Faith Family Friends

Celebrating the Joy of Living & Home Making ~

Baking, Cooking, Decorating, Tea Time, and taking Inspiration from those I love and the world around me...

A sharing of my heart and my home from a Christian perspective

...with a wee bit of whimsy added.

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Chocolate Chip Muffins for HOME

Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need. ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach 

Hello friends! I am delighted you have stopped by for a visit. You are always welcome here at my HOME.

This morning I made chocolate chip muffins for our afternoon tea. These were my youngest son's favourite when he was growing up and I still make sure I have them in the house when he comes home for a visit.

I keep my home made muffins, biscuits, and cookies, etc. in one of these big old bottles.

I have two of them and I have been using them since my children were babies. What do you store your baked goods in?

Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Chip Muffins
Grease muffin tin for 12 muffins

Sift together:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Add 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Beat together:
1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 egg

Make a well in the center and add liquid to dry ingredients and stir only until moistened. Batter should be lumpy. Fill greased muffin cups with batter using an ice cream scoop. Bake in pre-heated 395-400 degree oven and bake for 18-20 minutes. Enjoy.

Thank you for coming by for a visit. I hope you're all enjoying your week and staying well.

Lord, this humble house we'd keep
Sweet with play and calm with sleep.
Help us so that we may give
Beauty to the lives we live.
Let Thy beauty and Thy grace
Shine upon our dwelling place. ~ Edgar A. Guest

I am sharing with these parties~

What's It Wednesday~
Home and Garden Thursday~
Share Your Cup Thursday~
Home Sweet Home~

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi

Monday 24 February 2014

Something Sweet for Tea Time

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. ~ Anne Bradstreet

Hello ladies and welcome to my last Tea Time Tuesday in February!

We had a beautiful sunny weekend, yet I will be very happy to get this month over with because it has been a month of snowstorms and blizzards. I am counting down the days till Spring. March will be here by the end of the week; yay!!

To celebrate the end of February and the month of romance, I am sharing something very special.

Gifts can come in all sizes and shapes. Sometimes, they may be beautifully wrapped and tied up with ribbon, or presented in a plastic bag with tissue paper wrapped treasures inside.

Source- Victoria Tea Pleasures

It's not the size or even the presentation, although I think presentation is important, so much as the thoughtful and loving gesture on the part of the giver.

For Valentines Day, my hubby went into my favourite shop in town, Lori's "Time Worn Treasures and Antiques," and found these.
You can imagine my delight when I opened up his package to find....!

If a picture paints a thousand words.... David Gates and Bread

This is Royal Albert Petit Point China and I am simply loving this unique pattern. It reminds me of a Spring garden.

This pretty china has floral sprays of blue, pink, yellow and green made to resemble needle point and cross stitch. Each piece is trimmed in gold.

The registered pattern number is 778676. This pattern has been discontinued and was manufactured from 1932 until December 2001.

Hubby surprised me with a teacup, a dessert plate, and the cake plate. He really deserves to wear a crown!

The cup is so pretty with the needle point border not only on the outside rim but also on the inside.

Can you see the slight scallop around the rim? This teacup is made in the Hampton shape which sits on a bit of a pedestal and she has a very curvy handle with a thumb rest.

The dessert plate and cake plate both are a square shape which makes them very attractive to the eye. The next day I went back to Lori's shop and treated myself to a second teacup and a dessert plate. I guess one of the reasons I'm so smitten with this china is because it is different from anything else I have.

The most trying hours in life are between four o'clock and the evening meal. A cup of tea at this time adds a lot of comfort and happiness. ~ Royal S. Copeland

I have really enjoyed perusing the Victoria Tea Pleasures magazine as it is filled with beautiful pictures and wonderful recipes. One of the recipes which caught my eye was the Sticky Toffee Pudding.

No, I didn't make it but it inspired me to make my Sticky Date Pudding with Toffee Sauce. The recipes are almost identical with the exception of the pecans in the Victoria recipe.

If you're interested in my recipe you can find it here on my Christmas Pudding blog.

Now let's enjoy some pudding and warm toffee sauce with our tea. A little dollop of whipped cream on top finishes it off nicely. A sweet treat on sweet china.

The lovely doily you see is one which my niece crocheted for me.

Tea is a hug in a cup. ~ Patrick Jane- The Mentalist

Now if you come by for tea, I can serve each of us a cuppa from this lovely pattern.  

Next week I will tell you all about my next seasonal tea party which I will be hosting the week of March 17th. It will be a tea party to usher in my favourite season; Spring.

As I live each day may I make a difference
And touch one heart....
Each day it is my goal
To bring smiles and laughter
Into a soul! ~ Unknown author

I am joining the following parties as well~

A Return to Loveliness ~
Tea Cup Tuesday~
Tea Cup Tuesday ~
Tuesday Cuppa Tea~
Friends Sharing Tea~
Share Your Cup Thursday~
Home Sweet Home~

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Chocolate Pudding for HOME

Bless this house as we come and go.
Bless this house as the children grow.
Bless our families when they gather in.
Bless this house with love and friends.~ Author unknown

Hello everyone and welcome to my HOME!

This time of year when we're snowed in and can't get out much we tend to bake more. Or at least I do.

For my tea this week, I served a Chocolate Pudding and today I am sharing the recipe. There's nothing quite like home made! This recipe comes from an old Purity Cook Book.

Chocolate Pudding
Scald together:
2-1/2 cups milk
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
When chocolate is melted, beat smooth with a rotary beater.

In a saucepan, combine:
3 TBSP flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Gradually blend in hot milk mixture.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes longer.

Stir a little hot mixture into -
1 slightly beaten egg
Pour back into the remaining hot mixture and stir and cook 2 minutes longer.
Remove from heat and blend in
1 tsp vanilla

Yield- 5-6 servings.

I served the pudding with a dollop of whipped cream and some shaved chocolate on top. This recipe would also make a wonderful pie. Just pour the pudding into a baked pie crust and cover with whipped cream. Yum!

Thank you for visiting today and I hope the rest of your week is very pleasant.

Lord, this humble house we'd keep
Sweet with play and calm with sleep.
Help us so that we may give
Beauty to the lives we live.
Let Thy beauty and Thy grace
Shine upon our dwelling place. ~ Edgar A. Guest

I am sharing this with these lovely parties~

What's It Wednesday~
Home and Garden Thursday ~
Share Your Cup Thursday~
Home Sweet Home~

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi

Monday 17 February 2014

Feeling Blue for Tea Time Tuesday

Flowers were the language of happiness and always the gifts we gave to others. They seemed as necessary as food. ~ Elizabeth Cerutti

Welcome to Tea Time, my lovely friends! Did you all enjoy your weekend?

Today, I'm feeling blue.....Blue as in blue and white china!

Do you like my soup tureen?

I've been wanting one for years and Hubby found  this one for Christmas. There is no mark on it but isn't it wonderful!

It is fabulous for holding my homemade soups, chili, stew, or a beautiful bouquet of posies!

Yellow roses, white tulips, and a few white roses from last week's bouquet fill this tureen up nicely.

Is there anything prettier in the dead of winter than blue and white enhanced by a sunny bouquet?

Naturally I brought out my JB Old Britain Castles teacups to compliment the tureen.

This 2011 Victoria magazine looks pretty in the vignette.

Yellow roses are like a burst of sunshine!

Happiness is sharing tea with a friend.

I am serving Victorian Garden tea in my little glass teapot which comes with its own infuser. I have had this for a few years but haven't shared it until now.

Victorian Garden is a Ceylon black tea with all kinds of lovely things in it like China green gunpowder, vanilla, and rose and lavender flowers.

Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world revolves- slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. ~ Thich Nat Hahn

Tea is ready, how about a little nosh with your cuppa?

Home made Chocolate Pudding with a dollop of whipped cream and some grated chocolate. Mmm! I will share my recipe later in the week.

The plates are Blue Willow by Churchill.

My little creamer has no mark. I paid a dollar for it at an antique shop several years ago. 

Tea is quiet and our thirst for tea is never far from our craving for beauty. ~ James Norwood Pratt

I would like to thank Kathy at A Delightsome Life for featuring my Hearts and Flowers Tea at her party "A Return to Loveliness" this week. I am truly honoured!

As always, it is a pleasure to have you come for tea. It's even nicer when you share something too. Do you have a lovely teacup or coffee mug, teapot, or tablescape you would like to share? I enjoy visiting a tea room too. Simply link up with me and I'll come visit you. 

The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. ~ Proverbs 11:25

Wishing you JOY today!

I am joining the following parties as well~

Blue Monday ~
A Return to Loveliness ~
Tea Cup Tuesday~
Tea Cup Tuesday ~
Tuesday Cuppa Tea~
Friends Sharing Tea~
Share Your Cup Thursday~
Home Sweet Home~

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi

Friday 14 February 2014

A Love Story for Valentine's Day

Love is when you look into someone's eyes and see everything you need. 

Happy Valentine's Day dear friends!

Are you a soppy girl? You know, one of those girls who cries at weddings and love stories?
Well, I am, and I wanted to post something romantic today. So I decided to share a love story ~ Our Love Story.

So, pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea and make yourself at home. I know many of you have already heard my story but for those of you who haven't; here it is.


Let's take a little trip back in time to a Saturday afternoon record hop. It was a cold afternoon in January but that was the place to be in those days!

Now picture if you will, a shy young man, sporting a cute Beatle haircut and an even shyer young lady with long hair and bangs, dressed in a mini dress and high boots. Yes, I liked to dress in the latest fashion!

I was just sitting there, enjoying the music with my friends, when this young man approached me and asked me to dance.  

As we headed out on to the dance floor, there was a little attraction there and we both felt it. If you were to ask us, yes, we do believe in love at first sight. Of course we know God had something to do with it too.

Later, after we had been seeing one another for a few weeks,  he told me he had noticed me a few months before that but it took him all that time to get up the nerve to ask me to dance. Isn't he adorable!

We were both seventeen.

He asked me to dance three weeks in a row and then one day after the Hop, he followed my friends and me into a restaurant where we always went to grab a snack before heading home.
Not much wonder we were all so fit in those days! We danced all afternoon and then walked the three miles home afterwards.

He looked so cute sitting on the other other side of the restaurant all by himself, and then he got up and put some money into the juke box. He played three of my favourite songs. Coincidence? I don't think so! One of those songs was my favourite. He didn't know it was my favourite, it just happened to be his too!

Words by The BeeGees is still our song today.

My friends talked me into joining him at his table where we sat and chatted before he walked me the three miles home. About halfway home, he took me by the hand, and 'it was magic!'

We arranged to meet the following Friday night at an Eaton's department store. He had had his picture taken in one of those little cubicles before meeting me and afterwards, he asked me to get mine taken.  So I did. These are the photos from our first date.

That was our first date and that night we had our  first kiss. That date led to many more which eventually led to our marriage.

My mother was not happy that I married this young man and she felt that way for many years. Unfortunately, it put a wall between us for a very long time.
This past year however she told us she had been wrong and that I couldn't have married a better man.
Funny it took her so long to know what I knew all along. Today she loves my hubby like her own son and this makes us both very happy!

He was and still is my sweetheart, my hero, and my best friend! I always said when we met, he rescued me and I still feel that way.

Almost from the beginning of our marriage, God was at the center of it and we spent many years in the ministry. Today Hubby is still very active in the church and our door is always open.

We raised three sons together and now we are delighted to have five grandchildren.

Now that we have been married for a few decades and are in the Autumn of our lives, we often talk about Heaven. Just the other day, he paid me the nicest compliment ever. He said when we get there, he hopes he will be living right next door to me.

I feel very blessed to have him as my mate and if I could do it all over again, I would marry him all over again.

Life is a journey, and love is what makes that journey worthwhile.~ Author unknown

Happy Valentine's Day to you all and I pray you get to spend this special day with someone you love and treasure. God bless you! 

Words ~ Written by Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, and Robin  Gibb

"Smile an everlasting smile,
A smile can bring you near to me.
Don't ever let me find you gone,
'Cause that would bring a tear to me.
This world has lost its glory,
Let's start a brand new story, now my love.
Right now, there'll be no other time and I can show you how, my love.

Talk in everlasting words,
and dedicate them all to me.
And I will give you all my life,
I'm here if you should call to me.
You think that I don't even mean,
A single word I say.
It's only words, and words are all I have, to take
Your heart away."

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi

Wednesday 12 February 2014

HOME ~ Hot and Spicy Chicken

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home. ~ Dame Edith Sitwell

Hello friends and welcome to my HOME once again. As most of you know by now, I am no longer hosting the HOME linky party but I am sharing recipes and other home related subjects here each week. So, please come in and make yourself at home.

I want to thank you all for your get well wishes. I am feeling much better now and look forward to Valentine's Day.

Today's recipe is a spicy one. I got it out of an old cook book years ago and changed it up a bit. I call it Hot and Spicy Chicken.

Hot and Spicy Chicken
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 TBSP butter. {I used 1 TBSP coconut oil instead.}
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 TBSP brown sugar
dash of pepper
dash of Cayenne pepper
3 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1/2 TBSP mustard
1/2 cup chopped celery

Cook onion in oil slowly until limp and golden. Add remaining ingredients and simmer covered for 15 minutes.

Pour over cooked chicken pieces{two boneless chicken breasts cooked and cut into bite size pieces} cover, and simmer until heated through.

Serve over hot rice with a veggie on the side. Yield~ about 5-6 servings. Enjoy!

This being Valentine's week, I set a red and white table using my Staffordshire dinner plates on top of red chargers. I am also using my King's Crown goblets for our water. I set a jug of white roses in the center of the table and we're ready for this tasty meal.

A salad on the side is nice too. This meal is actually quite filling.

Thank you for visiting my HOME today and I hope you have a very Happy Valentine's Day!

Lord, this humble house we'd keep
Sweet with play and calm with sleep.
Help us so that we may give
Beauty to the lives we live.
Let Thy beauty and Thy grace
Shine upon our dwelling place. ~ Edgar A. Guest

I am joining these lovely parties this week:

Home and Garden Thursday ~
Share Your Cup Thursday~
Home Sweet Home~

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi

Monday 10 February 2014

Hearts & Flowers Tea

Love is a language spoken by everyone but understood only by the heart. ~ Author unknown

Hello my dear friends and welcome to my Hearts & Flowers Tea!

This week we are celebrating love and romance. Like the song says, "Love is a many splendoured thing."

Love planted a rose and the world turned sweet. ~ Katherine Lee Bates

Roses are a symbol of love and according to statistics, Valentines Day is the busiest day of the year for the flower shops. It's a busy day for Cupid!

But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes 

No matter the colour of the petals, a rose is a delight to the eye. I do however favour pale pink or white.

Do you have a favourite colour?
I love to have fresh flowers on the tea table; especially roses.

There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea. ~ Henry James - 'Portrait of A Lady'

A creamy white rose with the palest blush of pink snuggles up to my Skye McGhie teacup. This set is called Pierced Lace and I love the creamy white.

I love teacups accompanied by lace and pearls, don't you? The rose and pearls lend a soft romantic touch.

A lovely heart on a string of pearls with a bit of bling.
I am serving tea from my Cream Lace teapot made by Skye McGhie.

Tea and a cookie.

Soft pink is so very feminine and this pink rose makes a sweet presentation next to this teacup which is called Rose of England.

A few nibbles....Egg salad on whole wheat heart sandwiches. Strawberries and chocolate.

Maybe you prefer a pink cupcake?

Valentine shortbread.

Royal icing roses.

Life is a journey, and love is what makes that journey worthwhile.~ Author unknown

I hope your journey is a happy one.

How will you celebrate Valentines Day this week?

"If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give." ~ George MacDonald

I must apologize because my post was not the one I had planned for today. The flu bug hit me on the weekend and rather than cancel my party, I was forced to set a simple table in creamy white and borrow photos from past Valentine teas. I hope you enjoyed your visit in spite of this.

Thank you for visiting today. I just love having you for company! If you have something tea related, a coffee cup/mug, or tablescape, I invite you to link up with me.

Happy Valentine's Day!

I am also joining Bernideen for her Romance Is In the Air.

I am joining the following parties as well~

A Return to Loveliness ~
Tea Cup Tuesday~
Tea Cup Tuesday ~
Tuesday Cuppa Tea~
Friends Sharing Tea~
Share Your Cup Thursday~
Home Sweet Home~

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi