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."
~Helen Keller

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!
3. Bless!
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:
(Only Seven???)

1. Chocolate
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. Nectarines

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)
1 egg
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.


  1. Great post Marie - Loved reading your answers! And I love the jaffa tarts!

  2. Wow Marie these Jaffa Tarts look delicious I have copied and pasted the recipe to my Grandson Joseph who is fourteen LOL.Hope you don't mind.He loves baking chocolate things.I'll let you know how he got on with them.Loved reading all about you in the answers to you meme.Congratulations on all those awards.I hope you have a wonderful time when you meet your friend next yr on that vacation.I have been to lots of places in Greece it is one of our favourite places too.Just beutiful.Take Care God Bless Have a lovely weekend.Hope Todd is well.Kath xx

  3. Love your 7's! You are right we do have alot in common. Although, I am a bit leary of a hot air balloon ride! But maybe if it was there over the English countryside, I would feel a bit different! I love old movies too. I loved that you referenced the Moonspinners! I just caught "Pollyanna" last Saturday afternoon while doing laundry, so very fun!

  4. Bright the day Marie :) Though by the time you read this in your time zone it might be evening LOLOL so save it for the next day! Loved your answers :) the recipe looks wonderful, I think I may print it and try it in the next couple weeks. Blessings* Teresa

  5. You'll be able to tell I should think that I'm using this quiet Saturday morning to catch up reading. So many old friends are coming over from the soon to be defunt aol journals, it has taken me a bit by surprise.

    I do love to read these bits about you and I marvel often that we share many of the same hopes and aspirations. I wanted to play the piano or violin. We never had a piano. Big Grandma had a violin which she couodn't play but my parents wouldn't get it done up so that I could learn.

    love, Angie, xx

  6. Vwry interesting reading all about you nice entry. Love Joan

  7. What a nice entry to recognize your friends...that was very touching. Love the 7's ...I think I will have to try that one later.

    Have a great day, Liz

  8. I liked your answers! I want to go to Scotland to research ancestry too! Those tarts look tasty!

  9. Hi Marie... loved your lists... since you love Colin Firth (as much as I do) and you love Greece, I'm assuming you've seen Mama Mia. If you've already written about that, forgive me! I admit I have not read your entries every day... I seldom get to post myself. But your blog look amazing... and now that I'm at blogger, I'm wondering how you got that beautiful cottage picture with the words on your header. Was that done in your Edit Layout mode, or did this come from some outside source? I really want to dress up my opening page. You have a link showing up in your blog that connects to the cutest blog on the block... have you used this? I just want to make some changes... looking to see what others are doing. Kind of like when I first started at aol journals... I'm learning from others all over again. thanks, bea

  10. Dear Marie, Im happy you have all these (ji, between us I think you was the`person more I give awards, but is the friend moment didn`t??)
    Let me know in what you have problem to open, I may send you by mail, yesterday I was thinking if you undertand because some are in spanish, Well one say"we walk together", other Thanks by touch my life, and other is "Tenderness Award" I give this only three special people and you are one of them.
    These awards dont have rules but you may give to any person you like
    And this chocolate tart is wonderful!!!!
    (And Todd who said about chocolate tart)I read under, aaahh he like the Pies!! xxxxGloria

  11. Marie-there's a special place in heaven for you for your words...but elsewhere for your culinary temptations!!! Those devil!

  12. Hi Marie! Thanks for the tag. It was fun to read the things that you want to do, are doing and can't do. You have some really good things on your list to do. Those tarts looks divine -- just the right size so you can eat one and not even think twice about it! Have a great day!!!

  13. Oh, I loved reading about you. You are the most interesting and warm person on planet earth-I'm convinced. I'd love one of these tarts. I'd better get thinking of my answers. Thanks for tagging me!

  14. My goodness....We had a long, fun but very tiring day with Claire, EJ and Austin today at Knotts. Mindy just picked them up...they were asleep...I hated to wake them and get them to the car...I know they will fall asleep during the 30 minute drive home and Mindy will have to carry them all in because Ernie is still out with his high school band at a field show. However, they couldn't spend the night because we didn't have any Sunday clothes here...and our ward meets at 9:00 which wouldn't give us time to go and get clothes for them.

    I am beat and almost didn't have energy to turn on the computer...but then I didn't want to let a day go by with saying hello to you...and when I did I found the happy surprise you had for me.

    I am glad that I didn't miss getting this nice award and tagged on this post. Thank you sweet friend. I will try to fill in
    the 7s but I doubt that I can do as well as you.

    I am falling asleep soon with thought of grandkids, Knotts, awards, tags and a wonderful blog friend on my mind....I should have very sweet dreams indeed.

    I hope that you and Todd have a wonderful Sunday. Take care and know you are loved. Lura

  15. Morning deserve any and all awards in my book! You have been an inspiration to me since the first day I "met" you.. loved your survey too...
    have a blessed Sunday...

  16. Oh, Marie, I am very keen on chocolate and probably overly so. As a result I desperately want one of your tarts now!

  17. thanks for the tag! :) i was reading the things you'd like to do someday and i thought, marie is brave! i would be too scared to ride in a hot air balloon(even though i know i would be fine and the view would be amazing!)

  18. now i know why i voted for these in your poll - they look amazing!

  19. I would like to thank Marie for her Jaffa Cakes recipe. My daughter has been asking about them, ever since a staff member that works with my daughter, who happens to be from the UK--she would go on about how much she missed having them with her tea. As you can tell I am writing from Canada, and my grandmother immigrated to Canada in the early 1900's, so my knowledge about British recipes is limited to that time period.
    Love your site and am so glad to have stumbled upon it. I am writing from New Westminster in British Columbia on our Thanksgiving holiday.
    Again thanks so much and may God bless.

  20. Those chocolate tarts look good! I like the cocoa powder sprinkled on top.

  21. hello marie this is the first time I visit your cook blog and its really nice an beautiful.


Your comments mean the world to me, and while I may not be able to address each one individually, each one is important to me and each one counts. Thanks so much!