Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Flourless Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've been testing out some gluten-free recipes lately, and this one is a pretty simple quick dessert.

Flourless PB Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 banana, mashed
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients, except chocolate chips, in a food processor.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Form into small balls of dough, about a rounded Tablespoon.

Place on cookie sheet.

Bake 12 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Cool on sheet for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Enjoy as a semi-healthy snack!

Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole Recipe

This dish has been a big hit among both my vegetarian and meat-eating friends!

Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

One head of cauliflower
1/2 cup Smart Balance Buttery Spread, melted
1/4 cup Parmesean
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (Mexican blend, cheddar, or any you like)
1/2 cup Bertolli Four Cheese Rosa Pasta Sauce

Chop cauliflower into bite size pieces. Boil in a big pot of water for 10 minutes.

Combine margarine, parmesean, panko, and garlic salt in a small bowl.

Layer cauliflower, shredded cheese, and pasta sauce in an oven safe casserole dish. Top with panko crumb mix.

Cook in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until panko gets toasty.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Quarterlife Crisis

My office is back in order and is set up even better than previously - it's darn near perfect. So, I am slowly getting back into the swing of things. I did just finish reading a book called, Quarterlife Crisis by Alexandra Robbins and Abby Wilner. The gist of the book is that college does not prepare one for real life in the working world. The authors don't offer any solutions, they just want everyone aware that this crisis exists and, gee, wouldn't it be nice if employers could slowly integrate college grads into their businesses?

No, college does not prepare you for the real world - that's what part-time jobs are for, that's what volunteer work is for, that's what your parents are for. Having read this book simply reinforces my drive to have my daughters think seriously about what they want to do with their lives long before they think about entering college, maybe even putting college off for a year or two and "live life" to better be able to make that kind of decision. And with homeschooling, who knows when they will graduate from high school - they might be 16, they might be 18. But they will have the freedom to take a bit of time to decide what's best for them and not have to worry about counselors or teachers pressuring them to make a decision too early.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Harmonious Office

When we decided we would take our house off the market and stay here for a few more years, we rearranged all the rooms to put them back the way we like them. I decided to paint two bookcases, one small desk, and a small cabinet that holds my Craft supplies. The bookcases are finished, but I'm letting them dry a few more days before putting books back on them. The cabinet and desk are close to finished. Everything will match now - I'll have an actual design in my space.

The problem with having a disorganized office is that I'm letting my writing sit idle, my tarot studies have ceased, the girls' lessons are not as streamlined as they should be, I'm relying on quick meals instead of trying new, healthier meals, and I haven't exercised. I keep telling myself that as soon as my office is in order all will return to normal, even better than normal. I need my harmonious space to get any real work finished. Hopefully I can get everything in order this weekend.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Autumn is my favorite season. I love the colorful trees, the crisp air, the wind blowing those red and golden leaves through the air, the quietness from lack of noisy bugs, and the smell of bonfires. I love Halloween with jack-o-lanterns and ghosts and witches (real or made-up), and I love the harvest moon, which will appear on my birthday this year.

We currently live out in the country, far from any big city, far from city lights, city noise, and city regulations. I have loved the nature of the country, but have felt very isolated. We are planning on moving back to the city, to be closer to work and places we frequent. Hopefully we will find a house we like in a suburb we like, but to get a house we adore and can afford, we may not get our first pick of towns. I may miss out on getting big trees in my yard. I most likely will not be able to build a bonfire or even a campfire. I may end up with nosey neighbors who will question a backyard shrine.

But hopefully I will get a house better suited to five very independent people. Hopefully I will find a home I can truly call a home. I have never felt at home, not even in this, MY first house. Probably because I knew coming in that this would only be our first house, and not the house we planned on keeping forever. I have lived in so many houses and apartments that I seemed to change houses as often as I changed my wardrobe. I'm still trying to find something that fits just right. Hopefully soon I will find my home and that home will have a view of wonderful autumn colors every year.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Our Stuff

This is a wonderful video that explains our "stuff" fairly simply.

The Story of Stuff

It really makes you take a look around and say, wow, I have way too much stuff.

Friday, May 29, 2009

A New Distraction

As if I didn't have enough things distracting me from writing and menu planning, I just joined Facebook about two weeks ago. Oh my goodness, that place is addictive! I've been on MySpace for years, but hardly did anything with it. Now it's just a place where I befriend new authors and a few new bands. But Facebook is where all the friends hang out. I uploaded about 3 dozen photos on Facebook from my high school days and tagged a bunch of friends - I loved the reaction of the friends when they saw themselves!

What's really amazing is noticing how people have changed and matured over the years. I mean as teenagers few of us had recognized our core beliefs yet. It's intriguing how some people have taken a completely different route from what you expected. Of course I'm sure people have looked at my info and gone, Really? And then there are the people who seemed not to have changed at all, for good or bad. Very interesting.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Chaos Magic

When I met some new pagan friends a couple of years ago I tried describing to them what I believed. One friend said it sounded as if I would end up as a Chaos Magician. With as busy as I am, I never gave that statement much thought. But now I'm trying to get back into my pagan studies and I found this article today on Witchvox.

Chaos Magic

And it does seem that this may be the path I'm on. I started with Wicca, because it seemed the most basic and most popular path. (And 15 years ago the book stores didn't have much else.) I still hold many of those beliefs and I'm still studying, but many paths intrigue me. I love all things Celtic; I am curious about Faeries; Buddhism has a certain allure; Native American, Greek, Viking, and even Japanese mythology fascinate me; and I love to belly dance. Perhaps one reason I haven't studied as much as I want to is because there are so many things that interest me, I don't know where to begin. I have numerous books on my shelves that I haven't read, but I can't wait to read each and every one.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

We still need to be aware of products with MSG

I found this article today and thought I would pass it on:

Still Beware of MSG

Make sure to scroll down to at least see all the other names for MSG and all the products that contain MSG - I had no clue MSG was in all of these items.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


New blog to follow - it's all about Steampunk!

Wings of Steam

Steampunk is the newest interest in our house. This will be tons of fun, especially since there's a Steampunk convention coming to St. Louis in April of 2010!

Rose Society

We're already on the lookout for costume pieces - there are so many cool Steampunk sites on the web, I'll be researching for days!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Don't Move - Rearrange!

Growing up I changed schools 22 times because we moved a lot, for various reasons. The longest I had ever lived in one house was from the summer of 1982 until March of 1986, so 3 years, 9 months. (I still changed schools each year, though for different reasons.) Then the first apartment I shared with my husband (then fiance) lasted 2 years, 9 months. A move to Florida and back brought us to another apartment that lasted another 2 years, 9 months. But now we have lived in our first house for 5 years and 4 months. To me, that's forever in the same place. Since we have to stay here until we pay down our debts, what do we do when I get that feeling to move?

We rearrange rooms in the house. We've done this a few times already, but I believe this was the last time. We tore out the carpet and installed laminate wood floors in the smallest room of the house, which used to be my office, and turned it into our bedroom. Then we moved my husband's office into our old bedroom. Then we had to re-paint his old office before moving my office into it. (The three girls still share the largest room of the house which was intended as a living room when the old owners built it. There are French doors that separate that section of the house from the rest.)

And just rearranging rooms like this gives a whole new feeling to the house. Now, if this can last the three years it will take us to pay off debts and save up for a down payment, I will be extremely happy! And we have discovered that we feel cozier in a smaller bedroom as long as we have separate offices. All you need in a bedroom is a bed and a bookshelf (or dresser, but since the girls' room is a living room, it has no closet, so their closet is in our bedroom, my husband's clothes are in his office closet, and my clothes are in my office closet and since my closet clothes were there, my dresser is also in my office ). Sounds strange, but this house is not laid out in the best way, so we make do the best we can.