Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Happy thought for a dismal day...

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Soundgarden ~ King Animal Album


It's been a rollarcoaster weekend and start, to this week. ML has been seriously struggling with the health and to be honest my pain levels have been breathtakingly high. This all has an effect on the life you live. Our life right now is one that we have to take hour by hour with the illnesses we have. Long term plans for our big life change seem to be pushed to the background and feel like they will never happen now. People have let us down....we've enabled them. Whinge whinge whinge. lol How easy is it to do that? Get really bogged down with all the blackness engulfing your life. Before you know it a year has nearly passed and you are still in the same bleak spot.

During one of my many sleepless moments of the night...I tried to break through this thought process..and try to build a list of things that I have surrounding me that I am blessed to have. Not as easy as you think when your mind is exhausted with meds, illness and worry. But I did manage a few things...

Firstly the relationships I have in my life. I am not alone. ML is my constant companion and my best friend. My family...not all of them..because some of them are just plain swines but the ones I do respect and love...I cherish them. And my friends...who are closer to me than family...

I was reminded this weekend how strong the bonds of some friendships become without realising. A good friend came to visit this weekend and brought a weeks worth of freshly cooked meals for me to enjoy. I was staggered and deeply touched by this act of kindness and thoughtfulness. You know who you are...and I'll leave it at that. You are cherished.

A relatively new friendship..well..8 months old..has been particularly close to my heart this weekend. He has been on mind and in my heart as his life was almost turned upside down by the flooding in Brisbane. Thankfully for his family the only casualty was his new iPhone..and I paid my respects to him for his loss. lol. But his friendship has become very important to me. We talk everyday...and he keeps me sane. When the illness and pain is at it's worst..he is there. When I'm feeling ok..he's there to share a movie or just to share music. I make no apologies for how much time we spend together because his friendship is as cherished as the other friendships I have formed over the last ten years.

They say you don't make good friends after a certain age...hockum I say. Complete nonsense. The friendships I've made in the last ten years are the deepest rooted and respected friendships I've had. I am truly blessed with every single one of them.

I also have a roof over my head...albeit a Swiss cheese style one that requires buckets when it rains. I  have food in the cupboards even though I can't actually cook with it right now. I have Ruby (laptop) to give me a link to the outside world..and my iPod. I have books to read...

So I have a lot more than a lot of other people...even if I forget sometimes. OK my body is almost useless but my mind is holding it together..just. lol. Some would debate this fact.

Then this morning I found this quote via Pinterest...and it made me smile...and seemed to gel with the thoughts I'd had during the night. OK things aren't that great right now...but I have to believe that there are still good times to come...a life to be lived...I have to believe this.

OK thanks for reading the ramblings of a woman on the edge...lol. I hope your week has started well and you are blessed too?

~R~

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Brunch: Guest Host Trustworthy's Breakfast With Bite (Tofu Scramble)

Trustworthy's Kitchen Play List:

Jimmy Somerville - Small Town Boy
Steven Wilson - Belle du Jour
Def Leppard - Animal
Aerosmith - Line Up
Kenny Wayne Shepherd - Strut
Led Zep - Achilles Last Stand
Gary Moore - Empty Rooms
FNM _ A Small Victory
Tina Dico - Magic (acoustic)
Miranda Sex Garden - The Wooden Boat
Muse - Plug in Baby
Sensible Pets - Mobius
Flo - What The Water Gave Me
PJ Harvey - We Float

 

Hey peeps :)

Red has kindly asked me back again and I am very happy to be returning.

 
I would love to make some wonderful excuses for my prolonged absence...like a trek to Everest base camp, a philanthropical tour of the Middle East, or time spent building bikes for the homeless kids of Vancouver...but unfortunately no, I simply have been a lazy tart! lol. And I offer a tip of the hat and a warm hug and handshake to any of you that do any of those awesome things :)

 
I have, for the last fifteen years, had some ongoing, sporadic but chronic stomach ailments that have evidently stumped the doctors I've seen. Tests have been inconclusive (yada yada), but one of the results is I have been, for the last couple of years, trying to lead a gluten-, or at the very least wheat-free lifestyle. Until a couple of weeks ago where I said "You know what? I can't pinpoint anything that is actually causing me the affliction." and took an executive decision to start eating bread again. Crusty, soft, delicious bread. In fact the whiter and crustier the better, it seems, as it's the browner, healthier, wholegrain-ier stuff that appears more likely to set me off. And that first sensuous bite into the brittle surface of a tiger-tail loaf (aka french stick with marmite rubbed on the crust) was drool-makingly naughty.

I've now started - not every day, but some - having a scramble on toast of a morning. And this latest combination is rapidly becoming a favourite of mine.

I did my usual morning sweep of the fridge...withering mangoes...check....shrinking tomatoes...check...left-too-long-before-freezing leafies...check...oooh, a sweet potato, some kale, an OK tomato, a green capsicum, and some tofu that's just about alright! Excellent!





Trsutworthy's Breakfast with Bite

I peeled and chopped up the sweet tattie and blanched it for a few minutes in boiling water (to a still firm texture when poked with a fork), whilst caramelising some onions with the tomato in a wok, and slicing and seeding the capsicum (pepper to my Northern Hemispherers). Dice the tofu into bite-size bits and turn up the heat on the wok. Throw it in along with the drained sweet potato. Get the tofu and taters seared on a couple of sides, put two slices of ciabatta in your toaster, then throw in the capsicums. Shake for a minute or so until they start to glow a bright green, then tear up a large leaf of curly kale and throw that in too. While that's wondering what hit it, pour on some hot piri-piri sauce (I happened to have some Nando's bottled stuff...yes this particular one is vegan) and let it sizzle while you spread your favourite vegan marg on your just popped-up toast - an olive one works particularly well (I use nuttelex brand, all varieties). Then scrape the lot over your toast and enjoy with a fresh, strong cup of breakfast tea.

The zingy hit of the piri-piri will wake you better than any espresso, and you'll have a ton of energy from the endorphins released :) Make one of my famous (in this house. to me. hehe.) smoothies to go out the door with and you'll be right until at least lunch time.

Till soon,

love, etc.

T xx

Friday, 25 January 2013

Moments of the Week...

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Frank Sinatra ~ All This & Heaven Too
Evanescence ~ Lithium
The O.T Quartet ~ Hold This Sucker Down
Zac Brown Band ~ Where The Boat Leaves From
Thunder ~ Welcome To The Party
Adele ~ Best For Last
The Zutons ~ The Railroad
Christoph Von Dohnan ~ Mozart Jupiter
Meredith Brooks ~ Back To Eden
A Perfect Circle ~ Crimes
Bruce Springsteen ~ The River
UB40 ~ Guilty
Halestorm ~ I'm Not An Angel
UB40 ~ Cherry Oh Baby

Happy Friday one and all! I haven't done one of these posts for a while and as I didn't have a foodie post to write for today, I thought why not do a mash up of things? lol. So I hope it entertains you for a little while. Would be happy to hear what your 'moments' would be...

Thought of the Week


OK...I know it's a little sappy but regardless, it is very true. And I have experienced this a few times this week.

Yum of the Week

Photo courtesy of Trustworthy
This is guest blogger Trustworthy's Boost with Bite scramble. He served this tofu scramble over ciabatta bread this week for his breakfast and sent me a photo. I have been enjoying tofu fritattas for breakfast this week and it was nice to see the lovely man was enjoying a tofu yum fest too! Hopefully he will be writing a post about it very soon...

Movie of the Week


Trustworthy and I usually meet up on a Saturday afternoon and have an international movie moment. lol. This week we had a midweek moment and I finally watched As Good As It Gets. And Trustworthy was right about this movie. It had great acting..many laugh out loud moments and a great story.

Happy Moment of the Week


Regular readers of my little blog will be aware that ML spends a portion of working life travelling around Europe. This week ML has been in Brussels, Belgium and not been well either, with the Salicylate and Nickel condition. So my happy moment was when a very sadly ravaged ML walked in the door and promptly fell asleep on the bed.

Smiles of the Week


There once was a girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. And when she was good, she was very, very good. But when she was bad..she was horrid. No wait!!! That's another story! lol. Ooops.

OK so there was once a baby girl born in a maternity ward that was filled with baby boys. She was this little bundle of curly blonde hair, little pink lips and cute as a button. But she had parents who could not decide upon her name..so the enamoured nurses and midwives started calling her Cherub until her actual name was decided. Yep, that bundle was indeed me...and although my parents did give me an actual name..my Mum called me Cherub for many years after. So I've always had this tie to the little Cherub..especially Cheeky Cherubs...and when i saw this Bert and Ernie style Cherubs..it made me smile so much.

Tune of the Week



I was sat chatting with a mate this week when this tune played on my iPod. Music is very emotive for me. And as the first few bars started to play I was taken back to a moment in my past when a good friend had sent me this tune. I won't share the whys or what for's..but the tune has been playing in my head ever since. And it's a very bittersweet feeling. Do you ever get tunes like that?

Truthful Moment of the Week


Right..bummer, eh? But it doesn't make it any less true for me and no doubt many other thousands of people who are dealing with chronic long term illness every day of their lives. This week has been quite a bad one and on one day this week this quote summed up my feelings eloquently. Thankfully these lows do pass...but at the time...you really doubt it. This is my truth...

TV Moment of the Week



How happy was I when The Killing Season 2 came through the post box this week. I am very addicted to this Danish drama. The acting and story lines are first class. And I confess I am desperate to learn Danish now because I love the sound of it. I have learnt Thank you...but that's it so far. I know some people run screaming from anything subtitled but not me...I love it.

Art of the Week

'Windswept' Artist unknown.
I found this piece during a visit to Pinterest. I cannot find the artist responsible for this beautiful creation but I wish I could because I have a feeling I would love their other works too. I love the use of the colours and graceful lines. I am enchanted with this piece. And if you recognise this and know who the artist is..please drop me a line so I can give credit where it's due.

Live Music Memory of the Week

Thunder ~ Until My Dying Day
I could fill a Tumbler with images of the memories I have attached to this gig..this band..and this song. For me..it's rock heaven.

Reclaimed Happiness of the Week



When you are on enforced rest..and very bad at it...you find yourself easily going stir crazy..and suffering from bitch cabin fever. So I spend a lot of time listening to music, watching music, watching movies, TV shows and reading. Yesterday afternoon whilst cruising my iPod I found that I had 30 Pod cast plays to listen too. Something I used to do whilst cooking....and so got comfy and started to listen to one. And I had forgotten how much it relaxed me. I won't forget again...lol. Sad how something that makes you so happy can just be forgotten..

And finally...yes...you're right...it's the tattoo moment..lol

Tattoo of the Week



Not for everyone...but I loved the placement, the black and grey mix and the beauty of the design.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Friday is an awesome one and sets your weekend up well for you..

~R~

NB: All images and links were found online and I take no credit at all for their creation but send out thanks to all those that did. Thanks ~R~

 
 

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Kale, Butter Bean and Sausage Stew (vegan/gf)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

The Rolling Stones ~ You Can't Always Get What You Want
Robert Downey Jr ~ Broken
Foo Fighters ~ Cold Day In The Sun
LeAnn Rimes ~ But I Do Love You
Shelby Lynne ~ Willie and Laura Mae Jones
Nelly & Tim McGraw ~ Over and Over
Xtina ~ Impossible
Depeche Mode ~ It's No Good
Sheryl Crow ~ Long Gone Lonesome Blues
Andrea Bocelli ~ Amazing Grace
Brandi Carlile ~ A Promise To Keep
Ce Ce Peniston ~ Finally
Frank Sinatra ~ Night and Day
Fiona Apple ~ I Know

Do you like smoked products? Me?...I'm not sure. When veggie I never enjoyed smoked cheeses and as a vegan I really don't like the smoked vegan cheeze offerings. I don't mind a smoked nut..in particular smoked almonds...Yum. lol. I also don't mind smoked tofu and one of my favourite pattie recipe calls for smoked tofu..and its the hint of smokiness that really make them come alive. (OK just so you know...I realise how weird that sounded for a vegan to write...anyway...lol) I don't even mind a smoked condiment or two.

Now paprika...where are you on the smoked paprika taste? Personally I find a little goes a heck of a long way. When I'm in the kitchen and trying out someone else's recipe...I usually halve the amount suggested..and then add more, a pinch at a time (yes I do have a pinch measure..lol check out product review page) until it's at a point where I am happy.

This little bit of information I forgot to pass along to ML when cooking this stew. Oh dear... So when I took my first bite of my steamed side veggies and I was knocked back in my chair by the smoked paprika..well..let's just say I'll never forget again. lol. And I hadn't even tried the actual stew...but knew it was going to be a challenge for me. However, disregarding the 'holy whoa smoked paprika' moment..I enjoyed this stew a great deal. I loved the mix of kale, butter beans and vegan/gf sausage. Next time I shall reduce the smoked paprika by half...but that is just my personal preference.

Kale, Butter Bean & Sausage Stew ~ vegan/gluten free
Kale, Butter Bean and Sausage Stew Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
50g vegan/gf sausage (or one from linked recipe)
2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 400g chopped tomatoes
pinch of sugar
2 x 420g tins of butter beans, rinsed and drained
100g fresh kale, chopped

In a small skillet brown the sausage pieces on both sides and then set to one side.

Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the onions and garlic, saute for 10 minutes until golden. Add the paprika, cumin, vinegar, tomatoes and the pinch of sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile blanch the kale in boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain, rinse in cold water and add to the stew with the butter beans. Cook through for another 5 minutes and then add the sausage...heat through until the sausage is heated thoroughly but not mush!

Serve and enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Thursday is a great one...and hey..it's nearly Friday!

~R~



Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Mixed Veggies with Cashews

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Luke Morley ~ El Gringo Retro Album

Now I like a good stir fry. I couldn't eat them everyday, much to Trustworthy's shock and horror. But I do enjoy them as long as the ingredients are fresh and the flavourings are perfect. Not fussy am I? lol So when in one of our local frozen food stores lately and I was busy cruising the veggies aisle...I found a packet of 'oriental stir fry' mix. It claimed to make a stir fry that was fresher than a fresh one. Hmmmmmm...it was 75p so we decided to buy one to try.

I had also found a recipe in my local supermarket magazine for Mixed Veggies with Cashews that I wanted to try out. So it seemed it was meant to be. So ML set too, throwing things into a wok for me. We added some kale strips and some cabbage strips to the frozen mix as I'm an addict for leaves in stir fries.

I had mine with brown rice and I have to say with exception to the baby mangetout (not the biggest fan be they baby or adult touts! lol) in the mix I absolutely loved this stir fry. I enjoyed the many veggies in all the differing textures and flavours and I especially love the wholesome toasted cashew nuts as I crunched through them. I was very happy.

I would happily have this frozen mix again and will pick up a couple of packets to go into the freezer for those...last minute meals..nights. I don't mind picking out the mangetout...I miss being able to toss them over to ML to munch on. They come under the title 'death food' now. I have to say though I would drastically decrease the amount of oil used as I found it just too oily...I would cut the amount instructed easily by half...if not more. But that is purely my personal preference.

NB: Have to say we are having dark old days here in England so getting good light to take photos has been challenging so please forgive the quality of the photos? Thanks ~R~

Mixed Veggies with Cashews


Mixed Veggies with Cashews Serves 4
1 pkt of frozen stir fry mix;
bean sprouts, baby corn, baby mangetout, onion, carrot,
water chestnuts, bamboo shoots
2 leaves of Kale, shredded
2 leaves of white cabbage, shredded
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 knob of ginger, finely sliced

100g cashew nuts
2 tbsp veggie oil

1 tsp sugar
1 tsp light soy sauce/tamari
1 tsp dry sherry
5 tbsp veggie stock
1 tsp cornflour mixed with 1 tsp water
dash of sesame oil, to taste

Heat a wok over a high heat...and then add 1 tbsp of the oil to it, lower the heat and add the cashews and toast for 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the wok and stir fry the garlic and ginger for 1 minute.

Add the veggies and stir fry for 3-8 minutes depending on personal preference (Crunch factor! lol)

Add the sugar, soy, sherry and stock, stir in the cornflour mixture and simmer for 1 minute to thicken. Return the cashews to the wok, and season to taste with the sesame oil. Transfer to a serving dish and serve.

Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by...

~R~

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Brunch: New Potato Hash, GF/Vegan Sausages and Plum Tomatoes

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Lydia Loveless ~ Indestructible Machine Album

Sunday Brunch...I love them..as regular readers will know. And today was no exception as ML got up and created a plate of savoury yumminess. I had recently found a GF and Vegan sausage recipe and was desperate to try it. So yesterday evening ML made a batch and to say they were a success is a slight understatement. And having been a fan of Vegan Brunches vegan sausages made with wheat flour as opposed to vital gluten...I was distraught at the thought of not having them again. But I have to say...I think I like these even better..lol.

To go with the sausages we decided to use some new potatoes we had in the stocks and make an adapted Hash from the very excellent Vegan Brunch cookbook. And as an accompaniment we kept it simple and heated some plum tomatoes. And I have to say it was freaking delicious....lol

Delightful Savoury Brunch ~ GF/Vegan Sausages, New Potato Hash
and Plum Tomatoes.
GF/Vegan Sausages Makes 7 4-5" sausages
(Recipe from Crabby Crafter)

1 400g tin Aducki Beans, mashed
1 cup rice flour
3tbsp buckwheat flour
1/4 cup cooked millet
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
1-2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp ground fennel seeds
1 tsp sage
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
a pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tbsp prepared mustard
salt & pepper to taste

In a large bowl add the mashed beans, herbs and spices, onions and garlic and stir to combine. Then add the remaining ingredients and mix until you have a dough. You want a wet dough (rather than a runny or stiff dough) Go for the wettest you can without it sticking to the side of the bowl.

Divide your dough, roll it into links or sausage shapes..lol. They don't have to be perfect. Wrap in foil and twist and wrap the ends like a christmas cracker. And steam for 40 minutes. Leave to cool and use as desired.

GF/Vegan Sausage post steaming...
I have used one in this brunch today and I am testing another in a recipe tonight with some kale and beans.

We simply sliced one and browned it off in a skillet
for the brunch
We have plans to try out many different flavours in the future...I shall keep you updated.


New Potato Hash Serves 6
(Adapted recipe from Vegan Brunch/Moskowitz)

New Potato Hash...lots of leftovers..lol
2 tbsp olive oil
1lb new potatoes, small diced
1 med onion, diced
1/2 tsp salt
fresh black pepper
1 tsp liquid animos

Pre-heat a large ovenproof dish (we used a Le Creuset) or skillet over a medium heat. Cover and heat and then add the oil, potatoes and cooked, covered for 15 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

Add the onions and cook for another 15 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 350'F/180'C/Gas Mark 4

Add salt, pepper and liquid animos and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings if you need to. Place in the oven and cook for 10 - 20 minutes, uncovered or until the potatoes are very tender. Keep a close eye on it...you don't want charcoal hash!..lol

So to assemble...brown the sausage in a skillet and heat the plum tomatoes...then serve...and enjoy!

Gratuitous close up shot....Yum!

 
Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Sunday is being very good to you....

~R~




Saturday, 19 January 2013

Artwork: Katie M Berggren ~ Mother & Child

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Martina McBride ~ Be That Way
Keith Urban ~ Better Life
Booty Luv ~ Some Kinda Rush
Alannah Myles ~ Who Loves You
Bat For Lashes ~ Oh Yeah
Melissa Etheridge ~ If I Wanted To
Fairground Attraction ~ Walking After Midnight
Aerosmith ~ Crazy
Beth Hart ~ Is That Too Much To Ask
Prince ~ I Wanna Be Your Lover
Shakira ~ Don't Bother
Anastacia ~ I'm Outta Love
Sam Cooke ~ Chains of Love
Stiltskin ~ Inside

Yes! It's the weekend. To be honest that doesn't make much difference for my days...except I have ML home, get to see much loved family and spend time with beloved friends. This weekend is no exception...so as much as I have enjoyed bringing you the foodie posts this week I'll be busy with ML, my sister and the little ones today. lol.

This week I stumbled upon a new artist...well new to me anyway...Kate M Berggren's paintings based on Mother & Child are just delightful. I love her use of colour and the simple dreamlike feel to each piece. And now I want to share her work with you....

Katie M Berggren's ~ Whimsical
I feel quite an emotional reaction to this piece....

Katie M Berggren's ~ Thankful Joy
It's rare to find a piece that a mother is holding twins..and to me this piece is perfect.

Katie M Berggren's ~ Elemental
OK now this piece I find captivating on many levels...I can't help but see this as Princess Leia

Katie M Berggren's ~ A Little Garden
I love the idea of a baby being carried like this....that connection...

Katie M Berggren's ~ Time In
This piece reminds me of a precious moment in time when I was sat watching my sister with her two daughters. They were in their own little world....and it was a sight to behold.

Katie M Berggren's ~ Mother with Mermaid Children
(Not wholly certain that is the correct title of
this piece...happy to be corrected.)
Having a lifetime admiration for the fantasy figure that is the mermaid...I fell big time for this piece.

Katie M Berggren's ~ Undiluted
When I look at this piece...I see a mother and child sat behind a waterfall. Taking a moment of calming time together...soothed by the rush of the water.

Katie M Berggren's ~ Dancing Naked
Unconditional love...that bond...between mother...fathers too...and their children. Precious.

Many thanks going out to Katie for her beautiful creative artwork...a pure delight.  And I hope you enjoyed it too...

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Saturday is a fantastic be it busy or quiet...

~R~

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Kale Pesto Tofu Scramble

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Richie Kotzen ~ Fooled Again
Rod Stewart ~ Making Whoopee
The Puppini Sisters ~ Jilted
Melissa Etheridge ~ Heal Me
Colbie Caillat ~ Feelings Show
Miranda Sex Garden ~ Open Eyes
Meredith Brooks ~ Lay Down
Beverley Knight ~ Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda
Bruce Springsteen ~ All The Way Home
Hot Chocolate ~ You Sexy Thing
Shakira ~ Fool
Enrique Iglesias ~ Not In Love
Fun Lovin' Criminals ~ Swashbucklin' In Brooklyn
Katy Perry ~ Lost

This is a follow up to the delicious Kale Pesto recipe I blogged about from Tuesday. For the recipe simply click here. This recipe made about 1 cup of pesto and half was used in the pasta but that left 1/2 cup spare. And although this pesto freezes well and doesn't lose any flavour when used after....I wanted to find another way of using it. It was..that good. lol.

So...I thought about it...and then some. lol. I have a freezer draw filled with packets of tofu..so that gave me my starting point. Tofu scramble is one of my favourite ways of eating tofu so the recipe came together pretty quickly after making that decision. And once again it was the hard work of ML who cooked to my instructions...thank you!

I decided to keep the other ingredients really simple as the pesto has such a glorious flavour. It really was a 'what we had in the kitchen' decision in the end..and I wasn't disappointed.  Keeping this recipe simple was the key...with the scrambled tofu and leftover pesto...we added grated carrots, banana shallots (you could use onions), garlic and brussel sprouts. Yes...brussel sprouts. lol. They were so tasty. ML served mine with two slices of GF toast...and I was a very happy vegan. lol.


Cooking away nicely in the skillet...Kale Pesto Tofu Scramble.
(ML took a quick snap as it cooked...it won't win any awards
but it showed the main attraction)
Kale Pesto Tofu Scramble serves 2-4
(Recipe from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)

1/2 cup of Kale Pesto
1 300g pkt of tofu, frozen, defrosted, squeezed and crumbled
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 banana shallots, diced
1 large carrot, grated
6 large brussel sprouts, trimmed and quartered
2 cloves of garlic, minced

In a med-lg skillet heat the oil and toss in the shallots, carrot, sprouts and saute until softened. Approx 5-7 minutes.

Add the garlic and stir to combine and cook for a further minute.

Add the tofu and mix well to combine and cook for ten minutes...stirring occasionally. Scrape the bottom of the skillet with each stir to get all the browned pieces included in the mix.

Add the pesto and stir into the tofu scramble. Once evenly distributed leave the tofu and pesto to heat through. Serve with toast...

Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your week is going well?

~R~

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Wordless Wednesday: The Hand Holds The Message...

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Audioslave ~ Getaway Car
Terra Naomi ~ New Song
Madonna ~ Waiting
Shania Twain ~ If You Wanna Touch Her..Ask!
Sarah McLachlan ~ Touch
John Lennon ~ Jealous Guy
Brandi Carlile ~ Dying Day
Madonna ~ Inside of Me
Fleetwood Mac ~ Family Man
Xtina ~ Candyman
Dianna Krall ~ Love Letters
Prince ~ Let's Go Crazy
Beth Hart ~ I Felt Him Cry
Rufus Wainwright ~ Complainte De La Butte

Artist unknown. Image found online.
 
Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Wednesday is a great one...

~R~

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Kale Pesto Spaghetti

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Panjabi MC ~ The Album CD

Some of the most satisfying and soothing meals are very simple ones. I am loving trying all the many varieties of kale on offer to me now and therefore looking for many different ways to enjoy it. And when I found this recipe for pesto, I had one of those..."Why had I not thought of this???" moments. lol. Now once again I cannot give out credit where it's due as it's the work of that brilliant person called Anon. But I am sending thanks out into the recipe creating world to whomever did.

I used regular curly green kale for this pesto...well I say I did...but all the work was ML's. lol. OK...so I 'chose' the green kale to be used in this recipe. And instead of using the whole 1/3 cup of olive oil as suggested...ML only used barely a 1/4 cup. As I have a slight oil phobia...anyway..lol.

For the first use of the pesto I chose to have it stirred into some freshly cooked wholemeal spaghetti and I enjoyed every single mouthful. It wasn't overly garlicky as some pesto can be. It was just a beautiful...comforting...tasty....zen like experience of eating my evening meal. And I will be making this pesto often....and it also freezes well too. So I will be thinking up a second way to enjoy it very soon.

Thanks to ML who is spending time in the kitchen and making me all these delightful fresh dishes until I am well enough to get back in there myself.


The simple things in life..eh?
Kale Pesto

1/2 bunch of kale (4 stalks), stems removed
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 cup of pine nuts
1/3 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Place the kale, pine nuts, garlic and 2 tbsp of the oil into a processor and pulse 10-15 times to break up the nuts and chop the greens abit. Scrape down the sides. Put the processor on high and drizzle the remaining oil into the feed tube until a smooth paste is achieved. Season to taste and place into a container with a tightly fitting lid until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you week has started well?

~R~

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Brunch: Sweet Potato & Broccoli Patties on a Savoy & Sesame Bed.

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Cyndi Lauper ~ You Really Got A Hold On Me
JET ~ Radio Song
The Shirelles ~ Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
Jacqueline Du Pre ~ Sicilienne
Robert Palmer ~ I Didn't Mean To Turn You On
Kid Rock ~ Feel Like Making Love
Queen ~ You're My Best Friend
Josephine Baker ~ Mon Couer Est Un Oiseau Des iles
Colbie Calliat ~ Magic
PCD ~ Sway
James Morrison ~ You Make It Real
Vladimir Ashkenazy ~ Mozart: Piano Concerto #20 in D minor
Jem ~ Keep On Walking
Brandie Carlile ~ Looking Out

Now I love sweet potatoes...and I am seriously addicted to broccoli so when I found this recipe for patties combining the two...well..they simply had to be made and tested. I thought they would be great as a brunch..

I found this recipe online and finally tracked it down to (hopefully) it's original creator..Michelle @ http://vegan.sheknows.com/2012/08/19/broccoli-sweet-potato-cakes/ 
I much prefer being able to give credit to where it's due.

Now if you aren't the biggest fan of the natural sweetness found in sweet potatoes then this recipe isn't going to be good for you...sorry...but please feel free to check out all the other brunch recipes on my blog. 

ML made these for me and the recipe made 15 sm-med patties. And the cooking and assembly of them was easy...but we chose to bake ours instead of pan frying them. Just one of my preferred swaps. And ML baked them for 45 minutes on 200'C/400'F/Gas Mark 6.

I enjoyed mine served over a bed of savoy cabbage dry fried with sesame seeds. The patties are sweet in taste and the texture of the soft potato and the broccoli work well together. They are quite delicate in flavour and I think they worked really well with the savouriness of the sesame cabbage.

It looks like a plateful but it's a small plate lol And it's
a surprisingly light meal.

Sweet Potato & Broccoli Patties on a Savoy & Sesame Bed Makes 15 patties
(Recipe from vegan.sheknows.com)

1lb broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
2lb sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cups of water
1 tbsp fresh thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tbsp olive oil

In a large pot, combine the broccoli, sweet potatoes, onion and water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered for 20 minutes.

Drain mixture and use a potato masher to mash ingredients together. Add thyme and season with salt and pepper. Mash again.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat or preheat the oven to 200'C/400'F/Gas Mark6.

Divide the mixture into 10-15 patties and pan fry them on each side for 6-7 minutes or place on a baking sheet and then bake turning halfway for 45 minutes. Serve.

For the cabbage...simply slice the rinsed cabbage leaves and place into a hot skillet and toss in some sesame seeds and cover...stirring occasionally to make sure they don't stick.

Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are having a great Sunday....

~R~

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Favourite Things: Love, Hate, Crave, Need Choker

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Beth Hart ~ Get Your Shit Together
Nerina Pallot ~ Learning to Breathe
Foo Fighters ~ What Do I Do?
The Rolling Stones ~ Brown Sugar
Michel Legrand ~ Satie: Gymnopedies 1, Lent Le Douleroux
JET ~ Crazy Gun
Depeche Mode ~ Rush
Evanescence ~ Call Me When You're Sober
Evanescence ~ Weight of the World
Tom Jones & Jools Holland ~ Life's Too Short To Be With You
Dixie Chicks ~ Never Say Die
Count Basie ~ April In Paris
P!nk ~ So What
Harry Connick Jr ~ A Wink and a Smile

Happy Weekend folks...now we have been forecast snow this weekend with temps dropping to -14...however I am sat here on freaking bed rest with my blind up on my large bedroom window...window opened and enjoying the lovely spring like sun shining into my room. For as long as it lasts...lol.

So there are some good foodie posts coming your way..thanks to ML for currently cooking up a storm in my kitchen. But today I wanted to share a couple of my lifetime Favourite Things...things that I would be gutted if I lost them.

First up is a pewter choker. Now I have had this little lovely for *counting*...oh blimey...2o years. I was away for the weekend for some serious gigging and my friend and I found this little jewellery shop. It was like rock chick heaven for us and we spent quite some time in there. In one of the corners I found a box labelled Misc...so I started to pick through the pieces. And it was the usual rocker type pendants...and then hidden in the corner I caught sight of the word Crave. This intrigued me so dug down deeper and pulled out a pendant strung on a single black cord. As I examined the pendant I fell in jewellery love and before I could think about it, I was handing over my £1.50...lol. Yep..this is off great monetary value.

The word that did it!..lol
Now this choker has been with me every day for the last 20 years. I love it. The original cord broke or disintegrated a couple of years ago so I had to re-string it and I chose some leatherette and double stringed it. And I still wear it as a choker...it was just meant to be worn that way.

Oooh does this one get me in trouble? lol
It has been said over the years that this necklace is very in tune with me...lol. That it somehow always manages to turn itself around to the word I need at that moment. And when stuck in some conversations with people I wouldn't have chosen to talk to..or have hurt me in the past....this choker is always found to be showing Hate. As in I am hating this moment in time...spooky. And of course there are the people who think I am sending out a negative message with this side of the pendant. They are very welcome to this opinion but they would be wrong...

And of course the flip side of Hate....is Love...
To keep things fair and balanced there is always Love. Really don't need to add anything to this one, eh? Sappy people...lol

Yep..Need is a tricky one
Now of all the emotions on this choker this is the one I find the most challenging. Because the term Needy gives me a serious case of the Hinkeys. So over the years I've come to think of it as positive word. Need for acceptance...Need for understanding...Need for love....Need for tolerance...etc. You can see where I am going with this one...eh?

For me this pendant is simple in design but beautiful in its messages. I was drawn to it the moment my eyes flashed upon it...and I confess if I am lucky to reach 90...I'll still be wearing it then! lol.

So my other selection for Favourite Things today is a ring that I have had probably just as long as this choker.

Silver Ring of Stars
Once again another pricey piece...I bought this from a jewellery stall on my travels. It was one of a kind and the creator seemed really pleased that I loved this ring instantly, as much as he did when he made it. It's silver and divine. I wear it everyday and taking it off to take this photo felt so wrong..lol. But it is one of my Favourite Things and as it was hugely expensive jewellery I thought it fit. Yep I am an expensive date...this one came in at £5. lol.

Well I seemed to have spoken too soon about the weather...the window is now shut and I am sat shivering...Yikes. Maybe the weather forecasters are correct this time...who knew?

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are having the best of weekends folks....

~R~



Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Wordless Wednesdays: The Rules...

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Stevie Ray Vaughan ~ The Essential Album


Wouldn't it be a great world? If...
Thanks for stopping by...and I hope your week is being kind to you all?

~R~

Monday, 7 January 2013

Brunch: Nut Cutlet & Carrot filled Rye Roll with Oven Roasted Vegan Parmesan Courgettes

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Tina Turner ~ Nut Bush City Limits
Mr Buble ~ Heartache Tonight
Aerosmith ~ Crazy
Thunder ~ Future Train
Garage ~ Supervixen
Keith Urban ~ Days Go By
Melissa Etheridge ~ No Souvenirs
Halestorm ~ I Want You
Queen ~ Don't Stop Me Now
Eddi Reader ~ East of Us
Tina Dico ~ No Time To Sleep
Depeche Mode ~ Martyr
Stevie Ray Vaughan ~ Couldn't Stand the Weather
Nickelback ~ Flat On The Floor

Haven't written a Brunch posting for such a long time...and I apologise for that as I know it's one of the most favoured parts of my humble little blog. But I am pleased to report I enjoyed a very nice brunch yesterday. Sadly I can't say it was my creation...for one..I am still off kitchen duties and two ML listened patiently to my wants...and then got up yesterday morning and made them happen. lol. 

I picked up a few freshly baked Rye rolls...and my mind went straight to the brunch place. ML had picked up a packet of Wholefood Frozen Nut Cutlets a couple of weeks ago and suddenly I was seeing these hearty rolls filled with a baked nut cutlet and topped with juicy freshly grated carrots. We also had a couple of courgettes that needed to be used and as my vegan parmesan cheeze had been opened...I thought about oven roasting them with freshly cracked black peppercorns and sprinklings of the cheeze.

And that is exactly what ML did for me...all of which I am extremely grateful for these days..as none of it can be eaten by ML due to severe health issues. Poor thing...

Now this wasn't your light brunch...this would be better on those...ravenous mornings. I do remember those after being out all night dancing or gigging etc. The nut cutlet had that wholesome taste that I have come to love over the years...and with the freshly grated carrot topping it..crammed inside the Rye roll...it was filling, satisfying and delicious. The courgettes were roasted to the point of browned yumminess and where my knife sliced through but still had to work a little. lol. It's just how I prefer my courgettes...obviously you roast them to your preference, eh?

 


Nut Cutlet and Carrot filled Rye Roll with Oven Roasted
Vegan Parmesan Courgettes.
Nut Cutlet and Carrot filled Rye Rolls with Oven Roasted
Vegan Parmesan Courgettes

4 Rye rolls, sliced into halves
4 Nut Cutlets
2 med/lg carrots, peeled and grated

2 lg courgettes, sliced into 1" discs
drizzle of oil of your choice
freshly cracked black pepper
finely grated vegan parmesan cheeze

12 baby vine ripened tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 200'C/400'F/Gas Mark 6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl place the courgette disc's and drizzle with a very small amount of oil. Then grate fresh black peppercorns into the mix. Stir well to combine and then place them onto the lined baking sheet. Finely grate the vegan parmesan cheeze over the top of each one. The amount is very much your choice. I prefer a little taste so ML used very little. Roast for approx 45 minutes or until the desired texture you require.

Bake or pan fry the nut cutlets as per the packet instructions.

Once everything is cooked...assemble placing the cutlet on the base of the roll and topping with a generous serving of grated carrot. And spoon courgettes onto the side.

Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your week gets off to a great start folks...

 ~R~