The weather has been cooler, we've had temperatures ranging from the minimum of 10C to the maximum of 25C, which is quite perfect. The last two Christmases we'd had rather cool temperatures, one year we even had to have our woollen garments on, which is unusual for Australia at Christmas. My husband and children love Self-saucing Chocolate Pudding, not the store bought ones though. I made one on Saturday and there's none left now, all I've got left is photos. It's a very simple recipe, anyone can whip one up in a jiffy. Please refer to the recipe at the end of this post if you're interested. It's best served hot with a bit of whipped cream on top, yummmmm!I've been out shopping and boy, I could feel Christmas fast approaching. People are frantically looking for the right gifts for loved ones and the normally rather quiet check-outs are now filled with long lines of people waiting to pay for their finds. Talking about finds, I did find these Cath Kidston soaps at Target on sale and I simply couldn't resist, they don't only look pretty, they also smell great! They are wrapped in papers which look pretty close to her fabrics.Christmas has also been a hot topic in Blogland, I've come across many a post on this topic, other ladies' decorations and preparations done to celebrate Jesus' birth in this festive season. Every year I receive a whole heap of Christmas cards and photos from family and friends in Australia and abroad. Many of my close friends are missionaries overseas and we've established a tradition of sending a family photo/photo card to one another each year at Christmas time, I collect these and go through them from time to time and I'm amazed to see how each of these family members has grown and changed over the years. My family also get a photo card done at this time of the year and we'll have them mailed off soon, this practice has become so much easier now that the kids have got older, usually no drama in this department. The only challenge is to try and get everybody looking okay at the same time in the same photo!Here are some images from last year's decoration at our house. I used to go for the traditional red and green Christmas colours when the kids were younger. But now that they are older, they, like me, love the softer colours like white, silver and even pink. Last year I splurged and bought and made some new decorations for the tree in the lounge room. The kids are perfectionists and they wanted everything to be symmetrical when decorating the tree. I find I don't get tired of white so quickly as I do other bright colours. It's a fantastic colour with cooling effects. I also bought this softest fluffiest feathery white tree for the master bedroom, I couldn't resist. It's decorated with the flower I love most, roses(these are artificial though), with little heart-shaped pink lights. The kids also decorate their own bedroom with whatever we have, it's always great fun to make some of the decorations ourselves as they come up with new ideas all the time. We also make and iced cookies together, the icing part is their favourite thing to do. They also love making paper chains and I hang them up in door ways, everywhere I can in the house.As we're preparing for Christmas, let us also make certain we have our heart and soul prepared for Eternity. Let us not neglect the important part of nurturing a relationship with God. It's an everyday lifestyle of giving Him the pre-eminence and top priority in everything we do. Let us strive to please and honour God in the decisions we make in our lives and choose what He'd have us do or be instead of living our own selfish lives oblivious to what His Word says. Let us have the right perspective on life's temporal things so we won't cling on to material things and neglect the eternal things of God.
Below is the recipe for Self-saucing Baked Chocolate Pudding:
1 cup self-raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup milk
60g butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp cocoa powder, extra
3/4 cup caster sugar, extra
2 1/2 cups boiling water
>Preheat oven to moderate 180C. Brush an 8-cup capacity oven-proof dish with melted butter or oil.
(1) Sift dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl, make a well in the centre.
(2) Pour in combined milk, egg, butter and essence. Stir until smooth; do not over-beat. Pour into prepared dish. Dissolve extra cocoa powder and sugar in boiling water. Pour gently over the back of a spoon onto the pudding mixture.
(3) Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Top may be dusted with sifted icing sugar before serving. Spoon some sauce with each serving.