Today, I graduate.

30 Mar

I am a bunch of mixed emotions and excitement is not one of them. You see, this is not the first time I’ve graduated because I have a previous degree and my first graduation ceremony felt like an anticlimax. I suppose the universities have to go through the formality of it for their students but 2 hours pale immensely when compared to the 3 years of sacrifice it took to get here. My husband of all people would have an inkling as to what has been required but even he really has no idea. Extra lessons during the week and on Sunday’s, missed parties, leaving family lunches early and emotions I feel where no words could ever suffice! Being a mature student has had its pros and cons but I won’t go into that now, what I will say however is how grateful I am to have completed this undergrad in the allotted time. Many of my fellow students have taken longer than I have with less than half the life commitments I’ve had to shoulder. 

I owe a huge thanks to my parents who have gone above and beyond for me, they are truly a God-send. No words are enough except to say a VERY BIG thank you and I love you both. My husband has been a soldier in the trenches of life with me and my biggest cheerleader – the yin to my yang andmy light when there where many dark days. Thank you my love.

While I feel like I am not where my life “should” be due to the fact that two major dreams are yet to be fulfilled, I have to remind myself that life happens in the here and now. No amount of comparison could make me happy, ever. I’m cognizant that today is the symbol of a small stepping stone for which I am to be grateful, it is this little milestone that has moved me that one step closer to my hopes and dreams becoming a reality. And I should definitely be proud of me – young, black, educated, full of potential and with a world of opportunities awaiting me. 

So to you reading this: never stop dreaming and never stop believing! Today is a manifestation of yesterday’s hopes, dreams and what you believe to be true.

Spirit lead me…

8 Aug image

Here are the lyrics to a song that I have had on repeat for an ENTIRE week, it’s been such a blessing, take a listen and let the words seep into your soul, it’s called “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” by Hillsongs United.

“You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am your and you are mine
.”

McCain’s Favourite Winter Warming Recipes – Beef Stew

28 Jul

McCain’s Winter-Warming Selection

I LOVE a good stew! The cold winter months are the ideal opportunity to indulge in your favourite warming recipes bringing satisfying nourishment to your family mealtimes. Create wonderfully warm family moments with delicious filling stews, casseroles, pot pies and soups. McCain has a range of vegetables and mixes, which are perfect additions to any warming meal and the McCain Stew Mix makes preparing a hearty stew quick and easy without compromising on taste.

McCain Stew Mix includes diced carrots, diced broccoli stems, diced potatoes and whole green peas, and comes in a 600g pack that allows you to cater for a big family or to simply store for another day. Because McCain vegetables are already cleaned, peeled and chopped, there is less waste, and fuss – making it easier to provide scrumptious meals the whole family will love.

McCain’s selection of tasty frozen vegetables and potatoes contain all the locked in goodness from the farm. With a wide variety to choose from, you can get creative and incorporate vegetables at every meal making sure your family is getting the recommended five servings of vegetables and fruit per day.

Below are some of McCain’s favourite winter warming recipes to chase away those winter chills.

Visit www.mccain.co.za for a selection of delicious recipes.

Beef Stew with McCain Mixed Vegetables and McCain Garden Mix

Yield: 4 servings

 

Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

 Ingredients:

500g                       Beef cubes

100g                       McCain Chef’s Solution Diced Onion

1                              Garlic cloves, minced

15g                         Butter

60g                         Celery stalks, chopped

60g                         McCain Diced Carrots

500ml                    Beef stock*

10ml                      Tomato paste

1                              Bay leaf

5ml                         Paprika

5ml                         Parsley, dried

2                              Tomatoes, chopped

50ml                      Red wine*

600ml                    Water

50g                         McCain Mixed Vegetables, quartered

50g                         McCain Garden Mix, quartered

TT                           Salt

TT                           Pepper

Method:

1.       Begin by browning off the beef cubes, until they resemble a deep golden brown and remove the meat from the pot and set aside for later use

2.       In the same pot, fry off the onion, garlic, celery and carrots

3.       Add the tomato paste and the beef stock and cook

4.       Add the bay leaves; paprika and parsley, mix through before adding the chopped tomatoes to the pot

5.       Allow the tomatoes time to breakdown and soften

6.       Deglaze* the pot with the red wine and reduce

7.       Add the water and the meat and simmer for 45 minutes stirring occasionally

8.       Stir in the McCain Mixed Vegetables and McCain Garden Mix and cook until tender

9.       Season well with salt and pepper and serve hot

Serving suggestion:  Serve with rice or mashed potatoes

Enjoy and keep warm.

McCain’s Favourite Winter Warming Recipes – McCain Vegetable Pot Pie

24 Jun veg pot pie

Yield: approximately 4 servings

Cooking time: 30-45 minutes

 

Filling:

2 Tbsp.    Olive Oil

100 g   McCain Chef’s Solution Diced Onion

1    Garlic, clove, minced

½ cup    Celery, chopped

½ cup   Leek, medium, chopped

½ cup   Fennel, chopped

500 g   Mushrooms, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp   Flour

1 Lt    Vegetable Stock

500 g   McCain Stew Mix

Small handful  Parsley, chopped

To Taste  Salt

To Taste   Pepper

 

Pastry:

1 Rolls   Puff Pastry

25-50 ml  Egg wash (equal amount egg and milk)

 

Method:

  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add McCain Chef’s Solution Diced Onion, garlic, celery, leek, fennel and sauté until soft
  2. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft and then add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes
  3. Add the vegetable stock, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the McCain Stew Mix, parsley and season with salt and pepper and allow to cool
  5. Preheat oven to 180C.  Roll out puff pastry and cut disks big enough to line a pie dish
  6. Divide the pie filling between the pie dish/s and top with the pastry lid
  7. Brush with egg wash and cut a small hole in the top
  8. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and golden brown

 

All that’s left to do is ENJOY!

I am all He says I am…

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This birthday was different to the FEW that I have celebrated before. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful and insightful in its own special way. In my parents house, and even now that I’m an adult, birthdays are big deals! I still get asked what’s in my birthday wish list (which I think about for months beforehand) but the list gets shorter with each passing year and for the last three years, it hasn’t changed. See babe, I’m not high to maintain. Having said all of that, I do however have the blessing and privilege of sharing my birthday with my mother, well it’s more the case that she gets to share hers with me, either way, I wouldn’t trade it for a thing.
My day was filled with the usual phone calls from family and friends, Facebook posts that made me feel so special because someone took the time to say 2 little words. That means a lot in the busy world that we live in! Sam had swimming lessons that afternoon and hubby had a PTA meeting that evening so there wasn’t a candlelit dinner or any fireworks but some lights did come on…. Let me explain.
For a while now, I have said that I do not believe in coincidence. I do believe that with hard work and prayer, if my hearts desires are realized that is amazing, but equally, if they don’t then God is still good and His plans for my life will lead me into the paths that I need to take. There’s a lot that I am praying and trusting God for but I don’t always live from that place of rest in Him and His goodness. I don’t make New Years resolutions but I have come to challenge myself to live what I profess, and if my profession is that I trust Him then that should show up in how I act and in what I say.
My hubby asked me at the end of my day (when he finally came home) how it felt to be my age? First of all, a lady never reveals how young she is. And secondly, I’m not sure if it’s all these twenties that I hang around with at varsity but I certainly do not feel my age… Except when I go out all night long (like I did recently) and it took me about two days to recover, hahaha. Apart from that, I have come into my own in terms of feeling comfortable with myself, my warts, my hopes and dreams, my downfalls and failures. I am my own package deal and I dig me. I’ve found my own two feet, expressing my spirituality and that has made the biggest difference to me thus far. I love the journey that I’m on with God, His insights, His leanings, His mysteries but more than anything is His unconditional and unending love. He cares about the details of my life!!! That’s the kinds of things that were on my mind on the day of my birthday.
In 1 Kings 19, the bible tells the story of Elijah. He was running away from people who wanted to murder him and in his time of need, God was not in the wind, earth quake or fire. God was in a still small voice. So while we are looking for an external display, or a sign, or even for someone else to affirm us, I’ve come to understand that I am His dearly beloved one and so is every creature in the known universe. We are all precious to Him, and if we allow Him to, He’ll take such pleasure in telling us and showing us for the rest of our days.
About not believing in coincidences, I’ve come across a Buddhist proverb that says: “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear” and I have found that certain books, readings, scriptures, teachings, music and much more has come into my path and fallen into my lap because I’m more open than I used to be. I had a particular song on repeat in my car throughout my day and here are the beautiful lyrics that I want to share with you. I hope you allow them to penetrate the depths of your soul and come to KNOW the One who is nothing but goodness, mercy and love.

All He Says I Am” Lyrics by Gateway Worship | from the album Forever Yours

He whispers in my ear
Tells me that I’m fearless

He shares a melody
Tells me to repeat it
And it makes me whole
It reminds my soul

I am all He says I am
I am all He says I am
I am all He says I am
And He says I am His own

I was blinded by scales upon my eyes
Then He came like a light
And burned up all the lies
He set me free
He reminded me

I am all He says I am
I am all He says I am
I am all He says I am
An He says I am His own

Chains are broken
Scales are on the floor
Truth is spoken
I’m no orphan anymore

I am loved
I am new again
I am free
I’m no slave to sin
I’m saint
I am righteousness
I’m alive

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