  
Menopausal Mother 
Spatulas on Parade 
Medicated Musings 

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Ratatouille Wraps

3 slices eggplant
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper  
3/4 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
3 cloves garlic, minced   
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried tarragon
3 tortillas
6 slices provolone cheese

*Peel the eggplant. Lightly salt both sides and allow to sweat onto paper towels for 10 minutes. Blot and chop.
*Spray a saute pan with non-stick spray. Heat to medium, then add the onion, green pepper and cherry tomatoes. Cook, stirring now and then until they soften, about 8 minutes. 
*Add the eggplant, mushrooms, zucchini and garlic, then sprinkle on the salt, pepper, basil and tarragon. Continue to cook, stirring now and then for another 5 - 7 minutes or until all of the vegetables are completely soft. Remove from heat.
*Place 2 slices of provolone cheese onto each of the tortillas. One at a time, place in the microwave for 20 seconds each. Put 1/3 of the vegetables into the center of each tortilla and roll up. Serve warm.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Winning: Word Counters

Counting my words again. 

Today my fellow Word Counters and I are sharing our monthly group post. The bloggers who are joining me this time all picked a number between 12 and 74 and sent it to me. I gave the numbers out as assignments to other bloggers who 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.

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

I got the number 31. It was submitted by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade.

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 Winning. I chose it because I've written so many posts lately about being sick for 3 months (sorry, when you're sick nothing much is happening in your world so there was little else to talk about), that I thought I'd go for something positive. I choose Winning.

~ Although you're legitimately overly alert (terrified), when it turns out that a cough is just a cough or a sneeze is just a sneeze, no indication of any new plague. Winning.

~ You know how it only snows on days when you're out of everything and have to shop? Well the one time it snows the day AFTER going to the store. Winning. 

~ When you're on your way to the store, turn on the car radio and instead of hearing the last cords of an old favorite song, you hear the first ones. Winning. 

~ You forgot to consider the consequences of those grocery choices. Yet you get those pistachios open without ripping out a nail and that orange peeled without ruining your nail polish. Winning.

~ When you finally start cleaning out the bottom of the hall closet, find an old forgotten still wrapped gift you never delivered (oops), open it and it's something you like. Winning.

Spicy and Sweet Meatballs are versatile, they can be made on the stovetop or in a crockpot and are ideal for an appetizer or a main dish. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Spicy and Sweet Meatballs, Crockpot or Stovetop
Spicy and Sweet Meatballs are versatile, they can be made on the stovetop or in a crockpot and are ideal for an appetizer or a main dish. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

~ After a long day you finally get a chance to sit down. Bad news, that crunch you hear is you sitting on your glasses. Good news, you didn't break them. Winning. 

~ That spider on the floor that startled you into jumping up from the couch screaming ends up just being a black thread. AND no one saw you jumping around screaming. Winning.

~ You find a show about the worst cooks which makes you feel like you're doing better than you'd thought. And, Alton Brown's pained face is priceless (hysterical). Winning (me, not Alton).

~ The new season started and I'm excited for my favorite Oxygen murder shows . . . so much to learn about new ways to kill a spouse. And if I ever need it? Winning!
~ You've created a recipe and would actually {{gasp}} like a bite. You go to the fridge and there it is, one last piece (yes, still counts if you'd hidden it). Winning.

Here are links to the other Word Counters posts:
Spatulas on Parade 
Messymimi’s Meanderings 
On the Border
Medicated Musings 

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Spicy and Sweet Meatballs, Crockpot or Stovetop

1 bottle (16 oz) Russian dressing
1 jar (11 oz) jalapeno pepper jelly
1/3 cup pineapple juice
2# lean ground beef
1 egg
3 TBSP dried minced onion
1 TBSP seasoned salt
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

*In a crockpot on high or in a pot on the stove on medium, bring the Russian dressing, jalapeno jelly and pineapple juice just to a boil. Mix well.

*Meanwhile, just barely mix together the meat, egg, minced onion, seasoned salt and bread crumbs, just until incorporated. Don't over mix.
*Roll the meat mixture into about 1 inch balls and drop into the sauce. Reduce heat to low for crockpot or medium low for a pot on the stove.
*STOVETOP: cook the meatballs for 1/2 hour, gently stir then cook another 1/2 hour.
*CROCKPOT: cook the meatballs for 2 hours, gently stir, cook for 2 more hours or until the meatballs are cooked.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Jack and the Jamaican Jerk: Use Your Words

Today’s post is a monthly writing challenge. If you’re new here, this is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once. All of the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the recipient will take them. Until now.

Use Your Words, a multiblogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #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: afraid ~ clipboard ~ pantry ~ sweepstakes
They were submitted by Rena of Wandering Web Designer.

Hailey clutched her clipboard as she paced the lobby of marketing firm where she worked. She had only been there a short time and this was the first campaign she had successfully pitched. She was proud, nervous, so many things all at once. She didn't need the clipboard of course, she knew all of the rules, the provisos, the plan for the day, but it felt good just to hold it, know that everything was at her fingertips.

Her proposal for the client, a food company ,was now reaching fruition. They ran a sweepstakes appealing to home cooks. Winner was picked at random and would do a series of commercials and social media spots featuring their own personal recipe highlighting one of the company's products. So far even the contest itself had been successful in putting the spotlight on the client's business, and because of that, Hailey felt that her future looked bright.

But today was the day. Jack, the winner, was coming in to discuss the particulars. Hailey was "point man" on her own campaign, so she would greet him, show him around and take him to the conference room to meet Angela, Hailey's boss.

Distracted by her own thoughts, Hailey didn't even know Jack had arrived until she heard him present himself at the desk. A little surprised at first, Hailey walked over and introduced herself to the peculiar looking man. He was short, a dwarf most likely, with long hair and wearing odd looking clothes.

As Hailey showed Jack around, she found him to be funny, personable, interesting, and with a clear love of food and recipes. Exactly what she'd hoped for. She was smiling as she and Jack joined Angela in the conference room. Jack talked about his recipe, a Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Blend that he'd had some success selling on his successful social media channel. 

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Blend can be used as a dry rub on pork or fish, mix it with vegetable oil to marinate chicken, or add to soups and stews. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Blend
Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Blend can be used as a dry rub on pork or fish, mix it with vegetable oil to marinate chicken, or add to soups and stews. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Surprisingly, the campaign was not discussed at length as planned, Angela cut the meeting short. As soon as Hailey walked Jack out, Angela stopped her.

afraid this will not do. What a disaster. You got us into this, get us out of it. Now." Angela angrily addressed Hailey.

The bottom line was that Angela didn't like how Jack looked, insisting he wouldn't be right for the campaign. The runner up was a sweet looking grandmother, that's the look Angela wanted. Hailey argued, Jack may be a little different looking but he is well spoken, has an enthusiasm for food and most important of all he had won. In the end, Angela found a way out, the seasoning blend does not entail cooking, it's a mixture, and although Jack would use the blend to cook pretty much anything the client wanted, Angela was adamant that it made him ineligible. Hailey was  to tell Jack his recipe was disqualified and to get that grandmother in and up to speed immediately.

Hailey dreaded the call to Jack but he was gracious, more than she deserved. More than she would have been.

And the grandmother was . . . well . . . bland. She did fine, but she had no sparkle and the whole campaign was not the success Hailey had hoped for. Worst of all, Angela was putting the blame squarely on Hailey's shoulders.

It wasn't Angela's blame that weighed on her though. It was how Jack was treated. She waffled back and forth between wanting to quit her job and chiding herself for being so naive when it came to business. If you want a career in the marketing world, you have to be willing to put yourself aside and do what's best for the company, right?

The place this whole situation had taken her to emotionally was unrelenting. She continued to weigh the pros and cons of her chosen career, remained embarrassed at having sacrificed her morals for a paycheck and wondered if a change would mean throwing away all that money spent on college. And what career would she change to anyway?

Ultimately though, it kept coming down to this: she was not a bigot, but she was the instrument of one. Could she live with that?

One night after a particularly trying day at work, sitting on her couch with nice strong drink, she turned on the TV to find some "shark" show. She hadn't seen it before but easily got the gist of it while watching. It seemed as though entrepreneurs pitched their products and business plans to a wealthy panel and if any of them found the proposal worth pursing, they'd make an offer for a percentage of the profits. 

As the next "contestant" walked in to make his pitch, Hailey's eyes widened, almost popped out of her head. Was her guilty conscience playing games with her? Did she need to look at that whiskey bottle in her pantry to see just how much she'd added to this cocktail? Because his looks are quite distinctive, and that definitely seems to be Jack talking about the successes he's had with his Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Blend, and about building a company around that and the other blends he's developed.

Jack and the Jamaican Jerk | Graphic designed by and property of | #humor #MyGraphics

Yes, it was Jack. And he got his funding. He hadn't taken the rejection hard, he'd taken it as a challenge. For Hailey, it had now finally all come together. She'd had a great idea for the contest, the winner was a charismatic man who deserved a chance, her instincts were right. But Angela's intervention resulted in a disappointing conclusion to the campaign, one that Angela was holding Hailey responsible for.

The success of this seasoning blend could have been, should have been tied to Hailey's campaign and the client's food company. Hailey started writing up a synopsis of what happened on this show. She'd be sure that Angela knew what her myopic attitude had cost the company. The synopsis would be included in Hailey's letter of resignation.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Blend

2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 TBSP brown sugar
3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper 
2 TBSP dried onion flakes
2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp paprika 

*Gently whisk together all ingredients. Store, covered tightly, in a container.
*Use as a dry rub on pork or fish, mix it with vegetable oil to marinate chicken or add to soups or chowders.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Darkness Calls Me: January Poetry

January is that time of year,
in between, not there nor here.
Holiday season over and done,
the winter lull from fun's begun.

Hibernation's my first thought.
Big vat of soup simmering in a pot.
Hide inside til the dreary darkness goes.
(which is the theme Monthly Poetry Group chose).

 Darkness, a monthly poetry challenge based on a theme. | Graphic property of | #poetry

Darkness Calls Me

"Change your clothes, then brush and floss." 
"I'm not tired, I'll turn and toss,
and darkness scares me," little girl said.
"I don't want to go to bed."

"What I told your sister, do the same."
"Just one more hour and I'll beat this game,
and darkness comes too early," little boy said. 
"I don't want to go to bed."

"You have tests tomorrow, it's already late."
"But I'm going out Mom, I have a date, 
darkness is for parties," teenager said. 
"I don't want to go to bed."

But for mom there is no break,
"pay the bills and then I'll bake."
"Darkness calls me," tired mom said.
"Oh how I want to go to bed."

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake, a chocolate crust is filled with a creamy dark chocolate cheesecake mixture, baked, then sprinkled with a little chocolate crumble. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #chocolate

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
Dark Chocolate Cheesecake, a chocolate crust is filled with a creamy dark chocolate cheesecake mixture, baked, then sprinkled with a little chocolate crumble. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #chocolate

Before you go, click on these links to more poetry from some of my friends:

Dawn of Spatulas on Parade shares Darkness
Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares The Darkness Fades.
Diane of On the Border shares Light in the Darkness.

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Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Printable Recipe

12 chocolate graham cracker sheets
1/4 cup powdered sugar
6 TBSP butter, melted

1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
1/2 tsp instant coffee powder

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

*Wrap a sheet of tin foil around the bottom and partially up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Lightly grease the inside of the pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

*Melt the dark chocolate chips in the milk in the microwave until smooth. Add the coffee powder and set aside.
*In a food processor, crush the chocolate graham crackers to fine crumbs. Set aside about 1/2 cup for garnish. Mix the remaining crumbs with the powdered sugar and melted butter and press into and partially up the sides of the prepared pan.
*Beat the cream cheese, sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the sour cream, heavy cream and vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time. Last, beat in the melted chocolate.
*Pour the batter into the prepared crust. Bake for 60 - 75 minutes, until the center is just set.
*Remove from oven, sprinkle with the reserved graham cracker crumbs and allow to cool to room temperature. 
*Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before gently running a knife around the cheesecake and removing the side of the pan. Store leftovers in refrigerator.