Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Sorting, packing, repacking and repeat!

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

The Union ~ Obsession
Buble ~ I've Got You Under My Skin
Shakira ~ La Tortura
Shakira ~ Don't Bother
Robin Thicke ~ Blurred Lines
Anna Nalick ~ Scars
Muse ~ Animals
Halestorm ~ Rose In December
Marilyn Manson ~ Tainted Love
Suede ~ Trash
The xx ~ Angels
FNM ~ Midlife Crisis
Norah Jones ~ Turn Me On
Gretchen Wilson ~ Her Strut

Well there isn't a lot of real cooking going on in R&R HQ this week. It's been a sandwich or microwave offering these last few days. To be honest, food is the last thing on my mind as it's been so warm and having rolling nausea (meds) it doesn't inspire ones need to eat. And we've been concentrating on the constant sorting, packing and moving around the contents of the house to get ready for the Estate Agents to take photographs.

It's true, no? lol. I have been so tempted to just say to hell with it and sit on the floor and play with the bubble wrap. lol. But I've been good and kept on going...with the help of my good pal A and now her lovely partner C is helping too. Thank goodness for friends that's what I say.

OK so I just wanted to let you know I am once again buried under boxes, papers, bubble wrap and will be back with a foodie posting very soon. I hope...I need real food!!!!! lol.

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


Sunday, 28 July 2013

Berry Breakfast Smoothie (that tasted and smelt so good I forgot to take photos..Ooops!)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Barclay James Harvest ~ Rock n Roll Woman
Pearl Jam ~ Not For You
Presley ~ I Want You, I Need You, I Love You
Gary Moore ~ Separate Ways
Shelby Lynne ~ You're The Man
Alanis Morrisette ~ Right Through You
Thunder ~ Everybody Wants Her
Cole Porter ~ You're The Top
Audioslave ~ Until We Fall
Don Williams ~ Say It Again
Robbie Williams ~ It Was A Very Good Year
Gretchen Wilson ~ Right On Time
Joan Jett ~ Good Music
KT Tunstall ~ False Alarm

Oh dear..lol. Epic food blogger rookie mistake this morning folks. I got swept away by the tantalising aroma of a heap of fresh berries. My mouth watered as they were blending away with the simple addition of some vanilla vegan yoghurt. Then the heavenly goodness as it was poured into a large glass brought out the devil in me...the berry junkie devil...and I drank it. And only when I was on the last mouthful did I remember..... "Oh! Shoot...photos!!!!" lol. I would apologise but it would be a giant fib. I enjoyed every ripe, juicy and creamy moment of it.

*drool*...Behave! lol Still there are worse things to be addicted to, eh?
Berry Breakfast Smoothie Serves 1

1 cup of ripe blueberries
1/2 cup of ripe strawberries
1/2 cup of ripe raspberries
(pref plump and juicy)
1/2 cup of vanilla vegan yoghurt

Place them all in a blender and blitz until smooth...and smelling dreamy. Yum! lol.


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


Saturday, 27 July 2013

Susan's North African Chickpea and Kale Soup

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Santana ft Michelle Branch ~ The Game of Love
Kaiser Chiefs ~ You Can Have It All
Stone Temple Pilots ~ Down
Garbage ~ It's All Over But The Crying
Chris Cornell ~ All Night Thing (Live & Acoustic)
The Zutons ~ Family of Leeches
Maroon 5 ~ Doin' Dirt
Depeche Mode ~ Master & Servant
Bowes & Morley ~ Since I Left Her
Shania Twain ~ I'm Not In The Mood (to say No!)
Blur ~ Song 2
Soundgarden ~ Circle of Power
Garbage ~ Push It
The Fratellis ~ Babydoll

Yes..it's quite warm in England right now. And..Yes...I am still eating soups. lol But I eat them all year round so it never matters to me how hot I am. This week we made a great soup recipe from the kitchen of Susan V from FatFreeVegan.com. It's a great recipe and a great way of getting your green leafy Kale. It's warm spiciness coupled with the veggies and chickpeas make for one satisfying soup. I hope you try it for yourselves.

Susan's North African Chickpea and Kale Soup
Now our version is by no means as stylised as Susan's but every mouthful was delicious and wholesome. Go on...give it a try...lol.

Our weekend ahead is one of sorting through our 'stuff', filling and packing boxes. Accompanied by great music....and no doubt a lot of Expletive Therapy! lol.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Saturday is a wonderful one...


Friday, 26 July 2013

Art: Abocet and Great Tit by J.C.Lawtey

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Glenn Fry ~ Smuggler's Blues
Slash's Snakepit ~ Doin' Fine
The Eagles ~ I Can't Tell You Why
AC/DC ~ Shot Down In Flames
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band ~ Live On
Seasick Steve ~ St Louis Slim
KT Tunstall ~ Paper Aeroplane
JET ~ Rip It Up
Pearl Jam ~ Why Go
Kaiser Chiefs ~ What Did I Ever Give You?
The Eagles ~ Heartache Tonight
Foreigner ~ Urgent
The Union ~ Sawtooth Mountain Ride Pt 1
Thunder ~ I Hear You Knocking (Live Acoustic)

You know all those sleepless nights, temper tantrums and general devilment of being a small child stuff you put your parents through back in the day? You do? Right be warned they will indeed get you back one day. lol.

As you know my lovely Mum is a very talented artist and of late her work has been on one track...birds. So for her birdphobic (well anything with wings...hush! I can't help it! lol) first born daughter it's a little traumatic. And it seems that it will not be going away anytime soon as she turned up this week with two more of them. *insert screaming in my head here* lol.

Now in an act of justifiable self preservation I could say how awful they are and steer her on a new subject track. But as ever her results are beautiful...so I swallow my hebejeebe screams and nod out of respect at how talented she is. And besides I am no liar so I encourage her to keep going. So here are her two latest pieces...

Abocet ~ Artist J.C.Lawtey 2013
And yes...we did have a chuckle when taking the shot of the next one...haven't we all got that child inside us that snickers at silly names??? Oh! Just me and Mum then...lol Ah well...

Great Tit ~ Artist J.C.Lawtey 2013
Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Friday is a great one....


Thursday, 25 July 2013

Quinoa and Black Bean Chilli

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Pixie Lott ~ Cry Me Out
Chopin ~ Nocturne #21 in C Minor
Norah Jones ~ Creepin' In
Bill Withers ~ Ain't No Sunshine
Chris Cornell ~ Steel Rain
Meredith Brooks ~ It Don't Get Better
Vivaldi ~ Violin Concerto in G Minor 'Summer'
Marc Anthony ~ I Need To Know
Tanita Tikaram ~ This Story Is Me
Chely Wright ~ Heavenly Days
The Ting Tings ~ That's Not My Name
Richie Kotzen ~ Go Faster
Slash ft Iggy Pop ~ We're All Gonna Die
Joan Jett ~ Hate Myself For Loving You

So we finally seem to be having a summer here in England. And by that I mean the heat of the day is making everyone hot, tired and grumpy because folks just aren't used to it. lol. But in fairness it has been hotter than our normal summers. And what do we decide to eat on these hot, hot days...a lovely cold crisp salad? ice lollies? bowl of fresh fruit salad? No! A hot, hot chilli because being hot on the outside obviously wasn't enough for us. Hey lets just rack up the heat on the inside too?! lol

This recipe I found online years ago and it has been greatly adapted since. So I cannot give credit where it's due as I can no longer remember where I found it. But it is a good chilli that can just be eaten alone or a smaller serving with a jacket potato...or even with a great salad. And if I remember from way back when it was devoured as leftovers with chips...(hangover lunch! lol) Safe to say it's been enjoyed many ways and isn't one of those horrible watery veggie chilli's. Who needs that right?

Quinoa & Black Bean Chilli
Quinoa & Black Bean Chilli   Serves 6-8

1 cup of quinoa, rinsed well and drained
2 cups of water

1 large onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, cored and diced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 med courgettes, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 hot chillies, minced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 tin of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tin of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
a good squirt of tomato paste
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp dried parsley or 2 tbsp fresh
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
4 green onions, chopped (optional)

Combine the quinoa and water in a saucepan, cover and bring to a simmer over a med/high heat. Cook until liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

In a large non stick skillet add the onion, bell pepper, celery and chillies. Saute for 7 minutes over a med/high heat. Stir in the fresh tomatoes, carrots and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Stir in the courgettes and mushrooms and cook for a further 4 minutes. Stir in the beans, tomatoes, tomato paste and seasonings and bring to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes over a low heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in the quinoa, cook for a final 5 minutes. Serve scattered with the green onions if using.


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


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Brunch: Chocolate & Banana Buckwheat Pancakes with Whole Berry Sauce

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Kylie Minogue ~ Can't Get You Out Of My Head
Keith Urban ~ My Heart Is Open
Lacuna Coil ~ To Live Is To Hide
Garbage ~ Queer
The Who ~ Substitute
The Veronicas ~ Someone Wake Me Up
Beth Hart ~ Waterfalls
Evanescence ~ All That I'm Living For
U2 ~ Sweetest Thing
Cat Power ~ Living Proof
Girls Aloud ~ Jump
Bowes & Morley ~ Freakshow
Paul Weller ~ Time Passes
Groove Armada ~ I See You Baby

This indulgent brunch was the combination of two recipes of from two great vegan cookbook authors. The pancake recipe although very slightly adapted was the creation of Joanna Stepaniak and the berry sauce was the creation of Isa Chandra Moskowitz...so we take no credit for the creation of them.

As a rule I am a savoury breakfast/brunch kind of gal. The only sweet greeting to the day I can handle is a bowl of fresh berries. But ML likes to try new recipes and who am I not to try them..lol. So Sunday's brunch was this creation and the pancakes were lovely and not sweet at all and I enjoyed the banana flavour with the subtle chocolate hints. The sauce was as ever, as we've had this before, hit you over the head intense and almost puts you in a sugar induced coma. lol. But if that is your thing..then you will love it. I like my pancakes with a hint of sauce. lol.

Banana & Chocolate Pancakes with Whole Berry Sauce
Banana & Chocolate Buckwheat Pancakes with Whole Berry Sauce
(Pancake recipe adapted from Healthy Heart/Stepaniak..Sauce recipe from Vegan Brunch/Moskowitz)

1/2 cup of wholewheat flour
1/2 cup of buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 medium ripe banana, mashed
1 cup of chocolate non dairy milk
2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
2 tsp canola oil, plus extra as needed for cooking
2 tsp apple cider vinegar

4 cups of berries, fresh or frozen
1/3 - 1/2 cup of sugar
1 tbsp. arrowroot but cornstarch is ok too
2 tbsp. cold water

For the pancakes:

Combine the flours, baking powder, soda and salt together in a bowl. Combine the milk, banana, maple syrup, oil and vinegar in a separate small bowl, and beat them together with a fork. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. The batter will be slightly lumpy.

Lightly oil a large skillet and place over a med/high heat. Spoon the batter into the skill using two level tbsp each pancake. Cook until the bottoms are brown and the tops are bubbly, adjusting the heat as necessary. Carefully loosen the pancakes, and turn them over using a metal spatula. Cook the second side briefly, just until golden. Keep warm covered in an oven heated at 300'f.

For the sauce:

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Mix around until the arrowroot has dissolved. Turn the heat up to medium. Stir the mixture often for about 15 minutes, until the sauce is thick and the berries are broken down a bit but still whole. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve the pancakes with sauce and enjoy!

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


Monday, 22 July 2013

Food Product Review: Nak'd Banana Crunch Bars

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Jessie Ware ~ Wildest Moments
Them Crooked Vultures ~ Elephants
Soundgarden ~ Soundwave
The Cranberries ~ Fire & Soul
Tom Jones ~ Lust For Life
Brandi Carlile ~ Sixty Years On
Thunder ~ Love Sucks!
Beth Hart ~ Am I The One
Deap Valley ~ End Of The World
T-Rex ~ Telegram Sam
Glenn Frey ~ The Heat Is On
A Perfect Circle ~ Rose
Kaiser Chiefs ~ Born To Be A Dancer
Patti Smith ~ Because The Night

We are fans of the Nak'd Bar range in this HQ...and was fascinated by the new offerings. Now to me it was a little funny that they have created a 'crunchy' range because I find that I get that crunch from them anyway. But I decided to take one for the team and try one...lol Life's hard isn't it? 

I am the first one to admit that I only like fresh banana food products and one of my pet peeves is fake banana anything. So it seemed only right that the Banana Crunch would be the one for me to 'test'. 

First thing I do is always check the ingredients...even if they state they are vegan etc. And to be honest this is just me being a pain in the ass..because Nak'd bars are always clearly marked but old habits eh? And yes this bar was vegan and gluten free..woo! Twofer! And I also wrongly assumed that the crunch would be provided by dried banana chips. No..apparently it's a soy mix that gives it a crunchy texture. Interesting...

So the first thing that always hits you when eating a Nak'd Bar is the smell as you open its wrapping and the pungent smell of banana is almost sickly...to me! (see above...) but after a few seconds it dissipates and you are holding the familiar, ever so slightly sticky dried fruits bar. I took a smallish bite and waited for the uncomfortable (OMG my teeth!!!!) crunch. But that isn't what happened at all...firstly the banana flavour is good..not processed at all...and the crunch is more, smushed rice crispiesesque and not chunk of nut style. It's a very enjoyable bar...

Now will they be a common snack for me..probably not..but no less so then the rest of the range. I like them in my stocks to take out and about for snacks and I enjoy the cocoa ones at a certain time of the month..ahem!..(sorry chaps..lol) but I will have them in the mix. It is a nice creation and I look forward to trying the other three 'crunchy' versions...Apple, Strawberry and Cocoa.

Keep up the creating Nak'd Bar folks...your snacks rock.

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


Sunday, 21 July 2013

Brunch: Lentil Stuffed Pancakes (GF and Vegan)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Astaire & Rodgers ~ A Fine Romance
Kenny Wayne Shepherd ~ Riverside
Tommy Jones ~ Crimson & Clover
James Morrison ft Nelly Futardo ~ Broken Strings
The Union ~ The World is Yours
Chris Cornell ~ Killing Birds
U2 ~ Dancing Barefoot
Marc Almond ~ Say Hello, Wave Goodbye
Garbage ~ So Like A Rose
Pat Benatar ~ Heartbreaker
Evanescence ~ Everybody's Fool
Gary Moore ~ Parisienne Walkways
Hannah Jones ~ Was That All It Was?
Sting ~ If You Love Somebody

Now, there are these little vegan and GF pancakes that we discovered last year...chickpea pancakes. They are very cheap to make...the texture is great as you can make them as thin as a crepe or as thick as an American pancake...and each variation works. Chickpea flour and water makes for happy kitchen moments here. And we are constantly experimenting with fillings for them.

I was craving an extremely savoury brunch meal and a pancake stuffed with lentils came to mind. And to be honest this recipe isn't fancy...it won't win and awards for appearance...and I should imagine if you put it in front of one of those weird and extremely strange meat consuming folks..they would probably run a mile. *shrugs* Their loss..lol. I loved the comforting and wholefood feel of this dish. It satisfied my savoury craving...and filled me up ready for the adventures of the day ahead.

Lentil Stuffed Pancakes...see told ya...lol Tricky little suckers to
photograph. But there are lentils in there..promise.

Lentil Stuffed Pancakes Serves 3

6 tbsp chickpea flour
9 tbsp water

1 tin of green lentils, rinsed and drained
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp oil of your choice
1/2 cup of veggie stock
1 tsp ground coriander
salt to season
freshly cracked black pepper to season

Mix the chickpea flour and water together until smooth. Set to one side for a few minutes whilst you prep the filling ingredients. Then heat a skillet or crepe pan over a med heat. And pour a third of the mixture onto the pan...and spread out. Cook for 3 minutes on the first side and then one minute on the second. Keep warm whilst you cook off 2 more. Keep warm.

Chickpea Pancake
In another skillet heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic until they are soft. Stir in the lentils and keep moving to cover them in the onion/garlic/oil mix. Add some stock and simmer until the lentil mix thickens slightly then add the coriander and seasonings...cook for a further 4 minutes.

A slightly steamy lentil filling...lol
Place a pancake on to a plate...cover half of the pancake with the lentil mix...and fold over and enjoy!

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


Saturday, 20 July 2013

Isa's Forty-Clove Chickpeas & Broccoli (it's ok it's only 10 cloves really..lol)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Shakira ~ La Tortura
Avril Lavigne ~ Falling Down
Dani Wilde ~ Red Blooded Woman
Mike Patton ~ Deep Down
Gin Blossoms ~ Pieces of the Night
Chopin ~ Nocturne #3 in B
Marvin Gaye ~ Ain't No Mountain High Enough
Eric Clapton ~ Layla (Live Unplugged)
Shelby Lynne ~ Dreamsome
Jewel ~ Enter From The East
Sarah McLachlan ~ Possession
Megadeth ~ Symphony of Destruction
Airbourne ~ Armed and Dangerous
The Stranglers ~ Skin Deep

How wholesome and virtuous was I feeling when devouring eating this wonderful meal last night. (ok, ok, ok! Those who know me in real life..stop laughing..I can be wholesome and virtuous dammit! lol) I am indeed a self confessed chickpea and broccoli addict and seek out new and interesting ways of cooking them. Although...just a bowl of raw broccoli and cooked chickpeas can float my foodie boat...so anything after that is a bonus really. lol.

The recipe is from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Appetite for Reduction...I have every cookbook the vegan guru has written and am enjoying testing the recipes from this one. And she confesses that there isn't 40 cloves in this recipe..she just always liked the sound of it. lol. I love garlic but can easily get garlicked out but when roasted, garlic takes on a more gentle and sweet flavour...more mellow..so I knew I'd like this recipe before we cooked it.

It is so easy to throw together and as it is all oven based cooking there is no hovering around it. Mix it up, throw it in, add the stock later and final cooking time and voila! Heaven on a plate..well..my heaven. lol. I served mine with steamed brown rice...see Uber Wholesome!..and a simple salad of carrot and red pepper julienne. P.e.r.f.e.c.t.i.o.n! I could feel the healing happening inside with every mouthful.

Forty-Clove Chickpeas and Broccoli with steamed brown rice
and Carrot & Red Pepper Julienne Salad.
Isa's Forty-Clove Chickpeas & Broccoli Serves 4
(Recipe from Appetite for Reduction/Moskowitz)

1lb broccoli, cut into large spears, stems chopped in 1/2" pieces
10 cloves garlic, smashed with the back of a knife, peeled
1 tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tsps olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
2 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 cup veggie broth

Preheat the oven to 400'F/200'C/Gas Mark 6. Place garlic, broccoli and chickpeas in a 9x13" baking pan. Drizzle them with the oil and toss to coat, sprinkle with the salt, several pinches of pepper and the lemon zest and oregano. Once again toss to coat and then pop in the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, flipping once. Remove from the oven, flip again and add the veggie broth and return the pan to the oven for another 15 minutes or until the garlic cloves are nice and tender and the broccoli is browned in some places. Serve...


Thanks to the vegan guru for another fantastic recipe...so it should go without saying I take no credit for the creation of this recipe...

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Saturday is a fantastic one...


Friday, 19 July 2013

Little Ones Tales: Trip to the Seaside

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Natalie Merchant ~ I May Know The Word
Anna Nalick ~ Broken Doll
Dean Martin ~ All Of Me
Thunder ~ A Lover, Not A Friend
Joan Jett ~ You Got A Problem
Janiva Magness ~ Don't Let Your Memories
Sting ft Annie Lennox ~ We'll Be Together
Sheryl Crow ~ My Favourite Mistake
Guns N' Roses ~ Word Up
Evanescence ~ Call Me When You Are Sober
Edie Brickell ~ Good Times
Muse ~ Feeling Good
Joan Jett ~ Bad Time
Melissa Etheridge ~ This Moment

Last week England finally started having a summer..lol So instead of a family day spent at home we loaded up the cars and headed off for a day by the sea. The skies were blue...the weather balmy hot and everyone was in great moods. The drive up the coastal route was one filled with laughter and games...we had little ones M and N with us. After a tiny bit of essential shopping we finally arrived at our destination of Hornsea.

We decided against a picnic on the beach and everyone except me tucked into the traditional seaside fayre of Fish and Chips. Yuck! I opted for Tomato Panini and after we had enjoyed our lunches we left the shade of the café and headed across to the sea. Now I was expecting it to be heaving with people but we found parking easily and the beach wasn't even half filled. Marvellous! Whilst the little ones finished their dessert ice creams we stood taking in the view until they had finished.  

L was a little taken aback..."Wow Auntie R..that is a BIG pool!"
All ready with her brand new bucket and spade. lol.
The Hornsea beach isn't that sandy...it has plenty of pebbles and shells so the little ones had great fun building beach art on the sand.

N building large pebble sculptures...and M in the
striped shorts digging a hole..laid back styley. lol
ML, my sister, her fiancé and the little ones all had fun down at the water...and L had a great time jumping over the waves with ML. lol Whilst everyone played on the beach I took the time to relax and watch them...but mainly taking in the healing vibes I get from being near the water.

I think the little ones have definitely been bitten by the beach bug...and was happily planning the next trip there. lol.

My view from our base camp..
Look at that blue sky...for those of you lucky enough to see blue skies every day this won't be half as amazing as it was for us. lol.

Gratuitous beach shot...still quite spacious at this point..
by the time we left there wasn't much space left.
The little ones are still on the hunt for magic stones and pebbles that will help make me well..love them. N is the main magic finder and was very excited when she found this stone that had "...incredible magic Auntie R because it has your Red in it!..." I loved it...and loved her...and she was very proud of herself.

Its a shame that you can't see just beautiful the vivid red running through
this stone.
N stood watching me as I looked at it...and then impatiently asked..."..well do you feel the magic???.."  The look of hope on her face made me gulp and so I nodded and she walked back to her beach art looking very happy with herself. Little ones, eh? Get ya everytime. lol.

I loved the pattern in this stone and thought it looked like some 
Blood Splatter Art I had seen recently.
So after a few hours on the beach...four very tired grown ups led three very excited and beach buzzing little ones back to the cars and we all set off on the journey back home. This time we just had M in the back and we played a counting game...and he managed to get to 50 before he crashed out..ain't sea air a great thing. lol

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


Thursday, 18 July 2013

Art: Bohemian Lapwing ~ J.C.Lawtey

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Marilyn Manson ~ Tainted Love
Adele ~ Someone Like You
Sting ~ All This Time
P!nk ~ Sober
Sting ~ Desert Rose
Newton Faulkner ~ To The Light
The Black Keys ~ Gold On The Ceiling
Holly Williams ~ He's Making A Fool Out of You
Stevie Ray Vaughan ~ Life Without You
Clare Teal ~ Messin' With Fire
Brandi Carlile ~ Dying Day
The Kinks ~ Victoria
Sheryl Crow ~ Strong Enough
Usher ~ OMG

I know, two art posts together..but I had no other choice today. My dear Mum visited yesterday with her latest completed piece of art. And yes she still believes her work to be 'not good enough'! However for the first time I saw a spark of....pride?..in her eyes. She held it up for me to look at and although I'm not into the subject of the piece...even I had to say that I thought it was great. (If you knew me away from here..you would know I have a Bird/anything with wings phobia! So this was huge...) Anyway...here is the piece...

Bohemian Lapwing ~ Artist J.C.Lawtey
Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Thursday is a great one...


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Sculpture Love..Artist Leigh Dyer

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Carole King ~ A Natural Woman
Count Basie ~ Nevertheless
Florence and the Machine ~ Breaking Down
Heart ~ What About Love
Jamie Cullum ~ All At Sea
Zac Brown Band ~ Free/Into The Mystic
Lenny Kravitz ~ Lonely Rainbows
Alicia Keys ~ No One
The Eagles ~ In The City
Soundgarden ~ Mood For Trouble
Pearl Jam ~ Who You Are
Kid Rock ~ You Never Met A M**********r Quite Like Me
Luke Morley ~ Quiet Life
Halestorm ~ Bad Romance

Artist: Leigh Dyer
I was captivated by this sculpture.

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


Monday, 15 July 2013

Monday Thoughts...

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

The Eagles ~ Do Something
Queen ~ Bicycle Race
R.E.M ~ What's the Frequency Kenneth
Nelly Furtado ~ Maneater
Thunder ~ Stormwater
Metallica ~ Holier Than Thou
Joan Jett ~ Love Is Pain
The Eagles ~ Take The Devil
Savage Garden ~ Promises
Rod Stewart ~ The First Cut Is The Deepest
The Ting Tings ~ That's Not My Name
Missy Higgins ~ Nightminds
Javina Magness ~ My Bad Luck Soul
Garbage ~ The Trick Is To Keep Breathing

Takes a strong person to live by this thought...

Taking time to think...

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


Sunday, 14 July 2013

Brunch: A Little Bowl a Bubble and Squeak

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Joan Jett ~ Long Time
Nickelback ~ Figured You Out
The Veronicas ~ Revenge Is Sweeter
Faith No More ~ Epic
No Doubt ~ Just A Girl
Creed ~ Wrong Way
The Doors ~ Your Little Lost Girl
VAST ~ Free
Shakira ~ Don't Bother
Beth Hart ~ By Her
Rob Thomas ~ Natural
Thunder ~ Stand Up (Live Acoustic)
Jack Johnson ~ Losing Keys
Garbage ~ Shut Your Mouth

Well we all know the saying...Don't run before your can walk, yeah? *nodding* Seems I forgot this yesterday. I escaped R&R HQ with ML, my sister, her fiancé and the little ones and we headed up the coast to Hornsea. We enjoyed an old fashioned day by the sea and after lunch we spent most of the afternoon on the beach. Watching ML and the little ones jumping over waves was joyful. We had a great time...but it is safe to say I began paying for it last night so today I am resting and being good. *insert expletives here folks* Lesson learnt...I promise. lol.

So this morning we needed a brunch that was minimal effort but packed with flavour and goodness. I felt like I was suffering from the worst hangover...so I craved one of those breakfasts/brunches that would satisfy the demands my body was making. We had some leftover steamed potatoes and cabbage and it was quickly decided...Lets go Retro again and have Bubble and Squeak!

Now I have to explain..we were so hungry that ML almost forgot to take photos so had to take last minute action shots. lol.

For the first time in a good year ML and I ate the same meal..well I say the same...mine was cooked with oil and had a great deal of pepper in it..whereas ML's was cooked in butter and had no seasonings...but hey...it was close.

My version was perfect for me with potatoes cut into chunks and not mashed, just crunchy steamed Sweetheart cabbage pieces and soft cooked onions...made perfect by heaps of freshly cracked black pepper. All sautéed together in a skillet...a delight to eat. I much prefer mine like this as opposed to the formed pattie version that is then shallow fried. Not being a fan of fried anything, eh?  We sat quite happily on the bed munching through my bowls of this classic dish. lol.

A Bowl a Bubble and Squeak
A Bowl a Bubble and Squeak  Serves 2
(Recipe from Easy Vegan Cooking/Leneman)

455g/1lb cabbage, cooked
455g/1lb potatoes, cooked
2 onions, chopped
1 tbsp sunflower oil
sea salt, season to personal pref
freshly cracked black pepper, season to personal pref

Chop the cooked potatoes and cabbage into small chunks. Set to one side.

Heat the oil in a good sized skillet and then sauté the onions until soft. Add the potatoes and stir well over a high heat until the potatoes and onions begin to brown. Then add the cabbage and keep stirring until everything is heated through. Season with salt and then generously season with black pepper. Serve.


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


Friday, 12 July 2013

Sweet Butter Bean Curry

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Don Henley ~ You Don't Know Me At All
Tina Dico ~ Back Where We Started
INXS ~ Deliver Me
Soundgarden ~ Tears to Forget
The Cult ~ She Sells Sanctuary
Crystal Gayle ~ You Almost Got Me Believing
Susan Cadogan ~ Hurt So Good
Rodrigo Y Gabriela ~ Juan Loco
Madison Avenue ~ Who The Hell Are You?
Slash ft Ian Astbury ~ Ghost
Missy Higgins ~ Secret
Johnny Cash ~ Hurt
Norah Jones ~ I've Got To See You Again
Shelby Lynne ~ Dreamsome

We were cooking it 'old school' last night and by that I mean we were making something from the veggie/vegan recipe vaults. The classic veg curry with brown rice. Now I spent years and years eating veggie curries of this style and I have to say I veg curried myself out and it took quite a few years before I could find my veggie curry love again. It wasn't that I didn't like them anymore but it was at the time when there really wasn't a lot of choice. I wasn't a fan of soya chunks so the other veggie options were out for me. So veggie curries were cooked for me by loved ones...it was what I ate when out for dinner...so it got a little much. Then I started to find my cooking love..through necessity..lol

These days with all the millions of  varied vegan recipes out there and constantly coming up with new ones of my own...I have started to enjoy an curry every now and then. But I do confess when confronted with veggie chilli's and veggie curries I do find myself thinking.. "..come on people it's not the 70's/80's now.." lol But hey...they maybe just got me on a cranky day! lol

Last nights curry was slightly unusual in that it was a fairly sweet curry. The natural sweetness comes from the tomatoes and the sweet potato so if you wanted to reduce that you could always try standard yellow/white potatoes. It is by no means a hot curry...its mild and tasty. A good starter curry for those strange folks who don't know how to use spices. Its a substantial meal when combined with the brown basmati rice. But then curry is almost always better the next day, eh? So enjoy the leftovers...

Sweet Butter Bean Curry serves over Brown Basmati Rice
Sweet Butter Bean Curry  Serves 4

2 tins of Butter Beans, rinsed and drained
5 fl oz water
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1 tin chopped tomatoes
450g/1lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cooked into large chunks
1 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
125g/4oz/1 cup of frozen peas

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions and garlic. Saute them for 5 minutes but don't allow them to brown, then add the spices and cook them for  1 minute before adding the tomatoes. Let them simmer together with the lid on the saucepan for 5 minutes. Then add the potatoes and stir well. Stir in the water, the salt and the bay leaves. Put a lid on the saucepan and leave to simmer until the potatoes are nearly cooked, then add the beans and the peas and cook for a further 5-6 minutes. Serve with brown rice or a rice of your choice.


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Friday is filled with Retro fun too...


Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Isa's Moroccan Chickpeas and Zucchini/Courgettes

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Chris Cornell ~ When I'm Down
Newton Faulkner ~ I Need Something
Skin ~ Radar Love (Live)
Ella Fitzgerald ~ Every Time We Say Goodbye
Janiva Magness ~ I Won't Cry
Joan Jett ~ Riddles
Missy Higgins ~ Sweet Arms Of A Tune
Kid Rock ~ When You Love Someone
Katy Perry ~ I'm Still Breathing
Dido ~ Life For Rent
Fleetwood Mac ~ Little Lies
Beth Hart ~ Everyone Is Sober
The Pretty Reckless ~ You
Queens of the Stone Age ~ No One Knows

One of the most simple pleasures in life is the aroma of a good meal cooking away on your stovetop. And last nights supper was indeed a pleasure, with a skillet filled with spices, garlic and fresh vegetables bubbling away. I was craving something light but packed full of flavour and I certainly got both those things from this dish. I take no credit for its creation as it is the creative work of Isa Chandra Moskowitz and the cooking of ML. I merely chose the recipe from ICM's cookbook. lol.

Isa's Moroccan Chickpeas and Zucchini/Courgettes
with Giant Wholefood Cous Cous
Moroccan Chickpeas and Zucchini/Courgettes
(Recipe from Appetite For Reduction/Moskowitz)

1 tsp olive oil
1 smallish yellow onion, sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
2 bay leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
a generous pinch of ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups of veggie stock
1 cup of baby carrots, length ways into quarters
2 zucchini/courgettes, sliced into 1/4" half moons
1 24oz can of whole tomatoes
1 25oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint

Preheat skillet over a med high heat sauté the onions in the oil until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and red chilli flakes and sauté for another minute. Add the remaining spices and salt and sauté for about 30 seconds. De-glaze the skillet with the stock and mix in the carrots. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil, once boiling lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the zucchini.

Break up the tomatoes with your fingers and add to the pot including the juices. Mix in the chickpeas. Cover the pot and bring to a slow boil and cook for about 15 minutes. Then adjust the lid so there is some room for steam to escape. Cook for another 15; the liquid should reduce a bit but not too much. Add the mint and let sit for about 10 minutes to let the flavours meld. Remove the bay leaves and serve with cous cous, grain of choice or GF opt quinoa.


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


Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Thought for a Tuesday ~ When it gets tough...

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Pearl Jam ~ Man Of The Hour
God-Des & She ~ Lick It
Muse ~ Big Freeze
The Dresden Dolls ~ Missed Me
Nicola Benedetti ~ Mendelsshon: Violin Concerto in E Minor
Melissa Etheridge ~ Cherry Avenue
Skin ~ Pump It Up
Adelaide Hall ~ Our Love Affair
Bruce Springsteen ~ Devils & Dust
Chely Wright ~ Bumper of my SUV
Soundgarden ~ Been Away Too Long
Lacuna Coil ~ The Pain
Nickelback ~ Woke Up This Morning
Eagles ~ I Can't Tell You Why

So true...get up!

Thanks for stopping by and there will be a foodie post tomorrow for sure...I know because I can smell it cooking. lol. Hope your week has started well?


Monday, 8 July 2013


Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Dido ~ Don't Leave Home
Shelby Lynne ~ Sleep
Anna Nalick ~ Shine
Edith Piaf ~ Non je ne regrette rien
Clawfinger ~ Truth
BJH ~ Rock and Roll Woman
Brandi Carlile ~ Dying Day
Dido ~ Here With Me
Caro Emerald ~ The Other Woman
Jo O'Meara ~ Relentless
The Pretenders ~ I'll Stand By You
Elvis Presley ~ Loving You
Maroon 5 ~ Crazy Little Thing Called Love
The Union ~ Obsession

Wise words...face it...own it.

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


Sunday, 7 July 2013

An Almost Perfect Saturday...

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Orianthi ~ Missing You
Missy Higgins ~ Forgive Me
Soundgarden ~ New Damage
Nickelback ~ Everything I Wanna Do
Garbage ~ It's All Over But The Crying
VAST ~ She Visits Me
Anna Nalick ~ Satellite
Beth Hart ~ Stay
Orianthi ~ Courage
The Eagles ~ Love Will Keep Us Alive
The Rolling Stones ~ Let's Spend The Night Together
Kenny Wayne Shepherd ~ Cryin' Shame
Katherine Crowe ~ Weakness In Me
Janiva Magness ~ Don't Do It

Yesterday I was a very lucky woman...I had one of those  almost perfect days. You know, the rare ones where nothing is really planned but you set off out into the world and somehow everything almost falls into place. Despite ill health being a real bitch pain I dragged myself through the whole day and enjoyed every second of it.

We started the day by putting together a picnic for myself, ML, my sister and her little ones. Then we all set out for the Country Park across the Bridge. The advertising had promised family activities and lots of fun. We enjoyed a great road trip there with N and M in the back of our car and myself and N torturing M with our Wooooo's as we turned corners..lol. However there was a little flaw in the plan...two huge car parks of the country park with one tiny Scooter park set up...and a couple of tennis nets set up next to it. And that was it...bummer. The kids were a little disappointed as were we. So we walked around and my sister was very happy to find a Ice Cream van selling Fat Free, Dairy Free and Gluten Free ices. And very soon we were walking up to the Scooter course..licking our way through our Ices. M and I chose Pineapple..whilst my sister and the girls had Strawberry. Delish!

M holding our Ices...N looking cheeky with hers and L looking
super cute with her ice almost as big as her! lol
When we made it to the Scooter course the ices were somewhat ditched and left melting in my sisters and my hands...lucky us. ML took N over to get togged up in the helmet and pads and she was very happy to find a purple scooter to take off on. Now our niece N is one heck of a Warrior Princess...and was straight in and onto the course but slightly older children intimidated her on the high ramps...but she did it and completed the course. M & L tried to walk the course and we gently discouraged to not do that. lol. Ooops.

Our brave niece Noo..shame shes
actually blinking..lol Ah well.
We had a quick stroll over to the Country Park to try and locate a play area for the little ones to let off some disappointed steam. M found an awesome 6 ft branch and was happy dragging it around with us. lol. We finally found some information and found a Phoenix Sculpture Trail which an acquaintance of ours had contributed to the sculptures. And the most beautiful Owl sculpture was sat next to this stone. (Sorry forgot to snap the Owl..)

One day...
Sadly I had to accept my limitations and to get to the lake and the play area...it was gonna take a trek I wasn't capable of doing at the moment. But I made a promise to myself that one day I will. So we decided to decamp to the Foreshore and its little beach and play area.

Tinkerbell Sunglasses..don't ya know, Auntie R? lol
The temperatures were climbing all morning so by the time we got back to our cars we were all fading a little. N asked for her sunglasses once buckled into her seat. And I 'had' to take a quick photo of them..."..because they are Tinkerbell sunglasses don't ya know..Auntie R?" lol. Well I do now.

View from the parked cars...always happy when this side of the bridge.
The town we live in is the other side.
The little ones call the Foreshore Stoney Beach and love walking along the pebbles and the girls collected a few magical stones for my collection. lol. M chose to adventure alone and actually took some time to make a mini mural for me...but sadly the photos didn't show it up well enough..but safe to say this Auntie suddenly found she had some 'grit in her eye' Ahem. Cute kid that one. Once we had ventured far enough down, we reached the wooded play area and the little ones ran off with happy smiles. I made my way to the one picnic table and collapsed onto it sat down at it and staked our claim lol. I enjoyed the constant calls of "Watch me Auntie R..." from all around and laughed as my poor sister was standing with her heart beating out of her chest as the littles took on all the climbing options...lol Evil sister aren't I? And ML was kept constantly busy with holding hands and helping.

Cheeky little monkey M at the top of the very large roped climbing frame.
M was very proud of himself as he could only get half way up this climbing frame the last time we were here. One happy kid..

Ummm climbing frame Frizbe...not sure that was
a good idea. lol
ML even got in the Climbing frame action but commented later..."Roped climbing things and me are not meant to be..." lol. Shame because I would've been at the top with M if I could.

Then we stopped for the picnic...and obviously the family all enjoyed their non vegan picnic...so this is what I had. Olive Pate and Baby Rocket and Leaves Wraps.

Step One: Schmear the pate over the wrap
Step Two: Liberally toss on some leaves
Step Three: Fold them up and stick em in a tub.
They were delicious and washed down with ice cold water. Once the picnic had been devoured and it was..lol. It was just so good to be sat in fresh air with a gentle breeze on us all and feeling the sun. Lovely. There was some more play time for the little ones and another stroll along the Foreshore. We sat admiring the view and enjoying the water as the little ones played and then we decided that it was getting way too hot and took a short ride to a Play Pub so we could all enjoy ice cold drinks and maybe some dessert. And what do you know I found somewhere that sells refillable espressos....dangerous!!! lol. The little ones enjoyed the indoor and outdoor play areas whilst we recovered inside. Buoyed up by my double espresso and copious amount of iced water...we once again gathered the rather hot and tired little ones and headed back out to the cars. Poor little loves dragged their tired little feet back to my sisters car and we hugged and set off for the next part of our day. But what a great start...but then spending time with my sister is never hard...I love it.

So part two of our Saturday. One of the parks in the city was hosting an Arts In The Park event. Now I have to go to these events...I love Art so I am always happy to wander around looking at the pieces on display. And there was Live music to be had...poetry to listen to..lots for families attending. And we were going with our good pal C..so we hotfooted across the city to meet her. We were also lucky to be joined later by our good pal and Guest Host Dev who was freshly back from the adventures in Norway.

Now the park was busy but not overcrowded and it was easy to enjoy the stroll around the Art Marquee and I found two pieces that needed to be hung on the walls of my next office. lol. I resisted temptation and we made our way around the stalls and activities and even bumped into a friend from the town who has started her own Yarn business and Spinning Classes. I enjoyed a catch up with her and was happy to hear her Degree was a 1st and that the business was slowly building up. Lovely woman. We also bumped into another friend who was there with her pottery..(how I never buy her entire stock is a shock to me being the Pottery junkie I am..lol) and then we finally decided to just set up a little area and enjoy the music on offer.

View from where we crashed..lol
There were two music stages which was to be honest was a little confusing as they were very close to each other..that would be my only criticism of the event...they had plenty of room to spread them further out. But we coped...all of us being Live music fans.

The small stage...on stage Jodie Mackenna..a very talented up and
coming local dude done good. His set was great and so captivating
you forgot these was another stage.
Jodie is the son of C's friend and her and A have seen him Live many times and I was very happy to have seen and heard him and hope to do so again...soon.

Our view of the main stage...which sounded great...and we enjoyed.
Ooh sneaky C got in this shot...lady with white polo shirt walking
towards us on the right. Take a bow lovely! lol
Dev had taken her lovely dog Ella back home by this point as she was getting very excited and wanted to play with all the other dogs. So after a fantastic time, relaxing and listening to the music..and I also checked out the poetry....we packed up and made our way back through the park to the Art Marquee and look what snuck its way into my hands to be packed up on Tuesday....ooops...lol

Woman with Guitar by Phil Watson 2013
I love this piece...the photo doesn't show the depth of colours and the beautiful detailing. I cannot wait to get it framed and hung..although I'll have to be patient (HA!) to see this happen. Ah well.

Once back at C's and enjoying some cold drinks...we sat and discussed our favourite subject..music. lol. And then it was time to eat and shortly after Dev joined us and we enjoyed a meal together...and Dev and I enjoyed the Edamame Bean Burgers she made for us both! Beautiful..they looked great and tasted even better.

Now if I said the rest of the evening was stress free I would be a liar. As I'm not...I'll confess I had pushed my body a little too far and was quite ill the rest of the night. But I didn't let that stop me in any way. Oh no!

A rough example of Devs adventures...
I mentioned earlier in the post that Dev was back from a great adventure...so how happy was I that she was brimming over with the happenings on this trip she had taken with the lovely B and Devs Mum. So the evening was very chilled with tales of Norway and the music supplied by C. The evening was one of those last minute but awesome nights with nothing to rush home for and every opportunity to just enjoy it. And we even got super cute gifts...check these out...

Troll bookmarks and a Polar Bear Cookie Cutter.
Thank you D & B. xxx
The evening drew to a natural close around 11 and although I was utterly exhausted, it was worth it. A day surrounded by the people who make my life happier by simply being in it. How could I regret it? ML got to relax and enjoy a snooze in the sun. Even if a little one kept bouncing his ball near us. lol. It's the key...isn't it? The connections..

So a huge thank you to all who participated and those who weren't with us this day...we'll catch ya on the next almost perfect day.

Thanks for stopping by and I truly hope your weekend has been full of almost perfect moments....