An Auspicious Start to 2015

"We're on to Seattle," Bill Belichick.
WHOOOOOO!!!!! I am so proud of my Pats! This season was excellent - and I've been telling anyone with ears that I knew this was their year from the very beginning. Even when the Chiefs spanked them in week 4, my faith didn't waver. All week after, the Pats "fans" were bellyaching and throwing in the towel. Not me. I was certain that loss was exactly they needed to get on track and I was right! Isn't it amazing how right I was?

Of course since it IS the Patriots, there was no "good game" high-five train. The cry-babies be whinin' (Harbaugh) and the haters be hatin' (Deflategate?! Really?!!). But it's all good. All y'all can hop on the whaaaambulance - the Pats will be on a plane to Arizona. See you in September!

Of course I believe they're going to win, but I'm just stoked for an exciting game!

In addition to this merriment, things on the work front for Ben appear to be getting cheerier. They have had no luck filling an assistant position for him. The temp they let go at the beginning of last week was unreliable at best - calling out and no-showing frequently. The person they hired to replace her never showed up on his first day. Ben recommended someone who was interviewed over the weekend and offered the position last night. This is also a source of joy for this person, as they are miserable with their current employer. Provided all works out, Ben may be able to get some at an hour conducive to me acquiring a part-time night job. But one thing at a time.

I am also mobile again!! For THREE weeks I was unable to go anywhere during the week because the starter crapped out in the Jeep. Thankfully, this discovery happened when the kids and I piled into it one Saturday December morn, en route to do exciting errands, and it wouldn't start. I shudder contemplating this happening in the parking lot of a store... Getting it replaced was a multi-step process, of course. A starter at Auto Zone was $114 - what a rip! So Ben picked one up at a salvage yard near his work. Last weekend he partially removed the dead starter. Since he wanted to retain the feeling in his extremities AND he needed another tool, the swap-out was completed this past Sunday. Now he needs to fix whatever is making the engine idle rough, and causing it to do the herky-jerk! I grow tired of driving a vehicle that can induce whiplash.

Now the unveiling of the newly-named food section of this little blog inspired by a song from This is Spinal Tap! Drumroll........


GIVE ME SOME YUMMIES
(Think: "Give me some money...)

BANANA OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
Yes, please!

I always thought that regular old, Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies were the pinnacle of perfection for chocolate chip cookies. This recipe has called that firmly held belief into question. I normally can have one cookie and be done. Salt is my weakness (unless it's a particular week of the month, then I turn into a vacuum for all things salty AND sweet). But as a rule, one serving, or even half a serving, of a sweet treat will satisfy my craving. After pulling these little gems from the oven and allowing them to cool, I performed the quality control test. Then had a second. Shiloh and Isaac of course performed their own assessment. After dinner that night I had three! Something about that one banana that complements and brightens the other sweetness. They were gone in two days!

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

1/2 c mashed ripe banana (about 1 medium) 
1/2 c  packed brown sugar 1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 c  granulated sugar 
tsp vanilla extract 
large egg 
1 1/4 c flour  
2 cups old-fashioned oats 
1 tsp baking soda 
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips (I used 1 cup of Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips)
Cooking spray

WHAT TO DO:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add egg; beat well.

Mix dry ingredients in another bowl.

Add flour mixture to banana mixture in bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. 

Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until golden. Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.


















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