Friday, June 30, 2023

Seeing Red: Monthly Poetry Group


Pineapple Jalapeno Cole Slaw | recipe developed by Karen on | #recipe #sidedish


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

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

Seeing Red

Flags are flying everywhere,
they're loyalty on display,
Country, college, favorite teams,
solidarity with loved ones, gay.

Rev your engines, hit the gas,
when it's speed that we embrace.
Faster, faster, 'til we see,
checkered flags that end the race. 

And when I'm at a cookout,
trying everything's a feat.
But I throw in the white flag when 
there's no more I can eat. 


Pineapple Jalapeno Cole Slaw | recipe developed by Karen on | #recipe #sidedish
Pineapple Jalapeno Cole Slaw

Morals and values at issue,
our politics are a disgrace.
Our freedom is in jeopardy,
unless we win this race.

'Cause though they aren't physical, 
I see red flags everywhere.
They signify grave danger, 
unless we vote with care.

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:
Unhelpful by Diane of  On the Border and Messymimi's Meanderings

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Pineapple Jalapeno Cole Slaw

1 bag (16 oz) tricolor cole slaw mix
1\4 of a red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper
1 can (8 oz) pineapple tidbits
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 TBSP honey
3 tsp pepper jelly

*Place the cole slaw mix in a large bowl with the red onion. Set aside.
*Cut the top off of the jalapeno, then cut in half, remove the seeds and chop into small pieces. Add them to the bowl with the cole slaw mix.
*Drain the pineapple tidbits, reserving the juice. Slice the tidbits in half and place on paper towels to continue to drain.
*Whisk together the apple cider vinegar, the reserved pineapple juice, the honey, and the pepper jelly. Pour into the bowl with the cole slaw and mix well.
*Gently mix in the pineapple tidbits. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, gently stirring once or twice. 
*Keep leftovers covered in the refrigerator.


Tuesday, June 27, 2023



Grilled Apricot Mustard Pork | recipe developed by Karen of | #recipe #dinner


Clear, unequivocal, immovable and inflexible. They are the foundation, serve to define the boundaries and provide structure.

I play Sudoku. Well, I play a lot of games, mostly word games. I post my results to my Baking In A Tornado FB page twice a day, and anyone who chooses to share adds their results to the threads.

Sudoku is different. This is one I just play myself, don't share anywhere. It's fun for analytical, organized, left-brained me. There is a daily game option, and every morning I get to see what the game has in store for me, sometimes they're difficult, sometimes not so much, but I let them choose. 

And then I play until I get it, until I win that day's game.

Absolutes, a discussion of the intersection of games and freedoms. | featured on

BUT, the only way to win is to accept the absolutes.

They are the rules, of course, and there are a few of them. The first is your roadmap and the second is your mandate. You can look at them as limitations. But they also provide structure, without those clearly defined parameters, there would be chaos, no hints, no clues, no direction. You're given a board with numbers already in some of the spaces. You cannot change them. And only one number will be correct for each open space. Figure it out.

In this current social climate of blurring the lines, fighting the rules, cheating to win or blaming the game, all of that falls on deaf (since games don't have any) ears. You can take it to the Supreme Court if you want (who knows what kinds of cases they'd be willing to hear these days), but it will change nothing. The rules are the rules. The absolutes are clearly defined and if your goal is to win, they must be respected.

If you want to play, you choose between winning and spinning (your wheels).

Absolutes, a discussion of the intersection of games and freedoms. | featured on


As we all light our grills this 4th of July, prepare to feast and to celebrate with friends and family, I hope we all take the time to think. 

Grilled Apricot Mustard Pork | recipe developed by Karen of | #recipe #dinner

Grilled Apricot Mustard Pork

Not just about food and fireworks, or even independence, but what the loss of independence, the fall into autocracy, really means. And not just for us, but all who came before us, those who have, and who continue to fight for our freedoms. 

Freedom is the game, and it's a democratic republic for the win. The only way to play is if we, as a country, can get back to respecting the absolutes.

"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator, with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness . .  ." 
    ~ Preamble to the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, 1776

"Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." 
    ~ First Amendment to the Constitution, James Madison, lead author, 1791

" . . . that these dead shall not have died in vain . . . that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." 
    ~ Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln, 1863

That's where we need to start. Absolutely.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Grilled Apricot Mustard Pork         

Printable Recipe

1 approximately 2# pork tenderloin
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1 TBSP sweet hot mustard
3 TBSP stone ground mustard 
2 TBSP white wine
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cumin

*Rinse the pork tenderloin, pat dry, trim and cut into approximately 3/4 inch medallions. Place into a gallon sized plastic bag.
*Whisk together the apricot preserves, both mustards, wine, salt, pepper, and cumin. Pour into the bag and manipulate to be sure all of the meat is covered. Seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, up to a day.
*Place the medallions onto a grill, heated to medium. Discard any remaining marinade in the bag. 
*NOTE: pork needs to be cooked to at least 145 degrees. How long your medallions take to cook will depend on the heat of your grill and the thickness of your slices.
*Cook for about 7 minutes, flip over, and cook another approximately 7 minutes. Continue cooking if the 145 degree minimum heat has not been achieved.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Banana Limping and Potato Juggling: Fly on the Wall

Oven Barbecued Country Style Ribs | recipe developed by Karen of | #recipe #dinner




 Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 2 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.

Hubs and I were in the den watching TV. I have to admit that sometimes I take my boredom out on him. 

A commercial for toe fungus spray came on.

Me: You need that.
Hubs: Toe fungus spray?
Me: Yes.
Hubs: No, I don't.
Me: Yes, you do.

Hubs takes off his socks, looks at his feet.

Hubs: No, I don't.
Me: I know.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics
I'm constantly getting notifications on my Baking In A Tornado Facebook page. When those little notification numbers show up on my page, I love clicking on them to see who's interacting with one of my posts, and what they have to say.

Imagine my surprise, the other day, when the notification wasn't an interaction, but what FB has decided is vital information.

Top Contributor Badge | graphic featured on and property of Karen of | #blogging #facebook

Apparently, after all these years, I've earned a badge for being a top contributor . . . to my own group . . .

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

I had hurt my toe and was limping. I tried not to let anyone see, as I didn't want to explain. But, of course, Hubs saw.

Hubs: You're limping.
Me: I'm fine.
Hubs: Your toe is a little swollen. Did you stub it on something.
Me: No.
Hubs: What then?
Me: Ummm.
Hubs: Ummm?
Me: OK, fine, a banana fell on it.

I bet you can all see him rolling his eyes.

When I have bananas that have browned, I freeze them for baking. I had opened the freezer and a frozen banana fell out from the top shelf (note to self: don't freeze bananas on the top shelf) onto my toe.

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

Hubs walks into our office, where I'm comfortably sitting back in the recliner by the window and reading my Kindle.

Hubs: Want to help me with some painting in the upstairs guest room?
Me: Sure. Are you in a rush?
Hubs: No, no rush.
Me: How about you get started and I'll help when I finish this book?
Hubs: That's fine.
A half hour later Hubs comes back into the office.
Hubs: Weren't you going to come help when you finished your book?
Me: Yes.
Hubs: I'm mostly done up there, how far along are you? 
Me: Just started chapter 5.

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

I was bringing some red potatoes out of the pantry to the kitchen to serve with dinner. I slipped on something, I don't even know what. I didn't fall down but as I was flailing trying to regain my balance, the potatoes dropped to the floor.

Of course, Hubs came around the corner to see my hands in the air and the potatoes falling to the floor.

Hubs: What are you doing?
Me (exasperated): What does it look like, I'm juggling.
Hubs: I don't think that's how it's done.

Oven Barbecued Country Style Ribs | recipe developed by Karen of | #recipe #dinner
Oven Barbecued Country Style Ribs

I had been seeing a headline about a horse that had been put down at the Preakness, but hadn't read the article. A few days later I saw something about the jockey being in the hospital. I suppose I could have just read the article, but instead I asked Hubs about it. 

Turns out he was only half listening to me.

Me: Do you know the whole story about the Preakness, a horse was euthanized right on the track and the jockey is in the hospital.
Hubs: A jockey euthanized on the track?
Me: Ummm, no, I'm pretty sure they don't do that. But I gotta say, that would be the epitome of a bad day at the office.

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

Hubs was walking through the den and glanced over my shoulder while I was playing Phrazle on my laptop.

Hubs: What's that?
Me: A game.
Hubs: How do you play?
Me: I have six tries to guess the well known phrase. I just made my third guess.

Hubs looks at the bottom line:

Funny Phrazle Guesses | graphic featured on and property of Karen of | #blogging #WordGames

Hubs: Cheer the fart? That's your choice of a well known phrase?
Me: Well . . .
Hubs (walking away, rolling his eyes, and mumbling under his breath): Bet you don't win this game very often.

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

I had been out on the back deck trying to take pictures of a recipe for a blog post. Hubs was in the kitchen when I came in.
Hubs: Did you get some good pictures.
Me (exasperated): No.
Hubs: No? How is that possible, you've been out there for an hour. 
Me: I spent the whole time trying to pick that flying cottonwood off of the plate.
Hubs: So . . . how much cottonwood will I be eating in my dinner tonight?
Me: Don't worry, I Googled it, it's fiber.
Hubs: You know what? I have a sudden craving for Chinese food . . .

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

It was a beautiful afternoon, not a cloud in the sky.

Hubs: Are you planning to use the grill tonight?
Me: No, why?
Hubs: Just trying to decide whether to turn the sprinklers on.
Me: Well, if you don't want to turn them on, I could uncover the grill, make Mother Nature think I'm going to use it . . .
Hubs: It's not nice to fool Mother Nature.

Did he just sound like a commercial from the 70s?

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

I'll end today with what I'd like to blame on autocorrect, but was actually my own typing too fast screw up.

I had posted this to FB:

Cupcake meme | created by, featured on, and property of Karen of | #humor #blogging

To which a friend had responded "again?"

I thought I'd be funny and answer her with "have you been peeping in my windows?" Except I left out a "p," saying "have you been peeing in my windows?" 

Oops not at all what I meant to accuse her of . . . edit . . . quick.



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

Oven Barbecued Country Style Ribs

about 5# pork loin country-style ribs, bone in
3 tsp pepper
2 1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 1/2 tsp onion salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried mustard

1/2 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup apple bourbon

1 cup barbecue sauce of your choice
1/4 cup brown sugar

*Rinse the ribs and pat dry. Mix together the pepper, garlic powder, onion salt, cayenne, cumin, and dried mustard. Sprinkle over and pat onto all sides of the ribs. Cover in tin foil and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours.
*Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray a 9 X 13 baking pan with nonstick spray. Add the onion, apple cider vinegar and apple bourbon. 
*Place the ribs in the pan, meaty side down, cover tightly with heavy tin foil and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Be very careful taking off the foil, the steam will be hot. Turn the ribs over, recover, and cook another 1 1/2 hours.
*Mix together the barbecue sauce and the brown sugar. Pour over the ribs, recover, and cook for another hour.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Eat Your Words: Word Counters

Breakfast Nachos with Buttery Tortillas  | recipe developed by Karen of | #recipe #breakfast

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 39
It was chosen by Me!

~ Insurance. Being caught without it can be financially crushing. But, as I wrote in one of my earliest posts, "Insurance, Anyone," its current form, requires paying a company that then decides whether or not we'll be awarded any back.

Eat Your Words | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of Karen of | #MyGraphics #blogging

~ Imagine my surprise to have found a (car) insurance company that is reasonably priced, is easy to reach, has great customer service, goes above and beyond actually, and does pay claims fairly. No, not in my dreams, for real.

~ An example: College Boy was seventeen and had taken my car downtown. When he returned, the car wouldn't start. He called me, I gave him our insurance information and told him to talk to them and call me back.

~ My phone rang. It was the insurance company telling me we were on a three way call with my son. They had confirmed he was somewhere safe, and wanted me to hear and approve of their conversation with him. 

~ She told him approximately when the truck would arrive, and the company. If he was unsure of who arrived, to call them to confirm. If the car took a jump, drive right home. If not, we'd all talk again.

~ She made sure he had a safe place to wait, asked him to call me before heading home, then told him to say "good bye" to his mom. She then confirmed a few things with me before ending the call.

~ The car took the jump, College Boy came home, and in the end we had to replace the battery. But this (and the few other times we'd needed to contact them) had me singing this company's praises. But wait . . .
~ Sadly, this next story isn't about eating Breakfast Nachos, it's about how the same insurance company had me eating my words. And unlike my (delicious, by the way) breakfast recipe, these words left a bitter taste in my mouth.

Breakfast Nachos with Buttery Tortillas  | recipe developed by Karen of | #recipe #breakfast

Breakfast Nachos with Buttery Tortillas


~ Over Thanksgiving, PurDude's credit card was hacked. Someone tried to charge six hundred dollars to Hertz on his card. Fortunately, his credit card company flagged the transaction, PurDude cancelled the card and the company sent him a new one.
~ A few months before, he'd had an accident on the highway. He (and two others) hit a metal bar that was in their lane. He had two (very expensive) flat tires and two (very, very expensive) broken rims.
~ The insurance company was great. They towed his car to a tire shop, arranged a rental. The adjuster told PurDude he would not close the claim until the wheels were replaced and the car was checked out fully.
~ In January, PurDude received two letters on the same day. One from Hertz, banning him for life. The other, threatening, from a collection agency stating that he owed Hertz six hundred dollars and they were coming after him. Yikes.
~ PurDude went to Hertz to explain that the charge wasn't his but was reported as fraud. No, they explained, he'd rented a car in July and had not paid for it, they then charged his card (without telling him).
~ The (previously) great insurance company confirmed that the car rental charge had been approved but somehow not paid, they'd pay immediately, but PurDude let them know they would have to make right any hit to his credit rating also. 
~ PurDude followed up with the adjuster too. Hertz was paid. After holding on forever to talk to someone at Hertz, they told him the ban had been lifted once the bill was paid. We're still watching his credit rating . . .

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

Breakfast Nachos with Buttery Tortillas         

Printable Recipe

3 medium flour tortillas
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
4 TBSP butter, divided
4 strips bacon
5 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 of an onion, sliced
1/2 of a red pepper, chopped
6 fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/4 cup fresh spinach

*Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
*Cut the tortillas into 3rds, then cut each rounded end into 4 triangles and each center piece into 5 triangles. Place individually onto the parchment paper.
*Melt 3 TBSP of the butter, brush onto one side of the tortilla triangles, flip them over and brush the other side. Bake for 12 minutes, until they start to brown. Remove from the oven and arrange on an oven safe serving plate.
*Lower the oven temperature to 200 degrees. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheddar cheese onto the nachos and place in the oven.
*In a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until done. Drain and chop.
*Whisk the eggs with the milk, salt, and pepper.
*Wipe the skillet with a paper towel, melt the remaining TBSP of butter, add the eggs and cook over medium heat, stirring now and then until the scrambled eggs are cooked. Place on top of the nachos and cheese and return the plate to the oven to keep warm.
*Wipe the skillet again. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add the onion, red pepper, and mushrooms. Cook and stir until the vegetables are soft. Drain well.
*To the plate of nachos, add the vegetables over the eggs, the remaining cheese, the spinach, and the chopped bacon. Return to the oven for 5 minutes before serving.

Friday, June 16, 2023

For a Friend: Use Your Words

Black Raspberry Martini | recipe developed by Karen of | #recipe #cocktail

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:  pretty ~ peaceful ~ perforated~ punctual ~ pip
They were submitted by Diane of On the Border.

These words inspired a little bit of fiction today. Although, sadly, for many of us it will have a haunting ring of truth.

She was punctual for the appointment, all five of the women arrived within minutes of each other.

But it went downhill from there. 

Not that the expectation had been for a peaceful afternoon, not when you have 5 women shopping for the same thing at the same time. Agreement would be impossible, but if nothing else, the afternoon would be full of laughter and friendship. They were, after all, a happy, boisterous, fun-loving group, forever friends. With, really, the same individual goal, everyone wants to look pretty, after all. 

So in the next hour a decision would be made. It would have to be. And the hope was it would be a decision all could (at the very least) live with.

Because, in the end, although tastes and opinions, and perspectives would be voiced, it would not be a democracy. One voice would rise above the rest, that was a given.

As is the case with these things, expectations were not met.

She looked in the mirror at the dress she had on. It was aqua colored. With navy piping and a white collar. She looked like a life preserver someone might throw in the water. Hard pass.

But no matter how many objections she voiced, they fell on deaf ears. Penelope was just going to have to admit that it was Piper's wedding. And she, as the Maid of Honor, was going to have to walk down the aisle in front of 200 people, looking like a nautical accessory.

Unless she came down with a perforated appendix that day. It could happen . . . 

"Somebody buy me a drink, she thought.

Black Raspberry Martini | recipe developed by Karen of | #recipe #cocktail
Black Raspberry Martini

"On second thought, someone grab a life preserver, I may need a boatload."


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

Black Raspberry Martini

Ingredients (makes 2):
2 oz Blue Raspberry Vodka
4 oz Chambord
7 oz black raspberry sparkling juice, divided

red or blue sanding sugar

6 raspberries

*Refrigerate the black raspberry sparkling juice. Mix together the vodka and Chambord. Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.
*Add 6 oz of the black raspberry sparkling juice to the liquor and set aside.
*Pour the remaining sparkling juice into a saucer, and he colored sugar onto a plate. Dip just the rim of each martini glass into the juice in the saucer, then into the sugar to rim the edge of the glasses. 
*Place 3 of the raspberries into the bottom of each glass. Stir the martinis, then pour into the glasses, avoiding the rim.