Tuesday 27 December 2011

The Simple Woman's Day book . . .

FOR TODAY, December 27th, 2011...

Outside My Window...

It is damp and dark . . . it's been unseasonably mild though, which is good. That will save a bit on the heating bill for sure! It is hard to believe that this is the last Woman's Day Book entry of 2011. Where has the year gone???

I am thinking...
We have had a really good Christmas. It started off with our attending a beautiful concert of Christmas Music at the Runcorn chapel and ended with our preparing a feast for all four missionaries yesterday. In all we have had a lovely few weeks, filled to overflowing with love and joy. You can't ask for much more than that!

The Elders yesterday after dinner! They are a nice group of lads. We are losing two on Wednesday as they are changing areas. (Insert sad face here.) We will get two new ones and we will love them as much as the ones that are leaving, but it is always sad to see any of them leave.

I am thankful for...
The love of family and friends, the reality of the Gospel in my life, the Gift of the Saviour, Peace in my heart, Joy in my life . . . my cup runneth over for sure.

From the kitchen...
There are leftover mince pies, Christmas pudding, Christmas Cake . . . the usual after Christmas goodies!

I am wearing...
Blue long sleeved nightie (M&S), Pink jim jam bottoms, pink slippers, aqua robe. Layering for warmth and comfort . . . again! I enjoyed seeing my daughter in law and grandsons wearing matching jim jams via web cam on Christmas day. Perhaps I should get Todd and myself matching jim jams . . . naaaahhh!! He would look better in them than I would. That might make me jealous!

I am creating...
I just did this one yesterday afternoon:

I had sketched her before Christmas and then yesterday I finished her off. I think it turned out quite nice. What do you think? As always she is available as a card or a print!

I am going...
We don't have a lot planned this week. I have a lot of things to do for my calling in Relief Society and we are teaching someone here in our home this morning. Then, there is a Baptism on Friday evening at the chapel. Todd and I have done a lot with this girl who's being Baptised and so it will be quite special to us. She is a sweet girl and we are so happy for her. ☺

I am reading...

Cross Stitch, by Diane Gabaldon (first in the Outlander series)

It has been a very long time since I have read anything deemed to be historical romance, although at one time I read a lot of them. I was particularly drawn to stories with either vikings or scotsmen wearing kilts in them.

The novel is not easily classified by a single genre. On one level, the work is a romance novel with a focus on the romantic relationship between the two main characters. The book could be described as a work of historical fiction with a detailed account of 18th century Scottish clan life. The novel could also be considered fantasy with a plot propelled by magical time travel as the main character, a woman named Claire, journeys from 1945 to the 18th century.

Cross Stitch(published in the US as Outlander) is the first novel in a series of seven by Diana Gabaldon. The book focuses on two main characters, Claire Randall (née Beauchamp) and James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser, and takes place in 18th- and 20th-century Scotland. It was awarded the RITA Award for "Best romance novel" of 1992, so it's not a really recent novel.

So far, whilst it isn't what I would consider to be "great" literature, I am finding it to be somewhat of a page turner and quite entertaining. I think we all need to read something light once in a while. I just skim over the mushy parts . . . where they would have held my interest when I was younger, I just find them boring now. Funny how that goes . . .

I am hoping...
That 2012 will be a year that brings lots of good things and blessings for everyone.

I am hearing...
Early morning sounds as the world
wakes up around me. Every day sounds. Peaceable and comforting. The odd sound of a car as it passes . . . the clock ticking . . . Mitzie chewing on her bone . . . the keys tap-tapping. Home Sweet Home.

Around the house...

Source: hgtv.com via Tori on Pinterest

If money and space were no object I would love to have a kitchen like this, with lots of room to work in. I only have about 2 feet of counter space in my kitchen to work on. It's very limiting and when it comes to having to prepare and serve a large meal I am frequently frustrated by the lack of space. I need to work on finding out a way of getting more coounter space into that room!!!

I am looking forward to ...
The Baptism on Friday evening. The new year. Ohh, and this year we are studying the Book of Mormon again in Sunday School. I am really looking forward to that. The more I read this book, but more convinced I become that it is inspired of God. I am grateful for those feelings, I truly am.

If I could change one thing it would be ...
That my family would be united more. That there would be only good feelings amongst us and amongst the stepmom and myself. I had always hoped that we would be able to have a pleasant and co-operative relationship. That is what would have been best for the children. I do not know what I have ever done to make her hate me so, but she's hated me since the beginning. I just wish we could all get along, if only for the children's sakes . . .

One of my favourite things...
Is teaching with the missionaries. I really enjoy that and I enjoy sharing my love of the Gospel with any one who is willing to listen. I would love dearly to be able to go on a mission with Todd, but I can't see that ever happening.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
A bit of work . . . a bit of play . . . and everything in between!!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

To try is to risk failure. But risk must be taken, as the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing . . . does nothing, has nothing and is nothing.
~Author unknown

I think the fear of failure often prevents us from achieving our full potential. My goal for 2012 is to try to be fearless, or as fearless as I can be. Obviously I won't be walking in front of a bus or anything!

As a closing thought I would like to leave you with this:

"Wisdom is knowing what to do next. Virtue is doing it."
~David Starr Jordan (1851-1931)

And there you have it . . . my day book for this week. Don't forget to hop on over to the Simple Woman to check out the other day book entries! (Or better yet, do a simple day book entry yourself! It's not that hard and I am betting you would enjoy it!

Here's a delicious way to prepare green beans that would be a fabulous side dish for your New Year's Celebrations. They are wonderful with Lamb, or Beef! In fact, I can't think of anything they would be great with!

*Haricots Verts with Pancetta and Pine Nuts*
Serves 4 to 6
Printable Recipe

Haricots Verts is a fancy name for those lovely little French green beans. I suppose you could term this as a wonderful example of European fusion cooking, for it combines a truly French Ingredient with an Italian twist! These tasty morsels would add a delicious accent to your New Year's dinner celebrations this year.

1 pound haricots vert
1 TBS salt
½ cup pine nuts
2 ounces of pancetta, finely chopped
Basil infused olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 or 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 TBS minced fresh rosemary
¼ cup white wine vinegar
¼ cup butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Trim the stem ends off of the haricot verts and wash. Add the salt to a saucepan of water and bring it to the boil. Add the haricots vert and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, just until crispy tender. (they will begin to give off their delicious aroma when they are ready) Drain well, rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking any further, and then drain them again. Set aside.

Toast the pine nuts in a slow oven for about 10 minutes, or until light brown. Set aside.

Heat a very large skillet and add a drizzle of the basil infused olive oil. Add the pancetta and fry until crisp. Add the shallots, garlic and rosemary, and sauté over medium high heat for one to two minutes until tender. Add the vinegar and cook for minute or so to redice and then stir in the butter. Add the beans and pine nuts and heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Baking in The English Kitchen today a delicious Maraschino Cherry Cake!

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