Saturday, 11 October 2008
Awards, Tag's and Chocolate . . .
"Friendship is a chain of gold,
Shape in God's all-perfect mold.
Each link a smile, a laugh, a tear,
A touch of the hand, a world of cheer."
I would have to say that, without a doubt, I consider my friends to be one of the greatest treasures I have acquired here on earth, next to my family. I've often heard it said that friends, are family you get to choose for yourself. I've chosen myself a wicked good family! (Is that teenage slang or am I behind the times?) Anyways, none of my friends are so treasured as what I call my invisible friends, that's those of you my readers who leave me your valued comments here every day, even if what I've written isn't so good or a bit cheesy you all have such nice things to say to me and are so supportive and kind.
One such lady is Gloria of Canela Kitchen. She lives in Chili and is such a sweet lady. Earlier this week she saw fit to give me not one, not two, not three but four awards!!! I was amazed and I thank you Gloria from the very bottom of my heart! I am so humbled that you would think so well of me and honored to call myself your friend. Unfortunately one of them won't show up for some odd reason but Gloria, please know that I treasure it just the same even if the picture won't show up!!
I don't speak Spanish but I know that these awards hold sweet words and sentiments and I do value them greatly. I would love to pass them on to all of you, my sweet readers. You truly are the creme de la creme!
Another sweet gal, who was an invisible friend, and who is now a real life friend after we got to meet in person, several months back is Tracy from Pink Pearl. She's a lovely gal from Norway and we get along like, well, peas and carrots!!! We are already planning a vacation together next summer, God willing, and we chat often during the week on the computer. I was gobsmacked to say the least yesterday when she messaged me to say that she had given me an award and a bit of fun on her blog. It's the "One Sweet Blog" award and it comes with a real fun tag and meme, all about 7's! Thanks so much Tracy!!
7 Things I plan to do before I die:
1. Have a ride in a hot air balloon over the rolling English Countryside on a warm summer day.
2. Master playing the piano. (I've sorta been teaching myself using the church's music course over the past couple of years, but haven't gotten very far, largely due to lack of time for practice.)
3. Go to Scotland and research my ancestors, find Boyd McNayr's father. (If I could do that there'd be a lot of happy people in the world who are looking for the same person!)
4. Lose weight and be a thin person again. (ok, if not thin, then thinner!)
5. Run with the bulls in Pamploma. (Obviously number 4 needs to happen first!)
6. Go to the Temple in Salt Lake City.
7. Go to Greece. (I've wanted to go there since I saw Haley Mills in the movie, "The Moonspinners." I fell in love with the country then and have yearned to see it ever since.)
7 Things I do now:
1. I get to do one of the things I love most (cook) for a living. Most people can't say that!
2. I spend a lot of my spare time sketching and painting. I just love it.
3. I read cookbooks like novels and have a huge collection.
4. I (along with Todd) sponsor two children in Africa. We just love getting letters from them and reading about what a difference we've made in their lives. We couldn't have any children of our own, but this is just as rewarding.
5. I can knit, crochet, embroider, cross stitch, sew, etc. I just don't have enough time to do them like I'd like to!
6. I love to go on long country walks. Nature is so important to me and I get a real buzz out of communing with it . . . listening to birdsong, looking at different plants and flowers, watching the bunnies and squirrels in the garden.
7. I love watching old sitcoms and movies on the telly. They are so much nicer and entertaining than most of what passes for entertainment today.
7 Things I can't do:
1. Touch the floor without bending my knees. grrr . . .
2. Wiggle both of my eyebrows independently. I can wiggle my left one, but not my right! I can also wiggle them both together.
3. Reach my arms behind me diagonally across one shoulder and hold hands with myself. I used to be able to do this, when I was much younger and thinner. Oh dear, I must be getting old . . .
4. Sleep the whole night through without waking up at least once to look at the clock. Another grrr . . .
5. Get offered a piece of chocolate cake and say no thank you.
6. Put two fingers in my mouth and whistle shrilly! I've always wanted to be able to do that.
7. Climb trees. I'm afraid my tree climbing days are long over, sadly.
7 Things that attract me to the Opposite Sex:
1. A nice smile.
2. Kind eyes.
3. A hearty laugh.
4. Strong shoulders.
5. Masculine hands.
6. Good sense of humour.
7. A kind heart.
7 Things that I say most often:
1. Oh dear!
2. Uh Oh!
4. For crying out loud!
5. I love you!
6. Can I help?
7. I can't find my glasses . . .
7 Celebrities that I admire:
(I'm not a celebrity admirer per say, but more an admirer of people)
1. Gordon B Hinckley
2. Mother Teresa
3. My mom
4. Sherri Dew
5. Abraham Lincoln
6. Florence Nightingale
7. Ok, I do admire one celebrity . . . Colin Firth . . . Mr. Darcy . . . need I say more?
7 Favorite Foods:
2. Fish and Chips
3. Roast Turkey Dinner
4. A good grilled steak with all the trimmings
5. Good quality Vanilla Ice Cream
6. Lemon Meringue Pie
7 People who need to do this:
(This is where I get to tag seven of you lucky people!!!)
1. Holly of My Kids Say I'm Silly
2. Erin of Prudence Pennywise
3. Lura of Grammy's News
4. Jeannene of Love Conquers All
5. Di of Duda Daze
6. JenJen of Tater Tots and Jello
7. Marye of Baking Delights
Consider yourselves all blessed and tagged at the same time!!!
I did the Make Me Bake Challenge yesterday and I have to say that for a man who's not overly fond of chocolate, Todd scarfed down more than a couple of these!! I suppose it's not cake or cookies . . . and my man does love pie!
*Jaffa Chocolate Tarts*
Makes 24 small ones
These are so rich and delicious that only a small bite satisfies and that is what each one of these is, a tiny bite . . . ok, maybe two.
150g dark eating chocolate
1/4 cup double cream
1 TBS orange flavoured liqueur (You could use fresh orange juice)
the finely grated zest of one orange (optional)
2 egg yolks
2 TBS white sugar
1 2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
150g cold butter, chopped coarsely
1 egg yolk
sifted cocoa powder to serve
Start off by making the pastry. Place the flour, sugar and butter in the food processor and process until coarse and crumbly. Add the egg yolk, and process just until combined. Remove from the processor and knead on a floured board until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Grease two 12 hold flat based patty pans and set aside.
Roll the pastry out between two sheets of baking parchment to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out twenty-four 3 inch rounds. Press rounds into the prepared pans. Prick the bases all over with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 200*C/400*F.
Bake the pastry cases for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 180*C/350*F.
Combine the chocolate, cream, orange zest if using, and liqueur in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Cool for five minutes.
Beat the egg and egg yolks with the sugar in a small bowl until light and fluffy. Fold in the chocolate mixture.
Divide evenly amongst the baked tart shells. Bake for 8 minutes, til set. Remove from the oven to cool completely before dusting the tops with sifted cocoa powder. Serve.
*Note - you can use ready made tart pastry cases if you wish.