Thursday, 10 November 2016


Good Afternoon to you,

Yesterday, I spent a lovely few hours visiting my hairdresser, where I had a cut and blow dry. I tend to do this every six weeks or so.

....and after my visit, I felt very shuzzy. A little like Rita Hayworth in the 1940's film, Gilda. Do you remember when Rita Hayworth swished those beautiful locks of hers, gosh her hair was fabulous.

Nowadays, my hair is just about long enough, to enjoy a slight swish, although in my mind, it felt more like a Rita Hayworth swish, because I felt so good about my hair.

So why does a visit to the hairdresser cheer me up so much.   I think the reason is, the time I spend in the hairdressers, is just about me.  That sounds a little self centred, doesn't it,  but sometimes my days are so busy that I forget about my needs. I get so caught up with other things. 

Are you the same? 

I have to say, my needs aren't many, but a visit to the hairdresser is something I really enjoy.

When I lived in Cyprus, I grew my hair longer and tied it into a bun.  Now that might sound odd, you would imagine that a shorter hair style would be much better in such a hot climate, but I found the reverse to be true. Due to the heat and swimming in the sea, I needed to wash my hair every other day. I found it so easy, to wash my hair, then whilst it was still wet, tie it back into a loose bun..... no shuzzing for me.  I still looked smart, but with much less fuss.

When I arrived back in England, I wanted a more stylish hair cut, so the shoulder length hair was cut into a bob.... and I love it. I can style it in all sorts of ways, I can straighten it, I can curl it, I can clip my hair from my face.... perfect for gardening. There are so many options.

.... and don't you find, when your hair is out of sorts and not looking as you would like it to, whatever outfit you are wearing, just does not feel as good. On the other hand, if my hair is looking fabulous, I can wear a pair of slouchy trousers, a t-shirt and some pumps and I feel fabulous.... it's all about the hair.

.... can I also include a manicure and pedicure to the list.  Now this does not happen very often, because I cook, I sew using a thimble and I am also a keen gardener.  All these loves, are not conducive to prettily painted nails, but when I am with my daughters, we love nothing better than a little nail therapy.... and because I do this once, or twice a year, when my nails are painted, I can't stop looking at them, because they are so pretty.

So how about you, what makes you feel shuzzy?

Your list is probably totally different to mine. It would be fun to compare.... maybe I could add one or two things from your list onto mine.

So what else was on my list yesterday?  

I made this Spicy Vegetable dish and served it with Bulgur Wheat. It was just the ticket. After being poorly, I really had a craving for vegetables.  I often make this dish with left over vegetables.... you know the one or two vegetables languishing in the bottom of the vegetable basket.  It really is such a versatile dish. Now please don't look at the list of ingredients and think there are a lot, because I have included quite a few spices.

So it's on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to is,

the 1965 Rubber Soul Album by The Beatles. My word it still sounds good.

The reason I am listening to this album is,  last week, Phyllis took a trip, with her friends, to Liverpool. Whilst there, they could not miss the opportunity to visit The Cavern Club, where The Beatles used to play in the 1960's. She said it was a really nostalgic visit, because both Phyllis and my father loved The Beatles music when they were younger. So I thought it would be fun to find my Beatles albums and transport myself back to the '60's.... do you want to come along?

So while I am listening to, and thoroughly enjoying this album, especially the song 'In My Life',  it is time to organise my ingredients.


l large onion or 2 red onions
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of turmeric
3 large cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 large carrots
1 small squash (300g)
1 sweet potato (approx 300g)
1 x 400g tin of tomatoes
1 x 400g tin of chick peas
1/2 pint of chicken stock
1 teaspoon of salt
ground black pepper

250g Bulgur Wheat
1 level teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil


Pre-heat the oven to 180C

Peel the skin from the squash, remove the seeds and chop into medium sized pieces.  

Peel the skin from the sweet potato and chop into medium sized pieces.

Peel the skin from the carrots and again chop into medium sized pieces and set aside for the moment.

Place the squash and sweet potato on to a large baking tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss the vegetables to make sure they are covered with olive oil.

Place in the pre-heated 180C oven and roast for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes.  

Remove from the oven half way through the roasting time and turn the vegetables over.  Return to the oven. You want the vegetables to be dark in colour.

Whilst the vegetables are roasting.

Peel and finely slice the onions.

Place 1 tablespoon of oil in a wide pan and add the sliced onions.

Cook until golden brown.

Grate the garlic and add to the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes.

Then add the chilli flakes, ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric and tomato paste. Mix together and stir for a further 2 minutes.

Add the chopped raw carrots and stir.

Add the tin tomatoes and stir.

Pour the stock into the pan, place a lid on the pan and simmer for 15 minutes or until the carrots are just tender.  You don't want them to be soggy.

While the carrots are cooking.

Cook the Bulgur wheat as per the manufacturer's instructions ~ I add 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil before cooking the Bulgar wheat.

Whilst the Bulgur wheat is cooking, remove the squash and sweet potato from the oven and place into the pan with the carrots.

Drain the chickpeas and add to the pan.

Stir gently for 5 minutes.  There is not a lot of liquid in this dish, but if you feel that the dish is becoming a little dry, add a little water to loosen the mixture.

Add freshly ground pepper, then check for to see if you need to add anymore salt.

Place the cooked Bulgur wheat into a bowl and ladle the spicy vegetables on top.

Then, all there is left to do is, find a fork,



This dish serves 4 people, which is too much for George and I.  I place half of the spicy vegetables and half the Bulgur wheat into bowls, pop on the lids and place in the fridge to enjoy the following day.

Do you know, I think the spicy vegetables tasted better the second day, because leaving them overnight, allowed the flavours to develop even further. 

Now, I feel sure you are wondering why I did not say use one whole squash and one whole sweet potato. It would have made life a lot easier.  The reason is I couldn't find the correct weight I wanted, so I bought a large squash and a large sweet potato.  

I roasted them together and divided the vegetables to give me the correct weight for this dish,

and the rest, 

well I added some stock and I blitz the remaining squash and sweet potato and hey presto I had 2 dishes of soup for our lunch.

Nothing was wasted. Now that's my style of cooking.

Take care and I will see you next Thursday.

This week I will be joining,


As Always,

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Best wishes to you.


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