Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Friday Flower and a time for reflection...


Sorry I've not been around this week, but it's been a bit of a trying one. My sister was rushed into hospital on Tuesday with meningitis. Apparently, 10% of individuals contracting the mumps, will go on to contract viral meningitis. Obviously, it's been pretty scary, with lots of time spent on the phone to the UK. It's times like these, that those 3000 miles may as well be 300,000...


Anyhoo, she's on the mend. She's still in hospital, but is getting better by the day. My Mum decided to go ahead with her travel plans, and visit the US (she's flying in specifically for my daughters' birthday's and this will be the first time she has celebrated with them)... This was not a decision taken lightly by her and it made me realise how far reaching my decision to emigrate is...


I hope you enjoy this orchid... They remind me of my sister... the last time I was over she was busy growing these and brought one for my Dad, as he always admired them in her house.


Take care all and have a lovely weekend... I'll be doing such much needed catching up with my mum.
Lx

If you want to join in with a Friday Flower, there's linky widget below that will link up to your page and then pop over to the lovely Melissa and link with her too.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Home Sweet Home Cooking

Today was a beautiful day... the sun was shining and I am beyond excited for my Mum's impending visit... It's been almost two years since she was last here and a lot has changed in this little house since then.


Anyhoo, we had so much to squeeze into this past weekend... what, with a family birthday in NYC, getting the house ready for my special visitor, and the usual day-to-day 'Mummy chores', I just had no time to prepare a Sunday roast (again)... And so, with my Mum on my mind, I cooked up a dish which took me straight back to her kitchen... beef stew and dumplings... My mum cooks the best stew (obviously, I'm biased here), and this is no mean feat, given that she has been a vegetarian for almost 60 years. She has no idea what it even tastes like!


With a stew, though, you can't go wrong... just throw it all in the pot and let it simmer for the whole afternoon... filling the house with a delicious aroma, which to me just says, 'Home Sweet Home'... And it comes with the added bonus that I only have one pan to wash... giving me more time to do fun things like... ooohhh, cleaning the blinds...

Do you have a dish that makes you think, 'Home Sweet Home?'

Hope you all have a super start to the week... I'm counting down the days... :-)

Take care.
Lx



Beef Stew & Dumplings

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 rashers of streaky bacon (American bacon)
1 tablespoon of flour
2lb braising steak / chuck steak
750ml beef stock
12 Shallots (peeled and halved)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary (trimmed)
2 parsnips (cut into chunks)
2 carrots (cut into chunks) or a handful of baby carrots
1 small swede / waxy turnip (peeled and chopped into chunks)

Dumplings
100g self-raising flour
50g vegetable suet (this is a UK product, but I have a recipe that just substitutes this with grated cold butter)
pinch of salt
5 tablespoons (approx) of cold water

Method

1.  Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Coat the beef lightly in the flour and add to the pan with the bacon. Cooking over a high heat to seal and brown them.

2.  Add the beef stock, shallots, garlic, rosemary and bay leaves to the pan. Bring up to the boil, and then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 ¼ hours.

3.  Add the parsnips, carrots and swede (waxy turnips). Cover for 45 minutes, or until the meat is very tender.

4.  To make the dumplings, add the flour, vegetable suet and salt into a medium bowl. Add the cold water, a spoon at a time and mix with a round ended knife, until you have a firm but pliable dough. Divide the dough into small balls, (make sure your hands are floured, so that the dough doesn’t stick)

5.  Place the dough balls on top of the simmering stew and cover for 20 minutes. After which, the dumplings should be light and fluffy.

6.  Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaves and serve with mashed potatoes or steamed broccoli… Home Sweet Home…



Thursday, October 21, 2010

Creating memories with a Friday Flower...

I was out and about today with the little ones in tow, doing a food shop... I drifted over to the meagre flower selection to pick out my Friday Flower and I started to think (never a good thing)... Can I really justify buying fresh flowers every week when we make so many sacrifices in the other areas of our lives? I mean, it's only a few dollars and all, but those few dollars add up week-to-week, and then, month-to-month... If I were to look at my annual flower budget, I'd be mortified...


I imagined some debt specialist totting up my none-essential spending and telling me that this frivolous spending would have to stop... and so, I walked away flowerless... did my food shop and left the store...
Did it make me feel better? Did I feel that I was plugging the gaping hole between our income and expenditure? No. I felt miserable... When I left work, I sacrificed so much... clothes, nights out, make-up, trips to the hairdressers... anything that could be trimmed, was... But every girl needs a little something to put a smile on her face, and flowers do just that for me...


Someone left a comment last week telling me how their mother would leave fresh flowers in her room after cleaning it... This made me smile, and I conjured up an image in my mind of that scene... imagining that the woman would be reminded of this beautiful gesture, each time she brought fresh flowers... Now that's a memory you can't put a price on.

I want my little girls to grow up and remember picking flowers with me... I want them to think of me when they bring flowers into their homes... One of the most important things to me is creating a home... a place that will live in my children's minds long after they have flown the nest... are the flowers important in this picture?... Absolutely... So, I went back to the store and got my daughter to pick the flowers for this week... This is a memory I want her to have of me... of us... of our home...


My Friday Flower this week is dedicated to my sister. She has the mumps... poor thing! If I were home in Blighty, I'd be there to keep you company, read magazines with you, and fill your hot water bottle...

Have a great weekend all!
Lx


If you want to join in with Friday Flower, just use the linky widget below to link to your post and then pop over to the lovely Melissa and link with her too.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm a self confessed style flip-flopper


I’m a serial flip-flopper when it comes to decorating. Now, for all you folks out there that are wondering what a flip-flopper is... it’s my inability to commit to any one style…


I thought that I’d pretty much settled on a 'look' for our home. This was after I’d dallied with a Spanish-come-Italian-come-Provence style. I finally stuck the proverbial flag in the ground and declared ‘English Country Cottage’ as the 'look' that I was attempting to achieve.


That is, until I was seduced by blogs…   Blog upon blog of home d├ęcor eye candy… each one more tempting than the other.  At the end of a morning of reading, I was drunk on a shabby chic, French, vintage, beach cottage…


... every blog bombarding me with sumptuous image after sumptuous image of glorious, vintagey white homes…  all effortlessly put together and dripping with a style that I could only dream of.
I looked at my mish-mash of home decoration and the only word I could garnish from any of the blogs that I’d read to describe it was ‘shabby’… unfortunately, not with the word chic alongside it. And so, in my usual flip-flop manner, I started envisaging turning this little place into a vintage, chic, beach cottage... and this is where I fell foul…


Yes, I do live by the beach, but, it’s New Jersey, and it’s cold, and on those long cold winter nights, I cannot commit to an all white interior… I know, I know... a cozy look can be obtained with white … I ogle Sarah’s place  every day… but, I do not have a natural talent for style like she does, and so, I think our place would look about as inviting as the local doctor's surgery, and nothing like the beach cottage home I was attempting to create. So, I’ll be sticking with cream… boring cream… Bleached Wheat… Swiss Almond… Churchill Ecru or whatever sassy name they call cream these days…


Secondly, I also recognize the fact that I have two toddlers running around this place, and, as much as I would love to source vintage china, I can’t even have my morning constitutional without one of the kids wailing at the other side of the door, as though I’d left them forever… and so, the likelihood of me perusing vintage shops and yard sales in search of that perfect tea cup, are slim to none. It would be torture to convince myself anything other than this… So, I'll have to stick with shopping over my "friend," the Internet... and, to think, I thought this whole Internet shopping malarkey wouldn't catch on... tsk, tsk...


Thirdly, I have to accept that this place is the size of a shoe box… a very small shoe box... and so,  I don’t have the room to have vintage scales on sideboards, stacks of vintage suitcases, or vintage knick-knacks popped on vintage chests at every given turn… I can just about squeeze the essentials into this place (and even some of those are missing…)


Anyhoo, I cannot afford to ditch what I’ve packed into this place already… and so, I’m going to stick with a style… you know, the English cottage style that I once loved… and, whilst I’ll keep reading all these beautiful blogs and continue to be in awe of their jaw-droppingly gorgeous home, I’ll take a deep breath and remind myself that, because of the reasons above, I shouldn’t try to pull this look off... admire from afar, and commit to one style...  I guess it’s a bit like window shopping…


Sunday, October 17, 2010

A lazy weekend and a recipe for Toad in the Hole

This past weekend was perfect... I started out with the intention of achieving absolutely nothing, and I achieved it! Saturday started off with the hubby making breakfast, and the rest of the day was spent milling around the garden with the girls... a spot of cleaning up... but mainly soaking up the loveliness of Fall...

I was going to bake, but a friend came over bearing gifts of pumpkin ale (for hubby), apple pie (for kiddies), and a bottle of wine (for me)... so the wine was drunk, the pie was eaten, and the baking was scrapped until next week. Seriously, I wish you could have tried the pie... it really is heaven in a slice... It's from my local farmer's market and, come the holidays, you have to get your order in early and the line is out of the door.... it is that good, and the reason why I will never bake an apple pie!


Anyhoo, on Sunday, I was feeling comfort food (a side effect of the wine, I think) and wasn't up for cooking a full out Sunday roast (remember, I was aiming for a zero effort weekend) and so, I decided to cook the next best thing... Toad in the Hole. To all those not familiar with this dish, don't worry, I'm not into cooking amphibians... this is merely the name of a sausage dish... the hubby said, 'it's like sausages cooked in a fluffy pancake batter'... and that is it in a nutshell.


I love this dish, but I shied away from making it for years, as I could never get my batter to rise... always ending up with sausages encased in what looked like a flat pancake... Then, my Mum told me that I had to get the fat so hot that it's smoking. Armed with this new found knowledge, my batter is like that of a souffle (although my kitchen is quite smokey!)...


When making this dish, I like to get a real good sausage... I have to say, when I first came to the States, I found the sausage selection a little weak, but in the 6 short years I have lived here, I'm finding more varietals available... Whole Foods offering the best selection (and I don't need any excuse to pop there), so I picked up some Irish Bangers for this dish... I did forgo the wine aisle... but could not resist the Pumpkin Silk Milk (pumpkin soy milk).... Oh, how I love this!


Anyways, the Toad in the Hole came out a treat... served with some lovely mashed potatoes, mixed with chopped scallions/ green onion / spring onions (I think I've covered all the names for this onion here), and topped with a tasty mushroom and onion gravy. Comfort on a plate... Yummy! If you want to have a crack at this, I've popped the recipe below... It's a great mid-week meal... but, remember, 'to have your fat so hot it's smoking'!!!
Have a great start to the week!
Lx

Toad in the Hole

Ingredients
Canola oil or Sunflower oil
8 sausages (good quality & a decent size)
300 ml of milk
4oz of Flour
Pinch of salt
3 large eggs
Method
1.  Preheat the oven to 475F / 240C.
2.  To make the batter; in a large bowl, add the flour and salt. Crack the eggs into the middle. Add the milk; all at once, and then beat with a hand whisk, to make a smooth batter. Pour the mixture into a jug and set aside while the oven heats up.
3.  Add around ½ inch of canola oil to a baking tin. I use an 8 by 8 brownie tin. You want your tin to be as thin as possible, so that the oil can get nice and hot! Place the tin on the middle shelf of your oven and pop a cookie sheet underneath to catch any oil that overflows…
4.  When the oil is very hot, add your sausages and brown them in the oven… you don’t want to cook them through, just give them a light colouring.
5.  Once the sausages have a light golden hue, take the pan back out of the oven (being very careful, as the fat should now be smoking hot), and pour your batter over the sausages. Pop the pan back in the oven straight away (you don’t want that oil to cool down) and close the oven door…. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR AGAIN FOR AT LEAST 20 MINUTES!!! If you open the door… you’ll end up with a flat batter… I know it’s tempting to see what’s going on, but just set the timer and leave it be!
6.  After 20 minutes check to see what’s what… If it’s golden and crispy, it’s ready.

I served mine with mashed potatoes, mixed with sour cream and scallions. Topped with a mushroom and onion gravy… Mmmmm…

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Friday Flower

I wasn't planning on posting a Friday Flower this week... figuring it had about run it's course... that it was in danger of becoming 'old hat,' and thus, tarring me with the 'unoriginal brush'... but I am 'old hat'... as predictable as the English weather... and so, as they say, 'if the cap fits, wear it'... I think I've mentioned before, I love predictable... I crave familiar... I like to know what's what and when it's going to happen... so, the Friday Flower suits me down to the ground... I love that I know what I'm got to do to end the week of blogging... it's almost like I have an actual job, with self-imposed deadlines, and this is the report to round up the week. I never thought I'd crave that feeling again...


Anyhoo, I also love the fact that I have a reason for buying flowers. It's become part of my weekly routine, perusing the flower displays as I shop for my fruit and veg... my eldest imparting her judgement over which bloom we should get (although I'm the Simon Cowell on this panel, and so, get the final say). This past week, I made tissue paper flowers with the kiddies, and my eldest popped them in her toy teapot on her toy kitchen shelf and said, 'Just like you, Mummy'... aww, how my heart swelled... and that in itself is enough reason for me to keep posting a Friday Flower...


... and in posting a weekly bloom, at least a few other individuals will get to experience their loveliness... I try my best to capture their beauty with my dodgy digital, but really, I'm no David Bailey... I'm never going to do them justice... but, I try my best...


Oh, and finally... posting a Friday Flower gives me the opportunity to offer my virtual flower to someone... this week, I dedicate it to Amy... The lovely Melissa put the word out about Amy's fantastic blog and, after reading one post, I knew this was a keeper... her pictures are amazing... I mean really amazing...  you know... where you scroll down and scroll back up again, just to linger on them a little longer... and her words are best described as honest, sincere, and thought-provoking...


Anyways, she wrote a post the other day (Amy's post here) and it caused me to stop... go lie on the floor in the living room with my girls, and watch TV for a bit... (why do kids have an aversion to sitting in chairs? Or is it just mine?)... I didn't rush their bath time, and I kept them up late, just enjoying them... Thank you, Amy, for reminding me to do this... Sometimes, you just need something or someone to remind you to live in the moment and enjoy what really matters... Thank you again... Hope you like the flower... I brought these because they reminded me of raspberry ripple ice-cream, but the hubby told me that you can't get that flavour here in the States... shame, because it tastes yummy and is lovely to look at, too!


As usual, I'll be linking up with my bloggy pal Melissa for a Friday Flower and, if you want to join in, there's the usual link at the bottom of the page.
Have a great weekend, everyone... enjoy what you're doing and keep smiling!
Lx


If you want to join in with Friday Flower, just use the linky widget below to link to your post.



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Getting to know me..

I've been tagged... no, I've not been up to mischief and now sporting the new Hollywood trend of a monitoring bracelet... It appears that some folk actually find me interesting and want to delve a little deeper... I received the *getting to know you* tag from both  Lou and Melissa, and I have to say that I am flattered... I hold these ladies in very high esteem and the fact that they even read my blog makes my chest puff out... so here goes... get comfy...


1} what is your favourite time of day?
This is an easy one for me... morning every time. When I was little, I used to go on holiday *vacation* with my grandad... I would sleep in a dormitory... before the sun had even risen, the warden would come and find me with her flashlight to tell me that my grandad was waiting for me... we would walk along the seafront as the sun rose... get the morning papers (a comic for me... usually the Beano), and stop by a cafe for a cup of tea (I would get a milkshake, which my grandad would always roll his eyes at)... I now wake up at the crack of dawn... enjoying the stillness that can only come with early mornings... I listen to the gentle song of the birds... and feel the morning chill while drinking my hot cup of tea... I often think of my grandad and our mutual appreciation of dawn...
2} where & when did you meet the love of your life?
Ahhh... the love of my life... that would be the hubby then... we met in Australia... Sydney to be exact. We shared our first kiss by Harrys Cafe de Wheels, over a hotdog topped with mushy peas... I'm a class act you know... I was a year shy of 30 and the hubby was a fresh-faced very early 20 something... Within a month, I had persuaded him to fly to New Zealand with me, so that he could renew his visa... I first told him I loved him at The Big Day Out *music festival*... there was a crazy thunderstorm and The Stokes were playing "Last Night"... I figured that if he didn't reciprocate, I would tell him it was just the Jack Daniels talking... luckily, he did... We were crazy in love and I had no idea how it would translate to real life... we're  still crazy in love, just with a couple of kids, a dog, a cat and a mortgage!


3} What 3 words would your friends outside the blogging world use to describe you?
Honest
Fun-loving
Focused
4} What country would you like to visit & why?
Once upon a time, I had so many places I wanted to visit, but emigrating grounded me... I stopped longing for exciting and new, and yearned for familiarity instead... I don't have the bug anymore... which is a good job, really, as all my traveling now consists of shuttling back and forth between the UK and USA... When the hubby finishes up his PhD, we're planning a trip back to Australia... we want to show the kiddies where we fell in love... Oh, and we'll probably wrap New Zealand up in that trip too... the last time we were there, the hubby told me, "I think, one day, I'll bring my wife and kids to this place"... I'm holding him to it!
5} what is your favourite dish to cook?
Without a doubt... a Sunday Roast... It makes me think of my mum... I remember her teaching me to cross the bottom of brussel sprouts and me helping her make the stuffing... I love the way that it slowly cooks... filling the house with lovely smells from mid-morning... (we always eat early on a Sunday)... I love that I get my "daily five" in one meal, but, most of all, I love that this is the ultimate family meal!
6} salt or sugar?
Hmmm... I love sugar, but I crave salt... I can never get enough salt, and anyone who truly knows me knows that my standard go-to food is Marmite... I dabbled with Vegemite in Australia, but it just didn't cut it... I guess it's what you're brought up on... While over there, though, I did learn that by eating this yeasty yumminess (I bet a lot of you are retching now) you can keep the mozzies at bay... delicious food and mosquito repellent all-in-one... what more could a gal ask for?

7} what are your must-have make-up or beauty items?
Okay... once, this would have been a tough question for me, but when I gave up work, it meant that the purse strings were tightened and I could no longer justify spending a small fortune on beauty products... so, I learned to live without and pray that all the hard work Lancome put in during my 20's would balance out the generic Olay products I use now... If I had to have just one item, though, it would be Vaseline... tames the brows... helps the lips... highlights the cheek bones... and I've also been known to smear it on the bark of my apple trees to stop the cat scratching them! I stock up on the rose-tinted one when in the UK... but that's purely for the lips!
8} what are your favourite flowers?
Tulips and roses... so many colours... effortlessly beautiful... especially the frilly parrot tulips and tea roses... but, really, all flowers can cheer up my day!


9} what are your worst vices...honestly?
Red wine... make that wine, but mostly red...  I've spent a huge chunk of my 30's pregnant and nursing, and so, I've not been able to indulge. I figured that this time off the vino, would also give the old liver a chance to regenerate... apparently the liver can do this within 6 months, so mine must be like that of  'a mere slip of a girl' again ;-)
10} at what time of your life were you happiest & why?
This is a hard one... I view my life in phases and all have had amazing highs... Right here and now I am happy... I have my girls and my hubby and they complete me... but, with parenthood comes challenges that sometimes I wonder if I can meet... So, please, don't judge me... I'm going to be selfish and say the happiest time of my life was when I fell in love with the hubby in Australia... nothing else in the world mattered... I had no responsibilities... we just wrapped ourselves in a bubble and enjoyed everything that life had to offer... the first flourishes of love... heady, all-consuming... and we experienced all this in paradise... What's crazy is that it's a high I don't ever want to experience again... I'm happy knowing that it's a one-off... Oohhh, except the Australia part...
Ok... we were drunk & being goofy...
If you made it to the end... thank you for sticking with me...my hand is hurting from typing, so your head must be throbbing!
And now comes the part where I tag someone else... and I'd like to tag... *drum roll*... Laura - Happy Homemaker UK ... I love reading about her American take on UK life... and I'm also tagging A House and Home... crazy that I read this blog religiously... we exchange comments and I consider her a blog friend, but I don't know her name... so, I'm digging a little deeper!
Take care and I'll catch you on Friday for a Friday Flower.
Lx

Monday, October 11, 2010

A new shelf for kitchen bric-a-brac...

When I first moved to the States, I came here with one suitcase full of a season's worth of clothes.. I had no idea that I was about to emigrate... crazy, eh? We moved into a tiny apartment in Hoboken and I started to make a home (again)...  I slowly surrounded myself with knick-knacks and trinkets that reminded me of the life that I had hastily left behind... I remember visiting a friend in Oxford and picking up a tacky tourist ornament and declaring that 'I just had to get it'... she obviously laughed at me and declared that I'd 'gone soft in the head'...


The kitchen is the one room in the house that I want to scream home... shout from the rooftops that I'm a Brit...  I'm not trying to make a style statement here (I would never even profess to know style... I just know what I like)... I want to create a feeling... that warm, fuzzy feeling of familiarity... and so, this little room in my house is piled high with bric-a-brac... knick-knacks... utensils... anything that reminds me of standing in my mum's kitchen and smelling good things to eat... My mum has been the biggest contributer to this collection... picking things up and mailing them to me, along with simple notes saying, 'I saw this and thought of you...' Those pieces bring the biggest smiles...


Now, there's one problem with this quest... I cannot leave the UK without a suitcase stuffed with kitchen paraphernalia, and my little kitchen is pretty tapped out on space... so, this past week, I picked up this little wall shelf for the spot above the microwave... this dead space was just begging to be filled.. and I have...

Have you noticed that you never see appliances in dreamy shots of kitchens?? Perhaps I should have photo-shopped this out...
I had earmarked this shelf for things that I have yet to get.... namely, a cream Roberts radio (a Christmas gift from the hubby... how do I know? I spied it in his closet...) but now I'm not sure it will fit... that's assuming the radio is for me??
Hoping your week started smoothly!
Lx

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Unfinished jobs and a recipe for Lemon Chocolate Chip Cookies

This past weekend can be summed up in one word... busy! The past few weekends have been all about celebrations, and so, this week was time to play catch up... and, boy, was there a lot of catching up to do... so much so, that a list was drawn up on the blackboard.... optimistically...



In between clearing the garden of all the basement junk and cleaning out the girls' room, I'd also decreed it cool enough to start eating Sunday Roasts again... and, let's not forget, pumpkin picking...


Everything on the list was ticked off... in a fashion... the garden was cleared but not tidied... the girls' closet was cleared, but there's still pile upon piles of stuff  to go through... the roast was cooked, but eaten after the girls had gone to bed (and not the family meal, as planned), and the pumpkins were picked, but the hay ride missed...

All in all, it was a weekend of half-finished jobs... which begs the question, is it better to achieve a little of a lot or achieve a lot of a little??? Get what I'm saying??? The hubby says I have too high expectations and, after this weekend, I think I agree with him...


Anyways, with all this chit chat, I forgot to tell you that I squeezed in baking some cookies... They're my take on Whole Food's Lemon Chocolate Chip Cookies... If you're ever in Whole Foods, you should pick some up... or you could try and bake my version... I love these cookies (both versions)...  in fact, I'd go as far to say that they're my favourite cookie... chewy coconut... white chocolate, and then that lovely lemon taste... Delish! As always, I've popped the recipe at the end... just in case you want to give them a whirl!
Hoping everyone has a fantastic start to the week. I think I'm going to try and finish some of those jobs...
Lx


Lemon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
1 ¼ Cups of all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup of butter or margarine (1 stick) softened
½ cup of brown sugar
¼ cup of granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon lemon essence
Juice of ½ lemon
zest of 1 lemon
 1 cup of white chocolate chips
1 cup of flaked coconut

Method

1.   Preheat the oven to 375F. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt.

2.   In a mixing bowl, add the brown sugar, granulated sugar and softened butter. With the mixer on a medium setting, beat, until light and fluffy.

3.   Add the egg and lemon essence to the butter and sugars, and beat until well combined. Then, add the lemon juice and zest to the mixture and beat until combined.

4.   Reduce the mixer to a low speed and beat in the flour, until just blended.

5.   With a wooden spoon, stir in the white chocolate chips and flaked coconut.

6.   Drop the dough by well-rounded teaspoons, approx 2 inches apart, on two ungreased cookie sheets. I like to make these cookies pretty big, so that they’re nice and gooey in the middle, so the key is to putting a good sized teaspoon of dough on your cookie sheet!

7.    Pop the cookies in the oven and bake until golden around the edges… between 10 and 12 minutes. I like my cookies a little soft, so I usually start checking them at around 10 minutes (depending on the size of the cookie).

8.   Once baked, cool for a couple of minutes and then, transfer the cookies to a cooling rack, using a wide spatula.

You can always try toasting the coconut before hand... just to knock it up a notch... either way, I think they're pretty darn good!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Friday Flower

It's Friday... at last!!! I end the week a little frazzled... my little girl's illness is spreading amongst the rest of the troops... A sick house equals a fraught mother...I'm sat here with a glass of wine in hand, in a vain attempt to take the edge off things...


I picked up my Friday Flower today, in an attempt to spread a little cheer over an otherwise grim day...


I did smile when I saw the delicateness of the petals, touched with pink... and, even though it's another carnation... I just couldn't resist... It also came with the added bonus of filling two jars... can this bloom do no wrong?


I dedicate this Friday Flower to my mother-in-law... yep... you read that right... she bucks all the stereotypical mother-in-law characteristics... she's kind, considerate, never judging, always listening, and most of all, always there for me... Thanks, Shell, for being you!


I'm linking up with the lovely Melissa, who always manages to wow me with her fantastic photos and wise words... pop over to see her to be wowed too...
Wishing you all an amazing weekend and I'll hopefully be back on track next week.
Lx

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