Dear Cheryl from Rice, Beans and Pastichio awarded me the "Happy Cupcake Award"! Possibly because I'm such a fluffy thing (those 20 lbs I lost last summer, are trying desperately to insinuate themselves back into my life!), but probably because she's such a sweetheart herself. So.
I must sing for my supper, as it were, and comply with the terms of the award... and so Blog friends beware!
There are some rules with the award:
1. Copy the award image into a post.
2. List 10 things that make you happy.
3. Tag 10 bloggers who brighten your day.
4. Link to their blogs.
5. Notify the award recipients.
6. Award recipients link back to sender's blog
Ten things that make me happy:
My three sons and their mates
My three exceptional grandchildren
My home and what's inside it (ie: my kitchen, my computer, my pillow etc.)
Family (generic- ie mom, aunt, cousins, in-laws)
Color (Green is a particular favorite)
I could sum it up in one word... My life makes me happy.
As for my choices of who to pass the award on to, I would say that people who have blogs that are honest - really honest about themselves and their lives- makes me very happy when I read them.
Helena Halme is a wonderful blog and a really clever person. It's funny and sad and intimate and charming (and so are you Helena). She's my first pick.
My second is Life the universe and all that's in it. Wildernesschic (aka Ruth) lives in a most marvelous and beautful house. She visualizes her dream and makes it happen. Her blog makes me very happy, as if I couldn't live in my house, I would live in hers! If I wasn't an only child, I'd pick her for a sister.
Third, would be Ayak at Turkish Delight. But someone sent the award to her and beat me to the punch! Ayak's trials and tribulations along with her frustrations and happiness of life in Turkey with Mr Ayak are honest and true. (They also often remind me of when my husband and I lived in Turkey!) Ultimately you can read about what makes her happy in her latest post!
Next my award would go to the charming Bernie at Old? Who? Me? Her honesty and her stream of consciousness writing about everyday life and times are fun to read. She enjoys her life and always -ALWAYS- has the time to see the beauty in everyday things.
I will pass this award as well, to a most wonderful blog by Gaelikaa, (she has two blogs and it's difficult to decide which one!) I do get a lot of happiness and enjoyment from gaelikaa's diary Journal of an East/West Wife Gaelikaa, who is Irish, lives in India with her husband and children under the roof of her husband family. She faces countless differences in culture and lifestyle, and yet she embraces each day with joy and honesty. I truely enjoy her blog.
Ayla Central is a blog that always makes me smile. True it's about a baby named Ayla, but it's also peripherally about her family and her amazing mom, a scientist concerned about the earth . I love visiting the blog and seeing Ayla smile and everytime I visit I think of her mom and Grandmom who were my friends years ago when we all lived in Turkey. Many things changed with the years, but that baby's smile is soo familiar!!!
What can I say, I know that they probably don't "do" awards, but I have to say that if anything deserves a Happiness Award, Holy Cuteness is right up there at the top! A daily dose of wonderful funny pictures or great little videos of cute animals- what else do you need???
Savage Reflections is a wonderfully well written intelligent blog. Berowne writes because he enjoys writing and because he's good at it. Inherent though in everything he writes is care and truthfulness. (His hobby is also Shakespeare and he has an amazing series of posts titled "Laid Back Shakespeare" that are wonderfully fun to read.)
My last two choices are from Australia.
A marvelously intelligent but really fun blog is A Curate's Egg. Lee's blog is filled with the day to day irony that is universally understood. It is not the only blog produced by this witty blogger, but it was the first one I discovered and I still enjoy it regularly. He writes four other wonderful blogs and they are all worth a visit.
My last choice is a new find, but what I enjoy the most about the blog is her progress stats on the sidebar! Lacey Devlin is an aspiring romance writer. It makes me very happy to check her blog and see her bar graph grow as she completes more pages. I always wanted to write a romance novel, but I never pushed myself to do it. I admire her verve and writers guts. Good on you, Lacey!
So there it is.
As for my weeks highlights... I went into town (to the bank!) on the day of the Greek strikes. Not knowing how long they might last, we thought it would be best to have some cash on hand.
I am certain that strikes in other places are pretty much the same, but I was impressed by the music that was played pretty much constantly, with the odd microphone-d voice making speeches in San Rocco Square. There were a lot of people in town, and a light police presence from a group that is normally invisible.
For sure there was a crowd. Different groups massed in different parts of the city. We decided to leave though as the parade was starting to assemble. It turned a bit violent in Athens but all went well here in Corfu.
Wednesday evening we went to dinner at Bistro Boileau to celebrate friends finally getting official permission to build their house. Of course as with all things in Corfu, they still had to return for "one more" stamp, but in effect the celebration was due because it was all official! yay! I had a WONderful breast of chicken with fig and walnut sauce. Amazing. The dessert was incredible- homemade orange ice cream with dark chocolate sauce. (Alex said they had so many oranges he didn't know what to do with them, so he decided to try to make some ice cream! Great decision, Alex!) I would have provided pictures but we were all talking and eating from eachothers plates and poof- sadly I was too late because we'd eaten every crumb.
T finished his project on the stone entry posts... and also finished sealing the roof, and acid washed the pool tiles - we have a lot of mineral build up by the end of the season. Once it's all clean we can start thinking of spring again and filling it up for swimming!
I meanwhile experimented and made a really great leek and potato soup and a wonderful cauliflower gratin.
Cauliflower Gratin Recipe (based on Ina Garten's "Barefoot Contessa" recipe)
* 1 (3-pound) head cauliflower, cut into large florets
* 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 2 cups hot milk
* 2 T cream cheese (MY secret ingredient)
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
* 1 1/2 cup freshly grated Gruyere, divided
* 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
* 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain. (Zap the milk in the microwave to warm it)
Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. Off the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, nutmeg, 1cup of the Gruyere, 2 T cream cheese and the Parmesan. Mix all til well blended.
Pour 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 by 11 by 2-inch baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower on top and then spread the rest of the sauce evenly on top. Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/2 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top. Melt the remaining 2 (+) tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.
This is REALLY good.
So that about wraps up the week. There were a few other things that popped in and out- my addiction to facebook, a couple of scrabble games - I LOST (but they were close...)
Tomorrow is my 41st wedding anniversary. I can't believe so much time has passed. But he's still my best friend and we're still together for all the ups and downs 41 years of marriage has tossed our way.
I may even post a wedding picture tomorrow... you never know.
Have a great week!