Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Everywhere the Signs

We, well most of us anyway, try to be optimistic. We look for ways to believe. When things are going well for us, we hope that it will continue. And when things are not going all that great, we hope that they will change, and soon. We even look for signs. 

This is especially true as we head towards a new year, as we did just a week ago. We have come to think, especially through all of the new year cliches, that the first of January is a clean slate, a chance to start over. Whatever had been going on in our lives would miraculously end at 11:59 pm on December 31st and just a minute later, at midnight as the calendar changes from one year to the next, so would our lives change. There is good ahead. Believe it.

This is where I found myself as December was reaching its end. I'd had a tough 3 months. Most of you know that I had a bad (is there a good one?) case of the shingles all through October and November. After one week's break, the first week of December, I went right into 2 weeks of the flu followed by a week of a lasting cough and wheezing. Through it all I put on my traditional Thanksgiving dinner, Chanukah dinner and Christmas dinner. As we headed towards our traditional New Year's Eve appetizer buffet, I looked for everything and anything to call a sign that things were looking up.

Orange Pecan Caramel Corn, a crunchy, sweet, citrus and totally addicting snack. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #snack

Orange Pecan Caramel Corn
Orange Pecan Caramel Corn, a crunchy, sweet, citrus and totally addicting snack. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #snack

Like when, on the day before New Year's Eve when I dared to venture into the grocery store. It was not just the day before New Year's Eve, but the day after a weekend, meaning there was a good chance I'd find many empty shelves, a packed store and long lines.

Yeah, it was busy in there, but they had everything on my list. And they opened a new lane as I got ready to check out. There they were, signs that things were going to be looking up for me.

And then, all the appetizer prep work, cooking and baking I needed to get done on Monday and Tuesday, since the shopping went so quickly, I actually completed on Monday. Another sign.

On Tuesday, although I hadn't thought I'd have time, I made a big batch of Orange Pecan Caramel Corn. It was a risk because we all love my Caramel Corn, and like having it around to snack on while we're watching football on New Year's Day or just sitting by the fire on any cold weekend afternoon in the winter. But I had this idea for an Orange Pecan version that I wanted to try. Not only did I find the time to make it, but it came out great. Another sign. Yes, 2020 is definitely going to be my year. The grocery store, the New Year's Eve prep and the Orange Pecan Caramel Corn all say so. Everywhere the signs.

On New Year's Day I slept in a bit, woke up to have a leisurely cup of coffee and found myself smiling. It's here. This is my year. I've survived the 3 months of illness, the hustle and stress of multiple holidays, and all just a little worse for the wear (OK, completely worn down and exhausted) but I had an event free month ahead of me that would allow me to regain my strength. Starting today. I'd go from a few cups of coffee to Brunch Cocktails to sitting by the fire with a bowl of Orange Pecan Caramel Corn, and finally ending this first day of the rest of my life with a lazy dinner of leftover appetizers. 

So, all signs in my favor as I went to sit down on the couch Wednesday afternoon with my warm fluffy Red Sox throw and a bowl of caramel corn, I was happy. I was confident. I was hopeful and optimistic. 

Everywhere the Signs | Graphic created by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #MyGraphics

And then, my butt halfway to the couch, I bumped the bowl . . .

Well hello Karma, didn't see you skulking there in the corner. Caught me counting my chickens, didn't ya?

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

Orange Pecan Caramel Corn

Printable Recipe

3 bags microwave popcorn
1 stick butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp orange zest
3 TBSP orange juice
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup pecan halves

*Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spray a large tin foil roasting pan and a heat resistant spatula or large metal spoon.
*Pop the popcorn and carefully remove any unpopped seeds before placing the popcorn in the roasting pan. Move to the oven.

*In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Cook, stirring constantly until it comes to a boil. Allow to boil for 3 minutes without stirring, then move from the heat.
*Remove the popcorn from the oven and mix in the pecans.
*To the sauce, add the vanilla, orange zest and orange juice, mix quickly. Add the baking soda and mix until it's fully incorporated.
*Pour the orange caramel sauce over the popcorn and pecans and mix well. Put in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, mix well and return to the oven for 20 more minutes. Repeat for a third time and then remove from oven.


  1. A friend of mine says Karma is a b1tch in a red dress, and sometimes i believe it.

    You are putting out good and positive, i hope you get that in return this year.

  2. Oof! But also yum. Thank you for this!

  3. Going to be a good year anyway! (Spilled popcorn or not).

  4. I have to believe there are signs too. Especially when I am having a shitty day. Happy New Year!

    1. Yes, those days are when I'm looking for the signs. Happy New Year to you too.

  5. Signs here, signs there, signs everywhere.....................

  6. It was just your delicious popcorn that spilled. I can top that and if that is a sign, I am investing in bubble wrap.

    1. I know. I'm sorry. I'm hoping you don't need the surgery.

  7. LOL funny but the corn does sound yummy. And you know there's a 5 second rule, scoop it up and enjoy.
    Today the theme for 20 Days of chill is popcorn! LOL you were a little quick on the draw.
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade


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