The tables were turned!

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Friday night the tables were literally turned on Hubby and I when Miss Ten took control of the kitchen. Not only did she make dinner for us but the night before she presented us with these menus so we could choose what we wanted (and I could subsequently do the necessary shopping the following morning, lol!).

How good is this?

Ms Menu

FYI: Yes, prices were included on the menu but she gave us Monopoly money to use on the night. Naturally Hubby gave her our tip in REAL dollars which left her beaming! :)

Congratulations to our budding Chef!

Both Hubby and I had the Spiced Pork and Mystery Mousse – both which were FANTASTIC! The pork tenderloin was rubbed with a blend of spices which were just so tasty – Cuban according the recipe. I’ll be making this one myself for certain – stay tuned for the recipe!

This was followed by a dessert of chocolate ice-cream that contained a hidden chocolate cake, topped with whipped cream and grated chocolate, DEE-lish!!! Miss Ten sourced all the recipes herself from the Internet with the exception of this dessert which she created herself. Pretty cool huh?!

Sitting back and having dinner served to us was the best part. Honestly, it could have been PBJ’s that were served but to have the table set, the candles lit, and told not to come into the kitchen whilst she prepared everything herself, THAT my friends was a gift in itself.

Master Twelve also shared the table with us and was obviously silently impressed as he declared as he left the table that he was going to do dinner next. All we can say is… “mum Master Twelve, how much longer?”

The Color Beauty of Mornings!

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For the briefest moment Monday morning I was treated to this most glorious sight out my kitchen window.

Monday Morning Colors!

The colors filling the sky were of the most beautiful hues.

Monday Morning

What was astounding was that it was different in every direction – how could that be?

Monday Morning Color Glory!

Such a contrast to the dismal grey skies that have been greeting since. Whatever the reasons, the natural beauty of the sky on Monday was breath-taking, such a magical way to begin the day… “mum, how much longer?”

Fresh flowers, fresh cakes!

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What better way to help support those who are fighting cancer, and remembering those who fought a mighty mighty battle, then to buy either a daffodil stick pin or a bunch of daffodils! :)

Daffodil Month - show your support!

To my Darling Dad, if only dreams could come true – you wanted to live forever – and we would have loved nothing more than to have you with us longer but cancer had other plans for you. We love you and miss you everyday.

It’s three years to the day that we said our last good-byes, the last time I would see you standing as the man you always were. The airport shuttle taking us away from you, to our new life on the other side of the world, not knowing if we would ever see each other again.

Never did we imagine to be flying back to you in just two short months for one last good-bye but by this time cancer had already stolen the man who was my father, my children’s Dee Dee. A mere shell was all that was left for us to say good-bye to; the cancer robbing you of your speech and controlled movement but at least we said good-bye.

The pain of your departure is fresher today then it was back then. They say time lessens the pain but… “mum, how much longer?”

What a glorious week-end!!!

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It was as if Summer had arrived Friday afternoon, staying with us right through until the sun dipped behind the mountains last night, leaving us with an almost full-moon sitting just there!

Full Moon- just beautiful!

Sorry for the OTT overlay but with JUST the blue sky as background it was just begging for something extra, lol! :)

But WHAT a week-end – the boys went fishing, we had a bar-be-que, many a mojito enjoyed, the trampoline is up, “discussions” about bikes being left out have already been had, bird-offerings have been given (thanks Poppy :( ), street tag played, walks to the shops had, more fishing equipment both created and bought, and plans for current and future outdoor furnishings have been made.

Now as I sit, almost shivering at the computer since the back-door is open for the cats, the week-end weather is like a dream that has been doused with grey clouds and cool air. Already the question regarding the return of these summer-like days is being asked… “mum, how much longer?”

Blueberry Vanilla Loaves! :)

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 Oh. My. Goodness.

These are just so delicious they’re scary, Miss Ten modified a muffin recipe I’d found over at Damn Delicious by the very talented Chung-Ah.  The food photography alone will leave you salivating – I can only dream of being half as good one day. Do check out this blog as it’s just fabulous!

With blueberries being both in plentiful supply and just so tasty at the moment (not always do the two go hand-in-hand), the plan was for something completely different but let me assure you, I am so NOT disappointed with this change!

Miss Ten tweaked the recipe every so slightly as we had no Buttermilk in the refrigerator so regular 2%-milk was used. Nor could she find our bottle of Vanilla Paste so whereas the original recipe asks for 1 tablespoon of Vanilla Paste, Miss Ten substituted 2 tablespoons of Vanilla Extract which although makes for a slightly darker loaf, it certainly doesn’t distract from the flavor!

Blueberry Vanilla Loaves

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: ¾ hours
  • Difficulty: not to difficult at all!
  • Print

Blueberry Vanilla Muffins

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbls baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1½ cups milk (or Buttermilk if you have it)
⅔ cup sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries
*
2 tbls of sparking sugar – to sprinkle over top just before placing into oven

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Coat an eight-loaf pan with non-stick spray or butter and flour; set aside.

Into bowl of electric-mixer combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

In another bowl whisk together buttermilk, sugar, butter and egg. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and mix gently on low setting until JUST moist (just like you’d do for muffins – funny that!).

Once combined remove bowl from mixer then oh-so-gently using a rubber spatula, stir the blueberries into the batter.

Scoop the batter evenly into the loaf tray. Place into oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Leave loaves in tray for five-minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool… if you can wait that long!

Whilst loaves are warm serve with vanilla ice-cream sprinkled with toasted pecans or simply serve cold with fresh cream!

As I finish off the very last of the loaves I must ask Miss Ten about the next batch and… “mum Miss Ten, how much longer?”

Zebra Stripes in the Sky!

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One never knows just what to expect when looking out my kitchen window of a morning, especially when it’s as bleak and grey as it’s been of late, one never expects very much at all.

Last week however was a completely different story and this is what greeted me last Wednesday – what looked almost like a zebra pattern across the sky – amazing!

Zebra Stripes in the Sky

There’s more than a few people upset with our current weather the way it is but on this matter I side with the experts, you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain so please stop asking… “mum, how much longer?”

Guiding Lights!

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As I was going through all my photographs in readiness to do the next scrapbook on my long LONG list, I came across this capture.

Our hotel last month in Vancouver dated back to early last century and these were the hallway lights on our floor which look as if they could be originals. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Hallway Lights in Vanouver - just beautiful!

On this occasion I was “meant” to be filling up our trash can with ice. Yes, Mama is a tight-wad and refuses to pay exorbitant prices for soda and water, preferring to buy them at the shops then put them in ice back in the room. As I’ve mentioned before on numerous occasions, it’s the curse of being born beautiful instead of rich, bawhawhaw! :)

Anyways, as I wandered to and from the ice-machine, I couldn’t help but notice how old and regal these hallway lights were so was determined to capture this beauty on film. Needless to say, a certain Miss Ten was inside our room inquiring… “mum, how much longer?”

Time to Bud!

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Even with fresh snow on the hillsides this morning, the rain from this last week has signs of Spring evident everywhere! :)

Springtime buds with a sprinkling of raindrops!

New life, new beginnings. Perhaps now when it comes to Spring we should simply accept and stop asking… “mum, how much longer?”

Spring Time Showers!

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As the rain drops settled upon the branches outside yesterday, the new life within rejoiced and surfaced. Could Spring be finally here?

Rain brings with it the signs of new life!

Although, for me it’s when the bulbs in all the nearby gardens bloom that I know for certain Spring has truly arrived soooo… “mum, how much longer?”