Resellers are the Worst

Just a small rant today. Yesterday, my mom and I made a 20 mile drive to go to World Market. You see they have the Bonne Maman Preserves Advent Calendar. Do I need this advent calendar? No, I do not. Do I want it so I can have little samples of jam and honey up to Christmas? Yes, I do. I checked online yesterday to make sure it was in stock before I drove down and they had lots of advent calendars but not the Bonne Maman. Is this the fault of the store? Nope. The lady I asked said she had put out a bunch and a man followed her as she was putting them out and bought them all. Last year these advent calendars were being resold for over $100. I don’t want to resell, I just want one for me so I can sample these to see if I want a full size for baking later in the year.

This makes me think of the Rae Dunn people that go to TJMaxx and buy all of the pottery as soon as it is placed to resell online. It also makes me think of the legal scalpers…I mean resellers on Ticketmaster that buy tickets and then jack the prices up. You people are terrible people.

I realize these are very much first world problems and nobody really cares but with the way prices are going anyway no one needs resellers making things even more difficult. What will be resold next? Eggs? Water?

On a happier note, I did order online so I will get my advent calendar in six to ten business days. I just really wanted to buy something in an actual store. Mom and I did have a delicious lunch at Champy’s Chicken and we, of course, bought a few other Christmas goodies from World Market we couldn’t leave without. So, it was not a fruitless shopping trip at all.

Baking with Dorie: English Muffins


I’m feeling inspired. Maybe because the the weather is starting to cool off again, or maybe it is because Dorie’s new cookbook is out and I am excited to make all the things! Yesterday I dug out my dough hooks for my mixer… which I don’t think I have ever actually used, gave them a good wash and went to town on the dough. Well, I whipped up the dough after the power came back on in my neighborhood. For some reason, we have been losing power fairly frequently all of a sudden. When we moved to our neighborhood years ago the power would go out all of the time. We finally got a transformer upgrade (that must have been after the one behind our house blew up and took out power to just the middle of our house) and it hasn’t been nearly as bad until recently. Who knows, more traffic, more people taking out power poles due to staring at their phones instead of the road, etc…

ANYWAY, the dough for these was really easy to whip up and I was thrilled to see my dough hooks worked so well! Dorie cautions not to walk away while mixing as your mixer might decide to jump off the counter. While that didn’t happen it did seem like my mixer was possessed as it kept unlocking and relocking itself to mix the dough. I had never seem it do that before but I guess that is what happens when you use the dough hooks. I know, I know… look it up in the manual. Um, I have no idea where the manual might be for my mixer. It didn’t overheat and it didn’t release the magic blue smoke that so many of my small appliances seem to be prone to so I am taking a possessed mixer over broken any day.

Oh yes, English Muffins. These needed an hour rise time in a warm place covered with a clean kitchen towel. So I found one of my tea towels and set let the dough rise on top of my stove. They then needed to rest in the fridge for at least three hours. I discovered I didn’t have any eggs (not needed for this recipe) so while the dough was resting I went to the store.

Four Hours Later: I took the dough out deflated it and cut it up into twelve extremely uneven pieces, rolled them into balls, and let them rest for another hour on my toasty stove top. The boys had a fishing meeting so while they were gone I griddled the muffins, poked them with a fork, baked some bacon, and enjoyed a bacon, egg, and cheese English Muffin for dinner. When they got home all they had to do was make their eggs. My mom mentioned that she and dad would like to try them but I won’t see them until tomorrow and I have a feeling my hubs and son may finish them off before then. Sorry mom! I did just eat one with butter and orange marmalade as I have been writing.

These were not difficult to make but it was a long process. Next time I would make the dough and let them rest over night so I wouldn’t have as long to make them in the morning. We all enjoyed them and they were perfect for dinner and breakfast!

I’d love it if you baked along so go buy Dorie’s book Baking with Dorie. We bake from this book the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. You can check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers here. Also, you can check out a video of Dorie making her English Muffins here.

Twenty One Pilots

This weekend the family and I took a quick road trip to Atlanta for the Twenty One Pilots Takeover Tour. They have been playing several sized venues in the different cities that they visit and we were able to get tickets at the State Farm Arena on the last night of their Atlanta gigs. Our fam has been fans since the Blurry Face album and this concert did not disappoint.


Both of my kiddos love music but my daughter especially will go look up previous music and learn about the bands so we were able to listen to several albums on our drive. Both kids knew that Jay Joseph, who opened at the arena, is Tyler’s little brother. Bobby made the comment that Jay sounded a lot like Twenty One Pilots earlier music. We enjoyed seeing him open!

Our seats were up in the nosebleeds of the arena but we were facing the stage which was great. Hubs and I both looked at the mass of people in the pit, standing only area, and thought “no thanks”. Standing in a crowd like that seems like torture at this point in our lives! I mean, we are not 19 anymore moshing in the Warehouse at APU’s LollapAzusa (our Christian college answer to Lollapalooza) or shoegazing to Smashing Pumpkins at the Anaheim Pond. However, the superfan in the row in front of us probably wished she was down there. We were excited to be there, my kids were excited to be there, that girl’s enthusiasm was unmatched and it was a joy to behold.

Look at that pit!

Twenty One Pilots used to have four members but since 2011 has been Tyler Joseph and Josh Dunn. For some of the songs they included a band that included violin, trumpet, accordion, bass, and guitar. Josh plays drums and occasional trumpet. Tyler plays piano and sings. Both perform various antics and costume changes throughout the show. I was so impressed by this concert! the lighting, the theatrics, but most of all the music and how they chose to perform their songs. There were several seamless medleys of songs, few songs that Tyler didn’t even sing because the crown sang them for him, and my favorite, a campfire on stage! The energy of being in a live arena venue was incredible. I did attempt to see Garth Brooks in Nashville with my son but our show got cancelled due to lightning and didn’t get rescheduled. People were excited there too but the energy of being smushed together in the breezeway to avoid being struck by lightning is far different than singing along with an arena crowd.

Amazing light show

Once the concert was over we joined the massive hoard in our exit from the arena and I couldn’t help but think “this is how the zombie apocalypse starts, fitting that we are in Atlanta”. We were able to walk through Olympic Park to get back to our car that was parked about a quarter of a mile from the venue. While the parking situation in our big truck was a very tight fit we were pleasantly surprised to find we only had to pay $7! Parking next to the CNN area was $30-$40!

Heading for home

If you get a chance to see Twenty One Pilots I highly recommend seeing them. They put on an excellent show and you won’t be sorry!

Dorie’s Cookies: Cocoa Almond Thumbprints

I got my Baking with Dorie cookbook last week and got excited to jump back on the baking bandwagon!

Cocoa Almond Thumbprints

Today is a recipe from Dorie’s Cookies. It was really easy to mix up and there were only a few ingredients. The most difficult part was chopping the almonds as the blade for my food processor is missing. Not to worry though I pulled out my handy dandy chopper from the Pampered Chef selling days and used some good ol’ muscle power. Full disclosure I made my hubs and son also take a turn chopping because our counter is a tiny bit tall for me.

Dough, double boiler, filling, finished

Now you might be thinking ” what else could Karen mess up while making this easy recipe?” Well, I’ll tell you that putting 3 ozs of chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream in the microwave for an entire minute equals clumpy chocolate ganache. Round two using a double boiler method was much more effective. 🙂

Hubs first reaction after eating half a cookie was that the chocolate was bitter but sweeter as he got to the almonds and coconut. I used dark chocolate and should have gone for semisweet I think. My son said they were good. Hopefully they will eat them up because I can’t send them to youth group due to nut allergies. I ate the second half of hubs cookie and I really liked it. I really like macaroons though.

If you would like to join in the baking fun check out Tuesdays with Dorie and if you would like to see how other bakers cookies turned out go to this Tuesdays with Dorie link.

{TWD:BWD} Miso Maple Loaf Cake

Dorie is back with her 14th beautiful, incredible cookbook. The Tuesdays with Dorie gang is baking through “Baking with Dorie” and have almost completed”Dorie’s Cookies”!

Miso Maple Loaf Cake

I was traveling last week but when I got home at one in the morning “Baking with Dorie” was waiting at my door on book release day! The first recipe Tuesdays with Dorie chose was Miso Maple Loaf Cake. As you can probably guess it has miso and maple in it.

The hardest part of this recipe was getting to the store to find white miso and an orange. I had all of the other ingredients on hand including maple syrup. The bake time was 55 minutes and by the time it was done my house smelled like fall. My family loved this cake so much half of it was gone before bed. My son was so proud because he wrapped the rest in plastic wrap and put it in a Ziploc so it wouldn’t get stale overnight. The rest was perfect for breakfast the next morning.

The orange sugar was so fragrant!

You should definitely buy Dorie’s cookbook and join in baking twice a month! Check out Tuesdays with Dorie so you can see how other bakers liked this recipe! It will be a grand baking adventure!

Galaxy’s Edge

If you are anything like us you are a fan of all things Star Wars. I saw the Galaxy’s Edge Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Marc Sumerak pop up on social media somewhere and knew I needed to read it and try out a couple of the recipes. Today was the day!

I made Topato Soup pg. 73

I was home with my hubs so I made this for lunch. It was simple to make and really delicious. It called for green salsa (shh… Don’t tell my hubs that I used Avocado Salsa, he’s not a fan) and spinach. The hardest part was trying to find my immersion blender. Apparently we threw away the box so I couldn’t see it right in front of my eyes. He went back for seconds so it was a win!

Golden Lichen Tuiles pg. 37

While this seems to be singular in the title it is supposed to make 8-9 cookies. I portioned out that many and found I had one when I opened the oven. A little creative cutting before they crisped helped a lot. In case you were wondering tumeric stains all of the things. Staining aside, these were quite tasty!

Five Blossom Bread pg. 85

First, I’m pretty sure the warm milk and melted butter were too warm and killed the yeast. Second, I think I put in too much flour. However, the flavors were complex and lovely… even though it turned out quite dense due to user error.

I think this may be a book I need to pick up for my collection! The Child sure enjoyed these recipes!

(CtCF) Tahini Pork and Potato Tourte

Cook the Books Friday on a random Monday in June. I was looking through all of the the recipes that have been completed in Every Day Dorie and realized I made two of the recipes and never posted them!

They are not crossed off on my list but I did find the pictures! I remember the fam loved these two recipes. You can find Lightning Fast Tahini Pork on page 168 and the Potato Tourte on page 220. While the pork was lightning fast the tourte took quite a bit more prep and time but it was well worth it.

Potato Tourte
Lightning Fast Tahini Pork

Check out Cook the Books Friday to see what everyone is cooking these days.

Dog Bites and the Oregon trail

One of the ways I have been trying to keep sane over the last few months is by trying to keep myself active. In August I signed up for the Rock and Roll Music City 32 mile challenge. It gave me a goal to reach while trudging along step after step. As I completed that challenge my sister asked if I would join her on the Oregon Trail Challenge. If you are a child of the 80’s you definitely played The Oregon Trail on your Apple IIgs and were always disappointed when you died of dysentery. This challenge requires 2000 miles before May 15th and you can run, walk, bike, crawl, or convert your miles from things like water aerobics or Krav Maga. The beauty is you don’t have to do it alone. So we recruited a couple of active friends and started heading our wagon west. So far we have made it 946 miles and through four of the virtual checkpoints. Since August I have walked almost 200 miles.

Yesterday, I was so excited to push our wagon over the next checkpoint so I took off for my morning walk. About ten minutes in a dog came running off a porch and bit me! This wasn’t a small dog, this was a dog that looked like Marmaduke or Scooby Doo. Thankfully I wore a jacket so when it grabbed me it got a mouthful of jacket and only bruised my back. As it grabbed me I yelled “NO”! It lunged while snarling and ran off behind the house. If I had been thinking I would have gone up to the house and pounded on the door. However, I wanted to get away as quick as I could so I stopped again in about ten minutes to fill out a dog bite form and a vicious dog form. Later on in the morning I got a call back from Animal Control who said they wouldn’t file either report because the dog didn’t break the skin.

A little history with me and dogs. We had a dog, when I was a kid, that was supposed to be a lab I think but it was clearly more Doberman. It was dopey and big and if anyone came to the door it sounded like it was going to rip their head off. One day I was walking her and she pulled me down a drain pipe where I smashed into a bar that had spikes on it. I have a scar on my leg that never bled. It just gave me an indent. When I was ten I was delivering girl scout cookies when an insane dog that was chained in the carport attacked me and bit my leg. It bit me through my jeans so I had scratches and a bruise the size of grapefruit. The next week I was chased by a German Shepard while riding my bike. That dog got kicked in the face. My neighbor’s Rottweiler knocked me down and thankfully just slobbered on me. Needless to say, there is a history and a reason I am not much of a dog person. Weirdly, my friends dog’s all seem to sense that and want me to be their best friend as soon as I sit down in their house.

We got our dog when the kids were little and she died in August. I loved that dog but I definitely prefer cats. They are just easier. Our dog was a garbage disposal that ate everything but she as not a mean dog. She barked like fool at our neighbor’s dogs but she was never allowed to run the neighborhood, we always took her out on a leash, and we always cleaned up after her on our walks.

Yesterday’s experience reminded me of why I am not much of a dog person and why I need to carry a big stick when I walk. It also made me think about social media and how I post in different groups.

In my neighborhood watch group I was shaken when I posted but was firm in saying whoever owned the dog better come get it. I was thankful it was me and not a kid. On my own page it was an ode to 2020. In my Oregon Trail group it was a silly in character post.

I need to go out and walk today but I am a little nervous that the dog is out again today. If it is out there and comes at me again at least I didn’t die of dysentery!

As Seasons Change

I know it feels like 2020 has lasted way more than a year for probably everyone. The official start of the Covid pandemic was March 11, 2020. Which for us in Tennessee was preceded a week earlier by a devastating tornado. As all of that hit spring was just beginning and new growth was peeking out of the earth. I am always hopeful in the spring as I see new leaves starting to form out my window.

My dog’s footprint in the mud

As everything shut down it didn’t feel like a new beginning. It felt foreboding and scary. While wildlife and the great outdoors continued I felt us retreat. I have to say I am thankful for the time my family has had to spend together over the previous months. While the end of senior year was pretty stinky for my daughter, we got to cherish many moments with her before she went to college in the fall.

As spring waned and the temperature rose we had many things to look forward to. Obviously blogging was not one of them. I was reading a ton but didn’t post my books. And then I just stopped reading. I guess I go in spurts where I read a lot but then dry spells where the thought of picking up a book bores me to tears.

You can see the sweat from a very short
hike to see 3 states at one time.
You know it is summer when the cicadas start to sing

Throughout the summer I started walking. Of course it was a billion degrees and the humidity was the worst but it took my mind off of other things. We fished, we camped, we hiked, and explored the great outdoors. I think many people did the same. There was a shortage on bicycles. We finally got one for my son in August.

As summer carried on a season in our home changed again as we took our first born to college. It wasn’t long until the weather followed suit and changed as well. Fall came and leaves have changed.

In the Smokey Mountains
Fort Oglethorpe

As the seasons have changed the pandemic has continued. There are still restrictions and as we head into winter friends in other states have said their restaurants are closing again. Some places are having difficulty getting toilet paper and paper towels. As we dive headlong into winter I hope that people will be safe, will be thoughtful, and will reach out if they need help. I hope this will be a short winter with an end in sight for the pandemic.

How Long Ago in 2020?

This year has been quite a doozy. I was looking at some of the different things that have happened over the year and thought I would post them here. This is really just a big long list for me to remember the good, bad, and, ugly of 2020.

How long has it been since we saw Hamilton and rang in the new year with friends? 314 days
How long has it been since my dog was attacked? 307 days
How long has it been since my husband lost his grandma? 306 days
How long has it been since I met up with my Spam and Anchovies cooking club? 298 days
How long has it been since our date night to McNamaras? 292 days
How long has it been since seeing Blind Eyes Open at a movie theater? 291 days
How long has it been since our homeschool science fair in which many people were around? 286 days
How long has it been since our friends got together for a Superbowl party? 281 days
How long has it been since the first inclement weather day for Metro Schools, a girls lunch at Chef’s Market, and a ladies night at church? 276 days
How long has it been since we attempted to fix our shower cartridge? 270 days
How long has it been since Valentine’s Day? 269 days
How long has it been since the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery? 260 days
How long has it been since we replaced our bathroom vanity? 258 days
How long has it been since my daughter’s last Girl Scout cookie booth? 254 days
How long has it been since we bought a senior prom dress at Macy’s? 252 days
How long has it been since the Tornado devastated Nashville? 252-251 Days
How long has it been since my daughter helped out with tornado relief? 248 days
How long has it been since my daughter’s last physical day of high school? 243 days
How long has it been since people were hoarding toilet paper and Clorox wipes? 241 days
How long has it been since my kiddos published their first (and only so far) tiny cooking show? 233 days
How long has it been since the Mayor issued the “Safer at Home” order? 231 days
How long has it been since our district officially closed for the rest of the school year? 230 days
How long has it been since we binge watched Tiger King, my daughter attended virtual prom, and our quarantine porch photo? 226 days
How long has it been since whipped coffee was a thing? 223 days
How long has it been since our Zoom Easter dinner? 211 days
How long has it been since my daughter started early class selection for college? 207 days
How long has it been since my son fell in the lake catching a big bass? 203 days
How long has it been since my son’s last day of freshman year? 199 days
How long has it been since the government confirmed UFOs? 195 days
How long has it been since we lost my husband’s uncle and his dad had to quarantine after flying?
193 days
How long has it been since our family fishing trip and day out? 191 days
How long has it been since dinner theme nights? (Outlander, Harry Potter, Duck Dynasty) 181 days
How long has it been since my hubs fell down the stairs injuring his knee? 178 days
How long has it been since my niece graduated from college? 177 days
How long has it been since drive through graduation? 173 days
How long has it been since the death of George Floyd? 168 days
How long has it been since socially distanced graduation porch party? 163 days
How long has it been since my son turned 16 and had his first fishing tournament of the season? 156 days
How long has it been since our dog was diagnosed with lymphoma? 152 days
How long has it been since we went camping? 148 days
How long has it been since our house was painted? 143 days
How long has it been since my parents moved to Tennessee? 136 days
How long has it been since coffee on the patio with a friend? 131 days
How long has it been since we celebrated Disorders of the Corpus Callosum day? 130 days
How long has it been since we met up with the Ramsey fam and the Woelber fam at Dragon Park? 129 days
How long has it been since 4th of July and blowing stuff up? 128 days
How long has it been since I sent my kids into the dentist by themselves for the first time? 123 days
How long has it been since we celebrated my 18 year old with lunch at PF Changs? 122 days
How long has it been since I got a steroid shot in my shoulder? 118 days
How long has it been since my kids each got a filling? 108 days
How long has it been since hiking at Old Stone Fort? 107 days
How long has it been since park prom? 102 days
How long has it been since we voted in the primaries with our daughter? 95 days
How long has it been since my son made cookies for his sister before she went to college? 91 days
How long has it been since first day of school pictures? 89 days
How long has it been since we dropped our daughter off at college? 87 days
How long has it been since our first official day of school for the year? 84
How long has it been since Northern California fires? 82 days
How long has it been since lunch at Chicken Salad Chick with 2 lovely friends? 81 days
How long has it been since my kiddo taught fishing for the TWRA for the first time? 79 days
How long has it been since we said goodbye to our faithful pup? 77 days
How long has it been since I finished the Rock and Roll 32 mile challenge/? 75 days
How long has it been since fishing, hiking, and cinnamon rolls in Hendersonville? 63 days
How long has it been since the Mission Discovery event? 58 days
How long has it been since tubing down the Ocoee? 57 days
How long has it been since hiking with my mom? 50 days
How long has it been since a quick breakfast date with one of my friends to Just Love Coffee downtown? 45 days
How long has it been since I got my new pots and pans? 41 days
How long has it been since the Ostomy Awareness 5k? 37 days
How long has it been since I drove 3 hours with my parents and son to visit my daughter at college and attend a fundraiser dinner? 32 days
How long has it been since my son’s fishing tournament where he caught a 3.84 pond bass? 30 days
How long has it been since a quick trip to Texas? 28 days
How long has it been since my first day as a poll official for early voting? 26 days
How long has it been since a quick trip to Gatlinburg? 8 days
How long has it been since I was a poll official for the General Election? 6 days
How long has it been since I completed the Nashville Sounds Postseason 5k? 3 days
How long has it been since my son’s school Harvest Party? 2 days

How long will it be until my next book club? 8 days
How long will it be until Thanksgiving? 17 days
How long will it be until my daughter gets her wisdom teeth out? 21 days
How long will it be until my niece comes to visit? 27 days
How long will it be until my next anniversary? 34 days
How long will it be until the election is certified in Tennessee? 39 days
How long will it be until Christmas? 45 days
How long will it be until New Year’s Eve and where we show 2020 the door? 51 days

meditations on home, belonging & all things literary

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Nana's Whimsies

Musings of a Baby Boomer....

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Cooking, Baking, Exploring new Foods.

A Plateful of Happiness

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a whisk and a spoon

connoisseur of fine cake

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