This is so much more than roasted vegetables…

20140727-135943-50383874.jpgThis may look like just another one of my great big bowls of loveliness…but it’s so much more than that!! This is the first food I have been able to cook for three weeks, yes, THREE WHOLE WEEKS!!!!

All I can say is, it’s a good job I like salads and fruit and more salad, and that my boys like sandwiches and that the weather has enabled us to use the barbecue a few times! I think we’ve done pretty well, I’ve still made them bread every day and we’ve only had two Indian takeaways in all that time – and boy, they tasted sooooo good!!

But oh, how I’ve missed you my beautiful roasted vegetables :)) oh the pure joy..
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Let me confirm, my kitchen project is STILL not finished, but I do have cupboards and worktops and a hob/stove and ovens (yes, two beautiful new shiny babies) and lights and sockets; however, I don’t have a floor, just boards, no plinths on my cupboards, no finished edges on anything, no hot water and a beautiful new Belfast sink with no plug! My back garden is a building site, with piles of bricks and rubble and rubbish everywhere and the waste pipe for the new sink and dishwasher empties out into a pile of bricks!!

We are in a much better place than we were a few weeks ago, or even one week ago, but it still goes on…the last three weeks in particular have been the toughest, I can barely put it into words; I have literally felt like my entire existence has been removed, we’ve all been ill, I’ve cried out of frustration most days, and I’ve been shut away in my living room for two weeks with two dogs (my brother in laws Labrador, Robbie, has been staying, which is fine, he’s lovely and beautifully behaved, but this was all meant to be finished by the time he stayed), my kettle on the window sill, my breadmaker next to the television, and hours and hours of cleaning to do at the end of every day, with huge amounts of dust and plaster and mess to clear up plus huge amounts of dog hair as Robbie added moulting to the list!!

But today, I have chopped and peeled and cooked and barely sat down and it feels fab!!! I had started to fear that I had forgotten how to do it all, it had been so completely and effectively removed from my day to day existence, but today I took the plunge and roasted several pans of vegetables in one of the new ovens: spiced aubergines and courgettes, cubed butternut squash, carrots/onions/garlic; made chermoula, tahini sauce, and roasted carrot and garlic dip.

20140727-141651-51411864.jpgMy beautiful son tells me my breath smells of garlic, and my stomach is bloated from eating too many roasted vegetables…oh bliss…an element of normality has returned, for today at least.

Tomorrow it will all start again, my house will be invaded with men and noise and mess, I’ll have to cover everything up again, but today, I’m happy :)

Salad leaves, roasted aubergine and courgettes with cumin and paprika, and tahini sauce..who wouldn’t be smiling??

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By this time next week I may actually be able to share photos of a finished kitchen and dining room, let’s hope so, hey?

I hope you’re all having a great weekend and have a fab week ahead xx

My cooking quinoa post..

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As a result of posting about quinoa in a few places this week there has been some further feedback on my way of cooking it, and I’m pleased to say it’s all been positive, so I thought I’d share it again in case new readers find it of interest.

Let me summarise: I don’t cook quinoa as it says on the packet as I don’t think it’s the best way or creates the tastiest outcome, so this post explains my method.

This was a recent comment from Malar on my blog…

20140722-160656-58016949.jpgAnd on my Facebook page..

20140722-160712-58032493.jpgThere’s also been some more positive feedback on Facebook and Instagram so I hope you’ll find it of interest :)

Hope you’re having a great week…I still don’t have an oven or hob/stove or kitchen hence why I’ve been a bit quiet!!!

Beautiful work I just have to share..

You’ve all seen my new gravatar by now, let me show you the other pieces that the fabulous Emily Cooper has produced for me…

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Aren’t they fab? Isn’t she clever??

But this is my favourite..Emily produces these beautiful wishing trees and she sent me one yesterday and I was just overwhelmed by how beautiful and intricate it is..

20140716-120241-43361433.jpgThese are photos of the original artworks but hopefully you see how stunning they are :)

Do check out Emily’s website :)

Super duper goodness bars of fabulousness…

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You know I love these kind of bars and these are even more fab as they are full of my favourite TAHINI!!!

If you don’t like tahini, replace it with a nut butter or try mixing the tahini and nut butter half and half…enjoy!

By using tahini and seeds this makes these bars nut free for anyone with nut allergies :)

Ingredients
100g unsulphured dried apricots – see note below
50g dried cranberries
30g sunflower seeds
30g pumpkin seeds
30g oats, any kind
15g chia seeds
75g tahini
75g coconut oil

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Method
Line a loaf tin with parchment paper
In a large bowl mix all of the dry ingredients
Put the tahini and coconut oil in a microwavable dish and heat for 30-60 seconds until the coconut oil has melted
Mix the melted mixture into the dry ingredients, ensuring it’s all well combined
Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and put it in the freezer for 20-30 minutes, this solidifies the coconut oil which holds the bars together
Remove and chop into bars and store in the fridge

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Options: you can add your favourite chopped nuts, substitute some of the apricots for raisins or sultanas, substitute the tahini for almond or any nut butter for a different flavour. I use unsulphured dried apricots as I prefer them, but if you’d like something sweeter, or can’t get unsulphured ones, use the orange dried apricots available everywhere.

Roasting your seeds gives a great flavour: lay the seeds in a single layer on a large baking tray and roast for 5-10 minutes at 180-200C; keep watched the nuts and moving them around so that they don’t overcook or burn, then leave to cool. Resist doing what I do and eat any of them straight out of the oven and burn your tongue!

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Good Morning Friends ♡

Elaine @ foodbod:

Come and join the fun with Dimples new group…

Originally posted on Shivaay Delights:

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And yummy Vegetarian food!

Come join our new vegetarian food group on Facebook and post your yummy recipes, pictures and blog links…Let’s all share and connect through food! :) Where WordPress and Facebook comes together! :)

https://m.facebook.com/groups/1433687623575418?ref=m_notif&notif_t=group_activity

Can’t wait to see you all there my lovely friends!!!

Have a brilliant day! Much Love D x

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Tomato Tarte Tatin

Elaine @ foodbod:

How good does that look????

Originally posted on birgerbird:

Ah, tomatoes.  Fresh, ripe, summer tomatoes.  It may be hard to top a freshly picked, home grown tomato sprinkled with salt and eaten out of hand like an apple.  Or a classic BLT with mayonnaise.  Or a Caprese Salad.  When you have fresh tomatoes, it’s best to not mess with them too much.  The Tomato Tarte Tatin is a nice way to use fresh tomatoes that concentrates their flavor and adds to their natural sweetness with the use of balsamic vinegar and sugar.  The tomatoes are thus rendered sticky and almost candy-like, on top of a puff pastry tart.  The result is like a pizza without the cheese, and with a mouthful of bursting tomatoes and juice.  It’s a messy dish, but is absolutely delicious, as well as beautiful.  Give it a try!

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Finished Tarte

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Tomatoes Simmering

For Mr. Fitz we turned the tarte into a BLT, adding the necessary…

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Them there carrots…

20140712-164053-60053727.jpgYou know I love roasting carrots…I love carrots raw in dishes too, on their own as crudités, and added to salads…in dips…in cakes…in chilli…in fact, I can pretty much say that I definitely like carrots in all forms (except boiled to death like my Gran would cook them!!)…they are like sunshine on your plate ☀️☀️ and I realise recently that I do seem to favour orange coloured dishes!!! Hmmmm…..and orange coloured clothes, and in fact, we just bought, in the last hour, an orange sofa bed!!!

20140712-165110-60670501.jpgDefinitely a theme there…

So this weekend I was very happy to see two of my lovely fellow bloggers have posted lovely looking carrot recipes so I thought I’d share them with you too in case you like the look of them as much as I do…Prudy’s grilled carrots look amazing, I’ve never grilled carrots but I think I will be now! And Sue’s roasted carrots and avocado with cumin citrus dressing definitely sounds fabulous!!

Do check out all of these fantabulous carrot offerings and let me know your favourite carrot recipe :)

In the meantime, from me and Bob, have a great weekend…

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