Monday, 15 September 2008

The Simple Woman's Day Book . . .

FOR TODAY, September 15th, 2008 . . .

Outside My Window . . .
It is not yet light, but the sun is beginning to nose it's way across the horizon. Mr Fox and Miss Hedgehog are scurrying back to their homes before the light of day catches them about. It is hard to believe that just a few weeks ago the sun was up and shining already at this time. The days are now getting noticeably shorter . . .

I am thinking . . .
About my new calling. In my church all the work is done by the members. They are called to do it by Heavenly Father. Nobody gets paid and that's as it should be. I am already a counselor in the Young Women's program, and yesterday I was called as a Seminary Teacher. It's an awesome responsibility, but I am charged with excitement about it. Just a few weeks ago I remember thinking how exciting it was for the kids to be starting up Seminary again after the summer break. I didn't grow up in the church, so I didn't get to go to Seminary and wow, HF must have heard me coz here I am . . . and I get to go to Seminary! Ok, so it's as the teacher but hey! I still get to go! This year we will be studying the New Testament and I am really excited to be given this opportunity to get closer to the Saviour and to the kids! (I am only the home study teacher, so that I means I don't have to get up early every morning, which is an added bonus! I will be teaching for an hour on Thursday evenings, just prior to the Mutual activity) I add that it's also a shared position that I will be sharing with another lovely lady from church, so it's also an opportunity to get to know another sister in the Gospel well!

I am thankful for . . .
My wonderful husband who loves me and supports me in everything I do. I've been on the other side of the fence, and had a husband who didn't, and so I appreciate Todd all the more for what he is to me and how much he loves me . . . and all that we are to each other. He really is my sweetie pie honey bunch.

From the kitchen . . .
On the counter is sitting a little bowl of freshly laid eggs. Not one is any older than 3 days. My friend Karen and her husband Dean have their own laying hens and they gave me some of their fresh eggs yesterday at church. Todd and I had egg and chips for our lunch after church, before scurrying off to a Seminary Fireside last evening. My goodness but they were tasty. These were so fresh the yolks were standing right up at attention and had such a wonderful flavour! I know . . . I AM quite spoilt!

I am wearing . . .
Goodness gracious, this will never change. I shall always be wearing my nightclothes this time of day. I do wish I could wear them all day, but I guess I have to draw the line somewhere. I don't think anyone would appreciate me turning up to work in them! If anyone ever wants to get me a nice gift, get me a pair of pajamas. I just love pajamas! They're so comfy!

I am creating . . .
I have a logo to design for a customer and I am working on a calender and a children's book. I'm not sure how I'm going to implement the calender yet, so if anyone knows someone who publishes calenders, please let me know! I should have my cookbook out within a couple of weeks now, so stay tuned!

I am going . . .
to work in just a few hours now. I just love my job in so very many ways. Once in a while I feel like pinching myself just to make sure I'm not dreaming. Not everyone gets to do what they love for a living and here I am . . . doing what I love most of all on earth . . . cooking, AND being paid to do so. It's great! The cleaning side of it and the polishing bits . . . well, that I'm not so fond of, but what the hey, for the most part it's all good!

I am reading . . .
I started a new book last week called "The Shack" by William P Young. It's not a large book but it came very highly recommended. In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant The Shack wrestles with the timeless question, 'Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?' So far, it's a very good read!

I am hoping . . .
That we get to see a bit more of the sun this week! We had a relatively nice weekend these past few days and the sun shone the whole time. We have had such a dismal summer in the weather department, I reckon we are long overdue for some of that good stuff!

I am hearing . . .
The ticking of the kitchen clock as the little tea cup pendulum swings back and forth. It's a teapot, the clock that is and it has the cutest little tea cup that swings back and forth underneath it. I just love it. It was one of the first things I purchased when Todd and I set up house together after we got married. It helps to remind me of those early days, those honeymoon months when we were delighting in getting to know each other better and getting used to each other's wonderful company. It's hard to believe that we will soon have been married for 8 years! Wow, in some ways it does seem as if we have been together forever, but then in others the time seems to have passed by far too quickly . . . at our age, every second counts!

Around the house . . .
I have some of my artwork waiting on my kitchen table, all ready to package off and send out in the post to faraway places. It's always a wrench to say goodbye, but then I know it goes to good homes and so it's all pretty wonderful. A huge piece of my heart goes with each one of them . . . they are like my babies, and we all know how tough it is to push one of them out of the nest . . .

One of my favorite things . . .
Is getting to talk to all of you, and share my thoughts with each one of you. It's what gets me up and out of bed every morning at 5 am. Ok, so that's strictly not true. I just happen to wake up at 5 o'clock every morning and you all help me while away an hour or so before Todd gets up. It's a most pleasant start to my day, next to my prayer time and I cannot imagine a day that doesn't begin in this way. When we are away and I can't do it, something very special is missing from each day and I do feel the loss . . . it's one of my life's greatest pleasures.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week . . .
I am going to be trying very hard to get all my Seminary stuff sorted out and ready to go on Thursday night. I have a lesson to prepare and some kids to contact to let them know we're all set to go. I have cookies to bake this afternoon during my break time. Yes, I did leave the Dorie Challenge til the last minute this week. If the sun is shining, I want to try to fit a nice walk in each day as well. Somewhere in between all the fun stuff I have to fit in 35 hours of work! Ohh, and Saturday evening we have our monthly scripture study group to look forward to. There's a group of 8 of us that get together in one home or another, once a month to spend a few hours in pleasant companionship and scripture study. We are doing the Gospel Principles book. It's all stuff we studied when we first joined the church anyways (we are all converts) but we thought it would be wonderful to study it again, now that we've each one been in the church for a number of years. It's been really special to be able think about it all with the ears of experience we've gathered since our early days, and to share our thoughts with each other.

Here is picture thought I am sharing . . .

This is a picture of the London, England Temple. It's Stake Temple week this week and I am hoping to get to go at some point. Todd is going on Tuesday night with the rest of the Ward Council and I was going to go with him, but now I need to spend the time getting ready for Thursday. I just love going to the Temple though. It's such a peaceful and restful place and a wonderful blessing to be able to enter the Lord's House and feel of the special spirit that resides there. To be able to go together as a couple is an added blessing, and I think I shall never tire of it . . . ever.

Don't forget to hop on over to The Simple Woman to check out all of the other lovely day book entries for today.

On Saturday past, I had some delicious chicken thighs that I prepared in one of my absolute favourite ways. It's an easy dish with a distinct Tex Mex flavour. Ole!! (I just love anything Mexican when it comes to food!)

*Oven Fried Chicken Monterey*
Serves 8

Chicken, cheese . . . olives! What's not to like about this delicious meal! It does make rather a lot. It's a great dish for entertaining. To be perfectly honest, I often cut the amounts down and make only half the recipe, which allows for one meal and leftovers. I keep the sauce quantities the same however. It does make a great nacho sauce!

1/4 cup flour
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
16 chicken thighs (I like to use skinless)
1/4 cup of butter
1 cup crushed tortilla chips

For the Sauce:
2 TBS minced onion
1 TBS oil
2 TBS flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 (13 ounce) tin of evaporated milk
(I use the one with no fat)
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup sliced pitted black olives
1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 head of lettuce shredded, to serve

Pre-heat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Place the butter into a 15 1/2 by 10 1/2 by 2 inch pan. Place into the oven to melt. Remove and then set aside.

Place the crushed tortilla chips into shallow bowl and set aside.

Place the flour and taco seasoning mix together into a zip lock baggie. Give it a good shake to mix and then add the chicken pieces, one at a time, shaking them in the mixture to coat.

Take each piece of coated chicken and place them into the melted butter, turning to coat on all sides and then roll each piece in the tortilla chip crumbs to coat. Return them to the pan, right side up. Take any remaining tortilla chip crumbs and sprinkle them over top evenly.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 50 minutes until done and the juices run clear when you pierce the chicken with a fork.

In the meantime make the sauce. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Once heated add the onion and saute for several minutes until soft. Stir in the flour and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook and stir for about a minute. Slowly stir in the milk. Stir in the hot pepper sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Cook for several minutes longer. Add the cheese, olives and lemon juice. Stir to melt the cheese. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

To serve place a bed of shredded lettuce on each plate. Top with two of the chicken thighs and then spoon some of the cheese sauce over top. Pass the remaining sauce at the table. Serve immediately. Delicious!


  1. I don't like chicken thighs, though I know they are supposed to be far the tastiest bit, I can still drool over the recipe can't I?

    What a daunting prospect, though a great honour, being a Seminary teacher. I don't know anything about it of course: is there any kind of fixed curriculum which every LDS church in the land will study or do you decide among your own what to study?

    If you're going to wear PJ's and be given bowls of fresh eggs then you'd better get cracking (no pun intended) with the toasting fork over the open fire and make toast soldiers too - bliss

    I'm waiting with baited breath for your cookbook to be ready. I need that book! Are you signing them?

    Must go - physio is due here shortly. Last time she came I was having mt hair coloured at the kitchen sink! She deserves my undivided attention really.

    love, Angie, xx

  2. Marie: Lovely daybook as always. I also adore that picture of Todd and Jess! Chicken thighs look fab, you are a wonderful woman and I am so thankful for the treasure of your friendship! Much love, Raquel XO

  3. I love your mondays thoughts! Well I love too Todd you know !! but Im so happy you have him for you dear!!
    Yes maybe I find some confortable piyamas I will send you, I love too, when I m post this I dont go to the shower yet, (The childs sleep and Hubby was to office, so this is my best times so to see blogs mail etc.)
    I love your Temple's picture, I told you here are a lot of Mormons Temples??? Are nice. You know Im catholic but love all temples, near my Mom I saw a Ortodoxo Temple always think some day enter to see but Im a little timid, I enter when somebody invites me.I find your chicken recipe sooo yummy and tasty!!

    Note: Something curious in all temples I enter in my life (diferents religions) I feel God really! Im so ecumenics maybe!!But is so nice!
    Hugggss and kisses!!!! (to Todd too)Gloria

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Sorry Marie I have to delete because (again) the comments was duplicated! you know Im not so clever to this I know!!!! xxGloria

  6. I totally agree with you about comfy pyjamas - I love my thick winter ones the best because they are so cosy. They should be the new school uniform!

    Also, your teacup/teapot clock sounds adorable!

  7. Hello again Dear,
    It is almost 5:00p.m. on Mon for me ... that means that your day is over...sorry I missed you. I've been very busy with Austin and house work today and haven't had time for the computer....but even so you have been in my thoughts often today.

    Congrats on the new seminary calling. What a responsibility. I'm sure that you will learn a lot from teaching...I know I did when I was the gospel doctrine teacher...but it really is a lot of work. I'm sure that you will do well.

    I was able to visit the London temple once 36 years ago when I was pregnant with Erin. I went on a business trip with John. I visited the temple while he was in business meetings. It is a beautiful place. I hope you can find a way to go with Todd Tues. eve.

    I must stop and fix dinner. If I had chicken on hand I would do your todays recipe...maybe I'll do it tomorrow.

    Have a great day. Love as always, Lura

  8. Oh I LOVE monterey chicken and those look amazing Marie :)

    Great daybook, you know if I could be in pj's all day I would too. They really should have a Global PJ wearing day LOL

  9. That looks absolutely delicious. I love these woman's day book that I have spotted today. Wow, what a daunting calling to be the seminary teacher, but I know you'll be amazing. I'm off to put on my own pair of comfy pajamas.

  10. congrats on your new calling! that is awesome-even though i haven't met you in "real life," i can tell through your posts what an amazing teacher you must be. you are so eloquent in your words and thoughts. i always love to read your posts! those teenagers are going to be so lucky this year!


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