Tag Archives: Harissa Pita

Blowing Away The Cobwebs Inside & Out

Blowing Away The Cobwebs, Rocking Dog

Blowing Away The Cobwebs

Whoosh! It was a week that blew in and blew out! There were opportunities to blow away the cobwebs and to appreciate some crisp winter days. One or two days brought beautiful frosts and clear blue skies. Whilst walking Real Live Rocking Dog early one morning I witnessed two Great spotted woodpeckers in the throes of a merry and noisy courtship dance close to the kennel. It was a real privilege. The same day my late afternoon walk took me to the field behind the kennel. The sky was truly spectacular. For half an hour I marvelled in its changing hues as the sun set. For some reason I started singing Bowie’s Life on Mars?,  very badly i’m quite certain. The cloud formations and colours really were the stuff of amazing Italianate ceiling artists. Glorious. ‘Dog and I walked back in the dark, and for the second time that day I felt nature- privileged.

With the clear nights I really should unbox my new telescope (thank you Andyman), and start fathoming the starry universe. I want to go beyond recognising The Plough and Orion’s Belt!

Whilst the cobwebs have been blown away outside, inside, Christmas stragglers are still surfacing! Stray baubles have been boxed in cosseting paper pulp egg boxes and attic re-entry will be required. I am not overly concerned because a dash of Christmas will be returning to the kennel in February…. don’t ask!

Spring cleaning and reorganisation is being attempted after the crud of Christmas has left. I particularly like my new makeup vessel! I bought a galvanised tin and glass seed propagator from John Lewis (£20 reduced from £40). For years I have had my makeup in a series of makeup bags on my dressing table, all rather juvenile. Now the series of tin pots hold my lippy’s and the like in a very organised fashion. I like thinking outside the box regarding storage, excuse the pun.

Thankfully, the fridge is beginning to gain its composure after the festivities. As ever its the time to try and eat a little more healthily now that the cheese has finally left the building! Sunday lunch was Ottolenghi’s Lamb Shawarma with a chopped salad, raw white cabbage with pickled green chilli’s and harissa pita. Yotam you are truly yum yum! Dessert was mulled poached pears (thank you for the inspiration Sally).

I hope the New Year is allowing you to blow away the cobwebs. Have a lovely week, love Rocking Dog x

A Sky To Paint, Rocking Dog

A Sky To Paint

Sale Purchase,Rocking Dog

Sale Purchase

Greenhouse Storage,Rocking Dog

Greenhouse Storage

Christmas Stragglers,Rocking Dog

Christmas Stragglers

Sunday Lunch,Rocking Dog

Sunday Lunch

What No Roasties?,Rocking Dog

What No Roasties?

Rocking Dog Post Number 300 With Love

Not Meat & Two Veg'!, Rocking Dog

Not Meat & Two Veg’!

Indeed this morning’s post is number 300 out of the kennel! I can hardly believe that over 4 months have passed since the 250th milestone blog post. So much has happened in that four months, much of it lovely, including our long awaited trip to Cuba and THE wedding. However, life is incredibly unpredictable. Things have arisen recently that have been so damned heartbreaking and unfair. I never cease to be amazed by the strength fellow human beings find to deal with complex situations, that rallying positive spirit which cajoles others to keep optimistic. It really is working. Therefore, it has been a real privilege to witness such constant love, devotion and care. I am in awe of you all, including all the lovely medical staff.

My 300th post is a food related one, four days of Rocking Dog food.

Thursday evening starts my four day food odyssey. Friends for supper and I shopped and cooked in a three hour time frame. It was a guinea pig meal (i.e… recipes I had stashed but not tried and tested before) We ate Moroccan Salmon baked in foil and served with minted yogurt, pita and a chopped salad. The recipe advocated that the salmon be put foil parcelled on a barbecue, my oven seemed to do the job perfectly adequately. Incidentally have you ever heard the tale of being able to cook a whole salmon in a dishwasher set on a medium programme?! Pudding came in the form of a tart, this time a Coconut, mango and lime tart. I made my own shortcrust pastry using lime zest and juice, but a shop bought pastry would be a perfect shortcut. The meal got the thumbs up, so the recipes got filed in tried and tested!

Friday evening, Meals on Wheels! A meal taken to friends and then enjoyed with them. Another Persian inspired meal. Ottolenghi’s Lamb Shawarma, which involved marinating a leg of lamb in a spicy aromatic rub overnight. Cooked for 4 hours the thickly sliced lamb was accompanied by a chopped salad (tomatoes, diced cucumber, spring onions, lemon juice), and a red cabbage salad (red cabbage, pomegranate, fresh herbs, pomegranate molasses). Pita stuffed with a tomatoey harissa paste, homemade hummus (Ottolenghi’s recipe, naturally) and saffron roasted Charlotte potatoes completed the feast. Pudding was more French than Persian – a tart case filled with creme patisserie and glazed raspberries. As you already know I love Ottolenghi and am particularly fond of his “Jerusalem’ book.

Saturday evening, a party to go to in a lovely garden. A pudding to take…. ah..what shall i do? 8oz Victoria sponge mix. Cakes baked, sponges sliced through. Cakes sprinkled with strong black coffee and Tia Maria and then layered up with grated chocolate and whipped double cream/Mascarpone. Cake cling filmed and refrigerated overnight. Getting dressed up for the party it was given a generous coating of the Mascarpone/cream mixture dusted with cocoa, finely ground coffee, and grated chocolate. Final embellishing was a broken Easter egg and some gold stars. Voila! you will go to the ball!

Sunday evening, three hours of ironing and about the same of gardening I wasn’t keen to spend much time slaving in the kitchen. I rustled up a simple but pretty salad, Red cabbage and gorgonzola salad with blackberry balsamic dressing. It was meant to have viola flowers in the mix, not having any trusty little pansy flowers I picked some dramatic royal blue flowers from the garden. I did give Andyman a health warning not to eat the said flowers as i’d forgotten what the species was! I think the jury’s out on this salad, and I don’t know whether the recipe will make the cut for the Rocking Dog recipe file.

There are some foodie events on the horizon for Rocking Dog this week. Wednesday sees me doing a session for Rangeworthy and Bagstone WI. I am going to be whizzing up some simple savoury and sweet canapés. I am sure these ladies will pass on some of their culinary wizardry and I look forward to meeting them.

Saturday sees me help with judging the food and drink entries at Frenchay Flower Show. Yikes! what a responsibility. I don’t want to be a hunted woman, I know just how competitive these shows get. I hope I won’t have to try anything too disgusting, cloudy wines, eggy quiches and trifle would be nightmare scenario’s. I have obviously come of age, and so it must be the time to don a tweed suit, sensible shoes and a string of pearls….. or perhaps not!

So I guess my 350th post will fall when the leaves are indeed falling. I’m hoping there’ll be lots of corners turned, lots of blazing light at the end of the tunnel for friends, and the ever present wonders of just how amazing and special the people around me are. Thank you x

Fish On Thursday, Rocking Dog

Fish On Thursday

A Tart On Thursday, Rocking Dog

A Tart On Thursday

Minted Yoghurt & Pita, Rocking Dog

Minted Yoghurt & Pita

Friday's Fodder, Rocking Dog

Friday’s Fodder

Lamb Shawarma, Rocking Dog

Lamb Shawarma

Jaffa Pita Pockets, Rocking Dog

Jaffa Pita Pockets

Friday's Tart, Rocking Dog

Friday’s Tart

Saturday's Cake, Rocking Dog

Saturday’s Cake

Add Some Bling!, Rocking Dog

Add Some Bling!