Friday, December 31, 2021

Cheat Sheet: Monthly Poetry Group

Italian Style Pork Tenderloin, pork tenderloin and vegetables slow cooked in a creamy tomato sauce. | recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner
Last Friday of the month is for
Monthly Poetry Group to rhyme.
Diane and I take turns to pick,
"Moods," the theme this time.
As usual, today I'll try,
a poem to write . . . or fudge.
Whether I'm successful or not,
you get to be the judge.  

Moods, a monthly multi blogger poetry writing challenge based on a theme. | Graphic property of | #poetry

Cheat Sheet

Newly married couples,
have adjustments they must make.
Living together all the time,
isn't always a piece of cake.
Young man, recently married,
often having a difficult time,
reading his new wife's current mood,
(well, they could change on a dime). 

He loved that woman dearly,
and he knew he always would.
But imagine the strife he'd avoid.
if her moods, he understood. 

What he needed was a cheat sheet.
Is there even such a thing?
Walking by a store one day,
got inspiration from a ring.
Married only 3 short months,
but designed a gift, and paid.
Worked privately with a jeweler and
his idea would soon be made. 

Night before the 3 month mark,
came to dinner with a box.
Wife looked at it inquiringly,
he smiled (like the proverbial fox).
Italian Style Pork Tenderloin, pork tenderloin and vegetables slow cooked in a creamy tomato sauce. | recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner
Italian Style Pork Tenderloin
"Tomorrow marks 3 months for us,
and I just wanted to say,
I wouldn't change the choice I made, 
even on our worst day."
Opening that jewelry box,
a tear or two in her eyes.
A necklace, it was beautiful. 
20 stones, and wow, the size.

"I had it made up special,
no one has this, only you.
Take it as a symbol of,
our love, beautiful and true."  
Failed to say that necklace,
was a gift to him as well.
20 great big Mood Stones to
warn him when to run like hell.

Monthly Poetry Group, a monthly group writing challenge, poetry based on a theme | graphic designed by and property of | #MyGraphics #poetry

Before you go, stop by these blogs for more Moods poetry:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics


Italian Style Pork Tenderloin        

Printable Recipe

1 1/2# pork tenderloin
salt, pepper, garlic powder
1 (28 oz) can Italian style diced tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 onion, sliced
8 oz mushrooms 
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup grated parmesan

*Chop the pork tenderloin into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Set aside.
*Lightly grease the inside of a slow cooker, and turn it on to high. Add the diced tomatoes, red wine, Italian seasoning and minced garlic and mix.
*Slice the red pepper, green pepper, onion, mushrooms and pork. Mix and cover. 
*Cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce heat to low and cook for 3 hours, stirring now and then.
*Add the sour cream and parmesan cheese, stir, and cook for another hour.
*Serve over rice or noodles.


Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Resolve is the Resolution


Spicy Grilled Peanut Butter and Bacon Sandwich, creamy, sweet, salty, and spicy! | recipe developed by | #recipe #lunch


 I don't make New Year's resolutions, I've mentioned that before. No reason to promise that on one specific day on the calendar that I'll suddenly do what I haven't done the day before.
But I still have resolve. Actually, that's not true, it would be more accurate to say that I'm determined to regain my resolve.
I have all but given up, I look around at our current state of division, derision, and I despair. I care about our freedoms, our environment, public health, safety in public places, future generations. I've been bruised and battered by the tone of our politics, the loss of respect, the blatant denials and dishonesty. And it's not getting better, it's getting worse.
So much worse that it's killing people. I never thought we could possibly sink this low, that in the United States of America, the sanctity of human life has become collateral damage. 
I wrote a post back in March about guns and about my quest to get vaccinated. I called it Just Shoot Me. Please. The day before it was to post, there was a mass shooting in a covid vaccine line in a grocery store in my son's home city, Boulder. I had to frantically change the title and replace the original graphic of my post. It became Vaccination Information Stagnation.
Vaccination Information Stagnation | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of | #MyGraphics

In the ongoing quest to protect society through vaccination, the focus has been on reason. Truth is, reason is not an option. Its foundation is truth and truth no longer exists. I've been railing against it, my poor logical brain cannot fathom the impotence of logic. But I have had to accept that relying on reason is unreasonable.

Perhaps, with the tenets of our religious beliefs still in the forefront of our thoughts, and a fresh new year just days ahead, we can put logic aside (ouch) and appeal to some core beliefs. Getting vaccinated is about compassion, it's about selflessness and respect, it's a tangible embodiment of ministering to others. 

Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Resolve is the Resolution | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of | #MyGraphics
Food prices are sky high. There are some foods I can't even find at all. And yet, we still find a way to eat. I've become a lot more creative with ingredients and substitutions, all for the greater good. To continue to nourish our bodies.

Spicy Grilled Peanut Butter and Bacon Sandwich, creamy, sweet, salty, and spicy! | recipe developed by | #recipe #lunch
Spicy Grilled Peanut Butter and Bacon Sandwich
The focus now needs to be on nourishing our communities. We are obliged to see need, protect each other, replace sanctimoniousness with service, focus on the sustenance of humanity.
So this year, I resolve to keep trying, to look for other avenues of approach, to appeal to our better angels, to show restraint, to lead by example, to comport myself in a ways that strengthen our ability to recognize truth, restore reason, serve society. 
Join me?

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Spicy Grilled Peanut Butter & Bacon Sandwich       


Printable Recipe

Ingredients (per sandwich): 
2 slices of an Italian loaf, cut 1" thick
1 TBSP creamy peanut butter
2 pieces bacon, cooked
1 TBSP butter
2 tsp pepper jelly

*Spread the peanut butter onto on slice of the bread. Cut each piece of bacon in 2 - 3 pieces and place onto the peanut butter. 
*In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Once it's hot, place the bread in the skillet with the peanut butter and bacon up.
*Spread the pepper jelly onto the other slice of bread and place it in the pan on top of the bacon, jelly side down. Press gently.
*Reduce heat just a little and allow the sandwich to cook until the bottom is well browned. Carefully turn the sandwich over and cook the other side. Serve warm.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Speaking of Underwear: Fly on the Wall


Cheesy Garlic Knots work perfectly with soup, salad, or as a side dish for any dinner. | recipe developed by | #recipe #bread

 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.

Sometimes I get a bit absentminded, I blame it on stress. Then sometimes there's just no excuse. 

I don't celebrate Christmas, so I'm not as tuned in to it as most people are. I do make a big turkey dinner Christmas day, but only because we're here. And by here I mean in the (flat and boring) Midwest. Back home I'd be happily on the ski mountains on Christmas day.

I was doing blog stuff on my laptop when I looked down at the information in the corner of my task bar and freaked out.
Me (jumping up): OMG, I have so much to do. We have our big turkey dinner for Christmas and I haven't made the Fall Harvest Stuffing. Or the Cranberry Holiday Jello Or the Spiced Pie with Pecans.
Hubs: Relax, you have plenty of time.
Me: How can you say that, I've got a ton of prep work to do by tomorrow?
Hubs: Why by tomorrow?
Me: I lost track of time. How did I do that? Where did this whole week go? It's December 24th. Tomorrow is Christmas.
Hubs: It's December 21st, not December 24th. It is, however, 12:24 pm.
Well, that was a fun heart attack.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics
I got a text from College Boy telling me that his work was giving employees some perks during Christmas week. He said that he was bringing home a free pie. 

He walked in with the pie and I immediately got suspicious as to their motives. Were they giving out free pies because the mice got at them?
French Silk Pie | picture taken by, featured on, and property of

Turns out that mouse was my kid, armed with a fork.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics
We have these cluster mailboxes in our neighborhood (don't get me started), that's a couple of houses down the street from us. Not that we're lazy or anything, but we hadn't been walking down the street to pick up our mail every day. After all, who's in a rush to get their bills? Or a lot of the rest of the neighbors' letters put into the wrong box that we then have to distribute. So we'd been going out there every other day. In one case we actually went on the third day. 
Hubs was about to walk down to the mailbox when I looked out the window.
Me: Oh, no!
Hubs: What?
Me: We need to start getting our mail every day.
Hubs: Why?
Me: The mailbox.
Hubs: What about it?
Me: Well, it's looking . . .
Hubs: Looking what?
Me: Dejected.


Dejected mailbox  | picture taken by, featured on, and property of

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

Me: I just saw a fly in the house.
Hubs: OK?
Me: Its December, where would he have come from?
Hubs: He's probably been in here all along.
Me: What's he been eating?
Hubs: What you been cooking?



Cheesy Garlic Knots work perfectly with soup, salad, or as a side dish for any dinner. | recipe developed by | #recipe #bread

Cheesy Garlic Knots

Let me just say that it takes a very brave man to be willing to hear what is about to come out of my mouth under these circumstances:

Me (walking out of the bathroom): Guess what I just learned.
Hubs: What?
Me: I've had my underwear on inside out all day.
Hubs: Well, at least you fixed them now.
Me: Nah, why bother at this point?

See, brave.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics
Speaking of underwear:
Hubs walks in and I'm holding a bloody tissue on my finger and pulling out a bandaid.
Hubs: Are you OK?
Me: Yeah, it's painful but I'm fine.
Hubs: What happened?
Me: My fingernail bent back and broke off below the skin line.
Hubs: Ouch. How did that happen?
Me: {{mumble, mumble}}.
Hubs: What?
Me: {{mumble, mumble}}.
Hubs: Why are you talking funny, I can't understand what you're saying.
Me: I broke my nail putting on my underwear. There, are you happy?
Hubs: No, not particularly.

Speaking of Underwear | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of | #MyGraphics #humor

The next day, I was on my big fluffy chair in the bedroom, reading. 

Hubs (calling to me from downstairs): Where are you? 
Me: I'm in the bedroom. 
Hubs: What are you doing? 
Me: Reading. 
Hubs: Oh, OK, so everything's alright with your underwear? 
Me: Hey, get back in your lane. I'm the smart ass around here.

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

I had gotten out of the shower, got myself dressed, then grabbed the night shirt and underwear I'd been wearing. I usually send dirty clothes down the laundry chute but instead I took it down with me because I was heading to the laundry room anyway to start a load.

I got to the laundry room, stuck my clothes in the machine and started it. From there I went into the kitchen to do the prep work for some recipes I was making later in the day.

About an hour later, I was heading upstairs when I notice, on the floor in the front hall, my underwear. Damn, I must have dropped it when I came down.

And the strange thing is, my family had all been up and down those stairs at least a few times each and never said a word. So I'm wondering, did they think I wanted to leave my underwear sitting on the floor in the front hall?

 Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics
Me: I've been trying to get on Amazon and I can't get on the site, I don't understand it.
Hubs: What happens:
Me: I get an error message that the site doesn't have a secure connection.
Hubs: That's weird.
Me: I know, I tried both Google Chrome and Firefox, I even tried deleting my cookies.
Hubs: Maybe that's divine intervention, so you don't spend any money.

And you know I was not, no matter what, going to tell him that I was going on to order new underwear.

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


I've mentioned before that PurDude and I text every day. Usually it's just a quick check in for him, but I always try to engage him, tell him what's going on around here and ask him a few questions.
I've also mentioned that when I don't ask questions one at a time, I get a single answer of "yeah," but don't know if he's answering all the questions, one of them, and if so, which one {{sigh}}.
The other day I forgot and asked about 6 questions all at once. And I didn't get a one word answer for a change. What I did get, though, was a series of "yeah, no, no, no, yeah, no."
Me: Were those answers in the order of the questions I asked.
PurDude: Maybe.
I guess I need to tell him to stay in his lane too, everyone around here seems to be reaching for my smart ass crown.
Oh, and just in case you're wondering, not one of the questions I asked was about underwear.



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

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

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Cheesy Garlic Knots        

Printable Recipe

3 TBSP butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dried parsley
dash of cayenne 
2 tubes (8 oz) refrigerated crescent sheet
8 slices mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, divided
*Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*In the microwave, melt the butter with the garlic. Add the parsley, and cayenne. Set aside.
*Unroll one crescent sheet onto a piece of parchment paper. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and, using a rolling pin, gently roll out to about a 9 X 14 rectangle. 
*Using the 9 inch side, cover half of the dough with 4 of the slices of mozzarella cheese, 9 inches across and about 7 inches down. You will have to cut some of the cheese slices to make it fit. Sprinkle with half of the parmesan cheese. 
*Fold the bottom half (without the cheese on it) over the top half and press the edges. Cut into 12 slices, tie them into a loose knot and place them onto the prepared baking sheet. 
*Repeat with the remaining crescent sheet and the remaining cheeses. Once they are all on the baking sheet, brush all of the knots with the butter mixture and bake for 13 - 15 minutes, until they puff up and start to brown.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Hybrid Philosophy: Word Counters

Peppermint Stuffed Cookies: starting with 2 cheats makes these little treats no-bake, only assembly required. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cookies

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 50. 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. 

 This month's number is 43. 
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 Hybrid Philosophy, I'm dipping my toe in the waters of Karma, Existentialism, Nature vs Nurture, and more. All inspired by a bag. . .

~ Inspiration can come from the strangest, most random places. Like a bag you walk out of the store with, carrying your holiday cards. I had walked out of the card store without ever really looking at the bag they'd given me. Who does?

~ I placed my purchases on the kitchen counter, took off and hung up my coat, started emptying the grocery bags, putting things away, and as the counter started to clear, there it was, staring me in the face, a message. It was this:

~ Although I can thank the card company for grabbing my attention and getting me thinking now, the message, of course, is not theirs. Sartre is credited with the theory of existentialism. He believed that our actions are what make us who we are.
~ I'm not someone who fully believes in karma, that what you put out there comes back to you. If only it were that easy! But that boomerang theory isn't backed up by facts. If true, nothing bad would ever happen to kind people.
~ I'm not talking about recipes going wrong, burning the roast, the cookies falling apart. It isn't the little things, it's the major life changes, heartbreaks. They happen to all of us, no one is immune, no matter how good or kind we are.


Peppermint Stuffed Cookies: starting with 2 cheats makes these little treats no-bake, only assembly required. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cookies
Peppermint Stuffed Cookies

~ I remember, while suffering the brutal ups and downs of infertility, finally being pregnant, then losing the baby. I went into surgery reading a book called "When Bad Things Happen to Good People." They do. They're not karma, not because they are deserved.
~ And don't forget nature vs nurture, you have to add that into the mix too. I believe in both. We are most definitely born with some inherent traits. And our upbringing has to impact how we grow and develop. We don't control either.
~ We start with our nature add the nurture provided, and a sprinkling of karma, the rest is up to us. We learn from our choices or not, giving us the power. Being a good person isn't for a reward. It is the reward.

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

Here are links to the other Word Counters posts:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Peppermint Stuffed Cookies

4 oz candy canes or starlight mints
1 cup canned vanilla frosting
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
50 vanilla wafer cookies
3 oz candy melts, white, red, or a mixture of both
*Finely crush the mints.
*Mix the frosting with the peppermint extract and half of the crushed candy.
*Lay out half of the vanilla wafer cookies, flat side up, and pipe about 1 TBSP frosting onto each. Sandwich pressing the flat side of the remaining 25 cookies onto the top.
*Melt the candy melts according to package directions. Dip half of each cookie into the melted topping and immediately sprinkle with the remaining crushed mints.
*Place onto parchment paper and allow to set completely.

Friday, December 17, 2021

MIschief: Use Your Words


Spicy Turkey Meatballs, a healthier version of meatballs, and these have a bit of a spicy kick. | recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner


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:  gold ~ kids ~ cool ~ mischief ~ challenge ~ friends
They were submitted by Jenniy of Climaxed.

It's holiday time. You may be aware. It's a hectic, busy time, filled with more challenges than usual in this second year of covid precautions. So I've decided to make this a quick post. I'm using my words to share some well known quotes, sayings, and cliches and . . . well . . . critiquing them. 'Cause despite this being a short post, if there's one thing I'm never short on, it's opinions.
Some of these assigned words, although at first glance they may not seem it, can easily be intertwined. Like challenge, mischief, and cool. I can relate them all to kids.
A popular quote (in one incarnation or another) is an inspirational version of "every challenge you face today makes you stronger tomorrow" (Roy T. Bennett). You know, the fairly new "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" version of the old "rise to the challenge." But I've actually learned (through the years of cars lit on fire and broken legs) that sometimes it's best to just stay in bed and pull the covers over your head. Yes, there may be value in being stronger tomorrow, but there's also value, maybe even more value, in just making it to tomorrow.
Because Henry Fielding nailed it when he said "when children are doing nothing, they are doing mischief." Let me just add that when children are doing something, it's often mischief too. And sometimes it's mighty hard to keep your cool. But whatever you do, don't recommend it. Because I'm here to tell you that when you're angry, there's nothing that can make you lose your sh!t faster than someone telling you to keep your cool. 

I think Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: "a child is a curly dimpled lunatic." Amen, Ralphy. Amen.
But I can't have a prompt like the word challenge and not give a quick nod to challenges. Not just because I developed and run blogging challenges, but because, as Adam Richman says "a good spicy challenge creates balance between flavor and fear." I can totally relate.
Spicy Turkey Meatballs, a healthier version of meatballs, and these have a bit of a spicy kick. | recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Spicy Turkey Meatballs
Spicy Turkey Meatballs, a healthier version of meatballs, and these have a bit of a spicy kick. | recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

When it comes to gold, the phrase that first pops into my mind is "good as gold." Although I can see the value (get it . . . gold . . . value?) in that statement, I'd like to say, for the record, that I have a much better version. Good as cupcakes. Now that's a cool (see what I did there?) quote.

And finally, friends. Here are my thoughts when it comes to friends:

A boy's best friend may be his mother (Norman Bates), a dog may be man's best friend, and diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but me? I'm a little different. You see:
A friend of the devil is a friend of mine (Grateful Dead).
'Cause I've got friends in low places (Garth Brooks).

I kids you not.

Use Your Words, a monthly group writing challenge | developed by and graphic property of | #bloggingchallenge #MyGraphics
Here are links to all the other Use Your Words posts:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Spicy Turkey Meatballs

1 cup jalapeno potato chips
1# lean ground turkey
1 egg
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking pan.
*Place the potato chips in a food processor and crush to crumbs.
*Gently mix together the crushed chips, ground turkey, egg, green onion, red pepper, parmesan, garlic powder, and pepper. Form into 16 equal sized balls and place into the prepared pan.
*Bake for 45 minutes. The turkey must be completely cooked through.