Pancakes – American Style

By Tuesday, August 2, 2016 0 No tags Permalink 0

Makes 9 little ones or 4 big

Like cookie batter, I never bother with small portions and these lovely cakes keep fresh wrapped in the fridge for days. The batter also will keep for 24 hrs so I often prepare it the evening before. You only need to add a little extra milk and give it a gentle stir to get the right batter consistency (like thick double cream).

Ingredients:

  • 160g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60 caster sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 250 ml milk
  • 40g melted butter (microwave very low heat for 90 secs. with cling film cover)

Put the flour, baking powder, caster sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the vanilla extract to the egg yolk and combine these into the mixing bowl. Add the milk to the bowl and gently stir together. Add the melted butter into the batter. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form and then fold into batter using a spatula. It should have some bubbles and lumps but look glossy.

Cover the batter and put bowl into the fridge for at least 20 mins.

Spray a bit of oil in flying pan or use a paper towel to coat the surface. Everybody has their preferred pancake size, so just pour enough into a hot (but not sizzling) pre-heated pan to create yours. It is very important not to flip the pancake until bubbles appear on the top. Gently flip it over and cook bottom until golden.

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Serve with maple syrup!

Pizza Friday

By Friday, September 5, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0

I once confessed to another Mum that I didn’t really feel much like cooking and she politely suggested I order a Dominoes. The look she received from me must have been disdainful because she quickly turned on her heals and left. I was really embarrassed about my reaction but pizza is all but a liturgy in my house. Friday night has become our foodie mass when we break bread topped with sauce, cheese, peppers, ham, onions, artichokes… the way God and the Italians intended.

Rolling out the crust and adding your own toppings is all part of the rites but I rarely have the time to plan ahead from scratch.  The Northern Dough Co makes frozen balls of pizza dough perfection. Just take them out of the freezer 3-4 hours before to defrost and they are ready to roll. They sell them at Waitrose and Longacre Nurseries.

The Northern Dough Co make a plain, rosemary, wholewheat and chili base which are all scrumptious.

Here are a few of my favourite topping suggestions:

Rosemary base topped with pesto sauce, mozzarella, sliced cherry tomatoes and ham.

Chili base topped with thin layer of tomato sauce, thinly sliced sweet peppers, cooked chicken; when it’s out of the oven add fresh avocado.

Giving up the bad habit of being busy

By Friday, June 6, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 1

“Busy” – the four letter word that I have been repeatedly using like a mantra. It may seem like an unassuming noun but it has been playing on my mind that to God, it’s bad language. I have been studying Isaiah 58-59 which is about the hypocrisy of seemingly good self-sacrifice when the heart is not willing. In verse 58:4a “Your fasting ends in quarrelling and strife” The people of Judah may have been going through the motions of worship but it is ending up in a brawl. Well, that sound very familiar when I get busy.

This past week my kids where on half term and instead of having quality time with them, I kept dashing back and forth into my office to look at emails. It got to Friday and I didn’t do what I should have done, so everything that I tried to do didn’t amount to anything.

Why am I always using this word ‘busy’ which describes being out of control and unfocused? I say this word, mostly as an excuse when I haven’t done something, don’t want to do something or have let someone down. “Sorry Mom, I haven’t called you in a while, I have just been so busy.” I do want to spend time with my kids but shouldn’t I be “too busy”. I think you know what I mean, “busy” is never used to describe a day spent with my children, or in prayer or walking around the park. It’s always said in frustration and honestly it’s like an admission that we are enslaved by time – and I want to be free. “Busy” puts up the defences and closes my heart.

I recently heard a perfect anachronism for the word “Being Under Satan’s Yoke” That’s right. Because I never feel good about it, and to be really honest, as I learned last week – it is not productive either.

Now, don’t think I am being sanctimonious; sometimes life can feel overwhelming and I am not suggesting a stiff upper lip to getting on with multi-tasking without complaint. The truth is that even just a few minutes in prayer makes my life feel easier and I don’t have that “busy” grip on my heart.

Isn’t it amazing how much we can actually achieve when we are letting God lead it and how our most productive days can fill us with joy and even give us strength rather than zap all our energy?

Now, I am embarrassed to admit that I have at times worn the “busy” badge like it is an honour. “Oh you know I’m running a business, taking care of the house, I doing it all and very busy, busy, busy. “ What am I actually saying about my self-worth? Am I afraid that people will think I am not important or useful? Have you ever found yourself competing over the trophy for “who’s been carrying a heaviest yoke”?

Jesus teaches us that it is not by our good works that we are judged but by the state of our hearts.

Eph 2:8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not by works, so that no-one can boast.” We know that so very often we are just willingly getting on the hamster wheel when God has put on our hearts that we need to consider his priorities over the worlds view. As women particularly, we are being tricked into thinking that we need to always be showing our busyness like this is our value. But we should know better, we have God’s generous love.

So, I am giving up on being ‘busy’. My prayer is to be more mindful of God’s will in my life and what He values which is seeking my self-worth in Jesus.

Matt 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Dear Lord, I praise you that you have created each person for your good works which you prepared in advance. Thank you that you fill us with joy when we are doing your will and for your promise that we will inherit heaven on earth not by our deeds but through the redemption of Jesus. Thank you for taking away the burden of our sins and freeing us from Satan’s yoke. Amen

Time Masters website

By Monday, April 21, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0

My friend Angelise has been running her professional organising business for 8 years. She asked me to design a new logo and website which I hope will give her business a big boost. She gave me a very challenging brief which went something like: 1950’s, black shiny shoes, Downton Abbey, Mrs Pots (Part of the Solution), scrapbooks, lacey and keeping time. Check-out her new brand and website at: www.time-masters.co.uk

time-masters

Caravaggio & John 18

By Monday, April 21, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0

Talk given at Community Bible Study, Virginia Water in June 2013. This talk was inspired by the conceptual relationship between the stylistic use of chiaroscuro in Caravaggist paintings and the verses in John 18. It considers the paintings; Caravaggio – “The Taking of Christ” 1602, Gerard van Honthorst – “Christ before the High Priest” 1617, Gerard Seghers – “The Denial of Peter” 1620 and Caravaggio – “The Crucifixion of St. Peter” 1601.

John 18 from CBSI Virginia Water on Vimeo.

Jesus is the Ultimate Beauty Treatment

By Monday, April 21, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0

“Jesus is the Ultimate Beauty Treatment” from CBSi VW on Vimeo.

Prayer for true beauty:

Father God,

We are so sorry for all those times that we have looked at our bodies and have criticized the perfection that you created in us. We thank you for our uniqueness and for making each one of us different so that we may enjoy being individuals.

Help us to accept our selves as you created us and when we look into a mirror help us to see the beauty our friends see in us. Help us to focus on Christ within us and to shine brightly with your love.

May we all grow old gracefully, Amen

Chocolate Chip Cookies

By Monday, April 21, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0

 

These cookies are my signature treat and I get asked to make a batch at least once a week and not just by my kids.

Recipe – English Measurements

Preheat oven: 160 C  – if you cook these low and slow they are crispy on outside and chewy on the inside

Baking time: 15 mins


175 g  plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Stir flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.

100 g butter (softened – get it out of the fridge an hour before you use it)

90 g caster sugar

75 g  brown sugar

In mixer bowl combine butter and sugars and beat until fluffy.

Add 1 egg and mix again until blended.

Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and mix again until blended.

Gradually add flour mixture until just blended.

Add 150 g chocolate chips and gently stir into cookie dough

Line your cookie sheet with baking parchment. Using two teaspoons, pick-up a little dough in one and transfer between the spoons to form into a ball. Then push the rounded tsp of dough onto a cookie sheet. Place on the bottom oven rack and bake for (12- 15 mins) until edges look crisp and top is light brown.