Sunday, September 25, 2011


Good-by, Good-by, world. Good-by, Grover's Corners... Mama and Papa. Good-by to clocks ticking... and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new-ironed dresses and hot baths...and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you.” Thornton Wilder, Our Town

I woke up the other day uncharacteristically crabby, and my husband chastised me, questioning where was my gratitude. Normally I am a cheery, pollyanna sort of person, bad moods rarely make up my days. I felt such contempt in my momentary mental malaise and his observation shamed me within seconds.

Today I have been lamenting on life, the beauty in the grandiose and the mundane. That made me start thinking about cemeteries. Have you ever visited a cemetery for no reason? Maybe you visited a historical site and found yourself strolling amongst stones of strangers who lived far before your time. Walking around a place where nature lives on yet people do not is a humbling experience. It makes you realize whatever worry that had occupied your mind really doesn't matter in the scheme of the universe.

Everyday we awaken, we are terminal.
Temporarily renting our bodies,
forever coveting our souls.
Our breath, countdown
to our very last gasp.
We dine, maybe eating our last supper.
Our insides weep, yet we hold
a stellar performance of smiles and satisfaction,
withholding the inevitable outcome.
Death looms in the shadows
stalking us, living prey with plans
to be abandoned with cold wreaths and stones.
Cemetery holds the final court,
waiting for yet another of times demise;
Still as the silence that surrounds
the mausoleum at midnight.
Left behind and forgotten,
as a lone barren tree
taunts with its lingering longevity;
shadowing the pillars and graves
that lie void of life and energy.
(c) Rose Bruno Bailey

Taking life for granted - we are all guilty from time to time. It is easy to get lost in self pity and forget how magnificent it is to awaken each and every morning to the sunrise and the aroma of a fresh pot of brewed delicious coffee. The little things make up just as much satisfaction in our lives as the major moments. Forget fearing the future and live in the present. Loving, being loved is the absolute greatest feeling we can experience ever, no matter a prince or a pauper. This we should never forget, even in our lapses of appreciation of the blessing of life and this perfect earth we call home.
Love and light
Rose Bruno Bailey

Saturday, September 24, 2011


 I decided to change my blog title from VEGETARIAN SOUP FOR THE BOWL  to A ROSE WITHOUT THORNS. The minute I changed it "Whole Lot of Rosie" started playing on the radio by AC/DC. My husband is rocking out to it as I type. It was a sign I made the correct choice to change my title.

My blog is still a mish/mash of all things positive, but I didn't want people to  assume my blog was just about soup. I guess you can say I didn't wish to be soup stereotyped. I will continue to post recipes and speak about vegetarianism and a healthy lifestyle when I am moved to do so, but I also want to be able to share all topics of interest. I wake up daily and fall in love with life, over and over again. Join me on my journey of finding inspiration, cruising down the freeway of life.


Monday, September 19, 2011


I remember when my whole family went to Boston for my cousin's big italian wedding, and my husband and I drove from Connecticut to join them. When we arrived my Mother had cooked Pasta Fagioli in my Aunt Terri's kitchen, and tasting it brought back so many lovely memories of home and family. My Mother is always in my heart, even though miles are between us. Cooking her recipes makes me feel a bit closer to her and cooking italian food seems to be in my soul.I am on a quest to recreate all the traditional italian meals I grew up on,vegetarian style!!

This soup is delicious and you can always splurge with a little Italian bread warmed in the oven, or garlic bread. It is super easy and healthy, except the parmesan cheese; but I will be watching my portion size so I should be fine.
You could even drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil on a whole garlic head, wrap it in foil and roast it on 400 degrees for about thirty minutes. That is absolutely delicious on italian bread. Tonight I dipped my italian bread in garlic infused extra virgin olive oil with parmesan cheese, just a little. :-)

Here is the fantastic recipe, simply divine. I make this all the time.

You will need:

1 large onion

Cloves of garlic, I use tons!!

2 large cans crushed tomatoes plus one can hot water

2 regular cans white cannellini beans, do not drain.

1 large parmesan cheese

sea salt

fresh ground pepper

dried or fresh basil or oregano

half of box of ditalini pasta cooked  al dente' and drained

Saute' onion and garlic in a large pot in olive oil.  I always season my veggies as they are cooking. Cook until the onions carmelizes.

 A few minutes later add 2 large cans of crushed tomatoes plus a can of hot water and simmer covered for forty minutes. Season with salt, pepper and oregano.

Add the 2 cans of cannelini beans and simmer another twenty minutes.Do not drain.

After simmering, mix in the parmesan cheese, using most of the can. Then mix in the cooked pasta with  a bit more salt, pepper and oregano and voila you have Mother's Pasta Fagioli.This soup is a big pot of italian goodness. Mangia!!

Looking at bright fresh flowers when you are cooking makes the experience much more lush. Food, flowers, music; feeds our creative senses. I found this little pitcher and it was just shouting for come colorful stems to marry.  Mission accomplished, thanks to Trader Joe's.

The lotus flower
perfumed in blushes
pink from promise.
Blossoming from
a towering sky’s whim.
Blooming despite
the muddy soil
from which it grew.
Aroused in the aftermath
of earths secret desires.
(c) Rose Bruno Bailey

Color, love and light to all.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


When we are born our first bout with individuality is when our parents bestow upon us the gift of a name. What is in a name? Does a name define who we are or how we are perceived by others?  What about those souls who are lost to their families, perhaps they ended up homeless and one day when their time was up they couldn't be identified? They are just as much a human as anyone else but because their "name" was not known they were coldly stamped John or Jane Doe.

Step into my worn shoes,
How would you feel?
When People walk by,
Forgetting you are real.
Beyond your reach,
The hopes of a warm meal;
Or a place to lay your head,
To let your weary body heal.
Your spirit is broken,
Yet your head held high;
Only to be ignored,
By oblivious eyes.
A face with no name,
Is what they see;
Unloved, forgotten,
Throughout society.
Such lonely solitude,
Unanswered prayers;
Hopelessness and sorrow,
But no one cares.
Who will miss you
When it’s your time to go?
Will anyone remember,
Your name is not John Doe.
© Rose Bruno Bailey

The name Rose has caused many a remark from people when they first meet me. Usually it is the standard "aww that is my great great grandmother's name;" thanks a lot pal, for making me feel ancient. Or sometimes it is the cheesy "oh Rose, the name of beauty, the flower, by some guy dripping in too many chains and mens cologne." When the movie Titantic premiered I got lots of "never let go Rose."  When I first met my husband he actually believed I gave him a fake name.

That brings me to the Sandwich. It was named after John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, he was  an 18th-century English aristocrat. Apparently he requested his valet bring him his meat inside two slices of bread. He was playing cards and wished not to get his hands greasy. Soon others followed suit requesting to have what Sandwich had.

Many sandwiches over the years have gained individual names of their own. The BLT, The French Dip, The Dagwood, The Club Sandwich to name a few.

This inspired me to make my favorite sandwich to take on a picnic in the park or a day outing to the shore. Malibu breeze and a delicious light sandwich to feed my senses. I first had this unusual yet simple sandwich at my friend Margeurite's house back in Cleveland, Ohio. Marguerite was French,world traveled, sophisticated, and whimsical. She sliced a french baguette, and spead some dijon mustard on both sides. Then she topped it off with thinly sliced green apples and sharp cheddar cheese. My version is a bit more gourmet, but in honour of my long lost friend( I used the english spelling of honor since Margeurite lived in London), I have decided to name it THE MARGEURITE. A whimsical, sophisticated sandwich with a french origin just like it's name sake.

You will need for one MARGEURITE

A  good french baguette.

Extra virgin olive oil.

One green apple, sliced thin.

Brie cheese, enough to spread on both sides of the baguette.

Arugala, a generous handful

Toasted pecans( lightly spray cooking spray on a cookie sheet. Place pecans on sheet,and toast for five minutes in an oven set at 350 degrees for about five minutes).

Drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil, and a teaspoon of a good dijon mustard.

Drizzle olive oil on baguette and place on a cookie sheet in a pre-heated oven set at 400 degrees.Bake baguette for about ten minutes til crusty.

Spread dijon on both sides of the baguette.

Spread a generous amount of brie on each side of the baguette.

Top brie with a handful of the toasted pecans, spread them in the brie so they are firm in the sandwich.

Place thin slices of apple on one side of the baguette in a uniform line.

Top it off with a generous handful of fresh arugala.

Drizzle balsamic vinegar on the arugala,and a bit of sea salt and ground pepper.You may wish to use a bit more olive oil, the choice is up to you. I think the olive oil on the baguette suffices but again individuality comes first. It is your Marguerite Sandwich.

Close tightly, slice in half, and enjoy this distinctive yet delish sandwich which is reminiscent of  walking barefoot in a field in Paris during springtime in a Monet painting.
Oh la la c'est marveilleux

Friday, September 16, 2011


In the spirit of my last post, I am continuing on with my fall fever theme. It was a cool day today, well cool for California standards. Someone was burning wood last night, and I feel completely swept up in the chilly air. There is this little tree next door to us that is actually changing hues. It almost reminds me of a fall version of a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.

Cascading leaves
Amongst the trees
Creates a scene
An impressionist's view,
Skies aqua blue;
Vibrant hues,
Autumn's delight,
Breathtaking sight;
Basking in amber light,
Foliage ignites.
Fall tree's sway
Crimson bouquet;
October's display,
Leads my soul astray.
(c) Rose Bruno Bailey

When I cook nothing gets me in the spirit then a little swing music or jazz. It is like a little dose of time travel in my very own living room. My husband has quipped it feels like the 1940's when I am cooking. To me Autumn and big band music go together like tofu and stirfry. Try it sometime when you are cooking. Light some candles and really get into the swing of things. I call it my happy music.

Today I went to the grocery store to pick up a few items, and I noticed yellow split peas were on sale for only 59 cents. I have never made yellow split pea soup but I decided I would give it a whirl, I cannot pass up a bargain. I have decided to add some curry to spice things up a bit, and top it off with some greek yogurt or light sour cream. I am new to the spice curry and I find the satisfying creaminess of the yogurt or sour cream adds richness to the savory soup.

You will need

One bag of dried yellow split peas

A few tablespoons of garlic infused extra virgin olive oil

Chopped up onions, celery, and carrots. Enough to fill up the bottom of a semi large pot. I use Mirepoix 14.5 oz from trader joes, it is already precut

If you do not find Mirepoix use one large onion, two carrots, and two celery stalks, chopped.

One  cartons of vegetable stock 32 fl oz. I use trader joes.  You can use regular or low sodium, I have tried both.

One carton of water.

Sea salt, ground pepper, a few tablespoons of curry spice.

Greek yogurt or light sour cream to garnish.

Saute, onion, celery, and carrots in  garlic infused extra virgin olive oil for a few minutes til the onion carmelizes and the vegetables cook down.

Salt and pepper as you are cooking the vegetables.

Add full bag of yellow split peas, one carton of vegetable stock, one carton of water.

Add a bit more sea salt,  ground pepper, and curry spices for flavor and stir.

Bring to a rolling boil, then simmer on low for 45 minutes covered. Some people prefer to puree' their split pea soup, but I like to leave it au' natural for more of a bean soup experience; the choice is up to you. That is what makes cooking so  much fun, creative license to change the rules as you go along and make it your own. Individuality found in one delectable dish.

Top it off with a dollop of greek yogurt or light sour cream for added richness of flavor.

This is amazing with warmed toast crisps. It is simple, just take some delicious bread from the bakery and slice and place on a cooking sheet that has been sprayed with no-stick spray. Slice bread thin, and drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the slices of bread.

Be sure to dip the toast crisps in the soup as you eat it, it just makes it taste better.

Curry up and make a pot of my Yellow Split Spicy Pea Soup, you will not be sorry!!  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I feel autumn in the air even though I have been living in Los Angeles almost a full year now. It was this time last year that I found out I would be leaving my beloved big apple for the city of angels. Many thoughts come to mind when moving three thousand miles away from all  that you are familiar with and love. I wrote this poem and it sums up how I felt making such a transition, half written in NYC and half in Los Angeles.

I don’t have a great deal to say,
Unusual for my nature.
I just linger and observe
All the fast moving city creatures.
Silence stalks, curbs runaway thoughts
From creating musings into masterpieces.
It is the last lush of the season,
I may not see another east coast fall;
Change comes on slow than runs you over.
Elderly people laugh and play
The cards time has dealt them.
We are all old, we’re all young,
Pseudo age, pretend youth;
Caught between two worlds.
Just another day lost within my mind
During a fleeting New York minute.
© Rose Bruno Bailey

One thing I have always cherished is the wonder of the autumn. I now believe it must be a state of mind because it is September and I have fall fever. Starbucks features pumpkin spice latte's and football is back in high gear. Surprisingly it is not always very hot here, you do get some weather that is a little cooler and leaves actually do change on some of the majestic trees. Nothing like the sensation a brisk breeze sweeping through my hair, with the scent of wood burning in the air.

Inspired by the season, I have decided to make some delicious vegetarian soups. Makes sense since autumn equals transition, and I have embraced change in my own life. I am still a new cook but I am becoming quite savvy at reinventing recipes for my new vegetarian lifestyle. Cooking for someone you love is the icing on the cake. I hope you get the chance to make my simple yet wonderful Italian Style Lentil Soup. It is easy, inexpensive and oh so hearty. Serve it with some warmed crusty homemade bread and you will sure win over even the most die-hard meat eaters of your family and friends. It is a big pot of deliciousness for all to savor and share, especially on a Autumn evening.

You will need

One bag of dried lentils

A few tablespoons of olive oil ( I use two to three)

Chopped up onions, celery, and carrots. Enough to fill up the bottom of a semi large pot. I use Mirepoix 14.5 oz from trader joes, it is already precut and I just add my own garlic. I use about six garlic cloves.
If you do not find Mirepoix use one large onion, two carrots, and two celery stalks, chopped.

Two  cartons of vegetable stock 32 fl oz. I use trader joes.  You can use regular or low sodium, I have tried both.

One large can of diced tomatoes in juice.

Sea salt, ground pepper, dried basil.

Parmesan cheese to garnish

Saute garlic, onion, celery, and carrots in olive oil for a few minutes til the onion carmelizes and the vegetables cook down. Salt,pepper, and add some basil as you are cooking the vegetables.

Add full bag of lentils, 2 cartons of vegetable stock, and whole can of tomatoes with juice. You may need to add a little bit of water to fill pot up.

Add a bit more salt, pepper, and dried basil for flavor and stir.

Bring to a rolling boil, then simmer on low for 45 minutes covered.

When finished you can sprinkle parmesan cheese and mix it in for more flavor.

I once sauteed some kale and added it to the soup right before it was finished cooking. It made it richer and more stew like.

I serve this with warmed whole grain bread from the bakery. It is absolutely delicious.

I hope you try and enjoy my Italian Lentil Soup Recipe. I love it and sometimes it is difficult to only have one bowl. Love and light to all from my west coast home to yours. Ciao for now.

Monday, September 12, 2011


My sisters and I used to love to go to the grocery store with our mother. We would follow like little disciples, contributing our wish list of meal choices for the family dinner. This was the one thing that kept us together, the family meal. I never took an interest in cooking, never needed to. My mother was gifted at the culinary arts and I just basked in her glory, sampling an array of delectable delights as the years passed. She cooked with such passion and love, we all were the recipients of this gastronomical  way of showing affection.  

When my mother was growing up, she had artistic abilities, talents that she never had the opportunity to fulfill. She could pick up a pencil and sketch a portrait, and sing like a songbird. Her mother taught her dreams were unrealistic and unattainable. Over the years those dreams were left at the wayside, replaced with children to raise and the constant need to just get through a day and survive. When my father first met my mother, her cooking skills were so lacking, she could not even boil an egg. I believe when she picked up that wooden spoon for the very first time, the artist in her was reborn; the wooden spoon was her pencil, and the food she created was her masterpiece. Her cooking would be the light that kept us from darkness during those challenging years of childhood, and I believe her culinary talent became the basis of her identity and our lives together.

As we grew into our teens, birthdays meant big meals with spaghetti and tomato sauce, and all the accompaniments that go with a  huge Italian meal. Our friends were always welcome, and there was always enough food to share with anyone who stepped on our doorstep; kindness to others always came first. We might not have had much, but there was always enough to share. Through my mother I learned it is so much more important to give than to receive. A value I believe has shaped me through the years.

I became a vegetarian and I was one for ten years, and she was always able to take family recipes  and come up with something completely  unique just for me. As the years went by I never took a liking to cooking, I was always off doing my own thing and let’ s face it; who needs to cook when you have someone always doing it for you. I could never compete nor did I wish to, that was her arena. My interests were in the arts and I was not a cook. Then the day came when I wasn’t within driving distance of my mother.  It was time I learned to cook, and I did so  with her help via the telephone . I learned all that I needed to learn and more, and I even cooked my first Thanksgiving Dinner.

Now I find myself living in California and a vegetarian once  again, a lifestyle I find enlightens my mind, body, and soul. This time it is me converting recipes and reinventing old stand-byes.  If I do say so myself the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, passion for cooking  and giving can be inherited.  I am always learning, growing, and evolving; with the reassurance that my inspirational Mother is always a phone call away to assist me when needed.

Food feeds our bellies but friendship, love and light nourishes our souls. I am honored to share both with all of you as well as all topics about the beauty being alive. Join me in my new journey through the blogosphere of life.
Rose Bruno Bailey