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Showing posts from February, 2013

I'm a better Christian than you

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As a child I thought our family were very good Christians, far better than most.
Why?
Because we don't own a TV, I always wore skirts or dresses, hat on Sundays, we read the Bible daily and we sung hymns around the piano in the evening, never swore, never went to the movies, didn't drink alcohol, didn't listen to modern music and unlike all my friends I wasn't allowed to cut my hair short, wear ear-rings or go to parties. To a young child, these all "ticked the boxes" that made for a "good" Christian family.
But ticking the boxes does not make for a good Christian. These can and sometime be just appearances. It is how we behave and what is in our hearts everyday that counts. 
I see this, perhaps not intentionally in Blogland.  I am a stay-at-home-mum (tick), I home school (tick), I only wear skirts (tick), we don't own a TV (tick), we only read good books (tick), we read the bible daily (tick), I have lots of children with more on the way (tick)…

Anne of Green Gables

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To my excitement I discovered (when reading the February edition of "Good Reading" magazine) that a Canadian film company is making a new series of L M Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables.  Unlike the previous series made in the 1980 (which sadly wandered far from the book), this one is being made with the blessings of the Montgomery estate.

And how about this - Anne Shirley with blonde hair, looking sexy and no freckles on the front cover of "Anne of Green Gables". The book, now in the public domain, can be published by anyone without permission of the original copyright holders and as a result these sorts of covers can be produced without seeking permission from the Montgomery family - check out this story: http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/books/2013/02/06/anne_of_green_gables_goes_blond_on_new_us_cover.html

The Anne of Green Gables remains one of my favourite book series.

"Life is worth living as long as there's a laugh in it". from Anne of Gre…

Jamie Oliver's English Onion Soup

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I have never made onion soup before, but after watching Jamie Oliver make his version of English Onion Soup (see Youtube/recipe below) I thought I would give it a go. I was very impressed by the results and my husband loved it too. This was one very filling dish. To make this you do need soup bowls that can go into the oven so the cheese can melt. 

I made some small modifications:  I added crispy bacon at the end (as you can see in the photo) and on my husband's crusty bread I added Stilton Cheese (which melts beautifully) and on mine Cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese. 
I also made my own chicken stock for this recipe (using chicken wings) and was able to put a heap in the freezer.  If you wanted this recipe to be vegan - vegetable stock would work just as well.



Here is the recipe:
http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/english-onion-soup-with-sage-and-cheddar

Here is the Youtube of Jamie making the soup:


Well worth making - perfect on a cold winters evening. Need p…

Smelling the roses

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Don't forget to find the time to stop and smell the roses. 
Sometimes we race around so much we forget to look at the beauty and calm that is around us. We miss the details. They simply become a blur.
Be still and know that I am God
Psalms 46:10

Art Friday: Dmitri Levin

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Artist: Dmitri Levin Born 1955, Morshansk, Tambov Region, Russia

Dmitry’s choice of artistic career was influenced to a great extent by his father, Ilya Philippovich, who was born in a family of Russian gentry that suffered from Soviet repressions.

In 1997 he became a member of the Russian union of Artists.
These are fast become a favourite of mine - the spring and summer paintings are just so lovely, there is something very serene and peaceful about them.
Dmitri Levin's gallery



I hope you have enjoyed these. The summer paintings are just my favourites - so refreshing and peaceful - here is another one for you to enjoy.

Musings . . . . . .

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My blog is feeling a bit old (or perhaps I am) and I am no longer as motivated as I once was - so its time for a new banner and a new focus. From now on I think I will focus on the things I like (not that I haven't been!): cooking, photography, reading, books, DVD reviews, gardening, art, the occasional grumble, current affairs and things that make me laugh (ok, not much different to before)!
Posts may not be as regular as in the past - readership has dropped considerably so no one is going to notice anyway!!

To those who may be new to my blog - here is a little update on me:

I am approaching middle age (whatever that might be or whenever that starts).My children are grown up and have left home. One is married.  I now have free time just for me.We did not homeschool.I work full-time and love my job (oops, can I say that!!).My husband is now semi-retired but working very hard on a number of projects.I love cooking from scratch, but that doesn't always mean healthy, we do love t…

One of those things that annoy me!

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How true is this quote - have we reached this point yet? I do wonder sometimes.
The photo below is a very familiar sight if you have teenagers with phones and friends. 
There is nothing more annoying than people on mobile phones in a social setting eg with a group of friend out for meal etc. Will the world end if they ignore or turn off their phones every now and again.  I don't mind if its an important call (children, husband, bank etc) but most often its just friends wanting to chat (or send SMS).

At Christmas time I walked into two different stores and on both occassions the young sale assistants were on their mobile phones chatting with friends. It wasn't hard to work out it was friends by the way they were talking. It wasn't a good look for the store and I had to wait to be served.

Recipe: Kheema Mutter

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I am always on the look out for easy recipes to make during the week. I am particularly fond on "one-pot" meals and I have found one that both my husband and I both love.  And its so easy to make!!  I have modified this recipe, however I will give it to you as it appears in the cookbook and at the end I will tell you what I did differently.  
The recipe comes from "200 curries" by Vijayakar Sunil.
Ingredients 2 tablespoons oil (I used olive)1 large onion finely sliced3 garlic cloves, crushed1 teaspoon of fresh root ginger - grated finely3-4 chillies deseeded and finely sliced*1 tablespoon cumin seeds3 tablespoon hot curry paste*500g (1lb) minced beef (I generally use lamb as I prefer the taste)400g (14oz) can of chopped tomatoes1 teaspoon sugar4 tablespoons tomato pasteone small can of coconut cream (mine was 270ml)1 cup peas (I used frozen)salt and pepper to tastegarnish with coriander (cilantro)
Instructions
1. Heat oil in a large heavy-based pan and add the onions…

Random Acts of Kindness Day

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Today is
Random Acts of Kindness Day
This is your opportunity to reach out and help someone else.
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Have you had a kindness shown? - Pass it on;

'Twas not given for thee alone,
 Pass it on;

Let it travel down the years,

Let it wipe another's tears,

'Til in Heaven the deed appears -
 Pass it on.

Be not selfish in thy greed - Pass it on! Look upon thy brother's need - Pass it on! Live for self, you live in vain; Live for Christ, you live again; Live for Him, With Him you reign - Pass it on!

By Henry Burton

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The words of kindness are more  healing to a drooping heart than balm or honey.
Sarah Fielding (1710-1768)

Art Friday: A cake too good to eat

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I came across this wedding cake the other day and thought it was amazing. Not that I would want this as my wedding cake

 I asked the lady (Beth Mottershead, UK) who created it (I found her via Facebook) if I could share her wonderful creation with you, she said yes.   Neil Redfern was the photographer. 
The (fruit) cake is 1 metre wide and was created for a Russian couple getting married in France.  This is the venue they were married at - the Chateau de Challain, Loire Valley.  Even the windows (ground floor) have lights in them!!

It took at least 3 months to plan and 10 days to make.

Beth is not only an amazing cake decorator, she has a PhD in Materials Science!! What a combination.





Her Facebook page "Cakes by Beth" contain 100's of photos of the most amazing wedding cakes and they are worth checking out if you are interested in cake decorating.