Thoughts From A French Restaurant

Chef & Wine I
Chef & Wine I
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Working in my local French restaurant in the SE of England

I sometimes serve our delicious, home-cooked French Cuisine to visitors from other countries! They always love our food, which begs the question:- why didn’t they visit an English restaurant for some real English food? Well firstly, where are these restaurants?


An English Pub?

Where they serve dishes such as beef and ale pie, fish and chips, cottage pie or ploughmans lunch. Not exactly dining delicacies, but rather hearty, filling food for hard-working people. You can imagine them being served to hungry  workers from the fields, who would need something filling. But other people who really only moved from carriage to restaurant and to home- well what would they be dining on? Given our typical English pub food, they would soon be overweight. I guess they too resorted to foreign cuisine for the delicacies they needed and would dine from one to the other.

Influenced by foreign lands

The English didn’t include many such dishes, but were influenced by countries such as France to supply them. In recent times, they have rather preferred instead the fast food and ready meals which are vastly available for people on the go. Not so the French and many other countries. Their food is loved and respected by eating it slowly, lovingly and together, as a way of celebrating life itself. Not an inconvenience, but an occasion that brings people together and I believe makes them healthier and happier in the process. This is just our ethos in the French restaurant, to provide a relaxed and pleasant experience which leaves them feeling content as they leave. This can also be carried over into normal family life. What better way to eat, relax and communicate regularly with those you love and live with.

So let’s learn from the French and other countries. I have lived for many years in Germany and have picked up some of their cuisine too. How about you?

Bon Appetit!

Can You See The New Life Poking Through?

2014-08-21 10.22.43I was sitting at home alone, awaiting my next shift at work and my family to return later on in the day from their three day camping trip. It got me thinking what it will soon feel like when the last of our four sons leaves home. In two weeks one will be leaving for university and then the last remaining one will no doubt be making plans to move on.

For the last three days I have made the most of my time alone (inbetween working) and have enjoyed the company of some of my friends. My plans to clean the house whilst it was empty were thwarted at the beginning with the breakdown of our hoover. In hindsight I could have embarked on a decorating project, which although not exactly my forte, would have been a nice surprise for me as well as my family! The writing platform where I write and express my passions creatively is also closing and I haven’t quite got my head around my new plan of action.

The three days is nearly over and as I fight a little today to think positively about this next phase, I notice these beautiful pink flowers growing through the wall in our garden. It makes me think that even when some things have died, there will always be something new poking through, if you will but notice it. The wall might be old and crumbling, but the flowers poking through are perfect, fresh and full of new life.

New life is to be embraced and I intend to embrace mine with gratitude for all that I have and the new things to come.

How about you?

Summer Days And Salad

Appetizing Apple Pasta Salad

Appetizing Apple Pasta Salad

During those lovely hot, summer days, I love trying out different salad recipes that can be prepared in advance and eaten cold whenever it suits you. We live in a seaside town and sometimes we spontaneously decide to throw everything into the picnic bag and head for the beach. The ideal food is salad! My family are coming and going, some working shifts and needing meals at unusual times. A ready-prepared salad is again a great solution. Everyone can dip into it when they are ready. In any case, who wants to be sweating over a hot stove, arriving hot and flustered at the meal table anyway? No way! I like to make the salad and then join everyone else in the sunny outdoors for pre-dinner drinks, maybe just nipping in at the last minute for the cold meat and cheese.

Now I’m not of course talking about lettuce, tomato and cucumber every day. Here is my latest pasta salad recipe. It’s creamy and easy and can easily be transported into the garden or onto the beach. It contains pasta that makes it a little more filling. Check it out and enjoy your summer the easy way!

Appetizing Apple Pasta Salad

Must-Read Historical Novels

S/W Ver: A0.03.1DRI am intrigued by some aspects of history, although give me a list of treaties and dates and I will run a mile! However, wrap it up in a bit of fiction, with drama and romance thrown in and I’m hooked!

Imagine my surprise, when after reading a book by a new author that appeared to be a along these lines (you never quite know the first time), I really enjoyed it. I was waiting for the let-down after tearfully finishing the last page and yes, it left me longing for more! Imagine my surprise when I discovered there were 33 more books to follow in this series! It felt like Christmas. I love a good book, because you can take it with you anywhere. We all know the value of encouraging children to read, to improve their language and grammar skills. Kids need to see their role models reading if they are going to catch the bug!

Everyone needs something to get them started and there’s nothing like a good book review to recommend something so that you aren’t completely in the dark.

For me, I have decided that my favourites are historical novels. They answer my inquisitive questions about how people lived before my time and provide me with a sense of happiness and escape from the cares of the world, even if only for a short time. Yes, I know they don’t cure them, but they often provide an insight that gives me a better idea of how to live today. For now, it’s on that sunlounger in the garden, drink in one hand and the last of the Morland Dynasty series in the other.

The Morland Dynasty- Historical Fiction At It’s Best

 

Would You Like More Time?

Eight O'Clock Coffee, 1935
Time for that coffee, time to read a book or play with your children….

Time is transient and eventually becomes a dimming memory. That is why it’s important to live in the present and enjoy life whilst we still have it. However, it is also helpful to understand and respect time.

For most of us, we don’t seem to have enough of it. Why is that? Maybe some won’t even have enough time to finish reading this article!

If I am passive about my allotted time, I find that it can easily slip away. It’s almost as if it doesn’t want me to have it! Yet if I respect and consider it, it stays with me and fills my allotted spaces so much better. Who knows, maybe I can even product it?

As with most things in life, it begins in my mind in that I gain more time by spending some of it each day by thinking and planning. Just as with money, time lasts longer if I budget it and there may even be some left over.

Who knows how much time we have left? Procrastination is an enemy of time! Don’t put off until tomorrow, what can be done today, for tomorrow may never come!

What are the qualities that could give you more time? Here are some that I benefit from:

Resolve, focus, patience, perseverance, peace and purpose. But maybe most of all, to realize that time is a gift, so don’t waste it.

Take time to think about these things and time will come back to you!

Get your FREE, practical and concise guide on:  How To Make Time And Enjoy Healthy Living

 

Should I Change My Mind?

Typewriter Change Your Mindset


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I was deeply moved by the recent news that a much-loved and admired teacher had been murdered at her school in England. There were so many good reports of how she had changed people’s lives with her love, patience and belief in those she taught. This got me thinking that I would love to be remembered in this way. However, it feels as if I have been hiding and would love to be more free in giving to others.  Thinking about how to put that into action, made me look at myself honestly and I realized that I needed to change my mind!

It’s often seen as a weakness to change your mind, but I believe that the opposite is true. It shows great strength of character that you are willing to change for good. It shows that you aren’t too proud or stubborn and what a great example that is to younger people who naturally want to experience new things! After all, how else would the world continue to develop? It’s easy to stay as you are in your comfort zone, but moving into unknown territory can be scary. This is where my personal relationship with God gives me a strength and assurance that I am not on my own! I don’t dispute the fact that in other areas of my life I need to stand firm and remain consistent, but there are times when I need to admit that I have been wrong or just simply that it’s time to change.

Like so many, I had been plagued with negative thoughts that had often kept me locked in fear and self- doubt. Such thoughts infected my life and those around me, potentially destroying it.

Thank God for my faith in God and His Word The Bible, that has been like a light bulb going on in my mind and a continuing guiding light, without which I wouldn’t have been able to move. It’s so relevant to me and my life! Gradually, through reading and speaking it out, I am changing my mind to think and speak the truth. Heaven knows where the lies came from that had built up as strongholds in my mind.

I am now finding freedom to be and do what I want, no longer to be hampered by fear and self-doubt.

This is how I plan to live and hopefully to give life to those around me. Should I change my mind? Yes I must, for that is where it begins to take root! It’s a journey and I hope that by sharing my intentions, it will become a reality.

This book has really helped me to get started on this journey:

My Daily Battlefield Of The Mind

 

Stake It With A Cake!

simnel cakeI have always enjoyed baking, whether a cake was needed to mark an occasion or not. Having a large family, there would always be something to celebrate and more often than not I would be found leaning over the kitchen top, mixing and decorating the cake that was to mark it.  Does our need to put something in our mouths go back to babyhood, when it was a primary method of discovering the world? Even in adulthood it can feel comforting. But a cake is also a visual monument to remind us of why we are celebrating and an opportunity to get people together for more than just a cup of tea.

I don’t remember when I made my first cake, but it must have been at school in my cookery class. I learned the basics from my mother, who was also a keen baker in name as well as deed, although not quite as adventerous as me! I went through the first few years of marriage and having my own kitchen, trying out new recipes on unsuspecting family and friends. I even made a battenburg cake once when my parents came to tea, being a lover of marzipan and loving the pink appearance that matched the table cloth. This moved on once our children came along, to cakes often made in the same form as the present we would give them for their birthdays. These ranged from bike cakes to space-ships , forts and clowns. It didn’t come without stress, but eventually I progressed into making our son’s four tier wedding cake. Having made a Christmas cake from the same recipe for 25 years, it was just a matter of mass production, balancing and decorating!

There are some cakes though that have been made time and again in the name of tradition. These signify the regular celebrations of Easter and Christmas and are well loved family recipes. They help us to look forward to and mark the occasion and help to provide memories.  And now, with Easter approaching, the smell of Simnel cake gently baking in the oven as it does every year at this time, will remind me again of what Easter means to me. The smell, sight and taste of this delicious cake will always be associated with Easter.

Simnel Cake- A Traditional Easter Cake Recipe

What To Cook For Supper? 10 Tips To Make Life Easier!

My Vegetarian Spaghettin Recipe

My Vegetarian Spaghetti Recipe

Is this what you often ask yourself? Feeding a family or even just yourself can become tiresome when you have to come up with something interesting every day. Who wants to spend lots of time trying to decide and then finding you don’t have the necessary ingredients? Another trip to the local supermarket, taking yet more time, could well end up with you feeling tempted to buy something ready-made and compromising your health. How can you streamline this daily task? Here are some tips that have worked for me over the years: (more…)

How To Lose Weight When You Love Baking

My Almond Slice Recipe

My Almond Slice Recipe

I am in a challenging time of life. My challenge is how to lose weight in order to journey into the second half of my life in good health. And how to do this when I love baking and- dare I say it- sampling my baking delights? I would normally find it do-able to avoid the sweet goodies when grocery shopping, but surely I’m not expected to avoid my cakes? They might not compete with Mary Berry’s creations, but the smell certainly makes them irresistable!. (more…)

The Beauty And Uniquenss Of A Single Red Rose

Red Rose with Wavy Petals

Red Rose with…
Clive Nichols
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I remember a few years back a friend helping me to sort out my house. I felt I needed some moral support at the time, although was quite surprised to receive a first-hand lesson in her motto, “less is more.” When my husband returned from his business trip, he was a little shocked to find some of his loved pieces of furniture donated to other “needy” people. The house certainly received a new look, but in hindsight it might have been better to have checked with him before allowing the furniture in question to finally leave the house.

Sometimes I feel alone in a crowd, as if no one is noticing me because we are all the same, mingled together. Pull me out from the crowd and I have a voice at last.

At times. I might be hiding in the crowd and leaning on other people when no-one is noticing and I am too scared to come out and stand up for who I am.

At other times I know that I have something to say or contribute and therefore feel empowered, even if I stand alone. However, on these occasions I am not alone, even if it might appear so, for my inner faith in God empowers me with his help, to be strong and confident, because I know that I am loved. This is the simple truth that I hope I have passed on to my children.

Give a red rose to someone you love, as a symbol that they are complete and beautiful in their uniqueness.

I am loved! Are you?

My Favourite Red Rose Gifts

Defiant Child Behavior problems