Friday, May 22, 2009

Oven Timer

A very wise and godly older woman gave me this advice a number of years ago.
It seems universal that children lack the urgency in getting themselves ready in time.
In time for school, in time for church, in time for breakfast, in time for bed.
It also seems universal that we as parents work ourselves into a slight frenzy as we continually repeat the same instructions to get ready over and over and over.
Ultimately we get angry and our children suffer our sinful wrath.
A very simple yet effective technique to overcoming this frustration is using an oven timer.
We can train our children that we expect them to obey after just one instruction, if they struggle with doing so timeously, we can set the timer explaining to them that they now have '10 minutes' to be dressed and ready for breakfast.
If they fail to be ready by the time the alarm sound, there should be appropriate consequences.
This tool has helped me many times to keep a peaceful atmosphere in the home, there are few things worse than a nagging mother.
I found it very useful when my daughter went through a daydreaming phase during dinner time, I would set the timer and my daughter would be finished eating in no time.
We should just be aware to give a reasonable amount of time for the children to achieve their set task.

Moist Chocolate Cake

You might have noticed that I love chocolate, well here is a recipe for a dairy-free chocolate cake that my Mom receved from a friend of hers many years back.

430ml flour
375ml sugar
4 eggs (seperated)
200ml oil
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cocoa mixture: mix 125ml cocoa powder in 250ml hot water
Sift dry ingredients together.
Beat egg yolk, oil, vanilla essence and cocoa mixture together.
Mix into to dry ingredients.
Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.
Bake in a pre-heated 180 deg C oven for 30 minutes
(or until skewer comes out clean)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mary vs Martha

I have recently - once again - been convicted by the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42).
Martha and Mary
38Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.
39She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord's feet, listening to His word.
40But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me."
41But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;
42but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her."
The busyness of life so often creeps into the daily routine of cleaning, cooking, training, tidying, that I neglect the "one thing" that is truly necessary. Listening to Rachel Barkey share how her life has changed since she found out that she had but a few weeks to live, begs the question: how would my life change if I knew I would die in 6 weeks time.

Would I leave the dishes for a few minutes more so that I could play trains with my 2 year old son. Could my admin wait so that I spend some time drawing or reading with my 6 year old daughter. I am sure that I could probably put aside these household chores to spend time with my children. But could I put aside the things I enjoy, could I put aside my crafts, my reading, my blogging, my phone time with a friend.

And then what about the "one thing"? Time spent at my Saviours feet, listening, learning and loving the God that saved me from an eternity seperated from Him. I am so thankful that He is the Good Shepherd, that He so often leaves the 99 and pulls me back into his safe and nurturing care. How good it is that I have a God that loves me absolutely and eternally. How good it is that the love He has for me is not dependant on me, my works, my spiritual state, my lovability.

His love for me is based on the work of the Perfect Lamb. Jesus who became sin on my behalf, so that I could gain His righteousness, stands as my advocate. God, the judge, finds me innocent because Jesus paid the ultimate price for my sin. God loves me, because Jesus bought me with His life.

Now, more than ever, I realise how thankful I am that my salvation is not based on me - because I would have lost it a long time ago!

My prayer, that I would become more like Mary and so much less like Martha. That I will choose the "good part", that which will "not be taken away". That my life will be busy with that which will have eternal value.

Matthew 20:28 "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many"

Tissue Time

I was reading through one of my favourite blogs - Girl Talk and they mentioned a video by a woman named Rachel Barkey. She is a 37 year old wife and mother who is dying of cancer. I would encourage everyone to go to her website and listen to the talk she gives on 'Death is not Dying'. It is incredible, just remember the tissues, chances are there will be tears.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Dairy Free Chocolate Souffle

This one is especially dedicated to the Doctors Penny :-)

Chocolate Soufflé (Dairy Free)

Serves 4

100g good quality dark chocolate
50g dairy free baking margarine
40g (100ml) cocoa powder
75g (90ml) castor sugar
2 eggs, separated
5ml vanilla extract
60ml coconut cream

1. Preheat the oven to 160 deg C
2. Melt the chocolate and margarine in a double boiler.
3. Add the cocoa, 50g (60ml) castor sugar, egg yolks, vanilla essence and coconut cream and stir to a smooth paste.
4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peak stage, add the remaining sugar.
5. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and then spoon into individual ramekins.
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
**For a bigger dish bake for 20-25 minutes.**