Sunday, September 13

Banana Cupcakes (Almond Brown Sugar Frosting)

I don't have a sweet tooth! (Ahh! Shocking!) Well, it's true. I do however love baking. I delight in many things, baking being in the top 5. I love creating new recipes. I love the smells baking cause in the house. I even enjoy the warmth of simply having the oven on! Silly, I know, but again, it's very true. With Autumn rolling around, baking in my home happens two or three times a week! The weather cooled down this weekend and for some odd reason I felt the need to bake. I mean it is something I really love to do.

I made Quick Lemon Drop cookies since I had some extra lemons that really needed to be used up. My sister who works way too much and way too hard was going into work at odd hours. Pulling midnights is hard work, but get this, she works in a bakery. Ha ha. I never even thought about it. She never brings that stuff home, it's frozen and never homemade, as sweets should always be! Since my sister was working so hard and wasn't able to eat as she normally would, I then created a basic breakfast cookies. But today I'm going to give you the recipe for my banana cupcakes! That's right you heard me:

Banana Cupcakes
With Almond/Brown Sugar Frosting

Look at them! Don't they look amazing? (Need a napkin to mop up the drool?!)

For the Cupcakes you'll need the following:
  • 1½ Cup All purpose flour
  • ¾ Cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking soda
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 1½ Cup mashed bananas (3 bananas)
  • ¼ Cup coconut oil (Or unsweetened applesauce)
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten

So here is what you do:

    You know the drill first you preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line muffin tin with papers, set aside.

    In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

    In a medium sized bowl, add in the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.

    Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until just combined and no dry spots.

    Divide the batter among the 12 cupcakes wrappers, about ⅔ of the way full.

    Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

    Cool completely.

While those are cooling let's make the frosting. You'll need an electric mixer. I've never made this by hand but I imagine it to be quite strenuous to do. So if you have it, use an electric mixer or stand mixer would be even better!

Almond Brown Sugar Frosting

  • 2½ Tablespoon all purpose flour
  • ½ Cup milk
  • ½ Teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ Cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ Cup packed brown sugar

    In a small saucepan, whisk the flour and milk together. (I used chocolate almond milk from my local grocer)

    Cook this mixture over medium heat, continuously whisking until thick.

    Remove from heat, stir in the almond extract and let cool to room temperature.

    Again with a hand/stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and the graininess is gone.

    Add in your cooled milk mixture and beat it on high speed until a whipped cream consistency. It's going to take a while, but it will be well worth it.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, frost away, and refrigerate any leftovers
I had some banana chips and decided on a little decoration. Aren't they pretty?! 


Friday, June 26

Cheers to Comfort Food (Grilled Cheese and Tomato Basil Soup)

Tomato Basil Soup and Grill Cheese Sandwich!

It's classic, comforting and a reminiscence of childhood. Mom got home late from work as dad always does. You're use to doing your homework by yourself anyway since your siblings have their own lives to live. I was the baby of four, and by the time I can to be my parents were tired but grateful for their gift. I was truly a gift. Believe me it's true. But we were struggling to make ends meet. My mother, the great woman she is worked a hectic and stressful 9-5 for the government then went to school at night. She raised us almost singlehandedly until my father finally realized the other women he was chasing weren't actually chasing him back and mom wasn't bothering to chase him anymore either. (I mean you can only give them so many chances before you come to your senses.) She did a wonderful job as a mother, tired or not. We never wanted for anything. (OK, maybe some attention from her.)
 (I added some freshly shaved parmesan cheese and basil. YUM!)
She always had a knack for satisfying my hunger quickly. She'd come home late. My brothers would be out running the streets, my oldest sister was locked away in her room and I'd be waiting for her to walk through the door. She was terribly exhausted but she always went into the kitchen and made something that tasted like heaven. I didn't like tomatoes when I was a kid unless it came in a bottle (full of sugar) and I could squeeze it onto something greasy, and even then I would only use a little bit. But she could turn a simple can of tomato soup into a tomato bath that I would most certainly take. I've grown to love tomatoes, they are the first thing I think about when planning my garden each year. 
(Don't you just love those crunchy pieces that escape! I Do! This isn't a marriage proposal but it could be!)

My dad made the best grilled cheese sandwiches, of course I never told mom that. He did this sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar that drove our taste buds crazy. Put them together and yum yum! You have the most delicious and crazy fast comfort food imaginable. So today I woke up feeling a little blue. I've had a hard time since father's day, missing him and whatnot. I guess I find myself still lingering in the stages of grief. I also miss my mom who lives not to far from me, but with both my and my husbands hectic work schedule, I can't get 10 minutes to go get a comforting hug or a kind word. She misses me too! Right now I have a busted vehicle making it even more difficult. Life's that way sometimes huh?!

So my sadness and heartache needed a little comforting, and I chose two of the classics, and they were delicious!

Friday, June 19

Red Velvet Pie?!

Red Velvet Pie?! 
Do you mean cake? No! 
I mean PIE! 

I'm not much of a dessert person, but my household has a large sweet tooth. Plus, I get to do the creative baking, so it's a win-win. I'm also a pinterest addict. Hello my name is Kelly and I'm addicted to Pinterest! Hell I'm proud of this addiction! So as I was scrolling through Pinterest one evening I saw Red Velvet Pie and not a lover of Red Velvet Cake I scrolled on past. The next morning I was back in front of the screen and scrolling, and scrolling and happen upon it again. 

Red Velvet Pie.
 Not cake so it might be interesting. 
 Red Velvet Pie.

I have all the ingredients at home already. But since I'm trying a new recipe I'm not going to make the cake part of the pie from scratch (you can if it suits you). 

Ingredients -

- 2 Pie Crusts (You can buy frozen or make your own)
- 1 Box Red Velvet Cake Mix
- 1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 Stick of Butter
- 2 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

~Follow the instructions for mixing on the back of your cake box (or prepare your homemade batter). - I usually use an extra egg making the cake taste more decadent.
~Butter your pie pans and place the crusts gently into them.
~Pour your cake batter into the shells, splitting it evenly between the two. 
~Bake your cake as you normally would following the directions on the back of the box (or if homemade, according to your recipe).
~Now it's time to make your topping. Put the butter, sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips in a pot and cook on medium heat until smooth.
~Top the baked cakes with the chocolatey goodness and let set up. 

I also heard that it is even better if you double the delicious chocolate topping! (I just might take them up on that offer!) For someone who doesn't care for red velvet cake I sure enjoyed this dessert. I'm not even a fan of chocolate but I enjoyed every single bite! (And so did my family who has requested it many times since.)

The Finished Product = YUM!

Tuesday, June 2

A Little Mexican! (Oven Baked Chimichangas)


Boy do I love, love, love Mexican. It is my favorite food to eat. Now I've settled for the likes of Taco Bell, in a pinch. You know, when money is tight and it's the middle of the night. We lived on it when we were in high school. There was one Taco Bell close to the school that was open in the early morning hours and yep, you guessed it, we had it for breakfast. Who could pass up tacos that were less than a dollar when that was all we really had in our pockets. I know I sound like my elders who claim bread cost a dime and they walked a mile to and from school in the snow, barefoot. Who would send their children out in their bare feet? Even in the old days. Though I have to admit I love having bare feet. I would never wear shoes if I didn't have to.  BTW, yes I know Taco Bell is not authentic, but that wasn't the point!

But I love Mexican! I love real Mexican food, and it's not hard to find. But I try not to indulge in it's richness too often, though if I could I would eat it every single day. But last night I made Chimichangas, but I didn't want to fry them. Oil and Middle age just doesn't work together. So I came up with these oven fried Chimis that were so delicious that even my husband cleaned his plate! (I have to admit that I was angry when I looked over and his plate was empty because I usually get his leftovers on Mexican night.)

My sister and I went shopping the day before and found some beautiful jalapeno flour tortilla and boy oh boy they added a lovely flavor! I made six with beef, beans and rice. I also make homemade taco seasoning because we don't know what 'other' ingredients they put in that packaged stuff.

Ingredients -
 - 6 Medium Tortillas (I used Jalapeno)
- 9 oz. Ground Hamburger
- Cheese (whatever flavor and amount you want)
- 1 Small Onion
- 1/2 Cooked Rice
- 1/2 Can of Bean (Your favorite variety, I used Red)
-  2 Tbs. Taco Seasoning
- Water
- 2 Tbs. Vegetable Oil (Coconut oil would be a healthier option here.)

Directions -
- Preheat the over to 425' 
- Brown your beef, then drain it of any excess grease.
- Add onion and cook (Just a few minutes).
- Add rice and beans to the mixture.
-Add your taco seasoning, (more or less to taste)
- Allow mixture to marry, for a few minutes adding water if it looks really dry.
- Lay out your tortillas and filled them using all of your filling.
- Add cheese, again to your liking. (I forgot the cheese and only added it after they were cooked. They still turned out wonderfully!)
- After they are rolled tightly, using a pastry brush, brush the oil on every side of each of the chimichangas, turning to coat them well.
- Lay them side by side in a baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray so they won't stick.
- Bake for 15 minutes, gently give them a turn and bake for another 5-10 until they are crispy and delicious!
- Top them with whatever your heart desires. (I top ours with fresh tomatoes, sliced scallions and hot taco sauce!) MMMmm!

Friday, January 11

Missing You, Still

Missing You, Still

When you were here, your presence was so contagious.
But living without you is simply outrageous.
I'm frustrated to know that you were once mine,
and I wonder, what if we had just a little more time.
Then again, a little is never really enough,
because for you, my brother, life surely was tough.
You made it work though, you always carried a scheme,
but in your sickness, you became quite mean.
Such spirit however, you always had a laugh to give.
I sometimes think it isn't fair, that I still get to live.
You were hard to shut up and a real pain in the ass.
The heartache still lingers, so slowly time does pass.
I hope that wherever you are, that you are content.
I enjoyed the time with you, what little we spent.
If I'd known that death would come to take you away,
I'd say 'I love you' and wish for you to stay.

Tuesday, October 2

My Mind Works - My Fingers Type: I'll be there for you

My Mind Works - My Fingers Type: I'll be there for you: (Verse 1) Sometimes I see you all alone Where will we go it is unknown It's crazy but it's true I know that you love me too (Verse 2) Somet...

My Mind Works - My Fingers Type: Walking With You

My Mind Works - My Fingers Type: Walking With You: What a day, wanna know What a night, to show She was innocent , that special touch What a day, wanna know What a night What a day (oh no) S...

My Mind Works - My Fingers Type: My Life has Changed

My Mind Works - My Fingers Type: My Life has Changed: My life has changed On a day in August I've learned so many things about myself And sometimes I think It could never be better Cause I feel ...

My Mind Works - My Fingers Type: Memories

My Mind Works - My Fingers Type: Memories: One and a half years ago, everything was different to now. We lived in different countries, trying to live through our days without breakin...

My Mind Works - My Fingers Type: 1st Anniversary Letter

My Mind Works - My Fingers Type: 1st Anniversary Letter: One year full of love, smiles, tears and patience past and I want to say thank you. Thank you for all the beautiful smiles you brought to my...

My Mind Works - My Fingers Type: 3rd Anniversary Letter

My Mind Works - My Fingers Type: 3rd Anniversary Letter: Have you ever caught yourself wanting to be someone else? Maybe someone who has enough money so you wouldn't have to worry about paying your...

My Mind Works - My Fingers Type: 4th Anniversary Letter

My Mind Works - My Fingers Type: 4th Anniversary Letter: My Dearest Kelly I am taking a moment to think of you, which follows all the moments I think of you, which fill my day. And in this mome...

My Mind Works - My Fingers Type: 5th Anniversary Letter

My Mind Works - My Fingers Type: 5th Anniversary Letter: My Dearest Wife, As a couple we have walked the path of marriage to this destination - our 5th wedding anniversary. Half a decade of mar...

My Mind Works - My Fingers Type: 6th Anniversary Letter

My Mind Works - My Fingers Type: 6th Anniversary Letter: My amazing Kelly,  Another year has passed and I still can't explain the emotions that have surged like a storm through my heart. I've ...

Tuesday, July 31

Quote This!

If you really do put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.

I saw this quote today and had to post it. It's a lesson that everyone should learn and recall it whenever something brings you down. You are not out, all you have to do is stand back up.

Monday, July 23

Rascal Flatts!!!

Did someone say Rascal Flatts? YES I did! I've been a fan of RF since 95 when I attended the Wild West Show where Brooks and Dunn/Toby Keith were the headliners. RF (Gary Levox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney) were one of the first 5 acts and had only one hit song at the time.  A young woman there at the concert told her date that they would be one hit wonders. I knew differently. They were destined to be legendary.

I love Rascal Flatts, mainly because Gary Levox's voice is still to this day the most unique of any singer/songwriter out there. There hits, most of which are sappy, break up, run of the mill make up and I lost my puppy songs, but they also have their toe tapping, finger snappy hits to balance it out. For me good people, Rascal Flatts is the creme de la creme'! That is why I was super excited when I received tickets for my birthday this year (2012) and waited impatiently, I might add for July 20th to come.

Eden's Edge
Eli Young Band
Little Big Town

All took the stage -- we enjoyed the entire concert, including the lovely drunken fans that decided to tailgate. We should have tailgated too, but had we done so, we would probably still be the parking lot three days later trying to sleep it off. The entire show was amazing and I find myself wishing that they would come back for another round in Detroit.

Jay DeMarcus a third of the trio had a baby earlier in the day, flew to Tenn and back to the city just in time fo rthe show. Still in his scrubs, Jay did wonderful and we are thankful that he included us in his thoughts on such an occasion. Here's to you Jay, you rock! Gary's voice was stellar! And Joe Don, can play the guitar like a rock God, by the way he looks like one too!

Till the next concert I will be patiently waiting -- ok, maybe impatiently!

Saturday, May 26

It's Garden Time Again!

A few years back I decided to try my hand at gardening. My father who is from Mississippi has an incredible green thumb and I wanted to see if maybe I had a little of that. Of course since he became a family man he only grew an occasional house plant but he was so great at it, it inspired me. I've always heard things taste better when you grow them by yourself and boy there is a lot of truth in that. So we got 4 raised garden beds and of course that first year we were very overzealous with planting the seeds. There were so many veggies in each of the beds I didn't thing anything would grow, but they did and that tasted so amazing!

I knew I had found something I was good at and I was excited about something which was something I hadn't been feeling in quite a while. That first year the garden flourished, we had a lot of veggies, even some to spare for the neighbors who often commented on the beautiful things growing in our backyards.Second year we didn't do as well as we hoped. We tried a lot of new things that we didn't really know how to grow but hey that is how we learn. So some thing grew and somethings didn't.

This is our third year, and things are growing like the first year. Of course, me having OCD about cleaning and things being tidy, that is hard to do in a backyard where our three dogs (yes we have a zoo in this house (three cats too!)) play and constantly break things. The dogs have a lot to do with why the garden didn't grow second year. We put up a plastic net like fencing that I thought would be good enough but apparently our boxer mixed has a plastic fencing fetish that eventually turned into a craving for his own raw veggie feast. He didn't bother the herbs though. Guess he didn't need any seasoning.

Like I said this is our third year and I politely asked my husband (Snacker) and my sister (Juju) for new sturdy fencing to protect our harvest. It still needs some work but we have down such a wonderful job so far I don't mind that some things aren't done. We are super excited about this years produce and can't wait to start harvesting.

The saplings have sprouted, the saplings have sprouted! I'm a happy girl!!

My Perfect Birthday!

On May 16th, 19.... Hey I'm not telling you my age. Well my birthday is May 16th and this birthday was the greatest birthday ever! I had such a lovely time, it was truly a perfect day for me. My husband Simon and my sister Julie spent the day outside in the sun, grilling, gaming and laughing and having a sweet time. The food was excellent (Thank you honey) The company even more so. We watered the garden, watched the dogs play, a little rough at times but not too bad. We listened to music and play some board games. Now you may not think this is a big deal, but for us it definitely is! We barely get to spend time together, working or exercising or running errands, life just gets in the way sometimes, but not that day. As I sit here and write this I wish I could turn back time. (Oh ok, I really would like some more of those grill roasted veggies. They were fantastic!!
Just looking at that pictures gets me all tingly! And hey it's healthy right? So I should just go for it! -- No I did not just lick the screen of my laptop! Stop judging me or I'll cry. I guess it's a good thing I cleaned the screen today, I mean do you know how many germs are on most computer screens? Anyway back to the veggies. (Wipes drool from the side of my mouth.) Who the hell orgasms over veggies? Not me!
On the menu for my birthday, for lunch we had chicken wings and oh la la veggies. (Damn things are hunting me I swear). Delicious! Again, thank you honey.
For dinner we had ribs? We are suppose to be on a diet. Well we measured and they are actually not bad in calories. Guess what? Yes, it is true, you can have anything your little heart desires, as long as it is in moderation. They were right! (By they I mean the vicous skinny people who can control their garlic bread intake.) MMmmm garlic bread (slaps self) back on track now. For dinner we had ribs, potato salad (homemade of course), baked beans (also homemade) and grilled corn (Simon burnt it!) and it was all just so fantastic. The weather was beautiful.
We played games and listened to music and when the sun started setting we lit a fire and our tiki torches and bam everything was seriously perfect. I don't much care for the word perfect (it's actually a pet peeve of mine.) Nothing can be perfect, but this day was just that. Perfect.
Got a new MP3 player for my tunes while cleaning, exercising, shaking it. The best gift of all, Rascal Flatts tickets!! Woo woo, haven't seen them live since 95, but I will be seeing them soon. Really can't wait for the concert.

 Life is good. Stop licking my damn computer screen people, it's a picture!
 Till next time...

Wednesday, February 22


Whenever we need an answer it is there.
No matter what the situation, our higher self knows exactly what is best for us.
The spirit within is there for us, always.
We just have to acknowledge it, praise it, thank it, and know everything is all right now.

Iyanla Vanzant

Sunday, January 29

Dark Skies

The skies are beautiful
Even in the darkest nights
The winds blow steadily
But I feel no chill
Okay I feel cold, dark and damp
Why do these thoughts cloud my mind
of the darkest demise
Beauty surrounds me
I can see it, but I can't feel it
My body goes numb
With my eyes red, my tears began to flow
Whispers in my ear
Tell me it's time to go
I close my eyes
I leave
From my body
So cold, dark, and damp!


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