Friday, July 29, 2022

Summer Snow: Monthly Poetry Group


Quick Steak Kew, marinate in the morning, then dinner comes together in just ½ hour. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner



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

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

Summer Snow
We can all debate it,
what weather's worst or best.
I know which most bothers me,
is worse than all the rest.
You may think it's snow or sleet,
that I'll say makes me sad,
but no, I'm here to tell you,
rain's the baddest of the bad.
Rain can often come with
whipping winds that bend the trees.
And hail crashing into windows,
can bring you to your knees.

Sump pump running overtime
and when I go inspect,
water's ruined our landscape,
rivers form and mud collects.
I'll admit just one good thing,
stuck in on a rainy day,
it sends me to the kitchen and
with food, I get to play.

Quick Steak Kew, marinate in the morning, then dinner comes together in just ½ hour. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner
Quick Steak Kew

Only thing that's just as bad
as thunderstorms, to me,
is the summer snow that we have here,
(my eyes and nose agree).

It's cottonwood of which I speak,
it rains down like the snow,
it piles up on the deck and grass,
has nowhere else to go.
 Summer Snow | picture taken by, featured on, and property of
cottonwood bud stuck to my window
Miserable to be outdoors,
and even use the grill.
nasal sprays and eye drops and
twice a day, must take a pill.

But here's where things get crazy,
what washes it all away?
My old nemesis rain comes in,
and actually saves the day!

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 Collections poetry:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Quick Steak Kew

1 # stir fry steak
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 red pepper, sliced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 TBSP brown sugar
2 TBSP hoisin sauce
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP cooking sherry
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger paste
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 green onion, sliced

*Place the steak, onion, and red pepper in a plastic bag.
*Whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, balsamic vinegar, cooking sherry, minced garlic, and ginger paste. Add to the bag, seal, and manipulate the bag so all the meat and vegetables are coated with the marinade.
*Place the bag in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, up to a day. Turn the bag over now and then.
*Lightly spray a large saute pan with non-stick spray. Heat to medium. Pour all of the ingredients in the bag into the pan and cook, stirring now and then, until the beef is cooked and the vegetables have started to soften, about 10 minutes. Bring to a boil.
*Mix the cornstarch with 1 TBSP water and pour into the pan. Reduce the heat slightly and cook, stirring constantly until the sauce has thickened completely.
*To serve, sprinkle with chopped green onion.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Raking the Forest


Summer Shrimp Salad: packed with shrimp and crunchy vegetables, this cold salad is a refreshing meal for a hot summer day. | recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner
It started with a laugh. But by the end of the day, it had turned into insight. Surprisingly, the inspiration was Hubs who was, at the time, minding his own business, raking the front lawn. So yeah, insight from raking. 
Watching him, the laugh came first because what popped into my mind was trump's comment that the devastation from forest fires is the result of mismanagement. You remember, don't you? Mr. inject-yourself-with-disinfectant announced that the government should be raking our forests. 
I know, forest fires are dangerous, devastating, and deadly, not really something to be laughing at, but it wasn't the fires themselves, it was the absurdity of the ignorance, you had to either laugh or cry (and sometimes both).
That night, after a broiling hot day and a refreshingly cold dinner, I would sit down to once again watch the latest of the January 6th hearings. 
 Summer Shrimp Salad: packed with shrimp and crunchy vegetables, this cold salad is a refreshing meal for a hot summer day. | recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner
  Summer Shrimp Salad
When they started televising the hearings, I had an overwhelming sense of futility. At this point, I fully believed that there were two groups of Americans, those of us who understand the jeopardy our democracy is in, the seriousness of a bloody coup under the direction of a maniac, and those who are so ill informed or brainwashed that they either don't understand the ramifications of an autocracy, or just don't care. Two impeachment trials and dead capitol police didn't change any minds, why would these hearings?
But as I watched the hearings, and even later, as I witnessed the republican politicians push back with lies and repeated disinformation, I started to have a little hope. The people testifying were those who had actually been there, part of the administration. They were coming forward with truth, context, timeline, and insight.
The hearings, of course, are going on right as Bannon is going to trial for ignoring his subpoena.
Before these hearings, there were no ramifications, no repercussions, and therefore no downside to continuing the lies, deception, and misdirection.

But now we're witnessing testimony from administration loyalists. And, part simultaneously (and part as a result) we're seeing the start of accountability. There have been not just subpoenas, but raids, confiscation of electronics, demands for records, arrests, and even trials.
I realized, as more former members of the administration seem to be coming to terms with what they had been complicit in, understanding their patriotic responsibility to come forward and swear to the truth (or, of course, some less patriotic and more self preservation/jump from the sinking ship, I don't want to end up in jail motivation), that these hearings have done something meaningful for all of us.

Raking the Forest | picture taken by, featured on, and property of | #blogging

We, those of us who have understood from the beginning just what was happening, are now bearing witness to exactly who have been able to find their inner strength, recalculate their moral compass, and come forward. And we understand exactly who's left, still determined to keep digging that hole, and ignoring subpoenas. 
The result of these hearings is simple. They're raking the forest.

Wheat from the chaff my friends, wheat from the chaff.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Summer Shrimp Salad        
Printable Recipe

4 oz wide egg noodles

2 green onions
1/2 red pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes
8 oz broccoli slaw
4 oz fresh snap peas

12 oz medium cooked shrimp

*Cook the noodles to al dente. Immediately rinse a few times with cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain well. Place in a large bowl and refrigerate.
*Make the Everything Bagel Vinaigrette. Refrigerate.
*Slice the green onions and chop the red pepper.
*Add the cooked shrimp, green onions, red pepper, grape tomatoes, broccoli slaw, and snap peas to the cooked pasta. Mix gently. Add the Everything Bagel Vinaigrette. Mix gently.
*Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, mixing now and then. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Friday, July 22, 2022

The Bug, Key Correlation: Fly on the Wall


Giant Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins, 30 minutes from start to baked, these giant muffins could not be easier. | recipe developed by | #recipe #bake

 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.

It was just a few weeks ago, Friday July 1st, the start of the long weekend, when Hubs came up from the basement.
Hubs: College Boy is heading over here from work. They told him he could leave at 4:00.
Me: That's great, I'm sure he's thrilled.
Hubs: Well, it wasn't just him, they told everyone to leave at 4:00.
Me (yes, rolling my eyes): Good thing you clarified that.

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

College Boy opens the front door, hears me yelling and calls out to me:

College Boy: Hey, Mom, you watching the Red Sox again?
Me: No, I'm yelling at your dad, if you must know.

Wonder why he didn't stay for dinner. . .

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

Speaking of the Sox, Hubs and I were watching a game last week. The best pitcher who, due to injuries, was only pitching in his second game was on the mound. He pitched, the batter hit the ball, and the ball hit the pitcher, going 106 mph hitting the pitcher's finger.

The announcers were, of course, announcing, when I burst out laughing.

Hubs (angrily): What are you laughing at? That isn't funny at all.
Me: The announcers.
Hubs: What? The announcers are explaining that we're losing our best pitcher. Again. 
Me: I know, but . . .
Hubs: And he's hurt, did you see how hard he got hit?
Me: Yes, but did you hear what the announcers called the injury?
Hubs: No, what did they say?
Me: They said his misplaced his finger.
Hubs: And he did.
Me: It may be broken, it may be dislocated, it may be displaced, but I'm pretty sure that guy's finger has not been misplaced.

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

Later on, during the same game:

Announcer: Our update on the Red Sox pitcher is that he has a fractured finger.
Hubs: Oh, good.
Me: Good? He has a fractured finger.
Hubs: Better than if it were broken.
Me (looking at him, eyes as big as saucers): {{blink, blink}}

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

I'm sitting in the den, working on my laptop, when the air conditioning comes on and I hear a clicking noise. It seems to be coming from a floor vent.

Hubs comes down and is going to go to work when I tell him about the noise. He goes over to look:

Hubs: Oh, yeah, I hear it. Looks like there's a bug in there.
Me: A bug??
Hubs: Yeah, that's what it looks like.
Me: How will you get it out?
Hubs: I'll have to look at it tonight, see if I can get this grate out of the floor.

OK, I can see where this is going, and I don't like it. I'm not sitting here all day knowing there's a bug in the grate in the floor. So I sneak over to the laundry room, grab his car keys, and sit back down. He stands up from examining the grate, walks over, grabs his briefcase and goes to find his keys.

Hubs: I can't find the car keys. I wonder what I did with them.
Me (standing up and walking over to the grate): Oh, I think they're down in the grate . . .

Hubs isn't one for taking hints, but he did figure out what it was going to take for him to be able to go to work.

And as soon as he got the bug out? His keys miraculously appeared on the key holder in the laundry room.

Apparently there's some kind of correlation between bug extraction and key appearance. Who knew?

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


PurDude called one night last week, and we had a nice conversation. We touch base with a text each day, but I like hearing his voice.

Hubs, not a fan of what I'd been watching, was downstairs putzing around in the man cave. When I was done talking to PurDude, I brought Hubs my phone.

I came back upstairs, went to the bathroom, took the muffins out of the pan, grabbed my laptop to make some notes on the recipe, sat down to watch TV, and realized my cell phone wasn't on the table and started to search.

I've got my ass in the air and my head under the couch when Hubs comes upstairs to hand me my cell phone.

Oh yeah, now I remember . . .

Giant Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins, 30 minutes from start to baked, these giant muffins could not be easier. | recipe developed by | #recipe #bake
Giant Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

College Boy walked in and he really did not look good.
Me: Are you OK? 
College Boy: I'm really not feeling well.
Me: Why don't you go upstairs and lay down?
College Boy runs to the bathroom, comes back, runs to the bathroom, comes back.
Me: What's going on? 
College Boy: I'm feeling nauseous. 
He gets part way upstairs when I hear him running down. All of this goes through my mind in about 3 seconds: he's not going to make it to the bathroom, I need something he can get sick in, I have old rusted bakeware I keep in the pantry (don't ask me why, I don't know), I need to grab something.
I run into the pantry, grab the first old bakeware thing I can get my hands on, run, meeting him halfway to the bathroom, and hand him a muffin tin.
Great. Just great.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics
There is some small animal leaving turd pellets out front by the stairs. We have to go out in the morning and sweep them off. We hadn't yet this morning.

College Boy: I think I'm going to go out front and get some fresh air.
Me: Some little animal is leaving turd pellets by the front steps, we haven't swept them off yet, be sure you don't sit in them.

Well, seems he's feeling well enough to roll his eyes.

College Boy: Well, if I can't sit in the turds, I guess there's no reason to go out there.

Sarcasm, a clear indication someone's feeling better.

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

It had been a day, and it was only just past noon. I'm in the den, rooting around in the liquor cabinet, when Hubs comes in the room.
Me (kinda yelling): I'M HAVING A COCKTAIL.
Hubs doesn't say a word.
Me (still yelling): BECAUSE I CAN!
Didn't see him again until dinner time. I wonder why. 

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


About 1/2 hour later, the phone rings.
Neighbor: Umm . . . Karen?
Me: Yes?
Neighbor: Do you know your grown son is laying on the concrete by your front door?
Me: Yes. Doesn't yours?



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

Giant Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
5 oz vanilla Greek yogurt
3/4 cup milk
2 cups flour + 1 TBSP
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
*Grease the top of a 12 well muffin tin and either grease or add liners to the wells. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
*Set aside 36 blueberries.
*Whisk together the oil and brown sugar. Once incorporated, whisk in the egg, yogurt, and milk. 
*Separately, mix 2 cups of the flour, the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
*Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently whisk together.
*Gently coat the blueberries not set aside and the white chocolate chips with the remaining 1 TBSP flour. Fold into the batter.
*Fill the muffin cups with the batter. Top each muffin with 3 of the reserved blueberries.
*Bake for 20 minutes, or until the center springs back to the touch. Cool in the muffin pan for 10 minutes before popping out of the pan.



Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Plan B: Word Counters


Grilled Hoisin Chicken, this marinated, grilled chicken is not only a family favorite dinner, but the leftovers are perfect in a salad or pasta salad. | recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

 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 50It 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.

~ I've chosen the theme Plan B. Actually, it chose me, because Plan B is . . . plan B. I'll explain. First I want to say that for this post, I'm counting "B" as a word. It is a word (be, bee), so choosing between counting it and ignoring it, I'm counting it.
~ I was going to write a fictional story with the challenge of allowing the topic to be randomly chosen from a book on my Kindle. I'd open a book and the name of a random chapter would be my topic. Fun, right? Random chapter title: Titty Trap. Ummm . . . plan B.

~ So I moved on to another chapter in the book. It's my favorite genre, a mystery (this one a legal thriller), so I'll just find another chapter, more appropriate, they can't all be like that. Second random chapter title: Spitting and Pissing. Challenge aborted. plan B needs a plan B!

~ Right about at then, Hubs informed me that he'd be running the sprinklers (it had been broiling hot), and then would mow the lawn in the morning and go into work in the afternoon. Sprinklers ran. It poured all night. No mowing the lake lawn in the morning. Plan B.

~ Truth is, one thing that life in general, and recipe development specifically, has taught me, it's that in pretty much every situation, we have to be prepared for plan B. We may not have a specific plan B in mind, but more often than not, things change on the fly.


 Grilled Hoisin Chicken, this marinated, grilled chicken is not only a family favorite dinner, but the leftovers are perfect in a salad or pasta salad. | recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Grilled Hoisin Chicken

~ Our lives, most of us, have been, in the recent past, a constant succession of plan B after plan B. Covid has taught us resilience. The way we shop, the way we travel, the people we see, even the food we eat, has all been dictated by plan B choices.
~ I'm here to say, that's not a bad thing. To be humbled making choices that wouldn't be our first, to be forced to edit our priorities, to be innovative in reaching our goals, all productive in a country where narcissism reigns. Much can be learned from a forced plan B.
~ And yet . . . if that lawn doesn't get mowed soon, it'll take a search party, complete with a St. Bernard (don't forget the barrel of brandy around his neck) to find me if I dare to venture out our back door. Plan B: get me that dog and I'll go voluntarily.

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


Grilled Hoisin Chicken

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 TBSP orange juice
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp ginger paste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 green onion, chopped

*Trim the chicken and cut each into 2 - 3 pieces, trying to keep the thickness fairly uniform.
*Whisk together the hoisin, soy sauce, orange juice, sesame oil, brown sugar, ginger paste, minced garlic and chopped green onion to make the marinade. Pour into a gallon sized bag with the chicken pieces. Seal and refrigerate, turning the bag now and then for at least 4 hours, to overnight.
*Remove the chicken from the marinade. Preheat the grill to about 400 degrees. Once the chicken is on the grill, cover the grill and lower the heat to about 350.
*Grill the chicken pieces for about 8 minutes, turning each piece slightly to the side half way through. Turn the pieces over and grill for another about 4 - 6 minutes.
*NOTE: grill times are approximate as times are affected by the thickness of the meat and how your grill heats. Be sure the chicken is completely cooked through.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Recipe Words: Use Your Words

Everything Bagel Vinaigrette, whisk together in minutes, use as a dressing or a marinade. | recipe developed by | #recipe #dressing


 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:  devil ~ frogs ~ houseplant ~ goldfish
They were submitted by Rena of The Diary of an Alzheimer's Caregiver.

"I'll challenge myself to use my assigned words this month to create a recipe," I thought. That was before I got my words. Ummm, nope. Unless I think I can somehow convince my friends that I've not been possessed by the devil while working frogs, a houseplant, and goldfish into a recipe, I'm gonna have to go to plan B. I'm not that talented.

Unless . . .

Don't you just hate a challenge, even one you create for yourself, that your instinct is to run from? The problem for me is, it eats (pun intended) at me.

So it looks like, like it or not, I'd have to set out to create a recipe. 
Now had this been Halloween time, how easy that would have been. To conjure up the devil, a witch needs only to place her biggest caldron over a large flame. Fill with bone broth, bring to a boil, add eye of newt, and toe of frog, a houseplant and some goldfish.

But it's not Halloween. In fact, it's the middle of summer and it's broiling hot. No large flame, no steaming caldron of . . . anything. Cooking on the grill or serving cold dinners are my go-to this time of year.

So, I'll do a salad. That will work. I hope.

I'd made up a batch of Everything Bagel Seasoning, and looking for a fun new way to dress a salad, made a vinaigrette with it. We love it. In fact, I now have some in the refrigerator at all times.
 Everything Bagel Vinaigrette, whisk together in minutes, use as a dressing or a marinade. | recipe developed by | #recipe #dressing
Everything Bagel Vinaigrette
It's so easy to make, and versatile too, not only the dressing, but the seasoning itself.
So, mix together the seasoning, then make the vinaigrette as per the recipe below.   
For a lunch or dinner, meal or side salad, make the salad using ingredients of your choice. We mix it up, depending on what we have in the fridge, like the salad pictured above a mixture of spinach, lettuce, shredded carrot, grape tomatoes, radishes, green onion, sunflower seeds, and blueberries, but you do you. Snip some herbs of your choice from your kitchen (edible only, please) houseplant, basil would go well, and/or chives. Toss with some of the dressing, and skip the croutons, sprinkle with goldfish crackers.
Ummm . . . and serve with a side of frogs' legs?
Sorry, the devil made me do it. ¯\_()_/¯        

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

 Everything Bagel Vinaigrette       

Printable Recipe

2 TBSP minced dried onion 
1 TBSP garlic salt
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 TBSP poppy seeds
3 TBSP sesame seeds
1 tsp sugar
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
3/4 cup oil 
OPT: serve over salad, spinach salad, or cooked vegetables
OPT: use as a marinade for chicken, pork, fish, or fresh vegetables 
*Mix together the dried onion, garlic salt, Kosher salt, poppy seeds and sesame seeds to make the Everything Bagel Seasoning.
*Vigorously whisk together 2 TBSP of the seasoning with the sugar, apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, and oil.
*If using as a marinade, pour desired amount over the protein or vegetables, cover, and refrigerate for an hour before cooking.
*Store the vinaigrette, covered, in the refrigerator. Whisk again before serving. 
*Store the remaining Everything Bagel Seasoning in a sealed container with your spices.