Tuesday, November 2, 2021

A Break Out Break In


Spicy Mac & Cheese Cups are a family favorite dish with a bit of a kick. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

 In the beginning of October, we had a break in.
There are a few back stories, things you need to know before I go on. First is that we had an alarm in our house, which I always set. Our house backs up to woods and we have a walk out basement with a sliding door to the back yard. But years ago, the company monitoring the system stopped. I don't know if they went out of business or not, but the monitoring ended. I should have looked into having another security company over to quote us, but I never did.
The second thing I need to tell you is about the people who come to my front door. Constantly. There are flyers in the door so often I sometimes think I should put up a sign explaining that the space between my screen door and front door is not, in fact, a trash can. They ring the bell too. Regularly. In the past I would answer and let them know I'm not interested in buying . . . whatever . . . but after finding far too many people standing there maskless over the past almost 2 years, I often don't even answer.
But pivotal to this story is something that happened years ago, when I would actually, without putting any thought into it, answer my own front door with impunity. 

One day, very late on a hot summer afternoon, I had gone for a walk, came home and was doing everyone a favor by showering before dinner. Hubs was still at work and the boys were at friends' houses, and dinner was prepped, so I had time.
 Spicy Mac & Cheese Cups are a family favorite dish with a bit of a kick. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Spicy Mac & Cheese Cups
The way my house is set up, the upstairs hallway is sort of round shaped with rooms off in different directions. To the far right, the hallway has a railing where there is open space down to the front foyer allowing the foyer to have a high ceiling. There is also a large window over the front door.  
I had just gotten out of the shower and was dripping wet when the doorbell rang. Not knowing if it might be a parent bringing one of my boys home, I grabbed a towel, snuck over to the railing and was able to look out the window over the front door. There was a young man there who was obviously selling something.
I turned to walk away when I heard a sound. He was opening the screen door. I didn't think twice about it, figuring he was leaving a flyer there, like the rest of the world does. And then I heard the front door knob jiggle. I turned back and he was, in fact, trying to get in my house.
I was shocked. I was furious. 
I was naked.
I didn't go down there but watched until he stopped jiggling the knob and pushing on the door, and walked away. I actually wished he had left a flyer so I could call the company, but he didn't.
A Break Out Break In | graphic designed by, featured on and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

OK, fast forward to the break in this past October 7th. It was a Thursday before the long weekend and, like last time, it was later in the day. Hubs now works mostly from home and he was here. College Boy, figuring there were burgers and wings on the menu for the long weekend was here too, in his room taking a nap. I was hoping to get him home for Thanksgiving, but for now, of course, PurDude was over 500 miles away working in Boulder.
I knew Hubs wanted to go down to the man cave to watch some baseball or football game or other, but before he went downstairs I was thanking him, again, for the early birthday present. Although my birthday wasn't for another few days, he'd bought me a new iPad Air. And my mom (unbeknownst to her) had bought me a case for it.

I'd never had an iPad until a few years ago when my mom, who uses them, got a new one. My sister sent me Mom's old one and I'd come to love it. I don't blog on it, but I have some apps I've come to depend on during the day, Kindle, Sudoku, a few others. Hubs, knowing how much I used it and how antiquated Mom's was, had bought me a new one. This one is amazing! It's fast, and it's so lightweight. 
And, icing on the cake, we actually wiped Mom's old iPad and turned it in to Best Buy for enough money to buy me a case. Thanks, Mom.

So on that afternoon, Hubs had just gone downstairs when I heard what sounded like a knock at the front door. Then I heard the screen door open and I knew exactly what was happening, someone was putting a flyer in the door.

But then I heard the door knob jiggle. I was stunned. Not again. Had someone found out I'd gotten that great new iPad and was looking to steal it? Well, not only was the door locked, but I was not home alone this time.

Oh, and I was dressed.

What happened next shocked and alarmed me. My front door opened. It actually opened.

I didn't call out, I'm not sure why, I do remember thinking a baseball bat might be more useful than an iPad at this moment, but I got up from the couch and walked towards the front door, just as a young man walked inside. I couldn't see his face, just the bill of a baseball cap.

A Red Sox cap.

Pulling his key out of the door, PurDude, looked up and wished me a happy birthday. 

Best break in, ever!

And this was SO much better than the last time he'd shocked me on my birthday. That time it was not with a surprise visit but on a phone call. He was a sophomore in college and had called me on my birthday, "Hi mom, I wanted to wish you a happy birthday. I can't really talk though, I'm in a lot of pain. I, well, I broke my leg . . ."

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Spicy Mac & Cheese Cups        


Printable Recipe

1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp cumin
1# elbow macaroni
1 cup half and half
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup smoked provolone cheese, shredded
2/3 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 eggs
*Grease the wells of 18 muffin tin cups. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
*Mix together the bread crumbs, paprika, cayenne pepper, and cumin. Set aside.
*Cook the macaroni to al dente. Rinse with cold water, drain well, rinse again with cold water and drain well.
*Mix the half and half, cheeses, green onion, salt, pepper, and 3 TBSP of the bread crumb mixture into the macaroni. Whisk the eggs and mix them in last. Allow to sit for a few minutes to thicken.
*Scoop the macaroni and cheese evenly into the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the remaining bread crumb mixture over the tops.
*Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven. Gently run a knife around the edges, then wait 5 minutes to remove from the muffin tins to serve.


  1. This made me smile!!! Love surprises like this.

  2. MAn good you did not have a baseball bat :D

  3. Oh boy, did you have me going. And I'm relieved that you were dressed this time, and not armed with a baseball bat! Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

  4. Wahooo!!! There's nothing like having your kids around.

    1. Gotta admit, once I got over the fear, I was SO excited to have him here. He stayed a little over a week.

  5. Oh my gosh! I SO printed this out. My boys will love these! And, fun story too:)

  6. A lot better surprise there! And better timed, as well.

    1. Yes, I can't believe he never let on. He even answered my PM when he stopped for gas and never let on that he wasn't at work.


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