Monday, November 29, 2010

Rumeli fortress, European Istanbul from the Bosporus Strait

Rumeli fortress, European Istanbul from the Bosporus Strait
Originally uploaded by Mickey Bo

I wanted to change up my blog posts a bit, and had a block about what to share here.
Then I thought about Istanbul, and the college I attended there for one year, and voila. I found this photo of Rumeli Hisar, a fortress that guards Istanbul and the Bosphorus.
This is an outstanding fortress to visit, which I did many times. It is located at the base of the hill below the college I attended so I saw it often.
To prevent invasions via water and the Bosphorus, a heavy metal chain was strung across the Bosphorus, which stopped ships from entering the city.
If you visit Istanbul aim to see Bebek and Rumeli Hisar, for a trip back in time. I sure loved my year in Turkey. The entire country is full of historical sites that are beautiful and I made many friends there.
One thing that is especially gorgeous about Istanbul is sunset when the mosques are silhouetted by the setting sun.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dealies
Originally uploaded by Martin Cathrae

Hi Blog Friends. I send you all a wish for a healthy and joyful Thanksgiving, in the United States and all around the world. My family of four will be having turkey and all the traditional foods, and I hope you will all enjoy a delicious meal.

"Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men;
but be careful that you do not take the day and leave out the gratitude." E.P. Powell

For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Friend

Originally uploaded by Meir Jacob | מאיר יעקב

I discovered this poem, which I consider PERFECT, and hope you like it too.

Friend is a word of Royal tone;
Friend is a Poem all alone.                            by A Persian Poet

I dedicate this post to all my friends, both here in blogland and those who live near me and who I see in person. I love you guys.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nanaimo Bars Recipe, Chocolate and Butter Cream

A friend at work introduced me to the sinfully delicious chocolate Nanaimo bars. She brought them in to work to share at Christmas and we all went into transports of joy as we tasted them.
There is chocolate and butter and sugar galore in these treats, which originated in the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada.
The recommended size for the pan is 8 inches by 8 inches, sprayed with vegetable oil or covered with parchment paper. The recommended custard powder is Bird's, which you can find online or in specialty shops, or you can substitute vanilla pudding powder. I bring the butter to room temperature before beginning. I don't have a double boiler so I use a large saucepan with water in it and a smaller pan leaning in the large pan.

Ingredients for bottom layer:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1/4 cup white sugar, 5 TB cocoa powder, 1 egg beaten, 1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup chopped almonds, walnuts or pecans, 1 cup shredded or flaked coconut.
Melt first three ingredients in double boiler, gently whisk in egg, stir in rest of ingredients, and press in to greased pan. Refrigerate for about an hour.

Ingredients for second layer:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, 2 TB cream or milk, 2 TB vanilla custard powder, 2 cups confectioners sugar.
Cream together 1st three ingredients, then add sugar and stir until smooth, then spread over bottom layer.
Top layer:
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (one ounce each), 2 TB unsalted butter.
Melt these slowly, when a bit cooled pour on top and chill in refrigerator.
To prevent the top layer of chocolate from cracking when cutting, use a sharp knife and bring to room temperature before cutting.
This recipe gives about 16 servings and I read that they are about 300 calories, but I don't know for sure about the calories.

Prepare to be very popular when you share these Nanaimo Bars.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Joy and Cyclamen

Originally uploaded by mjbinut

Sometimes do you do a small thing and find it brings you joy?
Share here in a comment please, as we all appreciate ideas about adding beauty in a simple manner to our lives.
Yesterday I bought 2 red cyclamen plants and 2 green ceramic pots, and put the cyclamen in said pots.
They now reside on my south facing kitchen window sill where they lend a red glow to the kitchen, and lighten my mood each time I spy them.
For the price of 2 bouquets I got this longer lasting treat. I am also a fan of flower bouquets, I might add.
"Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth;
Break forth in song, rejoice and sing praises." Psalm 98:4

Thursday, November 4, 2010

House decorated for fall

My husband took this photo on October 23, 2010, on his trip to Connecticut, and I love the way this house is decorated for autumn and Thanksgiving. It is very natural and appropriate, don't you agree?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Christmas book's blog is full of ideas for you

Many of you know that I co-authored a book titled "Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts: Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday". For the third year we are posting 5 days a week, beginning July 5, with ideas about celebrating the holiday at 
We give you lots of craft tips, and easy gifts to make, and ways to decorate,  frugal tips, and humorous or sweet things our families enjoy. I love the publisher's work in this, and how they hired great artists so it is full color on each page and a hardcover book that is fun to hold. Did I mention recipes? and Scripture?