Tuesday, September 28, 2021

I've Got Questions


Baked Apple Cinnamon Pork Chops (can substitute chicken) are marinated, then oven “fried” with an apple cinnamon crust. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner


There is, in fact, such a thing as a stupid question. Turns out there are many of them. And there will be ten more of them by the end of this post (just a little something for you to look forward to).
Today, according to those who are in the know, is National Stupid Question Day. 
When I first saw that mentioned on one of those silly holidays and celebrations websites, I thought it must be a mistake. I mean, everyone's heard of Carl Sagan's quote "there are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand the word. There is no such thing as a dumb question." Well, we've all heard that last sentence anyway.

If I were to question Carl Sagan, that would be stupid, right? So would that be a stupid question? And did Carl Sagan actually help me prove that there is such a thing as a stupid question after all?

I went in search of enlightenment. And, since Sagan himself died in 1996, I couldn't look to him for answers. Not without a seance or a ouiji board anyway. So I went to the next best place, Google. My query sent me to an article by an African website called Briefly, in which they compiled stupid questions from a number of online question and answer sites.

All I needed to convince me that the developers of Ask a Stupid Question Day may have been onto something that had escaped the renowned Mr. Sagan was in that article. Some of the questions compiled:

"Should I tell my parents I'm adopted?"
"What happens if I don't show up for an interview?"

I rest my case.
I've Got Questions | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of www.BakingInATornado

So, in the celebration of my newfound knowledge about the whole question thing, and in recognition of this clearly necessary national holiday, I've got questions.
~ If you're on the job driving the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile, would you get fired if you're caught in the line at the McDonald's drive thru?
~ If you bake an upside down cake and eat it upside down, is it then a right side up cake?
~ Why would reservations mean restaurant bookings and also mean doubts, when I'd never have reservations about making reservations?
~ Shouldn't Walgreens signs be green?
~ If your pork chops have a crunchy cereal coating, are they dinner or breakfast?
Baked Apple Cinnamon Pork Chops (can substitute chicken) are marinated, then oven “fried” with an apple cinnamon crust. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner
Baked Apple Cinnamon Pork Chops
(or Chicken Breasts)
~ With so many people blocking each other, shouldn't internet communities now be called antisocial media?

~ They've shown us the self-driving cars, where are they hiding the self-cleaning houses?
~ Why does working out not always work out?

~ Are new medications named by having a cat walk across a keyboard?
~ Why are political representatives political, but not representative?

Question everything. 
Or not.
Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Baked Apple Cinnamon Pork Chops
(or Chicken Breasts)      


NOTE: You can make this recipe using boneless, skinless chicken breasts

6 boneless pork chops
1/3 cup apple juice
1 1/2 cups Apple Cinnamon Chex cereal
2 TBSP butter
OPT: my Devil's Applesauce for serving 

*Place the pork chops (or chicken breasts) in a sealable bag or shallow dish. Pour the apple juice over the chops. Seal the bag (or cover the dish) and refrigerate for at least 1 and up to 4 hours. Turn the chops a few times.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 baking dish.
*Crush the cereal to crumbs, place on a plate.
*Coat the meat with the cereal crumbs, pressing down and making sure all sides are coated. Place in the baking dish. Melt the butter and drizzle over the top.
*Bake for about 45 - 50 minutes. For safety, make sure the meat is completely cooked through.
*OPT: serve with my Devil's Applesauce.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Office Necessities


Herbed Pear Tart, this appetizer is also a great accompaniment to soup or salad. And it’s ready in just a half hour. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #cook #appetizer

Last Friday of the month is for
Monthly Poetry Group to rhyme.
Diane and I take turns to pick,
"Office Supplies," 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. 


Office Supplies, a monthly multi blogger poetry writing challenge based on a theme. | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #poetry

Office Necessities

Hubs works from the house these days,
since Covid made it so.
Goes to the office now and then,
but mostly he says "no."

And me, I just don't shop as much,
rarely go from store to store,
Get what I can at once then done,
Olympic shopper I am no more.

Went out to shop for groceries,
since we still like to eat.
Off to a big box store because,
for selection they can't be beat.
Herbed Pear Tart, this appetizer is also a great accompaniment to soup or salad. And it’s ready in just a half hour. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #cook #appetizer
Herbed Pear Tart

"Tell me where you're going," said Hubs.
And I told him where I'd be.
"Oh, they carry office supplies,
can you grab some there for me?' 

"Sure just tell me what you need."
Don't mind getting a few things more.
I'll shop for you and shop for me,
get everything in one store."

He answered "get whatever you see,
we're running really low.
Our home office wasn't supplied for
full time work, you know."

Home I came with bags and bags.
And Hubs looked through them all.
"I don't see any office supplies,
could you get anything at all?"

"Got them here, right in this bag,
the one you just looked through.
Necessities for any office is
exactly what I bought for you."

"Seems you and I do not agree,"
he said with great surprise.
"Pens and paper, printer ink
are my necessary office supplies.

What could I have brought him home?
I'm sure you want to ask.
Cheetos, stress ball, chocolate bars,
perfect for any task!

Before you go, more Office Supplies poetry:
Diane of On the Border shares Supplied

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

Herbed Pear Tart

1 tube refrigerated crescent roll sheet
1/4 cup herb and garlic soft spreadable cheese
1 Anjou pear
about 2 - 2 1/2 oz Canadian Bacon, sliced thin
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

*Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
*Unroll the crescent sheet on the baking sheet and press to about a 9 X 14 rectangle. Create a 1/2 inch border by folding each side in 1/2 inch, then another 1/2 inch on top of the first.
*Carefully spread the cheese onto the dough.
*Core the pear, slice thinly and line onto the cheese. Arrange the Canadian Bacon over the top, then sprinkle with the walnuts. 
*Bake for 15 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes before slicing. Serve warm.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Scratch the Mental Itch


Orange Mustard Pork Chops, lightly marinated, crusted, oven “fried” pork chops served with a sweet hot citrus sauce. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Google opens up a plethora of rabbit holes. Or black holes, depending on whether you like analogies that are celestial or subterranean. I'm going with rabbit holes because, although I get lost in the (informational) warren of tunnels, I end up back out again (so far). No such assurances in a black hole.
As you probably know from reading this blog, I've fallen down quite a few of them, like my post from the beginning of the year, Nursery Rhymes Crimes.
Thing is, it all starts out innocently enough. Being inquisitive is healthy, after all. But if you're anything like me, you don't exactly stay on task. You can take a whole lot of twists and turns while you're down there, and some of those side tunnels are a real doozy. You know, like I'm writing this post and I google whether doozy is an actual word when I see that not only is it, but oh, look, there are some bright shiny attention grabbing synonyms. Like humdinger, that makes sense, and then there's ripsnorter. Ripsnorter? That's a new word, I should see what Merriam Webster has to say about what that means. Sockdolager. Weird one, wonder what it means. Oh, it means ripsnorter. Or doozy. Of course.

Having become so dependent (or addicted) to answers at my fingertips, I do often also wonder how I ever survived my curiosity before there was a google to satisfy it. Maybe I should ask google. 
One thing I know for sure, I spent a whole lot less time off on mental tangents back then. 
Scratch the Mental Itch | graphic designed by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #humor

I think, quite often, about quitting blogging. One of the things that actually keeps me in the writing, graphics designing, and recipe development game is fear of where my thoughts might go without the time spent focusing on blogging. If left to its own devices, where would my mind go? Would I, instead of wandering in and out of rabbit holes, get permanently stuck in a black hole? I mean, chances are I'd have more time to think up obscure esoteric questions, and to get lost researching them all. But then, without a blog, once I solved the riddle, who would I tell?

Case in point (well, second case in point, I suppose that whole doozy thing could be called the first): just the other day I had a sudden (albeit inexplicable) need to know how many itches someone has in a day. Not someone with poison ivy or mosquito bites or wearing a wool sweater, just a normal everyday person. So, of course, I googled it. 
Not such an easy query (leave it to me). First up was a correction, an assumption that I'd misspelled and meant "how many inches does someone have in a day." Not what I meant, but . . . turns out we gain 1/2 inch while in bed and lose 1/2 inch when we're up. I'm 5 feet tall on a good day, next time I want to pull the covers over my head and stay in bed, I can not only avoid the issue-du-jour, but I'll be taller. Good to know.
Accepting that I meant itch not inch, next question, did I want to know how many episodes there were of Itchy and Scratchy? You mean that animated TV series featured on the Simpsons? No, I wasn't wondering that, but I am now. 88.
It's possible I broke Google, or it had a human moment, a brain fart so to speak, because the next article it recommended was a ripsnorter (ha, I used it!). Did I mean to ask "how much do you poop in your lifetime?" Based on my recent post Return on Your Deposit, I bet there are some South Korean students who might want to know. And some South Korean scientists who probably do. But me? Nope, not what I meant. Don't know and do not (now or ever) want to know. Especially when I'm about to go try out a new recipe.

Orange Mustard Pork Chops, lightly marinated, crusted, oven “fried” pork chops served with a sweet hot citrus sauce. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner
Orange Mustard Pork Chops
Now if this whole post has you scratching your head, that one's on me. First one out of the way, you now 96 more scratches to go today. That's more itches than Itchy and Scratchy.
As for me, I think I need a Medical Alert. As in "I've fallen (down another rabbit hole), and I can't get up." Medical Alert can help with that, right? 
Never mind, no need to answer. My friend Google will know.  

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

Orange Mustard Pork Chops       


Printable Recipe

6 pork chops, about 1 inch thick
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 TBSP sweet hot mustard
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 TBSP butter

1/3 cup orange jam
1/4 cup orange juice
1 TBSP sweet hot mustard
1/2 tsp minced ginger

*Place the pork chops in the bottom of a shallow dish. Whisk together the mayonnaise and 1 TBSP sweet hot mustard. Spread half of the mixture over the pork chops, turn them over and spread the other half of the mixture onto the chops. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour to overnight.
*Grease a 9 X 13 baking dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Remove the pork chops from the refrigerator. Place the bread crumbs onto a plate. Coat each of the chops completely with the bread crumbs and place into the baking dish.
*Melt the butter and drizzle over the pork chops. Bake for about 30 minutes, turn the pork chops over and bake for about 20 minutes more until they are browned and are cooked to at least 145 degrees.
*Whisk together the orange marmalade, orange juice, remaining 1 TBSP sweet hot mustard and minced ginger. Microwave for one minute, whisk again, and serve either poured over or with the pork chops.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Discombobulated: Fly on the Wall


Apple Oatmeal Cookie Bars, fall flavored cookie dessert bars. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner


Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 4 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.

Through the first pandemic wave before the vaccinations, Hubs started working from home. After he was fully vaccinated (and before the Delta wave) I thought he'd go back to working at the office, but he didn't. He'd go in 1 to 2 half days a week but that's it.
It's been an adjustment, having him around pretty much 24/7. I'd gotten used to a little quiet time during the day. I wouldn't mind having some of that back.
A few weeks ago, Hubs was called for jury duty. The morning came and he left for the courthouse. I immediately called the jury commissioner.
Me: I'd like to have a jury sequestered.
Apparently it doesn't work that way. Damn. 

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
Although I obviously knew I couldn't request a jury be sequestered, I decided to google it, just to see if there was any possibility that it could happen . . . you know . . . organically. 

I started to ask my question "when a jury has to stay . . ." and google suggested "refrigerated."

When a jury has to stay refrigerated? Really? That's an option? I need to have another conversation with that jury commissioner.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
A couple of years ago, Hubs bought me an orchid. I loved it, it was beautiful while flowering, but once it was done, the struggle began. I did a lot of research about where to cut it back, place it for optimal sun, I watered it with ice cubes, watched the air roots grow, nothing. Two years later it was still alive but no blooms. Instead of bringing me joy it was a source of frustration.

A few weeks ago Hubs came home with a gift for me. I was impressed to get a gift for no apparent reason. Until I saw what it was, another orchid.

And now I'm wondering what exactly he meant by that.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
I hate when I accidentally hit the button on my ipad that activates Alexa. Whenever I hear that voice, I always just shut it down.

Yesterday, I hit the button and when Alexa asked what she could help me with, I went to hit the button, but was muttering under my breath:

Me: Damn, stupid, annoying thing.
Alexa: I don't know how to respond to that.

which at least made me laugh. On the screen, Alexa posted a list of the kinds of things I can ask. Included on the list was "where is Brian?"

OK, that's kind of random, so I went ahead and asked.

Me: Where is Brian.
Alexa: Sorry, I can't find Brian.

Well that was helpful. Damn, stupid, annoying thing. Hey, Alexa, would you like an orchid?

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


While Hubs was at jury duty, my cell rang and I saw it was his number.

Me: Hello.
Hubs: Hi.
Me: Have you been sequestered?
Hubs: No.
Me: Refrigerated?
Hubs: What?
Apple Oatmeal Cookie Bars, fall flavored cookie dessert bars. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Apple Oatmeal Cookie Bars
I was working on a recipe for this blog for next week. It's an appetizer made with cheese, meat, fruit, and nuts. I gave a slice to Hubs to try out. I guess I should have told him what it was.
Hubs took a bite, looked at it inquisitively, took another small bite, and looked at it again. This can't be good.

Me: You know if you don't like it you don't have to eat it.
Hubs: I do like it, it's just . . .
Me: Just what?
Hubs: The apples, they taste a little . . . different.
Me: Probably because those apples are pears.

In his defense, it's Fall, and I have been cooking with apples quite a bit (including, of course, today's recipe).

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
I keep copies of all of my blog posts in word documents, just in case. I've had problems before, including having most of the pictures disappear from my blog so I've learned my lesson about keeping copies.

Hubs walked in just as I was looking at my copy of a post that was to go live the next morning. The recipe in that post was for Prosciutto Mozzarella Bites

Me: Ugh.
Hubs: What's wrong.
Me: I thought there was something wrong with this picture for tomorrow's post. Seems I saved it upside down.
Discombobulated | picture featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Hubs: That's weird, and not like you.
Me: Actually the way I've been feeling lately, it's more representative than not. I think I'll use it for my new blog logo and change the name of the blog to Discombobulated.
Hubs: Really? Do you think that's a good idea?
Me: Yes, really.

Not. But I'm waiting for the next time someone asks about something I've made and he tells them his wife has a blog called Discombobulated. 'Cause you know that's gonna happen.

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

Hubs walks into the kitchen in the morning, I'm sitting on the couch in the den with my back to him, but I can hear him getting a bowl and grabbing a box of cereal from the pantry.

Me: What are you eating?
Hubs: Cereal.
Me: I know that, which kind.
Hubs: Honey Bunches.
Me (turning around to look at him): I wouldn't eat that one if I were you.
Hubs (cautiously looking into the cereal box): Why, did you poison it?
Me: Because I'm making Honey Bunches Chicken with Apricot Sauce for dinner and didn't think you'd want it twice in one day.
Hubs: Oh.
Me: But now I'm wondering what it means that the first place your mind went to was me poisoning the cereal. I mean, I rarely poison the cereal.
Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

There are two things you should know as a back story to this conversation. First, that I've been asking College Boy to write me a blog post for years. He's very into politics, music, and marijuana legalization and I'd love to share his thoughts with you. So far, no luck.

The second thing you need to know is that he doesn't like pork. At all. Won't even eat bacon any more.
I wasn't expecting him, but he walked in the front door late one afternoon:

College Boy: Hey, what's for dinner?
Me: Sorry, I wasn't expecting you, I'm trying out a new pork chop recipe.
College Boy: Not for me, thanks. While I'm here, maybe I'll write you a guest post.
Me (eyes lighting up): That's great, what are you writing about?
College Boy: I'll do a review of your pork chop recipe.
Me: Then you're going to try it?
College Boy: No, it's not necessary.

Well, this can't be good. As opposed to my pork chop recipe, which was delish, for the record.


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

I often tell you about errors I make when texting or when my mind is working faster than my fingers, typing up recipe ideas. I have another one to share this month, this one was part of a recipe I have coming up in a few weeks for a cake. I use crushed lollipops in the recipe. When it came time to preparing the pops, I had somehow typed "crush your poops and discard the sticks." 
Good thing I caught that one.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics Now click on the links below for a peek into some other homes:

Never Ever Give Up Hope  
Wandering Web Designer 

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

Apple Oatmeal Cookie Bars

1 stick butter, softened
4 TBSP margarine, softened
1/4 cup applesauce
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups quick oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple pie spice
1 apple, cored, peeled, and chopped
1/3 cup cinnamon baking chips

1 apple, cored, peeled, and sliced thin
2 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 X 11 baking dish.
*Cream the butter, margarine, applesauce, and brown sugar. Beat in the egg.
*Whisk together the flour, quick oats, baking soda, and apple pie spice, then beat in until incorporated. Mix in the chopped apple and cinnamon baking chips.
*Press the dough into the prepared pan.
*Arrange the apple slices over the dough. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top. Bake for about 35 minutes, until the edges are brown.
*Allow to cool before slicing.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

It's a Mystery: Word Counters


Mandarin Pineapple Refrigerator Pie, a tropical flavored, easy, creamy, fruit studded, no-bake pie. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

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 24. 
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 It's a Mystery.  


~ I often mention what I'm reading and watching, you probably already know that my favorite genre is mystery, fact (mostly television) or fiction (books). 
~ Why the long term love of mystery? I think it's engaging because it's more interactive, a challenge to figure it out before the ending.

~ But it's genesis, the very first books I can remember loving, owning, and reading entirely (multiple times) were two series: Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys.

~ And televsion shows? A friend actually called me to express his sympathy when Raymond Burr died. Can you guess what my favorite show was?

~ As I age, though, mystery has morphed from enjoying figuring out "who done it," to more of a lifestyle. One I'm decidedly NOT embracing.

~ Who put the canned mandarin oranges in the silverware drawer? And who preheated the oven on a hot day for a no bake pie?

Mandarin Pineapple Refrigerator Pie, a tropical flavored, easy, creamy, fruit studded, no-bake pie. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Mandarin Pineapple Refrigerator Pie

~ Who forgot to buy the main casserole ingredient? Who preheated the oven, then didn't put dinner in? And why is dinner now sandwiches? Again.
~ Who has never used (and has no idea how to) the television recorder, yet recorded the shopping channel in the middle of the night?
~ Just wait until I get my hands on whoever left my glasses out on the back deck. Overnight. And in the rain, no less?
~ Perhaps the underlying reason why I'm not enjoying this new mystery lifestyle revolves around the ending. Everyone knows "who done it." And it's me.

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

Here are links to the other Word Counters posts:

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

Mandarin Pineapple Refrigerator Pie        

Printable Recipe

1/2 cup orange juice
1 box (3 oz) pineapple jello mix
1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges
1 can (15 oz) pineapple chunks
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 TBSP brown sugar
4 TBSP milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 TBSP powdered sugar
6 oz cream cheese, room temperature
OPT: whipped cream for garnish

*Heat 1/2 cup orange juice in the microwave for about 1 minute or until hot. Whisk the pineapple jello mix into the orange juice and set aside.
*Drain the mandarin oranges and the pineapple chunks. Set aside about 1/3 cup of each for the garnish, and gently pat the rest dry. Cut the pineapple chunks in half.
*Grease a 9 inch pie plate. Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and milk. Pat into and partially up the sides of the greased pie plate.
*Whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and whip until stiff peaks hold.
*In a separate bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with the jello and orange juice mixture. Once smooth, gently mix in the mandarin oranges and pineapple chunks, then fold in the whipped cream. 
*Pour into the crust and refrigerate for at least an hour. Garnish with the reserved 1/3 cup each of mandarin oranges and pineapple chunks, and whipped cream, if desired. Store, covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator.