Friday, March 31, 2023

Flood: Monthly Poetry Group


Blueberry Maple Syrup | recipe developed by | #recipe #breakfast




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

Syrup, poetry challenge based on a theme. | Graphic property of | #poetry #blogging



I'm from (close to) Boston,
perhaps you know that's true,
It's a story about my city,
that today I'm telling you.

Now the story's about molasses,
but syrup's our theme today.
In the end it'll come together
(and that's all I'm going to say).

Way back in 1919, 
January 15th was the day, 
the North End of Boston became famous,
in an unfortunate way.

Over 2 million gallons of molasses
burst from a storage tank,
13 thousand tons spewed forth,
now that had to smell rank.

It traveled through the streets,
that sticky, gooey mess.
At a rate of 35 miles per hour,
not something I would guess.

It would actually be funny,
if only this wasn't true.
Everything in its path destroyed,
streets, houses, the subway too.

Sticky doesn't really describe it,
but everything felt that way,
and there are some who live there, say
they can smell it . . . to this day.

Blueberry Maple Syrup | recipe developed by | #recipe #breakfast
Blueberry Maple Syrup

Why tell you this story 
about a molasses flood so great?
Because anyone who's been parents, 
of little ones can relate.

Our toddlers' breakfast syrup  
splashed all over the kitchen floor, 
can look distressingly similar to,
those Boston streets of yore.

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 poetry:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Blueberry Maple Syrup

1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup maple syrup
1 TBSP orange juice
1/3 cup blueberry preserves

*Cut the blueberries in half and mix with the maple syrup in a pot. Set aside off of the stove for 30 minutes, stirring now and then.
*After 1/2 hour, add the orange juice, and place the pot on the stove over medium heat. Bring just to the boiling point, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
*Press through a sieve, discard the skins, and whisk the preserves into the syrup. Return to the pot and, over medium low heat, stirring now and then, heat for 5 minutes.
*Cool to serve either warm or cold. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Greek to Me


Greek Chicken Pot Pie | recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner


 It started with chicken.
Well, it has to start somewhere, right?
Actually, it started with chicken soup. Homemade Crockpot Chicken Soup, to be exact.

I'd made a really big batch of the soup, Jewish comfort food for not just the sick, but the freezing. Because we would not be having soup before dinner, but soup for dinner, I not only made matzo balls (never any leftovers of those) but I'd made the broth using 4 large chicken breasts. So really, you could say it was shredded chicken and matzo balls, in a soup kiddie pool. Just how we like it.  

It was well worth the effort, we'd had the soup a few times for dinner during the freezing cold winter. After the last meal, there was 1 cup of chicken broth left over, and 2 cups of shredded chicken.

Hmmm, what to do with that . . .

First thing that came to mind is pot pies.

But here's the thing, I don't like pot pies. I think it's the whole wet thing. I'm fully on board with the concept of yummy things in between two crusts, believe me, I am. But soup just isn't one of them. I mean, if I wanted wet meat and vegetables, I'd make soup. 
Which I did. 
Hence my sitting here trying to figure out what to do with 2 cups of shredded chicken and one cup of broth.
And the problem was (yes, there's another one), besides pot pie, I had no other recipe inspiration. Nothing. Nada. Why? I had an earworm. A pot pie earworm. It would not leave my head. You know how earworms work, there we have two options: submit, or suffer.
So {{sigh}}, I resigned myself to making a pot pie. 
First, it needed to be something unique. A lot of the fun of recipe development, for me anyway, is thinking outside the box, coming up with either something new, or a new twist on a classic dish. 

Greek to Me | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of | #MyGraphics #blogging

Second, was going to utilize my leftover shredded chicken and soup, and it was not going to be soup between crusts. Final answer.

Here starts the fun part, the conceptualization. I thought about an Italian spin, but it felt too much like a deep dish pizza. I was really excited for a while about an Asian direction, maybe a chicken chow mein or lo mein type thing, but I wasn't too sure I wanted to eat noodle pie. Spanish? Creole?

Often pieces of an idea need to ping pong around in my brain (marinate, if you will), so as a sort of semi-diversion (and since I was going in a foreign direction), I decided to visit Google translate. Maybe something about pot pie in another language will push a direction forward.

Pot pie in Italian: torta de patata
Pot pie in Spanish: pastel de olla
Pot pie in Creole: pot tat
Pot pie in Chinese: guo bing
Pot pie in French: pate en croute

Well, that did nothing to help, all those words are just Greek to me. 

And the only Greek I know is Ouzo. 


Greek to me . . . Greek to me . . . Greek to me! 

{{runs off to check the pantry}} olives: 

{{checks the fridge}} feta cheese: 

{{yanks open the the freezer}} spinach  

Yes! Nikitis, nikitis, kotopoulo deipno (winner, winner, chicken dinner in Greek, according to Google translate).

Greek Chicken Pot Pie | recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Greek Chicken Pot Pie
Greek Chicken Pot Pie | recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Looks good. Smells good. 

Now just to taste. Hubs should be home soon. I wonder how you say guinea pig taste tester in Greek.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Greek Chicken Pot Pie         

Printable Recipe

1 box (2 crusts) refrigerated pie crusts
3 TBSP olive oil, divided
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped carrot
2 TBSP + 1 tsp flour, divided
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1/4 cup seeded and sliced Kalamata olives 
1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed and well drained
1/2 cup feta crumbles

*Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a deep dish pie pan.
*Unroll one of the pie crusts, spread with 1 tsp of the flour and flip upside down and fit into the pie pan (flour on the bottom). Set aside.
*Heat 2 TBSP of the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and carrot. Cook, stirring, until the onions start to soften. Whisk in the remaining 2 TBSP flour and continue whisking until it’s thick and turning golden.
*Whisk the soup into the saute pan. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, and cayenne. Keep cooking and whisking until the soup thickens. Add the chicken and cook just until the chicken is hot.
*Remove from the stove, mix in the olives, spinach, and feta. Pour evenly into the bottom crust. Unroll the remaining crust, place onto the filling. Crimp the edges of the top and bottom crusts together. Make a few small slits in the center of the crust.
*Brush the top of the dough with the remaining olive oil. Bake for 40 minutes.



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.