24 October 2009

Lazy Days

It has been difficult to get back in the swing of things since arriving home from London. Today is gray and rainy and I just don't want to do anything. William got a Nintendo DS for his birthday so it has been a hand-held game fest around here. No restrictions! Which means the kids literally play until there eyeballs fall out. We will resume reasonable limits soon... when we have the wherewithall to enforce them.

Emme and I did manage to cook dinner using a kids cookbook from the library. We made Roasted Butternut Squash soup, chips (potato wedges) and Crunchy Apple Cake Bars. The cake bars were delicious so I am sharing the recipe. It is from Star Cooks Cookbook for Kids. Celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott shared this recipe.

91/2 oz. soft better, plus extra for greasing
9 1/2 oz. caster sugar (that's what they call granulated)
9 1/2 oz. self-rising flour
5 eggs, beaten
2 apples, diced
2 oz. sultanas (golden raisins)
rind and juice of one lemon
a pinch of mixed spice
a pinch of cinnamon
2 oz. demerara sugar (like Sugar in the Raw)
2 oz. chopped nuts (optional but not for Sam's nut allergies!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and line a large tin baking tin. In a large bowl, mix the butter and caster sugar until lightly creamed.
Gradually beat in the flour and eggs until the mixture is smooth. Gently stir in the apples, sultanas, lemon rind, juice and spices.
Pour the mixture into the tin and spread it out evenly.
Sprinkle the demerara sugar and nuts over the top. Cook in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
Remove from the oven, allow to cool, then cut into bars fro a mouth-watering treat.

Yesterday, I had the chance to scrapbook with a Creative Memories consultant. I have been a Creative Memories customer for over 12 years. The friendships I have made are as special as the albums I have created. I had lunch with several of my CM friends before I left New Orleans and was thinking about what it would be like to crop with a group of British women. Well, it was pretty much like I thought- very mild-mannered and quiet as we sipped our tea and nibbled our biscuits. That is, until I got warmed up and let loose. I had them in tears describing us maneuvering our luggage through the airport on those absurd trolleys. We talked about TV shows, music, food and language. It was exactly what I love most about this experience. Getting to know Brits one on one and picking their brains about their culture as well as their impressions of ours. They said they hoped I would be there next month. Hopefully, they weren't just being polite.

Happy Weekend!


  1. Hey Girl, really missed you at Connie's Croptoberfest, but sounds like your adventure is going well.

  2. Emme, what an adorable picture, it makes me want to go right into the kitchen and make the apple cake recipe. Dina, I'm so happy to hear you were able to do something just for you. I can just imagine the descriptive way you told stories to the ladies. You do have a way of making everyone laugh. Hugs and Kisses to everyone. Love, MIMS

  3. Tara Farris ZellerOctober 26, 2009 at 3:57 PM

    Hi Dina! I read your entire blog and just loved it! We were in London in October of last year for the Saints/Chargers game. (My husband is the Director of Communications for the Saints.) We were there for a week at the beautiful Grovesnor House Hotel on Hyde Park. We truly had the royal treatment and loved every minute of our visit, especially the pubs and Harrod's! My grandparents actually lived in London for 3 years. Their flat was about a block from Hyde Park and I went back and visited their building during my trip which was quite emotional since they've both passed away. Anyway, I loved London so much that I've tried to think of a way for us to move to England (without starving to death - everything is SO expensive). I really admire your adventurous spirit. You and your husband are giving your children memories to last a lifetime. What a wonderful way to expand their view of the world. Do you have any idea how long you'll stay? I'll be reading your blog! Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your British life! LIOB, Tara

    P.S. - Geaux Saints!!!!!!!