Saturday, March 26, 2011

Garlic Cheddar Muffins

These are really good, tender and delicious:


3 cups self-rising flour
1&1/2 cup shredded or diced sharp cheddar cheese
1/8 cup sugar
1 tsp garlic powder [or more, depending on how much you love garlic]
1 egg
1/4 cup oil
1&1/2 cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix all ingredients. Put in muffin tin and bake for 18 minutes [give or take depending on your oven].

These are great with salad, soup, or chili. Mmmmmmm....

What Happened To The Blog?

I want to apologize to my readers. I've sort of left my blog in limbo while I try to figure out what to do with it.

Back in January, I became aware of a site called "Spokeo" [which is a sort of online phone book]. I went there and found that they had gathered a TREMENDOUS amount of information about me and my children - including photos of my children from my blog.

This freaked me out pretty much.

I deleted everything from the Spokeo site and I've tightened my Facebook controls down as far as they go [and removed most pictures and personal info from my Facebook info page too].

But I still remain very concerned about having our personal info out there on the web somewhere, along with our contact info. I've always been careful to keep this blog anonymous with no real names or real places - but it is linked to my email address and that was enough I guess, because my email address was used to get all my other personal info and put it down all on one neat site for any stranger to grab.

I've become very ambivalent about blogging since then. I've loved my blog. My blog serves as a creative outlet but also as a record for my family - it has been my online journal for years now. At the end of each year, I have my blog bound up into a nice hard back book for my family. It includes fun stuff we did that year, pictures of the kids doing it, and my recipes, among other things. Those have become a priceless treasure for my children and I, and I'd like to keep it up.

[I used "Blog 2 Print" to do this, by the way, and I can't recommend them highly enough - they are AWESOME and the books are fantastic!]

I've experimented with having a private blog but few people comment there and I tend to lose motivation to write when nobody talks back. [sad, huh?!].

And then there are some other projects I'm working on - and making good progress on - but which limit my time to blog.

So, for now, the future of my blog is just uncertain. Maybe I'll pick this blog thing back up later on. For now I am ambivalent, and I apologize to those of you who have been following me for years [and to my new readers as well!] :( :(

God Bless you all!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

These are delightful. My children ate them like crazy!

4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chocolate chips

2 cups self rising flour [or 2 cups all purpose flour + 2tsp baking powder + 1/2 tsp salt]
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix all wet ingredients thoroughly. Add flour and spices and mix just until incorporated.
Fill muffin tin and bake for 18 minutes [more or less depending on your oven].

These can also be made as bread loaves, but your cooking time will vary based on the size of your pan.

This is the best banana bread I've ever made - I've been trying for years to get a recipe that I just love and finally - this is it! :) :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


6 cups rolled oats
1 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup raw almonds
3/4 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup water
1 TBSP vanilla
1 tsp salt
1-2 cups raisins
[optional 1 cup chocolate chips - which we always add. LOL!]

Preheat oven to 325. Spray two large casserole pans with Pam. Mix oats, nuts, and seeds in a large bowl. Over medium heat, combine oil, honey, water, vanilla, and salt. Bring just to a boil and then pour over oat mixture. Mix well to coat everything.

Spread evenly in pans and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, stire, and bake for another 15 minutes. Let cool and add raisins [and chocolate chips].

Can be stored in a covered container for 5 days in the pantry, 2 weeks in the fridge, and indefinitely frozen.

[This is based on a recipe I found in a LLL magazine many years ago]

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mutter Without Paneer

My newest Indian Food Experiment - yummy! This is "Mutter Paneer" without the paneer [which is an Indian cheese that I cannot find locally and do not know how to make from scratch!]. Very tasty!

2 medium onions, diced finely
1 jalepeno, finely diced
2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP grated ginger root
2 TBSP minced garlic
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 can of diced tomatoes [you can puree these if you don't like chunks of tomato]
2 cups frozen green peas
1 & 1/2 cup water
salt to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream or plain yogurt

Saute onions and pepper in olive oil till onions are translucent.

Add ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, garam masala, and tumeric. Saute for one minute.

Add tomatoes and green peas. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until it thickens - about 20 minutes.

Add salt to taste and then add cream or yogurt. Stir together, simmer for a couple more minutes.

Serve with rice or naan bread.

[If you have access to paneer, you can slice up about 18 oz of paneer into chunks, saute in oil till golden, and add to the dish].

Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Meme

Like my friend Melanie, I've done this MEME in past years and it is fun to go back and read the answers, so I thought I'd do it again this year. If you decided to play along on your blog, leave a comment so I can read your 2010 recap.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
I wrote a book. A whole book! :) And a good bit of another one.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I did not make any resolutions last year. This year I won't make a resolution, but I will state that my goal is to get a book deal. :)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nobody physically close to me did - several online friends did though!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, my best friend died of breast cancer in May.

5. What countries did you visit?
Just the good old USA.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Peace, Financial Stability, and adequate housing.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 15 - the day we buried my best friend.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting a book written. Raising my children in such a way that they are extremely well adjusted and happy in spite of bad circumstances.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Worrying too much about things beyond my control.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes, several illnesses and a surgery.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Yeah - no disposable income around here these days. I guess food for my children was the best thing I bought this year. :)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My children - they are amazing.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My Ex Husband's.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Food, shelter.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I was healthy for 6 months straight. That was pretty cool.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
"What I Am" by

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
a) happier; b) about the same; c) about the same, a little poorer actually

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Snuggle my kids, Relax

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent it with my kids, parents, bro and sis

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
Nope, thank goodness.

22. How many one-night stands?
Seriously? LOL! Celibacy is working out very well for me.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Castle, Law and Order: LA

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don't hate anybody.

25. What was the best book you read?
Read lots of great books this year - recent favorites were "The Lost Hero" [Rick Riordan] and "The Ruby Key" [Holly Lisle]

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Not sure I really made any musical discoveries this year.

27. What did you want and get?
Better health.

28. What did you want and not get?
A decent home for my children.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Hmmm... I guess Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I don't remember. I was 41.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If my Ex husband had not hassled me and gone out of his way to make life difficult.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

33. What kept you sane?
I'm not sure I am actually sane any more. I wouldn't take any bets on it anyway. :)

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Will Smith. In an alternate dimension somewhere he's my hubby. ;)

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
I'm so hating politics at this point in my life. It is all the same anyway - nothing ever changes.

36. Who did you miss?
All the friends I used to have IRL that I only see online now. And of course my best friend that died.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
I don't really have an answer for that. I did not meet a lot of new people this year, though I did meet some really nice ones. I'm glad I "reunited" with my friend Kathy and a couple of other folks.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
"Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die."
~Malachy McCourt

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"If what I am is what's in me, then I'll be strong, that's who I'll be; and I will always be the best me that I can be....Never gonna quit, I'll keep getting stronger."

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010 From Kelly And The Monkeys!!!!

We hope this has been a great year for you and that this letter finds you in good health and high spirits! We are once again taking this opportunity to catch everyone up with our family and what has been going on.

Monkey1, age 12, started 6th grade this year. Her school has a fantastic gifted program that has been really good for her. She is continuing to make straight “A”s and to excel at everything she tries. She continues to do well in Chorus at school. She made the “State Wide Honor Chorus” this year. Her hobbies are reading, researching, listening to music, writing, singing, & watching old horror movies from the 1930s & 1940s. She is a wicked unbeatable chess player. Monkey1’s favorite book is The Red Pyramid [or anything by Rick Riordan]. She wants to be a private investigator, a singer or a chef when she grows up.

Monkey2, age 9, is in 3rd grade. He has morphed into a straight “A” student and is consistently on the high Honor Roll. He enjoys playing basketball and anything on the Wii. His hobbies include computer & video games, building with legos, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, bakugans & cooking with mom. He loves playing with his two younger sisters and they worship the ground he walks on. His favorite books are Dragon Blood and the Magic Treehouse series. Monkey2 wants to be a lego designer when he grows up.

Monkey3, age 7, is in 2nd grade. She is doing very well in school & is staying on the Honor Roll as well; definitely doing her part to keep up the family tradition. She enjoys playing basketball & playing with her brother on the Wii. Her hobbies include collecting animals, playing with animals, learning about animals, pretending to be different animals, reading & cooking with her mom, & playing Pokemon & Yu-Gi-Oh with her brother. Her favorite book is Go Dog Go! Monkey3 wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up.

Monkey4, age 5, is in Kindergarten. Kindergartners do not receive letter grades, but she gets 100% smiley faces. :) She enjoys creating art work, dancing, playing with her younger sisters, “babysitting”, cooking with mom, playing with Barbies, playing outdoors, & swimming. Her favorite book is Mermaid Barbie. Monkey4 wants to be a Mommy when she grows up.

Monkey5, age 3, started preschool this year. She has done very well at preschool and loves her teacher [she lucked out and got the BEST TEACHER EVER – truly a Blessing!]. She has made lots of friends in her class. She enjoys playing with Monkey4 and Monkey6, reading with mom, playing with Barbies, cooking, being with her Granny, playing pretend, swimming & drawing. Her favorite book is Fancy Nancy. Monkey5 wants to be a Princess when she grows up.

BabyMonkey, age 2, is the Lone Ranger at home during school hours these days [we tried preschool with her this Fall – it didn’t work]. She continues to be adorable & funny. She has developed her talents into becoming a First Class Cat Burglar – able to get anything she wants & steal it away, no matter how well it is safeguarded! She enjoys hanging out with her Grandfather, playing with dogs, reading books, destroying stuff, climbing, figuring out how things work, and pretending to be a puppy. Her favorite book is Llama Llama Misses Mama. BabyMonkey wants to be a Puppy when she grows up.

I, Kelly, am still hanging on by my teeth and somehow managing to enjoy the heck out of life in spite of it all. I was thrilled to get my old job back teaching childbirth classes at the Hospital, where I worked for 10 years until 2009. I enjoy cooking with my children, snuggling with the kids, reading, writing, walking around the neighborhood & lake with the children & the dogs, & amazing people by making fine wine out of the lemons Life handed me. :) I couldn’t possibly pick just one favorite book this year, but, like Monkey1, I have certainly enjoyed everything Rick Riordan writes.

The children completed a major accomplishment this year. For three years they were working, sacrificing [asking for cash donations instead of birthday gifts, for example], and saving to build a house for a poor family in Haiti through the charity organization “Food for the Poor”. This year they finally succeeded, and in May they were able to send off a check for $3,100 – enough to build a home for a homeless family affected by the Earthquake in Haiti. It was a monumental accomplishment. They were even featured in a half page news article in the local paper and in several articles on the Web. I am VERY proud of them!

We wish you a happy and prosperous 2011. May God richly Bless you in all that you do!

:) :) God is Good - All of the Time! :) :)