Category Archives: # A-Z of Food#

The Culinary Alphabet …..Series 3… the letter C…


Welcome to series 3 of the Culinary Alphabet…WHERE the middle letter is C…

Nothing is as it seems here…this new series is the brainchild of Chel Owens who writes at A wife, My Verse, and Every Little Thing…my followers are so good to me they think up all sorts of permutations of the Alphabet…not sure if they want me to call it quits or what they will come up with next…Chel like Pete, however, will be called on to make her contribution every two weeks…they don’t get off scot-free…so I hope you have started brainstorming Chel…haha x

So what’s in store? In this series the A, B, C, etc will be the middle letter, for example, Brawn, Cabbage, and Yucca… how easy that will be who knows I am sure some of the letters of the alphabet could cause the grey matter to rebel or implode…haha…I also don’t want to use plurals to form a word as I may need that word for another letter and its sort of cheating I think…unless of course I really get stuck…which I am sure will happen…


The globe artichoke is the immature bud of a thistle… a flower…The leaves are called bracts and the fuzzy centre called a choke which sits on top of the delicious meaty core which is called the heart the part that is completely edible.

As the artichoke was the subject of a recent post please click this link for recipes and more information on the delicious Artichoke…


Ashcake (also known as Ash bread; Fire cake) is a type of bread baked over a layer of heated stones or sand and covered over in hot ashes, a practice still found principally in Arabian countries, especially among Bedouins.

It is also a rustic Vietnamese cake made from glutinous rice then covered with the ash of shell rice and eaten with honey.


The Avocado is botanically a large berry containing a single large seed…highly nutritious it contains more potassium than a banana. Also known as alligator pears to butter fruit…from guacamole dips to salads, wraps, smoothies and even brownies… they are included in almost everything now as deemed to be so nutritious…a superfood…me I love guacamole and don’t mind them in salads or a wrap but not in a smoothie and most definitely not in my chocolate mousse…


Now bacon is another thing and I could probably eat bacon with almost anything…with a Sunday morning breakfast, in a burger, a quiche, jalapeno poppers, wrapped around a sausage so many uses…even crisped and crumbled over or in ice cream…


In England, the biscuit is a biscuit think a dipping in your tea biscuit however MY American cousins call a biscuit what we Brits call a scone…go figure… of course, we are correct…

Biscuits with grits and crispy bacon for breakfast I quite like however a nice scone with clotted cream and jam is a wonderful thing…


Chicken carcasses make wonderful stocks and soups…even a turkey carcass my mother used to make a beautiful soup with the turkey carcass…I learnt from an early age to waste nothing…I had a good teacher…my mum x

In my opinion, Thais make the best soups and stocks their Chicken Noodle Soup is loved and known the world over…


A low-fat healthy meat providing it comes from chooks which are allowed to roam free and not fed chemicals…Eaten and used by cooks around the world be it steamed, fried, roasted, tossed on the barbie…used in curries or with pasta, potatoes or rice it is a versatile low-cost nutritious meat.


Used for centuries in cooking and traditional medicines …chicory is also used to make a coffee alternative does anyone remember Camp Coffee? The pale yellow leaves are also often used in salads…the plant also has beautiful blue flowers.


Although I don’t drink it often I love a drink of hot cocoa…a highly concentrated powder made from chocolate liquor—a paste prepared from cocoa beans, the fruit of the cacao—and used in beverages and as a flavouring ingredient. Cocoa is the key ingredient in chocolate and chocolate confections.


A dry, thin, crispy baked bread (usually salty or savoury,..eaten with hard cheese or cream cheese they are a nice snack.


Cupcakes now are nothing like the cupcakes my mother used to make they are now in some cases quite decorative and even used as celebration cakes or wedding cakes such has the humble cupcake evolved.


Gnocchi beautifully made can be a glorious thing or just something you would rather not eat…it is not pasta as is often thought It is actually a dumpling made out of potatoes.

You can serve gnocchi with a variety of sauces and toppings such as cheese, tomato sauce, cream or pesto, just like pasta.


Tomato ketchup…made with tomatoes, sugar, vinegar/acetic acid and spices and is not to be confused with tomato sauce although as a Brit I have always called tomato ketchup …tomato sauce and still do…Although the recipe is different for the UK…we have never called it ketchup but sauce.


Mocha is a high-quality type of coffee made from a specific coffee bean. It’s easily confused with the flavoured drink also called a mocha, which combines coffee and chocolate. Mocha coffee beans are from the plant species called Coffee arabica, and it was originally only grown in Mocha, Yemen.

Muscovy Duck:

Muscovy Duck is the only domesticated duck that isn’t descended from Mallard ducks. … When young, these ducks are considered very good eating, with lean, tender meat, with a taste more like veal than other duck. They have larger breasts than Common Ducks. Usually, just the breast meat is sold, which is quite lean.


A tortilla chip topped with melted cheese and often additional savoury toppings (such as hot peppers or refried beans)


Is a type of flatbread cooked on a griddle or baked in an oven…Oatmeal is the main ingredient and it can be enjoyed with a sweet or savoury topping for example cream cheese and smoked salmon or bananas and cinnamon.


Pancakes some love them thick and I like mine thin and crispy with lemon and sugar although I am coming around to pancakes with maple syrup.


A smooth shelled brown nut similar to a walnut…the pecan’s distinct flavour and texture is the result of its high levels of monosaturated oil – in fact, it’s the fattiest of all nuts. It goes well in both savoury and sweet dishes, most famously pecan pie, a classic recipe from the American south.


If something is poached it is cooked in a liquid…it is a gentle way to cook and an ideal cooking method for eggs, fish and fruits…the cooking liquid can be quite simply water as in poached eggs, milk, stock or wine…


A popular snack that can be very healthy if air-popped and lightly seasoned or very unhealthy if popped in fat and loaded with calorific toppings…it can also be used to flavour ice cream…


An earthy, meaty flavoured mushroom…This mushroom is generally agreed by connoisseurs to be among the finest eating mushrooms…They can also be very expensive, particularly when fresh, although dried ceps tend to be of better value.


Is part of the chicory family and often referred to as Italian chicory as it is used a lot in Italian cuisine.

It is grown as a leaf vegetable and usually has colourful white-veined red leaves that form a head. Radicchio has a bitter and spicy taste which mellows if it is grilled or roasted.


A traditional Mexican dish that consists of a small tortilla topped with a filling and then folded.


Is a lightly fruited yeast-based bun that is generally split, toasted and buttered then served with tea…A British tradition.


A kitchen utensil with holes about the size of a grain of rice which is used to push soft food like potatoes through to make them very smooth and lump-free.


Yucca is one of the few roots which must be cooked as they contain cyanide…it is used in a variety of dishes in Latin American countries, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean Islands.

That’s all for today for the letter C…

Thank you so much for your visit I hope you have enjoyed the read…Please feel free to leave a comment as you know I love to chat…Love Carol xxx


The Culinary Alphabet …..Series 3… the letter A…

Welcome to series 3 of the Culinary Alphabet…

Nothing is as it seems here…this new series is the brainchild of Chel Owens who writes at A wife, My Verse, and Every Little Thing…my followers are so good to me they think up all sorts of permutations of the Alphabet…not sure if they want me to call it quits or what they will come up with next…Chel like Pete however will be called on to make her contribution every two weeks…they don’t get off scot-free…haha

So what’s in store? In this series the A, B, C, etc will be the middle letter, for example, Brawn, Cabbage, and Yucca… how easy that will be who knows I am sure  some of the letters of the alphabet could cause the grey matter to rebel or implode…haha


Are fragrant citrus fruit the size of an Orange…depending on ripeness they are a yellow or green colour similar to a lime. Often confused with the kaffir lime but it is not wrinkled like the kaffir lime. It is common throughout the Mediterranean and anyone who is familiar with Earl Grey tea knows the fragrant, citrusy scent and distinct flavour of bergamot.

It is also used in essential oils.


Is Afrikaans for “barbecue” or “roast” …Similar to a BBQ a Braai seems to be more of a social event as well…

The main difference between a braai and a BBQ has to be the fire. A braai just isn’t considered a braai if cooked on a gas grill. The fire also remains lit for the duration of the braai, even after the food’s been cooked. Guests will gather around the fire after eating and spend the rest of the day or evening there.


Brawn, I remember my mother making brawn for my father a recipe passed down from her mother made from the meat from a pig’s head or calf’s head the meat is cooked and then pressed in a pot with the cooking liquid…the result is meat in jelly.


Champ is made by combining mashed potatoes and chopped scallions with butter, milk, and optionally, salt and pepper. Sometimes by the uninitiated, it is confused with colcannon which has the addition of cabbage and sometimes some herbs.


A large stalked green leafy vegetable…the leaves and stalk are often prepared separately. Sometimes called Swiss chard or rainbow chard it is a relative of the beet and often overlooked in its own right. Unlike the traditional beets which put their energy into growing roots, the chard produces big tender leaves and crunchy stalks.


Is a finger food and should be eaten in one bite…a type of hors d’œuvre often served before a main event or party.


Who doesn’t love an eclair..made with choux pastry with a custard filling and a chocolate top…Similar to a profiterole but piped into an oblong shape… The eclair originated during the nineteenth century in France where it was called “pain à la Duchesse” until 1850. Eclair means “lightning” in French. Many people believe that eclairs got their name from the glistening sparkles from the frosting that resembles a lightning bolt


Falafel is delicious balls of chickpea and herb goodness that you find in Middle Eastern cooking. Traditional falafel is made from ground chickpeas or fava beans, herbs and spices. The mixture is then formed into balls or patties and deep-fried for a texture that’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, sort of like a fritter. It’s a classic Middle Eastern and Mediterranean recipe that’s enjoyed as street food and often served up as part of a mezze (a group of small meals).


Chocolate and cream …a deliciously smooth, shiny, silky filling, dip, spread, frosting, topping, or layer in a cake…with freshly chopped mint leaves it is absolutely delicious…


A clear, colourless, flavourless food ingredient derived from collagen from animal parts…for many years there has always been controversy around the use of gelatin although there are alternative like Agar-Agar made from cooked pressed algae.


I think of two things when I see the word glace the glace cherries my mother puts in her Christmas cake and a nice demi-glace which is a rich brown sauce…served over meat…


A large sandwich filled with a variety of ingredients such as cold cuts and cheese or sausage and peppers with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and a variety of condiments in Britain is called a submarine…A very popular take out…


Ingredients for meat sauce.

  • I kilo minced beef or pork
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 250 gm mushrooms sliced(optional)
  • 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 if using, 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 on what I have in my larder/fridge.

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




Oxtail stew was one of my fathers favourite dinners…cooked low and slow with onions and carrots with pearl barley and dumplings he loved it on a cold winters day…It is in fact the tail of a cow.

Shank and Flank:

Both are cuts of meat from the cow…The beef shank is the leg of the animal’s thigh. Each side of beef has two shanks, one in the forequarter and one in the hindquarter. It is extremely tough and full of connective tissue.

Beef shank is used in making the luxurious Italian dish osso buco.

Beef Flank has tough muscle fibres and is lovely cooked low and slow…it is quite lean and has little fat and can be cooked on the grill if it is marinated and cooked quickly then sliced against the grain if cooked correctly it is delicious if not it can be as tough as old boots.


To scald is to heat the liquid to just below boiling point and blanch fruit or vegetable when the aim is to remove the skin as in tomatoes.

It also applies to milk and makes better food for yeast…which means faster proofing, larger volume, and a fluffier product. It also makes for a smoother dough with better moisture retention…it is milk brought nearly to the boil and then cooled.


Something I have not eaten they are a traditional Mexican dish made with a corn-based dough mixture that is filled with various meats or beans and cheese. Tamales are wrapped and cooked in corn husks or banana leaves, but they are removed from the husks before eating…I must admit they sound delicious.


Is one of the 5 basic food tastes…very in vogue now and popular…

That’s all for today I hope you have enjoyed the letter A…

Thank you so much for your visit today I hope you have enjoyed the read…Please feel free to leave a comment as you know I love to chat…Love Carol xxx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 6th – 12th December 2020 – New Book, International Carols, Foods XYZ and a Christmas Party with pets.

Wow!… What week…Jam-packed with new releases including Sally’s ( Just) in time for Christmas, Christmas Carol’s and culinary delights…even some funnies to make you smile …Something for everyone …Please head over to Sally’s have read and maybe do some armchair shopping…Bliss…Enjoy the read xxx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the round up of posts you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord.

What’s coming up in the next two weeks.

I cannot believe that it is the Winter Solstice and the shortest day in 9 days time. On the one hand there is a sense of relief that this year is nearly over… and a wary expectation that 2021 is going to be better.

Whilst I could sit and philosophise all day long… there are things to be done to make sure this year ends with a few projects completed so I can move on fresh in the New Year.

In the last week I scheduled all the Christmas Book Fairs so they would be finished in time for Christmas and they will go out daily until the 23rd of December. I have also scheduled an updated version of The Twelve Days of Christmas from the…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food -X,Y,Z for Xawaash Spice, Yams and Zabaglione.

My thanks go to Sally for rerunning this updated and revised Culinary Alphabet an A-Z of food and culinary terms…I do hope you have enjoyed this series as much as I have done conducting the research and writing…The follow on from this is a reverse alphabet where the lead letter is at the end of the word for example pizzA…great fun to research and write most of the time…lol…Thank you again, Sally you are a star…Hugs xx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

In the last of this amazing series Carol takes us through the foods and culinary terms beginning with the letters X,Y and Z.  Look out for news of a brand new column from Carol in the New Year.

Xawaash Spice Mix.

Xawaash (pronounced Hawash) comes from the Arabic word Hawa’ij (حوائج). Hawa’ij can be translated as ‘requirements’ or ‘essentials.

For example, there are the essential accompaniments for Arabic coffee, Hawa’ij al-Qawra (حوائج القهوة). The Hawa’ij spice mix is believed to have originated in Yemen.
In the southern regions of Somalia, Xawaash refers to the spice mix that is added to savoury dishes: meats, stews, soups, etc. However, in the northern parts of Somalia, Xawaash is used in a broader sense and it refers to any spice mix, even the spices that are added to tea and coffee.

Keep in mind that the types of spices used and their proportions are…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food ‘W’ for Wakame, Wasabi, Walnuts, Watercress, and Wax Beans

The letter W…Where does the time go? Only one post and this series will come to an end…It has been lovely of Sally to rerun my updated series of the A-Z of food aka The Culinary Alphabet…Thank you, Sally xx…
If you are loving this series then you will love the following series where thanx to another blogger I am working on foods and cooking terms where the end letter comes into play I.E. ( herB)…Challenging but fun…In the meantime enjoy the letter W…X

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

The A-Z of food…a culinary tour through the alphabet today the letter W for Wakame, Wasabi, Walnuts, Watercress, and Wax Beans etc.

Welcome to this weeks edition of the Culinary Alphabet…Where I am exploring some culinary delights beginning with the letter W…


Wakame is a species of edible seaweed and classed as a sea vegetable. Popular in Japanese cuisine it is used in soups and salads.


Classed as one of the world’s healthiest foods the Walnut originated in the Mediterranean region and Central Asia and has been part of the human diet for thousands of years. These nuts are rich in omega-3 fats and contain higher amounts of antioxidants than most other foods.

If you’re looking for a snack food that lowers your cholesterol levels, research shows that you should get cracking! HaHa…

In a study published by The Medical Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that…

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CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…8th November-14th November…Recipes, Health, Whimsy and music…

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed any posts during the week… whatever your time zone grab a coffee or a glass of wine…Take a pew, get comfy… have a read…

Relax and Enjoy! (1) Weekly Roundup

I woke up this morning to the news…

Tuesday 10th November…How to Have a Greener Thanksgiving and Christmas…

Because of everything that has happened this year… Change has happend in our homes…our shopping habits…

This article explores how we can take it that one step further and how the day to day products we buy which you would not dream contained plastic…DO!

Wednesday saw me over at Smorgasbord Magazine with my A-Z food where on my tour through the Culinary Alphabet this week I have landed on the letter V…

The letter V has some great foods…I have updated it from the 1st edition as I have all my posts this time around …there is vegetable Spaghetti, Vanilla and much more so please if you missed pop over to Sally’s and say hello we will both be pleased to see you…

Thursday…Smorgasbord Health Column – Common Conditions A-Z – Working from Home – Backache by Sally Cronin.

Health Column

Backache is something which many of you can relate to or know someone who is a sufferer…

“Low back pain is the single biggest cause of years lived with disability worldwide, and a major challenge to international health systems. In 2018, the Lancet Low Back Pain Series Working Group identified a global problem of mismanagement of low back pain.” WHO

Fruity Friday…It’s a date!

No, not that kind BUT for the sweet delicious dates that pair wonderfully with bacon or blue cheese or just adds that touch of sweetness to a Moroccan Tagine…

Although and this is where I am having a little rant…the number of sad men who trawl FB and Instagram and even Linked In now is increasing…what with the big increase in spam which has to be checked …DAILY …as some of my regular followers seem to end up there at WP’S whim…I block, report ALL of you…

Saturday Snippets…

I struggled this week with Saturday Snippets…I think that what is happening around the world is beginning to get to me…But I will give myself a good talking to and see if get my mojo back…I miss my mum she is 90 years old next week we will have to do as many are doing and talk by phone unless I can get someone to set up a video link…

Have a wonderful Sunday..please be well and stay safe…xxx

That’s all for this week’s roundup … fewer posts have made my stats boom…go figure… I do hope you have enjoyed it and I look forward to your comments xx

God bless you all in these turbulent times…especially those of my readers who are facing new lockdowns…Please stay safe and wear your mask and practise social distancing or this virus will not go away…x

When this is all over my hope for the future is a cleaner world… I do want to see communities, and caring for your neighbour becoming the new norm…WORKING TOGETHER INSTEAD OF WORKING AGAINST EACH OTHER…Being kind to each other…Loving someone whatever their religion or skin colour…Can we make this happen? We have to but in the right way…Are we willing to make a stand? Personally, I would love to see lessons learned..realistically I have my doubts…

Thank you for reading be well and stay safe 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 well being.

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!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all stay safe and healthy xx