Let's say we're all bees. Each and every one of us is buzzing about-
buzz buzz buzz.
The honey that we make is our lives. Experience has taught me two things...


...and LIFE is only as yummy as you make it!

Are YOU a Killer Bee?

bee my guest?

bee my guest?
Howdy Beezers! I'm excited to share something new with you... Over the upcoming months, most of the content you'll be seeing here will be from special guest contibutors! This is sure to add a new texture to this thing we've been weaving over the years. I know that many of my readers (yes, you!) are writers, artists, musicians and filmmakers. PLEASE feel free to contact me if there's something you'd like to contribute! I'd be most honored to pollinate... send me a note: m.mckinley@rocketmail.com

please be seated

March 31, 2010

14 to 40: VANITY CASE

It's a curse. A deadly sin. And in my case I fear its hereditary.
My people are vain. At least on Mother's side.

The upside to this is that we hold up pretty well... out of sheer will power. The down side of course is that we're never really satisfied with the way we look. Ask any one of us and we could be 10lbs thinner, have a pointier nose, bigger boobs, or less junk in the trunk. I guess that makes us just like most Americans...

Ask me on a good day and I'll deny it, but I've got some self image issues. For starters I HATE my hair. The gene pool on either side was out to screw me, so I ended up having an "elective follicular procedure" 4 years ago. At first it was great, but a couple of years later when the money got tight, I gave up the Propecia prescription...and within a year lost all of the hair I had left before the transplant [the transplanted hair will never fall out]. Basically I look just like I did before the procedure... and in other words, it was a very expensive exercise in vanity. I sure could use that money now!

Would I have another one? In a nano-second.

Speaking of exercise, I haven't.
Weight has been an issue my whole life. When I lost 40 lbs on the South Beach diet 5 years ago, I realized that I had lost and gained back the same 40lbs 10 times...that's 400lbs! And a bit ridiculous. I mean really! I had managed to keep all but 10 of it off for the last 5 years then BOOM! 10lbs between October and Christmas...then BOOM another 10 between New Years and Easter. I'm not entirely sure how it happened, but I believe there to be a direct correlation with how often I've lifted a fork to my mouth. Nothing fits, and all I can think of is how it's gotta be gone before The Santa Maria Reunion at the end of JUNE! Effective immediately it's back to moderation of my eating habits, and some form of exercise.

So NUMBER THREE on 16 To 40 is about separating the healthy vanity, [the one who makes me eat better and exercise so I look good] from the vanity that has insufferably unrealistic expectations of me. Hmmm. Maybe I should look into that schizophrenia thing too...

March 30, 2010

Kari's Chile Relleno Casserole

My friend Carol's sister Kari King sent me this wonderful and easy recipe to share with you all! This dish is definitely "a taste of home" for me, and I'm thinking of making it this coming Sunday. Happy Easter to the entire King Family!
P.S.- Please remember that if you want to share a recipe, all you have to do is email it to me: m.mckinley@rocketmail.com- I'll get it up here!

Chile Relleno Casserole

1 pint or 2 cups - half and half
6 - eggs
1/3 cup - flour
1 - 12oz can whole green chilies preferably Hatch
8oz grated jack cheese
8oz grated mild cheddar cheese
1 - 7.75 oz can of El Pato Salsa de Chile Fresco

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Beat half and half, flour and eggs until smooth.
Split chilies lengthwise into two half's do not rinse, just remove the seeds.
Place chilies in a colander.
Mix grated cheeses together in a bowl Layer chilies and cheese in a 9" x 13" Glass Baking Dish sprayed with cooking spray and layer until all the chilies and cheese are gone.
Pour egg, half and half, with flour mixture gently over top of layers and then the can of spicy tomato sauce over the final layer which should be cheese.
Bake uncovered for 60 minutes
Remove from oven
Insert a knife in the center of casserole. If the egg mixture is not thoroughly cooked, cook for an additional 15 minutes.

This wonderful recipe has been a family favorite and rises up in the oven like a beautiful souffle. I have brought this to many a potluck dinner and every bit of it gets eaten and the compliments I have received over the years have been many.

From my family to yours...enjoy!

Kari King-Californian

March 29, 2010


Okay Foodies. I just joined the coolest website. It's powered by Better Homes & Gardens, and it's called mixingbowl.com. It's an online cooking magazine that invites you to share your recipes to a collective recipe box, and get to know each other while you're there. Basically, it's a party and everyone's invited.

Joe turned me onto the "print version" last weekend, and I found this amazing looking "FARMER'S CHEESECAKE" recipe, which will be perfect for taking to Kerry's for Easter Brunch. I'm kinda fussy about cheesecake. To me it should have a certain "tooth", and still taste something like cheese. Know what I mean? I think this one's going to be perfect. The Panama Pork Stew, Blackberry Balsamic Yogurt Dressing, and Andy's Fried Pickle Chicken all sound delish as well....

Mixingbowl.com member: GLORIFIED_ICING_SLINGER


1 lb Ricotta Cheese
1 lb Mascarpone Cheese
8 oz Cream Cheese
10 Egg yolks
5 Eggs
2.5 cups of Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
A pinch of Cardamon

Graham cracker crust, prepared to package instructions.


Paddle all of the Cheeses together, scraping the side occasionally to insure full incorporation of cheeses.

Slowly add the eggs & yolks in little bit at a time. Stop half way through and scrape the sides of the bowl then continue adding the eggs.

Add in the Sugar, Cinnamon and Cardamon. Scrape the sides again and paddle a little move so its fully mixed.

Pour over the Crust of your choice and bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then lower oven to 350 degrees and bake 1 hour. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in there for an hour more.

Remove from the oven and allow to chill overnight in the fridge before de-paning.

To Slice a Cheesecake you'll want to do it with a bucket of hot water or just run your sink water hot so you can constantly clean off your knife with each cut.


March 28, 2010


March 16, 2010



  • 2 pounds lean beef stew meat
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 beef bullion cube
  • 1 1/2 cups Irish stout beer (e.g., Guinness)
  • 2 cups chopped carrot
  • 1 16oz bag of frozen peas
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Toss the beef cubes with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Dredge the beef in this to coat.
  2. Heat the remaining oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef, and brown on all sides. Add the onions, and garlic. Stir the tomato paste into a small amount of water to dilute; pour into the pan and stir to blend. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour 1/2 cup of the beer into the pan, and as it begins to boil, scrape any bits of food from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. This adds a lot of flavor to the broth. Pour in the rest of the beer, and add the bullion, carrots and thyme. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning, and add the peas just before serving before. Garnish with chopped parsley, and serve with mashed potatoes.

March 15, 2010


March 9, 2010

This Is What I Know So Far: SEASON 3!

One of my greatest joys in this killer adventure, is helping Cassandra McShepard create her videos for THIS IS WHAT I KNOW SO FAR. Acting as her producer, director, lighting guy and editor has been such a cool learning experience. I guess there's always been a part of me that wanted to make movies, and filming these fabulous little nuggets have become a fun way for me to scratch an itch. Hope you enjoy the new season, and don't forget to check out Cassandra's YOUTUBE CHANNEL every Sunday at Noon CST for a fresh new video!


A couple of candid shots I took in between takes....

March 8, 2010


Anyone remember this picture from a year ago?

Last February I quit smoking. For the umpteenth time. For awhile I was chronicling my endeavor for you all. Did anyone happen to notice that I never finished the series? Well that's because I didn't stay quit, and I was reticent to disclose my failure. For the umpteenth time.

Well as part of 16 to 40 [and really, a much bigger picture], I'm back at it.
I've done it with few trumpets this time, and once again with the aid of the patch. I'm sitting at 2 months without a weed, and have 4 more weeks left in the program. Truthfully, I've been on phase one (the highest dosage) for 2 months instead of the recommended 2 weeks, but I don't care how long this takes because this time I want to be done with it! Both of my parents had emphysema. My Mother actually spent the last 10 years of her life srtapped to an oxygen tank, still smoking every chance she got. So you see I really have no excuses. In fact, I never did.

So. Quitting the stick is NUMBER TWO on 16 to 40 for TWO really good reasons: Being nicotine dependent is a pain in the ass, and I ain't going out like my folks. Nuff said.

COLOR ME MICHAEL: Color Trends 2010-2011

Silhouette Gray
"It used to be that I'd spec out a red or tobacco brown for a den, library, or dining room — bold, saturated colors with a lot of bluster. No more. Now people are going for the classic, understated elegance of charcoal gray. I can close my eyes and imagine a room painted this shade, with crisp white moldings and black doors. Pure and uncluttered."

According to Christine Pittel [and the following quoted designers] at HOUSE BEAUTIFUL, these are your HOT COLORS for the next year. I have to admit that I'm already seeing allot of these colors trending in the world of home decor textiles- especially with the peacock colors, sophisticated warm grays, smoky lavenders, and liberal splashes of yellow....

Cathedral Gray
"We're introducing a new gray, which goes along with the Belgian look of natural wood and natural linen. In the past, people thought gray was a drab, boring color, but now it feels modern. This is on the warm side, and it works well with other neutrals or brighter colors like yellow or blue. It helps balance things out."

Grape Hyacinth
"I think this is the year purple will really get picked up. People want a sense of their own personal space, and this is something different — a grayed purple, like a field of lavender on a foggy morning. It's soft, not scary. I see it in a bedroom, or as a secondary color in a living room with warm beige and camel."

Maple Glaze
"All the trend reports have been saying purple, purple, purple, and I want to say something different. I think a color like this rich saddle-leather brown speaks of our American heritage — Craftsman homes and Native American textiles. It's earthy and sophisticated. And it would look terrific with purple, mossy green, or blackened burgundy."

Cedar Green
"Green is symbolic of growth. It also embodies another word that's going to be extremely important in the next decade, and that's 'flexibility.' Green goes with anything — just look outside. It can work with what you already own, as well as anything you'd like to add. It can feel classic or contemporary. And it's restful. It makes me feel balanced."

Forsythia Blossom
"The hottest color we're seeing for spring 2010 is a high-energy yellow. It's bright and positive — a concentration of happiness that gets you away from the seriousness of the world. It would work really well in a kitchen, or in a sunroom with a lot of white. But not a master bedroom — you'd never be able to go to sleep!"

Pavilion Gray
"Pavilion Gray is for people rebelling against years of taupe. It's a warm, pretty gray that you could pair with white for that Swedish look, or it could go more urban and industrial with inky black, marble, and stainless steel. It has a cleanness to it that most of the yellow-based neutrals don't have. It sharpens things up a bit."

Aqua Chiffon
"I think everyone is looking for a little change, but nothing drastic. Aqua Chiffon is playful and happy, not too dark and not too light. I'd use it as an accent to bring some freshness to a bathroom or a bedroom. And since blue is relaxing, it would bring peace of mind, which everyone is yearning for right now."

"People want more color, and they're not afraid of it like they used to be. We think teal blue is going to be important. It's already on the fashion runways. This is highly saturated, more blue than green, with undertones that make it feel sultry and mysterious. I could see it in a dining room or a bed-room, paired with red, amber, or earthy brown."

COLOR ME MICHAEL: The Hot Palettes of 1958!

While researching the piece for the current foretasted trend colors, I came across these vintage color palettes that were foretasted for the 1958-1959 season...pretty stinking cool, and dare I say some of them look familiar?! You see home decor, just like life, is cyclical!

March 7, 2010


Furniture History: Chez Mois?

chaise longue

[sheyz lawng, cheyz; Fr. shez lawng]

plural chaise lounges, French chaises lounges
a chair, with or without arms, for reclining, having a seat lengthened to form a complete leg rest, and sometimes an adjustable back.

1790–1800; <>chaise lounge by folk

Last month I started a new series on furniture history. The first profile was on the tete a tete, also known as "The Lovers Seat." This month I give you the venerable chaise, which in juxtaposition, is the place to go when you want to love yourself. No, not like that.

The chaise began its historical journey as a single seat carriage for royalty, and has remained a popular piece of home decor for centuries. Why? Because its the go-to place when you need to retreat, relax, and recline. Because it is constantly being reinvented and redesigned for your singular style and comfort- yours, and yours ALONE. And because when you feel the need for repose, there's no other piece of furniture that can make you feel like a King, or a Queen!

Buzz Out!

Buzz Out!