Monday, 29 August 2011
So lemon trees are laden with lemons at the moment. I love hot lemon drinks with a bit of honey and I also love a bit of lemon gooey slice with a large helping of whipped cream.
Here is the recipe if you love that citrus tang, meringue-like crust and an overload of sweet...
1 1/2 cups of flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
150g butter, softened and cubed
4 large free range eggs
1 3/4 cups caster sugar
zest from 3 lemons
2/3 cup of lemon juice
1/3 cup plain flour
Preheat over to 180 degrees C. Line a 20cm x 35cm rectangle tin with non-stick baking paper.
Sieve flour into bowl and add sugar and butter. I mix it for ages in my mixer until it resembles a crumble or breadcrumb look. Press crumbs evenly over base of prepared tin and bake for 15 minutes until golden. Remove and reduce the over down to 140 degrees C.
While the base is in the oven whisk the eggs and sugar together until very thick and pale in colour (the longer the better). Fold in lemon juice, zest and then flour. Pour over crust and bake for about 40 minutes or until set (when you take it out give it a slight shake to see if it is still running, if so, bake a little longer). Cool completely before removing and cutting into squares. Dust with icing sugar. I keep mine in the fridge....yummy!
Thursday, 25 August 2011
Baking is my way of releasing stress...I just love it! I wouldn't say I was a great baker but I do ok and my baking gets eaten. Nobody has taught me to bake, I just learn as I go.
I had tried to make Anzac cookies the other week at the request of my hubby. The first batch were a disaster, but I didn't give up. I tried a new recipe...better, but not great. So this is when I decided to just change the recipe a bit and ta-da! Yummy cookies that are crunchie on the outside and soft and chewy in the middle.
Here is my recipe for you all :
Becky's Anzac Biscuits
1 cup flour
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
2 cups rolled oats
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp boiling water
Heat oven to 180 degrees. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Place flour, caster sugar, coconut and oats in a bowl and stir to combine, leaving a well in the centre.
Melt butter and golden syrup in the microwave or stove.
Dissolve baking soda into boiling water.
Add melted butter and syrup as well as the boiling water and baking soda into the dry ingredients. Mix to combine.
Roll about one tablespoon of mixture into a ball and then squash between your hands. Place onto baking paper leaving room for biscuits to spread while cooking.
Bake for about 10 minutes OR until golden brown. I like to undercook slightly so the biscuits are still a bit soft in the middle when you take them out of the oven. Simply change the cooking time to suit your desired result. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
The great thing about Anzac biscuits is they last for up to a week in a airtight container and are super quick and easy to make!
Monday, 22 August 2011
'The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.' ~ Marcel Proust, The Captive
How can several people be involved in the same event and all come away with different recollections of that event? PERCEPTIONS! How we each perceive things can vary greatly. Just in ourselves, from day to day, our perceptions can differ depending on what mood we are in. If I am feeling happy and something dislikable happens I am more likely to let it go and not dwell on it than if I am in a 'blued out' mood.
Do we always perceive similar events/people the same way every time? Even if the event/person changes over time, do our perceptions remain the same?
After suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder most of my life, I am lucky in that I went through years of intense therapy to change the pathways in my brain. I wasn't able to tolerate medication so I had to get better the 'hard' way. What was also lucky was that I learnt to change the way I looked at things...my perceptions....I literally had to in order to survive!
These skills were very hard to learn. A bit like retraining your brain when you give up smoking. Breaking the chain so that when you sat down for your morning coffee, your brain didn't continue to tell you to reach for the cigarettes.
Our perceptions can literally build us up or crush us. Ultimately the power is ours. Simply (well, not really) by changing the way you look at things, you can alter the way you feel and live your life.
I find so many people are stuck in their ways, their judgements. Do you ever ask yourself, 'what if I am wrong?'. I try to do this and I find I often am! My perceptions of events and/or people have many times been really off the mark. By stepping back you can analyse your thoughts and actions and see things in a whole new light. Well, I guess the point is to try and see things differently and then assess the situation from a new perspective.
If you change your perceptions, does it change how you feel? If by changing your perceptions does it make you feel better, does it help you to move on?
Changing the pathways in your brain takes time and practise. The first step is simply being aware of your thoughts, what do they mean, how do they make you feel, how do they affect others. Then it is up to you if you should change them.
'One has not only an ability to perceive the world but an ability to alter one's perception of it; more simply, one can change things by the manner in which one looks at them.' ~ Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get The Blues
One of my all time favourite songs is 'All that we Perceive' by Thievery Corporation... always gets me thinking....
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Even on a cold Winter's day a little bit of sunshine can do the world of good to ones soul. Today was a beautiful day in Auckland and I thoroughly enjoyed sitting in the sun, feeling its warmth on my face, while the boys played on their bikes. That little taste of warmth has made me very eager for Summer bbq's, swimming, and some beach time. Long Summer days entertaining with friends and family, eating and drinking beautiful food together, listening to music.....aaaaaahhh, just can't wait!!
JANDALS, I can't wait to be living in my jandals again. I have permanent jandal marks on my feet all year round as I literally wear them a long as I can. Summer means jandals again - yay!
Sunshine really is good for the soul and has a healing power. It destroys harmful bacteria and sunrays supply us Vitamin D. Vitamin D is absorbed by our skin and then gradually conveyed by the blood from the skin to the inner organs and all the cells of our body. I never knew that this process takes time so it is best not to wash the skin with soap and hot water straight after being in the sun. Allow a couple of hours if possible to get the suns full benefits. Obviously we have to be safe in the sun but I absolutely love felling the sun's rays on my skin. It feels like I am literally soaking up happiness!
"The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy." ~ Henry Ward Beecher
Thursday, 11 August 2011
Is this the right path?
Good intentions....do they really matter? Does it actually make any difference to others whether your intentions are good or bad? Is the end result or action all that matter? Are you always going to be perceived in a different light, irrelevant of what your intentions may be? I think so! I know so!
I guess intentions only matter to you, in your soul. In your last days, hours or even just at times through your life, you may sit and reflect on events, decisions, achievements and failures. You may feel good or bad depending on what your intentions were. Or maybe your intentions are forgotten, swallowed up by the end result. With the best of intentions, things can work out terribly, and vise versa.
By being true to yourself, loving what you do, choosing paths that are right for you, can this be the way to inner happiness? Does it matter what your intentions are at all, even to yourself?
Well, to me it does... but the more I think about it, the end result and impact on others has to matter too!
"We judge others by their behaviour. We judge ourselves by our intentions." ~ unknown
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Beauty IS everywhere! If we decide to live in the moment and take a deep breath of life in, then we would see beauty in every part of our day. We get swept up in 'doing stuff' and most of the time miss the amazingly wonderous moments that we are presented with each day. I know I do! I want to start really being conscious of life. Conscious definition; aware of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings.
When I wake in the morning, all warm in my bed with my youngest son curled up in my arms and I can smell him and pull him closer to me for a kiss, that is beauty right there. Our bond as mother and child. I have just started my day like this....WOW! How lucky am I? Then my eldest son rushes in, 'morning Mum!' and plants a big kiss on my cheek. I look at his beautiful face smiling at me and just feel so happy to be in this moment right now.