Sunday, 2 October 2011

Marie's Sunday Six

Here we are the 3rd of October and what a lovely October it has been thus far! One of the warmest on record I believe! Mother Nature is now making up for all the lousy weather we had this summer! We have had to have a fan going both downstairs and up, and are just loving all the sunshine and warmth! It will be winter all too soon, so we are taking full advantage of the nice weather. Todd's been getting lots of gardening done and I've enjoyed watching him do it! In any case it's been a week chock full of smiles!

These two are the biggest smile makers in my life! They both bring me great joy! This is usually how they can be found when they are relaxing in situe on the sofa watching the telly. Well . . . I am not sure that Mitzie does much watching . . . unless there are animals involved. Then she watches. The rest of the time she just kinda cuddles there and lets Todd scratch her belly. That makes me smile.

President Thomas S Monson is the President of our church, or the Prophet as we call him, and he always makes me smile! I just love him. This is a picture of him waving to the crowd. At yesterday's morning session of our Bi-Annual General Conference he walked up to the Podium and greeted us all with a cheerful and boisterous !Hello!" Oh how that did make me smile. He is such a wonderfully spiritual man and so enthusiastic and filled with genuine love for the Saints and for all people. He had been delayed getting there for the meeting, but sure made up for it once he arrived. His beautifully warm hello brought a huge smile to my face as it did, I am sure, to many others!

General Conference always brings a smile to my face. I love to be blessed in this way. Twice a year we, as a church, are priviledged to be able to sit down and listen to some very special words and guidance from our leaders. Their inspired words both uplift and inspire all who would listen. We have only thus far been able to watch the first session over here in the UK, but will soon catch up with those in America today. I would like to share with you some of the inspiration we were fed yesterday in the first session . . . special words that really did my heart good.
I was left with much to ponder and there was so much given that we could all use for personal application in our own lives. Being a Mormon means following living prophets and apostles. That's an amazing concept for people outside of our faith to wrap their heads around. But we do, and this is what our General Conferences are all about . . . hearing and listening to living prophets of God speak to us in inspiration, the words that our Heavenly Father wants us to hear. Here are a few highlights of what some of them had to say yesterday.

Elder Richard G Scott on the Power of Scriptures:

"Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high. They can become the key to open the channel to communion with our Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son Jesus Christ".

"Pondering a passage of scripture can be a key to unlock revelation and the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Scriptures can calm an agitated soul, giving peace, hope, and a restoration of confidence in one's ability to overcome the challenges of life. They have potent power to heal emotional challenges when there is faith in the Savior. They can accelerate physical healing."

Elder Boyd K Packer to the Youth of the church:

"Perhaps the single greatest thing I learned from reading the Book of Mormon is that the voice of the spirit comes as a feeling rather than a sound. You will learn, as I have learned, to "listen" for that voice that is felt rather than heard."

"It is not expected that you go through life without making mistakes, but you will not make a major mistake without first being warned by the promptings of the Holy Spirit."

"Youth today are being raised in enemy territory with a declining standard of morality. But as a servant of the Lord, I promise that you will be protected and shielded from the attacks of the adversary if you will heed the promptings that come from the Holy Spirit."

President Dieter F Uchtdorf to the whole church:

"Disciples of Jesus Christ understand that compared to eternity, our existence in this mortal sphere is only "a small moment" in space and time."

"The Lord doesn't care at all if we spend our days working in marble halls or stable stalls. he knows where we are, no matter how humble our circumstances. He will use . . . in His own way, and for His holy purposes . . . those who incline their hearts to Him."

"It may be true that man is nothing in comparison to the greatness of the universe. At times we may even feel insignificant, invisible, alone, or forgotten. But always remember . . . you matter to Him!"

"God sees you not only as mortal beings on a small planet who lives for a brief season . . . He sees you as His child. He sees you as the being you are capable and designed to become. He wants you to know that you matter to Him."

There was a lot more in the other talks that were given. You are free to go and watch it all yourself on our main church page. I am sure it will inspire anyone who cares to listen!

(The General Relief Society Presidency)

Earlier this week, the women in our church, were blessed to be able to get together and listen to the General Relief Society Broadcast. (The Relief Society is the Women's Organization in our church and the longest running Women's organization in the world today, also having the largest membership.) Each talk resonated with me in different and very personal ways. I felt inspired and uplifted in unimaginable ways . . . most of all, I felt the love of my Father in Heaven. After watching and listening to all the talks given . . . I felt an even greater desire to serve and love others better. We can all do better.

Our ability to develop charity and love one another is at the very heart and root of Relief Society. It has everything to do with making and keeping covenants. As we keep our covenants, we become more like Jesus Christ, and others are blessed as He would bless them. In this manner, we ultimately come unto Him. We must allow ourselves to be His hands here on the earth today.

There is a new page dedicated solely to the Daughters of Heavenly Father's Kingdom which you can find here. It is meaningful and beautifully done. There is also a beautiful book that has been made available for women everywhere. I do not have my own copy yet, but I understand that it is beautifully and lovingly prepared and filled with wisdom for women of all ages, in all places and at all times.

So I have had a very inspiring week. A week chockerblock full of inspiration and smiles. I was finally able to, yesterday afternoon, sit down and paint the piece of work that had been playing on my heart since I head President Uchtdorf's talk the other night. I hope that I have done his very inspiring message justice.

I was personally very happy with the way it turned out. As usual this is available as a print or card. The prints are very nice, 6 by 8 inches in size and suitable for framing. If you are interested you can send me a message, if not, that's ok too! I only know that I felt very inspired in getting it down on paper.

Well, I don't know if that is six smiles or not, but if you have gotten this far you have done well!!! I just know that I have had a wonderful week, filled with sunshine, inspiration and love! That is what I call a very good week. I hope that you have all had special weeks as well. I wish you love and happiness wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Happy Sunday everyone, and SMILE!

Oh, here is a delicious little dessert that is sure to put a smile on anyone's face!

*Strawberry White Chocolate Tiramisu*LinkServes 6 to 8 lucky people
Printable Recipe

It might sound like a lot of faff, but, once you have all the elements prepared, the dessert itself goes together very quickly. Plan ahead as it will have to chill in the refrigerator overnight. This truly is delicious and in it’s entirety impressive. You’re guests will love you when you pull this rabbit out of the hat!

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ cup scalded milk
1 TBS butter
½ pint strawberries, hulled, halved and mashed slightly
½ cup caster sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup or golden syrup
2 TBS brandy (optional)
12 ounces of white chocolate, chopped
1 ½ cups heavy cream, divided
3 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 ½ pints of strawberries, hulled and chopped
White chocolate curls

First make the cake. Pre-heat the oven to 160*C/350*F. Lightly grease and flour an 8 inch spring form pan. Set aside.

Separate the eggs carefully, putting the whites and yolks into different bowls. Beat the whites until stiff. Beat the yolks until thick and lemony coloured. Fold into the egg whites and beat together. Add the sugar slowly and beat with a spoon for five minutes. ( I use a mixer coz I am lazy)

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Fold into the beaten mixture. Put the milk into a small saucepan along with the butter and heat it just until the milk is hot and the butter is melted. Stir this into the beaten mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven to a rack to cook for five minutes before removing from the pan to finish cooling completely.

While the cake is baking make the strawberry syrup. Place the strawberries for the syrup into a small saucepan and cook them over medium heat, stirring occasionally until they come to a complete boil. This should take about six minutes or so.

Line a strainer with cheesecloth and place it over a bowl. Pour the hot strawberries into the strainer, mashing them a bit with the back of a spoon to extract all the juice. Discard the pulp. Return the strawberry juice to the pan along with the sugar and the syrup. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until it comes to a full boil. Boil one minute. Remove from the heat and skim any foam from off the top with a metal spoon. Stir in the brandy if using, and set aside to cool, just until warm.

Wash the spring form pan completely and dry it. Put it back together.
Put the white chocolate pieces, along with ¼ cup of the heavy cream, into a bowl and place the bowl over a pan of hot water on top of the stove. (make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water) Melt the chocolate along with the cream, stirring until smooth. Once melted, remove from the heat and cool completely.

Put the mascarpone cheese into a large mixing bowl. Whip it until fluffy. Stir in the melted chocolate mixture. Whip the remaining 1 ¼ cup of heavy cream until stiff in another bowl. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarapone cheese and chocolate mixture. Gently fold in the chopped strawberries.

Take the cake and carefully trim the top off until it is completely flat. Carefully slice it through the middle into three layers. Place one layer into the cleaned spring form pan. Brush it completely with the warm syrup, allowing it to soak into the cake. Cover with 1/3 of the chocolate mixture. Carefully lay another piece of cake over top. Brush that completely with the warm syrup as well, again allowing it to soak in. Cover with another 1/3 of the chocolate mixture. Place the final layer of cake carefully on top and once again brush with more strawberry syrup, allowing it to soak in. Cover with the remaining chocolate mixture and smooth the top as much as possible. Cover with cling film, and place in the refrigerator until set, at least four hours or over night if possible.

To serve, set the cake pan onto a pretty plate and remove the sides of the pan. Scatter white chocolate curls over the top of the cake and garnish with more berries if desired, before cutting into slices to serve. Delicious!

Cooking in The English Kitchen today, Toffee Popcorn Bark.

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