Soul Food Friday


If you wish to skip the story, here all the links you need to make the most phenomenal meal, to win over anyone’s heart and stomach.  😉

Falafel- By Sue over at The View From Great Island
Tahini Sauce- (also from Sue) 
Toum-
 By Kristen over at Bourban and Honey
Hummus– my version 😉
Pita Bread- By Delia of  Delia Creates
Mega thanks to all these lovely creatures and fellow foodies. ❤
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Back when I was a kid, we used to call it “junk food Friday’s,” which consisted of homemade french fries, heinz beans, fish fingers, frozen veggies and fried mushrooms.
Once in a blue moon we’d even head to McDonald’s, where we each got to choose one item (a burger) to be brought home and eaten with home cut fries.

All in all, my parents were pretty awesome about home made food, which I greatly appreciate now, and didn’t so much back then. Always the way, hey? I don’t even think I had a full “Happy Meal” til I ditched all the rules, took off, and began writing my own. Alas, no McDonald’s anymore for some years now, BUT I assure you, there are many happy meals being made.

In my stay at my parents place, I’ve fallen back into tradition with them for junk food Friday’s, though they really aren’t. Everyone eats pretty well around here, and indulges in the usual goodies of ice cream cakes and cookies etc, every now and again. The Friday has become Vietnamese/Thai from Pho Lee, (which does a mean Pad Thai), or seriously delicious Middle Eastern takeaway from London’s infamous Barakat, (with pizza every now and again).

This passing Friday, I announced that I would treat everyone for whatever they agreed upon, but got it in mind soon after that actually, what I really wanted was to replicate Barakat’s really really really yummy food.  And so I set out to do just that.

My vision, first and foremost “Toum.”
I must admit that the whole idea did begin with the greatest garlic sauce I’ve ever had. I picked up the recipe here, by the lovely Kristen, over at  “Bourban & Honey, and it turned out phenomenal.img_5968

(I did add aquafaba to it, (thought it’s not necessary) because I’ve been on such a kick of late and having made plant based mayo (which was a total hit), I knew it would work).

Though I’d had it before, I never knew it to be called “toum” rather just, “that awesome garlic sauce.”

Carrying on-early in the day, I prepared the dough for pita bread. Since coming across it, I always go back to **Deliaimg_5972‘s “Best Ever Bread,” recipe. It really is just that! It’s so quick to prepare, only needs a half hour rise time (though having made it in the morning, it sat most of the day before I used it- and was perfect), and tastes absolutely gorgeous. It’s also incredibly versatile, as I’ve made all sorts of things from it- pizza dough, buns, regular bread, focacciacrusty masala bread, and of course, the pita. Whole hearted thanks Delia. Two years later, and I would never abandon your recipe! 😉

**To make the pita, I just took a palmful of dough, lightly rolled it into a ball, flattened it and stretched it out with my hands. No rolling pin.

Pitaimg_5965 dough rising beautifully off in a warm corner, I got onto making the falafel mix. My folks had said that there was a mix somewhere, but you know me- if I’m doing it, it’s happening from scratch, – no questions asked.

Man, was it ever good.  I was so very impressed with how the img_5970beautiful chic pea patties turned out. They were indeed deep fried. For the first time making these babies, I went along with tradition, though I will go for baking next time…maybe. 😉  I did end up adding a little extra flour in img_5966the end to hold them together, though I’ve a feeling the oil wasn’t hot enough when we started frying. Make sure your oil is piping hot!

Having img_5964set the falafel mix into the fridge, I was onto the toum, as already described above. I hadn’t planned it, but when that was done with, I thought to make tahini sauce, another first, which couldn’t be skipped because it’s just so easy.

Finally, before getting to the main job of actually frying the falafel and making the pita bread, I decided on making hummus. There was some already in the fridgimg_5963e (store bought), but I really do love my own, and it tastes a million times better. I always pop a little bit of tumeric in these
days, for a little color, but mainly because it’s just great stuff. Food, drink, skincare, whatever- add a pinch, I say! Here’s an older version I made with roasted red pepper- you could simply omit that, add the pinch of tumeric, et voila, done. 😉

So then, onto the frying we go. I asked Dad to help out there so I could get onto the pita bread at the same time. On a side note, my father is truly a closet chef, really.  I think he secretly loves being in the kitchen, and jumps at every chance to create. (He made a delicious paneer biryani the other day!).
Mom makes great stuff too, though dad seems to enjoy the creative process more. Her job for our Soul Food Sunday was to replicate Barakat’s delicious salad, compete with pickles and such- and it was absolutely perfect.

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It really was a mighty team effort, and especially since mom was in such a funk prior to starting.  I just couldn’t be swayed from the brilliant creative mood I was in (much as she tried, I wouldn’t sing her tune even when directed straight at me).
Instead, I blessed the heck out of her, and within no time at all, she was the taste tester for my toum, tahini paste, falafel…and asking why I don’t open a restaurant etc.  Yep, I just threw in a little love vibe/soul talk there. “Truly, if you don’t like what you see, change the way you see it and the thing you see will change.” I just refused to see mum in her funk, and rather saw the perfection in her, which she came round to.

There were many high fives, and hugs later. “See, we did it. You did it,” I said…The whole process was worth it just to see sweet lil’ mama in joy. God Bless that little cookie. ❤

Back to the meal- dad’s brilliant idea, after having finished making all the falafel- “why don’t we deep fry the pita too?” No argument there, right? Done and done. I was making the pocket sized pita’s  on a large pan (no need for oil/butter), and the last few expanded beautifully in the bubbling hot oil. I have no pictures…but remember elephant ears? Now we know how to make them. 😉 I’m sure they’ll come up in a post soon-I’ve already been requested to make more bread dough, which I think will definitely be one of the recipes that sticks long after This Little Cookie is gone. 😉

Play- play til your hearts content. I know I’ll be initiating more of this kind of love fest as everybody wins. ❤

xxManj

Alignment: The Root of Happiness 

It was only a short time ago that this picture ended up on the doorstep of my heart. Sent along by someone very special, moments after I saw it, I attached the quote by Ram Dass, and shared it on social media.

When I first came across the quote, a couple of years back, from the moment I read it, sat deep in my heart as absolute truth.

It makes sense, doesn’t it?

If I go into the place in myself that is love,
And you go into the place in yourself that is love,
We are together, in love.

Then you and I are truly in love-
The state of being in love.

That is the entrance to Oneness.

I do. I love these words beyond measure…actually, it’s more so how they make me feel- a deep sense of resonance with all that I am- at peace.

When you become love, that is what you attract.

To those of you looking for the perfect soulmate, longing for that perfect person to show up on the doorstep of your own heart, first become the living embodiment of that which you desire…

Take the time, get aligned. Fall in love with yourself, over and over again. In getting aligned, and striving to make that your goal as often as you can remember, happiness awaits in abundance. Smile :*

God bless You ❤
xxManj

PS: I would very much love to give credit to the artist who did this sketch – it was the perfect thing at the perfect time for infinite reasons. Thank YOU ❤

 

 

 

A Cup of Yum! 


I love my daily roasted bean fix of coffee with almond milk, but sometimes I’d like a warm drink (especially on these cold days), later in the day without the caffeine.

This here has done the trick quite well, and before I go make myself one, I’m sharing with you. 😊

Go on, grab your favorite mug ~

  • Fill 1/2 way with boiled water

Add:

  • 1 tsp almond meal (ground almonds)
  •  1/3 tsp coconut oil
  • 2-3 crushed cardamom pods
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  •  1/2 tsp ground flax (for thickening)
  •  1 tsp honey
  • A scant pinch of salt
  • Fill rest of the cup with your choice of “milk.” (I used almond)

Et voila – c’est tout!

By all means, decrease the amount of liquids for a thicker, richer drink in a small cup, and add a couple squares of 70% Lindt dark chocolate – why not…? 😉

I’ve been playing with a plant based version of Bailey’s (which is also the very perfect thing on a cold day). Hmm- perhaps I’ll perfect that straight away ;). Will share it when my tastebuds celebrate the perfect version- until then, I test 😊

Enjoy!

Woe-is-Me….Nothing Ever Goes Right

Back in late summer (2016), after a hiatus from social media, with great compulsion, I returned, and of all things, (with fear shoved in my back pocket 😉 ), went live on facebook.

So much had gone on,  and I just had the urge to start speaking. Things/subjects were flying at me in such a way that I chose to speak it out rather than write. (Though I ended up writing follow ups to the videos).

This is the first of 16 “Tuesday’s With Manj” videos, called “Victimhood/Self Pity.” Much has changed since I started doing the videos, I mean I changed a heck of a lot. I think another season of TWM is calling, but for now, I’ll be sharing the first season here, every Tuesday. 😉
(Should you not have facebook, you may view the video here on Youtube). 😉

Tuesday’s With Manj #1: Victimhood/Self Pity from Facebook Live  

tuesdays-5-10

I would ask you to try something I’ve put into practice over a long time, and much more so over the past months releasing all kinds of crap, and getting more in tune with me.

 Whatever you are feeling, feel it with great intensity. Be the champion of feeling like shit. Be the champion of feeling like a loser, that no one could ever love you, that you can’t seem to find “the one.” Be the champion of anger, of frustration, of blame…Feeling like a victim, by all means, be the greatest “victim” in the entire galaxy. Feeling sorry for yourself? So go on, and feel sorry even more, for all that you don’t have, or all that never ever works out- I beg you to feel what is going on, rather than resisting it. 

And I ask you to keep it all to yourself. What you feel is no one else’s business, just like if someone is reaming at you, it’s not your business. I’ll get further into this train of thought in the next video, but for now, whatever you feel, bring it to the table of your thoughts and sit with it. Get still with it. Listen with your entire heart, to what Anger, Guilt, Shame, Self-pity, Self-loathing etc., are saying to you.

Everything is here to help us. The “shit” that comes from within, is also you, much like the physical elements of yourself, like your arms, or legs.  If you can honor and respect it (the shit), as much as you do someone you love deeply, and give it thanks, it will leave the table of your thoughts, bored as heck. That, my darlings, is emotional freedom.

I think we’ve got this whole self-help thing backwards….Forget about pretending to be/acting positive, when what you feel like is the opposite. Get honest with yourself and feel what it is you feel.

The Law of Attraction works, always. If you are trying to convince yourself of something which your heart is not yet aligned with, it’s not even that you don’t attract the thing you desire, you keep attracting dishonesty. Slow down, take baby steps.

Feeling like crap and being honest about it to yourself is life changing, one honest confession at a time. And guess what? Even if you feel the worst you’ve ever felt in your life, by consciously giving yourself permission to feel that way, rather than just feel that way (without permission), then you raise your vibration because of the allowance and honesty- that, my dear, is self-love.

Whilst we’re on the topic of the Law of Attraction, once you start getting honest with yourself, that’s what you start to attract and manifest into your life. Better job, better relationships, better meals, better intuition, better everything…Everyday, in every way, you will get better, better and better, and the things/people which/who no longer resonate will start to dissipate. You choose- this is your precious life.

And may I gently remind you, you are all perfect, and we are all blessed.
Be kind to You and each other.

Lots of Love to You, dear One. ❤

Become Your Own Soulmate


Brilliant song- Gorecki by Lamb
(lyrics below).

What my heart told me in the

spaces of this beautiful song:

 Be Your Own Soulmate. 

You are the one you’ve been looking for. 

You are the one to love til seas run dry. 

Find the one you’ve waited for, in yourself. 

Gorecki, by Lamb

If I should die this very moment

I wouldn’t fear

For I’ve never known completeness

Like being here

Wrapped in the warmth of you

Loving every breath of you

Still in my heart this moment

Or it might burst

Could we stay right here

Until the end of time until the earth stops turning

Gonna love you until the seas run dry

I’ve found the one I’ve waited for

All this time I’ve loved you

And never known your face

 

All this time I’ve missed you

And searched this human race

Here is true peace

Here my heart knows calm

Safe in your soul

Bathed in your sighs

Want to stay right here

Until the end of time

All I’ve known

All I’ve done

All I’ve felt was leading to this

All I’ve known

All I’ve done

All I’ve felt was leading to this

Gonna stay right here

‘Till the end of time ’till the earth stops turning

I’m gonna love you ’till the seas run dry

I’ve found the one I’ve waited for

The one I’ve waited for

God Bless You Dear One: You are the One❤️🙏🏼✨