Friday, 30 September 2011

Chana Masala Nirvana

Kitchen Play List:  Evanescence ~ Lacrymosa
                                      Mr.Buble ~ At This Moment
                                      Metallica ~ Wherever I May Roam
                                      Louis Armstrong ~ Let's Do It
                                      Melissa Etheridge ~ Bring Me Some Water
                                      The Eagles ~ Last Good Time in Town
                                      Sara Sant'Ambrogio ~ Summertime

Now once upon a time..if My Love announced that a work commitment would mean that I would be eating alone..I used to be quite sad. But I take that as good sign...if I didn't miss my other half then there would be a problem right? Or is that just me? lol However, I'm getting used it and I've managed to change my sadness into something else...a free pass to cook the foods that I really like and miss (chickpeas, rice pudding, pineapple, sweetcorn..lol). Hurrah! lol So when I was told I was dining solo on Wednesday evening..I instantly thought of a recipe that I had been desperate to try out for ages. 

It's no secret that I'm a card carrying, paid up member of the chick pea club. My name is Red and I am a chick pea addict. lol. My Love..not so much. So chickpeas are usually eaten as hummus, dips and as part of something. Me? I can eat them out of the tin! lol. A couple of years ago I bought Colleen Patrick-Goudreaus cook book The Vegan Table

I have been wanting to try her Chana Masala recipe ever since the first time I " Ooooh'd " at the photo. But I knew this would be way to 'chickpea' for My Love. lol. So my mind was made up, on Wednesday that was my evening meal sorted out. 

It was everything I hoped it would be. Spicy, rich and choc full of chickpeas. My lips had that heady mix of numbness and tingling afterward. I made two changes to the recipe..instead of using 2 tbsp sugar...I used 1 tbsp and the recipe calls for 1 1/2 tsp chilli powder...I used 1/2 tsp hot chilli powder and 1 tsp mild. I loved this recipe and I will be making it often..even when My Love is here. lol. Sorry...

Chana Masala Nirvana! lol
Chana Masala  Serves 8-10
(Recipe from The Vegan Table/Patrick-Goudreau)

2 cups/470ml water plus 2 tbsp water, divided
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp chilli powder 
2 tbsp sugar
1 6oz tin of tomato paste
4 x 14oz tins of chick peas, rinsed and drained
salt to taste

Heat the 2 tbsp water in a large skillet/pan. Add the onions and ginger, and saute for about 5 minutes or until they are translucent. Add coriander, cumin, garam masala, cinnamon, cloves, chilli powder and sugar and stir for 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes. Stir to combine. 

Add chickpeas and remaining water  and cook for 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. To vary thickness of the curry, either add water or let water cook down. Add salt to taste. 

So good I had to show it twice! lol
And then enjoy Nirvana! I did! lol
~R~
 

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Leek, Carrot and Tarragon Soup

My Loves Kitchen Play List: P!nk ~ This is How it Goes Down
                                                         K.D Lang ~ Didn't I
                                                         Blur ~ Entertain me
                                                         The Cure ~ Just Like Heaven
                                                         The Smiths ~ Ask
                                                         Joni Mitchell ~ Amelia

This delicate, light and subtle soup is from Rose Elliot's cookbook Low Fat, Low Sugar

Now I wasn't sure if I liked it during the first few mouthful as I had never tasted tarragon before but by the end of the bowl I was loving it. It's so different from other soups...it's brothy, perfumey...but addictive. lol. So be warned! Now we enjoy it often...

For the photo I have left it as the recipe suggests but as it's one of our 'snack' soups, we blended it smooth. 

Leek, Carrot and Tarragon Soup
Leek, Carrot and Tarragon Soup Serves 4
(Recipes from Low Fat, Low Sugar/Elliot)

4 leeks, finely sliced
2 large carrots, cut into 1/4" dice
850ml/30 fl oz veggie stock or water
grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp fresh chopped tarragon or 3/4-1 tsp dried tarragon

Put the leek into a non-stick pan, cover and cook for about 5 minutes, until it is beginning to soften, stirring from time to time. Add the carrot and the stock or water, bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and leave to boil gently for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the leeks and carrots are fully cooked. Puree a ladleful of the soup, then stir this into the rest of the soup in the saucepan. Season with the nutmeg, salt, pepper. Sprinkle over with tarragon if using fresh...if using dried add in with the carrot and stock. 

Serve and enjoy!
 

~R~   

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Curried Cauliflower with Black Beans

Kitchen Play List:  The Kinks ~ Set Me Free
                                       Booty Luv ~ Boogie 2Nite
                                       Enrique Iglesias ~ Could I Have The Kiss
                                       Nicola Benedetti ~ Schubert : Ave Maria
                                       Nelly & Jaheim ~ My Place
                                       Evanescence ~ Lose Control

I cannot believe the sunshine beaming through my workroom windows today...lol. Is it summer or autumn? Who can tell? lol. As autumn is probably my most favourite season I guess I'm hoping for the later. lol. But I think in my mind I've already given myself over to the lovely autumnal season. In my head I'm going back over my favourite warm and comforting dishes. And at the moment they have to be easy to make as I'm kitchen able for about 30 minutes a day. (Yes my patience is still being tested! lol) 

This dish I found on FatFreeVegan.com and it was adapted from another recipe and I have changed it some too.

I love cauliflower and black beans so I knew I had to try this recipe but then I made the adaptions of adding broccoli and mushrooms and uping the chilli flakes. We usually have it with brown rice but as we're detoxing for two weeks, we had it serves over shredded steamed white cabbage. Believe me, cabbage beds tastes far more better then they sound! lol. 

I ran out of energy before photographing this dish so My Love helpfully took a snap whilst it was still in the skillet...so thanks once again to My Love. I hope you try this dish as it's a tasty one! lol


Curried Cauliflower with Black Beans
Curried Cauliflower with Black Beans
(Adapted from an adapted recipe originally found on FatFreeVegan.com)

1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 small cauliflower, cut into bitesize florets
1 med broccoli. cut into bitesize florets
3/4 - 1 tsp crushed chilli flakes
1 14oz tin of chopped tomatoes
3 large mushrooms, halved and sliced
1 14oz tin of black beans, rinsed and drained

Heat a large skillet and the curry powder, cumin and coriander. Cook, stirring until just fragrant..10-15 seconds.

Add cauliflower, broccoli and chilli flakes and 4 tbsp water. Cook, stirring as needed until the cauliflower is well coated and nearly all the liquid is evaporated. 4-5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, mushroom and another 4 tbsp water. Stir well to combine. Cook, covered, stirring until slightly thickened, about 10-15 minutes. 

Gently stir in the beans. Cook until heated through, 2-3 minutes. Serve.

Enjoy!
~R~ 

Monday, 26 September 2011

Romanian Ghiveci

Kitchen Play List: Nickelback ~ Dark Horse Album
  
This casserole is one we enjoy every now and then. It's excellent for those days when you want something that is full of goodness..full of flavour and simple to make. The original recipe gives you cooking instructions for the oven but I have tried making this in my slow cooker (on low for six hours..no added stock as the veggies release a lot of juice.) and it was good. But on days when I want comfort I like to cook it as a traditional casserole. 

The recipe is from Linda Majzliks cook book A Vegan Taste of Eastern Europe

I like the mix of vegetables used in this recipe and the flavour is wholesome and savoury. It's also filling so I usually serve it over a shredded steamed cabbage bed. The many flavours mix well. You don't really need rice etc. as it's choc full of root vegetables. But the choice is yours..lol. 

Now I know this just looks like a jumble of veggies...lol. It's not the most attractive of dishes but the combination of the flavours of the veggies, the bayleaf and the simple herbs make this one tasty dish! 

Romanian Ghiveci
Romanian Ghiveci Serves 4
(Recipe from A Vegan Taste of Eastern Europe/Majzlik)

1 14oz tin of chopped tomatoes
10oz/300g aubergine, diced
8oz/225g potato, peeled and diced
8oz/225g carrot, peeled and chopped
6oz/175g courgette, sliced
6oz/175g cooked red kidney beans
6oz/175g red pepper, sliced
4oz/100g shelled peas
1 onion, peeld and sliced
2 celery sticks, trimmed and slices 
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
2 rounded tbsp chopped fresh mixed herbs or 1 1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
6fl oz/175ml veggie stock
2 fl oz/50 ml white wine or extra stock
1 bay leaf
black pepper
chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion, celery and garlic for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, carrots and stock and bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients except for the parsley. Mix thoroughly and transfer to a deep casserole dish. Cover and bake in a preheated oven at 180'C/350'F/Gas Mark 4 for about 1 1/2 hours until done. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with mamalgia and warm bread. Or over a dark cabbage bed. 

Enjoy!
~R~
 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Cumin

My Loves Kitchen Play List: John Lennon ~ Borrowed Time
                                                       Pixies ~ Here Comes Your Man
                                                       Bob Dylan ~ Talking World War 111
                                                       Morrissey ~ Shoplifter of the World
                                                       Catatonia ~ Valerian
                                                       Van Morrison ~ Domino
                                                       (Argh! lol ~R~)

It feels shocking to admit that I haven't always been a fan of soup. Until I bought Rose Elliot's cookbook, Low Fat, Low Sugar

My experience with soup had been the horrific tinned variety or homemade ones made with chicken stock or worse..beef stock. Thankfully the latter experiences were very few and only when visiting other people's houses. I knew after one visit..never ask for soup! lol. 

My Love is a big fan of soup and so when I bought the cook book above I started experimenting. Now the first one I tried blew my mind..(Carrot and Lentil Soup)..then fueled by my new found love I made this one the next day. And.Hated.It! There just wasn't words for how much I disliked it. So you are probably asking yourself why I'm blogging about it today? lol. 

I realised that it was simply a case of tastebuds...it was at the very beginning of my veganism. My tastebuds had been used to processed and often cheesy foods so I couldn't fully appreciate the flavours of this soup. My love loved it from the first mouthful! So I tried it again some months later and realised it was a fantastic soup. Yes it's sweet but butternut squash just is...and it's rich. You feel spoilt whilst you're eating it. It's a thing of beauty. lol. 

So as we had a butternut squash sat waiting to be used, we decided that this would be the soup to start our detox lunches with. 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Cumin
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Cumin Serves 4 
(Recipe from Low Fat, Low Sugar/Elliot)

1 butternut squash
1 onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp cumin
600ml/20fl oz veggie stock or water
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400'F/200'C/Gas Mark 6. Cut the squash into half, down through it's stem, Scoop out the seeds, then put the halves cut side down on to a baking try and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until they are tender, turning them over about half way through cooking time. 

Tender roasted butternut
Cool. Scoop the flash away from the skin using a spoon and discard the skin. All this can be done well in advance, if convenient.  

Put the onion into a non-stick pan, cover and cook gently for about 7 minutes, until the onion is tender and lightly browned, stirring from time to time. Add the garlic and cumin, stir over the heat for a few seconds, until the cumin smells aromatic, then add the squash flesh and the stock or water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and leave to boil gently for about 10 minutes, to allow all the flavours to blend and to ensure everything is cooked. Puree in a food processor or blender. Add a little more stock or water if necessary to get the consistency to your liking. Season with salt and pepper and serve. 

Enjoy! 
~R~
 


  

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Celery, Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

My Love's Kitchen Play List: Inspiral Carpets ~ Uniform
                                                       Billie Holiday ~ Loverman
                                                       Pearl Jam ~ Black
                                                       L.Cole & Commo.. ~ Never Ends
                                                       Nirvana ~ On a Plain
                                                       Aerosmith ~ Eat the Rich

Now this lovely and very tasty soup comes from a very good cookbook by Rose Elliot...Low Fat, Low Sugar 

From looking at it you think it's going to be a run of the mill tomato flavour but when you take your first mouthful you are bowled over by the celery and red pepper. It's a very simple soup but packed with flavour. It's light too so you don't get the 'heavy' feeling you can often experience with some soups. This is why it's the first 'snack' soup on our Detox. And as I've just enjoyed my first cup of this soup I can say...it works perfectly. lol. 

My Love is hard at work in my kitchen..lol..almost running a soup production line. And as you can see by the play list...I'm being tortured by My Love's iPod! (With the exception of Pearl Jam! Oh and Aerosmith! lol)  Oh well...it's a small price to pay for the delicious meals coming out of the kitchen today! 

Celery, Tomato and Sweet Red Pepper Soup...come on energy we are ready for ya! lol
Celery, Tomato and Sweet Red Pepper Soup Serves 4
(Recipe from Low Fat, Low Sugar/Elliot)

1 onion, chopped
2 sweet red peppers, deseeded and chopped
1 head of celery, finely sliced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
14 oz tin of chopped tomatoes
400ml/14fl oz vegetable stock or water
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the onion, pepper and celery into a non-stick saucepan and cook, without additional fat or liquid, for 6-7 minutes, until they are flecked with brown and getting soft, stirring often to prevent sticking. Add the garlic and the tomatoes, stock or water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and leave to boil gently for 30 minutes, stirring occassionally, until the vegetables are very tender. Puree a generous portion of the soup in a food processor or blender, then return it to the rest of the soup and stir. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

NB: For the photo we left it as directed above but for the purpose of our Detox, we blended it down to a thin soup. 

Enjoy! 
~R~
 

I'm Back!...And heading to Detox...lol

Hello there my patient readers. 

I'm back..well..I'm sat at my desk typing this and not in 'the chair of doom'! lol. My Love is busy in the kitchen cooking up lovely things for the start of our Two Week Detox. Now please don't roll your eyes as it's not a..survive on a lettuce leaf and water kind of detox. 

Quite simply we have slipped into bad eating habits whilst I've been unwell and are both feeling Yuck because of it. But sometimes you just have to do what you can to get through the day. Today is the start of a two week cleanse of all the bad choices...if that makes sense. 

The detox is simple and will bombard our bodies with goodness so that we'll feel energised and better able to cope with the coming months of hospitals and whatnot. 

Breakfast will be a Green Smoothie. (Had the first one this morning and already had an energy spike! Fab! lol)

Lunch will be a hearty but low fat/low sugar vegetable and legume/pulse based soup. 

Evening meal will be a low fat/low sugar based cooked veggie dish served with steamed veggies. (Tonight we are having Bean stuffed Marrow) 

Snacks throughout  the day are a low fat/low sugar 'thin' soup. 

Drinks are water and herbal teas.

Low Sugar fruits are unlimited for snacking. 

1oz per day of raw walnuts to get EFA's in a pure form. 

So we are not starving ourselves! lol. But we will be eating this way for two weeks. So there will be an abundance of soup recipes being posted and I make no apologies for this because I firmly believe you can never have too many soups recipes! 

Wish us luck? lol 

~R~

Thursday, 22 September 2011

More of a fizzle than a bang...lol

Paperwork Play List:  Listening to the highlights of Lattitude Festival on SkyArts

This about sums it up! lol. (Photo courtesy of Google Image Search)
Well, day two, off the meds and off rest...and my hoped for 'firework display' of movement and ability, turned out to be..well..a sparkler that burnt bright for about 30 seconds and then went out. Dammit! So My Loves advice of making a list and halving it, has now turned into...making a list...then tearing it up and taking things so slowly that it's almost worse then being on rest. My patience is really being tested today. 

So I am catching up on paperwork and writing up menus and cruising recipes with the hope that this weekend I shall get back in my kitchen. 

I know you have been patient whilst I've been unwell so please keep the faith and I will be back very soon with recipes, food photo blogs and hopefully laughs. 

OK now I'm going to practice my 'patience deep breathing' exercise and try not to scream. *wink* lol 

~R~ 

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Final Day of Rest....

'Resting' Play List:   Nickelback ~ Burn It to the Ground (feeling fiesty..lol)

Celebration Fireworks! lol (Courtesy of Google Images)
Oh yes...it's a happy day here. It's my last day on 'rest' and I am feeling so much better. But I am not going to go mad...as My Love so eloquently suggested to me last night..."Make a list of what you want to achieve...then halve it!!" Oh well...just being able to pootle about and get out of this damn chair will do me just fine. So I shall try and enjoy the last day  and hopefully finish the book I'm reading and then tomorrow I can hopefully..move my ass! lol. 

So today the post is short but sweet and I hope the fireworks make you smile. lol Food postings are on the way very soon...

Now just gotta be good for one...more....day! Urgh! lol 

~R~

Monday, 19 September 2011

Patient..me?...I wish! lol

'Resting' Play List:  Nickelback ~ Dark Horse CD

Ah, the start of a brand new week...lovely...two more days of resting then I can start to pootle around...and hopefully that will be followed shortly after by some much needed kitchen time. 

It's been a long couple of weeks..I'd like to think that I've been good humoured..ahem..about it all. Once the pain subsided I was able to take it in my stride...I got through many books, many films and listened to so much music. And as my kid brother pointed out this morning..this was his idea of a perfect day. lol. 

But the one thing I cannot claim is being a patient person. I want to be but it never quite happens. Doctor ordered rest does kind of take away your choices and so I've had to accept the situation but it doesn't stop me trying to rush things. And I think the next couple of days will be the ultimate test. I am feeling much better than I did two weeks ago, five days ago even. But I know I'm not quite there yet and my natural thought process is to 'just do a little of this and that'..which I know would set me back...but my impatience is a hard battle to fight. 

lmao..this is so me...Yikes.
It is a virtue that I lack and make light of it often. But it is a virtue that I truly would love to have. I have tried many things to re-educate myself...I've meditated...I've worked through Self Help exercises..Oh the list is endless and I'm too impatient to type it all..*wink* lol. I can see people who have patience...and I try and learn from their approach or their methods but I can never quite get it right.

I do believe that I have picked up some helpful thought processes along the way. And it really is a constant work in progress. For example...during the early hours of this morning, I was planning out my day..."I could just do a little of this...maybe knock up some of that (Hummus)..rest a little and then do some of 'that'." and so on. But this morning when it was time to get up I had the choice in front of me...get up and get going and end up back at the Doctors....or take it easy, rest and maybe on Wednesday I will be completely well and be able to do things and not end up back at the doctors? I actually realised  that I had thought this all through and was thinking that two more days wasn't too long...and here I am on rest. A breakthrough? Could it possibly be true? lol. Probably, but I am human, not perfect and as open to human error as the next person...so I am taking it slow. Today I was patient...for 15 minutes...it's a start. 

Below is a quote I found online and it is something to aspire to...each day try again..and who knows maybe tomorrow I will be patient for 30 minutes...lol ~R~

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering you own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew.  Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
 
 

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Vegetable Chilli ~ Slow Cooker style

'Resting' Play List:  Madison Avenue ~ Don't Call Me Baby
                                       Gewn Stefani ~ Hollaback Girl
                                       Thunder ~ Gimme Some Lovin'
                                       Melissa Etheridge ~ Resist
                                       Sara Sant'Ambrogio ~ Duet from Lakme
                                       The Gossip ~ Live and Let Love 

Vegetable Chilli is right up there with Vegetable Lasagne in my 'love or loath' list. It seems to be everyone's go to recipe for invading vegans coming to their homes. lol. Which is great if it's a 'good' Chilli or Lasagne but if it's not...it's a culinary nightmare. I like my vegetable chilli to be packed with vegetables..not just onion and carrot. I like my chilli to have a selection of beans..not just kidney. I like my chilli to have a rich spicy sauce and not a flavourless watery liquid. And maybe I am being a little hard on this matter but I've had more then my fair share of watery, flavourless vegetable chilli's. If eating out I tend to steer clear of the veggie chilli or lasagne on offer. And if they are the only things on a menu..I have been known to have a liquid lunch instead..lol. 

I found this recipe whilst visiting FatFreeVegan.com and it claimed to be from The Best Slow Cooker Cookbook Ever by Natalie Haughton. Now it wasn't clear if Natalie is the author or Natalie was the person who posted it there...Anyway...that is where I found it and I'm very happy I did. 

It is a rare treat for me this weekend as I get to have sweetcorn in my chilli...My Love would leave the house if I served up sweetcorn...lol...or rice pudding...or pineapple! Hmm suddenly getting a craving for Pineapple Rice Pudding! lol Stupid resting...lol


The photo's for this posting and the Greek Big Beans are maybe not my best but they are served on my two new bargain crocks. I have been coveting these Denby bowls for years but at £7.50 a bowl, they were way out of my price range. Then during a recent supermarket visit there were two 'Mushroom colour' bowls sat alone on a shelf, marked up at £1.50 each. So we took it as a sign and put them in our trolley..very quickly. lol. 


A good Vegetable Chilli
Vegetable Chilli ~ Slow Cooker Style
(Recipe from The Best Slow Cooker Cookbook)

2 medium courgettes, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 packet of green beans, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
3 carrots, peeled and sliced into half moons
3 celery ribs, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
1 14oz tin of borlotti/pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 14oz tin of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 sm tin of sweetcorn, rinsed and drained
2 14oz chopped tomatoes
2 tsp hot chilli powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1/3 cup tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
1 birds eye chilli with seeds, minced (optional) 

In a large slow cooker add all the ingredients and stir throughly to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or until the vegetables are tender. Re-season to taste. 

Makes 6 servings...when served over brown rice. Or if the chilli is looking a little too liquid I throw in some couscous or bulgar wheat 30 minute before serving...


Not a great shot but I tried lol And you do get to see the bowl a little more..picture a mushroom coloured outer bowl.
Enjoy! 
~R~
 

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Greek Big Beans ~ Slow Cooker Style

'Resting' Play List: Dan Balan ~ Chicha Bomb
                                      Jace Everett ~ A Little Less Lonely
                                      Chris Cornell ~ Today
                                      Mr.Buble ~ Quando, Quando, Quando
                                      Nat King Cole ~ Stardust
                                      Queen ~ Good Old Fashioned Loverboy

Now I love all beans and pulses...there isn't one I don't like. Hang on..I'm just mentally going through the list...Nope..I like them all. lol. And for the most part My Love likes them too. But when we met I was told that there was no way I would ever be able to serve up Butter beans in a way My Love would enjoy them. Now this was nearly a deal breaker as they are one of my most favourite. If dining alone I have been known to cook some brown rice, add cooked butter beans and drizzle with soya sauce and be a very happy person. I love the simple flavours of the three ingredients. Yum! 

So I had to live without them for a while until I started slipping them into dishes with the hope that My Love didn't..well..throw up. And it worked..as long as I kept them to a minimum and they were part of a multi ingredient dish then My Love found them enjoyable. I also found blitzed up in soups or in pates...was an easier way for My Love to enjoy them. So the problem seemed to be with whole butter beans served as a side to a meal. 

As I can eat them simply warmed through, without dressing this was still rather sad for me. It was a sad day when a found a Zingy Butter bean Stir Fry recipe and knew I'd love it and My Love would hate it...And this recipe was a similar story...My Love did try it but gave it a very low score...whereas I gave it a 10. 

So now whenever My Love is away, like this weekend, out comes the slowcooker and on goes the Greek Big Beans. I get to enjoy a hearty plate of butter beans with some spinach. If I'm very hungry I will serve it over a small amount of bulgar wheat or brown rice. I love the garlic infused tomato sauce and plump luscious beans. 

I've had this recipe for some time and it's on a print out from the internet so I can't give credit where it's due...but whoever you are..thank you so much! lol 

Greek Big Beans...Yum!
Greek Big Beans

1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 14 oz tins of butter beans, rinsed and drained
2 14 oz tins of chopped tomatoes
salt to taste 
black pepper to taste
1 tsp dried parsley


Saute the onion in a little oil in a small skillet until softened, then add the garlic and cook until the garlic is soft, an additional minute. 


Transfer the sauteed mixture to a slow cooker and add the beans, tomatoes, salt, pepper and dried parsley. Stir well to combine. 


Cook on low for 4-6 hours. 
Adaptions: 
I add in some chopped fresh spinach 5 minutes before serving. 
I add bulgar wheat to the pot 30 minutes before serving.
I serve it over some brown rice.


Enjoy the butterbeanfest! I will...lol
~R~

Friday, 16 September 2011

Freesias for Friendship!

Do you have a friend who is unwell..feeling a little blue...and maybe isolating herself from everyone? You do? Huh. Want to make her day? Want to put a smile on her face? Really? You do? Huh. lol. 

Well I do have one suggestion...turn up at her front door wearing your lovely sunny smile...give her a lovely bunch of white freesias and a huge hug...make a cuppa and stay for awhile and have a good old natter. When you leave she will feel blessed to have a good pal like you in her life, stimulated from having someone to talk to for a few hours and she will feel a little less URGH! lol. 

Freesias for Friendship....beautiful to look at and divine scent too!
You see, I know this works because it's exactly what my pal D did for me yesterday. The flowers she brought me where lovely and the freesias my sister had given me where still going strong so all I had to do was trim them and slot them in amongst them. Marvelous. 

I have been thoroughly spoilt with flowers this week and they are a joy to look at as I am still resting so they are right there with me all day. And now I have a fantastic waft of Freesia every now and then too. I know some people don't like cut flowers..prefering wild and garden grown flowers...I like them too! But when you are feeling low there is nothing like the reminder that your love...your sister..and your lovely pal...are there and cared enough to 'say it with flowers'. And I like to share these with you so if you are having a bad day they may just make you smile too....

So I have two slow cookers/crockpots cooking in the kitchen right now. My Love is away this weekend so we decided to slow cook a couple of recipes so I have something to eat and some food to blog about! So I shall be sharing these recipes with you over the next couple of days...so stay with me...food blogs are imminent! Promise...lol. 

Happy Friday all...
~R~ 

Thursday, 15 September 2011

A - Z of Me...

I found this questionnaire whilst visiting my friends blog...and it seemed like a bit of fun and as I'm not back in my kitchen yet...I thought...why not? lol So I hope you find it entertaining...

ANORAK..Do you have a sad side? 
Hmm..sad,eh? Well I suppose some could say my teacup & saucer..espresso set collections are sad. But I would argue to death with them...Oh ok that really does make it sad, eh? lol.

BODY..What physical attribute would you like to change?
I have a long body...but short legs and arms..so probably a little more length on them both would be nice. 
 
CELEBRITY..Which one would you like to date meet and why?
As I am very happily married...I would like to meet...Daniel Craig to see if he is as cool as he seems. Shakira to see if she really can 'shake it' lol. Henry Winkler because he was the Fonz...and Lindsey Wagner because she is 'the' Bionic Woman. 

DEBUT..Tell us about your first ever blog post..what made you start blogging?
My first poor attempt was about five years ago and I found it horrific. So I didn't even think about it again until last year. Buoyed up by the support of My Love and the opinions of my friends I decided to start Rocket and Roses..a food based blog...I remember the photo being orange and dark..I think it was stuffed pumpkins? lol I hope I've improved since then? 

ERROR..What's been your biggest regret?
Not having children..not by choice either.


FUNNY..Who is making you laugh?
I recently caught Tim Vine performing his show on TV and I ached from laughing. There is an Aussie comedian who just cracks me up..no matter how many times I've seen his show. I also love Ed Byrne..and my niece N is the most hilarious little comediene and she's only 2!! lol   


GRAND..If we gave you one right now..what would you spend it on?
Easy..a long holiday for My Love who works so hard..and of course I would go too! And a family holiday for my sister and her family as they badly need one too. 
 
HOLIDAY..What's your favourite destination?
I haven't been everywhere yet...but last year we went to Aberystwyth (Not sure on the spelling..lol) in Wales. I had been putting off visiting Wales for years but gave in to My Love's requests...and fell in love with the place..I could've stayed and never come home. Beautiful...
 
IRRITATE..What's your most annoying habit?
Impatience..most probably. (No! Actually it's the use of the phrase "it doesn't matter" when it clearly does! - a blog hijack by "My love")
 
JOKER..What's your favourite joke?
Oh tough one...this is one I heard recently and it made me chuckle...
Why did the vegetarian cross the road? 
Because she was protesting for the chicken! 
See I'm giggling as I type this...lol 

KENNEL..Do you have any pets?
We have one little Westie...aka The Sock Stealer
 
LOVE..Are you single/married/engaged/living with a partner?
Married..very happily too! 
 
MEAL..What's your ultimate meal..starter/main/dessert?
lol Oh my goodness..it would be a disaster eaten together but here goes...lol
Fave Starter: Onion Bahjis with sauce from our fave Indian resturant.
Fave Main: Cheeze (Soya obviously), Onion and Potato Layer with a massive pile of steamed brocolli. Heaven. 
Fave Dessert: 'Good' fresh Blackberries or Strawberries with vanilla soya ice cream. Or Jam Roly Poly and soya custard on a cold winter's evening.  


NOW..If you could be anywhere right now? And who with?
My fantasy 'Dead or Alive' dinner party I guess, just for the fun factor. I think that it's a given that I would love to just have five more minutes with my loved ones, friends and family that have passed on. But for fun that dinner party with Freddie Mercury, Greta Garbo, Lindsay Wagner, Henry Winkler, Jack Lemmon, Luke Morley...oh I could go on for hours...lol 
Or..on that holiday with My Love...


OFF DUTY..What do you do in your spare time?
lol...time with My Love and friends and family, cooking, reading, writing..
 
PROUD MOMENTS..What are you most proud of?
My relationship with My Love
....and my tea cup collection..lol  

QUEASY..What turns your stomach?
Neglect. Abuse. Prejudice. Misogyny. Gelatine. And BO & bad breath. lol
 
RELAX..How do you relax?
Being near water. Listening to the cello. Listening to the rain. Live gigs.
 
SONG..What's your favourite song of all time?
Oh blimey so many songs...so many genres...too many to choose from. It can change in a mere moment. But for this moment in time...In My Darkest Hour ~ Thunder. Four of my favourite things: Song written by Luke Morley...Acoustic guitar..the cello and Danny Bowes voice..perfection.

TIME..If you could go back in time and relive it again, when would you choose?
If I could go back in time..I wouldn't choose to relive my own life...it may have really sucked at times but it's made me who I am today. However....I would go back in time and bounce around in different time periods as I'm a bit of a history nut so would like to experience the past for myself. 

UNKNOWN..Tell us something about yourself that no one knows?
*whispers* I am a 'The Big Bang Theory' addict...lol Geeks rock...

VOCAL..Who is your favourite artist?
Luke Morley
 
WORK..What is your dream job? And are you doing it now?
I truly do not have a dream job so no I am not doing it now..lol 


XRAY..Any broken bones?
Few old fractures...but no breaks..thank goodness
 
YIKES..What's been your most embarrassing moment?
Freezing on stage during a drama exam...completely lost the whole script...my drama partner was not impressed...I must have had other occassions but I can't recall them right now.


ZOO..If you were an animal, which one would you be?
Tough one to answer as I absolutely detest zoos. I can't bare to visit them. And safari resorts. They make me very unhappy. 
But animal? I could say a lioness...or something cute...but in all honesty I think I would be happier being a Womble! lol. I was obsessed with the children's show when I was a kid and always wanted to be one...so that's my answer and I'm sticking to it. lol.  

Orinoco - so cool! lol
Hope you enjoyed my answers...lol 

~R~