July 3, 2012

Sapphire Ridge Has Moved!!

Hey everyone,
Sapphire Ridge has moved over to WordPress. Please join me over there and take a look around!
Click Here

June 6, 2012

In The Middle of The Street at 6:30 in The Morning (Wordless Wednesday)

Sorry, not so wordless, bad camera phone. 

June 1, 2012

We're Those Neighbours.....

I do have an explanation for this, but it doesn't change the fact that our yard looks just like the abandoned house down the street's.

Look...a meadow!'s the front yard.

May 31, 2012

If You Don't Hear, You Will Feel

There's an old saying here in The Bahamas, "If you don' hear, ya gon feel!" Parents initially say this to an unruly child as a warning that a spanking is coming next if the bad behaviour doesn't stop. Sometimes the kids get it and stop immediately, other times, a spanking follows. (Please this is not a post about spanking. There are many opinions on spanking vs. non-spanking as punishment, this is not a post on that)

As our children grow up, we continue to say this to them. But instead of the warning of spanking, it's a warning of disappointment,  regret and emotional hurt .  We want them to "hear" us when we encourage them to study, or to say no to drugs and alcohol, or to avoid getting involved with the wrong partner. So that they don't "feel" the disappointment of not getting into the college of their choice, or regret that DUI, or the emotional hurt of being in a bad marriage or relationship.

All parents do this. We say it everyday. We just want our kids to listen.  We want them to  avoid pain, disappointment and regret. Sometimes, our kids listen, sometimes they don't. As parents, all we can do is pray that they will make the right choices and be there for them when they don't.

May 30, 2012

Chocolate Ganache

I made this cake a few months ago and have been asked for the recipe for the ganache.
It's fast and easy.

Chocolate Ganache by Collette Peters:

  • 12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 8 oz. heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. flavouring or liquer
Place the chocolate in a large bowl (metal or glass).  Heat the cream in a saucepan just to the boiling point. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips. Cover the bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. Wish until the ganache is dark and shiny, then let it cool to room temperature. If you want thicker icing, beat the cooled icing for a few minutes.

May 14, 2012

It Ended Just Like That (Mother's Day)

I had a great Mother's Day yesterday.  Home cooked breakfast, dinner and dessert. I slept a little, watched a little t.v. and even got to watch my favourite British soap "EastEnders".  That was the special gift from my husband as I don't get to see it here in The Bahamas. He did some technical mojo and I was able to watch it online.

At around 7pm I had this interesting conversation:
Boy: "Mommy, can you do me a favour please?"
Me: "What is it?"
Boy: "Can you make me a sandwich?"
Me: "Nooo Buddy, It's Mother's Day, forget it."
Boy: "Mother's Day is over Mommy."
Me:"No it's not!"(looking out the window) "the sun is still up!"
Boy: "Mother's Day isn't 24 hours, it's only 10.  Your time is up. Now can you PLEASE make me a sandwich?"

It was over just like that.  Any chances of me prolonging the day was fruitless because my time was up. Off I went to make a sandwich.

May 7, 2012

Election Day Bahamas 2012

It's Election day here in the Bahamas.  The day we decide which political party will lead our country for the next five years.  I won't go into detail about our electoral process except to say that parts of it make me feel as if I am living in a 3rd World country namely this:

Yes we still use indelible ink. And as I always do, I push my thumb all the way in and end up with a blackrot  looking thumb for the next week.  But it's a love/hate thing though.  I like it because I am proud that I voted and MAYBE my vote made a difference.  I think about others around the globe who do not have the same right that I have and I am grateful.
My country isn't perfect, but it is my home.  My heart will always belong here. 

May 2, 2012

21 days of Prayer for Sons

I'm a day late, but I'm glad I found this challenge. For the next 21 days, I will lift my son up in prayer.  Check out MOB Society for more details.

April 30, 2012

Minced Crawfish

Disclaimer: We use the words "Crawfish" and "Lobster" interchangeably here in the Bahamas.  The technical term for our lobster is called Spiny Lobster.  It does not have claws like Maine Lobster. So they are only harvested for their tails.

I haven't bought crawfish in years.  Generally I find that it's too expensive.  But I was in the mood for crawfish a few weeks back and got a few from my sister.  They weren't as big as these:
But they were $20.00 and enough to make a great dish of Minced Crawfish.

To prepare the crawfish, first,boil the tails in salted water until bright red/orange.

These are clearly under sized crawfish, which is against the law, I know. I was shocked to see these poor babies.  But I wasn't about to throw my $20.00 away on principle.

Next, let the crawfish cool and remove the flesh from the shells.  To do this, flatten the crawfish with the underbelly facing up.  Take a large sharp knife pierce the bottom of the tail and press down the middle. You can then open the tail and remove the flesh. Be sure to move the intestine tube in the middle.

This is what you end up with. Now you need to shred the meat. This is the most tedious part of preparation.

Now you can prepare your minced Crawfish.

MINCED CRAWFISH by Sapphire Ridge Chronicles:
2-3 cups shredded lobster meat
Juice of 1 lime
1 medium onion diced
1 medium green pepper diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
8 oz. petite diced tomatoes
1 tbsp. ketchup or tomato paste
vegetable oil
Salt, pepper, and hot pepper to taste

Once your lobster is shredded, add the juice of 1 lime. 
Heat oil in frying pan and saute the onion, green pepper, garlic and thyme until onion is translucent.  Add the crawfish and saute for about 5 minutes. You want to almost dry it out. Then add your tomatoes and ketchup/tomato paste. Add your seasonings to taste.

Serving suggestion: white rice, cole slaw and fried plantains

April 24, 2012

Cookie Love!

I love to bake. Cakes, cupcakes, anything, but right now, I love baking cookies.
So this week, I'll be sharing my three favourite cookies! 

My friend just requested this recipe yesterday after I gave her some Oatmeal Raisin Cookies last week.
I originally found the recipe on  but I had to do a little tweaking.   You can have soft and chewy (my fave) or crispy. The texture really depends on how long you leave them in for.

3/4 Cup butter, softened
1/2 Cup white sugar
3/4 Cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 Cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 3/4 Cups quick oats
1 Cup raisins 

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. In large bowl or mixer, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture. Stir in oats and raisins. I usually soak my raisins in warm water for a few minutes to plump them up before I add them.  Make sure to drain/ squeeze excess water.  If soaking raisins, batter may be a bit sticky, no worries, use as usual.
Bake at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

April 23, 2012

Travelling Ritual

I always get the travelling blues whenever I have to leave my family for a few days. I have so many things to do and nothing packed.  I just don't feel like doing anything.  It happens every time (sigh). 

But soon I'll go from the blues, to panic mode. My adrenaline will be pumping in overdrive. I'll get everything done because I won't sleep tonight. When I get to the airport tomorrow, I'll find a corner and just fall asleep. I have a special talent of sleeping ANYWHERE.  

That's my ritual, I guess.  I must do better.
What's your travelling ritual?  What preparations do you make, mentally and physically?

April 20, 2012

Cinnamon Crescent Rolls

Easy, easy, easy!!!! I'll say it again...easy, easy, easy!
My husband and son love these with breakfast....

Cinnamon Crescent Rolls (makes 8)
2 oz. butter, melted
1 pkg. crescent rolls
1 Cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
1Tbsp. water

Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Unroll crescent rolls and brush top side with melted butter.  Sprinkle each triangle liberally with cinnamon sugar. Starting at the base of triangle roll toward the point. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 mins. until golden brown.
While rolls are baking, mix powdered sugar and water to make glaze.
As soon as you take the rolls out of the oven, drizzle glaze on each.

April 10, 2012

Fathers and Sons

My husband announced this morning that he "needs to change gears" with our eight year old son. He feels it's time to get tough on him. When I heard these words this morning, my heart sank just a little.  My initial thoughts were, "But he's just a baby."  

In the Caribbean, the battle of fathers vs. sons is quite commonplace.  I cannot count on my two hands men that I know who have great relationships with their fathers. Frequently I hear, "I don't talk to my old man." 

It's always the same scenario....son wants to prove he's a man and father wants to prove that he's the ONLY man in the house. Many times, there is a physical altercation and most times the son leaves the home. In very rare cases, the two men work things out.  Some pretend to get along just to please the wife/mother.

I know, he's EIGHT. Why am I thinking about this? It just seems to be the natural progression when a father decides to be tough.  You're afraid that tough equates to lack of affection toward his son. No more hugs or kisses. Just handshakes and "You could do betters". Then we end up with the scenario I  described earlier.

Now, I must say that my husband is a great father.  And I don't put him in the same category as the traditional man from the Caribbean.  I trust that he will give affection and tell our son he loves him. But, I can tell you that from the time my son was born, I have prayed that they will never end up at odds with each other.  Yes I expect disagreements, but I don't want separation physically or emotionally.

I do have to reluctantly agree that we I have to stop babying him.  Just last night he came into our bedroom and said that he couldn't sleep.  He expected us to tell him to come into our bed, but he was told to go back to his own bed.  I admit that I still cut up some of his food.  And yes, I de-seed his oranges.

I believe that boys do need to be taught how to be men.  In my opinion, the best person for that job would be his father. But we all know that not every boy is that fortunate to have his father in his life.  My son is especially lucky because his father lives in the same house as him.

Many men say they do things a certain way or act a particular way either positively or negatively because, "that's how my father did it." We as parents need to understand that fathers are more than basketball coaches and wrestling partners to their sons.  They are life-coaches. They are constantly teaching their sons knowingly or unknowingly. And I am grateful to my husband that he wants to teach him purposefully and deliberately.

April 8, 2012

In Defense of Grits (Video)

Just a short video about a conversation my husband and I had.  Let me know what you think!

April 7, 2012

On Becoming A Grandmother

My husband and I were in the kitchen this morning talking while getting breakfast ready.  Somehow, we got on the topic of becoming grandparents. (For the record, we are too young to be grandparents, and are not expecting any in the near future. At least for another ten years.)
So I tell my husband that I am looking forward to becoming a grandmother, but I don't want to be called "Grammy". Nor do I want to be "Nana", "Ma", "Mama" or "Mummum" (that's what the children call my mother).
It seems as if the first grandchild names the grandparents. Usually, they try to find a name that distinguishes each grandparent from the other that is also easy for them to say. I will not allow that! They will not name me "Moomoo" or "Meemaw" or "Gammy" just because they can't speak proper English.  I will NOT accept it!
So I thought about it for a while and I've come up with  the following options:
  1. "Sasha Fierce" but quickly changed my mind after reading on the history of that name.
  2. "Birdie" because it gives the impression that I'm skinny and demure.
  3. "Diva" because I want to be the sexy grandmother. 
Whatever name is chosen, it will be on MY terms.  I don't care how sweet and cute and cuddly they turn out to be.

So, if you are a grandmother, what do they call you?  Or, if you're like me, what would you like to be called? I know that I have a while before this is relevant for me, but it's always good to be prepared, don't you think?

April 5, 2012

A Good Friday Tradition with Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Here in The Bahamas, we have a tradition of eating Hot Cross Buns and fried fish on Good Friday. It does not matter what denomination of faith you are, this is what you eat. 
The tradition begins by going down by to the dock to buy fresh fish during Holy Week. 

The great thing about the Bahamas is we have a bountiful resource of fish.  We can choose from Grouper, Snapper, Crawfish, Goggle Eye, Turbot, Jackfish and many more.


    My personal favourite for frying is the Snapper.

Once you've gotten your fish, you need to get your Hot Cross Buns.  
For a few years, I either bought my buns from the local bakeries or was lucky enough to get some from my Aunt who bakes her own. 
I was always intimidated by Hot Cross buns.  I assumed that they were difficult to make. It wasn't until a few years ago when my husband suggested that I make them myself, I gave them a try. They were not good.
After that, every year I would try a new recipe or modify an existing one.  None of them were satisfying, just ok.  Then, in 2010 our local newspaper featured a recipe for Hot Cross Buns from a local chef.  I tried it, and not only was it easy, but it was the best Hot Cross Buns I've ever had.

This recipe makes a lot of buns, so prepare to share. 

HOT CROSS BUNS by chef Bernard Bodie
makes about 2 dozen 
2 cups water
2 pounds all purpose flour
1 egg
8 oz. sugar
8 oz. shortening
1 Tbls. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. allspice
2 1/2 tsp. molasses
1 pound raisins (use discretion)
Simple Syrup:
1 Cup water
2 1/2 Cups granulated sugar
1 pound powdered sugar
1/4 Cup water
1 tsp vanilla

BUNS: In large mixing bowl for electric mixer, pour water.Then add all ingredients. (Scary right, but trust me it'll be fine). Mix for 10 mins. on low speed, then 10 minutes on medium speed. After ingredients are well mixed, let rest in bowl for another 10 minutes. 
Next weight each piece to 3.5 ounces and place in pan with 1/4 inch space between them.
Let rise to the size you wish, then bake for 45 mins. in a preheated oven at 350 degrees.
As soon as the buns come out of the oven, glaze with simple syrup mixture. Allow buns to cool before piping cross onto buns.

March 28, 2012

The Rules of Laundry


As long as I've been doing laundry, there are still times when I feel overwhelmed and annoyed.  I have tried to wash one load daily (didn't last long) to once a week (no clean underwear). I still haven't found that balance.
I have washed clothes for as few as two all the way up to six persons.  I have had my years of going to the laundromat at 2 a.m., drying socks in the oven, washing P.E. uniforms by hand in the sink and washing clothes with dishwashing liquid.  I have found crayons, chapstick, cash (my favourite), bugs, pens, teacher's notes, rocks, gum, and other things I dare not mention, usually when it's too late.

But my biggest annoyance is that in my home, I can launder ALL of the clothes on Sunday and by Tuesday, there is a ridiculous pile again. WHY????? It's only three of us? Where have we been and what have we been doing to get all of these clothes dirty? There is just no explanation for this. I've decided to put my foot down and create a few rules around here.

You must wear jeans at least 5 times before declaring them dirty. The purpose for which jeans were made, was to get dirty.  Exceptions: mud.  I thought of including liquid spills, but that's a case by case basis.  If the liquid is darker than your jeans and has a bad smell, sure wash 'em.

To be worn at least 5 times before laundering. It's a scientific fact that you don't get dirty while sleeping.  At least not dirty enough to throw your pj's in the dirty clothes after one night. Exceptions: nighttime accidents or spillage (same rule for jeans).

We all have clothes that we wear only in the house.  They have stains, holes or are too small and we have declared that they are not to be worn in public.  Only if you have worked up a serious sweat in those clothes from exercising and house cleaning or the kids have decided to make mud pies or paint their shirts with lunch, these clothes can be worn at least twice before being washed.  Shorts can go a little longer.

If I could, I'd just ban socks.  I hate socks, especially the white ones.  You buy them brand new all beautiful and proudly give them to your 8 year old.  The next time you see them, they are the same colour as the red dirt in the back yard! That now means that you have to soak the dirt red white socks before washing them. But soaking is never enough, you have to hand wash those suckers before you throw them into the washing machine.
The rule: They are not shoes!!!! 

Now my only exception to extended wear clothing are underwear, and clothes that have been exposed to bodily fluids.  Please, oh, please put your dirty underwear in the dirty clothes hamper..not under the bed, in the closet or actually in your dresser drawer.  

Let's leave bodily fluids for another time.

What are your laundry rules?  What did you do to combat the evil that is laundry?

March 3, 2012

The Lorax Movie Activities and Printables

The Lorax movie is a great introduction to teach about the environment and sustainability.
Here is the original movie:

I found a great lesson plan from HomeschoolShare
Some topics you can cover:

  • Water Pollution and it's causes
  • Air Pollution and it's causes
  • Ways to fight pollution
  • Recycling
  • Endangered animals
Truffula Tree Pencils by Zakka Life
The Lorax printables
Online Game:
Save The Lorax

I'm Supposed to be a British Royal


In case you didn't know, I'm supposed to be a British Royal.  This would've been confirmed this weekend when Harry comes to visit The Bahamas, but I'm leaving for Atlanta today and will miss his arrival.  

Yes, had it not been for this trip, I would become the "New Kate".  Well that, and the fact that I should be 10 years younger and 40 pounds lighter! Oh and don't forget that I'm married to my own King!

Anyway, his loss.

February 29, 2012

Easy Lentils with Spinach

I started the Daniel Fast with my church on Monday.  For 40 days I have committed myself to eating a Daniel compliant diet and to prayer. Although it's only been two days, blessings have already happened.

For my first meal, I cooked some lentils and they were delicious. I served them with brown rice and this morning ate them with grits. I had no idea just how much lentils yield when cooked.  I have enough to last the week! I boiled them until slightly tender then put them in the slow cooker.  I realised that it was unnecessary to do as the slow cooker would soften them anyway.

Easy Lentils

Easy Lentils by Sapphire Ridge Chronicles
1 1/2 Cup lentils
3 Cups water
1 10 oz box frozen spinach (you can also use fresh)
1 15oz. can diced tomatoes
1 medium onion chopped
3 gloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 vegetable boullion
black pepper
Put all ingredients into slow cooker.  Set cooker to High and cook 4-6 hrs or Low and cook 6-8 hrs.  


Works For Me Wednesday - Slow Cooker Odor

I love my slow cooker. It has made life easier on the days I remember to use it. But I  hate the smell whenever I open it. I clean and dry it properly before I put the top back on to store it, but when I open it, I smell whatever I cooked the last time I used it.  

Now, what I do after it's washed and dried, is sprinkle a little baking soda in it before I put the top on.  The next time I open it, there is no scent!  The baking soda has absorbed all of the odor.
Well, it works for me!

February 27, 2012

Mousse Filling.... Is it Really That Simple?

Yes it is.  At least this version is.  All you need are two ingredients:

  • Heavy Cream
  • Instant Pudding of your choice
Just replace the amount of milk required, with heavy cream.  Use a whip attachment on your mixer. You get a lovely thick mousse consistency, that tastes great and requires little effort! 
You can also add  a teaspoon or two of any type of flavouring or liqueur to take it up a notch.
It's a great filling for cakes.  Remember that your cakes will need to be refrigerated because of the heavy cream.

This is what I used for my Chocolate Cake with Cheesecake Layer .

February 10, 2012

Baby Shower Cookies Last Weekend

Purple and Pink Theme:

Forgive Me Father For I Have Sinned.......

This is sooo good. I think I put on two pounds with just one slice!

Chocolate Cake with Cheesecake Layer
I made this for my husband who was celebrating his birthday on Super Bowl Sunday.  After the meatballs, chicken wings, fries, soda and green salad (is green salad apropos for Super Bowl Sunday?) We cut into this bad boy!

I had fun making this cake and am very proud of the way it turned out.  My decorating skills have something to be desired so I just left it plain. 
This tastes like a cake you get from a fancy restaurant after a five-star dinner.'s that good.

In there is Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Mousse filling and a single layer of Cheesecake covered with chocolate ganache!

I used the Hershey's Chocolate Cake recipe.  That's my go to Chocolate Cake recipe.  It's moist, absolutely delicious and easy to make. I also make my chocolate cupcakes with this.


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  1.  Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or 30 muffin cups.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. 
  3. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. 
  4. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  5. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
Be careful. Because the batter is so thin, you may be inclined to put more in the pans.  I have had several overflows.

Next, I'll tell you how I made the's ridiculously easy!!

UPDATE: I used this cheesecake recipe, minus the crust and melted butter. Make sure you freeze the cheesecake before assembling. For the mousse filling I used this recipe. For the ganache, I used this recipe.