Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Crispy New Potato Bake ~ High Days and Holidays Dish

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Calvin Harris ~ I'll Be Thinking 'Bout You
LeAnn Rimes ~ Can't Fight The Moonlight
Bodyrockers ~ Round & Round
Kaiser Chiefs ~ You Can Have It All
JET ~ Black Hearts (On Fire)
Meredith Brooks ~ It Don't Get Better
Jose Carreras ~ Santa Lucia
Guns N' Roses ~ Welcome To The Jungle
Jackson Browne ~ Doctor My Eyes
UB40 ~ Singer Man
Clawfinger ~ Warfair
Meredith Brooks ~ Bitch
Cyndi Lauper ~ True Colours
QOTSA ~ In My Head is a good day. I have just finished a phone call with one of my consultants who was able to pass along some good news for a change. I had some brutal tests recently and the results have come back...clear...wehooooooo. *doing happy dance around the desk*. Please forgive me but I am a little relieved and somewhat giddy. So please raise a glass, a bread stick or a carrot stick to my continued good health news and celebrate with me for a brief moment...*bowing* thank you. 

I cannot believe it is Wednesday already and I apologise for not posting since Sunday but it's been all hospital appointments and catching up with old friends so far. But today I have managed to find some time to make something other than buckwheat pancake breakfasts and noodle soups/salads for lunch. I have had a strange craving for olives since Saturday and I wanted something a little springlike for my evening meal today. What is more spring like then the humble new potato? I don't eat a lot of white potatoes and I have recently lost my love of the sweet kind. But I do enjoy new potatoes and I am most definitely a skins on kinda gal. When I found this recipe for a crispy new potato bake that included olives in its list of ingredients...well I was sold. I had to make one adaption by using apple cyder vinegar in place of white wine vinegar but otherwise I made the recipe as it was created. And yes I did tremble at the use of 6 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil but when recipe testing I tend to use the suggested amount and then make adaptions to the recipe for the next time I make it...if I make it again. I'll have my serving as the main part of my meal and then serve it with a good portion of steamed green veggies...then maybe with a good salad the next day. I'm hoping I can freeze a serving and then I'll give a serving to my Mum to test when she visits later. The recipe makes four servings....very generous servings in my opinion. 

It is easy to make as the only effort is the boiling of the potatoes for 12 minutes before adding everything together. I just brought my pan to a boil and got the potatoes going then went off and enjoyed my stresses here. lol. However the only problem I had was the lightly crushing of the potatoes. I used Charlotte potatoes and the recipes asks for Jersey Royals which are a little more soft when cooked. And because of this my potatoes didn't stick to each other in the baking process but I still ended up with a great dish. I would definitely used a fraction of the oil next time. The olives and capers gave the dish an edge which I liked. The thyme and wholesome new potatoes gave it an earthiness and incredible savoury hit. A crispy potato was definitely a good description for this recipe. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this recipe because I usually prefer my new potatoes steamed with no additions...well back in the vegetarian days I liked a little (ahem!) salad cream with them. I still crave that But this dish was good for a High Days and Holidays dish...but as I am celebrating counts. 

Crispy New Potato Bake

Crispy New Potato Bake    Serves 4 generously

1 kg Jersey Royal new potatoes
handful of capers 
2 handfuls stoned black olives
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
1 tbsp white wine vinegar (I used apple cyder vinegar)

Heat the oven 240'C/425'F/GM 9 and line a swiss roll type baking sheet with parchment paper being sure to leave a generous edge overlapping the sides. Set to one side. 

Boil the potatoes whole for a full 12 minutes and then remove from the water and halve and put them straight into a large bowl. Add in the thyme, olives and capers and generously grate black peppercorns over. Drizzle 4 tbsp of the oil over and then stir to evenly distribute and lightly crush the potatoes as your stir. 

Pour the potatoes into the prepared tin and press them down evenly. Mix the remaining two tbsps of oil and the vinegar together until emulsified and then drizzle over the potato mix. Place in the hot oven and bake for 40 minutes or until they are golden brown. (I removed mine at the 30 minute mark) Serve...

Hot out of the aromatic. Gratuitous foodie shot...


Thanks for stopping by and I hope that your week has begun well....


NB: This is not my recipe and therefore I take no credit for it whatsoever. It was posted by Anon but I would be happy to amend this posting and credit where it is due. ~R~

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Tomato Tart (vegan & gluten free)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

The Ting Tings ~ Be The One
Joan Jett ~ You Can't Get Me
NIN ~ Closer
Becky Hill ~ You Will Want The Most
Jon Fratelli ~ She's My Shaker
Chris Cornell ~ Lost Cause
Stevie Ray Vaughn ~ Tin Pan Alley
Black Stone Cherry ~ In My Blood
The Eagles ~ One Of These Nights
INXS ~ Shining Star
Jim Reeves ~ Four Walls
James Morrison ~ Better Man 
The Zutons ~ Hello Conscience
Pixie Lott ~ Cry Me Out

What do you do when you have a punnet of beautiful and ripe baby plum tomatoes to use up? Make a salsa...a chutney...a salad...a sauce...or even a soup? Yep..well you could but isn't it sometimes a shame to chop, dice or mush these resplendent jewels from mother nature? Which is why I decided to make this tart instead. The recipe is not mine as I found it posted by Anon on a recipe site. But I knew the moment I saw it that I wanted to make it. It uses the tomatoes as the star attraction and they are nestled by a base of almonds and oats. Perfect..

It's very simple to make and I confess I made mine whilst making my breakfast...yep that simple. I made two adaptions by using coconut oil in the base in place of the salted butter or olive oil option and by replacing fresh oregano with dried but that wasn't a choice, it was what I had available. I used my punnet of baby plum tomatoes with 2 deep red med vine tomatoes. The smell of it baking away in the oven was a pure delight...

Now this cannot be mistaken for a robust gluten crust because removing it from the baking tin was impossible so I had to leave mine to cool on the springform base. Yep..the almond/oaty base is definitely a little crumbly but it doesn't take away from it's beautiful flavours and when combined with the tomato filling...its taste matches its aroma in its pure pleasure. 

Tomato Tart
Tomato Tart  Makes 1 9" round tart

1 cup ground almonds
1 cup gluten-free oats
1 tbsp pysllium husks
3 tbsp cornmeal
1/2 tsp low sodium salt
4 tbsp coconut oil (or vegan marg or olive oil)
2 tbsp cold water

2 cups chopped assorted tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters
1 red onion, halved, quartered and thinly sliced 
2 garlic cloves, sliced 
1 tsp dried oregano (or 1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano)
1 tbsp grainy mustard 
salt to season

Preheat your oven to 350'F/180'C/GM 4 and line a 9" baking tin with parchment paper and set to one side. 

In a food processor pulse the almonds and oats until they resemble a coarse meal. Add in the pysllium, cornmeal, salt and oil and pulse until the mixture starts to come together. With the machine running add the cold water until the mixture comes together (although mine never quite balled up but did stay together when pressed) and then turn out into the prepared tin and press it down firmly into the base and allow a slightly little lip around the edge. Set to one side...

Gently toss the tomatoes, onion, oregano, mustard, garlic and salt together in a bowl. Pour the mixture onto the tart base and spread it out evenly over the crust. 

Bake in the oven for 40 minutes..and then serve. 


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


NB: This is not my recipe and therefore take no credit for it whatsoever. I would be more than happy to give credit where it's due if you recognise this recipe as your own..simply just drop me an email at But whoever you are..thank you for a great recipe...~R~   

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Monique's Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing (vegan & gluten free)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

The Union ~ Cut The Line
Janis Ian ~ At Seventeen
Toyah ~ Thunder In The Mountains
The Quireboys ~ Hey You
Jimmy Clift ~ Wonderful World, Beautiful People
The Commitments ~ Mustang Sally
Def Leppard ~ Rocket
Jack Johnson ~ Belle
Thunder ~ One Bullet
UB40 ~ The Way You Do The Thing You Do
Presley ~ Loving You
Melissa Etheridge ~ I Want To Be In Love
Kid Rock ~ Cocky
Bing Crosby ~ Well Did You Evah?

Well it's still raining and it looks like it is staying for the weekend. Yesterday I indulged in a moment of winter comfort with a great lentil soup but today I am going all out for a fresh and delicious salad. If I can't have spring outside then in inside the house I will...oh yes! The recipe fed through on my Pinterest feed and I was clicking on the link immediately. It is from the kitchen of Monique over at her blog Her blog isn't vegan but is vegan friendly and worth a look..I enjoyed my time over there. And for her original posting including this recipe simply click here..

Now as there is only me enjoying lovely vegan fare these days...(still death food for ML sadly)..I halved the recipe straight away and I made a couple of adaptions...small ones so below is the recipe as I made it and as always, for Monique's method, simply use the link above. For the actual salad I added extra red pepper, carrot and red cabbage and left out red onions as I loathe raw onion. I left in the spring onion because I can tolerate that in small amounts. In the dressing I subbed the honey with agave, apple cyder vinegar for the red wine vinegar and Braggs for soy sauce/tamari. I also used a wholefood peanut butter. And although I halved the dressing recipe I still only used a fraction of it but got enough for a good flavour but I am a little bit of a purist when it comes to my veggies and salads...I don't like my dressing to take over the dish. So with those few got busy...

...I adored this salad. Absolutely, completely, devoured it. The many textures would make this a fantastic salad in itself but combined with the peanut based dressing and the cashews. WOW! Only now do I wish I'd made the full recipe so I could enjoy it for the next few days. Lesson learnt, eh? lol Yes the spring onions did make me twitch a little but then they always do. This salad was refreshing in flavour and light in texture...just what I was needing today so thanks Monique.

Monique's Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing

Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing   Serves 2-3
(Recipe by Monique @ 

3/8 cup uncooked quinoa 
1 cup of red cabbage, finely sliced 
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 red onion, diced ( I omitted this)
1/2 cup carrots, grated
1/4 cup of fresh coriander/cilantro, chopped
2 small spring onions, finely sliced
1/2 heaped cup cooked edamame, cooled 
juice of one lime 

For the dressing:
1/8 cup wholefood crunchy peanut butter
1 tsp fresh ginger, micro-grated
1 1/2 tbsp Braggs animos
1/2 tbsp agave nectar
1/2 tbsp apply cyder vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp olive (next time I would leave this out) 
water to thin to desired consistency (I didn't need this)

To cook the quinoa: Rinse the quinoa very well with fresh water in a metal strainer. In a small saucepan bring 3/4 cup of water to a boil. Add the quinoa to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes or until the quinoa had absorbed all fo the water. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork, place in a large bowl and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes. Set to one side. 

The make the dressing: Add peanut butter and agave to a medium bowl and heat in the microwave for 20 seconds. Add in the ginger, Braggs, vinegar, and both sesame and olive oils and stir until mixture is smooth and creamy. If you want a thinner dressing, simply add in a tsp water. 

Add as much or as little as you like to the quinoa. Alternatively you can save the dressing to drizzle on the quinoa and veggie mix afterwards. (I mixed mine into the quinoa) Next fold in the red pepper, onion, cabbage, carrots and coriander into the quinoa. Garnish with the cashews and spring onions. Serve chilled or at room temperature with lime wedges if desired. 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Saturday has been splendid...and hey...the sun's out! Well..sort 


NB: This is not my recipe and therefore I take no credit for it whatsoever. It is the hard work and creation of Monique @ and hers alone. I thank her for such a great recipe. ~R~


Friday, 25 April 2014

Alina's Triple Lentil & Cauliflower Soup

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Dave Matthews Band ~ Crash Album 

The weather is a little bonkers here in my little part of the world. It's quite warm..well..ish and it's been pouring with rain for most of the morning. I am not complaining about the rain because I love being busy in the kitchen with rain pelting against my window and back door. Yep..serious rain lover. But I had been enjoying the spring sunshine and thought I had made the last of my serious winter soups so I was a little confused when I found myself printing off Alina's soup recipe from her great website It had all the comforting ingredients I was craving as I sat drinking my green tea and listened to the back ground music of the rain. For Alina's original recipe with all of her helpful alternatives simply click here folks.  

I opted use a little coconut oil at the beginning of the cooking but Alina uses veggie broth to start her cooking process. I also used 1/3 cup of split red lentils, 1/3 cup small brown lentils and 1/3 cup of lentils vert. And for my cooked grain I used good old brown rice. Soon I had a steamy kitchen window...a four legged fella following me around the kitchen (It has carrots in it and Archie is seriously addicted. Think I may have to sign him up for therapy a delicious smell coming from my soup pan. I didn't follow Alina's cooking instructions to the letter so I am posting my cooking instructions but for Alina's method simply skip back up to the link above. 

The soup itself has an interesting flavour...the blend of spices that Alina chose were definitely suited to my palate. I always love cauliflower so combined with the cooked down veggie soup base and the addition of the cooked rice at the serving point was a great meal for me. I really enjoyed it and when sat eating it, it was nice to have that whole winter feeling again. Yes...winter lover too! lol. I hope you try this recipe as it's easy to make and full of the good stuff and great flavours and textures. Thanks Alina. 

Alina's Triple Lentil and Cauliflower Soup

Alina's Triple Lentil & Cauliflower Soup   Serves 4-6
(Recipe by Alina @

1 dsp coconut oil
1 med onion, diced 
1 celery stalk, diced 
2 med carrots, diced 
3 garlic cloves, micro-grated
8 cups veggie stock
1/3 cup split red lentils
1/3 cup small brown lentils
1/3 cup lentils vert
1 cup diced tomatoes (I used fresh plum tomatoes)
1 small head of cauliflower cut into florets
cooked rice or any grain (barley, quinoa, couscous) for serving

1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric 
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp assafoetida
1/2 tsp garam masala  
salt and pepper to season 

In a large soup pan gently heat the coconut oil and then add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery to the pan. Saute for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they have softened. You may need to add a little of the stock to prevent sticking. 

Add the spices and stir well to coat and allow to cook for 1 minute. Add the rinsed lentils, diced tomatoes and veggie stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer soup over a low/med heat for 20 minutes or until your selected lentils mix has softened. Season with salt and pepper. 

Add the cauliflower to the pot and stir in. Cover and cook the florets for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 15 minutes. To serve: place your chosen grain into individual serving bowls and top with the soup. 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Friday is an amazing one...


NB: This is not my recipe and therefore take no credit for it whatsoever. It is the hard work and creation of Alina @ and hers alone. I do send thanks for a great recipe. ~R~  

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Filipino Chayote...(with a few moments from Aysgarth Falls)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Metallica ~ Enter Sandman
Portishead ~ Seven Months 
Prince ~ Get Off
The Beach Boys ~ Dance, Dance, Dance
Patti Smith ~ Not Fade Away
Richie Sambora ~ Rosie 
KT Tunstall ~ Paper Aeroplane
Soundgarden ~ Drawing Flies
Faith No More ~ Underwater Love
Pink Floyd ~ One Of These Days
Brandi Carlile ~ That Year
Mozart: Adagio in E for Violin & Orchestra
Garbage ~ Drive You Home
Heart ~ If Looks Could Kill

I am back after celebrating my birthday...dealing with hospitals..walking a waterfall and then dealing with more hospital stuff. To be honest the last couple of days I have trying to get my life back to normal...get back into my routine. ML went back to work yesterday and is also trying to get back into the swing of things. But we've had a lovely time over the last two weeks so there is no complaining here. On Sunday myself, ML, little Noo, Ann, Caz, Dev and Bev all travelled up to Aysgarth Falls and we took our time enjoying all the walk had to offer. The splendour of the falls, the beauty in the surrounding woods including all the many different spring flowers. I really just enjoyed being out in the fresh air, with people I love and despite the agony I was experiencing during the last part of the walk...(one too many fields! lol)..I wouldn't have changed a thing. Little Noo had a great time and enjoyed her scavenger hunt that we'd put together for her and to quote her little self...It was very tiring but an AWESOME day...just before she crashed out cold in the back of the car. Cute. At the end of recipe you'll find some memories from the day...all courtesy of our lovely pal..Ann. 

Let's get to the staggers me when I find a recipe that is so very simple. It's easy to get lost in a stack of ingredients. This recipe has just four ingredients and has the most amazing flavours. I had picked up a couple of chayotes during a recent visit to the Indian and Continental Store over in the city. They are the most ugly things but have a very refreshing taste. I urge you to try them if you already haven' are missing out. The recipe was found posted by Anon...again. It is incredibly easy to make and I enjoyed mine with brown rice and chick peas although the suggested accompaniment was jasmine rice. It has a great mix of savoury and sweet to it and for me that was enjoyable. I will most definitely be making this again...

Filipino Chayote

Filipino Chayote

2 med/large chayotes, skinned and de-seeded, chopped into cubes
2 med onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 med tomatoes, de-stalked and finely chopped

In a med wok or skillet heat a little oil or water/broth and cook the onion and garlic until softened. Add in the tomatoes and cook until they have broken down. Add the chayote and a little warm water, cook, covered until the chayote is tender/crisp.'s that simple folks.


And now for the Falls....

Freshly trimmed and raring to go Archie at the beginning of the

The four legged family was in attendance on this walk and both Archie and Dev & Bev's Ella had a great romp. 

Aysgarth beautiful. We set up camp here for our picnic

The sound of the falls made my heart beat faster. We decided that this was the perfect place for the picnic and for the hour we sat there I was completely at peace. 

Aysgarth Falls...further up the walk

The falls for me were they were wide it meant the walk was more achievable for me. If I'm honest I would've happily set up a tent and stayed there. 

A very happy Noo..

Noo looked just the part with her new (but broken in) walking boots, walking t-shirt, walking fleece and rain coat. She also carried her own back pack with all her food and drink. And I lent her one of my walking poles which she never let go of even when having her picnic. lol. She loved getting in amongst the creatures, flowers and loved listening to all the gang who were more than happy to spend time with her. Even when she was clearly tired by the end of the walk (and who blinking wasn't? lol) not one moan or whinge passed her lips. She carried on like the trooper she is. I was a very proud Auntie.

The family of ducklings who joined us
Noo was delighted when a mother duck and her little ones joined us and she and Ann climbed down next to the waters edge to get a closer look. They were very adorable. 

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


NB: This recipe is not mine and therefore take no credit for it whatsoever. I do send out thanks to whoever did and would be happy to give credit where it's due. Also the photos from the Waterfall Walk are courtesy of Ann aka the doggie whisperer...thank you lovely for all your beautiful memories you caught for us all in your photos. ~R~

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Tomatoes & Cashew Parmesan on Teresa Cutter's Quinoa & Chia Seed Toasts

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Tina Dico ~ In The Red
The Eagles ~ Learn To Be Still
Caro Emerald ~ A Night Like This
Joan Jett ~ I Love Rock n Roll
Prince ~ Get Off
Auf De Maur ~ Overpower Thee
Satie: Gonssiennes - 3. Lent
Bebel Gilberto ~ Close Your Eyes
Airbourne ~ White Line Fever
Soundgarden ~ He Didn't
Bach: Cello Suite #4 in E Flat
Chris Cornell ~ Call Me A Dog (Live)
Bobby McFerrin ~ Circlesong 8
Doris Day ~ I'll Never Stop Loving You

Blimey what a week! I'm exhausted and it isn't over yet. Tomorrow I shall be found walking a waterfall or two so I felt it only right to stop by and update you folks on my latest experiment in the gluten-free, yeast-free and vegan bread quest. This time I found a recipe online by The Healthy Chef..Teresa Cutter. Her recipe was just what I needed for this busy week. As long as you have a food processor it really isn't very hard work to make. There is a little advanced prep involved because you have to soak the quinoa and chia seeds overnight but again...easy. For Teresa's original posting simply click here. You will also find all the nutritional information for this loaf and Teresa's suggestions for serving it...

When all the ingredients were whirling around in my processor I was waiting for the seeds to break down a little which lead me to re-read the recipe and realised that they shouldn't. lol. And as I poured the batter into my bread tin I was becoming a little worried about the texture of this bread. But regardless I popped it into my awaiting oven and set my timer and got busy making the picnic for yesterday's play in the park with the little ones. My timer blasted off and I removed the bread loaf and placed it on my kitchen side to set and cool. As I was running around making sure everybody had everything for the day I quickly removed the loaf from the tin to cool completely and it looked very pleasing to the eye. And there it stayed for the next six hours whilst we were off to throw ourselves around the park.

When I finally sliced off the crust and a slice I was struck by just how moist it was. It reminded me of a very moist banana bread...and I tried a bite or two from the crust and I was undecided. I tried the next two bites with a little sunflower spread...still undecided. I decided to toast the second slice to see if it firmed it up at all. Well it did around the edges but the second you added spread to sucked it up and ended up as soggy bread....which then fell apart in my hand. lol. The overall taste to this bread is exactly what you would expect from a quinoa and chia seed bread but the hard crunch every now and then from the seeds was a little challenging because it felt like a tooth had broken. lol. Despite this I was determined to find a way of eating this bread without the previously stated issues.

I decided that I would heed Teresa's advice and pan toast my slices first. This morning I was craving an old favourite...tomatoes on toast. I also had a stash of cashew parmesan and I had a tin of organic plum tomatoes that I had picked up recently...they don't have citric acid added to them so I was a little giddy when I found them. (Citric acid being something I've had to cut out recently) However, they were expensive...£1.25 per tin so I bought just the one. I placed my slices into a skillet to toast and opened my tomatoes to find....1 1/2 tomatoes in a tin filled with tomato juice. Am I wrong to be scandalised by this...not even 2! 1 1/2! Sainsbury's..shame on you. Grrrr. Anyway..I digress. Once my slices had finished toasting I sprinkled on a little cashew parm then added the tomatoes then generously grated black pepper over the top. Now I really enjoyed this meal and enjoyed the quinoa and chia seed toasts. They were a great base if not sturdy base...they soaked up all the tomato juices before I had even sat down to A satisfying combination though..

Would I make this bread again...well..yes because I've tried it a few ways I know it's limitations but also the many ways you could enjoy it too. And you can never have too much quinoa and chia seeds in your

Tomatoes & Cashew Parmesan on Teresa Cutter's Quinoa & Chia Seed Toasts

Teresa Cutter's Quinoa & Chia Seed Bread  Makes 1 2lb loaf
(Recipe from

300g/10.5 oz/1 3/4 cups whole uncooked quinoa seed
60g/2 oz/ 1/4 cup whole chia seed
250ml/1 cup water (use half to soak chia seeds and the other half to combine in the 
60ml/ 2fl oz/ 1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
juice from 1/2 lemon 

Soak the quinoa in water overnight in the fridge. Soak the chia seeds in 1/2 cup water and this can left overnight also but you will need to give it a good stir before use.  

Preheat the oven to 160'C/32o'F/GM 2/3 and line a bread tin with parchment paper. 

Drain the quinoa in a large sieve and rinse with plenty of water. Make sure the water is fully drained from the sieve. Place the quinoa in the processor. Add the chia gel, 1/2 cup of water, olive oil, bicarb soda, sea salt and lemon juice. Mix in the food processor for 3 minutes. The bread mix should resemble batter consistency with some whole quinoa still left in the mix. 

Spoon into the lined loaf tin. Bake for 1 1/2 hours until firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes in the tin then remove from the tin and allow to cool completely before slicing. Serve...

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


NB: This is not my recipe and therefore take no credit for it whatsoever. It is the hard work and creation of Teresa Cutters @ and hers alone. I send thanks for an interesting recipe. ~R~


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Hello...I'm still here but....

Hello what a week. I have been very busy celebrating getting another year older. Doing many and various things which have kept me away from the kitchen and the computer. It's been a great break and ML is off of work all this week so that's been an added bonus. My actual birthday was fab...the morning ML and I spent our time cooking a lovely breakfast together and then it was pressie Then we were away for an early lunch date with my Mum, my sister and the little ones, Ann, Caz and Dev & Bev. I was spoilt rotten with flowers and beautiful presents. We all shared a lovely meal and forwent dessert to decamp to a very sunny park. We spread many blankets on the ground and set about making coffee and tea for everyone and then they sang Happy Birthday to me in front of the rest of the park goers.....


...awkward. lol. ML had managed to find a cake recipe that was gluten-free, yeast-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, dried fruit free and not loaded with heaps of agave syrup or maple syrups. So we all shared a lovely slice of the Blueberry, Almond and Lemon cake. Then it was time for relaxation and games. For the next few hours we enjoyed the fresh air, sunshine and played games in the park with the little was a great birthday.

This week has been busy having enjoyed a day out to visit The Hepworth Museum which was really interesting and fuelled my passion for sculpture. We had been to Hepworth's home when in Cornwall last November. And this didn't disappoint and I fell in awe of her work once more especially the overwhelming piece in the gallery below....

Standing in front of the piece against the wall..felt like being an ant! with all of Hepworth's works I have this craving to touch and caress. But I don't...I behave. lol. After the Hepworth visit was over we hotfooted it to the shops and I enjoyed a little retail therapy with some birthday tokens after enjoying a nice lunch. 

Looking back over the last few days and thinking about the people I shared it with I feel very have people who love me and wanted to share my celebrations. Who could ask for more, eh? 

My closest family and friend/family made my day very special...

Since my birthday there has been plenty of this.... we ready the house for a *fingers crossed* quick sale. Our need to be over in the city is now a desperate one. 

Tomorrow we are taking the little ones back to that park from my birthday and meeting up with Ann and enjoying a picnic and more games. Then it's packing again on Saturday....but on Sunday...oh Sunday...

Aysgarth Falls....oh how beautiful they are...

...I shall be walking alongside these beautiful falls. Joining me will be ML, Ann, Caz, Dev, Bev, Stripe, Sarah and little Noo. Yes my little niece is going on her first official walking day. She is a little excited by this and has had her backpack ready to go for days. lol. Last week she was bought her first pair of walking boots and has been dutifully wearing them in for a an hour or so each day. This is the final birthday celebration and we are walking the falls and having a picnic next to them. I cannot wait as waterfalls are a passion of mine and I hope to pass this along to little Noo. I will report back with tales of our day later next week. 

As you can see my first picture really does sum up things...I have been busy having a life. lol...although this afternoon is hospital bound. Urgh. I hope to be back with you all with a recipe posting on Saturday. I thank you for stopping by and I hope you are utilising my archive of recipes in my absence. 

Hope your week is being as kind as mine is...


NB: All images were found online and therefore I take no credit for their creation whatsoever. ~R~

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Betsy's Indian Pigeon Peas over Fragrant Rice

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Queen play list on my iPod (I was Freddie-ing all over the kitchen)

Whew...what a busy day. A regular Saturday for us, with the family visit from my sister and her little ones. All were in fine form and ready for fun. Little Layla was happy to raid the toy chest and we all enjoyed a Nemo moment or two. Still love little Squirt and his Myles and I sat down together at the desk and I helped him create a spark for a story and I was bowled over by his writing abilities and his natural creative spark. His finished story was brilliant and I truly hope it's something he keeps doing. I sure as heck will keep encouraging him. Little Noo was absent for a while as my sister took her to buy her, her first pair of walking boots. She is joining us on my upcoming birthday Waterfall walk and picnic. She is so excited and came back looking very happy at having some time alone with her lovely Mum. She proudly showed off her new boots (which were very cool but still practical), her new walking t-shirt and her new walking know just in case it gets a bit chilly on the walk. lol. She raided the sale racks at the Outdoor store. She is so prepared I fear shes gonna burn out before we get out of the cars!Then the rest of the afternoon was spent with my sister and I catching up sat at the table whilst the girls built Archie a new dog bed and then played outside. ML and Myles took advantage of some time together and fought side by side on the Wii..Star Wars...again. Sheesh.

However, this morning before they all arrived I managed to make a Buckwheat Pancake for breakfast, knock up a noodle salad for my lunch and then made today's recipe. I found it on good old Pinterest and it is the adapted creation of Betsy over at For her original posting for this recipe simply I really love pigeon peas and I had every other ingredient for both recipes so I was sold. The rice was hardly work at all and in 20 minutes I had a pan of beautifully cooked and scented basmati rice. The flavours are delicate but divine. The spiced pigeon peas are indulgent and moreish. The sauce is intensely flavoured and peas are succulent. I had the help of little Noo when I was plating up the food and she added her own little flare on the presentation and then insisted on a photo with her finished She was wowed by the rice 'magic' as it came out of it's mould. Cute as ever...

Betsy's Indian Pigeon Peas over Fragrant Rice

Betsy's Indian Pigeon Peas over Fragrant Rice    Serves 4
(Recipe from 

1 tbsp canola oil 
1 tbsp coriander seeds 
1 tbsp cumin seeds 
1 small red chilli, seeds and membrane removed, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, sliced 
1/2 tsp turmeric 
1 cup diced tomatoes in juice
1 can of coconut milk
1 can of pigeon peas, rinsed and drained 
salt to taste 
garnish: cashews and fresh coriander leaves 

In a large skillet over a med-high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add coriander and cumin seeds and stir fry until just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chilli, onion and garlic and saute until softened. Stir in turmeric until completely distributed. Stir in tomatoes and coconut milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a 1/3 - 1/2 and thickened. Stir in peas and heat through. Check for salt and add only if needed. 

Fragrant Vegan Rice      Serves 4
(as above)

2 cups of water
coarse sea salt 
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 tsp cardamon seeds 
2/3 cup basmati rice (I used brown basmati)

In a large saucepan, bring first four ingredients to a boil, stir in rice, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender and all water is absorbed. Check periodically to make sure that the rice isn't sticking but otherwise leave undisturbed. 

To serve: Spoon the pigeon peas over the fragrant rice and then scatter with the cashews and coriander leaves. 


The little Noodle herself with her finished plate.

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


NB: This recipe is not mine and therefore take no credit for it whatsoever. It is the adapted creation of Betsy @ and I thank her for sharing it. ~R~

Friday, 11 April 2014

Rocket & Roses Brown Rice Salad with Spring Onion & Ginger Dressing

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Blondie ~ Rapture
Garbage ~ Temptation Waits
Terra Naomi ~ Umbrella
Dixie Chicks ~ I Can Love You Better
Glenn Fry ~ Smuggler's Blues
Haydn: Cello Concerto in D
Melissa Etheridge ~ Meet Me In The Dark
Soul Asylum ~ Sometime To Return
Buble ~ Me And Mrs Jones
Gin Wigmore ~ Don't Stop
Dead Boots ~ On The Rocks
Seasick Steve ~ Just Like A King
Clawfinger ~ Sad To See Your Sorrow
Janiva Magness ~ I Want A Love

Just a quick posting today as I am enjoying a splendid morning with my nieces. Currently little Noo is sat next to me at the table writing a story about butterflies in a book we made together and little Layla is engrossed in Lilo & Stitch for the hundreth Soon we are away to the kitchen to cook spaghetti and veggieballs together, ready for their Mummy and Myles to arrive for lunch. No doubt it will take me twice as long to make the usual raw veggie tray because the little monkeys will eat them as quickly as I can chop them. lol. I have Noo slightly addicted to raw for Auntie Red,eh? No doubt in true little one fashion she will refuse them today; just to prove me wrong. And the tray will also include their new favourite raw veggie..butternut squash.

Yesterday I had a really great lunch. I started it off with some cold, cooked brown rice and then I layered it up with veggies and beans and then made a new dressing. I've wanted to test spring onions soaked in citrus juice to see if it made it more palatable for me when raw. And it worked! I enjoyed the many different textures to this salad and I loved the dressing. The vibrant colours seemed to bounce out of the bowl...

Rocket & Roses Brown Rice Salad with Spring Onion & Ginger Dressing

Rocket & Roses Brown Rice Salad with Spring Onion & Ginger Dressing  Serves 2
(Original recipe from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)

130g cooked brown rice 
1 large carrot, peeled and grated 
1 med diakon/mooli, peeled and grated 
1/4 small red cabbage, hard core removed and finely sliced 
15 mangetout, trimmed and halved 
1/2 cup edamame beans, cooked then cooled 
1 hot red chilli, finely chopped (de-seeded if you wish..)

For the dressing:
3 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 1/2" fresh ginger, peeled and micro grated
2 tsp Bragg Liquid Animos (or soy sauce/tamari)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
Juice of one lime
1 small garlic clove, core removed and micro grated

In a small bowl add all the dressing ingredients together and mix well..pushing the spring onion down into the liquid and set to one side. 

In a serving bowl place all the prepped veggies and brown rice. Toss well to evenly combine. When the dressing has had a minimum of 15 minutes 'mulching' time, pour onto the rice and veggies and toss to evenly distribute and serve...


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

~Red~  *waves* from little Noo and Layla bug...x 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Rachel's Butternut Squash & Spinach Risotto

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band ~ Oh Well
Within Temptation ~ Hand Of Sorrow 
McAlmont & Butler ~ Beat 
Buckcherry ~ I Want You
Michael Kiwanuka ~ Home Again
Thunder ~ River Of Pain 
U2 ~ Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
Airbourne ~ Runnin' Hot
Garrett Hedlund ~ Timing Is Everything
Nickelback ~ Burn It To The Ground
The Animals ~ Let The Good Times Roll
Madeliene Peyroux ~ Blue Alert
Maroon 5 ~ Through With You
Garrett Hedlund ~ Silver Wings

Spring is back..the grey has been replaced by brightness and the damp and dismal streets are once again filled with the beauty of spring flowers. I love daffodils, tulips and I love travelling about watching them all spring to life..(Ha! see what I did there? lol) But it really does give me a lift, when I am stuck in my head. when dealing with the health issues. During yet another journey to the hospital yesterday I sat exhausted in the passenger seat taking in all the beautiful and vibrant signs of spring...I even saw the odd bunny or two. It seems to make the visits easier....and thankfully the hospital visit was a very quick one as we seemed to have timed it just right at the blood clinic and there was no queue in front of us. However, when I came of the treatment room, the waiting room was packed out. Phew! No more hospital visits until the end of next week  and in between is my birthday so things are looking up for the next 7 days...well apart from getting another year Although technically I have got back a year as i was thoroughly convinced I was going to be *beep* this year. ML helpfully pointed out that wasn't until next Woo! lol ML has also been given the task of finding a good vegan, gluten-free, yeast-free, refined sugar-free, dried fruit-free birthday cake recipe. I think I have seen a few more grey hairs since starting this task lol. It reminds me of a Pin for such a cake and basically it was an empty box. Cheek...I believe that something can be made. (..and am a little thankful I don't have to find it..*shhhhh*) Well if a gal can't have a birthday cocktail or three anymore she should be able to have a slice of birthday cake, eh? lol. 

A few months ago I found a source for short grain brown rice and boi have I been exploiting I am quite enamoured with the little pearly brown goodness. I enjoy it on many levels from the wholesome and earthy smell as it slowly cooks through to its comforting and indulgent taste. I confess to taking in and enjoying every second of eating it which does lead to many meals eaten half hot and half Ah well. I found today's recipe when making a rare visit to Pinterest..ahem...yes..anyway..oh hush! To visit Rachel Cotterill's original post and enjoy a look through her blog simply is not a vegan blog but is still a great one. I was drawn to it for it's colour and if I'm honest the cooking method. I love risotto but I tire of the risotto purists who insist the only way to enjoy risotto is to spend an hour slowly stirring in wine and stock...yada yada. lol. For me to enjoy a risotto it has to have a great taste whether that be a delicate one or a spicy one (Enjoyed a spicy sweet potato risotto when dining out once...very nice), succulent veggies and cooked soft rice. How you achieve that doesn't really matter to me as long as the end results are a good foodie experience. risotto purists here. Each to their own etc.

Rachel's recipe is very easy to follow and to make. The results are a beautifully cooked risotto and the butternut provides a sweetness and the rice is very savoury to balance that out. I sat with my bowl of risotto and ate each mouthful with closed eyes as I savoured each flavour as they hit my tastebuds. On a purely personal level I would use less butternut next time and maybe add something like green beans but that is simply down to the fact that I have eliminated my sweet tooth so can find butternut and sweet veggies overpowering at times. But l let me be clear that is no reflection on Rachel's recipe...the balance she has created is a good one and someone with a normal sweet tooth would enjoy this recipe greatly. I would urge you to try it as she created it, the first time you make it. I will most definitely be making this again...

Rachel's Butternut & Spinach Risotto (using short grain brown rice)
Rachel's Butternut Squash & Spinach Risotto  Serves 2-3
(Recipe from

300g (10oz) butternut squash
1 large red onion
2 cloves garlic
1 red/sweet red bell pepper
100g (3 1/2 oz) spinach 
a generous handful of flat leaf parsley
1 tsp olive oil
200g (7oz) arborio risotto rice (I used short grain brown)
600ml (1 pint) veggie stock 
black pepper to taste

Peel the squash, scrape out the seeds and cut into 1 cm cubes across. (Note: the weight given relates to the squash after peeling)

Finely chop the onion, garlic and red pepper. 

Wash and roughly chop the spinach.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy based saucepan.

Fry the onion, garlic, red pepper and squash over a low/med heat until the squash starts to soften. 

Add the rice and stock, and simmer 15-20 minutes (mine took 30 because of the brown rice), stirring frequently and adding additional hot water as required to keep the rice from boiling dry. 

Season liberally with black pepper. 

Once the rice is cooked, add the spinach and fresh parsley, and stir it through until it wilts, 

Serve immediately. 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Thursday is filled with colour...


NB: This is not my recipe and therefore take no credit for it whatsoever. It is the hard work and creation of Rachel Cotterill and hers alone. I thank her for sharing such a great recipe. ~R~