Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Baby names

Baby names have been running through my head lately. I'm not pregnant again but I have become an aunty again to a beautiful little miracle girl. Her name was a surprise till birth but I was pondering what it could be for months. Her name is Melita, which means "sweet as honey". I never would have guessed it!

There is something about a name. It gives you a sense of being and identity yes. But more than that it tells others who you are. For this reason I believe names and their meanings are very important.

In Bible times names and their meanings were a big thing too. There was even a guy in the Bible (Jabez) who prayed to God to bless him because of his name and its effect on his life. 2 Chron 4:9-10

With Christmas coming up I really want to remind myself that baby Jesus was named specifically and with meaning. From the very beginning baby Jesus was given a name by God with meaning to match perfectly the plans He had for Him. See here...

Matthew 1:20-25 KJV
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. 24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.

At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus, a baby boy who grew up to be everything his name suggests. Emmanuel and our Saviour. Thank you God. Praise you Jesus!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Australian Christmas Dinner

At Christmas time I always and especially look forward to the main event - Christmas dinner. For me it has to be mostly traditional feast, over-catered for, with a stack of family and gorgeous decorations. I like to plan my menu months in advance and then think about portions, how to serve it, the timing, leftovers and well everything down to the last green pea.

This year I decided to have it outside, I'm hoping it creates less mess to clean afterwards. So to accompany my outdoor Christmas dinner I decided to make it an Australian theme. Mind you there are some things like pumpkin pie (very American) that our family could not pass up.

So here is our menu...

Turkey breast roast
Gravy (from scratch)
Cranberry jelly
Roast veg mix (seasoned with Italian herbs & sea salt)
Peas & corn
Bbq'd garlic prawns
Cold honey glazed ham on the bone
Egg salad
Beetroot
Pineapple
Dinner rolls

Pumpkin pie
Christmas pudding
Damper
Jam
Cream
Custard

Fruit punch
Egg nog
Fronti (non alcoholic sparkling wine)
Iced water

Yum. I'm so excited!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chocolate Candy Cane Fudge

Christmas is fast approaching and I love this time of year. I think most people do. What's not to love?!

Here is a great Nigella recipe that I adapted to make more Christmassy. I call it Chocolate candy cane fudge. It's perfect for end of year Christmas parties and I plan on making up a few batches to create some gifts.

Chocolate candy cane fudge recipe:

Ingredients:

375 grams good cooking chocolate (I used chocolate buds)
120 grams candy cane (10 regular size ones)
1 can condensed milk
Pinch of salt
2tbs butter

Method:

1. Put the candy canes into a food processor and blitz them until desired size. Some candy powder and quite small pieces worked well for me. I didn't want any broken teeth.

2. Put the chocolate, condensed milk, butter and salt in a heavy-based pan on a low heat, and stir to melt.

3. Add the candy cane to the melted chocolate and condensed milk and stir well to mix.

4. Pour and spatch this mixture into a foil tray 23cm square, smoothing the top.

5. Let the fudge cool, and refrigerate until set. About 90mins.

6. You can then cut it into small pieces approx. 3 x 2.25cm. Cutting 8 x 10 lines in the tin to give 64 pieces best achieves this.

Once cut, it can be kept in the freezer - no need to thaw just eat straight away.

Yum!

Monday, December 10, 2012

What is in your hands today?

Recently just in my everyday stuff I've been encouraged and inspired to continue on and to excel at what God has placed in my hands to do now. Overtime I can sometimes get lost or lose sight of what I set out to do. And I forget what my now purpose is. For example; At this time in my life I am a mum, housewife and carer. This is my now purpose. It is what God has given me to do at such a time as this.

But I'm a dreamer, I love working towards something and looking to the future. None of these are bad things but we can get caught up in them an lose sight of what God has called us to do right now. Dreaming of the future can distract us from what God wants us to do now.

What has he called you to do right now? It may be motherhood, business, study, to work your way up in the workplace, volunteer, music... Whatever it is do it well! There is a time for everything. God has called you to do that right now for a specific reason.

Two scriptures come to mind:

Psalms 92:4
For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.

And

Colossians 3:23
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.

I want to encourage you to remember what God has put in your hands to do today. Not tomorrow. And do it with a spirit of excellence!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Being thankful

Its easy to get bogged down, upset, or even depressed about what you've lost. A loss of something can be hard.

I know it seems a silly thing for me to be upset about but this year I lost a Christmas tree. We moved house this year, I also did a lot of decluttering this year and in the process I lost the top of my majestic, inherited and sentimental Christmas tree.

There are four parts to it; the base, then 3 sections of full, green, looking real, kind of branches. I lost the top section... I think I worked out it went to a thrift store charity bin. It's a shame. Christmas means a lot to me. Growing up in my mums house we had almost one gorgeous tree in every room of the house. I loved it!

Obviously there are much more important things in life and I can be grateful I didn't lose anything of great value like my home, my health or life of a family member. I am very blessed!

Colossians: 2:6-7 says
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

So this Christmas although I have no majestic tree, (I should mention I do have a family room tree), I am healthy, I have a beautiful family, somewhere to live, food to eat and a relationship with the Lord Jesus. He is always more than enough! I'm so grateful :)

Be grateful for what you have this Christmas season.

P.S. I believe this is Christine Caine's Christmas tree - absolutely gorgeous!