Friday, March 24, 2023

Start Talking: Fly on the Wall

Pastel Shortbreads | recipe developed by | #recipe #cookies


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 play a multitude of word games daily. I share my results twice a day on my Baking In A Tornado Facebook page. Lots of people add their scores to the thread, and we often comment on that days' games. It's fun, like we're playing together.

When players post their scores, I respond to most all of their posts. On one particular day, I made a fateful typing error. 

One friend had gotten a score of 3 on all of her games. I had commented "nothing wrong with a 3 day." Well, that's what I thought I'd said. In fact, I'd commented "nothing wrong with a 3 way." Oops.

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

I was promoting a blog post on social media. It was called Sliding Past the Holidays, where I discussed the calamities that occurred over Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I was planning to say:

"Sliding Past the Holidays. Thanksgiving was a disaster. Christmas was worse. For the upcoming holidays, I'd better take a pass."

Except I apparently used the wrong vowel in the last word, publicly posting:

"Sliding Past the Holidays. Thanksgiving was a disaster. Christmas was worse. For the upcoming holidays, I'd better take a piss."
Worst part? The friend who let me know, didn't seem at all surprised.

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

PurDude and I text every day. He calls, but not as often. Sometimes it's just to check in, but other times it's when one or the other of us has something to discuss that's too long for a text.

I had asked him something about his insurance, and he said he'd call me that night. Turns out he was calling to tell me about his yearly raise, bonus, and stock options anyway.

We talked for about 10 minutes or so, then I brought my cell down to Hubs in his man cave.

And I waited, and I waited and I waited. They talked for over an hour before Hubs brought me my phone so I could say "good-bye."

Me: You like him better than me?
PurDude: What?
Me: You talked to him for over an hour.
PurDude: It was about tax stuff.
Me: Yeah, right, you owe me 55 minutes. Start talking . . .

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

Speaking of talking, Hubs was taking his car down to be fixed. I was going to take a quick shower when he left, but told him to call me if it was going to take some time, and I'd come get him.

I had showered and was sitting on the couch when he called.

Hubs: When you get out of the shower . . . 
Me (interrupting him): Wait a second, you think I answer the phone in the shower?
Hubs: Ummm.
Me: Start talking . . .

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

So he did start talking. Before I tell you what he said, a little back story . . .

I've mentioned that Hubs is semi-retired. It works out pretty well most of the time, to a great extent because I don't turn the TV on until late afternoon, so he spends a lot of time downstairs in his man-cave watching sports.

But sometimes, sorry, but I have to admit it, sometimes having him around so much just gets on my nerves.

Hubs: The car's going to take about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Me: OK, I'll come get you.
Hubs: No.
Me: No?
Hubs: I'm in a store nearby now, and there's a place where I can sit and have coffee too, so Im just going to wait.
Me: OK, call me if you change your mind. I won't be in the shower then either.

And now I'm starting to think that it may just be possible that I get on his nerves a time or two too.

Pastel Shortbreads | recipe developed by | #recipe #cookies
Pastel Shortbreads

Hubs makes the mistake of checking the weather report every day, despite the fact that I constantly remind him that it's fake news.

At the beginning of the month, he told me that it was going to finally warm up, for the whole week. But I know better than to fall for that.

Monday it was nice out. Tuesday it was nice out, so I decided to do dinner on the grill on Wednesday.

Wednesday it was freezing cold with whipping winds. Using the grill was not fun. In fact, I had a hard time lighting it.

Thursday it was nice out again.

Me: It's a conspiracy. They're out to get me. They changed the weather for one day.
Hubs: Who is it you're holding responsible for that? Mother Nature?
Me: No, it was the Chinese weather balloons.

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

Thursday night he told me that it was going to be warm again on Friday. I told him that I'd plan to use the grill again, we were both craving salmon.

Friday it was warm. But I was not very happy with Hubs' communication skills.

Me: When you told me it was going to be warm out, and I said I'd do salmon on the grill, did you not think it was pertinent to mention that it was going to rain all day?
Hubs: Yeah, maybe I should have mentioned that . . .

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

My friend had been in the hospital and I was really worried about her. Nobody was more worried than her husband, though, who was understandably distraught.

Once she got home, she was exhausted but feeling better. I was checking in on her and the second morning she reported that she had slept really well the night before.

Me: I'm SO glad. I hope now that you're feeling rested, you're feeling better. And I bet your husband eels better now that you've slept well too.

I read that right after I typed it, so I added:

Me: feels, not eels.


Me: I think you've got enough problems, no need to add eels into the mix . . .

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

The fly on the wall may have caught a glimpse of a crazy lady this month. 

Our recycle bin is in the garage, just to the side of the door to the house. That makes it really convenient, if I'm working in the kitchen and have something to recycle, I just open the door to the garage, and throw it to my right.

It was late, but we'd had pizza for dinner and I was really thirsty. I was in the kitchen, grabbing a glass of ginger ale, and trying to be quiet about it so I didn't bother anyone. I'd finished the ginger ale, opened the door to the garage and went to drop the can in the recycle bin.

I'd forgotten that the bin was out at the curb for pick up the next day. 

Which is how I ended up in the middle of the night, wearing my pajamas, whisper-shouting "shhhhh! shhhhh!" while chasing a can rolling around the garage floor.

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

I get that the boys come by their sarcastic sense of humor from me. And most of the time I appreciate it. But now and then . . . 

It was fairly early in the morning, I had poured myself a cup of coffee and was sitting on the couch. I was concentrating on playing a word game, and hadn't heard College Boy come down the stairs, until I felt him behind me.

Me: Jeez, you scared me.
College Boy: You should see you.

I think maybe he should STOP talking.



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

Pastel Shortbreads         

Printable Recipe

1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups flour

about 3 oz each of 2 different pastel colored candy melts
2 different colors of sanding sugar
about 3 oz white candy melts
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
multicolored round sprinkles

*Beat the softened butter with both extracts. On the lowest setting, beat in the powdered sugar and flour, just until it starts to come together. Using your hands, form a dough. Roll into a log, about 10 inches long, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper.
*Cut the dough, at a sharp angle, into about 24 slices, each a little less than 1/2 in thickness.
*Bake for 12 - 14 minutes, then allow to cool completely.
*Melt one color of the candy melts according to package directions and dip in one end of the cookie, about 1/3 of the way down. Sprinkle with one of the sanding sugars, and allow to set.
*Repeat with the second color on the other end of the cookies and sprinkle with the second colored sanding sugar. Allow to set.
*Partially melt the white candy melts, add the oil and melt the rest of the way. Pipe onto the middle third of the cookies. Immediately decorate with the sprinkles. Allow to set.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Solitary Games and Community Benefits: Word Counters


Turkey Tenderloin Bake | 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 37It was chosen by Me!

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'm talking about Solitary Games and Community Benefits. 

~ I play word and number games. You know this if you're a frequent visitor to this blog. And my Baking In A Tornado Facebook page. I even share one I've made up myself. They serve multiple purposes.

~ They exercise the brain, especially {{ahem}} as you age. There is the satisfaction of completing a challenge, and the temporary mental respite from politics, daily mass shootings. They can also provide insight into how we approach life.

Solitary Games and Community Benefits | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of | #MyGraphics #blogging

~ Strategy matters, developed over time, based on experience, specific to the game. And discipline to stick to it, when lulled into looking for an easier way when, in fact the whole picture is not yet in view.

~ But rigidity can be your enemy. If the whole picture just isn't coming into focus it's not that sticking to a strategy is always right, but acquiring the understanding of when to abandon it can be key.

~ You knew I was going to work recipes in here somewhere, right? Rigidity is required when baking. Don't follow the rules, your cake won't rise. But cooking? Go ahead and change ingredients, cooking methods, as you go.

Turkey Tenderloin Bake | recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner
Turkey Tenderloin Bake

~ It's exciting, especially in a math game, to uncover all the pieces. Don't be deceived, having all of the information can be limiting. These are the pieces, you can add nothing else, to make it work. 

~ Conversely (hello, parenting), getting none, or very few of the pieces can initially be discouraging. But if you look closely, not just at what you have, but what you've eliminated, there's actually a wealth of information there.

~ I share game results twice a day on my Facebook page, morning games and evening games. Other players add the results of whatever games they play to the thread, and suddenly solitary games are a shared experience.

~ The last thing I want to mention is the most important. Build (or join) communities, share strategies, applaud successes, commiserate with failures. Build others up, look to them for support. No, I'm not talking games any more. 

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

Turkey Tenderloin Bake       

Printable Recipe

about 1 1/2# turkey breast tenderloin
salt and pepper
1 bag (20 oz) frozen mixed stir fry vegetables, partially thawed
1/3 cup ranch salad dressing
1/3 cup sweet chili sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ginger paste

*Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Slice the turkey into 1 inch slices. Season both sides with salt and pepper, and arrange in the center of the pan, leaving a border all around for the vegetables.
*Arrange the vegetables all around the turkey. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper.
*Whisk together the ranch dressing, sweet chili sauce, garlic, and ginger. Set aside 1/3 cup of this sauce. Pour the remaining sauce over the turkey.
*Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Turkey must be completely cooked.
*Heat the reserved 1/3 cup of the sauce in a sauce pan or the microwave until hot (do not boil), pour over or serve beside the turkey.


Friday, March 17, 2023

Relationships in Motion: Use Your Words

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Cookies | recipe developed by | #recipe #cookies

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:  hammer ~ relationship ~ soldier ~ cantankerous ~ simplistic ~ hope 
They were submitted by Jenniy of Climaxed.

A lot of people are bringing the hammer down on relationships. And, actually, I get it. There often comes a time when you just have to accept that it isn't working, when you feel that the energy you've invested is not reciprocated.

Not that relationships are ever perfectly balanced. They can't be. But when they work, both parties have to feel that they are valued, that when they are the one in need, that connection will come through. Provide that little jolt of sugar needed to feed your soul.

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Cookies | recipe developed by | #recipe #cookies

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Cookies

I understand that maintenance is required. And it's incumbent on me to be proactive in providing it when I see the signs. In general, I try to give, not just when I'm asked, I acknowledge that reaching out in need can be hard to do, but to be open to perceiving a need, and just jump in. Because there are times when anyone can be impatient, cantankerous, just won't budge. And when it's me, reciprocation allows us both to move forward, soldier on. When one party takes their foot off the gas, someone's got to provide the propulsion.

I also just have to say here, that I'm not a person who walks around with my hand out. I try, as much as I can, to be independent, not a needy person. So when I do reach out, I mean it. I know this seems simplistic, but for me, a healthy balance follows along the lines of "The Golden Rule." I expect offered to me the same level of support I myself try to offer.

And I hope that I've got enough money in that relationship bank to have earned whatever it is that I need.

Relationships in Motion | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of | #MyGraphics #humor

Sometimes, though, it turns out that I don't. And in those times, a lot of introspection is required. Is this worth the amount of effort I expend? If the result is that I have nothing to depend on, it's just not healthy for me.

That's pretty much where I am now. If I need you to step on the gas, hit the road running, firing on all cylinders? It's not the time for your tires to be flat, your battery running low, for all you have to offer is just idling at the curb.

As hard as it may be to let go of a relationship in which time and energy have been invested, memories abound, dependence, and yes, even love are components, I now understand that I need to move on.

Because there are things I need from this relationship, and going places is one of them.

So I'm just going to have to look for a new car. 


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

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Cookies

6 TBSP butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 TBSP crunchy peanut butter
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup mini Reese's cups, quartered
1/4 cup Reese's pieces, halved
1/8 cup cream cheese baking chips

*Beat the butter, cream cheese, and peanut butter, then beat in the egg. Slowly beat in the flour and powdered sugar. Mix in the Reese's cups, Reese's pieces, and cream cheese baking chips. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
*Roll dough into 24 balls. Place on the baking sheets and flatten slightly.
*Bake for 15 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to cool completely.


Monday, March 13, 2023

Take Flight: Poetry Monday

French Vanilla Cheesecake (no bake) | recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert 



Poetry Monday's once a week.
I bet you know which day.
I don't participate every time,
But today I've come out to play.

My friends assign each week a theme,
Butterflies is what they chose.
Now it's up to all of us,
to put our thoughts into prose.


Take Flight

Time with her little toddler,
is something Beth held dear,
looking for fun things to do,
with an educational flare.

When there was opening,
of a live butterfly display,
right in their home town even,
planned to go on the very first day.

Take Flight, a poem | picture taken by, featured on, and proerty of | #blogging

"Mommy has something special,
a new place for us to try,
together we're going to learn,
all about the butterfly." 

"When we get up in the morning, 
I'll make a yummy pie,
refrigerate it while we're gone, 
then come home and try." 

French Vanilla Cheesecake (no bake) | recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert 
French Vanilla Cheesecake (no bake)

But headstrong little children, 
like to learn in their own way.
Not always with the best results,
Beth found out the next day.

Stopped cold as in her kitchen,
there was such a shocking mess.
Yellow splotches everywhere.
What happened? Couldn't guess.
Covered in grease, her daughter,
tears running from each eye:
"I think that ours is broken, Mom,
this butter will not fly." 

Poetry Monday | Graphic designed by and property of | #poem #poetryWait!
Read more poetry, 
you're not through.
Some talented writers
are in this crew:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

French Vanilla Cheesecake (no bake)       

Printable Recipe

1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer cookie crumbs (about 36 cookies)
5 TBSP melted butter

12 oz cream cheese, softened
1 box (3.4 oz) French vanilla instant pudding mix
1 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
2 TBSP powdered sugar
2 TBSP French vanilla coffee creamer
1/4 cup multicolored nonpareils, divided

OPT: additional cookies, nonpareils, and/or 1 TBSP caramel sauce for topping

*Lightly grease a 9 inch pie dish. Mix the cookie crumbs and the melted butter. Press firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
*Beat the cream cheese, pudding mix, yogurt, powdered sugar, and coffee creamer together. Gently mix in 2 TBSP of the nonpareils. Spread evenly into the prepared crust.
*OPT: decorate with vanilla wafers, nonpareils, and or drizzle with caramel sauce, if desired.
*Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour. 

Friday, March 10, 2023

Feast for the Senses: Secret Subject Swap

Key Lime Pancakes | recipe developed by | #recipe #breakfast


Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This month 3 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.

My subject is: Spring is in the air. What is your favorite spring time activity?
It was submitted by: Rena of The Diary of an Alzheimer's Caregiver.

Actually, that's a difficult question. Much more difficult than it would have been when I was living on the East Coast. Much more difficult even, than it would have been living away from the East Coast in the years before 2020. Much more difficult than it should be.
Growing up on the East Coast meant varying between two really fun activities, walking the beach, and spring skiing. Walking the beach required dressing a little warmer, but it was so worth it, feeling the sun on your skin for the first time in months, and smelling that salt air. Spring skiing, on the other hand, required less clothes than winter skiing, easier movement, and warmer trips up the lifts. Ahhh, spring.
Living here in the beachless {{sob}}, mountainless {{sigh}} Midwest, especially since 2020, has necessitated that my main spring activity be playing a robust game of "avoid the Covid spreaders." As activities go, not something that's going to make it onto my favorites list. Necessary? Yes. Fun? Not so much.

The downside of spring, rubbing my eyes and stocking up on tissues and allergy medicine isn't exactly a fun activity either.

But I do love spring, it's my favorite season. I get to move away from the heartier "warm you from the inside" meals I cook over the winter months to lighter meals. Like breakfast for dinner.

Key Lime Pancakes | recipe developed by | #recipe #breakfast

Key Lime Pancakes
(with my Blueberry Maple Syrup)

And although I know this is a lame answer to your question, since I'm really not sure what activities I'll be able to enjoy in the coming days, I can tell you what I love about spring. It's the waking up, the emergence from the long winter hibernation, the exercising of all of my senses.

Spring is a feast, and it's not just about taste. Spring is a for all of the senses. 

Sight: There is beauty in snowfall, a feel of peace as the first flakes cling, pristinely white, to the branches of the bare trees. But even then, it's brown and white.

In the spring, dark afternoons are banned and daylight replaces the dreariness of winter. Daylight in which to enjoy the colors with which Mother Nature paints the outdoors. Grass, leaves, flowers, beautiful color emerging everywhere. 

And the wildlife comes back.   

Feast for the Senses | picture taken by, featured on, and property of | #blogging #spring

Sound: The chirping of the birds, even the sound of lawnmowers, car windows down and radios turned up, spring has its own unique sounds.

Smell: Flowers, especially the lilacs, and food cooking on grills throughout the neighborhood. Even the smell of freshly cut grass brings a smile.

Feast for the Senses | picture taken by, featured on, and property of | #blogging #sprin

Touch: It's not spring until I've got my hands deep in the dirt of my outdoor pots, and standing on the back deck, feeling the sun on my face.

Taste: Key Lime Pancakes with Blueberry Maple Syrup, anyone?


Secret Subject Swap, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:


The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver 


Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Key Lime Pancakes         

Printable Recipe

1/2 stick butter
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup key lime juice
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp lime zest
OPT: 1 - 2 tsp green food coloring

4 - 5 TBSP butter

*Melt the 1/2 stick butter, set aside.
*Place the milk and key lime juice in a small bowl and allow to sit for 10 minutes. 
*In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and lime zest.
*After 10 minutes, whisk the melted butter, egg, and food coloring (if using) into the milk and key lime juice mixture, then mix into the dry ingredients, just until incorporated.
*Over medium heat in a small skillet, melt 1/2 TBSP of the remaining butter until hot. Add about 1/3 cup pancake mix and swirl around to form approximately a 5 inch pancake.
*Once the center starts to bubble and the edges are browning, flip the pancake over, reduce the heat slightly, and cook the other side until browned.
*Remove, keep warm, and repeat with the remaining butter and pancake batter.