Author Archives: CarolCooks2

About CarolCooks2

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. This is now taking me into other areas like deforestation, chemicals and preservatives in the food chain. 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!

The environmental A-Z… the letter A…week 1

 

Welcome to my new series…still an A-Z but with a difference …it’s not food-related!

But don’t worry one of my regular readers( Chel) came up with an idea for me…all these good ideas to keep the grey matter active…Thanx Chel x

In the meantime, the idea for this series came about because yes as my regular followers and commenters know I am passionate about the health of the world I am living in… however often when I am researching and reading articles I come across terms and have to look them up which spawned the idea for this…two-fold… it increases my knowledge and I hope yours…

Not wanting to bore you I decided to run with Chels idea on the opposite weeks to my new idea…Chels idea for me was to go through the alphabet (as) is getting a norm for me but with the said letter (A) for this illustration as the middle letter…e.g. wrAps which of course need no explanation I mean who doesn’t love a spicy chicken wrap?

The A-Z of the environment and Climate Change…

The best way to predict your future is to create it...Abraham Lincoln.

Air Pollution…

Air is composed of a number of gases, mostly oxygen and nitrogen with smaller amounts of water vapour, carbon dioxide, argon and other trace gases.

The open burning of waste from individual residences, businesses and dumpsites are a large source of air pollutants. Globally the emissions from CO2 from open waste burning are relatively small compared to total anthropogenic CO2.

Anthropogenic carbon emissions are the emissions of various forms of carbon – the most concerning being carbon dioxide – associated with human activities. These activities include the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, land-use changes, livestock, fertilization, etc., that result in a net increase in emissions.

Regional CO2 emissions from developing country’s in Asia and Africa are a concern …it is often highlighted here as although it is illegal… farmers and individuals carry on burning the sugar cane fields.   

We humans however can breathe easy. The average human exhales about 2.3 pounds of carbon dioxide on an average day. (The exact quantity depends on your activity level—a person engaged in vigorous exercise produces up to eight times as much CO2. as his sedentary peers.

Conclusion: Air Pollution leads to Air Quality which is a measure of the level of pollution in the air.

An air quality index is used by government agencies to communicate to the public how polluted the air currently is or how polluted it is forecast to become. Public health risks increase as the AQI rises. Different countries have their own air quality indices, corresponding to different national air quality standards. Wikipedia

Algae Blooms…

No, they are not beds of pretty flowers…

They are…Sudden spurts of algal growth, which can affect water quality adversely and indicate potentially hazardous changes in local water chemistry.

As algae blooms grow, they deplete the oxygen in the water and block sunlight from reaching fish and plants. … And when the algae eventually die off, the microbes which decompose the dead algae use up even more oxygen, which in turn causes more fish to die or leave the area.

What can we do at home? 

  1. Recycling items — and properly disposing of items that cannot be recycled — keeps them from making their way to rivers and oceans. Even cigarette butts have a dramatic environmental effect when people drop them on the ground at a beach or riverside area.
  2. Eliminating or minimizing your use of harsh chemicals provides the surest way to protect global waters from chemicals. When chemicals leach into a body of water, they can devastate ecosystems. Nitrogen and phosphorus, commonly used in fertilizers, lead to a surge in algae growth when they enter a water body, killing off existing aquatic life, for example.
  3. Proper disposal of hazardous materials such as paints, motor oil and pharmaceuticals keeps them out of the water supply. Inquire with your municipal centre about chemical pickup or drop-off locations in your area.
  4. Water that runs down streets after rainfall, or after you wash your car with a hose, carries toxins from streets and yards that eventually may reach waterways. Sweep rather than hose down your driveway if you need to get rid of debris. When washing your car, use a bucket instead of a hose. Having porous outdoor surfaces like gravel, as well as gardens, also minimizes runoff.
  5. Get involved with local initiatives to plan responsible water use systems and ensure that healthy waters become a component of any development initiative. Attend city council and town hall meetings regularly to contribute your input, or even run for a position on the city council or your county board of supervisors. Even if you’re not an expert on water use, you can put the issue on the agenda, bring in expert consultants and educate yourself and the public. By exercising a direct impact on local planning, you’ll also be protecting waters at the global level.

Personally, I think each one of us needs to start taking responsibility for the world we live in…the time has come for individuals to feature in a look at their own home and surrounding areas and take responsibility…Make a difference!

Alternative Energy Sources…

Is the energy that does not come from fossil fuels (such as coal, oil, gas), BUT from wind, flowing water, solar energy and biomass.

Wind and flowing water are simpler to understand… the wind is another source of solar energy…Winds are caused by the heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the rotation of the Earth, and the Earth’s surface irregularities. For as long as the sun shines and the wind blows, the energy produced can be harnessed to send power across the grid.

Flowing water…Hydropower uses a fuel—water—that is not reduced or used up in the process. Because the water cycle is an endless, constantly recharging system, hydropower is considered renewable energy. When flowing water is captured and turned into electricity, it is called hydroelectric power or hydropower.

Solar energy is the transformation of heat, the energy that comes from the sun. It has been used for thousands of years in many different ways by people all over the world. The oldest uses of solar energy are for heating, cooking, and drying.

Biomass is the fuel developed from organic matter waste of living organisms like plant waste, animal waste, forest waste, and municipal wastes. In biological terms, the word biomass refers to organic plant matter, which is converted into fuel and used as an energy source.

That’s all for today…I hope I have explained it in layman terms and made some things clearer as I believe we should all have a clearer picture in our minds as to what we can change and how…

See you in two weeks for the letter B…next Wednesday it will be Part 1 of the new A-Z on food and terms with the middle letter being A as in toAst.

Thank you for reading and please leave a comment if you feel a need… I love to chat it makes my day…Love Carol x

Smorgasbord Health Column – Recipes that Pack a Punch – Breakfast and Dessert – Smoothies and Fresh Fruit Salad by Sally Cronin — Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

In this series I have shared recipes that pack a punch of nutrition and still taste delicious. By now you know that I believe in a ‘cook from scratch’ approach to preparing meals and I have followed that philosophy for over forty years. In my mid-20s I was cooking food for 110 growing children three […]

Smorgasbord Health Column – Recipes that Pack a Punch – Breakfast and Dessert – Smoothies and Fresh Fruit Salad by Sally Cronin — Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

#Meatless Monday…The Cauliflower…

 

Why Meatless Mondays?…

Introducing more plant-based meals into your diet can help you maintain a healthy weight if you have some weight to lose then adding more plant-based meals has the benefit of removing foods from your diet which cause weight gain.

Plants are high in fibre…this means by introducing more plant-based recipes to your diet that the health of your gut improves so you are better able to absorb the nutrients from your food… you will be eating foods that support your immune system and reduce inflammation.

Fibre can lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar and it’s great for good bowel management…

How is introducing more plant-based meals going in your kitchen… Going well or meeting with some opposition?...

This week …it’s a Cauliflower pizza base, cauliflower, rice, walnut and red pepper dip and cauliflower cheese…

Cauliflower and broccoli are both delicious vegetables…They come from the same family Brassicaceae…however broccoli is a member of the Italica cultivar group, while cauliflower is part of the Botrytis cultivar group…

I think I need to take a course in Olericulture…so much is the same but different…like cauliflower and broccoli…

As a family, we love most vegetables both my grandfather and my father had vegetable gardens and I myself have dabbled in England I had an allotment for a while I also used to grow fruits and vegetables in raised beds, pots, grow bags, on window sills and hanging baskets…I still have pots of herbs growing and fruit trees here and my aim is to cultivate some of the rarer Thai fruits…

Cauliflower Pizza Base…

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower.
  • 1 egg, large.
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning (dried oregano or basil)
  • 1/8 tsp salt.
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper.
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese, grated/shredded.
  • Cooking spray, I make my own spray I don’t do bought oil in spray cans…I have a little stainless steel one for oil.

Let’s Cook!

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F/190 C and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.

Rinse cauliflower, remove the outer leaves, separate into florets and chop into smaller pieces. Process in a food processor in 2 batches, until “rice” texture forms.

Transfer cauliflower rice on a prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 mins this just removes some of the moisture.

Remove cooked cauliflower rice from the oven, transfer to a bowl lined with a double/triple layered cheesecloth or linen towel, and let cool for 5 minutes.

Then squeeze the liquid out of the ball as hard as you can. Be patient and do this a few times until barely any liquid comes out.

Increase oven temperature to 4 degrees F/200 C. Then in a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg with dried herbs, salt and pepper for 10 seconds. Add cheese and squeezed cauliflower mix very well with a spatula until combined.

Line the same baking sheet with new parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Transfer cauliflower dough to the middle and flatten with your hands until thin pizza crust forms.

Bake for 20 minutes, carefully flip with a spatula and bake for a few more minutes. Top with your favourite toppings and bake again until cheese on top turns golden brown.

Slice and enjoy!

Let the kids help you can never second guess a child and what they will like.  Encourage them to help prepare their food…They are more likely to eat what they help prepare.

THE VERSATILE CAULIFLOWER… I love it! x…I really like this pizza base and it may be because I am not a fan of the traditional pizza base…I loved the crispy edges where the cheese browned my family didn’t like it as much as a traditional Pizza base…

Cauliflower Rice…

cauliflower-rice-pork-thai basil-recipe

Cauliflower Rice

And all you need is a Cauliflower and an Onion.

A little Coconut oil to cook or other oil of your choice.

Sea Salt and a squeeze of Lemon Juice.

Either grate or blitz in a food processor ( but not too fine) you want some texture.

Heat pan and keep pan HOT as you don’t want Cauliflower to steam and go soggy.

Use Tablespoon Coconut Oil and put in the desired amount of Cauliflower and onion mix.

Cook quickly and then season and add lemon juice.

All in all, it only takes a few minutes to cook….. a bit longer if more than one portion but keep pan hot.

cauliflower-rice-pork-thai basil-recipe

If you wish to vary the taste you can add 1 tsp of Cumin seeds to the oil before adding Cauliflower if you are eating Indian food.

Eating Mexican AND WANT TO ADD SOME AUTHENTICITY……. then add 1/2 tsp turmeric to oil and tsp tomato puree.

This is very versatile and just use your imagination and add any herbs and spices that you like.

To store...I make a batch and keep it in the fridge during the week but keep it in a glass jar or zip lock bag…I think plastic containers may make it sweat too much…..Enjoy…. and if you are cutting the carbs it is an ideal and yummy substitute for rice and I love rice…… eat it all the time but happily substitute this as I am also a cauliflower lover.

Cauliflower Cheese…

Make any white sauce and add grated cheese and some mustard…A white sauce is essentially Béchamel sauce traditionally made from a white roux and milk.

Ingredients:

  • 500ml whole milk
  • 1tsp English mustard powder
  • 50g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 100gm mature cheddar, grated
  • 50gm parmesan grated

Let’s Cook!

Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the flour and mustard powder to make a paste. Gradually whisk in the milk and simmer to thicken to a smooth sauce, stirring constantly.

Take the sauce off the heat and stir in 2/3 of the cheddar and half the Parmesan. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Pour over your steamed cauliflower and broccoli and sprinkle over the remaining cheeses. I also add little cherry tomatoes around the edge or tomato slices…

Cauliflower and broccoli bake

Cook under the grill until the sauce is bubblier and the top is golden brown about 15-20 minutes on 180/200 oven.

I didn’t run out of tomatoes...lol…hubby doesn’t like tomatoes so I always leave a gap…

We love roasted or cauliflower florets in batter…nice and crispy with a dip it makes a nice snack or light lunch with a glass of wine…just saying…I have a new addition to my pantry a lovely pomegranate molasses… this molasses came from Iran with some Sumac…I wanted to try an original to get the taste as I haven’t cooked with sumac and the last time I had pomegranate molasses was when I was in the UK…

Pomegranate Molasses

This lovely Red Bell Pepper and Walnut Dip will be a great accompaniment to the Roasted Cauliflower…

To Roast a small head of cauliflower break in florets…

Toss cauliflower florets with a light drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange on a small baking sheet and roast in a pre-heated oven at 220C (convection)/200C (fan-forced) for approximately 18-20 minutes until cauliflower is cooked and golden. Remove from the oven.

For the dip:

  • 2 red Bell peppers
  • 4 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes and crushed black pepper
  • To serve: Mint leaves, crushed walnuts, chilli flakes, olive oil…

Let’s Cook!

Place bell peppers on a small, rimmed baking sheet. Rub with olive oil. Roast peppers in a pre-heated oven at 220C /200C (fan) for approximately 20-25 minutes until the peppers are blackened and cooked. Remove from the oven and transfer capsicum to a bowl. Cover with cling film or foil to steam the capsicum as it cools. Cool for 10-15 minutes. Remove and discard the core, skin and seeds.

Place the red pepper flesh, breadcrumbs, pomegranate molasses, cumin, paprika, chilli flakes, garlic, walnuts, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in the bowl of a small food processor and pulse a few times to get a chunky ish dip.

Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Spoon the mixture into a serving bowl/dish. Create swirling dips with the back of a spoon and drizzle with extra olive oil (if using). Top with crushed walnuts, chilli flakes, mint leaves. Serve warm with pitta bread or your favourite bread.

Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Can be warmed for a few seconds in the microwave before eating…if preferred ours never lasts that long…

That’s all for today on my journey into eating more plant-based meals on a Meatless Monday……Thank you again to everyone who is suggesting recipes I will try them all…xx

Thank you for reading this post If you have enjoyed this post please leave a comment as any tips or comments I love as you all know I just love to chat…Love Carol xx

 

The Last Post? — The Silent Eye

How could I not fail to be moved to share this post…A last goodbye from a lady who is so talented with words and gifted with an insight which many us would love to have…Over the years we have talked about Nick, our dogs and life…I will always remember you Sue not only for your gift with words and love of what has been but I will remember you when I eat fruit cake and always with cheese…

Go forward on your next journey filled with all the love and respect we all have for you knowing that your words will live on in our memories…In Teagans words Hugs on a wing xxx

This may be the final post that I get chance to write for the Silent Eye… that decision has been taken out of my hands. I spent much of last week in hospital, having, as many of you know, been diagnosed with incurable small cell lung cancer last September. It has been an interesting and […]

The Last Post? — The Silent Eye

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…21st February-28th February 2021…#Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes

Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes…

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed a few posts during this last week…it’s also the last day of the month and then we will be in March… the time just flies…

Let’s go and see what goodies I had for you last week…so snuggle up in your favourite corner with your favourite drink tea/coffee or hot chocolate although depending on where in the world you live it could be a glass of wine…Cheers!

Meatless Monday’s…is going well…personally I prefer either just vegetables as in a vegetable curry, I love anything mushroom-based, made with beans, I don’t mind lentils I am getting better at cooking them…practise makes perfect I guess…We all loved those pancakes with mushrooms and leeks and will definitely make them again…

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/02/22/meatless-mondays-week-7/

Tuesday was National Banana Bread Day as well as National Dog Biscuit Day and while I think some of these days are just silly…I had so many bananas to use don’t they just all ripen at once and it gave me the opportunity to post about bananas and dogs always love a treat and a healthy recipe for your beloved pooch is good…

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/02/23/national-banana-bread-day-and-national-dog-biscuit-day/

Wednesday’s are my Alphabet Day and this one was the last in this series which means a new one starting next week …I would like to thank everyone who commented and contributed over the weeks it’s been fun…Thank you and I hope you enjoy the next series…

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/02/24/the-culinary-alphabet-with-a-little-twistthe-last-in-this-series-y-and-z/

It was then over to Sally’s for her Turning back the clock series…I mean who doesn’t want to turn back the clock even just a few years is good…we both did agree though that shouting at the screen does relieve stress and it’s unlikely that we will stop that habit…lol

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/02/25/smorgasbord-health-column-turning-back-the-clock-2021-part-seven-anti-aging-and-attitude-of-mind-by-sally-cronin/

CarolCooks2…Week 2…in my Kitchen……Made from scratch…Fajita Mix…

I hope you are enjoying this series as some mixes and sauces are really so easy to make… you wonder why you haven’t made them before as they are always cheaper, no nasties …give you a quicker turnover of spices and larger quantities… so many reasons to make your own…

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/02/25/carolcooks2week-2in-my-kitchenmade-from-scratchfajita-mix/

Fruity Friday’s…This week it was a fruit that tastes like chocolate mousse…how often do you get to say fruit and chocolate in the same healthy mouthful?

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/02/26/fruity-friday-sapote-chocolate-pudding-fruit/

Saturday Snippets rounds of the week nicely…If you love Prince Harry and James Corden then you are in for a treat…some great music and more…

Do you know where your loofah comes from?

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/02/27/saturday-snippets-27th-february-2021/

Well, that’s it for today…Thank you so much for dropping by…I hope you have enjoyed the read…if you have please head over and leave a comment it makes my day to hear from you …Love Carol xx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 21st – 27th February 2021 – 1960s Pop Music, Short Stories, Poetry, Blog Stars, Books, Reviews and Funnies — Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the weekly round up with posts that you might have missed during the week. I don’t have a great deal to report this week which in many respects is a good thing. We are waiting to hear the government decision regarding lock down today or tomorrow but it looks like it has been […]

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 21st – 27th February 2021 – 1960s Pop Music, Short Stories, Poetry, Blog Stars, Books, Reviews and Funnies — Smorgasbord Blog Magazine