Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chocolate Covered Millionaires

I recently started a website about chocolate. Anything really to do with chocolate...like poems, sayings, recipes etc. In the control panel for my website, I have a statistic function that allows me to see how many daily visitors I get, what pages they visit and which search term they used to find my site on Google.

I was amused to see that Google refered someone to my website who was looking for "chocolate covered millionaires". It really made me smile. Unfortunately (or fortuantely) I don't have any chocolate covered millionaires on my website but if you'd like to visit, here is my latest recipe

Chocolate Chip and Candied Cherry Cookies

Friday, January 25, 2008

Thinking Outside The Box

I love this story that I received in my Inbox today. It made me think that often in life we probably miss lots of glaring opportunities to be successful.

Six Dollar Haircuts
This is a true story about a third generation barber in a small community in the Mid-west. The shop had been handed down from his grandfather and developed not just a hair salon but more of a community center where the farmers and families would come in not only to get their hair done, but enjoy the coffee and donut bar and spend time with their neighbors sharing the news of their farms and families. This shop had grown to include 10 stylists who cut all the men's hair and all the women's hair in the community.

The owner's son came home from graduate school over spring break, to find his father depressed and reclusive. Finally getting his father to share what the problem was, the father confided that there was a new, national chain that had been moving across the country, bringing in cheap hair salons into all of the different communities and driving everyone out of business. And so, even though the community had loved all of the work that he had done, the perms and the haircuts and the styles over the years, right down the street opened up this new shop. It offered six dollar haircuts. Person after person had left to go to the new low cost shop.

The father told his son, "There is absolutely NO way I can compete with $6.00 haircuts. So much of my clientele has now gone to the new shop that I have no choice but to close our shop. After three generations, we are going bankrupt. I can't pay the stylists or the overhead anymore," he despondently said with his hands covering his face so his son would not see the tears rolling out of his eyes.

The son said, "You know, this last semester I took a "science of success" program that was offered for extra credit in my marketing class. One thing I learned was something that Einstein said. He said that "The significant problems we face can never be solved at the level of thinking of the problem." So, Dad, we have to find another way to think about this. We've got to find another way to see this. Another one of the strategies I learned may help us."

So the son left the room and brought back a notebook and a pen. He told the Dad about "Masterminding", a strategy introduced in the 1930's by Napoleon Hill who had been commissioned by Andrew Carnegie to study the patterns of extremely successful people.
"Here's what we do. We let ourselves think of any idea that comes to mind and we write it down. No editing. We get a flow of ideas for 15-20 minutes and try to get as many as possible. No idea is off limits. Let's go."

The father said, "Well, the only idea I've got is..close the shop!" The son said, "Well, you're right that IS an idea." He wrote it down. Then the son said, "Ok, let's keep going." Before long the son and the father started getting a flow of ideas and writing down every one of them, even every crazy thing that came to mind. When they finished, one of the ideas absolutely jumped off the page and they looked at each other in astonishment and said, "This just might work!" The son left the next day to go back to college.

The father implemented the idea. Within 6 weeks, not only had his drop in clientele completely returned, but the number of customers was now 11% higher than ever in the history of the shop. Do you know what the idea was that turned sure failure into a new course of increasing success?
The idea was, "Place a BIG sign on top of the shop that read,

This story has meant a great deal to me particularly when I am tempted to think that the problem is "out there" in the land of circumstances. Any time I think the problem is "out there", THAT THOUGHT is the problem. As Einstein said, "The significant problems we face can not be solved at the level of the problem." Learning to think in a new way brings Freedom and Power.

Friday, January 11, 2008

15 weeks pregnant

I cannot believe that I'm 15 weeks pregnant. It seems like just the other day I was waiting outside the emergency drugstore on a Sunday evening to buy a second pregnancy test because I could hardly believe that the little blue line showed up to indicate positive.

Now I can't believe how big I am. Well maybe it's just me but I feel huge and it gets worse as the day goes on. It's like I wake up in the morning 3 months pregnant and by bedtime I'm 6 months pregnant. I dread to know how big I'll be by 9 months. Good grief, they'll be wheeling me round in a trolley.

The other wearying thing is trying to find clothes that fit me by the end of the day. I can't quite wear maternity clothes but my "normal" clothes just don't make it around my disappearing waistline. Wearing elasticated pants is comfortable but they're not exactly a fashion item and I just look fat not actually pregnant.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Armed and dangerous

I've come to the conclusion that my body is convinced that there will be an impending famine or that the earth will freeze over at some stage of it's life. It's the only way I can explain the food cravings I've had my whole life. Eat too much and I put on weight. Diet and I lose some of the weight but not all the weight and then we start again. Slowly building up this soft, cushion like reserve for when Woolworths Foodstore is not open or we experience a phenomenon like "The Day After Tomorrow" . The problem is that this fine summer's morning I discovered that most of my pants from last summer do not fit me. The elasticated ones do....but only at a stretch.

So I've spent the better part of this morning trying to get my mind around the reality of having to lose weight. Well, now my mind is rolling on the floor laughing hysterically at me, saying "yeah right, now pass a biscuit please". Yes, I know what I need to do to lose weight. Don't we all. My fridge is full of healthy stuff like raw veggies for a raw food diet and my very own website has an endless list of all the benfits of being healthy.

I think I need to try a different approach. A more holistic one. Hmm anything to make the pain of dieting go away. So while I poke my mind with a carrot stick and suck in the post-preganacy pouch, I'll try to avoid the urge to whip up some cheese sauce to pour over the veggies.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Yummy Alfredo Pasta

My greatest dietary downfalls are cheese, butter and cream...hmm all the main ingredients for Alfredo sauce. When I did a bit of research on this culinary delight, I found that the Italian version is actually called Fettuccine al burro - this is pasta tossed with butter and cheese, preferably real Parmesan also known as Parmigiano Reggiano. This morning while scouring my Chicken Recipes website for dinner ideas, I came across my Fettucine Alfredo recipe. Here it is for you to try:

Serves 4 - but I understand if you need to eat it all yourself.

Chicken Alfredo Sauce Recipe Ingredients

  • 3 skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic (optional for sauteing chicken)
  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano)
  • 8 oz Fettucine Pasta (or enough to feed 4 people)
  • salt to your taste
  • a little ground black pepper to bring out the taste
  • a little sugar to taste
  • dash of nutmeg

Chicken Alfredo Sauce Recipe Cooking Instructions

pasta cooking
The Fettucine
You first need to get the pasta cooking and I'm assuming that
you know how to do so, so just follow the instructions on the
fettuccini packet. When the fettuccine is done, drain it and set
it aside.

parmesan alfredo sauce
The Alfredo Sauce

Melt the butter over a low heat in a pot that will be large enough
to hold the pasta at the end of the cooking.

Slowly add the cream and stir continually with a spoon until it is
hot but not boiling and has reduced slighty.

Now add the Parmesan cheese a little at a time and stir until it is all melted. The sauce may take quite a while to thicken, keep stirring and don't let it
boil. Add the seasonings (including the sugar) according to your taste.

The Chicken

While the Fettucine is cooking you can prepare the chicken breasts.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and saute the chicken and garlic
until the chicken juice runs clear and the chicken is done.

Once the Alfredo sauce is done, stir in the cooked chicken and then add
the cooked pasta to the Alfredo and chicken.

For variations and tips you can visit the original site: Alfredo Recipe

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Spicey Start

Weekends are now an interesting experience, since we've been sending Jesse to play group in the week. She's got used to being thoroughly entertained everyday and so I have to fathom out some kind of entertainment for Saturday mornings. It's quickly turning into summer here and the mid-mornings are so warm but not yet that unbearable Pietermaritzburg heat.

This morning I decided to go outside and water the garden while Jess rode her plastic motorbike in the driveway. Well, that was the plan. But she wanted the water so we both ended up soaked but happy and the garden watered. The resident troop of monkeys also provided some interesting antics as they foraged in the surrounding bush.

Now it wouldn't be a good day without some cooking so I decided to use those chicken pieces that I bought yesterday. I threw some glugs of olive oil in a baggie, added some garlic herb seasoning, a teaspoon of sugar and some salt and pepper. I put the chicken pieces (legs and thighs) in the bag and made sure they were well coated with the marinade / seasoning. I then put them in a baking dish and baked them in a preheated oven (190 dgrees C) for 50 minutes.

Some free advice: never leave a toddler alone with a beanbag....especially if the polystyrene beans are accessable through the zip cover. While I was cooking up a storm in the kitchen, Jess was making snow storm in the lounge. Oh bother...those foam ball are a mission to clean up cause they stick to everything.

The chicken was baking and those pieces were smelling oh so good. I tried to get Jess to sleep. This was a mammoth task as she was completely over-excited about the bird that we found flying round the bedroom. I suspect it was our ferocious hunter cat, Moses, that was the culprit. After managing to get the bird safely back in the garden and Jess to drop of to sleep, I ran for my chicken pieces. Yum, done to juicy perfection. Another great chicken recipe to add to my http://www.chicken-recipes-made-easy.com/ website.

The best part about grilled chicken pieces is that you can leave them to be eaten whenever cause they are nice hot or cold and go well with a salad and fresh rolls or any starch of your choice. I think tonight will be a pizza but I'll probably order out just to have a break.