Category Archives: Authentic recipes

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.
Enjoy!

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: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

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

 

 

 

 

Beef Bourguignon…

 

christmas Eve Supper

A lovely one-pot Beef Bourguignon which would make a lovely Christmas Eve supper dish it is also really easy to double up if you are having guests just make sure you lengthen the cooking time.

One of the first dishes that I cooked my husband some 40 odd years ago was Beef Bourguignon…He was a man who ate only meat and two vegetables and did not like garlic???

Well..he ate it! .. I didn’t tell him what was in it apart from Beef and Red Wine…

When he asked after saying ” That was really good” and I said Beef, garlic, red wine etc….

But I don’t like garlic

He now eats this dish at every opportunity and asks me to make it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg Beef…I use good braising steak. Cut into cubes.
  • 3/4 rashers smoked bacon cut in 1/4 pieces.
  • 250gm button mushrooms..small as I use whole.
  • 10-15 small onions/shallots used whole.
  • 3/4 pint good beef stock.
  • Half bottle red wine……..I use a Shiraz.
  • 2/3 bay leaves.
  • 4 large cloves garlic chopped not too fine.
  • 2 tbsp flour for the roux. plus extra flour to coat beef.
  • 2 tbsp  Good Olive Oil.

 

Let’s Cook!

Toss the cubed beef in flour seasoned with salt and pepper.

Heat some oil in large pan over med heat seal cubed beef in batches.

Once all beef is sealed set to one side.

In the same pan add a little drop of oil and cook bacon and garlic until bacon cooked nicely just slightly crispy.

Add Beef and stir in 2 tbsp flour.

Then add beef stock and stir until smooth gravy. It’s like making a roux.

Add Bay leaves and Red wine bring to slow boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2 1/2 hrs until meat is tender. Depending on your cut of meat it may take a little longer.

About 30 minutes before the end of cooking add button onions and 15 mins before add button mushrooms.

Taste and adjust seasoning it may need more pepper. Again it is personal taste.

Beef Bourguignon 2

This can be served with mashed potatoes and vegetables or rice and vegetables.

I hope you enjoy!

If you loved this recipe please pin me!

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.

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: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

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

 

CarolCooks2 my Weekly Roundup…Real silver tinsel, home-cured ham and Fun…

Recipes and reveals what is in our food

 

Not strictly true as there are no rants this week...

I will be back to normal after Christmas ( haha) but like all of you guys and gals, I am busy with all my festive and bobs…Instead, there will be a few more Christmas recipes which are all tried and tested in my kitchen…Yes, I am busy in the kitchen and busy trying to source my normal cooking needs…But it seems that all the places I normally get my Festive fare have shut up shop I suppose there is little demand but never fear my son is back in residence from the UK this week so his case should be packed with all my culinary wants…

Ham- crackling-home cooked-sliced-platter

Home cooked ham and crackling

Meantime I have been curing my ham…which seems to be a constant for the next few weeks as everyone loves the ham and are not waiting for Christmas Eve to sample it so as I make one ham they dive in and all the neighbours appear as they love my home-cured ham…Oh… to be popular if only my ham…lol

https://carolcooks2.com/2018/12/04/christmas-recipes-home-cured-ham-bacon/

With a hop, skip and a jump it is Wednesdays Cookery column over at Sally’s and my first public attempt at putting together a festive menu and a vegetarian one at that. It seems to have been well received and I do hope I have got it right…I am not a vegetarian but do eat many dishes with no meat involved.

I understand that there are different groups of vegetarians as regards to what they eat some eat dairy and some not. To some, I suppose not strictly vegetarian but a generic menu.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/smorgasbord-blog-christmas-celebrations-the-food-column-with-carol-taylor-a-christmas-vegetarian-menu/

Real silver tinsel and naughty Yule lads were the themes of my Friday’s post… Trivia and Christmas facts and lots of recipes.

Christmas Traditions, Treats and Trivia

https://carolcooks2.com/2018/12/07/christmastraditions-treatsand-festive-fun/

Finally, no one wants to be sick over Christmas I know how that feels as in Christmases past that has been me… Sally has some good advice on how you can help yourself stay well during the cold, damp weather…So please pop over and have a read…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/smorgasbord-health-column-a-z-of-common-conditions-bronchitis-by-sally-cronin/

I still can’t believe that I only wrote 3 posts this week …But I am sure you busy peeps don’t mind that…I have however changed my domain name…When I first started blogging it was a whim in a way and not so serious and when I was thinking of a name that was a tongue in cheek choice…I have got serious ..Well not about everything but certainly the environment and those pesky sneaky manufacturers who make all these chemically laden foods which make us sick…

I lied ... Me bad! There is a rant…lol…Unintentional at the beginning but I get carried away when I type…

The new domain name? carolcooks2.com… Because yes I do cook but I also blog about other issues so I thought carolcooks2 covers that…

merry christmas-card-2999091_640

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas season with lots of nice food and family fun…Stay safe but enjoy! xxx

Thank you for reading this shortened version of my weekly roundup and please if you have any ( I have revised it ) fun Christmas photos please share for my Fridays Christmas Traditions and Treats…xxxx

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.

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: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

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

 

Christmas…Traditions,Treats…and Festive Fun!

Christmas Traditions treats and sweaters

This week I have lots of treats and traditions for you and a sprinkling of trivia…Where to start?

I have had a great response to my call out for  Christmas Jumpers OR is it Sweaters?… I think that is dependent on where in this big wide world you live… Do you call them Jumpers or Sweaters or more to the point what would you like me to call them?? Or shall we just beg to differ as we all know what I am talking about?

Christmas Jumper Corner:

You have probably noticed the two little dogs posing in their Christmas finery in the top image…Little Cubby belonged to Tori who writes some beautiful children’s books and Franck ( who never smiles) belongs to my son …Now Franck has a wardrobe many of us girls would envy a coat for every occasion and I haven’t seen him wear any with a smile…Yet!

 

Thank you to Franck, Cubby and Keto who make excellent models for showing us your Christmas finery …Applause xx

So come on let’s have your Christmas finery be it human or animal…xx

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Did you know? There are 12 courses in the traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve supper, each of them dedicated to one of Christ’s apostles.

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Silent Night: A beautiful Christmas Carol…

Darlene said…

I love Silent Night but prefer it in German. The original version Stille Nacht was written 200 years ago, in 1818 by Pastor Joseph Mohr in the small Austrian village of Oberndorf, the music composed by his friend Franz Gruber. This popular song is 200 years old this Christmas!!

Darlene is the author of The Amanda Books and she has also followed my blog from day one…Thank you Darlene xxx

Hugh said:

As for a favourite version of Silent Night, I rather like the haunting version Sinéad O’Connor did. Listening to her singing Silent Night…

Do you have a favourite version of Silent Night…?

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Christmas Cocktails…Silent Night!

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Kivak is also known as Mutak or Xmas Catap is an unusual Christmas treat but not if you have a delicate tummy or are fainthearted…Made from dead fermented birds, preserved in a hollowed out Seals body for a minimum of 3 months and often much longer. The taste like very mature cheese so I am told…

http://www.foodista.com/blog/2012/02/15/stinky-foods-10-weird-facts-about-kiviak

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Did you know the answer?…  Two of Santa’s reindeer are named after weather phenomenon. Name the reindeer.

Tidalscribe did…Donner and Blitzen – thunder and lightning in German?

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My blogging friend Tanya who has an absolutely delightful name for her blog one of my favourite flavours for ice cream Salted caramel said…

This post has reminded me of Agatha Christie’s book The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding and Hercule Poirot s Christmas. Agatha Christie’s descriptions of food are as good as Enid Blyton’s whose books I adored as a child.

Books I haven’t read for many a year but they delighted me then and I think a lovely Christmas present for today’s child who loves books… some of the classics are timeless in their appeal don’t you think?

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Did you know? Most people think Japanese cuisine is relatively healthy and think seafood and rice. So it may come as a surprise to know that family Christmas tradition in Japan includes eating their big holiday meal at fast food giant KFC!

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 Round glass Christmas ornaments were inspired by the shape of apples. Apples were the original Christmas ornaments, put on the tree to symbolize the Garden of Eden.

christmas-bauble-15738_640

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I can’t think of anything that bacon doesn’t go with can you? One of our Christmas favourites and it has even tempted the man who hates dates but his love of cheese and bacon has overridden that and he had to admit that ” They are ok”..Really? How many have you eaten?

Although I did call them by their given name and didn’t just say dates wrapped in bacon and cheese…I like to vary the cheese… you can use cream cheese, cheddar or even a piece of blue cheese which is my favourite.

Devils on Horseback:

devils on horseback

  • 1 pack of pitted dates
  • 1/2 pack of regular (not thick cut) bacon, sliced into 1/4’s
  • 4 ounces of cheese…

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Let’s Cook!

Cut date halfway through and open them up.  Put a  teaspoon size piece of cheese inside. Wrap a 1/4 slice of bacon around the outside.

Secure each one with a toothpick or put five or six on a skewer. Place on a rack above a foil-lined pan to catch the drippings.

Bake for about 15 minutes, turn dates over and bake for another 10 minutes or so until bacon is crisp and dates are slightly caramelised.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy!

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One of my favourite Christmas Traditions has to be the one that many people in Iceland uphold people will often exchange books on Christmas Eve, then spend the rest of the night reading them and eating chocolate…How good is that? x

The tradition is part of a season called Jolabokaflod, or “The Christmas Book Flood.” As a result, Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country selling most of them between September and November.

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christmas-baubles-1806968_1920

I hope you have enjoyed this Christmas post of Traditions and treats and I would like to thank everyone who has made a contribution I think most bloggers love it when you get some interaction with your posts it makes the time spent very worthwhile so thank you and please if you have any favourite Christmas Tips, recipes anything please share with us 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.

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: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

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

 

Christmas…Treats, Traditions and Trivia!

Christmas Traditions Treats and Trivia

Welcome to week 2 Of Christmas traditions, Treats and of course some Trivia. 

You can also expect tried and tested recipes which were passed down from my mum, recipes I have been given by friends and family from all over the world and which are now our family favourites. Traditions there are many Christmas traditions practised  around the world and I will be bringing you some of those and anyone who wishes to contribute with a guest post of their own on a special Thanksgiving dish or tradition then you would be very welcome to showcase them here as I know my friends across the pond and my relatives celebrate Thanksgiving on the 22nd November and have turkey and lots of other goodies … So please share and I will link back to your post…

Early images of Santa pictured him as a stern, commanding disciplinarian holding a birch rod. The jolly old Santa we know and love today was created by artist Haddon Sundblom for a Coca-Cola ad.

From 1931 to 1964, Coca-Cola advertising showed Santa delivering toys (and playing with them!), pausing to read a letter and enjoy a Coke, visiting with the children who stayed up to greet him, and raiding the refrigerators at a number of homes. The original oil paintings Sundblom created were adapted for Coca-Cola advertising in magazines and on store displays, billboards, posters, calendars and plush dolls. Many of those items today are popular collectables… I would love to have one as I have a small collection of Christmas memorabilia mostly crockery and tableware…

christmas-cracker-3012548_640

Pastry cook Tom Smith invented Christmas Crackers around 1846. He was inspired by the French habit of wrapping sugared almonds in twists of paper as gifts. Love messages called ” kiss mottos were in the original crackers which didn’t crack until a while later…Tom used to distribute his crackers to customers and friends through his successful wedding cake ornament and confectionery business he did, however, realise that he had to come up with a unique idea to make them more saleable. It is said that he got the idea of a pop from listening to logs crackling on the fire.

He had the idea of incorporating a friction activated chemical explosion into his product to produce the necessary ‘popping’ sound.

Silver fulminate, a compound discovered by the English chemist Edward Charles Howard (1774 – 1816) in 1800 and further developed in 1802 by the Italian chemistry professor, Luigi Valentino Brugnatelli (1761 – 1818).

This eventually became the cracker snap of today and Tom Smith’s Christmas Crackers were born.

I find it fascinating how many ideas evolve and develop…Don’t you?

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Did you know?

Fruitcake originated in ancient Egypt, where it was considered essential for the afterlife.

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Christmas Pudding ...Have you made yours yet?? If not I have added the link for two Christmas pudding recipes one Gluten Free…

Christmas Pudding

Originally way back in ancient times, there was a sweet haggis called hackin made from oatmeal, dried fruit, suet and grated apple and then cooked like its savoury Scots relative the haggis by boiling it in a sheep’s stomach.

Often a Christmas pudding is wrongly thought to be an adaption of a spicy soup called potage…However, according to early records, potage and hackin were served side by side on Christmas menus.

Through the year this sweet hackin has evolved and it became more than just a tasty treat Small items such as coins (wealth) and buttons (bachelorhood) were put inside, and supposedly foretold what the New Year would bring. I remember my nan putting a silver sixpence in her pudding mix …Just the one and we all hoped we would get it but I am also sure there must have been many which were swallowed or cause a cracked tooth maybe that was why the tradition stopped.

Now they are just a beautiful rich steamed pudding with the fruit steeped in alcohol…rich and lovely…

adult-carrot-celebration-721167 (1)

Who still puts out a plate with a mince-pie and a carrot on Christmas Eve for Santa and his reindeer???

How’s this for a weird Christmas food? 

I am used to seeing deep-fried bugs here so they don’t freak me out…South Africa is home to some of the world’s most unusual holiday food fare. Every December locals feast on a seasonal delicacy– the deep-fried caterpillars of Emperor Moths! They really are very pretty caterpillars… Deep fried…Would you eat them ????

The hunt is on for the best Christmas Jumper…

box-christmas jumper -christmas-balls-714696 (1)

To be in with a chance of winning…Please send in your photos…

Christmas Cheer this week is in the guise of my homemade Irish Cream Recipe

Home made Baileys

Irish Cream:

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz Irish Whiskey
  • 1/2 pt whipping cream
  • 1 can condensed milk…
  • 2 eggs.
  • 11/2 tbsp Chocolate syrup.
  • 1/2 tbsp each  Vanilla Extract, Coconut Extract, and Chocolate Extract.

Let’s Brew!

Blend all ingredients together and refrigerate.

Serve cold and or over Ice.

Now isn’t that easy? and …you can get about 4 batches from one bottle of  Irish Whiskey so by my reckoning that’s a real saving and lots of Irish Cream which we tested alongside Bailey’s and it was very close…yay……

Thank you for reading this weeks Christmas Traditions and Treats I do hope you have enjoyed it if so please let me know in comments I love to hear from you…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.

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: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

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

Eat Smart, Eat Healthily…

Healthy eating should be a lifestyle choice

Healthy eating should be the priority and the habit of a lifetime…No fads, no weighing every day or week and then beating your self up because you haven’t lost anything.

It is about being aware of what you are eating and knowing if what you are eating is improving your health. It is not about removing whole food groups from our diets we need a healthy well-balanced diet to be at our optimum health.

What really matters is Our well-being, Our Blood Pressure figure, Our cholesterol, Our blood sugar, Our inflammation markers.

Last week I wrote about WW ( Weight Watchers) changing their thinking I wonder how far they will go and whether other diet plans will follow suit…

A question for you…In what way can I help you???

It is easy for me to sit here…I have no real barriers as in I don’t work any more which makes it easier for me…

But a little background for you… I have always worked, I have six children all grown up with children of their own… I have always cooked from scratch..sometimes out of necessity because cans or packets are generally only to feed the average size family and ours wasn’t.

I could have blown our budget and bought multiple packs of everything not only would that have been a storage problem but how to get it home or push all the trolleys required around the supermarket ..Or I could have broken it down into days and buy drinks one day, vegetables another day and still have time to work,clean, cook, do school runs and after school runs…It just wasn’t viable …

So I cooked and baked…I made use of my freezer and slow cooker and batch baked and cooked …

We had a plan and a routine it was the only way…

My first job every morning was to do the ironing and packed lunch boxes so when the kids appeared they got their pile of ironing to put away…

We had pets so whoever’s pet it was looked after it and kept the cages clean.

bath time animal-1298962_640

One washed the breakfast dishes… we didn’t have a dishwasher at that point, one dried and one put away…The biggest helped the littlest and I was never late for work and the kids were not late for school.

Did it hurt them?? Ask them!

The boys can cook, iron and clean and their wives love it!

I made no distinction between sexes…

They cook from scratch and are great cooks… Why? Because it was a way of life for us…Did they eat cake and biscuits…Yes, they did ..We had fun making them…The whole neighbourhoods kids were at my house on baking day and often we had a guest or two for dinner…That line of shoes always seemed to grow…

And as old as they are they still reminisce about holidays and food they remember me making big pots of stew and they all eat their vegetables…No fussy eaters… If your kids help prepare they are more likely to eat…

Family and community are key I believe to a healthy lifestyle we are sociable creatures aren’t we who need contact with others…

Much of that has been lost with the demise of families and friendly neighbours…Computer games and the like have also played a part…in sedentary lifestyles and other problems.

Well, that was a bit of a saga … Wasn’t it?

I still do most of what I have always done and always prepare food in advance… I portion up my meat or fish so I can cook meals during the day which are quick to do…Which is why I love the Thai way of cooking…Quick and easy just a few ingredients stir-fried and eaten with rice or noodles.

Now I am older I apply moderation more …I have eaten my fair share of chocolate and cakes and they don’t hold that fascination for me anymore ..that must eat feeling…Maybe because I have kicked the added sugar habit?

So I suppose what I am saying is if you have small children teach them to cook and help even growing some herbs or fruit…It will set them up for life …

A recipe for you…

Pork and Basil…….. 5 ingredients plus seasoning…

cauliflower-rice-pork-thai basil-recipe

Ingredients:

For 1 serving.

100 gm pork loin sliced finely

2/4 birds eye chillies. cut in small slices.

2/4 cloves garlic finely sliced.

2/3 long beans( snake beans) chopped in small pieces.

2 stems Thai Holy Basil.

1 tbsp Oyster Sauce.

Shake or 2 of Maggi ( seasoning sauce)

1/2 tsp black soy.

Let’s Cook!

Put tiny bit oil in small frying pan.

Add chillies and garlic and cook for  1 minute then add your finely sliced pork loin-stirring until cooked about 2 /3 mins. Add Green Beans and Thai Holy Basil cook for further 2 mins.

In the picture, I have served it with cauliflower rice but I also serve with steamed rice it depends just how I feel… I absolutely love this dish it takes 15 mins max to make as long as it takes the rice to cook and if you are using cauliflower rice even quicker. You will also notice that I varied the amount of garlic and chillies I love both and use loads as well as many more herbs than I state in my recipes…

Enjoy!

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.

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: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

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

 

 

 

 

Krapow( grapow) Moo Pork with Basil

 

ingredients for grapow Moo

Krapow Moo is my favourite Thai dish and one which we often have for brunch..we are a two meal a day family. It can be made with Chicken mince but I prefer pork mince. For maximum heat, I always grind my chillies and garlic together in my pestle.

Ingredients: This serves 3/4.

  • 200 gm Pork mince
  • 4 snake beans cut into 1/4 inch slices.If you can’t get the beans pictured then ordinary green beans will be fine.
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1-5 Thai chillies
  • Krapow …A big bunch of Thai sweet basil  Leaves picked and as you can see from the photo I use quite a lot.
  • 2 tbsp Oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp black soy.
  • A splash of cooking oil…I use Coconut oil.
  • Good shake of seasoning..not sure if you would get the one I use here but if not just a little pork/chicken seasoning salt.

Peel garlic and cut chillies finely at this point I put in a pestle and mortar as it brings out the flavour. If you don’t eat your food very hot like us then just cut chillies and garlic finely.

Add a splash of oil to a hot wok and add chillies and garlic cook stirring for 1 minute being careful the garlic doesn’t burn.

Add the minced pork( chicken) and stir until cooked 3-4 mins.

Add all sauces and stir cooking for 1 minute. Add a little hot water if the sauce is too strong.

grapow moo cooking adding herbs
Then add the green beans and cook 1 min then add Grapow and stir until wilted.
Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

grapow- krapow-egg-pork

Serve with rice and a fried egg which is traditionally how Thais eat this dish.

herb grapow

N.B.Holy Basil is available now in many Asian stores throughout the world.

Please note I have put for example 1-5 chillies it all depends on how hot you like your food and the same with garlic I love lots of garlic and herbs BUT as I always say start with a litle you can always add and most importantly TASTE AND TASTE again and again while you are cooking trust your palate…

Enjoy!