Thursday, 18 September 2008
Two Truths and a Lie
Sometimes you wake up feeling less than inspired, and lacking in words. That's the way it is with me today. I've been mulling my Seminary Lesson around in my head for the past few days and can't think of much else as it is the first time I've ever done this and I confess, I'm a bit nervous about it all!!! It's an awesome responsibility and I really want to be an encouragement and a good teacher for these young people. For lack of anything better to do this morning, I thought it would be rather fun to do this on my blog today. It’s a little game called Two Truths and a Lie. Now . . . Mormon’s aren’t really supposed to lie, but I think because this is all in fun, I can get away with it, just this once.
The Premise of the game is that I am supposed to post three facts about myself. Two will be true, one will be a lie. Then you lot are supposed to guess in the comments section about which one you think is the lie. Tomorrow, I will let you know which one it is, and you can see if you were right or not! Sound like fun? We shall see!
1. When I was four years old I travelled across the Atlantic Ocean on an Ocean Liner, a Cunard Ocean Liner. It was in November and the trip was a very rocky one, especially as we got towards the centre of the ocean. I have never been so sick in my life, not to mention the fact that I had ear ache the whole way across. Talk about a miserable trip. I spent the whole trip in my room with my face in a bucket. It’s not something I care to repeat any time soon, always remembering of course, that I am a person that gets sick on a swing.
2. I played the role of Eliza Doolittle in my high school production of My Fair Lady, the year I was in Grade 11. I absolutely adored the experience! Putting on the Cockney Accent and strutting around the stage, I was absolutely in my element. It was like playing make believe, only on a much larger scale. My first husband's cousin played Professor Higgins and is a big actor down in Georgia now. We've only recently gotten back in touch with each other through face book and we were reminiscing about this just the other day. I cannot imagine prancing about a stage now as Eliza anything!
3. You know Frank Mills, the famous pianist who is most known for his song "Music Box Dancer*?? I once had to take his pants to the dry cleaners to have them speed cleaned before a show. My ex brother in law was a producer who produced concerts for such acts as Frank Mills, Chuck Mangione and in his early years Tanya Tucker and Ann Murray. In his later years he has done Children's Show productions, such at Bananas in Pajamas and Polka Dot door. I once had to make a huge Birthday Cake for the Bananas in Pajamas show at the CNE and I got to have lunch with Jeff from Today's Special one time as well. My kids were dead impressed!
So there you have it, two truths and a lie. It was fun to do and kind of hard as well! Let's see how you do at guessing!!!
I have been twice blessed this week in receiving yet two more awards. This first one is the Diamond Brilliant Web Log Award, which was given to me by TeaLady from the blog Tea and Scones . Who wouldn't love a blog with a name like that!!! Thanks so much TeaLady! Of course like any other award it comes with rules and regulations!
1. When you receive a diamond, make a post about it on your blog.
2. Name the blogger from whom you received it.
3. Award the diamonds to seven other bloggers.
4. Link them.
5. Tell them they received an award.
I think all the blogs I visit are just brilliant. I must do or I would not be visiting them! It's really hard to pick seven people out of that wonderful lot of friends. But do it I must so here goes,
Lucy of Teen Baker
Bunny of Bunnys Warm Oven
Lindsey of Cafe Johnsonia
Erin of Prudence Pennywise
Jan of What Do I Want To Cook Today
Maryann of Finding La Dolce Vita
Marye of Baking Delights
These are all brilliant food blogs. The recipes they post, the pictures they take of their food, the heart and soul they put behind each and every post . . . they never fail to amaze me and I always leave their pages with my tummy rumbling and famished! In short, they inspire me to cook and to eat!
Another award I was blessed with this week came from the lovely Schotzy from the page Wings of Eagles. It's called the Autumn Friends Award. Thanks so much Schotzy! Not only is the autumn my favourite time of year but now you have blessed me with giving me this lovely award! I have to pass it on to some wonderful gals that I feel a special bond with, which is kind of hard to do, as I feel a special bond to each one of you, but here goes . . .
Lura of Grammy's News , Lynell of An Ordinary Miracle , Misty of A Road Less Travelled , Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage , Angela of Stressed Out Mum Seeks Inspiration, Miranda of A Duck In Her Pond, Jeanne and Gina of In Her Shoes and Tracy of Pink Pearl
This award is for all of you because of the way you inspire and touch my heart with every one of your posts. My life is a better life for you having touched it and I thank you from the bottom of my very being!
I also must apologize to those of you who have been kind enough to send me e-mails from time to time in these last few weeks. I have plans to e-mail each one of you back and will do it, but it's been a very busy time for me with my work and my new calling and such. No excuse I know, but the time just seems to fly and some of my good intentions each day end up being washed away just like the minutes which seem to disappear. You will hear from me eventually, I promise!!! I have all your e-mails saved and plan on answering each and every one of them.
It was really chilly here last evening, just right for a delicious autumnal casserole. I made this for Todd and I and we enjoyed every wonderful mouthful. You can make it in individual casserole dishes like I did, or you can make it in one larger one for the whole family to enjoy. It’s great any way you make it. (I used the chicken leftover from our supper the night before to make mine, but as you can see the recipe calls for fresh chicken breasts. I also cut it in half for us because, well . . . there's only the two of us!!)
*Autumnal Chicken and Butternut Squash Casserole*
I love this casserole. There are so many flavours going on in it, but they all seem to meld together wonderfully . . . the sweetness of the roasted butternut squash, the savoury rich flavour of the cheese, earthy sage, tender slices of poached chicken, garlic and the delicious crunch of sweet almonds. It’s fabulous, but don’t just take my word for it, try it for yourself!
2 ½ pound butternut squash
2 TBS olive oil
2 cups milk
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, of medium size
A whole nutmeg for grating
2 ounces (2 TBS) of butter
2 ounces (2 heaping TBS) of plain flour
1 ½ TBS roughly chopped fresh sage leaves
7 ounces (slightly less than 2 cups) of mature cheddar cheese, grated
½ cup flaked toasted almonds
Salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 200*C/425*F. Take four individual serving casserole dishes or one large one and place them on a baking tray. Set aside.
Peel the butternut squash, cut in half and remove the seeds. Slice it into ½ inch slices. Place on a baking tray and using your fingers toss it with the olive oil, making sure all the pieces are well coated. Season with some salt and pepper and then roast in the heated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender and browning slightly in places. Give it a gentle stir about halfway though the roasting time.
While the squash is cooking get the chicken ready and make the sauce. Wipe the chicken breasts and then season each with salt, pepper and some grated nutmeg. Place them into a saucepan along with the milk and garlic, and bring it just up to the boil. Reduce the heat immediately to medium low, and let the chicken simmer in the hot milk, uncovered, for about 15 to 16 minutes, just until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside. Boiling it will toughen the chicken, so make sure it only simmers. If it starts to boil, remove the pan from the heat for a few minutes. Once cooked, remove the chicken with a slotted spoon onto a plate to cool, reserving the milk for the sauce.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once it just starts to turn brown, remove it from the heat and whisk in the flour to keep the butter from burning. Slowly whisk in the hot milk and then return the pan to the heat, cooking and whisking until it is smooth and thickened slightly. Add 2/3 of the cheese a little at a time, whisking until it melts and is a smooth sauce. Add the sage and season to taste with salt, pepper and a touch of freshly grated nutmeg
Lay half of the butternut squash pieces in the bottom of the casseroles (casserole). Cover with half of the cheese sauce. Slice each chicken breast and lay this over the cheese sauce. Sprinkle half of the toasted almonds on top. Cover with the remaining roasted squash pieces. Spoon on the remaining half of the sauce, smoothing over the top to cover. I always take the tip of a knife and run it a bit here and there down around the sides to make sure the sauce seeps right down into the chicken beneath.
Scatter the remaining cheese and almonds over top. Place in the oven and bake for a further 25 to 30 minutes until the top is nicely browned and bubbling. Remove from the oven and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving. Delicious!
*Note, you can vary the type of cheese used in this if you like. A mixture of Parmesan and Pecorino are good. Also if you want to make it completely vegetarian you can add another vegetable or use all butternut squash leaving out the chicken completely. Blue cheese is also good mixed in with the cheddar cheese
PS - I see that the Coconut Pineapple Cake won my Make Me Bake Challenge this week. Oh boy, I was hoping that one would win. I shall be baking it soonest and put up a new challenge shortly! Thanks guys for being great pickers!!! Yumm Yumm!!