Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Aduki Bean, Butternut Squash and Spelt (Faro) Grain with Steamed Greens & Roasted Seeds

Kitchen Play List: Louis Armstrong ~ A Kiss To Build A Dream On
                                      Dido ~ I'm No Angel
                                      Thunder ~ Back Street Symphony
                                      Thunder ~ The Devil Made Me Do It
                                      Thunder ~ Yesterday's News
                                      Sheryl Crow ~ Strong Enough
                                      Vdawn Penn ~ You Don't Know Me
                                      Don Williams ~ You've Got a Friend
                                      Sheryl Crow ~ My Favourite Mistake

This recipe very nearly didn't happen at all. The reason being some particulary stubborn dried Aduki Beans. I have a history with dried Aduki beans...put simply..we hate each other! Which is a shame as I love them once they are cooked lol. It doesn't seem to matter which way I choose to cook them..I end up with little red pellets.

The recipe I was attempting to make was the Azucki Beans with Kabocha Squash from Alicia Silverstone's cookbook The Kind Diet.

I say attempting because after 13 hours soaking, 2 1/2 hours cooking I was left with hard red bullets with lumps of mushed squash. I was a little stressed out by the end of the afternoon that's for sure. I have vague recollections of a tearful call to My Love in exasperation but I could have dreamt that..ahem! lol. (In my defence I was exhausted and feeling grim..and yes..I may have pushed my body too far! I know..I know! Believe me the lesson has been learnt!) So to avoid the total destruction of my kitchen I turned off the gas and pushed the failed beans out of sight and sat and enjoyed a cup of tea. I took a breath and had a rethink.

I always have a few tins of Aduki beans in my stocks and I had some more Butternut Squash left..you can't get Kabocha around here so I was subbing it with Butternut. So this is the recipe that I came up with..so it's adapted from the The Kind Diet recipe.

For my evening meal I enjoyed a Macrobiotic Lentil Soup, a serving of Aduki Bean, Butternut Squash & Spelt Grain, Steamed Spring Greens topped with a roasted seed mix (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame & linseed) and 1/2 of pickled gherkin. I really enjoyed every mouthful and felt satisfied afterwards. No bloating or over full feelings..marvelous. lol. So here is my recipe...

From the left: Macrobiotic Lentil Soup, Pickled Gherkin Slices, Aduki Bean Butternut Squash & Spelt and Steamed Spring Greens with roasted seed mix.
Aduki Bean, Butternut Squash & Spelt (Farro) Grain
(Recipe adapted from a recipe in The Kind Life/Silverstone) Serves 2

1 14oz tin of Aduki Beans, rinsed well and drained
1/2 small Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into large cubes, steamed
5 oz cooked Spelt (Farro) grain
1/2 tsp Shoyu

Once the squash has finished steaming take a skillet and place the aduki beans and spelt grain into it and reheat over a med heat. Keeping a close check on it to avoid burning. When hot add the shoyu to the skillet and stir to coat the bean and grain mix. Then place the squash cubes into the pan and stir well to combine and to warm the squash back up.

If using greens: over an already boiling pan of water add the sliced greens to a steamer basket and steam for 3 minutes.

Place the greens onto a plate and top with a seed mix toasted into a small skillet. Then serve the Aduki Bean dish on the side.

Aduki Bean, Butternut Squash & Spelt Grain with Steamed Spring Greens topped with roasted seed mix.
So out of a rather exhausting cooking afternoon came this very simple and quick to make meal. If I hadn't of been so tired I would've cried. Ah well. Today is Sushi...wish me luck..I just may need it.


Monday, 27 February 2012

Kim's Red Radish Tabbouleh

Kitchen Play List: Tan Dun & Yo-Yo Ma ~ Night Fight
                                     (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Sdtk)
                                     Patti Smith Group ~ Because The Night
                                     Jean Sablon ~ Je Sais Que Vous Etes Jolie
                                     Extreme ~ More Than Words
                                     Natalie Merchant ~ Break Your Heart
                                     Nicola Benedetti ~ MacMillian: From Ayrshire 1
                                     Rob Thomas ~ I Am An Illusion

Well..my great plans for yesterday came to a crashing halt...my body just could not keep up with my brain..or maybe not my brain..my stubborn resolve to 'just get on with it regardless'. Lesson learnt. But it hasn't stopped me from pottering about today and even though it's taken me three hours to make my lunch...I did it! HA!

Today is really my first day on a completely Macrobiotic eating plan. I've been 50/50 since I made the decision to give it a try..simply because the cooking and planning at first seemed so overwhelming (seemed? totally is!) even for this passionate cook. I didn't feel it was fair to ask My Love to start to cook all the dishes needed as well as work so hard already. So I did what I could to make the changeover and ate regular vegan the rest of the times.

This morning I will admit was harder than I thought it would be. Although the recipes were simple...it just took me ten times the time to make the dishes needed for lunch but I did finally sit down with my Macro lunch and enjoyed every mouthful and I'm sure I'll find my pickle love eventually. lol. My lunch was a very tasty Red Radish Tabbouleh which was from a recipe I found in the cookbook Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet

And using the Healing Eating Plan from Brown & Brown's cookbook Modern Day Macrobiotics I ate it with a Steamed Veggie Salad which was kale, julienne carrots and radish which were steamed for 3 minutes and then 1/4 tsp Shoyu and 1/4 tsp Brown Rice Vinegar were drizzled over. This was so delicious and I even used my cheats 'practice' chop sticks to eat it and did very well. lol. I also had a tiny bowl of pickled gherkin which I sliced. There is photo of my lunch further down this posting. I enjoyed it all very much but I am still trying to break free of the Furhman mindset that grains are Bad! lol But I feel full and satisfied and as I said before I am sure I'll get used to the pickles...eventually. I chose pickles that were pickled in brine, garlic and dill..not the sugared vinegared kind. I do like those..too much! lol.

I take no credit for this recipe as it's Kim's and is taken from The Kind Diet. It was really good and completely diferent to how I thought it would taste. I usually find Tabbouleh hard work..maybe it's the garlic etc. Strange I know for this garlic lover. lol. But I enjoyed every mouthful and look forward to it tomorrow. The recipe says it serves 2 but I think that is very generous portions. I will divide into 3 next time I make it.

Kim's Red Radish Tabbouleh
Kim's Red Radish Tabbouleh Serves 2-3
(Recipe from The Kind Diet/Silverstone)

1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup bulgar wheat
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil or to your personal taste/choice
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 scallions/spring onions, white & green parts, minced
1/2 cup thinly sliced red radishes

Bring 1 1/2 cups of water and the salt to a boil in a saucepan. Place the bulgar wheat and the boiling salted water in a heatproof bowl. Stir once, then cover the bowl with a plate and set aside until the grain has absorbed all the water, about 20 - 30 minutes.

Stir in the lemon juice, oil, parsley, scallions, and radishes and mix well. Add more lemon juice and salt to taste. Serve.

My Red Radish Lunch from the left ~ Red Radish Tabbouleh, Pickled Gherkin Slices and Steamed Veggies..Kale, Carrot and Radish with Shoyu & Rice Vinegar Drizzle. Delish!
Doesn't it look lush and colourful. It was a shame to eat it..well for a few seconds until I tried my first mouthful..lol. Now I have another two dishes to cook this afternoon if I can find my energy again. I have my stubborness *wink*


Sunday, 26 February 2012

Between Me and You...

Workroom Play List:  Stevie Ray Vaughn ~ Pride and Joy
                                             Lennie Hayton ~ Sweet Sue, Just You
                                             Santana ~ Aye, Aye, Aye
                                             T/Pretty Reckless ~ You Make Me Wanna Die
                                             Emma B ~ Cricket Song for AnaMaria
                                             Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake. Act 2 #14
                                             Paul Whitman & Orch ~ Without A Song
                                             Def Leppard ~ Let's Get Rocked
                                             Billie Holiday ~ Them There Eyes

Image taken from web search..not my own work
*whispers* Now this is just between me and you...I have been up and about this weekend and not stuck in my chair 'on rest'! And I'm still going..lol. Rumour has it that I may even make it into the kitchen this afternoon to cook a couple of soups for the week ahead. I know! lol.

OK enough with the silly. Yesterday we finally got the room change around finished and also made the changes I needed to make to the kitchen. It was extremely tiring...but mentally I felt better than I have in quite some time. I also made a start on transferring my dried goods from plastic to glass containers. There something quite satisfying about emptying packets into jars..well for me anyway..lol. It's a long term goal to make a complete changeover, as glassware isn't cheap so I have to do it bit by bit. But it will be a relief to be rid of all the plastic. Whilst doing all this swapping and changing I have nearly a whole kitchen cupboard free now...although I don't think that will stay that way for long..lol. Little battles eh?

So if my body can keep me going for a few more hours today I may be able to bring you a genuine recipe based blog tomorrow...It will be such a relief for me...

In all honesty the Consultants are all messing around and leaving me just sat here...and I can't live like that so I am trying to take back some control. I'm starting small and not pushing myself too hard..I'm not an idiot! But I need to be doing something...I'm also going to start back in the Gym this week on a very basic routine...5 minutes on the treadmill, bicycle and rowing machine to start with. I may not be able to do all three but I'll do what I can each day and see what happens. I need to build back some stamina. Wish me luck,eh?

Hope you are having a great Sunday? Thanks for stopping by so I can share my secret..lol


Friday, 24 February 2012

iPod Shuffle Fun ~ 1

It's Friday..wehoooo! Well kind of wehoo except we are lock down this weekend because the little ones have Chicken Pox doing the rounds. So far it's just little J who is massively covered with them so he at his Nan's with his Dad..and I don't envy them the task of trying to stop the itching. *shudder* I remember my Chicken Pox memories well..there wasn't a part of my body I didn't get them..and have a few scars to prove it. Ah well..so we are staying clear of everyone until it's gone. So...that means we have a weekend with nowhere to go...no one to visit (I shall miss my sister and the little ones greatly..) and both not feeling great ourselves anyway. So I have visions of lots of book reading, movies watching, writing (please let that be so?) and a great deal of music listening. Not a bad way to spend a weekend I know..it's just that it doesn't really mean a big change for me as that is how my days are spent at the moment. The weekends usually mean fun..getting to see people I love and getting out the house. OK enough whinging..lol It's one of those days..don't worry I've just mentally slapped myself! lol..anyway....

Not my photo..I found it on a online search but I do have the badge...and it felt right for this blog posting
I saw this idea for a post via a friends blog a while ago and I enjoyed reading it. The iPod is a great thing and the Shuffle facility is one I use constantly when I'm writing or cooking (Oh cooking..*sighs*) and it has made me laugh out loud many times over the years with its selections. But it keeps it interesting, eh? lol. So here is the last 12 Shuffle selections from my iPod this morning as I've been writing.

Red's iPod Shuffle

Auf Der Maur ~ Real a Lie
Melissa Der Maur is originally from the band Hole and although I wasn't a huge fan of them..well apart from one hit..I have found I really enjoy her solo music. This is from the album of the same name.

This World ~ Luke Morley
Luke Morley is probably one of my most favourite songwriters. I've been a fan for more than 20 years. His lyrics are like stories and can make you laugh or cry. The music is good old rock music. This song is from his solo album El Gringo..his massive body of work can be found in the albums of Terraplane, Thunder, Bowes & Morley and The Union.

Happy House ~ Siouxie and the Banshees
lol Oh...the many hours spent throwing myself around the Youth Club discos to this tune. Always makes me smile..

The Last Time I Saw Paris ~ Noel Coward with Ronnie Munro Orchestra
I warned you there would be moments of laughter at the selections! lol This is a very good song and I love the orchestral arrangement.

You & Me ~ Shelby Lynne
I love Shelby Lynne but I am the first to admit sometimes she does need to smile more..and this song is one of those moments and you can almost hear her trying not to laugh until the end..which she then does.

Day Dreamer ~ Adele
Taken from her 19 album. I'm a very recent convert to Adele. And I much prefer her second album 21. This song is from 19 and not one of my favourites but it's ok. I think she is a superb singer songwriter and hope she keeps going without falling into the pitfalls some of her peers have.

Tourniquet ~ Evanescence
A good song. I didn't get Evanescence at the beginning and got so fed up with hearing their first big hit. Then one afternoon, a few years later, it came on the radio when I was feeling a little blue and I got it. So I bought the first album...then the second..and fell in musical love. lol. I guess even if you are nearly 40 (Blimey, did I just admit that???? Nooooo!) the inner mixed up teenage rock chick still needs an outlet. I'm looking forward to the new album...and Amy Lee is a very talented and beautiful woman.

Haydn: Cello Concert in D, H 7B/2 - 3. Rondo ~ Christine Walevska, Edo De Waart English Chamber Orchestra
I have to have a little Cello every day to keep me sane. It is by far my favourite instrument and I have many albums of it's beautiful, tragic, exciting sound. It is a necessity in my life...

Since I Left Her ~ Bowes and Morley
Bowes and Morley are the lead singer and lead guitarist/songwriter from the british rock band Thunder. They separated off and made two albums together and this is from Mo's Barbeque album. The lyrics to this song are at time funny..."It's not me but my phone that's playing up!" and sad as it's obvious that there is heartbreak. The vocals from Danny and the rest from Luke..make a beautiful song.

Denovo ~ Joyce & Dori Caymmi
Joyce is a huge name in the Jazz circuits and has had a very long and interesting career..she is from Brazil and we had to the pleasure to see her live at the local Jazz festival in our nearest city. Our pals D & B surprised us with tickets and we had a very entertaining night. (Thank you guys..I know it was some time back now..but still!) She had a fantastic voice, was funny even if we didn't quite know what she was saying when she switched back to her native Portuguese. We bought the album that night to take home and have enjoyed it greatly since then. The album is Rio-Bahia.

Maroon 5 ~ Misery
From the album Hands All Over. I have been a fan from the beginning even when it wasn't so cool to admit it..but I always did because I simply enjoy their music..their lyrics are at times raunchy, silly, sad or serious...they remind me of bunch of cheeky teenage boys and they make me smile.

So there it is...my 12 last played shuffle songs from my iPod this morning. Currently listening to Womankind by the Little Angels..and that has blended into Vivaldi: Flute Concerto In F, Op. 10/1 RV 433, "La Tempesta Di Mare" - 1. Allegro ~ Yehudi Menuhin; Alberto Lysy; Camerata Lysy - Gstaad - Vivaldi : The Four Seasons...phew that's a mouthful lol. And now as I sign off I am listening to Evermore ~ Mr Diamond. lol Keeps you on your musical toes this shuffle...

Hoping I haven't bored you to a snooze like state..lol. Hope you have a fantastic Friday and Weekend all...

Thanks for stopping by...~R~

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

No you didn't just say that?

Workroom Play List: Peter Gabriel ~ The Book of Love
                                            Europe ~ Roll With You
                                            Audioslave ~ Drown Me Slowly
                                            The Gossip ~ Yr Mangled Heart
                                            Bowie ~ Young Americans
                                            The Cure ~ Boys Don't Cry

Now you know your life has slowed down to a miserable crawl when hearing the news that your nearest shop has started selling a product you have wanted for..well..ever...makes you smile something silly!

This kitty had just the right silly smileness..lol. (I know I don't usually do 'cute' but today felt like a day I could!)
My Love went to the shop this morning to buy some more Oat Milk, to find that there wasn't any on sale anymore..which is a problem! However what was sat on the shelf was a new range of fresh Almond Milk!! Yes..Almond Milk. You can never find it around where we live..even from the Health Food Shop we visit in the nearest city. So no long life Almond Milk..so to find Almond Milk on sale across the road...and for it to be fresh! OH MY GOODNESS! I'm practically giddy. lol. Now My Love didn't have time to read the ingredients so I still don't know if it's packed full of nasties...but I am hoping it's not. I wanted to try making my own at some point but it is just so expensive to buys nuts in Britain at the moment. We have to buy tiny packets of them for stupidly high prices..so they have been put on the 'luxury' list which is very sad to me.

I shall report back and update this blog when I find out which brand and price it is and if it's nasty free.

Well that's my piece of good news for today...I'm still 'resting' darn it but I have my Mum visiting this afternoon and then shortly after a couple of friends...so I shall be kept busy. lol.

Thanks for stopping by...~R~

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Help? All those Salicylate folks out there...

Workroom Play List: Melissa Etheridge ~ Greatest Hits Album

Image found via internet search but he looks as pathetic as I feel today..lol
I need your help folks..well some of you. Well..any of you that are familiar with Salicylate Sensitivity hell. As those of you that follow my blog will know..My Love is Sali Sensitive and it is morphing quicker than we can get a handle on it. My call for help today is for anyone's homemade recipes for shampoo and conditioner. I have found a lot of vegan conditioner recipes but they all include apple cyder vinegar, olive oil or other not Sali free ingredients.

So far I have found a tooth brightener using Bicarb Soda alongside the usual Fennel Toothpaste. But we are really struggling with shampoo and conditioner as the supposedly Sali Free ones that you can buy over the counter (of which there are..oh..one!) are still causing an extreme reaction to My Loves face and body. I have found very basic recipes of Mashed Banana for a once a week conditioner and a Oaty based one. But My Love has long hair so needs one that can be used every other day. It's very overwhelming..

So here is a list of recipes I need to make...

Shower gel/stuff
Body Lotion

Non toiletry item...

Washing/Laundry Detergent

I know some of you out there are living with this Sensitivity and have offered us links and advice before about foods...so I call on you again. Any advice would be so welcome..

Thanks for stopping by..~R~

Monday, 20 February 2012

Small steps...

Workroom Play List: Philippa Gregory ~ The Queens Fool Audio Book

Found this during a search..and it seemed to fit.
I am sat at my desk! Yes! Not the chair I've been 'resting' in for weeks. Marvelous. I still feel as dreadful as I did that last time I posted but at least I am sat at my desk this time. lol. We finally got my new workroom/office set up yesterday..well sorted enough that I have a working desk and space to move around. The Sock Stealer is not happy with this new arrangement having gotten used to snuggling up with me all day. lol. So everytime I move I find that he is wrapped around my feet! Would be so cute if it wasn't annoying! lol.

I am still on rest but at least I can do a little at my computer in the mornings until something is sorted out. I rather like my new room and when it's finished properly I know I will get so much done in here. I am surrounded by all of my favourite things..and it's a room that is shut away from the rest of the house..as opposed to my last workroom which was a walk through room to the kitchen. Which I admit was handy for when I was cooking etc but even now the kitchen is only a room away so it's no big deal. I found the old workroom functional but it was annoying not having the privacy I needed. This fits better and as My Love reminds me when I get a pang of guilt for taking this room for my work room.."It's our house..we use what rooms we wish for what we want..nobody elses business!"...OK..so that's that. lol.

So that is my first small step for this week..my next is hopefully hearing from my Doc to find out what the next move is going to be. My op is looking like it will happen in April now! My urgent op...that is. *groan* But I shall try and stay chipper and hopeful. From somewhere I hope to find the energy to get myself back in the kitchen. I am seriously having withdrawals now...I am dreaming that I am cooking...used to be running...now it's cooking. lol. Both I would like to be able to do again...

Oh well...I feel the need for another cup of Nettle & Peppermint Tea...it's shocking how exciting my life is right now! lol. I have been using my rest time to get plenty of new recipe ideas down on paper..so recipe based RocketandRoses will be back soon.

Thanks again for stopping by...~R~

Friday, 17 February 2012


Resting Play List: Brandi Carlile ~ The Story Album

Image found through a Google Search..not my own creation folks ~R~
I feel like I am having one of those lives days that makes you just want to retreat from the world..wave the white flag at it and say I give up. I feel dreadful..temporary interim meds are leaving me with no energy and my spark has died..My Love tried to get some help this morning for the 'Salicylate' hell and got nowhere...My Mum was at the hospital having further tests and a biopsy after a routine breast screening...and when we got up this morning the heating had stopped working..a boiler that was a month over it's warranty..of course! I haven't been in my kitchen for nearly 2 months.

I am worn out mentally and physically..worried sick about people I love...frustrated I can't move on from where I am. Today is a very bad day....so I do what I have done for what feels like..forever now..I get myself as comfortable as I can, play some music that helps to keep me sane and I fill my time doing activities I can do from my chair...research for my writing (which has dried up!!) reading, Pinteresting (I have way too many boards there now!) and plan...and make my infamous lists.

I sit and I wonder when things are going to turn around for me? When is the good news going to start coming in? And amongst the sheer fear I have felt this week waiting to find out if my lovely Mum was going to face another battle with cancer..it's been too easy to lose sight of the reality around me.
Trying to remain strong for everyone else whilst I'm struggling to remain strong for myself is a hard battle. One I felt I was losing up until an hour ago....

What changed? I received a call from my Mum to say that everything is OK..that it was a large cyst that collapsed as they were doing the biopsy...Grossly Fantastic news for sure. Then My Love came downstairs to tell me that the boiler was sorted and the heating was back on! I sat alone for a while and tried to calm my mind and let these two very different pieces of good news sink in and slowly I started to see the bigger picture again...Yes My Love is finding the Salicylate Sensitivity a nightmare and the GP couldn't help this morning but we do have a Consultants appt very soon. I feel dreadful now but these drugs are only temporary until I start the next 'new super drug' and then I should start to feel much better very quickly. And then my thoughts filtered through to my dear pal, who has recently undergone a mastectomy and who contacted me last night to share with me that all the tumour was taken and no further treatment was necessary...I was so happy for her I cried. And a relatively new online friend who broke her elbow, was back blogging again and seems to be on the mend too! I had forgotten how much it had made me smile to read her blogs yesterday...

Allowing myself the time to think...I found so much good in all this bad that seems to be surrounding me lately. I felt myself feel a little stronger again. At least strong enough to fight through today...and as ever I am hopeful for tomorrow. And thanks to My Love I am not shivering anymore lol.

Once again I want to say thank you to those of you that are still popping by every day to my blog and as soon as I can I will be back with the regular content.

Hope you are going to have or are having a fantastic weekend?


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

DIY Valentines Day...

Valentines Play List: Harry Connick Jr ~ It Had To Be You
Image found via MagTrend.com
I hope this day of love is finding you all well? I'm still chair bound..pain is winning the big prizes this week. But at least I'm not typing this from a hospital bed..silver lining and all that. lol This year Valentines Day isn't as big a deal as it usually is, as we are both exhausted and feeling grim. My Love's Salicylate Sensitivity is kicking some serious ass of late and that coupled with long work hours are taking their toll.

So going out and kicking up our heels is not going to happen but we still wanted to celebrate..funds are also low this year so we agreed to make our own cards. And to be honest it was fun. When we exchanged cards this morning we were both grinning like fools. The lovely cards are sat on the mantelpiece and every time I look over at them..they are making me smile. We never buy gifts but this year I recycled a little polished stone heart that I bought a number of years ago and gave that to My Love to keep in a pocket..and when things get hard during the day..it can be held etc etc...Ahem..OK enough of the mushy stuff! lol You know what I mean eh? lol

Would I like to be whisking My Love away for a few days in France? Sure. Would I like to be in my kitchen at this moment creating and cooking a lovely meal for us both? Most definitely! (insert screaming in my head here...lol) Would I like to be feeling well so that it takes some of the worry off of My Love's shoulders? Absolutely! But none of these things are going to happen today....sadly.

But what has and will happen is the same as every other day...the knowledge that we are committed to each other...that my heart still skips a beat when I think about My Love...that we don't want to be apart...and that we love each other deeply. And our homemade cards say all of this and very much more..without the bells and whistles and expense of the commercial Valentines Day...and you may groan at will after I say this...for me every day is Valentines Day...

Keep it simple guys...love is love...but mostly I hope you all enjoy whatever it is you are doing...

And if you are single may your day be blessed with happy moments.


Saturday, 11 February 2012

L's 'Rose' 1st Birthday Cake...

Hello folks...I'm very shortly going to be back blogging and I thank you for all your support and well wishes. It's been a pretty miserable couple of weeks but I think I am finally making some sense of it all and making peace with it. I still have many hospital visits to go and an operation on the horizon but I have to get well enough to have the op first! But that's a story for another day....

Last weekend was my littlest niece's 1st birthday and it was our honour to make her birthday cake. I say 'our' but I had no part in it except a few words of advice every now and then lol. The hard work was all My Love's and our other niece Noo (L's big sister who needed to help make L's and Mummy's birthday cakes..lol) and I take no credit for any of the wonderful cakes that were made.

Littlest L's 'Roses' 1st Birthday Cake
It was also my sisters birthday so My Love made her her usual choice of cake..chocolate..chocolate..with some more chocolate and filled with fresh raspberries and strawberries. My sister was very pleased with her cake but dismayed when she realised she would have to share it! lol.

The cake was four layers of vanilla sponge and E-Man's Vanilla Sponge recipe was used as usual. They were sandwiched together with raspberry jam and a vegan fondant icing covered them...My Love almost broke a thumb when starting to knead in the pink colouring...and ended sat in the warm lounge with the bowl..patiently kneading until the colour was uniform. Not saying that our kitchen is an ice box or anything! ;o) But the icing was then placed over and smoothed out. A large number one in the fondant icing was the next order of the day and that was eased onto the top of the cake.

Pixie's handmade Roses..lol..Placed by My Love and Noo..lol
Noo very expertly applied the 'Pixie Sugar Crystals' next and then helped My Love place the beautiful roses and rose buds onto of the No 1. Pixies make excellent roses..don't ya know! lol. Noo carried them so carefully..it was really too cute. When they had finished decorating they both looked over at me..waiting for my approval..and I was teary with how beautiful the results were...and maybe it was the painkillers making me soppy too?! lol. Ahem...

A very proud Noo with the cake..lol
My sister and her partner loved the cake and it was enjoyed by all. So Happy Belated Blog Birthday little L...and just in case any of you were wondering why roses?...It's L's middle name and it just seemed to fit for her first cake.

Be back soon..thanks for hanging in there...Hope you are all having a great weekend?


Friday, 3 February 2012

Well..didn't see that coming...

Hello folks....the mood around the Rocket and Roses Kitchen this morning can easily be summed up by the following....

...we are two people walking around our home in stunned silence. Yesterday I was at the hospital..going for pre-op testing..I thought! Only to be confronted by a whole new set of concerns. Bad concerns...very bad. I really aren't ready to lay them out for general knowledge as My Love and I need time to let it sink in for ourselves and accept the rough road a head.

So I ask you to give me the weekend to do the work that I need to do...to accept this new development in my health and find my inner warrior once more to start a new fight.

My commitment to starting a Macrobiotic eating style is still strong and I am hoping to get that started over the weekend. So there will be recipe postings coming soon..I promise.

Once again...a huge THANK YOU for sticking with me and stopping by each day. I just need a little more time to go from WTF? to TTFA (Time to Fight Again)...

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend...I'll be back soon...


Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Rocket and Roses Wholemeal Pasta & Broccoli in a Roasted Cauliflower Sauce

Kitchen Play List: Richie Sambora ~ Stranger in this Town Album

NB: This blog posting was from last year when My Love brought home an abundance of cauliflowers..lol. This is the last archived unposted blog. I haven't got any photos because we ate it before I realised I hadn't taken any...but picture this..a steaming hot mound of wholemeal pasta...smooth creamy sauce drizzled over and fresh bright green florets of Broccoli..then stirring it to combine...lol. Did that help? Ah well...I hope you give this a try...back Friday...~R~

Back in my vegetarian days I used to love a Four Cheese Sauce with wholemeal pasta and lots of fresh bright green broccoli florets. A very simple meal and I used to have it at least once a month. Since becoming a vegan I have finally lost my craving for dairy cheese..it wasn't easy! lol. I've come to accept that dairy products make me ill and on a conscious level I just don't want to eat animal products and my body responds better to plant based eating. I am at a point now where I smell cooked cheese (at other peoples homes or out and about..) and my senses are knocked over by the fatty smell and if I see a dish with cooked dairy cheese on the top my eyes focus on the fat globs and I feel nauseous. Strange isn't how your tastes can change so drastically? But I have to say I am relieved that that particular craving is now a thing of the past. The other dish was Cheese, Onion & Potato Layer which I have now lost the craving for as I have discovered Scalloped Herbed Potatoes instead and it's nicer by far than the old dairy dish I was obsessed with. Cravings are..a bitch pain, eh? 

When I was presented with 8 cauliflowers by My Love I came up with 3 new Rocket and Roses recipes and this is one of them. I'd roasted some of the cauliflower and the idea of a pate was the first idea that came into my head, closely followed by the sauce one, whilst I was scribbling down the first! lol. 

Oh so many cauliflowers..lol..But I still didn't tire of them..lol
At first I had the idea of grating some soya cheeze into the sauce to give it that extra cheese hit...but taking a moment of tea drinking and thinking about it I realised I didn't want that. To give it a little edge I used some Nooch instead. I started off the sauce by rinsing and draining some tinned soya beans...not fresh green Edamame but the beige little beans...Haricot beans would work well in their place.

I thought about steaming off a variety of veggies and cooking some pasta and making a 'bake' with it and I probably will do that with the next batch I make..if only to see if it stands up to the baking. But this time I wanted to keep it simple and that is when the Four Cheese Sauce, spaghetti and broccoli came to mind. I'm not trying to replicate the cheese sauce but I just wanted to use some of the elements from the whole dish. 

The results were a rich and creamy sauce and with the wholemeal pasta and broccoli it was a delight to eat. I will definitely be making this again...Don't ya love it when a recipe comes together? lol

Rocket and Roses Wholemeal Pasta & Broccoli with 
Roasted Cauliflower Sauce
(Original recipe from the Rocket and Roses Vegan Kitchen)

10oz roasted cauliflower, chopped
1 14oz carton of soya beans, rinsed very well and drained
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
8fl oz filtered water
salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

Wholemeal pasta, cooked 
Broccoli florets, steamed

Place the soya beans into a food processor and pulse until they are pulpy and broken down. Then add in the cauliflower, garlic, Nooch and season with salt and pepper. Process until smooth and well combined. Then keeping the motor running drizzle in water until you reach your desired consitency. Then pour into a pan and over a gentle heat, warm the sauce through and to cook the garlic. Stir constantly to avoid the sauce catching. 

Place the pasta into serving bowls and pour over some sauce and then add the broccoli. Toss together with two forks..and enjoy! 

NB: This would work well with any gluten free pasta and also raw courgette spaghetti. I was just craving wholemeal pasta that day!