Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Sunny & Messy Breakfast Parfait

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

The Dresden Dolls ~ The Perfect Fit
Sensible Pets ~ Something Broken
Santana ft Michelle Branch ~ The Game of Love
Doris Day ~ Twelve O'clock Tonight
Norah Jones ~ I've Got To See You Again
Florence & The Machine ~ Never Let Me Go
Audioslave ~ Broken City
Count Basie ~ A Fine Romance
Cat Power ~ Empty Shell
Gin Blossoms ~ Until I Fall Away
Elton John ~ Bennie And The Jets
Shakira ~ Donde Estas Corazon
Mozart Piano Concerto #21 in C Andante
The Cranberries ~ I Still Do

We have had some beautiful sunshine lately...radiant beams of golden light...and absolutely freezing temperatures. Got to love English weather lol. So although we are hastening towards summer, it really doesn't feel like we've had spring yet.

Those of you who are regular readers will know that I am most definitely a savoury breakfast person...give me tofu scramble and I'm a happy gal. But this morning I craved something different...something lighter and fruitier. And that is how this messy parfait came together. Made by ML and photographed in a rush...and ML said the yoghurt just wouldn't co-operate lol.

So sunny and so messy...and delicious.
Sunny & Messy Breakfast Parfait

For this parfait you will need:
Quantities are all up to you..and how hungry you are! lol

Atlantic Blueberries
Blackberries
Soya yoghurt or yoghurt of choice
Low GI Granola (GF)
Flaked almonds

Layer the ingredients starting with berries, followed by granola then yoghurt. Repeat once again the second berry and then liberally scatter the top with more of your preferred berries and flaked almonds.

Then enjoy every sun filled mouthful and even in England you can close your eyes and pretend summer is coming!

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

~Red~

Monday, 29 April 2013

Breathe? Yes I must remember to do that!...



Help? I need to remember to breathe right now. I've been on an emotional roller coaster over the last couple of weeks. It hasn't all been bad as I had a splendid time celebrating a good pals birthday on Saturday night. But on the whole its been...erm...a bitch...interesting times.

And as I didn't have a food posting ready to publish I thought I would make a visual reminder for myself...to simply breathe. So please indulge me...lol. Food blogs will return in a couple of days.

Simple eh?
I loved this poster because I found it very simple in its message and thought it very clever in design.

Anna Nalick ~ Breathe (2am)
This song is great and in particular this version because the talented Ms Nalick is singing live with just a guy playing guitar. And the lyric tells a tale I am all to familiar with...that whole stressing in the middle of the night and the friends simple advice to just...Breathe. First thing I tell my loved ones to do..and the last thing I remember to do myself these days.

A fair question...
Now this changes on a daily basis...which is at times bearable and at others desperate. If you have been to this place...then you will know. Eh? But either way I am grateful to be here.

Pearl Jam ~ Just Breathe
Again another live performance...this song is both beautiful and tragic. But the message is still the same....just breathe.

A reminder...
For when it is feeling impossible and feels like there is no way through...and I believe this quote to be very true.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Monday has been a good one...

~Red~





Saturday, 27 April 2013

Righteous Salad Dressings (vegan and gluten free)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Melissa Etheridge ~ Yes I Am
Ram Jam ~ Black Betty
Evanescence ~ My Immortal
Auf De Maur ~ Head Unbound
Soundgarden ~ Kickstand
Extreme ~ More Than Words
UB40 ~ Cherry Oh Baby
Jacqueline Du Pre ~ Elgar; Lento Allegro Molto
Shakira ~ Estoy Aqui
Billy Joel ~ It's Still Rock and Roll
Chely Wright ~ Wish Me Away
Nicola Benedetti ~ Spiegel Im Spiegel
Otis Redding ~ My Girl
The Cranberries ~ I Will Always

I never...never!..buy pre-made salad dressings. I struggle with the preservatives they add to them or they are too oily or laden with hidden sugars. So I tend to make my own or add a spoonful of hummus to my daily salads I have every lunch time. Ooh or Red Lentil pate..now that's always pleasing. lol.

Quite by chance as I cruised a supermarket aisle I saw a range of salad dressings all claiming (well apart from the Blue Cheese one!) to be vegan. In this country that is rare. So ML and I started to pull the various bottles off of the shelf to do the usual...suspicious ingredients scan. And sure enough they were indeed vegan and one was even an oil free variety. Now as with anything boasting the vegan title...they weren't cheap! And as much as I would've liked to purchase all four of the vegan dressings. I chose two and stashed them in my trolley.

Righteous Salad Dressings

The first dressing I tested out was the Ginger and Toasted Sesame. And although it had some oil in it I found I really liked it. The ginger wasn't as intense as some ginger based dressings I have made in the past and the sesame was a pleasant supporting flavour. But the combination together made for an almost smokey flavour and livened up my salad greatly.

Tested score: 9/10
The second dressing tested out was the Lemon and Mustard Seed option. To be honest I had no idea what to expect from this dressing. I hoped it wasn't too acidic as some lemon dressings can be. And I was intrigued by the mustard seeds and what effect they would have on the taste. Again this one had oil in it but neither of the dressings I tried were 'oily'. The first couple of mouthfuls of salad I wasn't sure at all. Then by the third...I was in dressing love. lol. The hint of lemon combined with the slight heat from the mustard seeds make for one very enjoyable dressing. Again not overpowering so you can still enjoy the contents of your salad. Both dressings were more of a subtle lift to the natural beauty of the veggies. Everything a good salad dressing should be.


Tested Score: 9/10

And the bonus to this testing was that I didn't react to the preservatives or extenders in the dressings....because they weren't any!! So I will endeavour to have these dressings in my fridge door awaiting the days when I haven't got something to go on my salads. ,,or the days when I just want them instead! lol.

Now the two that I didn't try....Raspberry and Sweet Basil which if I'm honest I wasn't sure about being more of a savoury gal. But I will try it because it would seem rude not too! lol.

Untested as yet.
I do admit the dressing looks a beautiful colour and would be a visual treat on a salad or as an accompanying sauce to a starter. (Ooh just started off a recipe tumble in my head...wheres my notebook! lol) So I think it's likely it will be going in the trolley in this months stock shop. lol.

The final dressing was the Oil Free option.....Oil Free Caper and Hot Peppercorn. Now this one isn't so visually appealing. But I suspect what it lacks in appearance it will more than make up for in flavour. I am looking forward to trying this one a lot and if my budget had stretched to buying three bottles  this time I would most definitely have bought this one to test also. Next time...

Untested as yet.
My inner child picked up this bottle and thought....Yum swamp water in a bottle. lol. But despite that...I want to try this one soon.

They also have a Pro-Heart Oil in their range and I hope to try that out too. And although the fifth dressing is a vegetarian one they have used cheese that doesn't have animal rennet in it. So for our vegetarian brothers and sisters they have a fifth option to try.

OK folks..thanks for stopping by and I hope if you find these dressings available where you are that you give them a try. You won't be sorry.

I hope your weekend is filled with love and light....

~Red~

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

ML's Beany Cottage Pie

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Christina Perri ~ Lovestrong Album

ML is away on the work travels this week taking in a quick stop in Amsterdam and then onto Detmold Germany. So ML was very busy at the weekend making up fresh meals to stock the fridge for me. It's a beautiful thing that ML does this for me...but I will be so pleased when I can get back in the kitchen and do things for myself. A large vat of Cocido was made along with a new creation of ML's. A beany based Cottage Pie...the photos were last minute so apologies for the slight fussiness but in ML's defence the kitchen was a production line of vegan foods. lol. A huge box of salad for my enjoyment...I am one lucky duck! lol.

Although we've enjoyed some sunshine here lately its been quite cold and on some occasions bitterly cold. So the thought of having portions of Cottage Pie in the fridge ready to heat up was comforting. The way Cottage Pie should be enjoyed eh?

ML made the base using a mix of black beans (trying to up my Iron intake) and black eyed peas in a not too heavily tomatoey based sauce. It's the topping with Cottage Pie I always struggle with and if I'm making them I tend to double the base and halve the topping on it. Although I did see a great idea for placing a potato ring around the outside of a pie which I will try soon. When I make my favourite version of this dish...and I've blogged it on here...I usually use a potato and parsnip mash combination. But for this one..I hinted to ML about trying a potato/cauliflower version. And that is exactly what ML did...

Now I love this pie...I love it because its not stodgy as some Cottage/Shepherds Pies can be. The base is gloriously beany and the topping is light but still indulgent and I love the added cauliflower taste. I've been happily eating this all week...and it will freeze fantastically as well for future work trips..lol. I hope you give this a try....

ML's Beany Cottage Pie
ML's Beany Cottage Pie

1 tin of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tin of black eyed beans, rinsed and drained
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large clove of garlic, grated
10 mushrooms, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
salt ~ optional
freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 lb of mashed potato
1 small cauli, cooked and mashed

Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook down for a further minute. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes and beans along with the beans and let simmer for 15 minutes. Season to preferred taste. Place the bean mixture into a baking dish and spread to smooth out the surface and set to one side.

Take the mashed potato and cauli and mix together until thoroughly combined. Scoop large spoonfuls over the beany base and then using a fork spread out the mash to cover the beany base. Place in a hot oven until the topping is a deep golden brown and then serve. (Approx 30 minutes)

Enjoy!

Gratuitous Comfort Food shot....golden topped
glorious beany base. Yum!
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are having a great week...

~Red~

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Art: Jeremy Lipking

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Otis Redding ~ The Dock Of The Bay: The Essential Collection

Sometimes when I see a piece of artwork I have the overwhelming need to touch...although my heart and mind already knows what it would be like to touch the subject of the painting...my senses still need that tactile gratification. And two pieces of work came into my world recently and I badly wanted to run my fingertips over them.

Finding these two pieces of work and the effect they had then made me search out more of Jeremy Lipking's work. And I wasn't disappointed because I found every image of his work to be on the whole enchanting, sometimes challenging and captivating. His realist style is something I enjoy greatly.

So the first piece of work that alerted me to Mr Lipking...was the beautiful piece below. I was haunted by this piece and I could feel the material covering her body between my fingertips. I have spent sometime exploring this painting.

Artist ~ Jeremy Lipking
Every part of this painting calls out to me. The detailing is wonderful as I can feel the cushioned supporting her back, the dress that is barely a covering her and the softness of her hair and the sturdiness of the seat and the craftsmanship of it...and the room I imagine to be just on the edge of warm. Love this painting and need a print of it hanging on my office wall as I find I get great inspiration from it.

I was delighted when I found the second piece of Lipking's work, as other than people, water is my other most loved subject.

Artist ~ Jeremy Lipking

When my eyes fell upon this painting I was transported to the side of this water..I could hear the roar of the power of the moving water. The smell of it and the wonderful freedom I feel within myself when I am near water like this. I wanted to sit as close to it as possible and let my hand join the water and feel it's cleansing sensation.

Thank you Mr Lipking for your work...I will forever be a fan.

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

~R~


Saturday, 20 April 2013

Vegan Cocido (Spanish Stew)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Texas ~ Halo
The Cranberries ~ When You're Gone
Madison Avenue ~ "78 (Album Mix)
Alison Moyet ~ La Chanson Des Vieux Amants
Bonnie Raitt ~Love Sneakin' Up On You
Dani Wilde ~ Shine
Dave Gahan ~ Miracles
Fleetwood Mac ~ Tusk
The Commitments ~ Treat Her Right
Nelly ~ Promiscuous
Europe ~ Song 12
Maroon 5 ~ Misery
Lydia Loveless ~ Bad Way To Go
Kaiser Chiefs ~ Modern Way

This week I am craving the most basic of foods. Fresh veggies both raw and cooked and fresh fruits. Cooked or prepared simply and without much spice or richness. And that is how I stumbled across this recipe in a vegetarian cookbook that I have had forever...lol. The book in question is The Bean Book by Roses Elliot.

It's a simple stew that originally would have had a large piece of meat cooked in it...but Elliot subbed out the meat for chickpeas. I slightly adapted it to fit what we had in the stocks...so will add my adaptions to the recipe below. I also skipped step one - cooking of the dried chickpeas and started at step two and used two tins of drained chickpeas.

This stew, in my opinion, was glorious in its unfussy and rustic appearance. The colours of the veggies clear to see..the almost translucent stock. And the taste...a wonderful powerhouse of good clean veggie flavours. I confess..I went back for seconds. lol. It also appealed to me because it didn't have tomatoes in it as I am trying to avoid them for a while.

The recipe also says it serves four...but it made a huge vat of stew so I will be eating it for days...good job I loved it.

Vegan Cocido (Spanish Stew)
I gave this 12/10..lol Yum!
Vegan Cocido (Spanish Stew) serves four and then some
(Recipe adapted from The Bean Book/Elliot)

350g/12oz/1 3/4 cups of dried chickpeas or 2 tins drained
veggie stock
3 white potatoes or 5 purple potatoes quartered
2 onions, sliced
2 carrots. sliced
1 turnip, cubed OR 8 brussel sprouts, halved  (I know similar, right?lol)
2 leeks, sliced
1 small cabbage, quartered or cut into eight pieces
2 cloves garlic, grated or crushed
1 tbsp paprika
1 bouquet garni ~ parsley, thyme and bayleaf
2 tbsp oil
salt ~ optional
freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Soak, drain and rinse the dried chickpeas as usual. Put them into a very large saucepan and cover them generously with veggie stock and simmer then for about one hour until almost tender.

Meanwhile prepare the veggies and add the chickpeas in the saucepan. Together with the paprika, bouquet garni, oil and a little more stock if necessary. (Or add chickpeas, veggies, paprika, oil, bouquet garni to a very large saucepan and cover with approx. 1.5 litres of veggie stock). Simmer gently for a further 30 minutes or so..or until everything is cooked.
Remove the bouquet garni and season to taste.

And enjoy! Yum!

Thanks as ever to Rose Elliot for being an inspiration to this humble amateur cook for many years.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your week has been great...

~Red~


Thursday, 18 April 2013

Vegenista's Healing Lebanese Lentil Soup with Collard Greens

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Garbage ~ Stroke of Luck
Apocalyptatica ~ One
Kid Rock ~ Bawitdaba
JET ~ Bring It On Back
Sade ~ Nothing Can Come
Skunk Anansie ~ Hedonism
KWS ~ Never Looking Back
Melissa Etheridge ~ Your Little Secret
Colbie Caillat ~ Taylor Made
Madeleine Peyroux ~ Smile
The Cars ~ Drive
Depeche Mode ~ Personal Jesus
Billy Joel ~ Just The Way You Are
Joan Jett ~ Love is Pain

Healing Soup? No, not a wonder cure all soup..if only. But a bowl of goodness that will be easy on your tum, leave you feeling satisfied and it will nourish you from the inside out. I found this recipe when cruising blogs I follow and for the original recipe on Vegenista.com simply click here...it's a great article. It gives all the nutritional info you can hope for. A great post.

So for me this soup was pure comfort. The earthiness of the red lentils and the collard greens were wholesome and I smiled whilst I ate every mouthful. Yes, it's maybe not the greatest looking of soups in a traditional sense but I personally loved the golden stock/lentils and the bright green collards. I loved this soup and it was perfect for the mood I was in. So thank you to Melissa @ Vegenista for this fab creation.

Vegenista's Healing Lebanese Lentil Soup with Collard Greens
(Erm..there was much more broth to this..lol)
Healing Lebanese Lentil Soup with Collard Greens
(Recipe from Veganista.com)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp sea salt (we didn't use salt at all in ours...didn't miss it)
1 cup dry red lentils, rinsed and drained
6 cups low sodium veggie stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch of collard greens, rinsed, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp minced garlic
1/3 cup lemon juice

Heat one tbsp of oil in a large pan over a medium heat, stir in onions and salt, cook until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in lentils and cook for 1 minute. Pour in stock then bring to the boil over a high heat, then turn heat to a medium low, cover and simmer for approx. 15 minutes. Until the lentils are tender.

Meanwhile heat the remaining oil in a skillet over a medium heat. Add collard greens, and cook until wilted, about 10 minutes. When the lentils are tender, stir in the collard greens, cumin, cinnamon and garlic. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes more. Stir in lemon juice before serving.

Enjoy!

Thanks to Melissa for such a great recipe and I know this will be a regular for lunches in R & R HQ. lol.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have had a great day...

~Red~



Wednesday, 17 April 2013

2 Beautiful Life Lessons

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Cello Adagios ~ Apres Un Reve
Queens of the Stoneage ~ Go With The Flow
Savage Garden ~ I Want You
Billy Joel ~ She's Got A Way
Ciara ~ Love Sex Magic
Colbie Caillat ~ Midnight Bottle
Nerina Pallot ~ It Was Me
Roy Orbinson ~ Walk On
The Gossip ~ Coal To Diamonds
Brandi Carlile ~ Caroline
Lenny Kravtiz ~ Where Are We Runnin'
Beth Hart ~ Ugly & Broken
Skin ~ Look But Don't Touch
Gin Blossoms ~ Hands Are Tied.

I've spent the last couple of days recovering from my birthday weekend. lol. And working on this next year...expectations, hopes, plans, health plans...playing Words for Friends on FB..Ooops..no that's not supposed to be there. lol. I need to have 'plans' in my head to keep me sane. And I think they are coming along nicely. And despite the hospital and consultants attempts at trying to ruin it..I am managing to keep my positivity levels up. To quote the wonderful Robert Downey Jr...

"...Listen, smile, agree and then do whatever the f**k you were gonna do anyway..."

Wise words but not a life lesson. lol. Just a tactical plan for dealing with the health problems from now on.

I found the following images online and the words from both stayed with me and in quiet moments they danced through my mind and made me smile. So I wanted to share them with you folks...

Such a wise man...
I struggle with 'small town mentally' and the belief that there is nothing outside of your town limits. There is a whole world to be explored and experiences to be had. Other cultures to witness and so many people to meet....travel is important to me. And from this year on I am going to do exactly what the Dalai Lama says. If I could give the little ones one gift it would be the passion I have for travel. Get them out of this small town and have adventures.

The freedom these words give is
priceless
Profound effect...and can't thank the person who created this poster enough. My new mantra for a while...awesome.

So two life lessons...and I hope you get something from them as I did.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your week is going well? Back with food based blogs tomorrow...

~Red~

Monday, 15 April 2013

41st Birthday Cupcakes: Isa & Terry's Banana Split Cupcakes

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Thunder ~ Higher Ground
Bowes & Morley ~ Sick & Tired
Idil Biret ~ Chopin: Nocturne #1 in B Flat Minor
TOFG ~ The Night That Davey Caught The Train
Patti Smith ~ When Doves Cry
Chris Cornell ~ Can't Change Me
The Pretenders ~ Talk of the Town
Terra Naomi ~ Umbrella
Kid Rock ~ American Bad Ass
Joe Nichols ~ I'll Wait For You
Soundgarden ~ Room A Thousand Years Wide
Natalie Clein ~ Brahms: Cello Sonata#2 Adagio Affetuoso
The Cranberries ~ Show Me
Little Angels ~ I Ain't Gonna Cry


Yesterday...*sighs* I reached the grand age of 41. Where did this last year go...doesn't seem five minutes since I was trying my best to live in denial. However I am always aware of a simple quote I read around that time...


Yep..humbled me greatly, then and now. And even when I am going slightly hinkey about stepping into my early forties (note...early!...lol) I am grateful that no matter how hard this year has been..I have had another year. And at times it's been doubtful. So all happy here.

After all the celebrations last year I wanted a quiet birthday this time. As my birthday is on a Sunday this year, we decided to have a casual birthday lunch with my Mum, sister and little ones on the Saturday...a slightly more fun family day with cupcakes....and happy cupcakes at that. Then on Sunday we are met up with our friends for a lunch at a bar called Goucho's. I'll report back on that later next week. And again...followed by birthday cupcakes. lol.

My choice..well I say mine..with a little help from my sister..lol..was Banana Split Cupcakes. Once again the recipe is the creation of Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero's and from their awesome cookbook Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. My copy of their book is barely in one piece now and has so much tape in it holding pages together..lol.

'We' chose them because our inner child (something that happens a lot when my sister and I get together..despite our 11 year age difference lol) called out to them. I remembered going to a nice (not greasy spoon style..yuck) cafĂ© when I was a kid and sharing a banana split with my Mum. Happy times.

So once ML got home last night the cupcake production line started. Apparently making them was great fun..as you got to swirl stuff into the batter. lol. And I thought my inner child was bad..lol.

Decadent close up..lol
The cupcakes were very good and despite looking terribly sweet..they weren't as sweet as imagined. The cake was very tasty and the hits of pineapple, banana and dark chocolate were sublime. Then the topping was a heady hit of childhood memories as you waded through the cream, cherry, nuts, chocolate drizzle and sprinkles. OK so there was clearly a way of eating these cupcakes. Take off the bottom part of the cake and enjoy the subtle textures and flavours...then dive into the top of the cake with the toppings and cling on and enjoy the sugar rush ride. lol. Great fun....and exactly what was needed. Thank you once again to ML for making yet another wonderful birthday creation.

ML said this is the arty shot!...lol
Isa & Terry's Banana Split Cupcakes Makes 12

1/2 cup of pineapple preserves
1/2 cup of very ripe bananas, mashed well
1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/3 cup of canola/sunflower oil
2/3 cup of rice milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract (we didn't use any..)
1/4 cup of finely chopped dark chocolate

Toppings:
Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting..
Quick Melty Ganache
(recipes below)
fresh sliced bananas if serving immediately or
banana chips
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
chocolate or rainbow sprinkles
6 candied cherries, cut in half optional

Preheat the oven to 350'F and line a muffin tin with liners.

Stir pineapple preserves in a small pan over a low heat till melted and they pour easily when scooped with a spoon. Set to one side.

Push the bananas through a sieve or blender to remove all the big lumps. It should be fairly smooth.

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl and mix. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the oil, rice milk, vanilla and almond extract and mashed banana. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and fold in the wet ingredients..mixing to just combine. Do not overmix..small lumps are OK.

Fill liners two thirds full. Top the batter of each cupcake with 1 tsp of preserve and 1 tsp chopped chocolate. With a small knife, carefully stir two or three times to stir in the preserves and chocolate. Bake for 20 - 22 minutes till a knife or toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.

Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup of nonhydrogenated shortening
1/2 cup of nonhydrogenated margarine
3 1/2 cups of icing sugar, sifted if lumpy
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup soya milk

Beat the shortening and margarine until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 minutes more. Add the vanilla and soya milk and beat for another 5-7 minutes until fluffy. Store in the refrigerator until ready to top the cupcakes.

Quick Melting Ganache

3 tbsp soya milk
1/3 cup of dark choc chips

Heat soya milk over a medium heat until just about to simmer. Remove from the heat, add chocolate chips and stir till the chocolate has melted and soya milk is combined. Set aside and leave to cool for 10 minutes. With a spatula spoon, scoop into a prepared pastry bag or plastic bag with the corner cut off, or drizzle haphazardly with a fork. This ganache will set when fully cool.

To assemble:

Top cooled cupcakes with vegan buttercream icing that is piped through a large icing bag with a large star nozzle. Drizzle with quick melting ganache and then scatter with nuts, banana and a cherry. Keep until ready to serve.

Enjoy! And as always many thanks to the vegan guru's that are Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your week is a splendid one...filled with Happy.

~Red~







Saturday, 13 April 2013

Trustworthy's Brunch in a Rush!!

Trustworthy's Kitchen Play List:

Gary Moore - With Love [Remember]
Alice In Chains - Angry Chair
Clapton - Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Ministry - Psalm 69
Bjork - Crying
Nirvana - Paper Cuts
Nerina Pallot - Patience
Kiling Joke - the Wait
Trustworthy and Us - Promophobic
The Music - Inconceivable Odds
The Doors - People Are Strange
Tricky - Hell Is Round The Corner
Moby - Go!
Gina Sicilia - As Long As You're Here


 

Hey peeps.

Thanks as always to Red for inviting me today :) x

This is a quick brunch-style scramble I literally threw together one morning before work.

Trustworthy's Brunch in a Rush!!

There was no prep other than chopping a tomato and onion (the mushies and spinach were chopped and frozen :) ), and opening and draining a tub of medium tofu.

I heated up the wok to a highish temp, around 8 out of 9 on a double ring, added a few splashes of canola. I added the toms and onions, then the frozen chopped veggies. With the tofu in the pack still, I roughly sliced into it with a butter knife and tipped about half of it into the pan. The tomatoes quickly gave it a red hue.

After about a minute I put my toast on, whilst stirring the scramble to a nice looking colour.

The toast popped...nuttelex spread....brunch done!

 
Easy, quick, almost lazy.

A bit like this post hehee.

Joking, of course, I am honoured as always to be here. I'm thinking next time a GF lasagne, one which I haven't made in a while. Lips smacking, and half-drunk from the wine (that I won't add to the sauce ;-) ) already!

Till soon, love Etc,

T xx

Friday, 12 April 2013

Friday Fun BIG Questionaire...



My friend sent me this questionnaire and as it's Friday and I'm feeling playful I thought I would share my answers with you folks. Wanna play? lol Happy Friday All!

What's a fact about the last person you liked?

Assuming the 'liked' means FB liked...She can go wolfie on you when you least expect it. lol

Who was the last perso​n you gave up on?

One of my doctors, who I believed to be in over their head and therefore not helpful anymore.

Have you talke​d to a compl​ete jerk today​?​

No...I have a zero tolerance for them so have managed to oust them from my life. But have known many...

What did you do last night​?​

Spent time with ML...played Words With Friends on FB (addictive)..chatted with T..then crashed.

Do you think​ relat​ionsh​ips are even worth​ it?

Healthy ones...be they family, love or friends...always. Bad ones can destroy.

If you could​ pack up and move would​ you?

*packing boxes as I type*...yes..and we are..asap..can't wait! lol

Do your paren​ts REALL​Y know you?

My Dad..no. My Mum..I used to think so...but I suppose she does as much as I'll let her.

When was the last time you laugh​ed reall​y hard?​

Two nights ago....watched the Machines lie to us sketch from Eddie Izzard. Cried with laughter..love everything about that guy.


Its true..they do!...Machines lie to us!


What are you excit​ed for?

Crikey...well it's my birthday this weekend and meeting up with our friends for lunch and birthday cupcakes...so I'm looking forward to that. And finding new art and artists thrills me.

But excites me...blimey...erm pass...move along now...

Has anyon​e told you latel​y that they would​ alway​s be there​ for you?

Yes. And I hope it was the truth...not just in that moment.

What do you want right​ now?

My health back...and some Atlantic Blueberries...yep..

Are your paren​ts divor​ced?​

Yes..very.

Do you fall for peopl​e easil​y?​

No. Because I always enjoyed being single.

Would you ever get a tattoo?

Well three tattoos ago..that answer would be..Yes I would. lol 

What'​s your mood right​ now?

Right now this second? Good..although concerned for a loved one.

Did you enjoy​ your weeke​nd?​

I think so. Had a great day Friday with ML..house/flat hunting (so exhausting lol) and visiting with A & C. Saturday family time with my sister and gang..then the rest was quiet as ML recharged.

Last perso​n you told a secre​t to?

*whispers* Come here..come closer...I can't tell you because it's a secret...lol
 
Are you stubb​orn?​

Ahem..well...Yes...it has been said once or twice...a day! lol

Are you gonna​ be home alone​ tonig​ht?​

Yes until late...ML on those work travels again.

Are you listening to music​ right​ now?

Yes of course. iPod on shuffle...track right now is...Joan Jett ~ You Drive Me Wild

Who else is in the room with you?

Four legged fella...Archie who is curled up snoring in his bed. Oh and on cue...a dramatic sigh escapes him...lol

In winte​r,​ would​ you rathe​r wear jacke​ts or hoodi​es?​

Jackets every time...

Do you wish you were somew​here else right​ now?

Yes.

How long can you go witho​ut your mobil​e phone​?​

You can live without them?? lol. No, mine is always close but I guess (calculating the longest play I've seen...) four hours. God that's sad isn't it.

Ever kisse​d someo​ne else'​s girlf​riend​/​boyfr​iend?

Not intentionally! But yes...just didn't know they were seeing my friend at the time.

What'​s the worst​ time to say i love you?

When you don't mean it. Or to try and manipulate a situation.

Who was the last perso​n in your room besid​es famil​y?​

No one

What is one place​ you would​ love to visit​ right​ now?

A fabulous gig with one of my favourite bands...

Do you know anyon​e named​ Dan?

Indeed I do..in fact...several.

Is there​ someo​ne you know you shoul​d hate,​ but you can't​?​

*sighs* well..yes...sadly.

Is there​ anyon​e you trust​ even thoug​h you shoul​dn'​t?​

No..I don't trust easily.

Are you afrai​d of falli​ng in love?​

Never wanted to...but wasn't afraid of it. Just wasn't for me. But hey..you never know who you are gonna meet in life...lol Then it is out of your hands...I believe.

Have you had the chick​en pox?

Yes..and I have a scar on my forehead to prove it. Although I don't see it now...been there forever lol.

Are you a forgi​ving perso​n?​

Depends on what I am trying to forgive myself or someone else for. I can be cold and clinical about emotions...so really does depend on the person and the crime lol.

Are you talki​ng to someo​ne while​ doing​ this?​

Crikey *lifting laptop and checking for bugs*...how did you know?? huh? But I am chatting with T via Fb messenger. lol.

Are you young​er than 21?

Nope..actually 41 this weekend....*insert expletives here* Oh yeah..I'm going into my 40's with grace and dignity. lol.

Do you like winte​r?​

I love winter...love it!

How clean​ is your room?​

Fairly...lol

Do you have feeli​ngs for anyon​e?​

Yes. Many.

Is there anyone you need to tell something to?

In this moment in time...nope..all good thanks.

Do you want to yell at the top of your lungs​?​

Often..especially when leaving hospitals. lol

What do you think​ about​ peopl​e who get hair exten​sions​?​

It's their choice and if they have the disposable money to throw a way..then so be it.
I would rather spend any I had, on getting a good cut and then going to a gig with the remaining money..lol.

Are you named​ after​ a grand​paren​t?​

Yes first name after my Nan and second name is my Grandads family surname. I wear them with pride.

Who'​s bed did you sleep​ in last?​

My own cheeky!..*shaking head*

Do you like the color​ green​?​

Olive green...very much.

How many hours​ did you sleep​ for last night​?

Three full hours..then awake on and off for the rest. Pain etc.

Where​ was your defau​lt taken​?

Huh? No idea what this means...anyone else get it..please drop me a line..and I will answer if I can.

How do you feel about​ the last perso​n that calle​d you?


Love him...he's good people..

Are you someo​nes first​ love?​

Yes. If the truth was spoken..I have been a few times.

Last place​ you smoke​d a cigar​ette?​

As I have been given up for 11 years now...I would have to be vague and say at my old house in a town I was living back then.

Last time you recei​ved flowe​rs?

Easter. My Mum and my nieces bought me a little pot with daffodil bulbs and now I have 9 miniature daffodils to enjoy each day.

Who were you with last Monda​y?​

ML in the morning. T online during the day. ML and Mum in the evening.

What are you doing​ tomo​rrow?​​

Enjoying a family birthday gathering..time with them and eating a casual lunch and then birthday cupcakes. lol.

Are you addic​ted to anyth​ing?​

Yes. Oh you wanna know what they are? Right. Music. Coffee (in recovery..ahem..well today). Books. Garnets. Is that enough?...lol Atlantic Blueberries?...lol

Are you tired​?​

Ill health means I always run at exhausted right now...but one day...one day I will be energetic again. I am in my mind!

What are you about​ to do?

I do not know...I haven't anything planned...it's just one of those days.

When did you sign up for myspa​ce?​

I haven't.

What do you do when you get mad?

Seriously mad..I get quiet and lethal. Just saying...lol

Where​ were you satur​day night​ at 12?

Just going to bed.

Whats​ bothe​ring you right​ now?

Pain...and the stupid government we have now.

Are facia​l pierc​ings trash​y?​

I have my right side of my nose pierced so I should say no. I don't like eyebrow piercings. And the ones that are meant to be a beauty spot..sometimes they just look like a giant spot! But I do believe each to their own...and would never describe anyone as trashy because of the piercings they have. Trashiness is about their personality traits....eh?

What color​ is your tongu​e?​

I have a very healthy pink tongue thank you. lol

Is it possi​ble that you could​ be pregn​ant right​ now?

No.

When was the last time you had your hair cut?

Biazarre...lol. Probably six months ago.

Does anyon​e have a lock of your hair?​

Yes.

If you had to go witho​ut one food group​ for the rest of your life,​ which​ would​ it be?

Being a life long veggie/vegan...I would always say firmly..animal and animal products. Always.

When you go to the zoo, what are you most excit​ed about​ seein​g?​

I dislike zoos intensely and never go to then. I don't agree with them. So you will never see me at one...not even for the little ones I love.

Who is your favor​ite talk show host?​

Ellen.

What makes​ you happy​?​

Music. Travel. Writing. Reading. Cooking.

But spending time with the people I love..be they family that are friends...or friends that are family...is the cause of great happiness.

Oh and teacups...and espresso sets. lol.

What'​s the great​est thing​ that happe​ned to you today​?​

I woke up!...and being loved! Hush! I'm allowed to be sappy sometimes. lol.

Do you like the perso​n you are becom​ing?​

Not right now...because I am now very quickly losing myself to the illness. I hate that. But look forward to the day when I can start rebuilding myself...and I am curious about the person I will be then.

Do you miss anyon​e from your past?​

Yes. A few splendid people...some dead some just gone from my life. But will always miss and love them.

I did say it was a BIG questionnaire eh? lol.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to bring you birthday cupcakes tomorrow and Trustworthy is swinging by Sunday to bring you a brunch recipe.

Hope you are enjoying that Friday feeling?

~Red~

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

MVC's Garlicky Quinoa & Samphire

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Richie Kotzen ~ Go Faster
Sammie Davis Jr ~ Love Me or Leave Me
Tina Dico ~ Let's Get Lost
The Police ~ Spirits In The Material World
Audioslave ~ Dandelion
Billie Myers ~ Opposites Attract
George Michael ~ Cowboys & Angels
Tanita Tikaram ~ I Love You
Skin ~ Colourblind
Lacuna Coil ~ Half Life
Whitesnake ~ Now You're Gone
KT Tunstall ~ Beauty of Uncertainty
Maroon 5 ~ Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Thunder ~ Move On

During a recent groceries shopping trip I picked up some samphire. Did I know what I was going to do with it? Erm, no! Did I even know what it was? Erm, no! Did I look confident as I picked up the box of the little green strings and safely deposited it in my trolley? Hell, yes! lol. Well I knew it was green and most likely very good for me so where could I go wrong?

Apparently samphire is a marsh plant and looks like a green stick...spikey green stick. Yep my descriptive abilities are on fire today..eh? lol.

See...green sticky things!!! lol
I had no idea what to do with it. So to help ML out I went online and did a search. Apparently it's very popular as an accompaniment to fish..and I found a few variants on a Potato & Samphire Salad recipe. Naturally the first didn't sit right with me...and I just wasn't in the Potato Salad place. Then I happened upon Messy Vegetarians Cook recipe for Garlicky Quinoa and Samphire. Now quinoa I am always in the mood for...

ML's version of Garlicky Quinoa and Samphire
Now for the original recipe please visit MVC's great site by clicking either of the links above. ML had to make a couple of simple adaptions for ours...and so below is the recipe as ML made it. So what did I think of the dish once it was brought to me...firstly the lemon is the main flavour that zinged my tastebuds. The quinoa was perfectly cooked...the other ingredients all blended into a clean taste.

Now to the samphire...when I make this again I shall halve the amount suggested on the recipe. Not because I didn't enjoy it...I did. I just think I would swap some of the samphire out for another ingredient..maybe some fresh garden peas or edamame beans. I enjoyed the samphire but next time would be very selective as to which stems went in...every few mouthfuls there was a hard stalk that I suspect would never cook. I kind of ended up with a bleeding gum at one point. But that was my only negative response to eating this new green plant. I would definitely have it again and look forward to experimenting with it. ML has a frittata recipe formulating..lol.

MVC's Garlicky Quinoa & Samphire (adapted)
(Recipe from messyvegetariancook.com)

85g (1 cup) quinoa
110g marsh samphire
1 tsp olive oil
2 banana shallots, diced
juice of one reg lemon
1 large garlic clove
1 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
handful of freshly chopped parsley
salt - optional

Rinse and cook quinoa as per the packet instructions (a general rule is twice the quantity of water to quinoa, over med heat for 15 minutes).

While the quinoa is cooking prepare the other ingredients and set a pot of water to boil for the samphire.

Pound the garlic and lemon together in a pestle and mortar before adding dill, sugar and liquid smoke.

Saute the shallots in the oil for 5 minutes over a medium heat, stirring often, until translucent. Turn the heat to low, adding the lemon paste and any salt you wish. Cook for a further minute or two, just to tone down the intensity of the raw garlic.

Meanwhile, add the samphire to the pot of water to blanch for two minutes. Drain and add, along with the quinoa and parsley, to the onion mix. Stir until the samphire and quinoa are coated and then serve warm.

Enjoy!

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

~Red~

Monday, 8 April 2013

Finding Courage...

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Jacqueline De Pre ~ Elgar: Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op 85 - 3. Adagio

This is a tricky week...and I am trying very hard to stay upbeat for those around me. I am working hard on keeping my courage topped up. Not easy...but so far...I am doing it. I do have some foodie posts to write for you but just couldn't seem to get the words onto the keyboard. So I started distracting myself and happened upon this image.

Image found online and I take no credit for it.
Now obviously I am sure that Mr Wayne meant a vegan saddle and was very good to his horses! Eh? But as my dear pal Jane always say..."Can't let it get me down..just gotta cowgirl up!"

I also have found the Words with Friends on FB...and I am getting royally beaten by the five lovelies I am playing against. But hey..I'm in it to enjoy playing..not to win...lol An excellent source of distraction.

Be back with you soon with the samphire recipe I promised...hope your week has started well?

~Red~