Sunday 1 August 2010

Marie's Sunday Six

Welcome to my Sunday Six Smile Makers, the first one for the month of August, 2010, and the first one I have done in over a month! I sure have missed being able to share my special blessings and smile makers with you! There's been a lot, but you've already seen my holiday snaps . . . so you can see all the smiles there! I've tried to pare it down to six things that made me smile this past week! Not an easy chore actually, coz my cup truly runneth over!

Todd has been working on his pond this past week since we have been home, furiously planting it up with plants etc. It doesn't quite look like this as of yet, but it's a vision for it's future! He put i several water lilies and some water irises. Next year he wants to put in frog spawn and newts. Todd has always wanted to have a pond and finally we have a garden large enough to do one and that makes me smile. He also put up a garden shed this week, so he's been a very busy boy. That also makes me smile!

Safe journies make me smile. We travelled all the way over to Canada and back, and when we were there, all the way to New Brunswick and back, all the way down to Gatwick Airport and back and numerous other journies in the month of July, and we did it in relative safety. The Lord watched over us all of the way and kept us safe. Knowing He was in charge made me smile and makes me smile! I'm sure a lot of prayers for safety on our behalf helped as well, and that knowledge also makes me smile. Thanks so much!

I have wanted a new dinner set for a long time and I finally got them. Black Pepper Everyday Dishes from Denby! It's my birthday this month, on the 13th, and I have been oggling this particular set of dishes for the past 3 months at our local Tesco Direct store, so Todd finally decided to get them for me! That really makes me smile. I love Denby and have wanted some Denby dishes forever! What's even better was that they were marked down to less than half price! Now that made Todd smile! Something that makes us both smile like that can't be bad!!

I even got matching stemware. They were on sale too, at only £2 for two of them! It's been my lucky week!

It's been such a rainy and wet week, umbrellas make me smile! I did forget it one day and regretted it, but for the rest of the week, I've been safe and dry under my umbrella! I just adore umbrellas, they come in so many colours and patterns. I wish I could find a polka dotted one, for that would be my favourite umbrella ever of all time! Staying dry under an umbrella this week, made me smile.

Last night we went out to dinner with our good friends Audrey and Peter. Breaking bread with friends always makes me smile. We only went to the local Toby Carvery, but it was good as always and the best part was getting to share some good food and a few laughs with people we love. Todd tried to pay with his library card!! He picked it up by mistake before we left to go out, thinking it was his bank card!! I didn't bring my purse for once, so I was no help there!! Thankfully Audrey and Peter were more organized!! We did have a laugh over Todd's mixup though! We went for a long walk on a country road afterwards, which also brought joy to my heart. I love country walks, and they are even better when shared in the company of my Todd and some good friends! Audrey and Peter are two of our favourite walking friends!

The tender mercies of the Lord make me smile. They always do. He is so good and kind to me and I love that He is always there for me. Only the breath of a prayer away from me. Being able to walk through my life, hand in hand with the Lord, makes me smile. I don't know how people cope without the knowledge of His love and guidance in their lives! It is such a beautiful part of mine and as necessary to me as breathing and eating!! My relationship with the Saviour makes me smile in a VERY big way. I am so very blessed!!

And there you have it, my smile makers for the week. I hope that you found something to smile about over these past seven days. I would love to hear about it!!

Pasta makes me smile, it's one of my favourite foods. Not so much Todd's . . . he pretty much hates it, but every once in a while I get to make some and he eats it anyways. He always seems to enjoy what I prepare though . . . so I am wondering if he really hates it actually . . . hmmmm . . . .

*Macaroni Cheese and Pancetta Frittata*
Serves 4

A frittata makes a lovely light lunch or a starter. I love this version because I love macaroni and cheese anyways, but adding eggs and bacon makes it even more scrummy!

75g of uncooked macaroni (3/4 of a cup)
75g of diced pancetta (£ ounces)
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
6 large freerange eggs
75g of Grana Padano Cheese, roughly chopped (3 ounces)
(You can use a good quality Parmesan Reggiano if you can't get the Padano)
a large handful of fresh Basil leaves, plus extra for garnishing
Freshly ground black pepper (You will probably not need any salt, because of the cheese)

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil on top of the stove and cook the macaroni according to the package directions. Once cooked, drain it well, rinse, drain again, and then set it aside to cool for a bit.

Heat a 10 inch non-stick oven proof skillet and fry the pancetta in it for a few minutes, until it begins to crisp up. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds more without browning it. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat them well together. Remove the pancetta from the pan with a slotted spoon. Stir the pancetta into the eggs, along with the cooked macaroni, cheese, basil leaves and a good grinding of black pepper.

Put the skillet with the garlic back onto the stove over a medium heat and, once it is heated, tip the egg mixture into the pan. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes without disturbing, or until it is almost set.

Heat the grill to medium and slide the pan under it. Grill the frittata for four to five minutes, or until completely set and golden brown.

Remove from the grill and let sit in the pan for about 5 minutes. Slide it onto a chopping board and cut into slices to serve. Serve warm or at room temperature, with a garnish of extra basil leaves and a salad on the side.

On The English Kitchen today, Chocolate Hazelnut Palmiers! Yummo!


  1. FIRST AGAIN!!!!!!!! Is one on the ball or what?

    I do like your Denby dishes. They look realy swish. And Todd - what is he like eh? Library card! An easy mistake to make though with credit card size cards for EVERYTHING are quite the norm these days. Even your Tesco loyalty card.

    Don't you think they are making brollies less strong these days? It seems as though the littlest gust of wind turns the inside out.

  2. I meant to say - using the 'little and often' rule I think you probably have got Todd liking pasta now, though he hates to admit it. OK,now start with the chocolate cake!

  3. Hi MAJ! love your sunday six as always..rainy here too at the moment!

  4. I always SMILE when reading your smiles. It looks to be a beautiful day here, but it is quiet. Most are sleeping in this Sunday morning. I do hope your day is a wonderful one!

  5. Reminds me of a friend who went shooting clays, and tried to insert her lipstick down the gun barrel!

  6. What wonderful blessings Marie - no wonder you are smiling. Your pond sounds lovely. And your new dishes are so pretty!!

    I am so glad you had such a wonderful trip. It's nice to be home thought, isn't it? That's how I feel. It's nice to be back in my own place :)

    Have a fantastic week!


  7. I am counting on one of my smiles this morning...smiling at all your smiles !! also have another smile as I have just heard that maybe John will be allowed home tomorrow or Tuesday. That will truly be an answer to prayer for how ever long we can have him...
    Love Sybil xx
    PS Love your new cups etc. one day we might be able to enjoy a cuppa with you and Todd !

  8. Those palmiers look YUM to me! And I love the new dish ware...that will look pretty with everything! :D

  9. Love, love, love the dishes and especially the glasses. We have a set of those in red and I broke one and have been looking for a replacement ever since. They are super expensive over here like $20.00 for four. To me that is high as I have shall we say, a very enthusiastic dishwasher for a hubby.

    It is so funny how many similarities we have between us.

    When I was in Italy I saw this fabulous umbrella and didn't buy it. It was non-buyer's remorse. My biggest issue was how to get it home and it was pricey. Well, my beautiful Laura sent it to me for my birthday and we just received it this past Monday when we got home. I will have to do a post on it so you can see my fancy brollie!

    The credit card missing with a library card in its place is a good one. Glad you had friends along so you didn't have to roll up your sleeves and do dishes!

    Love you sweet friend, cannot wait to see photos of the pond. We love our pond, it is so refreshing and wonderful to sit near it and listen to the water.

    Hugs, B

  10. Here I am sitting in Lynell's computer can picture that can't you? It is bed time and this is the first chance I've had to get to the computer today. I am glad that I can say hello even if it is late.

    How nice to get pretty new dishes. Now your lovely recipes will look even better. Good for Todd for getting them for you.

    I'm telling John that I need to get a new computer for my birthday this next week. I hope he agrees with me. I miss having one so much. I don't really need one for work since I am not teaching at the college anymore but I still need one...right??????

    Your smiles make me smile. I hope that you have lots to smile about next week too. I will be back to visit when I can. Much love, Lura

  11. Hi Marie
    This is my first time to comment, but I've followed your daily blog for many months now. Just wanted to pop in and say "I absolutely love your blog!" Have tried many recipes (love the bowtie pasta with cabbage...yummy). I live in the US in Illinois. So enjoyed reading about your holiday to Canada and seeing your lovely pics!
    Thanks so much for writing's a lovely part of my day to read about yours! God's blessings to you, and "Happy Birthday" a bit early!


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