Sunday, 11 November 2012

Cauliflower Soup

 
CAULIFLOWER SOUP

I am not much of soup person and yet my last post and this post are both soups!  Maybe it's the cooler weather and it  just warms you up - plus it's good for you and Mr. SweetArt will eat it too - so it gets the veggies into him!

Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients

1 onions, chopped ( I had a red onion that I used)
1 clove garlic minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tsp butter
1tsp of Pixie Chicks Tuscan Sunset ( or Italian Seasoning if you don't have this awesome stuff)
1/4 tsp (1 mL) nutmeg
10 oz/ 284 mL) sodium-reduced chicken stock
2 cups of water
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) milk
Salt and pepper to taste and a sprinkle of Paprika
    You can also sprinkle on some chopped fresh chives when you serve it.
Preparation

In large saucepan with the butter, saute the  onions, garlic, celery,, nutmeg, chicken stock and 2 cups (750 mL) water; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add cauliflower; cover and cook for 15 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Remove from heat and put in food processor or blender in batches. I have an emulsifier - that I use on all my soups!  Love it :)
Whisk in milk, salt and pepper until smooth. Return to saucepan; heat through. Sprinkle with chopped chives if you want or a little more paprika.
I always serve fresh homemade buns with my soup :)
Enjoy!!
 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Roasted Tomato Soup

 
 
 

 
Its tomato season and you have lots of tomatoes- what to do?  Make a comforting tomato soup – it’s so easy!  There is no real recipe here - Kind of like Chef Michael Smith style - taste it as you go - add what you like it is so good!

Slice a whole bunch of tomatoes – (enough to fill one or two cookie sheets.) Toss the tomatoes in olive oil and a good tablespoon of Pixie Chicks Tuscan Sunset seasoning.  Throw in a few cloves of garlic too!

Roast them at 350 for about one hour – watch how they are doing they may be done sooner or need more time depending on how ripe they are and how thick you sliced them.
 
When done just scrape them into a big pot – I deglaze the cookie sheet with some vegetable broth – about 2 cups – depending on if you like a thick soup or a thin soup

Use your emulsifier and then let it simmer. Or use a blender if you don’t have one – just don’t put too much in at a time!

This is the soup that we like – thick and with a rich flavour from the roasting and seasoning. 

Serve with grilled cheese sandwich or  – make rolls so you can dip it in the soup! 

Special thanks to Dainty Chef for the inspiration of this post

Gwen
SweetArt Supplies

Sunday, 12 August 2012

So the story goes like this...

This is how it usually goes.....

I'm sitting outside on the deck keeping the house quiet - Mr. SweetArt is sleeping during the day because he was on a night shift.  It is finally hot here and we are feeling like summer has finally arrived - even though it is August!


"what are you eating?  That looks good - can you make me one for my lunch tonight?"
"It's a cucumber sandwich with philly garlic cream cheese....and yes I will make you one"

"Who are you talking to on there" Looking at my FB page on my laptop...

"No one - I'm on Facebook"
"What do you do on that any way! it's a waste of time, - oh-- that looks really good! Are you going to make it?
cinnamon-caramel-swirl-bread-with-butter-crumb-crust that A flock in the city  posted
"Maybe.... if you're nice"

Next day - it is hot again today and I can't get that picture out of my mind!! I love cinnamon and they made it look so easy!! So despite the heat I thought I could get the bread made in the morning before he goes to sleep.  When I go to make it the page tells me to go over here for the "My favorite baguette recipe ~ easy and just delicious" Well darn it if now I didn't want to make those too!!  So I cheated - and took a small bit of the dough for the cinnamon - caramel loaf and made one baguette!
 
then made this

Mid afternoon he wakes up......................

"OMG What are you doing in the kitchen with the oven on it's so &^* hot in here!"
but by the time he gets to it - it looks like this
"OOOOH can I have some???"""
"WAIT!!! I have to take a picture!!"
"mumble mumble" something I don't know what he said.....but those of you that do this might be able to fill in the blank mumbling words....
"How come it's so small? 
"I only made a little one to try it out"
"How come the picture shows it the full length of the big cookie sheet then?????"

"I don't know - um... it's just the angle of the camera!
"NO it isn't!! you ate most of it!!"

Smiling - I said "I had to taste it with my John's blueberry jam that he made for me!"

"Why is the oven still on? Did you forget to turn it off?"

"No"

"OOOOH" the sound of delight and drool almost coming out.... "Is that what I think it is??"

"Yes - I just made it a little differently- instead of a loaf pan I made it into a circle and baked it on a cookie sheet... and no you can't have it yet it is too hot"
He pulls the fan out of one room and puts it in the kitchen to cool the "room" down - but I think because it is directed towards the bread he has something else in mind!

So YUMMY!! Thank you for both recipes A Flock in The City I will be making these again - and again- and again.....


Gwen
SweetArt Supplies





Friday, 1 June 2012

Stuffed Zucchini

I have to thank Lark's Country Heart for inspiring me with this recipe!  She posted it on FB and I couldn't stop thinking about it -- the big question was --- would my man enjoy it as a meal?  It is a vegetable and a zucchini at that with no real potato or pasta served with it.  Could I pull it off??

First thing I did was wash two zucchini , cut them length wise and scoop out the seeds.  This recipe makes enough sauce for probably 2 more small zucchini.
Drizzle - well actually I drizzled and then rubbed the oil all over them added a little fresh ground pepper and a little salt then placed them on a cookie sheet in a 350 oven for 15 minutes.
While that is baking start the meat sauce. 
1lb of hamburger (Lark's also points out you can use ground turkey) drain off all the fat!
1 (8oz) can of  tomato sauce - add your own seasonings or by one preseasoned.
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
dash of fresh ground pepper and a sprinkle of sea salt
1/4 cup finely chopped red or sweet onion
1 celery stalk finely chopped
4-6 button mushrooms finely chopped
If you want to saute the onion, celery and mushrooms first that is ok too.
1/2 cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
Provolone Cheese
I just added my veggies right to the almost cooked hamburger...


Take the cooked zucchini out of the oven and fill them with your meat sauce
 
 Sprinkle with the Panko crumbs and add the Provolone Cheese and put them back in the oven under broil for just a moment - enough to brown and melt the cheese.
Let cool a couple of minutes if you can.. it is very hot and the zucchini will burn your mouth! (I didn't do this but someone couldn't wait to try it) 
Enjoy!!
Gwen
P.S. if you are on FB check us out at https://www.facebook.com/SweetArt.Supplies?ref=tn_tnmn
 
 
 

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

I'm trying!


I'm not an expert at cake decorating - I am just trying to be a good business person.  So as I learn - I then like to pass it on to you.  The thing is - I am just who am I.  I am not going to pretend to be something I'm not.  I make mistakes, I can apologise and move forward.  I do not get involved in drama - I know myself that life is precious and I have had enough drama in my own life that I don't need to get involved in someone elses:) That - story is probably made for a book - oh yes I am kind of writing one about that... 4 chapters so far....  who knows where that will go.. I guess that means I am human (phew)
So...
When I speak with people people and tell them about the kinds of products I carry - I hope to educate them a little about what is different.  Here are a few examples of what's good about shopping at SweetArt Supplies.
1) Local small business - not some big business that doesn't care how things are done
2) Customer Service - I try my very best!
3) Quality Products  for example you sometimes can't tell  where products are from if they have been repackaged - except maybe the price.  Our liners are from Sweden - no knock offs here!  Our paper straws are made in the USA and also not a knock off.
4) Are you concerned where your products come from, what they are made of , are they eco-friendly?  Well are products are!
5) Just because you don't eat cake or sweets - doesn't mean you can't use cupcake liners for your healthy muffins or breads or desserts - nut cups :) Relax and breathe -- remember it's ok... and I really don't need a lecture about it..
6) If I don't have, or can't bring it in - I don't mind searching it out for you and passing you over to another store - that's customer service.
7) If you have a question - you can phone or email me and I will answer! I don't hide behind the website. I really try and treat people the way I like to be treated... oh now I sound like my mother! (not that that's a bad thing) but you know what I mean :)

The blog thing I am still learning and it does take up some time! My hubby wonders what the heck I do up here sometimes!

So have a wonderful day - enjoy those you love - tell them you love them and if you need to show them how much you love them ---- check out our liners :) we have some great heart liners

Gwen...

Monday, 30 April 2012

Christmas in April - Foodie Penpal

CHRISTMAS IN APRIL

This is my second participation in the Food Penpal. 
It is so much fun to get presents from someone somewhere in Canada!  You get to know them through their blog and usually the links to other blogs that are participating are fun to read too!  If you are interested click the link and join up - you will enjoy it.  Packages are mailed by the 15th of the month and contain no more than $15 worth of treats. On the last day of the month, participants reveal the contents of their Foodie Pen Pal package to the world by blogging about it, Facebook and Twitter :) - it is great fun.  I will take a break from it for a couple of months as my hubby is have surgery and life will be busy while he gets better.


Who doesn't like to get presents???  I loved opening up my April Foodie Penpal from Tamara of Fitknitchick.  Tamara (from Port Moody BC) wrote a really nice note in her card telling me about the products she sent.
I was excited when I opened up the packages :)  I love tea and had never tried the Arbonne Tea - I have a friend who sells this but somehow I have missed that they sell tea! Lindt dark chocolates -her favourite and I have to say mine too! Some wonderful honey sticks from the Honey Bee Centre in Burnaby, BC that I will add to my next cup of tea.
So I promptly put the kettle on for a cup of afternoon tea and somehow the little blue dark Lindt chocolate unwrapped itself and pushed its way into my mouth!! It started to melt so quickly that I had no chance of getting it out of my mouth.  So I had to enjoy the moment of the chocolate melting so smoothly and wonderfully!  My favourite!!  The biscuits are from Martins Marvelous, something I have never seen before and I will have to make something good to go with them! This is what it says about it "We kept things simple by using locally sourced ingredients to make this product line of all–natural, gluten–free and nut–free gourmet products. Now, you don’t have to settle for second best. Marvelous...eh?!" It says on the package I can open them and then freeze the rest - that's awesome!  No waste or stale biscuits here.

I hope you take a moment to check out Tamara's blog and the other links I have added.  Thank you Tamara for a great Christmas in April Foodie Penpal!

If you are interested in participating in the Foodie Penpal program please contact Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean- who by the way puts this awesome program together!  Thank you Lindsay!!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Quinoa Salad


This is probably one of the most tastiest recipes I have made with Quinoa  - great for anytime!   I make it and keep it in my fridge and just grab a little bowl for a snack.  My husband even liked it - and I didn't even tell him what it was :)  Don't let Quinoa scare you - it's easy to cook and great to add in to lots of recipes.  I hope you enjoy this recipe :) - the little extra basil pesto I added in at the end just punched it up a bit!

Quinoa (Tabbouleh) Salad

Adapted from a magazine - I just can't remember which one!)
Ingredients
  • 1-3/4 cups ( 425 mL) water
  • 1 cup ( 250 mL) quinoa
  • 1/4 English cucumber
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 green pepper
  • 5 green onions
  • 1 large bunch parsley
  • 1/2 cup ( 125 mL) olive oil
  • 1/4 cup ( 50 mL) lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ( 2 mL) salt
  • 1/4 tsp ( 1 mL) chili powder

1. Pour water into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Rinse quinoa with cold water several times. Drain and stir into boiling water with a pinch of salt. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes, until all water is absorbed and quinoa grains are transparent.

2. Meanwhile, dice cucumber, tomatoes and green pepper. Thinly slice green onions and finely chop parsley. In a bowl, whisk oil with lemon juice, salt and chili powder.

3. Pour hot quinoa into oil mixture and toss well. Cool to room temperature. Toss with chopped vegetables and parsley. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

 I also just add whatever I have on hand – and then in the bowl that I am eating I have tossed in some basil pesto J

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Easy Crusty Chicken with Tuscan Sunset Rub


I know there are lots of great recipes that have chicken cooked in sauces - my hubby calls them soppy sauce chicken - he is not a big fan of chicken cooked that way.  He loves crispy crunchy chicken - I can't bring myself to deep fry chicken - except maybe once a year, although I can cook with the skin on and then take it off to eat it - you lose all the flavour!  Trying to keep things on a bit more of a healthy recipe I found something he loves.  I can make these into chicken fingers or  I can cook the chicken breasts whole.  I personally prefer to buy skin on - bone in, it takes a second to pull off the skin and if I find the bones add great flavour to the chicken.  If I am making chicken fingers - I of course keep the bones and freeze them until I have a bunch to make chicken stock.  I bake the bones to add some flavour for the stock.
So this is such a simple thing to do for crispy chicken.
I soak my chicken in some buttermilk for about an hour.
In another bowl I add Japanese Panko bread crumbs and some seasonings - anything you like.
This time I tried Pixie Chicks Tuscan Sunset spice - WOW!  What a wonderful combination of spices!
I heat my old cookie sheet in the oven with a just a little oil on it and then place my chicken on it and spray the top quickly with Pam.
Place in oven at 375 for 40 minutes for bone in - large pieces.
That's it.... easy peasy - crispy chicken dinner! (or winner winner chicken dinner) :)

I have used - Italian seasoning from the store but I am sold on this product!  I just had a little bit that a friend of mine gave me to try- I was not asked or paid by Pixie Chicks to endorse their product - it is just a personal endorsement of a product I tried and loved.   Check them out and buy one to try!

Have a great one!
Gwen

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Wonderful Cheese Scones

Cheese Scones

 
I have been making these wonderful flavourful cheese scones for years.  They are so easy to make and they fill the kitchen with a wonderful warm comforting smell that will greet your guests or family as you welcome them to your home.
Like muffins - you don't want to over work these - gentle is the key word here and as a side note to my friend - you cannot substitute cornstarch for baking powder! :)
 
 
Cheese Scones


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp salt

1 green onion chopped finely (optional)

2 bacon strips cooked and chopped (optional)

4 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut up

1 cup (4oz) shredded cheddar cheese

2 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese

1 large egg

1/2 cup milk


Heat oven to 400F

Put flour, baking powder, dry mustard, and salt into large bowl; mix well

Add butter and cut in with pastry blender or rub in with your fingers until the mixture looks like fine granules.

Add cheeses, bacon and or green onion and toss to mix

Break egg into the milk and beat with a fork to blend well.

Pour this mixture over the flour mixture and stir with a fork until dough forms - do not over mix

turn out dough onto a lightly floured board and give 10 to 12 kneads. Cut dough in half and knead each half briefly into a ball, turn smooth side up and pat or roll into a 6inch circle.

Cut each circle into 6 wedges. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.


Bake 12 - 15 minutes --- check at 12 or until medium brown.


Cool on rack and then loosely wrap in a dish towel on wire rack...if they last that long :)  ENJOY!! 

Friday, 30 March 2012

March Foodie Penpal

This month I came across a posting on Facebook from  Lindsay Livingston from The Lean Green Bean letting us know there was a Foodie Penpal going on here in Canada!  What was that about I wondered!!  She had me at foodie and I could guess that it had something to do with a food exchange!
The amount of coordinating this took was intense - I'm sure!  So a big Thank you to Lindsay for putting this all together.
Lindsay sends us an email with our name and who we send our package to, and another name of someone who sends it to us.  The rules are pretty simple spend $15.00 and make sure your package gets to you penpal before the 25th  and then blog about it on the 30th.  I had Jamie from Embracing Balance and as it turned out she lives here in Victoria - so a bit of a challenge to find unique things and we had the opportunity to meet and had a really great chat! Since I saved on postage I did spend just a little bit more than $15.00 (hope that was ok)  She has posted her blog and you can read it on her site about what I bought for her.


So now the good stuff comes for me!  The package arrived from Ontario and I was excited to see what was in it!
Pamela took the time to write a really nice note for me and explained why she sent what she and how she uses them.  I will have to remember that for next month!  It was really nice to get the beautiful note and the items.

The first item was the Egyptian Licorice organic tea.  I love tea and had never tried this.  I wasn't sure about licorice - but it wasn't too strong at all and was a nice mild flavour.

Next was this - Chilpotles - I love chilpotles and when I opened them the smell was wonderful and they were not overpowering either.  I made a great chili with them!

The last item was this Curly Sesame Delight - which I haven't opened or tried yet, but I will soon and will let you know how it is!

A big thank you to Pamela for taking the time to find some unique items to send to me! I am looking forward to the next exchange!  If you are a Canadian Food Blogger - check out this awesome opportunity to experience new items and meet some awesome people!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Famously Sweet Giveaway!


It always surprises me when I come up with an idea - and then just need to "ask" and it happens!  That's what happened when I contact the very sweet Acts of Sweetness Team from Redpath Sugar.  I see lots of blogs and Facebook pages giving away some really awesome prizes - (all the prizes I have given away have been bought by me.)  I thought to myself - "I wish I could offer my fans something really sweet too!"  So I contacted Redpath Sugars, I have followed them since finding out about them with Canada's Baking and Sweet Show that was held in Toronto last year.  Then in the autumn I noticed at our local Wal-mart carried a few of their products (even more now).  Out here in the west coast we haven't seen their products and so we are limited to a couple of companies.  I was very excited to see and try the sugars.  The first one we tried was the Turbinado Sugar -
This is made from 100% golden turbinado sugar which is boiled directly from natural concentrated cane juices. This unique process gives Turbinado Sugar its distinctive large crystal size and mild molasses flavour. Use it to give your coffee and tea a unique taste. You can sprinkle it on baked products to give them that extra crunch and flavour. We really like using this product, it has great flavour and is very versatile.
The Golden Yellow sugar is so fine and light it is just a delight to bake with - the cookies come out so nice and I have never had any problem with clumps or lumps.
Next I tried the Icing Sugar - wow so nice to make smooth glazes!! 
I am very happy to switch my sugar brand to Redpath Sugars - especially since it is made right here in Canada!  I hope you get a chance to find it at your local store and try it!  Check out their Facebook page too.
CONTEST!!!
Tell us what is your favourite Redpath Sugar product is or what you would try if you could.
Send us a picture of your favourite sweet baked item that you make.
info@sweetartsupplies.ca

A very special Thank-You to Redpath Sugar for donating this FAMOUSLY SWEET prize!  There are two prizes!
FIRST PRIZE: An awesome Redpath Apron (has pockets!), a Signed Buddy Valastro Redpath recipe tea towel (aka Cake Boss) and a little Redpath Sugar spoon in it's own bag"
SECOND PRIZE: A Redpath recipe tea towel and the Redpath Sugar Spoon.


Please subscribe to our blog and have your chance to win the Famously Sweet prize giveaway! 
Remember it is open to CANADIANS ONLY.

Terms and conditions:
OPEN TO RESIDENTS OF CANADA ONLY.
Contest and information provided is not affiliated at all with Facebook.  Your information is for the sole purpose of this contest with SweetArt Supplies.
Winner must respond within in 3 business days to claim prize - winner will be announced on our Facebook page.
If winner is from Victoria, BC they AGREE to Pick up the prize.
Contest is running from March 02, 2012 to April 3rd 2012 (1:00pm PST)

                      

Monday, 9 January 2012

Lemon Meringue Pie

 

For my birthday I received the new Anna Olson Back to Baking book - please note that on page 281 is a picture of her cupcake in one of the beautiful Kalasform liners that I sent her.  I was hoping to get a signed copy, that would have been cool since I sent her almost $100.00 worth of liners - or even a mention... oh well we all live and learn.  I am still really happy to see the picture there and just knowing that is because I sent it to her.  So I had these beautiful lemons and had all kinds of ideas posted to try but my husband has been sick and really want a nice lemon meringue pie!  So I remembered seeing one in the book and thought - ok here it goes I will try her recipe!  I don't think I need to write out the pastry as I feel everyone has a good pie crust recipe or can find one.  One thing I will note here is that when the pie is baked and comes out of the oven it is suggested to brush it with an egg white while it is hot to seal it.  The filling and wonderful Italian meringue was wonderful and my meringue did not weep at all!!

So this is the recipe from Anna's book for the filling and meringue:
FILLING
1 3/4 cup (435ml) water
1 1/4  (310ml) sugar
1 Tbsp (15ml) finely grated lemon zest
6 1/2 Tbsp (97.5) cornstarch
2/3 cup (160ml) fresh lemon juice
5 egg yolks (keep the whites for your meringue)
2 Tbsp (30ml) unsalted butter

Bring the water and 1 cup (250ml) of the sugar, and the lemon zest up to a full simmer in a saucepan.  In a bowl whisk the remaining 1/4 cup (60ml) of the sugar with the cornstarch, then whisk in the lemon juice and egg yolks.  Pour the boiling water over the lemon mixture, then pour the entire liquid mixture back into the post and whisk over medium heat until it thickens and just begins to bubble, about 4 minutes.  Put the butter in a large bowl, and strain the mixture into the bowl and stir until the butter melts.  Place a piece of plastic wrap over the filling and let it cool to room temperature.  Then scrape the filling into the pie shell and chill just to set, about 2 hours. (Note: if you find a little bit of condensation dab it with a paper towel - it will help keep the moisture off the crust).

Take the pie out of the fridge to warm it up a little about 30 minutes before putting the meringue on it and putting it in the oven.

For the ITALIAN MERINGUE:

5 egg whites at room temperature
1 cup (250ml) sugar
1 tsp (5ml) cream of tartar
1/4 cup (60ml) water

Whip the egg white with 1/4 cup (60ml) of the sugar and the cream of tartar until the mixture holds a medium peak.
Place the remaining 3/4 cup (185 ml) of sugar plus the 1/4 cup (60ml) of water into a sauce pan and bring it to a boil.  WITHOUT stirring, boil the sugar occasionally brushing the sides of the pot with water if needed, until it reaches 239 degrees F (115 C) this takes about 3 minutes - so don't leave it alone!
Carefully pour the hot sugar down the side of the bowl of whipped egg whites while whipping at medium - high speed.  (do not pour the hot liquid directly onto the beater(s)  whip the meringue at high speed until cooled - this takes again about 3 minutes.  (note: I poured the hot sugar liquid into a measuring cup so it was easy to pour into my kitchen aid mixer bowl)

Scrape out the meringue and spread onto your filled pie and spread it around - I also lift it up from the flat part to make little peaks.  Place pie onto a baking sheet and put in a 375F (190C) oven for maybe 4 minutes - watch it carefully - until it is just lightly browned. 
Let it cool to room temperature before chilling.  Store in fridge for up to 2 days.

So the one thing I was impressed with was the meringue!  Very light and fluffy and no weeping, not overly sweet either.  It reminded me of making buttercream icing and adding the hot liquid carefully into the egg whites - but that's another recipe.


My husband was very impressed with it and it did make him feel a little better :) It is like mile high pie - at first I thought wow that is a lot of meringue - but it really was very light.  I hope you give this a try and let me know how you like it.

Enjoy!

Gwen





Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Perfect Perfection

PERFECT JUST PERFECT!
While I was out for my walk today I thought about all the posts I am seeing on Facebook, TV shows, newspapers etc.  about diets, home styling, weddings, recipes etc.  How we need to do this, use this, don't eat this, eat that, get this hair cut, use this colour and while it is all with good intentions to let us think about how we do things and to give us ideas - I wonder what that message can do to people.  If having someone "unlike" your business page or "unfriend" you, misread or misunderstand a comment -leaves you feeling sad or question what you are doing -  maybe we need to stop looking to be perfect for everyone and just be ourselves.  Are lives are filled with the use of the word "perfect"  perfect meaning what?  Perfect marriage, perfect kids, perfect home, perfect job, perfect dog, perfect diet, perfect life, perfect hair, perfect make-up, perfect skin and in fact I was even told when I was diagnosed with cancer that "well, if you are going to get leukaemia - CML is the perfect one to get!"  REALLY???  don't get me wrong - I understand what he was trying to say but really?  I even had a relative tell me that "maybe having cancer will help you loose weight" - REALLY??

Maybe having a few years of experience, a life altering diagnosis and always learning that nothing truly is "perfect" helps me live my life my way.  (breaking into song "I did it my way" - but it took me over 50 years ... oh no that's not in the song)
I was at a meeting a few months ago and there were two different speakers, one on fitness and one on make-up and first impressions.  Well I learned (not that I didn't already know this) but my body isn't perfect!  I was shocked to have this news made public - I had been trying to hide it for years!  Then I was informed that going out in public with no make-up is just as bad as going out with too much make-up!  ( we have all seen the little old ladies with way too much rouge and lipstick or the young girls looking like 25 when they are 14!)  Yes it brought me down a bit to think that someone meeting me for the first time can make a judgement on me and my business by their "first impression" in 10 seconds of seeing me - just wait till I open my mouth - I think I would be in real trouble!  My impression (note I said impression - not judgement) of someone is based on how they made me feel - I remember when I was out at Tim Hortons with my daughter a few years ago and it was miserable outside.  There was an older homeless lady looking through the garbage cans there, her hands, clothes and hair were dirty - but there was something in her eyes when she looked at us beyond the sadness there was something.  My daughter and I got our coffee and bagel and as we went back out saw she was still looking through the garbage - we both automatically went back in and bought a coffee and a sandwich to give to her.  We took it out and said "here - enjoy this it's fresh" and she looked at us with eyes of hope and said "bless you - it's been a rough day today for me today".  I don't know what a rough day for her meant but I am sure it wasn't anything I would want to live through. 

So when people "judge" me because:
  • my body isn't "perfect" - even though I walk and hike everyday and it went through a lot and survived so I will keep it and be happy with it.
  • my skin isn't great - the transplant has left me with not so nice skin and I can't wear make-up
  • my marriage isn't "perfect"  - we've been married 32 years this year andwe have gone through a lot - we are still together and love each other
  • my hair isn't "perfect"  - because it never came back the same after chemo
  • my house is not "perfect"  - but it suits us just fine
  • my kids aren't "perfect" -  I love them for who they are and I hope they feel the same way
  • my dog isn't "perfect" -  and I love her too - only with a little less barking :)
  • my business isn't "perfect" - I started this on my own after surviving a bone marrow transplant and I am doing my  best
  • my cooking and baking aren't "perfect" - everyone always enjoys what I make and no one has died from it yet - or got sick :)
So as you can see - I'm not PERFECT - but  I am HAPPY.  Don't try to live your life to perfection - because while you are trying to do everything perfectly LIFE is passing you by and you may find yourself one day wondering why you wasted so much time trying to make it perfect.  Live - Laugh - Smile - Cry it's all ok  - it's all part of life.

Have a sweet wonderful day where ever you are.
Gwen

Just in case you need to know what Perfect and Perfection are according to the dictionary :)



per·fect

[adj., n. pur-fikt; v. per-fekt]
adjective
1.conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type: a perfect sphere; a perfect gentleman.
2.
excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement: There is no perfect legal code. The proportions of this temple are almost perfect.
3.
exactly fitting the need in a certain situation or for a certain purpose: a perfect actor to play Mr. Micawber; a perfect saw for cutting out keyholes.
4.
entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings: a perfect apple; the perfect crime.
5.
accurate, exact, or correct in every detail: a perfect copy.

per·fec·tion

[per-fek-shuhn] Show IPA
noun
1.
the state or quality of being or becoming perfect.
2.
the highest degree of proficiency, skill, or excellence, as in some art.
3.
a perfect embodiment or example of something.
4.
a quality, trait, or feature of the highest degree of excellence.
5.
the highest or most nearly perfect degree of a quality or trait.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

So it started off with seeing a post from The Smart Cookie Cook about these cookies - I just thought another chocolate chip cookies but her pictures and the idea of such a big cookie and the way you split the cookie and then put it together - well I don't know what the difference is but they sure turned out yummy!!  The only problem is my will power is wavering and it's only January 2nd and I just shouldn't have made these wonderful cookies --- at least it doesn't make a huge batch - just a huge cookie!

Take a look at the link of the way to make the cookies as I didn't really do a tutorial.  I had some really good dark chocolate that I made into the chunks - using my fancy dancy chocolate pick thingy

Here is the dough with the chocolate and the chocolate chips in it - very smooth and nice looking
I have never put my chocolate chip cookie dough in the fridge but I did what she wrote - except I must say I used 1/2 of the brown sugar and substituted splenda brown sugar.  That was the only different thing I did - and it took the 15 minutes in my oven.
See they are big  - only 6 cookies on the tray!
See that's my big oven mitt on the left -

Fresh out of the oven - I have to admit I put one in the freezer to cool it off quickly so I could sample it for the purpose of course of writing this post! :)
I hope you head over to The Smart Cookie Cook for the recipe and instructions - yes there are instructions that are different from the everyday chocolate chip cookie recipe!

Enjoy - in moderation of course :)
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