Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Party Snails.....

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Temple of the Dog ~ Four Walled World
Joan Jett ~ Kiss On The Lips
U2 ~ I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Little Angels ~ Young Gods
Soundgarden ~ Mind Riot
Maroon 5 ~ Can't Stop
The Who ~ Real Good Looking Boy
Melissa Etheridge ~ Come On Out Tonight
Sting ~ Love In The Seventh Wave
Supermotorfunk ~ Get Down On It
Shelby Lynne ~ Why Can't You Be?
Enrique Iglesias ~ Addicted
Sugarbabes ~ Overload
Little Angels ~ Back Door Man

I need one of these little cuties...but cannot find anywhere that sells them...can you help?

Party Snails..Soulfun Designs

Thank you for stopping by folks...feeling a little better. I hope your weeks are going great and you have had many reasons to smile?


Sunday, 24 February 2013

Brunch: Potatoes Nicoise

Rocket & Roses (ML's) HQ Play list:

BBC Radio 6 Mary Ann Hobbs Show

Potatoes Nicoise...a beautiful aromatic brunch
ML brought me this brunch offering and exclaimed it looked like a pile of mush. It had been made at my request...and I couldn't disagree more. To me it looked like a little bowl of heaven...and as the aromas worked their way towards me, my mouth salivated.

The recipe is from one of my very first purchased vegan cook books...Leah Leneman's Easy Vegan Cooking. It uses leftover potatoes and is complimented by onions, garlic, olive and green peppers (Yes..I found a recipe in which green peppers are enjoyable! lol) and fresh tomatoes.

From the first mouthful...till the very last I was in food heaven. Comfort from the perfectly cooked potatoes, texture from the mix of veggies and the heady hit of flavours. It was delicious and I know this will be a regular brunch offering here.

Sadly it wasn't as great an experience for ML....who had a massive reaction to the beautiful aromas whilst cooking. So we are facing the fact that ML may have to also retire from kitchen duties. An immediate future of smoothies and salads seem to be a reality. Oh well.

Thanks goes out to Ms Leneman for a fantastic cook book and recipe...your recipes constantly satisfy and never let me down.

Potatoes Nicoise Serves 1-2
(Recipe from Easy Vegan Cooking/Leneman)

455g/1lb cooked potatoes
2 onions
3 garlic cloves
4 tbs olive oil
1 small green pepper
4-6 ripe tomatoes
4 tbs finely chopped parsley
12 black olives
sea salt to personal preference
freshly ground black pepper

Chop the cooked potatoes in cubes

Chop the onions and garlic finely. Saute in the oil for a few minutes until just tender.

Cut the green pepper into thin slivers. Add to the pan for a minute or two.

Add the potatoes to the pan and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown.

Skin and chop the tomatoes. Add to the pan together with the parsley, turn the heat up, and cook for 2-3 minutes longer.

Finely chop the olives. Stir into the potato mixture along with the seasonings. And serve.

ML NB: Potatoes never really browned up that much...a hint of browning don't waste a lot of time waiting for them to do so. And it was delish anyway...


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

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Sculpture Love: Penny Hardy

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

The Union ~ The World Is Yours

You Blew Me Away by Penny Hardy
Happy weekend one and all...I am pleased to report I am finally recovering from the viral nasty overload. But definitely not up to speed I've been keeping quiet and doing a lot of movie watching, reading and researching. Oh yes..and cruising Pinterest. lol. And it was during one of those sessions that I found this sculpture by the very talented artist Penny Hardy.

I love the haunting yet powerful feel to the piece...and I hope to see it up close and personal one day. Having looked into Ms Hardy's other pieces..I can now say I am a huge fan...and will be seeking them out as soon as I am well. For more information about Ms Hardy's work simply click here for her website.

Tomorrow I hope to bring you a new brunch recipe that is packed with flavour and texture. Thanks for stopping by folks...and keeping the faith. Never taken for granted...

I hope your Saturday is a very excellent one...filled with things you 'want' to do....


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Warning: Lurgy ridden!...

Rocket & Roses HQ Entertainment:

Hours and hours of Netflix....and then some...

No real news folks except that I'm still wiped out by this virus I picked up recently. Whether it's because my immune system is shot..or it's just a really nasty's taking on a new symptom everyday...worsening in my case.

ML, I'm pleased to report, is back up and running with just a residual cough. My family who have it seem to be working through it too...thank goodness.Apart from little M who seems to be sharing his Aunties strain. Me...not so lucky. Oh well..what doesn't kill So I just wanted to pop in and let you folks know...either myself or Trustworthy will be back soon with a posting.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you week is being good to you and you are virus free!...


Sunday, 10 February 2013

Brunch Lite: Innocent Kiwi, Apple & Lime Smoothie..

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Suzi Quatro ~ Make Me Smile
Halestorm ~ Don't Know How To Stop
Mr Bowie ~ Let's Dance
Halestorm ~ It's Not You
JET ~ Holiday
Rob Thomas ~ I Am An Illusion
Little Angels ~ Young Gods
Alanis Morrisette ~ All I Really Want
Halestorm ~ Dirty Work
The Zutons ~ Valerie
Jack Johnson ~ Cocoon
Madonna ~ Forbidden Love
The Cranberries ~ Do You Know?
The Fratellis ~ Mistress Mabel

No other words...well..except...Yummmmmmm!
Well...yes. I know this technically isn't a brunch posting. yes..I've cheated. But extreme viral nasties are to blame. R&R HQ is wiped out by the pesky little critters. And I am craving Vit C like anything and I'm not the biggest fan of freshly squeezed orange or the shop bought kind. I drink it rarely...and usually only use it in dressings or sauces when cooking. Just my personal preference eh?

Now a smoothie? Those I do like but once again I am picky. I don't enjoy the plant based milk, yoghurt or ice cream laden ones. And my biggest problem with smoothies is the banana factor. I hate that funny after taste thanks to the mashed banana. Yuck.

So my taste has always been for the green smoothies and enjoyed a green smoothie bender I went on a couple of years ago..see Green Smoothie Revolution label. I like the green leafies mixed with fruits and salad ingredients. I enjoy the lightness of these smoothies over their 'milky' cousins.

When this latest viral nasty hit body went into Vit C craving overtime...and my preferred Vit C boost of choice, is the rather lovely Kiwi. I was eating them with every meal and as a snack in between meals. Couldn't get enough of them.

Then I was talking this through with ML and I was saying..."Oh how lovely it would be to just be able to drink my kiwis...." (Dramatic sob of a viral ridden person here!! lol Seriously...) ML suggested having a look at what the local supermarket had to offer in premade smoothies and as I don't react well to most of them..and they almost always have that nasty banana factor..I shrugged the suggestion off but said good luck.

Thirty minutes later I was brought up a glass of green goo...and I eyed it suspiciously. But it smelt divine...and so I raised my eyebrow in question..hmmm what's the catch? ML then informed me that Innocent Smoothies had just brought out a new banana free smoothie. Kiwi, Apple & Lime...and it was vegan etc. Answer to my smoothie in a rush prayers????

Well it passed the smell test as the freshness of the apples, lime and other ingredients (if you click on the photo above it takes you direct to their site and the recipe for this smoothie) hit you as you take in your first sniff. Appearance? It's a glass of green smush...but not an unpleasant one. Taste? Now this is the deal breaker, eh? Oh is delicious with a fresh and clean flavour. It hasn't got that shop premade twang in its flavour that most of them really does taste like it's just been poured from your blender.

Will I buy it again? Yes...most definitely. And I am enjoying a glass of its lovely greenness twice a day right now to help fight the lurgy. Great product...and a great addition to any Brunch....see I got there in the

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


Saturday, 9 February 2013

Gratuitous Vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake...with berries..

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Chopin Nocturnes Playlist on iPod's been quite a week here at R & R HQ...with a very bad viral nasty rampaging through my entire family. ML & I were completely floored by it and could barely lift our heads off of the pillows yesterday. And if I'm honest we are still under the viral influence and fear we shall be for a few more days to come....Urgh!...

Trustworthy stepped in and wrote a great posting about his Happy Chicken Nuggets which I thought was great and you folks have responded well to it. May keep him around you know? lol. Thanks fella...

Being on that horrific bed rest thing...I have very little to post food wise today but I do have a great photo for you to's virtually chocoholic foodie porn. lol. It comes via ML..who was once again cake baker commander in it was my baby sisters 30th birthday on Wednesday. And my sisters request is always the same...chocolate, chocolate and oh a little more chocolate. Crazy chick. Oh and if it's OK..maybe a little fruit to go with it...

So here it is....the 30th birthday cake...which I can confirm..tasted every bit as good as it looked. The chocolate cake recipe is Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's Chocolate Bundt Cake recipe from Joy of Vegan Baking. It's the perfect chocolate cake and the filling and covering comes from a very old recipe of mine. Quite fudgey. The centre of the bundt is filled with strawberries, raspberries and cherries....and when you cut into the cake...there is a waterfall of fruit. And the combination of the smells of chocolate and the to die for. Yum!

So good. lol
Thanks for stopping by and I hope your weekend has started well and brings you many smiles...

Stay viral free out there...*cough and sneeze*...Urgh!


Thursday, 7 February 2013

Guest Host: Trustworthy's "Happy Chicken"* Nuggets (Vegan & GF)

Trustworthy's Play List:

Steven Wilson - Cover Version III
The Black Keys - Nova Baby
Beth Hart - Isolation
Ladytron - Deep Blue
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts - Wooly Bully
Gotye - Out Of My Mind
Massive Attack - Better Attack
Metallica - Wherever I May Roam
Them Crooked Vultures - Gunman
Goldfrapp - Deep Honey
MGMT - Electric Feel
Porcupine Tree - Way Out Of Here
Muse - Madness
Florence and The Machine - Heartlines

Well hey peeps :)


Red is taking a well deserved rest day, and has asked me to drop by and say hi.

My kids are not vegan (not for want of trying!) and I occasionally have to relent and heartachingly buy non-vegan stuff for them to eat. But, thankfully, one treat they do enjoy greatly is the chickpea and rice nuggets I make. In fact the recurring compliment is always, "More spices please, daddy!".

This is an evolving and organic recipe (organic in the sense that it's evolving...if YKWIM!) and you should enjoy experimenting with the various flavours and coatings, but my base method is always the same. My measurements, however, are somewhat, ummm...liberal. ;-)


Trustworthy's "Happy Chicken"* Nuggets
Vegan and GF

You will need:

For the 'nugget'

Approx 1-can's worth of chick peas (if using dried, as I do interchangeably with canned, soak them at least overnight...measurement is the final swollen soaked amount or thereabouts)

A half-inch covering of the bottom of a small saucepan of rice (approx 2 medium servings cooked amount) - use whatever rice you wish.

A stock cube, or a couple of teaspoons of powdered stock (optional - and can be used in one or both of two ways; either added to the rice water and allowed to soak into the rice, or added to the blended mixture)

Canola and/or flaxseed oil (TIP: flaxseed will add omega 3s)

A few teaspoons Psyllium husks (for bulk and fibre)

For the coating

Coconut cream - fattier and stickier the better - poured into a bowl

Cornflakes and/or rice bubbles

Herbs and Spices - your freedom of choice! For this particular venture I used: mustard seeds, fennel seeds, smoked paprika, sweet paprika, cumin, coriander leaf, oregano leaf, crushed black pepper, rock salt crystals

Turn the oven on to preheat between 180 and 200. Ready a roasting/baking tray with a little oil in it.

You can cook the rice (with or without stock) and chickpeas as you go and get the spices etc ready, or you can cook them the night before (easier to work with, and wastes less water because you don't have to rinse-cool them). Let's assume you've cooked them already ;-)

First thing you do, is use half of what you've cooked. This is purely down to the size of my blender! Add the chickpeas and rice to a blender. Add a tablespoon of the oil you've chosen to use. This will aid in the lubrication and blending. Pulse and stir, patiently, for a few minutes, adding oil where necessary.

Rice and Chickpeas awaiting the big blend
When a fairly even paste is achieved (lumpy or smooth - again entirely up to you), scrape from the blender jug into a bowl. You can add the stock cube now if desired. The paste will be fairly sloppy (as shown in the picture) but now you add the magic ingredient - psyllium husk.

Good and pastey...

Add slowly and keep stirring until a wet sticky dough is achieved, that can be shaped into small, no bigger than golf-ball sized, balls. Once this is achieved, put aside or in the fridge (fridging will aid in the shaping later, but may be a bit more sticky).

Toast your chosen spices. I use a flat saucepan on a medium heat, just be careful that smoke can appear very quickly, so watch it and stir often. When you've toasted them so the aroma is released, transfer to your pestle and mortar and crush them together.

Awaiting the pestle treatment...
Add a handful of rice bubbles and cornflakes (rice bubbles will go very fine, so do not use a naked flames around the dust!) and crush and mix together. Try to get the cornflakes to be coarse. They'll give a great crunchiness. Once you've achieved an amount of this coating that'll cover about a quarter-inch of the bottom of a medium-sized deep tub...pour them into a medium-sized deep tub!

Now, get your nugget mix ready at one end of your workstation (first in line from whichever direction is most comfortable for you), then the bowl of coconut cream, next the coating tub, lastly the roasting/baking tray.

Using a dessert spoon, spoon out an amount of mixture, shape using the palm of your other hand, and drop into the coconut cream. Repeat until you have about five or six in the bowl (too many at a time will make the next part too 'wet').

Trust me...they will soon be
Then remove them one at a time from the bowl, draining to let the excess run off, and drop into the tub of coating. Shake the tub to evenly coat the nugget, then remove and place on the tray. Push down gently to make your classic nugget shape. Repeat these steps until either the baking tray is full of evenly-spaced nuggets or you run out of mixture. You may need additional trays!

Nuggets awaiting the oven...

Now whack the tray in the hot oven for about half an hour, or until when touched, the nuggets are no longer 'loose' and hold their shape when moved.

And now, ignoring the blatant mess in the kitchen, serve with french fries and oodles of ketchup or brown sauce or just whatever the heck you like! Or serve as a great addition to a Sunday roast - fresh or chilled and reheated. Cold ones are great in packed lunches - for kids as well as adults ;-) . As usual, enjoy, being vegan!

Till soon,

Love etc..

T x


(*Happy chickens because none die!)

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Minnie Mouse Vegan Birthday Cake ~ Littlest Nieces 2nd Birthday

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Florence & The Machine ~ Shake It Out (Acoustic)
Melissa Etheridge ~ All We Can Really Do
Stevie Ray Vaughan ~ Scuttle Buggin'
A Perfect Circle ~ Blue
Billy Eskstine ~ My Foolish Heart
Doris Day ~ Bewitched
Emma B ~ Maybe
The Cranberries ~ You and Me
The Cranberries ~ Free To Decide
Shakira ~ Octavo Dia
Crowded House ~ Private Universe
Bruce Springsteen ~ All I'm Thinking About
Depeche Mode ~ Personal Jesus (7" version)
Carole King ~ Oh No Not My Baby

It was our littlest nieces 2nd birthday tea party on Sunday afternoon. And once again it was our pleasure to provide the birthday cake. The request as always was for a chocolate cake...not sure if that is the request of the little ones or a request from their chocoholic parents??? lol. And this is where my involvement the baking of the cakes...and creating of the cake has been the work of ML for a long time now. The request for this cake was anything Minnie L is obsessed with her. 

ML took this challenge and ran with it...and came up with a fantastic Minnie Mouse cake. And it was baked and decorated in record The cake was chocolate with chocolate filling. And from there it was a case of assembly and decoration. And I thought ML did a fantastic job and L loved that was all that mattered. Oh and she loved her pressie Phew!..we did good this

Minnie Mouse themed birthday cake...
ML really enjoyed making this cake. lol. But did have a panic moment after spelling out the

Gratuitous Close Up

Like I said before we also did good on the pressie this year....even if big sister N was happy to play with it endlessly. And here are a couple of photos to prove

Mummy, big sister N and the little birthday girl L
(not the best quality photo but ya get the idea lol)
And one more for the road....

Yep N was very happy to 'show' L how to play with
her pressie. lol
So that is the littlest ones birthday over and next up is her Mummy's 30th!!! So ML will be making another birthday cake today. lol. I cannot believe my baby sister is a very good mother of three little ones...much less 3o years old. that a grey hair???? lol.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing the Little Ones Tales...and I hope your week has started well....


Sunday, 3 February 2013

Brunch: Balsamic Roasted Pepper, Cream Cheeze, Rocket & Toasted Pumpkin Seed Stuffed Bagels

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Brandi Carlile ~ Bear Creek Album

Bagels...bagels...bagels...what a delightful treat every now and then. And when thinking up the Brunch post for this week I couldn't get my mind past the lovely rings of joy. lol. Can you tell I'm a reformed addict? huh? lol. I have to say though I get very bored with the standard fillings and so I'm always looking for new ideas to stuff them with. Nothing wrong with just vegan cream cheeze...but I like something a little more.

So armed with a tub of vegan cream cheeze (Yes I know..but hang in there...) I decided to roast some yellow peppers off...ahem..OK I asked ML to roast them off for me, peel the skins off and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and toss to evenly coat and then leave the strips to drain overnight. And when I think of balsamic vinegar I always think of that was the next selection. Guest blogger Dev recently gifted me some of her home toasted pumpkin seeds...and were so delicious that I had to have a few strewn across the bagels.

Balsamic Roasted Pepper Strips, Cream Cheeze, Rocket and Toasted Pumpkin Seed
Filled Bagels.
Balsamic Roasted Peppers, Cream Cheeze, Rocket & Toasted Pumpkin
Seed Stuffed Bagels

Serves 4

4 plain bagels
4 tbsp vegan cream cheeze
2 yellow peppers, roasted, peeled and drizzled in
balsamic vinegar and left to soak overnight
handful of toasted pumpkin seeds

Toast the bagels to your preferred toastiness.

Slather a tbsp of vegan cream cheeze on one side of the bagel. Then scatter with the pepper, some rocket leaves and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Place the top of the bagel on top...

And then devour at


Gratuitous Bagel Shot...brunch for a few days
and one for Dev.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope your Sunday is a peaceful one. Ours won't be as it's the littlest nieces 2nd birthday party....back tomorrow with the fantastic birthday cake that ML made.


Friday, 1 February 2013

Food Art Fun..

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Bowes & Morley ~ That's Not Love
Stevie Ray Vaughan ~ Life By The Drop
10cc ~ I'm Not In Love
The Rolling Stones ~ Start Me Up
AC/DC ~ Dog Eat Dog
Florence & The Machine ~ What The Water Gave Me
Doris Day ~ Love Me Or Leave Me
Miranda Sex Garden ~ Inferno
PCD ~ Jai Ho!
Wolfmother ~ New Moon Rising
Astaire/Rogers ~ A Fine Romance
Chris Cornell ~ Scream
Them Crooked Vultures ~ Elephants
Terra Naomi ~ Up Here

So there has been very little in the way cooking this week...however this isn't going to stop me bringing luscious food to today's blog. lol. I started this posting with the thought that I would write an Art piece. As you know I love my Then I found this beautiful piece below..

Isn't it beautiful? I would hang this print in my home quite happily. It's's dreamy...and it's veggies....what is there not to love? Then I found the following one....

Dear me..did I laugh when I saw this one. Why? Because my life is filled with geeks and I know each one of them would get a kick out of a Chewy lunchbox treat. And it is a piece of art. lol.

Finally...a photo that I again would hang as art. The natural beauty and colour in abundance..that is fruits and veggies. I love them...they are great for your body (unless you are ML and then they are pretty much poison..*sighs*) and they are natures art.

I hope your Friday is an excellent one and thank you for stopping by. It's vegan birthday cake central here this weekend as it's the littlest ones 2nd birthday and my SISTERS 30TH!!!! Ahem. So I will be back with cake tales and hopefully a brunch too....


NB: All images found online during a google search. I take no credit for their creation but send out thanks to whoever did. ~R~