CarolCooks2…Week Two…Join me in my kitchen…

Welcome to Week Two  …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…Wouldn’t it?

I have been busy working on my cookbook I have done a U-turn as I was a good way through a fish one but decided against it as the Fishing Industry has serious problems that I would shelve that for now as I don’t want to encourage anyone to buy fish which is not sustainable or highly farmed…I have changed to sauces…Sauces are something which I and many people struggle with and I am always getting asked by my children and friends …How do I make this? So I have decided to reveal all and hopefully dispense with the mysteries of making a good sauce.

I also want to just clarify what is morning-glory…?

Here in Thailand and other Asian countries, it looks like this …

morning Glory water spinach

Also called water spinach it is a very popular vegetable either eaten raw or stir-fried.

In the UK, for example, this is the plant we called morning-glory …

morning glory Uk flowering plant

A pretty little plant and the flowers are edible. Tabula Rasa commented …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.

Thank you for highlighting that fact Tabula Rasa...If you get a chance pop over to Tabulas blog she has some lovely recipes I loved the article on King Oyster Mushrooms but I couldn’t comment on the blog…Nice post Tabula ..King Oyster mushrooms are plentiful here and cheap to buy…I chop mine finely and use in a stuffing mix or curries even spag bol if I can’t get any button mushrooms …

So please if you know that like me for example who lives in Thailand mentions a fruit or vegetable often they are named the same or completely different but may be of the same family but not always edible ..It was a learning curve for me and I will be very mindful of that in future…

New Year…It always makes me have a sort out particularly of the kitchen cupboards and drawers and it generally starts when we get out all the Christmas crockery and cutlery and then we start to put it back…So I now have nice clean and tidy kitchen cupboards and a promise to start using up some of the many dried goods I am storing…If you have any great lentil recipes I have all sorts that need to be used…Please share…

lentil mung beans legumi

Look at this lovely idea for packing tomatoes…I always visit this lovely little farmers market, they are small growers not large and I am always so happy to see how they display their fruit and vegetables using leaves and bamboo ties etc…

cherry tomatoes

This is part of the Banana tree and a jolly good use as the banana tree only fruits once …When it has fruited the mother plant dies and leaves lots of little babies around the base. The banana plant is called a ‘banana tree’ in popular use, but it’s technically regarded as a herbaceous plant (or ‘herb’), not a tree because the stem does not contain true woody tissue.

It is this tissue which has been used to package these tomatoes. Plastic wrap was used to encase these but better than a plastic tray and plastic wrap. I just love the Thais ingenuity and waste not attitude.

What has been cooking in my kitchen this week??

Lasagne and salad.
Ingredients for Spaghetti Bolognese:

  • I kilo minced beef or pork
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 250 gm mushrooms sliced
  • 3/4 cloves garlic
  • 5/6 Fresh Basil leaves.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • I large tin tomatoes or 6/8 fresh tomatoes blitzed ( I always make a batch of tomatoes for spag bol/chillies and freeze in portions.
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree.
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs 
  • 1 tsp sage or fresh leaves if you have.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s Cook!
Heat a glug olive oil in a pan and saute onions and garlic.
Add the mince and cook until browned
Add tomatoes and cook for a few minutes then add tomato puree and mixed herbs, bay leaf, oregano, balsamic and Worcester sauce.
Cook on a slow simmer for 20 minutes and then add mushrooms, cook for another 10 minutes and stir in fresh basil…
Meanwhile, make a white sauce.
When spaghetti is ready starting with a layer of mince then pasta sheets, Then mince, white sauce, pasta until you have completed 4 layers finishing with the white sauce.
Grate over your favourite cheese… I use cheddar or a mix of mozzarella and cheddar.
Cheese can be difficult to get here so if I have plenty then I also use some between my layers for a cheesier lasagne.

I think lasagne is the type of dish where anything goes really sometimes I add bell pepper to my sauce it depends what I have in my larder/fridge.

Cook lasagne on 180 degrees for 30 minutes or until pasta is cooked and cheese is golden and bubbling.

Serve with mixed Salad and or Garlic bread.

Reading through blog and e-mails this week I came across a recipe for Chicken Passandra now lamb Passandra was probably one of the very first Indian curry dishes I ate many moons ago…It is a mild Mughal curry made with yoghurt and almonds, not my normal curry as you know I am a spice girl…

It got the thumbs up from the rest of the family…Me, I thought it was Ok…I prefer my spices dry toasted to release the flavour and the sauce was a little lacking…I am hoping one of my Indian friends might have a recipe …Hint Hint!

If not I am going to have a play and a tweak…So what this space… As you know this is sort of a test kitchen and I won’t post a recipe until it is truly tried, tested and perfect…

Tomorrow it is the Pigs Trotters ( sorry), Adele, as I forgot to take a photo last week but I have ones chopped so trying a Thai recipe tomoz and in the week I will be repeating last weeks but with images …x

That’s all for this week not really an exciting week in the kitchen well unless you count the fact that I used a shot of the Naga Chilli Vodka my son sent me added soda, ice and a squeeze of lime… The fumes ..Even if I held my nose just the fumes ( it is mega hot) made my voice go funny…lol… For INFO: The Naga Viper pepper is one of the world’s hottest chillies. It has a rating of 1.3million Scoville Heat Units (spice measurements). In contrast, Tabasco sauce rates at around 2,500.

naga chilli vodka

So if you are thinking of trying naga chilli vodka have it in a Bloody Mary…Don’t do what I did although I was told that the longer the chilli stays in the bottle the hotter it gets…Guess who didn’t listen??

If you are still here then thank you for reading…Have a great weekend …xxx

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





12 thoughts on “CarolCooks2…Week Two…Join me in my kitchen…

  1. Pingback: Saturday Snippets…3rd October 2020 | Retired? No one told me!

  2. Darlene

    I have a great lentil recipe for you. Quick and easy. If I have low energy, it really picks me up.
    Lentil Stew
    Yakhmat ‘Adas (from Syria and Lebanon)
    1 cup lentils, rinsed
    5 cups water
    4 tablespoons olive oil
    2 medium onions, chopped
    4 cloves of garlic, crushed
    1/4 cup rice, rinsed
    1/4 cup fine noodles
    2 cups stewed tomatoes
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    salt and pepper to taste
    4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried crushed basil

    Place lentils and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
    In the meantime, heat oil in a frying pan and sauté onions over medium heat until they begin to brown. Stir in garlic and rice and stir-fry for another 3 minutes.
    Add frying pan contents along with remaining ingredients, except basil, to lentils and bring to a boil. Cook another 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Enjoy! Nice with pita bread.

    Note: I usually cut the recipe in half as it makes a lot.
    *Did you know that lentils are good for anemia, low blood pressure and ulcers.
    From my favourite cookbook, Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa by Habeeb Salloum

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      I did , Darlene and lentils are something which I have a store cupboard full of and don’t use but want to…So thank you very much for the recipe I will try it this week and link back to you on Friday…Thank you so much, Darlene 🙂 xxx Enjoy your weekend x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Darlene

        I used regular dry basil I have in the cupboard but if I have fresh growing in my garden I use that. I am sure any basil would work well. Thai basil would probably give it a very nice flavour.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. johnrieber

    A terrific post. Two comments: I have been on a Lasagna tear, making it three times in two weeks – I just had to have rich red sauce and cheese, and Lasagna was the perfect vessel. Second, I don’t like things too spicy, so bravo to you for trying that Naga Chili Vodka the way you did – not for me! Great post as always!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. CarolCooks2 Post author

        It was a first for me , John I normally stay clear of the ghost chillies but as the bottle was a gift I had to at least give it a try…Never again springs to mind ! Enjoy your weekend 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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