Friday, November 27, 2020

Hell on Wheels: Funny Friday

Funny Friday:a multi-blogger challenge: one picture, five captions,  | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

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.

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. Driver (to himself): Someone's having a bad day.  
2. Passenger: Who do you think put that sign up?
Driver: Ivanka Trump.

3. Passenger: Based on what I was just going to ask, I really hope that sign isn't prophetic.
Driver: What were you going to ask?
Passenger: I need to pee, are we anywhere near a rest stop?
4. Little Boy: Are we there yet?
Mom: You just asked that a minute ago.
Little Boy: But are we there yet?
Mom: Honey, it's going to be another hour.
Two minutes later:
Little Girl: Are we there yet?
Dad (to wife): See that sign? Bet it was paid for by parents on a road trip.
Mom: Yeah, this trip brings a whole new perspective to the saying "hell on wheels."

5. Driver (to himself): Whoever put that sign up has obviously crossed paths with my ex-wife.

And now for something yummy:

Canadian Bacon French Toast, combines French toast and Canadian bacon with a hint of vanilla and almond for a fun and easy breakfast. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #breakfast

Canadian Bacon French Toast
Canadian Bacon French Toast, combines French toast and Canadian bacon with a hint of vanilla and almond for a fun and easy breakfast. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #breakfast

Click on the link below for more smiles:

Southern Belle Charm 

Baking In A Tornado signature/logo | | #MyGraphics

Canadian Bacon French Toast

4 slices white or wheat bread
4 slices Canadian bacon
2 eggs
1/4 cup French vanilla creamer
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp almond extract 
2 TBSP butter, divided
OPT: serve with powdered sugar and/or maple syrup

*Cut the center out of the bread slices using a cookie cutter of your choice. Remove the centers and set aside.
*Using the same cookie cutter, cut the center out of the slices of Canadian bacon. If the cutter won't cut through the meat, run a knife around the edges of the cutter into the meat. Remove the centers (I chop up the outer edges and freeze for later use in soups).
*Whisk together the egg, creamer, salt, and almond extract in a bowl that will accommodate the slices of bread.
*Melt 1 TBSP butter in a large skillet and heat on medium. 
*Dip both sides of 2 slices of bread in the egg mixture and place them in the pan. Press Canadian bacon cut-outs into the centers.
*Cook until the bottom of the bread is brown. Using a large spatula, flip them over. Lower the heat just a little and brown the other side. Remove from the pan and keep warm while you repeat with the other 2 slices.
*OPT: Dip the bread cut-outs in the egg mixture and cook them as well.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Safe at Home

Celebration Cupcakes for the holidays, birthdays, or any celebration. Moist chocolate cupcakes are filled with marshmallow crème and multicolored sprinkles. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cake
You can't go home again. It's actually the title of a Thomas Wolfe novel published (after his death, and using his notes) in the 1940s. 
It's also come to be a well-known expression, full of nostalgia and making a point about change. We all have childhood memories, some pretty accurate, but others glossed over by the rose-colored glasses of time.
When I go home, I will often drive by the house where I spent my childhood. At first I'm taken aback by how different it looks. Why would anyone take out those beautiful rhododendrons along the front window? Oh, and they took the screens off of the big screened in porch at the side of the house and turned it into a deck. All signs that although you can sort of go home again, it's not the home of your memories. In fact, it's someone else's home, where they've made their own mark, erased some of the embodiment of your very childhood, turned it into what will be fodder for their own future reminiscences. And so it goes . . . and so it goes.
Covid, of course, took a wrecking ball to the meaning of that old saying about not being able to go home again because, quite literally, we could not. What a shift there was in the paradigm. Priorities became crystal clear. Memories, landscape, it all took a back seat.
You CAN go home again | Graphic designed by, property of, and featured | #home #MyGraphics

I don't like repeating the same stories on this blog because it's my hope that many of you read it often and I don't want to leave you rolling your eyes and thinking "yeah, yeah, you told us already." But I'm going to have to give the backstory here, bear with me.

My older son went to college an hour away. He's local and I am (well, most of the time) grateful. My younger son went to college 10 hours away, and it was a tough 4 years of missing him. When he graduated, he had job offers in different states but the offer with the best company was right here at home. I'm not going to lie, I was more than a little excited. He got a loft downtown and was about 30 minutes away. Not too close and not too far.

But after just one short year of having him back home, his company moved him 8 hours away. It was bittersweet because although he'd be gone again, Boulder is a young, vibrant, fun area, perfect for him. He moved on September first. 

A few months later we were together again, I flew him home for Thanksgiving, but shortly later we started hearing about Covid. It quickly became clear what a threat this disease is. He started working from home, I started staying home. 
With him not going into the office, I wanted him here. He knows no one there, and you can work from home anywhere. But the numbers sky rocketed in Boulder, then here, then in both places and it just wasn't safe. I spent months frustrated, shaking my fist at the stars. For endless months I could have been cooking for him, baking for him, celebrating every minute he was here, were it possible, were it safe.

The hard truth was, though, that for the first time ever, I did not know when I would see him again. Thanksgiving would be an entire year.
Celebration Cupcakes for the holidays, birthdays, or any celebration. Moist chocolate cupcakes are filled with marshmallow crème and multicolored sprinkles. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cake
Celebration Cupcakes
There is such a huge difference between not going home knowing that you can versus the knowledge that you cannot. Can is hope, possibility. Cannot is frustration, despair.
It wasn't safe to fly, we didn't know what the weather would be the week of Thanksgiving so we didn't know if he could drive. Through the months he started working once a week, and just as that was about to be twice a week, the surge in Covid cases forced them to work exclusively at home again. He self quarantined, we self quarantined and a little over two weeks ago, on a 70 degree fall day, he drove home.
You can't go home again? How much has changed is meaningless, the dissolution of rose-colored memories is meaningless. Home, ever changing though it may be, is where your family is. 
This mom, with a full heart, knows one consequential fact: 
You CAN go home again. And if it's safe, you should. 
Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

P.S. No matter how you celebrate, who you celebrate with, I wish you the gift of much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving.

Celebration Cupcakes        


Printable Recipe

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 box chocolate instant pudding mix
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup milk
4 eggs
2 jars (7 oz) marshmallow creme
1 TBSP milk
2 TBSP multicolored sprinkles
3 TBSP powdered French vanilla flavored creamer
2 TBSP decorating sequins (can substitute multicolored sprinkles)
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 18 cupcake cups with paper liners.
*Beat the cake mix, pudding mix, oil, 1 cup milk, and eggs for 2 minutes.
*Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 20 to 24 minutes, or until the center springs back to the touch. Cool completely.
*Making sure not to go all the way to the bottom. use an apple corer to make a hole in the center of the cupcakes. Keep the cupcake plugs that you remove.
*Lightly spray a spatula and the inside of a gallon size plastic bag with nonstick spray.
*Mix one of the jars of marshmallow creme with 1 TBSP milk and 2 TBSP multicolored sprinkles. Scoop into the plastic bag.
*Snip the corner of the bag and pipe the fluff into the cored-out centers of the cupcakes. Press the tops of the cupcake plugs on top.
*Mix the French vanilla flavored creamer into the remaining jar of marshmallow creme. Dollop onto the top of the cupcakes. Sprinkle with decorating sequins or more multicolored sprinkles.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Controlling and Preventing the "Z"s: Fly on the Wall


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


Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 3 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.

I often write about my writing mishaps, in tweets, emails, texts, recipes, blog posts, pretty much anywhere. Mostly, although it didn't mitigate the embarrassment, I'd know that if it was auto correct, at least I didn't do it myself. The ones I've caught these last few months though, they were all me {{sigh}}. 

I was typing up a recipe for my Peanut Butter Pepita Muffins for my blog, and I got to the point where you mix in the dry ingredients.

What I attempted to say was:
Add the dry ingredients to the large bowl and stir.
What I actually typed into the recipe:
Ass the dry ingredients to the large bowl and stir.

No, not too embarrassing.

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


PurDude, during his first winter in Boulder, was advised, if he didn't want to rent skis a second year, to check just before ski season, as many people sell their used equipment then and he could get a great deal on good equipment.

So this Fall he did that, bought skis and bindings at a great price. His dad and I did recommend that he buy new boots, not used boots.

A few weeks later, I asked about boots and he'd bought used boots from a CU student.

Me: PurDude bought ski boots today.
Hubs: New?
Me: No, used. He's very stubborn.
Hubs: He comes by that naturally.
Me: You're not stubborn. 
Hubs: I know.

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

I was sitting in the den when I noticed the "missed call" icon on my phone. That's weird, I'd been sitting right there.
I looked, and what I saw was that a call had come in, there was a transcript and a voice recording of it. Apparently, Google Assistant answered the call, asked what they were calling about, told them I can't take the call, ending with "thanks and good-bye." Google Assistant then marked the call as spam.
First of all, I was mortified. Has Google Assistant independently decided to screen my calls? It never has before and I never approved Google usurping my G-d given right to ignore my own phone calls.
Second, they provided me with a transcript of what the caller said, which they perceived to be this:
"(her name here), I'm behind on the centers of the z's control and prevention." 
I didn't even know "z"s needed to be controlled and prevented. I like a good sleep, personally. BTW, I also know there is no apostrophe after "z" in that sentence. If I'm going to have an unwanted assistant, at least get your grammar right.
Fortunately, they included the audio of what she said and yikes! Apparently, she wasn't calling to tell me she's behind on her sleep, she was actually calling on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Get back in your lane, Google.

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

Me: Oh crap, dammit, you've got to be kidding me. No freaking way. 
Hubs: What's so wrong that it's swear worthy?
Me: Stupid Windows had an upgrade and it screwed up my Print Shop, it says I have to reinstall.
Hubs: Do you need it?
Me: That's how I make all my graphics.
Hubs (pointing to my laptop): What's that?
Me: It's the external CD thingy PurDude bought to install Print Shop on my laptop. It's a really old program, it's on disks.
Hubs: Is it installing?
Me: Yes.
Hubs: So what's the problem?
Me: Well it's telling me how much longer it'll take.
Hubs: You're not exactly known for your patience. 
Me: You are known for your patience but I bet even you'd be swearing.
Hubs: Why, how much longer does it say it'll take?
Me: 2258 minutes. How long is that?
Hubs (grabbing the calculator): 37 hours.
Me: {{blink, blink}}.
Hubs: You can recommence your swearing now.

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

If you were in my house this past month, you would have seen me rolling my eyes and shaking my head at my online grocery list.
If I have an item on my list and they run out of it before I place my order, they will recommend similar items, maybe a different brand or a larger or smaller amount.

I had a bag of frozen chopped onions on my list. I use a lot of them in soups and stews and sauces. I guess they ran out so I clicked on their substitution link to see what they had that I could use. Their recommendation? Frozen collard greens. They may think that collard greens and onions are interchangeable but me? Not so much.

White Bean Soup with Shrimp is a warm hearty cold weather dinner. This soup comes together in one large pot in less than an hour. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

White Bean Soup with Shrimp
White Bean Soup with Shrimp is a warm hearty cold weather dinner. This soup comes together in one large pot in less than an hour. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

College Boy was having dinner with us and I was making Cod and Hash Brown Florentine. He doesn't like spinach and I didn't have any chopped broccoli florets to substitute. I had decided to just use half the fish in the casserole (for Hubs) and with the rest, make my Crispy Cod Fingers, which he loves and Hubs can't have. But I didn't tell him that, I thought I'd tease him first.

Me: You want spinach with your fish, right?
College Boy: Are you crazy?
Me: Excuse me? 
College Boy: There's a rumor going round that you're crazy.
Me: A rumor that you started, right?
College Boy: Well someone had to.

Jeez, that kid went from calling me old to calling me crazy. And call me crazy, but I'm thinking it's an improvement.

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

I was watching TV, a true murder show, my favorite. They are showing actual footage of an interview with someone who claims to have knowledge of the murder. Hubs walks into the room just as I start laughing, which is rare when you watch this kind of show.
Hubs: What are you laughing at?
Me (pointing to the TV): See that guy in the interrogation room talking to the cops? 
Hubs: Yes.
Me: He's about to tell the cops what he knows about a murder, but he starts with some background about himself. He says he's 25 years old and he wants to change the way he's living his life. Then he says "I've been in and out of jail since I was 14. That's, like, almost 10 years, man."
Hubs (laughing): Well, I hope he does change his life, get a legitimate job.
Me: Me too. Maybe something where he doesn't have to use . . . you know . . . math.

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

A fly on the wall at my house last month would have seen me scratching my head at this one. Google often recommends articles that would interest me. I'm sad to say (since it means the lack of privacy) that Google is often right. However, I think the whole system had a malfunction when it suggested I might enjoy and article titled:

AMD Navi 21 XT "Big Navi" GPU for Raedeon RX 6900 XT Graphics Card Reportedly Features Insane 2.4 GHz Clocks, 16 GB GDDR6 VRAM & 255W TGP

Read it? First I'd have to find out what language to translate it from.

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

Me: Oh, crap.
Hubs: What's wrong?
Me: I just remembered something I needed to get done this week. I lost track of time. Damn. Is today Friday or Saturday?
Hubs: It's Tuesday.
Me: Oh. Never mind. 

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics
I'll end this month's Fly on the Wall with another of my recipe operator errors. I had been planning to make 24 cupcakes but decided on 18 bigger ones. When I adjusted the recipe write up, I must have added the new number without deleting the former.

So a quick public service message to all of my readers:
If I'm posting a recipe for cupcakes, and it says to line 2418 cupcake cups with paper liners, do not . . . I repeat, do not . . . run out and empty the store of cupcake liners. I can assure you that I have never made 2418 cupcakes at one time, and can say with a fairly high level of confidence that I never will.

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

Never Ever Give Up Hope  
Go Mama O. 

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

White Bean Soup with Shrimp

2 TBSP olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup carrot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 TBSP flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup white wine (can substitute additional vegetable broth)
1 cup warm milk
2 cans (15.5) cannellini beans, drained but not rinsed
1# medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk

*Heat the olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic and cook, stirring until the onion softens. 
*Add the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper to the pot and whisk continuously for 2 minutes, until thick and it starts to brown.
*Whisk in the vegetable broth, and wine. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and mix in the milk and beans. 
*Simmer for 20 minutes, then add the shrimp and evaporated milk. Cook, stirring now and then, until the shrimp are cooked (pink).
*Lower the heat and add the milk.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

I Object: Word Counters


Word Counters, a multiblogger writing challenge | Developed, run by and graphic property of | #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 November number is 28. 
It was chosen by Diane of On the Border.

In these monthly posts, I chose a theme and use the assigned number of words multiple times using the theme. This month I've chosen the theme I Object.

~ I had a hard time with this one. No, not the number Diane chose, but how to name the post based on what I knew I wanted to say.
~ I knew I wanted to talk about what I hate. But especially at this time in our country's history, the word "hate" is too much of a trigger.

~ I specifically knew I would avoid politics today. I'm not averse to talking about it, I've done so many times, just wanted to take a break from it.

~ So, knowing what I wanted to say, and not say, I started looking at how to appropriately title this post. "I hate" was out. But what was in? 

~ Honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg (and fighting to keep from editorializing the debacle that followed her death), I chose a theme that serves to represent my intent: I Object.

~ Like . . . I object to the leaves changing colors (though beautiful) and raining down from the trees lining my backyard without having once been to a beach this year.

Cod and Hash Brown Florentine: flaky cod, hash brown shreds and spinach (chopped broccoli can be substituted) are baked together in one casserole. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Cod and Hash Brown Florentine
Cod and Hash Brown Florentine: flaky cod, hash brown shreds and spinach (chopped broccoli can be substituted) are baked together in one casserole. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

~ I object to switching over to buying and cooking the heartier, more substantial fall and winter weather foods without ever having been to a farmer's market this year.
~ I object to my own new habit of taking scissors to my hair. Although I don't seem to be objecting to those streaks of grey here and there.
~ I object to making a determination about flying PurDude home for Thanksgiving, when we both live in covid hot spots, knowing that doing so could have deadly consequences.
~ I object to the other option, his having to drive alone for hours on desolate stretches of highway in questionable weather, so his mama can finally hug him.
~ But I don't object to talking him into driving home the first weekend of November before most of the bad weather hits, and staying a month. HE'S HERE!

Here are links to the other Word Counters posts:

Messymimi’s Meanderings 
On the Border 

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Cod and Hash Brown Florentine         

Printable Recipe

NOTE: If you prefer, you can substitute frozen chopped broccoli for the spinach

1 1/2 cups frozen hash brown shreds
10 oz package frozen spinach
 3/4# cod fillets
1 tsp salt, divided
1/4 plus 1/8 tsp pepper, divided
1/8 tsp ground cayenne spice
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 tsp paprika
*Defrost the hash brown shreds and pat dry. Defrost the spinach and press between paper towels to remove as much of the water as you can.
*Cut the cod into pieces of equal thickness so it will cook evenly.
*Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray an 8 inch square casserole dish with nonstick spray.
*Mix together the hash brown shreds, spinach, 3/4 tsp of the salt, 1/4 tsp of the pepper and the cayenne. Spread half of this mixture into the bottom of the casserole dish.
*Top with the cod pieces, then sprinkle them with the remaining 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.
*Arrange the remaining spinach and hash brown mixture over the fish. Sprinkle with the parmesan, then the paprika.
*Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until the fish is completely cooked, no longer translucent and flakes easily with a fork. How long your fish will take is dependent on the thickness of the fish.

Friday, November 13, 2020

More Baking, Less Quaking: Use Your Words


Use Your Words, a multiblogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #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:  purpose ~ get a grip ~ compound ~ perimeter ~ rescue ~ track
They were submitted by Tamara of Part-time Working Hockey Mom.

 I bake. A lot. Perhaps you know that. I started this blog, in fact, because I was sharing food pics on FB and people were asking for recipes. I have to admit that although that was what got me thinking about starting a blog, it was the push from a few friends, and my own agenda, that pushed me to jump off this particular cliff.  
I had teenagers at the time. No need to pity me now, I survived it (with a whole lot of grey in my hair but I'm still breathing, so there's that). But this blog and the distraction it provided is without a doubt part of what rescued me. Through humor and creativity, I was able to get a grip on some pretty stressful times. Yes, by just avoiding them, at least for a part of the day, but it mattered. A lot. The writing, running of challenges, graphics creating, recipe developing, picture taking and editing served its purpose, distraction, just allowing my mind to be somewhere else for a chunk of the day.

Distraction is something most of us do in some way or another, it's about self-preservation. But this is especially true for those like me who have an extreme level of anxiety running through our family trees. There always has to be a way to either release or escape the stress on a regular basis. Like when College Boy lights my car on fire, or PurDude falls out a window at his frat and breaks a leg. You know, those kinds of kid-induced stresses.

There are those who run. Not as in away, as in a circle around a track over and over again. Truth is, exercise does get those endorphin levels up, helping alleviate stress. When the boys were little, I had a double stroller and I'd walk/run them 4 miles a day through the neighborhood. We'd talk and sing and, in fact, that's how they learned their phone number. At a very young age, I made a song of the number (no, it's not 867-5309, didn't even use that song) and we'd sing it over and over so if they were ever in a situation where they needed help, they could tell an adult how to get hold of their mom.

So although I could do a 4 mile walk/run, once they had broken the second double stroller I'd bought, forcing me to admit they were just too big for that situation, I stopped going. First, I couldn't leave them at home and second, I needed the talking and the songs to keep me going. It just wasn't the same alone. And there are no mountain trails here, nor beaches to walk {{sigh}}.

Next I turned to reading. It was, and remains, a love of mine. If you knew me at all back then IRL, you know I'm skipping over my shopping phase and jumping right over to reading here. Yes, I admit it. My name is Karen and I'm a shopaholic. In my defense, we'd sold our house and bought a much bigger one. The single guy who bought our last house also bought most of the furniture from me. So really, compound interest be damned, I could either shop or we could sleep on the floor. Of course this doesn't explain the decorations and tchotchkes and all, but I could say I was just creating a pretty environment for the family. The fact that the family could care less about pretty was not even on the perimeter of my thought process back then. But the reality of the situation is that despite how much I enjoyed this distraction, once the house was furnished and decorated, it was done (although many years later my youngest son got his first apartment which I furnished and decorated in one rather exhausting weekend. It was fun though, you can read about it and see the pictures here: Home with an H.

So on to reading which, although it was a good escape, didn't allow me to be creative at all. I needed more than just books (yes, I can see some of my avid reader friends shake their heads at this blaspheme, trying to figure out what more than books a person might need). Finishing a book is not the accomplishment that creating a recipe and seeing the boys' eyes light up (well, and all those of all the other kids who started coincidentally stopping by at snack time).

Pear and Apple Galette, a rustic version of a pie featuring fresh pear and apple slices, baked in a pie crust with a hint of apricot and the crunch of walnuts. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

Pear and Apple Galette
Pear and Apple Galette, a rustic version of a pie featuring fresh pear and apple slices, baked in a pie crust with a hint of apricot and the crunch of walnuts. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

My mom bakes. In fact, at any family event she was always asked to bring dessert. Or multiple desserts. And she never disappointed. So maybe along with that anxiety, there's also a baking gene somewhere in my DNA. I'm nowhere near as good, but it sure did serve multiple purposes as the boys were growing up. And really brought so many people into my life through this blog. I am eternally grateful. 
These days I'm a semi-empty-nester. Actually, a revolving-door-er. They come and go and although I'd love to have my younger son closer, I do appreciate that when he's here, it's for chunks of time during which I get to see him living in his childhood room, something that makes me infinitely happy. Other than when the boys are around, recipe development and interpretation has taken on a whole new purpose. With Hubs' gallbladder acting up, I've had to learn to shop and cook and bake completely differently. Functionally, at a time when I thought I'd be cooking and baking less, he's provided me with the challenge necessary to keep me blogging through the anxiety and aggravation and sky high stress of the trump debacle and the coronavirus. Don't tell Hubs, but as unhappy as he is with that gallbladder, I'm thinking I owe that particular bile storing organ a debt of gratitude.

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

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Pear and Apple Galette

1 refrigerated pie crust (half of a 2-crust package)
1 apple of your choice (I prefer Braeburn or Honeycrisp)
1 ripe Bartlett pear
1/4 cup apricot jam
3 TBSP apricot brandy (can substitute orange juice)
2 TBSP brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

OPT: whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for serving

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the pie crust on a piece of parchment paper so it's about 12 inches in diameter. Move the crust, on the parchment paper, to a baking sheet.
*Whisk together the apricot jam, apricot brandy (or orange juice), brown sugar, and cinnamon. Using a pastry brush, paint about half of this mixture onto the crust.
*Peel, core and slice the apple into thin pieces (approximately 24 slices). Core and slice (you can peel also if you prefer) the pear into thin pieces (approximately 16 slices). Fan out the fruit, alternating between pear and apple slices (it'll work out to about 2 apple slices, the 1 pear slice then 1 apple slice then 1 pear and repeat) in a circle about 1 inch from the edges, then fan the remaining slices around the center to cover the crust. The center slices will overlap some with the edge slices).
*Fold the 1 inch edges over the fruit. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven but leave the oven on. Drizzle with the remaining apricot jam mixture, sprinkle with the walnuts and bake for another 15 minutes. Serve warm.