Keller Family Blog

Cheaper in Australia

While most things in Australia tend to have price tags of 2-3 times what we see in the USA, I have found 4 things that are definitely cheaper in Australia.

1. Ice Cream Cones at McDonald’s – Australia $0.50 USA $1.19 last I remember from 2007. Others note it too such as here.
2. Emergency Healthcare – 1 trip to the Emergency Department here is about $200 and in the USA to the ER about $500 minimum in my experience. My daughter went to the doctor $70  and then had x-rays for $40 for her broken finger. The doctor was more than in the USA but the x-ray seemed like a down right bargain.
3. Mobile / Cell phone plans. This is the one that is most amazing. For a plan that allows me to call for about 400 minutes on each of 2 used iPhones and 1.5GB of data that can be tethered on each costs me $40 per month. (via iinet which uses the optus network ) In the USA with AT&T for 1 phone that can tether and 1 with only 300MB per month and 500 minutes to share between the phones, comes to $150 per month and that is without the SMS included that we get now too, to add that would be something like $170 or more per month. OUCH!  Ok so comparing iinet to AT&T isn’t a fare comparison. So for Telstra to AT&T the equivalent Telstra plan to my iinet plan would be $140 per month. Still cheaper than AT&T and with more than enough data on either phone.
4. Basic Private Christian School. OK this varies widely as some private schools in Australia can be $40,000 per child per year, the basic Christian Private School here tends to be anywhere to the same or half of the price as in the USA. For my comparison I choose Maranatha Christian Schools and Eastland Christian school in Orlando. In this case for 1 child the school in Australia is a little more expensive, but for 2 children the school in Australia drops below the US price and for 4 kids the price is well below the US price. Primarily this is due to the fact that the government pays around $6500 per kid to the private school instead of the $14,000 per year to the public school for the same kid. This is similar to the voucher system that Florida had proposed and that some other states have adopted. It makes sense here and it working quite effectively. Also the government gives grants to ALL schools for construction as long as the construction is for the educational part of the campus. This would reduce the tuition fee to not have construction costs factored in as much. Again this makes sense the way they have done it here.

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More Mobile Phone plans than people in the world with access to Flushing Toilets

Check out these two stats:

Number of people who lack Flushing Toilets in the world indicated on this page: is 2.6 Billion. Therefore there is 4.4 Billion people with access to a flushing toilet.

Number of mobile/cell phones in use the world as of 2010 according to Wikipedia is over 5 Billion:

Therefore there are more mobile phones in use in the world than the number of people that have access to flushing toilets.

This is one of the reasons that my team writes apps for smartphones that connect people to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Oven-Fried Chicken (Allergen Free)

Well in my post about cornflakes I mentioned that I would make a post soon about what can be made with Cornflakes.  For starters we save the crumbs from the bottom of every bag of cornflakes in a container. They last a long time for our purposes. Why go buy GF crumbs when this is so economical? Here is the first recipe:

Oven Fried Chicken

1/2 cup cornflake crumbs
1-2 tsp of brown sugar
1 tsp of garlic
1 tsp of chilli powder
1/2 tsp of thyme
1/4 cup olive oil
8-12 chicken drumsticks

Preheat oven to 375F / 190F. Line some baking trays with aluminum foil and put a light coat of olive oil down on the foil.

Start by putting the dry ingredients without the drumsticks in a bowl and mix and crush with your hands. Place the 1/4 of olive oil in a bowl. Then wash and dry the chicken drumsticks with a towel. Holding the end of the drumstick place the drumstick in the oil bowl and roll around to coat with oil. Next roll the drumstick over the cornflake mixture. You likely will need to use your free hand to pick up the cornflake mixture to coat and press the cornflake mixture on the drumstick. Place the drumstick on the foil and repeat until all the drumsticks are used up. If you are lucky you will use up all of the cornflake mixture by your last drumstick. If you have extra then toss. If you don’t have enough well you get to wash your hands and mix up a little more. 🙂

Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes. Depending on your oven you may need to rotate the drumsticks about 30 minutes into the baking. Remove nice golden brown drumsticks and carry to the table to be rapidly consumed by your family.

Change the spice mix to vary the taste:
Use GF/Soy Free Chicken Salt
Use Celeryseed

Here are some photos of our latest backing of this recipe:

Cornflake crumbles in can.

Add Brown Sugar to the crumbs

Preparing the crumb mixture

Oiling and Crumbing the drumsticks

Drumsticks aligned and ready to bake

Oven Fried Chicken Drumsticks

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Best Australian Mass Market GF Corn Flakes

In general Corn Flakes have been the best mass market mainstream gluten-free, soy-free breakfast cereal that we could buy. Well not the leading brands. All of the name brand version of Corn Flakes contain Barley Malt. So no Kellogg’s or Sanitarium here. There are a few health food branded corn flakes but they are over $5 for a 300g box or so. But IGA has had two lines of their store brands that have been Barley free and since they are their normal store brands they are affordable. This makes Corn Flakes one of the products that we drive out of our way to go to the Ritchie’s IGA in Mount Waverley ( to buy.

But when Coles ( recently reformulated their store branded Corn Flake recipe to eliminate Barley Malt I just had to try it since it is so much closer to the house.  Basically eliminating the Barley makes them safe for Jaden though they still have a “may contains gluten” warning on the side of their box. Well I snapped up a box pretty quick as they were about $1.99 for a 500g box. This also makes them cheaper than the IGA Signature Corn Flakes we had been buying that were $2.49 for a 415g box or the IGA Black and Gold version which is $1.99 for 415gm.

Well my first impression was OK as I popped a few in my mouth, but then I put them in a bowl and added milk. At that point my opinion changed sharply. They go soggy extremely fast, much faster than the IGA Signature Corn Flakes or the IGA Black and Gold corn flakes. So based on their sogginess I am going to still go to IGA.

Now why IGA Signature over the cheaper IGA Black and Gold?  Well by inspecting the packages side by side they definitely show signs of being made in the same factory and likely on the same line. But I still prefer the IGA Signature. Not only is the recipe a tiny bit different, but it also seems that the Signature version also has larger flakes. So there you have it. My preference right now is for the IGA Signature Corn Flakes followed by the IGA Black and Gold variety.

My recommendation: Buy IGA Signature and avoid the new Coles branded version.

What can you do with corn flakes besides breakfast? Well that is for a future set of posts.

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2011 Allergy Tests Part Deux

So today we had Jaden tested for the fresh fruits on his list of allergens and pine nuts.  All I can say is wow.  He had NO reaction to pineapple, avocado, peach nor the pine nut.  However he did have a pretty severe reaction to Cantelope / Rockmelon.  The doctor was quite amazed at the Cantelope. He said, “Of the one I figured would have been the safest he is reacting to.” I agreed. Going into the tests I would have bet that Jaden would have reacted to the Pineapple and to none of the others.  So over the next few weeks we will be introducing one of these fortnightly on a very rigid way. We will start by placing the food on his lower lip the first day and waiting ~24 hours before giving him the first rice grain size piece. Then we will double each day until he is eating a full serve for his size.

We did this with pecans after the last test before today and he had NO reactions! So this is a very encouraging time….at least allergy wise. A note that he started having some reactions when we tried the walnuts, but we are tending to believe the reaction was from something else. We will restart the walnut as soon as his present cold has passed, then on to pineapple, peach, almond and pine nuts.  Avocado will be much delayed since it is what put him in the hospital twice. Plus avocado was a delayed reaction so it may not have shown on the skin tests. We will take it very cautiously with this one.

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Updated Allergies

Well we had Jaden’s allergy tests refreshed. Pretty much all of his known allergies were reconfirmed and we can now add Dogs, Dustmites and Mold. Though after having severe responses to Cashews, Macadamias and Hazelnuts, he showed no reaction to Pecans and Walnuts. Therefore we have started giving him Pecans and will do so everyday for 2 weeks. Right now it is just a size of a grain of rice but everyday we will double it in size. Here is a pic of our first pecan test.First Try with Pecans

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Eggless Allergen Free French Toast

I have missed French Toast for the past 5 years. Finally I decided that with some extra regular bread I just needed to have some French Toast. Therefore I came up with the following after some trial and error and googling. In general if I can’t make something similar for Jaden I won’t have the original in front of him. Usually we eat whatever he eats except when it is quite cost prohibitive. Well this is one of them as the bread slices we use for this recipe cost in excess of $.50 each and are half the size of normal store bought bread. But really any bread that you can eat can be substituted in this recipe. Jaden LOVES it!

Eggless French Toast on a plate

Eggless French Toast on a plate

Eggless French Toast in the pan

Eggless French Toast in the pan

Eggless Allergen Free French Toast:

1 tsp of No Egg (or just cornstarch)
1/2 cup of prepared Darifree (or other non-Dairy Milk)
1/4 tsp of GF Vanilla Extract
4-8 pieces of acceptable bread. (Lately we have used Schär Pan Carré, which isn’t sold in the US and their products in US have Soy in them. The first time we used Sol Bread Pumpkin loaf.)

Place non-stick or oiled pan on stove and place on med-high heat. Wisk the first three ingredients in bowl large enough for the bread to fully be able to go into the bowl. Using a fork or your fingers place a slice of bread into the liquid and let sit for a few seconds, then flip over the bread and repeat. After making sure the pan is hot enough, by placing a drop of water or drip off the mixing wisk and hearing a pleasant sizzle, place the slice of bread on the pan. Repeat for the number of pieces of bread that the pan can hold without overlapping the bread. After about 2 minutes you should be able to flip the bread over to brown the other side. Remove when both sides are a pleasant golden brown color and place on plate. Top with favorite topping such as Real Maple Syrup, Margarine and sprinkled Powdered / Icing Sugar, Strawberry Syrup, or any suitable fruit topping.

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Today: Shopping with Jaden and Allergies

Jaden and I went shopping today. I was determined to buy some Cocoa Butter in an attempt to make chocolate from scratch so that my son could have some chocolate candies for Easter like nearly every other person in this country.

While in the Health Food store which we have shopped before which has many foods for those with allergies and food sensitivities, the twenty something sales lady asked Jaden if he knew what he was allergic to. Jaden immediately replied. “Wheat, soy dairy, eggs, avocado, peanuts, nuts, avocado, pineapple and rockmelon and sometimes cherries….”  The lady had a common reaction which I have heard many times with a twist. This was the first time I heard someone ask Jaden directly, “What can you eat then?!?!” Jaden with his cute smile without missing a beat answered “Anything that doesn’t have those things in it.” As if the lady should already know it. I was not only impressed that he rattled off most of his list of allergens quite well even if he repeated avocado and left off the rest of the glutens but also with his nonchalant  answer.

Jaden is handling his life with allergies quite remarkably and makes his father proud.

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Facebook chat money scam via hacked FB account.

So last night I was on FB and a friend popped up in chat…now really this is a wife of a friend and I would likely have interacted with the husband more…which does say I was a little more curious as to why she popped up to say hey. I quickly surmised it was a person that had hacked her FB account and was trying to scam friends to send money. So I thought I would have a little fun.  Below is the transcript minus the last 10 min of stuff where I was delaying until I saw FB take the account offline.  During those 10min was really trying to make sure the person on the other end had an opportunity to hear the gospel. To report something like this to FB go to and report your friend’s account on money scam entry. Provide relevant info and about  10 min after report FB should have the account locked.  It would be worse if they had hacked her actual email as that may have made it harder to keep it sorted.  While this chat was happening I also emailed her husband and called his work and left a message for when he got into the office since it was a bit early and didn’t want to wake them yet.

Anyway here is a partial unformated script. Sorry it doesn’t have who on either side of the conversation is talking.




are you there?

Yes….why hello

how are you doing?


i am not okay by the moment [first clue something is probably not right…grammar doesn’t match what my friend would use]

what’s up

I’m stranded in London at the moment [ <- At this moment I knew it was a scam. Had receive email of simililar situation from another friend a few months back]

really what happened?

i got mugged at gun point last night

have the police been helpful?

I reported the incident..but no positive response yet

all cash,credit card and phone were stolen


It was a terrible ordeal

good thing you have insurance

are the twins ok? [to further confirm the deception]

Thank God i still have my life and passport safe

Right now Kent I need your help..

how so?

my return flight leaves in few hours but having
troubles sorting out the hotel bills

Contact our friend nate in London

wondering if you could loan me some few $$ to sort out the hotel bills and also take a cab to the airport

nate can help you…you don’t need me for that

will def refund it back

I can’t get hold of any one now

why not?

Cos i don’t have access to phone now

how are you talking to me?

all i need now to get our bills settled is 1,350

I’m in a local library

front desk should help you on the phone thing

There are not helping

strange….londoners seemed so helpful when we were there last

Kent i don’t have much time here

are you helping me or not?

of course, I figure you are in a bit of shock and trying to help you think clearly

how can you help me get the money here ?

talk to nate

take a few weeks for a check to make it to you from me

and you would be home by then

I think you can help me have it wired via western union money transfer to my name and present location

western union is closed here.

for the night

It’s the fastest means to get money across

Well they will open in aprox 8 hours.

you can have it done online with your credit cards

You know I don’t use credit cards.


I will explain to the hotel manager to please give me some time

good idea

but for the mean time let me give you my western union information on how to get the money to me when the W.U is open

sure fire away

right now I figure the best thing for you is to remember how much God loves you. Has anyone ever told you about how to Know God Personally?

Receivers Name- [name scrubbed]
Location- London,United Kingdom

got it..?

receivers name in london. Is that all they need?


don’t I need to know which wu place or is that all?


so no address to give?

there is

here it is

address of 7 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4HQ, United Kingdom.


back to my question now….about the knowing God part?

yes…I really need to know God

Wait I just realized by the time WU opens up here you should be on a plane heading back. Do you want me to send to the hotel?

No..I’ll reshedule my flight

here is the website that I work with:

how can you reschedule without a credit card?

Can you see that or will it take you away from our chat?


never mind what?

Oh yeah

I’ve seen it

what do you think about point 3?

I will check on it as soon as am back home safely

figure this will give you some thing to do while you wait. What time is your flight?


I really owe u alot

but you owe God a lot more…He died for you to set you free

yes..I agree with you

here is my personal email

friendsname51@popular free email site [redacted this line to protect identity]

Email as soon as you’re done with the western union transfer

send me a text mail now

Just sent you one from my address book


So after got the address and email address contacted FB for the stuff.  Went on here telling them I would be right back after my wife needed me to do something…which she did. And talked a little more about Jesus. They were saying they hadn’t received my email yet…which I didn’t want to send one and expose my email address if they hadn’t already figured it out. So I mentioned that perhaps our corporate servers weren’t working right now….since I used to manage them I know that occasionally like 1-2 times a year they are taken down for some maintenance so it was the first thing I could think of to delay.  They were more irritated that they hadn’t gotten my email yet as the conversation went on and they they went offline and I received an email simultaneously from FB telling me they took action.

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Better Cheeseless Cheese like Pasta Sauce

Wow, I improved on our our recipe. This is even better. Occasionally the original one would have a bit dry powdery texture. Here is the modified improved recipe.


  • 300g / 10-12oz Ham or Bacon pieces (pre-cooked for the most part)
  • 500g /1lb Gluten Free Pasta (we have noted that twists work better than tubes for GF pasta)
  • 2 Cups Prepared Darifree
  • 2/3 Cup Savoury Yeast Flakes / Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • 1 Tbs Arrowroot Powder
  • 1 tsp Xanthan gum
  • 1/4 cup dairy free margarine (Nuttelex in Australia is the best)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 cups of cut frozen green beans or peas

First fill a pot with enough water (8 litres) to cook the pasta and turn it on high so that it will be ready when you are. Put the green beans or peas into a small pot / saucepan, cover with water and get ready to cook them. The vegetables will likely cook in the time it takes to cook the pasta so you just need to be ready to turn it on. Now for the sauce.

Combine the yeast flakes, xanthan gum, arrowroot powder and salt in a pan. Then add the darifree and turn on medium high. Using a wisk I was able to froth it a bit and then stirred until near boiling. As it looks like it is going to boil it should be thick enough. Reduce the heat add the margarine and stir it till margarine is all melted and integrated. Add pre-cooked meat, stir and set aside.

Add pasta to boiling water. Turn the veggies on to cook. Hopefully by now the water is ready for the pasta. If not then you get to wait until it is. If you are really good or you have a helper you could put the pasta in while stirring the sauce. Place the pasta in the water and cook for about 1 to 1.5 minutes less than the package calls for. When the veggies are done, drain and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, combine the sauce with meat and the veggies single pan and add the garlic. Place on a low heat to make sure it is heated throughout.

When you have cooked the pasta a little less than the package calls for, drain it and combine with the sauce. Carry to the table and Serve immediately. Basically the pasta will finish the final cooking in the time it takes you to get everyone sitting at the table and to say grace.

We hope your family loves it as much as our family did.

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