Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Sliding Past the Holidays


Pepper Jelly Knots, ready in 30 minutes. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bread


All upcoming holidays are canceled. For the foreseeable future. Yes, it pains me to say that.

And it's because of the food. Which hurts even more.

And although it all worked out in the end, that entire week was . . . a lot.

Then right around the corner came Christmas. Let me tell you about Christmas.

Why now? As an explanation of sorts, or a justification maybe, of that whole holiday cancellation thing.

As I explained in my Thanksgiving post, I'm a planner. The groceries are purchased and the tasks, what I need to defrost and when, which recipes I can make in advance, what time to take the turkey out, and what time it needs to be in the oven, all scheduled on my calendar to ensure optimal family time on the day of the holiday.

The problems started with the stuffing. I use a hot sausage in mind, and couldn't find any in the stores. I thought chorizo would be a great substitute and went with that. But 3 days before, when I went to cook the chorizo as I would the sausage, it wasn't cooking, but melting and burning. I googled and found that it comes precooked. So I just mixed it in with the rest of the stuffing ingredients.

The cleaners were scheduled that day. Since we had heat in the house, they actually did come on schedule this month, and I babysat no one.

But for the next few days, that stuffing was bothering me. It was niggling at my brain. I know what cooked sausage looks like, and that was not it. At 11 pm, on Christmas eve, after checking the description of the chorizo I bought on the website of the store I'd bought it in, and confirming it was uncooked, I was up throwing all of the stuffing in the trash.

Sliding Past the Holidays | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #blogging

The next morning, I frantically cobbled together a stuffing based on some leftovers I had from Thanksgiving and whatever ingredients I had on hand.

It was late morning when I realized that I usually have the turkey in the oven by now. I checked my calendar and noticed I'd planned on a 2 hour cooking time. For an 18 pound bird. Yikes.

I yanked the turkey out of the fridge, cleaned, stuffed, and slathered it, stuck it in a disposable tin roaster, stuck that in another roaster, just to be safe, folded the wing tips under so they wouldnt burn, and threw it in the upper oven. Second disaster averted. Phew.

Heading to the last hour before dinner, just before I was going to preheat the lower oven for the vegetable casseroles, I checked the turkey and decided to unfold the wings so the skin could brown. I pulled the oven shelf out as far as I dared, and grabbed my tongs. Reaching for the first wing, I somehow (talented, I guess) pierced not one, but both of the roasters. Grease gushed from the roasters onto the oven door, poured down into the second oven and the drawer below that, splattered all over the kitchen floor, up the side of the refrigerator and the kitchen island.

Did I mention my house had just been cleaned 3 days before?

Anyway . . .

screaming for Hubs, I grabbed another roaster, put the turkey and first 2 roasters into that, moved the turkey to the counter and shut off the oven.

Hubs and I cleaned up as best we could, and I got the turkey back in the oven. 

Anyone know how long you cook a turkey after it's been in the oven for 2 hours and then on the counter for 20 minutes? Me neither.

I went to the table, picked up my much needed glass of wine, and spilled it all over my travertine table. Note to self: when shaking that badly, wine is best consumed via IV.

Dinner was eventually served. As an added bonus, no matter what I tried, we did end up with a fun slip and slide across the kitchen floor. And no one broke a hip.

Oh, and the Pepper Jelly Knots were delish . . .



Pepper Jelly Knots, ready in 30 minutes. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bread

Pepper Jelly Knots

But here's the thing. Valentine's Day is right around the corner. Followed by St. Patrick's Day. Both holidays that are always marked with special foods.

But this year, I think I'm gonna have to take a pass. Yes, as I said, it pains me to say it, but we all know that bad luck comes in threes.

And I barely made it past bad luck holidays one and two. I'd like to keep my family healthy, my house standing, and my mental health on this side of a rubber room.

So, I think it's in everyone's best interest if, for now, I just put down the oven mitts, and slowly back away . . .

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

Pepper Jelly Knots         

Printable Recipe

1 can (8 oz) refrigerator crescent dough
3 oz cream cheese, room temperature
3 TBSP pepper jelly

*Whisk together the cream cheese and pepper jelly. Set aside.
*Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
*Roll out the crescent dough on the parchment paper to about a 10 X 15 rectangle.
*Carefully spread the pepper jelly mixture onto the dough.
*Using the shorter side, fold in half so you have about a 5 X 15 rectangle.
*Cut the dough into 15 approximately 1 inch strips. Tie each strip into a loose knot and arrange the knots on the sheet so they are not touching. Bake for 15 minutes.


Friday, January 27, 2023

Go Away: Monthly Poetry Group


Smothered Chicken Casserole, a simple whisk and bake comfort food | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner




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


Go Away, poetry challenge based on a theme. | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #poetry #blogging

Go Away

"Go away,"
I heard him say,
stopped in traffic, to our dismay,
seems road work was underway.

“Go away,”
I heard him say,
this was on the very next day,
woodpecker on the house, pecking away.
"Go away,"
I heard him say,
on the kitchen counter there lay,
so much junk mail on display.

"Go away,"
I heard him say,
eating out on the deck that day,
a bee had decided to join the buffet.

Smothered Chicken Casserole, a simple whisk and bake comfort food | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner
Smothered Chicken Casserole

"Go away,"
I heard him say,
turned to see him look my way.
We'd gotten in a fight that day.
"Go away,"
I'd heard him say,
next words, made everything OK:
"pick a beach, we'll go and play." 

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

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

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

Smothered Chicken Casserole

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
about 2 tsp garlic powder
3 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 cup broccoli florets
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
2 TBSP cooking sherry
1 TBSP grated parmesan
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green onion, sliced

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 X 10 baking dish.
*Slice the chicken breast into about 1 inch slices, then cut the larger ones in half. Sprinkle both sides with garlic powder and place into the prepared pan. Add the broccoli and mushrooms to the pan.
*Whisk together the sour cream, cream cheese, soup, Italian seasoning, sherry, parmesan, garlic, and green onion. Pour over the chicken and vegetables, and spread to cover. 
*Cover the dish with tin foil. Bake for 1 hour.


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Words Without Letters

Mini Heart Cakes | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

I wrote a blog post recently called Games Without Words. If I were writing a song, this would be the second verse, Words Without Letters.
It all started with a trip. No, not the vacation kind, the kind where you're walking out of a room, trip (over absolutely nothing, but we'll skip over that part), and smack the laptop you're holding in your hand into the door jam. Talented, I know.
I was fine, not even embarrassed because nobody saw, and everyone knows if no one witnesses you doing something embarrassing, it's the same as it never having happened. Well, unless you admit it publicly . . . like on your blog.

Anyway . . .

I did see a couple of cracks in the bottom and on the side of the keyboard (superglue doesn't work on laptops, FYI), but the laptop was working fine, so I went on my merry way.

Until a few weeks later. 

I was siin on he couch, ypin away, poaly wokin on a lo pos and makin los o poess. I don' look a wha I'm ypin when I ype, los in my own wold o houh, u I suppose you can imaine my supise when I looked up and saw, well, oledyook.

Ummm . . . seems some of my keys were not working. 

Words Without Letters | picture taken by, featured on, and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #blogging

So I started banging on them. Because everyone knows that banging is always the solution when something doesn't work.

And it worked. I could bang on the keys when they didn't work and abracadabra.

Sadly, abracadabra solutions are, apparently, temporary.

Once it was clear that banging wasn't going to work forever, superglue had already failed, and the clip I'd attached to the broken side of the keyboard kept popping off and smacking me in the head, I knew I was in trouble.

And then I posted a recipe pic to my blog, not realizing that one of the letters not working had been left out of the recipe name. It said "ceam cheese." Ugh, had to delete the pic from my blog and all social media, fix it, and repost it everywhere. I was not amused.

Words Without Letters | picture taken by, featured on, and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #blogging

As I looked into getting the keyboard fixed, I was both writing blog posts and responding to posts on my Baking In A Tornado FB page by typing what I wanted to say, going to a document where I'd stored the alphabet to copy the letters I needed, one by one, and pasting them into the sentences.

So, using just the short example from above, this is the amount of copying and pasting I had to do:

I was sitting on the couch, typing away, probably working on a blog post and making lots of progress. I don't look at what I'm typing when I type, lost in my own world of thoughtbut I suppose you can imagine my surprise when I looked up and saw, well, gobbledygook.

Let me tell you, that is an exhausting way to communicate. Do you have any idea how often you use "r," "t," "f," "g," "b," and "v"? 
I do.

I could temporarily do some of my writing on my cell and on my tablet, but those weren't going to be long term solutions. I needed my laptop for longer pieces, and was getting nowhere in finding a way to get it fixed.

But the straw that broke the blogger's back? I'd worked out a recipe for a post and could not figure out what some of it said.

No bueno. BIG no bueno.

Mini Heart Cakes | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Mini Heart Cakes
Fast forward a long week of copying and pasting letters, partially writing blog posts in 3 different places, and one afternoon I was sitting on the couch, banging on the letter "t," and possibly muttering some not very nice words.

Hubs and my son asked what in the world I was doing. I explained.

"Be back in a minute," they said, walked out the door, came back about 1/2 hour later with a wireless keyboard.

Let me tell you, folks, Pat Sajak has been ripping people off for years. Wheel of Fortune charges $250 to buy a vowel? I got the whole damn alphabet. 

For 20 bucks.

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

Mini Heart Cakes         


Printable Recipe

1 box (15.25 oz) white cake mix
1/2 cup oil
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
3 egg whites

1 1/4 cups white chocolate chips, choppd
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar

OPT: decorations of choice: colord sanding sugar, multicolored sprinkles or nonpareils, heart shaped candies, red hots

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a jellyroll baking pan.
*Mix together the cake mix, oil, milk, sour cream, egg, and egg whites. Once incorporated, beat for 2 minutes.
*Spread into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the center springs back to the touch. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 10 minutes.
*Crush the white chocolate chips in a food processor or a clean coffee grinder. Place them with the heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at 50% power. Mix well. Continue to microwave at 10 second intervals until completely smooth.
*Whisk in the powdered sugar. Immediately pour over the cake and quickly spread evenly. Sprinkle with decorative topping of choice and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
*Using a medium sized heart shaped cookie cutter, cut hearts out of the cake. Use a spatula to move to a serving dish.
*Note: form the remaining cake in the pan into 1 inch balls and freeze to coat and make cake balls later.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Nuts for Dinner: Fly on the Wall

Roasted Brown Sugar Squash| recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #vegetable

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.

Me (holding up my cell phone): How do you make a phone call?
College Boy: Mom, you know how to make a phone call, you call me all the time.
Me: I just press a button for you, and everyone else I call. How do I call someone not in my contacts.
He explained it to me and I walked away. 


College Boy: Did you make your call?
Me: Sorta.
College Boy: Sorta?
Me: Well I did what you said and I made the call, but the recording said to press 1 for English, and there was no keyboard to press a number with so I hung up.
College Boy: Sometimes I wonder about you.
Me: Yeah, sometimes I wonder about me too.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
I had on my calendar that College Boy would need a ride home from work. We'd discussed it the day before and Hubs said he'd pick him up and bring him here for dinner.

College Boy gets out at 5:00 pm. At 4:45 pm, I suddenly realized that Hubs hadn't left. I went to the top of the stairs and yelled down to the man cave that he was going to be late.


I yelled again.


Exasperated, I went down to the basment. Which is when I remembered that Hubs had gone to work that day.

And brought College Boy home with him right on time.

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

After dinner, Hubs goes upstairs to put on a pair of sweats. As he's heading down to the man cave, I see something hanging out of the side pocket of his pants.

Me: What's that hanging out of your pocket?
Hubs (feeling for his pockets): I don't know, where?
Me: The left pants pocket.
Hubs: Oh, that's a hole.
Me: A hole, I thought something was in the pocket.
Hub: Something is. 
Me: Something is?
Hubs: Yeah, me.

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

You never know what you might find on the kitchen counter. The other night I came home, walked into the kitchen, turned on the light and found this:

What is this? | picture taken by, featured on, and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #blogging #humor

Spent a bit of time trying to imagine how this might have come about, and why it's sitting there. I mean, there's gotta be some kind of back story, right? But eventually I realized that it might be best if I just didn't know. 

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


It seems I'm being judged. And that's not all, it also appears I'm not faring well.
What started out as a compliment, quickly went south.
Me: You liked my recipe picture on Instagram! Thank you.
PurDude: I like your Insta pics if the food looks good.
Me: But this is the first time you've ever liked one. . .

 Roasted Brown Sugar Squash| recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #vegetable

 Roasted Brown Sugar Squash

Purdue basketball had been doing really well. On Monday, the week's rankings always come out. Whoever checks them first, Hubs or I, tell the other.
One Monday night, I saw that Purdue basketball had posted to FB that they were #1 that week. I was happy, then angry that Hubs hadn't told me.
Me: I have a bone to pick with you.
Hubs: Oh good, hope that bone is attached to a Prime Rib.
Me: {{blink, blink}}.
It's not often he (OK, it's not often anyone) has me speechless.

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

I follow God on FB. He's actually really funny, and it helps that whatever political humor he shares agrees with mine.
But when I first saw that God was on FB, I laughed. I mean, really? On FB? But then a thought came to me, we're taught that God is everywhere, but maybe I could find out where he actually is. 

Nope, guess not.

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

Hubs and I were both craving eggplant parmesan and decided to check online to see if the little Walmart down the street had any eggplant.
This picture came up.

And this was the description provided:

 In case you can't read it, it says:
"When the vegans get a craving for some grade A beef, we reach for Aubergine with its perfect eggplant hue. Made of 100% medical grade, luxuriously soft liquid silicone."

Ummm . . . say what now, Walmart?

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

Sometimes it's all about context.

I was sitting on the couch planning a dinner both of the boys would like. Whenever they can be here, I always try to make their favorites.

As I'm sitting on the couch, Hubs walks out of the pantry.

Hubs: Do we have any nuts?
Me: They should be here right around dinner time.

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

Ever heard of a contingency lunch?
One morning a few weeks ago, Hubs comes into the kitchen, sits down and has a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. When he's done, he tells me he's going to skip lunch as he had a late and filling breakfast. OK with me.

Later that day he comes into the kitchen and asks what's for dinner. I told him I was trying a new recipe, I wasn't totally confident, but am hopeful it will come out as I hoped.

At about 1:00 pm, he comes back into the kitchen and makes himself a few sandwiches.

Me: You decided to have lunch.
Hubs: Yeah, you didn't sound so sure about dinner, so I decided I might need a contingency lunch.



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:

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

Roasted Brown Sugar Squash        

Printable Recipe

1 acorn squash
1/2 stick butter
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
OPT: cranraisins and/or pepitas for serving

*Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a baking pan (with sides).
*Cut the squash in half from top to bottom. Clean out the seeds.
*Cut each squash half into halves, and each of the quarters into quarters. You'll have 16 slices.
*Melt the butter in a bowl. On a small plate, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon.
*Dip both sides of each squash slice into the butter. Sprinkle one side with salt and pepper. Press the other side into the brown sugar mixture, then place in the baking pan, sugar side up.
*Bake for 35 minutes.
*OPT: serve sprinkled with cranraisins and/or pepitas.