Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Wishes For You...

Taking a couple of days break to celebrate the important things in life...my loved ones...family that are friends & friends that are family. I shall be celebrating the arrival of 2014 with the latter and then tomorrow I am cooking a celebration lunch for my sister, her husband and their little ones. So no doubt there will tired tears and tantrums...and that is just the adults..lol. 

Have a fantastic celebration be it small and quiet or large and loud! Be safe..have fun...and I will see you back here on the 2nd. 

Thanks for stopping by and wish you all peace, love and happiness...


Monday, 30 December 2013

Vegan Canape Board

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Chris Cornell ~ No Such Thing
Joan Jett ~ School Days
Madonna ~ Forbidden Love
Cyndi Lauper ~ Hymn To Love
Sarah McLachlan ~ Building A Mystery (Live)
Nirvana ~ Territorial Pissings
Gotan Project ~ Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre)
Jamie Cullum ~ 21st Century Kid
Lady Antebellum ~ Singing Me Home
Jason Collett ~ Blue Sky 
Plant & Kraus ~ Nothin'
Blondie ~ Hanging On The Telephone
INXS ~ Beautiful Girl 
Beth Hart ~ Forever Young

Canapes look great served on a board, left on a table for people to enjoy...

When my health is good I often invite loved ones round for dinner parties. I find the organisation easy and the creating of the menu's peaceful. The cooking for these events is often exhausting but I enjoy that. My theory is...if I'm gonna be exhausted than better it be for hard kitchen work than simply breathing!...hey it works for me. lol. This canape creation started with the making of Chestnut & Lentil Pate...and the thread spun from there...

So in the mini pepper boats is Chestnut & Lentil Pate...in the red chicory leaves is plain hummus with carrot strips and lastly the hollowed out thick slices of cucumber is a simple plain vegan soft white cheese sprinkled with chives. The cut cherry tomatoes have freshly ground black pepper to bring out their sweetness.

If a board doesn't suit you then setting out on a plate, to hand around, works well too...

My rule for canapes is to keep it simple...this board/plate took 5 minutes of preparation and looks very attractive if I do say so myself. lol. Hosting parties can actually be good fun..lol. 

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


NB: The Chestnut & Lentil Pate is not my recipe and is the creation of Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero.


Sunday, 29 December 2013

Brunch: Tofu Omelette with Dry Spiced Cabbage Filling

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Tina Dico ~ Back Where We Started
Meredith Brooks ~ Cosmic Woo Woo
Bing Crosby ~ Swinging On A Star
Pearl Jam ~ Future Days
The Thompson Twins ~ Lies
The Gossip ~ Love And Let Love
Lenny Kravitz ~ Come On And Love Me
Kid Rock ~ U Don't Know Me
Melissa Etheridge ~ When You Find The One
Gin Blossoms ~ 29
Airbourne ~ Loaded Gun
Faith No More ~ Underwater Love
KORN ~ Reclaim My Place
The Cranberries ~ Not Sorry

I love Brunch...and I really love Susan V's omelette for one recipe. It's the only one I use..it's creamy and tasty. I enjoy experimenting with different fillings although my favourite is the broccoli and vegan chorizo mix created by ML. But a firm favourite has always been this cabbage dish from the kitchen of  Mridula Baljekar ~ The Low-Fat Indian Vegetarian Cookbook. My copy is hanging together by strands as its so well used...and loved. lol. I haven't had a bad result from this cookbook yet.

For my breakfasts over the festive period I wanted something a little different from the norm. It wasn't a leap that I ended up with the tofu omelette but I was surprised to find myself deciding on this spicy filling. Maybe with all the potentially rich foods to come I was looking for something cleansing. You know what? It worked! lol.

I made up a double batch of the omelette mix and stashed it away in the fridge so it minimised the effort on the days. I also made this cabbage dish in advance too as it keeps really well in the fridge..and it makes enough for four breakfasts. Woo!

Hastily taken photo of Omelette for One with Dry Spiced Cabbage lol

Dry Spiced Cabbage   Serves 4
(Recipe from The Low-Fat Indian Vegetarian Cookbook)

2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp cumin seeds 
1 red onion, finely sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced 
1 green chilli, seeded and cut into julienne 
1/4 tsp ground turmeric 
565g/1 1/4 lbs/9 cups green cabbage, finely shredded 
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves 

In a wok, heat the oil over a medium heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the cumin seeds and allow to sizzle for 15 seconds. 

Add the onion, garlic and chilli. Stir fry for 4 minutes then add the turmeric. Stir fry for 30 seconds. 

Look at my beautiful January King cabbage...tasted better than it looked!
Add the cabbage and salt, stir fry for 2 minutes then reduce the heat to low. Cover the wok with a piece of foil or lid, and cook the cabbage in it's own juices for 10-12 minutes. If you like the cabbage really soft, cook for 15 minutes. Stir in the coriander, remove from the heat and serve. Or leave to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use. 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope that your Sunday has been a peaceful one...


NB: This is not my recipe and therefore take no credit for it's creation. It is the hard work and talent of Mridula Baljekar. 

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Isa & Terry's Chestnut & Lentil Pate

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Soundgarden ~ Taree
The Union ~ Siren's Song
Orianthi ~ Fire
Jem ~ On Top Of The World
Deep Dish ~ Flashdance 
Beth Rowley ~ Sweet Hours
Beth Hart ~ I'll Take Care Of You
Missy Higgins ~ All In My Head
Auf Der Maur ~ I Need I Want I Will
Faith No More ~ Ricochet
The Dodge Brothers ~ Churchhouse Blues
Mike Patton ~ Che Notte!
Jackson Browne ~ The Naked Ride Home
Nerina Pallot ~ Geek Love 

Can't silence be deafening? I've just had the most splendid day with my little nieces. I was just starting to make veggie lasagna for lunch when they arrived and in minutes they were strapped into their aprons and 'helping'. We had so much fun...and they only ate about half of the fillings and sauce..lol. I was so happy when Noo decided to start munching on raw broccoli and then decided to try orange and yellow peppers. She even had a side salad of them with her pasta. Happy, happy Auntie! It was an all round great day and I only wish my poor sister was getting some more sleep because she looked shattered. But they are now all gone and the house is silent once more...till next Saturday. So today's recipe...

I really enjoy a good pate and actively collect new recipes and create my own all the time. They are so versatile and I use them for sandwich fillings, toast toppers, jacket potato fillers, dips and also served inside salad veggies as a canape. I was flicking through my copy of Veganomican and this recipe caught my eye because I had two packets of vacuum packed chestnuts that were just on their sell by date. I always like a great pate in a tub in the fridge over the festive period so I have as little as possible to make. After all of the rich festive foods I enjoy a simple slice of toast with a spread of pate.  I have made one adaption to Isa's and Terry's original recipe...I used 2 tbsp garlic infused oil & 2 tbsp rapeseed/canola oil instead of their 1/4 cup of grapeseed. I just prefer the mellow garlic flavouring...and to be honest I forgot to add the fresh garlic to the cooking lentils..lol

The hardest part of this recipe is being patient whilst the lentils cook...lol. Then it's simply a matter of throwing everything in the processor and letting it do its magic. 

The pate is deeply satisfying and surprisingly light. No one ingredient overpowers the others and the flavour is rounded by the wholesome lentils and chestnuts. I've enjoyed it used as a canape, on toast and with salad in a sandwich. All were delicious...

Chestnut & Lentil Pate in Mini Pepper Boats

Chestnut & Lentil Pate (Adapted) Makes 2 cups of pate
(Recipe from Veganomican/Moskowitz/Romero)

1lb whole cooked chestnuts
1/2 cup french/puy lentils, rinsed and drained
2 1/3 cups of water for cooking lentils 
1/2 cup water for processing 
2 tbsp garlic infused oil
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1/4 tsp low sodium salt
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

In a small saucepan add the lentils and water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes until lentils are tender. Drain well and then place in a processor with the chestnuts and blend a little. Then add the 1/2 cup of water and process until smooth. Add the oils, salt and parsley and blend again until smooth. If the mixture seems too thick add a little more water. It should be thicker than the consistency of hummus, by not by much. 

Place in a airtight container and store in the fridge until ready to use. 

Gratuitous foodie close up shot...cute little boats, eh? lol


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your DAY has been a fantastic one....


NB: This is not my recipe so therefore I take no credit for it's creation. I merely adapted the very excellent recipe by Terry Hope Romero and Isa Chandra Moskowitz and send thanks to them for the great cookbooks. ~R~  


Friday, 27 December 2013

Melody's Savoury Veggie Breakfast Frittata (vegan, GF & Soy Free)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Robbie Williams ~ Swings Both Ways Album 

Blimey it's blowing a gale here again today. I have a constant whistling from one of my chimney/fireplaces...and a boing from my basketball hoop. But it's a soundtrack I can deal with...sadly for many Brits this year they spent the holidays flooded out...so no complaints here. I am however, wearing a scarf and thermal socks in the house right now, attractive eh? lol. 

I have been struggling a lot with tofu of late. Not all tofu because I've enjoyed many breakfasts of silken tofu omelettes over the festive period. It's the other kind..the firm kind which has been a royal pain because I've enjoyed experimenting with frittatas and Spanish omelettes over the last couple of years. It's the texture that has me beaten right now..I needed a serious tofu timeout.

I was very happy when I found Melody's website WellAndAwake.com and specifically this recipe. She had found a way of making a frittata using Gram flour/Chickpea flour and I was impressed by the very simply ingredients list. Could gram flour really make this recipe without all the usual additions that tofu frittatas need? Melody's original recipe, which you can see by clicking the link above, called for chard and mushrooms. So i adapted the veggie ingredients to suit my personal tastes and what I had to hand.

The results were glorious. The recipe was easy to put together and it yields 7 slices so is very economical. The texture was firm but not dense as some gram flour dishes can be. The flavours were intensely savoury and had a great herb hit. The fillings were a great flavour and texture combination and have inspired me to test out many others. I ate my first slice for breakfast and enjoyed every single bite. I think it will be some time before I make a tofu based frittata again. Thank you Melody.

Melody's Savoury Veggie Breakfast Frittata

Savoury Veggie Breakfast Frittata (Adapted)    Serves 7-8 
(Original recipe from WellAndAwake.com)


1 large red onion, peeled and sliced in quarters
2 cloves of garlic, grated 
1 mini red pepper, finely chopped
3/4 cup of roasted parsnips
3/4 cup of steamed broccoli florets

Dry Ingredients: 

1/2 cup of chickpea flour 
1 tbsp of chia seeds or flax seeds 
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp dried thyme 
1 tsp dried oregano 
1/2 sea salt 
1/4 tsp turmeric 

Wet Ingredients: 

3/4 cups filtered water 
1 tbsp lemon juice 
1 tbsp coconut oil 

Heat the oven to 350'F/180'C/GM 4. Line a 9" spring form baking tin with parchment paper and set to one side. 

In a bowl mix together the dry ingredients. In a jug stir together the wet ingredients and then pour into the dry. Stir well until completely smooth and then set to one side to thicken. This batter can also be made the night before. 

In a skillet cook the onion, pepper and garlic in a little oil or steam saute for 10 minutes until the onion has softened. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes. 

Add the leftover veggies and the onion mix to the batter and stir well to combine. Then pour into the prepared baking tin and push down and then smooth over the mix. 

Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes and then remove from the oven. Leave to cool slightly in the pan..approx 1o minutes. Then remove from the pan and cut into slices and serve. 


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


NB: This recipe is not my creation and therefore I take no credit for it. It is the hard work of Melody @ WellAndAwake.com. Thank you for such a great recipe...and being an inspiration. ~R~   


Wednesday, 25 December 2013

From my home to yours...Happy Holidays...

Wishing you all the very best this holiday season....I hope you find happiness and peace in the mayhem. 

I'm taking a small break to enjoy the festivities so will be back on Friday as we have a lovely day called Boxing Day to celebrate here in England. 

Stay safe...but have great fun....


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Lemon Shortbread Snowflakes

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Ella Fitzgerald ~ Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer
(repeated many times, all will be explained below)

Happy Christmas Eve folks...and if you aren't celebrating Christmas then happy Tuesday lovelies. Yesterday morning I had a very splendid morning making these delightful shortbreads with the help of my little (although growing up way too fast) nephew Myles. We stood side by side beating vegan butter and sugars and then stirring in flours. Cutting out the circles and then stamping the snowflakes in every one. We laughed a lot but also sang Rudolph at least 50 times at the top of our voices. Then we made some Pesto...then he made me watch Dinosaur programs. OK so I didn't enjoy that so much but up until the flesh ripping dinosaur programs it had been a very good time shared. lol.

A few nights ago I was stunned, delighted and amazed by the personal crackers that my good pal Dev (Guest Host) had made for each of us at the Friends Christmas Gathering. Mine had included a Snowflake stamp for use on cookie/biscuits and pastry. I was over the moon at this gift and couldn't wait to use it. I searched through my biscuit recipes and decided upon a nice lemon shortbread. Well it is the Holidays and the only time I ever eat shortbread.  

This recipe is perfect for making with the little ones help. Myles had a great time measuring out the ingredients and then watching as the sugar and vegan butter became fluffy and light as he blitzed them with a hand held mixer. He also enjoyed covering himself in flour and sugar..lol And licking his fingers 'clean' of all the shortbread dough. 

These shortbreads aren't heavy or stodgy as many can be and the lemon gives them a lift away from being too rich. I much prefer these to regular shortbreads. They are also excellent rolled a little thinner and baked for a few minutes...then eaten on the side of a good vanilla ice cream. 

Lemon Shortbread Snowflakes

Lemon Shortbread Snowflakes     Makes at least 30 biscuits

1 cup vegan butter, softened
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup golden caster sugar
1 heaped tsp fresh lemon zest
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt

In a large bowl cream vegan butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the lemon zest.

Combine the flour and salt, then gradually stir in to the vegan butter and sugars until the dough forms a large ball.

Divide the dough into two pieces and form into balls and then flatten into discs, wrap in cling film and place into the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325'F/170'C/GM3. Line three cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set to one side.

Take the discs of dough out of the fridge and roll each one between two pieces of parchment paper. Cut desired shapes in the dough and then place each one on the cookie sheets. Place into the preheated oven and bake for 6-9 minutes...until they are have started to turn lightly brown around the edges and underneath. Leave to cool on the trays for a couple of minutes and then place on a wire cooling rack and dust with icing sugar. When cooled store in an airtight container.

Gratuitous foodie shot...lol


Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have the very best of Tuesdays...


Monday, 23 December 2013

Open Roasted Brussels Sprout, Hummus and Balsamic Drizzle Sandwiches

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Wardell Grey Quartet ~ Twisted
Pearl Jam ~ Better Man
Edith Piaf ~ J'ai Danse Avec L'amour
Missy Higgins ~ The Special Two
Jim Reeves ~ I Love You Because
Dinah Washington ~ Fly Me To The Moon
Maroon 5 ~ Not Falling Apart
Kelly Clarkson ~ Miss Independent
Pucinni ~ Turandot Nessum Dorma
Brandi Carilie ~ What Can I Say
Blondie ~ Atomic
KORN ~ Move On
Anna Nalick ~ More Than A Melody

Ok..ok..ok! Now settle down all the sprout haters in the back! lol I can assure you that this recipe could also be made with some other roasted green but for me it has to be the humble Brussels sprout. I have never until this week ever tried a roasted sprout and now I've roasted some twice! This time it was a simple affair of a little drizzle of oil and freshly cracked black pepper.

I have always enjoyed leftover steamed sprouts mixed with hummus in pitas and when I had leftovers roasted sprouts I decided to try them in an open sandwich. I tried one with wheat bread and a gluten free bread and both worked. The combination of the roasted sprouts and hummus was delightful and then when I lightly drizzled some balsamic vinegar over them it kicked them up to another level. I think I'll be hoping for more leftover sprouts over the festive period. lol.

An open topped sandwich really can work a treat.

Open Roasted Brussels Sprout, Hummus & Balsamic Drizzle Sandwiches

3 small slices of bread per person (Wt or GF)

leftover roasted Brussels Sprouts 
(trimmed, halved, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with freshly cracked black pepper. 
..placed in a baking dish and roasted in a hot oven for 30 minutes. Stirring halfway. 
..You know just in case you don't have any leftovers..ahem) 

pot of hummus, homemade or store bought 

tsp black balsamic vinegar per person 

Smear each slice generously with hummus. Load each slice with the roasted sprouts...go on see how many you can get on there! Then drizzle with the balsamic vinegar. 

Now they are great eaten straight away but even better prepared earlier and left to let the flavours merge. 

Serve and Enjoy! 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your life isn't too mad right now..remember it's just one day out of the year. Oh and remember to...Breathe! 



Sunday, 22 December 2013

Time Out

.....so there was this chick who spent a whole week cooking. She had a splendid time and enjoyed every second of it. Enjoyed sharing the spoils with her loved ones...and then enjoyed a manic family day. And then woke up on the Sunday and couldn't move...

....so said chick is putting her feet up and resting the day away so she can come back tomorrow with a great recipe. 


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


Saturday, 21 December 2013

Berry and Almond Tart

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Ella Fitzgerald at Christmas Album 

High Days and Holidays..don't you just love them? I know I do especially when it means spending time with the ones I love...cooking and caring for them. The laughter shared and the ease of being with people who accept you and love you in return....and getting to eat tarts like this one..lol. Once again it's the creation of Anon but I can't thank this person enough. 

Last night was our Christmas gathering of the close circle of friends. We did everything we do each year...we hugged, we caught up, we ate, we drank (sublime Rose vegan wine..) and we were spoilt with beautiful custom made crackers made by Dev (Guest Host). Mine held a beautiful snowflake imprint for cookies and pastry and some Booja Booja Raspberry Truffles and was decorated by a beautiful Christmas tree decoration. Dev blew us away with her creations. We played an 80's Music game and I won! Woo! lol. Then it was dessert time....

When I was putting together the menu for this years gathering I wanted to resist the usual heavy Christmas pudding and the like. So I decided upon Chocolate Dipped Clementines, Raw Chocolate Fudgy Tartlets and this Berry & Almond Tart. It's been years since I enjoyed a piece of Frangipane and I was really feeling the need after reading this recipe. So the decision was easy in the end...and why three desserts...well I like to give my guests a choice, it's all about spoiling them and showing them how much they mean to me. They are worth the effort...always. 

I made the tart the day before the gathering and I used ready-made pastry which I feel no shame over...I needed to make this one simple fix this year. No apologies folks. My rectangle tart tin was slightly bigger than the recipe called for so I ended up making up another half batch of the almond filling. I enjoyed the making of this tart and it was the work of minutes. In 10 minutes it was safely baking in my oven and by the time Ann had turned up to help me, the smell of baking almonds was a distracting aroma. At the end of the baking the smell of the cooked down berries had added to this and mouthwatering doesn't even begin to describe it. We gazed at the finished tart and Ooohed and Awwwed and then set it far away to cool...lol. 

The results were so delicious that the table was silent whilst we tried our first mouthfuls. The pastry was thin but enough to enjoy the rare treat, the berries were oozing with juice and the almond filling was decadent and moreish. The perfect High Day and Holiday dessert...and yes I will make this whenever I have the excuse with many different fruit options. 

Berry and Almond Tart

Berry and Almond Tart    Serves 8-10

150g ground almonds 
50g vegan butter 
1/4 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 tbsp lemon juice 
125ml water 
100g golden caster sugar 

200g ready made shortcrust pastry or home made (vegan naturally)

handful of fresh strawberries 
handful of fresh raspberries 
handful of fresh blueberries 

Preheat the oven to 180'c/350'f/GM 4.  Line with parchment paper a rectangle loose bottomed tart tin. Approx 13x4. Set to one side. 

Roll out the pastry and then fit into the tin and trim the excess by rolling your pin over the tin and cutting off the edges. Set to one side. 

Melt the vegan butter and then add it to a bowl with the water, lemon juice and extracts and whisk to thoroughly combine. Place the almonds and sugar into a blender and then add the wet ingredients and then blend until the filling is smooth. 

Pour the filling into the tart tin and then level off. Take the fresh berries and push them down into the almond filling in whatever design you like. Then place in the hot oven and bake for 40 minutes. 

Gratuitous foodie shot. I just wish you could smell it...lol

Leave to cool in the tin or remove after 10 minutes to eat warm. We ate ours at room temp and it was perfect. 

Serve and enjoy! 


NB: This is not my creation and therefore take no credit whatsoever for its creation. That is the hard work of some other talented cook and I can't thank them enough for it. If you recognise this then please let me know and I will happily update this post and give credit where it's due. ~R~ 

Friday, 20 December 2013

Veganista's Parsnip & Split Pea Soup

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Bruce Springsteen ~ Spirit In The Night
Philippe Entremont ~ Satie: Je Te Veux
Maxi Priest ~ Close To You
Alisha's Attic ~ Intense 
Suzi Quatro ~ Move It
Queen ~ Breakthru
Kid Rock ~ All Summer Long
Foo Fighters ~ Breakout
Billie Myers ~ Tell Me
Sinatra & Davis Jr ~ Me And My Shadow
Gina Sicilia ~ Before The Night Is Through
KT Tunstall ~ I Don't Want You Now
Tina Dico ~ Home
Gina Sicilia ~ Crazy 'Bout You Baby

This week has been very busy but the good kind. I have been cooking and baking for the Pals Christmas Gathering tonight. We all get together and just kick back and eat, drink and enjoy the merriment of being together. And as I'm not really physically up to doing everything on my own I've had the help of my good pal Ann..aka..doggie guru yesterday. And even though I feel like I've been run over by a truck...I know it could've been a lot worse without her. So thank you...

Despite having a full menu to cook I wanted to make us something wholesome and filling for lunch yesterday. Something to keep the energy levels and warm us through as my kitchen is as cold as a morgue. I had over estimated my parsnip needs so had a stash I wanted to use so I started looking for a soup recipe. I wanted something different to the usual spiced kind and something with a good herb flavour. I have been craving herbs lately..how strange? lol Time being an issue I did a quick search online and after wading through a handful of average recipes I found this one. And it had everything that I wanted...also slow cooker and stove top cooking instructions which was great because originally I was going to throw everything in my slow cooker but again..timing was an issue. 

For the original recipe please visit The Simple Veganista's fantastic posting by clicking here. I'd never visited Julie's blog before and for the life of me I don't know how that was possible. It's a great site with fantastic recipes...I know I enjoyed my visit. Below is the recipe as I made it and Julie's stove top cooking instructions but when you visit her site you can pick up the other cooking instructions and all other info for this recipe. 

I enjoyed this soup on every level...it was a thick, rib sticking soup but didn't at all feel stodgy. The layers of flavours were just perfect for me..although I enjoyed it today with a little drizzle of Siracha too. I loved it...and I hope you try it and love it too...

Right better get back to the evenings preparation..lol. Busy, busy...

Veganista's Parsnip & Split Pea Soup

Parsnip & Split Pea Soup    Serves 4-6
(Recipe from The Simple Veganista)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 med/large onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
4 large parsnips, quartered and chopped
3 large carrots, quarterd and chopped
1lb dried green split peas 
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp herb de provence 
2 bay leaves
6 cups veggie stock or water, more if needed
1 tsp liquid smoke 
1 tsp sea salt or to taste
cracked black pepper to taste 

In a large pot or stock pot, heat the oil and saute onions, garlic, carrots and parsnips until the onions are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves and using a submersion blender, blend until desired consistency...blending more for creamy and less for chunky. Taste for seasoning...and serve. 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Friday is a great one. Mine will be if I survive..lol. Tomorrow I hope to be bringing a dessert recipe after a splendid day Family day. 


Thursday, 19 December 2013

Bobbie's Balsamic-Dijon Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Airbourne ~ Stand and Deliver
Cat Power ~ Willie 
Pavarotti ~ "La ci clarem la mono"
Guns N Roses ~ Word Up
Nurel Lita ~ Kafez
Foo Fighters ~ Razor
The Thompson Twins ~ Roll Over
Escala ~ Palladio
Megadeth ~ Symphony Of Destruction
The Gossip ~ Standing In The Way Of Control
Janiva Magness ~ It's Your Voodoo Working
Madonna ~ Give It To Me
Nicola Benedetti ~ MacMillian: From Ayrshire (Violin)
Alisha's Attic ~ I Won't Miss You

SPROUTS! Woo! Oh stop running away..they are little globes of green goodness and if cooked properly they taste just great. I love them and they are right up there with broccoli as my favourite veggie. I could eat them for every meal...every day. However I will admit if someone served me up sprout slush I would maybe refuse to..out of respect for the beautiful vegetable they can be. I still can't believe that people still boil them...I have never done that. I have had a steamer in my kitchen no matter where I have lived. Ranging from the little metal pop out steamer attachment designed to fit into saucepans to my current magnificent 4 layered and freaking ginormous stove top steamer. Yes...I am and always will be, a steamer gal. 

For me steaming allows me to control the amount of cooking my lovely veggies have. And also that is exactly how I prefer my veggies...steamed to 'just' tender with plenty of crispness still there. The only exception is potato...I do not like a crispy potato..or should that be crunchy? lol. I roast veggies for High Days and Holidays as a treat but I have never, ever, at all roasted my sprouts. I have added them into various dishes and made salads with them but otherwise they are steamed and devoured. lol. So I was quite shocked by the fact I was even contemplating roasting any at all. I had seen many recipes but none of them really caught my interest...and then I found this one. For the original recipe from Bobbie and her Vegan Crew simple click here. Once again I followed the link through to her site from a Pin on Pinterest and really enjoyed reading her post and her blog is really interesting so I urge you to take a look @ TheVeganCrew.com 

The recipe is very simple to throw together...a case of prepping sprouts and a little whisking together of the roasting dressing. And 20 minutes later you have a dishful of roasted sprouts. Now why did Bobbie's recipe spark me when many others haven't? Well Balsamic is the honest answer. I adore the lovely inky vinegar so that hooked me...then having enjoyed Mustard Sauce with pasta this weekend which was a breakthrough for me, the Dijon made me curious. I also had a bag of sprouts sitting on my counter waiting to be used...

I was busy readying my kitchen for the Friends Christmas Dinner Party on Friday. I will be pretty much living in my kitchen from Wednesday morning...lol. I love it. But whilst I was busy I was very much enjoying the smells coming from my oven. At the 20 minute mark my sprouts were exactly the texture I like them...still with a slight crispness. So I removed them from my oven...and then took a hasty photograph (I said I was very busy..lol) and left them to cool for me to try one...Ha! 

My first test was crisply succulent...I know, but it was. The dressing had reduced to a sticky sauce and coated the sprouts very well. The flavour was mellow and intense all at once. As you bite into the sprouts you get the sprout goodness then as you chew the combined flavours sweep across your taste buds. I never thought I would ever say this...but I really did enjoy roasted sprouts...well these ones anyway. When I sat down with a drink a little while later I found myself having an early lunch and just couldn't stop eating them. lol. So yes..definitely a hit. 

Sticky and roasted Bobbie's Balsamic-Dijon Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Bobbie's Balsamic-Dijon Roasted Brussel Sprouts    Serves 4 (or 1 LOL)
(Recipe form TheVeganCrew.com) 

12oz Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved 

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
2 tbsp Dijon mustard 
1 tbsp olive oil (I used canola/rapeseed)
2 tbsp water
salt and pepper to taste 
1/2 tsp maple syrup or agave syrup (optional) (I used maple)

Heat the oven to 425' and have a baking dish close to hand. 

Whisk dressing ingredients together in a med-large bowl until thoroughly blended. Add the sprouts and stir well to coat. Then pour into the baking dish and even out. Place into the oven and roast for 20 minutes, stirring at the half way point. Then serve...(if you get the chance!) with a great nut roast...


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Thursday has been a good one..mine has been spent making Desserts for my pals with Ann by my side keeping me going. Thank you Ann xx


NB Many thanks to Bobbie over at The Vegan Crew for a great recipe and tempting me into the roasted sprouts realm. This is not my recipe and therefore I take no credit for its creation. It is the hard work and creative efforts of Bobbie and Bobbie alone. ~R~ 


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Rocket & Roses Vegetable & Basil Skillet (Or Pre Compost Stew)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Chopin: Cello Sonata In G Minor
Leo Delibes ~ Flower Duet From Lakame
Feist ~ The Park
W.A.S.P ~ Scream Until You Like It (Live)
Natalie Cole ~ Paper Moon
Global Journey ~ Lagoon Of Sighs
Dev ~ Bass Down Love (Tinie Tempah Remix)
Bob Marley ~ Satisfy My Soul
Adam Ants ~ Puss N Boots
Buckcherry ~ Whiskey In The Morning
Carly Simon ~ In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
Heart ~ What About Love 
The Thompson Twins ~ You Take Me Up
Styx ~ Babe 

I hear you asking...Pre-Compost Stew? Well..you know those days when you have to clear the contents of your fridge and veggie boxes..you have put it off for a while because you know that somewhere in there, there will be nasties. You do? Phew...not just me then. lol.  I have been getting my kitchen ready for the mass cooking operation for the Friends Christmas Dinner Party on Friday but before I could store the groceries needed I wanted to have a sort through of everything else. Once I get started I actually quite enjoy the job...quite cathartic. Yes I'll admit there was some casualties that headed straight for the compost bin but I also had a good stash of veggies sat awaiting attention on my chopping board. I actually like the 'head scratching' process of thinking up ways of using them. I enjoy the challenge. 

So my stash included: potatoes, onions, garlic, basil, parsley, green chillies, carrots, sprouts, courgettes, green beans and some baby plum cherry tomatoes. Nice, eh? Not bad for a salvage operation into the back of the fridge and veggie stock drawers. My mind filled with frittatas, spanish omelettes and of course curries and chilli's. But today I wanted something basic...not overly spiced or rich in sauce. So my favourite skillet came out and I got chopping and soon I had a good wholesome skillet of vegetables cooking away. And my results were a clean, herbed skillet of veggies and I enjoyed tasting each individual vegetable. It was everything I hoped it would be. And only the veggie scraps ended up in the compost bin...very satisfying. 

Rocket & Roses Vegetable & Basil Skillet (Or Pre Compost Stew)

Rocket & Roses Vegetable & Basil Skillet (Or Pre Compost Stew)   Serves 2-4
(Original recipe from Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)

1 tbsp canola/rapeseed oil
2 onions, quartered and sliced
2 potatoes, scrubbed and small diced
3 small carrots, peeled and chunked
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
2 green chillies, deseeded and roughly sliced
handful green beans, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
12 Brussel Sprouts, trimmed and quartered 
2 large courgettes, trimmed and sliced into thick half moons
6 baby plum tomatoes, quartered
8 fl oz light, low sodium veggie stock 
1 14oz tin of butter beans, rinsed and drained
a good handful of fresh basil, cut into thin ribbons
small handful of fresh curly parsley, cut into tiny piece for dressing

Heat the oil in a large deep sided skillet over a low heat. Add the onions and stir to coat in the oil and then leave to cook for 10 minutes or until the onions have softened. Stirring often. 

Add the potatoes, carrots and garlic slices. Stir well to combine and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Stirring often. Then add the chilli and stir in and cook, covered, for another 5 minutes. 

Add the beans, sprouts and courgettes and stir well. Cook, covered for 10 minutes, stirring often. 

Add stock, stir in and season to taste. Add the tomatoes. Cook uncovered until the stock boils and then simmer for 8 minutes. Add the butter beans and the cut basil and stir to combine. Heat until the beans are warmed through. Check the harder veggies but they should be just perfect by this point. Re-season and serve, garnished with the parsley. 


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