Friday, January 21, 2022

Toilets, Butts, and Diaper Rash: Fly on the Wall

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bark is a sweet treat for chocolate peanut butter lovers. No bake, just melt, assemble, refrigerate, and break apart. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #chocolate


  

 

 

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.





Hubs still works mostly from home. He goes into the office about 1 1/2 days a week. 
 
His being home so much has been eye opening, for both of us. Mostly him. He hears and sees things he wouldn't normally be exposed to if he were at the office full time.
 
He comes down to the kitchen, I'm standing near the counter, pulling out my shirt:

Me: I set you free.
Hubs: Should I ask?
Me: No.
Hubs: I'm gonna be brave and ask. Who are you setting free?
Me: A little piece of chocolate.
Hubs: Not enough information.
Me: I was trying a piece of the bark I made and a little bit of chocolate broke off and went down my shirt.
Hubs: OK?
Me: Rather than let it melt against my skin, I just pulled out my shirt and let it drop.
Hubs: Yup, that's what I get for asking. 


Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
 
 
Hubs had to replace the toilet flusher so he went out to the store to buy the part. When he came back:
 
Hubs: I had two options, silver or white. I got . . .
Me (interrupting): I know what you got.
Hubs: OK, what did I get?
Me: You got the white.
Hubs: How did you know?
Me: Because I would have gotten the silver.


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

 

College Boy works about 3/4 of a mile away. He still hasn't been able to find a car, and it was freezing out so I'd offered to come pick him up.

Hubs comes up from the man cave with his keys.

Me: Where are you going?
Hubs: I'm going to get College Boy.
Me: Oh, I'd offered to pick him up.
Hubs: I did too, and he called me, guess he likes me better.
Me: Ummm . . . I'm going to be bundled up on the couch while your going out into the freezing cold. You want to rethink who he likes better?
 

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

 

I was sitting alone in the den watching a basketball game on TV and as they were coming back from commercial, they showed a city view. Front and center was a building, lit up with blue lights. It was the shape of a rocket. To each side were smaller buildings, with rounded roofs, also lit up. It looked highly suggestive.

Me (to myself, but out loud): I see a penis.

Just at that moment, Hubs had come up to the top of the stairs from the man cave. I see him quickly look down while jumping back down a step.

Me (laughing): Not you!


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


 

Working on my weekly grocery list, I always check the circulars to see if anything interesting is on sale, especially since a few times a year one of our local grocery stores gets in live Maine lobsters (a rarity around here).

 

Aldi overkill | picture taken by, featured on, and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

 

Now I like Aldi as much as the next person, and although I fully admit there is such a thing as the power of suggestion, I've got to say, Aldi, sending me 4 circulars will not make me buy 4 times as much. Sorry.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Bark is a sweet treat for chocolate peanut butter lovers. No bake, just melt, assemble, refrigerate, and break apart. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #chocolate

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bark


Me: Wow, that covid booster kicked my ass.
College Boy: As you always told me whenever I used that word, watch your language, Mom.
Me: Fine. That covid booster kicked my butt.
College Boy: Better.
Me: But not the but, but, my butt, butt. B-u-t-t, not b-u-t, just so we're clear.
College Boy: Smart ass.
Me: Did you say ass?
 

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



Speaking of that particular body part . . . 
 
I'm sitting in the den watching TV. I didn't realize Hubs had come up behind me.
 
Me: I think I have diaper rash. 
Hubs: What????
Me: Oops, did I say that out loud?



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


PurDude: I'm tired.
Me: Didn't you sleep through the night last night?
PurDude: No.
Me: Oh, that's too bad. When did you wake up?
PurDude: When my alarm went off.

Ha, I thought he'd woken up in the middle of the night and not been able to get back to sleep. But I guess he does have a point, having to get up for work counts as interrupted sleep.



Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
 
 
The time came, all too soon as it always does, for PurDude to head back to Colorado. I always start a few days before he leaves, trying to convince him to stay longer.
 
This time, though, his dad started it.

Hubs: If you stay another week you can have some of my birthday cake.
Me: Who do you think is baking you a birthday cake?
Hubs: You, if he agrees to stay.
 
True!
 
Me (to PurDude): Well, you can stay for dad's birthday, and then you can even stay for mine. 
Hubs: Yours is in 10 months.
Me: So???


Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
 
Having the dropsies is a real thing. I'm not talking about dropping something once, but about those days when you seem to drop everything.
 
Turns out, it can be healthy.
 
Hubs (coming up to the kitchen from the man cave): I heard a bang, what happened?
Me: I just dropped something.
Hubs: Did anything break?
Me: No, everything's fine.
 
A little later:

Hubs (coming up to the kitchen from the man cave): I heard a bang, what happened?
Me: I just dropped something again.
Hubs (heading back downstairs): As long as everything's alright.
Me: I seem to be having one of those days so if you come upstairs every time you hear something drop, we can go ahead and cancel that gym membership. 

 

 

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





 
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bark        

                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup mini Reese's cups
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
4 oz white chocolate chips
3/4 cup chocolate animal graham cracker cookies
1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts 

Directions:
*Cover a jellyroll pan with parchment paper.
*Cut the mini Reese's cups in half.
*Melt the chocolate chips until completely smooth when stirred. Spread out onto the parchment paper to an approximately 9 X 13 rectangle. Set aside.
*Melt the white chocolate chips until completely smooth when stirred. Place into a piping bag or a plastic sandwich bag with a small corner snipped.
*Drizzle about 2/3 of the melted white chocolate over the melted semi sweet chocolate, then swirl in with a toothpick.
*Immediately place the chocolate graham cracker cookies around the chocolate. Sprinkle the Reese's cups and peanuts over bark. Press all the toppings in gently.
*Refrigerate for 1 hour. Break or chop into different sized pieces to serve.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Smoke and Mirrors: Word Counters


Eggnog & Espresso Chip Banana Bread, a version of banana bread with the subtle flavor of eggnog, and topped with espresso baking chips. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bread

 

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 32

It was chosen by Mimi.

 

 

 

 

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 Smoke and Mirrors, and I'll explain why.


~ There's a lot I like about some of the changes that came about in shopping during the age of covid. So much more is available online, for shipping and for pick up.

~ But there's also a lot that suffers from lack of personal contact. Not only can't you look someone in the eye to discuss issues, but many you cannot call on the phone.

~ Many retailers require you to "chat" with "customer service" online. This is an issue because most don't speak English well, and either don't understand or don't have the power to resolve issues.

~ My Amazon order showed what I chose with an incorrect description. "Chatted" with customer service, who would do nothing but tell me I'd "probably" get what I wanted, or should return it.
 
~ Same Amazon order.
Ordering email: Order to arrive Saturday.
Wednesday, checked order: "has not shipped, still arriving Saturday."
Thursday email: Order shipped, to arrive Sunday.
Saturday email: Order delivered, one day early!


Smoke and Mirrors | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


 
~ We've had longstanding cable issues. They provided new boxes assuring us there's be no change to our bill, which immediately went up. Spent TWO HOURS "chatting" with FIVE reps, brain dead, all.
 
~ Facebook suddenly blocked me from editing a file in a group that I administer. I requested a review of their decision and stated my case. I'm still waiting. January was two years . . .
 
~ For PurDude's renter's insurance renewal, they texted a huge increase. Couldn't get customer service to respond anywhere, and found nowhere to cancel online. I had to hunt the CEO down on LinkedIn.


 
Eggnog & Espresso Chip Banana Bread, a version of banana bread with the subtle flavor of eggnog, and topped with espresso baking chips. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #bread

Eggnog & Espresso Chip Banana Bread

 
~ USPS continues its innovation in delivery: like screeching in reverse up my driveway to throw packages (including breakables) onto my front porch, then making sure to run over the lawn when leaving.
 
~ Recently the package required a signature. The signature remote didn't work, mailman just left. Message from sender said USPS reported us unavailable, we now have to pick it up from USPS ourselves. 
 
~ Another package. Mailman parked out front, then drove to the cluster box leaving a form saying we hadn't been home for receipt. I was here. I saw him. He never left the truck.


~ Congratulations, corporate America (and sorry, customer suckers). Customer Service and Shipping have merged. They'll now be the Smoke and Mirrors department. No services will be provided, but they'll keep pretending they are . . .


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





Eggnog & Espresso Chip Banana Bread       
                                                       ©www.BakingInATornado.com


Printable Recipe

Ingredients: 
3/4 stick butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2 large or 3 small overripe bananas
1 cup eggnog, can substitute 1 cup half and half or vanilla creamer + 1/4 tsp cinnamon + 1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 1/4 cups plus 1/2 tsp flour, divided
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup espresso baking chips

Directions:
*Grease 2 loaf pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
*Cream the butter and the sugars until smooth. Beat in the eggs, bananas, and eggnog. Mix in 2 1/4 cups of the flour, the salt, and the baking powder. Pour evenly into the 2 prepared loaf pans.
*Toss the espresso baking chips with the remaining 1/2 tsp flour to coat them. Sprinkle them evenly onto the top of the batter in each of the loaf pans.
*Bake for 45 - 55 minutes, until the tops spring back to the touch. Cool in the loaf pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely before slicing.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Bathroom Inspiration: Use Your Words

 

Peanut Butter Candy Cheesecake, a creamy Reese’s cheesecake, studded with chopped Butterfingers and topped with a shaved chocolate bar. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

 

 



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:  bologna ~ wallpaper ~ hitch ~ reward ~ razor
They were submitted by Diane of On the Border.
 
Today's post was inspired by the bathroom. I know you're thinking I'm full of bullsh!t bologna, that bathrooms aren't exactly the place people go for inspiration, but this particular bathroom speaks to me.
 
Yes, speaks to me. Despite the fact that I started out hating it.

There's a back story. Of course there is. 
 
It goes all the way back to when we bought this house. It was not only bigger than our first house, but the guy who bought our first house bought most of the furniture too. Starting from scratch is fun, it's hectic, and most of all, it's expensive. 

My family owned an Ethan Allen store, so some of the furnishings were bought at cost, but my taste is more contemporary, as is this house, so although Ethan Allen is well represented, it's not the majority of the furnishings I bought. And although my mom advised not doing everything at once, I knew I'd have a hard time telling my boys (in 2nd and 3rd grade), that maybe they'd have a bed to sleep on next month.

The point is, that although the previous owner's decoration choices were not at all mine, I made the decision to leave the carpet and tile and wallpaper and paint colors and just work with them. For the time being, anyway.
 
In some rooms there were quick fixes, like throwing out the kitchen curtains or topping a wallpaper border with another one, but mostly I concentrated on furniture, rugs, and art. 
 
The bathroom off the back hall, though. I had a hard time living with that. The former owner was a golf pro, and the bathroom was all golfed out. The top of the wallpaper is golf sayings, the border through the middle is old timey looking golf pictures, and the bottom is plaid. Not my taste. Not even in the same stratosphere as my taste. I was dying to rip that paper down. The reward would be obvious, but the hitch was the time, energy, and money, none of which I had to spare.

So, as I said, I went with it. I tried to add a little whimsy to each room, so I found this guy and put him on the floor under the pedestal sink:

OK, that helps, at least the little guy makes me smile.
 
Bathroom Inspiration | picture taken by, featured on, and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

 
But with time, that bathroom wallpaper started to make me smile too. Those sayings on the top half of the wall? They were . . . well . . . supportive. Hey, any port in a storm when you're the mother of young rambunctious boys.
 
It didn't start with supportive, it actually started kind of mocking:
 
Bathroom Inspiration | picture taken by, featured on, and property of www.BakingInATornado.com
 
 
A good walk? Really? I've got a house full of kids, dinner to make, and a cheesecake I'd promised to make for a friend's party. The only walk I have time for is from the kitchen to this bathroom. 
 

Peanut Butter Candy Cheesecake, a creamy Reese’s cheesecake, studded with chopped Butterfingers and topped with a shaved chocolate bar. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert
Peanut Butter Candy Cheesecake


But from there the tone changed. And I started to get the message. There are parallels, it seems, between parenting and golf:
 
Bathroom Inspiration | picture taken by, featured on, and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Yeah, so is parenting, my friend, so is parenting.

And:

Bathroom Inspiration | picture taken by, featured on, and property of www.BakingInATornado.com


Confirmation that the little white lies you have to tell now and then (like that McDonald's is closed on Tuesdays) are OK, they're just what you need to do to get through.
 
Then there are the sayings that boost my parental self esteem:
 
Bathroom Inspiration | picture taken by, featured on, and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

Jeez, I must be a great parent, I'm hitting nobody.
 
And one final bit of confirmation:
 
Bathroom Inspiration | picture taken by, featured on, and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

 
You know, I don't have a cart to fall out of, but it's true that I've yet to fall off of the toilet. And let me tell you, there were days when a good concussion sounded awful tempting.
 
All these years later that wallpaper remains. I wonder if the future owners of this house will take a razor to it, or find inspiration in it. I guess I'll never know.
 


Use Your Words, a monthly group writing challenge | developed by and graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #bloggingchallenge #MyGraphics
Here are links to all the other Use Your Words posts:
Climaxed



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






Peanut Butter Candy Cheesecake
                                               ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1 TBSP brown sugar
4 TBSP melted butter
 
1/4 cup mini Reese's cups (about 15 minis)
2 1/2 bars (20 oz total) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBSP brewed coffee, room temperature
3 eggs, room temperature 
1/2 cup Butterfingers bars, chopped
1 mini Hershey's chocolate bar

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a springform pan. Wrap the bottom of the pan with tin foil.
*Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, 1 TBSP brown sugar, and the melted butter until it holds together when pressed. Press into the bottom and partially up the sides of the prepared pan.
*Melt the mini Reese's cups in the microwave for about 1 minute, until smooth when stirred. Set aside.
*Beat together the cream cheese, heavy cream, sour cream, 1/2 cup brown sugar, sugar, and coffee until smooth. Beat in the melted Reese's cups and then the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the chopped Butterfingers bars.
*Pour into the prepared crust and bake for 70 - 85 minutes, until the center is just set. Allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least one hour before releasing from the pan.
*With a grater or peeler, shred the Hershey's bar onto the top of the cheesecake.
*Store, covered, in the refrigerator.