Friday, November 3, 2023

Crucial Countdown

Chicken Rotini Casserole | recipe developed by Karen of | #recipe #dinner

Time flies when you're having fun.

But time can drag when you're not.

We're in the final countdown. It is one year until what will probably be the most consequential election in the history of this country. We're there, at our good vs evil, democracy vs autocracy decision. 

The lead up has been a time drag. Little by little autocracy has taken foothold. Not only were there seditionists who attacked our capitol, but there are traitors throughout our system. Some have taken over election offices, some have used their power to remove duly elected officials, others have redistricted the other party out of districts in which they had been the majority. Others have purged voters from the rolls, closed polling places in areas where residents of a specific party reside. 

And, of course, even the supreme court is compromised. 

This next year is crucial. It will both fly by and drag. And when it ends, we will either be able to maintain some semblance of the way of life we'd come to appreciate, or we will be totally and completely inconsequential. 

And if autocracy wins, everything will affect us, nothing will include us, and very little will benefit us.

We may be headed into an environment where enemies are incarcerated, voting is no longer protected, peaceful protest is met with violence, guns are available and affordable, and social welfare programs are decimated. Forcing gas, housing, medicine, higher education, and nutrition beyond the grasp of many of our friends and neighbors.

Chicken Rotini Casserole | recipe developed by Karen of | #recipe #dinner
Chicken Rotini Casserole


Chaos, domination, lawlessness, and bigotry would reign. 

Think this is an excessively dark and ugly prediction? 

Underestimating the scope of what's at stake here 
could have dire consequences.

After all, consider what the administration of one con man and the resulting fallout has already been taken from us. Even after he was voted out, enough of his sycophants remain ensconced, continuing to do his bidding. And you can see the signs right out in the open, the writing is all over the social media wall. Through the invasion of subterfuge and manipulation now prominent in all branches of our government, the guardrails put in place to preserve our way of life are already deeply eroding. Rights, privacy, protection, already, maybe mortally, compromised.

Crucial Countdown | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of Karen of | #MyGraphics #Vote

We are in danger. Because our government is rotting from within.

We are down to just one year. Will the onslaught towards a dictatorship continue unchecked? Will those who still believe in our constitution finally coalesce on a strategy of defense?

Squandering this next year is to light the ticking time bomb.

365 days, 364, 363 . . .

And then it will be November 5th, 2024, our collective day of reckoning. 

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Chicken Rotini Casserole         

NOTE: this recipe can be made ahead, refrigerated in the baking dish, and cooked the next day. You will need to cook it about 15 minutes longer if you choose this option.

10 oz vegetable rotini
3 cups clean, uncooked spinach
2 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped OR 1 - 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 TBSP olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 orange (or red) pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning blend
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
2 TBSP grated parmesan/romano cheese

*Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (if not preparing ahead to cook the next day). Grease an 8 X 11 baking dish.
*Cook the rotini per package directions to el dente. Drain, add the spinach, mix, and set aside.
*While the pasta is cooking, Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once it's hot, add the uncooked chicken (if you're using cooked chicken, it will be added later), garlic, chopped pepper, and chopped onion. Cook and stir until the chicken is completely cooked. 
*Add the chicken broth, white wine, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper to the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
*Add the chicken (if using precooked chicken, if not, it's already in the sauce) and the sauce to the pot with the pasta and spinach. Mix well. Pour into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the parmesan/romano cheese. Cover with tin foil.
*Either refrigerate for cooking the next day, or bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Mix before serving.


  1. For some of us, November 5 is only a couple of eye blinks away. Facing all of this (plus what is happening in the Middle East, Ukraine, and elsewhere) can be overwhelming BUT our country has faced other crisis points (think especially of the year 1865 - we started with a Civil War still being fought and then faced the assassination of Lincoln and its aftermath). We can do this if we don't lose heart. It's our turn to keep the flame of democracy alive.

    1. I agree, to an extent. I'm not sure we can win this battle when evil has gerrymandered, kicked people off the voting registry, closed polling sites, on top of having an insurectionist as speaker of the house and having packed the supreme court with liars and thieves. I know we could win a fair fight, but that's not what we've got.

    2. Karen, you are so right. All the former president has done is show that he truly is above the law. I don’t understand why Republicans support him.

    3. I think they all either agree with him, which is horrifying, or care about reelection only and the citizens not at all, which is horrifying.

  2. There's so much at stake, it's scary. It's to the point where some local independent candidates I like and admire may not get my vote simply because I feel I have to vote for the person most likely to win against a bad choice.

    1. I get it, the elections lately have been more about who you don't want, than who you do.

  3. At first I though what are counting down but then my brain shifted into gear and I remembered, I hope the outcome will be a good one whatever that is

    1. It's so all consuming here, it must be strange to live elsewhere in the world and get what I'm talking about initially.

  4. I'm going to stick my head in the sand and just say that this looks like an excellent recipe :-)

  5. Well said... too many people are complacent and others complicit in why it ever got this far. A foothold soon becomes a stronghold and then a stranglehold... Dawn the Bohemian

    1. Foothold to stronghold to stranglehold, exactly. Very well said, yourself.


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