Sunday, October 31, 2010


"October! He had no idea at all where the time had gone. Yesterday was July, today was October. As a matter of fact, where had his life gone?"
"He tried to recall what, exactly, had happened between his youth and old age, but without a cup of coffee at the very least, he was drawing a blank."
Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon

I have been itching to start my new Jan Karon novel, it begins in the month of October and marches towards Christmas. How fitting! It is delightful to be back in Mitford!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Barbie time

She got two new Barbie outfits a few days ago so its been Barbie Party all over the show. I have to tread lightly when entering her bedroom so I don't step on Ken or the several Barb's lying about. There seems to be a queue building up for the dressing room.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Roasted Zucchini

This is my favourite way of cooking these babies. A little olive oil, a little lemon juice, lots of italian herbs and stick it in the oven. It should still be firm with a bite to it once cooked. To serve, add a little more lemon juice, a splash of olive or flaxseed oil and season. A wonderful accompaniment to just about any meal. Happy Days!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I've been meaning to make this for years and it actually couldn't be easier, and you can flavour it any way you like... cinnamon, vanilla, mashed berries. Rebecca likes hers with honey and no fruit. I even made a batch of Milo yoghurt for her. She loved it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Let not

"Peace I leave with you, My Peace I give to you.... Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14.27

I was reminded of these powerful words by Joseph Prince this morning. Peace has been given unto us but worry, doubt, fears suffocate the faith like a clamp on a hose pipe blocks the water. We have an instruction here to protect our hearts... let not... let not... let not. Take those thoughts captive and speak the truth. We don't have to meditate on all the junk that enters our minds. Surely and steadily we will overcome. Its not always easy but His grace is enough so whether it is an ambling along or a sprint, keep pressing in. Don't ever quit!

Speak the life... the truth... "I am the head and not the tail", "My family is hemmed in behind and before", " I shall not be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord", "He shall supply all my needs according to His riches", "I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind".

He will do the rest... seek first the Kingdom. May God's joy and truth rain down on you today!! Blessings!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


We like soup around here. We probably have it two to three times a week. On the side we will usually have a rye cracker with cheese but its simply the best with homemade bread.

Cheese and Onion Bread. Nothing like the wonderful smell of freshly baked bread.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My favourite rose

is in bloom, its hard to tell from this quick picture, but this is a beautiful bridal-type rose!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bring the sunshine

My birthday is in the middle of winter and I got a few fabulous summer items that I am excited about... we had a very hot spell a few weeks ago and now its kinda winter-y again. In a few weeks though... I'm sure we will all be wearing short sleeves. Yeah!! Plus, I will be wearing my stunning new (squirrelled away but still new - the sandals still have their tag on) items.

My 'metallic' bag

My fabulous sandals

The sunshine makes you want to dress up and smile more, don't you think. I know I'm friendlier in summer... ha, ha.

PS I needed to change my blog design back to this, my husband disliked the watermark effect. I prefer this too.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Afternoon Tea

Delicious Cinnamon Bread

Sift and mix the following:
2 cups wholemeal flour (or nutty wheat)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
good pinch of salt
Blend the following:
1 and 1/3 cup of buttermilk /natural yoghurt
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180 deg Cel.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients together on a medium speed until well blended.
Bake for about 45-50 minutes. Cool in pan for about 12-15 minutes. Remove and cool completely. It was wonderful with butter and honey.

We ate half and I have wrapped balance of the loaf to freeze. This bread is not sweet so I might even add a handful of raisins to next batch - we love raisins around here. Hope it still tastes as good after thawing.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The winter drink

The last two rainy days have made me reach for my hot chocolate jar again.

This is my quick method hot chocolate - obviously melting good quality chocolate and milk over the stove is gorgeous but late at night when I want to take a drink with me to bed, this has been it. You can make it sweeter but this is my perfect mix.

My hot chocolate

1 cup good quality cocoa
1 cup brown / demerera sugar
1 cup milk powder (you get fat-free)
good pinch of salt
1/2 - 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (can omit but makes it taste amazing)

Stir all together and place in a container. Mine has been decorated by Miss Ruby.

To serve simply place three heaped teaspoons in a mug and top with hot water. I like a little extra milk on top (like you would have with tea) or you can make it creamier with half milk and half water (but then you need to heat your milk).

We love it and it doesn't have odd ingredients lurking in it. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A secret project

What a mess it was - and I got a blister on my hand. Hopefully it will all be worth it... and more importantly that it will be ready for Christmas!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

My favourite Babysitter

I wish every family had a Babysitter that is this ardent about her non-paying job (well... she does get supper) and can babysit during the week! Kin like this is a gift from above.

She is fun and firm (when necessary), a winning combination and Rebecca loves her. Thanks for last night!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


The swarm of bees came down from the farmlands. I heard them before I saw them. A thick smallish black cloud descended on our herb patch and over all the nearby flowering trees.
I told Rebecca to go indoors and every now and again we peeped to the back to have a look at the fascinating feeding going on (I didn't take a picture for fear of getting them annoyed - being stung is no fun).

Later I went outside as I thought they had left and found the large group quietly on the ground. It looked like siesta-time, so we left them alone. In the morning they were gone.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A veggie omelette

A perfect omelette filling... spring onion, spinach, tomatoes, corn & chilli - saute together just to combine (not cook)... then season to taste and add to your omelette. Roll up and tuck in. A little sprinkle of cheese would also not go amiss. This is so delicious. I don't normally finish my omelette's but I did this one.

Monday, October 4, 2010

"How about Mozzerella, Bella?"

What do you eat at home after a week of Italian food? You make your wife the last memorable quick meal you ate in Venice. You create a superlative Mozzarella, Basil and Tomato toasted wholewheat sandwich for dinner, which tastes like summer.

And she eats it with gusto, thinking about the Italian sunshine.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Friday night pudding

I've made this dessert lots of times especially when I'm pressed for time - its super easy and delicious and can be made in the morning or even the night before and covered with cling wrap and hidden in the fridge until needed. Its hardly a recipe, more of a guideline on layering.

First it's leftover cake (lamingtons - my favourite, chocolate cake or even a bought vanilla sponge) broken up and placed in a pretty deep dish.
Sprinkle it with sherry or apple juice.
Spread with a layer of chocolate mousse (sometimes I make my own, sometimes I buy)
Spread a layer of fruit e.g raspberries, strawberries - gooseberries are good with the vanilla cake, but then I would probably use a vanilla mousse.
Finally spread with a layer of cream.
Decorate with a sprinkle of almonds/grated chocolate/toasted coconut/light dusting of cocoa powder.

There are so many alternatives. Use custard instead of mousse or add a thin layer of caramel over the cake for a richer finish, before the mousse layer. You could use a double layer of fruit for a lighter taste (before and after the mousse) or replace half the cream with fat-free smooth cottage cheese (or mascarpone). Lightly poached pears are also sublime with the chocolate (or use a can in natural juice).

My uncle loved this the last time he was here. It's kind of a modern trifle. Yum!