Sunday, 8 January 2012
Sunday this and that . . .
Hands up if you've climbed any mountains recently!! Hmmm . . . that many of you eh? I didn't think there would be very many of you who put your hands up . . . in fact I would have been quite surprised and amazed had any of you put them up! But what if I told you I wasn't talking about rocky peaks . . . but metaphorical mountains . . . the challenges we sometimes encounter which can seem very daunting and much like mountains in our lives??? Ahhh . . . thought so. Everyone's hand is up now!
We are all mountain climbers, are we not??? I am reminded immediately of a friend of mine who never lets anything stand in her way of accomplishing anything. When the children in her village recently were in need of a playground, she totally ignored all the scoffers and set about organizing fund raisers and the like . . . rallying friends and cajoling local businesses into supporting the scheme. Amazingly within a year she had raised enough and the playground went from being a dream into a reality.
There is an old adage that says . . . "Those who say something can't be done, should not interrupt those who are doing it." I say . . . "Never say never." If you stand still in life . . . you will go nowhere, accomplish nothing, and mountains will never be moved, climbed or conquered. One foot in front of the other is the way to go. You can take baby steps or you can take giant steps, but the end result will be the same. Mission accomplished.
I like to think that I am a mountain climber. If you never climb . . . you never progress, or grow. It's all a part of the refinement process!
Can you believe it? I am getting another cold! This is so annoying! I have never totally shaken the one I got in the autumn . . . it's coming back again with the tickle in my throat and cough. It just doesn't seem to want to let go. Hopefully it won't be as bad this time around!
We took ourselves off to a film at the cinema last night with some friends. We saw "The Iron Lady", starring Meryl Streep. Wow! If she doesn't win an academy award for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher I will be amazed. She did a fabulous job and was most believable as Margaret Thatcher. She had the accent/voice down pat and I felt was very convincing as the character. Not having lived over here when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, I found it all very interesting. I know the film has quite mixed reviews with some saying that it ignores things that it shouldn't have and glosses over others, but if you are looking to see some brilliant acting and be entertained for a few hours, I say go for it. The four of us all really enjoyed this film. There was no swearing (that I heard in any case), no gratuitous sex or violence, except for news footage of some of the rioting/bombings/ etc. which occured during her time as PM of this great country. I came away with the opinion that she was probably one of the greatest Prime Ministers the UK has ever had, putting her right up there with Churchill . . . but that is only my opinion, you must go see it and form your own! The next movie we want to see is War Horse. That looks fabulous as well.
I have a real treat for you here this morning. You know those boxes of After Eight Mints that you get every Christmas??? This is the perfect way to use them up, just so they don’t go stale-like, you know, sitting on the counter there all alone and not being eaten or anything . . .
*Chocolate Mint Snacking Cake*
Makes 1 8-inch square cake
Over in North America you can buy these lovely little cake mixes called Snacking Cakes. They come in all sorts of flavours and are just the right size for an after school snack or a drink and gab with your neighbours on a coffee morning. This is a little snacking cake of my own. Deliciously chocolately with wonderfully melting chocolate mints on top. This one is a keeper. It comes from my old blue binder, where the page is well spattered. You just know it is good coz it’s so well loved!
¾ cup caster sugar
½ cup flour
½ cup butter, softened
1/3 cup cocoa powder (not drinking cocoa)
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
3 large eggs
16 squares of thin chocolate after dinner mints
Icing Sugar for dusting over the top after baking
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Lightly butter and flour an 8 inch square baking tin and set aside.
Put all the cake ingredients, except for the mints and icing sugar into a bowl and beat well together on medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Spoon into the prepared pan and smooth over.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until it tests done. (a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, or when the top springs back when lightly touched) Remove from the oven and immediately, while it is still hot, place the mints on the top in rows, overlapping the points. Set aside to cool
When cool dust the top lightly with icing sugar. Cut into squares to serve.
Baking over in The English Kitchen today some delicious Chocolate Filled Peanut Butter Cookies!