Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Pizza Party, 14 Unique Recipes


Pizza Party, 14 Unique Recipes | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of Karen of www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipes #pizza

Labor Day is right around the corner. If you're not sure how that happened so quickly, join the party.

Actually, it's a party I wanted to talk about. Specifically, a pizza party.

Pizza is versatile in so many ways. It's a party food, yet an everyday food as well. Lunch, dinner, even cold leftovers for breakfast (yes, I went to college too). In fact, one brilliant pizza shop hired students to drag a huge box full of pizzas through the dorms at about 11:00 at night, when everyone would be hungry from a night of studying {{wink, wink}}. As the pizza shop employee dragged his box through the halls yelling "hot pizza, 2 dollars," students would pick a friend, count their pennies (sometimes literally) and split a pizza.

These days you'd be lucky to get a slice of pizza for $2. Yeah, we still buy them now and then, but making them at home is a great option. And you can really get creative.

So, for any occasion: first day of school, last day of school, sports parties, family get-togethers, a lazy weekend watching sports, if you want to start a party, pizza's a great way to go.

It doesn't have to be complicated, that's the thing about pizza, anything goes. Use a frozen bread dough, a premade crust, a homemade no yeast crust (like my rosemary infused crust), or a completely unique crust (you have to try my spaghetti crust). Use my homemade marinara, or your favorite store bought. And the toppings? There's where you can really have fun, the options are endless.

And don't just think of pizza in its traditional configuration. There's pizza inspired casseroles, and even soup.

Today I want to share with you, 14 of my most fun, interesting, and unique pizza recipe creations. Check them out, click on the name of the recipe below and you will magically jump to the post featuring the recipe at the end.

Classic pizza reinterpreted, dessert pizza, pizza imposters, and pizza inspired, something for everyone:

Pizza Party, 14 Unique Recipes | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of Karen of www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipes #pizza

Top row, left to right:

The rosemary infused crust adds even more flavor to this classic dinner inspired pizza. 

Can't decide between spaghetti and pizza? Have them both. This is one of my most popular pizza recipes.

Take a large Italian loaf, season the "crust," and fill it with pizza favorites.

This Buffalo Chicken inspired pizza is made in a skillet with a naan crust.

Middle row, left to right:

Pizza as a dessert, as a snack? Yes, please.

We just love this pepperoni pizza inspired soup on a cold fall day.

Bottom row, left to right:

Grill your pizza. It adds so much flavor. This one is pepper steak inspired.

Have your pizza in casserole form, a comfort food family favorite dinner.

I used a purchased prepared pizza crust for this one, and added all of our Italian sub favorite ingredients on the top.

Garlic bread gives so much flavor to this pizza casserole.

And just for fun:

Pizza Party, 14 Unique Recipes | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of Karen of www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipes #pizza

Serving as a treat, an educational tool, and a project, I made this one for Earth day with my son. But it can easily be decorated for any occasion.

I guess I don't have to tell you that this recipe was created for the boys and their friends for a Halloween party.

This peanut butter and jelly flavored giant cookie looks like a pizza, right? April Fools!

OK, ewwww. But really, April Fools is a perfect day for ewww jokes, right?

Which ones will you try? And which one will you try first?

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

Friday, August 25, 2023

Appraisal: Monthly Poetry Group

Chive Quick Rolls (no yeast) | recipe developed by Karen of www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #rolls

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


All That Glitters, a monthly poetry challenge based on a theme. | Graphic property of Karen of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #poetry


All that glitters is not gold,
that's the story we've been told.
Just because something is pretty,
doesn't mean that's its nitty gritty.

Don't look only at the outside,
open up your mind, (really, really wide).
Look beneath the surface, there's no doubt,
if you don't, you'll be missing out.

Sometimes things aren't as we'd planned,
not being pretty doesn't make food bland.
Take time to check out what's within,
that open mind is the best way to win.

Chive Quick Rolls (no yeast) | recipe developed by Karen of www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #rolls
Chive Quick Rolls (no yeast)

An important lesson, I'll concede,
one of value, we all should heed.
And don't judge a book by its cover too,
what doesn't glitter could be gold to you.

So listen, if I may be so bold,
sometimes what glitters is, in fact, gold.
Appraise opportunities as they come by,
Don't be left holding the bag and wondering why.

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

Chive Quick Rolls (no yeast)

1 1/3 cups plain Greek yogurt
2 3/4 tsp freeze dried chives, divided
1 TBSP butter
1 2/3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt

*Mix 2 1/2 tsp of the dried chives into the yogurt. Set aside.
*Melt the butter, add the remaining chives, set aside.
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
*In a large bowl, mix the flour with the baking powder and salt. Remove 1/3 cup of this mixture and use it to flour a kneading surface.
*To the bowl with the flour, add the yogurt and chive mixture. Stir to incorporate, then turn out and knead for 5 minutes. It will still be a little sticky.
*Divide the dough into 8 equal sized pieces, then roll into balls. Place on the baking sheet, brush the tops with the melted butter and chives, and bake for 25 minutes.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Even the Breathing


Stuffed Taco Pork Tenderloin | recipe developed by Karen of www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

It appears we need some clarification in this country, of the definition kind. Specifically of the term "pro-life."

And, at this moment in time, this angry, divided, religion bastardizing, self-absorbed, moment in time, I feel compelled to separate the lies from the truth. 

Listen, pro-life is a noble sentiment. But in order to claim the title, you cannot pick and choose. Which, just so you know, is what has me so angry, the use of the term without a commitment to the entirety of what it actually means.

If you are pro-life, you are for:

~ supporting the LGBTQ+ community in hopes of lowering their suicide rate.

~ ceasing the sale of assault weapons to citizens. Period.

~ enacting federal basic gun safety laws, prioritizing lives over all else.

Pro-Life Mouth | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of Karen of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #blogging

~ ending forced unwanted, unsustainable, and maternal life-threatening pregnancies.

~ disavowing the stigma forced on those suffering from mental health conditions, and providing them with the medical care they need.

~ rejecting bigotry and bullying, especially from those we elect to represent us. There are NOT good people on both sides. 

~ programs that provide basic life sustaining needs to those unable to attain them on their own, like low-income housing, medical care, and nourishment for the food insecure.

Stuffed Taco Pork Tenderloin | recipe developed by Karen of www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Stuffed Taco Pork Tenderloin

If this is not your pro-life stance, all of it, not just cherry-picked issues, you are not pro-life. Quite simply, it is not just about pregnancy versus abortion. 

And while we're at it, let's go there: the pregnancy versus abortion issue is not at all simple. There are nuances, extenuating circumstances, a whole lot of grey areas that necessitate evaluation by, and consultation with, a medical professional. It is not an issue that can be mandated with the broad brush of "allow or disallow." Not if you are a compassionate human being. Not if you are truly pro-life.

In order to be pro-life, you must believe that there is an inherent societal responsibility towards those who are actually . . . you know . . . out there breathing.

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

Stuffed Taco Pork Tenderloin        

Printable Recipe

about 1 3/4# pork tenderloin
salt and pepper
3/4 cup brown rice
2 TBSP salsa
1 TBSP chopped onion
1 TBSP chopped jalapenos
2 TBSP oil
1 tsp taco seasoning

OPT: serve with my fresh Pico de Gallo

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover the bottom and sides of a 9 X 13 baking dish with heavy foil.
*Trim the tenderloin, butterfly it, and pound it to about 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
*Cook the rice according to package directions. Mix in the salsa, chopped onions, and chopped jalapoenos. Spread onto the pork to about 1 inch from the sides.
*Using the long sides, roll the pork up and secure with either cooking twine or toothpicks inserrted at 45 degree angles to form an "X" along the seam.
*Mix together the oil and taco seasoning. Pour over the meat and, using your hands, rub into the top, sides, and bottom.
*Place the tenderloin into the prepared baking dish, seam side down, and bake for about 45 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before removing the twine or toothpicks and slicing.
*OPT: serve with my fresh Pico de Gallo.

Friday, August 18, 2023

The Not So Ready Whip: Fly on the Wall

Mint Cookie Ice Cream Cake | recipe developed by Karen of www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert



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.

There was a bee in the house, on the window in the kitchen eating area by the slider to the deck. I was freaking out and, of course, no one was home.

I grabbed the fly swatter and smacked the window. I could swear I got it, but it didn't move. That's when Hubs comes in and walks up behind me.

Hubs: What are you doing?
Me: I saw a bee. Where were you? You can't be gone when I see a bee.
Hubs (carefully removing the fly swatter from my hand): It's OK, why don't you go sit down, maybe put your glasses on, he can't get you.

Yeah, the bee was on the window. The outside of the window.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
Anyone who follows my Baking In A Tornado FB page had a little glimpse into what I'm dealing with here:

Levels of Forgetfulness | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of Karen of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #blogging

I'm telling you, the struggle is real.

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

It was the middle of a broiling hot afternoon, and all I could think of was cooling off.

College Boy called, he was at the Taco Bell around the corner from the house getting a volcano something or other and wanted to know if I wanted anything. I don't like Taco Bell to begin with, but hot spicy food is the opposite of what I was thinking. I told him that since they don't serve milkshakes, I'd pass.

Later that night, he called again. He was driving by another fast food restaurant and thought he'd stop and get milkshakes for himself, Hubs and I.

Hubs (walking into the room): Oh, who were you talking to?
Me: College Boy, he's bringing us all milkshakes. You're welcome.
Hubs: Umm, thank you. But why am I thanking you?
Me: Because subliminal messaging. It's a thing. And I am the master.

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

Hubs was just hanging around the house so it didn't matter but, of course, I had to say something:

Me: I think your shirt is on inside out.
Hubs (looking down): I don't think so, looks fine to me.
Me (rolling my eyes): Well, unless you're James Bond, I'm pretty sure the pocket goes on the outside.

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

I had tried a new recipe, a Mint Cookie Ice Cream Cake. When I went to take a picture it, I wanted just a little dollop of whipped cream in the center of the top. I decided, rather than making a whole batch of whipped cream just for the 1 TBSP I'd need for the pic, to just use Redi Whip.

We were all out. I checked a few grocery store websites to see who had it in stock nearby, and at what price.

At the second nearby store website, I typed in "Redi Whip," and besides the actual Redi Whip, some other options came up, like the store brand version, and Cool Whip, and . . .

Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas any more.

Mint Cookie Ice Cream Cake | recipe developed by Karen of www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Mint Cookie Ice Cream Cake

Listen, everyone knows that you don't leave just a tiny bit of something. It's just rude. Finish it off and open a new one for the next person, that's what I believe.

I was making dinner, Fiery Shrimp. Hubs wasn't home yet, and College Boy was coming for dinner too. I got to the part where you add 2 TBSP white wine. I pulled the bottle out of the fridge, added the wine and the rest of the ingredients.

When I went to recork the wine and put it back in the fridge, I realized there wasn't much left, maybe 1/4 cup  1/2 cup  1 cup . . . I don't know, not much. I was obliged to finish it off and put another bottle in the fridge to cool.

Which was how Hubs and College ended up walking into the kitchen as I was guzzling wine straight from the bottle. 

I tried to explain that I was just being considerate but . . . let's just say that didn't go over so well.

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

It's amazing to me that someone always shows up in all of those moments that I'd prefer no one witness.

So, of course, Hubs walks into the kitchen just as I'm taking my shoes out of the fridge.

Hubs: Are those your shoes?
Me: Yup.
Hubs: Are you taking them out of the fridge?
Me: Maybe.
Hubs: Why would your shoes be in there?
Me: Think before you answer . . . do you really want to know?
Hubs (walking away): I think I'm good.

You better be good too, 'cause I'm not explaining it to you either. 

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

I was in the kitchen putting the groceries away when my fingernail bent all the way back. I yelled "ouch."

Hubs was down in his man cave and I must have screamed louder than I thought, because he came up to see if I was OK.

The next day, we were out front when I noticed that way low on that fingernail I bent back, just under the skin, it was black and blue.

"Look at this," I called out to Hubs, holding up my finger to show him.

Apparently, the neighbors were just coming out of their house. They took one look at me, on the front lawn giving my husband the finger, and abruptly turned around and hurried back in their front door.

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

For the past year or so, College Boy has been eating very little meat, he prefers fish and vegetables. Sometimes, in some ways, he may eat beef or chicken, but not often.

This can be a problem when he comes in at dinner time and I'm making something he doesn't necessarily want to eat. He wants to stay, and I want him to stay, but we need to figure something out. 

This day, I had grilled chicken. I suggested I chop up some of the chicken, mix it with mayo and green onions, roll it up in a tortilla with lettuce and cheese. 

College Boy thought that would be a good way to get dinner into him.

Get dinner into him? My grown son needs a way to get my cooking into him? Well, that's a stab to the heart.

PS: The chicken roll up was delish.
PPS: No one seemed to have any trouble getting the Mint Cookie Ice Cream Cake into them.

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

I was in the bathroom one afternoon when I saw that there was no toilet paper on the roll. I was so angry, this is a pet peeve of mine and everyone knows it. So inconsiderate.

After I was done in the bathroom, and had replaced the roll, I was ready to give someone a piece of my mind.

I went out into the front hall, so you could hear me on all 3 floors.




I was trying to decide whether to start upstairs or downstairs, when I realized everyone was at work, I was alone in the house.

So, who didn't replace the toilet paper? Ummm . . . me?



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

Mint Cookie Ice Cream Cake

7 - 8 mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches
1 carton (48 oz) cookies and cream ice cream
12 chocolate covered mint wafer cookies, divided
2 TBSP chocolate syrup

*Take the bottom off of a 9 inch springform pan. Using a very long piece of plastic wrap, cover the sides of the pan so there is a little hangover at the bottom, the rest hanging over the top. Place the bottom back on the pan.
*Cut the ice cream sandwiches in half. Arrange them, cut side down, along the plastic wrap covered sides of the pan and place in the freezer.
*Crush 8 of the cookies to crumbs and set aside. Chop the other 4 cookies into pieces.
*Place the cookies and cream ice cream in a bowl on the counter for 10 minutes to start to soften. Cut in the 4 chopped cookies and spoon the ice cream into the springform pan, leaving the ice cream sandwich pieces along the edges. Press down gently and make sure the top is even. Freeze for one hour.
*Drizzle the chocolate syrup over the cake, then sprinkle the cookie crumbs along the sides. Freeze until hardened (works best to just freeze overnight).

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Take Your Swing: Word Counters

Orange Everything Chicken | recipe developed by Karen of www.BakingInATornado.com | #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 share what we all came up with.

 This month's number is 31
It was chosen by Mimi of Messymimi's Meanderings.

As I've been doing in these Word Counters posts, I've chosen a theme and am using my word count multiple times in keeping with the theme. This month I've chosen the theme Take Your Swing.

~ I've been playing the lottery. A lot. If you follow this blog's facebook page (if not, stop by and join us), you've probably seen the memes I've posted. About my losses {{sob}}.

~ Actually, it's Hubs who plays, on my behalf. I had chosen some numbers many years ago, ones that have meaning to me. Numbers I associated with luck, like dates of birth.

~ Hubs must have those numbers because every now and then in the past, but regularly lately as the pot approaches a billion dollars, he comes home and hands me a ticket.

I Had Plans | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of Karen of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #blogging

~ Some say playing is foolish, chances of winning are one in a bazillion. But . . . two dollars isn't a hit to the budget, someone ultimately wins, and the lesser prizes are great.

~ Try a new recipe, or eat the same old things. Sometimes we take our chances. Because this I know, odds are meaningless if you don't play. To win, you gotta play.

Orange Everything Chicken | recipe developed by Karen of www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner
Orange Everything Chicken

~ I know people, even now, who say similar things about voting: there are over a hundred million Americans registered to vote, what are my chances of affecting the win?

~ I'm a huge Red Sox fan, so let me say this: step up to the plate (ballot box) and swing for the fences. We can't win if we don't all play. 

Word Counters, a monthly multiblogger writing challenge | run by and graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #bloggingchallenge #MyGraphics

Here are links to the other Word Counters posts:

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

Orange Everything Chicken         

Printable Recipe

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2/3 cup orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp Everything Bagel Seasoning, my recipe HERE

*Cut each chicken breast half into 3 - 4 pieces of similar thickness.
*Mix together the orange juice, orange zest, and Everything Bagel Seasoning. Place the chicken pieces into a resealable bag and pour the marinade into the bag with the chicken. Refrigerate for 4 hours, turning the bag now and then to be sure all of the chicken pieces are coated.
*Preheat your grill to medium, about 350 degrees. Place the chicken pieces on the grill and discard the remaining marinade. How long you need to grill your chicken will depend on the thickness of the pieces and the heat of your grill, approximately 7 - 10 minutes per side, until the chicken is completely cooked all the way through.