Saturday 1 January 2011

A hug to begin the year on . . .

Well, here it is the 1st of January, 2011 . . . a new year and fresh page to write on. The holidays are only starting up in Scotland, as New Years or Hogmanny is it's really big day. Here though . . . we'll soon be taking down the tree, putting away all the decorations . . . cards . . . It's kind of a let down really. Things have been going full steam ahead and been in a flurry of activity, and now it's back to reality.

Last night I got a phone call from a good friend, and she needed a hug. Things had just gotten too much for her and all of a sudden she had stopped to take a breath, and it had been a bit like hitting a brick wall . . .

How on earth, you ask, can someone give a hug over the phone? Well, it's rather simple really . . . especially when you realize that hugs can be many things.

Hugs can be the traditional hug, when four arms wrap around each other and you hold each other close, and . . . hugs can be a few gentle words spoken in sincerity. Hugs can be a gentle shoulder that listens and helps to carry an otherwise too-heavy burden. They can be nothing more than a knowing look, or a gentle pat on the arm. A hug is knowing that someone else cares, that someone else shares.

Hugs . . . two hearts wrapped in arms, and it doesn't matter if they are in the same room or two hundred miles apart. Hugs were invented to let people know they care about them without ever saying a word . . .

So for all of you out there that need a hug this morning . . . here goes . . . if you're alone, I'll be your shadow. If you want to cry I'll be your shoulder. If you want a hug I'll be your pillow . . . and if you need to be happy, I'll be your smile . . . but more important than that . . . anytime you need a friend, I'll just be . . . me . . .

Hugs, the perfect gift, one size fits all, and nobody minds if you exchange it . . . I can't think of a better way to start off the new year, can you???

Here's another good way to begin the New Year, although Todd would beg to differ. Nevermind he'll get over it. Low in fat and calories when compared to the regular version, and yet still very, very tasty!

*Fettuccine Alfredo*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

A creamy delicious low fat version that is just what we need after all the excesses of the holidays! Quick and easy to do as well!

1 TBS butter
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 TBS flour
1 1/3 cups low fat milk
1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, divided
2 TBS low fat cream cheese
fine sea salt
8 ounces uncooked fetuccini, cooked and hot
2 TBS chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for one minute, without browning. Whisk in the flour until smooth then whisk in the milk gradually. Cook six minutes or so until the mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup of the grated cheese, the cream cheese and a pinch of salt. Whisk to melt the cheeses. Toss this sauce with the cooked, hot pasta. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Spoon into a large pasta bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano Reggiano cheese , the parsley and a grinding of black pepper. Serve immediately.

Over in The English Kitchen today, Cream Palmiers!


  1. To start the New Year Marie, Hugs coming your way. I was not with Sarah last night however I called her on the phone and we had a good hug for a few mins. to help her see the New Year you say hugs can go wherever they are needed,,
    love to you Todd and Mitzie,
    Sybil xx

  2. Here's a big HUG and a cheery wink for you. And for anyone else reading this, whether they need it or not.

  3. Big Hug from me to you, across all the miles! Love you, Marie! XO Raquel

  4. Hugs are wonderful things and we all need them too. A very Happy New Years Day to you!

    Lots of Love and Hugs!

  5. Wonderful & delicious beginnings to the new year here, Marie! Wishing you all the best in 2011, my friend–LOVE & LIGHT, PEACE & JOY to you & yours all year! :o) ((BIG HUGS))

  6. Dear Marie big,big Hugs to you in this new Year, send all my ,love to you and Todd and Mitzie, you are a very special friend for me dear, thanks, blessings gloria

  7. Oh, Marie, a big hug to you, the Toddster and Mitzie. Happy New Year. Again. :)


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