27 October 2011

That darn Birthday Fairy!

Well yet another year for the bunny! My friend Vicki sent me a card that called the birthday fairy a b!&*h and well she really is at times! I sometimes wonder where has all the time gone...?

In any event, this year’s cake was different and a bit disappointing in the size department (more for my friends who didn’t get any!). I made from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes a red velvet cake. J had never had one before and it usually has been a favourite of mine. So I thought why not make something different this year than my usual pistachio cake?!?

I trust Rose and her cakes and recipes always come out as expected for me. I think my only criticism of the recipe is that it is not a normal two-layer cake – it was meant for a heart-shaped pan but I just used a round one. But it was a pitiful size and the frosting amount which I doubled to cover this one was really just enough – I could have used more. So I am uncertain how much a single batch would have covered. In any event, it came out OK and really was good – especially the frosting. It is a combination of cream cheese and white chocolate without any extra sugar. It gest enough from the white chocolate and really it was just right!I’ve just left a note in the book that you need to double the cake batter and at least double the double-batch recipe (found later on in the book) to get enough frosting to cover the cake and perhaps even six-times the recipe amount to have a thicker frosting as I like enough in-between the layers. But that’s my preference. Darn fairy....

15 October 2011

Gifts from the garden!

I am very lucky to know someone who has a garden. I’m even luckier that a few times a year I get some of her produce to sample. This day she gave me a living lettuce, some parsley and some lovely potatoes with their dirt still on them! What a feast!

I used the parsley in my hamburgers as you can see – they came out so great with the parsley – it was so unlike the kind I get in the store and even the kind I’ve grown myself in a pot on the sill. I don’t know why but it was extraordinary.

I used the lettuce on my burger along with some cucumber and tomato – I’m rather traditional that way.We then used the potatoes to make some homemade chips – lovely! Sorry I was too busy to get a snap of the end product but as you can see from the before pictures they were lovely specimens – and even lovelier to eat!Thanks to her we had an extra special dinner that shows you being able to grow your own food is indeed a great thing! Enjoy!

6 October 2011

Life's interesting roads...

Yesterday Steve Jobs lost his life to pancreatic cancer. Something that is near to my heart as my mother and uncle both died from this disease. I suppose he had a lesser virulent type but still in the end it got him. I thought this quote by him was really a good one. Read it all and truly let it sink in....

Commencement speech at Stanford University, 2005

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle. ~Steve Jobs

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