Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Treat yourself

Fresh flowers not only brighten a home they make you feel good. So next time you walk past a florist, a flower staff, or even your local supermarket spend a couple of dollars and make yourself feel good. It really doesn't take much.

take a moment for yourself myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Sunday Serving easy and relaxing recipe

I have not been doing too much blogging this last week as I have had a touch of the flu and Nito has been home - enjoying a relaxing week. So today he has provided the lovely easy to make recipe:

Entree Prawn Cocktail:

Homemade Dressing

Place lettuce into individual serving dishes
Place peeled prawns in lettuce
Add dressing (dressing made from tomato sauce and mayonnaise - mix)

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pies.

1 large barbecued chicken
30gms butter
4 green shallots, sliced
200gms mushrooms, sliced
2 tblsp cornflour
1 cup water
1 chicken stock cube, crumbled
1/2 cup sour cream
2 sheets frozen puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
rice (if desired)

The recipe serves 4
About 15 minutes preparation
25 minutes to cook

Let's Cook

1. Remove the chicken meat from the bones, discarding the skin (try not too eat the skin rather than discard!!)
2. Heat butter in a large pan. Add shallots and mushrooms, stir over heat until mushrooms are tender. Blend cornflour to a smooth paste with a little water then add to pan with remaining water and stock cube. Stir over heat until mixture boils and thickens. Add sour cream, parsley and chicken, stirring over heat until combined. Spoon mixture into 4 individual ovenproof dishes or one pie dish.

3. Cut the pastry into four thin strips, about 1cm wide. Brush the edge of each dish with a little egg. Press a pastry strip around each edge, brushing again with egg. Cut four rounds from the remaining pastry large enough to cover dishes. Place pastry rounds over dishes, press at edges to seal, then trim edges. Brush pastry tops with egg and cut a small slit in the centre. Place pies on an oven tray and bake in a 220c preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden.

As a gluten free variation - use rice rather than pastry and ensure stock and cornflour are gluten free (these can be found at any supermarket).

The chicken and mushroom mixture can be cooked a day ahead.

Serve with seasonal vegies

Wine (or any other drink)



take a moment for yourself myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics

Monday, 16 July 2007

Count your Blessings

"The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings." - Eric Hoffer

myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics

We are all blessed in one way or another - you just need to take a moment to remember!

take a moment for yourself myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Sunday Serving - healthy and relaxing

"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating". ~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story

Well what better way to end a weekend than to spend it having a healthy meal and relaxing with friends. This meal serves 8, is really quick to prepare (about 15 mins), easy to cook and tastes delicious - give it a go and let me know what you think.

Lamb Chops and mustard glaze

About 1.5kg of sweet potatoes
Approx 1/4 cup of wholegrain mustard
Approx 2 tsp of mixed herbs
About 2 tbs of honey
12 lamb chops (or pork chops)
Olive oil
2 onions

1. Peel sweet potato and cut into 1cm thick slices. Cook in boiling water for 5 minutes or until par-cooked. Drain. Refresh in cold water and drain again.

2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Combine mustard, mixed herbs and honey in a small bowl. Season to taste.

3. Heat a large ovenproof frying pan over high heat. Add chops to pan with onion. Cook chops for 2 minutes each side or until brown. Add mustard mixture to pan. Turn chops to coat. Transfer pan to oven and cook for 5-7 minutes or until lamb is cooked through.

4. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add sweet potatoes and cook, turning, for 5 minutes or until browned. Remove from heat.

5. Divide sweet potato among plates, top with chops and spoon over mustard glaze and onion. Add other vegies that you like.

Serve with a nice red wine.

Enjoy with great conversation.

Be a little indulgent for dessert - homemade custard with choc chips.

Easy and delicious meal.

take a moment for yourself myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Saturday Photo Hunt #1 - Shadow

Sit, ponder, relax and enjoy this shadow:

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Feeling anxious - take a breath!!

"Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again" - L. Frank Baum

myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics

Breathing is something that comes so naturally that we don't think about it. Breathing slowly and properly automatically relaxes the body and prepares it for optimal functioning. The body will not be able to perform physical exertion without proper breathing. In turn, the body cannot relax without proper breathing.

Steady, persistent breathing practice will get your body in the habit of always breathing deeply and slowly. This will relieve any anxiety you may be feeling.

Begin by lying flat on your back or standing up straight. You may also sit up straight in a chair, if that is more comfortable.
Place your hand on your stomach area.
Breathe as you normally would and notice whether your hand rises or your chest rises.
To breathe properly, your stomach area must rise as your diaphragm expands.
To learn to breathe correctly, begin by slowly breathing in through your nose on the count of 5 while gently pushing your hand up with your stomach.
Hold the breath for a count of 5.
Slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of five while gently pushing down on your stomach.
Repeat this process for 5 minutes.

If you continue to practice breathing this way, you will soon be doing it naturally throughout the day. An additional benefit will be that once you are familiar with the exercise, you can do it to relax!!

take a moment for yourself myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics

Monday, 9 July 2007

Me Time - take some!

"I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship" - Louisa May Alcott

myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics

Are you like me and find that your day is so full that you never have time to yourself? Here are a couple of ideas for me time:

Get up 1/2 an hour earlier than everyone else and enjoy a peaceful cup of tea/coffee/milo/whatever.

Go to bed 1/2 an hour later than everyone else and enjoy the quiet.

When everyone is out of the house, don't worry about the housework - read a book/magazine/newspaper, or just stare out the window.

When the kids have gone to school - go for a walk.

On your way home from work stop at your local park and enjoy the scenery - even if it is only for 5 minutes.

Stop, smell some flowers and really enjoy your surroundings.

Just remember to take time out, you deserve it!

take a moment for yourself myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Bathing Beauty

"I believe in getting into hot water - it helps keep you clean" - G.K. Chesterton

myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics

Taking a bath can be a wondeful way to treat and deep-cleanse your skin, ease aching muscles and lull the mind into a state of quiet relaxation.

Have you ever used essential oils in your bath? If not give these blends a go:

Calming blend: Chamomile 4 drops, rose 4 drops.
Euphoric blend: Lavender 4 drops, orange 2 drops, clary sage 4 drops.
Grounding blend: Bergamot 3 drops, lavender 4 drops, sandalwood 3 drops.
Pampering blend: Rose 3 drops, neroli 3 drops, lavender 3 drops.
Balancing blend: Geranium 4 drops, neroli 3 drops, rose 2 drops.
Reviving blend: Lemon 2 drops, pine 2 drops rose 4 drops,
Uplifting blend: Bergamot 4 drops, clary sage 3 drops, ylang-ylang 4 drops.

Add the oils after you have run the bath - the oils sit on top and when you get in the soothing oils go all over your body.

Remember always read the labels on bottles (some oils are not suitable for all people) and only use pure essential oils.

Let me know if they made a difference.

take a moment for yourself myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics