Sunday, 19 April 2009

Marie's Sunday Six Smile Makers

I missed doing this last week because it was Easter and I had other things I wanted to talk about. It seems like that was ages ago now, but . . . yes, it was only a week! My goodness, how time does fly by. I love my Sunday Six Smile Maker posts. It is a chance for me to look back on my week and reflect on all the good things that have blessed me in the past seven days. I always find it so very uplifting.

How long does it take to eat a Lindt Gold Bunny? Apparently not very long at all!! I love Easter Bunnies, especially Lindt ones. When I was a girl the chocolate Easter Bunny was the highlight of our Easter morning treats. Over here in the UK, most children get a chocolate egg, which is their main treat. They are huge and come in all kinds of varieties. Me, I love me a good chocolate Easter Bunny. I guess I just love what I am used to and, well, Lindt is the best in my opinion! Plus you get a nice little bell to play with when you're finished . . . it also makes it rather hard to sneak nibbles as well, coz that dang bell . . . well, the tell tale jingle gives you away every time!

Digging in the Garden. I did not do a lot myself, because I had to work, but Todd got a lot of digging done in our garden this week. That makes me smile and not just because someone else did all the hard work!! I do love to see the freshly upturned earth and the new plants going into the ground. We lost most of our rockery plants this past winter, it was so cold, and so we have had to put in new ones. We also lost all our geraniums so have put those in new as well. How can you not love a geranium? They are one of my favourites. We have a big strawberry pot that we plant red geraniums in all the holes. Come late spring/early summer, it looks really beautiful. We also planted a lot of containers with some vegetables, such as potatoes, green and yellow beans and tomatoes.

Of course working in the garden brings out Little Robin Redbreast! I love the robins over here. They are so tiny and cute and quite tame really. Whenever we work in the garden we can always be sure that there will be one not too far away, hoping for the tasty treat of a worm or two or three! These pretty little birds always bring a smile to my face, what with their wonderful song and garden antics! (They can be quite combative with each other and very territorial!)

April Showers. We had plenty of those off and on this week. I love April Showers because I know that with each one the earth wakes up all that much more and the trees get greener and the flowers just begin to burst out all over! I was just saying to Todd yesterday that I don't really mind the rain much over here. It hardly ever really just buckets down in torrential amounts, mostly it just sprinkles down, which can be quite pleasant to walk in at times. My first year over here was the wettest autumn/winter on record and it rained every single day, or so it seemed. I soon learnt that you don't melt in the rain. If I'd stayed indoors because of a little rain I would soon have gone stir crazy! Besides, it's always a great conversation opener at the bus stop!!

Speaking of flowers, I do love my pansies. They have been one of my favourite flowers forever it seems! I just adore their little upturned faces and the way their little heads bob about in the springtime breezes. I think I love the purple ones most of all, but any pansy at all makes me smile, they truly do . . .

This little girl made me smile yesterday. I sat down to draw something completely different and she's what came out of the ends of my fingertips. This one is called, "God Loveth A Cheerful Giver," and you can see her over at Blossom Time Creations. Just goes to show that my fingers have a mind of their own. I never know really what is going to happen when I sit down with my paints and brushes. Sometimes even I am surprised!

I finally got to make a recipe for our supper last night that I have been wanting to make for quite a few weeks now! I first saw it in an e-mail that I got advertising this new cookbook I recently picked up called the Worldwide Ward Cookbook. (Remember I talked about that a couple of weeks back) Yesterday I finally had all the ingredients in house and so I made it. It is delicious and finally, finally after a bazillion times of trying other recipes I have a Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe that tastes very close to what you get in a Chinese restaurant! This is wonderful!

*Little Pink Chicken*
Serves 6 - 8

This recipe is attributed to Linda Robinson from the Belgrano Ward in the South America South Area mission of the LDS church. Like me, she loves to cook for the missionaries and always likes to give them a taste of home if she can. This was one of the Elder's who was working in their area's favourite thing from home that his mother always made, so she e-mailed his mom and got the recipe and here it is. She says the elders always love it and after having made and tasted it myself, I can totally see why!! It's fabulous! Thank you Sister Robinson!

2 large chicken breasts
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 egg, beaten with 1 TBS water
oil for frying
for the Sauce:
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup tomato ketchup
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tsp salt
2 TBS soy sauce

Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and sprinle it with the garlic salt. Let sit for one hour. At the end of that time, coat each piece in some cornstarch. (I put some cornstarch into a bowl and just stirred it all together. I used about 1/4 cup)

Heat some oil, about 1/4 inch deep in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Dip the cornflour coated chicken bits into the beaten egg and then carefully cook them in the hot oil until lightly browned. Scoop out into a shallow casserole dish. Repeat until all the chicken pieces are browned.

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F.

Place the sauce ingredients into a large microwavable beaker. Whisk together. Cook on high for approximately five minutes, stirring it halfway through the cooking time. Pour over the chicken in the casserole dish.

Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until the sauce is nicely thickened. (Do not cover)

I served this with some egg fried rice and stir fried vegetables on the side. It was wonderful!


  1. Love sweet and sour chicken Marie and yours looks delish!
    I also love pansies.

  2. That sweet and sour chicken looks just perfect! Robins are my favourite birds, aren't they cut!?

  3. What wonderful things you have shared with us today ,I love them all ,Pansies ,Robins ...and sweet and sour chicken yummy Jan xx

  4. Smiles a-plenty as usual, Marie! :o) Love the flowers and Little Robin Red-Breast. Your new illustration is terrific--oh, she is sooo cute! You are so clever, my friend. Your sweet & sour chicken recipe is so good. Hubby is making chicken in a cream sauce for dinner today. We're just in from a walk down by the beach at the park...super sunny weekend here--delightful! Hope you all of you are having a great weekend. LOVE YOU HEAPS, my sister-friend :o) ((BIG HUGS))

  5. I always look forward to your Smile Makers and they do indeed always make me ":)". Yummy chicken!

  6. chocolate bunnies are the best. and i agree, they don't live too long around here either:) but i've never tried a lindt bunny before, i guess i should!

  7. I love your garden goddess illustration! I'm getting ready to do a bunch of landscaping and this picture hit home for me today!

  8. hello dear
    I must run....we are late getting ready for church... but I will be back to say hello when we get home.... love you lots

  9. Hi Marie,

    This chicken dish sounds wonderful, we are going to try it for sure :) Thanks also for the picture of Robin Red Breast. As you know the Robins here in the USA have a full orange belly and not just the red breast. That is very interesting as we are amature bird watchers :)

  10. Hi Marie,

    This chicken dish sounds wonderful, we are going to try it for sure :) Thanks also for the picture of Robin Red Breast. As you know the Robins here in the USA have a full orange belly and not just the red breast. That is very interesting as we are amature bird watchers :)

  11. Hello again,
    As always I've enjoyed reading your Sunday six. Your smiles make me smile too. I love so many of the same things you do... gardening...chocolate bunnies...pansies....April showers (not that we get any... it is 98 here today...uggg) We are surely two peas in a pod.

    Have a great week. I will get to your day book as soon as I can tomorrow.... when Austin will let me have a little computer time.

    I love your new little cheerful giver. Her face is my favorite!!! (have you heard me say that before???)

    The chicken looks great. John loves sweet sour chicken so I will have to try this one for sure.

    I am still full of smiles from our wonderful trip to Utah. I listened to your play list while I wrote my Sunday six today...that made me feel like I was with you...visiting about my smiles.

    I am sending love, Lura

  12. Hi Marie
    I always enjoy your Sunday smile makers. It is always a blessing to stop and remember what we have to be thankful for.

  13. Wonderful list Marie. Your Sunday posts always make me smile!

    Your new painting is so sweet!



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