Sunday, 31 March 2013

Brunch: Isa's Banana Rabanada (Brazilian French Toast)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

The Perfect Circle ~ Blue
Slash's Snakepit ~ What Do You Want To Be
Sade ~ Smooth Operator
David Bowie ~ Changes
Chris Andrews ~ Yesterday Man
Sugababes ~ In The Middle
Sheryl Crow ~ My Favourite Mistake
Joan Jett ~ Watersign
Stevie Ray Vaughan ~ Tin Pan Alley
The Commitments ~ Mustang Sally
Melissa Etheridge ~ I Want To Be In Love
Adele ~ One and Only
Colbie Cailat ~ Bubbly
LL Cool J & J-Lo ~ Control Myself

French Toast...never fancied trying it as I am more of a savoury breakfast person. The years  I've spent watching others devouring it. For one the confusion between the two types of French toast. First the eggy bread version...I have never eaten eggs even as a child and would be very ill if someone tried to make me so this version has always been completely repulsive to me. Then the second kind I have come across...the seemingly sickly sweet..push you into a diabetic coma kind. Again it just didn't appeal to me..I just can't face that much sweetness first thing in the morning..or at brunch. I have happily slaved over my waffle iron for friends at brunches to watch them load them with sweet toppings and then drench them in maple syrup...whilst I sat with a black coffee and tofu omelette. Just don't get it...but it seems to make many people very happy.

Things around here are going to start changing soon..and I am spending a lot of time in my head...thinking about 'stuff'. Dangerous, eh? And I have been thinking along the lines of 'feel the fear and do it anyway'...which I know this particular mantra has been done to death...but it's one I believe in. So my thoughts have been more..."Ah hang it...try it already..." And this is how I ended up eating 'Fronch Toast' as it's now affectionately known now in R & R HQ.

Once again the recipe is straight from the wonderful Vegan Brunch so this recipe is all the hard work of Isa Chandra Moskowitz. There are two recipes for Fronch Toast in VB, one based around pumpkin and the other is a banana/cocoa based one. I chose the latter...no real reason why...it just seemed more appealing to my taste. So armed with ripe bananas and stale French baguette ML entered the kitchen to create this French toast for me.

I eyed the serving put in front of me...I wasn't sure whether I wanted to try it...so I cut into the bread and scooped up a piece of strawberry...and was stunned. Firstly it wasn't stodgy and sweet as I thought it would be. It was light..hardly sweet at all..and was pleasant. The sweetness came from the hit of banana...and the bitter cocoa powder balances it out in a very enjoyable way. I will have this again should I have any stale baguette that needs using up and I am really pleased I tried it.

NB: Below is Isa's recipe...however I have been informed that ML put the cocoa and cinnamon in the blender with the banana mix and then sprinkled cocoa over the top at the end. I also chose not to have vegan butter and maple with mine..~R~

Banana Rabanada with strawberries on the side..
Banana Rabanada (Brazilian French Toast) Serves 4
(Recipe from Vegan Brunch/Moskowitz)

2 very ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups of almond milk
2 tbsp. cornflour/starch
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 stale baguette, sliced in 1 " pieces

strawberries for garnish

Blend the bananas, cornstarch, milk and vanilla until smooth. Spread out baguette in a single layer on a baking pan. Pour banana mixture over the slices and flip slices to coat. Let sit for ten minutes and then flip over and let soak for 10 minutes more.

Preheat a large non stick skillet of a medium heat. Spray with cooking spray and cook about half of the bread for 5-7 minutes on one side and about 3 minutes on the other. When ready the toast should be gold to medium brown and flecked with darker spots. Keep warm on a plate covered with tin foil while you could the second batch. If not serving immediately cover the toast with tin foil and place in warm oven for up to an hour.

When ready to serve..mix together cocoa powder and cinnamon and use a small sifter to sprinkle generously over each serving. Serve Rananada with vegan butter and maple syrup and topped with fresh fruit.

Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your holiday weekend had been enjoyable....

~Red~










Friday, 29 March 2013

Laughter over eggs...

As you folks know I'm not of any religious belief...however I do respect anyone's right to believe. And the Easter holidays have always been about bunnies and chocolate eggs for me and my family. Although not so much the eggs these days...I struggle with wanting to buy the little ones in my life something else instead of an egg. *pushing my dark chocolate Easter egg behind my chair out of view* Ahem....Anyway....lol

I do enjoy the fact that almost everyone gets an extra long weekend to spend time with loved ones or just to kick back and do something they enjoy. I shall be spending my weekend with family and catching up with friends.


Image not my own and I take no credit for its creation.
I found this image online last night...and it made smile, laugh....OK..and awww a bit too. And this is my plan for my weekend...laughter as medicine...laughter shared with family...laughter shared with good friends.

So this is my wish for you folks out there for the holiday weekend.  No matter who you are and what you are doing this weekend..I hope you find smiles and laughter in all things and you laugh until your belly hurts.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your weekend is a great one....

~Red~

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Dining Out: Veggie & 3 Bean Burritos at The Old Farmhouse

Rocket & Roses Car Play List:

The Black Keys ~ El Camino

Yesterday was one of those Argghhhhh mornings at the doctors. After, when we had semi- processed what they said, we needed to escape the house and town were we live. So we got in the car and took a ride to The Old Farmhouse for a late lunch. We used to go to this pub years ago when I was still a vegetarian. I used to enjoy the cheese and chutney wrap..lol..washing it down with copious amounts of J2O Cranberry and Orange (aka hangover cure..lol). They never used to offer a vegan option so we haven't been there in years. Then someone mentioned to ML that their menu had undergone a major change recently. We hopped onto the internet and found that it was true and not only was there one choice...there was two! Well one vegan and one easily veganised.

The Old Farmhouse Veggie & 3 Bean Burrito
I opted for the Veggie & 3 Bean Burrito but made some adaptions after checking the filling was vegan. The burrito came with yellow rice, nachos and salad and also guacamole, sour cream and salsa. So my changes were as follows...lol...nix the sour cream, no red onion in my salad and as I'm an 'on the side' kinda gal I asked for my salsa and guac to be on the side. And this is the lovely plate they brought me.

The burrito was soft and the filling really tasty. The veggies and beans were in a smooth refried beanesque sauce. I ate a couple of mouthfuls of the rice but left the rest...I really didn't get why that was included. The nachos as with the rice were good but I only had a few with my guac which was the usual restaurant style guac. The salad was fresh and really good
and personally I would've happily done without the rice and half of the nachos and tripled up the salad. And I was halfway out of the restaurant when I realised I hadn't had any salsa. Darn! lol

The atmosphere in the bar was chilled except for one of the serving staff who was extremely loud and cheerful. But she made you smile with her enthusiasm. lol. ML indulged in a dessert but I was way too full.

It was so good to be out of prison the house and after lunch we had a very slow stroll around a couple of shops. Nothing special..just picking up essentials but it was enough time away to process the happenings of the morning. And we laughed a lot...which was more important.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your week is being kind to you?

~Red~

Monday, 25 March 2013

Sometimes you just need your pals around...

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

AC/DC ~ Shot Down In Flames
Newton Faulkner ~ Uncomfortably Slow
Halestorm ~ It's Not You (Live)
Xtina ~ Candyman
PCD ~ Don't Cha
Beth Rowley ~ So Sublime
Sting ~ Fields of Gold
Holly Williams ~ Let You Go
Lacuna Coil ~ Honeymoon Suite
Buena Vista Social Club ~ Amor De Loca Juventud
Garbage ~ Why Don't You Come Over
Tina Dico ~ Send My Best
The Union ~ What Doesn't Kill You
Billy Joel ~ Honesty

Yesterday, ML and I were lucky to have an afternoon filled with friends. The idea was to get together and get in touch with our inner child and play board games. However only one game was played and the rest of the time was spent catching up with each other. Oh and the four legged family enjoyed a walk in the country park and D & B were the brave adventurers that set out with them...and they looked so wind swept when they got back...lol To say it is blustery here right now is an understatement.

I needed time with my friends...they have the ability to make me feel supported and enable me to relax when everything around me feels chaotic and well...messed up. Just being able to sit in the room with them...is peaceful for me...and also great fun.

A lesson I have learnt...
I spent my 20s and early 30s surrounded by friends...but one day it settled within me that most of them didn't really know me and I didn't know them. We were friendly strangers I suppose. So now I have a core group of good friends...the ones who know me. I am a private person even though I write a blog..lol. And they are the ones who know me now....the ones I trust. The ones who can make me laugh when I need to...ones who I would call if I needed help. And I am thankful every day for them being in my life. (Yes I am totally sapping out here folks...lol) And I hope they know I never take them for granted...

Strength that friendships can give is like no other...
Well I shall stop my emoting for today...and shall get back to resting! (insert frustrated expletives here..lol) Thanks for stopping by and I hope your week gets off to a great start...

~Red~

P.S For those who are wondering...the game was Cluedo and I lost..badly!..lol

NB: Images found online and I take no credit for them. They are the work and talent of someone else and I thank them for their work. ~Red~









Sunday, 24 March 2013

Brunch: Spinach, Potato and Black Olive Tofu Frittata (Vegan)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Sara Sant'Ambrogio ~ Libertango (Cello)
Ciara ~ Love, Sex, Magic
Keith Urban ~ Tu Compania
Chris Cornell ~ Other Side of Town
Deep Dish ~ Flashdance
Punjabi MC ~ Mizra Part 2
Fergie ~ Wake Up
Halestorm ~ Hunger Strikes
Sarah McLachlan ~ Possession
Gary Moore ~ Parisienne Walkways
Shakira ~ Suerte
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band ~ In Too Deep
Thunder ~ What A Beautiful Day
Sweet ~ Hellraiser

I am a huge fan of the vegan brunch as you know. And love trying out as many new tofu based omelettes, scrambles and frittatas. We have pretty much exhausted all of the recipes I have in my cookbooks and online recipes I've printed off. So how wonderfully surprised was I when ML brought me breakfast in bed...complete with a new recipe frittata!

It was adapted from the Swiss Chard Frittata recipe from the excellent Vegan Brunch. Always thankful to the vegan guru/goddess that is Isa Moskowitz for her hard work and creative genius. The Chard Frittata is probably my favourite one...oh, oh then there is the Curried Cauliflower one...oh heck. lol I love them all...anyway...

So ML's inspiration started with my latest food craving...black olives...well any olives really...not fussy. lol. We also had a bag of baby spinach leaves and some cooked potato in the fridge needing to be used up. And I'm told it pretty much just flowed from there.


ML's Spinach, Potato and Black Olive Frittata
(adapted from Vegan Lunch/Moskowitz)
Spinach, Potato and Black Olive Frittata Serves 4
(Adapted from Vegan Brunch/Moskowitz)

1 tbsp olive oil
6 thinly sliced garlic cloves
4 cups spinach, chopped well
2.tsp dried oregano
1 med cooked potato, diced
12 black olives, sliced

1lb firm tofu
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp mustard Dijon or Yellow
1 1/4 tsp turmeric
several dashes of fresh black pepper
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
salt to taste

Pre heat the oven 400f/200c/gas mark 6

Pre heat a ovenproof heavy bottom pan over a medium low heat. Add the oil and garlic and cook for 3 minutes approx..stirring occasionally. You want blonde the garlic..a light amber colour.

Add the spinach and oregano and turn up the heat to medium high. Saute the spinach for about 3 minutes until it has completely wilted. Add the potato and olives and cook for 5 minutes more. 

Mean while the spinach is cooking prepare your frittata base. Give the tofu a squeeze to remove some of the water, crumble and squeeze it in a large mixing bowl, until it has the consistency of ricotta cheese. Add the soya, mustard, turmeric, nutritional yeast, black pepper to the tofu and mix well. When your spinach is ready incorporate it into the tofu mix.

Firmly press your frittata mixture into the frittata pan or and 8" pie plate. Bake for 20 minutes until the frittata is lightly brown and firm.

Leave to cool for 3 minutes until serving..

Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Sunday is a good one...

~Red~




Saturday, 23 March 2013

Noo's Tinkerbell Inspired Birthday Cake

ML's Kitchen Play List:

Edith Bowman's Radio 6 Show

Today is our very splendid little Warrior Princess niece Noo's 4th birthday. I say four..as she is 4 going on 14! lol. We have woken up to a covering of snow so she also gets some winter magic thrown in to her birthday celebrations. So we are sending out a heap of love to her and wishing her the very best birthday filled with love...and lots of fun.

So that means for the last couple of days ML has been locked away in the kitchen baking and decorating the cake for the party. Noo herself asked if she could have a Tinkerbell inspired cake and ML was only too happy to indulge her. And this morning the finished cake was revealed and (I know I'm biased!!! hush! lol) I think it is a fantastic cake.

One Tinkerbell Inspired Cake for the Birthday Girl
The top cake is a vanilla sponge to satisfy the chocolate cake haters at the party...lol The bottom layer is a chocolate cake with chocolate filling.

The aerial view...Tinkerbell just chilling on her favourite flower!
Cannot believe that Noo is four already...but she is growing up to be a great person with whom I enjoy spending time with...even when she's grumpy.

Tinkerbell posing for the camera..such a show off! lol
And the last and final photo...purely a gratuitous shot....another view of the cake made entirely by ML's hand.

Great work ML..
So the only thing to do is this HAPPY BIRTHDAY NOO! 

And huge thanks once again to ML for making such a great creation...and you say you are not a creative person??? Secret's out now lovely...lol xx

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Saturday is filled with laughter and fun...

~Red~



Friday, 22 March 2013

Finding smiles...

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Brandi Carlile ~ Fall Apart Again
Brandi Carlile ~ Caroline
Jools Holland Big Band ~ Outskirts of Town
Def Leppard ~ Love Bites
Snap! ~ The Power
Joan Jett ~ Frustrated
Bowes & Morley ~ On A Day Like Today
Alanis Morissette ~ Forgiven
Bowes & Morley ~ I'll Take The Stars Out Of The Sky
Alisha's Attic ~ Just The Way You Like
Billie Meyers ~ Much Change Too Soon
Bebel Gilberto ~ Close Your Eyes
Holly Williams ~ Happy
Jessie Ware ~ Wildest Moments

For me...this week has been tough. But there have been moments where I've smiled and discovered words of comfort, music that has made me feel high and miscellaneous things that have given me something to look forward to. And as I haven't a food posting to share I thought I would share a few of these things that have kept me this side of sane moments with you. lol.

*taking a breath*
I need Yoga and its philosophies in my life. But I physically haven't been able to do any form of real practice for over a year now and it's hurting me. I had also forgotten that I still have an important part of it all open to me...the breath in my ravaged body...and the mental focus. And this simple poster reminded me and it had quite a powerful effect on me.

Such a great name for a recipe!
I came across this recipe on Pinterest and the recipe name actually made me smile and even chuckle. Serendipity is one of my favourite words so to see it used in such an awesome way and with a recipe that I can't wait to try I Pinned it to my For The Love of Vegan Food board straight away. So thanks to www.dietdessertndogs.com for the smiles...and I can't wait to try the recipe out.

Airbourne ~ Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast
Well...how happy was I when I stumbled upon these guys. If you like AC/DC then you will almost definitely enjoy them. They are an Aussie rock band that are unashamedly rock and just so good. I was on a music high for hours after listening to as much of their music that I could access on YT. They reminded me why I am the rock chick that I am. And yes some of their songs are Cert 18 but you can be a feminist and enjoy great rock music too!

Breaking Dawn part 2
SPOILER ALERT!!!
If you haven't seen it yet...scoot down to the next item!
It was recently our anniversary and my sister snuck in a belated present. The Breaking Dawn part 2 DVD. So ML and I finally sat down to watch the end of the series. I never got around to reading Breaking Dawn so the last movie and this one was a mystery to me.  So what did I think? Well firstly can I just say....CGI baby/children faces? With the budget they would've had to make this movie...I felt it could've been a lot better. In fact it freaked the bejesus out of me and it just wasn't convincing at all. Such a shame. And the whole film felt really rushed...but then when you split a book into two movies then I guess something has to give.

However...I did love the introduction of all the new characters, the mystery of Alice & Jasper's departure (ML aka Alice junkie..said That it was obvious Alice was going to save the day...lol *eyeroll*), the battle scene was righteous, the frustrating sudden twist in the story and did I mention there were vampires and werewolves? lol. But one thing that both of us liked and respected was that instead of a list of cast...at the end of the movie they went back to the beginning of the series and every character was given a face and actors name. Nice touch.

Total rock and roll, eh? lol
Rock n Roll or what? lol. We found these little beauts on a recent crawl around a shop. I did resist buying some as I don't get on with earbud earphones...but they did make me smile.

Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts ~ Hold You
When I first heard the growly voice of Crowe I knew I was a gonna like the Grunts..lol The songs are great and I have enjoyed the one album I have. This song in particular and it seems to have popped up on my play list on my Pod a few times this week. Making me both smile and think lol. Dammit..lol

J.R.Ward *bowing*
One of my favourite authors J.R.Ward is about to release the latest in her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. They are pure escapism for me. When I need the world to shut the hell up and music isn't doing it...I can take one of her books from my shelves and disappear between the covers.

But this one is very special hence the clue in the title, Lover At Last is the story of two regular characters Quinn & Blay. The Brotherhood are warriors and throughout the series, one of the brothers story is told...and in the background has always been these two characters story of fighting their love for each other.

And from what fans are told..the powers that be were not happy for them to have a book to tell their story...until now. I know that when this comes out in paperback I shall lock myself away for two days and revel in the highs and lows of their story. Because all the BDB fans have waited such a long time for this. It's gonna get bloody...it's no doubt gonna make me cry at times...and there will be many laughs and I cannot wait. So I shall be marking the days off until it's released here...something to look forward too.

Holly Williams ~ Three Days in Bed
This week I found Holly Williams. And yes she is indeed the granddaughter of Hank Williams. Her music is at times emotive, dragging you back to places in your past. Other times light and you feel your heart lift with hers. And everything in between those places. She tells beautiful stories with her song writing and her voice is both enchanting and gritty...for me that's a great thing. I have enjoyed listening to two of her albums this week and very happy I found her music..whilst searching for something completely different entirely..lol.

I need this cookbook for my collection..lol
I collect cookbooks...this you know, right? And when this one was released I knew I wanted...no..needed it. lol. I made a decision to do a long running review on my blog. Starting at the beginning of the book with recipe one and work my way through them all..giving over one day a week of the blog to this. I've seen many people's reviews and the photos of their efforts and enjoyed them. So when I do pick up a copy I shall be joining the masses in this sandwich making fun.

Wise words
This has been my mantra this week...however, it does work most of the time...but even this rain loving freak is getting really fed up with being sodden everyday. Oh well..whilst it's raining on me it's leaving someone else alone, eh?


I am no lover or supporter of guns. But when this came through on VeganCartoons feed this week it really did make me laugh. The right to hunt and the fur trade make me crazy angry and saddens me. But this makes a great point in a funny way. Loved it....

Thanks for stopping by...and I hope our Friday is a fantastic one..

ML is deep in birthday cake making...so I will be back tomorrow with the latest creation for our little niece Noo...who is turning 4 but acts 14! Urgh..where on earth is the time going? lol.

~Red~



Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Guest Host Trustworthy: Chilli Tacos and Sour Cream (Vegan & GF)

Trustworthy's Kitchen Play List:

The Ting Tings - That's Not My Name
PJ Harvey - Big Exit
A Perfect Circle - Freedom Of Choice
Gossip - Yr Mangled Heart
ELP - The Great Gates of Kiev/The End
Led Zep - I Can't Quit You Baby
The Dodge Brothers - 42 Days
Chelsea Wolfe - Fang
John Barry Orchestra - 007
Mogwai - Death Rays
Depeche Mode - Dirt
Shapeshifter - Warning
Soundgarden - Rusty Cage
Tina Dico - Sunrise

Well hey peeps :)

Big thanks to Red for inviting me back again...love being here :)


T's Chilli Tacos and Sour Cream (V&GF)

Us vegans have (as we damn well should!) a great knack for lobbing together veggies out of the fridge and producing something beautiful and nutritious in a matter of minutes. Something that expedites this process is chopping freshly washed and chopped produce and bagging and freezing it. If you're single and work until you are falling asleep as soon as you cross your threshold, often cooking does seem like a task...amirite?

For this dish, most of the prep was done. So, short of chopping a fresh onion (these don't freeze well lol...mango and onion ice cream isn't a pleasant flavour!) and perhaps a half-block of tofu, tempeh, or seitan (chopped into small cubes, which can be marinaded if desired) this is a very quick dish indeed.

Put your oven on, for the tacos, but don't put them in yet. Next, in a hot-oiled wok, add the chopped onion. When they are good and sizzling add your (I don't like to call it 'main' protein...perhaps we'll just call it PVP - ugh, but then that sounds industrial! Blimey, by the time I've debated this between us I could've just written tofu/tempeh/etc hehe) and then add a few shakes of a packet of Taco mix...you know from those boxes you get in the supermarkets, pre-prepared. I never use the whole sachet and they keep for a while. Beware, toasting spices like this can be quite caustic on the throat and eyes. Stir fry for about a minute, the raid your freezer for your pre-chopped veggies....go hard! Capsicums, chile pepper, zucchini/courgette, kale, mushrooms.. hell I even freeze almond meal in small chunks. Drain a tin of kidney beans too, if you like, and add half. Stir it all round, get everything coated and shiny, the colours just starting to glow. Then add juice of half a lemon and deglaze the bottom of the pan....the spices are now at their most concentrated. Now add a can of diced tomatoes, and stir to cover the bottom of the pan.

Hot, hot, hot!

Now you can arrange your dry tacos in your oven, either using the silly little baffle they give you and arranging them in a fan on a tray, or hanging them gently over the rods of your oven shelf. By the time you've done that, the wok will be good and bubbling, and you can reduce the heat a tad. You only have a few minutes before the tacos get too well done and get very brittle, or of course burn altogether.

This next bit...this is the Trustworthy Secret Recipe...well secret between you, me, and those that read this hehe. This really tops it off...quite literally. Get a tablespoon of tofutti cream cheese, about a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and a few slops of canola oil. Mix these in a small sauce bowl, until its all creamy. Now you have vegan sour cream! Add salt if you like, but it really is the yums.

(The not so secret ingredients, eh? lol ~R~)
So hopefully you made that a few days ago (hehe) otherwise this kind of ruins the spontaneity which is kinda the angle I'm going for here lol. I keep forgetting, of course, that you've still got to clear up after...

Anyway, now the chile, tacos, and sour 'better than' cream will be ready, and you can stuff your hot tacos with the chile, top with the white stuff, maybe grate your favourite vegan cheese over the top, and certainly chop some coriander and throw this on too. Squeeze some lime, crack a beer and you have a great Top Gear dinner lol.

 

Till soon,

Love etc..

T x

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Artwork: 'Momentos' ~ Teresa Munoz

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Audioslave ~ Broken City
The Doors ~ Unhappy Girl
Julian Lloyd Webber ~ Dvorak: Cello Concerto in B minor
Stevie Ray Vaughan ~ Bring Me Back My Wig
Hootie & The Blowfish ~ Let Her Cry
Joan Jett ~ Do You Want To Touch Me?
Enrique Iglesias ~ Not In Love
Bobby McFerrin ~ Circlesong 7
The Fratellis ~ Vince The Loveable Stoner
The Commitments ~ Slip Away
Imelda May ~ Proud and Humble
Nelly Furtado ~ Wait For You
Madison Avenue ~ What Can I Do
Anna Nalick ~ Scars

Have you ever found a piece of art that left you speechless and has such an impact on you that you feel it was just created for you to find?


Momentos ~ Artist Teresa Munoz
Well this piece did that to me. I felt the impact on such a deep level that my eyes filled with tears as I understood this women's pain and need to close herself off.

Such a great piece by a very talented artist...thank you for creating this piece of emotive art.

Thanks for stopping by...I shall be busy with hospital stuff midweek so Trustworthy may be calling in with a post. I hope your week is off to a great start folks....

~Red~ 

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Brunch: Black Olive & Cheese Toasties (GF & Vegan)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Dave Gahan ~ A Little Lie
Brandie Carlile ~ Happy
Sarah McLachlan ~ Plenty
Berlin ~ Take My Breath Away
Maroon 5 ~ Tickets
Rod Stewart ~ The Killing of Georgie
Hootie & The Blow Fish ~ Sad Caper
The Cranberries ~ Desperate Andy
The Fratellis ~ Flathead
Alanis Morrisette ~ Not The Doctor
Lissie ~ Pursuit of Happiness
Alison Moyet ~ More
Beth Hart ~ Hold Me Through The Night
Soul Asylum ~ Misery

The humble toasted sandwich...how I miss them since I've been trying to reduce the wheat in my diet. I don't think I realised how much I enjoyed bread until I started this venture. My Dad is a professional baker and my Mum a breadaholic so I guess it was written into my DNA..thanks guys. lol. There is something comforting about bread...and all the wonderful many ways of eating it. Isn't there?

Recently I've been very lucky and found a GF bread loaf in my local supermarket. It is a lentil flour based bread and it looks like wheat bread, feels like wheat bread and can be used as wheat bread can be used...as long as you are very gentle with it..lol. And if you try and ignore the strange coating you get on your teeth after eating it...you could almost maybe believe it's wheat bread. But for now it's the closest I can get...but the one way I hadn't tried it, was in the humble toastie.

As I am still craving olives I knew I wanted an olive based toastie for brunch today. I had some white cheddar style Cheezly soy cheese in the fridge and the toastie was set from there.

A comforting brunch...with a side order of sunshine..


Black Olive & Cheese Toasties Makes 1

2 slices of GF or bread of your choice
black olives, stoned and sliced
white cheddar style cheezly, thinly sliced (wafer thin..lol)

Heat a sandwich toaster or skillet. Place the slices of cheese on one slice of bread, scatter the sliced olives over the cheese and then place the other slice on top.

Then place the sandwich in the toaster or skillet and cook until the bread is golden brown on both sides.

Then eat...lol It's really not a recipe, is it? lol.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Sunday is a fantastic day....

~Red~

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Hummus, Olives, Baby Spinach and Baby Plum Tomato Wraps

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Thunder ~ Don't Wait Up
Robbie Williams ~ Have You Met Miss Jones
PCD ~ Jai Ho!
The Union ~ Black Gold
Beth Hart ~ Lifts You Up
Little Angels ~ Do You Wanna Riot
Colbie Caillat ~ Tied Down
Metallica ~ The Struggle Within
The Gossip ~ Men In Love
Jamie Cullum ~ 21st Century Kid
Tina Dico ~ Back Where We Started
The Cranberries ~ Salvation
Florence & The Machine ~ Lover to Lover
Gina Sicilia ~ Can't Control Myself

Today is family day which means our home is flooded with life, noise and hugs. I love it and I really hate when I have to abstain because of my health. I love getting to spend time with my sister and watching the little ones run ML ragged. Lunch is always fun..but these days it's done in stages...ML makes something nice for the gang...I have something vegan...and ML then sits down with a bowl of rice crispies and lactofree milk.

My lunch will be a beautiful wrap that was made starting with a wheat/white multi grain wrap, a layer of hummus, baby spinach leaves, mixed olives and finally some baby plum tomatoes.  Folded into an easy to eat wrap and then devoured. lol.

Hummus, mixed olive, baby spinach and baby plum
tomato wheat/white multi grain wrap

As there really is no need for a recipe for this lunch dish I decided to share with you a painting I found online. Now I have no idea who the artist is and I would be very happy if someone could tell me.

Isn't she beautiful? Resplendent and most definitely
a vegan!
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are all enjoying your Saturday...

~Red~

Friday, 15 March 2013

Artwork: Artist ~ Dreya Novak

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Zac Brown Band ~ Trying To Drive
Jose Carreras ~ Puccini: Nessun Dorma
Diana Krall ~ Departure Boy
Sinatra ~ Night and Day
Wolfmother ~ Mind's Eye
Nickelback ~ Figured You Out
Placido Domingo ~ Celeste Aida
Stevie Ray Vaughan ~ Cold Shot
The Fratellis ~ My Friend John
Terra Naomi ~ Not Sorry
Joan Jett ~ I Want You
Thunder ~ Higher Ground
Kenny Wayne Shepherd ~ I Found Love
Soundgarden ~ An Unkind

I haven't got a lot to say today as the pain is bad...but I do have some more art to share with you. I stumbled upon Dreya Novak's work online and was taken by her use of colour. And these are my favourite four up to now...I hope you enjoy...

Rooster ~ Dreya Novak

Untitled ~ Dreya Novak

Day Dreaming ~ Dreya Novak

Do I Care About Four Seasons ~ Dreya Novak
I look forward to finding more of Novak's work as I am sure I will enjoy every piece as much as I have enjoyed these...such great use of colour and movement.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Friday is a great one...

~R~

NB: I take no credit for the creation of the images above...they are the talent and hard work of Dreya Novak. ~Red~

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Artwork: Birch Wood by Carol Davidson (Anniversary Road Trip part 2)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Tina Dico ~ Room With A View
Doris Day ~ Pillow Talk
Court Yard Hounds ~ Fear Of Wasted Time
Foo Fighters ~ On The Mend
Tim McGraw ~ Southern Voice
Audioslave ~ Shadow On The Sun
Missy Higgins ~ The River
Brandi Carlile ~ If There Was No You
David Bowie ~ Blue Jean
INXS ~ The Strangest Party
Prince ~ Purple Rain
Adele ~ Someone Like You
Ocean Colour Scene ~ The Circle
Tina Dico ~ Hitchhikers Theme

.....we took the scenic drive from Barmston Beach along the coast to Bridlington. This seaside town has been having a lot of regeneration money back into it and I was curious to see the difference that had been made since I was last there. Also ML had been instrumental in accessing funding for the Bridlington Spa revamp and had heard many things about its new refurb. I have spent a lot of my past at gigs there so curious doesn't even cover it..lol. Oh so many memories....*sighs*....anyway.

It now has a theatre, event room, cafe and restaurant and an art gallery! So we braved the blustery winds and clung to each other as we crossed the road to enter the Spa. Once inside we had a quick pootle around to peer in windows and take in the magnificent changes that had been made. The smell of the freshly percolated coffee was driving my senses crazy...coffee whore addict here! lol. This was all very nice and I enjoyed the small tour but really my heart was being drawn away by the art gallery.

There were two exhibits on show...one of a seaside scene nature which was OK but not really to my taste. But we did slowly (I have no other speed setting these days...) walk around and take in and appreciate this exhibit. I'm sorry but I can't remember his name and I have checked out the website for his information but it's not there so can't share it with you.

However...the second exhibit was a eclectic mix of mediums used and subjects. Carol Davidson was the artist. And I have to say although it wasn't all to my taste I enjoyed it. And sparked a few debates between ML and myself as we walked around.

I loved her use of colour in her work and as we were leaving we walked past a stand of prints of the artists work. I was instantly drawn to one piece...titled Birch Woods.

Birch Wood by Carol Davidson
The use of red in this painting really appealed to me. And I was captivated by the piece. I can sit and stare at it find something new each time. I also find it fuels my creativity and it inspires ideas for new stories. I love when that happens...lol.

There was a very cruel but funny moment as we left the Spa...as we walked out of the entrance a gust of wind picked ML's cap and sent it hurtling down the sea front. Leaving me clinging to wall and ML chasing after it. And it was right out of one of those slapstick comedies where every time it settled and ML reached down to pick it up..off it went again. I have to admit..I was almost crying with laughter at this point and thank goodness for the wall. A family who left just after us was stood taking in the scene next to me...and thankfully a rather red in face ML saw the funny side of it too...cap in hand. lol.

We took the scenic back down the coast and then slipped into the city and cruised the streets where we are hoping to move to..and dreamed of that day. Then it was the short ride home and back to reality after sharing a fantastic day.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Wednesday is a great one...filled with inspirational moments...

~Red~

NB: I take no credit for the piece of artwork above. It is the work and talent of Carol Davidson alone and I am just happy to own this print of it and share it with you.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Day Trip Part 1: Barmston Beach/Cliff views

Rocket & Roses Car Play List:

The Rat Pack ~ Alive and Swinging Live Show Album

Sunday was our 'hitched' anniversary and we decided to take a mini road trip up the coast to a small beach/cliff that we love. Barmston is sadly being ravaging by coastal corrosion and it seems to have shrunk every time we visit. The weather was filthy...it was so blustery that many times we thought the car was gonna lift up and be pitched over the edge..lol. I loved it. Yes I know...I'm a freak. lol. It was also snowing so as we sat in the car watching the awesome crashing waves...eating our car picnic...snow flakes were falling down on us too. Perfect! Well for me anyway. I took some shots of the water and cliffs...and wanted to share them with you. So here goes and I hope you enjoy...

Barmston Beach from the cliff edge
The sky was so blue and the clouds so stormy. The water was grey but filled with such power as it sent the waves crashing against the cliff...the sound was amazing.

Barmston Beach ~ rolling and crashing waves
I am fuelled by the sound of water...and the sound they made whilst we sat there mesmerised was nothing short of awesome.

Barmston Beach ~ the skies...
I loved the cloud formation in this shot. The beautiful blue sky above...the clouds hanging beautifully then the intense sea....

Barmston Beach...view from the car.
It wouldn't be a car picnic without a view like this..including the baseball boot! lol.

Barmston Beach ~ crashing waves...

The hour or so we spent there really helped to recharge and re-energise my ailing body. But then I am always happiest near the sea.

So my car picnic...I enjoyed a Carrot Salad in Coriander Dressing. Which was made up by bulgar wheat, grated carrot, coriander vinaigrette, chickpeas, Mint Infused Sunflower oil, spring onions, cranberries, Coriander infused Sunflower oil and ground turmeric. This salad was a delight...maybe a little too oily for my personal taste but I didn't let that ruin the munching.

This was followed by a Passion Fruit and Peach Shaker Pot which is a pot cram pack filled with fresh fruit: Melon, Mango, Pineapple, Black grapes, Strawberries. Freshly squeezed orange and passion fruit dressing and Passion Fruit and Peach fresh dressing. The idea is you pour the dressings over the fruit..place the lid back on and shake like a cocktail. Then eat. However...I am have a bit of a 'thing' about dressed fruits. I tried it this way and found the dressing not really to my taste...which is odd considering I love passion fruit. I guess I just enjoy my fruits fresh and luscious..on its own. And I realised...I still don't like mango...yuck. lol.

But I really enjoyed the car picnic...just being away from the house and having some space to breathe.

The next part of the trip I shall post about tomorrow...but it won't be a shock to you to know it involves some Art. lol.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Tuesday is a good one....

~Red~

Monday, 11 March 2013

Brunch: Red Onion & Chive Bagels and Lentil & Tomato Slather..

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Evanescence ~ Sweet Sacrifice
Melissa Etheridge ~ Break Down
Jamie Cullum ~ Everlasting Love
Bowes & Morley ~ On A Day Like Today
Alannah Myles ~ Tumbleweed
Kid Rock ~ Forever
The Eagles ~ Lying Eyes
Cher ~ Bang Bang
Lenny Kravitz ~ Just Be A Woman
Tina Dico ~ Count To 10
Joan Jett ~ Love Is Pain
Brandie Carlile ~ Cannonball
Skin ~ House of Love
Thunder ~ Everybody's Laughing

This very simple recipe was the anniversary breakfast that ML made me on Sunday. It was our sixth 'hitched' anniversary even though we have been together for 12 years.

It was comforting on that cold and crisp morning whilst we tried to decided upon what to do to celebrate our special day. It is so simple to make..the only real effort is the cooking of the red lentils the day before. I enjoyed mine with a glass of Kiwi, Apple & Lime Smoothie.

Red Onion & Chive Bagels...Lentil & Tomato Slather
Lentil and Tomato Slather
(Recipe from The Bean Book/Elliot)

125g/4oz/heaping 1/2 cup of split red lentils
200ml/7fl oz/scant 1 cup of water
25g/1oz/2tbsp softened vegan marg
1tbsp tomato paste
a few drops of lemon juice
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Cook the lentils in the water for 20-30 minutes, until they are tender and there is no water left then leave to cool.

Mash the marg, tomato paste, lemon drops, and seasonings into a paste. Then add to the lentils and mix into a smooth paste. Serve as a bagel slather or sandwich filling.

Tomorrow I'll be back with the photos taken on our day out...thank you for stopping by and I hope your Monday is great...

~Red~

Friday, 8 March 2013

The Sock Stealer Holiday Tales..

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

The Sweet ~ Blockbusters Album

Reds note:
It's no secret I'm unwell and at this moment in time when ML goes away on work trips...(this time Barcelona lucky thing)..I struggle to meet all the needs of our little Sock Stealer called Archie. Thankfully in our close circle of friends we have a great couple who run an unofficial Doggie Hotel. They love to spend time with dogs and have a very busy calendar looking after friends and families much loved pooches. So this time when ML announced new dates of future work trips we got him booked in fast. Can't begin to tell you how much he loves going there. He almost looks sad when we turn up to pick him up again until we produce his favourite ball...and then he chooses to come home with us again. lol. This time he asked the Doggie Whisperer (as A has begun to be known..lol) to take some snaps to show us what a tough time he has there. And as I have had requests for photos of the four legged family I thought I'd share them with you too......Enjoy...over to Archie...~Red~

Time with my pal....

Lady Ella on the left...
Lord Archibald Stealer of Stealer of Socks on the right
Ella is family...and we get the chance to see each other sometimes and when we do we have great fun. Although I'm not sure how A got us to stay still for this portrait for so long. She must have put the Dog Whisperer whammy on us...sneaky human.

That is a shifty look if I ever saw one.....lol
When not frolicing in parks together or when Ella is eating my breakfast...we can be quiet. That sneaky human got us again...

Walks in the parks....

Oh yes...it's one of those...thingamejigs isn't it?
There are some fantastic walks to be had...in the parks...studying the nature. Barking loudly at the big dogs and then running and hiding when they come to play. A, told me I had to man up...but I much prefer hiding behind her legs. I'm a lover not a fighter.

Ooh ooh ooh ooh...can I play? Can I? huh?
I'm trying to make friends with the ducks at the park but they don't seem to be interested. Are they as aloof with humans???

Psst psst...hey...I'm Archie are you Donald????
Alas it wasn't to be....but next time I'm there I will keep trying. Being in the pond looks like so much fun...

Time at the Doggie Hotel....

All the socialising can be quite exhausting...
When not being thoroughly loved...snuggled up with A & C, walked around great parks, romping with Ella and trying to make new friends....I find I'm a little tired so there is always time for a snooze.

Deep in thought....
As with all great hotels and spas...there is always time for quiet reflection. Does my nose look big in this shot?

Comfort and refreshments aplenty...
It's all Go, Go, Go! No time for total relaxation...Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz......

So thank you for stopping by Red's blog and I hope you enjoyed my photo holiday tales...and I would like to say thank you to A & C for looking after me so wonderfully. Red said she hopes your weekends start well and are filled with laughter and silliness...

Archie