CarolCooks2…Week One… Join me in my kitchen…

Welcome to my new series… Week One …In my kitchen… where you will get an insight into what I have been cooking this week…Plus a bit of chat and trivia it would be boring otherwise…

It has been a bit slow this week as we all know the week after Christmas and the New Year just eases itself in with a whisper…Or comes in with a bang…and no I haven’t blown up my new oven…

The last of our guests went home today so peace and quiet reigns…It has been hectic but lovely so hubby is out in the garden sweeping up the leaves although a stinker of a tropical storm is expected the first New Year storm of this magnitude for 68 years we are not in the direct path although we may still experience high winds I haven’t had the heart to tell him his sweeping may be in vain…

My son has gone back to the UK and has probably just about landed…When he returns he goes back with his suitcase packed with goodies…Fresh herbs ones which he can’t get in the UK…a blow your head off  Thai Curry paste for his brother and bottles of cooking sauces again which he cannot get there and coconut milk because believe it or not he cannot get 100% Coconut milk…The max % is about 60% of brands the ones we buy here are 100%…

When he told me this I was appalled but as he said it is cheaper for manufacturers to add guar gum and the like … for example coconut extract (56 per cent), water, stabiliser (E466), emulsifier (E435), antioxidant (citric acid). E466 is another name for carboxymethyl cellulose. E435 is another name for polysorbate 60. 

Mine here 100% Coconut Milk…


100% coconut milk carton cover

Kitchen Tip:  Try to find a brand which only contains coconut milk and water and if you can’t and use one of the other brands be careful not to let the liquid boil as it will separate. 

I also made him some Indian spice mixes to take with him…

Chettinad Masala Powder:


  • 16 dried red chillies
  • 4 tsp of black pepper
  • 3 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp dried unsweetened coconut
  • 4 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-star anise
  • 8 cloves
  • 4 x 1 inch sticks of cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 20 fresh/dried curry leaves

Dry roast all the ingredients you may have to do this in a couple of batches depending on your pan but be careful not to burn the spices.

Transfer to a plate or dish and allow to cool down before grinding to a powder.

Masala chettinad spice powder

Store in an airtight container. This recipe makes enough for 3/4 curries.

The original recipe I found on Madraasi @ a Tamilian Tales and is now my go-to Indian curry spice mix and one we all love…

Get the full chicken curry recipe here…

The second Indian spice I made for him to take back was a Garam Masala Powder.


  • 3 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 3 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 10 green cardamom pods
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 4 dried red chillies
  • 2-inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 large piece of mace
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp of fennel seeds

Roast each spice in a non-stick pan until warm and fragrant. Cool completely then grind the spices to a fine powder this will keep in an airtight container for about 3 months and then the spices will start to lose their flavour.

Use as per your recipe.

I always grind my own spices as it is so easy to do they are fresh and much cheaper than buying those small pots or packages with of course additives.

It also makes a lovely present with a handwritten recipe everyone likes to receive a homemade gift …I love to send them x

I came across this recipe for Gluten Free Banana Pancakes when I was reading blogs this morning and as I have a glut of bananas I thought I have most of the ingredients although I did a little tweak here and there and they were very nice even hubby liked them…Thank you, Bailey, from bites by bai they were lovely.

Maple Walnut Banana Pancakes…


  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3/4 of a cup of rolled oats
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of maple syrup
  • Chopped banana, blueberries, walnuts and maple syrup to serve.

Put the banana, oats, eggs, baking soda and maple syrup in the blender and blitz until smooth and well combined.

Heat your pan and add some mix cook for about 2 mins each side I did find they cooked quite quickly so watch you don’t burn them…

banana maple syrup pancakes

Serve with sliced banana, blueberries or fruit of your choice, walnuts and maple syrup…They were actually very yummy…

I didn’t have gluten-free oats so mine were not gluten-free but still healthy and I had no maple syrup extract so substituted maple syrup, the walnuts I caramelised and I didn’t have blueberries…and I cooked mine in grass-fed butter… I will make them again and next time will add blueberries as they will add that touch of tartness…

Last night we had Grapow moo with morning-glory which is a lovely Thai vegetable stir-fried with garlic and chillies.

grapow moo cooking adding herbs

Get the recipe here

Morning Glory…One of my favourite vegetable stir fries…

Thai vegetable morning glory

Stir-fried Morning Glory or Pad Pak Boon Fai Daeng is also known as water spinach…It is a very popular vegetable dish in Thailand and one I have for breakfast/brunch quite often with rice.
This is a very quick dish to cook once you have all your ingredients prepared..5 mins at the most.

  • 1 bunch of Morning Glory
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 or more Thai Chillies
  • 2 tbsp of Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of Thai Fish Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of fermented soybean paste or oil with soya beans
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh veg or pork stock

Let’s Cook!
Wash and cut your morning-glory into 4-6 inch pieces.
Bash the chillies and garlic in a pestle and mortar
Heat the oil in a pan until very hot.
Add the garlic and chillies and stir-fry ( stirring) for 15-20 seconds be careful not to let garlic burn.
Add morning-glory and all other ingredients except for the vegetable stock.
Stir-fry for 40 seconds and add vegetable stock and stir-fry for another 10 seconds.
Serve with steamed rice.

On my trip to the market the other morning I came across some lovely pigs trotters I haven’t cooked them for years they used to be a favourite of my dads and I remember my mum cooking them…I will be checking out some recipes and will share with you next week I am going to cook them in the slow cooker and try to crisp up the skin…

That’s all for this week from me I will be back in full swing next week so I hope you will join me …If you love what you read then please share, reblog or pin the recipes I am trying to raise my profile on Pinterest  it would help me lots x

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:

Connect to Carol



Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend xx



20 thoughts on “CarolCooks2…Week One… Join me in my kitchen…

  1. Pingback: CarolCooks2…A roundup of my New Years posts… | Retired? No one told me!

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      The problem is they split and the curries don’t taste the same you can get a powdered one that may be ok I am not sure..I have used it a few ago but sometimes they change ingredients and add to them for cheapness 🙂


    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Thank you very much…It is our go-to recipe and sometimes I add more chilli it depends how I feel when cooking it but it is a very nice spice mix. Thank you for dropping by 🙂


    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      It is John and all in the name of profit..pure and simple…I think more consumers should let their voices be heard …Thank for your support…Happy New Year 😀


      1. Tabula Rasa

        The flower we grow in the uk isn’t edible….as such. I researched it when I came back from Vietnam having eaten it there. The U.K. Plant is different and The seeds contain a substance similar to lsd and can be toxic.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. CarolCooks2 Post author

        Yes, I will put a note on my post this week with an image as with all plants there are different species so good to check…Thank you for the info 🙂


  2. Adele Marie

    I love your spice blends, thank you for sharing. Pig’s trotters; as a vegetarian, I go yuck, no, but I do remember my Granny in Dublin loving them, she also drank the cabbage water which she claimed made her skin beautiful. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      My gran always gave us the cabbage water we thought it was such a treat she used to add a litle bit of vinegar to it sorry about the pigs trotters, Adele but pleased you loved the spice blends… xxx

      Liked by 1 person


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