Sunday, 8 March 2009

Marie's Sunday Six Smile Makers



My goodness but I have had a lot to smile about this week. Sunny days and special friends and oodles and oodles of love spread around. It's just been a really great week. I know, I say that every week, but it's totally true! I think it was Angie that asked yesterday was there never anything that really got on my wick. Sure there is Angie, I just don't let it linger! Life's far too short to let it linger! (But you have given me food for thought to use in another post later on in the week.)


I really meant to blog about this earlier but I kept forgetting! While I was away in American a HUGE box was delivered to my house back here in England. When Todd saw it, he thought to himself, what the heck has she bought now. Curiosity got the better of him and when he opened it he found a huge wooden box inside, quite impressive . . . and inside the box was a variety of the Kellogg's new baked Meusli's called Nature's Pleasure. I had been contacted by someone a few months back and asked would I be willing to try out a new cereal and give some feedback on it. (One of the perks for having a food blog I guess!) I was more than happy to oblige, only I forgot to tell Todd about it! He was totally relieved that it wasn't some huge object that I had purchased and very happy to get some cereal for free. I have been busy trying out all the different flavours and am pleased to say it's quite delightful! Much, much different than most meusli cereals in that it is baked and nicely crunchy and not tasteless. I highly recommend! My personal favourite is the Almond, Pecan and Raisin, but in truth they are all delicious!



I've truly had a wonderful time with the telephone this week! Earlier this week I got to talk with Jan from What Do I Want To Cook Today . What a wonderful conversation we had. She is just as enchanting on the telephone as she is on her blog, and great fun to talk with. We've actually known each other for quite some time, having met on a British Forum I co-host on a recipe site we both belong to so it was really wonderful to finally be able to connect in person. She has the cutest accent!

Then another day Lura from Grammy's News called and we had a good old gab! As you all know Lura and I are special friends, and just spent a week together in February over in America at the World Games, and it was really nice to hear her voice again and catch up in person with what's been happening in each other's lives. We do e-mail just about every day, but that just doesn't come close to the pleasure of a telephone call does it!



Yesterday I got to call my grandson Gabriel and wish him a Happy Birthday! Another fun phone call! It is so hard to believe that he is three years old already. It seems like just yesterday I was over the moon because he'd finally arrived to bless our lives. As any grandmother will tell you, grandchildren are an extra special blessing in life! Not only do you get the chance to do it right this time, but you get to hand them back to their parents when they get on your pip! I have three lovely grandsons that I love very much and it was wonderful to be able to talk to Gabriel yesterday and to hear his sweet voice. He's still a bit telephone shy with me, so he didn't really say much to me himself, but I did get to hear him extolling the virtues of Tomato soup over the speaker phone! It was a bit bittersweet though as a huge part of me wishes I lived close enough that I could cuddle him and my other two grandsons frequently, but I guess you can't have everything! The phone call was great!



Todd makes me smile. He is so patient and kind and I am so lucky to have him for a husband says I! He's let me mither and annoy him with that puppet all week. He even read to her the other day! He's so charming that she listened with rapt attention, even though it was the most boring book ever. That's the funny thing about love eh? It can turn the most boring thing in the world into the most interesting! It can also help you to humour a wife who's got nothing better to do than to take pictures of you reading to a puppet . . .



We got to attend a Baptism last evening. Baptism's always make me smile. They remind me of when I made the choice to be baptised myself, and there is always a really special spirit present when they occur. Our Baptism and confirmation is the gateway into His kingdom. When we enter, we covenant to be of His kingdom—forever! It's the beginning of a new life. I can remember when I was first learning about the church and the missionaries were over at my house. We were talking about Baptism, and I went to read the scripture about Christ, himself being baptised. I was seized with such a powerful emotion as I read the words and was humbled right to my very core. If the Saviour, who had led a perfect life, had the need to be Baptised, how much more did I need to be . . . one of those life changing moments that I am so very grateful for.



I got a new cookbook this week. I know, I know . . . I really didn't need one, but this one is special. It promises me freedom, and a freezer full of delicious meals that I can prepare all in one day. Yes, a whole month's worth of meals and planning all done in one single day! I reckon this will save us money. Usually when I go to shop for my employer I also end up doing a shop for us as I am thinking that I have to go home and still prepare dinner for Todd and oh heck . . . it's getting late and I just don't have time to do much so I pick up something quick to prepare. This should stop all of that. All I'll have to do each morning is to pick something tasty to eat out of the freezer! That is once I have organized myself enough to plan which meals from the book I want to cook, do all the list up, do the shop and then do all the cooking!! Anyhow . . . the thought of being more organized did make me smile.

Actually I did cook a recipe from the book last night for out tea and it was delicious. And because it makes six servings I now have two more suppers already prepared and waiting for us in the freezer, plus we got to enjoy it last night. Not only that, but it was quick and very easy to make!



*Peachy Chicken*
Serves 6

Adapted from the Book by Deanna Buxton, "Dinner Is Ready." Beautifully tender Chicken breasts cooked in a deliciously peachy sauce. This was just wonderful served with some rice and green beans.

1 tin of condensed tomato soup
(Campbells or Batchelor's here in the UK)
1/2 cup liquid honey
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 TBS canola oil
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS dry mustard powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (29 ounce) tin of sliced peaches

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C.350*F. Lightly grease a shallow baking dish. Set aside.

Combine the soup, honey, vinegar, brown sugar, oil and Worcestershire sauce in a medium size saucepan. Mix well. Whisk in the mustard powder, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.

Arrange the chicken breasts in the prepared dish. Drain the peaches well. (I always reserve the juice to use in making jello at some point) Scatter the peaches over and around the chicken pieces. Pour the hot sauce over top of it all. Bake in the heated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip the chicken pieces over. Return to the oven and bake for another 30 minutes, basting the chicken frequently. Remove from the oven and serve.

*Note - if you are freezing this. Allow to cool completely and then place in a freezer bag. Label and freeze. To serve, thaw completely and heat until the sauce is bubbly and the chicken is heated through.



PS - I have another two pieces of art listed on Blossom Time Creations. Why not hop on over and take a look!



12 comments:

Grammy Staffy said...

I am glad that you have had many smiles this week. Our phone call made me smile too. I can't wait to talk to you again. I am glad that you also got to talk to Jan and Gabriel. Did Gabriel get his sock monkey? I just know that he will love it.

The picture of Todd wearing his BYU sweatshirt while reading to Lambchop makes me smile too. What a sweet hubby he is. I am glad that I got to meet Lambchop too. I knew that she loved you when she jumped off the rack in the store and into your arms. I had no doubt that she would be flying home with you. Tell her "hi" from me.

Love is Blind is precious. You are so talented my friend.

I hope that you have a nice Sunday. Much love, Lura

louise said...

Glad you have had a "smiley week". That chicken dish looks yummy, I may try it later in the week.
Lambchop is so sweet, I remember it from when I was a child! Have a good week. xx

Manda said...

I love to read about your adventures. It adds to the "smileyness" of my week. That chicken dish looks very yummy - another one for me to try.

Lambchop always makes me smile too.

Tracy said...

So many great reasons to smile here, Marie! Gabriel is sooo sweet--hope he had a lovely birthday! All those cereals...mmm...That peachy chicken is also...mmm...I love that photo of Todd with Lamb Chop--such fun! The new illustration is so charming--you did so well on this one, as with all of them! Hope we get to chat today or early next week. I will try on be online on Messenger later on tonight. I've not been feeling too well again...*SIGH*...Hope you are! LOVE YOU HEAPS ((HUGS))

Joan said...

You have had a lovely week to smile about. Your cookery book sounds great will lok forward to more recipes from it. Love Joan

Emilie Ahern said...

I ahve a site dedicated to freezer meals. You should go check it out!

http://www.freezehappy.com

Just another Mormon Mom trying to save time and money! LOVE your blog. I read it daily.

Jan said...

I do so enjoy your smiles ,and cant believe Gabriel is three ,where did that time go ? What was the story Todd was reading to Lamb chop ? lol ..love Jan xx

jenjen said...

Wow - great smile makers Marie! What a good week you had - visiting with some of your friends!

I am so excited to hear about your recipe book! I have been wanting to do that cook one day for a month idea for quite a while. I have belonged to a couple of different freezer cooking groups which I have loved. I can't wait to hear more!

Have a wonderful week!

XOXOOX
Jen

Gloria said...

Dear Marie I really love your Sunday six!!
You make me smile to me!!! Hey dear Im better, thanks by the prayers!!! (a little more please)) I love your recipe but really love your lovely dishes are so cute!!!! (Im always buy books and dishes when I saw something lovely!) xxxxxxxGloria

Gloria said...

Dear Marie have a nice and lovely week, and kisses to Todd!! Gloria

Tina said...

I love Sundays with Marie!!!
have wonderful week. and I bet it was wonderful to hear from that grandbaby!!!
tina

Angie said...

Hi Marie! What's canola oil and will sunflower oil do nstead? I know canola oil has come up before but I forgot to ask.

Is Nature's Pleasure available in shops yet? Be nice to have baked meusli I think. Th ordinary stuff often has the texture of ashes.

This was such a lovely happy, smiley posting, as they always are. In fact I can't think of a single time when I haven't been glad to read your entries.

Luv you -- Angie, xx