Sunday, 16 November 2008

Marie's Sunday Six Smilemakers

For weeks now I have been going over to my friend Lura's page, Grammy's News and admiring her Sunday Six Smile Makers. Each Sunday she shares with us six things that have made her smile during the past week. I always love tuning in each week to see what made her smile. Out of all her entries she does, it's always my most favouritest of all! (and yes I do know that's not a word!) Recently she offered to make a tag for anyone out there who wanted one and I stuck up my hand and said . . . "Me please!" And here it is. I just love it, and Lura is so talented to have made it for me. I'm not so sure that I could do the same!

So now without further adieu here are my Sunday Six Smile Makers of the week. Are you sitting down???

I am ever grateful and thankful that my Daughter In Law and little Joshua continue to do well. It's all down to prayer, your prayers and the prayers of many others throughout the world. I believe in the power of prayer, even if I don't always understand the answers I get. Don't they say that some of God's greatest answers are unanswered prayers? Well . . . no such thing!!! He answers them all, and always for our best . . . so I guess this is a combination smile maker, isn't it? My DIL and grandson's continued health and your lovely prayers.

My new kitchen. I know, I know . . . you are sick to death already of hearing about it! But it did make me smile this past week. I have wanted one for so long and it's so wonderful. I am so thankful to my boss for paying for it and for the guys that work on the Estate for putting it in. It may have taken a lot longer but my oh my, they did ever such a swell job, and I just adore it! And guess what??? I have empty cupboards to fill, tee hee! Poor Todd!

I've sold lots of my cards this week. I really enjoy making them and it means the world to me that some of y'all want to have them. A little piece of my heart goes into each one and it makes me smile to think of all these little bits of my heart sailing around the world. The heart is a magical thing don't you think? No matter how many bits of it you take out and spread around . . . it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. You NEVER run out of bits to share around!

The sun actually shone a few days this week. That makes me smile. It's hard not to smile on a Sunny day in England. There is no more beautiful place on earth, at least not in my experience and I have to admit, I've not seen a whole lot of the world yet! Seeing more of it is on my agenda, even if it's only from the comfort of my easy chair. Recently I have been enjoying the series on the telly, "Stephen Fry in America." He's visiting each one of the American States, from a Black British Hanson Cab and taking us all along with him. I can't wait to tune in each week and see what he has to show us next. He's taken us to some pretty magical places and some most unusual places too! He's showing us some of the wonderful things that America has to offer and some of the hidden places that most people never get to see. It's pretty entertaining! And what have I done? I've gone from sunny days to Stephen Fry touring America! What am I like? (I make myself smile.)

One thing that really made me smile this week was the Friday night Charity Telethon for Children in Need. I love variety shows. I was always glued to my set in the evenings during the 1960's and 70's tuning in to Andy Williams, Ed Sullivan, Dean Martin, Sonny and Cher, and Donny and Marie, to name but a few. You know what? Nobody does variety better than the British, and nobody does telethon's better than them either!!! And another thing nobody does better than the British is dig into their pockets and give to those in need!!! Can you imagine . . . even though we are in a recession and the airwaves are full of despair and news of the present "Credit Crunch," people are losing their jobs left right and centre . . . but the great British Public still managed to dig deep into their pockets and bring out a pretty cool £34 million pounds to help children in need! I think that is so amazing and quite remarkable! This total has smashed all records since the BBC's charity became an annual television and radio event 25 years ago, and is up by nearly £3m from last year’s (2003) final total of £31.4m. Way to go Britain!!!

My book being finished. That really made me smile. I have been working on it for ever so long, it's hard to believe it is finally done. It's not recipes from off of this Oak Cottage page, it's other recipes, recipes that I have been collecting in my Big Blue Binder since I was a young girl. This binder has gone all over the world with me and contains all of my tried and trues . . . family recipes . . . handed down from one generation to the next, tasty recipes clipped from various magazines through the years and pasted on it's pages, delicious recipes given me by much loved friends . . . there's not a dud in the bunch! It was very hard for me to pick which ones to put in . . . so much so that there is bound to be another volume in the future!

So there you have it my Sunday Six Smile Makers for this past week! There have been ever so many more things this week that have made me smile, but . . . you know how it goes . . . six is six . . .

Yesterday was a comfort food type of a day. My Todd is such a meat and potatoes man. He could eat meat and potatoes for every meal. Last night I made him this delicious Potato Pie with peas, ham, cheese and chives . . . except I had no chives so used parsley instead. He just LOVED it, and . . . so did I!

*Potato Pie with Peas, Ham and Cheese*
Serves 4

You could use this as a side dish for serving with some roast chicken or pork. I actually like to eat it as a main course, so I double the ham. You could also omit the ham and it makes the perfect Vegetarian Entree! Either way it's economical, easy and delicious!

2 1/2 pounds potatoes
1 bay leaf
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
a knob of butter
1 cup of warmed milk, or cream, or a bit of both
1 large egg, beaten
50g cooked ham, sliced into thin ribbons
a small bunch of chives, snipped
100g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 TBS finely chopped flat leaf parsley

Pre-heat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Butter a shallow baking dish or ceramic tart dish well, and set aside.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into equally sized chunks. Place in a large saucepan and add water to cover, along with the bay leaf and some salt. Boil until tender, about 20 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking place the olive oil in a frying pan and heat over medium high heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until nicely browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place the peas in a measuring cup or bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 3 minutes and then drain well. Set aside.

Drain the cooked potatoes, then mash them well. Mix in the knob of butter and enough of the milk or/and cream to make them fluffy without them being sloppy. You may need all of it or you may need less. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Beat in the egg.

Stir in the onion, peas, ham, chives and 3/4 of the cheddar cheese. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread in evenly, roughing up the surface a bit with the tines of a fork. Sprinkle with the remaining cheddar. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 40 to 45 minutes until well browned. Serve hot or warm.


  1. I love your Sunday Six. You indeed have had wonderful things to smile about. So have I so I'd better get busy and do mine after church tomorrow...or if I stay up a bit later tonight it will be tomorrow...heehee.

    I am thankful that your little grandson is staying put all cozy in his mama's womb for now. We will continue to pray for him to grow older and stronger before he makes his grand entrance into this world.

    Your kitchen looks so nice and as I have said before, no one deserves it more than you.

    Congrats again on your cook book and all of your card sales. Good for you. I hope that your talents and hard work will pay off and be very profitable for you.

    I am glad and honored that you used my sign. I am sorry that the writing turned out sketchy and blurry ... I don't know why that happened. It looked good on my computer before I sent it to you. I will try to redo it and send it to you again. I hope that will correct the problem.

    Have a great Sunday.I look forward to hearing from you. I send lots of love to my very talented and hard working friend, XOXOXO Lura

  2. Hi Marie!
    Not sure if this will get posted but it's worth a try! Love the frecipe, it sounds like Peter's sort of dish too so I'll definately give it a try. I enjoyed reading your Sunday Six too! Love, Pat

  3. Very cozy kitchen! I love it. It makes me want to sit down and have a lazy cup of tea :)

  4. What a Super Sunday here, Marie! I hardly know where to start--LOL! ;o) I'm so glad all is going well with Kayla and Joshua...Prayer, I keep 'em comin'! Congratulations on selling so many cards!! I knew they'd be a hit! So very happy for your success! And your book...such excitement. It is done!! I know this have been a labor of love. I can't wait to have one! And maybe a volume two! tee-hee...Your kitchen looks a dream. Those cabinets really liven the room. Now the fun getting the cupboards filled--LOL! Look forward to chatting with you tonight, my friend. Happy Day...LOVE YOU HEAPS ((HUGS))

  5. Lovely post Marie - love the potato pie too!

  6. I enjoy and I love sooo your Sunday six is alovely Lura idea!!!
    And Im agree with all! Love your daughter in law is Ok and Joshua too of course.
    Love your kitchen ,is lovely!!
    Love your postcards and your Book!!really
    I love Teleton too. Here we have one now in 28-29 November make this Don Francisco, he work in Miamiand Chile so is special to these things.
    And your dish is lovley, huggsss!!!Gloria

  7. I enjoyed your Sunday six smilemakers and am thankful that the little one has decided to stay put for now! Love your kitchen's new window and the cupboards too! I'm sure your mind is full of ideas for that new kitchen.

    The cookbook has become a reality and I can hardly wait to get one! Thanks for the timely posting of today's recipe. I shall make it for our dinner today as I have ALL the ingredients. The wind is howling outside so this dish will serve as our comfort food!

    How you love life! I really look forward to each day's writings from you, dearest friend!

    I am going to email you this week.


  8. I love your Sunday Six Smilemakers! What a lovely idea - I'm going to check out Grammys News, too! And your potato pie recipe is so perfect - we had our first few flakes of snow here today and this looks like the perfect comfort food on a cold day like today.

  9. I love your Sunday Six Marie. What a wonderful idea. I loved hearing about your six! I am glad that your daughter in law is doing well. It's so exciting about your cookbook and your cards - they are so sweet and happy. I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

  10. I'm so glad you finished your cookbook! Hooray! I'll write you a long e-mail back soon--this weekend was crazy. I'd been letting a lot of things slide since Shreveport, so I went on a cleaning blitz!

  11. Isn't it nice that you had 6 things that made you smile! But I hope they're were more than six! I lvoe your kitchen Marie , it's beautiful!! I'm so happy your dil and grandbaby are doing well.

  12. I am definitely smiling with you. A new happy, HAPPY you must be. And a completed cookbook? Proud of you.

    And more...whew, I've been reading and am about caught up.

    More prayers for your DIL and grandson.

  13. We enjoyed the potato pie as it was very tasty and different for I've never made anything like that before. You can be sure it will be made again! Thanks for such a great recipe. My hubby went back for more...a whole lot more!


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