The other side of my cooking life

I read amazing food blogs and remember my Mum’s dedication to cooking home-cooked food from scratch.

I feel overwhelmed by the expectations I put on myself to prepare every meal from the bare bones up. I feel overwhelmed by the other people who seem able to do that.

I wouldn’t want one of you reading my blog and feeling guilty about your own cooking, so I decided to share tonight’s supper with you!

Meal deal of ready-prepared vegetables, stir-in sauce and straight-to-wok noodles.

A (reduced – of course! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) pack of beef strips.

Beef stir-fry.

Just as healthy and additive-free as it would have been if I’d done all the work.

No sin!

I’m so grateful to my Mum and my Grandma for passing onto me a love for cooking and for teaching me the skills to cook mostly whatever I set my mind too – or at least where to go to find out how to do it! ๐Ÿ˜›

I don’t plan on loosing that.

What I do plan on losing is my self-imposed expectation that anything which is not prepared from the most scratched scratch that I can find, every single meal, is a sin! And definitely before we have kids! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh, and my hubby still thought it was delicious, so what’s the problem?!

I hope you’re not too shocked at this little peek into the other side of my cooking life!! ๐Ÿ˜‰


He did it!!!

My husband has got a job!! ๐Ÿ˜€

After the hard work of the PhD, graduation, countless application forms, interviews and rejections, so many prayers and hopes from us, our family and friends …

And today L got offered an associate research fellow post at an institution where he really wants to work!!

He “stood out” from the other candidates and has received the best recognition for all his hard work and enthusiasm – the job!

I’ve only just stopped dancing around the room and jumping up and down from excitement!! ๐Ÿ˜›

I am such a proud, proud wife!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Winning in inches

I’ve missed being around and posting here. I’ve missed sharing my photos, thoughts and laughs. I’ve missed you guys.

Right now I don’t have the head space for a full post, so here’s some thoughts that I’ve been finding helpful.

Victory is won not in miles bit in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more.

Louis L’Amour

Jesus will keep you strong until the end so that there will be no wrong in you on the day our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.

1 Corinthians 1 v 8

God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure He will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again.

Philippians 1 v 6

A is for Asparagus, O is for Obsession

Right now, I’m obsessed with this fresh, crunchy and green little vegetable!

This is the go-to veggie of the month. For now.

You see, I’m a self-diagnosed Food Phaser*.

* Please note that a) I am not professionally trained in the finer diagnostic points of this condition, so am unable to offer advice and b) it’s a self-created condition and is therefore unlikely to be recognised by clinical dietician. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Although I love cooking and baking all kinds of meals for other people, I’m a bit of a fussy eater in my own kitchen. I like the majority of food and cuisines and will like almost everything cooked for me by others, so I am not what most people think of as “a fussy eater”.

It comes down to me being very particular and quite ritualistic about what I eat day-to-day – did I ever warn you that I’m wierd by the way?! ๐Ÿ˜›

As a consequence of this, I become obsessed with a particular food for a week, a month, then something else catches my eye and it becomes all about this new vegetable, grain or combination of ingredients.

I remember a time in my teens when I would eat noodles any time I could wrangle it in to my week – with butter and garlic, soya sauce or cheese.

Cheese, of course, is a constant food that has stuck in there through every single passing obsession (bar about 6 months, but we’ll choose to forget that ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), so almost all of my food phases have included cheese of some kind or another. Yum. What more can I say?!

Some of my latest obsessions have been cooked vegetables with cheese …

… fresh, crunchy and raw salads (I think there might be some cubes of cheese mixed into this bowl somewhere …) …

… and roasted vegetables …

… all with this strong and zingy sauce of whole grain mustard, lemon juice, olive oil and soya sauce. Try it -it tastes so much better than it sounds/looks, although I am not keen on most salad dressings and would pick savory over sweet any day, so maybe I’m the only one who’ll love this strong and sour dressing! ๐Ÿ˜›

The roasted vegetables (and two largely unsuccessful attempts at making spinach and cheese balls) were thanks to the lovely Katie, over at Yes, I want cake. Several times in the past couple of months roasted veggies have been featured on Katie’s blog, including roasted broccoli. Yup, I know, that’s exactly what I thought!Roasted broccoli?! Ewwww! Wrong – DELICIOUS! I’ve actually survived over 25 years of my life without roasted broccoli. Guess I’ve got a lot of catching up to do!

For now, however, asparagus is The Vegetable. It’s in season over here, so the local vegetable stalls are selling fresh bunches of it at bargain prices! Maybe Katie’s blog had something to do with encouraging my asparagus-obsession, as I just HAD to try this asparagus pizza:

My first trial was made on an English muffin, but then I had the real thing and now I love asparagus pizza! And yes, I love Katie’s blogg too – it’s another one of my obsessions. ๐Ÿ˜€

Last night and tonight I’ve had a pile of asparagus, covered in tomato sauce, some grated cheese and put under the grill until golden and bubbling – scrum-diddily-umptious!

Ok, so the cheese I eat doesn’t really melt properly and go all stringy and gooey, but hey – it’s the fact that it’s cheese that counts, right?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh yes, and the asparagus I’m obsessed with right now! ๐Ÿ˜›

What food are you obsessed with at the moment?!

Even death on a cross


… Christ Jesus,who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.ย And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.ย ย  Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name,ย so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,ย and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2 v 5-11

And you are …?!

Over the summer I got accepted as a member of my local Youth Offending Team Panel – a long-cherished ambition of mine – and today I my second day of training … yes, that’s right, I am talking about Saturday and no, you didn’t hear me wrong when I said “day” – we’re talking 9am – 4pm here! ๐Ÿ˜‰

For someone like me, who always gets thoroughly excited about young people, youth crime and helping make their lives better, this is a wonderful – though awe-inspiring! – experience!

As well as being filled up and over-stuffed with loads of information, it is also providing about 26 or so opportunities for meeting someone new!! ๐Ÿ˜› Lot’s of new names to try to remember and lot’s of new faces to associate with the right name … lot’s of introductions and the usual set of “I’ve-never-met-you-before-how-should-I-be-relating-to-you” questions … you know, “What’s your name? Where are you from? What do you do? What degree did you do? Are you married? Do you have kids? Why are you here?”

Some questions are more comfortable to answer than others and all of them are only brushing a surface picture of the outside of each of us … but that’s how it goes – this is the way we humans normally start down the road of getting to know each other.

This, along with some very welcome comments from some of my blog readers that I have never met before, has set me thinking …

Who are you?!? ๐Ÿ™‚

If you think about it, it’s kind of a little unbalanced, right? Each and every one of you know quite a bit about me now … but I know hardly anything about you!! No-fair, ok?! ๐Ÿ˜‰ There are some exceptions – some of you I know in my every day life and some I know through your own blogs – but I am getting more and more confirmation that I have mystery readers that I know nothing about!! Ooooooh mysterious!! ๐Ÿ˜€

On principle, as long as I am making you smile and, for whatever reason, you enjoy reading my blog, that’s me content! Please keep on reading, laughing and hopefully taking something positive away with you!!

I’m also thinking of running my first-ever little mini-series!!! Just incase you can’t tell, I’m super excited about this!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Let me introduce … big fan-fair please! …

From My Front Room.

You’ve all been welcomed in over my front step, so now I would love it if some of you would like to come and take a seat on my comfy red sofa, get hold of a steaming mug of tea, munch on a piece of my warm Apple and Cinnamon Cake and share a little about yourselves …!!

I will start, by sharing the answer to some questions about myself … then it will be your turn! ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’d like to come and sit on my sofa one cosy afternoon, just email me with your name, blog home if you have one and the reason why you read my blog: alldotty atย  gmail dot com

I’m excited about meeting you soon!! ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s going to tell a story …

Here’s what I’ve figured out for myself. My life is going to tell a story whether I intend it to or not. It’s going to tell a story that says: This is what a follower of Jesus is, this is what they are about, this is what they believe, this is what they think is important. Because this is going to happen and can’t be stopped, I better make sure I know my role and my job description: A Christian is a living explanation.
~ Charlie Peacock

I haven’t been able to get this thought out of my head for the past couple of weeks … along with the next thought – so what am I going to do about it?

What does this quote make you think about?