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 am also guessing that for many of you life has changed this last month or two and if you are now at home it also gives the chance to cook more especially as you have time and maybe cannot buy as much or any of the things you normally buy so are having to make your own or improvise…and make do…
Having grown up in a family where my mother and grandmothers cooked from scratch maybe it was a little easier for me…I then had children (6) that meant a minimum of 8 to cook and feed every day plus the extra kiddies who would wangle a dinner invite…haha…It was a bit of a home for waifs and strays at times…
Then I moved here…Many of the ingredients I cooked with I cannot get here or are imported at cost and often very rarely available so at times ingredients have proved a challenge however it has forced me to improvise and substitute ingredients but overall I believe I am a better cook for it…
I have also learnt that many foods I took for granted and thought I couldn’t make …Well, I can…Always cheaper, bigger portions than the sometimes tiny jars and packets you buy…no chemicals and fillers…and not as time-consuming as I thought they might be…Taste-wise always superior…
Over the next few weeks, I will give you some hints and tips using minimal basic ingredients most of the time and healthy most of the time for foods you can make at home …Also if you are really struggling to get meals on the table tell me what ingredients you have and I will come up with a meal plan…Just e-mail me if you would rather…email@example.com Happy to help…xx
I am being preventive so have opted to stay in where possible and keep away from people…I made my favourite biscuits anything with golden syrup and I am hooked…These little biscuits well they are not really biscuits more like cookies as they have a softish very slightly chewy texture…Carol’s Coconut Cookies…
These cookies are my basic recipe and are my experimental recipe I am already planning what I can add to them but this time I left the recipe as it is..no walnuts or raisins…
- 150gm rolled oats
- 100gm plain flour
- 100gm light brown sugar( I used raw sugar)
- 100gm dessicated coconut
- 100gm butter
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tbsp of boiling water.
Set oven to heat at 175C, gas mark 4.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Combine the sugar, flour, coconut and oats mix to combine well.
In a small pan add the butter and golden syrup and melt the butter. meanwhile, bring the kettle to the boil and add two tbsps of boiling water to the bicarbonate of soda in a small cup. Add this to the melted butter/syrup mix. It will foam a little.
N.B if you leave it on the heat…like me…and turn back to line your tin…It will foam and went all over my ceramic hob…the rest you can guess…
Make a well in the centre of your dry mix and pour in the melted butter/syrup mix. Stir to thoroughly combine and it will form a slightly sticky dough.
Roll out balls and put on a baking tray leaving a space as they will spread on cooking ( the mix made 15 balls) Slightly flatten with your hand.
Put in the preheated oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
If the bread counter is empty…Grab some flour if you can any flour as bread is very adaptable, some yeast, Oats, baking powder and baking soda you are then equipped to make some beautiful bread…Can’t get yeast …no worries we have that covered…Milk and we are sorted you can now make some beautiful bread.
This first recipe is from Sally...A beautiful yeast-free Irish soda Bread…
The second recipe is a favourite of mine… Buttermilk Bread…
Both easy to make and great spread with butter or jam, toasted, eaten with soup…both lovely loaves of bread and who doesn’t love the smell of fresh bread?
- 2 1/2 cups of lukewarm water.
- 1 cup of Buttermilk.
- 1 tbsp quick yeast.
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 6 1/2 cups of bread flour.
- Melted butter to brush the top of the loaf.
Mix water, buttermilk, yeast, salt, sugar in a bowl. Add the flour. No need to knead..lol
Just combine all the ingredients together..lightly cover the bowl and leave to rest/rise for 2 hrs.
The bonus of living here is dough rises quickly...I love using yeast now.
You can use the dough immediately, or store covered in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.
If you are using now preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Dust the dough with flour and very lightly knead, shape into a round. Cover and rest for 90 minutes.
Oh, and I made a cut into the top of my dough just like a cross.
Bake in the middle of the oven for approx 40 minutes until golden brown and delicious.
Remove from the oven and brush the top with melted butter.
Leave to cool before slicing.
If like me you can’t always get Buttermilk or it is very expensive then here is a recipe to make your own Buttermilk.
Any leftover bread…SAVE IT…I always keep a bag or container in the freezer for all my leftover bread…
It is then handy to make breadcrumbs to coat fish or chicken, to make a bread pudding or a bread and butter pudding, to make stuffing or bread sauce…
Have you half a pack of cream cheese a couple of rashers of bacon, a slice or two of ham or a small piece of chorizo sausage lurking in the fridge…some breadcrumbs and some Jalapeno peppers…Fancy a snack..easy…Although I have used bacon with mine any of the above will be great just crumble the chorizo and cook then add to the cream cheese which if you haven’t enough cream cheese bulk it out by adding some feta, sour cream any other cheese play with the flavours use up your odds and ends…
Next week flatbread and pizza bases…again so easy…so if you are faced with not a lot on the shelves check out the herbs and spices, always grab some flour and milk…cheese if you can any sort it can all be used…cheese sauces for starters, pizza topping…
No tinned tomatoes then buy a couple of kilos of beautiful red ripe tomatoes and make your own it is so easy…You can then make soup, pasta sauce topping for pizzas…Fresh herbs can be frozen so pick them up they will all add a zing to your sauces and pizza…
It will also save you money...ready meals are expensive and not healthy and often not big enough for a growing lad or hungry hubby…
I hope this has given you some ideas...the stockpiling and panic buying has horrified me I have family and friends in the Uk who can’t even get milk for their babies ..yet it is on e-bay for extortionate prices…If anyone I know is doing that and profiting from other peoples misery and worry then I will unfriend without hesitation…It is disgusting behaviour there is no need if everyone just shopped as normal there would be enough for everyone. Appalling behaviour…
That’s all for this week from me please stay safe and think of others we are all in this together…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!