Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Today’s post is a Guest Post from Karen Blessing who blogs at BakingInATornado. Let’s know more about Karen in her own words:

I’m Karen, a struggling-to-remain-sane stay-at-home Mom of teenaged boys who found, quite by accident a few years ago, that baking not only creates sweets but also relieves stress. Who knew? Draw your own conclusions about my stress level, all I’m admitting to is that we have lots of treats around here…new ones daily. Although I do bake to relieve stress, to relieve stress, and oh yeah, to relieve stress, there are other strategies I’ve been trying as well. Face it, there's only so much butter, flour and sugar available. So I started blogging at It provides me with a delicious (get it?) opportunity to vent. So sit back, have a laugh, try a recipe, then visit my blog…regularly!



Back in 2001, we were lucky enough to view a city-wide art gallery called the J. Doe project. Over 100 six-foot tall fiberglass body forms were decorated by local artists, then displayed throughout the community. It was fun and interesting and interactive and my sons and I totally embraced it. Maps were available, so many mornings that summer we would look at the map together, pick out a few locations and set out on our “Doe-hopping” adventure. Along the way we were treated to an explanation of the process of making the forms when one that we were looking at happened to be inside the lobby of the business that had produced them. More than once we met artists on-site, who spoke to us about the inspiration for their particular design. We spent all summer interpreting others we had seen and picking out our favorites. We saw over 50 of them.


J. Doe & the Magic Carpet

Mary Zicafoose, Artist

At the end of the summer I found out that I could buy 12 inch tall undecorated plaster J.Doe forms. I purchased 2 and we celebrated the end of the “Summer of the Doe” by letting the kids decorate their own. They are still on display in my home:


Colorful Doe & Skateboarder Doe

Decorated by my boys

The most interesting aspect of that whole experience was in seeing the differences in all of our interpretations, our individuality in terms of perspectives. Parents become masters of interpreting what our babies are trying to tell us non-verbally. In later years we try to interpret what they are telling us verbally. Who but me knew that “addle” was water? As someone who bakes a lot, I’ve had first hand experience when it comes to adapting recipes. My Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bars are my interpretation of a few different recipes.

Chocolate/Raspberry Cheesecake Bars


Cheesecake Bars

I have been challenged with explaining interpretation to one son who could not do it instinctively. Having a sarcastic Mom can be misleading for him, and frustrating for me. Conversations would frequently go something like this:

J: “Mom, can I have a pop?”

Me: “No, dinner’s in a half an hour, no soda right now.”

Other son: “Mom, can I have one?”

Me: “Sure, I think you should have two.”

Other son: “Oh, good” as he runs off with a can of soda in each hand… and I go chasing after him.

And then there’s the teenage years. In these years interpretation has a whole new… well… interpretation. Whatever I say is construed to mean whatever they want to hear. Whatever they say could mean anything at all. Like this recent conversation while I was watching the Olympics and trying to talk Jason into watching with me.

Me: “J, come watch the Olympics with me”.

J: “No”.

Me: “I need you to spend some time with me, come watch”.

J: “No”.

Me: “What if I said I would cry if you don’t spend some time with me”.

J: “I’m fine with that”.

I could use some help, but I’m still hoping there’s another way to interpret that.

Chocolate/Raspberry Cheesecake Bars


18.25 oz pkg Devil’s Food Cake Mix

1 stick butter, softened

1 egg


8 oz package of cream cheese, softened

14 0z can of sweetened condensed milk

1 egg

2 tsp raspberry extract

Opt: red food coloring

Opt: 1 cup raspberry chocolate chips


*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 pan.

*Beat the cake mix, butter and egg until combined. Set aside ½ cup of this mix.

*Pat remaining batter into the prepared pan.

*Bake for 10 minutes. Take out of oven and cool for 10 minutes.

*Beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in sweetened condensed milk, egg, raspberry extract and food coloring. Mix in raspberry chocolate chips. Pour into the crust.

*Crumble the reserved batter mixture over the top. Bake for approx. 19 minutes.

*Cool completely. Store in the refrigerator.

- Karen

Note: For more of such fun home stories and delicious recipes don’t forget to check out BakingInATornado.


  1. I hope your readers enjoy the post. Thanks, Rujuta, for being a very gracious hostess.

    1. And m glad to offer my blog to such a talent blogger :)

  2. Wow... Amazing Post...
    Especially, the recipe for the "Chocolate/Raspberry Cheesecake Bars"... ;)
    Good work Karen!

  3. rujuta can you please make some rasberry chocolate cheese cake ... :P?

    1. Shravan... If I make one... will you risk to eat it? ;) :P

  4. Hi Karen.. Its really a treat to read your blogs.. really liked the "cheeseburger cake" one.. keep blogging.. :)

    1. Thank you for such kind words, Shravan. I'll promise to keep blogging if you promise to keep reading...:)